Archive for the ‘Country Life’ Category

Luckily, Kentucky was not pummeled by the recent midwest snow like Minnesota was. We only received 3″ here (some areas not even that much), not the 2 feet of snow that collapsed the Viking’s Metrodome. But because our driveway is about 1/4 mile long and winds down and through a treeline, across a creek and back up to the road, even a few inches of snow can make going up and down the driveway treacherous in a two wheel drive. So for the first time this winter/snow season I broke out the redneck snowplow. Some of you seasoned readers might remember the stroke of brilliance I had back in Feb when I combined the chocolate of my 4 wheeler with the peanut butter of a $10 railroad tie. The combination was one of functional thrift and continues to be put into service on days like today.

I’m thinking that “redneck snow plow” needs to be copyrighted.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Well, let’s see if I can squeeze in one last post for August…..seeing as I posted so much this month.

This summer has been abundant for butterflies. I normally notice them because I think they are marvelous gifts from God that are beautiful and random — just what we need to slow us down and take notice for 30 seconds as they occupy our day.

Below is a picture my wife took on the back property of a beautiful tiger swallowtail butterfly. There have been so many butterflies this year — not just swallowtails but also Monarchs, West Virginia White, Spicebush swallowtail and many others that I can’t name or don’t remember. In fact, there was one in the garage window that was as large as my outstretched hand. I was able to catch him and usher him outside where he flittered away. My Dad and I watched him fly away and he was so big we could watch him past the treeline over 400-500 feet away. He actually looked like a bat he was so big flying away.

Enjoy what is left of the summer butterflies. And goodbye August. I will miss you like the butterflies…..even though you were blazing hot and humid this year.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

There has been lots to do this weekend which should continue through the week and into next weekend. You see, Mom and Dad Aslowerpace are coming in this evening from the San Juan Islands to spend 10 days with us. D has his first communion next Sunday and because we are church seeking and haven’t found a church home yet, we decided to have a service here on the property. There are two other kids in our church seeking group that are also having their first communion as well. And when some folks from the Louisville Emmaus community heard about three kids’ first communion service they decided they also wanted to be involved. So next Sunday there will be an ordained minister, a music team, and lots of family and friends here for a celebratory church service outside. We are putting to the test the statement “Four walls a church do not make” because we won’t be inside and there is not a church building for a few miles.

While we have been getting ready this weekend, one of the tasks we needed to check off our list was mowing the grass. Mrs Aslowerpace was able to knock out around 2 acres on Friday. I added a bit to that yesterday and today. And after church today, my son was able to almost finish the back.

It is so neat as a parent to see my 10 year old son display the maturity to maneuver and control a several thousand dollar, 700 hundred pound commercial machine mower. Just watching him out there I got one of those parent moments — and it was a multi-faceted parent moment.

One is knowing that your child could get hurt. Having 3 sets of blades spinning at thousands of RPMs directly beneath him as a hot revving motor sits right behind him. But I have gone over many safely aspects with him and he has displayed the respect a zero turn riding mower demands — just like his .22 rifle.

The other parent moment is seeing a 55 pound little boy (which he doesn’t like being called) sit atop and deftly control a large piece of machinery. For a dad, there is just something cool about seeing your son mature and take on some of the heavy chores and responsibilities. And when they involve machinery or power tools, it is that much cooler, especially when they respect what they are working with. Power without control is just wanton waste (ask our gov’t). But seeing my son on the industrial zero turn lawn mower maneuver around the yard and produce the results of a nicely cut lawn is very satisfying as a father.

I have pictures from when we just moved here where D would sit in my lap as I mow. I look back fondly on those pictures. I think I need to go out and take some pictures at our new stage of development so I can look back later when he is much older and fondly remember this time that I am in the midst of soaking up.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Our family had a great time celebrating our nation’s birthday today. Hopefully, in another post I will go off on how lucky we are, as Americans, to live in this great land. However, right now I will just highlight the amazing fireworks show I saw. This vid (which is not mine) is a small portion of the Slappy McSploder’s Fireworks Extravaganza show.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

I took off a bit early from work so I could take K and D to the new Toy Story 3 movie. If you are even remotely thinking about going I highly encourage you. You won’t be disappointed. It’s Pixar after all and they have a great track record.

