Tag Archive: outdoors


There’s Always Something!

That’s how I feel this morning when thinking about why I didn’t get blog posts up for the last couple of weeks. There’s always something, such as the major(very good, very happy) distraction that was Carey’s graduation festivities. We spent two days up in Newberg for a symposium, hooding, and commencement, plus other assorted activities. Given that the drive itself is an hour one way, yeah, that took some time. I do have to say it’s a beautiful drive – orchards, vineyards, old farmhouses, clover fields, woods. The sunset pouring over the coastal range into the valley on the way home Thursday didn’t hurt anything, either!

Besides the graduation, we’ve had sporadic internet unavailability. I think maybe (I hope, I hope!) that got fixed. For maybe the last two months, we’ve randomly lost internet connection. I’ve blown so much time trying to troubleshoot it, and we’ve had three techs come out, too. The first replaced the modem, which seemed to help for a while. It didn’t solve everything. The visit from the second tech didn’t make any appreciable improvement. We still had some trouble, so I replaced the router, which also seemed to help, but we still had periods of outage and horrible slowness. We actually started logging it. We recorded time, duration, speed tests, what people were doing, what the modem showed, and all sorts of info. When the third tech visited, that log helped my mom tell him what issues we were having, and he found a mostly broken wire in the ISP’s box. He fixed that, and (crosses fingers) things have been okay so far.

Another culprit has been the weather. It’s been unseasonably warm. Early May, it was about 85F! It’s also been windy. Bits of the trees have been blown off all over. I saw dust being ripped off the ground and tossed everywhere. The weather feels a lot more like late June or early July than last April and early May. The sunshine has meant we’ve all spent more time outside. It’s been a mixed blessing. Who doesn’t love sunshine and blue skies and green grass more than rain and drizzle and chill while you’re out doing chores? It’s meant Kimberly’s ball games are getting played instead of rained out and missed. It’s meant hot dog roasts and park picnics and other fun stuff. But it’s confusing. It really shouldn’t be this warm and especially not this dry this soon. We aren’t ready. I’ve got a couple of piles to burn, and I can’t do it with the wind picking up pieces of stuff and throwing it places. There are already wildfires in central Oregon. We really ought to have another month or two of spring rains. I hope it does cool off some and start doing some gentle raining.

This past week, it’s been birthdays and Mother’s Day and (unfortunately) back pain. Mom and I both have birthdays. The birthdays were fairly low key, but that was nice. Neither Mom nor I really like a huge amount of fuss, generally speaking. Just a little fuss is good.

I hope to return to a more normal posting schedule next, but we’ll see. Can’t promise a thing. After all, there’s always something! 😉

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If I Was A Blog Post

If I was a blog post, I would be about… huh… drawing a blank. I’m sure there’s a blog post lurking around here somewhere. Maybe I should check under the couch. Perhaps it dropped back behind the way the throw pillows do. Hm, guess not. Maybe I’m just unmotivated. I can’t really claim to have been horribly busy. There have been things to do, for sure, but it’s not been complete craziness.

I could lay some of the blame on spring fever. The weather has been, if not outright lovely, at least plenty nice enough to make outside quite attractive. Spring isn’t my favorite season – that place of honor is held by fall – but there are things about spring I just love, like the incredible range of green shades, the flowers, and how the land wakes up. Early spring is a stormy curmudgeon who has not yet had enough coffee and grumbles about the light.

But once in bloom? Spring makes me wonder if perhaps, after all, the earth is a morning person. It’s (mostly) warmer. The birds seem to share in the joy and are all a twitter-pated. There are wild turkeys out in the woods, and the toms are out there a-gobbling. They have a funny cry. I suppose it’d be scary in the dark if it was unfamiliar. The lambs are in their juvenile delinquent stage. They’re about half sized, still rounded with baby fat, and quite full of themselves. Kimberly has rediscovered her swing. She dons her bike helmet and carefully walks out to the swing. While she’s out there, the hills are alive with the sound of music. If she faces downhill and away from the tree, there’s a bit of an echo from the hills just across the valley. She loves to go out there and sing and sing and sing.

I love being out in all of this, of being a part of this world. It sweeps me away. One day last week, I went out just to transplant a few flowers from their unwanted, volunteer location to the new and highly desirable development near the chicken pen. As I was moving them, I realized that I could use the extra dirt in the beds I’d started for ferns. I just needed a few more rocks! While I was hauling more rocks, I found a hole, which explained how that one hen keeps getting out. I filled the hole and hauled more rocks and talked to Mom, who mentioned the mint waste, and one thing led to another and another… Next thing I knew, I’d been out there about three times as long as I’d planned, and it was well past lunch time!

