Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Twenty Years Ago

Twenty years is a long time.  It's long enough for the children to grow up, get married and move far away from home.  It's enough time for the albums of pictures to be falling apart  from all the handling.  It's long enough to forget which year is was that we took that trip to Idaho.  Here's a picture of Aunt Lydia arranging her husband and six children for a family picture...

I have tackled the huge project of taking 27+ years of pictures and ushering them into order by scrapbooking them.  I don't follow many of the raging trends of the day, but this scrapbooking thing has me completely captivated.  Elv bought the new Make The Cut computer program to help me along with this newest pursuit. 

So for a few hours every week I sit at the scrapbooking table and create "spreads" of our memories.  It's been hugely satisfying remembering and making all this pictures into little glimpses of our past trials and triumphs.  I am not bragging at all when I say that when these pictures are all into books; we will have a treasure!

In the light of eternity what is a collection of carefully archived memories?  I have been thinking about that a lot lately.  Scrapbooking does cost a few dollars as you go along. Is this a worthy investment?  What are memories for?  France asks, "Mom, what will we do with the albums when you're will we share them...they all go together." 

May these albums be a celebration of family values.  I hope and pray that the grandchildren will be challenged and encouraged to create worthwhile memories for their children. I hope that even the pages that tell stories of hard times and mistakes will be a means of encouraging them to press on in the things that matter.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cause and Effect

Remember that poison I put out for the chipmunks to enjoy?  Well now, the mice got it too, and no, they do NOT go outside to die.  So that's the rest of the story.  Now I get to hunt for carcasses in the hard to reach places where ever my nose leads me. 

Brad found the first dead critter by the washer quietly decomposing almost in plain sight.  (I just didn't expect to find dead mice in the wash room, I guess.) He took it out and now I can breathe in that room.

Our sitting room and bedroom downstairs are under suspicion only, so far.  I am dreading the idea of trying to lift tiles where there is almost no extra space and looking for could get interesting.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Reading and Concentration

Elv was listening to a someone on the radio explaining how that we have lost the ability to concentrate due to our busy and varied lives.  We sit down to the computer and plan to Bible study, but we check the weather, our blogspot, the news, and our emails on our way to E Sword for study time.  My comment to all that is that I think we have become surface people.  We say we don't have time to read or create or take a break.  We flit from one thing to another unable to settle and make good on any one thing.  

Prayer time has even taken a hit these days.  We've been made to feel guilty for just sitting and listening to anything...and we've forgotten how to listen to His voice, perhaps?

We have clocks in our bedrooms, our bathrooms, and in our minds.  The tick of time has become the march of the boots of work, opportunity, and accomplishment calling us to join.  To be able to add up our many accomplishments at the end of the day is better than to be able to say, "I prayed for you today." or, "I heard God's voice today."

How long has it been since you read a book?  It's been years since I let the whole day go by just reading a book...I used to do that now and then.  Come to think of it, I don't know how to do that anymore.  I have allowed guilt to ruin that for me. Someone has labeled such adventures as "escapism".  

Didn't Jesus escape?  He took whole nights of escape to pray!  How long has it been since I took a break from the routine of needful sleep for successful accomplishment to just sit up and read and pray and think late into the night.  How is it we are all driven to mind the clock for what?  We get to bed so that we can get up and get to work so that we can get home in good time to have supper and get to bed in decent time so that we can get up to ...for what?   

I think I'll read a book today. 

Making Everything Fit In a Little House

Cleaning at our house is more about getting rid of clutter to make space than getting rid of dirt.  We have plenty of dirt, too, but the real issue is usually how to arrange our tiny spaces.

So yesterday I cleaned out the one closet we have on the main floor to make shelving room for the overflow of kitchen tools/appliances that were sitting around taking up counter space.  What a success! The closet was stuffed with things that belonged in the trash.  Deciding that something should be pitched isn't as hard for me as it is for others but that is strictly due to the fact that we don't have room to store what we don't currently use. 

By the time the closet was done and the kitchen looking nicely cleared; I was in the mood to move on.  We took all the pictures of friends and family off from around the white board and put them in an album. The wall looks strangely blank now and I suppose that next Christmas when all our friends send new family pictures; I'll tape them all back up there, but for now it feels uncluttered.   

My nicest triumph for the day is a matted and framed picture of Great Grandpa Skrivseth's family.  There's Great-Great Grandma Craver on that picture too, and Craver Aunt and Uncles.  The picture hangs on our living room wall now. 


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bounce And Critters

       The Bounce seems to be working.  We've had three nights of a quiet ceiling now.  The first two nights we heard the chipmunks come in and then quickly leave.  Also stuffing tin foil as a temporary stop in the hole around the boiler lines coming in may have slowed them down.  Now we can get out the Great Stuff!


