25 May 2012

A minor adventure (a practice walk to the bus stop)

Mimi's starting school in 3 months, and I am starting to panic again thinking about it.  So panicked, in fact, that I did a google search for "How to homeschool your child in Montana."  But I know it would be selfish to homeschool her, because I would only be doing it so we can hang out every day.  That is not to say I don't agree with homeschooling.  A lot of people do it, and they have their reasons.  My reason would just be a bad one.  Mimi's very excited, but I am hung up on all of the little details, and we decided to crack one of them today. 

So we walked to the bus stop to see how far it is.  I was convinced it was at least a mile, but on my way home from work last night, I clocked it, and it was just over a half mile.  Still a long walk, but doable.   I should add that she is never going to get to, or from the bus stop alone.  I'll always walk with her...mountain lions and bears and stuff like that. 

Going down our driveway...making sure I am still behind her.  And yes, it was cold enough to need a jacket.  It was in the 50's, and sprinkling intermittently.  The hat was just for style. 

Mimi stopped to turn over all of the rocks to check for ant colonies.  Every. Rock.  It's her new thing.

And I stopped to take pictures of the wild strawberries on the side of the driveway.

I also found wild raspberries growing in the driveway.  I want to dig them out and put them in my garden, so I found big grey rocks to mark them, because they are hard to find again.  Today, when we were driving up to the house, Austin had to swerve away from it, and he was like, "where did THAT rock come from?"  And I just shrugged like I didn't know what he was talking about.

Just in case we ran into bears, I brought along this knife. It's the only one we have in the house that I can put in my pocket without getting stabbing myself in the hip.  We have another one that is in a sheath that you can put on your belt, but I don't own a belt.  Mimi made me promise not to stab any baby bears.  I didn't bring Blue on this walk, because he's a pain on a leash, and I didn't want him to walk so long off-leash in the event that we come across another family that Blue would love more than us.  I bought this knife as a present for Austin at a yard sale in South Carolina.  I thought it was appropriately rednecky. 

This is the entrance to our driveway.  We live in a neighborhood; each of the properties has at least 5 acres of land.  Our driveway is marked with our address, but we still get people that drive up it, thinking it's a mountain road, see the cabin, and have to back down it quickly.  When this happens, Blue goes batshit and barks so loud our ears ring, and I have to go out onto the porch with the gun to deter any funny business.  Sometimes Blue barks and I don't see anybody.  He did this yesterday, so I walked out on the porch with the gun and yelled, "This is private property.  I have a gun and a dog.  I am not sure which one I will use first!  Unless you're a neighbor.  Then come one up."  This is done usually when I am in my pajamas, because penguin pajama pants really add to the crazy.

Down the street......I have never seen red pinecones, but our across the street neighbor has them growing on his property.

We found this spinal cord and pelvis on a hike a week or so ago.  Mimi wanted to check it out again.  I think it belongs to a dog.  There was a skull right next to it, but it's pretty gross so I'm not sure if I should post it.  Oh, ok.  Here it is.

Last week, it was hanging on a tree, a branch poked through the eye holes.   I tried to take it home with us, but Austin made me put it back.  I wasn't going to sit there and poke the branch back through, so I just dropped it.

The bones were next to this creek.  I had to trespass to get this picture, since it's on private property about 25 feet off the road, and there is a "no tresspassing" sign just to the right of this, but I wanted to get a picture of the creek, (or crick, as they say in MT).  I wish we had a creek (crick) running through our property.  We took Blue with us on our walk last week and he happily splashed around in this until we called him back.

This is our road, going down the mountain (even though it looks like you're going up).  To the left is the draw, where the creek (crick) flows and the mountain lions live. 

And if you turn around, this is the road going up the mountain, to our house.  In the spring, this is pothole city, but they just put some fresh gravel on it, so it's not too bad right now. 

It was pretty here, so we stopped to take a picture, but our big heads block the view.

Then we heard crashing in the trees, and saw two brown shapes moving, so took a picture.  Don't worry.  It's just deer.  I had my knife just in case. 

Success!  We made it to the bus stop! This is, obviously, also where we get our mail.  The reason the bus stops so far from our house is because this is where the county stops maintaining the road, and where the HOA steps in.  So when it snows, if school is not cancelled, the road will be plowed before the school buses drive up the mountain.   On days when there is no school, this is the spot your car will get stuck.  Oh, I forgot a story!

Once this winter, during a horrific snowstorm, I got stuck about a half-mile below this spot at about 2am driving home from work.  I had foolishly volunteered to come into work, thinking that since we could drive in and our of our driveway, I would be able to get home safely.  I was wrong, and got stuck just below the crest of the hill that leads to our road.  I had to back down the hill, using our spotlight to find a driveway to turn around in.  I ended up an hour and a half later at my mother-in-law's house 18 miles away, terrified and in tears, because I am a big crybaby.

Which is why I will fall to pieces in three months when I actually have to walk her to the bus stop for real. 

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