Wednesday, July 30, 2008

AC mister and food

I saw on the TV show “Living with Ed” where he had an air conditioner mister installed. It can save you up to 30% on your cooling cost, by reducing the time your ac runs because the unit gets cooled by the evaporation of the water from the mist. It allows the ac to cool your house faster and in the hot time of the year 98-105 degrees our poor old ac unit could only get the house down to 80 degrees until the sun went down. So I looked around and found the company that sells them, CoolnSave I think it was. You can look it up, not knowing if it would work or not I didn’t want to shell out the $99.00 plus shipping so I went to Lowes and bought a patio mister for $14.00 and hooked it up. It worked. The air is not only colder coming out of our ac unit but it now keeps the house at 75 degrees when it is 100 outside. So I know it works, but the patio mister runs all the time not just when the ac is on like the coolnsave model. We were wasting water, and getting a puddle by the ac unit (you can see it in the photo). So I fixed that today, I had an old garden sprayer so I took the handle off, went to home depot and got a small piece of Plexiglas and a toilet fill valve, took them apart, drilled, tie wrapped, and glued them together and presto I too have a valve that turns the mister on and off with the ac from the force of the fan on the unit.
Total cost with the mister $28.00 for all the items I had to buy. It may not be as pretty as the cool saving model but when I am in my nice cool house I don’t care.

The fig tree is loaded this year. Lori dehydrated some to save for winter. Usually she just stands out in the yard and eats them off of the tree but this year there where just to many. Can you freeze cabbage we wont be able to eat it all before it goes bad?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

She coming to America na-na-na!

I found these on my computer after Annie left for the summer.
She took them herself, cracks me up!
Annie got her Visa to go to UCA; I think there was a sigh of relief that was let out from here to china. That that part is over. This is a life changing experience for Annie, I know she will be a top student at UCA as she was at the high school here and won’t take this opportunity lightly. She is a bright, caring, loving, kind hearted person, with a knack for sarcasm, which will make you laugh for months. Although she has parents and grand parents in China that love her deeply and no doubt are making great sacrifices so she can attend University here, I will care for, watch over her and treat her as our Daughter and will do so until I am no longer needed in that role.

Friday, July 25, 2008

No word on the ice cream lover till Tuesday.

We won't have word of Annie's visa status change until she goes to pick it up next Tuesday. Talk about cutting it close she has to be back in the here 13 days from Tuesday!

I had a good birthday Lori's parents took us out to a new restaurant we have in town. Lori also got me my first down pillow oh I feel sorry for the bird that will have to running around necked this winter, but I slept so good last night. Maybe I will send him a wool sweater to keep worm. Well now that just leads to another problem, oh well.

Brandon (Lori) for any one with kids knows how this works, got me a new sand shifting saltwater fish to replace the one I lost when the tornado took out our power for a couple of days, I have since gotten a box I can hookup to my truck to run my fish tank if the power goes out again. So my live corals and fish live throw it.
Oh and Brandon passed his English class he was taking over the computer this summer yeah!
I really need to get back to my studing to speek Chinese.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Waiting for News

It is now the morning of the 23rd in China. Our family, and her family are waiting to see the results of the day. Annie goes for her interview today to try and get a visa to return to the U.S. next month to attend to college. This is a life changing day for Annie. We are all pulling for her, and we will be waiting for word on how the day went.

Hopefully we hear good news tomorrow.



That’s right eat as much as you want with our sanitized tape worms!

Yeah you don’t want to work to hard for that beer.

Oh goodness just click on this on so you can read it.

Oh sure blame it on the ladies guy wrote that add I’m sure.

Oh sure blame it on the ladies guy wrote that add I’m sure.

Or kick you in the balls

I think they are talking about a cigarette?

Way to drop the ball doc.

Marry Christmas I got you cancer sticks.


Two years ago today…..

Two years ago today we were logged in with the china center of adoption affairs. With hopes and dreams of becoming parents to a baby from China. Having been a member of the MSN Adopting from Group during my paper chase. I knew something was going on with the China adoption program a slight slowdown had started. Over the next year we were told many things as the program reached 8 months to referral then 9 months then 10. Things were said on all the China adoption boards like they CCAA won’t let the wait go over a year because paper work will start expiring. At that time if some one even said that it could go out to two years or worse three they were sometimes in a way told that that was just crazy, they would never let that happen, you would have to have new home study’s, background checks, your I-171-H would expire.

