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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hoppy Happy Happenings

The Sock Fashion Expert Wishing You A Hoppy Easter (in her own unique way)! Kiree, The Neighbor Girl, bringing me her famous home grown thyme! She picked it for me and now she's hanging it up for me. Am I spoiled or what?! Would you believe it is still growing in this weather?!

The Kids Art Project Yesterday.

Moonbeam likes my yogurt!

See here's Proof!

A Bucking Bronco Brother!

Today, as I washed mountains of dishes, I listened while Art Dog, seated in the kitchen, read us "The Pied Piper of Hamlin". It was Super Catman's Dishes Day, but with all the cooking going on today, I knew he'd never get them all done. The Sock Fashion Expert was standing on the kitchen counter washing walls and counters (her chore for the day) and making chocolate chip cookies. Super Catman was drying and putting away dishes. Moonbeam, from the confines of her "baby jail" (play pen) was attempting to con people into letting her out (with as much finesse as a 20 month old can muster). Yes, my kitchen was brimming with activity. I smiled to myself, liking how the multitask kitchen work and home school literary endeavor was panning out (no pun intended). Art Dog also baked an awesome angel food cake!

Here are some happy things that have happened recently :

- Kiree, The Neighbor Girl, came over yesterday and helped me process 2 1/2 boxes of hail damaged apples. We ran them through the juicer (mmmmm.....). We also made a big dinner and apple crisp together. Kiree is a great helping hand in the kitchen!

- Kiree brought me some yogurt starter yesterday too. Yes, I tried my hand at yogurt for the 3rd time! Would you believe it?! After 13+ cups of failed yogurt attempts, we finally achieved success! As you can see from the photos, Moonbeam approves :-)

- I have a really really happy secret that I am sworn to secrecy about. I can't hardly wait to blog about it!!

- Happy Birthday to My Wonderful Husband! You light up my life :-)

- On Monday, when we went to town, I found all kinds of cute Easter Baskets and Buddies at the thrift store for 25 cents each! The Sock Fashion Expert cleaned them up for me and already stuffed them!

- I'm excited about lots of fun days planned just around the corner!! Mist started cooking for the local lodge, so we'll be obligated (he he he) to eat out more often. Our "Extreme Chicks Hike" is on Saturday. We have a full Easter Itinerary too. Well, I'm off on a run!! Have some Happy Hoppy Happenings this Resurrection week yourself!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Exciting Real Life Account of How I Am Surviving a Messy House

Today I ran 3 miles for the first time since Jr. High. I am quite elated with that accomplishment. I also kept careful tabs on the position of my head. The house is, as expected, a terrible disaster, but I had come to anticipate that. It occurred to me after my upset on Sunday, that the house being in a state of disarray DOES NOT constitute my going to pieces. In time, it will be cleaned up again. What DOES bother me is when I get all grouchy about it. I can't make people do chores and upkeep when I'm gone, but I can maintain an inner peace in the midst of a messy house. This is my true goal. Here's an excerpt from last Sunday :
"On Sunday Morning, I was close to my melting point. Dishes marched onto the counters from all directions. I was frantically trying to get some muffins made for the church pot luck, along with some for my family to take on a visit. People were wanting breakfast. Moonbeam was clinging to my legs "knotting" as my sister says. The house was still a disaster from me being gone working a few days before. I could hear some voice in the background telling me I should have gotten up earlier, but I had gotten up early. It had been months since I'd done the missions report and I knew my turn to do it was long overdue. I'd gotten up early, prayed and compiled some data together to share for the report. As I felt myself melting down, I asked one of the kids who was wandering around wearing a costume he'd been working on to make the breakfast. He didn't want to. I was so frustrated. I said nothing. I put my head down. "Don't people understand how busy I am?!" Self pity came over me and then I sulked."
It goes on to tell you that he did make breakfast, but rather than clean off the highchair, he put Moonbeam's scrambled eggs on the front of a dining room chair (no plate). It also tells you about how my guarder belt broke after I had finally assembled it with some stockings. It was an "Every thing goes wrong morning".
"So here we are on the way to church. We've just picked up the neighbor girl. We're supposed to be this wonderful Christian family and I'm grouchier than all get out! Then the neighbor girl tells us she won "Grand Champion" prize with the her demonstration on smoothies. This is the demonstration that I gave her my extra blender for, donated some frozen fruit for, and also gave her my own smoothie tips about. I couldn't help but smile a little."
Things were going to improve a lot that day. This was just the beginning. The Missionary Report also went really well. As a matter of fact, my biggest regret that day was my bad attitude. I am thinking that I can learn from the past here and show some Good Attitude in the midst of a tumultuous mess.
"Probably, the messy house and dishes will eventually get cleaned up. Conveying peace in the storm to my children would have been a better prize to strive after."
Above photo : The Sock Fashion Expert Reading a Louis L'Amour

