Blissful Life on the Farm… or… The High Price of Farming

Well, I thought I’d drop in and leave a post since Keith has made the lion’s share of them so far.
So, let me first say that we are enjoying many aspects of living on the farm. As we look around and make a mental note of everything that needs to be done, it can seem overwhelming at times. Thankfully, we have each other to lean on.  We do have a few pressing items on our “to do” list that must be done before winter. A couple of them are safety items with the house. (something about a pipe on the water heater and some vents for the attic or something like that. Can you tell I’m NOT the skilled one who will be doing those repairs?) My jobs tend to be a bit more “in your face.” I need to finish unpacking the kitchen so I can find the things I need for making meals. I’m working on getting our “critter” issues under control. Did you know that, apparently, flies hate Pine Sol? I’ll be scrubbing and spraying down the covered porch out front with Pine Sol and trying to get the flies to relocate to another home. 🙂 I’ll also be painting our front door. I can’t stand the dingy, dirty white color it is now. I know we are looking for a new front door… so my “fix” will be short lived.

My next job will be trying to help figure out how to set up a wind break behind our house. The last two storm fronts that blew in nearly carted us off to Oz. Seriously, we are getting pummeled by wind and sand. They push their way through the doggie door and the window screens (remember… we’ve got no AC here). I end up with an inch of dust/sand inside the house after every storm. YUCK! So… we’ve decided that trees behind the house will be the best way to block the wind and get it to push AROUND our house instead of through it. So, today, I called a few places to price trees. WOW!!!!!! HAVE YOU ANY IDEA HOW MUCH TREES COST????  We really wanted to plant trees in honor of family and friends and put little plaques in front of them (You know… a fig tree for Grandpa… an apricot tree for Wendy, etc.).  If we can get our fruit trees in this Fall, we might be able to harvest some fruit this coming Spring. At this rate, we might have enough money to buy one tree before New Years Day. *shaking head. I’m seriously considering asking if people want to invest in the future and “plant a tree at the Bramblshire.” Any takers???  No?? LOL!  Well, God is giving us many ways to rely on Him and take things one step at a time and complete things in HIS time. I am forever reminded how blessed we are to have been given this amazing opportunity.

I’m including a few pics showing you some more of the farm and what we’re up to. 🙂

These are a couple of the horses that frequent our farm. They live down the road, but have a HUGE property to roam on. The buff colored one on the right, named Cory, is extremely friendly. He will stand there for a half hour waiting for you if he knows you’re around. All he wants is a scratch behind the ears… and maybe a carrot. 🙂

Keith worked tirelessly to put in a special fence so the puppies have a safe place to roam. The only challenge is that there are predators (coyotes, owls, falcon, hawks, foxes) all around us. So I’m a little nervous about them being outside by themselves. I often find myself standing on the back porch in my night shirt at 6am shivering in the cold and waiting for them to “do their business.”

There is still lots of painting to do. I’m thinking I need to throw a painting party. (The problem with that idea is that it would be “Harrison, party of two” since none of our family lives anywhere NEAR Colorado.) Oh well… we will finish the painting like we finish everything else around here… one step at a time. 🙂

And finally, the whole reason we are on this journey. Here is Jordan picking squash for us. We pray that God will bless the Brambleshire and give us the ability to share our harvest with those who need it. “We are blessed to bless again.”

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Is there such a thing as progress?


I am rethinking the word “progress”. Often times, I break things down into tasks, with specific deliverables, timetables, and measure my progress. Example: Building our trailer … from procuring the trailer frame, to getting the wood for the walls and trim, the hardware, etc. I knew what I wanted to do, had a process around it, and was able to execute that process. I could easily see my progress during my journey to completion.

However, I am not sure “progress” fits or works well when it comes to the Brambleshire. I have a list of well over 200 items that are needing to be done and it seems to grow daily. I somehow doubt that we will ever be “done” at Brambleshire. There will always be things to do, add, repair, harvest, etc. In some ways that is extremely comforting, reducing the burden of ‘this and that’ needing to be done and not completed yet. But therein lies the rub as well … it can make it difficult to measure success and that nasty word, progress. Perhaps it is just how I am wired, doing what works best for me. Or an after effect of gaming, which almost always has some form of objectives to complete. Or perhaps it is something common to men as a whole, often we are taught that winning and achieving are crucial ingredients to a successful life. I suppose it could be something even more basic to the human psyche, a built-in driver that forces us to succeed and prevail.

