October 13, 2017

As the Cookie Crumbles

IMG_20170920_145933.jpg

As the Cookie Crumbles

Feature Article: by Karenne Grace Rockwood and Angela Myrick Rockwood

Cooking skills are all the rage these days with cooking shows a dime a dozen, but are those types of salivating entertainment avenues with pristine kitchens and magazine perfect results, indicative of true home baked skills?  Does the every day person cook like that?  We set out to find out.

I asked a dear associate of mine, Ammon Rockwood, if he would like to make cookies with me.  I watched closely to see what his response would be.  “Yes!  Mom has a roll of cookie dough in the fridge from the food pantry!  We can use that!”

15 minutes later, without even a single cracked egg, sprinkle of flour, or smudge of chocolate on our aprons, we happily produced, pre-cut, pre-sized, perfectly proportioned cookies.

It appears as if this time, the television is right.  You CAN cook like you’re on TV.

Advertisements
October 13, 2017

Ancient Cursive Language Skills Put to the Test in Indexing Training Class

IMG_20170917_164156.jpg

Ancient Cursive Language Skills Put to the Test in Indexing Training Class

Special Report: by Ammon Pratt Rockwood and Angela Myrick Rockwood
 

As part of my investigative training, I’ve recently taken part in an effort to re-create and resurrect an art which some say, is dying.  Every day for the last several months, I’ve spent tedious hours, carefully ciphering the intricate writing form, known as cursive.

Cursive lettering is similar to printed lettering, only they’re just a little loopy.  Ancient peoples on this and other continents used these letter forms in formal and informal documents, written before the commencement of the digital age.

cursive-writing.jpg

Some find the forms beautiful, most find them daunting.

As I have become more engaged with this age-old skill set, familiar to my ancestors, but somewhat foreign to modern man, I’ve grown an appreciation for this “secret language” of the past.

Recently I attended a popular “Indexing” class held by the distinguished professor of ancient familial studies, Dr. Troy Rockwood, of Family Search fame and glory.  Displaying several examples of ancient text, photographed and digitized from their original forms found on a stunning variety of flattened dead tree pulp, he challenged us to translate these strange writings into modern text.

Sharing a room packed with computers and four other like-minded researchers, I set to my task.  look like.jpg

At first the words were a blur of ornate, scribbled ink strokes, but one by one, as my mind became accustomed to the script, letters began to appear, and then words.  Dates, families, people, places and events began to appear– and gradually, each document was revealed.

“I really didn’t think I could do it,” gushed one researcher.  “When I first saw that document, I seriously reconsidered whether I was in the right field!”

“Exactly!” said another.  “But once we got started, you could kind of see a pattern to the strokes, and things just appeared.  It’s the closest thing to magic I’ve experienced.  It makes you wonder how the ancients could have even produced such writings on a regular basis… without even a keyboard!  Sometimes an “s” looks like this, and sometimes it looks like….. that!  Still, you start to get the hang of it, and then it’s actually quite, I don’t know– beautiful, I’d say.”

We’re two days into the class, and already making progress.  Will the past remain in the past?  Or will researchers like Dr. Rockwood and his associates bring these obsolete documents into the light before they’re lost forever?  The question remains to be answered.

we-the-people.jpg

 

 

 

September 27, 2017

Cloudless

55bf8f7843f7eb2e600a57315f48c6e3--dancing-in-the-rain-its-raining.jpg
cloudless.jpg

September 17, 2017

Easter Egg Adventure Concludes With Smiles All Around

IMG_20170917_123920130.jpg

Easter Egg Adventure Concludes With Smiles All Around

Feature Article: by Karenne Grace Rockwood

Today we found the last Easter egg. It’s been five months since the Easter Bunny came and hid all the eggs. Five months is a LONG time!

The big kids couldn’t find the egg, but Ammon and I found it.  Today while we were driving home from church, I asked my dad if it was in the black couch.  He thought maybe it MIGHT be there.  That was enough for us.  Ammon and I raced up the stairs and got out of our church clothes and into our Easter hunting attire.  It was time to find that egg.

