Fall is here

Hmmm – fall seems to have snuck up when I wasn’t looking. Its gotten chilly at night now, along with the fog rolling into the valleys below us (and occasionally coming up the hill to envelope us). I have this long list of things I wanted to get done around the house/property before ‘winter’ and now I feel like I’m going to be scrambling the next month to get it all done (note: its not like real winter or anything – mostly, its a matter of ‘before the rains start coming again and its consistently too cold to do stuff like paint outdoors).

We went to a couple feed & farm supply stores today to get food for the horse/sheep/goats and a variety of new feeders to put out in the pastures. With luck, they should work better than the ad-hoc ‘toss the hay on the ground’ approach. Its healthier for the critters anyway, since they won’t be eating as much dirt with their food. Did you know that sheep/goats/horses can’t throw up when the eat something bad? Yea, its gotta go all the way thru and stuff like dirt in quantity does them no good.

Anyway, in the middle of setting up the new feeders late this afternoon, one of the neighbors swung by to visit (Lester). I’ve never met him in person, though we’ve had plenty of exchanges in email and he’s a pretty cool guy. He and his fiance’ live in a house (some might say ‘mansion’ he built a couple years ago on the ridge above us. He’s a pretty cool guy – originally from Wisconsin, so he’s a cheese-head 🙂 He seems to really enjoy life up here in the boonies, but his fiance’ isn’t quite so enamoured with the area. Guess she is more of a city girl and kinda hates wildlife and such. Could have something to do with the number of snakes they keep finding getting into their house. Dunno… they also seem to have many more issues with the wind than we do – one of the downsides on living on the top of the ridge – although they must have a really nice view, they can’t seem to have much planted up there that survives the wind. Maybe thats why the ridge was barren when they first bought the property to build on…

Tomorrow its power tool time – renting a jackhammer to break up the concrete and rock that is in the way of finishing up some of the trenching work I started last weekend.

NOTE FROM LISA:
Art is being conservative in what Lester said about his fiance….and I quote….
“Kimmy HATES it up here, she absolutely hates nature”. She’s from Saigon, a total city girl born and raised. He kept looking at me as I was cleaning up Art’s tools that he had left scattered around, cutting up cardboard/binding it up and generaly cleaning up crap and kept shaking his head saying “Wow, you are amazing.” Guess Kimmy is loathe to even step foot outside the mansion, little less help Lester around the property. One time he got her to go outside and plant some tomatoes, and the deer promptly came by and destroyed what he worked so hard to get her to dol. He actually asked me “Shouldn’t you be out shopping for purses and shoes or something like that???” to which I laughed and answered “Oh, I do, you have NO IDEA, I definitely do” He smiled and said “Yeah, I can’t STAND that..mutter mutter mutter.” I feel bad for him. Living up here for Art and I is a joint venture, we each want it just as much as the other. When we first saw this place, we could talk about nothing else. There was no hesitation for either of us in making the decision to buy this place and move up here. I feel bad for Lester, he might be better off marrying someone who has the same goals as he does, and who would love this place as much as he does.
Sigh.

Time for a Ditch Witch

In spite of the title, no, its not an early Halloween here in CA

A Ditch Witch is actually a very cool power tool – one of the perks I’ve found in having this ranch is I now have a variety of excuses to use neat power tools. So, a bit of background – a Ditch Witch looks like a fairly sinister chainsaw, attached to what would appear to be a very large roto tiller body. When you have any distance of trenches to dig, you can either do it like this:

Ditch wife, not to be confused with a Ditch Witch

Or rent one of these babies:


As part of the drama of getting a larger capacity propane tank a couple weeks ago, it has turned out that the propane line to the house was leaking. Combine said leaking line which was actually installed into the shed that the solar electric guys are supposed to install their equipment into in a few weeks (electric + leaking propane == not a good plan). So, I guess it was good that the line was leaking, as it prompted me to dig it up. It was crumbling at many of the joints, so who knows how many places its been leaking and for how long. I guess we dodged that future explosion :-/

Anyway… Ditch Witch to the rescue – and help from Paul, Rob and Marianne. Paul, Rob and I all took turns running the Witch today. We did clip the water pipe to the barn tho, but its PVC and easily repaired. Better to hit the water line than electric (and the electric line to the barn is buried right under the water line.