Some of you know that we sent in a waiting child medical check list back October 2006, we were so happy at the possibility of adopting a waiting children and were devastated when we were told it was to narrow in scope and that we would get a referral in the NSN program before we were match in the waiting child program. This was wrong, everyone that turned in there SN checklist from that time have returned home and some have been back to or are working on there second adoption from China. Time passes we see more SN kids coming home with the needs we put on our list, we have opened up to more SN over the next 6 months so Lori and I sent in another Waiting child Check list in April 2007, and were told it was too liberal, to open to many SN for us and to protect our family we weren’t let in to there waiting child program then either. All the families from then are now home too. We are persistent we sent in another SN check list in Feb. of 2008 The kicker is because CCAI told us that our second list was two big, we reverted back to the first one except VSD, ASD made the list this time, oh and our Childs age range went up and we were finally excepted into CCAI waiting child program.

Going into SN program was never about getting ahead in the wait, although it is a plus I will gladly take. It was and is about living close to one of the top Children’s hospitals in the U.S., where kids from China and all over the world for that matter come for care. We can provide that care to a child, it was about one of us being able to stop work indefinitely if needed, it was me and Lori having an extremely strong marriage to support each other threw good time and bad.

Still as a human, I can’t keep myself from thinking that if they would of excepted our first SN checklist we would be celebrating our first and or even second Christmases together this year, not waiting for our third Christmas to come and go without our Daughter Norah. I know time will pass no matter what, we all can be waiting for something great to come into our lives or not time will still pass. Also as a human I know if we were to pull out because of the pain this adoption it causing my heart at this time. I would still keep track of the dates and in one year or two years from now when CCAA got to LID July, 22 2006 I would never forgive my self for giving up on our Daughter Norah………….Who because of the ages range we put on our medical check list I know in my heart is born now living China somewhere waiting for me too………

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Building a better Waterfall.

It was time to replace my water fall box that I had built back in 2000. It was done out of galvanized guttering but still rusted over the years and I was starting to loose water from it. The pump I have been running the waterfall with finally gave up after 8 years of continuous use. I would say that was pretty good.

I already had bought my new water fall pump off EBay for a great price, but had been thinking of redoing my setup someway to make it last longer. When I came across this at Lowes. Two sheets of glass, 3/8 of an inch think by16 inches by 48 inches for $5.00 each and the plastic parts were $0.75 per pack what a steal. This will be my new waterfall.

You can see I epoxed the plastic pieces in and used black expansion foam for ponds on the sides.

This is the workhorse of the project a 10,000 gallon an hour Torpedo pump, Sweet! Coke can for size comparison.

This is the size pipe I had to put in to control that much water. I will hide them with rocks after I make sure it is going to work for a couple of days.

This is the look I gave Lori when she told me to smile like I was about to get lucky. She, after taking the photo told me nobody would get lucky with that dorky look on their face, try again.

This is better I guess?

We are still waiting for a SN referal, best guess sometime around December or January.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Happy Birthday to Annie, Brandon, And Me!

All three of us have our birthday this month, For Brandon’s birthday he wanted snow crab and a big cookie. We gave Annie hers before she left, and I needed a pump for my pond so that is what I got.
We have also made two recycling bins for the garbage men to pickup. The city wanted us to rent the recycling bins from them can you believe that! Now that is going to get people to start recycle charge them an extra fee for it. We made our own, just our way of sticking it to the man, Ha.
Annie go’s for her visa in just 5 days we are all looking forward to her return so she can start Collage. I miss her so much, but I hope she is making the most of the short time she has with her parents and grand parents in China. We hope to be able to visit Annie’s parents and grand parent’s when we go to china next year. When I last talked to her she was studying hard for the SAT’s so she can apply to a different collage more geared towards Med schooling after her first semester or year.
Good luck Annie we love you, miss you, and will see you soon.

Biggest baby boom since 1957!

Anyone ealse seen alot of babies Around? More babies were born in the U.S. last year then any time in history. The new U.S. baby boom.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Roof, digging my own grave, & harvest time.

Lori and I think our house looks so good with our new roof on it. We paid to up grade from 20 year to 35 year architectural shingles and it was sooooo worth it, they update the house a lot. Besides it was just $345.00 to upgrade so after 20 years have passed we
still will have 15 more years to go on the roof. $345.00 divided by 15 is $23.00 dollars a year. Sound investment if you ask me, looks wonderful too.

