Friday, December 9, 2011

A Better Day

I have been trying to think of something to write about all day, and came up with too many options. We actually had a reasonably productive day, and have a plan to come up with an action plan for dealing with the house, life, and everything else. Well, maybe not everything else, that would take far too long and be rather speculative anyway. We had planned to talk while taking the kids for a drive to another city about an hour away from here. The plan was to warm up some ribs for lunch (leftovers from today), and make S'mores over a fire. Our grand plan has been slightly diverted since we discovered the park we were intending to visit doesn't have camp grills like we thought. Hmm. So much for getting out of town. Maybe we will have Plan B (or C or D) in place by morning.

Speaking of mornings, after breakfast today we took a walk as a family down to the river. We really need the exercise, and since Claire needs a LOT of physical input (or her behavior goes downhill and she acts out more) we figured it would be a good start to the day. It had warmed up to a brisk 21 degrees Fahrenheit, so the little people were bundled up nicely. It was probably a mile or so overall, and we didn't stick around long to throw rocks into the river like we usually do. I snapped a few photos; here is one of some ice along the riverbank.

This afternoon I tried taking a few new pictures of our pigs, since they have been growing up fast. They are now about 9 months old, and definitely of breeding age. We originally planned to use another boar (or try AI) for the girls, but we also didn't plan on having them here this long either. So we have to be flexible. We recently expanded their roaming area, which is bounded on several sides by electric wire fence. It gives a pretty good shock (really, ask me how I know!), yet the pigs seem to test it every single day. I wanted to get a good low angle on them, so I was really close to the ground. My piggies however, being the curious sorts they are, were wondering just *What the Heck* I was doing, and kept coming over to investigate. Forgetting all about the fence in the process. When they accidentally touch the fence, they give out a might squeal and run off about 10-15 feet. I am pretty sure all three of them touched the fence while trying to investigate what I was doing. Sigh. Silly piggies. The light was terrible, but here is one photo I have of our boar, Marley.

We also dealt with a long-awaited "Mothra" project that Claire has been asking us to do for her. She has been asking for us to make her a "Mothra" she can fly. It has been a fun project to figure out, and I know the kids willl love it when they are done. I'll try to put up a post or tutorial on it as soon as we finish one, but I have been taking some photos along the way. Today was cutting them out with the scroll saw, and here are some of the templates before being cut out.

Hopefully we can actually cut some stress soon and get out of town for a few days. I am SO looking forward to it!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Frustration Again

I really should change the title of this to "Frustration Still". It isn't as though our (or my) frustration level has changed at all in the last several months. There is so much we need to do, yet we are hampered by the lack of funds to be able to move and store all our stuff in any easy fashion. We don't *want* to stay with the IL's, but we felt like it was a logical stepping stone to finding land and being able to sell our house.

Now, I just don't know anymore. This environment isn't one that I want my kids to grow up in. My FIL is an ass, and has religious and political views I do not share. I don't enjoy my children being exposed to so much hate. The air is terrible around here next to power plants, mines, drilling for oil and fracking everywhere. The whole spirit of this place is toxic, and I feel it dragging our emotional and spiritual selves down.

We started on this journey because we want to have land where we can be self-sufficient, yet we just have so much to get accomplished before we can reach that point, it seems like such an insurmountable task right now. I guess I am feeling depressed about things, and I know it is a feeling shared by the family. We need a break. We need to be able to regroup and figure out a better plan to get out of here and on to a better place. I don't know if we will need to sell all our animals or not. I would feel really sad to, but I know we need to do something different so we can keep moving on to our goals.

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Little Monsters

We are huge sci-fi fans in this house. We enjoy watching a variety of genres from fantasy, action, to space fiction. Granted, we enjoy other styles as well, but science fiction is our greatest joy to watch overall. Even on the day my daughter was born, we watched the SciFi channel for hours while we all recovered. Through the years, my children have discovered their own love for watching monsters, spaceships, and magical creatures. They enjoy everything from Mothra Lives, to Doctor Who, to Star Wars (I, and II - the most recent ones) as a small fraction of what they have seen. We aren't big on the traditional "Disney-style" stories around here, so no princesses or cars or the like if we can help it.

As a consequence of seeing what might be considered advanced viewing for their years (although I know many, many parents who proudly declare their kids are rabid fans of Star Wars, etc.), we have spent a fair amount of time explaining the mysterious world of movie make-up and special effects. I think they enjoy picking apart the effects from the reality, and gaining a greater understanding of how much of what they see on TV (be it movies or the news) is actually faked or not quite accurately portrayed.

One of the ways we have helped to show the kids how fake these shows are is to show them. How, you ask. Well, by making our own fake blood and alien goo, showing them using their own bodies, and letting the kids play with it afterwards. It isn't for the faint of heart, as it is quite messy. But it makes for great photos! Oh no, a dismembered arm!! And so forth.

We had such a night recently, and here are some of the action shots. I can't wait until they get older and we can let them film their own movies complete with effects.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Oh No! My Memory Is Full!

I found out recently that the memory card on my phone is completely full. I was trying to download the latest software update, when it failed. I really should have known better. I knew the SD card would fill up fast with videos and photos, especially since it was only a 2 gig card. Since I haven't replaced it yet, I now have to go through all the videos and photos and delete all the irrelevant stuff.

As I was doing this, I ran across a number of photos reminding me of just how far we have come (and stagnated) this year. There were images of the kids making cookies last Christmas, and hubby using a chainsaw to cut down large tree branches. Photos of us fixing a young goats' broken leg, and the icy trip north to collect several mostly wild dwarf goats. I still have another 1500 pictures to go before it is down to a reasonable level.