Monday, March 16, 2009


Friday night, Travis & I were sitting in the living room when all of the sudden, we smelled this awful aroma. Our landlord's dogs had chased a poor little skunk underneath our house and it sprayed...most likely multiple times. It's an older house and not sealed very well, so the smell penetrated everything in the house. All of our clothes, furniture, dishes, appliances, everything smells of skunk. It was so bad that for the last two nights, we've been staying at my in-laws' house. Yesterday, Travis got an old washer cleaned out for us to use at our new house, and I started moving stuff. My mother-in-law has been washing my clothes, towels, linens, etc constantly since noon yesterday. She's also been watching Elizabeth while we run back and forth between houses trying to get everything out of the rent house. I don't know what I would have done without her! Travis's brothers and his cousin brought a trailer to the rent house and loaded up almost all of our furniture in one load! They were such a big help. All of the furniture smells, but it would have been a lot worse had we let it all sit in the house for much longer.

All things plastic are just excellent at holding smells, so we've been washing everything down with vinegar water. It is one of the only things that can cut through the smell. Not everything is perfect, but it's much better. Everything has to be washed to get the smell out. So my dishwasher has been running non-stop! Nothing can come into the new house before it has had a good cleaning!

We still have plenty to move out of the rent house, but it's getting better. I've never moved things so haphazardly and quickly before! Victoria College is on spring break this week, so Stephen's girlfriend, Lori, is also helping this week. She came over this morning and has been helping me move, pack, do laundry, go to Wal-Mart, and watch Elizabeth before work. I couldn't have done half of what was accomplished today without her.

Travis will get home around 6 p.m. tonight, so we'll keep moving things for a couple of hours. Then, it'll be all about cleaning the new house and getting it set up to live in. I was not prepared to move into the house quite yet, we're still in the middle of painting, so we'll all live in the front of the house in the formal living room. Travis & I had an extra queen mattress that we've laid on the floor to sleep on and Elizabeth will have to sleep in her play pen until I can get her crib detoxed. On top of trying to get the new house ready, I was not prepared to de-skunk!! This situation could be much worse, but thanks to all of the help I've got, it's much more manageable.

It may be awhile before I can post again...our computer is still in the rent house and our internet service will have to be moved. Besides, I've got a lot of cleaning to do!! :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

House Update

Since last Saturday, we've been working hard at our new house getting it ready to move in. My mom came down to help for a few days and my father-in-law helped one night, too. We wouldn't be this far along without them!

First, we took down all of the hardware. Blinds, screws, nails in the walls, doors, doorknobs, etc. That took awhile in itself! Then, we went around the entire house filling all of the holes in the walls and baseboards. After all of this, we decided that we should focus on half of the house. So, we're getting the entire hallway, bedrooms, and master bathroom ready to move in. The front bathroom is really green and we're not doing anything to it quite yet. Hopefully, a remodel there will come before too too long, but we'll see. Everything costs money, so we'll really watch our finances!! We caulked cracks in between boards, pulled out all of the carpet in the hallway and bedrooms, sanded all of the wood, looked again for any holes, cracks, etc. that we might have missed and refilled them. Mom took up all of the tack boards in the hallway from the carpet, because we'll go back with something else, there. The parents also started busting out the the planter box! I'm glad to see it going away! Monday night, we all stayed until 2 a.m. trying to get ready to paint on Tuesday. After numerous trips to Lowe's and Home Depot, we started and finished painting all of the ceilings! Yay! It took a lot longer than we thought and my mother-in-law brought us some big, bright lights so we could work in low light. It feels so good to have that finished!

Wednesday, Travis & I actually had to work on work stuff, so mom left in the morning and we really haven't done anything on the house since then. I did meet with the carpet guys so they could measure the bedrooms. We have to go pick out carpet when Travis gets back home from Weslaco (he's gone today and tomorrow). Then, all we have to do is call our carpet guys 2 days before we want it installed and they'll come do it! At least the carpet instillation may go smoothly and quickly! However, before the instillation actually happens, we have to finish painting.

