Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring Ski

Last Sunday was our one and only venture up to China Peak this season.  Just in was the last day they were open!  They have had a rough season, with very little snow, but they did get a good batch last week.  Sunday was beautiful--warm and sunny.  Not great for the snow, or skiing, but still a wonderful way to spend a day.  I had worried that it would be crowded, but it wasn't a problem.
Here we are at the top of the mountain.  Huntington Lake is in the distance.  Sadly, the drought will severely affect it this year.  It will only be filled to a third of capacity this summer, and the annual Regatta has been cancelled for the first time in 50+ years.
 You can see how goopy the snow is, but heck, sitting in it is still fun!
 A shameless selfie on the lift with my beautiful Mae-Mae.  Also revealing that I did not set a good example and wear a helmet.  Slight pang of guilt, overcome by rationalizing that I always remain cautious and in control.  We won't talk about that broken leg.  That was in my crazy twenties.

That's right...just a few years ago.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring Fever

Mark is having a good man-day. 
 He gets to drive the tractor.
 And move dirt.  Well, topsoil, really.
 Under the technical guidance of my father.
 Yes!  Last year was the "Year of the Porch", and THIS year, is the "Year of Things Around the Porch".  Things like landscaping.
We are doing raised beds to keep the dirty, rotten gophers out.  See the hardware cloth on the bottom?  Hopefully that will do the trick.  I think so.  I saw it on YouTube.

Getting schooled

One recent afternoon, as we headed home from school, the girls started trying to bargain for some play time before getting down to homework.  I have learned over and over that this does NOT work for our family--we really need to just knock it out, and THEN play.  Nevertheless, the girls are always hopeful that they'll catch me in a weak moment.  This is how our conversation went:

Abigail:  Mom, can we shoot hoops for a while when we get home before we do homework?

Me:  No, we need to do homework first, but after that you can shoot hoops.

Mae:  Why do we always need to do homework first?

Me:  Because it's your responsibility.  You're a professional student, and it's your job to do your homework.

Mae:  I'm not a professional!

Me:  Of course you're a professional student.

Mae:  No I'm not.  I don't get paid!

Well, she had me there!  How can you argue with that logic???

Sunday, March 30, 2014


This is the hummingbird feeder hanging off my front porch.  I enjoy it immensely!  One day, as I was refilling it in a rush, I snapped off one of the flowers.  Searching for something to plug the hole, I came across some disposable chopsticks.  Voila--a perfect fit!
As an added bonus, the hummers now like to sit and take a rest on the stick, before being dive-bombed by angry rivals.
I like to sit and enjoy the show.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Spelling Bee

Last week was a big one for my daughter Abigail.  She went to the Fresno County Spelling Bee.  In the month prior, she competed in her class, then her grade, then against the winners of 5th and 6th grade, then against the two other mountain schools, and earned a place at the county competition.  So, as you see, there has been quite a build up to the county event.  The county bee IS a big deal.  It is in DOWNTOWN FRESNO, a place we only venture for big events like Valley Championship Basketball Games.  Or registering to run for the school board.  Or attending the circus.
My lack of savvy in the ways of downtown showed when I had NO CASH to pay for parking.  After that crisis was averted, I got Abigail settled with her peers. 
 She was #3 (randomly assigned) in a field of 41.  And #1 was a no show.  So Abigail had to go second.  Yikes!
 Wisely, the judges had the kids stretch and shake off their nerves.  See, this picture is blurry because I was shaking too!
 Here's Abigail at the mike.  She made it to round three, when "oder" was the getter.

Did you catch that?  Of course, it is "odor", not "oder".  Even I wasn't sure under the gun, but then that danged red light came on.
 Abigail got a medal.
And a certificate.
But the real treat was seeing her on the FRONT PAGE OF THE FRESNO BEE the next day! (Yes, right next to the story of the gender-changing high school teacher, but you can't have everything.)
Truly a memory of a lifetime.  I am one proud momma.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sea World

After complaining about the cost of LEGOLAND, I feel  a bit guilty admitting that we also went to Sea World.  For free.  Hey, I have connections!  My aunt works at Sea World!
For whatever reason, we seemed to hit everything just right on our visit.  We saw all the shows.
Of course, Shamu was a must.

He did a lot of splashing.

I watched from way up here.

But these three sat in "the soak zone".

Mark...trying to dry out in the sun.

We did some ray-petting.

Very cool.  We all walked away happy from our day at Sea World.

Monday, March 10, 2014


During February, the kids had a week off...our winter break or "ski week".  This year, we forsake skiing to bring Nana back down to San Diego, to move to assisted living.
I won't lie.  This was a very difficult thing.  But we tried to seek out some fun and adventure along the way.  So we went to Lego Land.
I was very intent on getting the kids there, because a) they really enjoy Legos and b) I felt the window for enjoying this park was drawing to a close.  We did have a great time, but I was right...the girls were right on the tail end of "age appropriate". 
Mae took this shot!  She told Abigail to try to look like the character.

 Should I be jealous?

One of the highlights was seeing the model builders at work.  But of course, my batteries were dead by then, so no photos of that!  But I have this lovely car...

There were a few rides of interest, including this one where the girls could pull themselves up the tower.

We all loved the models of different cities made entirely of Legos.  Incredibly intricate!

Mae was particularly impressed with this guy's chest hair.  Should I be worried about this?
It was a very fun day, but I must also say, very, very expensive.  Literally a once-in-a-lifetime splurge for the Connie-Miser.