An Outhouse Fit For A King

Nothing all that terrible or funny has happened to me lately. This presented me with a ghastly dilemma - what on earth to blog about? I must admit, on Sunday, I had a terrible morning, and I wrote a long story about it. It sounded too much like feeling sorry for myself and I deemed it "non edible", so I never published it.
The hospital had called me every day for 4 or 5 days in a row, and by Wednesday, I knew I had better make an appearance. I was finally getting "on top of my game" with house work and home school, though it was short lived.
Thursday was The Sock Fashion Expert's Birthday. I sent her a bizarre 1960's ecard. I brought her home donuts and flowers, and fish (that's what she wanted for dinner). She got some cd's too. The store didn't have any big packs of fish and it would have been very expensive to buy little packs of it for all of us, so I bought us some lousy fish sticks, and her the good fish. I slept on the couch most of the day and had her 12 year old brother bake the cake for me. By the time I got up the house was trashed and the neighbor girl wanted to join the party. After some contemplation, I allowed the neighbor girl to enter the disaster zone. In the end, the neighbor girl and misc. kids helped me do the dishes and clean up a little. Art Dog's cake turned out pretty good. Even the lousy fish sticks were alright. For entertainment, Moonbeam showed us her latest dance moves wearing nothing but her diaper while we all applauded. I guess you could say, she had a pretty good birthday.
Today was our accountability girls group. It was at the neighbors, so I was thankful I didn't have to drive. Morning had come way too early. We had a really good meeting. We laughed, we cried and we ate good. Sejkay, my kayak partner was there, and now will be called "The Cowgirl". The neighbor who hosted our group has erected an interesting facility attached to thier home. It is an inner door to a connected outhouse. One must climb steps to sit on a raised seat. It reminds me of a wooden throne. The people who live there are substantially taller than I am, so that not only did I have to climb several feet up, but when I sat on it, my feet dangled in the air. It is also open and facing another neighbors property. One must hope that nobody walks by, or that the neighbor doesn't happen to walk by. It is quite an interesting and conversational monument, and I'm quite sure none of you have ever seen one quite like this one. This is why I thought you may enjoy reading about such an interesting conversation piece.
I'm feeling a little self pity being here at work tonight. I would like to be snuggled up in my bed next to my warm husband. Perhaps this is why I am blogging about my neighbors facility. Well, I suppose I cannot think of anything else I am allowed to blog about. There are things i'd like to say, but i will have to wait. Alas, you must be content with reading about the Outhouse Fit For A King.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Home School Impromptu Ear Cleaners and More

Something struck me. No, it wasn't an intimate object, nor was it of intention, but it was a direct hit none the less. For days, this women's magazine plagued my living room. Every time I picked it up, I scoffed at it and refused to read. You see, some of its doctrines are a bit offensive to me. Every time I pick it up, I get all huffy. This nice church lady keeps giving me copies, and then I feel obligated to read them. Well, after picking it up for the 5th time, I decided that there had to be something I could get out of it. Sure enough, I did.
Though there is plenty in the magazine I don't agree with, the woman who writes for it is a gifted writer. She writes with conviction and wisdom. Despite our doctrinal differences, she said some things that impacted me. Namely, as Christians, we are preparing our children to go out "as sheep among wolves". She said that people would readily tear apart our kids. This is true. When our kids enter the world, they should know what they believe and be prepared to communicate their beliefs effectively. The woman went on to give the example of having kids do impromptu speeches on certain subjects or scriptures. I liked that idea.
So today, we decided to apply this to our morning devotions. Each kid was given a verse. Then each one was given 3 minutes to give a speech/discussion on it. As each kid took turns standing up, I was proud at how confident they were. I was proud at how well they read. Of all the things I've probably done wrong home schooling, I'm proud I've taught them all to read well. Oh there were things they could improve on. One practiced ear cleaning techniques, and all of them did something a little bit distracting, but over all, they did a good job. I think I'm going to start integrating this practice on a weekly basis during our Devotions time.
Whoever you are, whatever you may believe, this woman is absolutely right. We do need to teach our children to articulate well. They should be prepared to intelligently defend what they believe. Simple communication skills like eye contact, a strong hand shake and a smile, and other body language can set our children up for success in whatever they chose to pursue.
I found as I read through the magazine, I agreed with a lot more than I disagreed with. Had I chose not to read it, I would have missed out on a great way to enrich my home school practices.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Adventures of a Bobble Headed Woman