In the end, the driver here is irrelevant. It really is a different approach to life as a whole. Caring for our little piece of the world, providing for ourselves and others, rebuilding and healing this barren and abused patch of Earth. Ultimately it is a new understanding of how each and every item on that list of 200+ tasks, effect us, the farm, the environment, and the world around us; instead of breaking the various parts of our lives into their individual microcosms, and measuring each of those items against an intangible bar of “progress” and “success”.

Progress …

With all of that said, we have made good progress on finishing up at the old house. Yeah, I know, this is in direct contradiction of the above. What can I say? I either have split personalities or I enjoy basking in the glow of my own hypocrisy  W00T!

We have a few more trips to get the rest of the items at the old house, get it cleaned, and be done there … finally. Deena has made amazing progress at getting things organized and unpacked here at the farm, it is starting to feel like home already. Although, we still have many items on the porch waiting to be brought into the house, to find their place … I need to get that stuff inside or change the name of the farm to Bubba’s Menagerie of Redneck Junk. /sigh


Ok, here are some pics, finally, of the work here in the house. Enjoy!


Ripping up the old carpet, good times!


While she might look confused here, Taylor did a great job working with Deena to get the vapor barrier down for the flooring. The product is Silicon based and made from 100% recycled material.


Deena was the “cut girl” … doing all the calculations for board lengths and cutting them (AKA the smart job) and I installed them (AKA the brainless job). She did awesome!


Me pretending that I know what I am doing! We chose to face nail all the boards, loving the look of the nail heads, adding to the overall rustic feel. The Ridgid nailer and compressor performed flawlessly, loving both of them!!





And after … we are pretty happy with the results. Hand staining each board individually gave us that rustic, farmhouse look we wanted.


Worked in the new flooring around the existing stone tiles under the wood burning stove. At some point, we will rip out the stone and put in a proper raised hearth, stone backsplash, etc. But for now, not bad for a temporary solution.


Jordan came in for a visit from New York before heading out to London (poor guy). Deena and he did some great painting!


Deena’s hand got wounded by a stray staple left over from the carpeting. Fairly deep and bled like a champ. We got her patched up and she went right back to work! What a trooper!


As we made headway with the flooring, it became more and more challenging to find a place to setup the saw. The master bath served as the workshop for several days. I am still picking saw dust and splinters out of my toothbrush. BTW, the Ridgid Miter Saw rocked the flooring! (If you can’t tell, I am a HUGE Ridgid tool fan).


And in parting, we learned the other day that we are susceptible to Sand Storms. This one ambushed us from out of no where.


A lot of our construction trash started to get blown around the farm, I grabbed my goggles and headed out beyond the Mos Eisley space port to gather the trash and the droids.



Until next time!


K & D






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Homesteading Realities …

Magorium’s Moto …

After Mr. Magorium and Mahoney set all the clocks to chime at the same time in the clock shop, they have a final exchange of words before the big event:

Mr. Edward Magorium: 37 seconds.
Molly Mahoney: Great. Well done. Now we wait.
Mr. Edward Magorium: No. We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime.

37 Seconds? Are you kidding me? While I greatly appreciate the sentiment here, and generally agree with the notion on making every moment count … I have tried “regenerating” in 37 seconds and I just found myself even more tired. I am pretty sure Magorium is on a Schedule III Controlled Substance. I mean seriously, have you seen his eyebrows (Mahoney is TOTALLY shocked at his eyebrows!)? Only someone hyped up on Special K gets little Eistein’s above their peepers.

