Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hauling Hay the Crane Way

Saturday morning we all woke up around 6:00 and headed south to Salina. We went straight to the farm and started helping Larry, Mark, and Judd haul hay. Matt and Kelsey go to Salina and work on the farm alot, but I don't go down very often and when I do I usually stay at the house and take care of kids, so it was a nice treat to go to the farm too. Matt and I were married for 6 years before we had kids and I used to help at the farm all of the time with Matt, but since we have had kids, I usually have to stay at the house and take care of babies. It is so nice that Kendal is old enough to sort of take care of herself at the farm now so that I can go too.

When we got there, Judd was driving Mark's truck with a load of hay from the field into the yard. He was doing a great job, but he was more than happy to let Matt take over. Watching Judd drive made me remember the days when I used to drive the old HUGE International truck with the hay elevator hooked to it while my dad and brother Glen loaded the hay bales onto the bed of the truck. I remember that steering wheel was HUGE! I loved driving it and also loved driving the tractor with the trailer hooked onto the back of it while my dad and brother picked up the rocks in the field. My dad used to call those ROCK CONCERTS. Yeah right dad! I have to selfishly admit that when Tori got old enough to drive the tractor I was so sad and MAD because then I had to walk behind the tractor and help pick up rocks! Oh, those were the days!

This is the way the process worked on Saturday. We drove the trucks and trailers into the fields where Mark loaded us up with hay in Mike's skid loader, we drove into the yard where Larry unloaded the hay with the tractor and we did it all over again. In the picture above, I was driving the old brown duelly. It is in horrible shape these days, but let me tell you, 13 years ago Matt had that truck shining! We went on dates in that thing and we actually took a trip to the Manti Temple in the Dually! Anyway, I was driving the brown dually with an old trailer loaded down that is on the left side of the picture. On my first round trip the trailer broke and I was out of a job. I then jumped in with Matt and we had a really good time just talking while he drove like a bat out of Heber just to keep up with the process! He and Mike would dust eachother as they passed in and out of the fields. They were like little boys playing games. They were racing so there wouldn't be very much down time for Larry unloading the hay and Mark loading us up.

I told Matt that I should have gotten a better angle on this picture. That piece in the foreground is a manure spreader. My dad has a better name for it though.

Here is Larry, my father in law welding the trailer I was pullling. He fixed it well enough for me to make one trip, but after that Mike showed up with his HUGE trailer and this older one broke, so it was put away for the day. I was secretly happy because I got to ride with my Matty and actually talk with the feller for a few hours. Imgaine that!

Here is Mark in the skid loader loading me up. Man, Mark has got some moves in that thing! I think he could have done a back flip if he tried hard enough!

Kendal loved playing at the farm and enjoyed the morning riding with me and Matt. Kelsey rode with her uncle Mike and his twins Adri and Alissa and had a good time too.

I meant to get a picture of me in the old brown dually, just for kicks. That poor old truck was beautiful in its prime, but now, I don't even want to describe it, it may make me cry. Okay, here I go - one of the duals no longer exists, I think its hips must have gotten too close to a fence post or something, its tail lights hang out of their sockets like popped out eye balls, you know what? This is making me sad, honestly, I better stop. So imagine a picture of me in a beat up old truck with this caption under the picture. I was driving very slowly on my way out of the field with a falling apart trailer full of hay being careful not to lose a bale as I jumped my way over the furrows when Mike drives up to me in his new Dodge going mock 2 with a nice big trailer and says to me with a big smile as he flies by with the air conditioning blasting "There isn't anything sexier than a brunette in a farm truck!" and then he waved and flew up the field so Mark could load him up with hay. That would have made a great addition to my post, so just imagine it for me please.

After we hauled all the hay in 3 hours that Matt said would have taken at least 3 days to do when he was in high school hauling hay with the bale wagon, we had to go back through the fields and put the gated pipe back in place. I grew up with sprinklers, hand lines to be exact, so this was a new deal for me. It went pretty quickly with everyone helping until we ran into a few problems about 1/2 way through. I let the guys take care of that. Kendal was crying and hot and needing a drink.

Kelsey and Judd were even very helpful, they were put to work closing all the gates. Kendal, Alissa, and Adrianna just walked, played, and after awhile whimpered. It was a hot day.

