Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Grandpa Daycare Recap

Grandma and Wade
Day 24 (7/24/14)
I am very happy with the success of Grandpa Day Care over the last 5 weeks. When I agreed to sit for Wade during summer school I really didn’t know what to expect. I had of course taken care of him before but just here and there for short periods of time and usually Grandma Eileen was around to help. I decided I wanted to expose him to as much outdoor activity as possible. I had already been planning on doing more building on the bike trail so I figured why not have Wade go along. I didn’t want to spend a fortune for a child cart I wasn’t sure would get much use so I started looking on Craig’s list to no avail. There were a few out there, but dicey to say the least or too far away.  I finally found a Schwinn at Target that filled all my needs for around $150. It turned out to be a great buy. With the addition of another attachment from Amazon my son is able to hook it to his bike as well. I also purchased a little thermometer that I attached inside the cab so I could monitor the inside temperature which I would highly recommend. My daughter in law also contributed some neck supports for when he falls asleep. As it turns out we didn’t miss a day on the trail. One day was kind of drizzly but Wade wasn’t going to nap without a ride so I strapped him in put his windscreen down and took off. Soon he was fast to sleep and although I got a little wet it never really started raining heavy. I said I would cover some of the things I have learned over the last 5 weeks but I think I will save that for tomorrow.  

Tin Man

My Favorite Area


Waz up

Watching Grandpa

Time for a nap

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Day in the Life

Our favorite way of ending the day at
 Grandpa Daycare
Day 23 (7/23/14)
As we near the end of the Grandpa Daycare summer it gets harder to find things to write about. We have fallen into a bit of a routine, the first hour and a half we finish breakfast if he hasn’t already done so, play with toys and go for walks around the yard. At nine we get everything loaded into the chariot and head out to the bike trail where we do some riding, napping, building and a whole lot of just observing. When we get home depending on the day we do some more playing or take a bath, at least one of us does to cool off. At 11:00 it is time for lunch, again at least for one of us. After lunch we sit in the chair and have a bottle, even though Wade can do it on his own with a sippycup, grandpa isn’t willing to give up his snuggle time. I have a feeling Wade enjoys it as well. After that it is almost time for mom and dad to come and pick him up. There may be a couple of diaper changes squeezed in the somewhere. Squeezed might not be the best word when dealing with diapers. Tomorrow we will take a look at some of the things learned over the last five weeks.

Some of our favorite toys

Part of our morning walkabout

Ready set go

Another favorite stop when the
 mosquitoes leave you alone

And of course we have to check the fishies


Snuggle Time

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hot Day in July

Dead Crane Build
Day 22 (7/22/14)
It was the hottest day of the summer so far and Wade is getting a new tooth. I figured my best bet at keeping him happy was to keep him moving. With that in mind we left the house earlier than usual. I still had some things I wanted to take care of at the school so our first stop was there. I did what I had to get done and spent a little time chatting with people and started for the trail. On the way we passed a friend’s house and he was out in the yard so we stopped to talk to him. He wanted to show me his indigenes plant garden that he has been working on the last several years. Many things were in full bloom and it was very interesting. Wade was starting to get a little restless so once again we were off to the trail. We pretty much had the trail to ourselves. Unfortunately it was a little warm to do much building since I didn’t want to leave Wade long even in shaded areas. Everything I had built yesterday was still up so I was happy about that. When we got to what I call the “Dead Crane” build I spent some time rebuilding it. I also happened to notice the remains of one from several years ago called “Tin Man” that I sort of started putting back together. It will warrant more work in the future but the warm weather in combination with the mosquitoes drove me away. By then Wade was starting to wake up so we worked our way home against a pretty strong head wind. Tomorrow is supposed to be cooler.   

