Saturday Smidgen Series, Part Seven: June 7, 2014

In my Saturday Smidgen Series posts, I offer you a smidgen sized glance at life on the prairie.  We do this in theory every Saturday, at least for the alliteration, but I think it’s more of a theory.

Homesteader Problems

Homesteader Problems

Here's a close-up of GirlOne's pocket...

Here’s a close-up into GirlOne’s pocket…

On Wednesday night there was a small tornado that hit the town of Hugo.  We’re OK as well as all the residents of Hugo.  The tornado made the news.  We didn’t even get the tornado right here, just a lot of wind.  The wind blew some branches down.  The downed branches put out the electricity in part of our house. I’m not even really sure how that works, that half of the electric was out and not the other half.  Kevin spent Thursday morning taking some branches down and fixing the electric.  My father-in-law came over with his tractor to help, and also to lift Kevin up to cut the branches.  All those downed branches are still a mess.  I’ll get to it.

ladybuggg

I used my photo editor software to block out my father-in-law who probably doesn’t want his picture on the world wide web.

ladybug

Here, too. I didn’t get Kevin way up in the air, but you get the idea.

mouse tigereye

As Ma Ingalls said, “There is never any great loss without some gain.” Tiger Eye and Mouse love eating the downed branches.

Kevin has been teaching the kids to milk to goats.

PicMonkey goatmilk

Kevin’s been trying to teach the children to milk the goats.

BoyOne, who is five years old now, plays tee-ball.  It is the first sport that any of my kids have ever played.  Thursday evening was supposed to be the first actual game.  They cancelled the game because the rain and tornado the night before flooded the field.  That meant that BoyOne’s first actual game ever was today in Simla.  Simla is around 40 minutes away.  It’s a dinky little town on the prairie and is pretty simla to here.  Apparently I read the paper wrong with the game times.  I was planning to be really early anyway, but with the five kids that didn’t happen.  So we drove all the way to Simla, through the muddy dirt roads only to arrive just as the game was finishing up.  Oops!  Can we say major parenting fail?  I missed my first child’s first sporting game ever and wasted the morning.

I took this picture to at least prove that we were there.   I took the camera with me and then realized that I left the battery charging.  I took this picture with my prepaid flip phone and it cost me 25 cents to email it to myself.   You can also see the mud that I parked the car in.  It took me two tries to get out of the spot.  That mud is now all over my minivan, inside and out.  It was all over my children, too, before bath time.

I took this picture to at least prove that we were there.
I took the camera with me and then realized that I left the battery charging at home. I took this picture with my prepaid flip phone and it cost me 25 cents to email it to myself.
You can also see the mud that I parked the car in. It took me two tries to get out of the spot. That mud is now all over my minivan, inside and out. It was all over my children, too, before bath time. Oh, and those children you see in the background who are actually playing ball are not on BoyOne’s team. They’re the older bunch who played later.

Yesterday (Friday) we went to Children’s Hospital to have Vince’s follow-up MRI.  It has been three months from his surgery, three months today actually.  The brain is healing well and the tumor has not shown any signs of growing back.    What a blessing and a miracle!  I was super nervous.  I forgot my camera at home.  Going to Denver is always an adventure.

I also gave blood yesterday.  I haven’t given blood in around ten years.  I feel giving blood is a good thing to do, but I’m usually pregnant and not able to.  My son Vince did get a unit of blood when he had his surgery.  It’s probably a good idea to “replace” it even if we’re not compatible.  I have the rarest blood type that there is- AB Negative.

And, yes, this is for real. This is a gigantic miller moth. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. That’s a nickel.

miller

These are Kevin’s jean.


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Saturday Smidgen Series, Part Six: May 31, 2014

Life is good sometimes. Last Saturday, Kevin got off from work early. We got to have a little barbecue. Bratwursts from a friend’s pastured pig grilled on a cast iron griddle, a glass of wine, smores, and a beer for my husband makes for an absolutely perfect evening.