Here is Mike, Matt's brother and his two little girls, Adri and Alissa. They love going to the farm with their dad and with Grandpa.

It was a fun day working at the farm together with everyone helping. Matt said he loved how fast we hauled all that hay and how fun it was to have so many there to help and play together. Kelsey loves going to the farm and playing with cousins. She is a farmer girl at heart.

By the way, the Crane way isn't always the easiest or right way, but it sure worked out great today! We have a joke that the Crane way, meaning Larry and his male offspring's way (Mindy is exempt because she is a woman and she is very smart and efficient) is usually the hardest, most complicated, inefficient, and worst way of doing something.

Jen is having a girl!

Amanda, Heather, and I had a little party (I dislike the word shower - who came up with that anyway?) for Jen the other day. She is having a sweet little girl after 3 boys, so we figured she could use some pink and purple. It was a fun evening and the weather was gorgeous. We had the get together at my neighbor Gwen's house. She has an amazing yard and her back deck was perfect.

It was fun to sit and chat with everyone that came and get to know Jen's other friends. Amanda arranged some killer wonderful food that we all enjoyed too. Thanks for a great evening ladies!

Heather had a Homeland Security issue and had to head home early to take care of her soldiers, so she missed our little picture of the ladies. Here is Jen, due in 3 weeks, sweet neighbor Gwen, Amanda the Amazing, and Rachel, dressed in black.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Kendal's first haircut

Kendal turned 3 about a month ago and she just recieved her first EVER haircut last night! HOORAY! I have known that she has needed a little snip snip for awhile now, but if you know Kendal, then you know that the only time she is still, as in not moving, is when she is asleep, and even then she really isn't STILL. So I have not taken her to get her hair cut for that exact reason. I have just been ignoring the frayed yucky ends of her hair and keep slathering on the conditioner!
Well, it all changed last night. Amanda and Jen came over for a minute last night and it happened!

Amanda gave Kendal the water bottle (I thought of you Krista!) and that kept her pretty happy and content for a few minutes. But she still didn't hold still, Amanda had to be pretty quick with those scissors to get a snip in before Kendal moved that sweet little head of hers.

When the water bottle was no longer doing it for her, and when Jen was done with me singing Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree, Kendal was given ranch dip and carrots to keep her content and to keep her mind off of her head.

I am pretty sure Matt didn't feed her any dinner ( I was gone) because she was shoving in the ranch and carrots pretty fast! Good job Amanda and Thank you so much, you deserve golden scissors! Let me tell you how nasty her sweet little breath smelled this morning! WHEW!! But her hair is so healthy and cute!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Kami is now a Williams

Last Saturday we left our camping and horsing adventure and came down to Kami, our neighbor's wedding. It was a beautiful wedding, and of course I didn't get any pictures of that! It was up in Woodland and it was the perfect day for a wedding. The flowers were beautiful, the weather was perfect, the decorations were gorgeous, the bride was smiling, and my girls were cute.
I didn't get my camera out until we were getting ready to leave. Kelsey and the other little girls were crowding them pretty well while they were opening gifts and I had retrieved Kendal out of the makeup, kitty litter, toilet paper, horse corral, and away from the cake table too many times, so I figured it was time to hit the road and go home. I did get a few shots first. Why couldn't I get my camera out before then and get some good pictures? Probably because I was too busy making sure Kendal was not destroying something. I really hope she didn't!

Congrats Kami and Jon and thanks Kim and Debbie for a wonderful afternoon. You guys did a great job, and the food was delicious!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My cute cute Round Robin has Returned

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was so excited to go to quilt guild meeting because I was going to get my round robin quilt top back. Well, here it is. I made the very center 12 inch block that looks like 5 heart flowers. Someone from guild then added the cute piano keys and corner heart border, someone else then added the purple strip and tiny little pieced triangle border, and then one more lady added the outside border. It turned out so cute I think. I didn't give any directions or suggestions, but I did tell them that I love the scrappy look and I did send some scraps of fabric that I had used to make the center along with it.

So what now? I am not sure. I think I will add one more border to finish it off and then fold it up nicely and put it in my closet until I have a great idea.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Strawberry Fields Forever

Thursday Matt worked 1/2 day and by 2:00 we were packed, loaded, and headed up in the mountains for the weekend. There is an endurance race every year that Matt goes and works at as a veterinarian and that is what we were doing. It is called Strawberry Fields Forever Endurance Ride. We got our camp set up Thursday afternoon and then Matt left us to go check in horses. We camped less than a mile away from the big horse camp, so that was nice and convenient.