I say all of that to break into our exhaustion level … wholly smokes what a segway! The fatigue does explain the absence of tracking our progress in the blog. Wow, I had pictured posting at the end of every day the fruits of our labor. LOL … foolish, foolish mortal. In my defense, I did look at the laptop sitting on the table … staring at me accusingly … but I shrugged off the guilt trip. I would have had to lift the laptop, open it, type something coherent and clever, and then post. Pfft … no way. I actually found myself sitting on the couch, drooling on the cushions, debating whether or not breathing was optional … a lot of calories go into breathing … ridiculous.

State of Affairs …

Where we are at currently: ripped out carpet and padding, removed staples and tack stripes, installed about 1300 sq. ft. of flooring. (the hallway still needs to be tied into the bedrooms and a few closets need to be finished up.), the family room and Taylor’s bedroom is mostly painted, the backyard is sectioned off for the dogs and fenced, removal of the brush in the backyard is almost done and about 95% of the move is complete. It is amazing how those last few things at the old house are the mountaineering equivalent of Everest … all the way down to the O2 supplementation … God I need it!

But, we are definitely getting there and that feels pretty great. This is the first morning in weeks that we have been able to sort of ease into the day. I took the pups on a walk-about in the Outback this morning. It was actually quite wonderful … the sun was shining, a cool breeze from the north carried the scent of sage, the birds let everyone know this is their time of the day, and the absence of traffic, cars, mowers, etc. was pure bliss. Walking the property really brought home for me what this is all about and what we are trying to accomplish here.

I definitely have a HUGE respect for all those out there that have taken on this journey before us … all the homesteaders and farmers. It takes a pretty huge amount of vision, will, determination, and plain old hard work to accomplish any and all of this. We are remembering to enjoy the journey when possible … taking time to share a smile, a pat on the back for a job well done, and celebrating each and every victory, no matter how small.

Visual Aids …

For your viewing pleasure, a few pics on some of the headway we have made and the pups on the walk-about this morning:

Yeah … ok, ok … I didn’t get in any of the renovation pics, they are coming, I promise.

We are worn out, but content.

Tired, but happy.

Exhausted, but ever so blessed.


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Gaining a Foothold …

Well we finally got the trailer loaded with tools and materials this morning. Getting to the farm was a bit of an adventure in of itself, traveling with the trailer completely loaded down for the first time since building it. So that was a tad nerve racking for some reason. Wow, in the Gulf War I slept in more dangerous situations, but for some reason, the trailer un-nerved me a bit. All I could picture is hitting a bump in the road and tools shooting out of the back onto and into the cars behind us. LOL Needless to say, nothing so catastrophic occurred today.

Getting to the farm finally was a bit surreal. As I stepped out of the Xterra onto the dust and sand covered driveway, a tumbleweed skipped by, while I listened to the classic Clint Eastwood “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” gunfighter theme in my head. The sun was hot, beating down on me relentlessly. Just as I was about to twitch my eye, reach for my gun, and utter some incredible movie worthy quote, a Grasshopper jumps at my face! Only a Grasshopper could ruin my official entrance into the farm!

As we walked onto the front porch, we noticed spots everywhere! (Pics coming soon to a theater near you) The only thing I can think of is perhaps fly poo, assuming that flies actually do … poo. (sorry, couldn’t figure out a better way to word that without it rhyming). At any rate, the front porch is badly in need of a scrubbing, item #172 added to the ever growing list.

As we walked in to the house, we were met by, what can only be described as, a “sewery smell”. The septic tank was inspected and pumped yesterday, so perhaps that is the source of the smell. It isn’t overwhelming. I think. I suppose it is possible that the offending odor burned our nasal passages down to the capillaries, thus destroying our ability to smell anything whatsoever. Which would explain why after sweating for six and a half hours, I was still impossibly spring fresh.

While the previous owners had the house “professionally” cleaned, it was pretty bad. I suppose different people have differing standards when it comes to cleanliness. And yes, I realize on the farm things won’t be immaculate. But wow … grubby switch plates, stained carpet, and a half inch of dirt (literally) in the window sills. And the toilet seats … lets just say the only remedy was to replace them. I recommended that we dispose of them by sending them to Mars, but rescinded that thought because it was cost prohibitive and I didn’t want to be responsible to creating life on the Red Planet … cause there was plenty of things alive on those toilet seats!

