Friday, October 07, 2005

Can't remember if I posted this before or not. It's an eraser carving I made for the First Day Cover swap I took part in a few months ago. I just came across it in my files. Wish I'd sharpened it up a little. It looks a bit fuzzy. Oh well better than nothing. My blog has been evolving more and more into a farm journal than anything else. It's time to get some more art on here!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Thought I would post a few pictures taken earlier in the week.

A couple show the flowers I planted outside of the back door. They're blooming now that it's cooling off. Also a picture of our cat Bramble up in the dogwood tree. I never knew that Dogwoods had such beautiful red 'berries' on them in the fall. This is an old tree that's almost completely hollow. There's evidence of a fence having been nailed to it at one time allowing bugs and rot to set into it. But it's still very much alive as you can see. I'm looking forward to seeing it flower in the spring. We must have just missed it this year.

I spent the last three days clearing out the art room. What a job. All the boxes that didn't need to be unpacked right away got dumped in that room. I'm really missing the two car garage we had at our other house. It was a great place to store 'stuff'. It's about the only thing I miss. Anyway, things are coming together slowly. I found just about all of my eraser carvings and inks. Seeing them is causing me to want to start creating again. And thanks to Mindy I have the chance to sell some of my work! Thank you Mindy!!!

Posted by Picasa Cat in a Dogwood Tree

Posted by Picasa The plants in the border are in full bloom now the weather is has cooled off.

Posted by Picasa Looking down the 'holler'.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Finished The Aviary - well almost!

The ridge cap is just temporary! It will soon have green shingles and a ridge cap to match. Posted by Picasa

The first pair of birds in their new home.
Breed baby breed!Posted by Picasa
Today I finally finished framing and wiring the aviary. Made a door and got that on last evening. Now the first pair of birds are in there and although they are new to each other ( Craig the tree man gave me a nice little hen ) they seem to have hit it off. There are still things to do. It needs shingles on the roof and the gable finishing off but at least I can now put birds in it. Snakes could get in it if they have half a mind to but so far they haven't bothered the birds in the other aviary. I think it's because the birds can just fly up out of the way. This one is out in the open too so they are less likely to hang around it. Ken caught the snake that was living under the woodpile. We put him in a bucket and relocated him about a mile away. There are others out there though I'm sure. Tomorrow I have to get to work on building a door for the loft.

During the week one of our birds got loose. I thought for sure it would either take off back to North Carolina or fly away and be lost. What a great surprise when the next morning it was sitting up on the barn roof. She followed me around all day flying up in my face as if to say "look, do you see me?,I came back!" I waitied until she was real thirsty and then put some water in a cage on the ground. She went right in! So now we have one bird that we know has settled here. I can begin taking her out over longer distances and letting her fly home.

Woo Hoo! feels like we are moving forwards instead of standing still.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Pigeon Loft

As I mentioned a while ago we started work on the new loft for our white homers. It's coming along well but seems to be taking forever. It's similar to the one Josh and I built at our old place but with improvements.

This time Ken is here to help. He's nearly always been deployed to the back of beyond during my other building forays and it's hard to get used to working with him again. We actually had a tiff ! His whole life is spent organizing people and giving orders and it's a long time since I was a little private! It didn't sit very well. I gave him the "do it your self then!" and stomped off to walk the dogs. Needless to say his way of doing things turned out to be much better.

He's not a bad old bean really.

Here are some pictures of the progress.

Posted by Picasa This is the sight that greeted me one afternoon when I walked into the barn. A black snake eating our first baby pigeon! Time to get to work on a proper loft.

Leveling the site Posted by Picasa

Front Posted by Picasa

Posted by Picasa Here you can see the "pigeon holes". These will be the entrances to the nest boxes on the wall inside.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 19, 2005

It's Fixed!

Thank the Lord! My computer is back up and running.

No thanks to HP, however. I called customer service and spoke with their man in Mumbai. As I suspected the warranty had "expired Madam" and they now wanted a bunch of money to fix it plus shipping costs. Thanks but no thanks. I already paid you enough for the computer and at this point in it's short life I should not be conversing with Rajhi or anyone else regarding a problem with it.

A guy Ken works with thought he could fix it and he did! He wouldn't accept any pay so Ken took him out to eat. Maybe he'll bring him down here and take him hunting or something.

I'm so happy! I love this computer. It's the hp Pavilion a530n. It has slots on the front for just about any device you might want to plug into it. No crawling on the floor blindly trying to find the right socket at the back. You take the card out of the camera and insert it in the slot. No leads to mess with. Plus it has a 200GB hard drive which hubby says "even you won't fill that up!"

So lets see if I can keep the blog updated.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Fried The Computer!

