Friday, May 30, 2008

How one should NOT get ladder ball balls out of a tree ...

... and why one should not get them stuck up there in the first place. :)

Check out Leah's side of the story as well!!!

It was just another ordinary day. Loving the sunshine, loving having Grandma and Grandpa from Wyoming visit, loving being outside, taking silly pictures with best buddy Leah, trying to play ladder ball and completely not getting it, getting bored of completely not getting it and then trying to throw the little bolo balls (ladder ball balls) at my best bud with my feet. Ahhh, yeah, that didn't work. Then, being more weird then usual, I decided I was going to see if I could throw the bolo balls with my feet and make it on the ladder. :) Yeah, this is the point were the little common sense man should have appeared and said, "I don't think that's such a good idea." Or maybe he did and I just blew him off. Either way, I kicked the bolo balls and away they sailed. Up, up, up past the ladder ball thing-y, up, up, up, into the sky and down, down, down onto a tree branch. Yup, should have listened to Mr. Common Sense. And not only were they up in the tree, but they were way up(!!) in the tree, I couldn't even reach them with the very, very high ladder that we have. *Sighs*
Okay, as I'm writing this, I realize what a complete weird-o I am and I question why I'm writing this for all the world to see. :) If you prefer to avoid really weird, strange people and really strange happenings I would recommend that you cease reading right now. And please, just so you know, I'm not usually this weird, :) so I ask that you do not assume that the very weird way I'm acting in the videos is the way I always act. :) 'Cause it's not.

I also realize that loading all of the videos will take a substantial amount of time, so I'm going to write the gist of what's going on in the videos above them so if you choose not to load them you'll still get the basic idea of what's going on. Also, I'm sorry about the shakiness of the videos, it's hard to hold a little camera still and laugh at the same time. :)

So yeah, this is the video of me trying to throw the bolo balls at Leah with me feet, obviously that didn't work so swell. Then I tried, as I said, to throw the balls at the ladder and then succeeded in getting them stuck up in the tree. How smart is that?
video

The bolo balls stuck around the branch (the little blue things). They weren't just in the tree, they were on either side of the branch.

So, we decided to survey the damage. This is where, when we realized what 'fun' it would be to get them down, we should have called for help. But, feeling guilty and responsible for getting them up in the tree, I thought it only right that I should get them down from the tree.

See where I circled? That's about where the balls were. Up ... nice and high.
After a quick survey of the problem I decided it would be best to try and throw a lager ball at the smaller bolo balls and try to knock them down. So I produced a softball. I tried throwing the ball numerous times, failing each time (I decided to spare all ye peeps from that very embarrassing vid. :)). So Leah, softball child, decided to give it a try. I love how she takes off running away from the ball when it comes falling down. :) She's amazingly brave! Wahoo, go Leah!
video

After all three of us kids, Leah, Ethan and I, tried our hand at throwing the softball at the bolo balls, Dad came to save the day. He threw it a few times unsuccessfully. The last time he threw the softball it went up and then straight down onto Leah's freshly planted cantaloupe plant. Needless to say, he didn't retrieve the ball, but quickly decided he'd tried enough and headed inside. Leah was quite disturbed that things kept landing on her pour little cantaloupe. :)
video

Obviously the whole softball thing wasn't workin' out so swell, so I looked for a new weapon ... I found a board. :) I threw that many unsuccessful times as well, as did Ethan. :) Actually, all my plans were unsuccessful, Leah was the one who actually got it down. :) But in this video I'm standing with the board under the tree, ready to fire and dying of laughter telling myself, aloud, that our family is totally normal. Every one gets bolo balls stuck in trees and then throws very large pieces of wood at them to get them down, right? :) As I was dying of laughter Ethan chucked the softball up again and then the softball got stuck in the tree. Yes, things were flowing quite smoothly I think.
video

Yes, not only did we get the bolo balls stuck up in the tree, Ethan managed to get the softball stuck up in the tree as well. I have never seen anything like that before.
You might have guessed that the whole throwing of the board thing didn't work. :) So Ethan grabbed his soft pellet gun and tried to shoot the softball out of the tree. Why? I'm not really sure, because his pellets are smaller then a pea. You might have also guessed that the gun thing didn't work either. :) He did, however, manage to shoot some leaves down.
video

As the gun didn't work I went to work looking for the next object to throw and I found a very, very large sick. :) I tossed it straight up quite a few times, then switched to throwing it like a 'harpoon' as Leah said. Although I didn't manage to get the bolo balls down I got the softball down. :) Wow, 'mazing! :) And I did it without taking out Leah's cantaloupe, which is a HUGE plus. :)

