Sunday, June 30, 2013

Back Home

The Boy is back home!

We went to Camp Bell Saturday for 8:00 AM to pick him up. All the Scouts how participated in NYLT came down the mountain together,in their respective patrols.They formed a rather long line of three or four across. The leaders were yelling chants and the Scouts would yell back,a la the movie Stripes. It was quite impressive.We didn't see Zach at first. Each patrol would then line up,and they waited to be dismissed... "NYLT disssmissssed!!!"  It took a minute to find Zach,because there were 80+ boys there,plus the parents picking them up. I kept saying,"Where's The Boy? Where's My Boy?" and scanning the crowd for him. I was so anxious to see him. Finally,I spied him coming towards us,and I went up to him and gave him a huge hug,backpack and all. I admit that I cried a bit. I couldn't help it,I was just so happy and relieved all at once. 

I took this quick photo after Rick and I had hugged and kissed him. "My shoulders are killing me," he said before this photo was taken. "My backpack is heavy."
When we got home,we saw his wound.He still has a very faint spider web line on his left heel,and raw area where the blister was.He said it didn't bother him all week,he kept a Band Aid on it. Overall,he said he had a great week,and though it rained for most of the week and there were more thunderstorms,it didn't dispel anybody's spirits.He learned a
lot about leading patrols,how to deal with difficult Scouts/adults,how to plan meetings,etc. He seemed older and filled with more confidence.

When he arrived,they gave him a NYLT hat,three NYLT shirts,and a NYLT notebook that had certain exercises in it for the week.

At the end of the week,they gave him a certificate and a patch:

He does have project that he needs to complete. Each Scout had to come up with an idea to help better their respective Troops,and to create a step by step plan to implement it. Zach's is to have the Troop do more fun activities.He needs to complete the plan by Dec,and if he does,he received a completion pin.

I am so glad he's back!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Close Call

Zach was picked to attend the Boy Scouts National Youth Leadership Training program (NYLT). The boy applies,the Scoutmaster gives a recommendation,and then he is either chosen or not. The program is for 6 days,and the boys are taught various things such as how to run a patrol,leadership skills,etc. NH's NYLT takes place at Camp Bell,in Gilmanton  Iron Works (GIW,incidentally,is the setting for the famous novel Peyton Place. The author based it on people she knew).

We dropped Zach off on Sunday for noontime.Once everyone in his particular patrol arrived,they hiked two miles into woods,up a mountain for their week long training. The only buildings are the shower houses. They do have tents on platforms with cots for the boys to sleep in.

I had to take this photo of Zach when we dropped him off. I am so proud of him being chosen. You can tell how excited he was to have his Mumma take his photo in front of everyone. :)

The weather forecast for this week is thunderstorms off and on all week long. My Dear Friend Michelle and I were saying at yoga class Monday that we hoped they had some sort of shelter in case a bad storm came up. Her son Ethan,is at NYLT with Zach. They wound up being in the same patrol.

Monday night around 11:30 the phone rang,and it was the ER at Lakes Region Hospital in Laconia,NH. Zach was in the ER,and he had been in a lightning strike. He had a burn on his heel,but he was OK,and she told me to hold while she connected me to Zach.

When Zach got on the phone,he told me what happened. Apparently,a storm came up quickly,and it was a bad one. The only had time to get under a staging area. It looks like they may have used it for some classes or for meals. I got the photo from the WMUR (Channel 9) webpage:

Lightning hit a nearby tree,and the electric current traveled through the root system,coming out to where they boys were. There were approx. 30 boys and leaders under the tarp. Zach said everything was bright white,then a very loud clap of thunder followed. There was pandemonium,of course,with yelling and screaming. Zach says he yelled for everyone to "shut up" because "they were hurting my ears".

No one felt any effects until 30-40 minutes later. Some boys complained of tingling sensations in their arms,legs,or down their sides. One boy had blurry vision and his left side was numb. Some, like Zach,felt burning and spider web like markings started to show. Because the storm was still going on,they could not go down to the main building at the base of the mountain. Adults and older boys who had experience and training did first aid on the boys as best they could until the storm passed and they were able to go down to the main building,where most of the boys were put into buses. Six boys who had burns on their chests were driven by truck. They all went to the Belmont fire station (23 boys,3 adults) where they were assessed and then they were all sent to various local hospitals depending on their injuries. Some boys were just shaken up,but those like Zach who had burns, etc,were brought to Lakes Region. Zach had a burn on his heel,and a blister that popped. He said on a pain scale of 1-10,it was a 15,but when he spoke with us,it no longer hurt. His ears had rung for a brief period,but that,too,went away. Michelle's son has a burn on his back. 

Zach sounded fine,but tired. He complained that he didn't get a chance to finish his dinner,because as soon as he started eating,that's when everyone was brought to the hospital. He joked that they all should get a "I Survived a Lightning Strike" merit badge. I knew he was fine. 

This is the tree that got hit. Again,the photo is from WMUR Channel 9 in Manchester,NH.

