Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Signs of Spring

It's been a long gloomy winter but there are some sure signs of spring. This little guy was given full access to pick the daffodils.
He was dressed for the occasion. A real boy needs a coon skin hat while picking daffys.  (He is from Kentucky).
The bucket was his own invention. A great holder of flowers. Yes, the grandmas put them in vases just cause he got them for us.  If that isn't proof enough of spring in the air-

Found this little mommy in the parking lot at the BLHubbs place of industry. I'm reluctant to say that I felt compelled to look up what kind of birdy she was. Why would I be reluctant? Two of my darling sisters are "birders". Hard core birders. Like, keep life lists and travel to different continents to see more birds kind of birders. Me, never so much. But, I have been gifted with the "Field Guide to the Birds of North America" just in case I should be tempted to "bird".
S & J would be proud to know that I know this little bird is a Killdeer. She's a little south of what the Field Guide says her nesting area is but not by much. I'm a little sad that she chose to nest so close to the cars (I could have hit her nest with my car door) but it was a treat to see her and her pretty, camo eggs.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Money No Object Monday - Big Sleeping Grizzly Bear

Bean bag chairs are all over the place, again. They are better for younger bodies. Ones that can pull themselves up off the floor with ease. They're also a bit of a lump on the floor and more a dorm room accessory than high fashion.  However, I do love this version below and would love to see it in a nursery or a child's room.
Big Sleeping Grizzly Bear by Chic Sin Design on Etsy $189
A big bean bag that looks like a sleeping bear! The cover is knitted and can be removed for washing. I just want to hug this bear.
It's made in Hong Kong and in addition to the $189 cost it's $60 to ship to the USA. You can save $25 on shipping if you choose "Sea Mail" that can take up to 8 weeks to arrive. If that isn't cute enough, you can add some floor pillows that look like logs.
Long Cotton Wood Tree Log $83 via Chic Sin Design on Etsy
If you added an additional log, the shipping is only $15 extra, each. The bear needs some logs to feel at home.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Shop Update - Return of the Squirrels

I have been busy, not just moving a house. I've redesigned my Cheeky Squirrel Bookends to be a bit bigger so they will hold books better.

I"m excited to have these back in stock. I love critters in clothes. More fantasy than wildlife, but fun.

I love these for little boys.
I confess, I did dress up the barn kitties in doll clothes when I was young. I'd still be at it but I don't think our little squirrels would stand for it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Money No Object Monday - Band Geek Edition

I guess I'm guilty of being a Band Geek/Nerd/Whatever. I was in band years ago (oboe and percussion). We didn't march much but we were a mean pep band at Basketball games. Four of the six BLKids were Band Geeks. We did put an instrument in the hands of the other two but it didn't stick as well. When we moved to Arkansas with the two last band members we learned what it really meant to be part of a Marching Band. The Yellowjacket Marching Band won awards for their field show. Maybe it's a small town thing, or we were special, but the whole town loved the band. In Southern California, where our oldest girls were in band, at the half time of a football game there was a set amount of minutes that the band could be on filed. If they weren't completely clear of the field by the given time the team would be penalized, severely. In Arkansas, the band did it's complete show, and then the opposing team's band would perform. If the other team failed to bring their band the crowd would be disappointed. The BLMiddleboykid even carried on with band in college. (Our school loved to say that a student would be 50 times more likely to get a scholarship for band than for any sport.)  We continued our tradition of going to a football game to watch the band. There must be someone else that loves the band, maybe more than the team.  The Etsy Shop, Little Band Man, makes tiny marching bands.
LSU Miniature Marching Band $395
This little band set is made in the same tradition as the little metal or "tin" soldiers that were popular toys for boys a century of more ago and are now fine collectibles.  They are 1:32 scale, which makes the figures about 2 1/2 inches tall. He only sells them as sets, not individually. You get a Drum Major, two "Golden Girls" (LSU's dance team), two Flag Line girls and 12 musicians, each molded and painted in detail.  Not a LSU fan?

He has NotreDame's band and Texas A&M, all for the same price.
Each rendered to be true to the uniforms and type of Drum Major and instruments used.  I wonder if he would make other college bands?  I'd love to have the "Power of the Wasatch" in miniature. I can see how soldiers wouldn't be as popular now but a little band, genius. OK, so this may be more for grownups than kids, but it shouldn't be.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Moving Day

On Monday, the stars finally were in alignment so the Can Do Cottage could be delivered. This house moving company moved it in the daylight. When we moved the first house we did this with they moved in the wee hours of the morning and rolled in about 5am.  We were told it would come before noon but they wouldn't get on the road until the morning traffic was cleared out. Right on time, we saw it coming down the road.

There was one little branch that blocked the way.

