Sunday, June 29, 2008

Faulty Laundry Machine

 We had a problem with the little engines in our new outdoor laundry machine the other day. They seem to go faulty, primarily in the warmer weather... Stomping laundry turned into a full blown water fight. Water was flying everywhere, followed by screams and scramblings for the hose. The dirty laundry sat unattended for awhile, but it was finished with haste when we realized we could refill the tub and swim/bathe in it. Our shower has been undergoing some maintenance lately so it felt good to submerge in the chilly well water. We brought out a bar of soap and laughed at each other as we took turns washing our hair.

(As you probably guessed, that last entry was a photoshop job )

We have plans to turn this tub into a hot tub as soon as we can gather our supplies. The plans we have include cobbing around the sides of the tub and building a fire under it. I have read through the plans several times and we can wait to get started on it. Late night, outdoor winter bathing, here we come!!

As a closing note, I wanted to inform my readers that I'm creating a list of people who would like to receive automatic updates whenever I make a new post. If you would like to be on the list just let me know and I'll add your email. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pass the Soap!

Our shower wasn't working so we decided to bathe in Lake Superior...
It's a tub-boat!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

True Strength is in Numbers

Every once in awhile, a big strong brother needs to learn that he shouldn't take his strength out on his siblings....

...or it will backfire on him:

Bye Jules! :-(

Well, we had to take Jules to the airport yesterday morning. We had a wonderful month together and we're all very much missing her. Visit her blog to see pictures of the month.

The day before she was leaving, we finally had a warm enough day to jump in Lake Superior. Well, it wasn't really warm enough, okay, I'll be honest, it was freezing! We all had fun though.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sunday Hike

Last Sunday we showed Jules one of our favorite hiking spots. And because Mom decided to stay home and take a nap, we got to go all the way to the top! (Too scary for a mother I suppose.)

Heading up the hill.

This was once a quarry for the county. Now it's as abandoned as the National Forest that surrounds it.

Getting higher. This would be your view if you were to cast a sideways glance.

Whalla! The world at your feet and the clouds in your face.

Little Lizzy experiencing and contemplating the vastness of her world.

After a rest, we explored the left side of the 'hill' by walking through the woods.
Much to our creeped-out-ness, the ground sounded hollow beneath our feet, as though we were walking on a drum. An old mine bellow us was our only guess (and if that's not it, I'd rather not know).

This is the left side. I love the three green 'knuckles' rising out of the right side of the horizon.

After more resting, throwing rocks and a suicidal paper airplane, we went back to explore the bottom a little.

Andrew shows exactly where we were.

We played around a bit, tossing rocks, catching frogs, picking strawberries and finding small wildlife.
This is a little freak of nature in itself; two butterflies attached together. At first we thought they were just mating, but looking closer, they were really attached and in fact, the lower one was dead.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Laundry Fun!

Our once foreboding, mounds of dirty laundry have suddenly become a pleasant summer chore!

Recipe for: Clean Clothes, Cooled Off (yet productive) Children and a Healthy Amount of Insanity:

- An outdoor tub (indoor works too, just not nearly as much fun!)
- Hose
- Soap
- 2 or 3 Loads of Dirty Laundry
- Several willing Children with clean feet!

Directions: Combine water, soap, and dirty laundry in tub. Have the cleaned feeted children stomp for 5 to 10 minuets. Drain dirty water. Rinse the clothes (hot water may be used for white loads, but not required). Wring the water out of the clothes (a small amount of muscle recommended for this step). Hang the laundry on the line. The process takes under 30 minutes of laughter per load.

Younger children make good laundry hangers if there is another load waiting to go in.

Click here to see:
Theresa and Annie agitating the laundry with a swing dance!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fathers Day

I realized something yesterday; Father's Day isn't any different then any other ordinary Sunday for us. Every evening this whole past week, Dad has either played ball with the boys, gone bike ridding with Johnny, or played volley ball with all of us. Two Sundays ago, he took us all fishing and showed us how to properly cast and hook worms and stuff.

Dad showing off our only catch.
(Really pathetic... it's his plastic bait).

Playing volleyball at the net in town.

This week he's been working on the cabin foundation with the boys as well as picking up loads of wood, helping Stephen build a garden fence, working with Andrew on the fascia around the house, driving us girls into town to plant flowers at the church and repairing bikes.

Working on the cabin's foundation posts.

This Sunday (in lieu of Fathers Day and the fact that Jules will be leaving soon) we went hiking in the Porcupine Mountains 15 min. away. (As well as playing more volleyball when we got home.)

This is a trail overlooking Lake Superior in the Porkies.

Resting on the rocks in the Nonesuch River.

A Nonesuch Fall.

Our family photo.

Now for the most interesting part of our hike:
The remains of the old Nonesuch Mining town from the 1800's. These huge foundations are made of rock, expertly fitted together with crumbling mortar between them.

As you can see, this one is almost 40ft. tall (compare my 6' brother at the base).

These foundations are situated near the river where they got their power. At it's peak, the village had 12 houses, a General Store, Post Office, Stage Coach and their own uniformed Baseball team. Now, it's nothing but crumbling foundations in an overgrown forest. A strange feeling...

Anyway, ending Fathers Day with a gorgeous evening sky.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Bigger Banner

I enlarged my banner today. Whaddya think? I'm not too crazy about it, but since it takes forever and a half to fiddle with it, it's probably going to be sticking that way for awhile now.

God Bless you all today!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fuel Efficient Lawn Mowers

I'm so happy! First, let me explain two (of many) daunting 'problems' that our impending economy collapse is providing. One being rising gas prices (obviously) and the other being rising hay prices for keeping animals. Well, Ontonagon, Michigan, is proving to have these 'problems' at top intensity. We are nearly feeding hay out all year round, with the exception of (maybe) one month in the summer. Pathetic! Well, with no time to put in sheep fencing, these poor beasts were facing a whole summer in their pen this year (with the exception of the hour/day herding that the boys give them). Refusing to waste gas on lawn mowing this year, it was determined that sheep grazing/mowing was the best option. A moveable pen was the top choice since that eliminated fencing in the whole lawn. BUT, four fencing panels, such as we needed, cost nearly $100 dollars, at almost $25 a panel!!! We talked about other possibilities with the menfolk, but they were too busy with the summer building projects to offer any help. Fed up with this obvious need, and the ridiculousness of buying gas for the lawn mower and feeding hay to the sheep, I grabbed Theresa this morning and went to work. I am more then a little pleased with our feminine attempt at carpentry.

You can see our overgrown yard in this one: (Miserably overcast today.)

They ate for 4-5 hours and we moved it twice, (though we really didn't need too, it was just so fun to see the 'mowed' areas). You can see the two patches where they ate:

This is our gate; a portion of the fencing that we didn't tie to the frame. We wove a smaller piece of wood into the fencing and attached it to the corner post with bungey cords.

You can see the sad state of our fleeces this year. The bare patches that Paddy (the calf) left on them are just starting to grow back in, leaving them looking rather like french poodles.

Anyway, I just have to point out that this pen was 100% free (). The wood was dug out of the scrap piles left over from our house building project. The fencing was found in the dump pile and restored. Then the string that we used to attach the fencing to the frame was pulled out of the garbage can (it initially came off round bales). Even the nails were pulled out of dad's left over bucket of screws and nails!

Fuel efficient lawn mowers! Every yard should have one.