Some people look at birthdays as bad things, getting a year older, hitting the dreaded milestones of 40, 50, 60...., one year closer to the inevitable. But for years we have always celebrated and looked forward to them. When we were working, we would always toast and say “One year closer to retirement” Then after we retired it was “One year closer to getting our pensions” This year, Barb’s toast was “One more until I get Social Security!”
The last 6 years we have celebrated Barb’s birthday in Elkhart Indiana, Lake Mead Nevada, Tucson Arizona, Klamath Falls Oregon and last year we were in Amarillo Texas thinking about heading north with dreams of building our house.
We celebrated this year with our friends Dan and Bonnie by going to…. Menards! Our favorite home improvement store! What more could a gal ask for on her birthday!?!?
But luckily that was not the only fun we had. Our next stop was Dakota Brewing Company where we crossed off yet another location on our Black Hills Brewery Tour!
Our next stop was Fuji Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar.
Although Dan and Bonnie have had sushi in the past I don't think they were totally on board with the whole sushi thing. They were troopers though and each got a roll. The experience was much less traumatic than the one we had with Dino and Lisa (see Sushi with Dino) months earlier. It was immediately apparent that neither Dan nor Bonnie had grossly disfigured and arthritic hands as they quickly took to the chopsticks as anyone over the age of 2 with a minimal amount of dexterity should be able to. We did have one minor mishap when Bonnie mistook the wasabi for guacamole and popped the whole scoop in her mouth lighting her world on fire!
So what did I get Barb for her birthday? Well, let's just say it is still a work in progress. For the past few weeks I have been asking Barb what she wanted for her birthday and all she would tell me is what she did not want. “I don’t want a new archery target”, "I don’t want those size 10 hunting boots you have been looking at". On and on she listed things she did not want and my idea list got smaller and smaller until every idea I had was crossed off!
But what a difference a year makes! Last year at this time when we started Kevin's house the lows were -14F! This year we are going to see 60 degrees during the same exact week. An over 70 degree temperature swing! Last year at this time we had a slab of concrete waiting for us and less than a year later we have a someplace we can call home. It is far from done but we are living comfortably.
This week we continued to work on the ceiling.
|Umm, don't they tell you not to use the top of the ladder as a step?!?!|
Slow and tedious, but we are thrilled with the final results. We are so glad to be off that scaffolding and back on solid ground thanking God that we survived the ceiling with no mishaps.
We still have to do a couple boards at the peak but Kevin said that the peak can be tricky so we are waiting until he arrives for his next visit. Rumor has it he might be out this weekend for a day or two!
The other project we have been working on is the framing of the shelving/wood storage unit next to the fireplace. Earlier this week it looked like this:
The red tape is due to me having to cut the vapor barrier to move the outlet 3 times. I originally put it where I thought it would be out of the way. Then moved it to where I thought the DVR and DVD player would be. Then moved it again once we decided on the final design.
I used the cardboard template from the fireplace as I wanted to mirror the same design for the wood storage then set about building the frame.
Once the frame was up I used a piece of 7/16" OSB to make the face of the unit. This will be eventually covered with the same stone as the fireplace.
I just need to add shelves and put T&G on each of the inside walls and it will be done.
I also built in a 2” tube from that area to the area behind the TV to run the coax and HDMI cables through so they are not exposed.Last Wednesday/Thursday we took advantage of a 4-5” snowfall and burned two slash piles on our property and 4 slash piles on the Jordan’s property.
|The wind was blowing pretty good at times!|
I lit them in stages so they would not all be at full blaze at the same time. We have been waiting a couple years to be here when we had enough snow to burn and were happy to finally get this done!
Another cool thing that happened this week was our rancher neighbor brought all his cattle back from their winter range. He does this when they are due to calf so he can watch them. One day when no one was going to be around his place he asked us to drive through to make sure everything was okay. The first calves were not due to a couple days so he was not expecting anything but when we drove through we found this.....
One of the cows had twins and we were just in time to see one of them getting up for the first time! We got a hold of him and let him know and he was thrilled to hear that they were up and doing well.
So what's next on our project? Well the steel siding was delivered yesterday so that is a high priority as we would like to have it all up before leaving for Alaska. And of course I need to get back to the drawing board on Barb's birthday gift. Hmmm, I wonder what she would think of a new sight for