Its not a particularly easy machine to manuever around, since it has no way to steer it, other than yanking it around in the direction you want it to go (all 900lbs of it). We dug a few other trenches with it today for some needed drainage and irrigation lines. Unless you hit rock, it cuts thru soil like butter. We hit a large chuck o’ concrete under the driveway where we wanted to run a drain line – next up – JACK HAMMER! Ah, power tools to the rescue.

Vanilla flavored what???

It’s a Friday. I went to the grocery to get some stuff. I never ceased to be amazed at the endless string of goofy ideas to suck peoples money out of their pockets.

Picture it.

I’m standing in the ‘personal hygiene’ aisle. No, not that. I need deoderant. Desparately. All I want is unscented, regular old deoderant. But wait, Lisa, you have CHOICES! Choices, you say? How so? Regular scent vs. unscented perhaps? Why, yes. And MORE! No!! Yes!!!!! MORE!!!

I stand, rooted in place, in complete confusion and awe. Not only can I choose between regular scent and unscented, but clear solid and invisible solid (???), regular solid, wide solid (for girls with large armpits or perhaps someone for whom it is too much effort to make two passes with the regular solid), clear gel and my personal favorite (which I am STILL trying to wrap my brain around)…..Invisible Solid Sparkle Collection.

But wait, we’re just getting started, Barbie!

I can choose Powder Fresh, Tropical Satin, Tropical Radience, Island Mist, Glacier Mist, Ocean Breeze, Violet Dazzle, Moonlit Rose, Mystic Rain, Lavender Splash, Luminous Lilly, Gardinia Spray, Botanical Silk, Velvet Powder, Ambition, Optimism and Genuine (if I require my armpits to convey a perky attitude*), Berry Sparkle, Pear Illusion, Peach Shimmer, and…..Vanilla Sparkle!

For a moment I gravitate towards the Sparkle Collection**. Why get regular boring deoderant when I can have glittery fresh pixie-pits?!?!! Why indeed. Upon closer inspection, the “Sparkle Collection” does not actually harbor glitter, or even something vaguely resembling sparkle dust. Appearantly this particular gem in a sea of personal stink-stoppers is emblamatic of a specific attitude, and I quote….

“When you’re strong, you Sparkle! Outstanding wetness protection in a variety of Dazzling Scents”

Ahem. Okay. Hello?…no glitter?….. I have a problem with this. I tentatively pick up the one called Vanilla Sparkle. It’s got a picture of an ice cream cone on the front. I like ice cream. I notice the label is kinda sparkley, in a faint holographic way. I nonchalantly check to see if anyone is watching, pop the top, confirm, indeed, no glitter and take a sniff. Oh my. It smells like a vanilla waffle cone.

Hmmm.

I pause, and calculate my current age. Twice. One more time to be sure. Nope, I’m definately past the age of 16. I sigh, put the Vanilla Sparkle back on the shelf and drop a Regular Invisible Solid Unscented Boring No Dazzle deoderant into my 35 Year Old Married Female Shopping Cart. I’m trying not to smile as I imagine the looks on my coworkers faces when confronted with a wiff of my strong and independant vanilla sparkle armpits. Or my husbands stiffled impulse to chew into my stick of delicious deoderant. I am satisfied with my lot in life, I will settle for unscented. No, I will revel in it. I am 35, and do not have to resort to deoderant as my signature scent or stamp of individuality.