At our house, the Easter eggs are all hidden in just one room.  You think that might mean that they are easy to find… they aren’t!  Each one is numbered, and my mom keeps track of each one we find.  Sometimes I see in movies how other people have Easter egg hunts where they’re all hidden on a lawn, like at the White House.  That’s just silly.  It’s flat.  And mowed.  Our Easter egg hunts are not like that at all.

Once, we found an egg hidden in a book in the book shelf.  The Easter bunny had cut the pages out in a hole just big enough to fit an egg.  When the book was closed, it looked like any regular, boring old book.  When it was opened… treasure!

This year, my sister, Ava, used her camera phone on a selfie stick to probe the black darkness of the chimney.  She actually took pictures of not one, but TWO Easter eggs stuck inside the chimney flue!  One from this year, one from last year.  That’s the kind of Easter egg hunt we have at our house.  The impossible kind.

But not this year.

This year we finally found ALL the eggs.  We had to shake the entire couch, and reach into the mesh under the couch to find the last one hiding in the frame.  It was a big job, but Ammon and I were just the right size to get it done.

Now we get the big prize… Dinner with Mom and Dad at P.F. Chang’s!  Our favorite restaurant!

Too bad the big kids aren’t here.  🙂

 

 

 

April 20, 2014

LDS Lacemaker: Faith, Heritage and Art

Troy and Angela, Los Angeles Temple, 2014

Troy and Angela, Los Angeles Temple, 2014

I’ve recently been working on making lace altar cloths for the Los Angeles Temple. In doing that work, I’ve realized how needed it is. I am starting a new blog, LDS Lacemaker, to document my lace, my art, my heritage, the stories behind the lace, and my faith. I’m so excited about it. Come see the eye candy. Handmade lace is worth the effort, especially when it is for the Lord.

This lace took me four months of work, nearly every day, in all my spare moments.  I am so pleased with it.  The pattern is an original design. The blossoms represent my children, and our path through adoption with the Lord’s help.

I love the temple.  There’s a piece of my heart on the altar there.

Los Angeles Temple Altar Cloth: Ebenezer Lace with Linnaea Borealis Blossoms

Los Angeles Temple Altar Cloth 2014

October 29, 2013

Figure Skating: 11th Annual ISI Open Skating Competition 2013

DSC00064Figure Skating: 11th Annual ISI Open Skating Competition 2013

Feature Article: by Lily Adeline Rockwood

Saturday was my first ISI figure skating competition. It was exciting, and also a little scary at the same time. I competed against three other girls. I only knew one of them, her name is Kelly. She is a really good skater.  As we were getting ready for our performances, Kelly was a really great encouragement to me. She kept telling me that I looked really pretty, or that she knew that I would do well. I really appreciated that, because I was pretty nervous. We both did well I think.

While I was waiting for it to be my turn to skate, my friend Ella and I went up-stairs, and did my makeup. It was fun! She is talented at doing costume makeup. We always have to wear a lot of makeup during performances so our faces can be seen by the judges under the lights from far away.  It looked really good when she was done, and I got lots of compliments on it.

When it was about twenty minutes until I had to get on the ice for warm up, I ran down stairs, grabbed my skates, put them on, and found Ellen, my instructor. She helped me stretch and warm up off the ice. Warming up is important so when you get on the ice, your jumps and spins are at their best.  Also, the ice is really cold, so it helps to have everything already moving by the time you get there.

When I got on the ice to perform, it kind of felt like the world was revolving around me. It was a good feeling. The music I chose was “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban.  They played it louder than I expected them to, but I felt like my jumps were higher than they usually are.  Over all, this performance was the best I have ever done, so far!  I got fourth place!

You can see Lily’s routine here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0hGGDxHKYM

Making progress!

October 29, 2013

Fishing With Grandpa

fishingwithgrandpa

Fishing with Grandpa

Feature Article: by Lily Adeline Rockwood

My Grandpa and I love to go fishing.  Every year around Thanksgiving my grandpa takes all the cousins fishing.  The first year I went fishing, we caught seven or eight fish.  I think they were trout.  We ate most of them that night, they were so good!

