Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 41 pic-a-day

Molly versus the power washer

Chuck spent the day power washing the deck. It was amazing to see the difference. As he was finishing up rinsing off the chairs the dogs came out to see what was up. Molly absolutely loves water. And it didn't matter that this was no ordinary hose. She just shoved her way into the spray of water. Toby gave it one try and then backed away when he felt the hard spray of water - not Molly - she kept coming back for more.

This picture shows her jumping up to try and grab the spray of water in the air.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 40 pic-a-day

Trying to download Lion. UGH!


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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 39 pic-a-day

There is a big train festival in downtown Rock Island right now. We caught this steam engine crossing Arsenal Island today. The sound and sight of a steam engine is a great experience.


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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 36 pic-a-day

It seems our newly planted flowers have invited the butterflies into our backyard.


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Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 35 pic-a-day


I love the way this light casts such an interesting glow. 

We were enjoying these lights and some new furniture we placed in our new landscaped area Until - what Chuck thought was a raccoon poked it's head through a corner of the fence, LOL! 
Turned out it was more likely a possum but we didn't stick around to make sure.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 34 pic-a-day

It's Doggone Hot Out There!

Good thing Chuck finished the work on the deck railing and new landscape area. There is no way you could spend much time out there working in this heat! But I will say it many times - I will always take 100 degree heat over 20 degrees any day. I love the summer...winter - not so much!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 31 pic-a-day

A Creepy Excavation
Today was another day of work out in the back. Chuck went at creating a boarder for our "Texas" area using some of the old bricks that were originally part of a sidewalk back when this old house was first built. As he dug away the area for the bricks this strange little guy was uncovered. It's a creepy looking "Chuckie the murdering doll" like toy. CREEPY!


But...he did not hinder the work. As usual Chuck (my Chuck - not creepy doll Chuckie) worked extremely hard. Tomorrow...we should be completing the majority of the work, with the exception of power washing the deck and a few creative projects that I'd like to add to the area.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 30 pic-a-day

Chuckie and the Big Black Chair
Couldn't help but take this photo today as Chuck and I needed to make a Menards run for supplies. What was even funnier about this chair was that it has 6 cup holders.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 29 pic-a-day

Homemade GF Egg roll
I have been craving an egg roll since having to go gluten-free. I can easily go without bread or buns...but I so wanted the yumminess wrapped up in an egg roll. Creating the filling for the egg roll was the easy part. The ingredients are naturally gf (with the exception of making sure to have GF soy sauce). The wrapper is another story. Most egg roll wrappers are wheat wrappers. So with some research I found that you can use spring roll wrappers that are rice and tapioca based. They worked like a charm. They don't fry up as brown and crisp as the wheat ones...but they were great. Must of been pretty good - Chuck had 5! Now that I know it will work, I can play around with the filling contents.

Day 28 pic-a-day

I forgot to post yesterday's photo! Here's my guys working hard shoveling rock.


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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 27 pic-a-day

  
Kiss of Approval
At the end of working all day on the deck railing, Toby jumps up on it to give Chuck a kiss of approval.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Day 26 pic-a-day

My Hard-Working Man and His Tan Head
I'm so appreciative of how hard Chuck works to make our home the best it can be. He worked the entire day out back on creating a new railing for the deck. He doesn't complain about how hard the work might be...he just goes at it. 

As usual nothing goes easily in this house and extra work had to be done to get things the right way...but we are making progress - perhaps not as much as expected today- but progress. We only went to Menards 2 or 3 times today. And he's developing quite a nice tan on that wonderful head of his!

If weather cooperates we should get lots more done tomorrow!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Day 25 pic-a-day

Today we took a drive to Starved Rock State Park to do some hiking. Starved Rock is in Utica, IL - about a 90 minute drive from us. Not all of us...just Chuck, Chris, and I. Shawn and Sara had no desire to go hiking miles through the woods. Honestly - I don't think Chuck was too thrilled with it either. After shoveling 5 1/2 tons of rock the last few days - he's was probably a bit worn out. But Chris and I do have a tendency to wander off trail a bit to climb up or down parts of canyons to see cool rocks, interesting tree roots, or frogs in a stream. So someone had to come along with us to call for help if needed, lol.

The weather was perfect. It was nice spending the day with my youngest boy - who is not so young anymore. As a 17 year old teenager we really don't see him that much. He's in and out of the house...as many teens his age are. Hiking is an interest that him and I share, so I really wanted to go at least once this summer. And this summer is flying by!

It was a fun time...but my body is feeling the miles of hiking and several hundred stairs climbed today! Tomorrow will be a sleep-in morning and then helping Chuck with work in the backyard. But I definitely will not be moving fast!

Day 24 pic-a-day

This day was spent looking for plants and flowers for the back yard. This lily was not chosen - but I couldn't help but photograph it's beauty.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day 22 pic-a-day

  
Lemonhead ground
Those of you who know Chuck and I know that during our breaks from school there is most often a project going on in or around our house. This summer is no exception. We had been discussing doing something in our backyard to make it a more pleasant area. It currently has nothing but weeds that are kept mowed down and a fire pit. We wanted a more landscaped area with paths and plants.

So...Super Chuck begins his work. He planned out some paths, sitting areas, and planting spots...drew out a map...and the digging began. He spent the last couple days of digging out the areas for crushed rock to go and tomorrow it will be delivered.

I'm not much help with this project. After moving just a few bricks from the fire pit I was banned from any of the heavy bending, lifting, or digging because of a back issue that is driving me crazy. This is hard for me...I stayed out of the last major project (until the painting stage) because I was busy working on my Masters in Ed degree. But to have pain put me out of helping - does not make me happy.  So other than being a water girl and giving moral support...so far it's all Chuck! Oh wait...I did spray paint the guide lines (I know how to handle a can of spray paint).

As usual, Chuck is doing an awesome job!  After viewing his progress today - I had to give part of his dug-out area a face....and so became the Lemonhead ground area!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 21 pic-a-day

Happy 4th of July! 
Chuck and I enjoyed some all-American burgers for dinner. 
One of the many things I love about summer is the smell of whatever is cooking on the grill.
How do you like your burgers? Cheese...no cheese...plain...loaded with extras?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Day 20 pic-a-day


I decided this afternoon that I really should make some cupcakes to celebrate the 4th. Nothing fancy...but oh so yummy. A gluten-free chocolate cake with espresso cream cheese frosting. I tinted some of the frosting red, some blue, and left some white and piped out a super quick firework-like top for the cupcakes.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day 19 pic-a-day

Chris and Chuck worked very hard today at clearing some overgrown trees. 
Here is Chris on the other side of the fence in the neighbor's "jungle".

Friday, July 1, 2011

Day 18 pic-a-day

This beautiful flower is a Phantom Petunia. It and a few other artistically colored petunias were given to me by my thoughtful mother-in-law. I love to photograph and paint flowers. One of my favorite artists is Georgia O'Keeffe because of how she painted flowers so large and close-up. I will have to do a Phantom petunia painting soon!