Monday, September 30, 2013

Pumpkin Thief

We had several (>6) giant pumpkins at Gromps' and a bunch of normal pumpkins. I don't know about the normal pumpkins but the one giant pumpkin that was hiding under the apple tree is the only one there last night. Poof, missing. 

We still have enough to share since I'm likely not going to have time to can pumpkin but seriously?!?  I had plans for the pumpkins that didn't involve the big ones disappearing. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Project Update--Day 7

I will be tired forever. Russell is coming with Dad tomorrow!  I'd happy dance if I had the energy.  Neighbors came over today and picked up all the old shingles plus some other driveway junk. Saved me a day that I'd have been on my own.

I work tomorrow night, again, then out of town on Sunday. I haven't looked past Sunday yet. 

Today we cleaned up the west side and shingled up to the vent level. I don't have a picture of the west side, but here's and up to date north side. That's how high the west side is. We're short shingles because we were told 3 bundles to a square but each bundle covers 25 square feet. Dad will work that out tomorrow though. I doubt anything will be delivered before Monday though. 

Having the roof as done as it is makes me want to paint even more. Like there is time before it gets too cold?!?  

Thursday, September 26, 2013


It's tough. Really tough regardless of circumstances. You take babies and in not enough years hope and pray that you have taught them everything they need to know to be kind and loving adults. Then you take the sweet sounding version of parenting and you come home from a 14 hour shift to nail polish spilt on the table, hungry kids who haven't had a chance to tell you how their day was because when they tried to call when you are normally off you were talking to a doc and couldn't answer. Laundry that is covering the couch waiting to be folded, dishes that need to be washed.

And tomorrow?  Tomorrow you roof. 

I see families who seem to have it all together and I just wonder how. I have a 5 minute drive from work and it's not long enough to decompress. All of today is still buzzing around me. Did I do all I could do?  I was busy today but did I do my very best? 

When asked about roofing through yesterday's winds Dad said something along the lines of well, the roof has to be done, I'm going to CA soon and we don't have the luxury of time. We will do what has to be done because it needs to be done not because it's convenient. I've enjoyed working with Dad on the roof, it's nice to think and to take Dad's simple comments and expand it. Parenting is a series of "have to" and often the most critical of the have to things come at the most inconvenient of times. Nail polish on the table after a 14 hour shift and no dinner in the crockpot and needing to shove aside today's worry and listen to how the field trip went and plans for Homecoming game. 

All difficult and inconvenient. When everyone is in bed and then I want to talk no one is here.  Single parenting is hard, every single day -- some more than others, some more lonely than others, almost always overwhelming.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Do as I say not as I do

Today was windy. Very windy. 

Lick all the Chapstick with sunscreen in it off your lips kind of windy. Nice and sunny though. The spots I had hives swell up on me are blistered on top of burned, my cowlick is burned, my face is burned and blistered, my lips are hideously blistered. I'm quite the sight. Do as I say not as I do style of nursing. 

My body still aches but in light of Dad's time before he goes on a work trip being limited I've stopped hauling old shingles to the dumpster and have been up on top. My aches are more specific and sleeping at night instead of working is great for exhaustion levels. 

The corner of the eaves is now fixed, the front part of the roof that is over the front room facing south is done to the ridge cap, side facing east is about a bundle short of reaching to the top ridge cap. Most of the work around the chimney is done but that's not something I can help with much.

I'm feeling less shaky up there, maybe I've gotten my roof legs?  I work tomorrow so if anyone wants to hang out on the roof with my Dad that would be great. 

We found some abandoned homes from the year the wasps were so thick around the long gone shrub that grew into the eaves. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Exhausted. Sore. Wide awake.

Thursday evening I found out that Project: New Roof was starting on Friday. The next day Friday not this upcoming Friday. 

Friday day I was able to cat nap inbetween dumpster delivery, shingle shopping, roof measuring and the excitement of "wahoo! New roof!"  Worked Friday night and got home 7 am Saturday  (12.5 hours of RN work) and slept for four-ish hours, then started pitching shingles into the dumpster. I'd planned on staying on the ground and relatively clean. 