Zach is back at camp,and everything seems to be fine. I have been a bit of a wreck,just thinking about how close he came to getting either seriously hurt or killed. A lightning expert was on the news discussing this and he said that it is very rare that so many people  get hurt from one bolt,and that there must've been a very large charge of electricity.He was shocked that no one was killed. Usually someone is in that circumstance.

This week just happens to be Lightning Awareness Week.

Oh,the irony!

We are so very grateful that he is OK.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

It's In The Genes!

I think many folks in my family are a bit surprised at the turn my life has taken. Chickens? Goats? Sheep? Making my own soap? Composting?

Considering that I grew up with only a cat,never had a garden,and would much rather purchase food than grow it,I can understand why some are surprised.

Part of why this path has been chosen is because...well...since Rick cannot work,and I stay at home as his caregiver,we had to find something to do. Something worthwhile,that gave us (especially Rick) a sense of purpose. He needs to feel useful. Not being able to work really bothers him.He's worked since he was a teenager. Hanging around doing nothing has never been his style. 

I talked to him one day a few years ago about maybe doing more here,for ourselves. Let's start a garden,I said. Let's get some chickens and eat our own eggs. I was inspired by friends and websites. We have the time,let's do the most with it.

He was all excited about the idea. A reason to get up and at 'em in the morning! Something to look forward to! A goal!

We started with a garden,and chickens. We expanded to turkeys for a few years,and last year decided that we didn't want to do turkeys anymore. We have herbs,strawberries,blueberries,blackberries,and raspberries.Next Spring,we will have three Nigerian Dwarf Goats,and,hopefully,a couple of sheep. The goal with these is make goat milk soap,raw milk cheese,have raw milk,and spin my own yarn.All these are with the intention of selling what we don't need. Right now,we are planning our barn and milking area. 

Rick is very excited. He says he's always wanted a farm of his own. Now,he has one,even though it's only on .68 acres of land.

Going through our family genealogy,it's really no surprise that we have chosen ( or fallen into) this path of life. My ancestors were all farmers in Canada,or agriculteurs. When they immigrated down to NH,however,they started working in the cotton mills.My grandfather Charrette (my Mom's father) did grow up on a farm eventually had his own. My oldest brother,Valmore,is an agronomist. Rick's ancestors were some of the original settlers of this country,so farming has always been in his blood.One of his ancestors owned the biggest fruit farm in Stratham,NH at one point.

One never knows where life will bring you,or what path you may follow. When a door closes,a window opens. Rick suffered a brain injury,which was our closed door. Our little Cöpse Clearing Farm is our open window,with sunshine and a lovely breeze coming through.

Monday, June 17, 2013

It's Official!

After several attempts at registering a legal trade name for the farm (mainly so no one else could use it)we finally came up with a name that wasn't taken. It's amazing how many names were similar to the ones we wanted. We would've had to add more descriptive words or received permission from the person(s) to whom the name is already registered.
We tried:
-The Little Yellow Farm (nope,there's already a Yellow House Farm)
-Humble Beginnings Farm (nope,there's already a Humble Beginnings store)
-Shaw Family Farm (nope,there's already a Brian Shaw Family Farm)

Needless to say,this was a tad aggravating. We wanted to name our farm and sell any products under that name. Was that too much to ask?

After the last rejection letter came from the state,I sat and thought. It had to be something different. Hmmm.I thought of our last names,Shaw and Lessard. Maybe the meaning of our names could offer an idea:

Shaw: one who dwells by a cöpse or thicket,dweller by the wood
Lessard :someone who dwells in a clearing;to grub up or weed out

That was interesting,I thought. A cöpse (pronounced cops),I discovered,is a small group of trees. Well,we have a small group of trees right on the corner of our property. We also live in a clearing. Hmmm. A homage to our ancestral names,and the perfect description of where we live. Cöpse Clearing Farm! It was unique. It was personal. It was perfect. It was catchy. It had to go through!

And,voila',it did!

We got the paperwork in the mail today from the Secretary of State of NH. Our trade name is officially Cöpse Clearing Farm,and I am the proprietor.

Now to design a sign........

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!!!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Built In Closet!!!

I seem to have a bit of a fire lit under me now that things in the bedroom are getting more organized. I am back to looking at things and wondering 1)what can be done to make this a better space and 2)how can this be achieved in the easiest way possible?

One thing that needs to be done (still) is the kitchen and dining area. We still need new mopboards,window frames,a closet,and fresh paint .The main thing to me has been the lack of closet,because I have had to put the ironing board,the little electric sweeper,extra food,paper towels,bucket,etc on the stairs to the attic. The other day I was trying to get something from the stairs and the ironing board fell down and hit me in the head. After yelling a few choice words,I had had enough. We had an open space next the fridge where we were going to put the closet,and for the time being we had our dog bowls and water there. I didn't care what it looked like-I was tired of things falling on me so I moved the ironing board and sweeper into this little space,and just moved the dog bowls up a bit.It's the first thing you see as you come into the house,which bugged me,but at least I didn't have to worry about concussions anymore.

