Friday, August 17, 2007

The Colorado Crew in Steamboat

So here's baby Kaitlin. She loved the pool.
Kaitlin flies

Here's Karlie at the lake.

And here's Hailey.

This is the whole crew together at the top of the gondola. The girls are wearing matching shirts that I decorated with fabric paints that same morning. I had to rig up a blow dryer and blast them for 30 minutes, then finish in a slow oven to hurry that "allow 24 hours to dry." I really wanted to get those matching shirts done in time!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Steamboat Fun


First thing to do was to check out the pond. Fletcher Pond, nicknamed Fetid Pond last year when initially scouted out by Sam and Max, is really quite the winner. Can you ask for more? Full catches two years in a row? Kids catching so many fish they don't get bored?

These fish (big by our Sierra stream standards) are actually pretty tasty and easily enticed by decent bait like worms. Unfortunately, this year, worms were scarce -- WalMart froze all theirs and everyone one else had empty shelves. So the fishing trip did not start too well; the fish would have none of the fake bait.

Happily, Monty and I know the great trout secret. They cannot resist grasshoppers. So while the kids fished, Monty and I grasshoppered. Our full catch was thanks to the grasshoppers we whacked with our baseball caps in the dry weeds. Here's the one of first. Karlie couldn't quite decide between the thrill or terror of the catch.


Hailey squealed quite a bit this year, but was solidly enthusiastic. She even likes cleaning them with Pops and discussed contents of guts at our all-you-can-eat trout dinner that night. Note the scenery? Now you know why it earned that moniker, Fetid Pond. Not exactly a rocky mountain high here.

Anna giving Karlie a hand getting that bobber out there.

Karlie taking a break from reeling them in. Just too cute not to post.

See? They really were pretty good sized!


We had the biggest and bestest pool toys. No end of delight with these.



See that shark fin approaching?

Nice hot tub, too.



We've taken the gondola up the mountain each year for a bit a picnic. How do you like our babushka girls?


Gumby came, too.
And Gumby, too.


We explored a new activity this year. We rented a kayak and a canoe to get out on the nearby lake. Max and Anna shared a kayak, and Monty, Katie, Hailey, and Karlie manned the canoe. The kids lasted about 30 minutes and then went on to better stuff -- the mud. I switched places with Katie while she assumed kid patrol and the four of us paddled into a quiet little arm of the lake alive with baby ducklings and coots. It was really a lot of fun. Definitely worth doing again.

Anna and Max on the lake.

Hailey, captivated by the mud. "It's so helpful!" she repeated told Monty.

And lots of evening time to look at books. A super trip. Check out Katie's blog for more pictures.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Case of the Disappearing Deck

That's right. Our deck is disappearing before our eyes. The wood is shrinking, chipping, peeling, and rotting away. Walking on the deck is a bit like walking on a bed. We also have had a set of French doors that open to a 20" drop to the ground. The first goal is to get the framing in beneath those French doors, so on a recent "leisurely" Saturday, we did manage to get this much further.

DSC_0153 DSC_0154

This little guy kept us entertained while we did find some leisure at the end of the day.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mother's Day at the Race Track

Between trips to Michigan and Colorado, I squeezed in a quick trip to SoCal to see family in that neck of the woods and enjoy the big event, the August celebration of Mother's Day at the Del Mar Race track. The photos I took are still on my brother's camera; these will have to do. John and Cheryl were the big winners this year. I won $60 on the first race and watched tose winnings slip away on just about each subsequent race. The photos I took are on John's camera, so you will just have to imagine the beautiful grounds, colorful jockeys and horses.

John and Cheryl just completed the remodel of their new home. Beautiful green granite kitchen counters, spacious living. Take a look --both directions toward the kitchen and into the family room:



Costa Mesa is a pretty flat place, but their property is on a bit of a mesa, so the back yard is wide open to the sky -- no neighbors in sight. The large patio in such a great climate is essentially another room; we enjoyed all our meals there. I especially enjoyed a leisurely breakfast of pastries and newspapers and chat.

And I just can't resist. Here's my inspiration for Petit Blu. This is John's mini, Beach Runt. It must have been a similar August trip two years ago that I first drove this little guy.


One last shot you might enjoy. Here is the Costa Mesa house where we lived from 1974 to 1980. DSC_0143