August 16, 2011

Move-In Date!!!

Unless something crazy happens - and, it may - we are moving in next Saturday, the 27th! The closing date is set, and the movers are hired.
I'll post pictures in a few days.

August 6, 2011

First Day of School

I cannot believe the boys started school yesterday (and I started last Monday)! It was only a half day for us all, and I'm too tired right now to write about it other than to say that it went well.

The highlight for me was when one of the coaches told me that he thinks Boy 1 and Boy 2 are the best dressed boys in the school.

Maybe Boy 2's choice of garden clogs was not the best, but it's too hot to make him wear socks and sneakers if he doesn't feel like it. I'm proud to report that Boy 1's shirt was tucked in when he came to my classroom at the end of the day - impressive.

July 30, 2011

Hospitals are Fun - Who Knew?

In my small town, there are not many things to do on a sweltering end-of-July day. So, where do my boys like to hang out on a day such as this? Our new hospital, of course! Why? "They have free wi-fi and good coffee!" they will tell you.

Is there a career in medicine in their future? More likely, video game design.

The wi-fi is for them, and the coffee is for me. They have learned that, if they mention coffee, it increases the chance that I'll take them where they want to go. And, by the way, I don't care if there is a heat index of 109 outside. I love my coffee! Inside the hospital it's quite cool, so I can sit and drink away while the boys play games at  or www.spongebobwhatever until my computer battery runs out. As an added bonus, I always run into someone I know (from church usually - we are good presbyterians) who works there, so I get the chance to do some "visiting."

Would you like to take a guess at how we rounded out our Friday?

Yes, we went to a bull riding tournament/contest (or whatever it's called). A first for all four of us. The event was a fundraiser for a local medical clinic, and Mr. Perfect was a sponsor. It was actually pretty entertaining - the crowd as much as the contestants. (Why, young "country girls" do you need to wear boots when it is 96 and humid at 8:00 in the evening? I guess they do look better with your Daisy Dukes than a comfortable pair of flip flops would.) Sorry, I have no pictures of the actual bull riding as I was too busy swatting killer gnats to take more than this one photo.

Mr. Perfect, is it just me, or is your neck turning a peculiar shade of red?


July 25, 2011

Visit a State Park

Mr. Perfect and I have decided to visit every one of our state parks.

So far, since moving back to Georgia, we've been to four. We have a very long way to go. There are several reasons why we've decided to challenge ourselves like this:
1.  Usually, the only cost to enter the park to hike or see the historic sites is an admissions fee of no more than $5 per car. That is certainly within our budget. Reserving a camp site, group shelter, etc. will cost more, but it's reasonable.
2.  Both of our boys are active Cub Scouts, so state parks give us lots of opportunities to earn badges and work on rank advancements.
3.  It's good, clean fun with the family.
4.  Our taxes help pay for the parks, so we want to see our "investment" in action.
5.  I actually feel closer to God when I'm observing His creation, so I want to see as much of it as possible.

We spent Memorial Day weekend Pioneer Camping with the Cub Scout Pack at Skidaway Island State Park in Savannah. Boy, was it hot! We had a great time though. It was a fun and educational experience for us all.  Many state parks have lectures, guided tours, and hands-on lessons that you can attend without reservations.
Here's one where the boys learned about Georgia's birds of prey.
At twilight one night, we learned about bats. See the big bat house?
The boys are watching other Georgia birds, particularly the painted bunting.

We camped at a site that was 1/2 mile from the parking lot and 3/4 mile
from the bathroom. That was a new experience for me - and, it wasn't as
bad as I expected. 

Last weekend, we went to George L. Smith State Park in Twin City - about an hour from here.
This park is most notable for its lake and historic mill house.

Boy #1 was very interested in these diagrams of how the mill operated.

Boy #2 quickly found a walking stick for himself. Notice the camera he
got for Christmas. He loves to take pictures of things he finds outside.

State Parks have very clear markings and information. If you stick
to the trails, it's just about impossible to get lost.

I love these old trees!

This fall, we're planning to go camping at Amicolola Falls State Park - home of a beautiful waterfall. See what neat things you can see at a state park near you.

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July 13, 2011

We're Getting Close!

It is so very hot here in South Georgia, but I am keeping positive because my house should be ready for move in very soon. I don't think we'll make it before I go back to work on August 1, but it should be only a week or two after that. Here are the pictures that I took while we were there last night:

The porch railing arrived yesterday, so it should go up soon.

With the exception of needing one more column and some railing, the side porch and patio are finished.

Another view of the side porch from the back.
Kitchen - the cabinets are ready; we're just waiting on the painter to finish up.
Kitchen - the sink will be under the window.