Life is good.

Life is good.

This week I went to New Jersey. It was a quick trip. Kevin had some extra days off so I went when he could watch the children. I brought Baby4 with me because she’s free as a lap child.  Our luggage was late coming in.  Here we are at Newark Airport, when we finally did get the luggage (and car seat).

Here we are in Newark Airport when we finally did get our luggage.

Here we are in Newark Airport when we finally did get our luggage.

I knocked on my mother’s door, as a surprise.  She said “Who is it?” and I said “[Baby4’s name]”.  (If you remember, Baby4’s name is a derivative of my mom’s name.) My mom thought I said her name and said “Yes” and opened the door.  You should have seen the look on her face.  Laura’s little house on the prairie is 1699 miles away from my mother’s house.

The main purpose of my visit was to see my grandmother, Grandma Rose.  Grandma Rose isn’t doing too well and it breaks my heart.  I had a very hard time taking a picture that I’d even want to take, if that makes sense.  I don’t want to remember my grandma in her frailty and unawareness.  I want to remember Grandma Rose as the Grandma Rose I know and love.  She had a moment of lucidity where she was at least aware of the baby.  I don’t think she knows or understands that Baby4 is her great granddaughter. Saying goodbye to Grandma Rose was really really hard.  I am fearful that it was my last goodbye to her.  I guess there’s not much I can do, besides pray.

grandma

I also visited my other grandmother.  She is not very aware, but she’s doing OK physically.  My sainted aunt takes very very good care of Grandma Loretta.  Again, it’s hard to get a picture that seems like something I want to remember.  I did get a picture of Manhattan from the BQE.  It’s not a very good picture.  I was driving.  The new World Trade Center is very visible, although I mourn seeing it.

BQE stands for Brooklyn Queens Expressway.  It's a misnomer because it's not usually very express.

BQE stands for Brooklyn Queens Expressway. It’s a misnomer because it’s not usually very express.

On Thursday, I went to Mass at St.Somebody Church.  St.Somebody Church was very, um, educational, and not in a good way.  I fulfilled my obligation.  St.Somebody is under jurisdiction of the local Bishop.  Father is a validly ordained priest with faculties.  It was a valid Mass.  St.Somebody is case and point of why I prefer the Traditional Latin Mass.  I’m a snob with ADD.  I need all the seriousness and “smells and bells” of the TLM.  I’m unable to get through my head that St.Somebody Parish really has the representation of Christ’s Sacrifice on Calvary.  I’m a bo-bo Catholic. The precept of the Church is to attend Mass on Sundays and Holydays, not to attend TLM Mass.

St.Somebody is a church in the round.

St.Somebody is a church in the round.

Saturday when I was back home, I passed this bull. I thought he looked so funny standing there, actually guarding the cattle guard. Cattle guards are metal slats in roadways that cars can drive over but cattle will not walk over. They have different depth perception than us and they fear the cattle guards. Quite a contrast to two days before, my BQE picture above.

He is not mine.

He is not mine.

I also took snapped this picture Saturday of this cute calf who is not mine. I find it mind boggling that the BQE and this road are even in the same country.

Is this the same country?

Is this the same country?

I came home to a new bathroom. I am in love. I have hated my tub ever since I moved here. I think I’ll be showering just for fun now.

I'm in love.

This looks like a different house, forget about a new tub and toilet.

While I was in New Jersey, Kevin and the kids had their own fun.

Kevin and the kids were having their own fun.

Kevin and the kids were having their own fun.


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Saturday Smidgen Series, Part Five: May 11, 2014

I’m a day late posting this and I missed last week.  It’s called life.

