Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Peach Tree

"It grieveth me that I should lose this tree" - Jacob 5:11

Up until I moved into this house, I didn't have a fruit tree in my yard. I always wanted one, and always felt that I would enjoy having fresh fruit off the tree. After reading the long chapter of Jacob 5, I felt that if I had a fruit tree, I would be a good steward of it.

My peach tree is in bad shape. About 4 feet off the ground, it splits into 3 large branches. I looked out the window last Saturday and saw that one of the 3 branches was down. At first, we didn't know what happened. I went out to investigate, and saw that a few feet (about the height of a child) above the break was a small limb that was also broken. Using my highly scientific observations learned from watching CSI, I determined that there was a child in the tree; the big limb that he was standing on broke and he fell, breaking the upper smaller branch. I don't know who it was, but I suspect it was a friend of my one of my sons.

I'm not mad about it, but I am saddened that I lost 1/3 of my tree. Then the other day, my loving, kind, caring, giving, extra-special wife pointed out that another large branch has broken under its own weight. I didn't think that it was extra loaded down with fruit this year, but apparently, it was more than it could take. So now, I'm looking at the prospect of losing 2/3 of my peach tree. The peaches aren't even large yet. They resemble furry walnuts at this point. Maybe we can get enough out of them to make some jam or something. We'll have to see.

Our first September out here, Sara canned some peaches and made peach related products. One messed up attempt at making peach jam turned into peach syrup, which we then, in a brilliant stroke of irony, exported home to Georgia and South Carolina as Christmas gifts for our southern-dwelling families. Word has it that it was a big hit. Not too bad for messing up.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

quick updates and events

Since I have decided to not blog at work, it leaves me very little time to actually write. I wanted to give a quick update of things:

  • St. George Vacation: Last week, we went to St. George, UT for a quick vacation. It was probably the first one we have had as a family. Driving there, my wife was quoted as saying, "We really had a great time. All except the car ride. It was exactly as I remember. Just alot more people in the car than we had. It was a little like hell only louder." Having a vacation always seemed like an excess, or show of wealth. The company I work for owns condos at various locations here in the intermountain west. With housing paid for, all we have to cover is gas, food, and extras. It is the only way we can afford to actually go on vacation. It was a lot of fun and great to get away, even if it was only for 3 days. Before I moved to Utah, I never would have driven 300 miles one way to go on vacation.
  • TV Affiliates: I grew up in Charleston, SC. We had our own local TV stations. My wife grew up in Augusta, GA. She had her own local TV stations. Columbia, SC is 100 miles from Charleston, and 60 miles from Augusta. They have their own local TV stations. Out here, St. George does NOT have it's own local TV stations. Cedar City, which is 60 miles north of St. George does not have it's own local TV. How local can Salt Lake City news be to a city that is 300 miles away? That's like Atlanta local stations serving Charlotte. Unheard of back home, but accepted here. I guess the population density is a whole lot lower here than back home. There are miles and miles of open space in between Stansbury and St. George. St. George is actually closer to Vegas than they are to here. In the South, there were tons of little communities everywhere. I imagine most of them started because some pioneer wife back in the 16 to 1800s put her foot down and said, "I am not going a step further!!"
  • Wife projects: When my wife gets a project in her head, it has to be done right then and there. Come hell or high water, by gosh it's getting done. An example of this would be her recent Twilight obsession reading that started when we went on vacation and didn't end until yesterday (Aug 26, a week later). A previous example was when she wanted the insulation done in the new family room, and required it to be done right then, even though it was a Sunday. But I did it anyway.
  • School: Hyrum and Noah went back to school last week. Hyrum is in 3rd grade and Noah started 1st. Daniel starts his pre-school the day after Labor Day, which was the original start of school back in them olden days. Exciting times in the Lynes home.
  • Looking forward: It should be 75 degrees on Labor Day. I'm looking forward to that. I'm also looking forward to my in-laws coming out to visit in October. I've got something special planned for Sara's birthday (November), but it's such a secret right now that I'm not telling or even giving mention of what it could be. I'm also looking forward to developing in .NET again. For the last few months, I've been fixing bugs in C and Java. Our software does some really neat and great things. It helps public safety groups do their jobs.
  • Keep on rocking: Rest in peace, Leroi Moore. An original founding member and saxophone player of the Dave Matthews Band died last week. Leroi was a vital part of the unique sound of their music. I'm not sure how DMB is going to sound without him.
  • Service Project: I wrote about helping with the Church harvest. I thought I was helping to harvest corn, but it turned out to be wheat. I drove a truck from the field to the silos. As I was dumping my load that was piped up into the silo/grain elevator, I noticed a few Mormon crickets that were trying to escape the bin and get out. We still have the cricket problems around here. The difference is, well, let's just say that the Church's wheat is NOT organic. One of those crickets got lucky, escaped, and jumped on my chest. Yes, I screamed like a little girl. I'm glad no one was around...

Monday, August 04, 2008

Itchy Insulation

I am slowly (some would say very slowly) finishing the basement of my house. On Saturday, I installed insulation in the ceiling of a future room which we haven't decided what it's purpose will be yet. We chose some role for it, then we change our minds. I'm pretty sure we have it narrowed down to either a bedroom or TV room. At one time, we had hoped to have the downstairs as just the sleeping quarters, while the upstairs was the space we are in during the day. We have some plumbing jobs to do first before we can really finish the job downstairs. One day we will have it all finished. Then I'll probably have a new job and we'll move...

One show that my wife and I have started to really get into is a show on HGTV called Extreme Living. I enjoy unusual houses and can't really stand the cookie-cutter, developer-builds-300-houses-using-4-house-plans types of houses, even though I live in one. I grew up in a custom home, and my wife did too, although her's is much more unique than mine was. That house is so different, it deserves it's own blog post. At least it was 100% paid for. Not many people can say that.

I want me some CORN!

I loved the crows in Charlotte's Web. It was really funny to watch them and their pursuit of corn. Corn! Corn! Corn! Oh, how I love thee.

Well, not really. But corn does provide us with grits, tortillas, popcorn, cornbread, and let's not forget the source of what-used-to-be-cheap sweetener that most packaged food manufacturers use instead of the more "costly" "regular" sugar: high fructose corn syrup. Now corn is the enemy to Ammon, as he is allergic to it. I hope he gets over it soon so we can enjoy the bounteous blessings of corn consumption.

For the next few days, we as a stake have the responsibility to harvest the corn growing in Erda on the Church's farm. I'm going to help out. I was told that I'm going to drive a truck on Saturday and to bring my iPod. I'm going to make sure it's charged before I go and work. I haven't worked on this kind of farm before. I worked on a Church grape vineyard before, (we called it a "grape farm" since we don't drink wine) and ended up loosing about 1/2" of my right pointer finger to a piece of machinery used in the processing of grapes. The grapes are used for juice and jams, etc. I'm not exactly sure what the corn is going to be used for, but I know that it will be for a good purpose.