July 6th, 2008
This weekend, the three of us got in the car and drove up to Tekamah, NE for Blogstock 08 at Cliff’s. That’s Jacob when we were stopped at a park halfway there. Sure looks like he’s about to do something ornery, doesn’t it? I think he looks even more ornery than the photo of Cliff. That’s saying something.
We all really enjoyed Blogstock. Ralph, Cliff, and the rest of the Morrows sure know how to have an event. Ralph said that Cliff’s BBQ smoked chicken is the best we’ll ever have, and he may just have been right.
I’m going to include a few of my photos in this post; you can see all of my 200+ Blogstock photos on Flickr. (In case anyone else uploads Blogstock photos, you might tag them blogstock08).
Jacob had a blast, and I think he took special pleasure in keeping Terah and me busy. I recall saying something like this, all strung together:
“Jacob, please stop throwing dirt at the cat. That cat doesn’t like to have dirt thrown on it. Jacob, stop throwing grass on the cat. Jacob, stop hitting the cat. The cat doesn’t like to be hit. Can you pet the cat gently like this? Good job! Jacob, stop sitting on the cat. That hurts the cat. Stop throwing dirt at the cat. Would you like to go play in the corn?”
The Morrow cat was the most tolerant cat I’ve ever seen, and didn’t really seem to mind having a toddler sit on its head. However, we noticed this morning that Jacob’s legs mysteriously have some scratches that look very much like cat scratches. We didn’t see anything happen, and Jacob didn’t come crying to us or anything. I suspect the cat found a way to communicate that it doesn’t very much like to have someone sit on it. I also suspect that Jacob understood the message.
As for corn — Jacob loves corn. He first noticed it within the past week or two, and always gets excited when we drove past some. He calls it “koh!”, and particularly tall corn is “koh-koh” or “ah-koh”. Cliff has tall corn, and when I first asked Jacob if he wanted to see it, he immediately stopped pestering the cat, yelled “KOOHHHHH!!! KOH KOH KOH KOH!!!” and started running towards it. He started by carefully inspecting the corn from the edge of the field. (I can’t help but thinking he looks a bit like is great-grandpa Yoder in this picture.) I can almost hear him saying “yep, this corn looks pretty good” in a couple of years.
The real fun begins when you get into the corn, apparently. With a little bit of holding my hand to balance while walking over the rows of dirt, he’d get between the rows of corn and have a blast. That means mainly picking up a full handful of dirt, running to another random corn plant somewhere, throwing the dirt in the general direction of the corn, and cackling like this was the best thing ever. I had to watch out with the camera, because I didn’t really care for it to be hit by dirt, and well, I was in the general direction of corn, too.
And, in case you didn’t know, having fun in the corn is serious business.
Now, what can a toddler possibly do after playing in the corn, eating some cherries off a tree, and smearing some dirt on his face with cherry juice?
Well, plan his next activity, of course! From the look on his face, it will be another one to keep Terah and me busy.
Jacob seemed to get along really well with everyone. But Ralph said that everytime he came close, Jacob would give him a nasty glare. Here’s Ralph holding Jacob. Was this the look, Ralph?
Or maybe it was this:
Friday evening, Cliff and Ralph made up some great hamburgers, hot dogs, and sausages. We all ate under the big tent, and had a nice time visiting. It was sort of an unusual thing — meeting people you already know for the first time — but very nice. We left somewhere around 8. Jacob enjoyed the hotel room, too.
That’s Jacob talking on the telephone. Well, I would normally use it as a TV remote, but to Jacob it looks like a phone, so a phone it is. (I can see his point.) This is Jacob answering the phone by saying Hi! Jacob’s word for a phone, by the way, is “hi.” He’ll find a remote by the TV in the room, point to it, and yell “hi!”