We always wake up really early in the morning like five or six o’clock to get ready, because grandpa says we have to be there when the fish want their breakfast. We have to dress really warmly because it gets really cold out on the boat. We also have to pack a lot of food because if we don’t, there isn’t any food for us, just the fish.  Fish are good, but we don’t want to have to wait all day to eat.

Most of the time when we go, our grandpa takes his friend, Jack Hale.  Jack is a great fisher. He has two boats. I have only been on one of them though. One is really big, and the other one is a little smaller. Grandpa is a great fisher too, but his boat is called the “S.S. Fish Repellant”, and sometimes the fish know how to read.

One thing that always helps us catch fish is that my grandpa made up fish calls. For the big fish you say “HERE FISHY FISHY FISHY!” loudly. For the medium sized ones you say it in your normal voice, and for the small ones you say it very quietly, *here fishyfishyfishy*!

We always say it loudly because we like to catch the big ones. The call actually works.  It may sound silly but it works!  You just have to do it the right way.

After we go fishing, we go back to Grandpa’s house to clean and gut the fish.  That part is fun.  First you have to cut of the head, then you cut open the stomach, and then you clean out all of the insides.  It’s a pretty fishy job.

After you are all done with that, you cook them– that’s where Grandma comes in!  Those fish are so good to eat, especially with pepper and lemon.  I’m really excited to go fishing with my grandpa next month. This time we might bring his brother!  Until then, I have to practice my fish call.

HERE FISHY FISHY FISHY!!!

September 8, 2013

Music in My Life

IMG_2441

Editorial: By Angela Rockwood

This is my Grandma Dixie and her beautiful violin.  I thought of her today as I was singing, joyously, out loud, in the car on the way home from church.

Grandma Dixie is the kind of grandma who loves the potential in you just as much as your kisses and smiles.  She sees us not just as who we are, now, but also as who and what we will become.  There are many conversations I had with her as a child that I know she meant for my older ears, in my future years.  Those lessons are precious to me. Grandma is one of the main people who taught me my family history, who made sure I knew who I was, where I came from, and what was important in life.  Isn’t that the ultimate role of grandma?  She helped give me my identity.  Part of that identity comes through music.

Grandma gave all of us the gift of music.  She made sure that her eight children had music lessons, and art lessons, even though it might have also meant hand-me-down clothes and home-made wheat bread to compensate in other areas of their family budget.  Music, art and family are that important.

When her children were nearly grown, her youngest son came to her in a fit over his music lessons. He told her he couldn’t figure out why he had to practice so much.  She told him he had a gift, and that he’d be able to use it all his life, perhaps even playing in the orchestra.  He continued the conversation in his flippant way, if she thought it was such a great gift, why she wasn’t she in an orchestra?  She went right out and joined the American River College Orchestra, and has been playing in the college orchestra every since.  She gained such a solid talent and skill, that she plays in a beautiful quartet, often accompanying weddings and other special occasions, as well as playing for her grandchildren.

For her birthday, grandma always tells us she doesn’t want presents.  She wants music.  For years we had Grandma Dixie’s Birthday Recital the day after Thanksgiving every year, in honor of her.  My uncle, who complained about expressing his music, is an illustration artist and works in advertising, using music and form to communicate ideas.  My other various aunts and uncles are all creative still as well.  One sews beautiful quilts and has painted with oils, another plays beautiful piano and organ.  My aunt Diane plays violin and fiddle, and is quite good. My mother studied piano in college and loves music theory.  She gives her own children and grandchildren piano lessons.  That’s how I learned, because not only was the gift of music passed from grandma Dixie to her children, but also her grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

Last year, we had to move Grandma Dixie’s Birthday Recital to another day just to accommodate all the posterity that wished to play in it.  Grandma has 8 children, innumerable grandchildren, and many more great grandchildren.

Those that don’t play instruments, sing.  We all sing.  We don’t just sing popular stuff either, we sing our history.  We sing our heritage.  Songs my grandmothers have sung for a hundred years, perhaps more.  We sing around campfires, and around dinner tables, in living rooms, and reunions and while we drive in the car.  The skill is valuable, the tones and harmonies are beautiful, the heritage is rich treasure.

