Friday, September 29, 2023

Do You Have To?

This morning, I found our rooster, Donatello, eating a 
giant hole out of my front porch pumpkins.
The song "Linger" by the Cranberries 
came to mind, particularly this part:

You know I'm such a fool for you
You've got me wrapped around your finger
Do you have to let it linger? (Eat my pumpkin)
Do you have to, do you have to, do you have to let it linger?
(Eat my pumpkin).

Oh, I thought the world of you
I thought nothing could go wrong
But I was wrong, I was wrong!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Do You Remember The 21st Day Of Septemba?

Christian and I were swinging on our porch swing
a few weeks ago, discussing the significance of the upcoming September 21st.
(It's not just a cool song, you know!)
For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
we believe that 200 years ago, the ancient prophet Moroni visited young
Joseph Smith and revealed scripture that we call the Book of Mormon.
That night was just the beginning of Joseph Smith's journey of translating 
the Book of Mormon and restoring the fullness of the gospel 
of Jesus Christ back to Earth.
We thought it would be powerful to read the Book of Mormon
together as a branch from start to finish.
Each family was given a set of chapters to read throughout the week. 
Today, we came together to celebrate the completion of this collective effort
 with some Costco cake and ice cream. 
Is there anything better?!

The sense of unity and shared purpose was so evident and beautiful!
We came together to deepen our spiritual 
understanding and strengthen our love and testimony of
 The Book of Mormon, and especially Jesus Christ.
this weekend!
(And making cinnamon rolls!)
On the way home, the bright full moon cast a haunting 
glow over the eerie Mr. Bones 
hanging from a tree branch tonight.
I took a bunch of photos because that's what I do, but also because
I love sending them on to the missionaries and to Claire in Arizona.
I know all three are missing Stillestead, especially this time of year.


Wednesday, September 27, 2023

The First Of The Season!

After Gigs and Lottie got home from school, 
Gigs helped me line our long driveway
with pumpkins. It looks soOOOOOOOooOO spooky!
The temperature today were in the low 60s. You heard me right!
It was a glorious day with cloudy skies and lots of wind.

As the night grew colder, Gigs decided to make a 
fire in our living room - the first of this season. 
The warmth of the fire brought such good vibes!
Christian helped Lod with her homework while I cleaned up the dinner dishes.
 Later on, as I stepped outside to take out the trash, 
I turned to see our quaint little house with smoke
 gently wafting from the chimney. 
The smell of autumn leaves and wood smoke filled the air, 
and the moment was so peaceful and cozy.  I will never forget it.


Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Mr. Bones Returns

 When Lottie got home from school today, she climbed her tree- as usual,
and this time, she watched Christian hang Mr. Bones (per my request)
from the tree where he will stay until November 1st.
But he doesn't mind; I'm sure he even likes it!
It's kind of morbid that we celebrate this holiday
by hanging skeletons from trees and do I love it so much!?
I situated the solar light to shine right underneath him
so he glows eerily at night under a green spotlight.
Today was 100% Autumn glory!
The day was cool and windy; there was something special about it,
 I could smell it in the air and see it in the way 
the leaves were blowing around in the wind.
I watched in awe as Lottie skillfully navigated her way up the towering tree, 
until she reached the very top branch. 
From so high up, she loved the sensation 
of the wind rushing past her.  I loved it for her!

Monday, September 25, 2023

Halloween Cheer

 Today was a very sacred special day in the Nielson home.
It was the day that we drove to the storage unit
and packed up the back of the truck with our beloved...
Including Mr. Bones:
Tomorrow, I will unload the goods and spread Halloween cheer
throughout Stillestead.
I've been conjuring up a new, fun idea this year.
Excited to share later this week.
Then, for dinner, we ate a fresh-out-of-the-oven loaf of my
amazing sourdough bread while Lottie crocheted me 
a cute pumpkin coaster for my Dr. Peppers.
We sat down on the couch, sipping DP and reading some of our favorite
Halloween books.
I have to admit, it was pretty cozy.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Oliver in Brazil: September 2023