Jacob’s usual bedtime is 6:30PM. He normally falls asleep fairly easily and sleeps soundly until 6:30AM. Well, we got him in bed well after 6:30PM. Then he made the discovery that the hotel crib/playpen has a mattress that is not attached to the bottom like our mattresses at home are. This was good for at least an hour of excited playing. As Terah and I were trying to sleep, we’d hear these cackles from Jacob’s crib, and the noises of a very active boy. I’d peek around and see him using the mattress as a tent, as a peek-a-boo toy, or just as something to throw. I think he fell asleep at about 11.
And woke up promptly at 6:30 on Saturday, just like clockwork, ready to make some phone calls and start the day.
Now, just a tidbit for anyone that doesn’t have kids: a toddler, low on sleep, and endless excitement all combine to make for busy parents. Jacob did pretty well, and got in a good long nap in the afternoon. We did take several trips to the corn field.
For most of us, Saturday was a day for brunch, for sitting around and visiting under the tent, for horse rides, and maybe a massage for those that wanted it. Terah got to ride a horse, and Jacob got to ride a pony, too.
For Jacob, it was a day to make new friends, too.
I took this picture just a second after she had given him a hug. I was just a little too slow whipping out the camera.
But when it comes to cherry picking, it’s all serious business once again.
Jacob loved eating these sour cherries. At first, he would pick one cherry off the tree, run over to the tent, give it to Terah for her to get the pit out, eat it, then go back to the tree for another one. He must have decided this was inefficient not long after I did. After a few roundtrips, he started trying to get the closest adult, whoever that might be, to pit the cherry for him. When he found one that would do it, he’d keep bringing cherries back to that person.
And then he was under the tree for a long time. Terah and I noticed, and had a conversation about just how many cherry pits it’s OK to swallow. But when I checked it out, I found out that Jacob had figured out how to pit cherries himself. He did lose about half a cherry each time he did it, but I guess that was more efficient than pestering adults to do it for him. Though it may have also worked to carry two cherries to the tent at a time.
Late in the afternoon, Cliff started up the smoker for the chicken. He had rented a big smoker for the occasion, but it wasn’t working, so he made do with his regular smoker, ovens for the corn, and an array of dutch ovens or side grills for everything else. I couldn’t keep track of it all, and I was just watching, but somehow it all turned out perfect.
While the chicken was cooking, Ralph and son-of-Ralph (SOR) were having a conversation and patting their bellies. I couldn’t hear, and didn’t ask questions, so I’m choosing to believe that they were discussing how many pieces of chicken they could eat. When they heard my camera click, Ralph said, “He didn’t just take a photo, did he?” Thereby guaranteeing a spot on my blog.
I had the distinction, I think, of being the least-read blogger at Blogstock. I can’t quite remember how many times I’d meet someone, and they’d say, “Oh, you’re the computer guy, right? I tried reading your blog, but I didn’t understand it, sorry!” Completely understandable, I assure you!
After dinner Saturday, we talked about how we got started blogging (hi, Marty and Andy if you’re reading), why we were there. Cliff said some very kind things about Terah and me, which really meant a lot.
Later, Cliff told me how Terah showed up in the kitchen with her tray of deviled eggs. Cliff saw them, and said, “Terah, I love you.” Later, Cliff said “I love you” to someone else. From the next room, Terah piped up, “What food did she bring?”
Saturday evening, Terah took her horse ride. Jacob was quite tired by that point, and threw a tantrum about not being able to go with mom and ride a horse, too. We were talking about it when Rachel came over. Jacob asked her to pick him up, she did, and he instantly stopped fussing. Maybe it was a “so there” to me, since I had been holding him a minute before, and he took the opportunity to scream in my ear. But in any case, Jacob loved Rachel. She let him sit on a pony, carried him all around the yard, and he managed to hold it together until Terah came back at 9:30.
Saturday evening it was time for goodbyes. We all had a blast and I’m sure we’ll do this again. If you weren’t there, here’s what Blogstock looks like:
A bunch of friends sitting around chatting under a tent pretty well sums it up.
(There was a full tent of people; some were just elsewhere when this particular photo was taken.)
Jacob shared his thoughts on the whole trip on the way home, too. Well put, Jacob.