Saturday, April 25, 2015

I'm grateful

For the last two years, one of my dearest friends and I have been sending each other daily emails containing three things for which we are grateful that day.  It started out as a reminder of how good our lives are (even when things aren't going well.)  It has become such a habit that neither of us feels quite right if we forget to "do our gratefuls."  

Here are some of the things (besides health, family, friends, etc.,) I was grateful for this past week.

1.  These girls:

First spaghetti with red sauce. 
A cow says, "Moooo!"

2.  These men and their tractors, trades and skills.

This is a photo from back in March, but this week Christian used his tractor to bush-hog all the pastures and fields. 
The excavators.

3.  These flowers and trees. 

4.  These birds.

5.  These views. 
Soon, the way home. 
View of Christian's and Erika's house from Glenn's and my lane.
Walking path that Erika mowed between her and Christian's house and Glenn's and my lane.
Rappahannock river flooding not very far below the train trestle.  We got a lot of rain last week and again today.

The grass and the cows have returned to the field across the road
5.  These skies.  I will never get tired of the skies.
A form of alpenglow, I believe, over Frank's and Sharlene's house.
The same sky, but looking to the west.
The same sky, a few minutes later. 

I have much to be grateful for.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Raindrops keep falling

Over the last 30-plus years, Glenn and I sometimes talked about "if we ever build a house," and now, we're doing just that.  Well, we, aren't doing the building, but we've worked very closely with a builder to create the design and floor plan and he will be working closely with a whole crew of people to do the actual building.

We're starting with 15 acres of wooded property and so the first task is getting rid of enough trees to make room for the house and the septic drain field and a lane from the public road to the house.

Late one afternoon two weeks ago, a huge truck stopped on the road in front of our property and off-loaded this beautiful piece of equipment:

The next day, the operator, Michael, showed up at 7:00 am and began clearing the trees and brush for our lane.

It was fun watching the process of pushing over dead trees, digging around the base of live ones, then pushing them over, and using the teeth of the bucket to uproot brushy undergrowth.  The goal is to remove as few live, healthy trees as possible.

Once the trees are on the ground, Michael uses the bucket to move them around, sorting them into piles of good logs that will be taken away and cut into lumber and firewood and rotten or otherwise useless wood and brush that will be burned.

Most of the trees are very, very tall and a good number of them are 20-40 inches across (I don't remember how to figure out how big around that is!)  The root balls on some are significantly taller than we are.  

I'm no tree expert, but I'm guessing this is an example of good wood that will be made into lumber:

I'm also guessing that this log with a rotten center will probably only be good for firewood:

And this tree, circled over and over along nearly its entire length by woodpecker holes will probably be pushed into the burn pile.  

It was fun to walk the beginnings of the lane in to our house! I'm glad Glenn got to see at least some progress before he had to go home to San Diego.

The next day, Michael worked most of the day and cleared the site for the house!

The day after that, it rained!  And rained, and rained some more.

Since these photos were taken, another inch or so of rain has fallen.  I can't imagine how soupy it is out there now!  Our builder assures us that it will dry out.  It will be graded and graveled and culverted.  It will be fine.  I believe him, but still!!

I think it is ironic that I've moved from a place that is dying for rain where I savored every rainy day, to a place where it won't stop raining and the sound of raindrops on the roof makes me want to cry!*

* I really do still love the rain.  

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Five (categories of) things

Five categories of things that made my last two weeks:

1.  These vehicles:

2.  These growing things

3.  These sunsets:

4.  These views:

5.  These animals: