Monday, May 23, 2011

Food Storage in a Trailer

So last winter we decided to downsize.  We downsized from a 4 bedroom house with a huge basement to a 3 bedroom modular home (trailer house).  Significantly smaller for a family with 4 kids.  In fact, our three boys are all sharing a small 10x10 bedroom.  These may seem to be an unlivable situation, but we decided that for the short-term, this would be a fiscally responsible decision to get out of debt and invest on some future rental properties.  Aside from having half of our stuff in a friend's barn and making our recreational 4-wheeler trailer a close-by storage unit, it has been surprisingly bearable.

However, when we lived in our large house in Boise and the house prior to this one, we prided ourselves on having a fairly robust food storage for some unforeseen emergency.  However, when we moved here we had to consume, donate, or throw out most of our supply.  However, recently we have felt impressed to rebuilt our food storage.  This is has been a challenge.  We've had to make compromises on counter, shelf, and cupboard space in order to find a place for our stash.  As you can see from the pics below, we even made our Shelf-Reliance Harvest can rotator a major display in our front room.  Talk about a conversation starter!!

For now, the pictures show the extent of our food storage.  But we are always looking for SPACE-EFFICIENT ideas. 


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dog Gone Genes

So, today, I gained further evidence that Quinn is definitely MY child.  He is the second of my three boys to manifest this particular genetic trait.  It is a trait that is not apparently noticeable.  In fact, just looking at the boys you would not be able to see it.  Only under the right conditions is it visible.

Today, I was sitting at home with Quinn and Shandeigh (who is at home, sick).  We had just had lunch and the kids were off watching a movie while I was cleaning up.  The movie was The Magic Dog, or some other similar, unfamiliar title.  I heard the voice of the father on the movie and I thought I recognized it, so I went in the front room to check my suspicions.  It was unusually bright in the room casting a huge glare from the window.  So it was hard for me to see the TV unless I bent over to reduce the glare from the window.  As I did, my head (and ear) came close to Quinn.  And that's when I heard it!

With Jonathan, it has happened a number of times.  The most recent, that I recall, happened a few months ago.  We had sat down as a family to watch a movie.  This one had a more notable title, Where the Red Fern Grows.  A very special movie (and book, if you've read it) that has a very touching story to it.  So with Jonathan, it happened (this time) close to the end of the movie.  As I mentioned, this had happened to Jonathan before, and he gets a little embarrassed about it, so had I not looked at him, I wouldn't have really noticed.  But I saw him and I could tell, he was definitely his father's son!

My earliest manifestation of this trait happened when I was a small boy.  Around the same age as Quinn is now.  I remember the day vividly.  We had gone to town that day, which was a big deal because we usually only went once every two weeks.  That particular day was snowy, and I think it was towards the beginning of the winter because that day I got a new pair of snow boots.  They were so cool!! MOONBOOTS!  I was so excited.  I had to have been because I couldn't wait to show them to my best friend, Ruby.  Ruby was my dog.  Okay, maybe she was my parents' dog, but for all intents and purposes, she was mine!

So, I got home and I ran to the back yard to meet my friend.  It was late when we got home, so she didn't come running out to meet me, probably because she was sleeping.  So, I ran to her dog house, where I knew she would be sleeping.  And that's where I found her and, yes, she was sleeping.  I tried to wake her up, excited to show her my boots.  She wouldn't wake, so I went in to tell dad so he could help me wake her up.  He went out, but made me stay in while he went.  He was gone for quite a while.  When he came back, we had a talk.  This was my first experience with death.  And from that day, my moonboots didn't seem so cool.

My children had a dog once, too.  It was a small hairy thing that my wife thought she could handle.  She is not a dog lover, much to the dismay of me and the kids.  The kids named the dog Ruby. (Funny how history repeats itself.)  This dog lasted a month in our house before my wife got so sick and tired of it, that she took it to the parking lot at Wal-mart and sold it.  And the kids won't let her forget it either!

So, is being a dog-lover genetic?  I always thought it to be a learned trait, but it seems my kids, most especially Quinn (who has never lived with a dog), are proof that it could be genetic. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The BLURB Project

Can I say that, “Transcription SUCKS!”?

I am currently working on a project to transcribe all my miscellaneous journals into one volume.  It turns out that this is a bigger project than I thought it would be.

The reason I call it my “BLURB” project is because my eventual goal is to get all these journals consolidated so that I can use the website to publish them into a printed book that I can make multiple copies of and send them to family and leave for my kids and grand kids.

So I’ve been gathering all these miscellaneous pages from notebooks, past blogs, missionary journals, old letters, taped journals, stories, etc.  I was thinking about making one volume.  But with as much as I’ve done and what I have left, I might have three volumes (depending on how big I decide to make them).  In addition to the written stuff, I plan on adding pictures and scrapbook pages.  I think it’s a worthwhile endeavor, but definitely a lot larger than I thought it was going to be.

Problems I’m running into:  I found some old mini-cassettes that I recorded on during college, but can’t seem to find the recorder so I can play them back.  Also, I know I made some journals on the computer, but can’t seem to find them now.  They are probably hiding on some old back-up disk that I made.

I’ve completed most of the odds and ends that I’ve found and my past blogs.  Now I am working on my mission journals.

However, the transcribing is really getting to me.  This project, along with other family history projects I have, has got me burned out and I’ve placed it all on the back burner.  But I think I will start scheduling time to start back into it.  Maybe do a couple entries a day.  That should get me caught up…eventually!  Or maybe I should try a dictating program.  Even with the editing, that may be faster.

I guess another thing is, I am doubling my work.  The first draft for this blog post and the previous one, I am writing old-school fashion, on paper!  Which, I’ll just have to transcribe.  Not smart, but it seems to flow better when I write it, rather than type it.

