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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Catch-up Time

 Its time to catch up.  My camera and computer both need some updating work and that has kept me from paying attention to my blog.  Somehow, pictures tend to inspire posts.  I need to get it all taken care of so I can feel like blogging again.  I'm not doing so well at this single mom bit.  When something needs researched, like my computer issues, I just put it off.  I'm too tired to try to learn all about it and make a decision. 

I feel like so many areas of my life need attention right now!  I'm not sure how I'm supposed to do it all.  The Wood Artist is so good at helping me that when he is gone, I feel it keenly.

Anyway, here is a collage of glimpses into my life right now.  I think I mentioned that my grandmother talked us into getting a kitten.  Really now!  This kitten was brought to the barn on her farm and was too small to make it on its own.  The guilt trip was laid.  Mr. Blueberry Eyes used them (his eyes) to plead his case.  The Wood Artist even said he thought the kids needed it (like a hole in the head?!!!!!).  So, enter Fluffy.  We now have 27 animals.  That's what the kids say.  I've been too busy to count them.   (Most of them are chickens) She is very fun, though.  Filled with personality and feistiness. 

The problem has been that she is too small to go through our cat door.  We've always kept the cat box downstairs as I detest a house that smells like animals.  But, for the last month, we've had a cat box by our door.  Yuck, yuck, yuck!  We've tried to teach her to go through the door and have moved the cat box down, but each time have met with messes.  There is nothing worse that cat mess.  Seriously!  Anyway, I finally asked a new friend about it today.  This lady trains animals for the movies.  She said, "Prop the cat door open".  O.k.  That was way too obvious.  I'm embarrassed.  Why couldn't I have thought of that?!  So I used strapping tape to open the door as soon as I got home tonight.  She immediately ran down and used the box.  Score! Hopefully that is all there is to that!
Laughing Water is in drama again this year.  Here she is doing a monolog of  Princess Mia from Princess Diaries.  It is right after Mia tried to run away, but got caught in a rainstorm and then decided to accept the crown after all.  She loves her class.  Right now she is practicing for a dialog from "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

This year I've signed the kids up for some classes in town put on by members of the home school association.  They are both taking anatomy and physiology and art.  Laughing Water is also taking a writing class.  They got to explore sheep hearts today.  It is fun and so very educational, but I sure wish I lived closer to town!  I feel like I'm running Ma's Taxi Service.

There is more to say, but I'm tired, so will leave it for later.  Blessings, Nanette

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Be Still My Soul

 "Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side...."  I have a lot of thoughts tumbling through my head tonight.  They are hard to sort out.  I guess for starters, I'm troubled about recent decisions in our country's government.  I've chosen not to be political on this blog.  I detest conspiracy theories.  But it is getting pretty hard to ignore the lack of respect for our

 Bill of Rights.  I won't say more because I haven't kept up on it and can't speak intelligently about it, but it is weighing on my mind.  I've always struggled unreasonably with fear of the future.  I spent a long time on the phone talking to The Wood Artist today on the phone.  I was out walking in our unseasonably warm weather and he driving on a run (thank God for blu* t**th!)  He spent a long time reminding me that what is really important is our standing with God.  Troubles will come.  Troubles will go.  But the Saviour is here, right here, with us!

The above picture is a common site in Oilville.  It is an oil derrick that is in the process of drilling an oilwell.  When you drive around the countryside, you see many of these.

Old Faithful got two absessed teeth.  I had a long talk with our vet trying to determine what was best.  He is getting so old that I wasn't sure when to say enough is enough.  In the end, the vet felt that he is in fairly sound health. When I got the bill, I wasn't so sure I'd made the right decision.  Poor boy.  His sweet collie face is all swollen and he resists taking his meds because it hurts to open his mouth.  He has been dripping fluid and blood.  I hope he isn't suffering too much.  He did finally eat this morning.
Of course, there is no place like the prairies for sunrises and sunsets.  They are truly beautiful!  - Nanette

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Christmas Away From Home

 The Wood Artist couldn't get enough time off of work to come home for Christmas.  So we went to him.  When I found out that my grandmother's house would already be full, I began to panic.  There are no motels available in Oilville.  I laid out my problem to the Lord and asked Him to help our family be together for Christmas.  This time, His answer was swift.  My aunt found out and immediately offere her tiny cabin.  She was not going to be there and said we would be welcome to stay there.

So, we loaded up the presents, the dog, and even chopped down a fresh fir tree and crammed it in the car.  We drove the 600 miles to Oilville and stayed for two weeks.  The Wood Artist still had to work long hours, but we had him in the evenings and on Sabbaths, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
 We set up our little tree and strung popcorn and cranberries to decorate it.  The Wood Artist has a tradition of reading Christmas stories to us.  My dear Mother-in-Law always gets us the year's "Christmas In My Heart" book and we listen to the sweet, tear-inducing tales. 

Brother Schnicklefritz and Brother Military Police live and work there, too, and Brother Medic visited for Christmas, with my parents, so we had fun being with them and a bunch of cousins.

It seemed surreal, staying there in the tiny cabin that used to belong to my grandparents.  Memories came - That is where Grandma served her scalloped corn and lefse.  This is where Grandpa sat in his chair yelling, "Hurry up, so we can open presents!" in his North Dakota brogue.  That is where Uncle Dan always stood and said, "No, we should put away the presents and save them for next year!", in that unique and teasing voice.  That is where his teacup chihuahua was left outside in the North Dakota blizzard for a half hour when someone let him out to go potty.  The house was noisy and no one could hear his cries in the 50-below-zero windchill.  Poor Pete,  he was blue by the time someone found him.  But he was alive and he did recover.  The memories just keep coming!

Evenings were spent playing dominoes (a new family favorite) and teaching Papa how to play Moose Farkle, the game the kids and I learned to play on our summer camping trip.
 Mr. Blueberry Eyes got croup.  It seems, at nine, he should be too old for it, but he still gets it occasionally.  It hung on much longer than usual, perhaps due to the fact that I was away from my dispensary of all things natural and generally yucky!

Mr. Blueberry Eyes wanted nothing but horse stuff for Christmas.  He wants to decorate his room with horse puzzles, so he got a couple of those along with a lead rope, halter, grooming tools and good books on horses.  He has nearly $300 saved toward a horse and he is getting very excited.

Laughing Water got an extraordinary amount of lovely lotions, body sprays, and other grooming things a pre-teen could love.

I'm pretty sure I scored most, though!  My dearest bought me a latte maker!  It makes fabulous chai teas and wassails!  Laughing Water turned the earth upsidedown looking for a couple of things she knew I had wanted for a long time!  She found me the complete set of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" and the complete series of "Christy".  She was, justly, very proud of herself.  (I know she had some help from Granny Flash.)  I'm a sucker for all things old fashioned.  The episodes I have watched so far have me hankering to pull out my sewing machine and start experimenting with costumes again.

Mostly, though, it wasn't about the gifts.  It really wasn't.  It was about celebrating togetherness.  It was about counting the 1,000 gifts....
*Peace in the heart
*Sparkles in the eyes of my daughter
*Thankfulness in the voice of my son
*Kissing chilly foreheads, lately come in from the outdoors
*Connecting heart to heart with a sister
*A warm house
*An Aunt, sharing what she has
*Snuggling a sleeping nephew
*Red cranberries
*White popped corn
*Running into a former student at church (now a couple of heads taller than I)
*Celebrating Life come down to Earth, setting us right with the Father

These, I will cling to in the face of the uncertainty life has us in right now.  I hope you are making your own list.  It helps.  It really does.  - Nanette