Summer 2015

(If you aren’t able to see a picture while reading, all you have to do is click on the blank where the photo should be, and it should take you straight to an enlarged version of it.  Now…onto the story…)

My mother-in-law, 2 dogs, suitcases (5 each?…seemed like it), all the “essential” movies and stuffed animals (can’t travel without ’em, ya know), bags of snacks and lunch, 2 kids….and of course the kitchen sink, a partridge and a pear tree.

Yep. I did it. I’m a homeschool mom who just wrote an incomplete sentence. I live on the edge. I’m a risk-taker.

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With the car jam-packed…it was time to head towards Colorado, AGAIN. It was just a few days before the American July 4th celebration. (We are currently receiving 200-500 views per day from people in over 100 countries; some of you might not be familiar with our July 4th holiday.)

We usually have a poolside barbecue…

This time, we were going to celebrate the holiday watching fireworks over the Colorado mountains.

But first…the 14 hour drive.

Even though our dog, Buddy, had PLENTY of room to sprawl out and sleep in the back, he was a little “nosey” about what we were doing up front…
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Warning:  This post is LONG. We’ve done a LOT during June, July, and August.  But, you are welcome to bore yourself to death with the Bradbury Life Summer 2015 at your willingness…and certain risk.

As I write this post, I’m sitting on my front porch watching our front yard stream. Wanna see? Here’s my porch, clutter & all….(even my computer that I just set down to take this picture)…
IMG_0907The Papa Bear rocker is Steve’s (made by Jeremy Sutterfield). Mine is the rocker to the right (not made by Jeremy, obviously). I sit there every morning drinking my coffee (spiked with cinnamon and cardamom), reading my Bible and chatting with Jesus; we bond. We don’t have a “Wee Little Baby Bear Chair”, yet. If we did, the cats would probably use it….
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Sometimes I sit in these green chairs by the stream, instead.  It’s particularly nice on a cool evening with a glass of wine…
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As I sit here writing, I can’t help thinking how similar our life has been to the stream; it moves constantly, always going somewhere or doing something. (WOW! Are you impressed with my overly symbolic comparison?? I kinda am…)

Speaking of going somewhere…I guess it’s time to head to Colorado. (If you’re just wanting construction updates, skip ahead halfway down this post.)

With car loaded…(kitchen sink, partridge, Pear tree, and all)…our first stop was Jeremy and Candace’s.

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For those who are new here, Jeremy and Candace are friends we met through this blog. They had taken the same LHBA (Log Home Builders Association) class that we took, and built a log home, too. The post called “Another log house??” is about their house, if you’d like to see it.

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master bedroom in June 2015

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master in July 2015

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master bath door

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kitchen in June

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in july

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upstairs without railing in june

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june

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with lights and railing in july. those are the same lights we used in our kitchen

This was my mother-in-law’s first time to see their house. We only had one full day with them, but filled it with shopping and eating in town…
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We went back-roading in an Aspen grove with ALL of us in the car (Jeremy, Candace, Dixie, Twinkle, Reiley, Reese, Steve, and me). In case you’re wondering, I’m sitting in the kitchen sink… holding the partridge in the pear tree…cuz it’s the only way I could fit in the car.
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We also made time to go to Candace’s Aunt Teresa’s house to visit her and to let Dixie see her amazing garden. Aunt Teresa is one of the sweetest, kindest, most precious women I’ve ever met in my life. She’s SUCH a blessing to be with.
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We ended the fun day with a movie theater in their living room. Jeremy put a sheet on the wall, pulled out a projector, and turned out all the lights. They lined up chairs, and we were READY! You can’t buy memories and experiences like these. Part of the fun of construction.
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Next stop, Breckenridge for 4th of July!
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The parade kicked off with an ENORMOUS biking marathon of over 1000 bikers!!
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For lunch we headed to this gorgeous lake to fish and have a picnic. If you read “Another log home??”, this is where the mountain goats surrounded our car, and a rock landslide and snow avalanche headed straight for our car. (Just your standard vacation experiences)…
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Before loading back up into the car, Steve beaned the girls with snowballs. So, we can truly say, “We had a snowball fight on the 4th of July.” .. something Texans can’t see in typical 100 degree July heat.

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The next day we went to Aspen. We stopped by one of the International Date Lines. Dixie’s dog, Twinkle, tinkled on it. “Twinkle tinkled.” Just doing her part….

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As you can imagine, all of this traveling can get quite exhausting for small dogs. Sometimes it’s just easier to just stay in the suitcase…
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Our next stop was a week at our family cabin in New Mexico, packed with all kinds of fun activities.
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Fort Stanton festival

Fort Stanton festival

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Ladies' Victorian Tea Time

Ladies’ Victorian Tea Time

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watching the ladies from the 1800’s “darning” socks, and spinning wool

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Upon getting home, my nephew came to stay with us.  Any guesses what they did the whole time?
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Only days after he left, I received a call at 5am from the local post office, telling me my new birdy-girlies were here!! They flew all the way from Connecticut to Texas (and boy were their 1-day old wings tired… a-boom boom).
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Of course we kept them upstairs again… in the house, in the galvanized tub…because we’re just weird.