Monday, June 7, 2010

The War On Chipmunks

         Is he a cute little bugger?  No he is not.  The chipmunks have moved into our house.  They have a chipmunk dance and multiple domestic squabbles every night above our heads on the upper side of the bedroom ceiling tiles.  

       Back when they were content with the old stump and the wood piles in the back lots they were kinda cute; we thought.  Amy got them to feed out of her hand and she could pet them, too. 

       But now it's time to eliminate them.  I researched it on line and found that extermination is probably the best thing to do...a complete chipmunk purge.  The best way to do this is to trap them in rat traps they say.  "They won't suffer." Wait, who is suffering here?  Or Have A Hart live traps can be used, but " relocated chipmunks hardly ever survive in the new wild surroundings." Some folks who don't mind having ugly, five gallon buckets sitting around out by the porch, say drowning is the best. All you have to do is to cover the water in the bucket with sunflower seeds, lay a ramp up to the top of the bucket lining it with more seeds and presto, you have a chipmunk dunking tank. "It always works".  Isn't that kinda gross? Elv had me buy poison to set out for them to eat.  I put Bounce dryer sheets up there all over their favorite dance floor, and if that doesn't deter the noisy chipmunks it's not all wasted...the mice hate Bounce, so they say.

     So far Brad and Amy have been shooting them with a pellet gun and getting a few too, but obviously they multiply faster than we can shoot them.  Frances even took a crack at one tonight and was sure she'd "got 'im!", then started to feel sick in her soul about it.  But Brad came in and said he couldn't find it... "You missed!" he mocked.

    Once we feel we've rid our property of these pests; Elv hopes to be able to plug a few more holes around the foundation of our house.  This will be a challenge considering the fact that there are two foundations: one for the original house and the other for the addition of the thick stone walls. 

   Would any of you like to own a cute pet?  Bring your live trap with you and you can have as many as like.  They're free, too.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Saturday Evening

It's late Saturday night.  The house is clean, the lawn mowed, the garden freshly tilled, and Elv put a lot of tools, canoes, and stuff away.  He took the trash away and washed the pickup too. In short we had a perfect Saturday finished off with rain.
Next week, Frances starts Drivers Ed. I admit that I am dreading the learning to drive part where I sit in the passenger seat.  She has driven a snowmobile and a four wheeler a plenty though so maybe she won't over steer or under steer and scare the wits out of me as did her older sisters.  
The garden is mostly up now. The potatoes have been coming up in stages over a four week period.  Even today when I was weeding I found some brand new baby taters peeking up.  The tiller Elv bought from his brother Steve is a marvelous litte Troy-Bilt.  Do you remember those ads where the man is walking behind his tiller guiding it one-handed?  This is the one they made the advertisement about.  Love that tiller!
This month the girls have a benefit concert to go to and a recital coming up. The concert is to raise money for the local Pregnancy Crisis Center. They always enjoy it. The recital is to be held at the Valley Nursing Home so that the old people can enjoy it, too.  What a good idea! Personally recitals put me on pins and needles.  I know exactly where my daughters usually miss the note. I guess a recital is not a competition and I've seen parents hold up grandly even though their child was messing up horridly. I wish I could be less emotionally involved somehow and yet be the good mom I want to be.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Crex Meadows and Other Adventures

We went to the wild life refuge over by Granstburg last Sunday. Crex Meadows is home to thousands of birds. We saw a few of them including swans, ducks, eagles, osprey, sandhill cranes, and a lot of little birds. When we got home we spent considerable time looking at our pictures and trying to identify two of the little birds.

We arrived there with about 5 too few binoculars, and not enough batteries for the camera's we did have. Elv says that after this he's going to have a video camera along as well.

We were very impressed with the flowers this year. These are Canada Anemone. There are lupines, columbine, iris, roses, and a yellow flower that is awesomely beautiful that we haven't yet identified. At first we thought maybe the DNR had purposely planted them along the roads and that could be; but as far as I could see into the meadows and woods there were flowers.

Other adventures include having strawberries starting to ripen already and daises blooming in all the meadows and ditches. Since when do we have trillium and daises blooming at the same time?!
It's summer time in Hayward, as well. Town is full of tourists! Now I want to be charitable here since our little town depends on them for the health of our economy. But driving through Hayward is a challenge. Those of us who are not tourists know that to navigate through town in a timely and, might I add SAFE way, you must take the route with street lights. If you think that you can take a short-cut by turning onto Railroad Street to leave town when you're done at Wal-mart, you have another think coming! Now there are still a few new-comers who try this, so even though we take the lights to get our turn; we must remember the rookie Hayward tourist who thought he was going to beat the line of traffic and is now discovering to his mounting frustration that he will have to be fast and furious to get into the line of traffic. In other words, one should always be mindful of his wild decision at any moment to "just go"! Safe driving, everyone.
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