Tin Man

Another view of Dead Crane Build

Monday, July 21, 2014

Destruction and Rebirth

I think I will name this "Changing of the Guard"
Day 21 (7/21/14)
This is the last official week of Grandpa Daycare. I am thinking about continuing to take Wade out on the trail until school starts but we will see how much of my summer work I get done. I have kind of fell behind on my “to do list”. Soon after we got to the trail I noticed my first three constructions had been knocked down. Again you could see the difference between nature and human nature. I didn’t bother to rebuild them because as close as they are to town my guess is now that somebody has targeted them they will continue to get hit. It’s too bad because I really like some of the materials I have to work with there. Maybe in a week I can give it another try. Fortunately people who choose destruction are usually not real ambitious and after first crossing there was no sign of intentional damage. Not long after that I saw a flashing light up in the distance which turned out to be a tractor mowing the edge of the trail. Because of the Mower Man and the amount of traffic on the trail I didn’t figure there would be much chance to build today but when I got up by the “Prairie Build” however, the trail seemed clear. Just as I started working on rebuilding it a “Speder” went zooming by. I am not sure where he came from but I am guessing off the side road. At any rate if he noticed me at all he was in too much of a hurry to give me much consideration. It is not often that I am totally happy with my builds but both of the ones I made today I really like. Let’s hope they stay up awhile.

First two builds Destroyed

New "Giacometti Build"

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Prairie Home Companion

Prairie Home Companion
Day 20 (7/16/14) It is Wade Wednesday again so Eileen is home to go with Wade and me to do the photography. It is a little warmer than yesterday but it still has that autumn feel and look to it. Because of the nice weather the bike trail is fairly crowded by weekday standards. I should have stopped to build on the way out when there were fewer people around but Wade was wide awake, and since one reason for the ride is to get him to nap, we pressed on. By the time we got to the end of the trail Wade was sleeping but the trail was pretty populated. I did stop to rebuild the “Prairie Build” but as I was finishing up we saw bikers coming from both directions. My plan had been to build on the way home while Wade was sleeping but it wasn’t to be. Every time we stopped we saw bikers coming from one direction or another. It was a beautiful day for a ride though and there is always tomorrow.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fall in July

New Builds at "Question of Balance" Site
Day 19 (7/15/14)
It was a beautiful autumn day in July. When we first hit the trail it was in the low sixties. There was a cool northern wind and dark clouds which promised flocks of geese and ducks more than rain. It was the sky from just about every duck stamp you have ever seen. Because of the cool weather we pretty much had the bike trail to ourselves. It was a good thing that we did because the winds of change had taken their toll on my constructions. For the first time this year there was sign that wind wasn’t the only thing taking its toll on the sculptures. At my second stop of the day I saw where somebody had taken rocks from one build and thrown them at another to knock it down. It always bothers me a little when people damage them even though I should be used to it by now. When nature tears them down that is part of the process but when humans do it I feel more of a personal assault. I realize that some people may think my constructs are vandalism but at least I am creating and not destroying. At any rate I had a lot of work to do and a great day to do it. Wade had fallen asleep by the time we were at the trail so as soon as I could I started rebuilding. After rebuilding the first three constructions I decided to bike up and check out the other builds and see how they had faired. Everything up to first crossing was down but after that most things were still standing although somewhat damaged by wind. I was happy to see that. I started building my way back home but pretty soon I noticed Wade watching me so I put some finishing touches on and headed for home. On the way home past the bank the temperature was up to sixty five degrees.

Nap Time

Rebuilds at the trashed Site

A few Additions

Restart of Hippy Dippy Weather Man

If you cant trust a bank who can you trust?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Time is of the Essence