Today is Mother’s Day.  I hate Mother’s Day.  Really.  I hate all holidays.  There’s just too much for me to do.  I stick to basics, like laundry and cleanliness.  Preparing for a holiday is just too much to do.  I force myself to do things for religiously significant ones, like Christmas and some Feast Days.  I suppose that we could say Mother’s Day is significant because it’s in May and May is the Month of Mary and Mary is our heavenly Mother.  But other than that, no.  I wish my mother a happy Mother’s Day to keep a semblance of peace.  (I didn’t one year and there was heck to pay.  Lesson learned.)  Mother’s Day is a Sunday which means I still have an obligation to attend Mass.  Today we opted for a Novus Ordo hand holding good time since it’s only ten minutes away and Kevin has been putting crazy hours in the last few days at work.  My babies still poop on Mother’s Day and therefore need their diapers changed.  Mother’s Day is still a Sunday so it is still one of Kevin’s days to work.  I’ll take a clean house, clean laundry and clean butts.  Thanks.

You can see a flyer for a fishing derby below.  This is the second thing of this sort that we’ve received in the mail. The first was for some kind of “survivors” shindig with balloons. I think these types of things scare me almost more than the illness itself. Vince did have a brain tumor. We know that.  They removed the brain tumor in March and now two months later he is doing wonderfully.  I don’t consider my Vince seriously ill or a survivor.  I suppose he is.  That makes me cry.  Last Sunday he took Daddy’s shaving cream and decorated my new refrigerator.  That doesn’t seem seriously ill to me, does it to you?  I’m not in denial.  I just don’t want his brain tumor to define him or to define our family.  Vince is still my baby.  (And, no, we’re not able to attend these types of shindigs because they’re all in the Denver area two hours away and Kevin works evenings and weekends.  Even if they were five minutes away and Kevin was off, I really don’t know how I feel about them.)

Does he look seriously ill?

Does he look seriously ill?

I’m in love with Mouse the Pig.  I really am.  She is the sweetest thing, although I still get nervous around her.  She follows me around sometimes.

Sometimes you just got an itch...

Sometimes you just got an itch…

Kevin installed the gate that I built onto the goat yard.  It is awesome and I’m loving having a real gate there.  As you can see, I use pretty much all scrap and used wood.  I did use a new piece of wood for the diagonal support and the bottom piece.  He used posts that were already laying around here.  We had to buy hinges and a latch.  A gate with mostly used wood was still about $23.00 for just the hardware and I’m not sure how much the wood was.

The bottom shows the gate open.  The top shows the gate closed.  My kids are good gate models, don't you think?

The bottom shows the gate open. The top shows the gate closed. My kids are good gate models, don’t you think?

I finally saw the actual town of Arriba.  I had never been.

You can say that again, Arriba.

No Man’s Land?  You can say that again, Arriba.


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Saturday Smidgen Series, Part Four: April 26, 2014

In the Saturday Smidgen Series, I offer you a smidgen sized glance at life around our homestead this week.

We started this week off at High Mass.  We went to the Easter Vigil after Kevin got out of work.  We missed the “vigil” part but were on time for the actual Mass.  We had to wait for Kevin to get out of work.  I love High Mass.  We were pretty beat on Easter.  Kevin was off, which was a blessing.  He worked on a an emergency plumbing problem which needed some immediate attention.

Kevin also installed our new oven in the kitchen.  Is it possible to be in love with an oven, in an oven sort of way?  I really really am.  It is a Maytag oven.  It has five burners on the top and a 5.8 cubic foot actual oven.  It’s the biggest cheapest oven I could get.  I am really in love.
My sister also sent us an anniversary present- the cast iron griddle skillet that you see on the right.  And that’s our organic grass fed beef on the skillet on the stove.  I’ve never had a cast iron anything, although it’s been on my wish list forever.  I’m in love with the skillet, the oven and the beef.  Hooray!

I'm in love.

I’m in love.