But it was removed and the real work of turning the corner began. There is only about 30 feet between the electrical pole and a tree on the adjacent property. The house is a little over 28 feet wide.
They did pull a fence post out to make a little more room. Where the truck's front tires are going has been filled up with wood beams.
They inched their way through the turn. The moving company is a multi-generational family and the father and son and helpers are shouting directions back and forth.
They cleared the turn, but have to keep the truck's wheels on the road because the area in front of the truck wheels is a mud hole. (Remember the cement truck?)
It straightened out perfectly! That's some truck driving. I have trouble backing out of my driveway. After a few more yards our house leaves the road for the last bit of it's journey home.

As it travels a bit south of the footings and over a bit of a rise, the truck gets a bit of assist from a winch on one of the other trucks that came along.
The house is facing backwards, so they need to do a bit of a pirouette.
There was some back and forth and jogging around but they pull it in over our footings.
They then went to Lunch! So did we. They returned and spent about 2 hours fine tuning the placement so that the house was exactly centered over the footings. They have it balanced on four stacks of timbers that hold up the two huge iron beams that have supported the house since it left it's original home. Using jacks, the winch and pushing with a truck they fine tuned the placement.
And there she is! We've ordered the foundation blocks, vents, mortar and sand and the contractor will start to work on the foundation next week (as long as we don't get any bad weather). When it's done, the house movers will return and set the house down on the foundation and level it so it will be as if it was built there.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Money No Object Monday - Tree House Edition

It's been a while since I posted objects that I would love to own, or give, but would need to win the lottery to do so. There are a bunch of wonderful playhouses out on the great wide web but look at this.
Tree House/Play Structure by Tiny Town Studios $4650
A tree house where the tree is crafted of sculpted concrete. You don't need a real tree. It's hollow and the entry to the tree house is through the base. You climb to the shack through a stair inside. This makes me think I'm in a movie set.
Made by Tiny Town Studios who've been active on Etsy since just before Christmas. They are Houston based and will set these up anywhere within 150 miles of Houston without extra shipping charges. Beyond that area they will deliver for fuel charges only.

They have Pintrest Boards showing some highly imaginative home and commercial installations.  Their tag line is "the goal is to capture the imagination and ignite the heart".  I love the shaped and carved concrete.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Clearing! And The Countdown To Delivery

The mess of tree tops on our lot had a solution. Meet the chipper.

 I became way too involved with this bad boy. It will handle any tree limbs up to six inches in diameter.  That's pretty big.

 We also had the Three Amigos. Well, two cousins and their friend. BLBaby Boy, our nephew and their friend were persuaded (and paid $10/hr plus meals) to provide the labor. (Bad picture of them, but ladies, they're all cuties and two are unattached!) Of course, we needed some obstacles to straightforward work. The chipper was rented for 24 hours, BLHubby took off two days from work and after about three hours the belt broke. It was hauled back to the rental yard where they replaced the belt but some other little cog needed to be fixed and the part wouldn't be there until the next day. The boys worked the chainsaw and stacked stuff up but we quit early. Next day, chipper is ready but BLBabyBoy and BLNephew have to work at their "real" jobs. Their sweet friend came and we all chipped wood until dark. I don't think I've been so tired and sore ever. We had the chipper until noon the next day (the rental company was great about making up the time) so we came out and finished most the next morning. The Three Amigos arrived to help, too.  With their help we had several piles like this:

 And a lot of these:

 On Saturday, BLHubbs and I started burning the bigger logs. We had hoped that the house  mover would be able to bring the house in on the Monday (it was Presidents Day) so we had to get at least the front area cleared of obstacles so the house could move on in. A darling enterprising man approached BLHubby with a proposal for him to clean up the area with his tractor. Deals were made:

 Buddy the Tractor Driver was heaven sent. $40 per hour was a bargain. He piled most of the wood onto the existing fire and made another big pile at the opposite end of the property that we will burn at our leisure. Buddy is a prodigy with a tractor. Remember I said that many of the trees were hollow? One of them had a wild bee hive!
There were only a few bees. (Thankfully) I'm not convinced they were domesticated bees. The few critters I saw looked less round than the honey bees I've seen. The comb that fell out didn't feel like bees wax but was  "papery". I didn't put my hand inside the hive to check out all of it but I don't think there was honey in it. Sadly, it's a goner. So are those stumps. We hired another local boy who came with a huge machine on the back of his truck and ground those huge stumps into dust. The stumps now look like this.
I didn't get out there with my camera for the process but when all were ground it looked like we had been invaded by R.O.U.S.'s
Never fear, Buddy the Tractor Driver spent two more hours yesterday smoothing things out and we have a clear lot!
He really is a tractor driving genius. Just in time. The house mover has inspected the site and thinks we can move the house on this Sunday or Monday. It will be in the wee hours of the morning but hopefully I can get some pictures of the trip.

Where are we cost wise? We had labor (the Amigos), Chipper rental, a new chainsaw and chainsaw blades and sharpening (we sharpened several blades a couple of times at our local True Value), stump grinding and Buddy the Tractor Man - grand total was $1679.  Not bad for removing over 25 trees. Only problem, it wasn't budgeted, so I'm looking for some savings elsewhere. I think BLHubby and I will be hanging our own siding.  So far we've spent $11,674 plus land. We still don't have a house but we're ready!