Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving today. I hope you had many, many things to be thankful for. I know that I have so many things to be thankful for and the guys that work for us are at the top of that list today. For the past 20 some years we celebrate Thanksgiving with our crew in the barn. I always fix them "the works." Today there was 38 of us. I know it wasn't decorated "Martha Style" but it is always fun. We had 5 turkeys (we only ate 3 and a half). So that means turkey leftovers tomorrow!!!! They only worked till noon and then they came into the shop to eat. The boys got a fire going earlier so it was nice and toasty. The girls and my sister, Donna set up the tables, started the coffee and helped haul in all the food. A couple of the guys brought their families to eat with us. My brother and his wife and kids came. My sister and her husband and daughter came. My kids and their kids were here. Cody, my nephew was here. It was a BIG bunch of people I love. Gaspar even brought his guitar and sang for us. Boy, can he sing. After getting warm and their bellies full they were so tired. Today it has been twenty seven days straight of work. I am so thankful to have the best guys working for me. No matter what I ask them, the answer is always yes. They work so hard and always with a smile on their face. Some times they are singing while they are working. I'm glad we can call it a day early today, they deserve some rest. Tomorrow we will be back at it. It is our last day for the helicopter. I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Today is my Mom and Dad's 30th anniversary. There are few couples I know, even those who have been married 50 or 60 years, that have lived and loved the way they do. Even though Dad is not here today, his love for Mom is everpresent and her love for him is unquestionable. My most favorite characteristic of their marriage is their trust of one another. Dad had a wild imagination. Always thinking of some great and unimaginable thing to do next. And Mom would always go along with it because she trusted him with all her heart. Although Mom is much more conservative, Dad loved her for all she is.

I don't know the bible real well but I have been reading different books on Heaven and how to overcome struggles since the accident in February. Recently I have been reading a book called "Facing Your Giants" by Max Lucado. It is mostly a story of David and Goliath. It tells how King Saul is envious of David and despises the peoples love for him so much that he tries to have David murdered. Jonathan is Saul's son and Jonathan loves David and helps protect him. The way the bible and the author of the book talk of Jonathan and David working together and loving one another reminds me of my mom and dad. If I replaced the names it would sound something like this: " The Master Weaver took his and her hearts and stitched a seam between them. The soul of Jay was knit to the soul of Pam, and Jay loved her as his own soul. As if the two hearts were two fabrics, God "needle and threaded" them together. So interwoven that when one moved, the other felt it. When one was stretched, the other knew it.

May their unending love for one another be an example for all to follow.

Love you, Mom and Dad. Happy Anniversary. Now apart but still forever together.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another Day

We have been busy cutting, slinging, flying, bailing and loading trees. So far everything is going very smoothly. We thank you for all of your prayers.

The mountians of trees are starting to get shorter each day. I think we only have one more cut day and one more fly day. Today we sent out a couple of loads with some really big nobles. We cut a few that were 20 feet tall. They are so hard to handle. They are too big to go thru the bailer. We have to pick them up with the forks on the backhoe and place them in the truck. They take up WAY too much room.

But I have a really cute backhoe operator don't you think?

One of the big trees is going to be placed in front of city hall in Burbank California, cool huh?

These trees are just the right size for my little helpers. I better go get some doughnuts and hot chocolate for break. Gotta keep the crew happy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good Morning Sunshine

I had to be at one of the other farms early yesterday morning to load trucks. This is what I saw on my way. It was a beautiful sunrise. I imagined it as Jay's way of saying good morning. I know that God made the sun and the moon and all things beautiful. I just imagine Him saying to Jay, "How about you putting the sun out today for her to see." It was an awesome way to start this day.

Harvest is going very well so far. I also think Jay is looking out for us there too. A couple days ago we had the helicopter scheduled for 8 hours. On my way to the field that we would be working in the fog was moving in. When I got there I could see fog all around us. But where we were it was sunny and clear. We got to fly all day. There were many others who never got out of the fog at all that day. It has been rather sunny and warm. I really don't like the rain but I know that we need it to keep the trees fresh. Guess what, it's supposed to rain now. See what I mean? We don't want fog, we don't get fog. We need rain, we get rain. I am grateful that things are going well. This week and next will be the busiest for us. I hope things keep going well. I think they will. I wanted to show you the sunset last week out my kitchen window. What a beautiful way to end my day, too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Busy Days

Before the harvest season starts, we have to figure out the schedule for the helicopter. You have to book your hours in advance and then make sure everything works out. If it is foggy, they can't fly. If it is too windy, they set down. Then your are all screwed up. They have to move on to the next guy on the list and you have to try and refigure everything out. I remember one year that we had fog everytime we were scheduled to fly. We had 30,000 trees in slings in the fields and trucks scheduled to arrive to pick up loads. Luckily, the fog lifted and we got them out in time. This year so far everything is working out really well. We flew for 8 hours yesterday. That is what we had scheduled. Today was really windy and it's supposed to be again tomorrow. But on Friday when we have 8 hours again, it's supposed to be nice. I pray for no fog. I don't think it's a coincidence that things are going smoothly. I'm quite sure Jay is looking out for us.

