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Harvest Moon Festival

We drove to Hemingford on a crisp clear morning, with a forecast of freezing rain and snow for the afternoon. We met friends down there so the children could frolic together. There was a train giving rides. Pumpkins to admire, I found a couple of types I don’t have yet! There was a haunted hay maze. After sending the kids in by themselves we waited outside for them to come out. Soon enough they did. Back out the entrance. Heather and I went back in with them while my very patient husband waited outside with the stroller and smallest child. Each child had a glow stick. Inside it was pitch black with only the glowing spots of light that circled around us clinging, to our hands, exclaiming their fear loudly, over and over. In the darkness we searched hands outstretched feeling of the prickly straw bales trying to find the rout. We bounced off dead ends, felt the creepy clinging strands of cobwebs, and were confronted by shrieking ghouls. It was wonderful. We found our way out with no children pushed quite to the point of tears and, some of us, wanted to turn around and go again!

We restrained ourselves and went off to look at other things. We spent too much money at the craft fair. Ate good fair food. The children found many things to play on, a corn pit, bouncy balls, stick horses, and a petting zoo. They got to watch a helicoptor land then sit in it! There was a big beautiful team of horses giving wagon rides. Big and black, Percheron? Shire?  The wagon was gorgeous and immaculate. The horses wonderfully behaved. It made me really want to get going on Harvey and see if he really does drive.

We went back to the hay maze again. Before giving it one more go the kids wanted try archery. The Goblin Child says the shooting was her favorite part. Two guys were very patiently showing an endless line of children how to hold and shoot a bow. They both got a chance. They didn’t hit the target but their arrows made it to the other side! Then it was maze time. It was so much fun I didn’t want my poor husband to miss out on the fun. We were going to leave the children to watch their friends shoot the bows while we went alone. Almost like a date. We said our good byes and 8n wanted to come too. There was no shaking him off. So much for a date.

It was ok though. The darkness was gone, replaced by a murky twilight. The ghouls had gone on break. My overly wise husband calmly and quickly lead the way through the twists and turns. The magic was gone. It was a fitting end to the day. We drove home into skies rapidly growing dark and the snow began shortly after we got home.

 

 

Trail Ride

As in we actually went on one today! There’s a little country church not far from us. We really like it, not sure why we don’t go there more often. Except the lack of children’s church, that’s a big one. And no restaurants between there and home. I admit a big plus of going to church is eating out afterwards. But I digress. They had a trail ride! We try to support them when we can and it sounded like lots of fun, so we went.

The day started out foggy and cold. Not just a little fog but a thick, sunny, dark, glorious fog! I drug the kids out to play in it as soon as I saw how perfect it was. We jumped in puddles and checked out the newly frozen garden then checked cows. The fog cleared though and warmed up. Perfect weather for a ride.

There were more people there than I had expected. A nice little crowd. It was more horses than Rusty had ever seen in his life. He came with to Fort Rob for the Morgan ride but I rode Gypsy the very nearly perfect Arab cross instead of him for the group ride. She was here too of course with her little people on board. Rusty wasn’t crazed at least. And the hills weren’t as big, that helped although whether it helped me or him more I’m not sure 😉 We walked a few laps up and down the road in front of the church. Then The Goblin Child got on and we made more laps until it was time to go.

A little ways down the gravel then we turned in to someones pasture. Behind us followed a pickup pulling a trailer with hay and the non riders of the group. Rusty was nervous. Wanting to trot. Or stop and look around. Coyote was perfect. He and his little person followed happily. The pickup careful picked its way through the hills and ruts as the horses tried to remember that it couldn’t go everywhere they could. At the top of a particularly large hill we stopped and switched riders on Coyote.

