Open Farm Day- The Alpaca Farm

mamies-farm

The view from the house. The alpacas are to the left of the lane.

Once upon a time, 3 year ago, we took a trip. On this trip we encountered a petting zoo which had a donkey and an alpaca in a small stable. We approached the stable to see the animals. There was a four foot wall (not a fence) enclosing the animals so when we entered the stable we couldn’t see any animals. DW was holding 2 year old Bang and they went to peek into what appeared to be an empty pen.

Suddenly, the alpaca who was laying against the inside of the wall they were going to peek into, stood up. You can imagine a two year old’s shock at suddenly being face to face with an animal who wasn’t there just a second ago.

He was traumatized and probably will need counselling as an adult and all his fears will lead to this single incident. If we wanted to keep him out of something (the basement at Nanny’s house) all we just told him there were alpacas down there. He wouldn’t even touch the door after being told this little white lie…

But then he turned three. A three year old’s curiosity is formidable. He wanted to see the alpacas in Nanny’s basement. We were busted in another lie. (see The Death of the Claw for our other big lie)

We heard a friend of ours was raising alpacas and welcomed visitors to her farm. So we went not knowing how Bang would react after his traumatizing incident with the “pop-goes-the-alpaca” of the previous summer. Turns out he loved them. The boys got to feed them, too. One of them was being greedy so Crash had hidden a carrot behind his back so he could feed it to a different alpaca. Miss Greedy Alpaca wasn’t impressed so she spit on him and knocked him down. He was okay, and we all had a good laugh.

So we went back yesterday. There were some extra alpacas! Some babies were born in January/February. The boys got to pet them. One of the babies hadn’t been sheered yet so it still was still fluffy. If you haven’t seen a baby, fluffy alpaca, I highly recommend you find one and go pet it. Alpaca wool is warmer than sheep’s wool and it’s not itchy!

We also discovered our friend got some chickens. She had three hens for laying eggs. Unfortunately, a fox or coyote got two of them. She also has 20 “meat birds”. They were a month old so they weren’t yellow, fluffy chicks any more.

We started naming them: Nugget, Shake, Bake…

You can visit her facebook page for more info and tons more pictures.

  • Alpaca wool is light but warmer than sheep wool and not itchy
  • It lacks lanolin which makes it hypoallergenic
  • Their fiber is flame resistant
  • It is water resistent, too
  • They come in 16 different colors
  • I love my alpaca socks! That`s a fact!

This Taboo Word Challenge is getting tougher! Today’s word was “that”.
To read more posts without the Taboo Word (that) or to join the challenge just click the blue frog…

To add the blue frog to your post get the InLinkz code.

Sunday Share September

We took a trip to an alpaca farm today.  The boys loved it. We had been there before but it was 2 years ago. We know the lady who raises the alpacas so it was nice to see her and hear some stories since we’d last been to the farm. Their wool is amazing! Softer and warmer than a sheep’s wool. Perfect for Canadian winters. There will be more on that tomorrow.

The Beauty of Doing Nothing
Being a good dad is tough…

That’s What Anxious Mom Said
I’m a Sith Master named Baham Binarblast, who are you?

Pencils and Purpose
Making high tech low tech and bringing it to the classroom…

Build A Dean
Now I’m feeling sleepy…

Back To School Margaret
Kids these days…

And shameless plug for my YouTube page. I have uploaded a few videos since I last gave myself a shout out. I’m up to 13 videos and 9 subscribers! 9 is my lucky number. 999 would be even luckier (just sayin’)

best-30-minions-best-friend-quotes-friendship

Or laugh at you when you do stupid stuff like trip and almost put your head through the wall.

 

Saturday Sillies

You know when you have this awesome idea and you can’t wait to get started on it? You plan carefully. You get everything set up just so. Everything is going exactly as you expected it would.

Then it doesn’t.

I think that’s how Bang felt…

giphy

Hope all y’all are having a good weekend!

Go Ask Your Father: Days and Nights, TIE Fighters, Vaccines, and Flight Fees

Why is there night and day? 

globespinThere are nights so we parents can get a break from being parents and just be adults. We can drink alcohol and watch shows with bad words. We can use the bathroom alone. We can eat junk food without having to share it. There days so you kids can drive us bonkers again.

