Why I am here

This blog was started to connect with and keep family and friends up to date on life in Texas as I know it. A place to share my love for this area through photography, history, and stories of this adventure Shaun and I call life.... and what an adventure it is!
Warning: Some or all of this blog may contain nuts or stories of nuts, proceed with caution
Love to y'all

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Hi all!
We can now officially welcome you to our new house through our front door!  They installed it today and it is beautiful!

It is solid mahogany and weighs a ton. Good thing for strong construction guys.  To the right of the door is the formal dining and to the left our office.

Riker is checking out the dining room...I hope he approves....   ;-)

The siding is coming along great, and isn't that the just the cutest little window above the door? 

The siding is primed yellow and gray, so it looks a little funky now.  The painters will come in a couple weeks.  I can't wait to see the finished product.

YEAH! It's coming together. The area around the window to the far left will be stoned.

We are still missing the back patio door.  I know the lumber company is doing the best they can, but I can't wait for it to get here. 

Hope all is well with everyone.  We are back to 100 degrees today.  uugghhh...  I sincerely hope this is the last day of summer.  COME ON FALL I need ya!

Love and miss y'all

Still praying for rain in Texas

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It's a house!

Hi all!

Hope everyone had a nice weekend.  Shaun spent his weekend fishing in a tournament on Lake Fork. It's a big tourney with HUGE cash prizes, boat, trucks, etc awarded.  He was very polite (he is such a good sport) and left that stuff for the other fishermen. He had a good time and came home with a great tan and some fun (fish) stories. 

Monday morning brought our amazing framing crew back to the house.  What an exciting couple of days. 
By Monday evening we had trusses up.  In the past we have always used a crane to put the trusses on the roof.  These guys did it one at a time by hand and still did it in record time.  Hard working bunch of guys for sure. 

By the end of the day Monday it was starting to look like a house instead of a box

Tuesday morning we saw amazing progress.  Most of the windows had been installed by noon 
This is where we were at when they broke for lunch.  There have been between 18-23 guys on the job all day.  I know A LOT of construction crews that could take a lesson from these guys.  They have laughed, joked, and sang most of the time.  They even pick up after themselves.  All I can assume is they all had good momma's!  HA! 

It is now about 3:00 and they have started the siding and they are flying!

This is the back of the house overlooking the pond.  The yellow color is primer on the siding.  The painters will come next week.  whew..

It's hard to believe this crew has only been on the job 4 full days now.  On Thursday the 22nd all we had was a concrete slab.  I know the process will slow considerably when it comes to finish but it is still exciting to see a dream turn into a reality.

More updates to come soon

Hope this finds everyone healthy and happy.  Texas is still praying for rain.  Cooler temperatures have helped with the fire situation and with my attitude.  ;-) 

Love and miss y'all

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Hi all !
Yesterday was pretty exciting, not to mention fast paced, around here.
The framers showed up at 6:30am This is what things looked like when they got here

This is where the front door will be

By 7:30

at 8:30  ~~ these boys are flying!

and at 10:00

By 3:00,  the end of their day, we are sheeted and ready for trusses!  Woohoo!

I am looking forward to next week.  All of our doors and windows are in and ready to be installed and we should be enclosed and dried in by Friday, maybe even sided!

So exciting!

Have an amazing weekend

Love and miss all of you

*Still praying for rain*

Monday, September 19, 2011


Good morning and Happy Monday!

This is a rather random post filled full of random things, PERFECT for a Monday!

We found the front door for the new house!  Since the house has a craftsman style I decided this door would be perfect.  It is mahogany  with a V groove panel and I truly love it. Such a change for us after our last 3 houses huge glass doors, maybe that's why it calls my name. SO simple and SO perfect AND not as much glass to clean.  They should be ready to install it in a couple weeks.

I know I have mentioned the glorious red orange dirt that has filtered into every corner of our existence since we moved here.  Shaun spent the weekend laying the underground drainage pipes for the house.  By the end of the day the dirt had pretty much consumed any part of him that wasn't covered.  Good news....the majority of his "tan" washed off.  ;-)

Last night we had rain!!  We also had the most amazing lightning show I have ever seen.  For almost an hour it lit up the sky, stunning!  Hooray for the rain!

No matter where the week takes you, here is a little reminder.....

The third Monday is my day to play BINGO at the nursing home.  It is so nice to re-meet the residents every time I go.  Of course I re-meet a lot of them 6 or 7 times in the hour I am there. It really tugs at my heart.  However for them, it's like they had a lot of company in one day and they are thrilled.  

Have an amazing day

Love and miss all of you


Thursday, September 15, 2011

We have concrete!