Gypsy got switched to her other, bigger person. She had been ponied until then, now they were turned loose. The two of them zoomed all around. He’s a wonderful little rider, blessed with a great horse. 8 didn’t do as well, although Coyote was still trying to be perfect. He’s little though and will get better with time. He missed his nap and was tired.  Rusty had an obvious problem, although at first I couldn’t tell if it was nerves or what. Finally he started kicking out with one hind leg and I decided to hop off and see what was wrong. It turned into a bit of a leap as he jumped kicking enthusiastically on my way down. He had a whole ball of cactus in his heel. Poor baby. No wonder he was upset. I managed to get them out. They left blood. He felt mostly better after that. 8 was not having fun. Rusty wanted to trot. Or stop. I made him wait until we got to the bottom of the hill we were going down then let him off.

The Goblin Child was having fun on the hay wagon with her friends and didn’t want to get back on. I was dreading the thought of having to keep Rusty calm and make it back alive while ponying Coyote. Luckily I was able to convince my darling husband to abandon the children and join me for a ride. It was wonderful! We haven’t ridden together since before The Goblin Child was born. He did great on Coyote and Coyote did great with him. We zipped back to the church as fast as two Morgans can walk. Which was much faster than 1/4 horses can manage. It’s hard to be in front of the group while trying to follow the group leader. Oops.

At the church we were treated to hot dogs and s’mores around a campfire followed by music. The children ran off to play and we sat, relaxing by the fire in the coming evenings chill. The horses pawing in the trailer kept beat to old John Denver songs and gospel. The whole afternoon came together to be the best church service ever.

 

First Snow

This post is simply to commemorate the first snow of the year, the lighting of the pilot light and starting of the stove for winter, and to get me back to writing here more often.

It’s clear up to 40 degrees now. Last night it rained and them snowed most of the night. No accumulation, just cold. Nothing seems to have froze though. Today is the homecoming football game at school, in the wet and cold. Last night was the dance. It was boring and short, not entirely a bad thing. When I was a youngin, way back when, the homecoming dance was held the night of the game. I think. It’s hard to remember that long ago.

I had fun dressing the kids all week. Or trying to. It’s not easy to do. They fight every step of the way. Or I don’t tell them and then they are so lost.

 

Category: 8, Goblin Child  One Comment

Athletes And Nerds

It’s homecoming week. All week the children will dress up to fit various themes. The first was Athletes or nerds. I wanted them both to go with the nerd theme. The Goblin Child was not interested. We did our best to find an athlete costume. I couldn’t find my high school jersey and decided that horse riding counts as a sport thus horse people count as athletes. I pulled out cowgirl clothes.

Still clinging to my desire to send her as a nerd I thought of my clicker tucked away with the rest of my tack. If I sent that with her she could be the nerdiest of all horse people, a clicker trainer!

8 had no opinions. He happily let me dress him as a nerd. A darling one at that! I only have pictures of him, and him with his class. The Goblin Child just looked like she normally does.

Category: 8, Goblin Child  One Comment

A Traumatic Day

It all started with the fighting. Constant bickering. I ordered them both outside. The Goblin Child complied. Mad. Slamming her way out the door. With both hands she emphatically shoved the door open. Hard.

Glass tinkled to the ground she stepped back staring at her hands in horror. I started to scream. She started to scream. I stopped and checked for blood. There was some. Nothing gushing though. 8 was quite upset by the whole thing. He was worried about her and near tears. He repeated over and over “I don’t know about this. This is bad, I don’t know about this. Lala’s going to be mad. I don’t know about this” He was cute but I was trying to deal with a screaming T.G.C. who was screaming that Lala was going to kill her. I considered the possibility that she might be right as I assured her that he wouldn’t. I thought back to putting my hand through the window in the back porch door and that my loving father had yelled at me. Now I understood why.

Taking her into the bathroom we washed up the blood. What little there was. And got her covered in band aids. I had to get a picture. The scrapes were little. She wasn’t really hurt.  I worried the small injuries would put a stop to our plans to go to the lake after lunch. She sat around and moaned about how bad they hurt. She whined that it stung and look how much skin this one had taken off! By lunch she had quieted and we made it to the lake afterwards.

