Friday, July 19, 2024

Six More 7/19


You know how they say that cats have nine lives?
Well, Missy Sunday Kitty Nielson is on her sixth life.
Today, she was stung by a bee.
Her face ballooned up, and she seemed sad and uncomfortable. 

 Poor, poor kitty. 

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Sitting With God

I've been keeping an eye on the cows all day to make sure 
their water tanks are full, and they have plenty of shade.
So far, so good.
It's another hot, humid day here in Chatham County.
This afternoon, after my second round of watering the cows 
I parked the truck in the middle of the pasture while the
 water unloaded from the tank in the truck to the tank in the pasture.
I noticed magnificent, fluffy grey clouds billowing out in the distance. 
The sky got beautiful and dark, and then the 
clouds burst open and started to storm.
As I sat in the cozy truck, listening to the water pounding on the car
 and the thunder booming around me, I thought
about the Nielson 2021-22 family theme, 
I thought about God and how He is everywhere all the time
and all at once.
He is in the rain.
He is in the grass.
He is in the soil.
He is life.
I wouldn't know any of that if I wasn't being still.
 If I didn't look for it.
There is so much conflict and confusion in the world,
I was so grateful for this quiet moment in the car
listening to God.
I am prayerfully considering our family theme this year.
Nothing has come yet, but I know it will.
Now I know why Christian loves watering the cows every day,
he gets to be surrounded by beauty and stillness.
He gets to sit with God.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Hottest Day On Record

This afternoon, I got a text from our neighbors who live in the nearby pasture, 
and told me that he saw a cow down. I immediately got on the
 motorcycle, drove to the pasture, where the cows
were grazing, and saw TWO cows down.
 One cow was dead, and the other was panting on her side. 
It's NOT GOOD if a cow is on her side, especially if it's 
100 degrees outside AND 9 months pregnant.
I hurried back home and spent an hour filling up water tanks, but before 
heading back to the pasture, I knelt down with Claire and Jane 
and we prayed for guidance and comfort. 
I quickly returned with the girls, and we sprayed 
the mama down with water, hoping to cool her down.
We tried to hydrate her with the calf bottle, but nothing worked.
Our good neighbors, Bruce and Caroline,
 came out to help in our life-saving mama efforts.
(Of course, this stuff happens with Christian gone!)
And Gigs came out to help when he got home from work, 
and we stayed out in the fields until midnight doing everything 
we could think of to get that mama up.
With ALL six of us on one side of her, we tried to help her 
roll over on her tummy and up.
She wouldn't budge.
 I was exhausted- we all were exhausted,
and Mama was super exhausted.

We did our best.
Ultimately, we lost 4 cows (2 bred mamas) today.
So sad.
This is farm life.

And I learned that today was the hottest day 
in our county on record.

As I rested my weary head on my pillow, 
and feeling a little lonely without Christian, 
I sensed a swell of pride within me, knowing that 
I had summoned my inner pioneer spirit today.
Christian would have been proud, and so would my dad.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Off To Camp

This morning, I took Lottie to her Girls Camp drop-off. 
She was feeling both nervous and excited. 
I remember my first girls' camp experience. 
I was super nervous to be away from my mom, and it
 didn't help that the bus driver taking us to our campsite
 kicked me off the bus because he thought I was a boy. 
That legit happened.

I think she'll be fine, especially since Christian will 
be there the whole week with her. That made her a little
 less nervous about saying goodbye to me.
I dropped her off, and immediately, her friends greeted her
and gathered around her. 
We packed some delicious treats for her to share, 
as well as her pillow and a blanket for the long ride 
out of town and to the mountains.
She is creating so many beautiful memories, and this is
such an epic rite of passage for 12-year-old girls!
Christian left early because he took the 
truck and trailer with all the camping gear.
He headed out ahead to set up the tents and prepare the campsite 
for the girl's arrival. 
I will miss that guy!
Later, I met up with Claire and Jane, who were at our storage unit
going through their stuff and preparing for
 their big move to Utah next month.

It was only like 300 degrees.

Monday, July 15, 2024

A Mile Before He Gets Home

 Today was busy as we prepared for Lottie's first Girls Camp experience. 
We gathered the camping gear, checked off her packing list
including her sleeping bag, fishing gear, headlamp, 
and clothes for the next week.
Lucky for Lod, Christian is going, too!
He was asked to go and support the girls and drive the trailer
with all the gear, help set up, etc.
He's the best.

We went to the shoe store to get Lottie some new boots; 
now, I know you should never take new boots camping,
especially if hiking is involved, but we had no choice.
It turns out that Lottie's boots were too small.
So the girls pilled in the car, and off we went to the shoe store
to find some new camping/hiking shoes for Lottie.
We also, of course, grabbed dinner, and of course, the girls
fell asleep on the way home.
They always do that.
When we arrived home, Gigs had just come back from work 
and offered to take me and Christian for a spin in his old BMW. 
Actually, he really wanted me and Christian to drive it.
So we both did.
It was a real treat, especially since it has no muffler.
Well, at least I know he's home about a mile before he gets home!

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Weird Things

It was an early morning for us this Saturday, 
we went to the local Farmer's Market
where Gigs and Lottie (he begged her to join him) were
selling goat cheese.
It was cute watching them interact with customers, especially
Lottie, who was handing our goat cheese gelato samples.
I found some really cool cut amaranth branches 
and bought them for my church bouquet tomorrow.
When we got home, I felt really achy and sick.
My throat hurt, and all I wanted to do was lie down.
So I did.
I watched all the Christmas and Halloween episodes of 
Full House and The Wonder Years.
The 80's and 90's holiday anything is so unlike anything today.
It makes me feel so nostalgic!
Only sick in-bed people do weird things like that.
Then the day got even weirder when I saw on my phone
that Trump had been shot!
The Nies and I crowded around my bed and watched the news 
until late in the night.
I think this moment in history is significant, regardless of your 
political stance.

I might not be able to go to church tomorrow. 
My throat is burning, and I've officially lost my voice!!
It's so sad because Gigs, Claire, and Jane are all speaking!!!!

Friday, July 12, 2024

Clane In Maine Was Insane

Clane had the best time with their friend, Annie, 
at her family beach cottage in Maine.  
The weather, the water, the company, and all the food looked
pretty magical.  This is definitely a Hot Girl Summer
for Clane!
Highlights include:

Pretending to be Mermaids:

Rocky beaches:

Ice Cream:


Driving to Claire's mission in New Hampshire and
visiting the old sights, friends, and apartments.

Being SUUUper cute:

(and protecting the curls on the plane)

Thank you, Annie and family!
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