On Sunday after Church, the family all headed over to "The Mountain Man"'s house to visit. He got them acquainted with his horses and they all rode bare back around his corral. It was a fun day for them. They love spending time with him, and had many tales to tell. I stayed home with Moonbeam so she could nap and I could get stuff done.
On Monday, after a marathon bake off in the kitchen and doing school with the kids, I ran with the Dolphin Goddess. Wow did she put me through a good work out! We ran her route, which I'd never done before. It seemed really tough, even though we only ended up running 2 1/2 miles all told. We walked the last half mile. I think she figured I'd huffed and puffed enough. Since she came from an athletic family, she advised me on some running tips. Namely, to try and stop wobbling my head to and fro. I don't have much form to begin with, but apparently my head begins bobbling when I near exhaustion. I got this terrible image of trying to run a 5K with her and Mist. In my imagination, I am almost to the finish line, and people are pointing and marveling at the strange bobble headed woman. When I returned to reality, I thanked her, and made a mental note to work on keeping my head on straight. Really, silliness aside, I loved running with my Dolphin Friend. I felt challenged, which I always appreciate.
On Tuesday, after school with the kids, and getting Moonbeam down for her nap, I met SejKay out in her Kayak on the river. Last week, we'd tried to make it to "the old abandoned bridge", but didn't get that far. Today, with her dog, Sug, running along the banks, we made it to our destination. A bunch of cows mooed at us, and we we saw lots of ducks and Canadian Honkers along the way. I brought her one of my power cookies and we snacked on them along the way back. It's been a pretty good week so far.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Disembowelment of the Pizza Gremlin

Deep within the bowels of the hospital, I could hear it calling my name. It beckoned to me, whispered to me, tormented my thoughts…...... Busy with patients, I’d made the mistake of hurrying over the copy machine. There it found me. My co-worker was eating a frozen microwave pizza. The aroma was delicious, enticing, and I was pretty sure she wasn’t going to share. “Oh I want a little pizza” I said wishfully, as I made the quick copy. When I returned to my post, nothing but pizza haunted my thoughts. To make matters worse, it (the pizza) reminded me that there were other little pizzas at the vending machine in the basement cafeteria. It’s kind of like that movie “Gremlins” where one gets wet and they multiply. Whatever you do, don’t feed me after midnight, because my hips and belly turn monstrously large! Once one little pizza gets out, it’s only a matter of time before they take over the hospital and then….. the world.
I was resisting, but a little annoyance and stress set me off and I found myself telling somebody I was heading to the basement. I had to go down there anyway, and after all, it was on my way. Armed with my purse, a two way radio and some other stuff, I made my way into the depths of its bowels. It was creepy, but I tried to be brave. After my errands, I was compelled toward the cafeteria, by an unknown force. I kept thinking about how good that pizza upstairs smelled. As I neared the vending machine, I felt remorseful. I knew I’d already eaten my dinner. The word “recreational eating” flashed in my mind. I pushed the thought out, and dug into my purse finding a $5 bill. As I got closer to the vending machine, I felt more remorse. I knew I would hate myself for it later. Part of me said “I don’t care”. The other part said “yes you do.” Suddenly I knew what I had to do. I put the $5 bill in my purse and I walked away from the machine. Suddenly, I felt really really good. I’d walked away, and not let that lust rule over me anymore.
It’s kind of amusing, my dark battle with food, but it got me to thinking. The pull for something we want is real. No pizzas don’t talk or multiply like Gremlins, but “the lust of the flesh” is real in all of us. Pretty much everyone I know is directly affected by someone with an alcohol, food or drug addiction. Unfaithfulness runs rampantly, as do other deviant vices. Everybody has some crutch, and if you think you don’t then you’re probably lying to yourself. The Apostle Paul said “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” And I am often grieved, wondering if some addicts I know will ever make that decision to “step away”. I know, without a shadow of a doubt that the strength to overcome can be found in God. How to always convey that to people, well I don’t know.
The Entire Chapter of Romans 7 talks about how we are slaves to our sin and lusts. The Entire Chapter of Romans 8 tells us how we can be free.
It ends with this comfort :
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Working Mom Blues and the Case of The Loopy Leprechaun's Loitering

