Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Hope For The Best

Yesterday Joe got the cattle up at our rented farm to wean the calves. 

 For this we had to sort the cows out then load the calves on the trailer to bring to the house.
Since it is a rented farm and the contract is only for a year at a time, we haven’t invested much into fencing.  We did build new holding pens a few years ago, but there is no chute system to load out of.  For this we hauled over several panels and set up.  Joe’s idea was to use the Rav to help block the calves from pushing through the panels.  You can’t really see but there are lots of heavy chains involved in holding the panels together.  This is a situation of hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.  Thankfully, the best happened.  Nothing broke out, they all loaded and the Rav didn’t get any new dents. 

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Cupcakes and Decorations

Sadie and Allie came for a visit yesterday. 
Sadie brought sprinkle cupcake mix.  Virginia said she wanted me to help her make them.  Allie wanted to join in which made things more chaotic. But we managed to get them in the oven.  Virginia took Allie outside to play while Sadie and I finished up using the batter by making a three layer cake in the Easy Bake Oven. 

 But the real excitement was getting the tree put up.  Sadie couldn’t wait to start decorating it.  She kept wanting to put the ornaments on.  So I did a rush job putting on the star and lights.  We then brought down 4 boxes of shatter proof ornaments.  Can you tell how high Sadie could reach.
Once again, Allie wanted to join in.  Her idea of helping was to throw the ornaments across the room as far as she could. 
Sadie was exceptionally careful.  She made sure each ornament had a hook, then she would place it on the tree and adjust it so it would hang right.  I thought about rearranging them after she left, but I decided it was much more special to leave them where she had put them instead or trying to spread them out. So there is a line of Sadie height shatter proof ornaments in a ring around the tree.  When they left, I thanked Sadie for helping me decorate the tree.  Then Sadie thanked me for helping her make cupcakes.  What not quite three year old does that?

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Penny Shopping

I don’t really penny shop usually but if I run into a penny item at DG I go ahead and get it.  Penny items are things that have clearanced out and should be pulled from the floor.  But if they are still out they are supposed to sell them to you.  Well, today I had some free time at lunch and went to a nearby store that is usually a mess. 

 And look what I found, pots, a bird feeder, all kinds of BBQ stuff

and some cute little girl socks with llamas.  all totaled, $100 retail.  I paid 25 cents.  I might have to make more of an effort to go in the future.  Things penny on Tuesday so I was surprised that I got this much on a Wednesday.  Some weeks there are no new penny items.  But this week the list was huge.  Anyone need some BBQ stuff in their stocking? 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Back On My Own Horse

The weather was beautiful when we got back from our trip.  After having to work for a couple of days, I was able to have some time to ride Otoelene.  
Joe has a good amount of grass stockpiled.  Hopefully, he won’t have to start feeding hay for a couple of more weeks. 
The cattle are all looking good.  
We were surprised by this hunting blind.  Hank, a neighbor that we let hunt, hasn’t set one up here before.  Otoelene knew something wasn’t right but I’m not sure if she ever figured out that it was there.  But her only reaction was to put up her ears.  It was a beautiful day to be back on my own horse. 

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Day 10 and 11, Homeward Bound

Our journey home started at 5 am.  We had to get everything packed back up in 4 pack backs and be ready for breakfast at 5:30.

Several family  members were already on the canoe.  Bunny had his crown on ready for the trip back. 
Joe and I were the only ones with cushions, besides Bunny. 

There wasn't much to do for the 3 hour trip back to Coca.  No more anticipation of what was going to happen next.  But I started noticing small things, like the penmanship of Sinchi.Wayra.  Joe said if he were writing it, it would probably look like the one on the left. 


And there was the bridge to pass under to be in Coca.  

 Eddie, our guide is on the left, the others are 2 of his brothers. I think there were 10 children all together. 


The taxi to the airport was a little suspect.  The big starburst crack in the windshield didn't help much.

Outside the airport was a pretty wall mural of different birds. 

This is how I managed my basket, pot and Bunny.  But after getting to Quito I decided to just carry it in my hand instead for trying to keep it tied to me. 
Back on the tarmac and up the stairs and in 30 minutes we were in Quito. 
We had 12 hours to kill.  It turned out that Emily and Keiran were just an hour away at a hotspring resort with one of Keiran's friends.  I thought it would be nice to just get an Uber and hang out with them for a few hours, but Joe would not leave the airport.  He was afraid something would happen and we would have trouble getting back in time.  I had gotten him this far without incident so I didn't press the issue.  I let him read a book I had picked up at Emily's lodge, Slaughter House 5.  He read the entire book.  
It was a nice airport.  We sat outside a cafe that played American music.  We took turns walking around. 

Even the airport food was good.  This TexMex bowl was made fresh and was only $7.00.  
Our plane left and midnight.  Bunny had his passport ready to come back through customs. 
Joe and I managed to stay awake all night.  We arrived in Atlanta around 9 am then headed back out to Greensboro.  
And how nice to be met by Ann!!!!  But we were not home yet.  
Ann took us to a nice diner for breakfast.  Back to American style, carbs, sugar and fat. 
Then maybe so we could right off the trip, Joe stopped at a tractor dealership.  We had ordered a new tractor and he was checking to see when it might be delivered.  We made it to the house around 3 pm after 34 hours of traveling.  Back to the real world and back to our regularly scheduled programming.  

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Day 9 Yasuni National Park Part 2

After lunch Joe and I walked around some before our next activity.  Did I mention that we were the only ones at the lodge other than the family and chef?  

I loved this pink shrub right outside the lodge.  
This display was set up in the dining area.  I was guessing it was crafts for sale.  More on that later. But first, our next activity...
Blow gun practice!  We were told that only those that hit the target would be getting supper.  That's ok, I was pretty full anyway.  

Joe took right to it, 

and hit the target, a banana bloom substituting for a monkey head, on the second try. 

I took a few more attempts before finally hitting the target.  
Then some of the other family members joined in.  Another sister hit it on her first try.  I said she could be in my hunting party.  After a few more laughs there, we got back on the canoe for a trip to an observation tower. 
I never did find out how tall it was but Joe and I both hoped that it was inspected on a regular basis.  
The view from the top was spectacular.  
We saw this lemon throated barbet. 
Four howler monkeys sunning themselves. 
More toucans. 
And parrots.   A pair of stunningly blue tanagers flew by but didn't land where I could photograph them. 

As the sun started going down it was time for us to head down the tower and through the jungle to the canoe before it got too dark.  
But the wildlife show wasn't over yet.  We saw a group of squirl monkeys along the riverbank on the way back.  
Then one last look back for a beautiful sunset. 

Can you believe we had popcorn for dinner.  It was to put in the cream of broccoli soup.  
The main course was porkchops. 
I cannot remember the name of the dessert, but it was good like everything else. 
This was it in its raw form.   You might think that our day was over after dinner, but you would be mistaken.  We went on a night walk.  I was promised a tarantula.  

But we saw a poison dark frog, 
several walking sticks, 
another cute frog and lots of other bugs and a opossum but no tarantula.  
Until we got back to the lodge.  Mother had found one crawling up the outside of the dining area.  That thought really helped us sleep better.  
Then came the sales pitch.  Mother wanted to go over the things on the table one by one.  I went ahead and bought this clay pot.  Now I have a pot and a basket to get back from the jungle along with our already over packed luggage.  

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