This time it's not the weather that has kept me offline, the computer gave up the ghost. It's only just over a year old and this will be the second time that it's had to go back to the HP repair center. I think the warranty just ran out too. So I'm not a very happy camper at the moment. I haven't even called them about it yet. I'm waiting until I've "gone off the boil" and can be somewhat civil toward the customer service person!

Right now I'm using hubbie's Dell and can't find the cable to hook up the camera so no pictures with this post.

Must admit I got more done around the house since the computer let go. Got a lot of boxes unpacked and even started working on the art room! Hopefully I'll be back to eraser carving very soon. I'm going to send off for some decent paper for printmaking.

This week we started work on the new pigeon loft. We had the pigeons in cages hung on the back wall of the barn. When I went in there one day last week I found a big old black snake in one of the cages eating our first baby pigeon! It was all I could do not to kill him but he's probably keeping mice and rats out of there. I started pulling on him and he let go of the pigeon and in a flash was out of there and gliding down the back wall of the barn. He went under the pile of plywood and 2x4's. I put all the pigeons in the horse trailer and sat down to design a snake proof building. We'll see if it really is snake proof soon. It was cool yeasterday and today so was able to make quite a bit of progress. Ken helped me get the roof on over the weekend. I'll post pictures of it as soon as I can.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Sorry for the long absence. We've had a few things going on here the last couple of weeks and blogging had to take a back seat.

I was bound and determined to update this over the weekend but a storm blew up and lightning knocked out our telephone and internet. It was 3 or 4 days before they could get out to fix it. We don't have television ( we do but not one station comes in) and we really haven't missed it but no internet is the pits!

Anyway, here's what's been going on.

Our barn is in dire need of repair but there was no point fixing it until we had removed a very large White Pine tree that was threatening to fall on it! It was so close that even felling the tree could wipe out the barn! So, for these kinds of situations, around here you call the expert, Craig!

Craig came out and assessed everything. He was pretty sure he could drop the tree without demolishing the barn but couldn't guarantee that the back corner wouldn't be knocked out. We were all biting our nails! Here are the pictures of the big event.

The roots from this tree are what pushed the barn off it's foundation.  Posted by Picasa

In order to save the corner of the barn Craig chained the tree to others further up the hill.  Posted by Picasa

Starting to go. I wish I could include the sound effects! Posted by Picasa

Will it hit the barn? Posted by Picasa

Craig's daughter running to see that her Dad's ok! Posted by Picasa

That's one big tree! Posted by Picasa

Posted by Picasa Ken, Josh and our neighbor Fred.

Posted by Picasa

Posted by Picasa Everyone's alive and the barn's still standing! Not only that but Craig say's there's over 1000 board feet of lumber in this tree. Enough to re-side the most of the barn once it's been stabalized! Actually, he came back a few days later and dropped the other white pine that was standing to the left of this one. It was also a threat to the barn but dropping it was much more straightforward. The past week was spent cleaning up the limbs and branches. We have some huge brush piles to burn. The next step is to bring in a loader to pull out the trunks and place them ready for Mr. Sykes to bring in his portable saw mill. Ken and I and probably Craig will help him cut the trunks into 10 and 12 foot boards. We should have a lot left over for an addition to the barn and a workshop.


Our afternoon of metal detecting in England turned up nothing of any significance but here are a few things I've found around the yard here. Obviously another little boy lived here at one time. We've since found about 5 more of these little cars and trucks. The grey globs in the center and right registered as silver on the meter. Ken thinks it's silver solder. One piece was found in front of the house by the porch, the other was found in the stream!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


After Germany Joshua and I flew home to England. The last time my parents saw Joshua he was 4 years old! Ken joined us the following week.

Ken, just off the train from Scotland with Dad, Mum and Joshua. It was cheaper to fly from Frankfurt to Glasgow and get the train down to Chorley than to fly into Manchester. Posted by Hello

Now where's that Saxon hoard!?

Another one of my many hobbies is metal detecting. I only got into it about 3 years ago and I've been champing at the bit to get over to England where all the "good stuff" is!

With the increased security measures now in effect at the airports I decided to leave my detector at home and purchase a reasonably priced one over there. This is a Viking model that's actually manufactured in a town not far from my parents house. Dad drove me over to the factory to pick it up the day after we arrived in country.

Mr. Woodcock the farmer who delivers his milk and produce to the people in my home village of Coppull gave us permission to search one of his maize fields. Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello Aaah, it's nice to be standing in some good English muck!

Ken was less than impressed

Here he is wearing his Prince Charles expression. "Really my dear, if Cromwell and the Roundheads had passed this way one would think we would have stumbled across some evidence of the expedition by now don't you think? I could be playing polo!" Posted by Hello

Someone else who moves a lot!

This is cousin Ronnie. The government classes him as "homeless" but I think he has a pretty neat "home". He lives on his narrowboat Dream Drifter on the canal. On this particular day he was tied up at Red Rock near Wigan. Posted by Hello