I can’t tell you how many guests and bird customers (Steve’s taxidermy business) would be in our living room and suddenly hear some strange peeping upstairs. They’d look puzzled. We’d say, “That sound is our chickens. They’re upstairs.” (…cuz that made more sense)

It’s been 6 weeks since we received them. We finally got the chicken coop raccoon-proofed (or so we hope), wrapping the chicken wire with hardware cloth. They were transferred to their new home. The girls held the birds just above the ground, and the chicks would NOT let go. They all just sat on their hands, stared at the ground for minutes on end, not letting go. Separation anxiety. They apparently prefer log home living. (Who wouldn’t?)

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Reese also celebrated her 12th birthday this August. I decorated before she woke up, wanting to surprise her with a decked out house.  We went to my mother’s house the next day for another party for her.
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IMG_0430 A few years ago, the bakery misspelled her name.  Rather than ReeSe, they wrote ReeFE.  She thought it was GREAT, and it has become a birthday cake tradition ever since.  Can you tell her favorite color are pink and camo?
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Steve’s aunt, cousins, and mother came by to see the house. If you’ve been reading the whole blog, this is the uncle who just passed away a few months ago, which I have lots of pictures of in “Rolling With the Punches”. Here was the last time his aunt was here…
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…and now a couple weeks ago. Things had changed a little. The birdie-girlies were even upstairs at the time.
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We’ve had many friends and family members out here over the last few weeks. Almost every day! I’m sad that I don’t have a pictures of all of their visits.

For you LHBA members and readers, here are our newest friends, Tyson and CJ. They contacted me, asking if they could come meet us and see the house, before he takes the class. They came and ate lunch with us on a Sunday, and we spent the afternoon chatting about log home building, and our mutual love for and awe over the Lord’s provisions. They gave us homemade vanilla, and he prayed for us just before leaving. LOVE them!!

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Our friends the Shockeys came to see us from out of town, too. We had an action-packed day shooting guns, fishing, having lunch, chatting by the streams, playing air hockey, and more. Such wonderful friends.

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We received an invitation from another friend of ours who is a professional photographer (www.JorgeMorenoPhoto.com). He plays in an extremely talented band, and invited us to come to a nearby restaurant and hear them play. Steve and I decided this was a GREAT “date night” idea…and off we went. Jorge is in the middle.

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As for construction, we have been working on our bar in the kitchen. Our friend Jeremiah came to stay with us for a weekend, and helped us. We chose to use an extra slab of Walnut that we had leftover from our steps and bathroom counters, and made the bar top from it. We filled the huge crack with crushed turquoise, and covered the whole thing with epoxy to make it resistant to anything we put on it. We found 100-year old red painted barn wood at a flea market and used it on the front of the bar, and painted 2 plywood panels with a paint that has copper in it…and comes with a patina spray. We then installed LED lights under the bar. It’s not “done” yet…still needs varnishing on front (I think), and some finishing trim pieces. But, here are pictures to give you the current status…

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Otherwise, (in this 100 degree Texas heat that’s too hot to be out in) Steve has been locked to his taxidermy studio 8 hours a day getting tons of birds done for customers.

The American Beauty Berry bushes that COVER our property are now full and ripe. So, I’ve been making jelly…..
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….and making jewelry to sell (cuz I obviously have nothing better to do). ….

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But, my newest OBSESSION is the show Downton Abbey, that takes place in England in the early 1900’s.
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You might be surprised about the valuable lessons I’ve learned from Downton Abbey, including *hopefully* how to treat incoming guests (like YOU) with the utmost in hospitality and graciousness.

The thing that has made the biggest impression on me is how to treat guests to a multi-course meal around a fully-set candlelit table (it’s so special!!)…
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Therefore, I plan to have my first early 1900’s (or 1840’s Dicken’s-themed) formal dinner with silver candleabras, china, crystal, etc, in early December for my family’s Christmas. Of course, I’ll take loads of pictures, and will post.

It’s my hope and wish to do this for guests who might come stay at our McGuire House when it’s ready.

My sister did a dinner like this last year for her New Years. They dressed in the 1920’s clothes. Here was her dinner table….
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My turn!!

I’ve also learned (from Downton Abbey) to take time out in the middle of the day for family around “tea-time”. I love tea time.
Uptown Downstairs Abbey spoof from Red Nose Day 2011
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Here were my first couple attempts at “tea” in the middle of the day (4:00) for my family…

yellow cake with Dixie’s homemade cranberry/strawberry jelly in middle…IMG_0919
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Scratch cranberry scones with homemade rosemary butter, and homemade American Beauty Berry jelly (I have a LOT to work on with “display”)

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(Should I have made them put on their proper “tea attire” first? )
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Have you ever been on a long road trip, and couldn’t wait to pull back into your driveway and get OUT of the car? I’m quite sure that’s exactly how you feel right now, having read all of this. Exhausted. Just think of how tired I am! I lived it all!

If you’re new to this blog, it’s a continuous, chronological story.  To start from the beginning click on this link: “Welcome to Cottonwood Creek”, to see us building our 130-year old guest house.  To start from the beginning of the log home build, click here: ‘What to Vegas and logs have in common?”

Also be sure to check out www.GrettysGrapesAndGrains.com. See you soon!

3 thoughts on “Summer 2015

  1. I just can’t get enough of how beautifully both of your homes have turned/are turning out! The pastels and slate blue are just beautiful against the wood, and I especially love that medium dark stain you used on your stairwell area. Beautiful family too! =)

    Like

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