Thursday, December 22, 2011


It is snowing and we have drifts, big drifts, can't get out. Snowblower is working hard, oh, that would be my husband working hard with the snowblower and the boys are shoveling! Well, they were. Now all the kids are sledding. They have tried to sled on some of our earlier snows but this is the first one that is truly good sledding. Maybe the neighbors will come over and play too. The more the better!

Looking forward to a white Christmas, but sunny by then! Happy Christmas and New Year!

Hodgen update

Well, they finished Hodgen on Nov. 1. This was a nine month project. Our estimate of expense for this was well over 1000 in extra gas and wear and tear on the car. We are thankfully back to our normal routes.

Now they are proposing to expand County Line road. This is a road we travel frequently but the alternative will not be nearly so disruptive...... for us. It will be for MANY who we know, including the government commandeering of personal property. No fun.

But, not in this year! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Science Fair

Phoebe entered our Regional Science Fair and did a great job. She won an award from an Engineering company as well as third place in her category. We are so proud of her. She did a great job and gained a lot of confidence presenting information to judges. She did so well.  Good job Phoebe and Congratulations!

Friday, March 11, 2011

What am I up to?

Mostly watching the on line news for information on the recent decisions being made in Ethiopia regarding the processing of International adoptions.

Today is Pi Day at TCA for elementary. Fun time for all the kids. The one event I have never volunteered for. You have to do math all day. I guess it is fun, but I would be no help at all!

Taking stuff down to the Village Exchange.
If you are local this is a great opportunity to quickly clean out your storage area and closets. Take it to Village Seven Presbyterian Church today by 8 pm. Tomorrow Sat March 12, go from 8:30-12 and collect anything you can use for FREE! Yep Free! Great thing.

Tomorrow Phoebe is in the Regional Science Fair! All Day. She did great in her school fair, winning several awards and second place in her category. The girl built a robot all by herself. Ok, I am impressed!

I get to start slow on Fri because Kedus does  not have school. How nice is that! Of course I was checking on the situation in Ethiopia, hoping for good news. In case you are interested that is all posted on the adoption site tabbed at the top.

Well, off I go to actually start  the day now.

Friday, March 4, 2011


This is not a happy friendly post , so.............. just warning you. You can skip it if you want.

I feel the need to complain. My routine has been disrupted. Not just a little, A LOT. ElPaso County department of transportation has deemed it necessary to widen and alter Hodgen Road. More than a little remodel. They closed it totally and completely until sometime between Aug and Dec. That is 6-10 months!!!! This is one of our major cross streets. This is my main route out of here for school, grocery, friends, church, etc.

Ok, it really does not need it. It is fine. They just paved it a couple years ago and it is still fine. Oh, the traffic is getting more, but really in the 5+ miles of it I drive 6 times a day I rarely see more than 10 cars if that. I would not call that a busy road. Sure it is two lane. The two lane secions of Hyw 83 that I drive 6 times a day are much more heavily trafficked. In fact I have witnessed and been threatened by careless, hurried drivers more than occasionally on that road. Rarely on Hodgen. Are they going to widen 83? No.

Ok, a little detour. Or maybe not so little. I checked it out. From my house I add 15-20 min and about 5 miles  to do my shopping, go to church, a friends house, take my daughter to Bible Study, etc.... 15-20 on top of the 20-25 it already takes me!!!!!! To school it is not as bad so I will use that example. It is 2 miles  and 5 min extra one way. I drive it about 6 times a day. That is 12 miles longer. That is a little more than half a gallon of gas. So in one week (if I am only driving to school and church) I use 8 gallons of gas more than usual. Let's see now, the price of gas is $3.15 per gallon. If I have to continue to do that detour for just the 6 months that is $605 in extra gas spent (at the least amount of driving) on a detour for an unnecessary project. I usually fill up once a week. I am having to fill up more often. In fact, I should not have needed gas until tomorrow but had to get gas on Wed. I am not feeling very friendly toward the county right now. And that is just the money..... time is money too, but I won't calculate that out right now.

IF they had left open the intersection at Hodgen and Black Forest Road I would be up only slightly on cost and time. But, no they have to do it so that hundreds of rural families have to take VERY lengthy detours to get where they go everyday. I think they ought to pay US. I think I need reimbursed for undue burden.

There are two detours and I have used the least direct and most well maintained route for this example, because that is the one I will be using. The other is closer and likely fewer miles but the time is longer due to the rural nature of the roads. Not to mention that they did not bother to up the maintenance on these roads prior to them becoming the major transportation detour. The roads on this detour are partly dirt, wash boarded after the winter months, and partly paved. You know the normal rural rutted, uneven, really narrow two lane, paint worn off sort of paved. I would think the residents along that road would have appreciated a paving job rather than all the extra traffic they are getting. The speed limit is reasonable for the terrain but the huge amounts of traffic re routed through there are going far above the limit on roads not maintained to go above 35-40. I got tail-gated in the dark, you know so close you can't even see the head lights, along the majority of the 15 miles it took to get home by a car wanting to go over the limit but not willing to pass. I go the speed limit, especially in the dark. Oh, and there aren't any pull overs. Going this route I pass our house twice but can't get to it. I have to go around it by several miles. Frustrating to say the least. It is like we are at the end of a 5 mile long cul-de-sac with no other outlets.