Grandma sang because her mother sang.  Her mother sang because her mother before her, also sang. This music is in us, given to us by our generations.  It is a beautiful thing.  Do I sing? For me the music comes out in paint, lace, poetry, and art as much as music.  It is all the same song.

The world has changed somewhat in the years since my grandmothers first taught their children the beauty of song.  There is something that was lost when recorded music came on the scene. Music played by the most skilled, most talented people of the day with state of the art equipment and percussion can hardly compare to a ragtag family chorus around the campfire, but there is something about music that has soul in it.

Music isn’t about perfection, it’s about expression.  We ought to sing.  We need to sing.  We need to sing together.

My children are still young enough that they don’t fully appreciate piano lessons, looking at art techniques or their mother singing in the car perhaps, but they know the music.  I’m teaching them the heritage.  It’s all a process.

Today my 13 year old daughter played organ prelude in sacrament meeting.  Friday my son served as DJ for the ward activity.  Last week another daughter played piano for the Spanish speaking ward who doesn’t have anyone who knows piano in their ward boundaries. This afternoon, my youngest daughter sang her heart out over her lunch snack.  It’s in there.

There are many things I want for my children, but one of things I want most is to pass on this legacy– that my children know who they are, feel the music in them, and however it comes, sing.

September 8, 2013

A Man From Another Era

fromanotherera

Fashion Special: By Angela Rockwood

Troy loves to dress up.  It’s funny.  Everyone always thinks I’m the creative one, but he’s the one with all the big ideas when it comes to dressing up.   Maybe it’s just that he’s braver than I am.  Troy is a social skippy bunny.  He is unafraid of anyone or anything.  He isn’t afraid of what they think either.  He isn’t bold, he’s just oblivious to things like mortal danger and fashion faux pas.  I think that’s how he always comes off looking so perfect.  He makes me bold.

Last night he was Mr. 1973.  We went to a dance, dressed in the era we were born. Troy looked great.  He is timeless.  He can appear at home and comfortable in any era.

When we met, he was Mr. 1980-something, pegged pants, button shirt, closed to the neck.  Yep, even the top button– and don’t forget the high-top converse shoes.  Yikes. It took us years to get him to loosen that top button. He likes what he likes.

The funny thing is, we were looking through his closet and his costume isn’t actually a costume, these are his real clothes.  Red corduroys.  He wears them.  He passed up the turquoise skinny jean cut corduroys this time.  Dodged a bullet maybe on that one.  The glasses and hair are all the costume he needed.

The voyage into facial hair options has opened whole new vistas to his sense of time and style.  He spent several years experimenting on “The Quest For Every Beard Type”.  More than once, Mr. 1890 has gleefully stepped out of the master bathroom wanting a kiss.

The music he listens to?  All of it.  He loves all music.  Old, new, classic, pop, instrumental.

The tech he plays with? He is a computational physicist, working on cutting edge technology.   He worked for the company that designed the internet.  He had email when I was still faxing letters home to my parents.  I was listening to cassette tapes while he was on mp3 audio books– yet he still writes love notes on old IBM punch cards.

He is a Man from Another Era.  Any era.  It’s all there.  He fits.

If souls are eternal, that would explain it.  The rest is just dressing on the cake.

September 7, 2013

The Big Bad Bluff– and the Gift of Laban’s Voice

rottweiler

Special Feature Article: By Angela Rockwood

I went to go pick our three boys up from their friend’s house on Wednesday and had a bit of an adventure.  The boys had been airsofting earlier in the afternoon and then without telling me, switched plans to swim and eat pizza at the Taylor’s house late into the evening.  It took some doing, but I finally tracked them down.  I parked in front of the Taylor’s house and called Gabrien’s cellphone to tell him I was there and that he and the rest of the boys needed to come out.  I wasn’t very happy with them.  No answer.  Hmm.  I called again.  No answer.  That was irritating.  I went to the door and rang the bell.  No answer.  Twice more, three times, while still calling Gabrien’s cell.  Could it possibly be that they’d changed plans again?  No answer.  The whole house was silent.   Why do I bother giving my children cellphones??

