A Shi_ty job, but someone has to do it, or Our Redneck Hot Tub

Well life aint always purdy around the old farm. Yesterday morning when I went out to feed the chickens there was a large hole about a foot across in the front yard, and all the ground around it was caving in. OMG, the septic tank lid must have rotted.  Well it was stormy all day so I didn't get a chance until 2:00 in the afternoon to start digging it up to see what was going on. So I got it mostly dug up, like you see in the pic here..
 Well I gotta say that it wasn't the easiest job because as it turns out I had built flower beds over the top of a large portion of it...with huge boulders.... Then when I got down into it, I had to keep the dirt from falling in.  Taryn came out for a little while and held a big shovel under areas where I was pulling back the dirt, to keep it from falling in, but her squating muscles were killing here from the previous day of picking nettles, and I didn't really want her to have to partake in the wonderful smell, so she went back inside getting ready for family visiting tomorrow.
Well that family that was visiting was Taryn's Dad, step mom and sister and her step sister's boyfriend...and I didn't want them to have to be a part of this project...(Had other plans for them down below clearing all the debris from a Maple tree that we cut down.)  So I was bustin it digging in this wet heavy clay trying to get it done before the next day.... But the darn earth kept turning and before I knew it it was dark...and I was starving.  But I had it all dug out except for one side under a red gravel path... I'd do that first thing in the morning before Bob and Dorrie got here.  Rachelle and Pete showed up late that night while we were asleep and just went up to bed. So the next day I dug back into the path side with the red rock (as seen prior dug out here).

Now, as miracles go around here...and we seem to have one a day, just a couple of weeks ago I was given or traded for a bunch of cedar posts... and since I didn't have any official septic tank lids laying around I figured I'd put them to work as a lid.  And Bob was here and helped me cut them to fit.
That's Bob and me standing on top.
Then we put a couple of tarps over that..
I put dirt on top and folded the edges over... This way we have something to grab on to when tank pumping time comes in about 5 years... (That was Bob's bright idea.)
Then Bob went down and helped the rest of the crew pile up a bonfire down below...and I finished covering up our "little redneck hot tub.

 This was a pretty big job and a pretty shit-y one, and sure felt good to be done.
Then the Fam took me out to an early Birthday dinner (the second early birthday dinner in the last 2 weeks, last week Taryn's Mom and sis and her sis's boyfriend came and took us out)
Well we went to the same place, ICM, my favorite seafood resturant in Florence and I had the same thing I had last week, Razer Clams in a Caper sauce. (Blissful) The waiter remembered me and for whatever reason ...right after I was thinking the meal he set before me wasn't going to fill me up...he brought me two more razor clams (for free)... It was like he was reading my mind .  Then later when I was opening my cards with presents (gift certificates to Home Depot and Fred Meyer) he said, "OH, is it your birthday?" Yep...  Next thing I know he's bringing me a huge piece of strawberry shortcake with a candle and they are singing Happy Birthday... ( I pretended to be eating the cake, luckily Dorrie whittled it down pretty good...I don't do sugar).
  All in all a great day, we got the septic fixed up ( the problem was plastic was in there and backed it up to the wood which eventually rotted...I cleaned out all the plastic).    AND we burned up all the small branches from the tree and got all the wood stacked up....
Great day!!

A Whole New Level

I call this a whole new level because for one thing I have some amazing wood, like nothing else. Here is some spalded Myrtlewood Burl. and some Maple Burl that has patterns and markings that are unbelievable. Then I am figuring out a new method to just make it shine so nice...  Here is a nice recent selection..

So I've been doing some that I call my "Go with the Flow" series. Basically I look at and accentuate patterns already in the wood, here are a few examples.
The subtle ridges I carved in this followed grain that was already there, and this piece reminded me of a very lucid dream I had once where I was inside this UFO with this tall alien dude, and a bunch of humans who seemed asleep, and I looked out the window and saw this beautiful Pristine Land, Like Earth must have been like thousands of years ago.  In this wood you can see multiple suns in the sky, behind steep mountains, with rocks and a lake in the foreground. The next one is just a shape where I followed the woods designs.

