Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Cross-County Trip. Arkansas and A New Grand Daughter, Susan

My anticipation for our trip to Arkansas is mounting as I imagine that our vacation will be a journey together visiting new states, seeing more of our country and the most exciting seeing a new grand child. And...we hope and pray we'll be there in time for her arrival.

Many of our friends are spending lots and lots of money and seeing the sites all around the world, even visting places dream of going. Everyone has different desitination goals. The stories and pictures are inspiring and incredible. I'm positive I'm the only one that hasn't been to Hawaii out of all our friends

The difference, and that makes me smile, is the vacations I experience and the ones my friends are able to easy afford to visit ... is that mine, always have an incrediable surprise at the destination.

Recently, we were able to attend a wonderful family reunion and just before the reunion, a journey northward and share Christmas with our children and grandchildren in Utah. The trip was made because we were going to be blessed by being part of our grandson's baptism. I was able to give a talk and after his baptism, Steve was given the opportunity to help in Giving The Gift of the Holy Ghost and Confirmation.

This trip we are going this next month is to meet a new member coming into our family. Our new baby girl, grandchild, is due soon and we'll probably make it just in time. I was surprised that her name will be after my given name, Susan. Her middle name is after Bea Watson, Bree's mother-in-law's middle name, Eilene. I understand that even Beatrice is a wonderful name but wouldn't work within the family with my Bree's name. Bree and Bea, would always be confusing.

My Beautiful Tenderhearted Middle Child, Bree

Steve and I have travels that are exciting and beautiful, even when we're going across the large desert areas. Desert driving takes me back to the days of the 1950's and 1960's, visiting my grandparents and family that had homes out in the Mohave Desert. There's history of my family everywhere and we'll see new places that our family has lived before. I hope to experience that wonderful feeling of my "Ancestral DNA" Do some genealogy and see the places our DNA has been. No doubt that as my genealogy continues, the more family places I find, every state is represented, and yes, even Hawaii.

This is a gift and another name we will be sharing that continues to testify of the scriptures. Malachi 4:6 "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Oh, Bring It or Not! How Can Be Packed Into A Day

Summertime, it's official. I'm helping and serving my mom, fixing meals and all that household work brings, and making yogurt for my health and bread for others. My genealogy's tugging at me, I faithfully exercise, play with Duelly, my puppy, and I'm still trying to make Darby feel better. I didn't know dogs had "morning sickness" I wasn't tuned-in to how Darby was feeling the first time she was pregnant.

Steve and I are pushing to get all the birthday presents, graduation presents, and expressions of love, and we want to make the sacrifice because we love each one. The beginning of summer is like fire-crackers going-off. We have so many parties right now. Summer brings a sudden surprise of things we forgot--even from just last year. There's graduations, anniversaries, Father's Day, birthdays, County Fair, and vacations? All these things are all right in a row.

I finally went into K-mart briefly for gifts and cards. I hadn't been in there for over five years. Honestly, I looked at everything with new eyes. The store is beautiful and always has been. Santa Paula is blessed to have it here. So much of the fabric has changed on bedding, curtains, and even tea towels. I feel like I've been sequestered away from the world.

My husband and I have these all these blessings to love, have joy and we are filled with so much gratitude. All of this gladdens our hearts.

We are blessed to have great baseball games. How many summer evenings are spent in our young years at the Little League Park? Did I ever imagine when I had young children that going down to the park and over to Fillmore's Little League Park would suddenly be quadrupled? I'm grateful that I don't need to volunteer in the snack booth.

This family has great stars and I'm so proud of each one. Adree is athletic and graceful. She plays baseball and prefers basketball. I can see why, she's tall with the longest legs and great ability for getting the ball in the basket. A basket and points maybe her greatest feat, but with her long, long legs and running ability she maybe the the greatest rebounder and blocker Santa Paula will ever have.

Get Dusty Little Girl!

Our little T-ball girls could entertain us forever the times flies by. The object of the game is sliding into the bases in getting dirty. Fielders spend the ending fiddling in the dirt.

Then, there's the "Boys of Summer" Jake and Dallin. Both are stars. Dallin is now the Karate Kid pitcher with a pause and stance that freaks-out every batter. Oh, I should say he strikes-out every batter and then is a super catcher and surprising great hitter. I thought the main pitchers don't hit. Dallin is the exception. I always thought Dallin's cousin Jake would turn the world of football. He even had coaches looking at him before he was 10. Jake has turned his interest toward baseball. Today, starts his stint with the "All Stars." I'm not surprised of their achievements because of their devoted mothers and fathers supporting them and yeah, athletes run in my family.

Hannah, my grand daughter, is headed to fair with her pig, Kahlua. It's all business with her project and even at middle school her sites are on making money to attend University of Southern California and major in law. She's wanted to be a lawyer since she was in Kindergarten with her "perfect" grade-point average, the world will be hers. Hannah is so wise.