They were probably all in the back yard.  I went around to the side.  There was a gate!  No lock!  and I could hear big splashing boys!  My lucky day. I opened the gate and marched down the dark alley alongside the house.  I turned the corner to see all the boys in the ward raucously having a good swim– dogs barking excitedly, kids laughing, clowning around, and dunking each other.  No wonder they hadn’t heard me.  At the sight of me, all party stopped, and they scrambled out, dripping guiltily, realizing the lateness of the hour.  I must have looked as irritated as I felt, because they scrambled fast and headed straight for the house, clothes, feet and towels slapping wetly behind them.  I turned on my heel and frostily started back the way I’d come.

Ahead of me, I caught a brief glimpse of a big, black, sleek dog with a stub tail going around the corner of the house into the alley that I’d just come from.  I realized that I’d left the gate open, not wanting to lock myself in by accident, and he was heading right for it. Great.  I didn’t even know the Taylors had a dog or I would have closed the gate after me.  I sighed.  Something about the dog’s body language struck me as odd, but, it didn’t occur to me what it was until it was too late.  His head was down, and in the dark, his shoulders looked bunched up.  In my mind’s eye, I saw him him gleefully bolting for the open gate, tongue lolling as he bounded down the street, never to be seen again.  He headed purposely around the corner, and I thought “Yep.  There he goes. He’s going to get out, and I’m going to have to spend another hour chasing him down the street!”  After chasing boys down all afternoon, that was the last thing I felt like doing.  I marched after the dog with purpose, not running– I was too cranky to run– but definitely with purpose.

I rounded the corner about fifteen paces behind him. I changed my voice into a growly command and throwing it way ahead of me in the dark, demanded in short angry syllables, “Hey! Get away from that gate! Get back here!”  It was a lowish voice that surprised me.  I was still coming at him, with purpose.  I thought, “Wow.  I must be really cranky.  I sure sound and look really cranky.”  He had been sniffing the gate, and the ground just outside the gate, but at my voice, he ducked his head and began heading back toward me.  “Poor dog. I shouldn’t be this irritated, he didn’t even bolt through the gate.  What a good dog. I misjudged him.”  Then, as he trotted stiffly toward me,  I realized something else.  Maybe it was all the years of listening to Daddy’s appraiser dog stories, but something was definitely not right about this scenario.  That was odd.  I thought the dog would just take off through the gate at the first sign of freedom. Well, maybe he thought I was Brother Taylor.  At least I wouldn’t have to chase him down right?  But that feeling of unease was growing, fast.  What was it?

The kids were already through the house and loudly clamoring outside, headed for the van.  Why wasn’t the dog running after them to keep with the fun?  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I knew what it was that had been bothering me, that little niggling voice of truth rose up to the surface, and became dreadfully clear.  This wasn’t a fun type of dog exhibiting fun type body language.  He was a guard type of dog in full protector mode, checking his territory for invaders.  All at once, I realized that I was looking an awful lot like an invader.

In that one crucial moment, the niggling truth gained perfect clarity as it was seared into my brain that indeed this was not a happy dog and further, this was a very big, very sleek, very muscly, VERY UNHAPPY dog, with larger than average teeth. My ruse was up.  I was NOT Brother Taylor.  He must have realized in the dark as he passed me that I was not the authority I was pretending to be.

By this time I was half way through the dark alley, almost to the gate.  Luckily I was already marching through and moving quickly.  I kept right on going.  Almost there.  He passed me, with a hangdog sort of wag, and just as I thought, “Well, maybe he’s just a fun dog after all”  he abruptly halted, pivoted, and turned on me with a snarl. Catching my eyes with his, he exploded in a torrent of slathering, biting, slashing ferocity while the nails of his flailing legs tried to gain some traction as he came rushing at me, nails digging into the cement.

With a megaburst of adrenaline-fed superspeed the Lord only grants to those of his children in extreme mortal danger, I launched past the last few yards to the open gate, with a snarling, frothing, mad-with-rage rottweiler scrambling after me.  I grabbed the gate and pole vaulted with my arms in addition to my flying legs, using it as a shield as I flew through it. His body slammed into the gate, just as it closed and locked behind me.