Soooo ... after the stick failed we reverted back to the softball. Having that fail again I decided that I would just jump and my fingers would slid perfectly around the branch and that I would just pull the branch down and retrieve the bolo balls from the grasp of the tree ... hummm, how high can I jump? Probably not the 10-15 (or maybe 20) feet needed. Also, if any of you have seen the Veggie Tails 'Jonah' then you know the part in them movie when the little caterpillar thing is listening to the tape and it's telling him that he's a great something or other. :) That's what Leah was telling me when I was jumping. :)

As I couldn't reach the branch from the ground I scaled the tree in hopes that I would be able to push the branch down from the top ... yeah, I couldn't even see the bolo balls from in the tree. So much for that idea. :)
video

Finally we broke out the ladder. As we should have long before. So Leah climbed the ladder, softball in hand. (We have such a faithful softball, we used it three times, getting it stuck once and it still stayed around. Such a nice softball.) She was so sacred up on the ladder and she was trying to keep her hat in place ... needless to say she didn't throw it very well but it makes for great footage. :) So she slowly made her way back down the ladder. This is where the tree turned against us.

When Leah was climbing down the ladder the tree threw this branch at us. Okay, okay, I know, not possible, but hey, if I was the tree that we were attacking, I'd throw something too.
Celebrity sighting!!! It's Rudolf, the non-red nose non-reindeer. A.K.A. me. (I circled my "antlers" so you can see them better. :) ) Shortly after Leah climbed down the ladder, Ethan climbed up, and then he pulled on one of the branches to see if we could pull the bolo balls to a place where I could reach them, and in the process Ethan pulled this very large branch out of the tree. My face looks a little weird in the picture, I think Leah took it just as I started to laugh.
Our last plan of attack was actually Ethan's plan. I had run inside the house to get something and while in there Mom made of list of things she needed from the store. So I grabbed my purse and headed out the front door. When I exited the house Ethan was on the ladder with, I kid you not, a rain gutter, or more properly a downspout ... a very, very long downspout. :) It was certainly an interesting sight. :) I grabbed the camera from Leah and filmed as she bravely climbed the ladder with the extremely long downspout (after Ethan climbed down after he tried and failed). Finally success!!! (This movie is VERY long, just so you know.)
video

So in all, our plan of attack went something like this:
  1. The softball
  2. The board
  3. The gun and softball
  4. The stick
  5. Back to the softball
  6. Jumping to grab the branch
  7. Climbing the tree
  8. Setting up the ladder to grab the branch
  9. On the ladder with faithful softball
  10. The downspout
One time I threatened to grab a shovel. :) But I didn't.

The little golf ball sized things that we were after. Such big trouble the little things caused. In all it took us nearly 40 minutes to knock the balls out of the tree. :) So the point of this whole post is this ... don't play ladder ball, and if you do, don't throw the balls with your feet, and if you do, don't get them suck in trees, and if you do, you're on your own.
And that, dear Peeps, is our story. :) Was it worth waiting for?

Friday, May 23, 2008

It's been a busy last few days

On Tuesday my Grandma S. and Popi went to Grandma's doctors appointment. The Dr. said that Grandma could be on her own again. So Grandma S. said that she would like to go home Wednesday morning because my Grandma and Grandpa F. from Wyoming were coming on Wednesday and Grandma S. thought it would be easier that way.

So Wednesday morning we packed Grandma S.'s things into her car and Popi drove her while I followed with my car so I could drive Popi back home. We got her settled back in her home and she seems to be doing much better. Praise the Lord for His gift of healing!

Wednesday afternoon Grandma and Grandpa F. came. I had just enough time after they came to grab a few things from my room and straighten a little bit. I am pleased to say that Leah and I got my closet (full of Leah's things and my things) cleaned out mostly before they got there and I had a few things to put away before they got completely "moved in". I drug my stuff up to Leah's room to return the favor of her in my room for two weeks. :) But I was only in her room for two nights. :)

Yesterday Leah and I went to watch some kids for a family in church who had to take a couple of their kids to the hospital (for sickness and other things). So we were gone from about 8:30am to about 3:45pm. When we got home we got to see new counter tops! We knew the men would be coming to put them in while we were gone. They look so wonderful (I'll be doing a kitchen before and after post some time).

