Saturday, March 8, 2014

A little catchin up

It seems we really had a winter this year here in Texas....snowing, raining and then cold, and then hot, and then the same all over again - typical Texas! Spring seems to have arrived now, finally, but we aren't getting over confident just yet.

Shiner wasn't quite sure what all that white stuff was when it snowed, and was really feeling abused that we wouldn't go out and play with her as much as usual (neither of us like the cold!) At least it's been several days since we have had a freeze now, and I'm hoping we are moving permanently toward spring, as we're anxious to get the garden started.

At the end of February I spent a week in Oregon visiting with the "Duck Ladies" for our annual beach trip. I spent a few extra days in Portland with Grayce, and we met Sally at the Cheese Cake Factory for lunch. I'd never been there before, and really enjoyed the visit - the food - and the interesting decor. The hardest thing was deciding which kind of cheesecake to order!

This outing sort of set the pattern for the week!

The beach trip was great!

Chris chose the house this year, and she did a bang-up job. We had a great view, plenty of room, and really enjoyed each other's company. We started out with a little birthday celebration for Grayce, as the day we arrived at the coast really was her special day.

We had beautiful weather, so took advantage of it and took several enjoyable walks on the beach, also managing to fit in a bit of shopping and antique mall browsing, in addition to eating of course!

A highlight for Janice was the discovery of one of the glass floats the city often plants on the beach for visitors to find. She has now registered it, and was given the name of the glassblower who made it.

Grayce and I finished up the week with a trip to the Japanese Garden in Portland. Though the sky was overcast, the serene landscape lost nothing of  it's beauty. More pics from the week in the album.

While I was gone Steve enlarged the garden perimeter and got acquainted with his new riding mower. Just in time too! as we have had a bit of rain recently and as soon as the weather warms up a bit the grass will explode over night ( I'm NOT exaggerating either!)

He finished up a few more details on the bathroom remodel too. We're very near finished now, though there's a bit of trim to finish up, and more "decorating", to do. We really are enjoying the convenience of the new cabinets - so much more well designed than the ones we took out, and I love my new soaking tub.

You can get a better idea of what we've accomplished if you page through
the album and see what we started with and what we have now.

There are just a few bits of trim left to paint and some accessorizing to do, so I guess it must be time to tear up something else. There is the enlarged garden to deal with, and the laundry room to paint and organize, so that will keep us busy for awhile.

We also take one day a week off from the usual chores to take care of Jax. It takes both of us to keep up with him, but we do have fun!

Papa and Jax both love their "construction work."
Jax's favorite thing is to dig in the sand and work with his dump truck and tractor, and he put quite a bit of energy into working with Papa to haul a new load of sand over to his play area.

He took good advantage of the new sand, and happily spent most of the day under the tree digging and driving his trucks, all the while surrounded by his two dogs and our Shiner. It was quie a busy scene, and the poor squirrels couldn't come down for water all day.

Jax is growing so fast it's hard to believe sometimes, and we're really glad we get to spend so much time with him.

The little veggie seedlings started in the house have finally gone out to to the mini greenhouse on the porch, covered up and kept warm with a light bulb at night. I hope they make it to planting time without too much stress.

Spring projects include not only the garden, but training Shiner to be a freight dog.

We spent some time a couple of months ago working with her walking harness and experimenting with small loads. Then I ordered a special freight harness which finally arrived early this week. Shiner's really a laid-back critter, and she moved right into the new harness like it was no big deal. You'd think she'd been doing this kind of thing all her life!

She has had two sessions now, pulling loads of tree trimmings loaded on a tarp, and will soon be pulling that little red wagon than Jax used to haul his sand (as soon as Steve finishes the shafts and adapter connection piece.) She's been very cooperative about the whole project, especially considering this was her first attempt at pulling a real load. I wonder if the fact that there's a treat in front of her nose has anything to do with it?

The leash I have attached to the load is to assist her when it hangs up on something, as she's just learning what it feels like to pull a load of several pounds. We made 4 or 5 trips with loads of trimmings, dragging the load from those trees in the far distance, uphill to the burn pile which is just a short way in front of us in this photo. She did so well during the first sessions it will be fun to see how long it takes to get her accustomed to pulling a wagon and a real load.

A few more spring photos here.

Last but not least - we've just adopted a theme song. Local girl KaceyMusgraves has written one we just couldn't resist. If you haven't noticed over there in the side bar on the right, here's a link to listen to it . . . "My House"