Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Skippyjon Jones

"I cannot believe that in two quiet hours you covered the walls with those cockeyed Chihuahuas," she scolded. "You are not a Chihuahua. You are a naughty Siamese cat. And you need a time-out to think about that."
The kitty boy did not budge.
But Junebug could be very purr-suasive. "If you think more like a cat," she said, "Mama will catch you a mouse big and fat. I'll dip it in butter and roll it in cheese.... All you must do is think Siamese!"
...I've heard those last lines over and over today, Levi's stuck on them...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lepidoptera & Coleoptera

We've started some daily projects learning about insects - a favorite subject! First Lepidoptera = butterflies/moths. Then today Coleoptera = beetles. I love those words coming out of my 3-year-old's mouth.

















Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

T-8days

until I leave for the Southeast Women's Herbal Conference in Black Mountain, NC. It'll be my first weekend away by myself in some time. A solo roadtrip & camping in the mountains... ahhh.
It's an annual event that I first heard about last year (thanks Joe for finding that link) only a few days before the actual event & couldn't work into the schedule so last minute - so I decided I would be sure to make it this year. I have a feeling it will be a new annual journ for me. Follow the link above & check out all the great classes offered. The hardest part I think is deciding which to take.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Homemade Buns

homemade wholewheat cinnamon buns

all rolled up

slicing



awaiting the icing...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sand Gnats Game

Shots from the game last Monday = Labor Day. Free parking, $1 admission, $1 hotdogs, $1 beers and we won the game. Perfect.

Levi got excited everytime the ball was hit.


A nice walk thru the park to the ballfield.




He wanted his picture with the Sand Gnat




A random shot from the other day. Propped up on the laundry pile perusing the Tao of Pooh.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Happy Labor Day!

For the first time in 9 years we missed the Neely Pig Roast. Laying low this weekend - so much traveling lately has taken its toll on us. We're gonna catch a Sand Gnat's game tomorrow = the Savannah farm team.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hickory Flatbow

Back in May, Levi and I cut down a hickory on Papa's farm near Cairo. I wanted to make several primitive longbows to hunt with, and wanted the bow to come from a tree that would mean something. We scoured the farm and after evaluating several trees, we decided on this one, growing along the creek near the pond. After felling it, I counted 27 rings.....indicating the tree started life somewhere around 1982-83, when I was 8 years old. The tree was a young seedling growing very near the spot where a creek bottom squirrel bit my thumb and I was sure I was going to die a slow, agonizing death from squirrel rabies. Years later, it was a proper tree one sunny April afternoon when I called in three longbeards from the pines and took the largest not 30 yards from it's base. Familiar.


My helper (and future bowyer) taking a break before loading the tree on the truck.

When using hickory for a bow, the wood immediately under the bark becomes the "back" of the bow, which is the part away from the shooter. Because you use the wood right under the bark (as opposed to carving the wood down to follow a single growth ring as with Osage or Yew, for example), cutting the tree during the growing season allows the bark to easily peel off in large strips.
When splitting the trunk into staves, its best to use wedges to allow the wood to split along its natural grain, as opposed to using a saw. Seal the ends to prevent cracking, and wait, wait, wait!


Watch those toes!!

Four hickory staves


Thinning down the stave to near-bow dimensions so that it will season faster. If the wood is stressed before the moisture level drops to, say 10%, it will take "string set" and leave a generally weak bow (or a broken one).




Ready to dry for several weeks.

3 months later..........A bow!! What I didn't take pictures of was tillering the bow, the most important part. Tillering involves taking small amounts of wood from each limb until they bend equally. I did an adequate, but not a great job tillering. Hey, it's a learning process. :-)
I wrapped the handle in Jute twine and sealed the wood against moisture.


Full circle.....Shooting the bow with a homemade cane arrow and stone point. Next up, a bow for Molly.