Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dirt is SO Not Cheap!

Did you know that a truckload of fill dirt costs about $85? Neither did I. I also didn't know that Honnus was going to have to put about nine truckloads into our house the other day. Had I known, I would have saved all the dirt I've been dumping out of my vacuum cleaner's canister. I think I would have had enough.

All this dirt is dumped into the garage, so that they can later pour a slab over it. The bracings are to help stabilize the blocks, in case the dirt settles and puts too much pressure on them. I think I need some of these on my thighs, because the fat is putting too much pressure on my pants.Here is Honnus, doing more magic. His job now is to hurry up and get all that dirt nice and level, so the rest of the crew can finish blocking up the back of the garage. They ended up about 39 blocks short. That's when I found out what our builder does besides organize these folks: he goes and gets the rest of the blocks.The builder asks me, "How large do you want the access door to be under the house?"

My response: "Well, how big is the plumber? He's the one who has to fit under there."

After consultation with another close friend, we made a LARGE access spot - just in case I want to "store stuff" under there. Yeah, right. I see a spider haven in the making - but I guess it's best to have one, in case I go crazier and Roger needs a place to hide me. Those little metal tabs have something to do with the brick that will be put on later.Part of the crew raked the ground to even things out under the house (just in case I might change my mind and want to go in there someday). I liked the spaces they left for the vents - and since this whole thing was starting to look like a fort, I imagined placing little cannons in there, just for fun.When they were done for the day, something about it looked kinda pretty.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Fun Monday Fridge and Foundation!

Another Fun Monday, and this time, Amy W is the gracious hostess. This one was almost as bad as the "no makeup meme," but I am doing it anyway! Her assignment is as such:

"Now I want to see INSIDE your refrigerator. And DO.NOT.CLEAN.IT.OUT. We want to see it in all its glory. However empty or full. And if you don't have a refrigerator? Show me your cooler, or whatever container you use to keep things nice and cool."

Uh...okay...sure you wanna see this? I'm not even sure I wanna see...but here goes. Flinging the door open wide...

Hmmm...there are some healthy choices in there. Guess I forgot to open the bins. Just know that there are sodas in the bottom right bin, then lettuce, carrots, grapes and probably some mucky things lurking around in the bottom left bin. The middle bin contains sliced cheese, grated cheese, more lunchmeat, and string cheese. Here's the inside of the door:
Just thrilling, huh? Most of the time, Roger keeps the fridge clean - so we don't have anything outdated or spoiled in there. I think it's his nurse training, not wanting us to get botulism. Here's the hodge-podgery of stuff stuck to our fridge:
And lastly - the extra beer fridge, which got a good workout last night. Hence the lack of contents. Since I live in a dry county, I have to drive an hour and a half ONE WAY to get alcohol. Now, it's only 13 miles or so to the state line in Oklahoma...and I know people who drive over there to get their beer - but the alcohol content is greatly reduced. I drank Texas beer for years - so only Arkansas beer is good enough for me. I will occasionally drink an Oklahoma beer, if offered one - I'm not uppity, but it's just not the same.I just now realized that I forgot to show you my freezer.

You KNOW I can't do a post without a house update!! So, here's some bonus stuff. The actual progress to date is more than I'll share today - just to keep you in suspense. But the rest of the blocks were delivered, and they began the foundation!The little tractor-thingy supposedly costs tens-of-thousands of dollars...amazing. They mix the sand and concrete stuff with water in a mixer to get the goop that holds the blocks together. Can you tell I'm learning all the technical terms in the process?
Here is the dude, gooping the stuff together. Goop away, mason dude. After all the hauling, stacking, and gooping, you get something that looks like this:The rectangular thing is our back patio. Let me tell you, the guys on site work HARD to make this happen in two days. I will share photos in the next day or so of the rest of their progress. Here is the head mason dude. He was a little shy, and Jackie had to coax him out of the truck a bit so I could take his photo. He has no idea how famous he will soon be:
Especially after you take a good hard look at his logo. I KNOW my foundation is solid, folks! Now quit wasting your time here, and go check out all the Fun Monday participants!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lookie What We Got!

