Monday, November 28, 2011

The Great Wall

Back in the end of October I blogged about beginning replacement of our brick walls here and here.  
I never got back to give updates during the process.  
Life gets in the way.  

But I did take the time to photograph the evolution of the replacement.

After all of the old brick wall and block wall came down and was carted away 
(almost 2 large dumpsters loads) it was time to get busy building the new wall.  
This time it got built correctly.  The blocks were cemented in place, 
rebar was used, french drains and gravel were used.  

Peaches kept a close eye on the progress.  

This slowed the patio expansion down for two days.  
Three men spent two days trading off using the jackhammer until this 
VW-sized boulder was slowly chipped away.  

The stairs were widened at Jesse's suggestion.

Brick ties were installed. 
(The old wall didn't have any brick ties!  
Nothing holding the brick and block together.  
No gravel behind the block. 
No drains.  
Drunk monkeys built the old wall.)

All of the voids of the block were filled with concrete.
This wall isn't going anywhere!

The brick went up quickly.  

The new wall looks so much better! 

The new stairs are so nice and roomy!

The attention to detail is terrific. 
No brick holes stuffed full of concrete here.

Jesse suggested the brick pad at the top of the stairs.  
He surprised me with the cool design.
Just because I am a nice lady.

I really grew fond of this family while they were here.
How often can you say that about a contractor you've hired?
I would hire them again in a minute!

Put a Cork On It!

Along with saving wine bottle labels, I have been chucking the corks from those 
bottles into different vases and pitchers around my home.  

This has been going on for a long time.  

The idea of what to do with all of those corks came to me last year when 
we were renovating our laundry room.  
I made a large board with a frame to cover the two junction boxes 
that were uglying up my laundry room.  
(I can't have that!)

I thought that covering the board with corks would be rather unique 
and something interesting to do with the corks that were just filling up 
my vases and pitchers.  

So, my wine-drinking friend Debra brought me a large grocery bag full of corks 
that she had been saving for me.  

It was time to get crafty!

I obviously need to keep drinking (yea!) and my friends need to keep drinking 
so that I can eventually fill up that board.   

There is something really fun about a box of bottles on my driveway left for me to find.
Or coming home from a party with a few new empties and corks.
Or having friends come over and bring a bottle to drink and a few empties 
or a bag of corks to give me.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

2011 Krispy Kreme Run

This morning marked the third annual Krispy Kreme Run to benefit our local United Cerebral Palsy.

Ben, his friend Harrison, and couple of other scouts represented the scouts well.  

They were privileged to lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance before the start of the race.

Then it was time to run!

In order to win the race you had to run 2 miles to our local Krispy Kreme, 
eat a dozen doughnuts (teams could share their dozen) 
and then run the 2 miles back, finishing in under one hour. 
If you finished the race in less than an hour and ate your doughnuts 
then you got the coveted green race t-shirt.  
If your time was longer or you weren't able to finish your doughnuts 
you got the still nice white race t-shirt. 

This race seems to bring out some very interesting characters.

I guess any race that involves eating doughnuts...

is going to attract folks that don't take themselves too seriously.

And you get the idea that running and eating doughnuts might not be the best idea.

This kilt-wearing runner ran directly from the finish line to the trash cans.  
Poor guy.

Ben was pretty proud of himself and the scouts.  
They finished with a couple of minutes to spare.
And no one puked.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stepping Back in Time

A while back several of my Legacy club friends and I went to Ethridge, TN for the day.

 (ok, maybe I shouldn't be talking about my friends at the same time I am posting a hog picture)

We wanted to see what wares they were selling, see where they live, 
and enjoy some wonderful homemade goodies.  

We saw handmade baskets, furniture, canned fruits 
and vegetables of most every description.  
Little toys and trinkets carved out of wood.

We saw lots of windmills, barns, plain homes, and people contented with their simpler lifestyle.

Many clotheslines were hung with dark and blue pants and dresses.
The only bright colors on this clothesline were from bandanas.

How'd you like to have to get around town in this buggy?  
When walking around the properties we had to make sure we didn't step in any "exhaust".

All in all it was a wonderful day.  
We talked and laughed on the drive.
We ate a wonderful lunch at a local meat-and-3 restaurant called the Red Rooster Cafe.
We came home with our treasures - mostly fresh-baked goodies and breads.
We talked about what it would be like to live this lifestyle.  We decided while it would be fun for a short time, we really do like our appliances, cars, and computers.  

It wasn't for us but I can see how this uncomplicated and unhurried life - 
separated from the hustle and bustle of the modern world - 
could be a very serene and balanced way to live.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Last weekend I decided that it was time to get a decent picture taken for our Christmas card.
Sounds easy enough, right?
Get everyone in clothes that sort of coordinate and snap a few exposures.

Have you met my family, the Goofies?

There is never a shortage of goofy whenever we get together, 
but tell them to touch each other and it ramps up to a whole new level.  

There's the "Aw, I got left out of the hug" pouting.

The "I'm am too as tall as you guys" pose. 

I am just not sure that this was about.

Or this, for that matter.  

But it is a given that whenever these three are together and asked to 
behave long enough for pictures there will be silliness. 
Lots of silliness. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day!

Here in Huntsville we do Veteran's Day up right. 
We have Redstone Arsenal - so - we got stuff.  
We have an Army garrison so we have soldiers.

We have families of fallen veterans.

We have old firetrucks carrying our mayor.

We have very large military vehicles.

We have lots of high school JROTC students.

More vehicles carrying veterans.

Did I tell you we have large military vehicles?

What's a parade without Shriners in little cars?

Several scout troops.

Future soldiers.

Old cars.

High school and college marching bands.

And of course more veterans.  

After the parade our church members were treated to very special entertainment 
during lunch,
the Army Materiel Band.  
They were talented and very funny as they played oldies for us,
lots of songs to sing along with. 

Allison seemed to be a magnet for flags during the course of the parade.  
I told her she looked like a patriotic peacock.  

It was a wonderful way to spend a very special 11/11/11.  
Makes me proud to be a Huntsvillian, Alabamian, and American.