Ultimate Learning

image2This past week family from Nebraska visited.  They arrived Monday morning and headed home Friday morning.  We “could” have continued to do school, but chose instead to enjoy their visit and some of the sites around where we live.

Monday was a day of relaxation,  We caught up on visiting and our visitors caught up on rest.  Oldest daughter and youngest grandson came over for a visit.  Tuesday the grandparents and twins went to Gold Bug Park.  We live 8 miles from where the California gold rush started.  This park has a gold mine that was called a hobby mine.  The mine is a hard rock mine and the gold they found was in quartz. They also visited a blacksmith shop.  The blacksmith made all 3 girls prairie diamonds!  Youngest daughter says “when travelers were heading here, in the 1800’s,  they moved in huge groups and it took a whole lot of money to get here.  If they wanted to get married there was no jeweler or money so they went to the blacksmith and he fashioned a ring from a horseshoe nail.”  horseshoe nail ring“The reason that gold rush ended was WW2, when gold mines where  shut down so the men could go to war. When they got back it was more profitable to get a job than to mine for gold.”  The twins spent a 1/2 hour panning in icy cold water for gems and came home with a small handful each.  Oldest son and his family came over to visit Tuesday night.

Minning commandmentsWednesday we all headed for Sutter’s Mill.  This is the site where gold was discovered in 1848 by James Marshall.   90,000 people flooded California hoping to find gold.  By the mid 1850’s 300,000 had traveled here.  It was the largest migration in US history.We toured the small museum, miner’s house, Chinese store, the Marshall monument and a replica of the mill.  Oldest twin says “The stamp mill was very interesting, it crushes the ore to get the gold out. They also used mercury, which attracts gold, to seperate the gold from the rock and then retrieve the mercury to use again.” “The first piece of gold James Marshall found was about 1/2 the size of a pea.”  stamp millHe was commissioned by Sutter to supply wood for Sutter’s fort when he spotted gold in the American River.  Men were crazy with gold fever, so much so that they thought James Marshall had a special ability to find gold and threatened to hang him if he wouldn’t help them.  Ironically Marshall died a poor man.  Youngest son and his family came over for dinner Wednesday night.

shed buildingThursday my dad and the twins built a kidding shed.  We have 2 Nigerian dwarf goats that we hope to breed in the next month or so.  The large dog house they sleep in is not big enough for babies, so we researched frugal kidding sheds and came upon several made from pallets.  Since we had a free and cheap source for pallets, it was time to build.  They worked from morning to mid afternoon and completed all but the roofing and a door.  shed buildingGrandpa is one who believes you learn by doing, so he set both girls to using the jigsaw, drill and hammers.  He said they were the engineers. 😉  (Update: The girls and I roofed it yesterday with shingles given to us by a local roofing company.) Oldest son’s family and oldest daughter and her family came for dinner Thursday night.

Friday morning the grandparents packed up their motorhome and headed south to Arizona.  Did we learn anything last week?  You bet!  And this week we are back to our normal schedule.  We had a wonderful time and made memories to last till they next time they visit!

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