Happy birthday, Kestrel!
Johnny took photos of the kids helping in the kitchen... and eating yummy birthday food...
But, of course, there were projects...
Kestrel has been designing and working on a model of the Golden Gate Bridge. He loves that bridge. Johnny helped direct and supervise.
Cedrus helped, too.
Since the week after Kestrel's birthday was spring vacation for the kids (known as "Ski Week" there), they all drove to Napa, California to tour a castle, a geyser and a petrified forest.
Castello di Amorosa is an authentically-built 13th century Tuscan castle and winery.
One room has equipment knights would have used and worn, like this crossbow.
That's a chain mail suit in the background.
It also had a torture chamber with this very uncomfortable looking chair...
Much of the castle is used for wine storage, of course, since this is a winery.
From there, they went to the Old Faithful Geyser of California in Calistoga, said to be one of only three old faithful geysers in the world. It erupted every five minutes while they were there.
They also went to a petrified forest. Johnny took no photos there, but I found this youtube video of it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cm69aiwK5Dg Pretty amazing to see trees that were toppled by a volcano and turned to stone over thousands of years.
Somewhere, not sure where... maybe in a museum at the geyser park, they found this volkswagon with an airplane engine attached!
After two days of sightseeing fun, they went home to more projects. The kids wanted to add to their parkour course, with Grandpa's help, of course. So they did. Pipes to walk on upped the difficulty quite a lot!
And the boys continued with projects, learning lots of tool-handling skills with Grandpa's help.
Here Cedrus works on a project...
And here is Kestrel...
Johnny returned by train a week after he had left.
Meanwhile, back on the farm, I had been dealing with a sick horse and a sick sheep. The horse recovered. The sheep did not. Such is life on the farm.
But I also had a seed order arrive and had the fun of planting seeds in the greenhouse. I love planting things. Besides vegetable seeds, I planted tree seeds. There is an ancient Greek saying that "a society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." Or when old women do. This old woman planted tree seeds that may take several years to sprout, much less grow into trees. I don't know how great that is but it sure is optimistic.
Johnny and I are done with our running north and south for awhile and I'm glad. Fun as it is to visit the kids and grandkids, to celebrate their birthdays and their activities... for this old woman, there really is no place like home.