Went out and bought groceries and stuff to make Easter baskets, also had to get windshield wipers for truck. Hub's needed three prescriptions filled. We went out to very late lunch. I bought 4 herbs for my window box Herb garden. Spent about $195.00 all told. Came home about 6:30 and put all the groceries away and then made a big pot of split pea soup. Also put together a large baking dish of Scalloped potatoes and ham, and made 4 loaves of bread. Put two loaves in the freezer. We will have the potatoes tomorrow. Will eat on the soup for the next couple of days. It used up the butt end of a large ham I cut up and froze. I also used 2 lbs. of split peas out of the storage and three cans of condensed milk.
It was actually nice outside today. I kept waiting for it to get awful and it never did. Hub's took the dog for a walk and then I was able to get him out in the yard. There were several larger tree starts that needed to be cut out and I did not have the hand strength to get them out. One of our beds between our house and the neighbors had tree starts that did not get grubbed out last year. I ask Hub's to walk around the yard and scope out everything I wanted removed. Of course he had to get out a bunch of tools. Why is it men have to get out every tool they own to do a job? First it was the long pruners, then it was the grub hoe, then the Pulaski, then he decided he needed the chain saw. Really?
Hub's does not move quickly, getting out the chainsaw and the 100 ft extension cord and strewing it across the huge back yard around all the shrubbery. Fun! But I tried to be patient and actually did not kill him, but I did load the truck completely by myself. While he fiddled around. I just decided to not get angry and do what I could. Finally he is ready and he starts working on a Ponderosa Pine in the back of the lot. This was not one of the trees I wanted worked on or gone. It is a huge tree next to a Giant Sequoia that makes up a privacy fence between us and our back neighbors. My patience was wearing thin. He cut off all the branches he could reach flush and really let more light into the yard where we were having a moss problem and it didn't disrupt the privacy at all. What he did do was make the bee's that were in our hive under the Seqouia really mad. So that stopped his nonsense. You have to love Mother Nature(sometimes)
I was able to get him to remove everything I wanted and clean up the 8 large pines and Larch that grow along the back. We probably have about 4 truckloads of branches to take to the landfill, it was worth it because they look so nice. Well it will look nice when the mess is cleaned up. Then I wanted the hedge between the neighbors done and another huge pine cropped a little. I have wanted to get rid of this large Ponderosa for several years as it is a split trunk and has already broken once and landed on the neighbors house. It leans a little and they have a shallow root system so I feel it is an accident waiting to happen.
Now Hub's is a forester, he does trees for a living. He does chain saws for a living. They are gasoline powered, but I insist that all tools except the mower be electric as I am the one who uses them and I will not mess with an gasoline engine. If we need a huge chain saw Hub's can bring one home from work. Well wouldn't you know it but on the last project the saw throws it's chain. How convenient, I smell a rat. Now we have to stop and the job isn't finished and I hate a job or a plan that is not finished. So hub's heads for the garage and I start to haul branches into piles to be collected later. What is taking him so long? Start to uncover the 100 foot bed out front that is full of perennials. On my hands and knees it takes 4 trips across the 100 feet to get it uncovered. Hub's is still not out of garage. Okay he had better be dead or I will kill him. I know this sounds vicious but you have to know how slow this man is and how good he is at getting out of any kind of work.
I go into the garage and he is fiddling with the chainsaw and very frustrated. He needs my help. This I am dreading, because I cannot control my frustration when I have to work on something with him. He has taken apart the saw over a flat box of different screws and machine parts. So he isn't sure what goes back on the saw. There is one screw that you tighten to fix the fit of a chain, why is the machine apart? Well gasoline saws are much easier to fix. Yeah like right this is why I don't own one because they are easier. I start looking at what he is doing and it is obvious to me that parts are missing and something is jamming the chain. So I send him into look up parts on the Internet thus freeing myself from his help. I find 4 parts that look like they belong and really look into the guts of the chain and sure enough there is a really stiff twig that is folded around and is jamming the chain. This is why it slipped in the first place and why the machine had to come apart, but Hub's does not realize this. Has he put on a pair of cheater glasses so he can see detail? NO! I pull out the twig and start to put the machine together. Finally I am at the point that I need him to put on the last two nuts and tighten them down, I call him from the computer and he does the lug nut thing. I tighten the chain and we are able to finish the project. I have never met anyone yet that is so mechanically challenged. Although he has built me many beautiful pieces of furniture, slowly and I did not watch him do it.
We took the truck to the land fill and then went and bought groceries. I am having a young man come over to clean up the yard and cut up all the branches next week. Hub's cannot bend over that much and his knees are shot. I swear I am going to go into the doctor with him next time and insist on some x-rays. He insists that he is fine. He may be fine but I am losing my mind watching him. Okay enough, I just needed to rant. I am sure he has just as much to say about my joints locking and my fevers, and my infections and the cost of my medicine.
Out My Window: A great day for yard work. I bought 4 herb plants to put in my herb box outside kitchen window. I did not get them planted this evening but will do it tomorrow.
