Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Neighbors (and their critters).

We've only lived here for a month, but we've already gotten to know more neighbors than we ever met in two years of living in suburbia. Allow me to elaborate.

I met the first one the same day we moved in when Jim and I were interrupted in a cracker break by a skinny basset hound and an even skinnier pit bull hopping up on the porch to share our snack. After feeding them the rest of the sleeve of crackers (against Jim's hearty objections, naturally), I walked over to the nearest neighbor's house to ask if they knew whose dogs they were. Said neighbor was out the door to greet us before we were halfway to the front door. Clearly, this was the obligatory Nosy Neighbor. And so she was. I told her my name, and she told me everything I needed to know about the rest of the neighbors, plus some. The main gist of it was that everyone around is terrible and the place is filled with marauding packs of unkempt pets. I'm thinking we should try not to give her any dirt on us (either that or deliberately feed her false information, just for giggles).

To the left we have said Nosy Neighbor and also Grouchy Roaming Goat Man (the man is grouchy, not the goats, or so I'm told). I haven't met him yet, so I'm just going on NN's word, which may or may not be suspect. I haven't actually seen his goats, but I hear them an awful lot. I've met his pigs a number of time - we share a fence-line with the giant pig pasture. He has the biggest boar I've ever seen, but fortunately the hogs are pretty well-contained. Unfortunately, Jim likes to both try to visit the pigs and play with their super-cool buzzing electric fence, so that's a bit of a bother. Don't worry, grandmothers - he's only gotten himself shocked once.

To the right we have the Stereotypical Old Couple. There isn't much to say about them other than that their southern accents are hilariously thick, they invite me to church whenever I see them, and their lawn/garden is impeccably maintained.

And to the rear we have Way-the-Hell Too Many Animals Family. We met them for the first time as they were boosting one of their many kids over the pig fence to retrieve their potbellied pig (named either Suzy or Rosy, can't remember which) from Grouchy Roaming Goat Man's big pig pen. They have a lot of animals, and they don't really contain any of them. They're the owners of the basset and pit bull (who come over to visit us at least weekly), as well as a coonhound who seems to be more of a homebody. In addition to the roaming dogs, escaping pig, and a few additional cats, they also have some horses who like our pasture more than their own. These are our favorite neighbors so far. With them around, we don't even need to get our own critters - we can just borrow theirs!

Our barn looks much better with a horse in front of it, doesn't it? We have since fixed the fence so they can't come up past the barn, which is a big improvement.

This one is Eyebrows, and he is in our pasture every day without exception. The other one, Walnut, seems to be a little shyer and only visits once a week or so.

Don't worry, this is the closest we let Jim get. Walnut here seems to be a nice horse, but no sense taking chances with 1000 lb horse vs 25 lb baby.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

He can hear!

Like we had any doubts.

Jim is disgusted that we'd even doubt his hearing abilities.

But anyway, as I mentioned before, we set up appointments for him to see an audiologist and speech pathologist to make sure there's no physical cause behind his lack of talking, and the audiologist part was yesterday. Bright and early, too - Jim and I had to get up at 5 in the morning to take Noah in to work so we could have the car. Yaaaawwwwn. Jim liked it better than I did.

Fortunately, Jim's always up to put things to the test.

The actual visit was fun. Jim had a great time charging around the waiting room while I filled out insurance papers, and then he had even more fun getting tests done. It didn't take long at all. First she let him listen to an ipod with each ear to see if he could hear it, and then we sat in a sound booth. That was the best part. The booth was dark and boring. One corner held a chair for us to sit in, and to the left and right were speakers with dark boxes on top of them. She'd play a quiet noise from a speaker in one corner, and if he turned his head to look at it, he was rewarded with the box flashing to reveal a creepy moth-eaten stuffed raccoon. Naturally, Jim loved it.

And the verdict is... Good!

After about two minutes of the sound booth, the audiologist just started laughing and said there was no reason to keep going, because his hearing is exemplary. So, well done, Jim! We've got our appointment with the speech pathologist first thing in the morning December 26th, so that should be a jolly bonus Christmas present. If you can think of anything else that would be fun to test, let us know. Jim loves doctor visits.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Couple more cute and/or humiliating pictures from before we moved.

Jim takes a nap with Noah.

Noah teaches Jim to use some weight when he squats.

Jim hands me something awesome.

Noah plays dress-up.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

And Part II, The Great Indoors.

Be warned - this is an astonishingly complete tour.

Our tour starts on the porch, of course.

Behold, the entry! To the left there is the living room. Straight ahead we have a coat closet, the dining room, and the stairs. To the right is a hallway leading to the downstairs bathroom and the kitchen, and to the FAR right (like 180 degrees right) is the other living room.

