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my little gray home

building blessings everyday

The Storms in Life

Jill Weatherholt

stormThose of you who’ve followed my blog for any length of time know that my posts are typically brief. I’m aware that everyone is busy, so the last thing you want is a long-winded post.

This week, I’m stepping outside of my guidelines to share a story that I hope you’ll take the time to read.

Lately, many of my lifelong friends, as well as a few blogging friends have experienced challenges in their lives. Some have faced the death of a loved one, a life-changing illness, or an incident that has left one fearful of the future.  

Below, I’d like to share a story that was mailed to me by the mother of one of those dear friends. It was written by Roselyn Aronson.  My hope is that you’ll find it as comforting as I did.

Mr. Tentmaker, it was nice living in this tent when it was…

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Fun ideas for families on the move.

My family moves a lot. We have made 13 moves in 26 years. Needless to say, we have family and friends spread all over the United States and parts of the world. I want to share some fun ideas.

This first idea comes from a friend who recently moved to China with her family.

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As you can see, they have made a clock wall to help stay in touch with family around the world. I get many great ideas from Paula.  She is a special friend.  This idea is cute and easy, she said the hardest part was finding inexpensive matching clocks.  I know when Sissy was in Germany over Christmas, I could never remember the time difference. I kept texting her at 3am.

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I found this cute beach sand idea on Facebook. What fun way to preserve memories.

This last idea is something I have always wanted to make for my yard.

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I found this picture on Pintrest but you get the idea. Someday soon I hope to create my own customized sign from old barn wood and pallets. As the kids head off in different directions, it will help me keep them close.  In the meantime, we just keep creating memories.

Twelve Days of Christmas

tractor

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a big, orange, Kubota tractor.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me two sparkling rings, and a big, orange, Kubota tractor.

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me three Angus cows, two sparkling rings, and a big, orange, Kubota tractor.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me four brand new tires, three Angus cows, two sparkling rings, and a big, orange, Kubota tractor.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me five awesome kids, four brand new tires, three Angus cows, two sparkling rings, and a big, orange, Kubota tractor.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me six crowing roosters, five awesome kids, four brand new tires, three Angus cows, two sparkling rings, and a big, orange, Kubota tractor.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me seven moonlit strolls, six crowing roosters, five awesome kids, four brand new tires, three Angus cows, two sparkling rings and a big, orange, Kubota tractor.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me eight baby bunnies, seven moonlit strolls, six crowing roosters, five awesome kids, four brand new tires, three Angus cows, two sparkling rings and big, orange, Kubota tractor.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me nine hens a laying, eight baby bunnies, seven moonlit strolls, six crowing roosters, five awesome kids, four brand new tires, three Angus cows, two sparkling rings, and a big, orange, Kubota tractor.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a ten minute commute, nine hens a laying, eight baby bunnies, seven moonlit strolls, six crowing roosters, five awesome kids, four brand new tires, three Angus cows, two sparkling rings, and a big, orange, Kubota tractor.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me eleven meowing cats, a ten minute commute, nine hens a laying, eight baby bunnies, seven moonlit strolls, six crowing roosters, five awesome kids, four brand new tires, three Angus cows, two sparkling rings, and a big, orange, Kubota tractor.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, twelve barnyard chicks, eleven meowing cats, a ten minute commute, nine hens a laying, eight baby bunnies, seven moonlit strolls, six crowing roosters, five awesome kids, four brand new tires, three Angus cows, two sparkling rings, and a big, orange, Kubota tractor.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at mylittlegrayhome!

“Each of us is an Innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus.”                  –Neal A Maxwell–

 

Getting crafty

What do I do when construction gets rained out? I get crafty.

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The site is flooded. Because we are building in a pasture, every time it rains the ground turns to marsh. This is not good for delivery trucks, semi trucks, or even my truck. So… the garage is on hold for another week. This puts the appliances on hold for another week. All plans to store building materials are on hold and the kitchen is full of Sheetrock.

Thus, Patti gets crafty. I have a stack of projects waiting for my attention. When we moved into our house last year, I found fabric at Walmart that just made me happy. I decided it would be the inspiration for decorating our home. I bought out entire bolts from three area Walmarts. Side note, when you live over 60 miles from the nearest fabric store, Walmart becomes your lifeline. Plus I love the new fabric lines at Walmart. Thank you “powers that be” for reversing the decision to remove fabric from area Walmart stores. This fabric is from the Kentshire Home Collection. It washes like a dream, no ironing needed, and bonus (insert drumroll), stain release!! I washed yards of fabric and carefully folded it, sewed one curtain panel and then nothing—for 6 months, until yesterday.

