Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Manley Easter

The kids had a good time hunting for Easter eggs in the slushy snow. They did a kids hunt with the little kids getting a bit of a head start. They found plastic eggs with candy and some had sheets of paper redeamable for dollar bills. The grande prize was the egg with the piece of paper worth $5. There was also an adult hunt for the Easter bunny. NO JUST KIDDING!!!! There really was an adult hunt but it was for the plastic eggs with candy and sheets of paper numbered 1-8. After the hunt we all reasembled at the town hall for a hotdog potluck lunch. The kids redeamed their papers for cash and the adults redeamed theirs for GIANT candy bars. Number 1 got first pick and so on and so forth. It was a good lunch with tons of good food. There is never a shortage of great food at a Manley Hot Springs gathering that is for sure! Special thanks to those who worked behind the scenes putting this event together.

Clearing the lot

I would have liked to have attended the Easter service at the church on Sunday but Ken doesn't get much for time off and he wanted to try to start getting some stuff over to the other property. That was an adventure in and of itself and like church involved alot of prayers. (GRRRRR just lost another key off my keyboard, that makes three time to order a new one). Anyway back on track. First we took some stuff back on the broken gooseneck that actually went pretty well considering  the missing tire were the axel sheared off and the messed up tire(which happened trying to haul the floor lumber from Fairbanks). The next was the equipment trailer with the floor lumber. That started off ok. We knew it had some damage but didn't know the extent until we got out on the trail and realized that the axel was about 4" further back than it should be. We we're able to jack it up and pull it forward with a combination come along and prying. Then we put in a bolt that we had. A bit further down the trail and it sheered off. Thats when we really got to looking under there and saw that the spring on the opposite side was broken. The jack on the front of the trailer was messed up too so it was a two man job to get it to go down like it should. Then we would lift the back with the forks on the backhoe bucket. Needless to say once we got it back there which took the rest of the day it stayed there. It took alot of lifting pushing and adjusting to get it back there. The good news is though that we have the concreat and lumber to get started on the floor. Now we have to pick a spot, clear it and get started on the foundation columns. Piece of cake right ;)? The trail is already turning to mud and we haven't seen anything yet. We may have to get really creative to get our building materials back in there. It's about 2 miles of trail. I want to actualy check the odometer next time and see exactly how far it is off the highway.

The chickens are getting big starting to hear one trying to crow.

Americanas on Feeder

Red Chantecler On Waterer


Polish Front Americana Back


 Can't wait to butcher these Meat birds they are so fat and gross looking. It's nice that they grow so fast so you can butcher them sooner but man are they gross! They poop so much more than the others and they just look gross because their feather growth can't keep up with their fat bodies. They seem kinda mean too. I will not miss them when their gone!
Cornish X Meat Birds

Another Hard Days Work

Thanks as always to all our friends for your prayers and emotional support. We are thankful to have each and every one of you in our lives.

Sarah Sue :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One SICK Kid!

Well adventure, adventure. As I've posted before we have all been fighting sickness since we went into Fairbanks last month for the kids "well child" checkups. Last Wednesday night Lisa'sfever spiked at 104.5*F. This of coarse is durring the not so lovely and not so little wind storm that we had. The next day after much debate and deliberation I loaded the kids in the car and we headed to the clinic in Minto. The clinic in Manley Hot Springs is closed right now because the public health nurse quit and moved to Florida. The roads were like polished glass and there were a few small drifts. It was scary but we made it in just over an hour. I pulled in just as the Village Safety Officer was getting ready to comer out searching for me after people started calling the clinicto make sure that I had made it ok. For some reason a couple people thought that I had left about an hour before I actually had. An hour is a perfectly reasonable drive time given the weather conditions. We got into the Minto clinic just after 11am. We ended up spending most of the day there. Lisa's temp was fine when we got there but went up after we had been there a while. She was given Ibuprofen and the temp continued to climb before going down. Lisa was also complaining of a sore/stiff neck. Her throte was a little red but a strep test was negative. They also tested her urin and told us that there was "something in it". Concearns at this point were possible bladder/kidney infection and possible meningitis. We were getting really hungry and both Ken and the nurses said that we could go get a bite to eat at the lodge right next door. When I went in I was told that we could not sit in there. I asked if we could get something to eat to go. I was told to talk to another lady that was behind the counter. I stood at the counter and was ignored so I took the kids back over to the clinic. All I had to feed them were some really old granola bars that had been in the diaper bag for who knows how long. I felt really bad that I couldn't feed the kids a meal. (Our denial at the lodge was because we are white by the way, this is a native village) Even the nurse said it wasn't right that they wouldn't serve us. They gave her two shots of Rocephin in her butt cheeks and some oral Amoxicillin. They wanted me to take her into Fairbanks that day, but with blowing snow and drifts being reported that were anywere from a few inches to several feet, I was not comfortable with the idea of driving in alone. We ended up waiting for Ken to get to Minto driving the bus at around 4pm and followed him on the way home. I did fine the whole way home even though I slid around a bit in a few spots. That is until Ken stoped the bus just before the driveway so instead of being able to just slow down and turn in I had to try to come to a complete stop inorder to avoid coliding with the bus. This of coarse threw me into a spin and landed me in the snow filled ditch. We had to hook my car up to the bus to pull it out.