In truth, there is night and day because the Earth is rotating. It takes the Earth 23 hours 56 minutes and 4 seconds to make one complete rotation. It rotates counterclockwise at about 1,040 miles per hour at the equator. But why does it rotate? The Earth spins because it formed in the accretion disk of a cloud of hydrogen that collapsed down from mutual gravity and needed to conserve its angular momentum. It continues to spin because of inertia. WTF? Seriously?

Don’t worry. I didn’t understand that either. What it means is that when our solar system was first forming, atoms were colliding. When they would collide they would stick together and average their movements. Imagine rolling two magnetic balls toward each other. When they collide they stick and spin. This collection continued building and continued spinning until this thing we now inhabit and call Earth was formed.  No one knows why it’s called Earth.

What does T.I.E. stand for?

Ah, yes! A Star Wars question! T.I.E., as in T.I.E. fighter, stands for Twin Ion Engine. It’s tiefightertwo engines that created positively charged particles (called ions) using a gas (like xenon) then accelerating the ion through an electrically charged field. When the ion is accelerated from the back of the fighter, due to Newton’s 3rd law, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Hence, the ion is shoved backward and the fighter is pushed forward. This is real science, not science fiction. NASA has it’s own ion engines currently in use! They’ve just upped one on Mr. Lucas though. The probe used in the Dawn mission to study two protoplanets in the asteroid belt , Vesta and Ceres, do one better than TIE fighters. The Dawn probe uses three ion engines.

What’s a vaccine?

The vaccine debate! I’ll keep it short. Some believe that vaccines cause autism and therefore do not vaccinate their children. PLEASE! Check out this fantastic study on how vaccines cause autism. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Bang had to get two shots (by needle, not by gun. That’s a different debate) before he could go to “big kid school”. DW and I also realized our tetanus shots were out of date so we got our vaccination as well. Vaccines prepare your body for an illness without exposing it to the disease’s symptoms. Immune cells, called lymphocytes, respond by producing antibodies to combat the disease and thereby making you immune to it should you come in contact with said disease. Your immune system recognizes the foreign body and is able to kill it before it can make you sick. Much like you recognize broccoli on your pizza before you eat it and thereby saving yourself from horrible pizza toppings.

How much does it cost to fly on an airplane?

An arm, a leg and a blood oath.

Depends on where you’re going. Are you flying domestic or international? Are you flying near or far? When I bought DW’s (back in 2003 she was DG – Dear Girlfriend) first plane ticket to come visit me in Virginia I paid $297. Today I could get it for $393 on a seat sale. Otherwise it would cost $479.

However we are not just one person any more. We are four. If we were to fly to BWI (Baltimore/Washington International) from YHX (Halifax) it would cost $2,734 for the four us according to one travel website. We can drive the 1,100 miles in our truck, as we did last summer, for $500.

Fuel prices, airport landing fees, supply and demand all play a role in driving the cost of flights.

Unfortunately, to fly to Hawaii for a week would cost us over $6,000. If only we had twin ion engines…

marie-washington-quote-smart-kids-ask-questions
This Taboo Word Challenge is getting tougher! Today’s word was “have”.
To read more posts without the Taboo Word (have) or to join the challenge just click the blue frog…

To add the blue frog to your post get the InLinkz code.

Questions I Asked My Kids: Star Wars Episode


1. If you were a Jedi, what color light saber would you use?

Crash: Most likely an orange one, but it could be green
Bang: Blue

2. Would you fight for the Rebels or for the Empire?

Crash: The Rebels have Luke and Leia and all the x-wing fighters and snow speeders and the emperor has stormtroopers and Red Guards. The Rebels.
Bang: Empire

3. Would you live on Tatooine, Hoth, Degoba, or Coruscant?

Crash: Tatooine is hot with no water and jawas can take your droid. Hoth is icy, cold and has an Imperial probe droid. Degobah is swampy, has lots of water and you can live with Yoda. Coruscant is a big city. So probably in Coruscant.
Bang: Hoth

