Sunday, December 30, 2007

Skins...Genesis 3:21

I was posting a reply to my last post to answer some questions and it started taking on a life of its own. post!

All the family has completed moccasins now. The sizing seems to be ok except for the big guys. M made up The Man's pair, and it fits him fine. The men's sizing on those kits is about 1 size off. It's unisex sizing, so they are accurate for women and children, men should order at least one size up. If your feet are especially wide, they'll be a bit snug also, but the should stretch ok. Sacagawea's are big on her, but we did order a size up since she's a growing girl!

Lori, we don't have a deer...we have a deer hide. Actually, we have deer hides. Why? Because The Man asks for and gets hides. He put up a sign at the Indian clinic he used to work at asking for hides. People are more than willing to give him the "leftovers" from their hunt.

He bags them up and puts them in the freezer. NOT this freezer! That is a big no-no. When we moved in here the previous occupants left an extra freezer and refrigerator/freezer in the utility room. The freezer portion of that frig was "given" to The Man. It holds all hides and other dead things until he has a chance to dissect/skin/tan. No for-human-consumption foods are kept in that freezer.

Of course there was the time he asked for and received deer brains (great for tanning the hides, so I'm told). The entire head was given to him. Apparently, it wouldn't fit in "his" freezer.

A few weeks (months?) later I was digging in the chest freezer in the garage when I came across a plastic bag. I opened it, saw the antlers, and figured out what else was in there. I dropped the bag back in the freezer and went to find The Man.

"Please remove your deer head from my freezer."

"There isn't a deer head in the freezer. It must be the bag of acorns I collected."

"No. It is a deer head. I know what a deer head looks like."

He patiently went to the freezer, opened it, and said, "OH...THAT deer head. I forgot about that one."


Friday, December 28, 2007

How beautiful are thy feet with shoes...Song of Solomon 7:1

Shereen hosts Sew Crafty Friday over on her blog. Although I enjoy seeing some of things others are up to, I really haven't had time to do much crafting lately. Yesterday I finished putting together one of my Christmas presents, so I'd thought I'd share!

The Man needed a new pair of moccasins so he decided to make his own. He knew the kids would want to get in on the action also so he got us all some kits for Christmas. He got the "Little Scout" kits for the kids and the fringed boot for us. Mine was a little snug when I finished them this morning, but after wearing them all day, they've stretched nicely. The sizing instructions on the website don't match the sizing on the packaging, thus The Man's pair will probably be too small for him. M will grow into them soon enough, so it isn't a total loss. The Man is trying to decide if he wants to order another kit or use the deer hide in the freezer to create his pair (I'm not kidding...ick).Now I truly feel like Sacagawea's mom! Head on over to Shereen's blog to see other projects people are working on right now.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tree that is pleasant to the sight...Genesis 2:9

Merry Christmas! I wanted to get a picture up of our tree before next year. The Man and children drove up in the mountains to cut it down. The Man did better this year in not getting one that was too tall for our house.

I forgot to ask him to make sure it wasn't too wide. We got out the tape measure this morning...7'-1" tall and 7'-4" at the widest point. I didn't get to put any lights on the porch this year since they were all needed to go around the tree.

We had lots of fun with family visiting. The kids and their cousins did another Christmas pageant for us this year. Of course, we had too much food. I made a vegan turkey loaf, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach/artichoke casserole, pumpkin cookies and rolls. The Man made an apple crunch and the gravy, and J made the salad.

Here's a picture a few nights before Christmas as The Man was preparing to sand down a thrift store find. Sacagawea found it a few weeks ago browsing a Goodwill. I happened to be talking to The Man on my cellphone at the time so she asked Daddy if she could have it. Its finish needed some TLC, but it was sturdy and I thought it was well worth the $9.99 price.
Fortunately we had some paint left over from her birthday presents so they all match.
Unfortunately, rather than staying in her bedroom with the matching crib and high chair, I think this rocker will become a permanent part of the living room. She does enjoy sitting in front of the wood stove rocking her baby dolls.

