Sunday, October 10, 2004
I did not get to bed until 2300 on Saturday night ... which was not a good thing. The coffee kicked in much too late. I ended my semi-coherent hours of the day, wondering about what hour the kids would wake and what time I could convince the Wife to get out of bed. Neither mattered much when I learned the answer at 0715. It was not the kids nor the wife but rather Thor who woke me. When the Mrs had put the dogs in the front room last night, she had kenneled Katie of course, and Thor gets to lie about on the floor. We put some chairs in the entry-way so he would not leave the room, but apparently he found some courage to move the chairs aside and explore the house a bit. He ended up on the landing of the top floor where the family was sleeping and due to the tight spaces, his wanderings and circling about to get comfortable made quite a racket.
Since we were up at such an unfortunate hour, the Grandparents and I decided to head off to the 0830 mass today. It is either that or the 1030 so we might as well get that under our belt. We brought Alexis with us since Jacob was relaxing on the sofa with the Mrs. Let sleeping dogs lie. She was pretty well behaved and stuck to munching on her snacks for the most part. She did explore the extents of the pew and only left its safety towards the end of the homily. I did need to take her in the back and change her though. All those apples seemed to have softened her tummy up a tad. She was not entirely convinced that this was the time or place for a changing, but we came to consensus that it was now or never. She certainly enjoyed putting the donations in the collection basket, I just hope her predilections for charity keep in the single bill range for a some time ... at least until she starts getting her own pay-check.
Back at the homestead, I thought that since Jacob was so nice to Mommy while we were gone, I should set up the train for him. While he was pre-occupied with Grams and Gramps, I snuck into the other room to get to work. The train tracks were very easy to put together and it was done in minutes. I called Jovial Jacob over and pointed to the train, he was wowed by the setup and then I turned it on. Stunned silence and utter amazement. It preoccupied him for quite some time until he learned how to operate the power switch himself. He then sent it rocketing forward down the track. His giggles of joy and shrieks of delight eventually attracted his sister who put her foot right in the path of the engine zipping around the track in reverse. The cars went flying off and the engine tumbled onto it's side. He quickly snatched up the cars and the engine and ran off to another room to inspect his new found treasures. We have decided to leave the train at Grams and Gramps house so it can be a treat for him, that and he will need constant monitoring when using it. It is electric after all. And not entirely resilient either.
After enjoying the train set for a while, I went out back to help Amish Dad with a problem he had. There was a large tree that had fallen in the gully behind the house. He had managed to cut a few chunks off it, leaving a good 12-15 feet log behind with a smaller 3 foot log. The side of the gully is at a 45 to 55 degree angle and is primarily made of loose clay and slate. We managed to pull the smaller section up using ropes and conveniently placed saplings. After barely managing to get the first part out, Big Little Brother Paul had come out and we started to discuss what options we had for the large part. There was probably no chance that we would be able to easily pull this thing up without an extreme ammount of effort and probably some significant injury along the way. Paul eventually proclaimed that he would stop by a hardware store and buy a 'come along' winch of sorts to use SCIENCE to bring the log up to the flat part. While we were staring down at the log in the gully, the dogs were complaining about not being with us so I gave them the 'OK' wave and they came scampering down the deck stairs to greet us. We were pointing at the logs with sticks and the hounds became fascinated with the sticks, so I tossed it for them to fetch. The really enjoy the acres of space that the homestead is situated on and took full advantage of it to do their wide banking turns. Eventually, the three of us became curious if the dogs would have as much trouble getting out of the gully as we did ... so I threw a large tree branch down in there and mentioned to Thor to go get it. He plunged down the crumbling bank and bolted straight ahead ... head first right into a tree .. THWOCK! He was so excited to be playing 'throw and lug' that he didn't even notice even though the 3 humans all winced at the resounding percussion. He was nearly walking on only his back legs as he scaled the incline with the large branch in his maw. Not a single mis-step. The behemoth can certainly be graceful when he needs to. We did this several times with both Thor and Katie until they were sufficiently tired and content to just lie down and chew on the branches.
Later in the evening, the kids and grandparents went out for a walk around the neighborhood. Nothing special except for the kids getting tired of the walking business halfway out. We put them on our shoulders and walked back to the homestead, admiring the different wild flowers along the way. This did help spur their appetite a bit when we had dinner, but Alexis was very tired and was showing it. No nap at noon will tend to do that. We packed up the Family Tank and left at about 1630 on our standard four hour trip back. We didn't stop for gas and the kids fell asleep about 5 minutes into the trip. They didn't sleep long, but were pretty quiet the whole time as they watched a DVD movie. It was Toy Story (I or II, forget which one) that they have seen so many times I can almost repeat the lines from memory now. We got to the Manor on time, bathed, fed the kids, let the dogs out ... did all the decompression routine and crawled into bed at about midnight. sigh... Another weekend trampled under the boots of time, well spent though.