Monday, December 30, 2013

Help Wanted!

Farm in progress looking for assistance in a rebuilding effort February 4-8, 2014. Must be willing to swing a hammer, get dirty, and take direction from Ghon. Additional merit points awarded if candidate can lift heavy items, be part of a lifting team or owns power tools. Payment includes self-satisfaction, fellowship, libation, good food and your name and photo included on the Project Farmhouse blog. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen available upon request. Candidates willing to help in advance must be available on any Monday or Wednesday through January. Payment for the advanced opportunity includes all of the above options and a sneak peek at the stone work. Be a part of this exciting adventure - join the Hummingbird Farm re-construction team today!

Seriously, we need a little help.

For those of you that know us well enough to know Ghon's medical history, the last surgery not only left a constant clicking in his chest as well as a nifty scar, he came through with a couple hernias. One has been giving him some problems lately (anyone know a general surgeon, cough, cough Dr. V!) and will likely need some attention in 2014. If you have followed the blog for a while, you may remember the demolition day we held last spring. The plan then was to demo and start rebuilding. Some rotten wood in the living room floor brought those plans to a screeching halt. We had a fabulous demo, but the rebuild has been very slow. We have the concrete forms in place to support the new beams we purchased. Problem is, we can't get the beams/timbers in the house.

Seems that between Ghon, his hernia, and Eric, these suckers really were too heavy to lift and carry to the house. Rather than partake in one of two different New Year's Day traditions, Ghon is going to try to see if Tim and Eric are off and can help work at the house. Fingers are crossed that adding Tim and I to the mix is enough to get these suckers in the house. I did play She-Ra growing up and wore Wonder Woman underoos, so maybe my addition would be enough (ha ha!). If not, we may need additional (wo)manpower.

We'd really like to get them in and set before the first week of February. Ghon should have enough time to reconstruct the floor, and then that first week really can be framing walls and maybe even hanging drywall. We will hopefully have our fireplace done too. Our move in-date really hinges on getting the living room done since it was the room with the most damage. The upstairs pales in comparison to the work needed downstairs.

The beginning of February seems like an odd time to work on this, but it is Ghon's first chance to break away from retail after the holiday shopping season. He's burned out, and it's wearing on me too, so we need the time. Yes, I have the dates right, starting on a Tuesday. Monday he gets his latest tattoo finished.

So please, leave a comment below, Facebook message me or Ghon, text us, call us, and let us know if you have a couple hands to lend. There is plenty of inside and outside work to do. You name it, we will probably let you do it. You can even bring a friend if you want.

Friday, December 27, 2013

'Twas the night before Christmas

'Twas the day before Christmas and so much to get done
Shopping, baking cookies and other holiday fun.
A morning run around town with my family of four
Doctor's office, hot donuts and final holiday deals to score.
After lunch there was no time for Dad to talk,
He drove off to the farm to take his rifle for a walk.

The kids decorated the tree and made baked goods
While Daddy sat in a swaying tree up high in the woods.
As I pulled from the oven a pan of Christmas Crack
I waited to receive a photo of a deer with a nice big rack.
Imagine my surprise when the photo did arrive,
but it was a big ol' turkey, no longer alive.
With hints of changing plans for Christmas dinner
I thought starvation might be a good way to get thinner.
As dusk fell and Christmas Eve dinner was ready
Daddy came home, proud of his shot so deadly.

Dinner complete and the final presents covered in wrap,
We put the kids to bed hoping for a long winter's nap.
It was now time to do the deed,
Time to clean the fowl shot this holiday eve.
Pluck, scald, pluck, and gut is what I was told
Fine, you go do it out in the cold.
You make the kill, you must harvest
though I did feel a little bad it was out in the darkness.
As I snuck outside to document with a picture,
I was to receive no less than a brief lecture.

Fine, it was disgusting but true
It was too late and too cold for one plucker to do.
I threw on a warm jacket and found latex gloves
For surely this was one thing I would not do as he does.
We plucked in the dark for as long as we could
then inside with the turkey for our collective good
A little more defeathering then it was time
to remove the guts while acting like we were fine.
There is no way I could do it, but I must admit
It was cool to see the heart but only for a bit.

About twelve pounds in size, but not in the end
A little too long in the scald she did spend.
I despise hunters that kill just for the sport
You must use something for a life cut short.
So boneless, skinless, fillets we made
And also saved two huge turkey legs.
Into the freezer the meat went
Time to clean up and prepare for tomorrow's main event!
Loaded with presents the tree was a beautiful sight!
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Turkey in the woods! Turkey in the woods! 

Oh, pluck it.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Slow progress

The closer we get to the end of the year, less and less work is done on the house.

'Cause you know, it's hunting season. And oh, yeah, Christmastime.