There they played and swam and mostly forgot about the injury. Until they were home and in the tub. Apparently there are salts in a bath bomb. It hurt again. Out of the tub they forgot about how much fun they had had and that they briefly liked each other at the lake and bickered all afternoon. Finally unable to take the fighting any longer I ordered them both outside. Starting to sound familiar?

No doors were broken on the way out. They played happily for awhile. Then I heard Gus screaming. I met him at the door. There didn’t appear to be anything wrong with him. I asked where he got hurt. I meant on him. He wanted to show me where exactly. By the time he pulled me far enough to understand that it had been the tree I insisted on seeing where on his body he had been hurt. I pulled his shirt up to see his torso covered in scrapes. He couldn’t hold still long enough for me to check him all over but I had the idea. Attempting to carry him in the house without hurting any of his injuries we went in to tend to him. A few band aids weren’t going to take care of this.

I didn’t get any pictures of him. He was actually hurt. He sobbed on my lap for awhile telling me that he didn’t like it. He didn’t like it at all. settling down for awhile he was ok until I pulled up his shirt for another look and he saw one of the scratches. He cried again until he cried himself to sleep on my lap. The hearty dose of Ibuprofen could have helped that along a little.

Thankfully neither of them were seriously injured. Both wrecks could have been bad. 8 will be sore tomorrow but is otherwise relatively free from harm. The door window will be dropped off at the hard wear store to have the window replaced by a piece of plexi glass. I may have suffered the worst of the day. Having both children try to kill themselves in one day is more than I can handle.

Category: 8, Goblin Child  One Comment

First Day Of School

The Goblin Child was happy to be off to kindergarten. She knew most of her classmates and was glad to see some old friends join the class. She knew the routine and loves school. We never worry about her and school.

8 has done nothing but want to play in the preschool room for the last couple of years, we thought the transition might go well. We thought wrong. His excitement over playing has disappeared. He went happily the first day but his reluctance has grown ever since. Hopefully he starts to enjoy it, this is the part that is supposed to be fun. If he doesn’t like it now he’s really going to hate it as he gets older.

Category: 8, Goblin Child  One Comment

End Of Wheat Harvest ’18

I haven’t been on here for a very long time. Far longer than I ever intended it to be. We, well, we got busy and the summer slipped away. I have to make note of when they harvest wheat though and that is done and over with so I better write something about it!

It was a fairly late harvest and still wet and hard to get to with that. They started in on the neighbors wheat on July 11th and finished up on the 26th. It’s been a really wet year. It rained all the way through while they tried to squeeze in between showers and fight through wet wheat and green weeds. The kids are getting big enough to enjoy going along and not have to sit in the combine the whole time. They loved playing in the grain trailers with Jack, riding in the semis, and also napping in the combine. The Goblin Child and I made use of combine time, sending 8 off with his father so we could get some riding done. She’s starting to get more comfortable on Coyote and Rusty is grown up enough to be useful ponying and helping them when needed.

8 had a little accident near the end of harvest. He was riding along in the semi. He had the misfortune of being leaning on the door when another kid opened it. The semi was stopped, his head broke his fall. He caught his head on the steps and it left a pretty good scratch on the back of his head but luckily he wasn’t hurt bad.

Rodeo, Again

Last year when we went to the kids first rodeo they loved it. We found a out about more coming up the next summer and I told them we could go. The next summer came around, things changed, we lost Onna, but the rodeos were still coming up. The Goblin Child found out about them and still really wanted to go. I told her we’d try.

Coyote isn’t Onna. 8 has been riding him, while being led. T.G.C. has been getting started on him, trying to get used to him after riding her own horse. i have a lot more I want to say but don’t seem to be getting around to writing it. So here are the videos. It wasn’t great. We all survived. I did not get to work with Rusty the way I wanted. There was no way we could have done it without Tanna and Jerry. They were life savers. We are so grateful to Tanna for coming along and always appreciate all the help she gives us.

They scared me half to death here loping back!

