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Quite A Cluster

Some cows got out this afternoon. Not a big deal but  the father in law stopped to ask if I would help chase them in. Of course I would. As I hopped on the 4wheeler with him I absentmindedly called Daisy to come help. She didn’t come I worried a little then forgot about her amidst the whole cow chasing thing.

8 and I went to pick The Goblin Child up from the bus. Daisy is usually bouncing around wanting to come with. She wasn’t there. Again I remembered that she hadn’t come earlier either. Now I was worried. I tried to remember when I had seen her last. She had come with to feed in the morning.  I couldn’t think of a time I had seen her since then. She couldn’t have not gotten out of the feed truck. Could she?

We had a very little time before the bus would be there, we could make it to check for sure. Barely.

Sure enough. I opened the door and out leapt Daisy. When we get out she will just sit there. She has to be told to come out with us and apparently I didn’t do so. It was dark in the quanset and I was rushing to make it to the bus. I haven’t seen if she did anything to the inside of the feed truck yet. She’s a good dog. I didn’t smell anything. Keeping my fingers crossed that she didn’t hurt anything.

Out at the neighbors driveway that is our compromise meeting place, the bus driver complained about driving clear to our mailbox, I refused to have The Goblin Child unloaded on the highway, we pulled to the side of the road and waited. At the highway two vehicles sat. A car and a pickup. Their people sat on bumpers in between hanging out, talking. The bus managed to squeeze around them and made it up the hill slick with snow and ice.

After unloading the bus went back down the icy hill and waited for room to pull out. The two vehicles still sat, unperturbed by the traffic they were impeding. While loading children I watched a FedEx van pull out from across the street and head down the hill towards the bus. I waited and watched to see if he would slide right into it. He didn’t.

Pulling into our neighbors drive we turned around as usual. Backing out into the road. I put the car in drive, and we went backwards. As usual when things don’t go anywhere near as expected, it took a moment to think it through. I put it back in park and we stopped moving. Back in drive and we slid backwards again. Well, that didn’t work. This time I tried reverse, we were getting quite sideways in the road, maybe I could straighten it out and find some traction further down the hill.

The car straightened. There was no more traction though. A couple more tries and it became apparent that the only way we were going was down the hill. Down to where those two… very nice people still sat. Apparently unaware of the traffic swirling around them, They weren’t bothered at all by blocking half of the road. Easing the car as slow as I could down the slick road I aimed for the sliver highway I could see that was unobstructed. If we could just get to some clear ground and make a run at it we could make the hill.

Of course this whole time the children are sitting, standing, kneeling, spinning circles, and talking loudly in the seat next to me. Of course they weren’t buckled in for the one mile of county road home. Not distracting or impeding my view at all.

I managed not to hit either of the vehicles. The… very nice people sat, still unbothered by how incredibly annoying they were and stared at us as we backed past them. On the cleared pavement of the highway we were able to get started and made it up the hill with no more difficulties. Then finally home. To Daisy.

Giving Thanks, And Christmas Decorations!

We celebrated Thanksgiving by hanging the outdoor Christmas lights. We also planted the garlic in the greenhouse, finally. Then the usual run of family stuff.

Now it is snowing and seems like the perfect time to be decorating for Christmas. We were only supposed to get an inch or two but it’s been snowing all day and doesn’t show signs of quitting. Tonight the wind is supposed to blow. Almost blizzard conditions. Yuk.

Thankfully we are warm inside. The new, fake, tree is up and the children got it decorated. Well, one of them did. The other quickly grew tired of it and went to play on her computer. We are in the process of making the first batch of Christmas cookies, but one of them quickly grew tired. Not of making cookies. Just tired, and had to lay down for a nap. When he wakes up we will roll them out and cut them out.

Child Proof

The Goblin Child is entirely too smart for her own good. Too smart for our own good. We always know it. She constantly proves it.

We were sitting at the table finishing breakfast. She decided to get herself one of her yummy vitamin C pills. She was pushing down hard on the bottle making lots of work of unscrewing it. Her father asked why she didn’t just turn the lid?

She looked at him in that disdainful manner only done better by Coyote and teenagers. Because, she said, it says push down and turn!

Of course it did! We looked at the bottle and realized she was reading the instructions for opening the child proof lid. Reading and executing them beautifully.

 

 

 

Still More Halloween

The actual day of Halloween.

Getting Ready For Halloween

Fall and Halloween are always my favorite times of year. It’s been a busy summer and fall but we’ve still managed to fit as much fall doin’s in as possible. Maybe that’s why it was so busy.

We played in the leaves, decorated pumpkins, dressed up, dressed warm, went riding in the cooler weather, trick or treated, rode in combines, and even fit in a haunted house!

The trunk or treat in Chadron was fun, as usual, but so very crowded this year. It meant squeezing through the crowd and waiting in line a lot. It was still great but would be more fun with less people.

That same weekend, the great build up to the actual day of Halloween, there was a haunted house in the old Clinton school house. Sadly it over shadowed the trunk or treat and was all the kids asked about while we were trying to trick or treat. It was the perfect setting. An old abandoned brick school house. We went for the lights on tour with the kids. Luckily. It was scary enough with lights on. They would never have made it through the real one. We went back to Rushville for supper before returning for us grown ups to go through for real. Waiting in the former Gym was almost more than they could handle, even with cookies and hot chocolate. The high school kids who were doing it went all out and had a lot of fun dressing up. Best haunted house ever. Almost.

Corn harvest has started with rather bad timing. It didn’t stop us playing just messed up my schedule a little. I do love corn harvest. It goes so nicely with the whole fall theme.

 

Category: Family, Farming  2 Comments

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.

 

Camping Trip

My parents came out to see us. We had been planning the trip most of the summer. They were off on their yearly pilgrimage to the west coast.  A group of Morgan people were meeting at Fort Robinson for a weekend of trail riding. We all decided to drive over and, kind of, meet them. We are only so sociable so we decided to camp up at the wood reserve instead of staying with them in the fort proper. Unfortunately as the weekend drew near we realized it was the same weekend as Friendly Festival but if there’s one thing we’re willing to miss Festival for it’s a weekend of camping and horses.

Mom and dad got here on Thursday. We had, another, birthday party for The Goblin Child. I think that makes four parties now? She may be slightly spoiled 😉  Then Friday morning we got up bright and early and were off to the fort. Only, not. As much as I thought I had everything ready to go already it took hours to get everything packed and animals fed. Then just as we were finally ready and about to load the horses there was a phone call that some neighbors were working cattle and had found a bull in with them that wasn’t theirs. We had to go get him and bring him home before we could take off with the trailer. We pulled into the neighbors corrals and nothing was there. We called to see where this bull was supposed to be. North of the house they said. We went to the house and there was a barn to the north, but not even a road to it much less cattle being worked. We called again trying to figure out what in the world was going on. Finally they added a rather important piece of information. They weren’t working cows at their house but over at their pasture. That little bit of info would have helped from the beginning.

Once we got him home and put out with the horses that would be staying there we were able to load our horses and get going. Down to a friends to pick up a horse we got to borrow for the weekend. She had been standing patiently most of the morning tied to a trailer. She walked right onto the trailer and we were off. Again.

We made Chadron for a late lunch then off towards the fort. Again. It was hot. We pulled into the campground at the wood reserve to find it packed. Loads of big living quarters trailers were squeezed in so tight we could barely make the turn around them. I was muttering grouchily about them when I realized, I knew them!! It was my good friend Kay and her riding group.  That didn’t make me so grouchy after all.

I have millions of pictures so I will try to tell the rest of the story through them.

Category: Family, Horses  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.