Monday, June 30

Wildlife Seen in June

  • 21 geese
  • deer
  • field mice
  • red squirrels
  • turkey
June's Backyard Birds
  • bald eagle
  • Baltimore orioles
  • bluejays
  • brown-headed cowbirds
  • cedar waxwings
  • chickadees
  • common yellowthroat
  • downy woodpeckers
  • eastern bluebirds
  • goldfinches
  • hairy woodpeckers
  • mourning doves
  • purple finches
  • red-winged blackbirds
  • robins
  • rose-breasted grosbeaks
  • ruby-throated hummingbirds
  • tree swallows
  • white-breasted nuthatches

Thursday, June 26

There's a bat in my rain barrel

No kidding. It keeps climbing up on the rocks to stay dry. The rocks are in the rain barrel to keep it from blowing away, but any bat'll tell ya that's not all they're good for. He's alive, he can't fly for some reason, he hates the water, and he doesn't want to be disturbed. He's got an ugly little face with ugly little teeth, and fangs, and he's got amazingly strong thumbs. Weird huh?

OK, so as you already know, today is Thursday. To summarize the whole thing, I got a piece of paper which certifies that I failed the test. That was a joke. Actually, everything was pretty good. I got there, waited in line for a few hours... or did it just feel like hours? Anyway, after an obnoxiously long time, I finally got my test. I took my test. I sat in a green chair while someone corrected my test, and then I found out I only got 5 wrong. That means I passed. Then I went and filled out an application for a permit. I got my picture taken. I got my temporary permit and drove us home. I only ended up in the shoulder 5 or 6 times, and there are NO DENTS in the truck. Not that I put there today anyway.

Wednesday, June 25

Thursday is tomorrow!

I'm excited because tomorrow I can take my permit test. I'm gonna do well, because I know my stuff and test well. If I pass, I can buy a permit and drive home! On back roads, of course. Too much traffic on the main highway... If I hit a tree I don't want to scare the other drivers. But that won't happen, I just want to be sure.

On Saturday night I awoke to hear the chickens making a big fuss, so I ran downstairs and grabbed the essentials in any scary situation: a flashlight and Lynae. We went out to the coop and saw a striped skunk eating eggs in perfect tranquility. I wish I had been as happy as it was. I ran inside, grabbed the airgun and ammo, and got out to the crime scene. But, the skunk retreated as soon as I had left the coop, and it pushed up the fence and escaped.
Sunday afternoon was when I decided to take action. I could've taken action the night before, but I was tired and ready to go back to bed. So Sunday afternoon I grabbed the bacon grease from the freezer, an egg, a bungee cord, and my 160 conibear. (For those of you not familiar with 160 conibears, they are traps with a 6 inch jaw spread which kill the animal instantly when used properly.) I chose this trap because it was strong enough to kill a skunk without much odor. Well, this morning I found the trap with a skunk in it. I can't say I was thrilled, (who can blame me?), but I was complacent. After about an hour of backbreaking labor, I finally got the trap springs set and locked so I could pull the skunk out. I decided to set the trap back up because the skunk I caught was a mother, and her young will now be 2 or 3 months old, and if they come around, I don't want to lose any more eggs. The moral of this story is: shut your chickens in at night. Also, don't feel sorry for skunks, they never return the favor.

Last night we went to a baseball game. Our team was the Duluth Huskies, the enemy was the La Crosse Loggers. Our team lost. The last inning was really exciting; the Huskies had the bases loaded and it looked like they had a chance, but then the last batter didn't do too well.

Thursday, June 19

I'm about done with driver's ed now

Tomorrow is my last day man! So if I pass, I can get my permit one week from today. Then I can take my behind the wheel portion. Sweet.

I just got some music playing here, so the rest of this is probably gonna take forever.

About 1 hour and 10 minutes ago, I finished picking up branches at the neighbor's house. You are reading the blog entry of a man who is a lot richer now. Plus, I found some wooden frames with mosquito mesh on the burn pile, and I thought it would be perfect for rabbit hutches, so I brought them home. Imagine me riding across town on a bicycle with 5 wooden frames roughly 30" x 18", a timer, and a rake. I'm not gonna say our town is too big, but that was a tough ride home.

I saw a bunch of rabbits while I was in town. I warned them that fall is coming, and on September 13th I'm gonna get out there with a vengeance, but they didn't believe me. I don't blame 'em, I mean, I was carrying building supplies for a project which would hold their cousins, and I was struggling to stay on the road. Yeah, September 13th is 2 days earlier than it was last year, but the season is ending a day earlier, so I only gain one day.