It is like a before and after pic, left side looks good!
I try, for the most part, to do all the work on our house. #1 because I’m cheap, not cheap like I don’t tip, that's just rude, but cheap like if I do it myself I can also do this project and this one and this one… with the money I would have spent on getting the first one done by someone else. #2 because even though I haven’t been blessed with the best spelling in the world I can build just about anything from a photo. #3 because I’m still cheap.
I knew that I could do our roof myself but I also knew that it would take me over a week to strip it off and redo it. Which brings me to #4 I don’t like it when it rains inside in my house!
They did a fantastic job. 6 roofers showed up at 3:00 PM and started by 8:00 PM they had the back done and half of the front. The next day they started at 7:00AM and got done with the roof by 10:00AM. So it took 6 highly skilled roofers one day to do my roof. It would have definitely taken me over a week, at least.
So it was one project I was happy to let it go; besides I had another big project underway.

Lori and I have been thinking of putting in rain barrels for some time, to be able to water the yard and fill/top off the pond in the summer when the water evaporates out of it. We do already have a small 88 gallon water collection sistine at the back of the yard that we pump the spring/rain water that collects under our house into to water the yard and fill the decorative fountain with but it is not enough to keep us from using what we consider a lot of city water.
We plan on expanding the garden next year so we are going to need to set something up to cut down on our water usage. Nothing will eat up your water money like having to se all city water. So I got two 275 gallon water tanks ( they were bought used )to collect rain water in and found just the right spot in the yard for them and proceeded to dig one BIG hole. I had to go down another two feet form the photo above.
Lori thought that a normal person would rent a backhoe for the job, no no too costly I can dig it myself and with the money I saved from not renting the backhoe I can put gutters on the house. I vaguely remember someone saying something about me having two back surgeries and that renting a backhoe was alot cheaper that spending another $75,000.00 on surgery. I can’t remember I was up to my neck in red clay at the time. Did I mention I was cheap?

Awwwww! tanks are in

The box is to catch rain water coming across the yard, the pipe coming out the right side goes down into the right tank then also fills the left tank threw a pipe at the bottom,(water find its own level so both tanks will fill and drain at the same time). The short pipe on the left side of the box will connect to the gutters once we put them up. The pipe to the left will be cut off lower and plummed to the back fence so that when I put in a shallow well pump ($99.00) we will have 550 gallons of water on a regular basis to water with.
All back to normal. The black square is covering the water intake box for now until all of the sticky red clay that was dug up washes out of the surrounding gravel.

We harvested most of our corn & onions, packaged them up in freezer bags for yummy eats later. I am very pleased with the gardening experience this year.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

Vegas had enough on July 4th. There had been storms all day (he REALLY doesn't like storms), then to top it all off there were fireworks all night which sound suprisingly like thunder. Since Brandon had his bedroom door closed last night Vegas found a pair of Brandons pj bottoms under the sink in Brandon's bathroom and settled down for the duration.
The lilly pads in the pond are starting to bloom. The blooms on them open up early in the day and then close when the sun gets to be to much for them. They almost look fake.

The garden is really starting to produce. We were able to harvest this whole sink full of veggies recently. I apparently need to plant three times as many green beans next year because we eat them as fast as we can harvest them, leaving nothing to save for winter. The tomatoes are still not producing yet but they have started to grow more foliage and are flowering so I'm hopeful that they will kick it into high gear. The bell peppers are starting to ripen and the basil is taking over the bed that it is in.

Our cat is huge, old, cranky and can be extremely attention seeking. Anytime that Lori lays down in bed to read he comes flying in there and flops down on top of her book and then gives her this look (above) when she shoves him over so she can see the page.

Yes, she does have two books open ( one on the bed and one standing up behind the bed). She usually has at least 2 books going at all times. All though I don't know how she can stand to read in such close proximity to cat butt.

Lori took a mental health day a while back and got Brandon out of the house and to the driving range over by our house to hit a bucket of balls. He did very well and was consistently hitting them out to the 200 mark.
All of his buddies will be over at the house AGAIN this weekend for what we loving refer to as "Geek Night" (they come and play games unitl the wee early hours). Then tomorrow after church Lori's Mom and Dad are coming over for lunch and to visit. I am busy out back digging a huge hole (pictures to come later) to sink two large containers in that will collect rainwater from the gutter system for use in the yard, filling the pond, and washing the cars. It will be yet another busy weekend for all of us.