Here is the offending light switch:










And here we have a sample of the Gobi Desert under the carpet. We are still sifting the sand for artifacts.













I opted to not post the toilet seats. But we do have the pics and will provide them upon request only. I can see the requests rolling in now!

Ok, a few more pics. Me removing carpet and Deena removing the nail strips. She cranked and cleared the entire house of them! I am so proud of how hard she worked today!






















And finally, I leave you with one final parting thought. The flies in the house are ridiculous. I mean tons! I can assure you that the volume of flies you are envisioning right now are woefully inadequate. The counter top “bowed” under the weight of them. If I could draw them into a conflict with the Grasshoppers, it would be West Side Story all over again! Jets killing Sharks, Fly killing Grasshopper … Oh the humanity!! However since I didn’t have time for Riff and Bernardo to start their deadly dance, I decided to wade in with the fly swatter and just started swinging. Do you remember the huge battle scene in the Lord of the Rings movie, when Sauron approached the Elevs battle lines, swinging his mace [+24 melee (1d8+16) … I got the D&D damage calculation from a nerd on the D&D forums … its not like I sat here and calculated it myself using the 4th edition standard deity rules based on Sauron being a 15th-Level Demi-God Wizard … pfft … that would be so sad … but I digress) … when Sauron would swing his mace, the Elves would go flying in gaggles of 10 or 20 … awesome right? Oh yeah, I sent those flies … well … flying, sounding like an assault rifle as they ran face first into the aptly named weapon, The Swatter! None could stand before me!! After my initial onslaught and with the flies scattering to the four winds, I was reduced to using my RIDGID® 12 Gallon High Performance Wet/Dry Vac as my implement of destruction, and it was no less delicious!


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Paint, paint everywhere and not a drop to drink …

I know, that title doesn’t make any sense, but I am desperate for a title and my sore throat has turned into a full blown cold, equipped with the latest in mucous technology … so … yeah.

We picked up the paint for the house today. That paint cost more than 2 chickens and a bucket of manure taking a bath on Tuesday!

No idea what that means, but apparently when you live on a farm you have to make those kinds of comparisons on a daily basis or you lose your membership card … something like that. Seriously, paint is crazy expensive, especially if you are buying no the VOC kind. The store clerk (old west reference) was pretty helpful, although his idea of help (taking our money) and our idea of help (desperately trying to hold on to our money) … yeah, two different things.

Us: “We need the no VOC paint from brand X (X to protect the innocent) in this color and in a satin finish.”

Clerk: “Well not sure we have that. Hmmm … how about an eggshell finish?”

Me to Deena: “Is he making fun of the farm with his snooty poultry paint finish remark?”

Deena to Me: “What the hell are you talking about??”

Deena to Clerk: “That will be fine.”

Me to no one in particular: “Wow, that is expensive!”

Clerk to Deena: “Would you like 14K Gold Flakes with that?”

Me to the Clerk: “Hey, we didn’t just arrive at the farm today buddy” (I didn’t let on that technically we haven’t arrived at the farm at all.)

Deena to Clerk: “No, just the paint.”

Clerk then leaves, comes immediately back. Clerk to Deena: “You realize that this particular paint doesn’t come with Ponies, Lawn Darts, or Strudel? We have THAT paint, but it costs more.”

Me to Myself: /Excited squeal “Strudel? I love Strudel!”

Deena to Me and the Clerk in no uncertain terms: “No Strudel, just the paint.”

And off the Clerk went, grumbling I might add, to tint our paint to the proper color. Once done, we picked up the paint, but were told, under the threat of Thunder and Doom, not to lose the caps to the paint buckets, since the barcode would be the only way for them to reproduce the color! Wait, what? He JUST made it WITHOUT a barcode!

Me: “That boy is dumber than two turnips and a barrel of door knobs!” (Still trying to get a hang of these country folk sayings.)

To top everything off, in my cold and cough syrup induced stuppor, I spent half the time in the store looking for “Liquid Fence”.  Apparently that is an imaginary product (a drug addled amalgamation of Liquid Nails and Fencing material).