Ok, I know, it could be worse. I know, I have entitlement issues regarding this. I know I need to be patient, grin and bear it, etc.....

I'll get used to it, but right now I am feeling a bit like a growly bear. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A story of a bass and it's girl... update

 This is the bass in the case! It is huge. She is now playing it more and more and getting used to the size. She also took it to orchestra for the first time. It turned out ok.
Olivia entered a creative arts contest for the Challenger Learning Center. She created this cut paper art for the contest. While she did not win, they were impressed with her work and she gained extra good favor for her dad as PIPES/CSTEME works with the Challenger Learning Center (with whom they already have a good relationship). They recognized our name and were glad. She is quite the creative artist.

So, I accidentally deleted this post and so in re posting I am adding another part. :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In honor of Phoebe

 Phoebe has been a busy 7th grader this year. Despite her first misgivings about the whole schedule thing and Jr Hi in general she has done a fabulous job transitioning. She is doing great and even thriving. She has been fortunate enough to have a few great friends who have remained steady these last few years. This group of girls is not quite like the typical. Level headed, fun loving and studious, these kids are genuine and loyal. I think she did a great job picking friends.

She had a great sleepover party with some of these friends after the annual sock hop at school. They got to dress up for it all day too! There are not too many non uniform days in Jr. High so that was a special day.
 Olivia got to dress up too.
 Phoebe is excelling at piano. She has such a nice touch with it and plays so well. I enjoy hearing her practice even if it is the same piece over and over until she thinks it sounds right. She is playing more and more complex pieces and despite her complaints (normal for kids and music lessons) she really does enjoy it.

At our school the seventh graders are all required to do Science Fair. Not just any Science Fair, they all have to do a project that they could enter in the Regional/State Science Fair. Dave actually helped to institute this during his 8 years teaching at the school. Not all kids like it, to be expected, but it is shocking the number of parents who complain. Really. Well, it was a fabulous experience and I think it provides excellent training grounds for planning, executing a plan and presenting your ideas. Phoebe did Engineering. Robotics to be exact. She designed her robot for use in rescue work. Pretty cool. We are so proud of her for building this thing her self and for doing all this work and not once complaining. I think she really liked it. It was a lot of work, more work than another sort of project would have been. But, my kid is anything but typical. She is extraordinary. To prove that, not that she needs to mind you, but she did win second place in Engineering and won three other awards as well. She goes to Regional in March. Needless to say, we are very proud of her.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Better than a Hallelujah

You are More


I like this song too. I think it is a great song for so many. God thinks you are beautiful. The way you are right now.

Signature of the Divine

Cool Video
Made from still snapshots and put together in video format.
I love this song.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


The chickens are full grown, laying eggs and eating up big girl food. The Australorpes (black) lay brown eggs and the Ameracaunas (multi-colored) lay eggs in shades of pinkish tan, tannish green, blue and green, some are speckled and others are solid. That is fun and why they are called Easter-egers. The chickens now let us pet them regularly. Their feathers are so soft and warm. Even in the cold they are warm and friendly and come out to greet whoever is checking on them. They are laying lots of eggs too. Our usual  count is about 6 eggs a day. Some days there are as few as 3 and some days as many as 10. There are 10 chickens. It is really nice to have them. The other day I boiled a bunch of eggs and they did look like the painted spring eggs we do in March and April. That was fun. I wonder what the kids friends said about them at school. The boys had a friend over and she was very interested in the green eggs.
So here are some updated pictures of the ladies and their colorful creations.

 Egg variations




Sunday, January 23, 2011

A story of a bass and it's girl

Well, my daughter plays the double bass, the stringed bass, the upright bass..... it has several names, but you know what I mean. She is a child of single mindedness when it comes to one of her passions. She began to ask in first grade if she could please play this absolutely cool, huge instrument. Well, we put her off for some time. She played piano for three years first. Does she really mean it about the bass, she keeps asking? Well, in third grade she brings us a flyer from school. Look! I can play the bass at Mozart Strings. Ok, we will go to the meeting. So, off they went dad and daughter to the meeting about the program. She was so eager. We signed her up and rented a bass. Bigger than she is. I guess not too many people actually play it and so they are in demand in all sorts of musical situations, a good choice. Plus a dad who loves bluegrass can see his daughter playing bass as quite fun. So, she faithfully goes to her music lessons once a week all year long. We pay the rental fee, we pay the lesson fees, the organization fees, go the concerts and wonder if she is really serious....... well, for a girl who diddled at the piano, we were really pleased with her progress and ability. Cool, she loves it! Her teacher helped her audition for the first level orchestra with the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Association. She made it into Wolfgang. Her teacher for Mozart is now her private teacher (Fridays) and she goes to rehearsal every Monday.  She loved a weekend long strings camp where they played a lot of music. Along with that camp another highlight of her summer was the three week long strings camp she did with her teacher. Three weeks of two hour sessions playing music in a hot, stuffy room. She LOVED it. She has moved up in size and is getting ready to move up another size. The thing is huge. We can not take the instrument and the family in the same car as it is. Going bigger? Well, it is inevitable and she shows interest and talent, so I guess this is one of those things you commit to. So, we thought we would look around for a good deal on a bigger bass to buy. These things cost thousands of dollars. We NEED a good deal. If we start now maybe it will come to us in time for the move up.
 Summer three week class 2010 - one of her year highlights. 1/4 size
 2009 getting started
 2009 December concert. 1/8 size

