November 20, 2007

School canceled, on account of

snow and hunting.

We were surprised Sunday by a goodly snowfall overnight, and then a bit more Sunday night. Enough for the kids to make this before lunchtime yesterday,

It doubles as a (very) small sledding hill.

Last night the temperature dropped down to about -20C (just below 0F), the coldest weather so far this season; winter is here, no matter what the calendar says.

Tom shot a deer this morning, and he and the kids are at his parents skinning it before taking it to the butcher, who will cut and wrap the meat for us. It started snowing again, so thickly I can barely see the road from the front door, just after they left.

Davy already has plans for the hide, which we'll send to the local taxidermist for tanning (though Davy wants to try tanning it himself, which I don't think he's quite old enough for; I found this online* but figure I'd be buying it at my own peril since he's only seven), and Tom will have his hands full because Davy also wants some of the sinew to make a bow and for various Native sewing projects. Davy lately has been eating, breathing, sleeping (the books live under his pillow) the teachings of W. Ben Hunt, especially his Complete Book of Indian Crafts and Lore (a Golden Book), and Davy knows that Ben would want him to get the sinew. All of it. Of cousre, I mean need that deerskin/buckskin book so I know what to do with that sinew. Besides store it in my deep freeze.

* * *

A W. Ben Hunt library (these are all still in print); if you or your kids like old Boy Scout manuals and the books of Dan Beard and Ernest Thompson Seton, you'll like these:

How to Build and Furnish a Log Cabin

Rustic Construction

American Indian Beadwork

These Ben Hunt titles are out-of-print but worth tracking down:

The Golden Book of Crafts and Hobbies

The Golden Book of Indian Crafts and Lore

Ben Hunt's Big Book of Whittling

* not for the faint of heart or stomach when it comes to book titles, there is also this (consider yourself warned before you click away). I'll admit to being a wee bit intrigued since Davy says that Ben Hunt said that traditional tanning methods yield a leather that's much softer and more waterproof than modern chemical methods. By the way, we hear a lot of "Ben Hunt says" around here, and I've learned that he's usually right.

By the way, the above link at has some nifty things on the "arts and technologies of early peoples", including

a list of primitive living skills gatherings, mostly in the US, and

information on school programs for kids

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