For the record, The Offspring and Roger both think I'm a little nutso, for we are only TEN DAYS into building this house, and I've taken more photos for this project than I did for her birth and our wedding combined. BUT LOOK! Here are the braces they put up to show where the block foundation is going to be laid!The string, which is really tough to see, shows where the blocks should be, as far as their height. Now, remember the previous post with Roger's "pet cemetery" comment? Well, evidently - the worms had a suicide party and drank the Kool-Aid over the weekend, and now there really will be dead bodies under my house. I hope worm spirits are nice.And remember the painted place for the water dudes to dig? Well - ta-da! Here is my meter and my new spigot. Note to self: must mine for Viagra stores on this land. That spigot is eerily erect.And the new meter for the electricity...look really close, and you will see something that will NEVER BE SEEN AGAIN.Still can't see it? Well, here's a closer look:Now, I suppose that if I waited many years, I might get that sucker to turn over again...but hopefully not in my lifetime. And look what else the builder fairies left? SAND AND CONCRETE! Can you tell this is like Christmas for me? Even more exciting - CONCRETE BLOCKS!!! WOOHOO!! (I can see it now, Arkansas Songbird is already making my birthday gift list - nothing but building materials.)Roger and I did a rough count, and since the builder told us we will need about 1,580 blocks for the project, we figure about half of them were delivered today.When people say that house-building can drive a person insane? Well, yes indeed...it sure can! WOOHOOOOOO!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Fun Monday Frenemies

After last week's humongous participant list for Fun Monday, I gladly relinquished my crown to Willowtree. Much as I enjoyed last week, it was all I could do to keep up with all the fabulous rides! Check out his site for a full list of participants. Willow tried to keep us from posting photos, as his assignment was as such:

"Tell us about your best friend. Particularly things like: where you first met, how long you've been friends and why you think you are best friends"

This can be as long or as short as you like, it's totally open to interpretation, although I will ask that you resist taking the easy way out by claiming that your spouse is your best friend (most of us could all say that). And Min, if you are vacillating as to whether you can do this or not, I will accept imaginary friends.

You have to be kidding, Willowtree, no spouse? Well, I'm breaking the rules (again), because Roger is truly my best friend.This photo was taken by a family friend who has started her own photography business in town, and we were among her first subjects. She did a fantastic job.
Okay, okay - my NEXT best friend is The Offspring. We have GOT to have more photos taken together, as I realized this is the only recent one I could find, albeit fuzzy.The Offspring is still up to her own photography tricks, and photoshopped this self-portrait in the last few months. Sounds like Liberal Arts colleges will be in our future.Okay, so that was another "easy" out - so my REAL best friend? Well, my Poo Woo, of course! We met Poo Woo as a sad little pup, when he was locked into our neighbor's backyard, all but neglected. Every morning, The Offspring would run to him, offer him treats thru the fence, and pet him best she could thru the chain-links. He would press his little body against those links, so she could access as much of him as possible. He still does it out of habit:We finally asked the neighbor if we could make him our own - and called him "Lucky." After several visits to the vet and a $1,600 fence, he has become my favorite pal. Doesn't he look at home?I am often asked how he got to be called "Poo Woo." Well, I tend to come up with funny names for creatures I adore. The Offspring at one time was called "Missy Moo Milk-Face" because she was a messy nurser. "Lucky" evolved one day into "Lucky Loo Poo Woo," which we have shortened to "Poo Woo." Now go check out everyone's friends!

Oh, and Willowtree's alternative subject was for us to post about a TV character we despise - but, I don't watch enough TV to despise a character, just some of the real folks. So, you may stumble upon some enemies in your Fun Monday travels - be warned!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rockin' Blogger - Now With Concrete!

Okay, I'm delinquent in my response for this GREAT award...no prepared speech to pull out of the bosom of my evening gown, no teary-eyed gazes of adoration to the crowd, and I think my tiara is a bit askew. But I'm truly grateful to Shauna for it. Choosing five more people for the award that haven't already been chosen is a tough call - here goes!