4. Using the Star Wars Name Generator what would your Star Wars name be?

Crash: Gacrux Deleat- A droid dealer from the Haruun Kal sector.
Bang: Skeet Gianttreader- A Jedi master from Nam Chorios
Dad: Baham Binarblast- A master of the Sith from Sarcophagus
Mom: Okerth Zosma- A starship racer from Iego

5. Who is prettier, Queen Amadala, Princess Leia or Rey?

Crash: Princess Leia
Bang: Queen Amadala

uvl4qwe

6. Which vehicle would you drive? A speeder bike, AT-AT, X-Wing fighter, TIE Fighter or Millennium Falcon?

Crash: Millennium Falcon
Bang: X-Wing fighter

7. Who is your favorite character?

Crash: Han and Luke
Bang: Queen Amadala

8. How would you escape from Jabba the Hutt?

Crash: First Rancor would have to be defeated. Second we would have to get out of there. And third, sneak away.
Bang: With a TIE fighter

9. What would you use a droid for?

Crash: Sending messages, searching stuff and asking it questions, it’d be my Google.
Bang: Destroy the windows. So if there was like a fire in the house it could destroy the windows and we could jump out.

10. Who would win in a duel, Kylo Ren or Darth Vader?

Crash: Vader. But maybe Kylo because he’s stronger with the Force.
Bang: Darth Vader (pronounced thader (“th” sounds like the “th” in the)

3bbbf5b90d2295fa9ca9a0198495c219
This Taboo Word Challenge is getting tougher. Today’s word was “I”.
To read more posts without the Taboo Word (I) or to join the challenge just click the blue frog…

To add the blue frog to your post get the InLinkz code.

Minutes to Memories

Last night I was pondering what to write. I thought of telling you that a friend of mine who works as a radio morning show host shared my last YouTube video on the radio’s Facebook page and my views shot from 15 to 487 in just a few days. I thought of telling you about my first day substituting (that’s today). It’s great to be back in school and seeing all the familiar faces and some new ones. I asked Crash last night what I should write about today. Naturally, he said something about Minecraft. I’ve been playing a bit with him and he loves when I play too. So much so that he did three chores yesterdays to earn some extra time. But I have no desire to write about Minecraft. We did just finish the fourth book of Harry Potter and we’re all set to watch the movie this weekend.

But then I came into the class I’m subbing for, an English class. Ironic, eh? Then today’s blog was handed to me. Their assignment was to dissect the song “Minutes to Memories” by John Cougar Mellencamp. Have a listen. You’ll thank me.

Imagine getting on bus and taking a seat next to an old man who appears to be sleeping against the window. When the bus begins its journey the old man wakes and begins tell you his life story. His story is a happy one, though full of tidbits that you almost grasp. Friends and family are most important. Money means nothing. A clear conscious will help you sleep at night. Many years later, to late to change the past, you realize the old man you sat next to was your future self trying to tell your younger self the path to happiness. You didn’t understand at the time, so you took the difficult road and now the minutes you spent toiling away are now just memories.

Days turn to minutes and minutes turn to memories. The title of the song itself whispers of time passing us by. All we have is right here, right now. The future hasn’t happened yet. For all we know, the future won’t happen. The past is gone, already happened, just a memory.

Life sweeps away the dreams
That we have planned

That’s the way of life. How many times have we wanted to do something and never followed through because “life got in the way”. We grow up, get jobs, get married, have kids, pay the bills. Life happens. We can’t change the fact that time is going to pass. We can’t change the fact that one day all we’ll have are memories of the way things used to be. However, we can change how we spend our minutes. We can create memories worth remembering.

Life isn’t about how many minutes you get. Life is about how you use those minutes. Spend your minutes wisely. You’ll never get them back.

a3c8cb76a66687f9e727c24a7bf1147d

This Taboo Word Challenge is getting tougher. Today’s word was “it”.
To read more posts not using the Taboo Word (it) or to join the challenge just click the blue frog…

To add the blue frog to your post get the InLinkz code.

fabfridayteam

Month in Review

summer-fall-resized-600

August has come and gone. We enjoyed the summer while it was here. We made trips to the beach and trips to the splash pad. We made many trips to baseball practices and games, too. But how did the blog get along?