While Matt was being a vet, the girls and I went on a killer hike. Kendal is such trouper, she just goes and goes. After we got back from our hike we gathered firewood and I got out some of my nerdy books for the girls to look at while we rested. I have a book about identifying insects and one on trees - both with great pictures. The girls LOVED the books. Here they are, both of them reading and looking at the pictures. I bet we read about trees and bugs for a good hour waiting for Matt to come back for dinner.

I was wishing I had brought my plant book so I could tell Kelsey the name of this flower. I knew most of them, but this one escaped me. No matter, it made a pretty bouquet.

When Matt got back to camp Thursday night, we ate dinner and of course did marshmallows and smores. It was a super evening. That all ended at bed time. I so love that we had the longest day of the year, but for camping it was a little rough, plus the full moon didn't help. It was 9:08 and Matt said "I am beat, I am headed to bed." I thought to myself "Oh dear, it is not even dark yet. These girls are not going to go to sleep for at least an hour and just waller (that is a great word) around until it gets dark." That is exactly what happened. When Matt went into the tent, so did the girls. When Matt crawled into his bag, so did the girls. The problem was that Kendal crawled into everyone's bag about 12 times a piece, no joke, just squealing and laughing all the while. By the time 10:10 rolled around, Matt was quietly snoring, Kelsey was quiet, and Kendal was in in my bag with me, kicking off the covers and saying "mama, mama, mama" as she grinned her evil little mischeivious grin. There was no way she was getting in her own bag, she had been in and out of Kelsey's bag a few times and landed with me. Motherhood is amazing. They love us so much!

Friday evening, we ate dinner with the entire horse endurance folks crew. Let me tell you a little endurance ride story. Friday morning Matt woke up at 6:00 and left camp to go "vet in" horses for the day. At around 7:00 about 50 horses and riders left on a 50 mile endurance race. A little later, another 50 riders and horses left camp for a 25 mile endurance race. Matt's job as a vet was to make sure the horses were fit enough to go on the race/ride and then also to do what is called a "vet check" on the horses along the way. I think the 25 milers only have 1 vet check along the way. Matt checks the horses for lameness, heart rate, gut noises (colic), and a few other things that I don't really know. At most of the vet checks, the riders and horses are required to take a 1/2 hour break or so before they can finish the race. All the riders and horses are timed when they come to a vet check and are timed as they leave to make it a fair race. The 50 milers have more vet checks and longer wait times. It is amazing to me that most of these riders finish the race in just hours. It would take me and my old Roxy horse a few days to ride 50 miles! Okay, moving on now.
Friday after the race, everyone ate dinner together and they gave out prizes for best time, best condition (of the horse), and more awards. When this was all over, Matt and the girls loaded up in the truck and went back to our camp. I was right behind them in the car. I stopped to get this picture of the enormity of the horse camp and was promptly told by two ladies out walking their horses that I had a flat tire. This picture does no justice by the way.

A MAJOR flat tire and my muscle man just drove off down the road. It was getting late and it would be dark in an hour and I knew that it would take me just an hour to man handle that thing in my trunk called a jack because it is such a piece. So I decided I would do what I HATE to do, run to camp. One of the ladies kindly offered me the use of her horse that had no saddle, only a halter and a leadrope, and is used to running for 50 miles straight. I declined.
I was so impressed with myself. I ran all the way back to camp (.7 miles) without peeing my pants. This is a big deal just so you all know. My lungs were fine, my legs were fine, my heart was fine, I was worried about my bladder. So I got to camp and shared the bad news. Matt was so nice, truly. He did wonder however how I had managed to drive so far without knowing I had a flat tire. No comment here.

After Matt changed the tire, we still had a little time left to roast marshmallows before we headed to bed. I wrestled all night with Kendal again and made that little crick in my back a little worse with the sleeping bag nazi child. Kelsey had spent the entire day Friday with Matt helping him with the horses. She loved it and had a super time. We all truly had a super time.

I told Matt Friday night as he was getting into bed and had lit the lantern, to make a cool silhouette for me. I missed the good one. You guys would have been proud of our sweet little Matt.

