Monday, April 29, 2019

Sugar Island Farm

We have FRIENDS!
Universally, we all want to feel connected and loved and liked.  Sometimes that's hard when the only people around you are your immediate family members.

There is a family that lives on the other side of our 3.4 mile block, if you can call that a block: it's more like a 5k loop.  Their children are a little younger than the onions, but some match up pretty well.  They are a wonderful family!

This family is amazing.  They are entrepreneurial minded and have all sorts of home business ventures.  In December they offered Christmas activities, including a scavenger hunt, hay ride, visit with Santa, and a story of the Savior, fire, games.  It was lovely and only $10 for the whole family!  We all had a great time.

A few weeks ago they had an Easter egg hunt.  The prizes were too good to be true.  A drone, $75 cash, $50 cash for the oldest group. A hover board, $60 cash, $40 cash for the middle age group. Electric car, electric quad, barn with animals toy for the youngest group.  AWESOME.

The onions have been to public egg hunts before and non have ever won anything big (I think there were a few bicycles for 1000's of children and maybe some store bought Easter baskets with goodies.)  They always went home empty handed and disappointed. 
This time around, they decided they were going to win!  And win they did.  They swept the whole event.  Scott was first in his age group and Naomi was second. Elanor won in the older group with Amelia coming in second and Seth third.

We have been getting together once a week to hang out and to play.  It started out a bit awkward and quickly became the event of the week for our family.  Our neighbors are a wonderful blessing in our lives.

Elanor and their eldest girl riding

Grandpa and the boys came to our rescue when we caught some sick chickens.

We watched the RV get cut up and moved.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Macabre Monday!

It was Monday.  An ordinary beginning to our week.  Or so we thought.....

We had a trash guy coming out to haul away our "burn pile."  Things went from okay to terrible to unbearable.  I tried and tried to write about it, but the words didn't come.  I was finally able to coax Elanor to come with me so I could attempt to tell you about it.  Then, internet issues (me not figuring things out) prolonged the process.

NOTE:  I was driving up to the site to take the above video.  I received a phone call and I parked.  The car got a little warm.  No one wanted to get out.  Elanor knew I was thinking about rolling down the windows and almost started begging before I even touched the buttons.  They promptly went back up.  It was hard to be anywhere near the pile two days later.

CORRECTION: You may burn trash where we live.   
It was my understanding that you should recycle plastic, glass, and metal and burn what is burnable.  There are non recyclable plastics, plastic lined with metal, paper lined with plastic, styrofoam, and other stuff I just don't feel right about burning.

I was told by the trash service guy that you are not suppose to burn "trash."  It is only the burnable waste that should be burned (wood and paper products).  Our pile contained many of the non-burn items from the business and household sections of the law.  Maybe he was referring to the contents of our specific pile.  Thanks for your forgiveness of my mistake.

"Prohibited Open Burning Under State Regulation
Any waste generated by a business, trade, industry, salvage, or demolition operation cannot be burned unless it is untreated or vegetative wood waste. Wastes that may not be burned include but are not limited to tires, carpet, used oil, asphalt roofing material, rubber products, hazardous materials, Styrofoam™, plastics, petroleum-based products, durable goods, treated wood, and any asbestos-containing material.
Allowable Open Burning Under State Regulations 
Note: Local governments may have stricter laws and policies.
Open Burning of Household Refuse
Missouri allows open burning of household refuse from residential premises with four dwelling units or less, provided it is burned on the property owned by the party that generates it. This exemption does not apply to mobile home parks or apartment complexes. Household waste is solid waste produced by routine household activities, such as paper waste and garbage from daily activities. This does not include home remodeling waste, waste from home businesses, durable goods such as appliances, carpets or furniture, tires or other non-routine household waste. Materials such as tires or used oil may not be used to start the fires or be burned in the fires."

1st stab at the root ball

Several tries later.....

Who knew tractors could jump?

The trash pile Monday morning.

The trash pile after filling the trash trailer.

The various trash piles while picking.

As I was in the pile, I remembered a book I read last year, The Rent Collector.  An amazing book based on real people that lived in a landfill dump.

I have been in some pretty gross places and done some pretty gross things, but Monday tops them ALL.  There are very, very few things that induce vomiting in my life.

I was reviewing the video footage.  I asked the onions if they wanted to watch it.  They unanimously said "NO!"  We were finishing up lunch.  Some of us were still eating. And this from a family that has very gross conversations at the dinner table from time to time.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Slipping through the cracks

This blogging effort is not without it's challenges.  What to write?  How long?  How many pictures?  Do different topics need their own post?  Timing? Post names?  
I got caught up in that and in the process missed posting a few things I would like to share about. 

Scott and Naomi participated in the pinewood derby.  There was a different set of rules to be followed, but we adhered to them.
Scott and Naomi designed their cars, Eric cut them with a power saw, and they sanded and sanded.  Then Eric drilled holes at the locations specified by Scott and Naomi to add lead weight.   They melted some sinkers and added the weight.

We used Amelia's analog scale and later found the digital one to try to be close to the 5 oz limit
Naomi's car is on the right.  Blue, green, wavy, shiny.
Scott's car is in on the left, back row.  Red, gold, and sleek.
Neither Scott nor Naomi won the overall, but both won 1st in their groups.
Scott's car had faster times than Naomi's when officially racing, 
but Naomi's car went faster when they were racing for fun.
No definitive winner there either, just fun.

