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Showing posts from July, 2009

New skills

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A summer on the farm has brought so many new skills and experiences. In a single reverse, he can now put the ATV away. This requires backing up a ramp and turning in reverse into the barn.
Others learned that one really can swing on a grape vine. They are tough and strong.
The Lego models behind him are 4-H projects at the Lafayette county fair.
A shot from a different camera than those in a previous post.
Many thanks are owed to everyone in the community here whom we met during this summer, but special thanks go to Butch for everything he did for the family.

Lafayette County Fair

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Friday at the Lafayette County Fair is a day devoted to youth, 4-H, and FFA. Children were invited to help show animals. My youngest stepped right up and showed a sheep.

She not only showed the sheep, but won a blue ribbon for "her" sheep. With regrets, I cannot tell you the breed line nor even whether a ewe or a ram.

Rides are always fun at the fair.

A group photo of almost all the first cousins on my side of family.

Cousins working a puzzle peacefully together.

UW Badger Volleyball All Skills 2 Camp

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My eldest and her cousin joined the University of Wisconsin Badgers summer volleyball camp (All Skills 2). She was placed on the Velociraptors. The images below were of their play on the final day in the Nicholas Johnson Pavilion of the Kohl center.
The 'Raptors huddle up with their coaches for advice. The camp included 13 to 18 year old young women.
Waiting for the ball, championship banners hanging in the background.
With one of her coaches.
Cousins and friends at the end of the camp.

More photos!

Compass plant

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Shrue rode a horse today. Her first reaction upon successfully mounting the horse was of victory.

Then the horse started to move and she let out a yelp and grabbed a hold of the saddle.

With a lead, she did make in once around the prairie circle.

After riding, there is horse care to be done.

Hoof cleaning, grooming. Riding seems to require a good half an hour to an hour of set up preparation - grooming, saddling, adjusting, and another half hour to an hour of "tear down" activities. I remain puzzled how they were ever used in a fast response situation, I have yet to see anyone simply "hop on and ride off."
More horse care.
Compass plant, Silphium laciniatum Linnaeus (Asteraceae), also known as Rosin weed. "The common name derives from the belief by pioneers that the leaves of Compass Plant pointed in a north-south direction. While this is probably true more often than not, it is not always reliable. The resin was used by Indian children as a chewing gum." - Ill…

Badger State Trail

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While the kids swam at the Monroe municipal pool, I ran the Badger State Trailnear Monroe along with side streets and roads near Monroe. Overall I covered 14.2 kilometers in 1:38:43, averaging 8.9 kilometers per hour. The Badger State Trail is on a old railroad right-of-way, turned into a "linear park." Although one is running through the middle of Monroe, one remains surrounded by nature. All one sees on either side are the trees and brush that once lined the railroad right-of-way.
At one point the trail crosses highway 81, a four lane 65 mile per hour freeway that bypasses Monroe. Getting to run across a four lane freeway is an adrenaline rush!
At other places one crosses roads and rivers on railroad bridges.
All along one is surrounded in a verdant green tube of foliage, shaded by trees, often running below grade in a valley carved out years ago to shield the city from the noise of the trains.
Passing under 69 I heard an odd sound - bullfrogs in a heavily shaded ditch under t…

Donkey riding

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Today was donkey riding day! Shrue watches as my youngest guides Jasper around the corral. Next week she will be walking on coral, this week she slid off Jasper and landed in the corral.
Getting Jasper going requires certain techniques.
She has fairly good form, especially given her limited experience on a donkey.
Another cousin takes a few laps with Jasper.
Jasper started to move a tad faster, and he was leaning a little to the right, he eventually slid off Jasper while Jasper was trotting.

While he hit the dirt hard, he immediately bounced up and held both arms high in a sign of celebration, calling out, "Whoo-hoo!" Tough little guy!

Hay stacking

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A farm is a seven day a week operation, and Denny knows this all too well. Denny spent his Sunday baling and hauling hay, we had the small task of unloading and stacking the hay.
Everyone pitched in on unloading and stacking the hay.
A crew member taking a break between hay wagon load arrivals.
The bales have two lines of twine around them by which they are best grabbed and hauled.


The family and friends reunion on Saturday was simply awesome. Over fifty people showed up at the park in Argyle, Wisconsin. I spent most of the day talking to members of the family I had not seen in over thirty years, catching up with friends and meeting new additions to the extended family. It was a wonderful day. Of that day there are only photos.

Partridge Hall and dinner

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There are two rooms at Partridge Hall which are like staying inside a museum. The tub has eagle claw feet.
One of the two beds is a four poster.
The other has a partial canopy.
And a fireplace is included.
Dinner downstairs at the hall is elegant and upscale, the food is home cooked and wonderful.
Yet more have arrived for tomorrow's gathering of family and friends here in Argyle.
A dinner gathering not seen in many decades.

Irma's Kitchen Argyle Wisconsin

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Irma's kitchen is literally just that - the first floor of Irma's home in Argyle, Wisconsin, with Irma herself often in the kitchen. Only breakfast and lunch are served, and breakfast is the focus. Early in the morning local farmers grab a cup of coffee after milking their cows, later in the morning an older crowd arrives for a leisurely breakfast. All of the food is made in Irma's kitchen, and the attention and service is personal. This is where people gather and chat, share stories, and catch up with each other.
The breakfast specials are the 1-1-2 and the 1-2-3: one pancake, one egg, two strips of bacon or one pancake, two eggs, three strips of bacon. There are other dishes on the menu, but the best part of a breakfast at Irma's are the pies. Homemade sometimes using locally available only fresh fruits.
No one will hurry you along at Irma's, there is time enough for everything at Irma's. This is a slice of living in a time and place where time was spent ling…