Look at the pattern here in this spalded Myrtle Burl. This is inlaid Malachite. See the little heart on the bottom left, that was naturally in the wood. A nice "Love and Peace" necklace.
Speaking of Love here is one I'm not quite done with yet.... Incredible patterns in this wood, Inlaid with Turquoise.
This next one is in Maple Burl...it used to be a huge table I made but we kept bumping our shins on it. I made the table over 20 years ago, now it'll be recycled into many necklaces...
Here is a symbol we call,"Unity/Transformation" in more of this amazing Maple.
And here is another, a malachite lizard..
This next piece of wood blew me away. This is the spalded Myrtle Burl... The design on it we saw on table legs at the midwives place, it's inlaid with Malachite. The flip side of this piece looks like a bird looking over it's shoulder.

The next one I carved in a Bi Color piece of Mountain Mahogany. I call it "Tear of Gaia".

Here is another one in Mountain Mahagony.
And another..
Here are a few more in burl woods and some recycled bamboo.
I'll be getting these loaded on our ETSY store . Well between Taryn and I we'll get em loaded.  http://www.mysticorb.etsy.com.
If any of you blog followers like any of these I'll give you a deal. I was going to wholesale these but decided it was getting too close to Market time and I wanted new stock. So for my friends and loyal customers I'm going to sell these at about wholesale.

New $5.00 Log Cabin Greenhouse in Construction

This Greenhouse is dedicated to my Dad, who taught me the, what he called, "the Japanese method of building." What this method consisted of was just going for it...then cutting off whatever hung off afterwards.  My Dad inspired in me the art of building stuff, and my love of woodworking. Thanks Dad...
OK, so we started out with this old pheasant coop turned storage shed.
We had a bunch of old windows and just last week our friends Star and Tom gave us some more.... We also had a truckload of rips off of logs that another friend who has a mill traded to us..... I had a lot of nails, but not many the right size so had to spend the whopping $5.00 to get some nails.... I could have used more, but only had $5.00, so we get creative.
Then I drew up these very detailed blueprints (something I normally don't do...skipping that stage).
Next I cut and carted about 10000 pounds of wood from the front to the back yard....much work upon my spindly arms and legs...
Now seeing as how we have to do this little project without money, we can't use treated wood ....and this being the West side of Oregon wood gets wet and rots really quick, so we had these old concrete building blocks that we could set the wood up off the ground on.
Then I laid them out on a straight line ready to connect the posts.
Then the next day Taryn, (who had been in Portland for a few days with her Mom Julie and Sister Samantha and her boyfriend Thomas) showed up.   YAY, some helping hands.
We painted the bottoms of all the uprights to slow down rot there, then I sprayed some rubberized undercoating I had laying around on top of that...Thomas likes to do projects with me when he visits, last time helping build the wood shed out front...another engineering marvel.  So Thomas and I connected the posts to the blocks, and a crossmember across the top....and went and fetched the womenfolk for a little assistance standing it up. (all the wood was wet and weighed a ton).

Then I climbed up on the ladder and connected the roof boards to hold the wall up, so the womenfolk could head out and check out Yachats and wouldn't have to keep standing there all day.

Now the basic shape is up. Now comes the fun part of putting in all the different shapes and sizes and types of windows.
Here I am getting high on building.  I had to hand scrape out the boards with my Grandfathers old draw knife to get this window to fit.
Well it was gettin close to dinner time, and I was informed we were going to have an early birthday party for me since the fam was here...and Julie had been marrinating chicken to Barbeque so the next step was to cook that up...
This is as far as we got that day, not bad for a days work...

So we still have a few more windows to put on the bottom, and the side door and wall to put it in. (We have an old glass screen door on the chicken coop that we don't use down there so will move it up.)
Then when we get some money we'll get some greenhouse plastic and do the roof and whatever else needs fillin in.
It's going to end up looking like a 20 foot by 15 foot log cabin with lots of windows...Then we came inside and there was a wonderful Birthday meal with a Strawberry desert that Julie made....

PLUS I got some nice new socks and a pair of dark brown (YAY) Carhartts.  I was so glad for the dark brown because somehow I always seem to get my go-to-town coveralls dirty, and those light brown ones make me look like I've been rollin in the mud...

