My parents have been here three full days already, and we have gotten some work done.
In the kitchen, we have installed wallboard along the East wall and Gina has painted a first coat of paint (it will need a second coat). We had to remove a few electric lines and move one electric socket in the process, but we should be ready to hang some wall cabinets by Monday morning.
No work has been done on the garage. It is still covered in ice and snow, negating any hope of working on the roof. But it is a convenient place to cut up wallboard. We did manage to move the doors and windows indoors, so they are no longer covered in ice and snow, but I don’t think there will be time to get windows or doors installed during Dad’s visit.
Last night, on the spur of the moment, we decided to celebrate the Winter Solstice by opening presents. There were many happy faces at all the gifts exchanged. Gina got a beehive, gloves, and smoker from me, slippers from Meagan, and towels from Caleb. Caleb got a medieval battle axe from Grandpa, a $20 Orscheln’s gift card and $30 cash from Oma & Opa, three throwing knives and a Treehouse book from Gina & I, a few really cool gifts from Uncle Sean & Aunt Marlaina, and a Hardy Boys book from Meagan. Meagan got a three-pack of musicals on DVD from Grandpa, a $20 Orscheln’s gift card and some Ukrainian gifts from Oma & Opa, a doll bed and some doll dress patterns from Gina & I, a stamp and color set from Uncle Sean & Aunt Marlaina, and a latch hook project from Caleb. I received a wood-burning stove and a wave of Heroscape figures from Gina, Meagan got me chocolate-covered blueberries, Caleb gave me a key holder for my belt at work, Sean & Marlaina gave me two card games (Pit & Bible Mad Gab). Gina & I were also blessed with a $200 gift card to Orscheln’s from my parents, and a ‘gift card’ good for one milk cow from Gina’s dad. The kids also were given $250 to buy animals for Christmas from their Grandpa. Gina & I were supposed to buy these animals already, but we haven’t found the right animals yet.
The real highlight, though, has been unloading Dad’s ABF pups. We had two ABF pups delivered on Thursday and we tore into them early. The truck that brought the two pups had quite a bit of trouble negotiating my driveway in the snow and ice. He ended up putting chains on and tearing up my driveway a bit trying to get back out of it. In the end, we have the two pups in an acceptable position. Yesterday, it was our goal to get the Mustang unloaded and into the barn, because we wanted it to be stored as far forward as possible. We went down to my neighbor, Vernon Hazen, because he has lots of cars and stuff in his yard so we hoped he might have the equipment to help us lower the Mustang four feet. We talked a bit about getting a roll-off, but the closest one is 25 miles away and he wanted to charge $125 to come out and move the Mustang 200 feet. Our neighbor said he could do it — his flatbed trailer is three feet high, so we could just roll the Mustang down off the ABF pup (4 feet high) onto the flatbed using some ‘bridge planks’. Then, he could reposition the trailer and we could roll the Mustang off the trailer and into the barn. So that is what we went with. He showed up with two other neighbors, Omer (unsure of first name spelling or what his last name was) and Roger Wusk. Omer lives a few miles away, but Roger is, I think, our closest neighbor at just 1/2 a mile to the north. In fact, Roger’s grandfather, John Wusk built the house I am living in now. Roger brought his tractor, and we used it to pick up the engine off the ABF pup and carry the engine over to the barn. It was amazing to see them all descend on our home and accomplish their mission, helping out their new neighbors. We feel very blessed to have such wonderful neighbors.
Today we plan to work through the 25 mph winds and freezing temperatures and possible 1-2 inches of snow to get the truck unloaded. Tomorrow we plan to go to Lincoln for church, Fremont to visit family, and back to Lincoln to visit family. On Monday and Tuesday I have to work, but I hope to visit the Beckers one of those days and work in the Kitchen on the other day. Wednesday I would like to either slaughter chickens or work more in the kitchen.