I was disappointed when my yogurt looked as if it had been exhaled with force out of a great white hippopotamus. That is, I ended up with 6 ½ cups of white slime. The stuff LITERALLY has the texture and consistency of albino snot. The other stuff I made last month, I managed to farm out into bread making so it wouldn’t go to waste. I just can’t get beyond this batches texture. I think I’m gonna have to feed it to the cat, or I’m gonna hurl.
Today I would classify as “less than organized”. My ducks were quacking in every direction and I began shooting for abstract “duck art” rather than the traditional “row” approach. I had scheduled a theme day with the kids. We packed toys into boxes for orphans in India. You may think that’s a great idea, what you don’t know is that the toys were donated last August!! It’s true. Somebody at church approached me a few weeks back asking me if I still had the shipping check. I hadn’t even opened the envelope with the check dated August 14th on it. Yes, this was a terrible ball dropping on my part. I knew it would never happen unless I made it into a school day. We looked up verses about giving. The children wrote letters to the orphans. We prayed the boxes would make it safely. Toys and candy peppered the living room with Moonbeam right in the middle of the action, unpacking as fast as the kids packed. In the end, getting the boxes ready to ship was a tremendous relief, though the ordeal seemed stressful at the time. Thanks to everybody who supports “Helping Hands”. The check for shipping was $41.40 and Helping Hands will supply the other 60 some dollars.
In the midst of trying to get my husband out the door this morning, I made the mistake of giving Moonbeam a punch cup with smoothie. I know better than to do that, but I was too lazy or maybe in too much a hurry to wash the high chair tray off, and it was the only thing that would fit on the special “snack” surface. Of course, she threw the cup on the floor and it shattered all over. Of course, I later stepped in glass and had to pull it out of my foot with tweezers. This is just one of the examples of my scattered day. I would give you many more stories, but you would quite possibly jump out a window from reading, and I wouldn’t want that on my conscience.
At any rate, many “catastrophes” befell me prior to my upcoming shift. One ray of hope in my day happened when I was lying down with the Moon Muffin. I heard the sound of reading coming from the kitchen. It was Super Catman’s day to do dishes and he was sizing up a bumper crop. The seven year old plugged away slowly at them, as seven year olds do. Any mum would get the fuzzy feeling of “the good life” when she beheld this act of kindness. In an attempt to distract Super Catman from his mountains of doom, Art Dog and Sock Fashion expert were taking turns reading to him from a Louis L’amore. The kids are working on the “Reading is the Ticket” program, that gives each kid a free amusement park ticket for reading or being read to for 10 hours. Super Catman’s been having some trouble getting his hours in, though he’s made many valiant attempts. Today, thanks to the kindness of his brother and sister, He got in an hour for his theme park ticket and a distraction while getting his dishes done. Yes, there is still good in the world today even if a loopy leprechaun was loitering around.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Suspicious Strangers Strange Screamy Sounds and Slimy Soup