I have no concept or knowledge at what our outta'-state little ones are doing this summer. I see pictures of wrestling suits and swimming suits. I see glimpses of plays and performances. I'm blessed with amazing children that will not let their kids sit. School camp not is "not" provided to send the children-off, because my own children, my grand children's parents, are actively involved in the "camp" activities. My dear families are actively engaged in good works, including that of exercising, sportsmanship, friendships, and love.

Angry Birds A Camp Project Activity?

Dustin's children are the kayak kings and there's two little beach girls that paddle like adults. All ride skateboards together, all play basketball together, and there are more surfboards in their house, than there are people.

 Oh, and guitars! I forgot the Pierpont Lazenby's have a band. Then, the icing-on-cake is his boys activity in Boy Scouts. What a great blessing the boys have in this great organization. Their grandfathers, would be so proud that they are active scouters. I'm grateful to the leaders. I know the work because I was active in the scouting program as a den mother.
My Dustin Is On The Right-My Den Cubs
There are many, many men that work hard within this organization for young men and devoting a lot of time to teaching the young men, while their own children have moved-on to college, or their children are still young. We are blessed.

This all sounds like a Christmas letter six months early. This isn't a letter to brag about my grandchildren or children. It's a remembrance, it's my journal to recall my blessings. This writing's for them to know that I love each one and appreciate all that my children do to enhance each one of their own children's lives.

I've been touched by my grand children's concern and tenderheartedness toward those that have made an error or are hurt during a game, or any event ... and I see the others on the team, do the same to my own family. The team-mates become best friends and so do the parents. There's new friends all around. I see compassion, forgiveness, and true happiness for other's achievements at every gathering.

It's our 40th Anniversary, This Saturday.

I continue to pray and read my scriptures daily. I pray for strenght, comfort, resistance to temptation, and for the Spirit. I have hope and carry the faith that all will work together for our learning, development, and wisdom.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Shear The Sheep 1st Day of Summer

It's the first day of summer, June 21st and it's going to be hot. Right now we are having the "June Gloom" and perfect for shearing sheep. I can't wait on this because we are going on a trip early in July. I can't expect Kiely to shear my sheep. She doesn't like shearing and sheep, it would be like asking her to clean sewer pipes with her bare hands. Yes, our sheep have lots of tags loaded with urine and feces and everything else they've rested on when they were really wet. This year was so tough because we had more rain than I can ever remember.
I was so surprised the way the sheep shearers in the movie the "The Thorn Birds" were able to shear sheep so quickly. The sheep weren't the long wool sheep, but it was amazing to see. I know they were professional shearers brought-in for the movie. I have heard that that the sheep can be shorn in less than a minute. It will take me all day, plus.
My Steve was able to shear the ewes a bit long before lambing. We wanted them to have a clean birth and the wool cut. The shearing process was made to make not only the sheep clean, but my tiny lambs were able to nurse easily. The udders were easy to find and all the long tags in the back and under the ewes were removed.
The Proper Way-I'm Not Strong Enough!
June is known for the foggy days and suddenly as summer is here and the 4th of July around the corner, the heat will begin and our sheep will be miserable and also susceptible to parasites or fly-stuck. That can happen by water getting down in the wool and flies laying their eggs, right there. Scary thought, but it makes me move fast to get the shearing job done.
Last year, was really cool and I mean, all summer. I had a huge wedding itinerary and I didn't do a thing except get the ewes ready for lambing. The year before was done until the shearing blade dug right into our ram's side. What a huge bloody mess. Everyone was there witnessing the disaster. Our family was taking turns shearing. The heavy shears make us so tired and our Finnsheep have the largest amount of very long wool that is unbelievably crimped. Steve took the finest wool and the cleanest and then pressed hard against Einstein's side to stop the bleeding. The bloody wool was removed and we applied medication and then he stuck more clean wool on the open wound and left it to dry. I gave the ram a long-lasting penicillin injection and he completely recovered without even a scar. I know not to ever pull the wool out because the skin is so thin that the blades just tear-up this breed's tender skin. I love Blue-Kote antiseptic. My dad used it on my skinned knees, but I think I've been around that topical purple medicine way too long. I'm really allergic to it now. One whiff and I have an asthma attack and I think it's the Scarlet Oil that does me in. The reason for the wound was by pulling the wool out from the sheep to make the shearing go faster and also one of the clipper blades was set to far forward. Pilot error.
My thoughts all early morning was this mind-set to psych - me- out to go do the shearing and not hurt him or traumatize him for weeks. I know the others will be easy, but Einstein the ram? He has layers and layers of wool. Einstein self-felted all the outside wool by rubbing one side of the fence to irritate our buck in the neighboring pen. No butting the fence like the buck. The ram had the urge to torment and tease Tundra, our young buck.
Picture from: Katie Daisy
My whole problem today was trying to take a gigantic ram, that weighs more than one of our horses and lead him to the stanchion. He didn't want to go up there, but treats worked and finally he got up there with me calling, "Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby." He still thinks maybe there was a bottle up there and he'd do anything to drink from a bottle of goat's milk. Einstein would sit on my lap this minute, if he knew I had bottle in my hand. That is a really scary thought, by the way.
I had alfalfa ready when the treats were gone and he just munched-away while I clipped. I got under the felting and went down lightly trying not to pull and then the weight of the felted part was pulling, I then would do a horizontal clip and take the heavy part off. The clippers got so hot even though I was using "Kool Lube," a blade cleaner, and I made numerous stops to use fine machine oil on the clippers. It didn't faze him, he didn't feel it, not one bit. I would take off tons of wool from one side and go to the other side that I had just clipped. Whoa! The foggy mist has just fluffed his "Fro" right-out. The ram sheep grew a full wool coat in just an hour. It popped-up right-up.

