Monday, January 25, 2016

I'm a lumberjack. . .

A rather large cypress tree fell over in my yard with all the rain we have been having recently.  I thought about standing it back up. . . 

But instead went with the option to cut it into chunks and use it for a good winter fire.  Yeah, I could have borrowed a chainsaw from a friend or neighbor, but I decided I should get the exercise and do this job by hand.  

I've got about half of the original length off of both trunks but I didn't really consider at the time that the trunks would continue to get thicker and harder to cut all the way down.  
I haven't given up yet, it is just going to take a little more time than I originally thought. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Cowboy Pinball

We went to the rodeo last weekend.  It isn't something that we have seen in a very long time and I'm not certain that the kids would remember ever having been.

The show started with some cowboys riding some bucking horses.

We also saw barrel racing and, of course, bull riding.

The MC and rodeo clowns put on some skits and told jokes between events and the entire show was very entertaining.

At one point the MC called for anyone interested in playing "cowboy pinball" to come to his end of the arena.  I thought it was some kind of kid thing but wasn't sure what it was.

Toward the end of the evening I saw the rodeo clowns pouring chalk circles into the dirt floor of the arena.  The circles were pretty close together and the MC called for the people playing "cowboy pinball" to come down to the gate.

I leaned over and told my daughter that they were going to stand people in the circles and release a bull.  I was kidding and she wasn't believing me.  Then I leaned to my other side and told Cari the same thing.  She didn't believe me either but I was beginning to believe myself.

The volunteers were all adults and they all ran onto the dirt and claimed a circle.  Two women were in the group and they were told to use the two circles furthest to the back.  Then the MC went into this speech that everyone in the arena was a witness to.  He declared this game to be stupid and a bad idea.  Nobody in their right mind would do this and if anyone got hurt it was their own stupid fault.  The audience cheered and I knew for certain my prediction was about to come true.

The gate swung open and an angry bull jumped sideways into the arena kicking and bucking.  A few of the guys closest to the gate dodged and moved from their circles.  They were out and made a run for the wall.  

A few times the bull got too far away from the players so a rodeo clown would lure the beast back toward the circles.  One of the women took a hit to the stomach by the bulls head and she tumbled into the dirt.  Another player took a good headbutt and hit the dirt pretty hard.

In the end there was one guy remaining in his circle with his hands up victoriously.  He won. No prize for this game, but he won.

Rodeo's are awesome.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

The Internet Lies!

Have you seen the video of cats that are terrified of cucumbers?  It's pretty funny.

For some reason cats seem to have a natural fear of cucumbers.  Then Cari and I realized that, hey! we have cats.  After a quick stop at the grocery store we were setting up our camera ready to watch our cat leap 10 feet into the air.

After getting the cat to sit down, we quietly set a cucumber on the table next to the cat.  Becoming impatient we stood behind the cat and called to her.  She turned her head, looked at me calling her, looked at the cucumber, looked straight ahead with boredom, and walked away.

The internet lies.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

First Hike of 2016

We have a tradition of trying to get a family hike in as close to New Year's Day as possible.  This year that day would be Jan 2.

Nobody had a scheduled event and nobody had a job to go to so we loaded up the car and headed to one of our favorite hikes to see Yellow Branch Falls.  It has been raining for the past 30 days, so I expected this sometimes weak waterfall to be FULL.

We grabbed our matching backpacks and with the promise of Chick-Fil-A milkshakes we heard no complaining as the hike started out.

We crossed a few creeks on the way to the falls.  A few required rock hopping

. . .and one used a fallen log as a bridge where I did battle with my daughter!

 What started out as a staged fight for a photo turned into an opportunity for her to grab my arm. . .

Around half way we stopped for a lunch break just off the trail.

When we arrived at the falls there were a few other groups already there and taking photos.  We found a spot among the other hikers to stop and take our own photos:

On the way out I found a tree that had fallen across two banks and rested overhead across the trail.  I climbed up and walked part way out onto this tree and stood over the trail for a few photos.

Then I got scared I would fall and climbed back down.

After the hike Cari and I came through on our promise.  We had completed a family hike with no arguing or complaining by anyone.  We arrived at Chick-Fil-A and ordered too many peppermint milkshakes.  The cashier smiled and apologized.  They were out of peppermint shakes for the day.  We substituted chocolate and everyone was still smiling.  The first hike of 2016 had been a success!


It's pretty tough getting us all to make a nice smile for a photo. . .