Monday, January 31, 2011

Trapping Opossums




     Benjamin has been trapping again this year, but hadn’t caught anything until today when he found the two opossums in the barn. Today is also the last day of the trapping season here in Missouri until next winter.

   Sometimes Benjamin kills the animals he traps and skins them, but he decided to go ahead and let these two marsupials go.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Preparing for a ‘Catastrophe’

From the Weather Channel

A…potentially historic and destructive winter storm will unleash its fury beginning Monday and will last through Wednesday.
…the storm may very well impact a third of the population of the United States; approximately 100 million people.

IMG_0378    The local news are full of dramatic reports about a severe wintIMG_0381er storm that will be, “unleashing its fury” and will be on the level of a “catastrophe.” Although we may laugh at how the media uses a lot of hoopla to suddenly create a crisis, we still wanted to be prepared to be shut up in the house for a few days without power.  We’re supposed to be receiving a couple of inches of ice which will most likely result in the roads being to slick to drive on and major power outages. There also may be loss of cell phone service if the cell towers’ 24-hour generators aren’t able to be refilled.

We usually keep a pretty good supply of food and water at the house, but we drove to town just to grab some more…you guessed it….bread and milk.  We also looked into IMG_0383purchasing a generator, but even if we could’ve found one in a store we would only have been able to afford a generator that could power something like lamp-not too helpful.

   We ran into Lowe’s to see what options were available in generators and kerosene heaters, but most of their stuff had been sold out.  Noah and I filled up the van with gas and also filled up an extra gas tank we had brought along.

   Some friends had let us know that Wal Mart was an absolute zoo, but by the time we arrived the store was beginning to settle down. I had fun seeing what supplies and food people would buy when a catastrophe was at hand. Here are a few pictures:


Camping supplies: propane heaters and stoves





Toilet Paper


Paper Towels



Plastic Plates/Napkins








Chips (I never could’ve guessed that chips would be hit, “Preparedness” item!)



Packaged Deli Meat








Campbell’s soup, didn’t seem to be a very “hot” item. You see, making a can of soup is just TOO much work to do for a meal…


…but Ramen noodles are just SO much easier to make.

However, none of the items above competed with the scarcity of:IMG_0411




     The folks stocking up for the storm primarily bought food that were easy to make and inexpensive. (Not that this information is particularly helpful, but the habits of the world around us can be fun to observe.)

   I have a theory that this storm is all just a conspiracy dreamed up by food manufacturers and grocery stores, but I suppose only the skies will prove whether or not this is just a lot of hoopla or not.

   Tomorrow night we may be reaching for the warmth of the hearth or sleeping in a room full of a candles, so I’d better enjoy a night’s warm, heated sleep while I can.  So if the internet goes down soon-au revoir until my next post.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Noah’s Broken Toe

close up broken toe

     Friday night, just before bed, Noah was hungry as usual.  Mom called downstairs to tell him that his sandwiches were ready.  As he rushed toward the stairs, he tripped and somehow his big toe curled-under and he landed with much of his weight on that still, curled-under toe. He lay on noah at erthe floor for a bit nursing his toe and indicated to Mom that he had "really" hurt it.  The toe began swelling right away.  With foot elevated, and a dose of Tylenol PM he got some rest.  He awoke through the night because of pain and to take more meds. 
Saturday afternoon, Mom decided that it may be best to get his foot x-rayed. 
     At the ER, they confirmed a break near the joint of where his toe meets his foot.  They put on a temporary cast and want him to see an orthopedic on Monday to have it replaced with a "real" cast. 

noah on crutches

Noah with his temporary cast. 

     Mom stopped in at Bob Evans to pick up a slice of pumpkin pie for Noah (his favorite), on the way home from the hospital.

-Lisa Wong

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mr. Harry’s Carnival Foods



   Today we ate lunch at “Mr. Harry’s Carnival Foods” where they serve food that you’d find at a carnival and also serve smoked meat.  They had hot dogs, chili cheese dogs, snow cones, popcorn, cotton candy, ice cream, meat sandwiches and ice cream.