Two Strange Men have taken up residence at the top of our drive. Though there is no "camping spot" there, they've parked a truck, built a camp fire and placed misc camping gear around. The truck is very old, and the 40ish men, scruffy and unshaven. Each time we drive or walk by, they put their heads down and cover their faces. Sometimes they hide in the truck or tent. They won't acknowledge you're there, or say "hi" back.
Last year they were there. They did the same thing. They actually threw watermelon rinds on the drive. Why anybody would pick a spot to camp right next to our drive is beyond me. We and the neighbors all drive by there daily. They obviously don't want to see people. Its just bizarre.
Today it got even more bizarre. Our son was out on a hike through the woods, and was near by where the men were. He said a man was yelling strange garbled high pitched nasal sounds. Like he was sneezing and talking or something, though none of it was intelligible. The strangers presence is a bit eerie and leaves me to my imagination. Today I made my own trail through the woods to avoid going by him, so I could run on the main road.
Everybody knows everybody here. We have a lot of strange people around, but we're used to their oddities. They're used to ours. Though people do peculiar things, they're harmless. Probably this guys strange uttering and inability to look at anyone and maybe even his odd camping spot is harmless. Its just different. I can hear the Veggie Tales song "I can be your friend" resonating in my head, so I suppose I should stop elaborating.
Contrary to what you may be thinking about the cookie pics, I've actually been cooking quite healthy lately. Today I made home made half wheat tortillas, with ground venison burger, sprouts I sprouted and some other toppings. I had some farm milk I needed to use up, so I made home made ice cream - OK not so healthy. I also braved my hand again at yogurt. I tried a new method I am hoping works better than the crockpot one. In this method, after heating the milk and adding in the culture, you wrap the pan well with a towel and place it next to the wood stove. You know its the right temperature if you can put your finger in it for 10 seconds, no longer. Yes, it sounds a bit primitive, but it was a tip given by a missionary. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and I'm desperate (or more like determined) to get this figured out :-)
Every morning, I've been making smoothies with our huge reserve of frozen peaches, pluots, huckleberries, cherries and the remaining fresh grapefruit. I'm pleased the kids have decided my smoothies aren't disgusting any more, and most of the family eats one daily. Especially Moonbeam.
Finally, I made an ultra healthy soup yesterday, using 8 different vegetables. Most of them were pureed, so they couldn't be detected. The only thing you could see was the chicken, pasta and corn. I thought it was great, but the children (and especially my husband) were not at all impressed with the green hue in the broth. Hmm... maybe I should see if our bushy campers are hungry LOL.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cookies Anyone?

Mental Exhaustion, or maybe just exhaustion seems to find me these days. Thursday and Friday were absorbed in all day "Trauma Nursing Core Course" lectures followed by written and practical tests. On Saturday, The Dolphin Goddess, Mist and I went on a distance run. It was fun catching up with my Dolphin Friend. That night Mist and Fiery came for supper and we watched "Bells of Innocence" with Chuck Norris. Its a fabulous movie (but creepy) in case you've never watched it. My husband recently hooked up our surround sound and he is all about man movies now.
On Sunday, after a 2am bedtime, we got up and headed off to church. Afterward we went to see Elasta Woman and Matthew's new house. He is an incredibly gifted woodworker and everything he makes leaves a mark of vision, creativity and passion right down to the potty chair he crafted for their youngest girl. The new home they are building is no less than inspiring. We grilled elk burgers, visited, and us women packed the babies a couple of miles down a new trail loop they're working on.
Today, after a full school day, I put Moonbeam down for her nap and escaped to the river with Mist and a new friend. I haven't named her yet, since we haven't spent a lot of time together yet. She came to our accountability group last week and she's going to be around for while. The three of us kayaked together for about 2 hours. It was a fun excursion.
Elasta Woman and I are planning are planning an Extreme Chicks Hike. Its a hike deep into the back country along a creek to some far lakes. I loved the idea of opening it up to lots of women, though the hike is 8 miles of various terrains. So far 7 of us are planning to go. I've never planned anything like this before, so its all new territory for me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Last Perfect 10 Post - Horray!

Moonbeam decides to "tuck her brother in".

1. Exercise 6 Days a Week - yep, pretty much the whole 10 weeks.

2. Sit Ups /Planks - Delinquent, but that's OK. I did more than i would have if it hadn't been a goal ;-)

3. Healthy Idea in my kids daily - For the most part. It was a good 10 weeks.

4. B/4 and after pics - haven't had time to do an after, but i do have some up from week 9. Maybe later.

5. More Water - yes, Veggies - yes, Fruits - yes

6. Burn Rather than Binge. Well, been doing pretty good with that goal. Today was a good finale for that. I was in a two day intensive trauma course. I had been doing good. Then I heard something very disturbing (besides the class content). Well, that was enough to drive me to some extra black coffee. Otherwise, it went pretty well all 10 weeks.

7. Hair - Done

8. Weekly work outs with a Buddie - Yes. I also have a lot of fun ones coming up. Next week, I'm planning a kayaking trip with some friends. In a few weeks, a bunch of us are planning an extreme chicks hike into the back country. Also weekly (+) running dates.

