Sunday, November 23, 2008


Years ago we bought lockers for our kids. We were going to paint them, but never got around to it. We had plans to paint them before they got moved to this house so the kids have waited very patiently. The big excitement this week is that Roger painted and moved the lockers. Now the kids get to re-load them with junk.

Gloria in front of lockers

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Like Father, Like Son

Ezra and Roger have similar boo boos on the same finger, just opposite hands. Note this is the same hand Roger had some trouble with earlier. He figures the next one will get hurt in 2 1/2 years. Let's hope not. And I hope Ezra enjoys life every bit as much as his Daddy, but with fewer accidents along the way. He's not off to a good start though if this is any indication.

Homemade Kites

The kids have become pretty creative with finding things to do around here. One of Faith's new hobbies has been to try to figure out how to fly. But this time, I'm not sure what they were attempting. Being as skinny as she is (she's trying to gain weight so don't pick on her) combined with the strong winds we had made for quite a combination. She did NOT fly.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Linguist D. Nelson

Dad had a way with language. He would alter the meaning of words in ways that were suited to his needs or just make up new ones. Ronda and I shot several back and forth with each other last week and I shared some of these at the funeral. Some I forgot about until it was too late for the eulogy. It is hard to remember words you use all the time as something special and I still use all of these. My kids know these words and as well as others that we have made up and made a part of our daily lives. It is just a part of being in Leland's family.

urine - belonging to another person - "Is that jacket urine?"
mayan - belonging to oneself - "That jacket is mayan."
Holy Land - Kansas - specifically Lawrence
red eye - state of preparedness - "Are you red eye to go?"
The Golden Rule - the driver controls the radio, period, no discussion.
shiite - an exclamation - Dad loved the hostage crisis at the end of the Carter administration. Every night as Ted Koppel would recap the events of the day he would invariably mention Shiites and Dad would grin. He was a precursor of Beavis and Butthead.
good groceries - a declaration that a meal was good, typically said as one pushed away from the table "Those were good groceries!" When we were first married Melissa wasn't sure what this meant and it took a while for her to get used to it.
powodin - an undetermined body part that could be fallen on and/or broken - "It was slick and I almost fell and broke my powodin." Funny, but blogger's spell check is not underlining this word.
caddywampus - askew - "I tried to put it back together, but it was all caddywampus so I just threw it away." Hmm, another word not underlined by spell check.
rectum - a statement of acknowledgment - "I rectum that leg is broken." - "I rectum so."- when I was about 10 or 12 I learned that rectum has an alternate meaning associated with a body part and this has been my favorite Dad word ever since.

There are others out there, I just can't remember them all.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Leland Delos Nelson, 1925-2008

Last February I shared how one afternoon I picked up the phone and there was my birth mother. A new mom I had given up ever hearing from or meeting was on the other end of the line. I am so grateful to have been given the chance to begin to get to know her. Last Monday I picked up the phone and found out I no longer had a living dad. I am sill having a hard time with this. We all knew my adopted mom was in bad shape toward the end as Alzheimer's is hard to hide. Her death was a blessing for her. Dad's death was a shock for all and a blessing for no one.

What appears to have happened is that he was watching TV on Thursday, October 30th and eating breakfast. The heart blockage he'd had repaired five years ago came back and took him. Since he was planning to go to Branson and meet up with his brother, Meyer, his friends at the Edgemere just figured they weren't seeing him around because he was gone on vacation. Obviously, Dad did not show up in Branson on Sunday. On Monday my uncle called Edgemere and they did a well being check. There, on floor in the den, was Dad.

He was my father and he was my oldest friend. He never took himself too seriously and he taught me about the things that he thought were important. He shaped me into the man I am today and I can only repay him by honoring and remembering him. In the next few days I will try to share some happy memories and give everyone some feel for what he was like to be around.

Over the past few years we ended all of our conversations by telling each other other we loved each other. I do not have to go forward in my life wondering how he felt about me or if he knew how I felt about him and for that I am grateful.

I just wish could call him and hear his laugh one more time. That laugh is the one thing I will miss the most. It was unique to him, an audible fingerprint. A sign that all was well.


Saturday, November 01, 2008

Ready To Eat

Two posts in one day. Amazing, huh? Ezra is taking a nap and though I should be also, I'm not. I'm blogging.