Saturday, my in-laws have offered to take Elizabeth for the day so that Travis & I can work in the house. Our plan is to first paint all of the baseboards and trim and then paint the walls. Cross your fingers that we don't run into too many glitches!

Here are a few pictures from the work being done.

Elizabeth is helping Daddy take down the last of the hardware. She was super cute and was even playing with a screw driver for a few minutes!

For a change of pace, we went outside and took down the wrought iron panels flanking the entrance. Here's the before and after.

Too bad you can now see the really, really ugly puky brown color that someone painted. This will all be redone once we get some more finished on the inside of the house.

Here's Travis working on taking out the carpet in the guest bedroom. I know it may not look like it since I'm always behind the camera, but I have done tons of work in this house!
Sunday, Travis and James trimmed all of the trees in the front yard and then the ones close to the house in the side and back yards. These trees have never been pruned and they had some serious structure problems, so we did what we could to save them in the long run.
Here they are right before the work started.
They cut down two ugly bushes that flanked the driveway. You can now see the road in both directions before you turn!
They loaded up all of the branches onto a trailer and pulled them off in the back yard where the garden will eventually go. Once it rains enough, we'll be able to burn the pile and the ashes will help the garden. If it ever rains, that is!!
Of course, Elizabeth has been an adorable distraction from all of the work being done. Mom bought her a "new house" toy that she can play with when we're working there. It's a little car that flips up and turns into a toy she can push around and walk behind. I don't know about you, but I think we have a little drama-queen on our hands!

So, as you've read, we've done a lot at the house, already, but we still have a very long way to go before it's finished. Our goal now is to get the half of the house we're working on now ready to move into by the end of March. I'm pretty sure we'll make it!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

House Work

We've done a lot of work at our new house and I'm dead tired! I'll post more when I've had some sleep! Oh, Elizabeth has a cough and stuffy/runny nose and is not all that happy. I took her to the Doctor on Friday and he gave her some medicine so that all of this doesn't turn into an ear infection. Fun stuff.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Goodbye, Broccoli!

Yesterday, I racked 15 gallons of grapefruit wine. It is such a pretty peachy color. I hope I can keep it that way. My father-in-law & I also planted Golden Zuchinni, Butterstick Squash, and Cucumber transplants in the garden.

Today, I picked all of the broccoli for the last time. When my FIL got home from work, he tilled all of the plants up so we can have enough room for all of the tomatoes. Tomorrow, we'll start planting tomato and pepper transplants. It'll be nice to have them in the ground!

I guess it's the weather, but I'm getting some serious congestion! I hope it doesn't turn into a full blown cold. Travis has been gone since Monday and is coming home tonight. It'll be nice to see him again!

Monday, March 2, 2009

So, It's Been A While...

Since I've posted last. And so much has happened!

I had a birthday! Travis got me a cookie cake from the mall. I've been talking about wanting one since they aired commercials around Valentine's Day! Yummy. I had a pretty good day except Elizabeth wasn't there! We went to a cousin's open house party the 21st and my mom took Elizabeth back with her so that Travis & I could work in Weslaco for a few days. We left late on the 23rd and worked there until the 26th.

We pruned a lot of Jatropha trees! Close to 1000, I think! We also harvested seed off of 288 trees in a spacing study. Up at 5:30 a.m. and finished at 7:30 p.m. ...I liked working, but this was way early!

And Travis fertilized with a rig he built before we left.

I'd never been to the Texas/Mexico border, so we drove the 5 miles to see the gate.

Thursday evening, mom drove down to Victoria and we saw our baby girl again! I sat her in a gardening you can see, she was thrilled.

We signed on the house Friday morning! Yay, we're homeowners! Sunday, Travis & his dad planted 4 peach trees that they gave us as a house warming gift. We were moral support!

Elizabeth likes her new house! Especially since there's no furniture in the way yet! Now we have the huge task of painting before we move in. We've decided to stay at our rent house for March in order to give us time to do stuff at the house (mainly paint) while we don't have our furniture inside.