So, here I am, not a scratch on me, but boy did I get an education about Nephi’s gift of Laban’s voice, and the wisdom of sneaking through the yards of big dogs.

Just another day in the life of a mother, right?

September 5, 2013

For the Things That Never End

 Rockwoods008smallish

Editorial: By Angela Rockwood

We finally got our family pictures updated.  I figure it is about time.  I am one of the luckiest women alive.  My family is precious to me.  Is there anything else that brings such happiness?

I was talking to someone recently who had no desire to be a mother.  I look at my life and the changes that have come to me since becoming a mother, and I can’t imagine not being where I am.  I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Everyone makes their choices in life.  Through infertility, I was given the opportunity to not be a mother.  I am so thankful I chose otherwise.

“Many voices in the world today marginalize the importance of having children or suggest delaying or limiting children in a family. My daughters recently referred me to a blog written by a Christian mother (not of our faith) with five children. She commented: “[Growing] up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood. … Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get.” She then adds: “Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.” –Neil L. Andersen

Family is everything.  It’s what we do, it’s who we are.  We’re interconnected. These are the ties that bind, the essence of things that never end.

Rockwoods003smallish

May 22, 2013

Dancing On Ice– My First Solo Routine Ice Recital

Dancing On Ice– My First Solo Routine Ice Recital

By Lily Adeline Rockwood

On May 5th, I had my figure skating recital. I skated to the song “River Flows in You” By Yiruma. It is a beautiful piano song that you can do just about any dance to. This song is one that my sister learned on the piano and it inspired me.  It’s so graceful and beautiful, you just want to skate to it.  “A River Flows in You” has two different beats to it. One beat is moderately slow, the other is just a little quicker. I paced my routine somewhere in the middle, not too slow, not too fast.

While I was skating, it felt as if the world was revolving around me. It felt as if all I could do was listen to my music and skate. It was like being in another world.  I felt like I was flying.

When I first got on the ice I was a little scared and was hoping that I would not fall or mess up. I did go a little fast for the music but I fixed that by adding in another jump right before the end. I had already practiced it that way before just in case that same thing happened. Personally I think it is better with the jump added in.

Throughout the time I was on the ice I could hear my friends and family cheering, yelling my name, and encouraging me. My friends the Pomars came. They have always been a great encouragement with my skating. They sometimes go and play hockey on Fridays at the hockey rink while I am on the other side practicing my routines on the figure skating ice.  It’s fun to see friends here.

I had several friends that also came. They said afterwards that I did really well. That made me feel good.

At the end of my song I rushed out of the rink so that I could say hello to everyone. We took a few pictures and talked for a little bit.  That was nice.

Today was my best performance to date.  Even though my routine was only a minute and a half long, I was able to fit in three jumps and a couple of twirls!  One year ago, I couldn’t do any jumps or twirls at all.  I’m excited to make so much progress in one year.  I think ice skating is a beautiful art.  My goal is to be an Olympic figure skater. 

I hope that at my next recital I will be able to perform even better than I did this time. Until then, the practice must go on!  

 “A River Flows in You” by Yiruma

November 30, 2012

Nature’s Waterway Project: Clearing The Creek With a Tractor

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Nature’s Waterway Project: Clearing The Creek With a Tractor

Feature Article: by Gabrien D. Rockwood

This Thanksgiving, I spent the week at my grandparents house in rural Northern California.  While we were there, I got the opportunity to help clear out the creek bed of my grandpa’s house.  It was pretty exciting.

First I had to learn how to operate a tractor safely, and drive it. I learned on my grandpa’s tractor. You have to put the key in, and plug in a red plug that is for safety measures. The next thing I learned was to always drive it in low gear. That is the safest gear for people under 18 to drive in, since I don’t have a lot of practice driving yet. Also, low gear is the strongest gear, and the gear that makes the most sense for pulling big stuff.

Next we looked at the project. There was a barbed wire fence and about 15 trees that needed to be cleared from the creek bottom to allow flood waters to flow this winter without getting clogged up.

