Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Once Again to Saddlebag

Saddlebag is a magic place.  It's at the intersection of two distinct geographies.  On the one side are reddish rounded mountains; while on the other, are the bright steep granite peaks I love so much.


We fished each day.  Dave caught a fine 15 1/2" rainbow for a late dinner.
He continued to catch two more, but I didn't do much more than wet the bait.

We enjoyed the flora and fauna.
This little(?) lady preferred the potato chip to the raisin.  Even chipmunks love the crunch.

This noisy fellow is a Clark's Nutcracker (named after Clark of Lewis and Clark fame).  He has a special seed storing pouch at the base of his tongue. After he gathers up a truck load, he caches them for winter over an area of up to 8 miles!  Ants have nothing on these guys!

I was surprised to find some penstemon still hanging on.

And even some pennyroyal for an afternoon cup of tea!

One of the joys of Saddlebag is the water taxi two miles to the far side 
and the entrance to the Hoover Wilderness.

 That's North Peak beyond there.  Gorgeous!

 Time out for a photo.

Our main fishing site.  

We each caught our limit!  All tasty native brooks save one rainbow, an upstream migrant.

 Ah.  One of the advantages of car camping.  A two burner gas stove and a car full of ingredients -- trout sauteed in butter with lemon and almonds.  

 Beautiful sunsets.

Beautiful evenings.  Lovely time.  Thanks for the trip Dave!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How We Play When Mom and Dad are Away!

This year Max and Katie were off to Italy for some business and pleasure.  
Here is how we played!

First Hank and I made the countdown calendar to mark the days until Mom and Dad got home.  Where are Mom and Dad?  Rome and Venice!  
Hank liked wrapping the rice crispie treats in "spidy webs."

We made a number of different Italian foods -- biscotti, fettucine alfredo, spaghetti and meatballs, 
and Katie had frozen some cannelloni -- but the favorite night was the pizza night.

I celebrated my birthday while I was there.  Monty was in for the weekend and 
he and the kids whipped up a fabulous cake!!!!

Who knows what went wrong, but we dubbed it the Roman ruins 
and decided that was what he had planned all along to keep with the Italian themed week!  
With a cake like that all you can do it dig in, right?  Oh yeah!

We painted Sistine benches (remarkably compelling for them)

created a diorama of Rome with St. Peters, the Coliseum, and Trevi Fountain, 
then the Thomas train to Venice where we placed St. Marks and the campanile, the Rialto Bridge, a gondola, and Karlie's final touch of a gelato shop!

and analyzed our daVinci Vitruvian proportionality. 

We had a lovely bedtime each night reading a couple of chapters from a beautiful edition of
 Carlo Collodi's 1883 Pinocchio that GiGi and I picked up in San Diego.  
A far cry from the Disney version.  Bet you did not know that quite early in the story 
Pinocchio gets so mad at the Cricket for advising him to go to school that 
-- are you ready? -- he smashes him with a mallet!  
You can imagine the girls' surprise!!! 

There were preschool graduations, kindergarten performances, a trip for gelato, 
a trip to the train park, a carousel ride, plenty of swimming.  
Lots of other fun things to do, but, even so, 
everyone was so so so happy when Mom and Dad were finally 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Valentine's Day

Alex, Chase, and Zoe joined us for Valentine's. Terrific fun!! We made individual pizzas from scratch. Little did we know that Alex was a Domino's expert from way back.

While we worked in the kitchen, Chase enjoyed some games on LegoLand.
But he eagerly came in to craft his own pizza when the time came.

Here's Zoe with hers.

We made some Valentine's cookies for dessert. Nothing special, but lots of fun.

Zoe spelled this out on the floor with pipe cleaners while the grown-ups finished their dinners. I couldn't agree more!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mom for a Week - English Style

Lovely, just lovely as I heard on the playground each morning. Quite the grand time standing in for Heather.

The three oldest were off to school each day. Quite the administrative task to get all the varied uniform pieces together. Heather left an oft referred to chart for each day's requirements. And in the dining room, each day had its own stack of accoutrements to take to school. Not the cotton hat today, Owen, the felt one. Oh these are Owens socks, I need mine. But today is a sports day and we wear a different uniform. Oh, don't forget the soccer shoes, the swim bag, the snack, the backpack, where's your homework, did you sign my reading book? But we did get to school each day along the one route I had practiced for three days before Sam and Heather took off. It included a wickedly narrow country road that quickened my heartbeat and raised my blood pressure with each passing vehicle! But no busy roundabouts. Whew!! I rejoiced on the last drive of the last day!!

Laney with hat. I had a hard time remembering the hat.

School boys. Yes, that is Owen clowning to the delight of his classmates.

I arrived EARLY each day to avoid the congestion in the school parking lot. That gave us quite a bit of time to spend in the car before heading out to the play area with everyone.

Gee, does she have three brothers????

That gave me lots of time with AJ!

Jumping for joy - exuberance defined.
Oh so GOOD.

Oh so BAD! This is anger, not sorrow or pain.
AJ loved to race to the fence and back in his back yard.

Short order cook did manage to please most of the time. Although this double plater was enjoying the lasagna Heather left in the freezer for me! We thought we would practice for China with chopsticks.

Burnt toast?? REJECT!! Save for Pops!

Evening and Weekend Pastimes

Stair Sliding

Daily Guitar practice - with clown

Reading - Spencer has a book all the time!

Sword fighting - so nice to see the shields pulled out!

Helping - Kitchen floor got a bit of cleaning, too!

Puzzles - Fancy Nancy inspired quite the room decor for Mom!


Counting the days.

Daily baths with extra bubbles

But the real fun happened when Sam and Heather returned: Chariot racing!!