Wool has some unique properties and can actually cool a sheep, keep them warm, and repel water.

The closer I got to his back the more I realized he was changing color. He was born black and still young, the outside felted-part was bleached brown by the sun. Now, he is gray. I am finding white wool mixed with black. He almost looks silver and so soft. The lanolin was trapped and my hands are so soft. I rubbed my face against his clean wool and he did feel and smell like a new, soft, baby lamb. One of my most precious memories of baby lambs is holding them close and thinking each year how soft and sweet newborns are as soon as the lamb is dry. The are the best cuddlers. Einstein still loves to be loved. The wool removal didn't make him any smaller looking to me, confirmed my idea that their will be no holding him my lap.
Oh, No! Einstein Melted!
My shear gave out about 3:00 pm. I had worked most of the day on ONE sheep. I lost a part and was too tired to try and find it and reassemble it. I put Einstein away and while I picked-up wool, I found the missing piece and screw. Steve will fix it tomorrow, he is an excellent shear and clipper repairman.

He is busy eating again, pushing the ewes away from the alfalfa for the evening feeding. Einstein's basically the same. The ram is all poofy again, but silver color. Not one person will notice I spent more than four hours on him today. All that wool weight gone our ram feels like a lamb, again. This is so funny, I shear off his wool and it weighs close to 30 pounds. Is there a shear for humans? That would take care of my short haircut. Nevermind, I need eyebrows.

 I hope he feels great, he might be a little cooler but the weight off his feet will make him light on his toes and I might see him hop around. Einstein must feel like he could do the sheep dance, Boogie-Wooly.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Run Away Days

Our backyard & our Horses
Some days when there isn't a cloud in the sky and there ARE a "few" (smile) really ... in Southern California. Fog is a cloud in my book, so it's got to be blue sky everywhere. That  means to me, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky-day  is a "run-away day" and I love them. I'm always tempted by my husband's urging to wonder, yonder and venture-out on a vacation day even if it's raining or overcast.
Matilija Canyon Dam, Set For Demolition
A Giant Bat?
I sometimes feel it's just because we never have a real vacation. Steve has always had a business that has kept him close to home. Now that he's full-time on the fire department, he just accumulates vacation days. Our family still can't leave unless there is someone willing and able to feed the livestock and milk. We have a responsibility to stay around close to home.

Our beach 15 Minutes away!
 Just a note on the picture above: The flying thing is not an UFO, it's a blimp.
Exploring has always been part of our life journey together. We have spent hours taking a roads that have no track marks. Sometimes, even on Steve's four-day and he will have a work-related assignment to pick-up and deliver either checks, notices, pick-up equipment, or materials. My Steve is never paid for these trips, so I'm able to go with him. We even make those trips a sight-seeing afternoon in our beautiful Santa Clara Valley and sometimes we just leave and go beyond Saticoy. These one-day trips our truly are our vacations. I love our four-wheeled drive Toyota Land Cruiser...oops, it's now a FJ cruiser. We live in the middle of our county, so we even have beach, with beautiful weather always and on the same day... we could reach snow, in the high coastal range behind our house. I will always love our hometown.

Saticoy? Florida? Saticoy? We don't live here-
but we pass through Saticoy a lot
Less Than 15 Minutes From Santa Paula
Vacations make us stuck together in the car and we have had the best conversations, adventures, and scenic times. They are now treasures in our memories of our married life.
 What can be said at a movie? We take our camera and  even been an answer to prayers helping stranded persons, attending to car accidents, and even reporting "smoke showing" My husband calls in all kinds of emergencies and for just a few minutes, he's an incident commander. BTW, That's one job he's always been so very glad to turn over to the engine "on seen" and relief comes when the right helmet show up.

 I look forward to seeing places not visited and memories to gather as we continue our fun mini-vacations.