Saturday morning I woke up early and laid in bed for about an hour after Matt had left, wondering what I was going to tell the Les Schwab guy. I was so mortified by the tire that I had mutilated I was afraid they might revoke my drivers licence! So instead of stewing about it, I got the girls out of their warm sleeping bags and into the car, donut tire and all, and went straight into town to Les Schwab. We stunk, we were dirty, in PJs, and all was well. I was afraid I would have to get a new rim, but I didn't thankfully and I actually had some mileage left on the warrantied tire, so I only had to pay $40 for a new tire and they didn't even flinch when they took this beauty out of the trunk!

After the tire ordeal was over, we went home, showered and went to my neighbor's wedding. I will post about that tomorrow. Saturday evening we returned to the horse camp and Kelsey met up with one of her new friends, Terry, who took her on a little ride. Apparently Kelsey was Miss Social on Friday and made quite a few fun friends throughout the day.

Kendal loved all the horses and could hardly contain herself from crawling into all the pens with them. With over 100 horses, we were looking out for our little dare devil pretty closely. Oh, I forgot to mention that all of these endurance racers/riders wake up and do it again the next day! Most riders raced on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I think I would be so saddle sore that I wouldn't be able to function. Imagine 150 miles in 3 days on a horse, with hours and hours of spare down time!

Saturday evening after another awards dinner, we all walked down to the river where I had taken the girls earlier to throw rocks into the river. Kendal took this adventure very seriously and we had to pry rocks out of her little hands when it was time to leave. It was a pretty evening and the sound of the water was wonderful.

This is my sweet Kelsey smelling a plant. She has learned about mint and how you can pick a leaf and put it in your mouth for a sweet, minty sensation. On our walk to the river I walked by some stinging nettle and my leg was on fire. I told Kelsey that stinging nettle and mint look sort of alike so she needed to smell the plant she thought was mint to make sure it really wasn't stinging nettle before she put leaves into her mouth. This is Kelsey smelling the mint, just to make sure.

And into the mouth it goes.

Kendal really liked the splash the rocks made when they hit the water. She was almost mesmerized by the river and wanted to stay so badly.
Kendal and I came home Saturday night, had a shower and slept in our own beds, ALONE! Matt and Kelsey stayed up on Sunday for the last day of the ride and did the vet thing. Kelsey told me how much fun she had with her new friends, she even got email addresses (she is only 6!), how very helpful she was to her dad and how he couldn't do it without her, how much she loves horses, and how good she slept Saturday night without Kendal bothering her.
It was a wonderful weekend. I am so glad that we are so close to the great outdoors and that we get to play in the mountains. Last year at this time we didn't know Kendal's prognosis with her seizures, we were doing blood pressures twice a day at the ER, shots of nasty ACTH twice a day, and we didn't hear a sound from her unless she was rattling her high chair because she was hungry, which was always, or she was crying. How very blessed we are.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My sister Tori posted the sweetest post about our dad for Father's Day. It made me cry. If everyone in this world could have a dad like ours, there would be NO problems at all in this world, seriously. Go check it out:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Grandma's Irises

Summer has arrived! I just wanted to share a picture of some of my irises that used to be my Grandma Lela's. We turned her garden into a playground and I brought home 3 piddly little irises 2 years ago. This year they are taller than Kelsey and are blooming wonderfully. I would like to think I got some of my grandma's green thumb. She was an amazing gardener.

Kelsey and I put the canopy on the whatever-that-is-called yesterday. It is getting warm enough now that a little shade over the sand box will be nice!

We got this last summer when Kendal was nasty sick with her nasty horrible seizure medicine. She couldn't be in the heat or else her blood pressure would sky rocket and the meds (then and now) don't let her sweat so she can get overheated. This will be a great summer.

Kendal does not like sand in her toes though. She would love it if her feet would not get sandy but she could still play in the sandbox. I am not sure about this behavior of hers, she is so oblivious to so many other things!