Spring fever, I suppose. My mind’s outside wandering. I’m sure it will come back eventually. It might even bring a blog post back with it!

Many Forms

Blue skies, gentle breezes, green pasture, sunlight splashing off white backs onto grey coats as the flock of mommas with their little lambs went scudding across the grass together, all in a wild, ungainly rush of floppy wool – priceless!

Beauty comes in so many forms.

Not The Easiest Week

The last few days have been… er… interesting.

My brother is moving, somewhat unexpectedly, from 25 minutes away to more like 4 hours. He’s been frantically packing and prepping.  Several of us have been over at one time or another helping paint the house.

One of my sisters took a road trip and had another sister watch her puppy dogs. On the way to the dogs, that sister had car trouble. There was something with a fuel line and shredded tire. The fuel line caused problems on her way home, too, which meant gas went on the ground instead of her tank, two other family members ran to her rescue, and there was an attempt to hitch the van to a trailer to haul sheep for shearing that gave the van a dent. Oh, and one of the dogs? She might have ringworm. My sister tells me that the canine version isn’t terribly easy to catch as a human, but it’s a definite possibility. Guess we’ll find out in a few weeks.

An outdoor rave was thrown a few miles away. I can’t imagine what it was like for closer neighbors. We and others miles from it had no trouble hearing the bass and even vocals at times. That’s not at all normal for where I live. Noisy stuff is usually somebody’s power tool, tractor, or motorcycle. Something about the “festival” felt icky and strange. No neighbors received notification of a festival being held nearby, which I understand is common practice for large events. Seeing rescue vehicles held up at the gates instead of being allowed into the area (ambulance summoning usually implies emergent need) and hearing reports of drug usage and inappropriate defecations didn’t make me or the rest of my family feel any better, either.

I’ve had some stress from work. I also managed to acquire more blisters, scratches, and bruises from working outside over the weekend than I’d probably had in the last couple of years altogether.

My roommate’s summer work scramble has been stressful, and her homework load hasn’t been easy, either.

Another sister just had to treat her head for lice!

One of the dogs caught a chicken and yanked a bunch of her feathers. I don’t know that the hen took any more damage than feather loss, but I don’t think she wanted a summer do.

Little Miss Tire Troubled wasn’t done with her car woes, either. She went out last night to find a different tire had gone flat.

It’s County Fair week. Baking has had to be done; animals have had to be prepped; plants have had to be hauled. It’s a massive undertaking. I think this year three of my sisters are entering lambs, chickens, a bunny, baked goods, table setting, plants, fabric arts, and I don’t know what else. It takes multiple trips just to haul it all into the fair.

We (mostly my mother, a sister, and myself) worked outside. We hung a swing from a tree (the interesting part about that was cutting down the old tire to provide the tree limb with some protection), put a chicken wire top on the chicken’s run (we’re very done with them flying out, and they would not have been out for the dog to chase if the door had been properly shut), tilled a good sized patch preparatory to planting it with grass next fall, weeded (thistles – guess where some of my scratches came from?), removed the limbs from several felled trees, started cutting those trees down into firewood (need to figure out where we’re going to store the wood, but at least we got the downed trees off the fence), hauled rocks and sticks and other junk out of the area to be tilled, burned all of the excess wood and the (nasty) weeds, and did other random cleanup chores. We managed to do laundry, feed folks, and all the normal stuff. Mom even worked in crewing for her hot air balloon buddies early a  couple of those mornings.

It’s just been a crazy, busy, tumultuous week. Good stuff, hard stuff, weird stuff – all tumbled together and wearing us down until we were out of resiliency. No more rubber, no bounce back, gone was the elasticity! The lice last night were about the last straw. I had a moment where I thought one of my sisters was playing a joke in very poor taste, but no. True story. I poked my nose in to say hi and see how she was doing. The poor kid was combing the lice out of her hair, exuding something of the same horrified disbelief that I was feeling, that “How did this happen? What’s going to happen next?” She said, “I’m just trying to remember to be anxious for nothing.” She’s right. She’s exactly right.

Philippians 4:6

New International Version (NIV)
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.