Grandma and Grandpa left this morning so I've been putting my things back in my room and Leah's been doing the same to her room, not having a lot of time after Grandma S. left to the time I "moved in", a couple hours to be exact. :)

I also have only one more lessons until school lessons are done. Then I have a week off and then summer lessons start up in June. I'm looking forward to the little break but I'm excited about summer lessons too, I just LOVE teaching piano!

So there ya have it peeps. A short up-date from my last few days. There will be a wonderfully helpful post coming in the near future about how NOT to get ladder ball balls out of a tree and why not to get them stuck up there in the first place (boy if I had been privileged enough to read about how difficult it would have been I wouldn't have gotten them stuck up there in the first place.). :) You won't want to miss this, I assure you.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Love of Poetry

Summer Storm

Untremulous in the river clear,
Toward the sky's image, hangs the imaged bridge
So still the air that I can hear

The slender clarion of the unseen midge;
Out of the stillness, with a gathering creep,

Like rising wind in leaves, which now decreases,
Now lulls, now swells, and all the while increases,
The huddling trample of a drove of sheep

Tilts the loose planks, and then as gradually ceases
In dust on the other side; life's emblem deep,

A confused noise between two silences,
Finding at last in dust precarious peace.
On the wide marsh the purple-blossomed grasses
Soak up the sunshine; sleeps the brimming tide

Save when the wedge-shape wake in silence passes
Of some slow water-rat, whose sinuous glide

Wavers the long green sedge's shade from side to side;

But up the west, like a rock-shivered surge,
Climbs a great cloud edged with sun-whitened spray;

Huge whirls of foam boil toppling o'er its verge,
And falling still it seems, and yet it climbs always.


Suddenly all the sky is hid

As with the shutting of a lid,

One by one great drops are
falling
Doubtful and slow,

Down the pane they are crookedly crawling,
And the wind breathes low;

Slowly the circles widen on the river,
Widen and mingle, one and all;

Here and there the slenderer flowers shiver,
Struck by an icy rain-drop's fall.


Now on the hills I hear the thunder mutter,
The wind is gathering in the west;

The upturned leaves first whiten and flutter,
Then droop to a fitful rest;

Up from the stream with sluggish flap
Struggles the gull and floats away;

Nearer and nearer rolls the thunder-clap, ---
We shall not see the sun go down to-day:

Now leaps the wind on the sleepy marsh,
And tramples the grass with terrified feet,

The startled river turns leaden and harsh.
You can hear the quick heart of the tempest beat.


Look! look! that livid flash!
And instantly follows the rattling thunder,
As if some cloud-crag, split asunder,
Fell, splintering with ruinous crash,
On the Earth, which crouches in silence under;
And now a solid gray wall of rain
Shuts off the landscape, mile by mile;
For a breath's space I see the blue wood again,
And, ere the next heart-beat, the wind-hurled pile,
That seemed but now a league aloof,
Bursts crackling o'er the sun-parched roof;
Against the windows the storm comes dashing,
Through tattered foliage the hail tears crashing,
The blue lightning flashes,
The rapid hail clashes,
The white waves are tumbling,
And, in one baffled roar,
Like the toothless sea mumbling
A rock-bristled shore,
The thunder is rumbling
And crashing and crumbling, ---
Will silence return never more?

Hush! Still as death,
The tempest holds his breath
As from a sudden will;
The rain stops short, but from the eaves
You see it drop, and hear it from the leaves,
All is so bodingly still;
Again, now, now, again
Plashes the rain in heavy gouts,
The crinkled lightning
Seems ever brightening,
And loud and long
Again the thunder shouts
His battle-song, ---
One quivering flash,
One wildering crash,
Followed by silence dead and dull,
As if the cloud, let go,
Leapt bodily below
To whelm the earth in one mad overthrow,
And then a total lull.

Gone, gone, so soon!
No more my half-crazed fancy there
Can shape a giant in the air,
No more I see his streaming hair,
The writhing portent of his from; ---
The pale and quiet moon
Makes her calm forehead bare,
And the last fragments of the storm,
Like shattered rigging from a fight at sea,
Silent and few, are drifting over me.

~James Russell Lowell - 1839

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wowzers!

Wowzers, it's been a long time since I've been on here. This week has been so busy that I've hardly even gotten on to check e-mail and my Site Meter. So I thought today I'd just do a summery of my whole week (a week from last time I posted) in pictures. :) Enjoy!

