Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Update - November 2011 (1st Half) Activities

I feel like Willie Nelson -- On The Road Again!  As noted in the October 2011 update we are headed to College Station, Tx.  Our mission, in addition to visiting the expecting Mom (Ann Marie), is to attend the Boys and Girls Country Honorary Dinner and Auction, go to the International Quilt Show, and deer/varmit hunting at Carrizo Springs, Tx.
The Boys and Girls Country affair was terrific.  We had a wonderful dinner, watched some of Houston's top people bid on extravagant trips and gifts, and had a great live show with Bill Engvall of "Here's Your Sign" fame.
The next morning we were up early and on the road to the Quilt Show.  Well, Steph went, I took Beau the dog to see the eye specialist to get a check up of his catarack's.  He still has virtually no vision, but gets around just fine and can still track me down with his nose.
Steph took the camera with her and got a few shots of some of the fancy quilts at the show.  We have added a few shots of some of her favorite quilts seen at the show.

 After Steph's day at the Quilt show we returned to Ann and Jared's house on Thursday night.  The next morning Jared and I hit the road early for Carrizo Springs.  We wanted to get in a little deer scouting and varmit hunting on Friday afternoon before deer season openned on Saturday, November 5.

This picture shows three of the bucks we saw on Friday afternoon.  The buck on the far left is a young 8 pt, the deer in the middle is a fabulous 12 pt, and the buck on the right is an older management buck we named "Slick Willie" since one of his main beams only has 1 tine.  As fate would have it, we never saw these bucks after Friday nite.  I guess they have an internal clock that tells them deer season started Saturday.

Jared had a successful hunt on Saturday morning bagging this coyote.  The neat thing about this was he used a coyote caller (wounded rabbit) and the coyote came running into the area near the blind and he was able to get him with one shot.  We saw lots of deer Saturday morning, but nothing worthy of shooting.

 Saturday night Jared and I both scored with hogs.  The ranch is full of hogs this year and they are quickly becoming a major problem. Our score for the weekend was 3 hogs, 1 coyote, and 1 rattlesnake.  No deer were harmed this weekend.

 This next set of pictures I have to give credit to Ann Marie.  Ann and Jared ventured up to McKinney and represented the family at Jake's 5 years old birthday party.  It's hard to believe he is that old, in fact I remember the day he was born and I was at the ranch deer hunting and got a call about 2 in the morning that Brent and Melissa were heading to the hospital.  Later on I got the news that Jacob was born. This is Jake getting a card and present from Hannah.

This picture has Jake getting ready to open the family present with Dad and Hannah.
Well it looks like the party is getting close to the end.  That's Mom (Melissa) giving Jake his birthday cupcake with the
"Big 5" on the top.

Well that about wraps the first half of November.  We have hit the road for home, but something tells me that the road trips are not over for November.  I still think I have some unfinished business to take care of in Carrizo Springs.  Come for the exciting conclusion to November and maybe a sneek peek into early December.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011 Update - October 2011 Activities

Well, it's time for another update of the exciting things we do as "retired folk."  After our trips to California and Texas we were able to come home for a few days to do laundry, check the mail, pay bills, and pack for the next adventure.
In the middle of October, Tom (Laura's Husband) and I headed to Colorado to try our luck in Elk hunting.  We joined a father/son team we knew from Mountain Home and headed off to Teleuride, Colorado.  This hunting trip was a little on the "roughing it" side, not like deer hunting in South Texas.
This is a picture of our camp site.  YES, that is a tent!! This was home sweet home for 5 days.

Elk hunting should be considered an Xtreme sport.  If the altitude doesn't get you, we camped at 8000 ft, then the climb up to nearly 11000 ft looking for the elusive elk will surely finish you off since you have to walk, carry a backpack, and don't forget the trusty rifle. I still have a few aches and pains.

Never fails, you hunt for Elk and all you see are mule deer.

Well, I am sad to report that no elk were harmed during our visit to Colorado.  The one saving grace to the trip was seeing some of the most beautiful mountains and forests in the USA.  This is a sample of the terrain where we were hunting.  The temps were warm for Colorado so the elk were going higher and staying in the dark timber and we were not able to find their hiding places.  I am sure they knew we were coming long before we got near them due to all the huffing and puffing to catch our breath we certainly did not sneek up on them.