The God of 5 Loaves and 2 Fish

It's been a transforming few weeks - challenging - but overall a great blessing for our family. First, I was offered a new position which sounds like a great fit for me and giving us the provision we've been praying for our family. You'd think I'm thrilled. Not really. I've struggled about this because I have grown to love so much being with my little Ean. I love seeing firsthand the changes in him...the new words he learns each day....his personality developing...and most of all just letting him know how much I love him by being with him. To be honest, I've been upset with God. I don't understand why He's calling me back to work.

Thankfully, He has done such amazing things in our family and especially in our marriage that Carlos and I really support each other now. And, the other night when I was sharing with Carlos my heart about how much it pains me to leave Ean again, he reminded me that this life is not just about us. God has been casting a vision in me for orphans. He has now provided the job for us to proceed with adoption (what we believe to be the first step in this journey). So, how can I see what's ahead? What is coming in the future? All I can hold on to is Christ and His provision for us....and who can doubt how big He is if you've seen all He's provided for us during this season.

You see, just as we found out that I was offered the new position, Carlos' found out that his was ending. In God's perfect timing, He provided what our family needed. At times I think that what I pray is too big for God and other times I don't bother asking because it seems too small. I read in my devotion this past week something that really struck me. It said:

"What is your need? Whatever it is, it is entirely God's concern. He may instruct you in it, and the obedience is yours to carry out; but the provision is His."

So, I'm starting this new season seeking to depend consistently on the Lord who fed thousands with a mere 5 Loaves and 2 Fish.

Super Baby Balls

Taryn's going to be going to Portland for a few days, meeting her Mom and Sis and Sis's boyfriend, before they all come back here.  And being pregnant she needs mega nutrition.  ( She's eating like 2 horses). She only wants to be eating the best food whilst she's feeding the little internal babe. And you know how it is when you travel...eatin good aint easy.  She's been packin up a bunch of stuff, but I wanted to make her a high power treat...So here it is.
A mess of raw almonds soaked for a day.(this makes them way more digestable)...
a couple tablespoons of Chorella (Super food...algae, actually crosses the blood brain barrior to remove heavy metals...a rare talent shared by fresh cilantro)
Added in a few tbs. of good virgin coconut oil, a few of grass fed Ghee, a few Tbs. of bee pollen, a few of honey...and a bunch of carob powder.  Ran it through the food processor until it was nut buttery... then rolled it into balls and then squished coconut into it.  Viola...SUPER NUTRITION....
Problem is Chorella is a magical food...but tastes pretty darn bad...so I hope she'll eat em anyway. But you can always make it without the chorella...maybe add a little brewers yeast for the B Vitamins.....
I know I won't have a problem eating them...
  and the baby will love em.

Livin High

OK, so this is the leanest time of year for us.... Survival (payin bills) becomes a lot more difficult because it's been since December since we had Market to sell our wares, and the Internet business is kinda slow.  But we're livin like royalty here.  For lunch today we had Elk Burgers (Thank you Lara for the elk). 1/2 pound of ground elk each with an egg mixed in and some garlic, some salt and liquid smoke and herbs. Topped this with home pickled and canned jalapeƱos and home made REAL pickles and some goat cheese. We also had some Natural no chemicals Turkey Bacon I accidentally bought...(Leanest lookin bacon I ever saw....oops). I put some wasabi coctail sauce on mine. And we had this with a wonderful Spring Salad... Poverty aint all that bad.....

Country Tip For Wood Stoves

Now here is a great idea for starting your fires in the morning.   Whenever you eat some Oranges or other Citrus, dry it out on the top of the stove.  These babies have so much explosive oils in them that once dry you can roll em up in your paper and get a really nice hot start.  Or just light em on fire to amuse the kids...  And for those entrepreneur's out there why not invent a wood stove pellet that is 25% dried citrus rind.  Those pellets will burn way way hotter, like a blast furnace...reducing the amount you need to keep the house warm.

Making Home Made Smoky/Spicy Cheese (OH MY GOD!)