The Man got his own rocker for Christmas...rather, a face-to-face glider. It belonged to his grandparents, sitting in their backyard for the last 45 years, and it was one of the things The Man requested. "Are you SURE?" I had no idea what he would do with it since it had been in a state of disrepair for many years. It was ready to be sent off to the junkyard, but The Man wanted it. The Man's step-dad fixed it up for him, re-welding some pieces. He and The Man had a lot of fun re-assembling it Christmas night.
Now it is as good as new. Well, not quite. It could still use a coat of paint, but I'm sure it is much sturdier than some of the modern gliders. We'll store it in the barn this winter to keep in out of the elements and next spring we will give it a proper finish and cover.

One last picture of the tree. That is a genuine hand-made Lego ornament there. Also, a choo-choo train from long ago. We had to glue it together again this year. Styrofoam is very forgiving. And the popcorn...we'll put it back in the gallon ziploc bag to save for next year. I think this is the third year we've used those same popcorn strings.
Maybe we can pass them on down to our children some day.

Just kidding!

Unless they really want them.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

All things well...Mark 7:37

J is better, if jumping over the furniture is any indication. I pulled out my Bissell Proheat and cleaned the carpet in the boys' room this morning. I usually don't shampoo the carpets in the winter since it takes so long to dry, but it needed it. I cranked up the electric heat (we've been heating with just the wood stove) so it should be dry by tonight. M is vacuuming the entryway now and then I'll go ahead and shampoo there also.

I hope the other kids don't get sick. I sent M and S to work with The Man yesterday morning. The past few years we've helped assemble and pass out the Salvation Army food baskets and yesterday they were being put together a few doors down from his office. They walked down the block to help with the baskets. The kids are really able to help by sorting the canned goods and taking the boxes to cars for people. They enjoy it also. After most of the boxes had been passed out they walked back up The Man's office and came home with him for lunch.

I did get my boxes packed up yesterday. The Man took them to the post office late in the afternoon, so they may not have gone out until this morning. They might not make it to their destinations by Christmas, but at least they are on their way.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Give earnest heed...lest we should let them slip...Hebrews 2:1

Good morning! I'm sitting here on the couch at 5:30 in the morning with nothing better to do than tell you about the last 24 hours.

Yesterday I decided to go to the big, big city and finish up the last bit of the holiday shopping. J asked to go with me. When all four kids accompany me to any store you would probably pick J out to be the one "least likely to ASK to go shopping with mom." However, when it is just the two of us, we both have a grand time.

Two years ago our December trip to the big city was extended when the freeway was closed due to weather while we were up there. The kids and I spent the night in the home of one of The Man's co-workers (who couldn't make it home himself) and went home the next day. Yesterday morning was beautiful, though, and it promised to be a good trip.

We hit Barnes and Noble first. We could have spent all day there, but Target and the mall beckoned. Then we went to Lowes to get a tub/shower surround similar to the cracked one The Man pulled out of our bathroom Saturday night. The Man bought one last week that was nicer, but then discovered that our atypical bathroom can't handle that one. We briefly considered a full bathroom remodel to make that surround fit, but we opted for just getting a different surround.

J and I did take coats with us yesterday, but they stayed in the van while we went in and out of stores. Even when the slight drizzle developed late in the afternoon (can you see where this is going?) we didn't need our coats. We finished up our trip with a few grocery stores then we finally headed home about 8:00. The trip usually takes just over an hour, but that was not to be.

As we headed south I saw a lighted sign on the freeway. Chains required 9 miles ahead.

We always carry chains...2 sets. I knew they were in the back, buried. I got off at the very next exit, pulled into a gas station and found the chains. J retrieved the wind-up flashlight from under his seat and then I called The Man. He checked the internet for me and confirmed that chains were being required over the mountain pass.

I pulled out the handy instructions that came with our chains and read them over carefully. I had attempted to put them on one other time in our driveway when we had over a foot of snow. It didn't work out well and I ended up using the chains just for traction under the wheels. I noted in the instructions that it said to try out the chains before they are actually needed. Next time. We set out again. A few miles later we came across another sign. Chain up area.

