Author Topic: A Badgerling, A Bow, and the Perforated Milk Jug  (Read 347 times)

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Offline WhistlingBadger

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A Badgerling, A Bow, and the Perforated Milk Jug
« on: March 24, 2020, 10:43:15 am »
Well, guys, the night before last I was feeling pretty anxious about the state of the world.  I'm not usually a big worrier; I generally try to focus on the stuff I can do and refuse to think much about the rest.  But I have to admit recent events have been getting me down.  So, I was up a lot during the night.  I spent a lot of time praying, singing, trying to get my head on straight.

Yesterday was a busy day.  Did a lot of school work in the morning.  I'm a teacher, and yeah, we're all having to re-learn how to reach kids in this new and hopefully temporary reality.  After lunch the Badgerling (my 10 year old daughter) and I went for a long walk.  We saw new baby lambs, friendly people out cycling, a few drivers that waved and smiled at us.  We walked down the road a couple miles to North Fork creek, where we skipped rocks, soaked up sun (it being the absolutely tropical temperature of 51F), and watched a guy not catch fish.

When we got back, the offspring wanted to get out the bows.  Now, my daughter has always loved the idea of archery more than the actual work.  It isn't something I push on her, and more often then not she opts out when I ask if she wants to join me.  Part of this might be her equipment.  She has one of those semi-worthless fibergl**s kiddie bows, about 10# draw weight.  It's really too small for her, but the next bow up is a 35# recurve, which is a little too heavy for her.  This past Sunday I told her that if she shot every day for a week, maybe I'd let her try the recurve again.

Well, we got back from this long, long walk, pretty tuckered out.  We decided to rest our feet for a half hour or so, then go out and shoot.  So, we snuggled up on the couch, me with the Traditional Bowyers' Bible 1 (it finally came!), she with some fairy story.  Then out to the yard.  She figured out on Sunday how to string her own bow, so when I walked out the door with Jubal, my hunting bow, she was all ready to go.

We had an empty milk jug handy, so we decided to forego the regular archery range and go out to the back pasture, where we proceeded to whack the living daylights out of that poor jug.   Badgerling, having shot an unprecedented two days in a row, was really zipping out the arrows from her toy bow.  She was taking shots anywhere from five to 20 yards, much further than she normally tries.  There were squeals of delight every time one of her arrows whacked into that jug.  (If you've never shot at empty milk jugs, give it a try--the sound they make is most satisfying)  There were giggles at every near-miss, and expressions of admiration at my every hit.

It was magical.  Our tired feet were forgotten.  We had planned on just shooting a quick quiver a piece before making supper.  We ended up staying out for almost an hour, and it was me, not her, who finally said, "We've gotta quit and go inside."  As we came in, we were talking about upgrade bows, maybe a 20# hickory longbow, maybe a bamboo-backed little recurve, dyed purple of course.  :)  Maybe after I find out if I'm still going to have a job, sweetie.

About the time I had the chicken tacos going on the stove, Mrs. Badger came home, having ventured into town for the first time since the crud hit the fan.  Badgerling was excited to show her mom the perforated milk jug.  We had a good supper, then a game of Risk.  The outcome of that game is still in question--It all depends on whether I can hold on to Asia for one more turn--but I'm feeling pretty good about my family and my community.

I guess there's no huge point to all this.  Love your loved ones.  Do what you can.  Be greateful for whatever you can be grateful for.  Make the kids in your life laugh, however and whenever you can.  Share experiences.  Trust God with the stuff you can't control, which, even in the best of times, is most of the stuff.  I really think it's gonna be OK.

Thomas
~Thomas
Wind River Country, Wyoming
Fall down six times.  Stand up seven.

Offline Mr. Woolery

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Re: A Badgerling, A Bow, and the Perforated Milk Jug
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2020, 11:21:45 am »
What a lovely story. Thank you for sharing it.

All three of my kids used (youngest still uses) simple oak bows I made with a linen backing. Not very professional bows, but they introduced kids to the joy of archery very well. But the big thing has been to make it available and then, as you do, encourage it when they show interest.

Weather in Fairbanks isnít very archery friendly yet. It is up around freezing, but we had about 8Ē of fresh snow yesterday and are expecting more in the next couple days. More sub-zero nights next week.