Last Friday, after I posted, I took my little brother Ethan fishing. He'd been dying to fish and since he's not old enough to have to get a fishing license I just took him. In the evening we made a fire in our fire-pit and sat out and enjoyed the cool air. It wasn't cold, just a light breeze, enough to make you desire an extra layer.
~*~Me in my shades.~~The dog, Keda.~~Ethan's and my drink, I was cold and my throat was a little sore from my cold so I had cappuccino.~*~








~*~ Ethan's bobber. ~*~
Saturday was spent cleaning and getting ready for Mother's day! We also went to our second-hand store because grandma didn't have any summer clothes, and since it was Mother's Day weekend all women's clothing was half off. :) Wahoo. But while there I found a quilt that I fell in love with. It was around ten dollars, but the seams were coming apart. So I asked the lady if she would take half for it, she said yes! So I got it for five dollars!!!! And then I went home and sewed up the seams. :) You can't even tell it was coming apart! I love it so much! We also went to our dollar store on Saturday and I found a pair of clogs. I'd been looking for a pair so that I could just slip them on when I ran outside instead of pulling on my tennies. I just love them too. I wear them all the time. I don't wear my tennies much anymore. I also got a tin pail which I water my roses with. I also love that too!! :)
~*~ My quilt. It's so beautiful!! I love it!!!~~And my faithful-go-every-where clogs. ~*~







~*~My pail. It's got water spots on it because I used it. :) ~*~

Sunday we had church, it was the first time Grandma had been to church with us. She sat through both Sunday school and the morning service. Then Caleb and Kat came over with Greta! (I can't believe that my sister-in-law "qualifies" for mother's day and that my brother "qualifies" for father's day. :) It's so very neat. I think we should have an "Auntie's Day". :) )
~*~Auntie time!! ~~A not very recent picture of Greta, but it was one of the only ones I had, I'm going to have to fix that. (These pictures were not from Sunday, 'cause I didn't take any. I just picked some from earlier days.)~*~














Monday we had piano lessons. I got a new song and I LOVE it!!!! For those of you who know piano music it is Beethoven's Sonate Op. 27 Nr. 2 (Also known as the "Moonlight Sonate"). I'm doing the third movement "Presto". I love it. It's so beautiful and fun! I can't wait until I get it up to speed. Leah also had a doubleheader on Monday, so we went to her games. I also started crocheting a blanket with some yarn that I had laying around. It's going to be little stars. :) It's very cute. And since the yarn I'm using is a grayish green it almost looks like leaves. :)
~*~My music.~~My stars so far.~~The pattern, how it's suppose to look.~*~








Tuesday I made cookies for my students, (like I do every Tuesday morning) and made dinner. My big brother came over because his wifey was gone so he came for dinner and supper. I taught piano and spent a little bit of time outside during the lessons. Leah also had a game on that night as well.
Wednesday was one week since Grandma came to live with us. I watched two of my second cousins for almost two hours (they are "four and 3/4" (make sure you get that 3/4 in there, she'll make sure you do if you forget) :) and one). We had fun! We went out and looked at the roses and other flowers that are growing. Then we picked up sticks and put them in the big cart, actually the older one helped me pick up sticks and the other one sat in the cart with her toys. In the afternoon I taught piano, and in between my lessons I extended my roses garden and transplanted some roses I'd gotten last year from my other Grandma. After I transplanted my roses I made a "rose garden map" and then a list of the rose names, colors and types of roses.
~*~The sticks.~~My rose garden before (the green I painted on there shows where the grass was... because I forgot to take a before picture).~~My rose garden after (I took out the grass. :)).~*~











~*~My "Garden journal".~~The rose map.~~The plant list.~*~









Today I'm going to teach piano and finish a list of things that I have to do. Leah has her last doubleheader tonight. But I won't be able to go because I'm teaching piano. I also "clawed" my garden (I used the garden claw and broke up all the dirt) so that it was loose then I raked it so it was nice and smooth. It's very pretty now.

Also I made dinner all the days this week and was helping Grandma. Lots of cleaning and straightening went on this week too. So my week was busy.

Grandma is doing much better (Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers!). She has been taking short walks by herself and has been sitting out on our benches in the yard. I think the fresh air is good for her.

We also put up a little chalkboard in the dinning room and have been putting flowers on it and writing verses and other things on it. It's quite fun actually.









