Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mama, rake!

Blair and I have been having a big time since I’ve been home on break. We have played and played! Blair has some particular things that she routinely does with each of us who are with her the most – she pulls out her pink chair with grandmom, she expects Brad to run her all over the house or let her play in the utensil drawer (why that is fun is a mystery) while sitting in his lap in a chair she dragged from the kitchen table, Mama ‘Cole’s house means a KitKat, she goes from one end of Gigi’s house to the other pulling out who knows what, and the thing she likes to do with me is go outside. That is wonderful until she wakes up at 7am wanting to swing when it’s 22 degrees outside!

One day, I raked up some pecan leaves for her to play in. I threw her in them, and she had a ball. She wanted me to do it over and over. But each time she crawled her way out of the pile, she said, “Mama, rake!” The pile just can’t be untidy before she jumps back in it!

The leaf pile has provided fun on multiple days – for Blair, mommy, and daddy! Here are some of the highlights!

loving the leaf pile 120310 (1)loving the leaf pile 120310 (13)Bringing me the rake. (Not because I asked but because she is determined for me to rake!) loving the leaf pile 120310 (32) loving the leaf pile 120310 (39) mama rake 120710 (7)Same thing, different day! mama rake 120710 (10) mama rake 120710 (11) mama rake 120710 (22)A pile as big as she is! mama rake 120710 (29) mama rake 120710 (32)Making her way out! in the leaves 120910 (31)Daddy jumps in. He’s so funny! in the leaves 120910 (43)Telling somebody to do something. (Probably telling Brad to jump in again because she knows he’ll do it!)in the leaves 120910 (54) in the leaves 120910 (66) in the leaves 120910 (41)So much fun!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Three days.

Three days? This is the amount of time it takes three fairly competent people to assemble a wooden play set that Santa dropped on our doorstep. THREE days. Three whole days. And the thing doesn’t even come close to looking like three days’ worth of work. It’s pretty and all, but you would think will all that labor invested in it that it would house a family of four! It’s a good thing Brad and I aren’t trying to make a living as builders.

We started here.

santa comes

And I spent and hour or so a few days ahead of time doing this. (it IS organized but it doesn’t look like it.):

002

And Brad worked on the yard since we had a pretty continuous slope in the back.

001

Then came the tough part – the first page! Brad asked if we could return the set and buy one already assembled.

005

And we just had to cut down a tree in the process.

012

And drag it off into the back back yard – with the truck. The tractor that’s sitting in my yard? It had a dead battery. It’s always something.

021 (2)Blair’s feet! 024 (2)

End of day one. Seriously. That (and the tree) includes about 6 hours of the day.

029 (2) 016

I can’t even count the number of times we had to undo. The directions weren’t all that bad, but sometimes they weren’t really clear or we didn’t read them well. And then the washers weren’t labeled properly. Oh, the washers. We ran out of the big ones and then realized we weren’t even supposed to use them until the end. Lovely.

020 “What do you think this means?”

025 This is the part where they had to undo the roof slats because they put them on upside down.

End of day two (many, many hours).

038037

And we finally finished it up on the third day. But not before we had to rob washers (the wrong ones) off of the rock wall to use somewhere else!

santa's swingset 122210 (13)Robbing washers.

santa's swingset 122210 (17)

We started out so neat and organized, but by the end of the experience, paper and plastic bags were all over the yard.

santa's swingset 122210 (19)

All in all, it was not a bad experience, but if it had gone on one more day Brad and I may have burned it down.

The good things about the experience? The playset is very nice. The company’s customer service is superb. (One of the representatives we talked to – yes, plural, we called many times – said her family was drinking by noon the day they built theirs.) We had all the necessary wood pieces. We used all the wooden pieces. It’s done, and we’re proud of it. And most importantly, Blair loves it (and she better for a long time)!

santa's swingset 122210 (20) Showing Blair her new swing!

santa's swingset 122210 (21)And the slide…

santa's swingset 122210 (23) santa's swingset 122210 (25) santa's swingset 122210 (29) santa's swingset 122210 (42) santa's swingset 122210 (45) santa's swingset 122210 (49) The slide is very fast! Her little 20 pounds pops right up off those bumps!

santa's swingset 122210 (75) Hello everybody!

Dolls and Shoes

I would not say that Blair is a doll lover… yet. She has dolls and likes them, but she’d rather put four outfits on herself (all on top of each other) than dress her doll.

However, Blair’s Aunt Linnie gave her the M&D magnetic dressing dolls (more like a modern day paper doll) for Christmas, and those things busied her for an entire 30 minutes today. That’s a long time – we’re talking about a kid who sits still no longer than about 7 seconds at a time. And she does not watch much tv at all. Some moms can turn on a tv show or movie and get a bit of housework done. Not in our house!

dolls 122710 (2) dolls 122710 (8)

Her favorite part about the dolls? The shoes! The itty bitty as-tiny-as-your-fingernail shoes! I was going to put them in a “snack bag” and put them up, but as soon as Blair spotted them, she had to have them. She named them by color: “red shoes,” “white shoes….”

dolls 122710 (4) dolls 122710 (7)dolls 122710 (11) dolls 122710 (14)

Mommy had fun too – what a cute toy!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Celebration

DSC_0638 Happy Christmas and happy birthday Jesus!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Peanut Stack Harvest

Remember those stacks of peanuts that I just had to go photograph for Brad, well after a few months of drying in stacks the men got together and picked the peanuts the weekend before Thanksgiving. Brad informed me that it was time, so I headed over there with Blair and Nicole to see the process, take a few pictures, and sneak a little barbeque lunch at a nearby restaurant.

I tell you peanut picking was quite a spectacle! The highway next to the plot was lined with vehicles, and it seemed that every retired farmer from anywhere near here was present to view the antique picker put to use.

The antique tractor ran the picker by turning a belt. (That’s about all I know about that!)

peanut stack picking 111910 (1)

The men brought the stack over to the picker, removed the stack from the pole, and used a pitch fork to put the peanuts over into the picker – the picker that was salvaged from the burn pile!

peanut stack picking 111910 (25) peanut stack picking 111910 (35)Removing the pole

Below, they are throwing peanuts in the picker. The belt is continuously turning the wheels on the side.

peanut stack picking 111910 (14)peanut stack picking 111910 (15) peanut stack picking 111910 (16)

peanut stack picking 111910 (43)A good picture of the side

I have to include some video of the picker so that you can hear it and see how it shook!

And boy did that peanut picker make a mess! There was hay and dust flying everywhere and all over those working and those watching. And speaking of those working – it must have taken quite a few men to pick peanuts in the old days – there were 12 or so men out there helping out!

peanut stack picking 111910 (86)

After the peanuts go through the picker, where do they go? Why into a metal wash basin of course! And there must be two so that they can be swapped out when one gets full!

peanut stack picking 111910 (74)

peanut stack picking 111910 (69)The peanuts are falling into the basin on the right. The hay is a flyin’ all in the air and is all over the ground. And folks are back there enjoying the site!

The swap, then up and into the wagon!

 peanut stack picking 111910 (19) peanut stack picking 111910 (20) peanut stack picking 111910 (21)

peanut stack picking 111910 (18) The peanut wagon

The men gathered the hay blowing out of the picker and used Brad’s Grandpop’s hay baler to bale it into small bales. The hay baler was also driven with a belt turned by another tractor.

peanut stack picking 111910 (50)

I’m going to include a video that shows the baler better.

peanut stack picking 111910 (26)Peanut hay – cows love it!

It was a neat experience that I’m glad I got to see!

You can see the Georgia Farm Monitor’s video on these peanuts here.