1. Marnie, because this chick rocks Canada.

2. Claudia, because this chick rocks photography school AND cars.

3. Mocha Momma, because this chick rocks school AND great writing.

4. Lawyerish, because this chick rocks the courtroom.

5. Julie, because this chick rocks house-building.

Now, you five ladies are supposed to choose five more - but heck, I know there are so many that have already won this award, it may be tough. I'll forgive you if it slips your mind.

Speaking of house building...two things we didn't know we had to have immediately: water and electricity. Hey - I'm not moving in for a while, so what gives? I found out that they have to mix the concrete for the blocks on site, and guess what? You have to have electricity for the builders to cut wood. Guess the bandsaw is SO last decade. Since I had to work this morning - REAL work - Roger got the water guys in gear and marked the spot for the new meter:
Would you believe that this cost $715? Not the paint, mind you, but setting it all up so they will put the meter in. And guess what happens then? I get water, which will start my bills.

They actually brought concrete trucks out to the site today, and filled up my mole holes. Too bad I didn't have time to get an actual game going. I KNOW we could have found people to hide in the holes so I could whack them with a stick.Remember the curvy rebar from the last post? All covered up now, with stair-stepped concrete. It was almost dry this afternoon.I have to go out of town for a Rotary gig tomorrow, and then up to Conway on Friday to pick up The Offspring from choir camp. Luckily, nothing much will be done on site except the setting of the electrical box, and Roger got that lined out today.

Looking forward to Fun Monday!

Two Rewarding Events!

Today was a GOOD day for Tiggerlane! I found out that Shauna awarded me the "Rockin' Blogger" Award! And NOT because of the loud music thumpin' in my Intrepid. I am so thrilled! A Neophyte like me doesn't get awarded much in blogger-land - so I'm honored. I will be awarding 5 more folks in the NEXT post - so be watching for that.

Also, I somehow missed Vicki at Catching Light in all the Fun Monday excitement - so head on over there to check out her rigs!

I just had too much excitement for one day, because LOOK AT THIS:Oh yeah - these men are making my dreams a reality - they are measuring and staking out our new home! Another good thing is that we only had to give up one spindly little tree. Plus, we have friends who can use the firewood, so disposal will be no problem:Here the guys are, measuring everything, just to be sure it is all right:The next step, after everything is measured, staked and lined out with string, is spray-painting lines so the backhoe guy can dig the footing. Seems like it takes an awful lot of guys to spray that first little bit, but hey - better safe than sorry. The head builder, Jackie Ryan, is in the green shirt in this photo. His younger brother is in the white shirt with the tool belt, and the baby brother of them all is holding the spray can. Honnus is in the straw hat - and he is the backhoe man. Dontcha just love the name "Honnus?"Now the spray painting has begun in earnest. These lines tell Honnus where to dig.They didn't give me a golden shovel, and the mayor didn't come to the event. But I sat with breathless anticipation, as the backhoe was just about to de-virginize my land.And here is the first scoop! We have officially BROKEN GROUND! There is no turning back now!I couldn't have been happier if this backhoe scoop had been full with loads of ice cream - look at that strip of ground! Our first step to having a new home.Honnus then dug the footings while the other boys used tools to keep him lined up and on the paint. Because of the slope of the land, they had to stair-step some of the footings. As you can see here, they laid rebar in the holes, and even curved it to match the shape of the footings.I am standing about in the corner of the kitchen - strangely, it looks so small. It made me think of a playing a huge game of "Whack-A-Mole." I was assured that it will look much bigger when it is framed up.Roger thinks I'm obsessed. Well, uh, YEAH! I sure am! This is a shot of almost the entire house - it is 76 feet long, and our garage to the right of this photo is 28x28.Roger's comment?
"It looks like a pet cemetery."

