Monday, January 27, 2014

Margrethe Sorensdatter Sorensen had a rough January as well

Last night I was online doing some research with Kelsey, who is working on an ancestry project.  I was on and boy do I love that place.  I was browsing some ancestors on my mother's side and I came across a grandmother who is nine generations back, named Margrethe Sorensdatter who married Jacob Sorensen in 1703 in Denmark.  He was 30 years old and she was 25 years old.

 This lighthouse is Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse, in Hjørring, Denmark.  

They lived in Orum, Hjorring, Denmark where they had 11 children.  Of those 11 children, only two were known to make it to adulthood.  One of course being one of my ancestors, Margaretha born in 1703.  The other child that lived to adulthood was her younger brother of nine years named Christen. 

Hjorring, Denmark, near the lighthouse
The deaths of four of Margrethe's children are recorded.  They all died in January of 1723 in Hjorring.  She first lost a seven year old son Laurits on New Year's Day.  Her 3 year old daughter Johanne then died on the 17th of January.  As if that weren't enough, her 12 year old and 9 year old daughters died the same day on January 24th 1723. 
What a rough winter that must have been.
I think I am having some January blues.  I am a bit onery, a bit lonely although I am surrounded by people, a bit sentimental, and a whole lot emotional. 
Last night when I found this information I just sat at the computer and cried.
I cried for Margrethe and her loss that I could not comprehend.
Cried for the rough January she must have had that year,
and the following Januarys she endured as the remembrance of losing 4 sweet children in the same month must have weighed on her,
and I mostly cried because my January didn't seem quite so rough.
Its incredible what a little perspective can do for you.
Last night as I perused I was filled with perspective.
I realized once again how very blessed I am, and once again I was reminded that spring comes after every winter.  Thank Heaven.
Hjorring, Denmark

Thursday, January 23, 2014

All you need is two wrenches

A few years after we first moved into our house back in 2002, my kitchen sink leaked. 
I called my dad.
And I went to Latimer's Hardware Store, I love that place.
My dad told me that all I needed to fix almost any plumbing problem was two adjustable wrenches, two different sizes.
He was right.
Since I bought those wrenches years ago, I have used them quite a few times and fixed quite a few plumbing problems, as well as used those wrenches for many other projects.

My bathroom sink has dripped for a few months.  It makes me crazy.
I was hoping Santa would fix it, but he didn't.
So, I decided since it leaked AND looked pretty grungy, I would just replace it.
I went to Latimer's.
And to my tool box, but I couldn't find my larger wrench.

 One thing I don't like about plumbing is my claustrophobia issue. 
That didn't really bother me this time, but my neck sure got very tired!
I workout with a guy who is a plumbing apprentice.
He has some broad shoulders, and they are getting broader.
I don't know how he is going to fit under a sink AND have the space to work those wrenches!

Here is my new faucet!
It looks so spiffy!  Works like a charm!
It even came with a new drain.  That was the trickiest part, the part that required the big wrench.
And for good measure, while I was down there with it all opened up, I cleaned out the pea trap.
My teeth are clenched, my jaw is tight, my nostrils are flaring, my eyes are squinting, and my shoulders are tensed up just thinking about it. 
Ewww.  That is all I can say.
 Kenna was super duper helpful during the whole process.
She tried each and every bottle of lotion, marked every new deodorant dispenser with her fingernails, and one with her teeth (she learned fast), and emptied the Q-tips multiple times.
She did run off with my Leatherman a few times as well.
 So, I think the new faucet was in the $50 range, which is so-so.
There was no plumber to pay, although the thought did cross my mind when I was gagging over the pea trap business.  I did however have to buy a new wrench.  I never did find my larger one.  The new 12 inch adjustable wrench was $33.  Ouch.  I wrote my name on this one!

