Obligatory What My Kids are Doing This Summer Post

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.

And bears.

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16 comments to Obligatory What My Kids are Doing This Summer Post

  • Rinda1961

    Oh my gosh! I can't even imagine that! Says I, who only has skunks and raccoons to fear (okay raccons are only a little scary). And I don't even have the bear excuse for why my kids watch too much tv. . . 
    p.s. I know I say it a lot, but I love the way you write. I could see HOudini bounding after that bear and barking to raise the dead.

  • Ruth

    Wow, bears in your back garden!  How exciting/thrilling/terrifying.

  • Cheri Andrews

    OMG Stacey – I can't even imagine! And how DH can be so nonchalant about the whole thing. I'd be locked inside for sure.

  • SciFi Dad

    See?  And people think Canadians live in the wilderness.  There's no bears in my backyard (other than Teddy Grahams).

  • Jemma Sharrock

    WOW – a whole other life! 
    Our kids don't finish school for another 5/6 weeks – and the worst we have to fear is wasps!

  • Beverly

    Okay, I am not brave enough to deal with that on a daily basis. Especially walking down tot he chicken coop…nope, uh un not me!

  • Balinda

    I think I would stay inside also. It's a nice sweltering 91 degrees today here. I don't see us doing much either unless it's after the sun goes down.

  • Carole

    And here was I getting the heebie-geebies 'cause I thought I saw a rat running through our back jungle the other day. Bears now, that's something we just don't get in Birmingham. Or England for that matter…
    I think I'd be sticking to the Wii too.

  • Heather

    Wow Stacey! Thats really scarey. I don't envy you having bears around and I'm very glad that you have a capable husband + shotgun to make the necessary loud noises! xx

  • Comfy Mom

    Thank you!  The bears do make me uneasy.

  • Comfy Mom

    yep all of the above

  • Comfy Mom

    Yeah, I would be on the phone to the police if I was home alone, not loading up a shotgun

  • Comfy Mom

    Usually that is all we have to worry about. Bears are fairly uncommon & fortunately this one seems to have been scared off for good

  • Comfy Mom

    Yeah, left to me those chickens would be locked up right after supper while it was still light out

  • Comfy Mom

    Bears are uncommon here, though sometimes they are more common than others. Now we hear there are hyenas in the area. Hyenas!

  • gingerpussycat

    Wow, that's a different way of life!  My little boy is into wildlife, especially deadly things, and I read this post out to him.  He was amazed that people have bears in the garden (albeit uncommon) and that dad's can have shot guns!  I was trying to work out where in the world you were and I thought America somewhere, probably up north.  He told his teacher and all his school friends about it!