Monday, December 5, 2016

FaceTime

Our granddaughter lives in San Francisco. We live in Colorado. It isn't always easy to hop on over to Frisco for a visit. So, our son does the next best thing by taking advantage of today's technologies to FaceTime with us. We get to see Alexis, and she gets to see us.

I have been amazed at how interactive the FaceTime sessions can be. Alexis truly connects with me through the screen. One time when she was about 15 months old, she had something in her hand. I asked about it and my son explained that it was her doll's hat. I told Alexis to get her doll and put the hat on it. She wandered off and came back into screen range with her doll and tried to do just that - Dad had to complete the task for her!

Another time my son tuned in while Alexis was finishing her dinner. I mentioned that I was hungry, too. Alexis held out some food and I moved toward the camera as if I was going to take a bite. The next thing we knew, Alexis placed an apple near the screen for me to eat! My daughter-in-law took a picture to show me what was happening off camera!


Recently we all got together for Thanksgiving. It appears that the FaceTime experience transfers to real life. Alexis, now 17 months old, showed no hesitation in coming right up to me. I am so thankful that the technology gives me a window on her daily life!

Alexis at Thanksgiving.... RealTime.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Punkin' Chunkin'

We Dreamers knew that a Punkin Chunkin' competition was held nearby. However, one year it was really hot. Another year it snowed and then last year they did not have the competition. So, when we saw that the competition was on this year, and the weather was nice, we went on over for an afternoon to watch pumpkins being heaved as far as 4000 feet by amazing contraptions.


The contraptions used to toss the pumpkins came in many different shapes and sizes. The smallest were some trebuchets. One built by students and one built by a dad with the help of his two young girls. They reminded me of our son's trebuchet


There were several machines that were not traditional trebuchets or catapults. One of my favorite machines was powered by multiple garage door springs. It was called, "Not in my Driveway". Apparently the builder's wife was not as enamored with the project as the builder was!


We learned that the pumpkins used are grown by the competitors. They grow a few unusual varieties of pumpkins. They are known for their round shapes and their thick skins. The pumpkins have a weight range, around 8 pounds, and will begin to lose weight immediately after picking. The pumpkins must exit the chucker in one piece. 


The air cannons shot pumpkins the furthest. Each cannon has some sort of tank that is pressurized. The more pressure... the greater the distance (assuming the pumpkin comes out of the end of the cannon in one piece.) For the final shot one of the cannons pressurized to 200 lbs/sq inch. Their pumpkin shot well over 4000 feet!


The National competition was halted and was not aired recently when a woman was hit by a piece of metal from an air cannon. From more recent reports it appears that the woman, a journalist, will be OK and she is sad that the competition was stopped.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Happy as a Pig in.....

It was time. The manure pile had spread east and west, and now it was gravitating to the north. It's a massive collection from a number of years of on again (mostly) and off again horses on the property. We Dreamers inflated the tires on the manure spreader, filled the lawn mower on steroids (LMOS) with diesel, and topped off the riding lawn mower with gas. Let the fun begin!

Manure pile part way into the process. 

Filling the manure spreader:
The view from the LMOS,
with a curious Zoe looking on.

The view from afar

Dreaming looking very happy, indeed!
That is, until the wind picked up and blew composted manure
all over her!

 The pile is gone!
In addition to being spread over about 1/3rd of the pasture,
it was used to fill a few holes around the homestead.

We Dreamers found that digging into a hillside promotes the composting of manure. It helps retain the moisture needed for the manure to "cook".  When we moved to our current home, the ground was so dry and hard, Mr. Dreamy's little tractor, the LMOS, couldn't dig a pit. However, after years of manure being piled on the slope, it now had enough moisture to enable Mr. Dreamy to dig out an area to make future deposits. 


I added the first wheelbarrow full of poop this morning.
I put the stakes and fencing up to keep the horses from 
walking too close to the edge and caving the dirt in.
Malachi was certain the little flags were going to eat him!


My next challenge....
filling the pit. 
Any guesses as to how long that will take?!