The retail business is booming, so Ghon is hardly ever home. But when he is, he's either editing wedding photos or sleeping. Or doing outdoorsy things like hunting and trapping.  As for me, I'm busy working, shopping, trying to keep up with the kids, and I've been sick, twice.

Last week, I received an update on our fireplace insert, and it wasn't good. Now, it seems the style we ordered is on back order and we won't get the insert until mid January. Major bummer.

Monday, Ghon did a little hunting, then Eric came by to give him a hand at the house. The plan was to bring in some floor timbers that were replacing the rotten ones we removed.  I sent Ghon a text to find out how things were going and received the following reply.

The timbers are very heavy.

Not much progress was made. I've been told they did some cleanup in the living room, which including sweeping dust into the hole in the floor. Luckily for them, they also jacked the ceiling up some more and re-tightened all the screws. That's all that's been done.

Just before they left for the evening, Ghon headed into the woods to reposition some trail cameras and ended up taking a shot at a deer. A successful shot. It was the second of the day, as Tim had a successful hunt that morning.

We've had a bit of snow too this past week, probably about 12-13 inches total between two storms. I never did get the yard picked up like I'd hoped. This weekend, it's going to be nearly 60 degrees on Saturday, after temperatures in the 30s all week. I'm sure there will be lots of mud in the field, but perhaps the kids and I will stop by and do a little pick up.

I doubt it though if I'm being honest with myself. We have to get our Christmas tree and I want to finish shopping!

Deer Season Stats:
Tim - 3
Ghon - 2
Ryan - 1

If you haven't clicked that "Top Mommy Blog" button in a while, it's over there on your right. Click it. I dare you.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cookies for everyone!

One of Ghon's favorite fantasies of farm life involves baking. Weird, right?

He has a grand idea that Genevieve and I could bake a pie while he and Jonathan are out hunting, or doing yard work, anything but working in the kitchen. Once our pie is out of the oven, I am expected to set it in a window to cool. (sounding like an old TV show yet?)  Then, while I am not looking, the two boys will steal the pie and chow down in the woods.


I've had to remind him that the kitchen windows do not have the kind of sill that can hold a pie, and for them to steal it, it would mean no screens. Still, he's determined to find a way to make this work.

Lucky for him, I do enjoy baking, even if pies aren't at the top of my list. The kids love helping me too, especially Genevieve.

The past few days have brought a ton of snow to our area with even more expected this weekend. My dad drove past the farm and mentioned that it appeared that there were some tracks in the driveway. Come to find out, our awesome neighbor Daniel came by with his tractor and plowed the driveway for us!  How fantastic is that?

This weekend, our local volunteer fire department is having a breakfast with Santa fundraiser event. The kids love having breakfast there, so of course we are going. They are having a bake sale as well and are looking for donations of baked goods. I offered to make some items for the sale.

What better way to thank someone for volunteering their time than with cookies!

Genevieve and I prepared the cookie batter, then after dinner, the kids helped me prep and bake a batch of snickerdoodles. A few went into waiting tummies, but a dozen went to Daniel and the rest prepared for the bake sale.

Who knows, maybe one day Ghon and Jonathan will get that pie.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Partytime in Sickville

First Jonathan came down with a cough. Then I started with the sinus pressure, sore throat, and cough. A few days later, it was Genevieve's turn. She started with a fever and runny/stuffy nose. The house is filled with the sound of blowing noses, coughing, and whining. Genevieve and I seemed to be hit the worst.

Saturday was Ghon's birthday and a birthday party for one of the kid's friends. Pop took Jonathan to Tae Kwon Do so that Genevieve and I wouldn't have to head out in the cold. After relaxing a bit more, we headed out to the party.

Jonathan trying to stand up in skates with help from Mr. Mike.

Climbing the rock wall!

Feeling a little better...

After all the party fun, we had to stop at a couple of stores then head home to get ready for Daddy's birthday!

While I started dinner, I wrapped Ghon's present from the kids and let them decorate the brown paper. Ghon came home just in time for dinner. Once dinner was complete, we had cake and let Dad open his presents.

Birthday Cake!

Cammo inside

Kid decorated wrapping paper

Grinning 'cause he can see what it is!

Opening my gifts

Gangsta - he thought the bourbon completed the look

As I'm typing this post, it is snowing heavily outside. Ghon's at work, and us sickies are having a pajama day. I'd love to see the farmhouse in the snow, but no way am I driving down there! I'm praying Ghon makes it home safely.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Back order

The Jotul insert was supposed to be in one to one and a half weeks after order.

It's been two weeks and it's not here. We've been told it's on back order and likely won't be in until the weekend before Christmas.

Dang it.

I'm still hoping that we can have it inserted by year end, but the chances of that happening are a little bit slimmer now.

All of the masonry work is done and my logs are beautiful. But I won't show you any pictures until the insert is in place.

Like me, you, my dedicated readers, will have to wait a bit longer to see the finished product.