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Yesterday was March 1, 2012, opening day of trout season and this day brings on a whole new meaning to me. I have never before cared about this date or trout season but this week I am excited. Although a tornado just tore through a day ago and I am nursing a terrible cold from grabbing my 6 dogs and running to the garage in the rain at 12:30 am in the pouring rain to ride out the storm while having a hot flash the whole time. Who knew these things in combination would cause a cold? Three of my dogs are absolutely terrified of storms so getting them to move out the door and into a dark garage when the electricity is out while it is lightening is not exactly easy. I am sure we were quite a site. The two little ones weren’t that hard, I put them in their bags zip them closed and carried them out but try that with a 70lb. Doberman Pincher who is shaking like a leaf terrified, not so easy. In our old home we had a basement garage so it was just all go down the basement stairs and we were good. I should of had a plan here in our temporary home and trust me, I will be prepared for the next one and to let you in on a good tip I learned, using a phone for a flashlight does not work well. I am putting an extra large flashlight in my storm kit. One so bright that the neighbors will benefit from all the way over from their house, from inside their garage, that will shine through the nail holes in the building!

Fishing with Dogs

The full story...Dogs who Trout Fish

Back to the opening day of trout season and my cold. Although I feel under the weather today as if my head is a balloon, it doesn’t stop a serious case of spring fever from setting in. Now that we are building our forever home near Bennett Springs I can hardly wait to get involved in all of what is going on in and around the park. I want to walk my dogs all over the beautiful trails of the park, learn to fish and take my Grandsons to the activities in the park, to the hatcheries, go on a float trip, ride my horse on what seems like endless trails.  As for today, I am starting the seeds for my garden, another love I haven’t had time for in several years! It is wonderful to come to a point in life when these small things I always took for granite are what really matter, the little things are my real treasures. If only we could bottle it and give some to our children we would really have something there! Unfortunately we aren’t born with these senses, it is more of an accomplishment, a state of mind I think only comes with life happening and age but thank God it happens. I suppose we can choose to grow old or choose to grow, we decide.

There are many more people who have lost their homes due to this tornado. They may have been injured or lost a loved one. One of the hardest things we may have to do is pick up the pieces and move forward. I never wanted to be in the ranks of those who have been through these tragedies who could give advice on these matters but God makes these decisions that takes us down those long roads, not me. He has also assured me the people I love and cherished are not lost to me and my home travels wherever I go. Unfortunately right now so does this miserable cold.

After being spoiled with a beautiful warm sunny winter we are finally getting a blast of winter in February! Snow, rain and MUD, just like Missouri. I guess that’s why they say if you don’t like the weather here just wait a minute, it’ll change. Our Grandsons finally get some snow to play in so we have to love it. Our home building plans are put on hold until the weather warms up a bit. It has given me time to think about our future new house and the garden I can hardly wait to plant this spring! I have some great ideas for planters I found on our property, I will get them ready and take pictures of them soon. I am really excited about getting them started.

Micheal has hit the drawing board, again, this time changing the roof line of our house, thankfully for the better. I don’t always like his ideas but this time he has a winner. I have to say he has improved the roof of our house to my liking. I want it to look like a barn, yes a barn. When he was finished I was very impressed with what he has come up with. With my floor plan and his building plans, by George I think we have it! We are going to live in a barn and yes, I want the door to be wide open.

Heart Rock Wendy Fransisco

Photo Credit Wendy Francisco

Our financial situation just seems to keep getting worse, “things” just keep on happening for the worse, we keep saying,”What else can happen to us?”  Micheal is about to lose his job now, the company is downsizing and moving out of Springfield where he works, after 26 years.  We still have each other and that is all we need but a job is nice to have too.  I sure hope my garden idea works, I may be selling vegetables, so keep your fingers crossed on that one for me would ya!

Winter has finally happened!

