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Monday, May 25, 2009

A Beautiful Hike




We had a lovely hike last Sabbath. I had stayed home from church because I had a wicked headache. (It seems I strained my neck in the garden this week, resulting in neck cramps and headache.) But the day was beautiful and not to be wasted, so when my family returned from church, I took Excedrin and put on my hiking boots. (O.k. this is sounding too much like a commercial for pain relievers!)

Anyway, we headed for one of our favorite places in a preserve here. The weather was perfect and the trail broad and dry and shaded. Since we have a new camera, we had fun along the way.

At the lake, we were sitting, eating our snack of nuts and raisins, when I was startled by something scampering across my lap. I screeched a little just as a chipmunk ran away! He had been attempting a goody-picking session and I'd ruined it for him, as well as for the camera-man! We did get some other cute shots, though.

On the gardening front, I am working hard at planting. I just finished putting in 42 tomato plants yesterday. The potatoes, onions, peas, leeks, greens, corn, parsnips, amaranth and some other flowers are in also. Today, I'm working on dry beans. I'm trying okra and watermelon in the hoophouse this year. We'll see how that goes. I have a lot more planting to do before I can rest. It is nice to have such lovely weather to plant by. I'm definitely getting my summer tan already! - Nanette

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Post Script to Bruins and Wardens

Here are the rest of the pictures. You can see why those claws looked like a griz's in the night! I'm posing with Mr. Blueberry Eyes' pop gun.









Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bruins and Wardens

So today was supposed to be a pampered Mommy's day out. I had a massage scheduled and other yummy things planned. I dressed up a little so I could have fun prancing about town. I was just finishing my hair when The Wood Artist came in and said that I would need to change my plans for the day. He said I was to call my Dad and that he had never heard him so shaken. I rushed to the phone and called my Dad. He told of a traumatic night of watching a bear prowl around their house. At the time, they thought it was a grizzly, but later it was proved to be a brown black bear. It seems the bruin
wandered aggresively around their house for some time.
Dad had his 370 Marlin ready, should there be trouble. (It should be noted that they had much trouble with this bear last year and tried various "discouraging" techniques, including shooting over his head, and calling Fish and Game, but to no avail.)
When the bruin lunged on top of their old dog, Annie Rose, who was lying stock still with fright in her straw-bale dog house (in the carport), Dad jerked open the door and fired. He put one bullet right through the heart. The bear lunged through the straw bales and out the back and disappeared. Mom and Dad spent the rest of the night wondering if it was dead, where their other dog was, and whether Dad would face legal ramifications for killing what they thought was a griz.
So this morning we joined them and the warden who came to investigate at Dad's request. The first thing they discovered was that it wasn't a grizzly. Whew! We also found out that one can shoot a grizz if it is getting livestock, such as cows, sheep, or chickens. But you will be prosecuted if you are only defending your dog! The warden was a wonderful person and took to teaching our children all about bears and such. He let us fiddle around with taking plaster casts of the paws and even suggested we write a letter to request the bear for educational purposes for our tutoring service.
In the end, we got some great pictures, of which I will be posting more soon. He took the bear to a freezer and we will start proceedings tomorrow to see if we can have a bear rug and skull preserved for educating our students. The kids got a great field trip. As for me, my Mommy's day out consisted of getting a little bear blood on my hands and boots, instead of a massage. Oh, well, you can get a massage any day! - Nanette

Baseball and Caterpillars

Life has taken us by storm lately. I've had so much to write about and no time to do it. We've finally had warm enough weather to get into the garden. I have spent the last two days planting what can be planted this early: 7 varieties of potatoes, three varieties of onion, leeks, peas, and a few things in my 40' hoop house.
I'm sad because most of my tomatoes and basil that I started in pots died. I think it was bad potting soil. I get sad whenever I lose plants, but I was particularly sad about my heirloom tomatoes. I'm going to try again. Hopefully there is still time for them to mature!
In other news, the children had a fun experiment keeping some caterpillars they found in the hoop house. They collected about a dozen and watched 2-3 of them make cacoons. Unfortunately, the 'pillars had been infested with a parasite's eggs and they died. That, too, was an education, though!
Mr. Blueberry Eyes is having fun in baseball. Laughing water had a piano recital.
The Wood Artist and I spoke at the State Homeschool Convention, sharing about how to overcome learning difficulties.
I've also started making some willow furniture for our deck. So, as you can see, life has taken us by storm and we are just hanging on! School is wrapping up and we will soon be in full fledged summer break. I hope you are all enjoying your spring!



Monday, May 4, 2009

Family Reunion




This weekend we had a family reunion. It was the anniversary of my late grandmother's birthday. Most of my dad's sibling and a few of the cousins got together at my Aunt's ranch retreat a few hours from where I live. We had so much fun! We sat around the campfire and told stories and chatted and laughed. My cousin had her twins that I hadn't yet met. The Wood Artist and I went exploring and found an old stagecoach stop with buildings still intact. This old car was sitting beside an old barn and I couldn't resist "taking it for a spin"! Hey, it made me feel better about my 300,000+ miles van! :)

Then my entire family played a tournament of Norwegian Golf. The idea was that each sub-family would play for a trophy. The winning family gets to keep the trophy until the next reunion when another tournament will be played.

The trophy is a family keepsake from Grandma. It has a doghouse and five little dogs. Each dog has one of the sibling's names and someone is in the "doghouse" whenever someone else wishes them to be. This time it was the Alaskan Uncle who wasn't there to defend himself!

As the tournament got underway, a great spirit of family togetherness arose! NOT!!! There proceeded to be such competition that it was downright unseemly! There was heckling, harassment, screeching, tantrums, and shameless attempts to distract, unnerve, and intimidate the players! As for me, I'm sports' challenged, so I disqualified almost immediately, but then I could freely join in the foray! It came down to quite a showdown between my mother, Granny Flash, and my cousin. As the game ventured into sudden-death-overtime, the crowd surged with energy and laughter. In the end, the losing siblings were forced to stand in the rain and bow while presenting the trophy to the winning sibling who was standing on a sheltered step. What a hoot!

Correction

I need to make a correction. In my last post, I stated that 50% of thos who contracted the flu in 1918 died. I believe that was a specific group of people. I believe that the overall death rate was much less.

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