August saw 27 posts with a grand total of 1,520 views, 138 more than July. I finally crested 1,500 again. I might be back on the incline of the rollercoaster of views.

There were 556 visitors. That’s 16 more!

The “like” button was clicked 77 more times in August than in July with 544 likes 🙂 I’m so glad y’all liked my posts so much! I like you, too!

There was great discussion in August. In fact, 493 comments were left on my posts. That’s 99 more than August had!

33 countries came to visit my little corner blog. Amazing! The top three were the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands. Australia, you were a very close fourth! Last month Australia and the Netherlands were in opposite positions. What a battle to get the bronze!

Besides my homepage, Behind the Scenes Blogging got the gold in the most viewed page competition with 78 views. This is where I answered some questions about how I blog. I Imagine A Day captured the silver with 67 views. I really believed this one would get more attention. It’s about the ideal teaching/education system. The Best Birthday Card Ever In the History earned the bronze with 51 views. My son made the most fantastic 40th birthday Star Wars card.

The end of August brought my 500th WordPress follower. I’m currently at 544 followers. That’s a gain of 73! WOWZER! I don’t know where we’re going, but we’re having a grand time getting there! We’re not lost, just wandering.

Next up… the top six commenters. This is really what keeps me blogging. The views are nice. The likes are good. But it’s the comments and the discussions that drive my blog forward. You make me laugh. You make me think. You make me want to keep writing more more more! Thank you to all of you.

Ann  of GrubbnCritters on “Growing Turmeric”
Erika of That’s What Anxious Mom Said on “Smoked Chicken Nuggets”
Sandra  of A Momma’s View on “Share Your World”
Elen of Elen Grey on “Single Shot Monday”
Daley of The Invisible Moth on “The Adventures of Cat-Littering
Pieter of AhDad on “Laugh With Me #48”

It’s the same six as last month, just  a different order! C’mon everyone, knock these people off the charts. Not that I want them off the charts because I really like them.

Things are picking up in the blog world. We’re all back to school. My half of the world is slowly edging its way toward fall and winter while the other half slowly marches toward spring and summer. I enjoy fall so much, though. Not because of pumpkin spice either. Pumpkin pie, yes. Apple pie, most definitely. Once upon a time I didn’t like apple pie. Then one day in high school I decided I liked it.

670e558c29a4553992e66318ceb1d6dd

To read more posts not using the Taboo Word (for) or to join the challenge just click the blue frog…

To add the blue frog to your post get the InLinkz code.

Sunday Share

Today marks the 15th anniversary of 9/11. I remember it vividly. I was in the small college town of Frostburg, Maryland, working as a resident director and co-teaching a freshman orientation class. I entered class at 8 am or a few minutes before and was chatting with the students who had already arrived waiting for my teaching partner. He comes in a few minutes late and breaks the news to us. At that time only one of the Trade Towers had collapsed. We convened and quickly decided to cancel class so that we could back to our dorms to help out any students who may need it and to allow our students to make the contacts they needed.

Upon my return to my dorm, I found out the Trade Tower had collapsed, a plane had crashed into the pentagon and another crashed 45 minutes north of campus in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania.

wall

Photo courtesy of my mom. Wall of Names memorial for United Airlines 93. One name per wall (including an unborn child) for the 44 victims.

Homemakers United
Ahh… those pre-parenting jitters. So different than the too-much-caffiene jitters

A Rum Kind of Mum
A new kind of Olympics

Minisdoodles
Of boys and girls

Mom Antics
How to let your toddler get their way…

Ah Dad
Bingo at the gym…

A Momma’s View
All the small things…

Time lapse while mowing
Check out the short time lapse of this guy mowing his yard…

 

Questions I Asked My Kids About School

Just as a foreword, these questions were asked at totally separate times. Neither one saw each other’s answers. Yet their answers are very similar. Who doesn’t love gym, though!

1 What was your favorite part of school today?

Crash: Gym
Bang: The gym

What is one thing you learned about today?