9. Biggest Loser - D0ne

10. Shopping - Done (but is a girl ever done shopping?!)

*Something about myself. Well, I'm really glad to be done with these perfect 10 posts! It was good for consistency in following goals, etc. etc.. I will have to measure this weekend and see how many inches i'm down. Been pretty busy with work and trauma classes to focus much on any of that. Hmm.... something else about myself. Well, ok, i'm super jealous of my kid sister, Heather, who is running the "Shamrock Shuffle" 5K this weekend. I want to do a 5K! Humph! Ok, i'm really proud of the little snag and bragging her up a little bit too :-) GO HEATHER!!! YOU ROCK!!!!! Some day, i'm going to grow up and run a 5K just like you!!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


The other day, I had a gal over to my house. She was a real sweet lady with 3 kids. She just recently pulled them out of public school and she wanted to see how I home school. It was a fun occasion for me. I don't have a captive audience all that often, and I was determined to make the most of it. The kids helped me clean off the school shelves, clean the house and give it some semblance of order. My children called this "deceptive" on my part.
As I pulled textbooks, workbooks and notebooks off the school shelves in a flurry, I chattered on incessantly, almost forgetting to breathe. I was so excited about having the opportunity to show someone about what we do. I also gave her my latest copy of "Home School Enrichment Magazine". It always has a lot of good articles. When I had exhausted my curriculum's, teaching styles and misc "tips", I actually stopped to breathe and listen to her questions. I forced myself to be silent other than to discuss what topics she wanted to bring up. My voice was actually hoarse afterward, and I was a little bit embarrassed that I had talked so much! After 15 years of home schooling children, I had a lot to impart, and she was the first one who gave me her undivided attention!
For days afterward, I kept thinking "that was so much fun"! Not so much that sitting there at the table was fun, but more that some one listened to what I had to say for 2 1/2 hours, and actually appeared to be interested. Wow! I hope I can be that good of a listener some day! I have a hard time sitting still for 5 minutes. I am fidgeting and there is a little man across the wall preforming acrobatics to distract me.
It makes people feel valued when we listen to what they have to share. When we don't, its a personal insult saying "what you have to share really isn't worth my time". Here are some good scriptures about listening :

James 1:19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
Matthew 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Proverbs 19:20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction,That you may be wise in your latter days. 21 There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the LORD’s counsel—that will stand
Proverbs 8:33 Hear instruction and be wise, And do not disdain it. 34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. 35 For whoever finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the LORD;

Anyway, this week, I'm working on becoming a better listener. How about you?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Perfect 10 (almost done)!

Perfect 10 (Week 9)
1. Yes - 6 days a week
2. Sit ups/Planks - delinquent
3. Healthy Idea - yes
4. Current
5. Water - yes, Fruit - yes, Veggies - yes
6. Yes, burning
7. Hair - current
8. Yes - see last couple of posts
9. Completed
10. Yes, have gotten a lot.
This is a condensed perfect 10 update this week. I'm super busy :-) *The something about myself part - oh and ugh! OK, well I haven't run over a consecutive mile since junior high. Last year, I honestly didn't believe I could run a straight mile. Over the past week or two, my friend Mist and I started running 2.7 miles without stopping. Then we walk 2 miles. Then we run the last mile back. That equals 3.7 miles of running and 2 miles of walking (5.7 total). I never dreamed I could actually do that. Back when I was in junior high, I had gotten myself up to running several miles a day. I remember that I had ran 5 miles just a few times, but I think I was regularly doing 3-4. I had these crazy transient plans of joining the army or something. Anyway, running on my own, by myself was a part of who I was as an early teen. It brought me a deep sense of joy and accomplishment. As the years passed, I never believed I could go there again. I feel so blessed to have friends who love to run with me. They'll set their schedules to mine so we can coordinate. It was Mist, in particular, who has really pulled it out of me. Without having a good friend like her, I don't think I'd have ever "found myself" in this area again. True friendships are something to greatly covet. That's something else about me, I greatly value my close friends.
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Above photos : Moonbeam and I (at a park today with the girls).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Other Side of the "Moon"

Moonbeam Loves to Swing!The boys are pretending Archer must put out this "fire"! As you can see, Moonbeam confiscated the "fire" for her own use!
The Archer practices donning his structural fire suit. He must be able to put it all on in one minute!

Super Catman's first day doing the dishes.

Art Dog uses some ingenuity to get the trampoline back together.