 

Tuesday, my son Vince broke one of my Croydon Mattress Factory mugs.  I actually thought they were indestructible.  When I was first on my own, I happened to go to the Echelon Mall for an interview and I happened to also walk into the Croydon Mattress Factory store in the mall.  I happened to fall in love with a futon and put it on layaway.  It took me quite a few months to pay it off.  I was really excited.
“Here is a mug,” the salesman said.  “As a matter of fact, take two mugs.  You’ll need them since you are newly on your own.”
The salesman was right.  At first the mugs were my pride and joy.  They even matched each other.  As I slowly began to acquire “real” mugs, glasses and dishes, I began to, um, not prefer my Croydon Mattress Factory mugs.  I almost hoped they’d break.  Nope.  I moved them to a second apartment in New Jersey and then to Pennsylvania.  In Pennsylvania, I took them to work to keep there.  I didn’t care if they broke.  They never did.  I took them to Colorado.  They never broke here.  Now that I have kids, we break EVERYTHING.  I mean really everything.  But we never broke the Croydon mugs.  Sigh.  I would hand them to toddlers, almost hoping.  Finally this week, Vince broke one.  I didn’t think it could be done and in a way I’m sad about it, which really surprises me.

croydon

The Croydon Mattress Factory…

We made Resurrection Rolls for Easter.  They are cinnamon sugary goodness and teach an important lesson about Easter.

Cooking is more fun with toddlers.  Really.

Cooking is more fun with toddlers. Really.

On Friday, I took my kids to Colorado Springs for their regular dental checkup.  Here you can see that they are wearing their new matching shirts, on the grounds of the dentist.  I am in love with Zulily. It is a discount lady’s and kid’s clothes website with some gorgeous gorgeous stuff.  If I had the money for it to be a problem, I could see myself buying way too much on there.  I bought my boys their matching John Deere shirts there and my daughter her canvas shoes.

Have you seen my tractor?

Have you seen my tractor?

I had Vince’s hair cut professionally while we were in Colorado Springs.  It was his first haircut after his surgery.  In a way I was scared to get to cut or cut it ourselves.  But I guess life moves on and hair grows.  If you are new to this blog, you can check out my other blog which tells some of the story of Vince’s recovery from his brain tumor, which was removed in March.

Before and After

Before and After

When we were in Colorado Springs on Friday, we also went to The Home Depot.

They don't have those kid-holder carts anymore!

They don’t have those kid-holder carts anymore!

We’ve been trying to work on a birthing stall for Mouse the pig  and get geared up for the summer.

 


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Saturday Smidgen Series, Part Three: April 19, 2014, Late

In the Saturday Smidgen Series, I hope to give you a couple of small smidgen glances into life around our homestead (mostly from this week)…
I had finally found my camera.  Since it had been missing for a few days, there are some days missing in our pictures.

 

This first picture is actually from last week.  Five kids, a baby goat and our dog is how we roll here on the prairie…

It's really hard to get everyone to look the same way!

It’s really hard to get everyone to look the same way!

 

On Wednesday, I made a Passion Week Dinner.  I’m not that smart.  I got the idea from the internet.  We had it on Wednesday since I had some appointments on Thursday in suburban Denver and I didn’t want to have treats on Good Friday.  Here you can see that my son doesn’t know how to set the table.  You can also see the Hersey kisses to represent Judas’s betrayal of Jesus, the thirty silver kisses to also represent Judas’s betrayal, eggs to represent Peter’s denial before the crock crowed, salt and vinegar potato chips to represent the vinegar given to Jesus on the Cross, peanut butter and pretzel crosses to represent the Cross, the swords of cheese too represent St. Peter cutting the ear off of the soldier and the Crowns of Thorns.  Yeah, I know that roosters don’t lay eggs and this ain’t gonna help me get into heaven.  I just felt the need to do something to bring this down to the kids’ level.
And also, as an FYI, either I’m doing this all wrong or all-peanut-peanut-butter doesn’t work very well as a “glue” for pretzels.  Perhaps the other blog writers that I stole this idea from used the fake stuff.

Passion Week Dinner

Passion Week Dinner… And yes, even though we finished repainting the exterior of the house in September, that is still painting tape on the outside of the window.

 

We now have a new “playhouse”, aka water heater box.

