Sunday, March 13, 2011

Early spring pictures

Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from yesterday. It was the first sunny, warm day I was off work in a while. I'll add more later as I get time to reduce the file size, but these were the two that looked the best to me.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Another earthquake

M4.7, Epicenter near Greenbriar, which is south of Harrison.

This was felt pretty far around. Loretta said it woke her up and she wondered what kind of thunder would shake the house for that long. Gab also said she felt it. There was also the thunderstorm going on, and I was sleeping pretty good at 11 pm. They're both new mothers, so maybe that's why they woke so easily to it.

Here's a link to the USGS report on it:

To get an idea of how far it was felt, here's another link that shows the areas reporting that they felt it.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Signs of Spring

Every day it looks a little more like Spring will be here soon. Farmer's almanac says there's still a big snow storm for the month of March, though. I hope it's wrong. My blog background pic is the same tree that had the ice in it for the previous pic, but now you can see the leaf buds getting ready to open.

The faucet was my project for today. It's been waiting on the sidelines for me to get it done, but today was a good day for it. Not too cold. Now I can water the horses a lot easier. During winter, the old faucet by the old house had frozen and broken, so I had put a plug in it temporarily.

* I forgot to mention that I was standing out by the newly installed faucet, admiring my handiwork when the thing started spraying water all over me. Apparently I didn't tighten the pipe clamp at the top end enough. But now it seems to be tight and holding.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Homestead Update

This blog started out as a homesteading journal. I posted pictures of our venture here in the Ozarks, and essays about how things were going.
For the most part it has been a struggle and never really approached sustainability, which was my original goal. I work so far from home, it's impossible to both take care of the homestead and earn the income needed to keep it floating.
Recently Gary and I divorced, and now the land will have to be sold as part of the divorce settlement. I'm waiting on the appraisal, but maybe if it comes in at a reasonable amount, I'll be able to refinance it and buy it back myself.
Or maybe my future homesteading efforts will become a joint venture with a friend/partner who's interested in the same goals.
Or maybe I'll just start fresh somewhere else nearby. It's very unlikely that I'll give up. That's just not my nature.
The future is wide open and I'll keep you posted on my progress, whether I'm here at the same old homestead or somewhere else.
In the meantime, herb walks will continue as before. Before each season, I'll post the schedule and locations. We may start using the park trails at Boxley this year instead.

Chloe's Valentine

A little post-Valentine day cuteness from Chloe:

Her momma kissed her on the cheek (wearing color-coordinated lipstick) before taking the picture.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Baby Keigan

Here's a recent pic of Keigan. She's doing great, but loves to sleep all day and be awake all night. She sleeps like a little rock, so it's impossible to keep her awake in an effort to swap her schedule around. So if you see Gab with dark circles under her eyes, that would be why...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Snow Pics

Bobbie Sue didn't enjoy the snow so much. She holed up in her igloo and refused to come out much.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

More Pics 2/5/2011

Mixed in with the snow pictures this time, is baby Keigan. Chloe got to see her first snowball, but she wasn't too impressed.

The icicles on the old mercantile store in the square:

Where the driveway meets the creek:

Grand-Baby Keigan sleeping in her swing. Maybe it'll snow next year for her:

Grand-Baby Chloe checking out her first snowball:

Bobbie Sue and Badger in the snow:

Snow 2011

Sunrise. When the sun comes up, the first place to see light is on the western ridgetop. So this sunrise picture is taken facing the west, not the east.

It was snowing so hard in places on my way home from work yesterday that visibility was reduced to only what was directly in front of my windshield. A true Ozark blizzard.
And then the roads were so snow covered there was no way to tell where each lane began or ended, or where the road began or ended. Abandoned or wrecked cars on the sides lent a clue ever few miles, though, as to where not to drive.
By the time I reached my jeep at the square where I leave it, already about 5" had accumulated on the hood of it. Dusted it off, warmed it up, and managed to make it home over more roads that looked like a foot had fallen since the last time I'd driven them.
Woke up this morning to even more snow. I can't remember ever having so much, and it's nice snow, not too cold and great for sledding. So far, I like it. But I haven't tried to go anywhere, and this morning I need to get over to Gab's house somehow. I might need a snowmobile.
In a little while, I'll get outside and take more pictures.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

More Pictures

A few more pictures from the great winter storm of 2011. The power went out for a few hours yesterday, and that would have been uncomfortable if it had gone on all night or longer. Other than being very cold, it hasn't been that bad so far. Tomorrow I should be able to go to work, but the kids are still out of school.

Ice crystals on the tree outside my balcony. It was too cold to go farther than that to take pictures!

Beautiful illuminated ice on the mountain to the south, again, from my balcony (you can see it better if you click on the photo to go to the full size file):

Less of a closeup of the ice on the mountain. When the sun shines through it, the light scatters and makes it look very bright. The photo doesn't come near to showing how it really looked.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Ice 2011

It was raining pretty hard when I woke up this morning, and at first I though, uh-oh, I should have gone to work. But when I looked outside, I could see that things were going to get worse.