I was home alone waiting for phone calls that didn’t come. Rain pounded on the roof while puddles turned into flowing steams of topsoil. I looked at all of that fabric and—tada

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Now, I have curtains. Yes, they make me happy. I even have enough fabric to sew a curtain for the kitchen and maybe recover some throw pillows. Well, no rush, I’m sure there will be another rainy day.

Construction Phase 1

The months of flood…

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By the end of July, we were finally ready to begin the groundwork.  Because we are building in a pasture, where the ground slopes down to a pond, we needed a lot of dirt to level the pad.

I was fortunate at this point in the process to work with a construction company.  This gave me a huge advantage as I had no idea where to start.  It also saved me a lot of time because I didn’t have to find and set up the contractors. The coordinator at the construction company was able to guide me through the process of getting the necessary permits, tests, and lists of local businesses to get me started.  I already had the tests performed for the septic tank.  The water meter and water line had been installed.  Finally, the materials for the building were delivered.  We had several funny moments and a few nail biting close calls.  Getting the semi delivering the building materials through the narrow gate took quite a while and some fancy driving skills.  Then, in the middle of offloading, our tractor died.  One of the contractors, upon seeing the problem, jumped into his personal backhoe and finished the job.  Another time, Mr. Wonderful had to pick up another load of dirt, unfortunately, due to an unbalanced load, we couldn’t get the dirt to dump out.  Tons of dirt later, we had a pad!

Just a side note, it is now November and we still don’t have the garage that was ordered at the same time as the building.

Next post….hiring the contractors.

Big muddy

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After two days of rain, the building site is water logged. I got the truck stuck deep into the mud. Mr. Wonderful came and rescued me in his big orange tractor, my hero. Due to site conditions, I opted to reschedule the delivery date of the garage, again.  It is so frustrating. This has also resulted in delaying delivery of the kitchen appliances. They may end up in my garage.

This experience has taught me the importance of being flexible.

All this rain is a big reminder of the flooding we had in May/June.  So far there isn’t too much damage. We have several sinking spots where plumbing pipes were placed and the septic tank area has sunk. I did notice some gutter work that needs to be fixed.

Overall, the site has no signs of major flooding. This is our first heavy rain and we learned where we need to pour gravel. Thank goodness for no major leaks or breaches–and for a tractor, four wheel drive, and a winch!

Waiting

I’m sitting here waiting for Lil Missy to get in to her doctor’s appointment.  We drove two hours to get here. Due to insurance restrictions and costs, we cannot change to a doctor in our area.

I am enjoying this rainy day. We haven’t really had rain here since June. Needless to say the ponds are dry and the plants in the garden are now crispy.  So grateful for the rain.  Of course, I am not sure how this will affect the garage that is supposed to be delivered on Monday. This is the same garage we have been waiting for since July.

So I am sitting here 45 minutes early for the appointment counting my blessings. 1 beautiful rainy day/ weekend, 2 new little kittens I spied this morning hiding under the bushes, 3 big, fat, red tomatoes sitting on my counter, 4 brand new tires on my car, 5 amazing, adored children, 6 new books waiting to be read on my Kindle, 7 peeping chicks pecking in the yard, 8 hours of sleep last night, 9 more minutes until the banana bread is finished baking, 10 minutes of extra snuggle time with my husband this morning-I am blessed in so many ways.image

Starting construction

Before
Before

This is the lot before construction.  This is on the edge of our property. We chose the location because it is close to the road and it already had a power pole. It also has a lovely view of our neighbor’s pasture where his horses graze. Plus it gives my parents a bit of privacy. They will be close but they have their own space.  Hopefully, the roosters won’t keep them awake crowing at the crack of dawn.

We started this process in January. My parents found a steel building manufacturer and ordered their building and a single car garage.

Please note: we recommend that anyone wanting a steel building should choose a local company and research the process. We wished that we had shopped around and asked more questions before we signed the dotted line.

it took several months to find an architect and for my parents to decide exactly what they wanted and needed. We probably did this backwards. We should have drawn up the plans and then purchased the building. My parents are also doing this long distance as they do not live in the area.

By April we were ready to start building. Yes I realize that took us four months but this is an important decision and should be carefully considered.  And then it began to rain. It rained and then it flooded!  Tornados came through the area.  All building plans were put on hold through the months of May and June.

To be continued…

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