I hope to get a schedule in place that will get me in the shop a fair amount next week. It would be great to get a new bow made. Maybe finally figure out a good way to make arrow shafts. It would be a nice outcome if I can make a bow and arrows from scratch and be shooting new gear when the snow finally melts.

I feel like one of the real positive takeaways from this negative situation is that all the family time will create the potential for bonding thatís nearly impossible with the usual schedule of rushing around all day.

Patrick

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: A Badgerling, A Bow, and the Perforated Milk Jug
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2020, 01:29:30 pm »
Neat story!  Can't help with the purple dye, but I got some bamboo backing slats, what length?  I have 20# recurves for my classes (if and when we get to hold them!). Even then, some kids are over powered to start!  Great to hear you are getting that bonding time and the Badgerling is enjoying archery.  Perhaps she can learn how to make purple dye for her bow!
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline WhistlingBadger

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Re: A Badgerling, A Bow, and the Perforated Milk Jug
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2020, 09:44:03 pm »
Patrick, how long does it usually take for the snow to melt off up there?  Sounds like you got your kids started right.

Hey, Jerry, I'll keep your offer in mind.  Mighty nice of you!  I'm planning to start working on a board bow next week, so we'll see how that goes.

Today it was too breezy for the planned bike ride, so the Badgerling dug out her beautiful rainbow kite.  Trouble was we couldn't find any string.  Well.  Remember those target bales that got torn apart by deer last winter?  A little digging through the piles and ta da!  Bailing twine to the rescue!  Keeping it redneck.

We lay in the grass, eating Cheetos, watching that kite ripple in the sun like a living thing.  Then we came in and continued that game of Risk.  I held onto Asia and now have one big, furry boot planted in Europe.  Things are looking good for the home team.

Could be worse.

Thomas
~Thomas
Wind River Country, Wyoming
Fall down six times.  Stand up seven.

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: A Badgerling, A Bow, and the Perforated Milk Jug
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2020, 12:26:14 am »
I would bet some of the local tribal elders would be glad to teach her about dyes and other crafts if she has the interstate to learn!  There was a thread a while back about "native" dyes from natural material, also, I think Reginald & Gladys Laubin had some info in their book, "The Indian Tipi";  I'll try to find and make a copy for you.  We are "enjoying" this time by trying to get the house ready for showing, and figuring out how to get through the slowdown economically.  Jacie is self employed and has had several clients bail out, some of them have paid her anyway, but?
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline WhistlingBadger

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Re: A Badgerling, A Bow, and the Perforated Milk Jug
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2020, 07:55:52 am »
I would bet some of the local tribal elders would be glad to teach her about dyes and other crafts if she has the interstate to learn!  There was a thread a while back about "native" dyes from natural material, also, I think Reginald & Gladys Laubin had some info in their book, "The Indian Tipi";  I'll try to find and make a copy for you.  We are "enjoying" this time by trying to get the house ready for showing, and figuring out how to get through the slowdown economically.  Jacie is self employed and has had several clients bail out, some of them have paid her anyway, but?
Hawkdancer

The trouble with most natural purples (chokecherry juice makes a pretty good one) is that they turn brown over time when exposed to oxygen and/or sunlight.   All natural things eventually fade to tan or brown, it seems.

What kind of business is your wife in?  Hope we can all hang in until things get back to semi-normal.
~Thomas
Wind River Country, Wyoming
Fall down six times.  Stand up seven.

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: A Badgerling, A Bow, and the Perforated Milk Jug
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2020, 10:53:51 am »
She is a house cleaner, and violin teacher, she is trying to get set up to teach remotely, and hopefully be able to keep all her students busy.  My harp teacher has cancelled her lessons on medical advise, but since we are more or less busy getting the house ready to list, that works for me
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: A Badgerling, A Bow, and the Perforated Milk Jug
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2020, 11:31:49 am »
Thomas,  PM sent.
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline Mr. Woolery

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Re: A Badgerling, A Bow, and the Perforated Milk Jug
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2020, 09:32:38 pm »
Thomas, this is an unusual winter. Generally the snow is gone by the end of April. We generally have melting happening but now, more than there is this year. Iím expecting snow still on the ground mid-May.

Patrick