The Journal/Blog Challenge

So, I’ve decided I hate reading blogs.  Not that the material isn’t interesting or that I don’t like what I read.   In fact, it is the exact opposite.  I have subscribed to maybe 20-25 blogs.  Most are related to family history or genealogy, a few to quilting, and a couple of various miscellaneous topics that I find interesting.  I actually found two new ones today that are really interesting, but more on those two later.

I think my frustration stems from not being able to write my own blog.  It’s not that I don’t have the desire, or maybe it’s because my desire isn’t strong enough.   Who knows?  I just can’t seem to come up with enough new, fresh material in order to keep it regular.  I can’t even keep a journal for more than a few days at a time, with weeks (or usually months) in between entries.  But I feel I have that desire to be heard or express my opinion to someone that might care.

So, here is my challenge to myself.  I am going to spend at least two hours a week on my blog and my journal, one hour to each.  I can spend more time if I like.  I don’t have to do it all in one day, but I have to do a combined total of two hours.

I’m sure initially it will be hard, but maybe if I get in a habit, then I will bump up the time.  Maybe I’ll even find more stuff to write about.

My blog is supposed to be more oriented to family history and my adventures therein.  But maybe I’ll have to wander from that a bit as I get into the swing of things and get a rhythm going.  Maybe I need to schedule it in, as well as family history time.  It seems I don’t get anything done unless it’s scheduled in.

Another thing that kills me is I have so much free time at work that I could probably do more with my journal/blog/family history, except for the limitations on our web access.  Okay, so this is probably just an excuse.  I can’t log on to my blog to post anything and I can’t use RootsMagic to do family history.  But I could write in an email, write long hand, use Microsoft Word or a number of different options.  So yeah---excuses!

However, I think I am going to make a more earnest effort to be productive; at home, with wife and kids, at work, in personal pursuits…generally, in all aspects of my life.  This is going to take a lot of sacrifice and personal adjustments.  But in the end, or even near future, it will be worth it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Project 365 (ish) Weeks 1 and 2

So I read about this idea at Creative Gene. I thought it was a really great idea. I bought a new camera last summer but haven't really used it. Not that it is a really fancy camera or anything, but I did buy it so that I could somehow document things in my life. So I guess this is as great of a way as any.

I read about this idea a couple of days after New Years Day and I haven't taken a picture EVERY day since. So tonite I will show some pics from the days that I have taken pictures. I am combining Weeks 1 and 2 because I didn't start taking photos until the 8th. And then every week I will "try" to be good about updating my Project 365.

So here it goes!!

8 Jan -- This was taken on our way to take the kids sledding. This was only 3 of about 20 that were in the field we drove by. I took a few other pics but this was the best of the bunch. And yes the sky was really that pink. The sun was just coming up at close to 11:00 in the morning.

10 Jan -- I had just woke up, all the kids were at school, except for Quinn. His older brother got a new Nindendo DSi for Christmas, one that Quinn isn't really allowed to play with when his brother is home. So, the only chance he gets is when all the kids are at school. But it wasn't so much that he was playing it that fascinated me. He doesn't play the games, he plays one of the applications pre-installed on the DSi. It is a voice recorder. He was recording himself singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." Then he would listen to himself, playing it over and over, changing the tone, pitch, and speed, laughing the whole time!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Organizing Blues

Okay, so I am in another funk.....I have sat down to my desk after having cleaned it off for the 3rd time in as many days. I clean it in preparation to work on my genealogy, but the fact that I am writing this post in my blog is evidence that I really don't know where to begin.

I have been working on my family history on and off for the past 12 years, but I still consider myself a beginner. I usually do pretty good about doing research (or my limited form of it anyway) for a few weeks, maybe even a couple of months. But then I get busy and then I put it aside for varying lengths of time, weeks, months and in a couple of cases years. And it seems that each time I pick it back up, I have to re-teach myself what I should already know.

I really see myself having quite a bit of time that I can "sacrifice" to my family history research. In fact, the last few weeks I have had some time to work on it too. However, my research files and all my physical documentation is in shambles and I have been trying to organized and clean it up (which included my desk). And I am not done, but I am getting really sick of it. I want to get it done, so that I can get my research started again. But I also know the importance of being organized and methodical. (Which will be really important once I start including my kids in my family research).

Any ideas on how to get myself out of these "blues"??

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Family Present (as opposed to Family 'History')

I expect a number of "congratulations" and "welcome back"s, now that I have come out of my blogging coma. It's been quite a while since I last posted, but for some good reason. I have either been traveling, helping a friend build a shed, or been doing one of numerous things in getting ready to move into a new place.

However, as the title suggests, there have been a couple of recent events that have prompted me to write this recent installment of my blog detailing my family history experiences. Two of them a somewhat related. My oldest boy turned 8 a couple of weeks ago, which meant two great things happened to him. First, he was baptized and, second, he is now in the scouting program as a Cub Scout. He was extremely excited about both.

I am excited about it too. I was thumbing thru his new Cub Scout book last night and there are a lot of things that I can help him do. I was just waiting for him to get older so I could do them with him, but now he's here. A bunch of things that I didn't get to do as a kid. So, yeah, I'm excited. I also understand that there is a Genealogy merit badge, but I think that will come a little later when he's an actual Boy Scout.

Also, my 12-yo daughter suggested to me that she would like to start learning about genealogy. That's exciting because I think she's old enough to really begin understanding the in's and out's of research. And it would be really nice to have a little research buddy (since my wife isn't really interested in learning how to do it).

So, there is a brief glimpse of my little corner here in Alaska. Hopefully, the next glimpse isn't too far in the future!