I went scouting earlier, and I think I may have found a great spot for otters. The problem is, the water is warm and stagnant, and there is no evidence that proves for sure that otters are hanging out there. All I found were two trails where something was going across the road, something small like a coon, mink, or otter. Anyway, what I loved about this place is that there were a few bottlenecks in the water, where two points almost touch. This is the only place I've seen these, and they are awesome for swim-through sets with 280s or 330s. So I figure I'll probably hit it with a few 330s for otters if they do go through there, and also a shiny pan set for coon and mink. I would do some pocket sets, but there are no real banks, just grass growing in the water until it's too deep. I'm ready for October 25th. It seems like October 25th is way too far away. By that time, we'll only have 2 weeks to get it done before the ice comes. After ice, we've got 2 weeks to get land critters done, before we get some deep snow. I don't plan on wasting a second of those 4 weeks.

I think I'm tired of being awake, and that means I am going to bed.

Wednesday, June 18

School's (almost) out!

It's almost Summer, and that means that everyone is wrapping up the school season. I have been working really hard this past spring, and it's starting to show.

You see, in the fall, we have to harvest the garden, do canning, and get ready for the winter. During December, we are sending and receiving gifts and cards (something that Toby and I work on with Mom), and celebrating all over the place. Then we have to put all that stuff away and go shovel. With all this to do, we are left little or no time to work, putting that extra work on the early months of the next year.

Now of course, we could decide not to grow a garden, but what about the apples, gooseberries, and blueberries? They would all go to waste. Besides, all of the above are nutritious money savers. We could decide not to send gifts and cards to people, but that would ruin our hard earned reputation. Lastly, we could decide not to celebrate Christmas and New Years, but that would negatively impact morale.

Therefore, in the cold months, we must pick up and carry the burden of school. Working hard, we must also prepare for that warmer season in which we must also carry the burden of gardening and mowing. Now please understand, I am not saying that homeschooled kids get overworked. I myself feel blessed that I have been chosen to complete the tasks at hand with my God given skills. I also know that adults have many more burdens to carry, many of which are heavier than those listed above. I am just saying that we do actually work, and are not lazy and stupid as some people suppose.

Anyway, as I said, I have been working really hard and am getting results. I have finished Saxon 7 6; My math book of two years, Writing Strands; my writing book of two years, and am almost finished with Apologia General Science; my science curriculum for one year (not to mention, my favorite science book ever!).

Mom, Dad, and I were talking about my progress, and Mom said that this is probably the first time I have ever finished three school books in the same year! I'm really excited! During the Summer I will be reading a bunch of books and practicing my multiplication table. I'm gonna go work on science.

Tuesday, June 17

Old habits and all that

Today I received a piece of mail with my maiden name on it. I've been married for 14+ years. And you know what I thought when I saw it? "Whew, I'm glad I'm not the only one who still writes that!" LOL

Thank you, Aunt Sue!

It was one of THOSE days

You always hear about moms who don't take care of themselves because they're so busy taking care of the rest of the family. I thought that meant other moms, but apparently it includes me.

Yesterday morning, I took my glasses off and they crumbled in my hands. I don't know how old they are, but they must be between 5 and 12 years old. Thankfully, I already had an eye appt. scheduled for early July. And thankfully, I have contacts. And Super Glue. Which I did not get all over my hand. Not this time, anyway.

Last night I was eating scrambled eggs and an English muffin when one of my front teeth crumbled. Again. I wonder how to figure out if I got my money's worth out of the work I had done on that tooth a couple years ago. More than that, I wonder if I'll ever be able to stop running my tongue over it. To my credit, making a dental appointment was also on my to-do list. I just hadn't been able to reach them when they were open. I knew it was time for a cleaning, really. I go every thirteen years, like clockwork.

In the interest of full disclosure, I also have a lab appointment in July. I'll be interested to see if my A1c goes down again. And I had a hair appointment, but the receptionist and I had a little miscommunication, so I'll have to reschedule. Unless all my hair breaks off first, in which case I'll be online, ordering hats. Or not. Have I mentioned how much I hate hats?

Well there. Now my brother can imagine me as a bald old lady, blind as a bat and gumming my food. He'd just better remember he's only a couple years behind me!

Monday, June 9

Random Happenings

Well, it's June. It has finally gotten dry enough for mowing. Thanks to gas prices though, we will be mowing only about half of our huge lawn. Part of me wants to leap for joy at the thought of all those hours I would have spent toiling in the hot sun cutting grass. Another part of me wants to lie down and weep at the thought of watching half our lawn turn into a vast stretch of swamp. I suppose I'll get over it though.

Spring is still behind a little, but the lilacs are blooming, the blueberry bushes are flowery, and the beloved gooseberries are taking form. The shade garden is beautiful and I love the look the ferns give it.