.................. fast forward................
A bass, an Engle-Kay bass made at the end of Kay manufacturing when Englehart took over, but it was still a Kay bass........... came up for sale, in Minnesota. Half size, good condition (checked by a professional), photos zoomed in looked good. Less than a thousand............ ok, we were told it happens, people come by these things and don't know what it is and sell it for way under it's value. No bow and no case played into the lower price. Dave bid on it a low bid at the end thinking that others would surly have bid on it and it would go to a high bidder. Nope, it was ours. Now to ship it. They had a shipper. Got it all ready to go. Too big. Find a new shipper. Nope that does not work out either. Find a new shipper. Pay insurance and freight. Shipping delayed. They finally ship it. We get it. The box is the most huge thing ever. Bigger than a refrigerator. The delivery guy swings it around (it is huge but not heavy for a big delivery guy) and carries it upside down (clearly marked) up the stairs...... I am feeling nervous about that. Open it, carefully pull it out of the masses of Styrofoam peanuts and gingerly remove the bubble wrap. WOW it is here it is ours it HUGE and beautiful and........... broken. Talk about crushing. We could not believe it. The scroll was broken in shipping, apparently an easy thing to do if they are not very careful. The concern in shipping. So, we take it to the luthier, the stringed instrument builder and fixer. She is highly qualified and knows what she is doing. We learn that the finger board is crooked, the internal sound post is in the wrong place, the bridge is warped and the scroll was previously broken and fixed and of course broke again and it is a 3/4 size not a 1/2 size. It cost more to fix it than the purchase price. To complicate things we got a case for it, a nice case for a 1/2 size bass. Dave took it to an upolstery shop and they put on a great set of wheels. It is a cool case. Of course it is too small for our NOT 1/2 size bass. Now we have ordered one that will fit.  Discouraged and frustrated. There is more..... Dave also ordered a bow. The size she needs is a half. The style she prefers is a German bow. This is what he ordered.  The bow that came is a half FRENCH bow. Ok, French is most common. They want us to keep it and just sell it ourselves and pay (a discounted price) for the right bow. Still negotiating. Can nothing go right?
 The Engel-Kay  jump up to 3/4 size -- we bought a 1/2 and WOW it is actually a 3/4.
 The huge box
 WOW! Look at all that Styrofoam! Merry Christmas Olivia.

Olivia's teacher arrives for her lesson and we show her the bass. She loves it. Yes, it is 3/4 size. Yes, it is full of character with all it's scratches and such. But, a solid instrument, great sound, a KAY no less and Olivia will be able to play it soon enough, maybe by the end of the season, certainly at home. The shape of the bass caters more to a smaller player even though it is a huge instrument and tall and has such an awesome full sound. Well, we are feeling much better. It is also good to know that it could potentially sell for more than double what we have at this point put into it. And it should be no problem to sell the customized bass case for a good price and we can get a new one for this larger bass. Good news, we won't be buying another bass anytime soon as this is likely the largest one she is going to be in.......... at least for a long, long time. So, through all the trials of the thing, we have a good bass and all is well. Still waiting for insurance money to come through, the new case to arrive and of course the bow.

Olivia and the 3/4 size which she has named "Piglet".  She has to lean it over to reach the lower notes. Because of the size she will have to re learn a few of her tricks to playing, but should not prove too much of a challenge for her. Some things she altered naturally, which was great.
 The rented 1/4 size in front and the newly refurbished Engle-Kay 1/2 size  in back. It is hard to see the real difference but it is about a foot different in height.

Take The 5 Love Languages profile with this widget

Keep on the Sunny Side

The Whites - Keep on the Sunny Side
(Depression Era song)

There's a dark & a troubled side of life
There's a bright, there's a sunny side, too
Tho' we meet with the darkness and strife
The sunny side we also may view

[cho:] Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side,
Keep on the sunny side of life
It will help us ev'ry day, it will brighten all the way
If we'll keep on the sunny side of life

The storm and its fury broke today,
Crushing hopes that we cherish so dear;
Clouds and storms will, in time, pass away
The sun again will shine bright and clear.
Let us greet with the song of hope each day
Tho' the moment be cloudy or fair
Let us trust in our Saviour away
Who keepeth everyone in His care