  It was long and heavy, and she wanted a change!

Just a little perturbed at my documentation.

14 inches were cut off the back, less in front.
The place we went to didn't donate hair for wigs.  Bummer.

She's happy.  I'm happy she's happy.

We finally ordered the flooring!  But it has not arrived yet.  I decided to buy some shelving.  
We are hungry for our book collection to be accessible!  
We are seriously getting good at bucket brigades: 35 boxes out of the garage, across the deck, into the house and stacked neatly in just a few minutes.

 The wall we wanted to line with shelves is a dummy wall and doesn't even go all the way the the floor (because the floor slopes down 2.5" - 3") but we thought it would work.
Then Eric took a closer look at the wall.  The studs are every 24', not 16"!  Sigh.

The toilet began to rock/move shortly after we moved in.  Eric decided it was time to fix it and allow me to finish painting the wall behind it.
Well, the piece that is suppose to be screwed into the floor to hold everything together, yeah.... it came up with the toilet and there were no screw holes!  Um  WHAT?

At the top of the hole, you can see one of the screws

Eric got it off of the toilet.

The pipe going into the cement floor broke a little.

Eric went to hardware store and bought a plastic holdy-ony-thingy.  It broke during the first attempted installation.  Eric cleaned up the original metal one and reused it.  
Yay! a functioning toilet!
Not so fast.  It's not sealed 100%.  Sigh.  
Eric is contemplating solutions.  
In the meantime, our air purifier is now permanently in the bathroom to combat the horrid smells that have infiltrated our bathroom.

Another thing I let slip through the cracks is expressing my spiritual journey.  A very good friend posed a question to me and a few women I esteem:
 "'You have to lose yourself to find yourself.'
What does this even mean?"
It may mean different things to different people.  I see it differently depending where I am at in life.
The typical Christian answer is to lose yourself in the Lord's work for others and you will find yourself.  That works if you are relatively healthy and the people around you are too.  But sometimes it can help to explore different perspectives.

"Sometimes you have to fall apart in order to put the pieces back together and create someone even stronger, better than before.... becoming the person you want to be."
Who is the person you want to be?  Do you have questions?  Real soul searching questions that matter to you?  I believe we all do if we will admit it.

One of the women shared something about what she was doing in regards to the phrase and how she applied it in her life.  Another women shared something about her feelings in her experience.  And another woman suggested we take that question to General Conference.  I love it that I have friends who are willing to be real, and vulnerable, and supportive!
We have living prophets and apostles on the earth today.  They speak to us every 6 months.  It is modern scripture received in real time.  This weekend we can take our questions to the Lord and watch and listen for answers.  I am excited to learn what the Lord would have me know, right now, in our day, for our time. 
I encourage you to tune in to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this weekend.  Think of questions and listen for the answers during General Conference.  Better yet, write them down and then act!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Broken Bones, Bumps, Bruises, and Burning Bushes

A few weeks ago, Amelia was being silly and pretending to be a duck.  Elanor was not feeling the best and was sitting down.  There was Amelia.... flapping away as if she were a flying duck and smacked Elanor right in the head with her hand.  Amelia began to scream and cry and it was hard to tell just how serious things were.  We went to urgent care the following day.  
Urgent care #1 - X-rays, nothing broken, go get a cheap splint from Walmart and save 60 bucks.
Urgent care #2 - additional x-rays, possible 5th metacarpal box fracture, splint.
Orthopedic specialist - fracture is questionable, cast anyway, for three weeks.

Naomi was playing on Scott's hover board (story to come in a future post).  She slipped and face planted on our deck.  When she lifted up, there was a large amount of blood.  I freaked out a little and Eric took over for a while.  Her teeth cut her upper lip pretty bad and also her lower lip.  Her top left tooth (1 over from center) was moved and the gum was severely bruised.  Eating and talking is a bit though.  She seems to be healing nicely though.

shortly after the bleeding stopped

day #2

day #3

day #4

day #5

Scott also fell.  He skinned his arm near the elbow.  No biggie! 

Seth has been experiencing what I recognized as panic attacks.  We went to the doctor to be certain.  He heart and lungs sounded great, but she ordered an EKG just to be certain.  Everything was good physically.  So it is panic attacks.  
I remember my panic attacks started when I was 10.  My dad thought I was having a heart attack.  I had an EKG and was told I was fine.  It took years to determine I was having panic attacks, and even more years to overcome them.  I hope Seth will have a faster learning curve than me. 
 Seth is in the stage of his life where he wants to grow up but doesn't.  He has been doing much better the last couple of days.

Elanor did get bonked on the head.....  So we are 5 for 5!

Walking through our property is made very difficult by all the brush and thorny bush growth.  Spring has arrived and along with it, the thorny bushes are budding.  NOT fun.  I am really looking forward to burning and learning how to burn our land.  I recently learned that ticks live in the ground and if you burn the leaves as they are waking up, you burn them away.  Yay, another reason to burn. It helps to keep the ticks under control.  I literally learn something new every day.

After eating dinner one night, Elanor went out to take down her hammock.  She came in an announced that the hillside across the valley was on fire!  Wow.  The Tuckers were doing a burn!  I decided to go over and see how this works since we want to do it.  I arrived in the dark and they asked where everyone else was.  I called Eric and everyone came!  I love it that they seem to love us as much as we love them. 

There was a hollow stump with a good amount on leaves at the bottom.  
It looked like a chimney of fire!