Later this evening, the kids wanted me to take them back to blackberry heaven on the 4 wheeler. I declined and instead, we all walked down there. This time we brought bowls and resisted the temptation to plop the berries into our mouths. Instead we started filling the bowls with the intent to make jam or cobbler out of them.


…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

This evening I was tooling around on the 4 wheeler when the kids saw me and wanted a ride. So D rode in front of me and K hopped on the back and we began riding all around the property. We had lots of fun crossing the creek, riding beside the growing corn, standing on the 4 wheeler to pick mulberries and stumbling across a large patch of wild blackberries. The farmers this year have said that it was going to be a great summer for blackberries because it was a “blackberry winter”. Now I don’t know what conditions that means but I do know they are right. Blackberries are just now starting to come into their own and it looks like they have legs to go a while.

And because blackberries are on prickly canes and challenging for smaller hands and arms to reach, I used my 4 wheeler to ride the kids right up to the spots that were teaming with blackberries. They called it “blackberry heaven” and picked the fat, dark berries and plopped them into their mouths. It was like a drive up blackberry stand as we idled from cane to cane picking off the berries and eating them right there. What a great time in the country.

Oh, and goodbye June.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

As you saw from my post Friday, my son turned 10. That is one of those milestone ages and he sure is showing it — in a good way. Recently, while I was on a business trip (conveniently I must say) my wife put him on our zero turn mower and showed him how to mow the lawn. Now while he is still getting used to it and can only do straight lines in open spaces, he handles himself very well I must say. I was initially very concerned and skeptical thinking my wife was prematurely exposing him to unnecessary risk. But I was wrong and it has been working out wonderfully. The only downside is that now there are three of us that like to mow and have to fight for time on the Scag.

I have also been spending more time out in the yard with him throwing the ball. It doesn’t matter what ball — baseball, softball, tennis ball, or football. All I know is that he is now at that point where I don’t have to “baby” throw it to him. He still needs to work on his catching and throwing but he is maturing and growing nicely to where we will have a real, full-fledged game of catch soon. I’m sure in a couple of years we will both be a ways away at our max throwing distance. And then, as I get older, he’ll return the favor and start to “baby” me.

As far as kids go, with R, K and D, this sure is an enjoyable season with each of them. I am just soaking it up.

Oh, and another milestone — R successfully passed her driver’s test today and she now has her license. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Recipe for an awesome weekend day:

  • Fishing with my son D
  • the NASCAR race
  • some mowin’
  • swimming in the pool to cool off
  • burgers on the grill
  • s’mores

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

This is what bid us goodbye this evening.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Yesterday evening was a gorgeous ending to a nice day. It didn’t start well. A dark menacing cloud and front greeted our exit from a church we were visiting for the first time. Great music, a good message and very friendly people. It was windy and there were a few sprinkles but nothing like the dumping of rain I saw on the NASCAR Pocono race. Soon enough, before lunch, all the wind blew out the front and all that remained was a nice sunny, breezy day. While it was in the 80’s, the breeze kept it nice enough to work outside.

The wind died down and made for a truly nice evening to sit on the porch and watch the kids play. Soon enough I joined them and we started up a game of baseball. This time, rather than play it down by the treeline so the dogs couldn’t get the ball, we played closer to the house because my oldest daughter was fielding in the outfield.

When she got bored, as teens do, she silently put down the glove and headed inside. We continued play, but our black lab made it quite challenging. If any ball made it past me as pitcher, she would get it and run around causing a delay of game. But then an idea hit me.

I ran inside and cut up the leftover venison steak my son didn’t eat (which really surprised me) and put it in a plastic Lowes bag and tied it around my belt loop. Now whenever a ball would go in the outfield, she would get it and I would reach inside the bag and grab a little piece of meat and encourage her to “Come”. While it took a little while for the first several hits, she finally got the hang of it and it really enhanced our game. So now we have the kids taking turns hitting and playing catcher, me pitching, and the dog playing outfield (as long as I have treats to give to her).

I think this will work out nicely all summer.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net