Monday, July 16, 2007

Fun Monday/Tuesday - July 16th - UPDATED AT 8:30PM CST - Now with even MORE NEW PARTICIPANTS!

Welcome to the BIGGEST FUN MONDAY EVER, with FORTY-NINE FIFTY participants, hence the title of this post!

Here was the assignment in voyeurism: I wanna see your CAR! It can be your current car, the first car you ever had, maybe your first new car with that new-car smell, a car you wrecked once, or even the dream car you would drive - given all the money in the world! Oh - and if you have a truck, SUV, lawnmower, whatever the local authorities allow you to drive, let's see it!

Here is what Tiggerlane currently cruises in around town, sporting the Century 21 front plate (they only require back license plates in Arkansas), and thumping the speakers LOUDLY - a 2002 Dodge Intrepid:
Roger can't STAND things hanging from the rear view mirror - but I require them. On the left is what was an air freshener. Now that all the freshness is gone, I just like how it looks. In the middle is a present I got when I bought my real estate office - the key to success - get it? It's like my good luck charm. To the right is my naked man. I got him on a bottle of tanning lotion. One of my daughter's friends took our button-maker, and created the PERFECT face for him. Kinda like a child version of Truman Capote, you think?The only sticker on my car (another thing on vehicles that Roger doesn't like) is the one supporting Amber's cheerleading:For the record, my car just hit 50,000 miles. I bought it as a program car in 2003, and at that time, it had 16,000 miles on it. Now, before you criticize me for staying at home too much, here is Roger's ride:It's a 2003 Chevrolet pickup - and guess how many miles he has on it? We bought it brand-spankin'-new, and he just hit 9,000 miles. HA.

Now, go check out all the other fine participants:

Swampwitch at Anecdotes, Antidotes and Anodes
Willowtree at Once Upon A Blog
Kila at momto3cubs
Melissa at waking up
Sayre at Sayre Smiles
Beccy at Peppermint Tea
Amy W at A Family Story
Wolfbaby at Dreaming and Believing
MJD at Return of the White Robin
Ms Cellaniea at...where else but Ms Cellania
Lisa at The Food Snob
Karmyn at Dreaming What Ifs
Debbie at A Step at a Time
Shauna at S.O.S.
Robin at Pensieve
Susan at A Slice of Life
Raffi at citiZENMINDful
Julie at Abbily Ever After
Julie at Another Chance Ranch
Debs at Deb's Melon Patch
Pamela at The Dust Will Wait
theotherbear at Uncaringbear
Arkansas Songbird at Quarter Notes
Robinella at Not a Stepford Wife
daddy d at Mama Said, Papa Said
Min at Mama Drama
Jodi at Miller.Insight
Kaytabug at Lady K
Tonya at Rimmer's Adventures
Bichonpawz at Bermudabluez
my4kids at - well, none other than My4Kids
Fianna at Fianna's Little Internet Space
BS at The First of Six
Joy T at A Spot of T
Claudia at La vida Claudia
Nikki at Now what the hell do I do?
Beckie at Give It a Try - One Day at a Time
Bethany at Ice Cream Mama
Christine atAre We There Yet
Jennie Boo at O So Mo Love
The Artist Formerly Known as Purple Worms at House of the Purple Worms
Hannah at It's a Mum's Life
Mercy's Maid at Dystopian Challenge
Raven Dase at Dase's Stitching Place
Gawilli at Back in the Day
sallad.net at, you guessed it - Sallad.net
Possibly the youngest participant EVER is Izzak at Izzaks blog
Karina at Candid Karina
Robocop at Life and Times of a Turnkey

Have fun looking at all the modes of transportation these bloggers have to offer! And if I have messed up your link, PLEASE let me know. Neophyte = pretty clueless about HTML. Also, if I missed your link, let me know, and I'll add it by noon.

Our wonderful host for NEXT Fun Monday, July 23rd, is none other than Willowtree at Once Upon A Blog. MAJOR thanks to him for hosting! And Willowtree, Mercy's Maid has volunteered to host sometime - so maybe you should tag her next!