Progress

Progress

This is a view from the porch that is usual for this time of year. I feel sort of like when my kids went through a style or fashion phase that is not quite right for them.  Not exactly flattering, but you still think they are beautiful.

 

Well Randy got here to Louisiana after a successful surgery, but in neck brace and only supposed to lift less than 15 pounds. It was pretty quiet for a few weeks. We got more of the houses set up: living in the “little” house with an awesome space of great room, bedroom and bath but no kitchen and using the kitchen in the “big” house to cook and eat if the weather permits since it has no heating or AC.

 

We weren’t sure what we were going to do with the big house and until we found a contractor to help us we decided to work on the “yard”.  All 5 or so acres of it.  Our awesome neighbor kept the lawn cut and some trimming done, but the almost 2 years of overgrowth around the pond, oak trees and such was a bit daunting.

Randy had trimmed the blueberries during our summer visit as the neighbors advised but that still left the pecans, blackberries, muscadines, crape myrtles and satsumas, as well as trees and brush all over.  We were having a great time pulling out trees with the FJ and brush grubbers as well as weed whacking and good ole manual hedge trimmers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But all that was BEFORE….

 

BEFORE… Randy got into some poison ivy in the beginning of December. It started on his wrists and spread to spots over most of his body over the first week. It got pretty bad and slowed us down plenty.

 

BEFORE…April got here-not all obstacles are bad!!  We really enjoyed having her visit. We showed her around the property and area including a visit to a local Christmas tree farm to cut our tree. She and I attended our first Saints game—in the dome on Christmas eve. We had a blast. Beignets in the Quarter, the Saints Experience, and our team won.  Back at home we played lots of games, even learning a new domino game: Chicken foot (which I could simply not win at), and a new dice game: Farkle (which I could win at).  Christmas with the family was great as always-I really am blessed to have great family here.  Then sadly we put her on the plane the day before we could answer her question of do we have to worry about our pipes freezing

 

BEFORE…The Freeze. Our pipes froze three days in a row. Our weather has been going from low 30’s to high 70’s like a roller coaster until this latest cold front. We woke up to find we had no water because of problems with the line outside, the pressure tank gauge and switch and other technical stuff that Randy took care of. We did eventually get water later each day, but it was an adventure. The freeze also affected the satsumas (the satsumas are a whole other story), so I harvested all the ones left on my favorite tree and processed them to make marmalade, which took up a bit of time.

 

Now that the weather is warm again and all the marmalade is put up, we are looking to get back outside. Randy got the tractor working so that we can tackle some trees that were too big for the FJ.  And as if we didn’t have enough areas that we wanted to clear, it turns out we really have to work on the trees on the levee that is the dam for the little pond. In a classic example of how things work around here, our propane delivery driver came by today to top off the propane tank and got to talking with Randy. He was looking over the back yard and casually told Randy that those trees on the dam need to be taken out and that they could really cause problems.  We researched it and sure enough he was right!

 

That kind of things happens a lot around here. Everyone is very helpful about so much, but then things come up sort of as a side note that turn out to be important or really fun to know.  One of my favorites was during our visit in June/July. We were fascinated about all the different plants and trees on our property. We could get people to tell us about most of them, but some left everyone stumped until a gentleman from the electric coop came to check on why our 2nd service meter wasn’t transmitting. We had a good visit with him and Randy got some good advice on setting up the electric service for his shop that was going to be built the following month. Then we started talking trees.  He was able to identify all the trees no one else could and took the time to walk the whole top pasture with us.

 

Happy New Year to all and lots of love from Green Acres

And How I Got Here

And How I Got Here

December 15, 2016

 

 

It seemed a long time coming and a long time happening, but now it seems to have taken just a blink of an eye. I am here…really here… waking up every morning, fixing a cup of coffee and taking it to this corner of the porch. The view changes daily. This view is from a summer visit we made and what I kept thinking of. Lately everything is brown and there is usually a fog in the pasture or a mist coming off the pond, hauntingly beautiful.

 

What an undertaking. Getting April and Andrew settled separately in Fresno (It is so comforting for ME to have them near each other). Two fun-filled (yeah, right!) trips across the country with Randy driving a large moving truck towing a car carrier with a vehicle on it and me following in another car with the dogs. All while getting the Palmdale house ready for sale in between trips.

 

Saying goodbye to family and friends was the hardest. We left Palmdale for the last time in the rain and I couldn’t help thinking that the sky was crying with me. Then we hit the weigh scales in Riverside, and as Randy pulled off in the Penske truck, reality set in, I had to focus on the present, and that set the tone for that last cross-country journey (The neighbors who watched us load the truck will understand my “concern”.)

 

Such an adventure.  Every day is a new “wow, so this is how they do things in Louisiana” experience.  At least for Randy it is. It’s all sort of coming back to me.

 

But I have to say I love being near Mom-what a great time to have her with me for 3 weeks while Randy was back in CA (yeah Mom that was 3 weeks with me and the dogs!).  Ditto for Paul and Gretchen-and thanks for helping us set up housekeeping and yardkeeping!

 

We live in a very rural and sparsely populated area where everyone who visits brings something they have grown or made and wants to know if we have a church yet. Actually, when I think about it, that was the way our Palmdale neighborhood was in the beginning. (Yes, neighbor across the street I am fondly remembering you.)  However, I really can’t see this place “developing” any time soon, thank goodness!

 

You will have to visit us to hear about things like: when you apply for a LA driver’s license and  they ask if you want a “real” or a “not real” license. And how to find a licensed contractor for your remodel or rebuild when a lot of the state is still trying to rebuild after floods. And what yaupon is and why you don’t want it on your property.

 

Blessed Advent Season to all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I will update in as I can during a visit from April, attending my first Saint’s game in the Dome, experiencing Christmas in LA as a resident, and only one more month to go until I can get my resident fishing license!  Life is good.