27 February 2014

unknown roses

Last weekend our son Matt, his wife Misty, and their son Quen came to visit. At almost 7 years old, Quen is becoming quite an artist, with his own travel easel full of paints and other supplies. He and I sat out on the patio sketching.

I only drew this in pencil at the time, then finished later. The patio rose bed has 5 unknown roses. No idea what kind they are or what colors. The leaves are much smaller than the English roses I grew in Kansas, though that may be damage caused by the recent freezes.

22 February 2014

settling in to the Wild Bird Sanctuary . . .

At least that's what a small painted sign on our new property calls it. And easy to believe! We have identified over 16 kinds of birds so far and the spring returners have not even shown up yet! Including a pilated woodpecker -- which is NOT common to this area.

I sketched a bit of the front door while swinging in one of the porch swings on our patio (the former owners left theirs and we brought ours) while the braver of the birds visited the feeders next to me.

We seem to have a total of 37 trees, some ancient and many newly planted, as well as 5 large shrubs (3 crepe myrtle, which grow into trees here) -- no wonder the birds love it here!

Only sporadic internet though. We are far enough away from town that there are very limited options, and my "hotspot" does not always pick up a signal.

(for some reason, when I try to post this entry, strange links are appearing on some phrases. I did NOT put these in and warn readers not to click on them. Can't seem to make them go away . . .)

our new home

front patio
wild bird sanctuary sign, corner of property
Ceilidh and Bearcat settling in
art studio in a corner of the loft

07 February 2014

battle of the boxes

We are slowly but surely emerging from a life among boxes, and many of those boxes have been cut, flattened, and stuffed into larger boxes such as the two shown here.

This side of the living room is almost clear of boxes.

Originally there was no ceiling light on this side. We bought this light kit for the bedroom ceiling fan, but Billy thought it would look good in the living room. There was already an unused spot for one in the log beam. We like it so much, we are going to take down the silly fixture on the other side and put in a matching one. The light's entwining leaf detail can be seen more clearly here.

More boxes, stuffed with additional boxes, and bags of newspaper at the back door waiting to be loaded on the truck. Covered with some of our surprise snowfall.

We drove all this into town to the recycle center . . . but about a mile from town the truck died. On top of an overpass ramp. Without our having access to the internet or a local business listing. A quick phone call to our son, who looked online for a towing / repair shop. Two hours later, with a new fuel pump, we finally made it to the recycle center.
This chaos will one day be my art "studio" in the loft. The door leads to a wee balcony, just big enough for a couple of folding chairs to sketch from.

By the way, those energy windows really do work. Through this kitchen window you can see the remains of a couple of snowballs Bill through at me from outside. This photo was taken nearly an hour later, yet the snow had not melted. No heat escaping here!

Snow? . . . Seriously?!?

Thursday morning we woke up in our new home to find it snowing. Properly huge snowflakes mixed with frozen sleet that looked, as one Facebook commenter wrote, like Dippin' Dots. Nothing to compare with the horrific blizzard conditions up north, but really? Didn't we move south in part to get away from the frigid cold? Though nothing like the zero temps in Kansas this week, we are in the 30s.

Bill says the blame lies with this painting:

The former owners of the house left this painting of our new home hanging on the wall. They told us that it had been left here by the people they bought it from 5 years ago, so they decided to pass it on to us. A totally unrealistic amount of snow for an area that normally never sees any; clearly the artist used a great deal of artistic license. The shrubs are imaginary as well, and this was painted before the covered patio was added. A few more baby trees have been added as well; the former owner loved planting things. Among them, an orange, a peach, and a fig tree.
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