Friday we all drove into Fairbanks even the dogs because we did not have time to arrange care for them. They were still advising that folks only drive the highway between 10am-3pm while the plow trucks are running. It was still windy and very ICY. We were stoped at the top of the hill just past the Minto turn off while a plow truck cleared a large drift. The cleared drift areas were single lane trails carved through the drifts. We made it to Hilltop Truckstop just after the lunch rush and grapped a bite to eat. I must say we have not had very good experiances going out to eat in Fairbanks. Hilltop was an exeption. The food was great and there was a good amount for your money. The Clam chowder was extra Yummy! and so were the onion rings. Then we went on in to the First Care urgent care clinic. They checked out all the kids and me. They did a strep test on me that was negative. They also did another urin test and blood work on Lisa. They showed blood in her urin and some odd things in her white blood cells and ordered us to followup with the pediatrics department the next day. We got out of there a little after 4pm. We had made a reservation to stay the night at the 7 Gables(they accept the medicaid voucher). When we got there and went to check in the room was under renovation and ot ready yet. We did some running around and picked up something for supper. When we went back now 7:30pm it still was not ready and they didn't know when it would be. So we called the other hotels that accept the vouchers and couldn't find a place to stay. We ended up at the Comfort Inn and an out of pocket expense of over $100 in money that we of coarse don't have so on the credit card. We were able to at least take the dogs into the room with us.

The next day we took the kids into the Pediatrics office at the Tanana Valley Clinic. They looked over the urin test and bloodwork. their biggest concearn was her stiff/sore neck. The possability of meningitis still on the table they were talking about partially treated meningitis. The only way to effectively diagnose the meningitis is with a spinal tap. Then the cure is IV antibiotics over 7-14 days. They ordered us to stay in town and go back in Monday morning. We were able to get a room at the 7 gables under the vouchers. After we checked in we met up with Connie the other bus driver (the bus drivers stay at the 7 Gables). We made arrangements for a shift trade. Ken would drive the bus home on Sunday and take our dogs home. Then he would drive the bus back on Monday. That way after the appointment he could drive home with us and then Connie could drive the bus back on Tuesday. Assuming of coarse all was well and they don't order the spinal tap. Connie said that on her way in most of the ice had melted and the roads were clearning.

Sunday we ran a few errands then went back to the hotel. After Ken left Connie the kids and I all went out to Vallue Village and Fred Meyer. Then we had supper at Taco Bell thanks to Connie and then went out for icecream with some Fairbanks friends. We wanted to go to Cold Stone but the line was out the door and it was already getting late. We ended up going to McDonalds instead and the kids got to play in the play yard. Lisa was doing well all day back to her crazy self. Ken called and said the roads were clear almost the entire way.

Monday we went to the appointment at 8:15am. They didn't really tell us much just said to finish out the amoxocilin and keep an eye on her neck complaints and temp. Then we ran by Walmart and Alaska Feeds. We bought 10 more baby chicks at the feed store. Then we went back to the Hotel and hung out in Connie's room since check out was at 11am for our room. When Ken got in with the bus around 3:30pm we all got into the car to head home. We made one last gas stop and headed home. It was a pretty smooth ride with just a couple of spots that still had some ice. The rest of the road was down to dirt. We got home a little after 7pm and that is including a couple stops to pick up bits of strap off the side of the road.

Tuesday was spent trying to clean the house after the long absence. I still have piles of dishes as I'm out of water and piles of Laundry that I will need to haul into the washateria.

Today (wed) we had a visit from Gina a developmental specailist who came to check on the boys speech. Oak seems to have trouble forming words and Wyatt while he speaks very clearly and forms good sentances is starting to stutter. This has been very upsetting for Ken. He feels like it's his fault because he stutters and he worries about Wyatt going through the same hard time that he did. I told him not to worry because at least Wyatt has a daddy who will understand. Tomorrow I'll be heading in to do laundry and maybe take Lisa to school since she hasen't been in a while.

Saturday Manley Hot Springs Crafters Guild are putting on an Easter egg hunt for the kids so we are hoping to attend. I need to make some memory room on my camera and get the battery charged so I can take some pictures.

