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My Side Of The Story

We were looking through the calves. My daughter was on the fourwheeler behind me. My father in law was putting out bales of hay for the calves.

As we drove across the pen I said look a chipmunk! It was hopping across the pen, big and grey with it’s long scaly tail stuck straight in the air.

That wasn’t a chipmunk! It was a rat!

Daisy was on the fourwheeler behind us. She’s a good rat dog. I started calling to her, trying  to get her to notice the rodent.

It was getting away though. I floored the fourwheeler and we aimed at the rat. It disapeared beneath us.

Slamming on the breaks I turned to look behind.  It was still running. Leaping off the fourwheeler I ran for it still calling Daisy.  She wasn’t caught up yet, I was there, I did it. My dad always told a story about him stomping a rat that ran under him while he stood talking along Lower Wacker in  downtown  Chicago. I had to  do it, the rat was under my feet already. I forced myself to stomp. The rat squirmed, wrapping  up around my boot. I could feel it. Screaming in  fear and horror at what I was doing I kept stomping, to keep it from  crawling up my leg as much as anything.

Daisy finally got there. I stepped back  and let her finish up.

The Goblin Child was cackling historically on the fourwheeler then hopped off to come see it for herself. Upon inspecting the now very dead rat she shrugged and we walked back  to the fourwheeler and home.

Daisy was  left with her prize. She carried it off the other direction.

The Funniest Day Of My Life By The Goblin Child

We were checking cows on the fourwheeler. It was raining ice pellets. I was cold, my face and fingers were numb.

All of a sudden mama started going fast. I didn’t know what it was. Until we stopped. Mama was in such a hurry she got some mud on my pants as she leapt off the four wheeler. Then I turned around and I saw Daisy barking at a RAT! It was scurrying across the pasture, it had jumped out of a bale of hay.

Mama stepped on the rat, and it curled up around her foot. She was screaming! She was wiggling her foot around. Next thing I knew Daisy had killed the rat.

I walked over there and looked at it. I was laughing like a wild beast! It was funny to see mama screaming because she was scared the rat wrapping around her foot.

Then I got back on the four wheeler and laughed all the way home.

the end

 

 

Country School

It’s official now. School is canceled for the next two weeks. To start with.

On the first day today the staff had to go in, we don’t have any cases anywhere near us, this is just an excess of caution. School is going to go on from a distance. They went in and got prepared.

The cousins came over since their mom had to go in.

We started the day by checking cows. Calving is starting and they need a close eye kept on them. They can be watched even closer if there are many children here who need kept busy. We followed the path that is safe to get through, avoiding deep snow drifts and any hill that is too steep. Talked about exactly what needs to be looked for in the cows and to be sure to check the far corners for any cow that wanders off alone. For the rest of the day it was their job to go make sure there were no new calves.

When there are new calves they will get to learn  about anatomy, science, even sex ed. Something farm kids generally have covered. They learn about what to look for when a cow is having trouble, how to tell if a calf has nursed. Maybe they’ll get to help pull a calf as the season goes on.

Inside there was computer time. I love watching them play together, together online and together in  the same room. They jump up and down  running to each others computers, they talk and plan, It’s a very social undertaking.

In between games they wrestled and played. Games were invited that had never been heard of before. The laughed and spread toys from one end of the house to the other. Or we all went outside. They disappeared off to climb hay bales while I  worked a horse, then wandered back muddy and bedraggled.

Late afternoon as everyone got tired and hungry we made cookies. 8 wanted to make sugar cookies. Make them in a pattern, square, star, square star. I  was sad to tell him we didn’t have a square cookie cutter.

But, who needs a pattern to follow!

We could cut out our own! We could make his square, we could make triangles, we could make any shape we wanted. It could be geometry!

Together the kids figured out measurements and ran the beater. Then, armed with the roller, butter knives and forks we began  to role out the cookie dough. Flour went everywhere, except on the table. Dough stuck to the roller. Little fingers scraped it free of the table. There was nothing square about the squares. The tip was cut off a triangle. The Goblin child held it up. Look! It’s a…   What’s the name of that shape again?

We made some guesses. No, No, not that. Oh yeah, trapezoid! Well if you say so dear. I have no clue.

One of the misshapen shapes looked like the state of Alabama! We were off on a new kick. I pointed at a square, look we have Colorado too! Or maybe it’s Wyoming? I can’t tell for sure. The others morphed into Illinois and Nebraska.

There did even end up being some stars.

Maybe tomorrow we’ll make it as far as getting some of them frosted, there might be a few left.