The last day of the 1st Elk Season was on a Wednesday, but we broke camp on Tuesday because if an elk was shot on Wednesday we would NOT make it back to Springfield, Mo., in time for a very special event.

Yep, that's "No Kill" Tom and the little birthday boy William. This was the family birthday party for William.  He has just got a new tool kit like his father and a new hot wheel car.

Well the big day arrived and all of William's friends came to play, eat cake, and take a hay ride around the pumpkin patch.  The "Bouncee" was a real hit with all the kids.  It was a great way to wear the kids down before re-loading them with cake.

The theme of the party was John Deere Tractors!!  Grandma Reubin (Stephanie) went to the John Deere dealer and got special shirts, patches, plates, and a toy or two all with the John Deere logo and the color green.  Even his b-day cake had a John Deere theme.

William is holding one of his favorite gifts, a mini John Deere tractor.

The end of the party was highlighted by a hay ride around the property to the pumpkin patch where each guest was able to pick his or her favorite pumpkin to take home.  We all had a wonderful day and the weather was just great.
Well, as October was coming to a close Steph and I are headed off to College Station (again).  This time it  was to drop off Steph to visit with Ann, then Jared (Ann's Husband) and I were going to South Texas in search of the Muy Grande Deer.  The deer hunt stories and other wild tales will follow in the November Update.  Come back soon for this update, it could be real exciting!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

2011 UPDATE - September 2011 Activities

Since the last posting in late April 2011 we have had many wonderful memories to enjoy.  Steph's sister and her husband, Patty and Fred Ashley, came to visit from Dana Point, California in June. Fred and I got to fish a lot in the White River and the family spent many hours on the lake boating and jet skiing.  The month of July saw Ann and Jared up from College Station, Tx., for Ann's annual birthday visit.  We did all the traditional water activities and Fourth of July fireworks. August was extremely hot and the visits were limited  to Tom, Laura, Clara, and William from Springfield, Mo.
Activity really picked up in September as we traveled to California and Texas. The following are pictures from these two trips.

We rented a beach front condo on Mission Beach in San Diego, California. This is Tom and William getting use to the climate of southern California.

Three of my favorite girls, Steph, Laura, and Clara, on the boardwalk at Mission Beach.

Laura and the kids at SeaWorld.

Laura, Tom, Clara, and me back at the beach after a long day at SeaWorld.

Uncle Fred cooking up some beef tenderloin and sausage at the Ashley Family Picnic in Dana Point, California.

More friends and family at the picnic.

The "big day" finally arrived for Clara and William. This is the Trent and Reubin family at breakfast with Mickey and Mini at Disneyland

Another visit with Mickey inside Disneyland.

After nearly a week of fun in Southern California, Steph and I headed south to Texas.  We went to College Station to see Ann and Jared and watched the OSU Cowboys beat up on the Texas A&M Aggies. Ann had mixed emotions with the outcome -- she received her undergrad degree from Texas A&M and her Masters from OSU. After the football game I went up to McKinney to take care of Hannah and Jake while Brent and Melissa went to Atlantis in the Bahamas. These are a few of the pictures I took of the Grandkids.

Hannah (6 yrs old) at gymnastics.

Hannah on the balance beam.

Jake, always on the go, on his scooter.

Jake on his bicycle.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A New Edition to the House - April 27 2011

Well Steph and I finally left the hills of Northern Arkansas and returned to the great state of Texas.  Our journey began with a trip to College Station to see Ann and Jared.  They have moved from Waco to College Station and bought a beautiful newly built home.  We arrived in time for dinner and a little celebrating with Ann, Jared, and their friends Cole and Jessica.  Dinner was prepared on Jared's outdoor kitchen (Hamburgers and Jalapenos). 

I guess the long trip (650 miles), a big meal, and a little happy time was just to much for Steph.  Believe it or not, this is the only picture taken during the entire trip.  Oh, by the way, Steph was really tired, but the rest of the photo was staged without her knowledge.  Now let's get on with the real subject of the posting.

