All of the kittens have been adopted! The last two babies went to new homes yesterday. The kids were told they could pick out one kitty to keep, and they all agreed on the little creamy boy. He was the smallest of the group and one of the most mellow, so I think he was a good choice. Last night they decided to name him Hamish. Remington is pretty tolerant of the little guy and I don’t think it will take too long for them to become good buddies. Charbie already loves him and snuffles him every chance he gets. Hamish is quick to purr and loves a good cuddle. I think he is a great addition to the family.
I absolutely love orange tabbies and was really tempted to keep one, but since there were people wanting them, I thought it best to let them go to new homes. Three cats might be a bit too much for our RV. I did tell Rob that if we ever have more space, I will be sneaking home another cat or two. He just laughed and thanked me for the warning. He is pretty awesome that way.
My parents came for a visit not long after we arrived in North Dakota. We spent a few wonderful days exploring the area and I found that it is really much different than I had originally imagined. There is much more texture to the landscape than I expected, and the river valley is quite beautiful. Yes, it is relatively flat, and no, there are not many trees, and yes, there are oil fields dotting the landscape, but there is so much more than that. I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the area is, and there is still so much more to see. I had forgotten just how big the sky is in this part of the country, but perhaps most of all, I am simply loving being back in an area with wide open spaces.
The Missouri River
How life here must have been way back when.
The beautiful sunrise from our living room window.
I had forgotten just how big the sky could be…
Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~Khalil Gibran
Two days after arriving in North Dakota, Rob heard a tiny cry out in the field. The kids took off to find where it was coming from, and they turned up with a kitten. Then, another cry, and another kitten. By the time they were done, they had rounded up five kittens. We are not sure why Mama Kitty left, but something must have come up. Her tiny babies were hungry and cold, so we brought them into the house. After some research, we estimated them to be about five weeks old.
They were in pretty rough shape, but took to food pretty quickly. Before we knew it, they had big, round bellies and were full of energy. They had some skin issues so we have been bathing them in a special shampoo and they have healed up nicely. Two of them have since gone to new homes and we are planning on keeping one, but the others will have to be adopted. I would love to keep them all, but with Remi, Charbie and Wiggy Wabbit, that would be too many critters for such a small space.
They sure are fun to have around, though, and I am so glad we stumbled upon them when we did. Charbie loves to play with them and follows them everywhere, love-nibbling them constantly. Even Remington P. Cat doesn’t seem to mind them. He doesn’t necessarily want to play with them, but he tolerates them just fine.
Sooooo, if anyone is in the market for a super cute orange tabby kitten, I know where you can find one. Just sayin’… :)
The first three kittens found…
Charbie is an excellent nanny.
Catheryn is a cat lover, too!
My mom loved the babies!
Since we are going to be living here for at least a year, we had to make necessary changes in our residency status. North Dakota does not participate in the K12 program, so we had to consider other education options for the kids. After much discussion, we decided public school would be a good option for them. There were a lot of reasons for this decision, but the most important one is that the kids were really excited about it. It has been over two years since they have been in public school and I think they were looking forward to being in a classroom setting again. My hope is that after all of our travels, and the combination of homeschooling and public schooling, they will be well-rounded kids.
It was still pitch black out this morning when we walked them up to the bus stop for their first day of school. They are the first kids on the bus in the morning and they will be the last kids off in the afternoon, so the ride is a long one, but they were excited about it. Getting up at 5:30am will take some getting used to, though…
Today was also Rob’s first day as a permanent employee of the National Park Service! He had been looking forward to this for so long and I know he was excited that his start date had finally come. The staff here is amazing and I think he is really going to enjoy working here.
And since Rob and the kids were all gone today, it was my first day home all alone. It has been over 11 years since I have been by myself during the day. I have kept myself plenty busy and do not think ‘boredom’ will ever be a word in my vocabulary. I will say this, though, it is crazy quiet here without the kids home…
Rob will be home in a few minutes and then it will be time to meet the kids at the bus stop. I cannot wait to hear how all of their first days went.
Oh, and one more very important thing before I go…
Happy Birthday, Esther!! We love you!!!
All right, enough slacking on my part. We left Hopewell Furnace a month ago today and so much has happened since then that it is about time I begin filling you in. So where do I start? Well, I guess it is best to just start from the beginning…
We had a great drive from Pennsylvania to North Dakota. We had originally planned on just driving straight through, but later decided that we would take our time, stopping and enjoying places along the way. One of our favorite places was Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. As a matter of fact, we liked it there so much that we stayed for five days. The kids spent their days building sand castles and swimming in Lake Michigan, and we relaxed in the evenings with a roaring campfire, spooky stories and enough marshmallows to sink a small ship.
Another highlight was being able to visit with my cousin, whom I had not seen since 1992. The kids had a blast playing with her daughter and it was great to just be able to catch up after so many years. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and great conversation. My only hope is that it does not take another 20+ years to do it again.
As an added bonus, we were able to add several new states to our map. We cheered as we entered Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and last but not least, North Dakota. (Sorry Wisconsin! We will fill you in as soon as we can!) Almost two weeks and 2,000 miles after leaving Pennsylvania, we arrived safely in North Dakota.
We pulled onto our RV pad and settled ourselves in. We arrived two weeks before Rob was scheduled to start work, so we had some time to explore and get familiar with the area. That brings me to the next part of our story, but that will have to wait until next time…
Thank you HOFU!!
Mansfield, Ohio Carousel
Ohio State Reformatory
Enjoying the ride
Castles in the sand.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Charbie will fetch just about anything.
Charbie the Wander Dog!