So I thought the best idea would be to go home, freebase some Nyquil Cold and Flu Relief, and then blog about it. Brilliant!!

I am sure that at some point, perhaps after the move, this blog will take on a more sophisticated feel. I will impart my sagely advice about growing things … or something. Until then, you get to enjoy the immensely satisfying ramblings of the above!

Yeah, you’re welcome.

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Pics and Layout …

We have had multiple requests for pics of the property and our “plan”.

First, the pics. When I hear the words farm or homestead, especially in Colorado, I picture rolling hills, lush landscape, a creek running swiftly, bunnies holding hands and skipping in the flower laden meadow. Yeah, no. This property is pretty used and abused. Very dry, sandy soil, etc. … A couple of cool things to note however, the property is a 3 acre blank slate, so very easy to shape into our vision. Additionally, we have the challenge and privilege of terraforming the property into a green, lush paradise. We will add more pics of the farm this week.

Alright, so the “plan”. Keep in mind a few things here, the first of which is scale. This drawing isn’t and while most won’t give it a second thought, it drives me bonkers! Everything in black is existing today. Everything in color needs to be added, which will happen over the next 24 months (roughly). This plan isn’t set in stone, so I am sure it will change. I would be shocked if it didn’t. But it is a good starting place for us.

More to come in the days ahead!!

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Waging War on the ‘hoppers

As we wait, not-so-patiently, to get the keys to our new farm tomorrow thanks to this “we buy houses company”, we are restless. Well, restless might not cover it. We are on edge, looking around at all that still has to be packed, and making the last-minute lists of supplies we will pick up tomorrow, and working out the timing of everything.
As a way of passing the time, Keith has been planning his full-on assault on the Biblical plague of grasshoppers at the farm. Today, he whipped up some neat bird feeders. I’m working on a birdseed cake that will be put through each hole in the wood (two for each feeder). We figure that if we attract lots of birds to the property, the grasshopper population might decrease. Hopefully, between bird feeders, bird baths, chickens, and a natural substance that should eliminate the reproduction of these little “buggers”, we might have a fighting chance at producing a full and bountiful harvest in our garden. 🙂

Oh… another exciting happening…

We’ve been able to purchase the “leftover” brambles from the local garden center. They were looking pretty rough this late in the season, but we got a discount and we want to plant plenty of blackberries, raspberries, and boysenberries so we might luck out and get a few berries this next season. We’ll start out with 15 plants. We’ll, basically, build a bramble hedge. It will be our “main” focus on our farm. (Thus the name). We chose blackberries, etc., because I can easily incorporate them in my candies, baked goods, jams, and ice cream to sell at farmer’s markets next year.  I’m excited about having lots of berries! Here are a few of our beautiful berries from the brambles we are leaving behind.  They are HUGE and SWEET!! We’ll miss them!

What would YOU make with fresh blackberries, raspberries, and boysenberries?

Until tomorrow…..

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Preparations …

Tools organized and ready to go: Check!

Trailer frame purchased, trailer built and painted: Check!

Miter Saw and Compressor staged: Check!

1400 Square Feet of Southern White Pine Flooring – Stained: Check!

Monday we will grab paint for the ceiling, walls, and trim as well as a few more last minute items. Additionally, we will pick up a few apple and pear trees, and more brambles. They will take a few years to get established, so we would like to get started sooner rather than later. Tomorrow I hope to post a rough drawing and plan of the property. We are in the initial planning stages, so I am sure the plan will change.

We will try to keep the updates flowing every day to track our progress this week. Here is a rough agenda:

Monday: Purchase paint and last minute supplies.  Take our first load of “stuff” to the farm (Tools and supplies). Arrive at the property in the afternoon. Get the dogs temporary fencing setup. If there is time, start removing carpet and trim.

Tuesday:  Second load to the farm (most, if not all, of the flooring). Remove remaining carpet and trim. Paint ceilings throughout the house and start cutting in the walls.

Wednesday: Third load to the farm. Finish cutting in and get the walls painted. Get all the trim painted while it is uninstalled.

Thursday: Forth load to the farm. Start flooring install: Kitchen, Dining Room, Family Room.