Millie knew that her grandparents and parents had grown very frustrated with the Swedish system and Hierarchy of title. In Sweden a Title is Vital. A title could open any door quickly. The Bjorklunds had land and they had money but they had no access to title and privileges that it bought. Even with Far Mar's connections Father and Mother had a very difficult time getting Nels into a school that could challenge his abilities. He just didn't come from the right class of people. They were peasants, one did not rise above that station. Father had traveled with Nels to several schools, where he had passed all his tests way above normal marks, but still excuses were made to keep him out. Finally a tutor was hired to come and live at the farm. His purpose was to educate Nels so he could attend a school in Britain. Millie could remember how upset her parents had been every time father returned from one of these school trips. Far Far would try to calm Father down, but all he could see was that the system was taking unfair advantage of his son.
Far Mar did what she could in helping Nels with his education, but he soon outstripped even her learning. Nels was thirteen when Mr. Sloan came to the farm. He spoke fluent English and Swedish. He was also well schooled in the classics and in mathematics. Mr. Sloan must have been shocked by the unusual house and it's inhabitants. So many things going on at once. So many different and contrasting personalities.
A grandfather with mechanical genius and a work ethic to match his brains. A grandmother from the aristocracy, soft spoken and almost perfectly useless on a farm. The father was a driven laborer making sure his children new the value of work from a young age. The mother was from the peasant class and so different from her mother-in-law, she never quit moving even with her swollen joints she was constantly doing something. The only time she really rested was when she was close to the birth of a baby.
They all lived in one large newly built farm house. Different from most of the houses in the area as it did not have the low ceilings that were so popular in many dwellings. The original older house was now Far Far's workshop and would also house the school room. Mr. Sloan found the big house a little too noisy and chaotic for his taste and soon made his quarters in the old house. There Nels would spend a good part of his day in study.
Millie was allowed to join Nels for some of his studies. Grandmother spoke some English and she enjoyed going over these lessons with them. Mr Sloan was surprised that Father still insisted that Nels had farm chores in addition to his studies. He was not being raised to be a gentleman. After all what use was that without title? Millie as the oldest girl had much of the care of her younger siblings and the the house, even with two maids. She was not being raised to be a fine lady. Yet the strange grandmother insisted that the children, learn the piano and spend many hours a week in pursuit of music. Such an odd set of circumstances in this family. Mr. Sloan often did not know what to make of them. He was well paid and well fed, he had his own lodgings and as a tutor nothing was better that teaching children who really wanted to learn.
It was obvious to Mr. Sloan that Nels was much like his grandfather when it came to mechanics and encouraged Nels in this pursuit. Machinery and electronics was an up and coming field of study and no where was this study more encouraged than in America. Mr. Sloan sent off for many published journals and papers on the latest inventions and experiments. Most of these were written in either German or English. Far Far taught himself to read English in order to read these papers. He made no attempt to speak the language as did his wife, he just wanted to read and understand what was going on in the world with all the new machines and devices.
Evening meals were spent discussing the latest findings. Before long America started to take on a new charm for the Bjorklunds. America was where all the new ideas were coming from, it was America that had no class system. In America children were schooled for free. In America there were many Universities that did not discriminate because of title. People were judged on their merits. In America women could go on to a higher education, in fact it was even encouraged.
Mr. Sloan was primarily tutor to Nels, but the younger boys Oskar and Dil were reading well past their years. This had much to do with Mar Far. She was quiet and unassuming and always had a book in her hand. She loved her grandchildren and her way to be part of the household was to entertain and distract. By the time the crisis of Nels education was brewing mother had produced six more children. There was always a child in her lap or by her chair. She would read to them, sing with them, teach them music and letters, numbers, games. Anything to keep them out from under the feet of their constantly pregnant mother and the maids. Mar Far valued quiet and she became very good at settling her grandchildren by keeping them interested in whatever she was doing. In her soft spoken way she brought calm to the house and the children.
Nels could be educated and a battle could be fought to get him into a University in Stockholm, but how many other battles would there be? There were six more children who very likely would be in the same situation Nels was in. Were the Bjorklunds willing to fight this over and over again? They would never always be part of the peasant class, no amount of money or education could take the place of a birth-rite.
When Mr. Sloan had been with them almost two years and Nels was close to fourteen it was decided that he was ready to leave home. He had been accepted to a boarding school in England. His English was good enough and he could pass all the entrance exams.
Millie remembered the packing of Nels huge trunk. The excitement of the younger children as things were made ready for his departure. She didn't really know how to feel. Nels was older and sometimes bossy, would she miss him? In some ways she would. She loved to play duets with him on the piano. She loved that she could be quiet with him and he didn't mind. Too soon the day for Nels to leave was here and his trunk had been sent ahead to the rail station. Mr. Sloan was to accompany Nels and get him settled in school. Mr Sloan had recently come back from England with high praise for the programs that Nels would be apart off, all new and the latest in science and research. On the morning of their departure Mr. Sloan did not feel well. He thought it would pass, but when he went to climb up on the wagon bed his leg went out from under him and he fell. When father and Nels hurried to help him it was obvious he was burning with fever. Before they could get him into the house he started to have convulsions.
The trip would have to be postponed for a few days until Mr. Sloan recovered.
Have a peaceful and restful Sabbath.