To clear the fence, we had to dig around the base of each metal post, clip the barbed wire from it, and get it ready to pull with the tractor. After the post was ready, I tied the tow rope around the post and positioned the tractor scoop right above the post so the rope was tied to the tractor and the post. Then I could get in the tractor and lift the tractor scoop to pull out the post. If the post was loose from digging, it came right up, otherwise, we had to dig it out some more. We dug out about 15 fence posts. Some were old and just snapped off, but others were half buried with old floodwater debris.

After the fence was cleared, we could reach the trees that needed to be pulled. We backed the tractor up and hooked the tow rope to the back end of the tractor and also to the dead trees. This part was tricky because the ground near the creek bed was soft from previous rains, and the tractor kept slipping. I learned that if a tire was spinning, you would have to back the tractor up, and try a different angle. It was a lot of work. One time we got stuck in a hole because the tire spun and dug into the earth. I had my dad sit on the back end of the tractor to help us get traction. Then the tires could contact the earth, it balanced out and we could go back up the bank.

One of the things we had to be careful of was to make sure that the tractor didn’t get too close to the creek edge. My grandpa would not have been happy if the tractor fell into the creek. We did have my mom’s van to pull it out just in case, but we were careful, and I didn’t drive close to the edge.

Another of the dangers we had to watch out for was poison oak. Luckily, nobody ran into any during our project, but we were always on the lookout.

The biggest log was the hardest to pull up. We had to cut it into two pieces because the stump of the tree was digging into the earth while we were trying to pull it and the tractor didn’t have the strength to pull the tree, and the dirt. We didn’t have a chainsaw, so we had to saw it in half by hand. It was an oak tree, so it took a long time to saw through. After we sawed through the trunk though, it came out pretty easily. That was a big tree! It went from one side of the creek, all the way to the other side, and had been there for many years. My mother remembered it from when she was a little girl.

After we were done, I could see that the waterway was clear and my grandpa was happy because now his property wouldn’t flood. I learned how to cut a tree, drive a tractor, make a three point turn, tow stuff, and all kinds of good things about the creek behind my grandpa’s house.

September 7, 2012

Sticking To It

Painting by Darren Maurer www.darrenmaurer.com

Painting by Darren Maurer

Sticking To It– The Ten Second Rule

by Angela and Ava Rockwood Sept. 2012– A poem to celebrate Ava’s spelling words, and little kids’ penchant for eating things off the ground.

Towering greatly

Tremendous collapse!

Suddenly gumballs

Trailing the maps!

Naive perspectives

Picking through dirt–

Chew it up quickly…

What could it hurt?

Believing thoroughly

Stubborn as mules–

Smacking and blowing

The ten-second rules!

July 3, 2012

The Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie Project

The Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie Project

Feature Article by Angela Rockwood

Scout Camp funds are nearly always difficult to acquire, but in this economy, ingenuity requires drastic measures, so scout Daylin Rockwood did the unthinkable– he called in the sisters.

It’s well known that patrons of the yearly 4th of July Pancake Breakfast put on by the scout troops each year are suckers for their sweet tooth.  A bake sale full of delicious delights was just what the piggy bank ordered.  “I knew my sisters were always cooking things anyway, so I figured they wouldn’t mind making some extra.” says Daylin.  “I’m one of their favorite brothers after all.”

Four batches and 130 cookies later, Daylin looks pleased, and his prospects for going to Scout Camp have never been better.

“I didn’t know it was going to be such a big project.” says Daylin’s main cookie baker, Ava Rockwood.  “Well, it’s hard to admit, at first I was like, ‘Aw Man!  I want to eat them!’ but then, I thought, well, it IS service!  So then I felt better.”

But things didn’t always look so smooth.  “Half way through the cookie project, we discovered someone kept eating them!” confides insider Anna Rockwood.  “We had to make two more batches just to compensate!”

Wiping crumbs from his shirt, brother Ethan Rockwood admits, “It’s a lot of work guarding the cookie stash, they probably have enough already.”

Don’t forget to come to the Boy Scout Pancake Breakfast, and on your way out, indulge your sweet tooth!

If you have a scout who needs great fundraising ideas, pass it along~!

Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies

2 sticks butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 and 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon  cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups oats

1 cup raisins or chocolate chips or both!

–contributed by investigative reporters Lily Adeline and Angela Rockwood