*I have come to the conclusion that the proper usage of this collection of scents is as follows: Upon noticing feelings of self doubt, pessimisim or just the onset of a really shitty attitude, duck into the nearest bathroom or maintenence closet. Insert nose into the deepest crook of your well coated armpit and inhale deeply. Hold it….holllllddddd iiiitttttt, exhale. Feel the strength your armpit has given you! Now! Go exude confidence in the form of Ambition, Optimism or ….Genuine……. feel the power of your deodorant….feel the power of YOU!

**Please, take a moment to discover YOUR Inner Sparkle. No shit, fer reals. If you’re really bored, dive into the world of deoderant addiction…….discover some fun stuff.

NOTE: Sparkle Collection Deodorant is tied for 1st place with another mind bending concept: Ditties Tampons. Tampons with inspirational sayings puked out all over them. Shit no, you say? Shit yeah. No joke. I will post about that sometime soon. It promises to be a very, very good read.

A new accent to perfect

We are going to Maine. And Boston. The east coast. Woot.

Art has been wanting to take me for a long time, to see the fol-eee-age.

We’ll see Paula and Pete and their kids, cruise around and commune with nature on the east coast. I’ve never been to the east coast. No, wait, I take that back. I’ve been to Florida, with Gabrielle, for a conference. We had a blast. We went hiking after jamming out of one of the conference days early (and shopping, it was fab!) anyways, went hiking, stepped on a coral snake. I have a picture of it, because after I stepped on it, I chased it while it was trying to get away and got real close and took a picture of it. See?

Although one of the most venomous snakes in the United States, the coral snake really isn’t aggressive. I would have had to try to pick it up in order to get bitten, which, since I am still here, I obviously didn’t do. We also met two hikers/vagrants who had been “camping” in the park (swampy mess). They got turned around, lost their campsite (not a real site, just somewhere dry they picked out in the swamp) and were picked up by the park ranger. We saw them being driven out of the trails on the back of the rangers 4 wheeler as we were hiking around. They were in the parking lot when we got back from our hike. They had plastic grocery bags filled with empty water bottles. They had been roaming around so long looking for their campsite (homeless setup) that they ran out of water. The restroom where the ranger dropped them off was closed, so they couldn’t refill. They offered G and I $10 (which I’m sure they didn’t have to spare) if we would drive them into town and get them to a place where they could refill their water bottles and buy some food, and then drive them back to the park so they could go try to find their stuff. G and I were, like, “um, uh….sure. What the hell”. We loaded everyone into the Jag (yes, we rented a Jag. What of it? G has a way with words, and boys. We got it on the cheap) and drove off to the nearest mini-mart. These two were a hoot. She was all of 17, blonde/blue eyes from South Africa. Her family had moved over here about 6 months back. She met Billy Bob Joe Bob while he was passing thru town (he was all of maybe 19 or 20) and they fell in love. The fam HATED Billy Bob Joe Bob so she decided to ditch the ‘rents and hitchhike back to Florida with him. Billy Bob Joe Bob was originaly from Kissimee, but hit the road a year back or so to find his way in …… New York. He hitchhiked all the way up to NYC, it “scared the sheet out of me” and, as he put it, “I got raght back on t’road goin’ back ta Florda. Sheet, New York ain’t for me, nuh-uh, no way” He said the only good thing about that adventure was that he met his little South African Bride-to-Be on the way back. When I asked him how he paid for food and stuff he said he picked up odd jobs for folks along the way, stole clothes from the laundry mat and bummed food where ever he could. They had snuck into the park and had been camping out there for a while, trying to avoid the rangers and then got lost. Who the hell knows what they had been surviving on out in that swamp. But they were fun, harmless. She told us all about how much she loved him while he was in the store getting water and stuff, and how pissed off her family was when she up and left. Neato. She was nice. We never did get their names.

This is them, Billy Bob Joe Bob and South Africa. They were kind enough to pose for us when we dropped them back in the park.

Anyhow, we’re going to the east coast. I will have coffee under the leaves. Here is a real picture of me having coffee under the leaves in Tahoe in the fall.

