It seems I haven’t been able to update since Halloween. Egads. I’ll try to give quick updates on everything before detailing our homestead progress.
For the holidays, my daughter, Carol, held dinner for us. She is such an outrageously good cook. I like to consider myself her first teacher, but at this point, she is teaching me!! Have I mentioned she has a cookbook out that I use and love? (click here for link to cookbook) Now she’s working on a new one, and I just know it will probably be as good, if not better, than the first!
Popcorn (our latest family addition) has gone from a little bundle of fur to a powerhouse of energy. She is sooo funny and still cuddly, but will only tolerate a quick hug before running to get one of her toys. Afterall, time for a cuddle means there’s time for play!
Due to roof leaks, we had to redo the ceiling in two rooms. First step, Jim went up and replaced most of the roof and the rest he patched. Fortunately, this was done before the weather turned arctic — it was chilly, but not insanely cold and windy yet.
We thought the living room was completed, but leaks meant having to redo the ceiling. Just look at the mess that leak made! Now it looks pretty again!
The sun room’s leak was the worst. Thankfully, we had not really started re-doing that room, so it was still in need of overall overhaul. The leak meant Jim had to redo the adobe, then stucco on the ceiling, above the window, and below the window. With all the windows, the warming sun helped dry everything quickly, so then we focused on finishing up the room.
Jim sealed all the gaps in the ceiling boards, sealed the windows, sealed the ristras to the ceiling, patched all the nail holes and cracks, and then painting.
The hodge-podge of dark colors on the walls and windows took two and three coats, but now the room looks huge!
The only thing left is scrubbing the brick flooring and sealing that. Whew! That leaves curtains and moving furniture into the room. Guess I will have to make the ultimate sacrifice and go shopping at the fabric and/or hobby store. **sigh** How I suffer! (**giggle**)
I plan on making the little alcove into a mini-office. The rest of the room will either be a guest room or our grandkid’s room. Check out the view from that room on the last night of painting!
Have I mentioned that Jim’s oldest (daughter Stephanie) has fallen on hard times. She, Novelle, and the kids had been living on the reservation, but she was booted out because she wasn’t Native. She left the kids with Novelle while she tried to get situated. Then, Novelle developed cancer, did not tell anyone, and reservation folks found out just before he passed away. Long story-short: Jim and I are trying to get guardianship of the kids instead of having them separated in various homes, but it has proven to be a nightmare. I am Native, but not from that reservation; Jim is not Native at all. Plus, Novelle had a 401K and life insurance that has been cashed in. The folks at that rez are using the kids’ inheritance plus the monthly survivors stipend from the government to live on; we opened trust accounts to hold that money for the kids’ future, which we don’t get unless we get the kids (if any is left). Put it all together and you have a mess. The Indian Child Protection Act is overall a great thing, but unfortunately, it can be manipulated in the wrong way. Nonetheless, we are going to keep trying to get our grandbabies. Wish us luck!