Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

We've been having some Halloween around here all month -- starting with decorating the place (you know, for the grandkids...ha!) Here's a few views of what it looks like around here....
 The fireplace mantle in the house

 The beautiful haunted village that John's sister Susan made for the kids years and years ago...
 A few views of the pavilion
 What's that on Mimi's stairs? Eeeekkkk!!!!
The pumpkin KT painted for my front porch

We also took our annual trip to the Medina Pumpkin Patch.  KT's done this every year now, and she knows exactly where everything is and where to go.  She kept running ahead, with the rest of us scrambling to catch up.  I think she and her cousin, Taylor, really love this event every year.  Bonus was that this was Joss's first pumpkin patch experience! She was just soaking it all in....

 KT and Taylor on the hay tractor...
 So cute it's scary....
 Dad, take me off this prickly hay!
 The Koenigs!
Grumpy, what's happening???

I've been working on helping out with KT's costume this year.  I can't wait to see the whole thing together tonight, Colleen's been gathering the rest of it, so I haven't seen the complete ensemble.  More pics of that tomorrow but here are a few teases....can you figure it out?

Here's a bonus picture of KT in a little cat play set she put on one day when she was out here with us! She's channeling Cat Woman here!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Movie Review --- Fury

Okay, John had to drag me to see this movie last week.  I'm not much of a war movie fan.  This one is based during the tail end of World War II, in the European theater, and focuses on one specific unit of Sherman tanks as they move into Germany.  Brad Pitt plays Wardaddy, the commander of a group that has seen a lot of action together.  They lost a unit member and he is replaced by a young clerk typist who has no experience and no desire to be there, played by Logan Lerman (of the Percy Jackson films.)

I will say they don't pull any punches in the movie -- it depicts what it must have been like in "real war." Mud, mud and more mud.  Dirt, grime, blood, lack of sleep, and crudeness.  What some men will revert to when they don't think anyone is watching, and how others must step back and let them.

I had read a review of the movie by a critic that called this movie "war porn", so I was a little hesitant about the amount of blood and guts that was going to be in it, but I never had to hide my eyes.  It was tough going, but really felt like war to me.
Mostly, I'm amazed at Brad Pitt making such an honest movie about WWII.  It's nothing like his role of Aldo Raines in Inglorious Basterds, not funny and not meant to be.  He and all the actors in this movie did a great job.  Amazing.

Around the garden....

Not doing much out in the garden these days....we're slowing down and waiting for the first frost.  None so far.  I spent a full day cleaning out and arranging the little greenhouse.  It was a mess.  I've got a little sink on Amazon that I want to install in there, it just uses a hose and drains into a bucket. That should help a lot with washing pots, etc.
I'm looking for a good sale on growing lights now before I start plants for the spring garden.
 I moved a few plants in there that I want to keep through the winter, including a few peppers and those volunteer tomato plants.  Last year we had one that grew and produced throughout the entire winter.
 On the same day I cleaned out a small flower bed on the side of the greenhouse and planted a bunch of these beauties.  They will be so pretty out there all winter.
 The morning glories seem to really love this cooler weather -- they are just fantastic to look at.  These blues are mesmerizing!
 These volunteer black cherry tomatoes in pots are continuing to produce like crazy -- I couldn't even count how many fruit on them.

 The Mortgage Lifter tomato that I had just ignored (I never cut this one back) has gone crazy -- I counted 20 tomatoes on it!  Not sure they will make it, but I am watering it now, just in case.  This plant looks like hell - its so spindly and dry looking.  Its a wonder that its still alive.
This week I'm going to plant a pot of chard like I had last year throughout the winter.  Those things never quit!

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Big Project is almost done!

(Not going to mention here that I haven't blogged since Oct. 1st!!!! What's happening to me?)

We've been adding a cast iron stove/fireplace to the outside pavilion.  It's a bit more of a project then I thought it was going to be, but it will all be worth it in the end.  We ordered a nice little fireplace that has a blower (sqwee!!) that should help keep us a bit warmer on the pavilion when it really gets cold.  Not that we get a lot of cold weather here, but it will extend the amount of days that we can enjoy our big outdoor room. Then we had to locate the right kind of stove pipe, the thing-a-ma-jigs that you have to put on the roof for the smoke to go out (I'm so technical, aren't I? ha!), a grate for inside the stove, various other stuff you need that I had no idea about, and then we got started.
John poured a nice little stage area in the corner where we wanted the stove.....then that had to dry and cure for a few days....
 Then we had to go buy the flat rock to top that off with, lay it out and glue those down.....and allow that to dry for a few days....
 then spread out the grout that was a LOT darker then we had counted on.....but its growing on me...., then wash the extra grout off of the rock as best we could.....then let that dry and cure for a few days....
 then John had to straighten out the front face of the little stage area so we could put on the Mexican tile that we ordered for it and then let that dry and cure for a few days.....
 Meanwhile the stove came in and we put that in (well, not we....he.)  Trying to get this thing level was no fun.  That rock would not cooperate.  We ended up having to put some tiles under the legs, but its level now.  Sigh.....
John then cut the hole in the roof and installed the stovepipe.  It was a bit easier then I thought it would be, or maybe John just made it look that way.  
 Next, John pasted the Mexican tile on the front face of the stage.  Our floor out there is semi-level, which means its not really level, so that always frustrates him.  I say, do the best you can and let it go. No amount of anxiety is going to make that floor level.  In the end, he got it done.  Now we have to let that dry and cure.....
 I think they turned out nice.  I like the tile John picked out.
Yesterday John did the grout around the tile.  I haven't taken a picture of it yet.  It's drying and curing.

The grate came in yesterday, so as soon as we have a cool day, we'll fire up the stove and see how it does.  I'll post a picture then!

Now I'm dreaming of a little sofa and chair to sit around the fire.....I'll have to keep my eye peeled for a good buy.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Joss is 8 months old!

Can you believe it?  Where does the time go.....
From this tiny baby....

to this charmer...

in 8 short months.

Movie Review --- The Maze Runner

Another book that we've been listening to is The Maze Runner on audio-book.  We started listening to it on our way back from Mississippi, and although we didn't finish, we were looking forward to finding out what the mystery was about these kids, stuck in a glade in the middle of a huge stone maze, and who put them there, and WHY?  And what is up with the huge partially mechanical animals that come out at night and run the maze?

We went to see the movie on Tuesday, and were not disappointed.  The actors that were chosen for each of the roles were great, and we finally got a clue about the ending, although they left a lot to a future movie based on the second book, The Scorch Trials. I find this to be similar to the Hunger Games in some ways, but the basis of the trial they find themselves in is very different. Now I'm looking forward to the next movie to see what the heck is going on!
I give it 4 stars!  Go see it!