I stuck photo editor daisies on here to block out my address.  This IS the internet.

I stuck photo editor daisies on here to block out my address. This IS the internet.

 

Here is Baby5, just because he’s cute…

Did you notice the oatmeal on his face?

Did you notice the oatmeal on his face?

 

I made a lamb cake for Easter.  I know it’s corny and I know you can call this a PinterestFail, but I like the idea of eating lamb on Easter.  Except that lamb is super expensive, we have a freezer full of our own organic grass fed meat and we’re not even crazy about lamb.  I also don’t have a lamb cake mold, so this is what I came up with, using some inspiration from Pinterest.  I baked the cake in a bowl, a loaf pan and a 9×13 pan.  The 9×13 pan is the base.  The bowl is the head.  I cut the loaf pan cake into legs, ears and a tail.  I used white cake and white frosting, a whole bag of white marshmallows, a few pink marshmallows from a colored bag and a few chocolate chips.  So it’s not the best, but considering my normal cake wrecks, this came spectacular.  I just don’t normally have the patience or skill to make appealing looking cakes.  I need to take a class or something.  I’m tired of cake wrecks. I actually made two of these.  We brought one to our relatives’ house and the other one is still sitting on the kitchen counter.  We just haven’t had a chance to eat it yet.  That is horrible, I know, but we like our shower more.  In addition to normal Easter stuff, Kevin needed to do an emergency repair on our shower.  We really like indoor plumbing.

I named him Joshua.

I named him Joshua.


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Saturday Smidgen Series, Part Two: April 12, 2014

I think that I would loose my head if it wasn’t attached to by body. I cannot find the camera AGAIN! I seem to always loose my camera… ugh! Here is even a smaller smidgen than I had intended since I still have some great pictures on the camera, the camera that I can’t find.

We spent most of this week working on the basement and the chicken house. Those pictures are on the camera… I guess you get the first half of the week at least…

BABY

This is my youngest daughter last Saturday. She is 18 months.

This is Vince last Sunday in his Sunday best.  He is healing well, miraculously really.

This is Vince last Sunday in his Sunday best. He is healing well, miraculously really.

This is Kuzco just because I love Kuzco.

This is Kuzco just because I love Kuzco.

Vince is cute, if I do say so myself.

Vince is cute, if I do say so myself.

pearl

Pearl had her babies Tuesday.


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Saturday Smidgen Series, Part One: April 5, 2014

In the Saturday Smidgen Series, I hope to give you a couple of small smidgen glances into life around our homestead (mostly from this week)…
This week we pretty much spent trying to get some of our spring homestead work done.  I’ve been getting back into the swing of things after two of my children had hospital stays in the month of March.

DSCN2845

Wednesday night into Thursday we had snow. It was a decent amount. We need all the moisture we can get.

IMG_0451

This is someone’s pasture. By Thursday afternoon, the snow had mostly melted.

DSCN2866

Friday, one of our chickens decided to be queen of the haystack.

DSCN2867

She could not figure out how to climb down, so she flew down. Chickens don’t fly very often, so they are pretty funny when they do.

DSCN2847

I’ve spent the later half of this week trying to perfect my fodder techniques. Here you can see a Home Depot bucket full of soaking wheat berries on the back porch with a tumbleweed in the background.

DSCN2852

Apparently it is fun to hold tumbleweeds, stand by Mommy’s minivan and touch the side mirror.
Also notice how muddy my minivan is. I took it to town Thursday afternoon through the newly melted-snowy-turned-muddy roads.

These are bean seedlings on my kitchen counter next to the sink.  I have started them off in little egg cartons.  I am trying to have a kick butt garden this year, again.  I've never been successful before.  Maybe the seventh time's the charm.
These are bean seedlings on my kitchen counter next to the sink. I have started them off in little egg cartons. I am trying to have a kick butt garden this year, again. I’ve never been successful before. Maybe the seventh time’s the charm.

 


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