Sunday, June 13, 2010

best Sunday evening so far

First, Yesterday was The Wife and I's (is that right?) anniversary. We been married a long enough time that we are barely newlyweds, but not so long that we feel like we have been married forever.
You guess how long. Mom and all the Dales and Nois, no giving it away.
She got me a nice gift, more than I deserve. I got her something practical that takes a battery. If you know Wife well, you know she is always 5 minutes late... So I got her a nice watch! Nothing says I love you like saying, be on time.

Tonight, we all took a walk around the garden. Wife has bronchitis and the kids are all fussy cuz it rained so much this weekend that it was wonderful to go out as a family and enjoy each others company.
In our walk around the garden we counted the apples (23) and walked the rows until we came to the peas. We noticed the peas were ripe and so Wife and I introduced Kat to the art of picking fat pea pods and splitting them open for the goodness within. Let me tell you, rabbits got nothing on this girl. She ate peas for 15 minutes straight. Later, as we were getting her ready for bed, she wanted to go back out and "pick peas".
Kyle wasn't much interested in peas... in fact, he had a hard time staying upright in the tall grass. After a while he just laid on his back and rolled around and laughed at us, nibbling at the peas on the vine.
It was such an nice experience I ran into the house to get a camera to capture this moment forever. People tell me they won't be little nearly long enough and I am starting to feel uneasy that they might be right.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fantastic weekend!

We bought our log home in 2002. So far, I think every year has been a learning experience.
This weekend we learned about our chimney.
For the last couple of winters we have worked hard to heat the house as much as possible with wood.
Two years ago we bought a high efficiency free standing wood burner, a Lopi. We like it quite a bit.
As we heat more and more, Wife and I thought it was time to get the chimney checked out. When we bought the house we had it inspected along with the rest of the house. That was eight years ago and we are on our second wood stove.
So a husband of a co worker who used to work for a chimney cleaning and inspection service came over today. He used to work for the chimney service because when the great flood hit Cedar Rapids back in 2008, the shop was under 16 feet of water and the owner decided to not re-open. Of course, Brent's house had 10 feet of water in it, so he has had a lot on his mind.
Brent told me to clean out the ash box at the base of the chimney inside the house before he came over. So last night after a pretty busy day, I opened up the little doors and started shoveling out ash with a small garden trowel. Ash I expected. What I wasn't ready for was the birds. Seven bird skeletons along with feathers. Dried up, no smell, disgusting little skeletons. The skulls were creepy with the beaks and the eye openings.
So he stopped out today and gave me a list of things that need to be done. Just what i need, another list of things to do. He did, however, let us know that the chimney is in really good shape for not having been maintained for the last 27 years.
Now I am sitting on the porch in the shade watching Kat cover herself with sidewalk chalk.
Earlier she managed to find a bad tempered paint turtle. This is actually pretty surprising. How she managed to find an eight inch turtle, green, in foot tall grass, I will never know. When I picked the turtle up, she stretched her head out of the shell and hissed at me, then snapped her mouth shut.
In all of my years I have never seen a paint turtle behave that way. Kat agreed, we needed to put that turtle back in the pond. We did, and I hope she is happy.