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Year Of The Fort

The Goblin Child, 8, and the cousins have been busy at work all summer building a fort. A coupe of forts really. They are turning the dump into a shanty town.

One is an  old stock rack that they put some boards over to make a bit of a roof. It has a seat and looks a bit like a building.

The other is much more creative.

There are many thing involved not the least of which is a cement block balanced precariously on a crushed rolled up tank holding their roof on. It kept falling down.  The roof, not the cement block. Luckily. Everyday they were resetting it. Redesigning. Now they have decided to set some posts. It might make it a little sturdier. If nothing else it gets rid of the cement block. But the posts aren’t even enough for their roof to sit flat on. Carpentry is not their strong point.  I’m sure they will come up with some ingenious plan to solve that problem though.

As much as snakes, spiders, rusty nails and falling cement blocks scare me, I love to see them out playing, building things with  their hands, solving problems and being creative. I will insist they wear boots and take them to get tetanus shots if needed and let them roam free.

 

over their heads to hold a roof on.

Scaling The Mountain

It was a beautiful  early summer day. The weather had finally warmed up, a little. Not so much it was hot, but pleasantly cool.

We went to the park.

We climbed on rocks, trees, cliffs,  and toys. There was water coming out of the spring for the first time we’ve ever seen. The Goblin Child loves to climb trees. She tried to climb every one that had a bit of a slant or branches she could reach. They ran around as fast as they could trying to take everything in. Once they had covered most of the ground there we went to my favorite playground.

It sits at the top of the hill. The slide seems like it will send you flying all the way down the hill. Above it perches a rock outcropping. There’s a trail leading up to it. This time I convinced the kids to try to climb it with me.It was steep. Going up wasn’t bad though and there wasn’t a whole lot of poison ivy. The trail led to the very base of the rock cliffs. We were surprised to find a ladder carved into the side of the cliff, hand holds dug out of the rock. We did NOT climb it.

Our path went on over ridges and along the edge of cliffs. After spending some time  looking over the edge it was time to climb back down. Down was harder than up. The beloved much fought over stick became a terrifying liability, threatening to stab the child who had won possession of it when they slid down the steep bank onto it. On our butts we scooted down the trail. Miraculously we made it too the bottom avoiding poison  ivy and stabbing or crashing to the bottom.

It was a grand adventure. Maybe next time we can follow the trail farther.

 

Preschool Graduation

8 had his preschool graduation and ice cream social. He had fun on stage making funny faces but at least he quit trying to leave.

After we had eaten all the ice cream we could we drove home. In snow. Lots of snow. Over four inches by morning. In the end of May.

 

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SnowMan

I have a lot of catching up to do. Lots of things to catch up on. I will go back and fill in the blanks, hopefully.

We got lots of snow yesterday and the day before. Not as much as the big snow but worse than the foot of snow we got a week or so ago.

Today the sun was out again. The calves seem to mostly be ok but the children are going stir crazy.

So, they built a snowman. With their fathers help. It was a good snow man. Big and sturdy.

Then I had the bright idea that they could paint it! I mixed up some food coloring in water and grabbed some brushes. They started painting. It was a it challenging figuring out just how to go about it but they soon had the technique down. Making sure to use up all of the colored water they painted it up pretty.

That thing is freaky. Now I’m scared to go to sleep. It’s outside the window looking at us!

 

Family Vacation

I don’t have any pictures to go with this unfortunately. Guess I was too busy having fun.. Or something.

We had talked about going up to Rapid and spending the night for quite awhile now. First we were going to go before Christmas but that never worked out. Then we were going to go for 8’s birthday. The first attempt at that didn’t work out, so we tried again. We were going to stay the night, swim at the hotel, swim at Watiki, and do stuff.

I said that maybe we should shorten that a little. Perhaps we could just go up and do Watiki? The weather was looking decent. Snow, but not lots and relatively warm. So we went. I had been looking up hotels and Watiki on the internets. We got the feeding done and rushed to get up there in time for lunch.
HuHots was as delicious as always. The kids were even marginally well behaved! The Goblin Child loaded up on noodles and black beans. It didn’t seem to matter the sauce. As long as she was eating for once I guess it doesn’t matter how odd the food.

It was there that my poor husband who had never been thrilled about the trip to start with discovered that Watiki didn’t open until four that evening.

There we were finishing up lunch shortly after twelve with the hope of heading home around four. This made our plans a little more difficult. I hadn’t done my research very well. I had looked and looked at their website to make sure they were really open and see what all was included before we came up. It had never occurred to me that they wouldn’t be open all day and no hours had been evident. Great.

So we shopped. We went to the book store and introduced the children to the joys it help within. It was nice to see them enthralled. We looked at RV’s and all the accompaniments to see what is available to furnish the school bus someday. We went to Cabella’s before it turns completely to BassPro. The children were amazed by the taxidermy on display and we got fudge. Lots of delicious fudge. Finally it was late enough to head to the pool.

It was a Thursday evening in the middle of winter. I hoped we would have the place mostly to ourselves. It was packed! Probably it really was mostly empty compared to when tourist season is in full swing. There is NO way I would set foot in the place then. The toys were great. The kids ran off and climbed, sprayed, and slid for quite awhile as we sat watching, hoping it could go on like that. Of course it couldn’t.

Soon they wanted to explore beyond the kids playground.

