A Man Project

Pedro turned 16 this week.

That’s a big birthday in Iowa – it means that he can get officially get his driver’s license.

So what does he do to celebrate?

Well – since he’s had a steady summer job and some money just itching to be spent – he bought himself a pickup.

(I think I just heard my mother gasp!)

Don’t get too excited. This is a 1985 Toyota truck with the engine in two pieces. It arrived here on a trailer – it’s primer grey paint shining in the sun – with half of the engine laying in the truck bed.
Peter's TruckHe didn’t buy himself just any ol’ pick-up. Nope. He bought himself a “man-project”.

His daddy told him by the time he had that thing running he would know every inch of that truck.

And Pedro grinned.

He’s still grinning. Despite the excessive heat and humidity he’s been out there under the hood every day.

He’s tackling a man-size project – one piece at a time.

And that makes this momma proud.

How to Clean a Fence Row

How to clean a fence row and turn boys to men.

First you play lumberjack.
Chain SawTake a chain saw and as many boys as you can find and begin cutting down all the dead branches and fallen limbs that are on or near the fence line.

Then have the boys pile them in big piles.

Putting the pile far away from where you are cutting builds endurance and strength.

The bigger the pile, the better.

Make sure you add several varmint cedar trees to the top of the pile and leave a couple of stumps or a big log nearby for seating.

TarzanThen play Tarzan on the grape vines hanging from the trees. The upper body strength will come in handy later. Trust me.

Wait for a calm day, with little or no wind, throw some kerosene on the pile, light a match and step back!

FireThe varmint cedar trees on the top of the pile will explode into amazing pyrotechnics that send flames high into the air, often catching dead limbs in the surrounding trees on fire.

You have two options if this happens – you could grab the chainsaw, climb the tree  holding the chainsaw (remember the Tarzan practice) and cut off said limbs.

Or – you can have the boys stand near the trees with their super squirter squirt guns and put out the fire.

Do not do them both at the same time.

Using rakes, pitchforks and shovels, show the boys how to put out any grass fires that start from the sparks of the bonfire.

For added excitement – light two or more burn piles at the same time at different places in the pasture. This increases your cardio-vascular work-out as you run from pile to pile.

Then, when the fires have settled down, sit down on the logs or stumps with your boys and watch them burn as the sun sets, enjoying the satisfaction and pride of a job well done.