I may add more details to this If I get some time later. Otherwise you'll here more from me after the Egg Hunt :)

Blessings this Easter,
Sarah Sue and Crew

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ken's Birthday And March Fairbanks Trip

Yesterday was Ken's Birthday. It was a pretty informal affair. I made him bacon and real (store bought) eggs for breakfast. Then he took the backhoe out to clear a neighbors (about 1 mile down highway) driveway. He has just returned for the summer. I went to work baking a cake and since the oven was hot made some fresh rolls and a loaf of bread. For dinner I made salmon on the grill with mayo and parmesian cheese. I usually just gut the salmon and take off the head, tail and fins for the dogs and cook the rest whole so that I can get as much meat off as possible. Since this was a special occasion I tried my hand at filleting it with one of our lowsy knifes. NOTE TO SELF: GET BETTER KNIVES AND GOOD SHARPENER. They came out ok I didn't mutilate it too badly and they still tasted wonderful. I had also planned on making baked potatoes but the potatoes that Ken brought home from Fairbanks were so huge that they weren't even close to done on time even though I started them an hour and a half early in the woodstove before putting the Salmon on the grill. Soooo, I ended up just frying some up with dried bell pepper, onion and seasoning. They turned out fine but I was still disapointed. We'll have the baked potatoes for dinner tonight. I also made some baked beans. So we had grilled salmon, fried potatoes, baked beans and fresh rolls. Not a bad spread. Then we had the grande finalle of Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake. Ken's not a big cake eater but he loves fluffy chocolate chip cookies. So I decided to attempt to make a fluffy cake that tastes like a chocolate chip cookie. It actually came out really good. Here is my recipe:
I made this recipe up but it came out so good I thought I would share.

2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1/2c butter softened
1 tbsp Vanilla
1 c milk
2 eggs
2 c Chocolate chips (I used semi sweet)

Sift together dry ingrediants, cut in butter until crumbs add eggs, milk, vanilla. Mix well scraping bowl (batter will be a little lumpy). Fold in Chocolate chips. Pour into greased and floured 9x13 pan. Bake in pre-heated oven. Aprox 350* 25-30min.

For frosting I melted 1 cup of chocolate chips with 1 tbsp butter and 1/4 c milk in a double boiler. Then I spread it over the top of the hot cake after I took it out of the oven. Then I let it cool for a while and put butter cream frosting on top and then swirled it with the chocolate.

*I think this would be really good also with mint. Either a mint extract in the cake or frosting or even using mint chocolate chips.

Unfortunatly Lisa didn't get to eat with us or get cake. She started complaining that she was just too tired so we sent her to bed. I went up after supper to check on her and she had a fever of 102.6*F. I gave her some fever reducer, striped her naked, put a cold cloth on her head and gave her some chamomile tea. The fever came down but the hives that she has been getting off and on the past few days came back. We've all been fighting a head bug.
We all went into Fairbanks on Monday March 28th for the kids anual checkup. Things in Fairbanks went pretty smooth. We got Lisa an Epi-Pen and scheduled her for allergy testing in May. Which I am not looking forward to. On the way home on Tuesday an axel on the gooseneck trailer snaped clean at the hub and the tire went flying off. On it's way off it managed to mangle another tire. The pickup truck that pulled up behind us after just happened to be an older couple that lives about a mile from us in the warmer months. They stayed as a flag truck while we limped to a pullout. We had to leave the trailer with $4,000.00 in lumber and fuel sitting on the highway about 100 miles from home. The next morning we all woke up sick, we couldn't even hold down water. Ken didn't get out of bed the entire day which has only happened one other time in our 8 years together. The day after that we were still sick but doing a little better. Ken and our neighbor Mark went to go and get the lumber. They left with the Ken's semi, Trapper's drop deck trailer and Ken's F350. They come home with the F350 and the broken trailer with the fuel on it. When they got to the same pull off were the trailer was sitting the air pump went out in the Semi. So now the semi with the drop deck trailer and still all of the lumber are still sitting at that turnout 100 miles from here. Then we all got slammed with this nasty head cold that we are still fighting. Seems like everytime we all go into Fairbanks we come home sick. Yet another reason to stay AWAY from the city. With Ken driving the bus though he is still exposed to all kinds of junk. Ken rode in on the bus today and will get dropped off at the Semi and hopefully fix it and bring it home. If not he'll be camping out and riding the bus home tomorrow. We really need to get all the lumber and supplies back to the build site before thaw when the trail turns to mud. We had hoped to start building last week. With all the extra snow we've had in the past few days hopefully that has bought us a little more time. Yesterday and Today so far have been nice and sunny. Was up to 40*F yesterday and it's about 34*F today.

Sunrise: 6:49 AM AKDT
Sunset: 9:22 PM AKDT
Length of Day: 14h 32m
Tomorrow will be 6m 56s longer.
Moon Rise: 8:11 AM AKDT
Moon Set: 5:08 AM AKDT
Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent
36% Illuminated

When life gets tough sleep it off LOL...


Sarah Sue Smith