It’s really me. Rare, I know. I HATE having my picture taken. HATE IT. But, since there are NO pictures of me on this website, I figured….hmmmm. Okay. One. And it’s in my natural pose, coffee cup poised at forehead. I’m bringing my own coffee on this vacation. What do Mainahs know about good coffee anyways? That’s right. So I’m bringing my own stash. (let the downpour of comments on the quality of coffee in Maine commence….I must drink to believe) Art hates coffee. I’d main-line it if I thought I could get away with it.

P.S. Just for the record, we did not take their $10.

Better late than never…

It’s been a year and 4 months, but I am now officialy NOT Lisa Marie Foxworthy. I finally got off my ass and dealt with the DMV….changed my name to Lisa Foxworthy Stine. Not hyphenated, just got rid of the middle name Marie and changed it to my father’s last name. I refuse to hyphenate. It’s stupid. But my dad is gone, and I couldn’t think of a better way to keep him with me permanantly. So I ditched the Marie.

It’s about time. New license should be here in a week. yay. Just in time to fly out to the east coast to see the fol-eee-age. As Art pronounces it.

Start your engines…

’tis the season for air racing in Reno – I try to head over to Stead (just north of Reno) every year this time for the National Championship Air Race. Its unlike any other air show you’ve probably seen, since its not just stunts and military show, but six different classes of aircraft zipping (in some cases, like the biplanes, poking) around the pylons, less than 100 ft from the ground. Quite the rush. Its great to see the old warbirds, like the P-51s, Corsairs, Sea Fury’s, etc in the air, full throttle.

Here’s a typical scene, with two of the fastest prop planes to ever hit the race circuit. Dago Red, a highly modified P-51D and “Rare Bear” a likewise modified F8F Bearcat. Both of these planes have lapped the course at over 500mph:

Dago Red and Rare Bear in their usual fight for the finish

Here’s a couple WW-II era T-6 ‘trainers’ lapping the course. T-6s are much slower, typically turning in 230mph laps or so:
A pair of T-6 battle

One of my favourite WW-II fighters, the Vought F4U Corsair (in this case, this is a highly race modified Goodyear FG-2 Corsair):
My personal favourite WW-II airplane

Here’s a couple P-51s, but I’d swear they are flying over our house, rather than racing in Reno:
I'd swear these guys are flying over our house

This gives you some sense as to how close the racers get to the pylons. The closer they can get without cutting inside the line of the pylon, the better chance they have of beating their competitors:
Close to the pylon

Weekend of odd jobs

Nothing to spectacular this weekend – spent some time getting most of the remaining electrical work finished up. Only blew one breaker (ok, granted it was one of the mains, but who’s counting). Did some ‘farming’ chores today like cleaning out the water tanks that the horse,sheep,goats use – not as nasty as usual, but I guess cleaning them more often is helping. Pulled a flat time off Lisa’s Jeep and swapped it for the spare. Like I said, a collection of random tasks …

Oh, September here is Tarantula season – I herded one of these guys off the driveway today:

uh, sure…i’ll get right on that…..

As soon as I catch my breath from laughing so hard I peed myself.

I mean, I love Art….really really LOVE him. But if he came home and I was following EVEN TWO of the recommendations for being a “good wife” he’d have my head examined. Or demand a piss test.

But you know, just to mess with his head maybe I should try following ALL of the rules, even just for one day. Including the children thing. I’ll borrow some just for the occasion.

Upon further examination….I am happy to see him every day. That part is true, I don’t have to try on that one, ever.

All I can say is “I don’t hate it….”

We got our hairs cut today. Having a head full of double helixes is never a good thing when going for a haircut.

I usually come out of it looking like a brown Q-tip. Not this time though. I’m still fairly cute in the hair department.

Art? As usual, still needs a haircut. He looks like….Johnny Ramone.

He lets her cut everything except the stuff above his eyes. Insane.

Sigh.