    After we ate lunch we grabbed some plumbing supplies at Lowe’s (and of course Lydia came too!)


Benjamin and Noah were dressed like twins.


I’ve been working through Rushdoony’s American History to 1865. I tried using the print outs that were included, but as you can see in this picture I ran out of room for my notes! I suppose I’ll have to switch to just a plain ole’ notebook!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ben’s New Ceiling Fan


   I worked with Glenn this afternoon and we installed the new ceiling fan in Benjamin’s room.




  Once we got the fan running I tested out some of my camera’s ISO settings.

    Back in the day of photographic film the size of the tiny crystals in the film affected how quickly it would react to the light.  The larger crystals would capture the light faster and expose the film less than smaller crystals.

   In digital cameras ISO refers to the speed at which the digital sensor reacts to the light. ISO also affects the clarity of the image. Faster ISO speeds produce noise, but the slower ISO produces a smooth image that is very susceptible to camera shake.

   Most of the photos that I post on this blog have been taken on the fly and usually with one hand! When I know I may need to take a photo quickly and probably without stabilizing the camera I set my camera to a fast ISO setting.

  The images below demonstrate a few different ISO speeds:

IMG_0305 1600iso

ISO: 1600 The larger the number the larger the crystals were.

IMG_0306 800iso

ISO: 800 High ISOs speeds are hard to blur with camera shake, but they can also create noise/grain.


IMG_0307 400iso

ISO: 400 Take a look at the 3 photos above and look at the darker parts of the photo you see the little dots? That is noise.

IMG_0308 200iso

ISO: 200 With the slower ISO the picture looks smoother, but more blurred.

IMG_0309 100iso

ISO: 100

IMG_0310 80iso

ISO: 80 The ISO speed is so slow that you can’t even distinguish the ceiling fan blades.


   If you take a look at the photos above they all look very different even though the speed of the fan’s blade’s never changed.  Whenever you are taking pictures of moving water like a waterfall adjusting the ISO is one of the ways to get different photo effects.

How Great Thou Art

Kate playing and singing on a very out-of-tune piano, but it doesn’t matter too much when the words are so good.


Sledding w/Aaron-Video


   The video above shows us sledding with Aaron in our backyard. Stay tuned at the end of the video for a short clip that I edited and made a lot more dramatic. Sometimes I think that I just have too much fun editing.Jan 2011 Sledding with Aaron1

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Andrew’s New Room




Today we pretty much did a complete transformation of my room. In the pictures above you can see how my office area used to look.  We got this desk from a neighbor who was didn’t need it and a couple of things were broken on it. Mom found a nice desk off of Craigslist and we hauled it home in the trailer a couple of days ago.


I worked on unplugging everything and taking out the desk.


Getting the desk and hutch down the hallway and into my room was a bit tricky.  We had to take measurements, take off my door and turn the desk around a few times before we got it into my room. The easy thing to do would have been to obviously take off the hutch but it was fastened using dowels and we were trying to avoid cutting them at all costs. Mom had me take a picture of how the way we got the desk into my room for future reference when we’ll have to take it back out!


I am really excited about how much more workspace I’ll have not to mention how much nicer the desk looks and the new storage space!



  I got all of my many device plugged in and got the wires organized some.  The printer now has it’s own space and I can keep my folders in my desk instead of the plastic box. Compare these pictures with those above.


(Left: First Prayer in Congress Right: Photos from Plymouth Faith & Freedom Tour)

  We also got some picture frames fastened to the walls, so now I need to order some prints to put in them!


A new bedding set is on the way and will be here soon.


The new layout makes the room look a lot larger than it used to and now the room is very functional for me and my business(es.)  I’ll now have the room to bring clients into my room and work with them on the computer. I am particularly excited about the loft bed and the desk!


Before & After: Moving the bed to a loft bed created a lot of space