I know this is an alarming photo, but rest assured it is only a BB gun, and has a range of about 15 feet. We are strict with the children and don't just let them wander around with it. They have to set up a target and a firing line and always be vigilant of the younger siblings. Never too early to teach gun safety.
It was Ethan's dad's BB gun back when he was a kid in the 50's. Ethan used it after that, and then Mirin. Mirin hasn't used it in quite awhile, but he got it out again the other day. It turned out that Rose really enjoyed target-shooting with it, and Mirin has declared that he is passing it on to Rose. He is on to other interests, such as building himself a muzzle loader, a subject which he has been almost insufferable about. He's carved a powder horn out of Meaty's horn, and has hacked down some good-sized pieces of plum and black cherry that he is carving for it, and doing a beautiful job shaping, sanding and burnishing. He goes out most mornings to work on the project, and then comes in for breakfast, chatting excitedly about all his plans.
It's been a comedy of errors this week. We started out on Monday back to home schooling, and everything was all set, except the book with all of Rose's first grade math lessons was missing. I spent a month writing all the stories and drawing all the pictures for it. It was not replaceable. I tried not to freak out about it too much, but Mirin got his feelings hurt after a frustrated comment from me about all the clutter everyone else makes in our house (ok, some of it's mine, but not very much). I searched and searched, went through the trash (in case Clothilde had thrown it away), called Ethan at work, called my mom to ask if she'd seen it at her house. It had vanished. I'd just checked on it a day before, and it was right on the shelf where it always is. I grew up in a house with a clutter vortex, so I am always very careful about where I put my things. I developed a photographic memory as a child so I could find things again, and I usually don't lose things like that. It was SO frustrating! I finally gave it up and tearfully told the first math story from patchy memory. I don't think Rose was very impressed, despite my uber-crafty hand-painted wooden squirrels. Later in the day I found it over at my mom's computer desk, underneath a pile of her papers. Oh, right. I'd typed up a squirrel poem and printed it out. It just got sucked into a different clutter vortex than the one at my house.
That afternoon my mom took all three children to Bivens Arm, a swampy park. Apparently she has a park pass that is going to expire soon. That was really unfortunate, too. Rose twisted her ankle on the crappy playground equipment, and they got lost and ended up walking ten miles around a confusing loop. They were gone for four hours. By the time they got home, we were late to go out and do the chores, and it was dark by the time we arrived. Chores in the dark are no fun, but it was especially horrible after Ethan discovered our two sows, Bee and Star, had slipped through their electric fence and were gone. It put him in a serious mood for the rest of the evening, mostly targeted at my mother for keeping the children so long. I pointed out how nice it was that she took them, and after all, it was because they got lost. She didn't mean to mess the chores up. He replied grimly, "It's dark, the pigs are out, and your mother is cackling somewhere." They have been feuding since a fireworks disagreement that sprang up over New Year's.
The good news is that on Tuesday Bee was back. She had let herself back into her old paddock. She's a pig who knows where her feed bucket comes from. The bad news on Tuesday was that Trespassers William, our boar, was out. He moseyed over to the beautiful, luxurious rye field and started gobbling it, the bastard. It's for my cows and goats - they need it! He could probably use it, too, but he was pulling it up by the roots. I had Clothilde in the back pack, and we chased him for goodness knows how long. He was not in a hurry to leave the rye, and I couldn't run after him very well with Clothilde. We finally got him away and back to his electrified paddock. I think I got my week's worth of getting my heart rate up that evening!