Heartwarming Scene

Going about daily activities, I was walking through the living room and this caught my eye: our 5 year old son “reading” a book to our 2 year old daughter. It is moments like this that give such joy and encouragement to a mom!

Kitchen Hut

I mentioned yesterday that we will be starting a catering business. When the opportunity presented itself, John suggested that I see if I could find a building. Craigslist does it again!

I found a great deal on a building that just had to be moved. The building is an older Morgan brand, 20 ft x 20 ft and comes apart into two pieces. After calling around for prices to have it moved, we decided to do it ourselves!

The first step of this process was to take it apart. John and the children spent all day Friday working on it. In late afternoon, the building was in two pieces and John started jacking it up. Everything went fine on the first side but the second side was another story. The ground was soft from a recent rain and not too stable. So as the house was jacked up, the supports tipped and down it went. Thankfully, no one was hurt and the building was also fine. John figured that the mover cost less than an emergency room bill so we decided pay the mover. We already had the permits, he was available and the time was set for Saturday (Nov. 13) at 10:00 am.

Straps were placed under the half of building to be moved and a crane lifted it up, over the backyard fence. There was an alley behind the fence where the trailer was parked.

The mover had a “dump bed” trailer – the bed could be lifted up and whatever is on the bed can be slid or dumped off. The first side was loaded onto the mover’s dump bed trailer.

Since our move was set up on such short notice and the mover’s second large trailer was at another job, the second side was loaded onto our trailer (actually borrowed from a friend) and pulled by our 15 passenger van.

John had already prepared a place for the building about 50 feet from our house. So, once we traveled the ~50 miles, the back side of the building was simply pulled into place.

The side on the mover’s trailer was pulled up next to the first side as evenly as possible.

He then began to raise the bed of his trailer tipping the building.

As he slowly tipped the trailer, his partner drove forward sliding the building off.

The next process was to get the two halves as even as possible.  On his trailer was a wench which he attached a chain to. The chain was wrapped around the base of the front side and used to pull it until the sides were even.

John then used a tractor to push the buildings together.

After the two sides are bolted back together, the building will be leveled and painted.


“Time is so everything doesn’t happen all at once.”

Frank, Late for Dinner

Do you ever feel like everything is happening all at once? I sure do. Life is a whirlwind!

John and I went to a grape grower’s/wine maker’s meeting last week and toured several wineries. While the speaker’s topics over the two day period were interesting, our main purpose was to network – meeting other growers, winery owners and wine makers. Since we have another 15 acres of grapes coming into third leaf next year, it is important to meet those interested in our varieties. And, even if they are not necessarily interested now, things can always change!

Work on our house had been put on hold while the vineyard was put to sleep for the winter. (That means, compost spread and rye planted between the rows of grapes.) But now the windows for the house will be delivered today (Mon., Nov. 14).  After they are installed the house will really be dried in and ONLY the septic system, plumbing, electrical, sheet rock and painting need to be done! I am not so sure we will be in by Christmas but I am remaining optimistic :)

Our oldest daughter is getting married on January 15 and it is coming quickly. Those plans are also moving right along – thankfully! After checking with several caterers, we decided to do the reception dinner ourselves. As we were coming to that decision, I spoke at length with a friend and former caterer here in the area. And stemming from his encouragement…

We decided to go into the catering business too! So, in my spare time ;) that is what I will be doing. We purchased a 20′ x 20′ building to used as our commercial kitchen and moved it this past weekend to our land. The friend made us an offer for his catering equipment and we will pick it up when we finish setting up the building. It will be interesting to see what doors the Lord opens.

Frank said in the movie Late for Dinner, “Time is so everything doesn’t happen all at once.” What do you do when time flies and so much is happening that it becomes a blur?

Stay focused on what is most important!

No More Paper Route!

In “Creative Income“, I described how our family’s frugal adventure included two paper routes to help meet living expenses. It has been 11 months now, 7 days a week, of rising at 4:30am to faithfully deliver the newspapers to our little town. My husband and oldest daughter were the primary carriers but the younger children were included on Sundays to insert the additional advertisements.

Having been a chemist in his former life, John made the routes a science. He experimented with different routes to maximize efficiency and cut time. Once it was made as efficient as possible, they began sleeping an extra hour. Waking at 4:30am instead of 3:30am helped tremendously.

Since the Lord has provided our living expenses for next year through the grape harvest, there will be no more paper route. Yesterday, Oct. 31 was the last day – yeah!

While the younger children, who love to go on Sunday are a bit sad, the rest of the family is rejoicing! I realize, I will no longer be getting the coupon inserts from the Sunday’s paper, but I will have a rested husband.

So, what did we do to celebrate? We made homemade doughnuts. And, we ate doughnuts! We also drank fresh milk to make them even more nutritious.

One big lesson our whole family has learned from the paper route is to appreciate people. It is so easy to take people for granted, especially when they provide services that keep them behind the scenes. Don’t forget to show your appreciation to your paper carrier, mailman, UPS man, trash man …. anyone who serves you. Sure, they get a paycheck. But, it may be less than you think. Either way, a demonstration of appreciation – a tip –  goes a long way to encourage and uplift others. It also gives you the opportunity to show gratefulness.


Photo Credit: © Depositphotos.com/robertbyron