So it's winter and the Goats are dry...
What to do about cheese and milk products?
And without the Whey it makes it very difficult to make the fermented veggies we practically live on.
Well we both don't do all that well with cows milk, but our neighbors are getting way more than they can deal with, so we buy or trade eggs for fresh unpasteurized raw milk from them.. (Not Dead Milk).  Taryn makes kefir out of it for our Smoothies because kefir will digest a lot better than just milk.  But we had this extra gallon, and I decided to make some good old fashioned farm cheese. That would give us a whole mess of whey....and a good side product....the cheese.  Might as well see how we do with Home Made cows cheese.
So I took the gallon of milk and put it in a big deep glass bowl (don't use metal) and added just a little squeeze of  some rennet in the milk and set it near the stove for a night.... In the morning it was cheese. (almost)  Now if you don't have rennet you can use raw apple cider vinegar, 1  1/2 tbs or so.
So the cheese and whey was separated over night, now I put it in a mesh bag and let it drip out all night.  The next day I squeezed more water out...tasted it....not impressed, too bland.... (Don't worry, a day later it actually tasted goaty almost. YUMMM) Then I added maybe a tbs. of Himalayan Crystal Salt.... maybe 1 1/2 tsp of liquid smoke, about a tsp of cayenne, about 1 1/2 tsp. of celery seed and a tsp. of honey and maybe 3 tbs. of fresh picked chives cut up real small..(normally I'd add garlic but I'm cutting back a tad on the "heat" foods, hence the addition of celery seed to counteract the cayenne).. And I stirred it all up.
It was so freakin good....the best darn cheese I ever had.... Phhttt ...... pfart....pffftt..... just kidding, it's a half an hour later and I've eaten a bunch off a fork and mixed some in with kale and eggs and ate it.... Unbelievably Tasty.... and I can still breathe and my stomach isn't trying to sing a song in some foreign language...   YIPEEE

A Meeting with Fairies

This is from a little book I wrote years ago called " The Adventures of Stalker, The Bumbling Wizard"..  This is one encounter Stalker had with a Little Fairy..
The fairies come to Stalker

The sun blasting a golden explosion
lighting up the sky
He woke to hear the birds singing
as a ray of sun fell upon his eye.
He heard music, and singing
as he'd never heard before
Then he got out of bed
to answer the rapping on the door
A beautiful little fairy princess
right before him stood
He tried not to stare at her too hard
he did the best he could
Her innocent beauty, touched him so deep
Sparkling sky blue pools,
the twinkling in her eyes
A voice so sweet and gentle
one he knew could tell no lies

"Won't you come out and play,
and share with my friends
this very beautiful day."

Who might you be
pretty little one?
 he said, thinking out loud to himself 
You certainly are tiny, might you be an elf?
She giggled a little, shrugged her shoulders,
and lifted he little wings above her head.
She smiled, her eyes twinkled, she sang to Stalker
and this is what she said.

I am Light
I am Air
I'm the Wind
Without a care

She flew in the air
twirled around and around
Flew around Stalker landing
gently on the ground.

The Earth below
that touches my feet
The smiles on the faces
of the people I meet
The wind that blows the clouds up above
They are all me, said she
And we are all Love

You always sit inside alone, she said. The battle caries on. Yesterdays phantoms still haunt your soul. Outside the sky is so blue, the sun is so warm. The fairies are dancing and playing, the phantoms are an illusion. We take hands and dance around the mushroom. Man rushes by so quickly, he doesn't even see us.   In the blink of an eye a fairy celebration takes place. Mans head is thick and heavy, full of never ending fairy tales. It weighs him down. The faster he goes, the slower he gets...time is wasted
    And a fairy celebration.....singing....dancing, loving, eating, and drinking dew drop nectar. ...all in the blink of an eye. Your fairy tale phantoms pull you away from the joy of the dance.
    Forget them now, come out and play.

It was so beautiful the way the fairies took Stalker in,
his face broke out in an ear to ear grin.
He thought to himself of the fairies happy way:

Floating       Singing
Life is a beautiful dance
do it all for love, they say
    Give it all away
        And be it all.
We are only what we give away
Our bodies grow old, and die
Have we kissed this life,
or run through it like frightened mice
We leave nothing behind
    but what we give away

Flowers floating on the Water

I love it this time of year when the flowering plum blossoms are everywhere...
Soft and gentle the stream flows
Love grows
The trees bend in the wind
 and sway
A falcon sits motionless on the air
without a care
The ocean of life roars and sings
and cries," I am One"
My breath sits on the wind and flies
over hills and mountains
    kissing the land
The voice from the past
    today whispers to me
and in hazy visions I see all of you,
    who I love so
Gently flowing, softly kissing this life
I love
Have a Great Day !!!