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Adventures in Burkeland - Sunday, July 08, 2018
A little working family on a little hobby farm.
 Sunday, July 08, 2018
International politics has come to our backyard this summer with 123 refugees imprisoned in the Sheridan Federal Correctional Institution we drive past everyday. Our church and other local Christian churches have partnered with area Sikh and Jewish congregations to hold monthly services at the city park next door to the prison in support of the asylum-seekers. (Many of those detained are of the Sikh-faith.) An offering is taken during each service that has been used to create a fund available to the detainees for phone calls, personal items and other things funds are required to access inside.
It has really been an amazing opportunity to see people of different faiths put aside their difference and come together in support of people who are lonely, tired, scared (pick your adjective) and have come to our country with nothing. Despite the circumstances, I'm happy the boys have been able to see these services. So inspiring!

7/8/2018 7:29:04 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Friday, July 06, 2018
Ok, that's it. After watching my yard get completely destroyed by gopher mounds...
...AND then the dog trying to catch the gophers...
....AND then trying a variety of ways to get rid of gophers...
...AND then looking out last week and seeing TWO "chatting" with each other over the tops of their mounds...
...I've borrowed my dad's traps.
Two hours later: first one down.

UPDATE: By mid-August I have pulled SIX full-sized gophers out the yard. No wonder it was a mess!!

7/6/2018 7:12:09 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Saturday, June 30, 2018
Our old ram laid down next to the fence in the back pasture last week and went to sleep. Permanently.
We spent a couple days talking about what type of ram we would like to replace him with, and then a few more days looking for the right one, at the right price.
Today Scott went and picked up "Wishbone" - welcome to the farm!

6/30/2018 11:00:10 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Thursday, June 28, 2018
Happy Birthday, Nolan. Seriously, how did you get to be 10 years old??!!

6/28/2018 2:24:51 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Monday, June 18, 2018
I know we were at the hospital when Jaden was born, but when I think about my earliest memory of him, I always think about feeding him in a carrier on the kitchen counter of the place on Heron Island we used to visit every summer with Pat & Donnah.

Perhaps that's why it was a bit surreal to sit through his high school graduation today.Congratulations, Jaden!
"You're off to new places, you're off to high heights!"

6/18/2018 2:23:42 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Friday, June 08, 2018
Nolan and mom decided to go to the beach today.
Just because.
We played in the sand, jumped waves and then drove to Newport just to get a picture at the western end of Hwy 20, to match the one he took in Boston.
It was a "just because" day!

6/8/2018 11:06:18 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Monday, June 04, 2018
This morning Scott and I woke up and he immediately said, "Did you hear that cat outside last night?"
Of course, I had. It was LOUD. But it was also not the first time a feral cat at loudly wandered through during the night, so we didn't think much more about it. Scott and Nolan took off for school and work, and then Carson and I were out the door for an appointment just a couple hours later.
When we returned home about 1pm, the meowing was back and Carson went to investigate. In hindsight, perhaps I should have gone with him because then I could have mediated a bit before he came running back to the house yelling that there was a tiny kitten stuck in the blackberries next to the barn.
Down on my knees I worked to free the kitty while she bit down hard enough on my finger to draw blood (your welcome), and finally got her free. We knew she had been out there at least 12 hours (based on when Scott and I had heard her during the night) so we warmed up some milk with a little tuna and watched her scarf that down fast. While Carson met with his tutor I called the vet to see what I could learn:
*The kitten appears to be about four weeks (we thought it was closer to 3 weeks until she started getting some strength back from the food)
*The chances of a feral mamma coming back for her was extremely slim
*She still needs formula for about four more weeks, so she's not going to survive on her own
*We're going to end up raising this cat

6/4/2018 2:11:14 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Wednesday, April 25, 2018
We're all together again - Scott made it home tonight after staying a few extra days in Boston for the conference!

4/25/2018 11:08:18 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Monday, April 23, 2018
All good things must end, and our time together in Boston ended this morning.
Scott was up early and off to the subway with his bags to attend the conference that justified our trip from the start. With him gone it was up to the boys and I to pack up the apartment and have our bags stowed in the kitchen area by the 11am check-out deadline. (We had arranged to leave our bags there for a few more hours so we could take in our final sights.) No longer able to hangout in our room we ate breakfast at Theo's Cozy Corner and then called an Uber to the final two stops on the Freedom Trail: Bunker Hill and the USS Constitution.

