Monday, January 30, 2012


It's hard to believe that two weeks have passed since I last wrote. It's funny how as soon as you wash your car, it rains.  As soon as I posted the last blog, little things started happening over at the property.  First, the tree protection went up:

The workers will have a lot of navigating to do but it is all worth it to save the trees.  When we built our house in Virginia none of this was done and several of our big trees died.

In preparation for the house and garage to be demolished, we invited Habitat for Humanity to come in and take everything they wanted.  They came early on a Saturday morning:

and came back the next day to take all the metal off the garage:

Then things quieted down for a few days, at least over at the property.  At home, we were preparing for Michael to leave on his mission.  We said goodbye on Wednesday January 25th:

A friend said, "It's like putting your heart on legs and watching it walk away."  So very true.  But I wouldn't have him anyplace else--he will grow up while he is gone--and learn some very important lessons about life, other people, God, and himself.  And when he comes home, it will to a new house!

From that day until now, emotions have been running high.  Joe and Rob had to let off some steam by taking their turn inside the little old house:

Using paintball guns, a hatchet, knives, screwdrivers and baseball bats they did what boys do best:  DESTROY.  ("Mom, you have to post the video."  Me:  "I don't think any of my friends would want to watch it...")

And today, destroy was the keyword as the little old house came down:

This machine was like a big monster!  The sheer power was amazing to me and I took way too many pictures.  It took about an hour to go from this:

to this:

and that was a teeny, tiny bit sad.  Someone made a lot of memories in that house.    Some of the neighbor kids sat on the fence and watched.  Goodbye, little old house!

Monday, January 16, 2012


You know how they say "a watched pot never boils" (at least I think that's what they say.)  I guess you could say this:  a watched building and planning department never issues a building permit!  We have been waiting and waiting... and waiting... and waiting... and wait... you get the picture.

Back in November we finished up with all of our rezoning and variance applications and I am happy to report that everything was approved.  We will be able to keep the barn in the location we had planned without removing any trees.  The neighbors gave up their fight, realizing that their complaints really couldn't have an effect on either the rezoning or the barn variance.  The other good news from all of our meetings at City Hall...

The picture shows the letter I received stating that all of our tree citations were dismissed by the city... that was about 23 (criminal, mind you!) citations worth $36,000.... and now I am no longer on the verge of being thrown in jail. Writing to the Mayor and City Council about the situation was one of the smartest things I did this past year!  They were very quick to see that someone "just doing their job" had created a huge problem.

So, over at the property...

The builder has put up his sign.

We've gotten some more dirt.

And we continue to wait.  And wait.  And wait.  We really thought we would have that permit by now.  10 days ago I raced down to Fort Worth on a Friday afternoon to get the final surveys to get the plat approved, which was supposedly the "very last thing they needed," and here we still are.... waiting.

But, I have had lots to keep me busy, so I'm not going as crazy as you might think.  Our son, Michael, is leaving on his 2 year church mission on January 25th.  He is going to Billings, Montana and will be serving all over that state as well as part of Wyoming.  There is a lot to do to get him ready.

I also have a couple of cute girls that love to ride Tia so whenever we can get our schedules to match up they come over and get some "horse time."

This past weekend they had quite the adventure riding double.  In the small riding pen, they decided that it would be fun to go fast.  Mandi was sitting behind the saddle and as Tia started cantering she slipped a little far back and then gripped Tia around the belly to try to stay on.  At which point Tia took the cue to buck and take off!  Both girls held on half-way around the pen and then gravity took over and Mandi hit the ground.  Thank goodness for helmets.  The first thing she said was, "now I've fallen off twice, I have 8 more to go!"  What????  I have fallen off about 4 times in my life and I refuse to fall off 6 more times in order to be a "true" horsewoman!  The girls profusely apologized to each other for going too fast and to Tia for "putting her through that."  Very sweet.  Afterwards, they rode double (at a walk!) all over the property and Tia was very calm, quiet and un-bucking-bronco-like.  And that's how we like her best!

Here's hoping that I'll be posting again very soon and the waiting will be over.  Until then, happy trails and stay in the saddle.