"The Guitar Player"
Day 18 (7/14/2014)
It was another beautiful Wisconsin day for riding and building. Wade had been a little crabby this morning and I suspected he was in need of a nap so we took off a little earlier than usual. I also had to stop by the school and take care of some things in my room. We made a quick stop there and were on our way. Because of the winds over the weekend there was no shortage of work to be done. I did spend some time on rebuilding but I also wanted to start something new. Recently, I had been asked about how long it takes to build one of my constructions. I really hadn’t given it much thought. They are all different and it depends on a lot of different factors. First of all a build like “Tripod” has been through more reincarnations than Dr, Who so I guess you could say that it has taken seven years to get where it is now. On the other hand most of them are probably thrown together the first time in under fifteen minutes including the acquisition of materials. It would be nice to have more time but the interval of time between bikers isn’t usually very long. Also, I have a one year old partner whose patience and interest span is such that I can’t devote copious amounts of time to any one build. If a build can survive through a couple of incarnations they tend to get stronger and more interesting. Unfortunately after last summer all of the builds with the exception of “Tripod” are from this year and are still evolving. My hope is that by the end of the summer I will have some builds that will survive the winter.
No Name Yet

A Nice Shady Place to Nap

"In Flux"

A New Start behind "Tripod"

My attempt at a Sculpture Garden


Friday, July 11, 2014

Plunker Madness

Day 17 (7/11/14)
It was a bit warmer today as Wade, Eileen and I headed north on the bike trail. Soon after we got on the path we ran into our friend Teiva who told us about a swarm of ants up the trail a ways. We headed on to check it out. On our way we noticed that somebody had been out on the trail and left blue plunkers on some of the poles. We have a pretty good idea as to who did it but of course are sworn to silence. By the time we got to the swarm it had started to break up. I had to do some rebuilding right away at the first site but after that everything else was pretty much intact which gave me some time to build a new small one. Again because of the temperature and the mosquitoes I didn’t get to stay in one place long before they would start to swarm around Wade’s trailer. It was a pleasant ride however and as long as we kept moving the mosquitoes weren’t a problem.

What's Grandpa doing Grandma? 

Quick Rebuild

Swarming Ants

The Crew

Working on a New Build


See you next Week

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday


Wades Nice Shady Spot
Day 16 (7/10/14)
In honor of Throwback Thursday I decided to go south on the bike trail, something I don’t think I have done in three or four years on bicycle. Wade was getting sick of doing the same thing day after day, riding towards Oostburg, taking a nap, doing some building or rebuilding and then coming home. I determined for his sake to change it up a little. I am not sure exactly why I don’t go south more often but partially it has to do with keeping everything standing in two directions. There are also long stretches were either because of lack of materials or swamp it is hard to do any building. Otherwise if you are just looking for a scenic ride serenaded by bull frogs with the occasional glimpse of turkeys, cranes and turtles it is great. Except for the broken glass at the entrance to the trail we got off to a good start. Judging by the number of empty cigarette packages and broken bottles the southern route is a popular smoking and drinking area. That may not be fair based on just one trip but it is too bad because it is such a beautiful area to ride. As I was saying, we got off to a good start and at first crossing we found a number of interesting building resources and a nice shady mosquito free spot for Wade. As usual, when he is awake, he looks on with unmasked curiosity. While I was building I watched a flock of turkeys feeding in the field below us. After a while Wade started getting restless so we headed back down the trail. It really is a beautiful ride with wooded swamp areas punctuated by open farmland. I went passed a few potential building sites driven by the idea of getting as far as J road where I used to have some builds years ago. There was also a field that used to be filled with cone flowers. I really didn’t hope to find anything intact but was surprised to find the remainder of one I called the “Peace Memorial” looking somewhat like an archeological site. You could still kind of make out the rock peace sign buried in the mud surrounded by liter. I looked back at my blogs and the last time I had done anything at that site was in 2010. With much zeal I started to rebuild it and clean up the desecrated area around it. In looking for more stones I found an old galvanized pipe elbow that I shoved in the middle and rechristen it “Peace Pipe”. I hope I make it back down there again before another four years has passed. If not I hope it fairs as well in the next four. If there are any cone flowers left in the field they weren’t blooming yet. The trees had also grown a lot bigger so they may have choked the flowers out. We had a pleasant ride home planning our next trip south.

Corner Build

What was left of "Peace Memorial"

"Peace Pipe"

Some of the liter I picked up around "Peace Memorial"


Farm Fields

Tiger Lilies

Dew Covered Lily