Ouch is right,
Look at this monster!
I have big hands, so it doesn't look so huge, but if a cute little model were holding it, she would probably have to use BOTH hands!  I should put it on the scale, I bet this beast weighs at least 7 pounds!  So although I paid $33 for a wrench, I know I will get some use out of this thing.
I could use it as a weapon!
Truly, a whack on the noggin with this would do some damage to a poor burglar.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

ice ice baby

My sister only lives 45 minutes away, but for some reason we find it hard to get together very often.
So a few weekends ago when she called and asked if she could come visit and go see the ice castle being built in Midway, of course I said yes.
My sister has two little boys and one beautiful daughter and they all seem to be growing too fast.

Matt and our two middle children went south for the day to work on the farm, so just my oldest and my youngest were here to visit their cousins.

We had a good time, it was a pretty incredible ice castle and is supposedly only going to grow if it continues to stay cold.

I am glad my sister and her husband get me out of the house sometimes.  I hate to admit that I am quite the homebody.  I love being home, working on projects.

But then I miss memorable times like these.
Cold noses, cold toes, giggling boys, silly girls, spending time with my sister, and watching the cousins enjoy each other's company.

Thanks Tori and Jared.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My mom's herd

On Thanksgiving Day of 2012, I traced around all the feet and hands of my mom and dad's nine living grandchildren.  I had big plans for my mom's Christmas present.  I ordered fabric and was so excited to start the project, then the fabric got back ordered, and then never came.  So my sweet mom ended up getting a case of paper towels for Christmas.  No kidding.

So then I decided this project needed to get completed for Christmas of 2013.  I worked hard on it in November and December.  I left all the prints from 2012, because I knew if I had to get new ones, it would never happen. 

The quilt top was finished for Christmas but was at the quilter's for Christmas Day.  My mom got a few pictures of her new quilt wrapped up for Christmas this year.  Lame, I know.

But my dear, sweet mom is kind and patient thankfully.  I got the quilt back from the quilter last week and planned to get it bound for her since she came to visit over the weekend.  That didn't happen.  So, guess what is at the TOP of my list for next week?  Yep, my mom's Christmas present from 2012! 

But I do think it turned out great.  The quilting on it is gorgeous thanks to Natalia at  The red super soft minky on the back will be fun and cozy for my mom.  It is sort of big for a throw quilt, but not really big enough to go on a bed.  I am not sure what I was thinking, I was just sewing. 
And by the way, I am not sure if they are elk or deer or moose, but they are my mom's herd of grandchildren. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Jorgen Smith

Today at DUP (Daughters of the Utah Pioneers) I get to give a little history on one of my ancestors.
I am going to talk about this fellow, Jorgen Christiansen Smith.  He is my great great great grandfather.

He had a very interesting life, I think it was pretty rough as well.
He was born in Prussia in 1823 on a country farm as the son of a tenant farmer for a rich German landlord named Smidt (Smith.)  He went to school and was drafted into the Danish Army.  He had to fight in a war between Denmark and Prussia, as a member in the Danish Army, which means he fought against his brothers and cousins. 
My heart goes out to him, considering my fascination with the American Civil War where brother and cousins fought each other.  One of his brothers was killed, and he always felt badly about it and hoped it wasn't his bullet.

 Growing up as a poor serf boy, when he heard the Mormon missionaries talk about America and the building of Zion there with all of the wonderful freedoms and liberties he couldn't imagine, he and his first wife were baptized and headed to the United States.
This picture is of him and his third wife, my great great great grandmother, Mette Marie Villadsen Smith.  She had a great story as well. She was born in Denmark as a set of triplets in 1841.
Her parents could not care for her, so she was raised by a wealthy family in the area and was never allowed to see or speak of her real parents, family, and home.  She was baptized and left at the age of 17 for the United States, so that tells my dramatic mind that her life wasn't so great living on a large Danish manor.
This photo was taken at a Blackhawk War reunion.  Jorgen and Mette are the two in the center.
 Mette was Jorgen's third plural wife and eighteen years younger than he was.  There are some very colorful stories of living in a polygamist marriage that have been recorded in Jorgen's life, and my heart goes out to her and the other wives as well.  Their story was not a happy story.  Living in poverty, moving multiple times, losing many children, sharing a house and husband, and all the other hardships they had to endure makes me grateful for the simple, easy life I lead.
There is one quote that I love that makes me giggle by Jorgen:
"I am sure lucky and fortunate to have tree Danish vimmens for vives, but one would have been enough."
I hope my little report on Jorgen goes well today, and that he might be pleased with the information available to present.  It is a bit unfair that one entire lifetime of 85 years is condensed into a few pages of words.  There is so much more that we will never know.
I also need to bind these two little quilts today.  Confederate Stars and Bars.  I love how they turned out.  They are for the Fort Douglas Military Museum's Living History Detachment Inaugural Dinner this weekend.  That's a mouthful.  They are gifts for the two outgoing commanding officers of our civil war group.  They led us through a great 2013 reenacting year. 
Oh, and I told Matt I would make him a cherry pie.  I need to go get busy.