I pulled over and J got out with me to hold the flash light. We both headed back in the van to get our coats. It was getting pretty nippy, especially with the semis going by. I did notice that only a few other folks were chaining up and most were just speeding by. One hour after first calling The Man from the gas station, I called him again to let him know we were all chained up and ready to go over the mountain. I will admit that I was slightly disappointed that I didn't have my camera with me so I could show you my wheels!

We bumped along at 22 mph. Several minutes later another sign came into view. Chain inspection point--Prepare to stop. I was ready! one was there! I called The Man again and he again checked the internet. In the time it took for me to carefully read the materials and chain up, the restriction had been lifted. Chains were no longer required. Hmph. Since it was still drizzling, I decided to keep the chains on anyway.

As we were approaching the top of the pass, it was obvious that I was one of the few people on the road using chains since everyone else was speeding by me. I was planning on stopping and removing the chains once I got over the pass, but right at the summit I could feel the front tires slipping. Hooray! The chains weren't for naught! At that time two other cars came up behind me and decided that my 22 mph was just right for them also. They followed for a few miles down the mountain until the roads weren't quite so slippery. I pulled over to remove the chains, but I noted the shoulder was rather icy. I got back in the van and we bumped down the mountain for a few more miles.

The snow finally disappeared so I pulled off again to remove the chains. A nice man pulled over to see if I needed help removing the chains. I figured if I could put them on then I could take them off. I was right, although I will say that putting them on was a much cleaner job than taking them off.

A few miles later I had cell phone coverage again and I called The Man to let him know we were over the pass. It had been one hour since I'd chained up. Once I made it to the city I called again to see if there were any restrictions over our local mountain pass. There weren't, but I noted that there was a lot of snow up there that wasn't there when I left in morning. We finally made it home at 10:45. I washed the road grit off my arms and hands while The Man unloaded the van and I went to bed about 11:30.

I turned off the alarm so I could sleep in this morning.

At 4:00 J came in our bedroom to let us know that he was sick. The Man got up to clean up the mess. A little while later I got up and started the laundry. The Man went back to bed, but I stayed up with J.

That sums up my last 24 hours. Now it is time to get the rest of the family up and put some quilts in the dryer. Maybe I'll get a nap sometime today. I do need to get 5 or 6 packages in the mail today also.

Notes on tire chains:
-Have chains and rubber tighteners already in the vehicle. Don't wait until you need them to buy them at premium price (if any are available).
-Read directions carefully.
-Practice putting them on before you need them (I skipped that step). Don't assume you can just pay someone to do it for you. In the hour it took me to put them on, nobody stopped to see if I needed help (I would like to think that is because I looked quite capable, but I'm afraid it was just because no one else wanted to do it).
-Read directions again.
-Pray some more.
-Follow directions.
-Drive slow (don't forget the hazard light blinkers to let the crazy people know you are driving slower than they are). The instructions said not to go over 30 mph, but anything over 22 was too bumpy for me.
-Clean them up and put them away carefully so they'll be available for the next time!
-Pack some (fingerless) gloves in the chain box. I wish I had had some gloves with me last night! I am thankful that we had our coats with us. It would have been brutal without a coat.
-Pack some paper towels or something to clean up with afterwards. Trying to drive while covered in road grit isn't fun.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Let us take our journey...Genesis 33:12

create your own personalized map of the USA

I've visited 29 states (56%). I'm not sure New York and New Jersey really count, since JFK is all I've seen of New York. My time in NJ was spent on a tarmac while waiting for the NY weather to clear. The same for Minnesota...all I've seen of it is the airport. It looks like a Northern States tour and an East Coast excursion are in order. Of course, we need to visit Alaska and Hawaii also. Where have you been?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Look to the hand...Psalm 123:2

Sacagawea lost her first tooth this morning. She has seen her brothers pull out their own teeth so often that she thought nothing of just yanking it out herself. I knew it was pretty loose, but I didn't know it was ready yet. She brought it to me, quite proud that she had pulled it herself. As you can see, her bottom right tooth is just about ready to come out also.