 I was mulling this space over earlier in the week,and realized that it is rather small-just slightly bigger than 32" across from the edge of the fridge to the brick.We had originally planned building a regular closet-framing,drywall,the whole nine yards,with shelving on the back. Looking at this area with fresh eyes,I realized that doing this would take away some precious width.Even with a curtain in place of a door,going in and out of the closet might prove awkward if any more width was taken out.The more I looked at it,the smaller and smaller it looked for what we had wanted to do.

I stared at the space and thought...what could we use...then it hit me. A divider! A divider would work. We could just pull it forward when we wanted to get into the closet. We wouldn't lose any width.It would save time and work-we would only need shelving put up. And I knew just the divider I wanted,if it would fit. 


It is a three panel divider,but the two fit perfectly,with the third bent back into the closet. We did try it couple of different ways,but the third panel only bends back,not forward I absolutely fell in love with it when I saw it. The colors are perfect for our kitchen. I think it adds a lot to the space. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Inner and Outer Peace

Many things have been going on at home,and in my head.

I have begun yoga. My Dear Friend Michelle told me that she is enjoying her class,and I should give it a try. I love it. I told our instructor,Laurie on Monday that it has helped me tremendously in finding inner peace and relaxation. I practice lyengar yoga,which focuses on posture and breath control. I can get very sore after our classes,but I love it.I look forward to our twice a week class. Granted, I can find relaxation going outside and listening to the birds singing,seeing the blue of the sky and the white of clouds,and watching the green leaves moving in the breeze,but this gives me a bit more of a foundation,as it were. I seem to be more relaxed,and I use breathing techniques that I have learned when things start getting stressful for me. I send my breath to the parts of my  body that need it,I get rid of the negative thoughts,and I feel so happy and one with all that is around me. This has been a big help in my quest to be a better,more positive person. I catch negative thoughts or bad feelings and turn them around.Such a wonder!

Rick has been working on the yard,grading,etc,and we are planning how to set up new walkways. We have areas that just don't seem to like to grow grass,no matter who much seed we  have put down in the past,so,instead of fighting against the nature of our land,we have decided to embrace it and work with it.Plans are underway for our next project,the mud room. The windows are all screened-they are more or less screens with wood framed around them-and we have to cover them with plastic each winter. We are going to put in real windows,a real door,dry wall,and flooring,as well as electrical outlets and make it a year round mud room. We are going to put new porch steps as well. After that is done,our next big project is painting the house. Then it's getting the basics of the goat/sheep barn set up before the snow flies.

Yesterday we went down to my Mom's a picked up dresser that she is getting rid of to use in our bedroom.Her house is sold,as long as the loan goes through.It only took a week and half on the market to find not one,but two buyers.She is going to move in with my sister and brother in law until they all move to TN in the fall of 2014,so she is getting rid of everything that she can. We are redoing the bedroom,so the dresser comes in handy. We had a dresser,once,but it was a big old dress that took up too much space,so we got rid of it and we used the two closets for all our clothes,putting the clothing that we would normally put in the dresser on the shelves in our respective closets.Then we wanted to switch things up again ,downsize and use one closet for our clothes,and one closet for storage (blankets,etc).

I have mentioned before that our bedroom is one of,if not the,most neglected room(s) in the house. It hasn't been painted 2006.Things get thrown in there. The elliptical machine,which took up a lot of space in front of Rick's closet (which is another reason we wanted to combine into my closet)was nothing more than a place to hang clothes. I always had the best of intentions to use it,but Rick finally put his size 12 foot down-we either use it,or we sell it. I had to decide. After much hemming and hawing I finally came to the reality that if I have only used it perhaps a grand total of 20 times in over four years,then we should probably get rid of it. Out came the elliptical. We packed away any winter clothes we wanted to keep and donated the rest.( Remember, we only have two closets right now. When the mud room is finished and a closet is put out there,then that can serve as our winter coat storage).The winter clothes are going up in the attic today. The big old gun safe,which is also in our room because we have no other place for it,is going to go into Rick's old closet. The shelves,etc are going to get ripped out and revamped. The room is going to be a haven,not a  confused mess. It's been an embarrassment for years,which is why I always keep the door closed!

Here's a sample of the hideousness of it....
I needed a table for the DVD player and the cable box after we took the bureau out. (Yes, I know it is not considered a good thing to have a TV in the bedroom,but I enjoy watching it in bed at night. Plus,when the Menfolk have their hunting/fishing shows going in the living room and I want to watch a home improvement show,I can go into this room for refuge!) I had this little table so I used that. Note the lamp on the floor that I still haven't rewired after three years. So lovely...NOT!!!!

Here is the area now.The walls are going to be repainted. The color is going to be very similar to the jewelry box on the bureau,and the bureau it's self is going to to painted and I am going to put new knobs on it. I am still mulling what kind to get. The floor lamp that is next to it will probably go into the mud room when it's finished. The teddy bear was a gift from Zach a few years ago.You can see just a bit of the old table to the left. That is going into the garage.If I use it in the house I will put a nice cloth over it so it will look pretty.

So,as you can see,I have been working on inner and outer peace. What are you working on?

Have a Fabulous Day on this Fabulous Planet!