Monday, August 29, 2005

Baby Prefers the Indoors

...meaning the baby apparently seems to be enjoying its in utero surroundings so much, s/he hasn't given many signs of joining us in the outside world anytime soon. The due date is just one week away and we are so excited. A week may sound like very little time to most people, but when every minute holds the possibility of going into labor and watching our world turn upside down, a week feels like an eternity.

I feel so good though. Good genes? Happy baby? Healthy system? Whatever I might attribute it to, I have been blessed with a wonderful pregnancy that has allowed me to carry on with life as usual only with the added, excited anticipation of meeting the newest member of the family.

On Friday, Chris and I celebrated 5 years of marriage at our realtor's office, signing purchase agreement papers for the sale of our house! We found a buyer, and assuming all goes well with the final inspection this afternoon (happening this very moment), we will be one giant step closer to moving to the farm next month. We would close on the sale Sept. 30, which means our valiant family and friends get to help with one more move soon! The timing is perfect in so many ways (despite having to move with a 4 week old baby), we feel so blessed by how many of these major changes are happening in sync with our goals. We're very close to snuggling up with baby in the wee hours of the morning on our farm deck.

We spent the rest of the weekend at the farm, basking in gorgeous weather, and finishing up projects indoor and out...the oak molding inside is about 90% complete now, thanks to Charis's creative patchwork on a few doorways...the deck benches are treated and waiting to be pounded in, and the cedar hot tub is out of the boxes and waiting for final installation - whoohoo! I am also quite proud of myself for successfully deciphering the sanskrit IKEA instructions for the baby's crib and dresser just took a lot of time, two sets of screwdrivers, a piece of Charis's zucchini bread and a piece of mom's mocha pie for me to wade through the Swedish stick figure instructions. I swear, anything's possible with pie.

So, here I sit at work, waiting for the moment I have reason to bolt out of here and get my stopwatch to start timing contractions. In the meantime, I'm reflecting on a phenomenal past few years and anxiously anticipate tonight, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Deck

The deck was one of the first ideas we had to improve the house at the farm. We originally envisioned it coming out 25 feet! from the house and wrapping around to the back side, which would have given us somewhere around 800 sq/ft of deck. We ended up setteling on a modest 16 feet out from the house and 650 sq/ft of total deck space. Sometime in July Jay and I put up the ledger boards around the house, a few weeks later the grading got done around the back and the holes dug for the posts. Jay and Ted shovled cement and stuck in the J bolts a couple weeks after that. On Monday the 8th of August, my cousin Marc came down from Fargo, and we drove out to begin the framing.
Jacob came out on Tuesday, and he and Marc started putting up posts and beams around the North side of the house while Jay and I continued working on the West side. After a couple days we met in the middle and were (fortunately) only slightly off level. Ted was there on Wednesday to help us with joists, and Jacob left at around noon Thursday and Marc and I headed back in to town at around 3 and he took off back home to pack for Colorado.
On Friday morning I picked up my friend Erick and we drove out for the weekend. Ted was there to help again Sunday afternoon, and he and Jeannine stayed untill Monday. By then we had gotten the majority of the decking in, as well as benches and, I must say-thanks to Erick-the most perfect set of deck stairs I have ever set eyes on. Erick and I also stripped a long narrow piece of decking that we set into the angle where the deck boards meet. This piece points to the crown jewel of the deck that has yet to be installed-the cedar tub.
I drove back out on Thursday to start on the mitered decking, and we finished the West side with the help of Jay's dad and uncle who were staying for a few days. Then on Monday Jay and I did the other side of the angled boards and cut the hole for the hot tub. And now, besides getting the rest of the screws in and the benches treated and in place, we are pretty much done. The hot tub will hopefully be in by the end of September.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Happy problems

You simply haven't lived until you've seen your true love's face reflected in the shiny green of an elephantine zuchinni.

It's harvest time at the farm, people. A red torrent of tomatoes, zukes the size of a body builder's bicep, broccoli, broccoli BROCCOLI, cukes to fill around 30 pickle jars (and still coming). And one freakishly large pumpkin vine with a green pumpkin on it already the size of a beach ball. We're having trouble eating and preserving all of it, as it appears our soil has some sort of magic growth nutrient multiplying within. This is a great problem to have - overwhelming, but fun too as we slowly can our way out of our sanity.

We've had lots of fun with visitors recently - good laughs on our brand spankin new deck, with each friend bringing some skill or talent to the farm (even if it's eating).Jay's uncle Ken (who worked for the phone company for many years) visited with his wife Edna and Jay's parents and set up new phone jacks in the upstairs and basement, and so many of our friends and family have lent a hand to the great deck building project. Next is putting the hot tub together, building a practice room for Jay, fixing the potholes in the driveway and patching and painting my arena. Nothing much!

The horses are doing great. My training horse is staying until mid-September and Gideon is a joy - definitely the easiest horse I've ever started. Fun and lovey. I've got five rides on him now and he's doing great. Colby had a horrible reaction to a shot he got and had some bad swelling on his neck (that eventually gave in to gravity and became a giant man boob on his chest). He's finally recovering from that little trauma. The weather is gorgeous - sunny and breezy, in the low 70's. Perfect riding weather, and the bugs are finally abating a bit.

I'm very excited for fall (my favorite season) and Arthur's imminent arrival. Right now he looks a bit like the pumpkin in the garden - but in my sistah's belly! I'm embarrassed to say this, but the tiny clothes are finally getting to me. I'm just trying to figure out how to get a onesie that would fit me.

All right, it's late and I'm sleepy. Over and out!

Love and miniscule booties to all,