She had another orthodontist appointment the week before last. The orthodontist was impressed with the wonderful spacing that she has. He said in another six months or so we'll see about a
quad-helix for her.

I wrote the date and information about the tooth on our calendar. Someday I'll gather all of our past wall calendars and fill out the kids' baby books. Someday...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The arm that has no strength...Job 26:2

"Do you want these shots in one arm or both arms?"

I opted for just one arm. I figured it would be nice to have at least one arm that didn't hurt.

Last week I went for the first medical appointment that I'd had in a long time. Since I was a new patient, I had a lot of forms to fill out about a lot of stuff, including the date of my last tetanus shot. ????? I know I had one before I went off to college, and I vaguely remember getting one at some point after that, but I have no firm recollection of which decade that may have happened. I sifted through my file folders, but I couldn't find any reference to a tetanus shot.

The nurse gave me a list of dates for the Public Health shot clinics. Today was the day. I asked if they gave flu shots also. They did. I'm sore. I suspect that the soreness is mostly from the tetanus, but since they were in the same arm, I'm really not sure.

The point of this post? The next time I have to fill out a form that asks when my last tetanus shot was I can just check my blog...or I could, as the nurse suggested, just write that info on the back of my license so it will always be handy.

Oh, and for the blog-record (and my mother), I went in last Friday morning for a big ol' blood draw. Cholesterol, TSH, and liver levels are all fine. Cholesterol was improved over my last set of tests 3 years ago.

Since this post is all about me, I'll include a photo from my birthday last month (after The Man's and before S's). Here are S & Sacagawea roasting veggie-dogs in the wood stove. They like roasting them on a fire outside, but I thought it was too cold or something, so we did it inside.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Glory to God in the highest...Luke 2:14

The Man and M decided to participate in the Christmas program that the church up in the city puts on every year. They both sang bass in the choir Friday and Saturday nights. Those of you that know them might even be able to pick them out in this blurry picture. Some of my readers may even be able to pick out a few other folks that they know.
They had a very good time and I enjoyed hearing the entire songs rather than just the bass parts they have been singing around the house the past few weeks.

I just cleaned off the camera and came across the picture I took several weeks ago. Here is a photo of M on the unicycle. Most of the pictures have M either hanging on to the post or with one or both feet on the ground. His record distance is about 6 feet.

We discovered on Saturday that M is even taller than I am when I'm wearing my shoes with heels.

"I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth." Psalm 34:1

A time to be born, and a time to die...Ecclesiastes 3:2

There is a new nephew in the family! The Man's step-sister had her baby last Friday. Even though he arrived a few days past his expected due date, I don't think anyone minds now. He is here, and from what I've heard, he is absolutely perfect. Here are some pictures of the little sweetie. Look at those cheeks! Congratulations to all!

Births are, more often than not, eagerly anticipated months in advance. The Man has had at least one lady show up in the ER with "stomach pains" who had no idea up until 5 minutes before the birth that she was going to be a mom. Those cases are the very rare exception. Names considered, nurseries readied, and perhaps an induction or c-section scheduled to give an idea of the anticipated date of birth. That is the way it is supposed to be. Anticipation.

On the other hand, death is rarely "anticipated." Sometimes it is expected, but it often catches us off guard.

I always thought of wise old Solomon as quite a cynic. "A time to be born, and a time to die." The 3rd chapter of Ecclesiastes, as well as starting out rather depressing, also gives hope. Verses 11 and onward give a glimpse of what is beyond: What is beyond our current comprehension and what we can look forward to with joy.

Saturday afternoon we received the news that my cousin had died. He had surgery earlier this year for his esophageal cancer. He was 39 and leaves behind his wife, two children, parents, brothers, and many other relatives and friends. It had been a few years since I had seen him, but as children, we got to visit every few months. When we visited my grandparents, my brothers and I used to walk up to our cousins' house and play basketball
mostly H-O-R-S-E. I almost always lost, but it was fun. And then there was the time they dropped a log on my head...

He will be missed, but I rejoice that there is something better waiting for us.
"Even so, come, Lord Jesus." Revelation 22:20

Ecclesiastes 3

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.

17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.

20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

22 Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?