Tornadoes Suck

Tornadoes suck, as does nearly everything that goes along with them. Over the last several days we’ve had to worry about several tornado watches/warnings. One had us driving North at midnight to keep us out of it’s path.

The worst part so far though have been the torrential rains over the last few days which have wreaked absolute havoc on the property here. We’ve had to re-tractor the road half a dozen times at least. We’ve unstuck six vehicles (yes, six!). We had so much water flowing over the bridge by the property entrance, that it caused a foot to foot and a half deep, six foot wide chasm that cut across the entrance making it unusable until we got a tractor down there to cut a way through.

We had a small fishing boat that somehow traveled from the big lake, over the spillway, down the waterfall, across the small lake, over the spillway, and got stuck in a tree on it’s way into the canyon.

We also had to patch the dam on the swimming lake because it was eroding where the water was making it over the top. Basically, while no tornado actually hit, all the weather that surrounded them has caused our property to look almost as if it WAS hit by one:

Getting Internet back after the storm
Getting Internet back after the storm

There was a tree that fell near one of the cabins. I have no idea why, but it actually split in two and fell down two sides of the cabin but barely nicked the cabin.

Remembering Arya

Well, four years ago tomorrow, I got Arya, my snake (Columbian Red-Tailed Boa) for Christmas. Today, on Christmas Eve of all days, I had to put her down. The short version, is that she’s been going downhill for a few months, and the vet said he thought she had a tumor on her brain, but this post isn’t about today. I just wanted to post a couple milestone photos to remember her by.

Arya was my Christmas Gift in 2010
Arya was my Christmas Gift in 2010
She (along with special grandson-super-powers) was the first and only snake mom ever held!
She (along with special grandson-super-powers) was the first and only snake mom ever held!
She had a pretty sweet custom built cage (Thanks Doug)
She had a pretty sweet custom built cage (Thanks Doug)
She was always good for a laugh
She was always good for a laugh
She sometimes got into places she shouldn't
She sometimes got into places she shouldn’t

And she hung out with me while I worked, all the time!

Fourth Grade: Practical Electrical Class

Xavier started learning about electricity and magnetism recently in science. Yesterday we learned how electrons flow along wires, what a circuit was, and how series and parallel circuits are wired. Then we made our own! A couple light sockets, a couple bulbs, some wire, a couple nails, a few C batteries, a paperclip, and a chunk of wood. You can turn the lights on by connecting the paperclip across both nails.

Except for taping the batteries together, he made it all himself.

X's Series Circuit Light

Christmas Lights

Oklahoma is a weird place. About an hour from where I live, in the middle of nowhere, is this amazing Christmas lights display. You drive down this little tiny two lane highway until you think you’re lost, then you turn down a dark dirt road, then you park in a dirt field in from of this brilliant display. It’s all timed to songs played on a radio station they broadcast. I tried to video most of a song, but it was freezing outside so I did it from in my car. It didn’t turn out great, but I think you can get the idea.

Having a 10 Year Old

As adults we realize that the age milestones don’t matter as much. You aren’t that different the day after your birthday than the day before it. At ten though, that wasn’t the case, and today my son turns ten.

Looking back on his life, I see phases instead of years. The first phase was the worst. I know lots of people disagree with me, but let me put this in prospective. You have to feed him, change his dirty diapers, and care for him in every way; and in return he doesn’t let you sleep. You can’t even play with him, because he just lays there!

The next phase brought with it a little fun, but it was also the hardest so far as a parent. He was old enough play. Not as much as I would have liked, but we got to play around and watch cartoons together (although his taste in cartoons didn’t quite match mine). However, it also involved potty training. Xavier isn’t especially patient, and taking the time out of your busy play schedule to use the grown up potty seemed like a concept he would never grasp. I felt like we were banging our heads against the wall, but eventually Xavier decided it was time and started using the bathroom just in time to start the next phase, school.

The start of school brought another phase and a drastic change. Since I work from home, I was used to being around Xavier all day, but now it was different. Even with the changes, this phase was better than the last. Xavier was older and able to play even more things. We had a lot of fun playing frisbee with his friends after school. His taste in cartoons got better too, so we could enjoy superhero cartoons together! As he got older, he also got smarter, which made him much easier to talk to and relate to. It’s been a great phase, but I see it coming to an end.

The phases have only been getting better, so I look forward to the next phase, but I also look to it with some apprehension. As a parent, entering a new phase means that you really don’t know what to expect. Xavier turning ten signals the start of his transition into manhood, and I see it happening. He’s more independant than ever. He does far more grown up things, such as hunt and use a hatchet to chop down trees and fashion weapons. He’s also starting to show preferences in the things he learns, he’s starting to specialize his knowledge.

He’s growing up, and I love it.