Crash: Filling out stuff (he filled in a hundreds chart)
Bang: I learned a new game in gym

3 What did you eat for lunch?

Crash: Ham/cheese/turkey wrap, Goldfish, strawberries, Oreo crackers (Thinsations)
Bang: Cheese, butter crackers, granola bar

4 What is your teacher like?

Crash: Extremely nice (he needs strict, not nice)
Bang: She is kind.

5 What’s one thing you want to learn in school this year?

Crash: Division or how to do a backflip in gym
Bang: Play new games

6 Did you or your teacher read any books today?

Crash: I did. I read two chapters of Geromino Stilton The Journey Through Time “Midieval Mission”
Bang: The Kissing Hand

7 What’s your favorite thing to do in school?

Crash: Math (This is shocking, actually. He used to hate math)
Bang: Play in the water table

8 What did you play at recess?

Crash: All I can remember is that it was two friends and I. All we did was walk around.
Bang: I was playing train and saying “All Aboard!” and I was climbing up to steer the train.

9 Did anything funny happen at school?

Crash: One friend did something funny (I don’t remember what he did) and another friend said “real funny friend”
Bang: My teacher read one book that was funny. I don’t remember what book it was.

10 Did you have any dreams?

Crash: Yes. I was getting a newspaper from the dumpster and then I fell in. Then the recycling truck came and it threw me in the back into the stinky garbage. It went to the dump and that’s when I woke up.
Bang: Nope.

quotes-about-education-14
You can find the list of Taboo Words on my sidebar.
To read more posts not using the Taboo Word (with) or to join the challenge just click the blue frog…

To add the blue frog to your post get the InLinkz code.

 

The First Day

I gave you fair warning yesterday

Yesterday was our last day of summer. It passed much like the rest of the summer in it’s slow yet too fast kind of way.

Today was not a sleep in, lazy day. On the contrary, it was quite the opposite of a sleepy, lazy day.

5:50 am – Crash woke to use the bathroom then went back to bed to read for a bit. Too excited to sleep, I was later told.
6:00 am – Fitbit buzzed me awake. F***ing Fitbit.
6:10 am- Crash, DW and myself head downstairs to start the day.
6:15 am- Crash eats. DW makes her smoothie and eats. I start making lunches.
6:45 am – I wake up Bang. Bang says his “jitter glitter”* didn’t work. It must have because it’s all over his face. DW makes signs for the boys to hold for “First Day Pictures”
7:00- Feed Bang and pray Bang eats the first thing prepared for him.
7:10- Thank you God for answering my prayer!
7:15- Make sure boys dress as nice as one can knowing the day’s temps will climb to 30 (86F) and a heat index of 38 (100) but not so comfortable they resemble a hobo or Pigpen.
7:30- Brush teeth to prevent fur coats and dragon breath.
7:45- Load backpacks with lunches, indoor shoes and water bottles.
7:46- Wait 14 minutes until it’s time to go to the bus stop

14 minutes later….
8:00- get “First Day Photos” taken by momarazzi.
8:05- Go to the bus stop and see friends you’ve been playing with all summer, except now you’re all getting ready to ride the cheesebox
8:15- Get on the Big Yellow Taxi
*race Yellow Dragon Wagon to school*
8:30- See Crash and Bang off to class. Basically get told to leave by the 5 year old.
8:40- Drop DW off at work and go home.
8:40-1:30- Enjoy the peace and quiet of being home alone. Get more cleaning done in one morning than normally gets done in a week while playing music unusually loud.
2:45- Watch boys get off the Boneshaker and get videoed and photoed by dadarazzi.
2:46- Ask a gazillion and two questions about their day.
2:47- Get answered with “I don’t remember”

Repeat 194 more times (minus the First Day Photo shoot)
*Jitter glitter is glitter Bang received from his teacher yesterday. It was to help calm nerves for a restful sleep the night before the first day of “big kid school”

You can find the list of Taboo Words on my sidebar.
To read more posts without the Taboo Word (he) or to join the challenge just click the blue frog…

To add the blue frog to your post get the InLinkz code.