Sunday, May 30, 2010

Evening Float

Zach and I have been busy lately, between our jobs and the massive game board project, there hasn't been room for much else. Saturday we took advantage of the great weather and a free evening to get reaquainted with the Embarrass River. Saturday afternoon, I loaded up the kayaks on the car and then I went to pick up Zach at work to head straight to the Cty XX bridge.
Zach preparing his vessel.
We got in the water about 4:45. It was our 1st evening river trip. The other times we had gone it was either in the morning or mid-day. The river was shaded about half of the time, which was nice. Sunny mid-day paddles sometimes leave you feeling like a cooked turkey.

We would paddle for a while and then drift like leaves, soaking in the wildlife and scenery. No fishing poles this time, need to get fishing licenses. We did see plenty of fish activity though. I had something large jump right beside my boat. I am glad I didn't tip over from being startled. I tried to get pictures of the 2 juvenile bald eagles we followed down the river, but they were always out of range.

Our camera is a Stylus Tough. We got it last year after damaging yet another camera. It has been a great camera so far, it has survived many drops, mostly from my clumsiness. It has a waterproof function, but I never had the courage to put it in the water. Electronics and water don't mix, right? I was commenting to Zach how hard it was to get a shot of the water and not just get glare. He said, well just put in the water. After stating my reservations, I took the plunge and took a picture. Sorta murky, but the boat was drifting too fast at the moment. A picture, nonetheless.

I took one more before pulling it out of the water, a strange watery self portrait, from a fish's perspective. The camera still works today, so I guess we'll be playing with that feature more in the future.

After landing on my parents river property, we dragged our boats out of the woods. It was about 3 hour trip all together. I hope we have many more trips like these this summer.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Board to Death

The board project is complete! Last night Zach and I wrapped up the last of the game boards and he delivered them today. We had 20 days to construct 67 boards. (Huh, sorta sounds like some lame reality show)
Zach standing in front of his creations before painting.
During construction, the shop was often visited by Maggie and the occasional chicken.
Laying out to dry.

Monday, May 17, 2010


We had the shearer come out on Saturday to shear our sheep. The shearer and his family raise over a 100 sheep on their farm. So he is a very experienced shearer. As he was shearing, he was trying to talk me into getting ewes and raising lambs. Tempting as that is, until I can master keeping these Houdini sheep inside their pasture, I will wait on that adventure.

Sammy, the black one, was first.
Ricky and Fred watch as they wait their turn.
Several pounds lighter and ready for summer.


I finished getting the vegetable garden in this past weekend. My experiment with square foot gardening is under way now. The large dirt square is my normal veggie garden space. This year, all our plants reside in the 3 4 foot square boxes and the raised bed beside them. I may put in a row of sunflowers on the edge for the birds enjoyment, but the rest will be seeded down and returned to lawn.

It's not how my Grandma taught me to garden, but she would have probably gotten a kick out of this nonsense.
Maggie resting between plantings.
I also planted a lot of annuals around the yard too.

The first of the Irises started to blossom around the pond.
Alliums too.

While picking asparagus, I was greeted with toads in the patch. I found an olive green one, but he was too camera shy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tree Blooms

Just a few snapshots of the latest blooms in the yard in the past week. The fragrance on the breeze while the trees are blooming can't be beat. No candle or air freshener can capture that glorious smell.
Tender new pine cones.

The ladies.

Been pretty busy lately. Zach has been leading the charge with our game board project, making good progress on the large order. Pictures of the chaos coming soon. We also have been putting up wainscoting and trim in our bathroom. Our new door for the bathroom recently arrived. Once the door, trim, and wainscoting is painted, the bathroom will be officially done. One less room under construction in the house. Hurray! Pictures of that will be coming soon too.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Not "board" in the shop

These things again. Zachary and I have been preparing for the possibility of a very large project in the near future. The business I do freelance graphics for asked me (and Zach) to quote out building Cornhole board game sets for a customer. Many of them. Zachary is a talented carpenter and I am a semi-talented carpenter's helper. So in the past two weeks we have built 2 sets, as a demo for the customer. We have modified our design drastically, to make the game boards much lighter and to streamline costs in materials. We will find out next week if we are a go in production, making as many as 65 game boards by the end of the month. It will basically keep us busy all month, working on them when we aren't at our own jobs. We are looking forward to the project, the extra income will be nice for our remodeling project in the house.

Mostly Tulips

Tulips, how I love you so. I wish you bloomed all summer long.

Tender hyacinths.

All our own blooms from our yard except for the last one. A tulip from Dubuque, IA at the River Museum from last weekend.