Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cart Trekking, Across the Wilderness . . .

Our Pioneer Trek is officially over, and minus some sleep deficiencies, headaches, and a few sore muscles and blisters, we feel it went quite well. It is always difficult to know if you made a real difference in the lives of those youth. We hope we did. You never really know, I suppose. Our last Trek we had six children, and this time we had nine. C and I both grew up with a brutal work ethic, so we had to hide our awe at the lack of enthusiasm for work from some of our children.

Overall, we had a great time, many adopted children, and a general unity that really came together the last day. The women's pull was a success when we decided to send all of the boys in the family off, rather than the recommended oldest one or two. That really made the experience for the girls, because we were the only girl-only family pulling the handcart up Faith hill with sixty extra pounds in tow on the cart. Their confidence was bolstered immensely, and they knew they were capable of doing difficult things.

We took them all cookies this week with a brief note, and will send off a letter next week via snail mail. I hope they know how great they are, and I hope we have done enough to help them draw closer to Christ.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Faster than a Speeding Toyota

On Saturday C ran in a lengthy race, along with some of our friends. He left early in the morning with B & B, and I, still nursing a strained hip, slept in. C told me how long it would take for him to complete the race, so I figured if I arrived 15-20 minutes before his possible fastest time, I would be there to take in the grand finish. Of course, the race committee started the runners ten minutes early, and then C beat his own time by a mile, so when I arrived, he had just finished the race. I did get to capture B & B's big finish, however, now I just have to post their finale footage online.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Google Wave - the possibilities . . .

Part of my job currently entails looking at existing APIs that will allow me to create some new tools. Because I am in the Proof of Concept testing phase, I can't go into detail, but I must say that Google Wave has certainly caught my eye. While another open source API, formerly CoCoMo, and now AFCS, has the functionality I need with greater depth, Adobe's tools have never been in the Low Cognitive Friction category, so I will have to see if a combination of the two will best meet our needs. It also looks like screensharing is coming!

Is it Wrong to Eat Lasagna at 6:30 AM?

Last night I stopped to pick up some ricotta for lasagna, when I got a text that C had a meeting in less than an hour. I quickly picked up a Kashi pizza, and told him to fire up the oven. While the pizza cooked, I assembled my lasagna, with roasted garlic, and fresh basil, oregano, and sage from my herb garden, whole wheat noodles, grape tomatoes, super lean beef, and sweet red bell peppers. While C ate, I tossed the lasagna in the oven to cook.

At 3:00 AM, C's alarm went off. He occasionally gets the idea that he wants to work a graveyard shift, but then the bed holds him hostage until he is drained of all sleepiness essence. He then is left to suffer through his normal work hours, and the box of doughnuts he purchased for his staff sits around making me want one. I thought he could use a little encouragement this morning. As you can imagine, the initial response was not great, but after his shower, I did get a big "Thank You" for my "encouragement."

After unsuccessfully attempting to journey back into dreamland via iPod serenades, I got up around 4 AM, I ate some yogurt, and went to work. By 6:30, all I could think about was my savory lasagna. Who wrote the rules for breakfast? I always considered myself a non-conformist anyway . . .

Sunday, June 7, 2009

For the Birds: Woodpeckers and Quail

Speaking of birds, in addition to rescuing a duck this year, C recently found an injured quail. I told him that if he brought home any more injured birds, I was going to start wondering if he was the one hitting them with his car. On a serious note, he kept the bird safe in a box in the garage and gave it some water and food, and the next day, we found a bird rehabilitator not far from C's work. He assured C that the bird would be fine.

When searching for our home, I had on my list of requirements that we needed to have mature trees. I didn't realize that we would wind up with ten VERY mature apple trees, three aspen, four pine trees, three ornamental pears, and a fruit-bearing pear. A year after moving in, we removed two apple trees and added a cherry and a braeburn apple. The original apple trees are around 70 years old, and this last year, one of my favorite apple trees fell to deadwood in two of the main trunks. This was also our hammock tree. One unexpected outcome for the deadwood is a family of woodpeckers. The nest sits just a few feet above the hammock, and we can hear the purr of hungry woodpecker babies, and watch the parents tag-team the rigorous feeding schedule. When I get around to it in the next couple of days, I will upload a video of our new feathered friends.

On that note, C is currently cleaning up a neighbor and friends' flooded basement, so who is the real superhero?

My Wife, My Superhero! Bird Droppings are her Kryptonite!

I do little. She does it all. Her heart is huge. My heart is small. I complain about life. She takes it head on. I sleep in. She's up at the crack of dawn. Yes, I'm married to a superhero. Not much she can't do. But tonight I thought she was going to lose it for sure, when the bird sat on the new comfy chair....and dropped a little poo. I love my wife. As you can see, she's amazing. And her chicken noodle is the best soup out there!
"Show us your wings!"

Recent Projects

Inspired by theDude, I thought I would include a few photos of my most recent projects, in reverse chronological order. There is only one thing worse than having construction work done on your home that creates thick layers of dust everywhere, and that is when YOU are the one creating the dust AND the one who has to clean it up!

Claudia, I finally framed in the window!

Well, after years of having tiny wood blocks holding in the stained glass window I built in 2004, I finally sanded, mudded, and finished it. It isn't perfect, but then neither is the window. After completing this project, I spent a day cleaning baseboards, all of the blinds, vacuuming, mopping, and dusting.

Project Backsplash

After a few years of wiping food and water off of the wall, I finally decided to finish our backsplash. This project was a little less dusty, and minus floating the lightswitch and outlet plates, this one was more up my alley than the window.


Finally, I added plants to the planterbox that we started to build last year. Oh, and Friday I started painting the wood fence. That one will take a bit longer. It takes about two hours to do three segments and I only have about thirty more to go.

Apricot Chicken, Lemon Salmon, Chicken Noodle, Rosemary Lamb . . .

The fridge is FULL of food. Not just food, but prepared food. I made scratch gluten-free chicken noodle for a sick friend earlier this week, and was going to cook fresh salmon for us for dinner, but C wanted chicken noodle too, so I made another pot with whole wheat noodles. Rather than let the salmon go bad, I baked it on Thursday night at 9:30 PM, when I also discovered that I had some thawed out chicken that also needed to be used. Last night, when C came home, I told him I would have apricot chicken ready in 20 minutes. He looked at me and laughed, knowing how many other prepared dishes were ready in the fridge. I wish I could say this was always the case, but we will certainly not need to cook for a while. Also readily available, a roasted turkey breast, fresh veggies and fruits, and more!

Big Chair, Little Legs, and Trek Prep

After a long hunt for the perfect cuddle-chair, we found it, and ordered it, and on Thursday, brought it home. I was so excited to move it in, that I quickly moved furniture around and helped C move it into the house. Somewhere in that mess of moving things, I injured a muscle in my left hip.
With Trek only a couple of weeks out, I spent yesterday gathering the big equipment trying to limp around on a lame hip, but I managed to get almost everything on the Ma and Pa equipment list! That being the case, today I have been recovering in my new, big, comfy un-chair to rest my strained hip muscle.

Stumbled Upon . . .

Last night I was looking for photos of Japanese gardens when I found a new blog that I find rather fascinating. I think the most interesting thing about this blog for me, was how well networked this man is, how varied and diverse his interests, and the way he views life. He keeps text to a minimum, includes many interesting photographs, and has a wide array of technical skills that keeps things interesting in his blog. He is truly interested in other people, and is widely traveled. In just a few words or sentences he hooks my interest. He seems like a rather interesting fellow.

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