Saturday, March 17, 2007

Go... Stop... Go...

So the past couple of days have been rather full of activity. Friday morning I left the house with everyone asleep to take my van in to the dealer to have a couple things taken care of. I got to sit there for around an hour, waiting for the shuttle driver to arrive, then I was the last person dropped off... that got me home about 2 hours after I left.

Not long after that, Brian and I took the kids to the base duck pond to hear a history presentation by Bruce Larson. Bruce is a retired park ranger naturalist and offers a variety of classes and presentations to schools and homeschools alike. He talked about the "mountain men" (trappers) in the West and was attired in like fashion, including a belt with his firestarter kit, pouch with ammunition, powder horn, small knife, etc. He also had a large Bowie knife and talked to us about its origin. The boys were quite interested in his flintlock rifle; those of us into words and language appreciated how he explained that phrases like "lock, stock, and barrel" and "flash in the pan" both originated from this piece of equipment.

One part of the morning that held great interest was his demonstration of how to start a fire using a flint and steel. Before this, however, he asked the group to come up with the reasons being able to start a fire was so important. It didn't take long to come up with most answers (stay warm, cook, keep predators away), but a little longer for someone to think of another good reason... to get his clothes dry! (We'd been talking of trapping beavers, which would mean that the trapper may have gotten wet setting his traps.) The kids also enjoyed hearing several bird calls he had brought with him, including quail, owl, hawk, and turkey. Mr. Larson also passed on instructions on how a person should react if he were to encounter wild animals such as mountain lions or bears.

We had lunch with some other members of the group, then headed back to the duck pond to feed the ducks and visit some more. By the time we finished up there, it was time to pick up my van. When we did that, we discovered that the dealer had only received 1 of the 2 little parts they ordered, so I will have to take it back again for the second one to be installed (these are the brackets for the sunshades in the rear windows). We also found out that they aren't sure why the wireless headphones for the rear entertainment system aren't working when the kids watch a movie; they are ordering a new audio system to see if that's the problem (they've already tried replacing a cable). If that doesn't work, they'll put in a new DVD player. Am I glad we got the extended warranty!!

Brian went to Sacramento for today and tonight, so it was just me and the kids here at home. Emily wanted to go shopping, and since it wasn't my money she wanted to spend, I was glad to oblige. We managed to hit Kohl's, Old Navy, and the mall. She snagged some new tops at the first 2 places, but left the mall empty-handed. A later trip to Target yielded a new bathing suit top to match a suit we'd gotten earlier this year.

In between the running around, I managed to squeeze in some reading. Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas was an easy read. Not one of my favorites of his, but still pretty good. His writing seems different than his earlier works; I can't quite put my finger on it.

1 comment:

Heidi said...

HI. I'm checking in after the Ultimate Blog party. That naturalist speaker sounded interesting to me! Those field trips are the things that really stayed with me from my school days.

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