Friday: Fifth load to the farm. More flooring: Entry Way, Hallway, Taylor’s Bedroom, Guest Bedroom, and Master Bedroom.

Saturday: Six load to the farm. Finish up flooring, transitions, and reinstall trim.

Sunday: Move loads all day, last minute packing.

The move should happen on the following Monday or Tuesday. We also have a pretty good punch list to work on, which I will try to fit in as I go. The next week will also bring some planting (brambles, trees, etc.).

Finally, I am wrapping up a day of preparations, check lists, and visits to reclaimed material stores with a super fun and always rewarding sore throat!! Yeah!!

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Brambleshire Farm is on the move …

Well, we are on the move, both Virtually and Physically.

Virtualityness …

Every time I type the word “Virtual” (or any of its various iterations) I think of the Matrix. As I start typing the letter “V” in the word, I start bending in my seat in slow motion, imagining I am dodging bullets. By the time I hit “rt” I am half way out of my chair. Don’t even ask where I finally land once I reach the end of the word. Let’s just say that I am typing with my toes, have a minor rug burn, and smell like dirty feet.

Yeah, so that is what I am dealing with this morning.

ANYWAYS … As you might be able to tell, the format looks a tad different here on the blog. I have moved us over to WordPress. After doing some testing on WordPress, I found them to have many of the tools and widgets I was looking for to make the blog a little more dynamic and easy to run. Example, one of the widgets allows me to look at my readers right through their screen! I can pretty much see everything … what you are wearing, if you combed your hair today, and everything going on in the background.

<Insert Dramatic Pause Here>

Half of you just stopped, with a funny feeling in your stomach … you know the one where you logically know that isn’t technologically possible, but you checked your hair nonetheless. /chuckle

Physicalityness …

The answer is “Yes”, I sometimes add random letters to words to make myself feel smart! Is it working, you ask? Uh-mm … yeah!

As our relocation nears, about the 20th of this month, our flurry of activity has drastically increased. Packing is in full swing and we have donated what feels like, half of what we own, in our effort to downsize and have a more simplified approach to life. It feels amazing!  We also have started work on the Pine flooring. We are pre-finishing (staining) the flooring, so it will be ready to install once we get access to the house. We knocked out about 600 sq. ft. this weekend. We will get some pictures posted in the coming weeks.

Harvestnessity …

Harvestnessity may be too strong of a word (and most likely not a real word come to think of it), but we were able to pick a few of our Blackberries this weekend. Three to be exact. They are monsters, really huge. All the others are ripening quickly. We are like kids on Christmas morning … except there is no Christmas tree, blinking lights, wrapped presents, decorations, hot cocoa, Christmas music, cold weather, stockings, cookies and milk, decking the halls, a Red Ryder carbine action 200-range-shot model air rifle, or Clarence and his damn bells! Now that I think about it, I am horribly disappointed. /sigh

Until next time!

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Missing in action, being floored, and Curiosity killed the cat …

Bloggio, Bloggio … Where for art thou Bloggio?

Apparently not keeping your blog more up to date can have far reaching consequences, including adversely effecting the global economy. So, I am sorry world, my bad. (Sorry, that is the best I have right now).

I have no excuses for not writing more frequently, trust me I have looked. Oh yes I did! (wiggling my neck around like a cobra on a Red Bull overdose.)

In fact, here are some random excuses, most pertaining to work, I found while conducting my “research”. I categorized them for the sake of organization and OCD.

  1. Boring:  My cell phone was set to silent mode and I use it as my alarm clock, so it went off on time but I didn’t hear it to wake up.
  2. Gross: My cat just vomited.
  3. Extensive: I really want to come to work but my headache was making my feet act funny and I fell over when I tried to stand and broke my glasses, then the dog started growling at me and I had to lock myself in the bathroom, only to notice mold on the grout lines, which  led me to dialing 911 thinking that I may have been exposed to an apocalyptic, world ending disease, thus fulfilling the prophecy of the Mayans concerning no Christmas for 2012!
  4. Honest: Sorry I missed your wedding, but I just don’t like you.
  5. Enabled: My Mom didn’t wake me up in time.
  6. Admirable: I was busy solving world hunger, global warming, and who shot JFK.
  7. Creepy: The water bed in my 1970’s van burst, shorting out my Mr. Microphone and my favorite book on picking up chics.
  8. Disturbing: When I got up this morning I accidentally took two Ex-Lax in addition to my Prozac. I can’t get off the toilet, but I feel great about it.
  9. Plausible: I cut myself shaving this morning and I died.
  10. Threatening: I can’t come in to work today because I’ll be stalking my previous boss, who fired me for not showing up for work. OK??!!?

