It Never Stops….


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!



We had a little bit of fun since our last blog.

Jim bought a pumpkin, scraped out most of the meat from the inside and made a great Jack-o-Lantern. I loved it! As it slowly caved in, it got even scarier. Finally, it collapsed and we gave it to the pigs. They thought they had died and gone to heaven!

We had a few weeks of almost continuous, daily rain. No great deluge, but a steady drizzle that took a toll on our future livingroom. Just look at the scarey results of that roof leak!

So, Jim went up top and discovered the previous owner had smeared some stuff called SnoRoof on top of old tar paper. Well, it leaked. So, Jim put up some repaired propanel and sealed the cracks with silicone. We will have to redo and replace the entire roof, but hopefully it can wait until next spring! On a day that is too nasty to work outside, we’ll fix the ceiling.

Meanwhile, it was decided to get the chicken/pig run ready for the critters, plus the critter house. We are going to use the old trailer that had been left.

Jim and I patched it up somewhat and spent two weeks doing nothing but cleaning it out. What we did not bag up for the trash was thrown out the door. Just look at the pile we will have to sort through later (in our ‘spare time’).

Inside the trailer we found some rotting carpet pieces that hid rotting floor boards. So, we will have to put down wood on the floors before we can put up some poles for roosting. The old tables we found in there we will be keeping and making them into tiered laying boxes. Before tackling this project, we turned our attention to the future “animal run.”

After some deliberation, it was decided to allow the old dying tree to remain. We opted to clean it all up to give the critters a personalized jungle gym. Just cleaning up that mess meant another week of daily work, plus using the bobcat to move the piles of rocks and boulders. When that project is done, I’ll post pictures of our masterpiece!

Using the old trailer as the critters’ house means making sure they don’t crawl under it to escape, right? So, we piled as many rocks as we could under it and then Jim started piling dirt around it.

We took one day off to attend the Albuquerque Youth Pow Wow. That was so much fun! It was Jim’s first, and I managed to get him to dance one All Nations Dance. Those kids were wonderful and the food was incredible. The Native chef that prepared the public feast is working on a cookbook, and judging by the eats we had, its gonna be one I’m gonna want!

Looks like the weather is starting to seriously change, so we hope to kick it into high gear in order to finish up all the outside work. We can then focus on moving in. That will mean we will be living in a construction zone, but we continue having high hopes. Can you believe Turkey Day is almost here?

Improvise, Improve, Invent


Have been so busy I haven’t had a moment’s quiet, so haven’t been able to post the latest and greatest. Sorry about this minor delay in updates! I will now give the highlights.

We finished repairing the walls and ceiling of the dining room. Jim took the extra coral paint we used in the kitchen, mixed it with white paint and managed to come out with a pastel coral. I am absolutely thrilled with the results!

I also finished and put up the crochet curtain for the French door. It puckers in the center, so to insure that the finished work actually fits the door, it was taped in place. Now the challenge of figuring out how to make it lay straight all the way down. If anyone has any suggestions, I sure would appreciate it!

To continue the work, especially in adding a walk-in closet for the bedroom and redoing the roof, we are going to need wood. Have you checked out the price of wood right now? Just for basic materials we would practically have to take out a mortgage. After the shell shock wore off we brain-stormed. The decision was to remove the porch on the trailer we are presently living in — the wood is in almost perfect shape, so the tear down has begun.

After tearing down the roof and sides, Jim pulled out our hot tub, which he is going to install later at the house. We were able to acquire a lot of reusable materials!

In this picture you can see the old, non-functioning hot tub that was there just beyond ours. The spot of the old hot tub will one day be my utility room and our tub will be installed after we put in new flooring, plumbing, etc. Yeppers, too much work to consider right now, but one day our dream will be a reality.

Our old and fully-functional hot tub — a future installation project

I also am sad to report that one of my favorite chickens, Drama Queen, passed away. I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but she was over nine years old and had not been laying eggs for quite some time. We have several “retired” hens that continue to teach the younger ladies and live a relatively pampered life. My Drama Queen was particularly affectionate and was always doing something to make me smile. So, I sure do miss her!

Drama Queen, gone but not forgotten!