Mr. Staley made an appearance around 9:00am this morning with his latest creations for us.  This is just the beginning of Steph's cutting table for the sewing room.  The table is so large it came in about 10 pieces that Jr. and Allen (Jr.'s helper) had to assemble in the room where the table would be used.

This is more of the pieces that needed to be put together.

This is Jr. putting the wheels on the bottom so that Steph can move the table in the sewing room.

This picture shows Allen trying to figure out which piece goes where. 

It's starting to come together, but we seem to be missing a key piece of the table!!

They did it!!  I think it's almost complete and we don't have any extra pieces.

I think Steph will be able to put much of the "stuff" in the closet somewhere inside the cutting table.

Now that the Queen, oops that's Stephanie, has her dream cutting table it's time to move down to the basement and get to work on the mini-kitchen.  Jr. and Allen are busy installing the upper cabinets and the lower counter.

The serving tray, cups, and dishes are a house warming gift from Brent and Melissa.  These are a great addition to the mini-kitchen in the basement.  The guest area is now complete with a microwave, a mini-refridge, and a coffee pot.  As I said earlier, you better get your reservations in early as we expect a busy summer.

No posting is complete without a lake picture.  You won't believe how much the lake has risen in the last week.  When we left to go to Texas the lake was at  653 ft., as of this writing the lake is at 676 ft.  We have been moving the dock as many as 4 times a day.  Steph and I spent over two hours weed-eating the scrub brush and sticker bushes so that the dock would have a clean space as we moved the dock to higher ground.  We will be back at it tomorrow as the lake is forecast to continue to rise to the 685 to 690 ft level.  We will get some pictures of the high water.  In the mean time, go back to some of the other lake pics and look at the rocky shoreline and then look at the current picture -- we have no shoreline, it's up to the trees.  How did this happen, try 15 inches of rain in the last 5 days.

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 18 2011 The Back Yard Gets Cleaned Up

Ever since we started the LakeviewDream I have wanted to do something about the "mess" at the far back part of the lots.  The previous owners had partially cleared the lots to improve the view of the lake.  The debris was pushed to the lower back part of the lots and left to wither away.  We came along and built the house, requiring even more trees to come down, and of course we put our debris pile where the other one was.  Allen, the man who cleared the lots and dug the basement, has always said he would clean up the "mess" when everything was finished.  Well, as of today I guess everything is finished, according to Allen, because we spent all day transforming the back part of the lot.  The rest of this posting will be the transformation of the backyard.

The first thing Allen had to do was dig a pit so that we could bury most of the debris pile.  There were times when the dozer would disappear below the pile of tree stumps and logs.

Starting to look pretty good, but still a lot to move to the pit.

Well, when Allen started moving the very oldest debris he disturbed a large nest of snakes that had been laying around over the winter.  Fortunately the snakes headed further down the hill toward the lake and not up the hill to the house.  He only saw the one nest during the day so we are pretty lucky to be rid the the "critters".  I am going to Gregg's Farm Store tomorrow and get a couple of bags of sulphur to sprinkle around the lower part of the lot to be sure that the "critters" don't come back to visit.

Now we are looking REAL GOOD!  The debris pile is now a thing of the past and it seems as if our little piece of the world is twice as big.

Just to give you some idea of what I mean, this is a picture looking back to the house from the bottom of the lot where all the "mess" use to exist.  If you look real close you can see me spreading grass seed to try and get some top cover for our new found resourse of land.

We now have lots of room to expand. 

Now that the backyard is cleaned up we need to do something to the area.  This is the Johnny Appleseed of Baxter County, aka Stephanie, spreading Fescus grass seed over the freshly top dressed back yard.  We have 150 pounds of grass seed to put out and hopefully get a little ground cover started this year.  This will be an on-going project for many years to come to get a good stand of grass on this area.

This picture is another shot of Steph seeding our new found land.  I took this picture standing by the windows of the Grandkids bedroom.
Well, that's it for today and probably for the week.  We are headed to Texas to see Ann and Jared and  Brent, Melissa, Hannah, and Jake.  When we return we will start to do the flower beds and plant a few trees.  We are really excited with all the exterior improvements and hope everyone will start thinking about visiting us this summer.  Back soon when we have something to report!!!