I am quite sure there are much better ones out there, so post away, give us your best “excuse”.

Floor score and seven years ago …

In keeping with my monk-like legacy of braving Wizards, Dragons, and Goblins in my thirst for knowledge, I took on the arduous process of typing in “Flooring” in Google and cautiously striking the “Enter” button on my keyboard. Its a miracle I am even alive to talk about it.

Evidently, floors have been around for a long time. Who knew? Ever since Wilma had to clean up behind Fred and that damn cat that keeps coming back in, flooring has been important to most people. Interestingly enough, the most common type of flooring up until Colonial America was dirt. Can you imagine? No one is going to complain about how dirty the floor is, that you are tracking poo everywhere, or that you set the carpet on fire … again. Pretty awesome. Believe it or not, they had floor mats, even then, to wipe mud off of your feet so you didn’t track it in on the custom, hand packed dirt floor. Crazy.

Deena and I decided to swap out the flooring in the farm house prior to moving in, there is just no better time and the existing carpeting looks as if Wilma has been slacking … like … drastically slacking. WILLLLMAAA!!

We knew right away that we wanted something rustic, simple, environmentally friendly, and low maintenance. Oh and did I mention cheap? Apparently it is taboo to head into your local flooring store and if you can have 13,572 of their short, 4″ samples. Talk about grouchy people. Uhmm … Hello … you sell flooring. Can you say dream job? I know, right?

I had no idea there were SO many types of flooring and options out there … hardwood (which encompasses softwood, just try to figure that one out), engineered, laminates, bamboo, tile, vinyl, stone, pebbles, carpet and dirt … oh wait, I already mentioned dirt. Then there are all the “options” you can get … handscraped, matched ends, reclaimed (used wood costs more than new …. soooo … yeah), and plastic to put over your flooring if you are a mobster and need to get rid Tommy Two Toes. Then there are moisture barriers and underlayments. Are you on a slab or plywood/MDF subfloor? Are you going to stain, dye, or paint your floor? What about finish? Poly, Oil, Wax, etc. Sheen? Mat, Satin, Semi-Gloss, High Gloss …

Wow, I am just tired typing this … geesh! I don’t want to join the local “Guys that know a lot about floors and stuff anonymous”, I just want some flooring!!

After much self-education and long days grueling of research, I decided just to let Deena decide! LOL … actually no. We both spent a ton of time looking online, visiting stores, and educating ourselves. We are SO super smart now … if Jeopardy has a Flooring Week … Ooooooo Yaw! Look out Alex Trebek and Sean Connery! But I digress. We finally settled on a good, unfinished white pine, from a renewable source. We love the rustic look. It will indeed get scratched and dented over time, and that is fine by us … it will build the floor’s character. We are going to pre-finish the boards prior to installation, allowing us to customize each board, giving it an even more rustic look. Some boards will have a lighter tone, others a darker tone. And yes, the flooring was super cheap too! 🙂

We are heading to pick out our stain and finishing treatment this afternoon. And I think we have settled on paint colors as well. We will post all of those here in a few days.

The Curiosity Mars Rover

Lastly, I wanted to finish up with something completely unrelated. The new Mars Science Laboratory/Rover, Curiosity, is slated to complete its 9-month journey to the Red Planet, making its landing late Sunday night, early Monday morning at 1:31 am EDT. I am super excited and pretty nervous. This is by far the heaviest rover yet AND NASA is using a brand new, completely unproven landing system called the sky crane. Its all  very interesting. If you want to check it out, here is the mission’s webpage on the Internets: Mars Science Laboratory.

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