 Hey Fam!!! 
I wish I was having an awesome, 
beautiful Back-to-School Feast dinner with y'all, 
but I can't this year or the next. 
However, our theme is Legit!!!
When I think of Jesus Christ, I think of His genuine, caring, 
and distinct awareness of us all. 
He loves each and every one of us perfectly. 
He thought about every single one of us as 
He suffered in the garden of Gethsemane, 
and He is aware of us now. 
He's also aware of our plans, our goals, 
our wants and needs. He knows our intentions, hopes, and dreams. 
And like our family quote says, He's got confidence
 in us to carry out and fulfill our journey to become better 
disciples of Him and to experience joy. 
To serve Him with all our heart, might, mind, and soul. 
He also knows it's hard. Life is busy, sad, and sometimes frustrating. 
Our dreams might not work out the way we want, 
or they might just take time (the Lord's time). 
Because of this, Jesus Christ carried out the Atonement,
so He knows exactly how we feel and how to counsel, bless, and help us. 
Because of this, we can have confidence in Him.
I love that it's a two-way street; have confidence in Him, 
and know that He has confidence in us. 
I love our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know He lives, 
and I am confident He will bless our family. 
I love y'all, and I think about you every day. 
Last week, a man was stabbed and killed, and we prayed with the murderer
as we walked up to him, except we didn't know what was going on.
We were scared coming up on this scene, and he was terrified.
We quickly prayed with him (as he was still holding the knife!)
and then ran as far away as we could!
For reals!
President wants us to always wear our jackets and ALWAYS
carry a copy of The Book of Mormon in our hands.
It shows others that we are ministers and not drug dealers or anything.
This says, "prohibited to throw trash here 
unless you wanna go to a PCC tribunal court." 


Saturday, September 23, 2023

With The Sky Close Above Me, The Earth Far Below

         "High up in the apple tree climbing I go,
          With the sky above me, the earth below.
          Each branch is the step of a wonderful stair
          Which leads to the town I see shining up there.

          Climbing, climbing, higher and higher,
          The branches blow and I see a spire,
          The gleam of a turret, the glint of a dome,
          All sparkling and bright, like white sea foam.
          On and on, from bough to bough,
          The leaves are thick, but I push my way through;
          Before, I have always had to stop,
          But to-day I am sure I shall reach the top.

          Today to the end of the marvelous stair,
          Where those glittering pinacles flash in the air!
          Climbing, climbing, higher I go,
          With the sky close above me, the earth far below."
Climbing by Amy Lowell


Friday, September 22, 2023


 Today, I took Gigs and Lottie to their well-child check-ups,
which were just perfectly, well...well!
I'm so grateful for healthy children!
Christian, on the other hand, did not feel well today.
He was driving home from a work meeting when he had
terrible abdominal pain and back aches.
He pulled the car over and called 911, where he was
taken to the hospital with the most excruciating pain.
 It was discovered he had a 3 mm kidney stone.
And it was only after the discovery, and 3 hours later, they gave him
some pain meds, which calmed him down considerably, and he slept.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Back at Stillestead, Around 6:00, Lottie and I were having dinner together
waiting for Christian to return.
Gigs was at his new job (milking goats) when my cell rang.
It was Christian.  I answered it,
"Hello, sweetie!  Dinner is ready."
But it was NOT received very well.
A very panicked Christian on the other line said,
"I don't mean to alarm you, and I'm in a lot of pain
and in the back of an ambulance.  I'm not sure why it hurts so
bad, but I can't drive...."
And I was like, "Ahhh, what?!"
Then I was talking to the EMT, who told
me the hospital they were taking him to, and that's all the
 information she gave me.
I was a little panicky.  Actually, I was a lot panicked.
Then, I realized Gigs had the truck at work, so I tried calling him, but 
he didn't answer; I called him like 40 times in a row because
sometimes he ignores my phone calls.
But he didn't answer.
After calling my friend, who also works at the goat farm, 
she got hold of him, and within 20 minutes, he drove me and 
Lottie to the hospital, which was an hour away.
I wasn't sure what was happening with Christian, and I feared
he had a heart attack.  It was just a horrible feeling.

Finally, around 1:30, after a nice dose of morphine, 
I brought Christian home and put him
to bed, feeling so thankful he was alive and well again!!
The good news is that he passed the stone 12 hours later.
The bad news is he'll probably have more.
"They say it's worse than childbirth," he said to me
after it was all over.
"I've heard that." I calmly said.
But can it really be worse?
I was in labor with Gigs for a whole day and finally
pushed him (all 9 POUNDS of him) out without any medication.
Could it really be worse?

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Gardening from Stillestead

This afternoon, I worked in the garden preparing for the changing season.
I protected my hydrangea plants with chicken wire to prevent my
 chickens from damaging them by jumping on the delicate branches.

I replanted the bulbs the chickens scratched out of the soil.

Then, I spent some time tidying up the front porch to make room for the 
pile of firewood that we are planning to stack up next week. 

I found and admired a crazy-looking caterpillar moving around the lawn.
It looked fake.
It resembled a creature that a 5-year-old would imagine in their mind.
It is a good thing for Google Lens; I figured out it was a 
White-marked tussock moth was first discovered in 1797, and the four white
toothbrush-like tufts on its back can cause allergic reactions.
We didn't experience that, thankfully.
We also learned that when it finally becomes a moth,
it's not very pretty or colorful, as his caterpillar self suggests.
Lottie and I enjoyed observing and watching this creature 
crawl around our hands and tickle our arms.

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