One time during the week, I don't remember the day, we went to the library, so I've got my basket full of books I need to look through.
I'm getting used to having my sister in my room. I've learned to fight for the covers so I don't totally freeze at night any more. :) It's going rather well.
~*~ Leah's pillows (the blue one and the red one) on my bed.~~Leah's stuff in my closet, the other suitcase is mine, I emptied out the bottom two drawers of my dresser so she could put her stuff in there.~*~






But I think that's all for now. I hope that made sense and I hope it's not as long in between posts as it was last time.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Well ... then again, maybe not

So, I thought I'd be able to get back into blogging this week but I guess not.

Grandma got out of the hospital on Wednesday but the doctor said she is not to live by herself so she came to live with us. She will be with us for a while, I'm guessing. She is not able to do many of the things she used to. We are to take care of all her food, all her medicine, helping her walk, driving for her, etc.. We've made many trips to the doctor for check ups and many trips to Grandma's house so she could get her things to move into our house for a while. She's doing much better, but she's still not 100% yet.

Generally my room is the guest bedroom but since Grandma doesn't do stairs very well, (I live in the basement) Leah moved down to my room while Grandma is here. So that's a slight adjustment as well, (especially at night, because she steals all of the blankets, then I freeze and I'm not used to having the covers taken from me :) ).

Also, the cold I mentioned before has officially set in. Not just on me, but on my whole family. I hope Grandma doesn't come down with it.

So I've been tired, and with Grandma here we've been adjusting to different things, as she has also been doing.

I just wanted to give you an up-date on my life, since I haven't written for a while. Also I wanted to thank you all for leaving comments on my last post about Grandma, thank you for your kind words!!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sorry Peeps

It has been forever and a day since I posted on here. I'm sorry peeps. My week was crazy. I don't remember much of the first part of the week (that right there should tell you something. :) ) but the last part kind of flew by, yet at the same time it took forever. Weird, I know.

Thursday I taught piano nearly all day, nothing new. But the next day, Friday, my sister Leah, who plays varsity softball, was going to play in the Metro-dome! Wahoo. It was very fun and exciting. The only thing was that they played at 8:00am. Not a problem, if we didn't live two hours away. Now, I'm a night owl. I don't do mornings very well, but I've made a change from sleeping in until 8:30am or 9:00am, to getting up at 7:30am. I've been doing it for quite a few months now and I've very happy with it. To some of you that may be early, to some it may be late, to me it's just right. :)

But back to Friday and the Metro-dome. Since we do live two hours away from the dome and we (they) played at 8:00am we had to get up at 4:00am so we could be out of the house at 4:40am so we could leave our town by 5:00am. For this very reason I thought about calling my post "Death to the non-morning person" or "Murder of the night owl" or some such dramatic thing. :) Anyway, I was alive, showered, packed, dressed, etc., etc., on time!! I was even awake, not by any means talkative, or active, or even totally aware of what was going on, but awake. I was very surprised. Well, we got to the dome, they played, they own 9-0! Yeah!! As we were driving home, Dad called Grandma to see how she was, because she'd been sick a few days earlier (I was driving, Dad was not talking on his cellphone and driving at the same time ... not like I don't do that myself ... never mind). To make a very, very, very, very, ... yeah, long story short (in the time frame of 1:30pm to about 10:20pm) Grandma was VERY sick. She'd fallen a few times, she couldn't stand, couldn't walk, she hadn't eaten for a while, she had a temp of about 103, her heart rate was 136, and other things. So we ended up taking her to the emergency room were they put her up in a hospital bed (after hours and hours of tests) and they will keep her until about Wednesday. We're not really sure what's is going on or what happened, but the doctors are figuring it all out. We think maybe it was her medication or pneumonia or something else (in January she was in the hospital for congestive heart failure) dew to not being fully recovered from January.

After we got her settled in and bought her a couple of things from Wal-mart we headed home, Dad driving the van and I was driving Grandma's car. So needless to say, we didn't get home until late, 11:00pm to be exact. When I left the house it was dark and when I got home it was dark. At times during the day I had a hard time remembering that it was all one day. Sitting in the emergency waiting room for four to five hours made me wonder if it was really only that morning that we'd been at the Metro dome.

Saturday I did a bunch of cleaning, vacuuming, ironing of clothes, and my work-out. Saturday was pretty full too.

Today we had church and then a fellowship meal, as we do every first and third Sundays of the month. Then after that we had a baby shower for my Sister-in-law and Greta, my niece!

And to top it all off I think I'm coming down with a cold.

So all of that to say, I'm sorry I haven't written, I'm still very tired. Hopefully I'll get back in to blogging again this week.