I was laying, lying, whatever the proper word is, last night in bed thinking about the hard time I gave my teacher Mr. Bagley. I should not blame my unknowledge on him, I really shouldn't. He taught me US History in high school and I remember the phrases "no taxation without proper representation" and "The Emancipation Proclamation" really well. I have decided to send the blame elsewhere for my WWII naivete's and that would be Mr. Larry Andersen. He taught me World Civilization and all I remember about that class is watching Lawrence of Arabia for 3 weeks straight. Or maybe I will blame Mr. Dale Tiffany. He was supposed to teach us some kind of history in middle school and I don't remember ANY history from that class! Okay, maybe I should take a little blame myself, was passing notes and NOT reading the chapter the reason for not learning what I should have? Is that why I hated history then and love it now? I am not sure, but it makes me feel better to see from the very few of you that voted, that you didn't know too much about the children of Chabannes either.

By the way, I know not very many of you voted because I hit my 10,000 visitors mark last week. Using the math I learned from Mr Bray and Mr Porter-Peden, if I take 10,000 and divide it by the 300 days or so I have been blogging, I get around 33.33 visitors a day here. Not too many, but enough of you that could vote and own up to your history education and make me feel better about mine! Hey, thanks for the 10,000 anyway!


I just watched a documentary I got from the library tonight instead of sewing the backing fabric together of that darn quilt I have been working on for 3 years now! The final borders are on and it looks great by the way! Anyway, the documentary is called The Children of Chabannes. Chabannes is French and it sounds like Shabon. It is an extremely interesting, inspiring, enlightening, and empowering story. I knew from the front cover of the DVD what it was about, but I had never heard of this story. I am wondering how horrible my history education really was and who else has heard or has never heard this story. Please take the poll on the left of the screen and let me know if I am the only one who's history education is lacking.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Farmer Rigging It - minus the bailing wire

Saturday morning at 5:22 Matt and Kelsey headed down to Salina. Kendal and I slept until, well, I won't say how late. Anyway I have had this problem with what to do with my clematis that is so happy. It has outgrown it's trellis for a few years now and I needed to figure out something to keep it climbing. Last year I did the farmer rig thing and very sophisticatedly hooked some bird netting from the deck railing up to the rain gutter and attached it with a paper clip. Yes, a paper clip. It honestly worked great. The clematis covered the netting in no time and it just looking like greenery was magically climbing skyward into my rain gutter.

Well, I decided this year I needed to be a little more constructive with my trellis situation. I asked Derek, my 15 year old neighbor if he would weld me something I would draw up for him out of rebar and he said yes. I was telling my brother in law Jared about this. He is a welder by trade. He said there is no way that I could have a trellis made out of REBAR! I explained to him that it would be covered in no time, it was cheap, and it would be good practice for Derek. He said no way. He then offered to make me a trellis. I changed my mind and asked him to make me a walk under arbor for another part of my yard that would be so pretty. He assured me that it would NOT be welded out of rebar!
So, Matt was outside on Friday night enjoying a few minutes on the deck and I said "Matt, what am I going to do with this happy clematis? It has outgrown its trellis." He said, "I don't know, make some kind of wood thing for it to climb on and block the view of the road."
That is all I needed. I have secretly been planning a wooden trellis type thing in my mind all spring, but it needed to be his idea. So Saturday while he was fixing fence, cleaning ditches, herding cows or whatever he was doing in Salina, I was driving his truck to the lumber and hardware store for my project.

Kendal was such a big help. She splashed the deck stain all over the boards, the grass, her sister's brand new shoes, our legs, the cat, etc. She grunted with me when I drove the screws in and ran out of UMPH toward the end, she watched me mess up a couple of cuts with the skil saw and said "OH MAN" when I did, she played in the strawberry patch and squished the berries while I nimbly danced around the berries while digging a hole and setting screws on the outside of the deck, she climbed to the VERY top of the ladder just so she could jingle the wind chime and give me a heart attack, and she had a great day. The tree I planted 4 years ago is finally big enough to give a little shade in the heat of the day if you sit in the right spot and shift every 20 minutes as the sun goes across the sky! She sat in the shade (it was a gorgeous day Saturday) and ate a popsicle for about 3 1/2 minutes and then she was off again. My friend Jen stole her for about an hour and it was pretty nice to not have her painting the cat and scaling the ladder.

It doesn't look like much, but there it is and it is done. It is going to work pretty nicely. Thanks Mom and Dad for all of the tools you gave Matt for Christmas. I do know what you can get ME this year - a tool belt. That would have been nice, my pockets were overflowing. I told Matt that this was his Father's Day present. He looked at me weird because he could care less about the yard, then I told him it was HIS gift because he didn't have to do it.


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