Trash to Treasure

We’ve found this little restaurant in the middle of nowhere on Hwy. 64 past Bennett Springs called Circle J’s, its also a campground. They have the best biscuits & gravy for breakfast so we stop and eat every once in a while. It looks like it’s been there for many years but it’s a clean little place and I get such a kick out of the waiter. I am sure he owns it because he is so friendly and most likely the best waiter we have ever had. His name is Alex and I am not sure how else I would describe him other than saying he reminds me of a “Wood Hippy”. No offense Alex if you ever read this, I find him very charming and unique and I highly recommend his restaurant. It is one of the things about living out here that I love so much, the people the simplicity, it is just so refreshing.

Each time we drive out to the new place we feel more like we’re coming home.  Being in the middle of all of the oak trees in the quiet feels so right to both me and Micheal, we always loved living in the woods and now temporarily being right on a highway next to a train track, I cant tell you how many times I have opened the door to let the dogs out in my underwear not thinking of all the cars driving by! Old habits are hard to break.

Lob Cabin

My very own little house in the big woods

The outside is almost done and we are moving on to the inside to install the electrical wiring and plumbing, finish the walls and of course add my “toys”, (they are my favorite part). This dilapidated old shed has turned out better than either of us ever expected. It looks like a little log cabin, I love it! Too bad we didn’t put a toilet in here, I think I could have lived in it. Then again… we are in the woods.

My Little Cabin in the Woods

My Little Cabin in the Woods

January 2012 has been more like early spring here in the Ozarks. I don’t remember seeing such beautiful weather this time of the year in our area. This is the first week of February and it has been in the 60s all week and the sunshine has been so warm and wonderful! We have been working on our first project for a few weeks now and are getting more than half way done. I had no idea I would be so happy with the outcome of an old storage shed with rotten siding and a broken window. I have no idea why I didn’t take a before photo so you could see what we started with.  Rotten roof, siding and floor, we originally planned on burning this old shed while cleaning up my Dad’s property but once we got down to the bare bones of the structure it was very sturdy and in great condition. Whoever built this shed covered it with roofing tar paper before putting the siding on and it preserved it so of course when we rebuilt it, we did the very same. Unfortunately my Dad had put the shed right on the ground and with a wood floor it didn’t hold up well.  We put it on a concrete floor with a short block wall and literally rebuilt it with scrap material and donated odd and end windows from friends & family. Well… Ta-da! My own personal playhouse. Anyone who knows me, (my husband knows me o so well), knows I need my playhouse. I adore my husband, I am pretty sure he adores me. In a future post you will see what goes in “this” little house. My favorite “toys”?

Good Bones to build from

When we started we had just hauled out the frame of the shed and set it where we wanted it

Although we are now almost finished, this is a photo of what we began with, the frame is tilted back so we could pour the concrete floor and then set it up on it’s foundation. I am so happy with the way it is turning out and I know my Dad would be happy with what we have done with it. He never threw things away and I love having things that belong to my Dad, it makes me feel closer to him. He was always there for me when I needed him and even though he has passed on, he is still here for me.

A Change of Plans

This site was originally to belong to my husband Micheal. It was to be a journal for him to share his love of the outdoors, music, food and recipes. Micheal being an avid hunter and fisherman roams the Missouri woods, lakes and rivers came up with the name “Under the Brush” and it was, is, the perfect blog name for him but I believe it might be just as well suited for me, well “us”. It has sat here in limbo for well over a year now so I have decided to make mine as well as his. We share just about everything else so we might as well share a blog.

We recently moved from our 21 sq. ft. home of 23 years sitting on 18 acres just outside of Lebanon and are now slowly but surely preparing to build on 4 acres of brush and rock near Bennett Springs State Park  in Missouri. What better time to begin a new chapter in our lives by creating a journal. We are starting all over again, from square one. We may have a much smaller home but our goal is to build our last and final home by ourselves as cost effective as possible.  I don’t really care how long it takes, I just want to get started. I want to live in a place I can call home again and thankful to have the opportunity.

The Niangua River access just down the road

Unfortunately we are one of the many who have had to close our small business, lost income and left our home. It is a sad truth that the number of U.S. homes receiving a foreclosure filing will climb about 20 percent in 2011, reaching a peak for the housing crisis, as unemployment remains high and banks resume seizures after a slowdown. The Bloomberg News reports that foreclosure filings in the U.S. may jump up to 20% from a record high in 2010 as crisis peaks.

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