Thursday, October 16, 2008

mountain trip

We had a great time on our trip to Virginia! Keely and Curt put up with all of us-- and all our dogs-- for a long, fun, work and play weekend.

Aunt Jeanne, don't know if you read this, but DISREGARD THE NEXT PARAGRAPH AND DON'T LOOK AT THE PICTURES!!!!

Uncle Ben treated all the kids to Squirrel Hunting 101. Then we roasted the squirrel over the open fire and everybody got a bite. You can see that the kids were pretty impressed with his skills. They all huddled around the "work table" and watched the skinning and cleaning process. My littlest nephew was overheard remarking that if Uncle Ben got more squirrels, they could paint the table red with the blood...good observation, buddy!

We cleaned out the old barn, including our old bikes. I remembered them as being much, much bigger. I couldn't bear to let the "Machine Gun" go, so it went back in the barn. Maybe we can fix it up for Buck (I guess I should just clarify-- the Machine Gun is the red roadster-type bike, so-called because it used to rattle and shake when you rode it).

After hours of hauling out dirty what-nots and dusty odd-bits, we were all pretty grimy and greasy. So we all loaded up and took a dip in the beautiful Cowpasture River (not being sarcastic, it's the cleanest river in Virginia!!). It was cold but we all (even my niece and I) got in and went all the way under! There was some hair (and beard) washing as well. It ended with a free-for-all hornet's nest rock-throw. Kinda like a Turkey Shoot, but it doesn't matter who hits the nest, everybody gets a prize (which is being chased and stung by hornets!). Okay, actually, no one hit the nest but I think Ben was closest and no one got stung, not that we hung around too much longer...

I'll be posting some more "moments" and pictures later-- I finally got my pictures backed up on the external harddrive to make more room for the new ones (it's only been a month...) We really had a great time, though. The weather was beautiful. So were the mountains. And the old farm is looking younger everyday!

Also, even though I haven't been blogging, life here in the Big Woods has been trotting merrily along, so I have plenty of things to share with everyone... if only I can find the time to type them up!!!

Fun Things To Do With Baby

This is about the funnest thing Buck knows. Now, everyone, just calm down. In many peaceful, loving cultures, part of growing up is being tossed up in the air and caught. Caught. Not dropped, caught. Babies find the sensation irresistible. Buck is no exception.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tough week

Well, it's been a crazy few weeks and now things are calming down a bit. Adam has been really busy with his business, which is both good and bad. Things are settling down now, and he's back to a more or less "regular" schedule.
In the past two weeks, several things have happened, all of them sort of connected. Our roof, as of September 14th (happy birthday, Meg!):

It obviously needed some work. It has actually been in bad shape getting worse since we moved in two Octobers ago. Then, in July, our landlord's son, Shannon, came and took off the shingles on the porch roof so he could replace some rotting beams (that were a result of the leaking roof). He didn't put any shingles back on, because the roofers were supposed to come that next week to replace the whole roof-- tear off all the shingles, re-do the flashing and put on a new metal roof.
The roofers never showed.
This coincided with Mr. Bob's (Bob Blackwood, our landlord) failing health. His emphesema started bothering him more, and he was just not feeling well. On top of that, he was furious about what he called, "the biggest half-ass job I have ever been a part of," and was calling all kinds of contractors trying to get somebody out here to put the new roof on.
Well. He finally found someone to do the job. They started on Monday, September 22nd. I kept waiting for Bob to show up to check that they were doing the work right- he is always supervising anything that happens around here. I knew when he never came down that he must be feeling very poorly.
Late in the afternoon, right around five, while the roofers were cleaning up the debris from shucking off the old shingles, they left the gate open and Red, Honey and Murdock all ran out and across the road. I didn't even realize what had happened until I saw Murdock sitting at the front door, waiting to be let in. Red and Honey weren't so quick to return. I strapped Buck in the Ergo carrier and set off looking for them without any luck. Around 7 pm, when Adam got home, he took the car and drove down the road and found Honey. We figured Red would be home shortly.
The next morning, he still hadn't come back.

Later that same morning, Shannon came down to the house to give me some more bad news: Mr. Bob had passed away the evening before at the hospital, with his wife Ann and Shannon there with him. I wish we'd gotten a picture of Bob, tending his bees, or driving around in his truck (fueled with biodiesel), or shooting squirrels off his bird feeders, or holding Buck. He loved Buck. He always said how much he wanted grandchildren, and was tickled when Adam declared Buck his "grand-neighbor." Just a couple days before he died, Adam took Buck up to see him, wearing his red and black-checked jacket and "Elmer Fudd" hat. Bob got a big kick out of that. We will really miss him.