Then the wind blew tar paper loose and Dad needed a hammer and me to bring it to him. So much for "clean" even by the most liberal definitions. However, scrapping shingles off the roof was much easier than tossing them into the dumpster from the driveway. I stayed in the roof playing with shingles instead of getting my before work catnap. (5 hours of roofing work)

Back to work for an extended shift (14 hours RN work) came home in time to change out of scrubs and into a dress for church. Even through Sacrament Meeting I was so tired I kept wondering why I didn't just go home and sleep. I didn't because of a conversation I had afterwards. Absolutely worth the exhaustion and just the pick me up I've been needing for a few weeks now.  Made it home to fall into bed and sleep until 2 pm (3 hours sleep time). Find out I'm on call Sunday night (oh sweet tender mercy) so I force myself out of bed and commit to not using the free time to catch up on chores. The few hours I had Sunday afternoon and evening were very refreshing and greatly needed. I manage to catch up on sleep with 7 more hours if sleep time. Up early this morning to get sandwich supplies, drinks, mow a strip through the weeds for shingles to land on and protect my flower bed (3 hours miscellaneous stuff) to climb up on the roof around 9. I didn't go back up after the front of the house was cleaned off because I was unburying my flowers, they're okay :)

I stopped at about 6:30. (9.5 hours roofing time). I am so tired and fortunately have a few errands to run tomorrow that will give me a little break, except Dad is still going to be on the roof without me here. 

My arms and back muscles are so crazy sore, my room smells of IcyHot and of course I can't reach the sorest spots. Single Mom problems for sure. 

I feel ibuprofen kicking in, I'm going to go crash. Have a good night everyone!  

Project Time: New Roof

I am having a slow start to this morning, my body moaning at me that the muscles used to roof are entirely different than the muscles used on the busiest night of being a nurse. I need to get up and get going, shingles are all over the south side of the house and I need to mow down the weeds and try to find a way to protect my front flowers.   I know Dad will be here soon. 


The dumpster!  Yay!

Mid day on day one. Lots of work done that doesn't get a picture. Like measuring etc. 

I have been working nights this weekend so more work is done after my "end of" pictures. 

"End of" day one

Hmmm no end of day two pictures. I will have to run out and get one before we start. 

From the roof looking down. Scrapping is more fun than throwing shingles into the dumpster. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I don't even really have much to say other than "argh! Really?!?"  So much to do and I can't. I'm hoping for some near miraculous speedy healing tonight. I have to go to the bank, the debit card for the business account was hacked so I have to go file some disputes. Kudos to the fraud department for stopping it so quickly though.  The garden, the one turning into a thing of nightmares. My house has to have some attention given to it as does the flower beds at the apartment. I actually need to mess with the sprinkler system in the beds (yes really) and put up a rent sign.  Sack dinners have to be packed. Volcanoes need to be started, homework nudging. How am I suppose to do anything with homework when I haven't gotten home until 8?  At that point hearing "it's all done" is enough even though things like volcanoes and book reports exist. 

Except I can't. Well the bank will likely happen either way but my foot needs to be up and elevated. I think I'm seeing the results of stress on my body and I can't remove the stress so I take a deep breath and hear Grandpa's voice tell me "chin up Buttercup"

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Still Here

I've sat with this window open many times unsure of what to write lately. I have a few guidelines for this blog. I write for me, not for you (sorry, that's just the way it is) I don't want it to be a pity party about all the way life sucks but at the same time I don't want to create some false picture of my life. The last two can be hard to balance. I've had strong faith building moments too personal to write about here and now I find myself on the opposite end of the spectrum, struggling but in a very deep and personal way that has been consuming my thoughts. I don't know to write balancing all of that. 

I'm here, just taking one moment at a time. Sometimes choosing to sit out for a little and try to catch my breath for a bit. Never seems to work but I keep trying. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dress Up

On Monday we found out that Charlet needed a formal dress for a party on Friday that she's been looking forward to for a while. That's not much notice and there isn't a large variety of places to look for formal gowns and no time to go anywhere. 

Then ShaLiece told me about Cinderella's Closet, a place in Enoch that rents out modest gowns. Maddie and Kelsey came with us and they had a blast. 

We even found a gown that works (really they all were okay, except one that was a little too big even with the corset back). The winner?

I will be out of town on Friday but Kelsey and Maddie promised to take pictures for me. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Year of the Tomatoes (and corn, and squash, and jalapenos)

When I was in 7-8th grade-ish we had what I refer to as "year of the peaches"  When you are an Erickson and it's peach time it's very all encompassing.  Like 20 bushels worth that were sorted according to ripeness and all canned and/or jammed.  Crazy busy time of year but man, home canned peaches were worth it.  The year of the peaches the peaches arrival was carefully timed to hit just after Mom and Dad got home from picking Russell up in Oklahoma.  They drove and were gone for a while {maybe a week?}  Perfect timing, aside from having bushels of peaches to put up when they got home -- but hey they were bringing another set of hands that could help home.