 

 

 

I kept watching not through the phone and it would drift down. I’d look back at it and realize I was filming dirt and get aimed again then back to the dirt. Oops.

 

Vacation Bible School

I volunteered this year. Last year I told them I couldn’t help because I had to work, and, well, I did. Have to work that is, somehow it felt like a convenient excuse though. Then all my friends did it and I was jealous and felt left out. So this year I told them I’d help.

It was a fun busy week. I thought I’d be an assistant in one of the rooms with someone else in charge. Instead I wound up doing science projects. I happen to love doing science projects! But we had to choose from the ones in “the book” that went with the theme and gave a bible tie in and so on. It was fun anyway. We made slime. We made baking soda play dough then added vinegar. That was the greatest. This baking soda is your life. Start squirting vinegar. This is your life on God! I want more God in my life the children screamed. We’d squirt them with more vinegar and their hands, covered in play dough, foamed. That part wasn’t in “the book” they just said to add vinegar to baking soda. Boring. We made tin can telephones and played telephone. And we filtered dirty water through sand, gravel and rice.

The last night the kids got up and did their little program. It was very nicely done. Some singing, some pictures, some talking. Our children were, of course, adorable. Sometimes just by being rotten. They’re always cure when they’re your kids 😉

And I see that it wont load 8’s videos. I’ll mess with them and get them shortened or something. He was adorable dancing to his own personal beat. Totally different from everyone else.

 

April Snows

It is snowing, hopefully it brings May flowers just as well as showers do. The wind howled all day yesterday and the day before. It rained all night, then changed to snow this morning. Fortunately the worst of it is East of us, unfortunate for them though.

Yesterday 8 and I ran out through the cows. They were already locked out of the pivot. Locked into the pasture to try to force them to stay behind a windbreak. Going across the pasture we saw a calf moving funny. Looking closer she was carrying a leg. It curled under her wobbling in a sickening manner whenever she stepped on it. It was broken. There was a blizzard predicted for the next day.

Deciding that through the wheat in the pivot would be an easier rout than through all the cows, down the lane, and round and round we headed her for the gate. The mama was a little high headed, the calf was managing to follow on three legs but it was hard for her. They finally went through the gate. The mama went the right way nicely from there, down to the corrals and the old horse barn. We went as slow as possible, following way behind so we didn’t rush them. She went right in the gate and we shut it behind her leaving them in the corral.

We had to wait for the father-in-law to get home to do anything with her. Once he did get back we went out to see what we could do. The mama stood back and watched while her calf was pushed to the old horse barn. The one that was falling down until they pushed it up with the payloader this winter, and tightened the cables holding it in a somewhat upright position. With the wind howling around us we crouched in the rickety old building out of reach of the mama and looked at the leg. It had broke just above the ankle. Swollen and floppy but not awful. Unless it moved then my stomach lurched and I had to look away.

We had found some old slats, a pair of The Goblin Child’s pants tossed in the rag drawer once they developed holes, and duct tape. Throwing the calf down and sitting on her we pulled the pant legs over her leg. Breaking the slat down to the right length we taped them to three sides of the leg. Once everything seemed secured we sent her back out to mom.

Overnight the rain set in, then blowing snow by morning. The horses were happy to be locked in the barn, warm and dry with lots of hay. The cows were fed up against the shelter of the windbreak. Calves bucking and playing in the snow. Coming back to check on the two calves in the pen I found the new born calf laid in an exposed corner with a snow drift building over him. The calf with the broken leg was shivering.
I got the snow covered calf up. he woke with a beller that brought his mom running. She didn’t eat me and I was able to push them back towards the barn from yesterday where both calves could find dry shelter, if only they would.
Hopefully the storm will end tonight and give the cattle some rest. Give the calves a chance to dry off and warm up. Give us a chance to start doctoring the ones that get sick from this. It is spring, the weather will warm up soon. Hopefully soon enough.

 

Category: 8, Cows  2 Comments