I just wanted to show you some more pictures of whats happening here. Every time the helicopter drops a bundle of trees, one of the guys pulls both slings and rolls it up. Then hurries because the next bundle is on it's way. After all the trees are on the landing, they are bailed and sorted into piles by size. Each tree has a colored tag identifiying it's size. Some buyers have their own tags so they have to be seperated not only by size but by buyer, too.
Right now the piles are getting bigger. We should start loading some out tomorrow and making room for Friday when we will start this all over again. I like it when the piles get smaller. I love it when they are all gone. I love the guys who work so hard, too. I'll try to show you more tomorrow.

Monday, November 10, 2008

More of harvest

Who ever invented the dry erase calander board was brilliant. Do you know how many times a day things change in this office? We have to keep the days we have scheduled for the helicopter open. We have to have enough trees cut and in slings. But not too many cuz we can't plug up the landing area. We have to know who is coming to pick up trees and when. The boys have to keep the trucks fueled up and ready to go. Oh, and someone needs to get the Cat out to pull the pickup out of the mud.

This is what it looks like at the front door everyday. Boots and raingear. Just grab a pair and go.

Connor and Caleb showed up early Sunday morning ready to work. They love to help. They each made a timesheet for me that they will keep track of their hours. Caleb wrote down that he worked 4oo minutes Sunday.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

amazing support

A couple days ago I went to a local manufacturing shop to get a part to fix one of the bailers. I did get the part I needed but I also got a hug. A hug and an offer of help if we need it. That's what I get everyday. My family calls me often to see if they can help. Mine and Jay's friends offer their help. My neighbors call and offer help to get thru this harvest. The guys that work for us would work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if they need to. My kids are here everyday to help. There is amazing support every where I look. It reminds me of the story of the redwood tree. Did you know that the redwood trees are the largest living things on earth and the tallest trees in the world? Some grow more than 90 meters tall and are more than 2500 years old. You would think that they would have a tremendous root system but they don't. Their root system is very shallow. One redwood tree would have a very hard time standing on it's own. But instead, they grow in groves with their roots intertwined. They are all interlocked with each other. Then, when the storms come and the winds blow they still stand. They support and sustain each other. That's how it feels to me. With the support of family and friends and neighbors we are stronger than we are on our own. Your support means so much to us.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tree Harvest Time

I wanted to show you all what we are doing here at the farm. I will try to post pictures showing each stage of our harvest, depending on how busy I am. Right now all the trees have been tagged and sized. The cutters will go thru and cut the trees according to our buyers and our orders. Not all trees are cut at once. That way we can keep them as fresh as possible.

After they are cut, then they are carried and placed in slings. The helicopter will fly over the hooker who very quickly places the hook on the slings and the trees are carried either to shuttle trucks or to a landing where they will next be bailed.

But before they are bailed they have to be put on the shaker. That shakes most of the dry needles out. Then they are bailed and sorted by size. The next step is to load and ship. I will put more pictures as I have time.

In God We Trust

I for one am so glad that the elections are over. I wish they would take down all the signs along the roadways and take away all the negative ad campaigns on television. Whether your candidates won or not, whether your measures passed or not, you have to remember, IN GOD WE TRUST. I DO. Listen to this song on my playlist by Diamond Rio called "In God We Trust."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Presents vs Presence

Christmas is a time of gift giving. Sometimes there is a lot of stress in trying to figure out what to get for someone. Then, there is also the stress of spending too much. Last year Jay and I told our kids that our gift to them was to give each of them $$$. The only catch was that they could not spend any of it on themselves. They had to find others who needed help. What they did with their $$ $ was their gift to us. It was so much fun to see them searching out and finding ways to help others. They found a single dad that worked two jobs but still didn't make enough money for heating fuel. He would buy what he could afford each week but it wouldn't last. So they had his tank filled and bought toys and blankets for his children. Then they helped a blind boy go to a camp over Christmas vacation. They got him snow boots, gloves, a coat and hat. Jay and I watched our grandkids while our kids went shopping and bought toys and clothes, blankets and food. They delivered everything to schools and places to be distributed as to keep themselves annonymous. They had so much fun and so did we. It was contagous. Their friends wanted to do it too. This year I asked them to do the same thing with a twist. Since they all love their Dad and miss his physical presence so very much, I asked them, this year instead of presents can we give presence? I know how much their presence means to me. So in addition to searching for those in need, can we add our presence? They agreed. We also decided that we will draw names amoung us. Who ever we draw will recieve from us " a day." The giver will decide what to do and where to go with the person that they draw. It can be what ever adventure that you can come up with. You don't have to spend money just time. We are going to have to draw names soon so we can start planning.