The teachers are getting homework together to send out. I’m hoping we can  continue on with it in  our small group. The older ones can help the younger ones. Nothing helps cement learning like teaching it to someone else. The younger ones may even be able to help the older ones. With geometry at least.

It will be like the old country schools, all the grades together. Learning, playing, working.

A few extra pictures of all the kids playing together along with our homeschool day.

 

 

Ghost Towns

As I reached for the old brass door handle, worn with time and use, thousands of hands opening the same door over the last hundred years, I was over come with a sense of our place in history and future wound together ad one.

As we stand now is as our ancestors stood before us. We all have our place in the story that time tells.

The old folks tell of businesses past, once thriving and new, now empty husks of buildings, windows blanks eyes staring into a time where they no longer fit. Their proprietors once active members of the community, helping those in need the best they are able, watching helplessly as the town died around them. We listen to them talk, trying to grasp the impossibility of what they say.

Now we stand at the entrance of one of the last business in town. Of course the required bar stays busy down the street.

The couple who run it are growing old. So is the building. Though its tiled tin ceiling is tall and unblemished by the ugly dropped ceilings that have defiled so many grand structures and in  the back the old hand crank elevator stands, a work of art in its utility and simplicity, the roof shows stains from leaks and the walls are cracked. Like on the owners, age is starting to wear hard.

How long will it be before the doors close here too? How long before a for sale sign falls to the floor, dreams of new owners long forgotten as windows break and the ceiling gives in.

We will be telling our grandchildren stories of a time when  we used to shop there. They wont be able to believe that we can remember back to a time when that old ghost town still had stores.

 

Spring Snow

Pausing on the wind swept crest of the hill I turned and peered back the way I had come. From this high vantage point it was possible to see the whole pasture without having to drive it. Today I was happy to be on my gas powered mount instead of a horse. We could go as fast as possible, as fast as I could stand.

The snow was light but wind driven. What a day to skip my cap. Without the protective brim each snowflake stung as it burrowed into my eyes. I drove with head down, stocking cap pulled low, trying to protect my eyes.

It made it hard to look around, the sole purpose of this trip. So I sneak quick glances up around.

The cows aren’t officially calving yet. Not due for a few more days. There always has to be a few early ones though.With the cold weather coming in I want to be sure we don’t miss an early arrival.

No cows are off alone in a far corner. Nothing to worry about yet. I hurry home, with the wind now. The snow hitting my eyes still burns but is easier to avoid. My hands ache with cold. The warm weather for the last few days has made me forget that winter is not over. I should have worn warmer gloves.

Back at the buildings I stop to visit the horses. It is still snowing but above the sky is turning blue. Blue above, grey and snowing below. A horse snorts in my ear, shedding hair sticks to everything. Spring is coming. Eventually.

Category: Cows  One Comment

Gymnastics

Gymnastics is going well. Honestly Cade and Ava are the funnest to watch but The Goblin Child and 8 are still doing good too.

They can do backwards somersaults now and are working on flips on the bar. Both of them can hang on the rings with their legs inn the air and drop down backwards inn a way that makes me cringe wondering how their shoulders can do that without dislocating.

 

Category: 8, Goblin Child  One Comment

Happy Birthday 8!

We’ve been very busy celebrating 8’s birthday week. We don’t believe in one birthday day, he deserves at least a weeks worth of celebrating.

We had a small family celebration last weekend. They got to play with the cousins and he opened his presents from us. Of course there was cake.

Then, not on his birthday, the school was having a different sort of celebration and we thought that would be enough for one day, so shortly after his birthday, he got to take treats to school and have a party there.

He has been getting wonderful packages inn the mail all week and delights in ripping into them.

This weekend we had some friends over to celebrate his birthday again. They played with tractors, ate popcorn out of the tractors, spread the popcorn  across the floor to scoop up with the tractors, oh dear.

I think we may be done now. I know I need a break from  all the partying.

Category: 8  One Comment

The Planets

The goblin Child called me to her room after she had been in bed for a few minutes. Once there she asked me if I remembered Roy G Biv.

I vaguely recalled that it was a memory aid for the colors of the rainbow.

“Well, I have one for the planets!” She informed me.

My Very Excellent Monkey Just Started Unicorn Noodles.

We had to sit down and see what  the planets were and in what order but she does seem to have it down.

Category: Goblin Child  2 Comments

Construction 8

After I took these pictures he asked if I was going to post them. Would I please and say Construction, well, 8 for this purpose at least but you get the idea.

What could be more fun  that a hole filled with icy water and mud?

 

Category: 8  2 Comments