Tuesday, January 07, 2014

she calls herself "Na"

Sweet baby girl Kenna turned 18 months old on Christmas Day.
I guess I can't call her a baby anymore.

 Kenna loves her dad.
Very much.
She talks about him all day when he is gone, and when he gets home, she is his shadow.

She loves to destroy the kitchen.
Everyday, all day. 

She melts my heart and is a happy little girl.
She loves her chocolate milk, her pink soft blanket, her dad, and she loves to wear her jacket in the house.

She makes everyone in the house happy with her sweet little smile and brightens everyone's day when she laughs.

She calls herself "Na" and I think it is the cutest thing.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Jackie Chan and Linda Ronstadt - combined


Kenna woke up last night at 3:00 am, just to play. We snuggled for a half hour and I put her back to bed.  She cried.  I was okay with that.  Matt wasn't.
He got her out of bed and put her in our bed.
I wasn't okay with that.
I went to the couch and read a book I have been wanting to read by firelight, tossed and turned and tried to sleep comfy on the couch.
Matt slept while Jackie Chan kicked his ribs and sang him a song.
She never did fall asleep.
I put her down for a nap at 1:00, she fought it, but finally went to dreamland.

I told Kelsey that I was going to have a little rest as well, and to not let me sleep for more than an hour. It was a wonderful thing.
I feel better now, and I am off to go make homemade turkey noodle soup. Yum!

But, on the sewing homefront, I am making something super duper fun and extra top secret.
Hmmm, seven stars on a blue background. 
Sounds sesech to me!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

January first, starting it out good.

My New Years Day, 2014
(so far)

I started the morning out with 100 75 # power cleans and about 75 burpees.
One of my goals for 2014 is to use better technique on my Olympic lifts and obviously improve my grip.  I have been disliking the 'hook grip,' but it looks like I better start liking it.  If I do, then this won't happen anymore.

After I got my car back from the autobody shop this morning, (yeah, a bit of an accident a few weeks ago) we got a bunch of wood hauled and split in the garage.  YIPPEE!!
I love myself a good fire.

I made some binding and got it sewn onto a quilt that has been quilted since June or so.
Now, to get the binding turned over and it completed, for good.
One of my goals for 2014 will be to finish up a few projects like this that I tend to drag out far too long.  I think I have quilting and sewing ADD.  I want to start so many fun projects while others are in various stages of completion.  So many projects, so little time.

Then this evening Matt and I cut up one of Kelsey's turkeys we got back from the fellow that smokes them for us.  This is Kelsey in October and her six turkeys were slaughtered right before Thanksgiving.  We kept the biggest one, she sold 4 of them, and then gave one to the neighbors. 
The one we kept dressed out at 38.5 pounds. 
We have a lot of turkey in the fridge!
I think soup and pot pie are on the menu for the next few days.
One of my goals for 2014 is to not hate preparing dinner quite so much.
I don't mind actually cooking and doing it, its just thinking about it, planning it, and shopping for it that makes me crazy.  Maybe I should start a menu plan.
Yeah, good idea.
Now, I am going to finish off the evening with some ice cream sundaes, a bit more sewing, and hopefully some reading.  Oh, and another goal for 2014 - the grateful journal.
I was really good at this for many years, but the past few years I haven't done it at all. 
Here I go!
Happy New Years to you!


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