The back side of the house - the concrete was poured Tuesday.

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June 18, 2011

Finally, a new post

The house project is moving along... slowly, but surely. We had hoped to be in the house by June 1. Now, I'm hoping to be in by August 1. Here are a few pictures of the progress:

Next week, exterior painting should be completed, interior trim will begin, gutters should be installed, and, hopefully, the concrete for the parking area, porch stairs and patio will be poured.  I hate to be a pessimist, but I'll have to see it to believe it. Some of the subs that came HIGHLY recommended to us have turned out to be unreliable. The trim guys have been pretty much holding up the entire project for two weeks. They say they will start Tuesday. If we can find someone else to do it before then, we've decided that we'll fire them. 

There are many positives to designing and building your own house, but there are a couple of things I've learned after going through this process twice:
1 - it will take twice as long (at least) as you expected;
2 - you will wind up hating with a hot passion at least half of the subs you hire.

Enough being negative - we are very excited about our new home and hope that we never move again. So, if it takes a few more weeks than expected, is that really such a big deal? Probably not.

April 30, 2011

Almost-Complete Exterior

At last, I have some news to report on the home front: the exterior of our house is almost finished. The only thing left to do is paint the garage, add the brick steps and porch columns, and build a roof over the side stoop. Inside, the wiring is complete, the plumbing is roughed in, and the HVAC is installed.

Columns, steps, rails, and some finishing trim are all these porches need now.
We will pour a patio on this side of the house. Steps from the dining room
and a roof over the stoop have to be added.
The side porch needs steps and columns.
I've got to pick out a garage door soon.
Here is my front door. I'm very happy with it.
For some reason, I couldn't get my camera to flash. 
I think it's interesting to see what is going to be behind our walls.  
Isn't it cute how these HVAC lines are strapped up? I guess I thought
they would just lay on the floor.
Any storage space I thought I would have in that attic eave
is clearly not going to happen.
About three weeks ago, I planted these strawberries. They are already putting on fruit.
I ordered ten plants from Gurney's, but there were 24 in the box they sent!
That's all to report for now. Currently, the move-in date is the second week of June. Let's hope that doesn't change - again.  Have a super day!

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March 22, 2011


    I've been nervous about the brick for the house for a while now. We started this house-building project planning to use siding, which we would paint white. I love white houses! However, after researching and comparing costs, we determined that the brick would not be much more expensive than the siding. In fact, we estimated that by the time we had the siding cleaned every year and painted it in ten years, the brick will have more than paid for the difference.  Mr. Perfect and I love the brick that his parents have on their house, so we went with the same - easy choice. I was nervous though because I had been picturing the house painted white, and I wasn't sure that I would like it as much with the brick. 
    Yesterday, the brick layers started, so I drove out to check on their progress after school. I am very happy with how it's looking so far and think we made the right call. 

Spalding Tudor brick.

Front of the house.

Corner of porch and garage.

Back of house.

    I did not want to build a house that looked brand new and out of place on a quiet country road. So, instead of bricking the entire thing, we decided to put siding on the garage so that it would have the feel of an addition. Most old houses have had additions, so it seemed like a good idea! You can see in the first picture above where the brick stops. Above that will be siding painted white. The rest of the house will be brick. All of the trim on the windows and columns will be white, so that will tie everything together.
    Apparently, the bricking should be finished by the end of next week. Also, the plumbing will be in by then. After that, the roof can be finished. I'm trying not to be impatient, but I'm ready to move!
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March 10, 2011

Windows and Our 1st Garden

Well, we are almost "dried in." That means that the house is wrapped, the windows are in, and the under-roofing is up.  It's looking so good, and we feel very blessed. Tomorrow, the boys' bathtub should arrive with the rest of the bathroom plumbing to show up early next week. I was not able to take a picture of the front of the house because it was way too muddy after yesterday's torrential rain. Here are a few pictures of the rest of the house:

Back of the house
Back of the house
Looking at the front wall of my bedroom
Upstairs hallway, down to the landing, and up into the guest bedroom.
The boys' playroom
Another  view of the boys' playroom
Boy #2 is giving his bedroom a thumbs up!
Boy #1 also loves his new bedroom.

We are addicted to plants, so we could not wait until the house was finished to start growing things. The green clumps are day lilies transplanted from Mr. Perfect's sister's yard. We also planted dahlia bulbs which should come up in a few more weeks, a cabbage plant (part of a school project), a hibiscus we brought down from Virginia, and a fern. I'm planning on sowing some lettuce this weekend. Also, I think we're going to bring our bird feeders out this weekend and start doing our best to attract all the birds within a 10 mile radius to our yard!

Boy #1 and #2 in our temporary garden.

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