I went out running earlier and strangely enough, the mosquitoes gave me a great idea for another play. As you probably don't already know, I sometimes get great ideas for skits, and decide to enact them with my siblings. I would have us act this particular one out, but alas, I don't have nearly enough actors on hand, so that one will have to wait for our children.

Well, my birthday is coming up and for the first time since I was eight, I actually know what I want! I would ask for the collected writings of Jane Austen, but I already have that. I would also ask for a corset and/or some petticoats, but I tried that at Christmas, and Mom said I probably wouldn't like them much. Still, I think I'll get myself some...someday. Instead I asked for a camera. I don't really care what kind I get, but I promised my friends pictures of our house, and I can't take pictures without a camera. So if I don't get a camera, I will just jolly well buy one!

Friday, June 6


No tornadoes here yet. But we did gather our emergency stash (which is, necessarily, quite large for a family of seven). We also had a practice run, when we found out it wasn't too late to drop off some paperwork at the school. I had the kids get ready, grab everything, and get in the truck as fast as possible. (The other option was the basement, but we wanted to be prepared for either.) We did a fair job, but forgot the key to the fire safe and the dogs.

We were gone for about 30 minutes. When we returned, we found our tallest tree had fallen. I'd often wondered if, when it fell, it would take out half the apple orchard. Turns out the answer is no. I guess the next question is whether it will make good firewood.

Thursday, June 5

Wireless networks

Now there's something I take for granted. And I like it that way. I want my wireless connections to work and not give them another thought.

But alas, it seems this is not to be, at least not anytime soon. In the meantime, I will continue to move forward. It just won't be as far forward, since I'll be connected to this silly ethernet cable.

When this is all over, though, I plan to have the loud computer moved across the house to the dining room, and will be able to do everything except floss my teeth with this laptop.

Maybe the rain will be over by then.

Tuesday, June 3

June is here!

Which means my birthday is coming very soon. How come this doesn't excite me as much as it used to? No idea. But, here is my humble list of stuff I would enjoy for my birthday. Please, don't feel obligated to buy me anything.

  • Something to Say by Matthew West
  • #11 longspring (if you aren't sure what this is then do yourself a favor and don't buy one)
  • A gift certificate to Minnesota Trapline Products
  • Chest waders
So I got a newsletter from the MTA the other day. There was some neat stuff in there, and info about the rendezvous this summer. There is going to be a trapper race with challenges like:
  • Pulling a canoe that leaks
  • Running in chest waders through waist deep water
  • Carrying huge amounts of weight
  • Setting traps on a predestined route
I am excited. Should I try it? I don't know if I will, but I'm exercising more now anyway.

Looks like this week is the week for fishing. I hope I will go fishing soon, because I heard that there is great bass fishing at a certain lake not far from here. (I would say which lake so you could catch fish there too, but the name of the lake is not very pleasant and would not be appropriate for me to put on the www.) Problem is, the lake is full of weeds. I went swimming there last year, and I swam all the way to the middle of the lake where it was too deep for me to feel the weeds, but before that is really weedy, and if you get tired of swimming, you can literally lie down on the weeds to take a break, but it feels gross and just thinking about it makes me want to vomit.

Before we go boating we're gonna have to register our boat. We're going to have to do that in Sandstone. Have I told you about Sandstone? It ought to be famous. See, in Sandstone there is a grocery store called Chris' Food Center. I did not make the typo, the sign actually says that. Anyway, Chris' Food Center is home of America's best bagger almost every year since 1991... or at least that's what I remember it saying. Well, I am not really picky about the way they bag my groceries, as long as they do it in a common sense way.

Reading what Mom said about mosquitoes, I am reminded of a trip I took to Banning State Park, right by the river. We were eating lunch, which required us to remain stagnant because of all the food we had bought. This made us an easy target for mosquitoes, even though we were covered in DEET. I have come up with 2 brilliant ideas for protection against this terrible foe.

  1. BAM. Yes, this stands for Bomb Against Mosquitoes, and it is so powerful and expensive that only the government can use it, mostly for big cities but also state parks. See, this is an atomic bomb that has been significantly weakened; it kills everything but the people and the cockroaches.
  2. HAM. This is more affordable and is legal for civilian use. It stands for Halo Against Mosquitoes, and here's how it works: the halo attaches to your body and uses the electromagnetic energy in your body plus the power of 2 AA batteries to create an invisible fence around you of electric power. It zaps any mosquitoes that come near you, and it also sends a small shock to anyone who tries to kidnap you.
So now you ask, "How much d'you want for it?" Actually, I have to send you the same question because I simply have no time for such trivial issues, I have a life to live. YOU make them and sell me some.