Saturday, October 22, 2022

Little Church on the Prairie Vlog 21 Sink Holes and Tornados

We are and adventurous, outdoor family so we have had to do a lot of adapting now that we live in a place with 7 to 8 months of winter. If its below 50 then its winter.

During these warm months, where we can actually go outside, we have been racing to get ready for the next winter. It was hard to pull away from the anxiety of completing so much work during the short summer, but we did find time to enjoy ourselves and some sunshine.

The Canola

The canola is a major crop around here and turns the landscape bright yellow.
This is the second largest source of protein meal in the world and is used to feed both humans and animals.
If you have ever used canola oil or vegetable oil this is where it comes from.
Canada is the largest grower of this amazing, flowering plant.

Above is my village on the Canadian boarder.
If you look closely to the left you can see my church steeple.

My Kitchen

So yes, my kitchen is a mess.
I left only the sink standing until the last moment so I could do dishes.

For about three weeks we were doing dishes in buckets.
I was so glad we decided to do this in the summer even though this is an indoor project.

The pipes were a challenge since the sink was in the middle of the room, but I had designed and open concept kitchen so this needed to change.

We removed the worst of the floor that was like walking though a fun house with slants and hills.
Alkali had cracked the floor and we had white foam coming though the cracks when it rained.

We laid down a concrete vapor barrier to protect against the powerful minerals in the ground.

New floor!

The Sink Hole.

I kept wondering why the foyer of the church was cracking. During the winter the wind blew through the cracks and frost grew on the walls.

It wasn't until the snow melted that we realized the front part of our church was SINKING! 
We didn't know how deep and massive the sink hole was until the contractor started excavating. Its amazing the front part of the church stayed attached as well as it did!

We brought in TONS of fill dirt and concrete to repair the sink hole.

The sink hole was caused by water run off over many years and so we came up with a new way to direct the water.

I love working with Preston. I have presented him with several unique/nonconforming ideas and designs while working on the church. He just smiles like I broke the monotony of his projects and says, "Yah, we can do that."
He can see the vision and then makes sure that my ideas work structurally and engineers out plans. 

This time I talked to him about pit/turf houses.
This is what our ancestors in VERY COLD climates built to stay warm in before electricity and heaters.  See image below for example:

Of course I couldn't make the whole church like this but we raised the ground up to the bottom windows. This has already helped with our drainage issues.

Cat on a CAT.



Our new drain valley was a success during the storm and tornado!
If you've seen the vlogs you know flooding has been a constant issue for us.

The tornado was only a small tornado, but we had no idea where it was coming from, how big it was, etc. We had no property damage, just lots of clean up in the aftermath.
It was very powerful. The rain drops felt like getting hit with paint balls. No one was hurt and our stinker cat made it back home safe the next day.

Monday, October 17, 2022

A Shadow of Love by Amy S. Cutler


When Annabelle flees her abusive husband and moves into an 1860's farmhouse, she soon learns that she is not alone; she shares her home with Christian, the ghost of a poet who killed himself in 1917. Christian, wanting nothing but solitude, tries to scare Annabelle away, but once they come together while she is dreaming, they fall in love. The clock is ticking for Christian, for moments after his hanging his fiance magically cursed his spirit to be stuck on earth for one hundred years, and his time is almost up.


With Annabelle's ex threatening her and the spirit she has fallen in love with on the verge of disappearing, Annabelle becomes obsessed with staying with Christian, and will do anything to be with him.


Being in love with a ghost is bad enough, but for Annabelle, discovering that her true love will be crossing over at any moment pushes her over the edge of reckless behavior.


Publisher: Black Rose Writing

ISBN-10: 1684339402

ISBN-13: 978-1684339402


Print length: 163 pages


Purchase a copy of Shadow of Love on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and You can also add this to your GoodReads reading list. 


About the Author


Amy S Cutler, author of A Shadow of Love earned her master’s degree in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Most recently she was published in Slut Vomit: An Anthology of Sex Work and featured in the Tales to Terrify Podcast, among others. Her writing focus is suspense, horror, science fiction, and ghost stories. She can be contacted through You can also follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Bracken’s Story


Bracken’s Story

I found a starving feral kitten out in the blackberry bushes and brought him home, fed him, gave him medical care, loved him, and named him Bracken since he had come from the blackberry bush. The kitten adopted me as his person. The problem was I already had another cat and she did not welcome the competition. She hunted and terrorized little Bracken.

The more he was afraid, the more he acted like prey. The more he acted like prey the more her predator instincts kicked in to hunt him.

As Bracken grew he became much bigger and stronger than the female cat, but she had already trained him to be afraid and cower to her.

I worked with Bracken, building up his self-esteem. I made sure my other cat saw him playing with and hunting toys. He was acting like a predator and not prey.


Sometimes, especially if one has lived in an environment of fear for so long, people can start to act like prey. Unfortunately, there are people out there who are also predators. They usually hunt the meek and gentle. They exploit the wonderful qualities about them such as tolerance, patience, the ability to see the potential in someone, forgiveness, and loyalty.


As I have worked with victims of domestic violence, child abuse, and human trafficking I have seen the same behavior patterns of predator and prey. I have also seen the results of working with people to build up their self-esteem, help them to control fear, and learn to comfortably be assertive.

I have also seen victims testify against their perpetrators and they stand boldly and speak with strength. Then after the court hearing they collapse on the courtroom floor and need to be carried out. Some people have said it helps to pretend to be an actor or actress, carry a picture of a warrior and visualize themselves as strong.

Grey rock method has also helped many people that have abusers with personality disorders who attempt to feed off of fear and emotion. It is helpful for victims to discover ways to make themselves an unappealing target, to not give abusers the energy of fear to relish in, to avoid contact or make contact so uninteresting that the predator must go somewhere else for their yummy snack.

Not all humans are humane. Not all of us are the same, meaning just because you would react with compassion and understanding doesn’t mean that everyone else will.

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