The peaches came early that year.  Like right before {I don't know how many days, but not enough} before they needed to leave for Oklahoma.  Mom asked Dad what they were going to do because you don't waste that much food, there was no way that they would keep that long, and that's a lot of canning to do in just a couple of days.  Dad's reply in his typical calm manner?  "well, we'll just have to get them put up"  Those of you who knew Grandma know that there weren't very many ox in the mire situations that would have her miss church and non Sunday activities such as Grandpa messing with the horses or let's say canning were not acceptable.  Except the year of the peaches.  Everyone stayed home to can but they sent me, first time I considered straight up ditching church because I just didn't know how to explain what peach season was like at our house.  We didn't can a pressure cooker full and a few left to eat.  We canned, and canned and canned and then had peaches and cream for dinner and that was a normal year.  There were just a few days to accomplish what did for over a week.  It may be my imagination but I think we had extra peaches that year too.

Fast forward from 1990 {or so} to 2013.  I haven't ordered peaches, much less in massive quantities but my garden has done well for the amount of time I've put into it -- at least once you get through the weed forest back to the veggies.  My tomatoes have gone crazy.  Before I knew it they were too big for cages so it's a wild uncontrollable kind of crazy.  Then we've been very rain which has made my tomatoes like to split.  Split tomatoes do not store for very long and I have a lot.
Lemon Boys, can you find the split?

Over exposed early girls.  See the background?  Those aren't picked yet.  *sigh*

Part of my haul from last night

I unloaded my car and hauled everything downstairs, pulling out a bag of tomatoes to take to work {bacon and lettuce from the cafeteria, tomatoes and cucumbers from my garden} and some for a coworker and stuck everything in the fridge hoping for the best because these need to deal with immediately if not sooner tomatoes I can't touch until days after they were picked.

I hear Dad's calm voice saying "we'll get them  put up" and inside I'm ready to explode thinking of how I have so many other things to do besides spend days off with tomatoes.  My plans for tomorrow heartbreakingly fell through so I'm going to pick up the pieces and sort through tomatoes.

It's not just the tomatoes though, I harvested a small section of corn and ended up with a laundry basket full.

More  corn than we can eat and it's just the beginning
The squash that keep coming regardless of the squash bug invasion of 2013 that I'm losing.  The golden zucchini I can freeze and use in a 101 different ways, but the summer squash?  Not much to do there.

Soooo grateful for an old run down fridge downstairs!

Sorry all the pictures suck, I don't know that I'll get a camera over there before winter that isn't attached to my phone.  

Yesterday when I was harvesting after a 12 hour shift until dark I started a list that was a titch on the negative side.

I don't garden because...
  • Single parents have too much time on their hands and need something to keep them busy.
  • 12 hour shifts just aren't long enough
  • I enjoy hanging with squash bugs, powdery mildew, and massive amounts of pollen
  • Worrying about the wind blowing over the corn at just a little too early to harvest and losing it all helps with my worry list (along with assorted other problems we've had this year).
  • I love broken fingernails
  • I enjoy watching the weather channel and feeling like a heathen wishing that would not rain quite so much just over my tomato plants
  • squash bugs, have I mentioned them yet?  they're ugly, squishy and gross.  And creepy.
  • I love pulling weeds that are taller than me!
So I turned it around.  I garden because...
  • It's an important skill for me to have.  We may not have a lot of variety this year, but we won't be going hungry.
  • There is something a little Wonder Woman-ish about doing a garden on your own.  It's providing for my family in a little different way than me working and it's very satisfying to eat a meal that you grew on your own -- until I while later and you realize you did need some protein somewhere in there.
  • Every time I'm in the garden, without fail, I always think of Grandma.  I'm not going to compare our gardens, she's probably rolling over in her grave at all of my weeds and uncaged tomatoes, but each summer I spent a lot of time with Grandma in her garden.  I will never forget the year that her boys planted her garden not because there was a shortage of care taking that they were doing but because it was always so important to her.  One of the my most touching memories of the end of her life and I venture to say she appreciated it more than she was ever able to express.
  • There is nothing that tastes better than that first tomato picked and eaten in the garden so no one else will know.
  • Seeing Kaede hiding in the cherry tomatoes or pea patch and then being "too full" for dinner warms my heart even though our harvests then are a little smaller than when I don't bring her along.
  • Veggies all winter because I stuck it out through the less fun parts taste better than any store purchased version of the same thing.  I've never seen "labor of love" listed as an ingredient on a bag of frozen corn.
  • The best anti-depressant ever is planting in the spring and anxiously watching for the first sprouts, first blossoms, and being able to enjoy the sun on your back.
  • It's my Pooh like thoughtful spot.  I've unloaded large amounts of problems in the rows between the corn, shared things I have no one else to tell things to and watered carrot sprouts with my tears.  My garden is never too busy for me.
  • Having your own pumpkins at Halloween is the best!  We'll have enough I won't be afraid to try some fun things carving them this year {when did pumpkins get so expensive?}
The second list far outweighs the first, even with the added stress it's currently bringing that I really just don't need right now, so I will continue to garden and hope for the best for my tomatoes to hang on just a little bit longer until I can give them the attention they deserve.