Our "balmy" March has ushered in a lot of opportunity. The men are working daily on our heavy equipment, getting it ready for government inspections. Inspections, along with a lot of other red tape has to be done this month in order to bid. The bidding only happens once every three years. So, needless to say, this month is a big deal for our family. Its the possibility of fire work that could be such a good thing for us all. Our heavy equipment hasn't worked for 4 or 5 years now, but we've had to keep paying for workers comp, thousands of dollars in insurance, etc., just to have the possibility of work. Every day, I tackle some aspect of paper work while the men labor solidly.
Our eldest son, The Archer, was given the chance to take a "Structure Fire Fighting" course at Montana State University's Fire Fighter Academy. A grant from being a part of the volunteer fire dept. will pay for him to take the week and a half of training. Gulp.... the longest he's ever been gone (guess i'd better get used to it). Then our son and a few others will come back and train the rest of the department. The course requires you to be in top physical shape. The course guide is 1,500 pages. Between working on heavy equipment and studying for the course, The Archer's day is full.
Because I can't get as many chores out of the Archer these days, Super Catman is starting to pick up some of the slack. Today, for the first time ever, he started washing dishes. The novelty wore off pretty fast, but he managed to keep his head above water.
After school and chores with the kids, I escaped out on a short hike. I brought some zucchini mini loaves to some neighbors too. When I got back, Art Dog was working furiously on putting the trampoline back up. I was amazed at his ingenuity in getting the thing back together (notice the rope he has tied around himself)!
Moonbeam has taken to taking her clothes off at any given time of the day. Once she figured out how to undress, she's decided she prefers life in the raw. This can keep me on my toes, especially where dirty diapers are concerned. I'll spare you some of those details. The other day, I dressed her three times and she undressed each time within minutes. Then she proceeded to urinate on my new carpet. Moonbeam has also taken to crayons, pencils and pens. On any given day, she will begin writing on the children's school work, the floor, the wall - whatever she can find to make contact with a writing utensil. She does these naughty things, and then she gives us this big beautiful smile and nobody can be cross with her. Uhh... speaking of the Moon Muffin, well, gotta run!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Back to the Drawingboard with My Bad Boy.....

Today we had a Home School "Theme Day". We looked up Bible verses about sowing and reaping, gardens, seed time and harvest, etc.. We talked about how the seeds we plant in our lives produce a harvest just like the seeds we plant in the ground. For instance, if you were to eat lots of high fat foods, sit on your bum and be chummy for many hours a day with the tele, then you would have to expect your harvest would be a wide derriere and probably eventual health problems. If you are unfriendly and grumpy to everybody around, you're not going to reap a bumper crop of friends. Proverbs tells us that we have to "show ourselves friendly" if we want friends. Do a slovenly job on your school work, and you're gonna have to redo it, wasting time in the process. In fact, most everything we do, brings a harvest in some form or another. After the Bible verses, we wrote some poems along that theme, drew and colored pictures and then planted a huge host of seeds to put in the window sill. It was a fun and refreshing break from a regular day.
I went running with Mist and Elasta Woman, their dogs and one baby in a stroller. It was a bit of an obstacle course and I found myself avoiding moving "hurdles". It kept me on my toes, but I wouldn't trade the visit with the girls for a groomed track in solitude any day. We did the now routine 3.7 miles of running and 2 mile walk. After I got over the initial pain of the first mile, it got a lot better. I used to look at people funny when they said "everything is easy after the first mile", but I'm starting to understand.
The other day, I decided to finally try and wear my Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 Mag. Its my "bear gun". It seemed "big and clunky" to carry, but my husband bought me a shoulder holster to try it with. After spending half an hour adjusting the straps, I finally got it to sort of do what it was supposed to do. Honestly, I love wearing my .38 Taurus with a belly band. That's so comfortable I hardly know I'm wearing it, and great for running with because it doesn't flop around. Anyway, I wore the Ruger Super Blackhawk twice now and it was OK. OK, well it was a little bit cumbersome. Actually, the straps pulled on my belt causing my pants to ride way too high. It reminded me of the old fashioned "traction" machines at the hospital we used to put on people with back troubles. It was still a little bit off centered too. My husband says some of them put magazines on the other side. That's OK. I'm not Rambo or anything. Just want to wear it in the back country where bears are likely to be a threat. I've hiked probably 7 or more miles with it now and I don't think it would work on a backpacking trip, or day long hike. I guess it's back to the drawing board with this bad boy........