That's ice on the tree, and the longer it rains the thicker it will get. If it's building on the trees, that means it's building on the power lines, too.

The lights blinked once, but we didn't lose power. Now the rain is m ostly sleet, so it should quit building on the trees and power lines. Soon it should turn to snow.

Momma and Daddy decided they'd had enough of ice the first time they got caught here in one, so they went back home already.

I'm getting my clothes washed before the water freezes, because with below zero temperatures in the forecast, I know it will freeze.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Hunkering Down

Momma and Daddy came just in time for the year's first ice storm. Hopefully, it won't be like the one Jan 28, 2009:

None of the projections I've seen cause me to think it will be like that one, but they rarely get the weather forecast right here. We might not have any ice, sleet, or snow at all.

But if we do, I'll take some pictures.

Friday, January 28, 2011

More baby pics

Here's a few more pictures from yesterday. Tomorrow I'll get some more of Keigan, and some new ones of Chloe.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Grand-daughter

Here's the most recent addition :) Baby Keigan Marie Cline weighed 7 lbs 0 oz and was 20" long. Mom and baby are doing great!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

After the snow

Once the snow starts melting, it starts to look pretty ugly.

The icicles are beginning to melt.

It's dripping so hard it sounds like rain hitting the roof.

Every once in a while, a big slab of ice falls to the second roof, making a loud thud and the dogs bark like the booger man is up there.

Tonight and tomorrow, we're supposed to get more snow, but also freezing rain. I love the snow, but hate the ice, so I hope we don't get freezing rain.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snow Day

I love the way snow covers everything, including the junk, lol. Makes it all look so much prettier. Hides all the work needing to be done.
Garrison stayed at Cody's in anticipation of a snow day today, they had plans to go sledding and riding four-wheelers in the snow. I stayed home from work, got most of what I needed to get done yesterday and figured it's not worth the risk to get there for non-urgent business.
It's not so deep that I can't get out if I have to, though, and I'm waiting to see if Gab's going to go into labor now just because it'll take longer to get to the hospital.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Imminent Grand-daughter update

Word from the doctor this morning is that Gab is dilated 2 cm and 50% effaced. Keigan ought to be here soon :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Well, no. He didn't put the pipe clamp on tight enough. Yesterday the tank was overflowing. This morning, it's empty. And the plug was on the ground.

Sometimes suffering inconvenience makes learning something have a little more sticking power. He's not happy about not being able to take a shower tonight, either. I'll bet the pipe clamp is tight now.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

One Small Step

Today Zack got home early and put a plug into the end of the water line. It's all frozen still, but at least by now the tank should be full (because it's been frozen from the tank down and unable to flow out the cracked end once it froze solid) and by tomorrow when hopefully the sun will warm the ground enough, it'll defrost and we'll have our water back by the time I come home from work tomorrow night.

So, I know it's not a major plumbing job, but it was a tremendously necessary one and a first step for Zack in learning to make a repair on his own. The real test will come when the water comes back in. I think there's almost 90 lbs of pressure at that point when the tank is full, so hopefully he put the pipe clamp on tight enough so it doesn't blow the plug out.

Later we'll put a valve in so we can cut off the water after the house and before the shed.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Reluctant Morning

This morning is one of those kind, upon which seeing first light the first things I think is Ugggggggh! Maybe it's just a bad dream.

A few seconds later, another peep from half-shut lids, and the truth is revealed. It's not. It's real. And I do have to get up.

It was nearly midnight when I quit working on my powerpoint presentation.

Around 3 a.m. the trickle of water I'd left running in my sink went silent. Having gone to sleep through the noise of water falling into a bowl, the sudden quiet woke me. The realization of why I woke led to checking all the faucets to see that indeed, they were all keeping mum.

At 4:30 a.m. Snippy started letting me know he'd eaten his last stem of hay and he was cold and wanting more. Horses can be very loud when they want, did you know?

It's nearly 10*F outside, but at least this time I can see better than I could at 4:30. Now I can find out if the broken and steadily draining the tank nozzle at the end of my water line is frozen solid, too.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Horses Retrieved

One part of the weekend's goals have been met. Zack got both of the horses home yesterday. But I have the wrong parts for repairing the water line, so that will have to wait. It's only leaking a little, I just wanted to get it taken care of before the weather turned so cold.

This morning, it is already so cold.

Blustery is a good word for today's weather. The wind is gusting and it's below freezing.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Cold Weather Coming

Well, it looks like we'll need to get all the outdoor work we need to have done all finished on Saturday.

That means horses retrieved, hay brought up and the leak at the end of the water line repaired pretty much all done on one day's time. Getting the horses home could take a few hours, and if things don't go right with the water line issue (we are inexperienced water line repair-ers), that could too. Especially if I don't have the right parts and need to run into town.