It took some coaxing, but Nolan and I finally convinced Carson that we should climb the Bunker Hill monument. Because who knows if you'll ever be back in Boston!?
We almost lost him on the way inside when a (rather fit looking) man came out and said he had only made it about 100 steps up before turning around. But after the Statue of Liberty and a thousand other steps over the past week, they were not going to turn around half-way up. 294 steps later (they're numbered, which doesn't help!) we were at the top, which was a little under-whelming to be honest, but the views were great. Back at the base the boys tried to convince me we needed to Uber to the USS Constitution, but since it was only a few blocks (and downhill), I stood my ground (Bunker Hill pun) and we walked.

When we arrived we walked around a bit lost, trying to find the entrance until we were finally informed that the ship was closed on Mondays. Well, heck. Perhaps we should have looked at that yesterday when we decided to just hang in the room for the night! Still determined to get the passport stamp for their National Parks books we walked across the open area to the museum, which we probably would have skipped had the ship been open, and oy vey did we have fun! Entire replicas of sections from the ship had been built inside, but (added bonus) you could actually touch, feel and lay on them! Who needs the real thing? And that doesn't even go into the build-your-own battleship and fight against each other game...


What I was expecting to be less than an hour at the ship, quickly turned into, "Boys we have to get back and get our bags from the room before they throw them out on the curb!" We could have spent at least a couple more hours there. This time I did call an Uber - because we were late!

Back at the room we did indeed meet the clean-up crew leaving the room for the next occupants and trying to figure out what to do with our bags. So, sorry!! (They were actually very nice and happy we were enjoying their city.) Uber #3 was called.... and the boys and I headed to the airport. We arrived a little before 3pm, which left plenty of time for lunch and a few games of Argh! before our 4:30 flight home. The boys are such amazing travelers. At 8pm Pacific time it was wheels-down in PDX with tired kids, a mother who had basically sat next to this for six hours, huge smiles and some great memories.

4/23/2018 9:48:52 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Sunday, April 22, 2018
Scott turned over in bed this morning and found me reading. "You could go out and walk around, you know?" Duh. He was right. Why am I reading in bed 100 yards away from the Freedom Trail in Boston?? So by 7am I was happily reading plaques in Paul Revere Plaza that I would never have time to read later!
I stuck my head back in the room an hour later to check-in and Nolan popped out to joined me for an exploration of Old North in the early hours of the morning. 

After pushing the last few mornings, we planned a late start today. Trouble was, this gave the boys enough time to get started on a show and they were convinced they had seen enough history.
It was time to spend a day just watching TV. Hahaha.... no.

Well, actually we gave them an extra hour and then got on the subway to the Boston Tea Ships Museum where we caught an 11:15 tour. They did a great job! We started in a meeting space where the actors set the stage for why the tea was causing issues and needed to be dealt with (without being brought on shore!) and what it would mean for those caught destroying it.  After that we were issued feathers (the real participants dressed at Mohawk Indians) and were lead to the ship where we each got to through "tea" into the harbor. After the on-ship time we went back inside where holographs, "live" portraits" and a film walked us through the rest of the events leading up to the Revolutionary War. It was a great summary of all the places we had seen so far! Outside a few minutes after noon, we stopped on the bridge for a while to heckle the next tour as they were throwing tea ("You're committing treason!") before making the quick trip up to Boston Common, where we had lunch and then started our journey on the Freedom Trail.


The Freedom Trail goes 2.5 miles and connects most of the major historical points in Boston. It is well-marked with bricks making it very easy to follow - we had a blast! We didn't think we would have time to go inside most of the places, but as it turned out we did at least stick our heads inside almost every stop between Boston Common and Old North Church. We wandered through burial grounds (including one where John Hancock's pride in his name was clearly on display), learned what it meant to "own a box" in a "closed church" and although Faneuil Hall was closed for construction, had a blast watching street performers and having portraits of the boys drawn in the square outside the building. 

By the time we reached Old North ("One if by land, two if by sea!") we were exhausted, but just in time for the last tour that allowed the public to climb the stairs to the bell tower where the lanterns were hung as a back-up plan for Paul Revere's famous "The redcoats are coming!" ride. After the bell tower they took us down to the catacombs, which the boys were not impressed with. (The words "creepy" and "gross" came up a lot.) Since the church was just around the corner from our Air B&B, it was too tempting to go rest "a while" and that was it: the boys were done.


Boston was still calling to Scott and I though, so we plugged them into a movie and ventured back out for dinner and drinks at two places we wanted to visit: The Bell in Hand and the Green Dragon, two of the country's oldest bars where revolutionary planners met to plot the escape from British tyranny! Fish and chips + ciders = the end to a great day in Boston
4/22/2018 5:58:32 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
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