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

3.7 miles

The weather has been unusually warm, and with its coming, an entire host of opportunities awaiting. I've been busy in so many ways I don't know how any normal person could accomplish what I do without stimulants. My stimulant of choice is good, whole bean coffee which I have been entirely enjoying way too much. My mother in law graced me with my very own espresso maker and I've been making entirely too good a use of it. Add to that the recent unexpected shifts I've put in this past week and you have a recipe for one jittery chick! I see a needed caffeine fast coming on, of which I am trying not to think about. Among my list of "things to do" includes many phone calls, business paperwork, house hold disaster of laundry, and cleaning of all sorts, correcting and assigning of school work, overdue meetings, I don't know if I can bear to go on. As you can see I'm blogging which isn't accomplishing anything but my own entertainment. A chicks gotta do what a chicks gotta do ;-)
Yesterday, I was overdue for a good run with Mist. I started our date by falling and sliding down our steep drive. I had grabbed my car keys and a red pepper to share with her. I thought I'd grabbed my spikes, but forgotten them right by the door. By the time I was halfway down, I figured I didn't need them. Boy was I wrong! The drive is glare ice now, and the time of the year we strongly discourage its use. Of course one must go up and down it for activities of daily living, which causes a huge dilemma. Right now, the bottom third is wet, glare ice all the way to the road. I stepped wrong and BAMO! I found myself on my back in the middle of a fast slide with no stopping. Keys and pepper still clutched in my hand, I began to pick up momentum. "Well I thought to myself, at least I'm not going to fall down the rest of it, trying to look at the bright side, but I was picking up speed and by now my entire backside was soaking wet. By the time I hit the bottom, my heart was doing flip flops and my lovely red pepper dirty and crushed. My brand new running shoes were scuffed. I was soaked from head to toe (just on the back side). Scrapes on my forearms and hands attested to the fact that I had seen (just a wee bit) my share of trauma. I considered going back up the hill to change, but figured by now Mist was on her way to meet me and I wouldn't catch her in time. I also couldn't stomach the thought of braving it again so soon. With a stiff upper lip, and damaged good, I got into the seat of old Rowena and began to drive. I was glad to be running on black top. I'd had enough ice for one day. Rowena's wipers suddenly began flying back and forth - both the front and back ones. It may have been that she was trying to warn me about the pot holes ahead, but I was so shocked she'd turned them on that I hit the first one square on. Icy water sloshed everywhere and hit the windshield. Ice, mud, dirt and rocks collided in a gut churning drive as I made my way to our running destination.
I showed Mist all my terrible injuries, which consisted of a couple of scratches and a wet butt. I was hoping it would be a good excuse for my being a bit late. She looked at me sympathetically, but not sympathetically enough. She was ready to get going and stop listening to my sniveling. I began running. I kept on running, hoping I would start to sweat so I wouldn't notice that I was wet. On and on we continued until we reached a significant point. We walked a ways beyond it and then walked back till our "last mile" point where we always run. We talked about all kinds of interesting topics, but among the most interesting was about her husband's brother who is a missionary. He recently went on a trip to Haiti. As his plane was flying overhead, all he could see was white everywhere. He was puzzled. As they touched down, he was to find out that Hatians all over were celebrating 3 days of praise and worship to God rather than their usual pagan festival. According to the brother, the pagan festival included orgies out in the open and idol worship. He (the brother) was really excited because there is currently an incredible move of the Spirit of God going on there right now. He said that no media is picking this up, but that many people have given their hearts to Jesus and even was a party to many supernatural healings. Mist chattered on and on about the revival in Haiti. For this, I was glad, because the topic was of interest to me and distracted me from the great distance that we were running. Before that she discussed artisan bread making in great detail and my masochistic pain was much more brought to my attention.
Tonny, a nice neighbor lady driving by stopped to chat. During the conversation she figured we were running "about 2 miles". After the conversation, we both looked at each other and said "its gotta be more". After all that work, we jumped into my car and clocked it on the speedometer. We'd run 3.7 miles and walked about 2 miles all told. This is the girl who last year REALLY BELIEVED she couldn't run a mile. Selah!
Above Photo : My husband and son are getting our wild land fire fighting equipment ready for inspections.