The living room! We have cleaned up the broken glass AND put light fixtures in place of those wires poking out of the wall, so it looks better already.

And the view from the other side, with Jim and his Aunt Emmy for scale.

From the living room we go to the dining room. TWO linen closets, count 'em.

And the dining room. Remind me to tell you about the ceiling sometime.

Here's one end of the kitchen. Haven't decided what I'm going to do with it yet, but I think this is going to be our big project next year.

And the other end of the kitchen. Don't you love the built-in radio thingy? You can't really see in the previous picture, but there's also a built-in can opener and a built-in food processor in the cabinet. This place is 1970s state-of-the-art.

Jim checks out the view from the awesome kitchen window.

Yeeech. Previous ownder wasn't much for cleaning the windows, apparently. Or maybe that's just what happens when nobody lives in a house for two years.

Jim does quality control. (and oh yeah, there are the can opener and food processor, see?)

Here's the hallway, with Jim helping with the cleaning. Bathroom is on the left, pantry is on the right (but Noah's planning on turning the pantry into his under-the-stairs computer hidey-hole.

Looks like a bathroom, yes?

Aaaand the OTHER living room. Probably going to make this one into a library. That fireplace is my favorite thing ever, right alongside the built-in gun rack (which we're probably going to convert to a book and/or liquor shelf).

The other side of the room.

And the ceiling. Isn't that a little alarming? We just had that fixed, fortunately.

This is part of the ex-garage. Noah's probably going to turn it into his workshop.

This is the scary dark room on the left of the garage, complete with scarier darker room inside it. Nesting creepy torture rooms, seriously. This house has it all.

Less-scary room on the right of the garage. At least it has windows, yes?

And the other side of the less-scary room. It has a bathroom. I think somebody used to actually live in this place.

And just a quick glance at the laundry area before we go upstairs. I think it'll be a lot less grim once we replace the solid door with one that has a big window for light.

So, up we go! The stairs are Jim's favorite feature. Rest assured we do have an actual banister now...

At the top of the stairs, we've got the master bedroom on the left with an attached nursery, then this hallway on the right. The room at the end is Jim's bedroom.

Half the master bedroom. The whole upstairs needs new flooring and a coat of paint but it's all otherwise in good shape.

Other angle of master bedroom. The left door leads to the adjoining nursery and the right door leads to the hall.

Part A of the two-part master bathroom.

One of the two master bathroom closets on the left.

And separate toilet/shower room on the right.

And here's the adjoining nursery, which is nursery-like.

And here I'm skipping the huge linen closet (with a laundry chute right down to the laundry room closet!). Moving on.

Upstairs hall bathroom. This one also has the separate toilet/bathtub room attached too it, if you make a sharp left when you walk in.

Next thing down the hall, Jim's room! See, it's even already blue.

Jim admires his view.

And last but not least, the Dog Room (so-called because of the mysterious claw marks covering the inside of the door).

Two closets, you see. We're using this room for a combination computer/sewing room. I'm sitting in the corner typing this very post, actually.

And there you have it, folks (assuming anyone made it to the end of this). That's where we live. Rest assured I'll be tormenting you with plenty of updated pictures as we do stuff to it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

So, this is where we live now, part I: The Great Outdoors.

It's a LOT bigger than our old place - 3500 square feet as opposed to around 1800.

The driveway. You can barely see the house from the road, if you're looking hard.

Front 'yard,' which is really about an acre and a half of woods. Note old pig shed (since removed) and ancient broken satellite dish, which we haven't yet figured out how to remove.

Toward the back yard/pasture/etc.

Windows - note messed up woodwork and icky roof.

Porch. That's not so bad, right? Except for the hornet nests, I mean...

Left side of house, with bonus brother-in-law. Note more messed-up windows, non-functioning air conditioner just sitting there (since removed), huge furnace that turned out not to work (since replaced).

Back of house. Note 2x4 rail and wrecked back door.

And the back again, so you can see our classy back yard fence with the broken gate and fallen-down tree.

Right side of house. Note back-door-that-used-to-be-garage-door and weird Door To Nowhere above it.

Now on to the back 40*, with your tour guide, Jim!

The pasture! Note dilapidated fence and old dirt road.

Chicken coop and rabbit shed, both to be removed soon and replaced with a nice big chicken run in the barn.

Said barn. Actually in better shape than it looks.

Ignore the busted up roof. And the wasp infestation.

But do note the overgrown door-way (practically need a machete to get in) and the kick-ass loft.

Inside the barn. Note: leftover horse poop, invading vines.

Left side of pasture. Not much to see here.

Jim has found a leaf (the first of many).

Posing by the tree.

Angry faces! Angry faces everywhere!

Stay tuned tomorrow for: The Great Indoors.

*Back 5, actually. We don't have 40 acres. :(