Monday, April 26, 2010

Catch Up - The Lost Weeks

We went down to Phoenix two weekends in a row. My husband (who I am now calling, The Fisherman, in this blog) had band practice, we attended a beautiful wedding at a real live western ranch, and we got to see our nephew, his wife, and my little grand-niece. Our trips were too short - because of the basement which is still drawing in water. (Speaking of the basement, it's much better now and we can last about 4-5 days without pumping or vacuuming. And when we do, we get much less.)


The Fisherman and our nephew love talking about the Bible together.  They mostly talk about prophecy and end times stuff.  They went at it right away and spent into late night hours talking about things.  I love this photo of Jonathan holding his baby daughter and gesturing with his hand to a passage in his open Bible.  Little Baby Girl seems like she might grow up to "talk with her hands", too.

For some reason, I loved how these turned out using the Black and White feature.  Her little polka dots were pink, turquoise, and lavender, with little socks to match.  So cute.

She is one cute little bundle.  Almost three months old and only weighed 10 pounds.

I love this photo of Baby Hannah and her beautiful Asian mom.

I haven't figured out if they are really going to call her Ayane like we initially heard because during our visits we heard them call her Hannah a number of times. Either way, I think both are pretty names.

And here's a color one just so you can see her little cuteness in living color.

Here's Baby Hannah with her namesake, my niece Hannah (13), who is Baby Hannah's aunt. 

With it looking like they might be going to call the baby Hannah after all, now we have two Hannahs in the family to distinguish between.  "Baby Hannah" is fine for now but "Big" Hannah is not a fitting name for the original Hannah because, well, she's quite small. She's always been very petite and cutely small - though she has hated it.  Her father can't even remember where one of his favorite nicknames for her came from.  He calls her Little Bean, or Hannah Bean, or just Bean.  So...he immediately christened Baby Hannah, "Baby Bean."  Too cute.

We came back on a Monday morning from the last of our two weekend trips visiting family and friends and arrived in our nearby town just in time for a "Town Hall" meeting with an Arizona candidate for the U.S. Senate, J.D. Hayworth. Lots of good questions were asked and he had lots of good answers. We're leaning toward voting for him over the incumbent...who has been in Washington for 28 years...and who I always thought I liked but have since learned is not as conservative as I'd like.....and who, well, recently ran for President.   Oddly enough, before I finished writing this post I received a recorded poll call asking whether I was thinking favorably toward McCain, who I was likely to vote for in the primary and what I considered the most important issue of this Senate election to be.  I always wondered who actually participated in all these polls I hear about.  This one, however, was not an objective poll.  It was conducted by the McCain campaign itself, taking the pulse of where he stands.

We have been busy trying to get caught up with things around here. Winter is finally over. The last tidbit of snow from the roof slide off our garage/workshop (seen here) finally gave up it's grip and melted away into the ground a couple weeks ago. I almost took a photo of it, to show the last 12" x 5" mound of winter clinging to our land.  There is, however, still snow on the north side of our surrounding hills.  That's fun to see.

We've had some beautiful weather lately. We 've enjoyed a couple 70 degree days. Gorgeous. We put a screen door on our front door. We love our wood front door and hated to cover it up with your basic ugly "security door" but it will be SO nice in the early summer heat to get a cross breeze going like has been absent to date.

I know you're all waiting with bated breath wondering how our road is looking these days, now that things are drying out. With deliberate efforts at driving over the high spots for several weeks, we managed to smooth it out pretty well. Our neighbor, who saw my photos on the blog and then ventured up himself a couple weeks later to see it's horrors for himself, was amazed at how relatively normal the road had become after our targeted driving. It was still uneven and in some spots with slants either to one side or the other, but we are very pleased it's not trenched and rutted.

If you haven't seen the photos of how this winter's 90+ inches of snow affected our road out here in the country, you can take a look at February's Snow Road post. It was pretty bad. We were snowed in for a week or more. We parked our van a half mile away at the end of the road and it stayed there for over a month. We could only use our 4WD truck to get in and out.

We ordered 60 yards of gravel for the road. What a "yard" is, I'm not exactly sure. I just know that our local cinder company has "15 yard" trucks and trailers.  The guy came out with his dump truck (15 yards) pulling another trailer (another 15 yards).  When this amount didn't make it as far as we wanted, we went whole hog and ordered another 30 to go all the way up our driveway almost to the garage (which was built as a studio-workshop and doesn't actually house any vehicles nor does one fit very well - unless you call 2 inches clearance on either side of the doorway a fit).

Here comes Mr. Cinders with his first load...actually this looks like his second load because the road ahead of him looks too nice.

When he gets to the right spot he stops the truck, gets out and goes to the back where he props open the back gate a couple inches at the bottom.  Then he gets back in the cab, raises the "dump" part of the truck and somehow he knows just how fast to drive away so the cinders will spread evenly behind him as he goes.

Here's where he stopped after his first load ran out.

He then turns around, goes back out to "The Big Road" where he parked his trailer full of another 15 yards of "Number 2 Red" cinder gravel.  He unhitches the empty bed, hitches up the full one, and comes back to pick up where he left off.

While we were waiting for him to go all the way to town (to the cinder pit just outside of town) and load up again, we decided to do a little raking in the driveway.  I unearthed my "elephant".  There was a tree right in the middle of what we needed to be our driveway so before we began building the garage The Fisherman cut it down, taking it as flush to the dirt as possible since we'd be driving over it.  One day I realized it looked just like an elephant face.  See?

Well, Blogger has done it to me again.  It's rotated a horizontal photo into a vertical format.  (Argh!)  Sorry about that.  Guess you'll have to turn your head to try and see what I see in this stump.  When I first discovered it, the elephant's "trunk" was much longer but it has since been broken away.  The trunk portion used to extend well beyond that little cinder sitting on it at the right edge of this unfortunately now-vertical photo.  Do you see it?  Kind of reminds me of the cartoon elephant Babar.  I had never taken a picture of my elephant stump so I figured I'd better get my camera out before a whole bunch of 2-inch cinders got dumped all over it.  I imagine it will remain hidden for years now.

Anyway, here's more photos of the cinder truck doing it's spreading/dumping thing.  Around the corner, making the turn from our Driveway to the Driveway Road, driving his way out.



Ahhhhhh! Nice new road.

We still have some raking to do.  There's only so much finesse a large dump truck can manage.  We still need to rake down some highs and pull into some lows.  This will provide an excellent base when the summer rains come.  We were down to dirt in many portions of the road.  We definitely needed something down before the rains made the roads solid mud again.  We've found that these larger two-inch cinders create a very stable base.  When rain makes the ground muddy again, they squish down in but don't get lost in the muck, they don't wash away and they pack in firmly.

Well, I think you're about all caught up on the major happenings from The Lost Weeks of my blogging life.  Time to get some dinner and settle in for a movie tonight.

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