School is out or about to be out all across the country & all across the blogosphere parents are posting about all the things their kids will be doing instead of sitting inside in front of the tv or computer.
So I feel I ought to post something as well.
Except it was 102 degrees yesterday and today it was 90 by 10am and my kids were & currently are playing Wii Lego Clone Wars and I don’t see myself encouraging that changing much.
See, its hot as hell out there & if I’m not going to make *myself* go outside, I cannot morally make *them* go outside and their only other option inside, apart from the tv, is to play games that seem to involve shouting “MOM HE’S DOING X!!!” over and over.
And I am against those sorts of games.
Out here in the boonies we don’t have waterparks or fun indoor playgrounds where they could spend hours in wholesome physical activities. There are no local open swimming pools, just two members only pools that insist you pay 12 months a year to go swimming 3 months a year.
And I am against that sort of thing as well.
For less than the cost of two months membership at the cheaper place we bought a 16ft Intex pool 2 years ago. True there is no diving board & no lifeguards but the concession stand is stocked with fruit & is way cheaper. Plus it’s membership is so highly selective it is by invitation only.
I had thought there would be lots of backyard camping this summer. Possibly even nightly.
But then the bear from last year returned. Last week our dog woke us up barking in that “I’m going to kill!!” way that made us think someone had broken into the house. After DH grabbed the shotgun we looked out the bedroom window (no point getting the gun after you’ve been spotted, much better to surprise the intruder by whipping back the curtains & showing them both barrels.) and there was our intruder on our porch, only feet away.
A big black bear, easily 500 lbs and probably taller than DH if the bear stood on his back paws.
It was eating out of the can of chicken feed.
Between the dog barking & the curtain being pulled back the bear decided to lumber off the porch & that’s when DH opened the door & let Houndini out. Houndini is part or maybe all Plott Hound. We got her from the pound so we have no idea who her parents were. Plott hounds were bred in the Appalachian mountains in KY & TN to hunt bear & boar and even though we’ve never trained Houndini to do more than sit, stay & come, she knows she is supposed to chase bears.
And she did.
The bear took off, Houndini took off, DH stood warily on the porch & fired his gun well over both their heads. Houndini came back a few minutes later looking all proud of herself & refused to come back in the house. She slept on the picnic table that night & the few nights as well.
Good thing because two nights later the bear came back, from a different direction. But Houndini was ready & stood her ground, barking her “DIE! YOU ARE GOING TO DIE!” bark that she reserves exclusively for bears. The bear was over by the cars, standing on the retaining wall. We could just see its face from the bedroom. DH got the gun again, waited until Houndini gave chase & once again went out & fired off well into the air.
See, it’s illegal to shoot bears out of season & without a license. Only a misdemeanor but still… Unless of course you catch them in the middle of destroying property other than trash cans or threatening a human & so far this bear has done none of that.
What is recommended, after locking up your trash, which we do anyway, is to scare it off with noise – loud radios, fireworks, or yes, gun shots in the air.
We bought some bottle rockets that make a screamy whistling noise & as a preventative light off a couple every night. It’s been 5 nights since the last bear sighting but Dh still takes his gun to lock up the chickens at dusk & there has been no backyard camping yet.
We’ll be inside this summer. Watching tv & reading books.
Safe from the heat.