Shabby blogs

Monday, January 19, 2009

Guess What's in the Garage?

You will never believe what I have hanging in my garage. An entire bison carcass, halved at the waist (do they have those?) and dry curing - ICK. I would post a photo, but I am afraid that I might get kicked off of Blogger for doing so. I am not one that likes the gutting/skinning/killing process. Generally, I go hide in the ranch house and cook something so that I am not accused of wimping out - those big tough bison slayers need something to eat when they are done, right? So, imagine my horror to find a whole bison hanging in my garage!! Imagine my even greater shock to find that Brad wants to butcher our animal himself this year (don't even ask WHERE that is going to happen because I won't tell you!) because he wants to understand the cutting process better in order to better inform all of our bison customers. Isn't that nice of me - I mean him - to make that sacrifice? We do live in hunting capital here and have friends who have been harvesting and cutting their own game for years. I have been told that they will help us through the process which is really nice, because I like having round roast that really is a round roast and not something my thoughts. And if you think of it, pray for me - I have a feeling that I'm not getting out of this one so easily!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hymn Sing

Every third Sunday evening, our congregation meets to sing hymns. It is not what you think: a bunch of old people, singing dirges. Not even close. It is the most fun at a church function that I have ever had, and yes, I do get out much and I have had plenty of fun at church activities in my life, thank you. We are blessed to have a very musical church - talent runs deep here. If churches sang hymns like our church sings hymns, everyone would love them. It is a shame that they don't. The sound of a group of people singing those age-old, meaningful songs of the faith in 4-part harmony is something to behold. And fun? You bet. Tonight, we started out with a booming round of "Redeemed", ended with "Almighty Invisible", and had an hour of "Holy, Holy, Holy", "Joyful Joyful" (WITH the descant) and others (some new, some old) thrown in. What is really great is that the kids do most of the requesting. You gotta love when your kid requests something like "We Come Oh Christ to You". We all bring food, and afterwards we go downstairs, fill the kids with sugar, and let them run amuck. Fun stuff.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Big Mountain Field Trip

Tree Ghosts - that 's what these are called. They are caused by the formation of rime ice on the trees. They are not snow, but are super-cooled water crystals in fog that freeze to whatever they contact. These trees can sometimes have a ton (literally) of snow on them. They bend and adapt and are able to sustain the stress and pressure through the entire season. The three older kids and I learned this, and much more, today on our Forest Service Avalanche and Safety Class field trip at Big Mountain. What a day. First of all, it was sunny, beautiful and almost 40 degrees on the mountain - perfect!

Our competent and expert-in-all-things-avalanche guide, Leah, handed out snow shoes and then headed us up the lift to the summit. She explained avalanches: what causes them, how they happen, how to look for possibly dangerous situations and how to avoid them. We were able to find some surface hoar , lovely ice crystals that form overnight and are a leading cause in approximately 85% of all avalanches. We snow shoed out and dug ice pits so that we could analyze the different layers of snow and ice pack, like avalanche experts do when determining the safety of an area. In addition, there is a new beacon field at Big Mountain where they allow kids some hands-on experience in avalanche rescue. When skiers are planning on backcountry adventures, they are advised to wear a beacon, so that they can be located if they are in a slide. The kids were able to use beacons to find the location of buried transmitters. They then used probe poles to determine the exact location of their "victim" (in this case a buried gunny sack full of saw dust and the transmitter). The view of the Flathead Valley was breathtaking from where we were. Don't you wish you could have been there?

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Awkward Biblical Moments

Agonizing, uncomfortable, maybe even excruciating: those moments when you are headlong into a passage with your kids and realize that maybe you shouldn't have gone here. This week, I was reading Genesis chapter 19 to the kids while Brad was at the ranch. When we hit verse 8 where Lot tells the men of the city that instead of the visitors they are seeking, he will send his daughters (ICK!!) out to them to do as they please with, I used the "just keep reading" technique and moved right past those confused glances. But when we got to verse 32, I started sweating. My mind was saying "uh, maybe we should stop for today". But while my mind was grappling with that confusion, my lips just kept right on going. When we ended at verse 38, the littler people had some questions (oh, really? what a surprise!!). I shot a deer in the headlight look over at Josiah, who is 12. He suppressed a laugh and gave me a "don't look at me - you're on your own, here, Mom" look. After stumbling over a "people are sinners and we do all sorts of evil things thinking that we are right" type of answer (I am certain that they were looking more for an answer to just what the text MEANT), but before they could pursue any more questions, I pulled an "Oh, look at the time".

I am thinking that tomorrow we may stick to Leviticus, you know; burnt offerings, sacrificial lambs - something a little safer!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Goodnight Mom (with apologies to Margaret Wise Brown)

To tired moms everywhere who can relate - maybe just a little! ha

Goodnight Mom
by Sarah Jio

In the messy green family room
There was a telemarketer ringing the telephone
And a crying toddler because his brother just popped his red balloon
And a picture of -

The cow jumping over the moon
(which someone colored on with permanent marker)
And there was a missing teddy bear, and a girl with gum in her hair

And one to be scolded
And laundry to be folded
And a very hungry spouse
And something stinky in the house
(that no one else seemed to smell)

And a comb and a brush and a colicky
baby who just won't shush
And a frazzled mommy screaming #*%#@

Goodnight messy room
Goodnight scribbled-on moon
Goodnight cow getting out while she can
Goodnight telemarketers and the popped balloon
Goodnight long-gone teddy bear
Goodnight cereal bar smeared all over the dining room chair

Goodnight spitup
And goodnight leaky sippy cup
Goodnight much-too-little house and goodnight grumpy spouse
Goodnight comb and goodnight brush
And goodnight to a certain 4-year-old who just needs to hush right now I mean it

Goodnight Elmo
Goodnight toys we'll pick up tomorrow,
Or the next day
Hello chardonay and TiVo -
"me" time, finally

Now the last two lines, really aren't my fancy, but you gotta love that poem!