Hi all!
Our concrete guys rock!!  Once again they were ahead of schedule and they poured our foundation today instead of Friday!  I must say it is spectacular, but I'm sure I am partial since I'm it's "mamma" .  ;-)

Here is what it looked like at our house at 8:45 this morning

SEE even the concrete guys are excited!

By noon they had poured that last corner of the garage

It is a much cooler day with a bit of a breeze, much better than the 100+ temperatures we have had. The perfect temperature to pour in.
But NO RAIN!  Good and bad I know...we must be losing our touch.  Sorry East Texas, maybe we will get rain when they start to frame next week. I also plan on washing my car tomorrow, maybe that will help.

Other news to share:
Tuesday our friends and previous neighbors Nathan and Kathy Mouser welcomed a new grandchild into their life.  Easton Leigh made her appearance on the 13th which also happens to be Nathan and Nathan's mothers birthday. Natalie, Derek and big brother Trevor are doing great and Easton is just beautiful! Congratulations to a very special family.
The cooler weather has helped slow the fires that are burning in Texas and given the firefighters some much needed relief.  But we still need rain.

What an exciting day for us, more updates to follow 
Hope everyone is healthy and happy

Love and miss y'all


Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Hi all!

It is finally fall     

It looks like fall outside  

Fall is in the air

OK let me start over  I NEED FALL!  This is the time of year I miss Colorado.  If you have never felt the crisp air and seen the gold of the Aspen trees that goes with a rocky mountain fall you haven't lived. 

Don't get me wrong, I love fall in Texas.  Fall is usually so beautiful here. Everyone has mums in full bloom on their porch and the trees are changing.  Texas fall means temperatures have gone down and relief from the heat of the summer is finally here.  Being able to enjoy the outdoors again.  However, this year it already looks like winter, brown and dry.

It seems like forever since we have seen a day that hasn't been too hot. They have forecast that we will see 100 degrees again today.  That makes 80 days this year that we have been 100+ degrees.  Considering the average is 6 days a year, you can only imagine ....we are burning up down here. Literally burning up.   We are still under a red flag warning for high fire danger.  My beautiful lush green Texas is looking pretty brown about now.  So devastating to see the people and areas affected by the fires.
Our rain situation is beyond critical. Huge mature trees are dying and just falling over.  So sad.  We haven't had any measurable amount of rain in so long.  

From the Texas Forest Service 9/14/2011
  • In the past seven days Texas Forest Service has responded to 127 fires for 9,205 acres.
  • Assessment crews continue to survey the damage of numerous fires that occurred across Central and East Texas during the past week. It is currently estimated that 1,939 homes have been destroyed since Labor Day weekend.
  • The latest drought monitor shows 95 percent of the state in extreme drought, with 81 percent in exceptional drought (the highest category). Seasonal outlooks continue to indicate drying throughout the fall, so the drought is expected to worsen.

  • Friday they plan on pouring the concrete for our house foundation.  Typically in the past when we have started a building project, any building project, we cause all sorts of weather issues. We are lucky that way *wink*wink*     Well guess what?!  They are forecasting rain for Friday!!  For the first time in months!!  Woohoo!  If that's what it takes to get a little rain, we are willing to wait on the foundation!!  Bring it on!

    Some where in storage I have a lot of fall clothes just itching to be worn, so come on fall, I need you.  Hope to see you soon Colorado

    Pray for rain

    Love and miss y'all

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    Bloomin' Onion Bread

    Hi all!

    I have been spending some time (okay ALOT of time) on Pinterest.  What's Pinterest you ask?  Well it is THE most amazing website with THE most amazing ideas and recipes that you can save and organize and collect and love and swoon...anyway I think you get the point.  I LOVE IT!  It is like the perfect collection of every photo, craft, food, etc idea from all over the internet all in one place.  If you haven't checked it out already DO IT NOW!


    I wanted to share a recipe I found on Pinterest that we have fallen in love with.
    I made it when my brother and his family were here and have made it several times since then.  There are never any leftovers.

    It is called Bloomin' Onion Bread, I made a few adjustments to the original recipe

    Bloomin' Onion Bread

    1 unsliced loaf sourdough bread
    12-16 ounces of shredded Monterrey jack cheese or we like the 5 cheese shredded Italian blend cheese (you can also used sliced cheese)
    3/4 cup butter, melted
    1/2 cup finely diced green onion
    2 teaspoons poppy seeds (optional) we don't use them

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Cut the bread lengthwise and width wise without cutting through the bottom crust. This can be a little tricky going the second way but the bread is very forgiving.

    Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Insert cheese between cuts. Combine butter, onion, and poppy seeds. Drizzle over bread. Wrap in foil; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
    Unwrap the bread and bake 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.

    Plan on wearing your stretchy pants the next days because this bread is TO. DIE. FOR.  You just won't be able to stop at one piece!


    PS  Our fire situation is about the same.  Still none close to us but still too many burning all around.  We are still under a dense smoke advisory.  That is like a dense fog advisory, headlights on, slow down etc.  We don't have the dense smoke like other areas, just enough to keep us coughing and to smell it now and then.

    Prayers are needed for all of our firefighters and of course for RAIN!

    Love and miss ya

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    The beginning

    Hi y'all!

    The new house construction has begun! Yesterday Shaun called the concrete guys to make sure they were still scheduled for next week  AND  wahoo! they had a job delayed and they showed up here an hour later!

    And so it begins...
    Here is the perimeter of the new house, and yes those are sprinklers running.  It has been so dry here for so long that the ground is very dry and hard.  The poor concrete guys could hardly drive a stake into it.  Factor in that good old iron ore and wow what a hard surface.  Good for building on, bad for the dust and workers. 
    Besides, we thought maybe if we watered it down good last night it would grow and we would wake up this morning to a house.  No such luck.  ;-( 

    Here is how it sits in relation to the pool house (on the left and also where we are living) and Shaun's shop (on the right)  This is the end of the house where the garage doors will be. 
    It is getting pretty exciting now.  We have some months ahead filled with a lot of red dust and dirt until we can get some landscape in, but for now those forms and sprinklers are looking pretty darned good!

    Riker saw those sprinklers and just couldn't help himself, he HAD to play in them!  YES he rolled in the red dirt numerous times while playing in the sprinklers, YES he got a LONG bath and YES the white part of his coat is still tinted a slight orange/red......permanently I assume....  sigh....
    I am glad I really like the color of this dirt because I believe everything we own will soon be tinted that color. Skin, teeth, cars, shoes, socks, dogs, you name it.   I guess the true test will be if  I still really like the color in 6 months?   After working on the foundation yesterday even Shaun's legs were orange.  He looked like he had a fight with (and lost) a large can of Sudden Tan.  Most of it washed off, makes for an interesting "tan" line.  tee hee

    As I am sure you have heard on the news a lot of East Texas is on fire.  Several people have lost their homes and a mother and child lost their life when they couldn't get out of their home fast enough.  It is heartbreaking. All of the fires have stayed at least 30 miles from us, so we have been quite fortunate.  The smoke in the air this morning was VERY thick. We have been blessed with cooler temperatures this week which has helped our amazing fire crews   BUT  Texas needs some rain! 

    Typically in the past when we have started a construction project we have triggered alot of unwanted moisture/weather to slow things down.  We have always joked about it but I hope the same is true for this project.  Only it won't be unwanted moisture it will be the answer to thousands of prayers.  We are willing to wait for as long as it takes Texas to catch up on some moisture. 

    Pray for rain!

    More construction updates to follow.

    Love and miss y'all

    Friday, September 2, 2011

    Yard Art?

    Hi all!

    This week has been an eventful week for our family.  Jeremy has moved into his new house and is getting settled.  Pictures will follow after the "settling" has occurred, his choice not mine.  Robert left today to go dove hunting with the guys.  He was pretty excited and even though he is more of an archery guy than a gun guy I know he will have a great time.  As for Shaun and I we had some new yard art installed.

    Here is my lovely entry in the yard art division.  Isn't it a beauty?

    It is an 80 ft tower with a receiver on top that brings wicked fast Internet into our home!
    Woohoo we are back online! (unless the wind is blowing) BUT we are back in touch with the outside world.  In touch with the past (Gunsmoke) and the future (The Weather Channel) and all parts in between. It even runs Netflix without loading and buffering and screaming (that part would be me).  We are considering a star on top for Christmas. 

    This is Shaun's entry in the yard art division

    Hardly noticeable don't you think?

    The introduction of this little beauty (aaahhum) means construction on the house is soon to begin.  It means there will soon be a flurry of construction guys NOT asking me if they can use "the facilities"  and won't be using the yard as a "facility" either.  Especially since we live in plain view of the yard  {{shudder}}  AND with any luck we are not downwind from it.  Don't you think he did a great job of placing it where it appears to be a natural part of the landscape? JUST stunning! 

    As soon as the first shovel of dirt is moved for the new house I will start posting construction updates. 

    Love and miss y'all   BTW  ~  I feel that I can rightfully say y'all now since we have been in Texas long enough to have "facilities" on the property....y'all

    "No Rain...No Rainbows"