We went down water slides, floated around the lazy river, and, finally, found a warm pool to heat up in. There were floating pads under a climbing net for them to run across. Over and over and over again. The Goblin child having been down one slide and deciding she didn’t like it wanted to spend the rest of the day there. 8 was more adventurous. He liked the slides and wanted to go again and again.

During all of this more and more people were coming in. Gross disgusting people. Half naked men  with huge man boobs. Bulging women scantily covered with clothing but well decked out in tattoos. Everyone was covered in tattoos and hair. Ugly cheap looking tattoos. If you’re going to get something drawn on you that is going to last for the rest of your life wouldn’t you want to save up and invest in a decent one?

The worst thing was that we were all soaking in the same water. It touched them and then touched me. I don’t seem to be able to go out in public anymore. I can’t handle being that much together with people.

Food and beer were also allowed! The gross people were eating in and around the water. Even better.

We finally dragged the kids out and went to get more food before driving home. Strangely enough Perkins has become a favorite when we get to Rapid. We ate way too much breakfast for supper then brought the kids cookies and a piece of french Silk pie for me home with us to finish up when we weren’t so full.

The trip home was made through snow covered roads and fog. I hated it but was assured that they weren’t as bad as it seemed. 8 was sound asleep before we got out of Rapid. The Goblin Child made it slightly farther. Both of them slept all the way home so we got to listen to our book. They stayed asleep when we carried them in and we followed suit as quickly as we could.

It was a fun trip despite my various mistakes. I will not be pushing for another one any time soon.

Getting Old

Now that he’s four 8 keeps telling us he’s big enough. it doesn’t matter big enough for what. He’s just big enough, he can do it!

I got him to come out with me to sort off a couple of head of cattle by promising he could help drive. I thought he could push the gas while I helped a little. Instead I accidentally put it in low and it was perfect.

We took off across the cornstalks with him in complete control. I wrapped my arms around his waist and held on while he drove. He zipped and zoomed. Not too fast though, because it was in low and couldn’t. He steered all over the place all by himself and generally did a great job. I drove while we brought the cows up, he wasn’t doing a great job of going slow behind them. Or following them.

In the corrals though he took over again. He pulled through gates while I opened and closed them and he helped chase cows where we were trying to get them. By the end he was done. It was cold. He was tired. He wanted to go inside! Where he promptly fell asleep. It’s hard working being all grown up.

 

 

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Happy Birthday!

We celebrated 8’s birthday this weekend with a cake and playing with the cousins. Just a little party ad lots of play. We went swimming last weekend at the pool in Chadron and are trying to get up to Rapid for to go swimming up there. That seems like more than enough celebration for one little boy.
We may never actually make Rapid. There hasn’t been a lot of snow this winter just enough mixed in with lots of cold to make it hard to travel. But we’ll keep trying!

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Winter Activities

There were hardly any children at the first Clover Buds meeting of the year. So we were able to sneak 8 in. He’s still a year or two too young. He stuck it out for a little while then left for Lala’s room and a computer to play on. Theo goal was to design a path to guide the little tooth brush head robots with vibrating motors to all the pants that needed pollinated. It was all about bees.

They has fun even if no plants got pollinated.

I have forced everyone kicking  and screaming out the door as often as I am able. They have fun once they are out there. What could be more fun than trapping your sibling under the sled?

For Valentines day and the hundredth day of school The Goblin Child got a shirt to decorate with one hundred things. They both got shirts of course, how could I let one decorate but not the other? I only got pictures of her because he chose one hundred fingers, which meant twenty hand prints. It got messy.

 

Electrical Issues

Snow has been forecast for this weekend ever since, last weekend. As the week went on the amounts crept upwards. By Thursday they were predicting nine to fourteen inches.
So Monday two of the heated automatic waterers were froze over. The fuse was blown and the new one immediately joined its predecessor. My husband came home from work early and he and his father check wiring, multi-meters and other things I shy away from. The short was somewhere underground between the barn and the tanks. Everyone hung their heads and cried a little on the inside.
There were no shut off valves. Not below ground at least. No way to keep the water pipes from freezing in one old tank that was perfectly good and one they had just spent days getting installed. The heat had to be fixed before the storm coming in with the weekend.
The power company came out and located lines. They found the short, or maybe just where there was a splice, simply wrapped in electric tape and  buried underground. With a payloader, skid steer and shovels they dug it up. The bucket snagged the wire, pulling it loose but fortunately just scraped the waterline, not breaking it causing any further messes.Sure enough the wires were black and insulation melted. My computer guy/farmer/electrician husband tested the wires before patching and reburying. He tends to be cautious and a perfectionist.
There was another short. Somewhere else in between, underground. The the snow melted and it all drained into the hole. Now there were not only wires to fix but they were under a foot of water. Pumps are good to have. It was still muddy.
They called up Scott. It’s good to know people with trenchers. Abandoning the old line They trenched in two new wires to reach the waterers separately to avoid anymore under ground splices than absolutely necessary. With shiny new wire, wire that’s actually rated to be run underground, above ground junction boxes, a new trench dug, and wire ran, to the tank that has had an extension cord run to it for years. All that dug through knee deep mud. Knee deep on 8 that is.
It was all buried in and working good long before the cold and snow hit. With time left over for taking the duals off the tractor and putting the big snow blower on.
Category: 8, Cows, Farming  One Comment