Sunday, August 29, 2010

maine attraction

As you may have guessed by now -- if you are even checking on this blog -- we have been on vacation.

Among other things.

The week before we left on vacation was one long giant snafu... the week after we got back, pretty much the same thing plus a lot of mail to sort through... but luckily, the vacation itself was pretty nice. We went to Ellsworth, Maine so we could take the boys to Acadia National Park. The last time we went to Acadia was also our last vacation B.B. (Before Boys) and we looked happy and carefree like so:

And here we are, almost exactly fifteen years later:

As you might expect from any vacation in close proximity to a National Park with my boys in tow, we did a lot of hiking, primarily to the tops of mountains:

And also some whale watching (the boat found a pod of around 15 pilot whales; if you click on the picture to make it larger, you can make out a baby whale's fin between and slightly behind the two adults):

And a bit of dramamine-induced snoozing.

The house we stayed at was on a pond, so there was also a fair amount of kayaking and canoeing:


And "school reading" in the hammock, the only place in which Primo's phone could send and receive text messages (cell phone is in hand, "The Good Earth" is on his lap):

And of course swimming:

Until we came home from hiking one day, and saw this enormous snapping turtle sunning itself on the jumping rock:

And then there was no more swimming.

Actually, I just realized that my first statement about Acadia was not entirely accurate. We were not, technically speaking, entirely without boy on that trip. I have helpfully circled the boy that accompanied us in "baby boy blue" so you can find him:

And here he is, just over fifteen years later.

Thank heaven I am no longer required to tote his butt around, because we wouldn't have had a prayer of making it to the top of any of those mountains. Quite frankly, it was all I could do to get just my own butt to the top of those mountains.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

'tis a mystery

My LSH headed out early this morning for his run... and was back in the door within a minute, asking for my help. One of our ram lambs was hanging out, just passing the time, in my LSH's patient parking lot.

That was not where he was supposed to be.

I am including a helpful diagram at this point so you can fully understand why this was such a puzzle:

See the white electronet fenced area to the right of the picture, helpfully marked with a blue arrow? Thanks to the terrible drought, we are pretty much out of pasture. We moved the ram lambs to that area a few days ago to let them graze down what is left out there, and give their pasture a little break. The electronet is easily moved by relocating the posts (white vertical lines) so we can shift them to fresh pasture every day.

The ram in question -- coincidentally, the one looking at me taking his picture -- was supposed to be safely contained in this fence. The fence was on and charged, meaning that anything that touched a horizontal strand would get a good jolt. (Ask me -- or any one of us in this family -- how we know.) The fence had not fallen or been trampled down. It was still up, and three ram lambs were in it, and one was out. The place he was found is marked in red.

To deepen the mystery, look carefully to the left of the picture. See where the yellow arrow is pointing? That is the water bucket that was also in the fenced-in area when I went to bed last night. Let me give you a close-up of how it looked this morning:

The lambs had tipped over the bucket late last evening, and I figured I would just fill it in the morning. (Presumably a parallel activity to teenage boys and cow tipping, the ram lambs have decided that bucket tipping is great entertainment. They tip it, we come out and fill it. Goes on all day.) Best we can figure, that particular lamb got his head stuck in the bucket, panicked, and pushed his way under and through the fence. He didn't feel the jolt because he had a bucket on his head, the only sensitive place on his body thanks to all that wool. He kept going until he bumped into something solid -- the access ramp of my husband's office -- where he was finally able to get the bucket off.

Or perhaps you can come up with an even better explanation?

Monday, August 9, 2010

i got nuttin'

Which I am sure has come to your attention.

I hate to admit it but the fair and the post-fair duties just sucked me dry. A really rotten summer cold didn't help matters much. And of course there's this darn heat wave... The dry spell in the weather here has parched my entire being, it seems.

So here I sit, ten days later and still I can't think of anything to write.

I will have to do the cowardly thing and refer you to a much more frequently-updated blog until the creative juices start flowing again. Old Picture of the Day is a delight and luckily the guy seems to have much more perserverance than I do. I found this blog when I was looking for pictures of Grace Coolidge, and now I am addicted. Every week he chooses a theme and posts old pictures around that theme. We got into a debate with another family as to whose son looked more like the kid on the left in this photo. They said Secondo, we said their son!

The domestic activities ones a few weeks ago were wonderful and gratitude-inspiring. They are worth paging back a bit to find. 

This one from yesterday had me giggling uncontrollably, in part because I was so glad to see that we are not the only ones who get ourselves into these fine messes. (It's a long read but well worth it for a tale of do-it-yourselfness gone awry.)

And in the meantime I will prod my subconscious into coughing up something. Anything.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

county fair

We are still recovering, but it was a great 4-H fair.

There were vegetable growing contests (all from our garden, hand-picked by Secondo)...

Pie-eating contests (yeah, my kids each won their divisions; they have big mouths, is anyone really surprised?)...

Goat-milking contests (my kid did not win, he has his mother's milking talent)...

There was getting your animals ready to show...

And showing your animals...

Or maybe your brother's animal (the ever-patient Giulia).

There was also a lot of just plain hanging out with your 4-H friends and having a good time.

Good, clean (well, maybe not so much clean in the hygenic sense of the word), honest fun. It's kinda hard to come by these days. But we had it in spades. Lucky kids! Lucky us!

Hurray for 4-H!