Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday tours

Today was the day.

Three weeks ago, we drove up a little mountain road near us and discovered this nearly abandoned tower. It was very tall and begged to be climbed (really, it did). However, there was an ominous thunderstorm hanging overhead, so we decided that we needed to wait for a better day.

Last Sunday was also stormy and rainy which prevented us from trying again.

Today ... today was the day! Absolutely gorgeous day here in AL so we headed back to the tower this afternoon.

Here it is!

We even brought Mercy along - she was loving the pickup ride!

John went first and braved the missing steps, nearly worn-out wood stair treads and handrails that were non-existent in places. Here he is waving from the top.

Closer shot - he said "it looks like I'm in prison" :)

View from beneath the tower. If you look right in the middle of the picture, you'll see a missing stair tread.

But - oh, the view was worth it!

360 degrees of nice views.

After a lloooonnnngggg time and many "are you coming down?" followed by "soon" question and answer sessions ... I got a turn :) (I'm only teasing him because I know he might read this)

I normally like heights, but this one was a little unsettling for me. I loved it and would do it again, but I had to get over the wind tugging at my shirt and hair, and the lack of floor boards at the very top.

Here is a shot looking down (through said non-existent floor boards). If you look really closely at the red dot towards the upper middle of the picture, you will see Hadden on the ground below. Well, I guess there is one good reason that the floor boards were missing - I wouldn't have been able to get that shot otherwise :)

There are 139 steps to the top and it is really very cool once you are up there. Trust me!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Loving the Alabama sunsets!

The first two are from last night's sunset

If you look closely in this one, there are little wispy clouds sweeping through the valley. The setting sun cast a cool orange glow on them.

The next two pictures are from tonight's sunset. God just keeps outdoing Himself! Glorious!

Radiant oranges, blues, purples were on display tonight.

Friday, July 17, 2009

no ... No ... NO!!!

Look who has made herself very comfortable ... in our house! The neighbor boy's little puppy.

She can visit, but she is NOT going to be staying. Period.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

House update

It has been a long while since I gave you a house update - sorry about that. We have been working - little by little getting tasks done. The tasks have been tough to photograph, so here are just some of the latest pictures.

View from the back - we are using the patio even with all of the construction. If you look really closely, you'll see the kiddos in the pool :)

John has been working on framing and drying in these sections - the black plyform and red metal will be covered with stone and the deck eventually. Please take special note of the caulking job - that has been my main task for the past two weeks. It's harder than it looks and takes forever! I am thrilled to say that for the moment I am finished caulking. There will be a few more places down the road, but for now I am putting the caulk gun to rest.

In other areas - the stairs are still in progress. We are hoping to have the first set ready this week. The inmates are building them for us - that thrills me.

But I thought you might be interested to see what we are currently using for steps ...

The first set is not so bad - even Lilly has mastered how to get up and down. I think she is a smart dog - although others might not agree. A few times I have been on a ladder outside of a window, she has gone in the house, up the stairs and greeted me at the window. Now, isn't that smart? I think so :)

Up to the next two landings - they are pretty sturdy (except for one), but they are getting higher and higher. I am still thankful for them, though, because before these steps were in ...

we had to scale across the 2x6 wall to get to the landing. We only did that once or twice trying to keep rain out of the window openings (before the windows were in).

Here, John is demonstrating for you. He is carrying pocket door frames for the closets upstairs.

Ta-da. Pocket door frame installed. John did 4 of the 5 yesterday all by himself .... while I finished caulking.

I was able to trade my caulk gun for these! Oh, how I love to paint! For now, the only project is exterior doors - 7 of them. I did one coat on one yesterday.

So, things are progressing. We have an electrician and crew coming soon, a quote from an HVAC guy, got the name of a plumber and a quote for stone for the concrete section outside. We have been shopping (pricing mostly) for some interior stuff - showers, sinks, lights, kitchen cabinets, flooring, etc.

Every step is a little bit closer.

On other news, Annie has her own sidebar photo, by repeated request (hi-d!).

Friday, she apparently got on the wrong end of some critter because she came back with her eye swollen almost shut. After Benadryl and a few hours, she was fine.

The good news is Lilly has limited the neck biting to a minimum, so Annie is much happier :)

Book Review - The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

I am a member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger program. You can be, too, by clicking here.

This is a very well written book from an insider's perspective regarding many issues surrounding the global poverty crisis facing our world today. Stunning statistics intermixed with tales from Rich's own experience challenged me to evaluate my own attitudes and thought processes. I feel this is a must read for all Christians in America, but be prepared to be rocked from the "comfortable" seat.

One of my favorite quotes from the book:
Let me take some liberties and paraphrase these verses for today's reader: ' For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water. I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported. I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes. I was sick, and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness. I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved." Matthew 25:42-43

The clencher - he reminds us that it starts with one. One person obedient to God - following what Christ would want them to do - making a difference where they are. For God's glory.

Let me do my part, Lord, for Your glory.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hey - it's me again

Remember this post? Well, Mercy is at it again...

Last time, it was an antler ... this time - the shell of an armadillo. Not sure which dog actually found it, or where they found it, but Mercy has laid claim to it.

She was guarding this with her life - even waiting through meal time in order to protect her shell from not only Lilly, but now Annie, too.

These are my rough translations for you.

"What are you looking at?"

"Don't even think about it, Annie - that's close enough"

"Is she coming? What's she doing back there"

"It's mine"

"All mine"

"Unless, of course, you take it from me. Then it would be, well, um, yours"

"May I have it back, please? Please! Don't let Annie have it!!!"

"Thank you"

"Thank you"

"Thank you! Yum - this is tasty!"

Note: I finally had to take it away from her, for her own good. She was sitting all day in nearly the same spot guarding her shell - even in the hottest part of the day, in the sun and sand. She was also a little bit aggressive with me when I would get near her prized possession, so for the kid's sake, it made sense to get rid of it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

One Year ago today...

... we were very busy with our first concrete pour! This was the footer for the house and I remember very clearly - it was HOT!!!

Today - with the help of so many people, we are a lot further along. John spent the day helping me move the ladder and putting door knobs and locks on the doors. Sorry - I didn't get a picture, I was also working.

I have been trying to finish the caulk around the windows. I have become an expert by learning how to do everything wrong. Since we have a LOT of windows, I have learned a lot of wrong things to do ... hence the reason I am now an expert :)

Here I am working on the front tower - it was a beautiful, breezy day. Very enjoyable.

While I was at this window, a couple of funny things happened. First, there were bees on the inside while I was on the outside. They were trying to get out and I would have rather been in.

Also, I saw a little hummingbird trapped inside. I love hummingbirds and have been so sad about the few who have gone into the house and not been able to find a way out soon enough. This one was sitting on a ladder on the inside and since I was finished with that window, I went to try to rescue him. John had helped one two days ago and I helped one out yesterday.

This little fella was up pretty high so I couldn't just scoop him out the window like we did with the other two. After a couple of minutes of chasing him around, he finally landed on the ladder again and I was able to capture him in my hand. So cute, but I could tell he was not doing well - he needed to eat! So, I scurried down our makeshift stairs and ran to the hummingbird feeder, took it down where I could reach it and stuck his little beak in the syrup. He responded and drank some, rested a little and then flew off.

Isn't he just adorable? (side note: My hand is very dirty because the caulk gets on my hands and I tried to rub sandy dirt on it to help take it off ... didn't really do anything except make my hands sticky AND dirty :)

And tonight ... the Lord gave us this sunset! Another amazing reminder of His great creation!