Sunday, June 28, 2009


To our home. We installed a real door on our house. Nothing exciting but it's better than the plywood door we had. Also, on the home front, we've been working on electricity. Wiring the house for every light bulb, outlet and appliance is more work than one might think. We have to decide the location of everything now. 

This weekend was spent on the yard. I spent the afternoon with the chipper and I finished the pile of limbs and brush from the ice storm 4 months ago. I don't know if I blogged about this, but we lost a lot of limbs off the pines when we had that ice storm last winter. In April I began the chipping process but was interrupted when the chipper broke. It spit out a few metal pieces and wouldn't start again. Not good. Our neighbor Jim fixed it and we can finally finish the chipping job. 

Kent split wood in anticipation of the frigid winter temperatures. I suppose thinking about frigid winter temperatures is one way to keep cool, but I don't suppose it works.

We also spent about an hour or more on Skype this morning. So if you have Skype look us up. loriandkent is our name. Our neighbor Tony just bought a new Mac and we skyped Jeff in Italy. We introduced Tony's cat and dog to Jeff's cats. I don't think they noticed each other, but what other cats and dogs have international friends?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Things I Like

Oprah does something like this in her magazine, but I don't think she has a patent on the idea. 

Things I am enjoying right now:

Homemade Granola: Thanks Mike for this lovely idea. I throw some in the oven when I am making something else. Using the energy to the max. Plus it's cheap and easy and delish.

Gocce vinegar: Jeff brought this back from Brindisi and it is divine. I never thought a vinegar would make an impact on me, but let's just say this is one more reason the Italians are the best in the world when it comes to food. (Sorry, France, India, and anyone else who may disagree)

A handful of raspberries fresh from my yard: These vines are compliments of Molly and Jason. They gave me the canes last year and already this year they are out of control. I may need to move them once the house is done, though, I didn't know that they would get so tall and gangly. 

To add to the berry frenzy, I have also been picking mulberries from various trees in the city. I made a cobbler and mulberry scones last week. 

I just realized that all my favorites things are food, so let's add a non food item. 

Weeding and mulching the ArtsWest flower garden. I normally don't weed my own garden but when a neighbor asked if I wanted to help, I said yes. ArtsWest is a city run arts center that is on the west side. The city dug up a space last year and planted a bunch of perennials, but there hasn't been much else done to it. So we picked up the slack, pulled the weeds and began mulching. I even planted a few of my own ground cover plants to hopefully prevent weeds in the future. 

Monday, June 15, 2009

Another Poultry Days

Kent and I went to Versailles for the annual chicken festival with a frisbee problem. We only played one day so that we could work on the house on Sunday. Despite going 0-fer on Saturday it was great to hang out with fellow alumni that I only see this time of year. 

Daron, Sean, Kent, Rick, and Tim enjoying a moment after the USA-Canada game. The quintessential OU alumni. These guys are legends. 

A team picture. We won the "Terra chip" award that Ryan is holding.

After playing the golf team from Grand Haven, MI, they made us play a wacky game of hit the golf ball in a basket attached to a bike helmet. They picked Ryan to hit the golf balls and me to wear the helmet. Unfortunately they wouldn't let Sutee (the golf pro) play this game. Otherwise we would have dominated!!

until next year...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

fruit trees

View Fruit Trees in Athens in a larger map

Fruit Trees in Athens in a larger map">here

Crayfish Hunter

I may have written about this last year, but once again, I have picked up a summer job working with a professor and her doctorate student. My job: playing in creeks.  The student is doing his dissertation on the mercury content of crayfish (or crawdads as we called them) in acid mine drainage impacted streams.

I went out for the first time this past Saturday and it was a beautiful sunny day to be creeking. The water was a little high in some of the sites, so we went up to the headwaters and found good stream flow with more life than I thought would be able to be sustained in these creeks. Minnows, tadpoles, water striders, and of course crayfish were seen just about everywhere. 

To determine the gut contents of the crayfish they have to be a certain size. So, when I'm walking through the creek, looking down, spying all the critters in the crevices of the rocks, I am looking for the biggest ones. And just like a good fisherman, I had a story of the BIG one that got away. Oh well, can't get them all.

Probably the creepiest story is when I went to check our traps. Last year and at most sites this year we used nets to catch the crayfish. However, we tried a new method in one of the sites at the beginning of the day. My partner had minnow traps that we baited and set out in the water. We decided to leave them there and check them on our way back in to town. At the end of the day, we stopped at the site and I volunteered to check the traps and bring them to the bank.  The first trap was empty. And the second and third. Obviously the traps weren't going to work, but I still needed to retrieve them. The fourth trap was deep in the water and I thought my partner must have waited it down with a rock. Not so much. It was filled with a snake. Big dead snake more like it. It freaked me out for a second but I composed myself and brought the trap to the bank, opened it, and dumped it out. Yep, dead snake. 

This will be my summer. Playing in creeks and building a house.

Monday, June 01, 2009

May update

Progress on the house include wrapping it up to make it air tight and installing a short roof over the south facing windows and doors. The roof is also complete which makes us very happy. No more running around with buckets when it rains. People ask us why we are putting a short roof over the south deck and not a full roof or no roof. Well, it's all about passive solar heating. Southern sun in the window will heat our home during the day requiring less resources used to heat it. The short roof will keep that same hot sun out in the summer out. Keeping the house cool. Hopefully we will have pictures of that soon.

Kent's parent were driving through Athens on their way back home from down south. Here are a few photos taken in the driveway.