We processed all our chicken last week and have the freezers above both of our refrigerators FULL of chicken. This should be enough to make us soup once a week for a year.

A couple weeks before that we took two cows in to be processed. We did this last year and the meat lasted us a year. These cows were half jersey and just looked much smaller. So we thought we should take them both in so we could have a year's supply of beef. Turns out we were wrong. We ended up with twice as much meat this year and had to run out and buy a new freezer. The new freezer is now full

and the older one is close to full.

We still have room for other things like veggies, butter, and ice cream though. We just don't have them yet. I'm watching for sales though. We're really hoping to get a garden going next year. Our chickens are working on preparing a patch for us and they have all winter to complete that job.

With all these refrigerators and freezers we had to do some rearranging. We can fit 3 in our kitchen. The fourth one is in the back of the pantry. We had to take everything out of the pantry and move the freezer in. Of course, it was too heavy to lift it over the threshold of the pantry door (it's an exterior door since the pantry is not insulated due to the fact it will someday be semi-underground) so we had to unpack it, move the freezer, then re-pack it. And here's our pantry now.
See all the empty spaces on the pantry shelves? I would love to trade some of that beef for canned or frozen fruits and veggies. Wouldn't that be great? We have more meat than we can eat in a year and we'd hate for that to all go bad. We're not allowed to sell it for human consumption because it wasn't USDA inspected or something like that. But can we trade? Or does anybody need to feed their pets? Hey Betsy, if you're reading, could we trade for services if we need them again? ;-) (No, not yet anyway.)

Now, about gardening. We have an empty chicken tractor that is going to just sit there for a while. I'm thinking we could remove the tarp and cover it with clear plastic sheeting and use it as a greenhouse. We could then try to grow some veggies in there right now. Does this sound like it could work? Anyone have any clue? Maybe it wouldn't stay warm enough for tomatoes, but maybe lettuce? I'd love to hear from a gardener who might know if this sounds just crazy or what.


A Picture Update

I've had some computer trouble lately. I had to get a new computer, so I was spending time backing everything up. I didn't want to load new pics on my old computer so they just kept piling up on the card. I took several pics with blog posts in mind. Here they all are at once.

This is a picture of my old pincushion that I mentioned a while back. And if you look closely you can see lots of needles laying on the floor beside the trash bag. Pretty exciting, huh? Hey, at least it's not a picture of Claire kissing one of the chickens she'd just plucked. And yes, I did find a picture of that on my camera card. I didn't ask.

Preparing for the winter. The trailer was full of wood and it was taking Roger a long time to get it unloaded. I grabbed the camera and said, "I'm going to go take a picture of everyone working hard and post it on our blog." Within seconds all the kids were out the door and helping their dad. This picture doesn't really show Grace, Joy, Sam, or Gloria. I have another picture which does, but didn't show Mitchell. It's kind of hard to get a picture of Mitchell so I went with that one for the blog. Ezra was helping me take pictures. The stacking job got done pretty quickly with all the extra hands. We frequently use the old saying, "Many hands make light work." We wonder how smaller families manage to get everything done.

We're getting a wind tower for our energy use. This is a very exciting thing for us and I imagine Roger will have to write a post devoted to that. But for now, here's a picture of him building a shed to house the um, something or other that is needed for this whole thing to work.
Our daughter, Gloria, has the most beautiful, long, blonde curls. They're kind of angelic looking and I just love them. It appears that her hair is going straight though as the curls are just on the ends. But it's still beautiful. Since she was a newborn I've been amazed at the beauty of her hair. It sparkles. The picture doesn't really do it justice, but it's the best I could find on my computer right now.
Anyway, I walked into the room the other day to see Gloria sitting in the rocker recliner with a pair of scissors in one hand and a long lock of blonde curl in the other hand.
I asked her how much she had cut and she said, "Two." I only saw the one lock in her hand and none anywhere else so I thought it would be okay. Then I started brushing her hair to check out the damage and more hair came out. She cut it just below her ear. I'm not evening anything out though. It was the under layer so it doesn't really show. I just commented to her sisters, "no ponytails for a while and we'll be fine." Gloria started crying, "I want ponytails!" Hmm. I guess she should have thought of that before climbing up and getting the scissors. A nameless sibling saw her climbing to get the scissors and said he/she just didn't think about stopping her. Maybe next time? Live and learn I guess.