Zack and I are working Friday so nothing can be done until Saturday anyway. Loretta will be working Saturday, so that means either I or Zack will be taking care of Chloe... which means either Zack or I will be getting all that stuff done with Garrison to help.

Tomorrow he'll pick up propane bottles and I'll bring up a load of hay after work.

Sunday it's supposed to get fairly cold, with wind chill near or below zero by Sunday night. Or at least that's what it said last time I looked at the forecast. That changes some every time I look, so it could be better or worse now, but I'm preparing for worse.

Then it's supposed to stay that way for the main part of next week.

Gab should tell Keigan to stay put until the weather levels out again, at least!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Holidays 2010

Christmas holiday so far has yielded lots of completed projects. The kids have gone to Louisiana so I thought I'd get some things done while the house is less active.
Before this past week, the plans were to finish the floors in the living room. But the horses ran off over the mountain again, so everything was re-arranged and containing them became the priority.
It snowed Christmas day. The neighbor at the camp adjacent to us called to say the horses were over there by the dome houses. Retrieving them took most of the day.
That night, after resting a little while, I went to Gab's house and we put together her playpen and bassinet.
Sunday meant I had to go into work so that I could take more time off during the week to finish building the winter pen for Snippy. If I keep him penned, then the other two horses won't go far away.
It's Monday and the pen is done and appears to be holding. I hope when I wake up tomorrow morning, they're still here and not back over the mountain again!
Here are a few pics from the little snow we got. These are from the top of the mountain behind the house:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Full Lunar Eclipse

Totality begins tonight, after midnight (really Tuesday morning) at 1:41 CT. If you want to see the whole sequence you’ll have to get outside earlier, around 00:30.

This is the first time we’ve had a full lunar eclipse at winter solstice in over 300 years, and it won’t happen again for more than 90 years. The moon promises to be a reddish hue, making it all the more surreal to see.

It’s a true once in a lifetime event for most of us, and I plan to be watching if the sky is clear.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wayward Trio

When the horses aren't by the hay or at the house every morning for their rations, I usually figure they've found a way out and have taken off for a hike. Since Thursday I haven't seen them. This morning, I went to look for them, hoping they weren't on the other mountain again.

They weren't far away. Not in the first place I looked, but at least the second, and I didn't have to make the long hike up the mountain and over the pass to get them from the other side of my world at least.

Actually, they can stay where they are for a while. They found a way into an area we usually keep fenced off for gardening and my sons have a deer food plot up there. None of that is in use during this time of year and there's still grass for them to eat, so I just took this picture and left the gate open on my way out.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cold, Blustery day

It's a cold, blustery day here in the Ozarks. Wind is gusting and the wind chill is down to around 7*F...pretty chilly!

Last night I was battling a virus on my computer and today I got rid of InternetExplorer altogether and that seems to have been the fix. Now I'm using Avant for my browser and so far, so good.

Today I realized I forgot to leave the water running last night. It will be Wednesday before it warms enough to thaw my upstairs lines now. Someone remembered to turn it on downstairs last night, thank goodness, so at least we have water somewhere.

It's a good day to stay inside.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's all Relative

This morning I was overly warm in bed when I woke up. I wondered if I'd accidentally left the heater on too high, but no, all was as it should have been.

The air in the room was just warmer, and it wasn't as cold in the living room as it usually is, either.

I carried out the morning duties with much less chill than usual, as lately it's been in the low-20's when I get up and the first thing I do is warm up the kitchen so it's easier to coax Garrison out of bed to get dressed.

Fed the animals, started the jeep, though I didn't think it really needed so long to warm up this morning, since it wasn't so cold.

Finally we get out of the house and down the driveway when I looked at the thermometer. Well, no wonder I was warm. It was a piping 34*F this morning, instead of the usual 20-something.

Haha, it amazes me how much difference a few degrees and levels of humidity make in how the temperature feels. I was surprised that it was still only 34 and I felt comfortable. That's a big change in attitude for a (former) south Louisiana girl.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Chilly in the Ozarks

Today's a pretty day outside, but also pretty chilly. It's around 45*F and fairly windy so I didn't stay outside long. Tomorrow's high is only the upper 30's.

Garrison and Loretta went to town to bring out the garbage and I was watching Chloe while taking a break from writing and editing an article on earthquakes in the Ozarks.

This is the view from the swing under the old white oak tree:

And this is the view of Chloe while she's in the carrier. Cute little peep eyes:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunrise to sunset

I had a great time visiting family and friends during the Thanksgiving weekend. Today was the long trip home.

After a few hours on the road we were greeted by a beautiful sunrise, just south of the Moorehouse parish line on Hwy 425.

Eight hours later, a less than spectacular sunset at home. Haha, sometimes it gets prettier, but today, I'm just glad to be home after a full day of driving.