Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Wanna be a Cowgirl

We finally made the long-overdue trip to Boot Barn and got the girls some boots. Boots are pretty much an essential here in the summer, due to the noxious summer weeds that coat and destroy shoes and socks if you venture anywhere in the field. And then there are the rattlesnakes. In past summers, we've just used the rainboots from the previous season, but this year, we (and Aunt Judy and Uncle Nick) decided it was time to upgrade. Predictably, Abigail was drawn to the pink boots, and chose some with a light-up heel. In a surprise move, Mae ALSO went for the pink boots. She wanted an all pink pair, but we eventually guided her to ones with a tan foot and pink upper.

We're all SO happy!

Now for the horse...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pine Flat Lake

Just days after braving the icy waters of Dinkey Creek, we retreated to the warm, comforting waters of Pine Flat Lake. The wildlife on the dock was abundant (look at the the momma duck with her baby ducklings, not my wild-looking children).

Not shown here is the rattlesnake, which met its unfortunate demise in our ski boat. It had crawled up onto the dock, and a helpful neighbor tried to throw it back into the water. Unfortunately, his aim was not good. Thank goodness none of us were IN the boat! In addition to the rattlers and duckies, there was the human kind of wildlife on the docks...the kind that parties loudly all night. Conclusion: if you're gonna spend the night at the houseboat IN the dock, don't do it on a Friday night!

I know, I know..."Duh, Connie!" Thank goodness the girls are heavy sleepers, or they'd have a whole new vocabulary.

The next day, we ventured up to the bridge at Sycamore. The lake is high enough to make a jump off the bridge a relatively reasonable thing to do. Here goes Megan:

And Scotty:

Not to be outdone, here goes Mark...DIVING. Because jumping was just too safe and boring!

And here is Casey, officially a jet-ski driver now that she is 16 years old. Doesn't she look happy?

It was shortly after this that she learned her first lesson of adult driving. The driver needs to keep an eye on the fuel gauge!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Not so dinkey Dinkey Creek

Here is the "creek" part of our Dinkey Creek 4th of July adventure. We spent quite a bit of time hanging out at the river, which is running very fast with snow melt from the huge snow pack this year. Judging from the temperature, this water was snow just hours before! All the more reason to jump in, right? In our family, the answer is "Of course, and I'm first!" My crazy cousin Donald led the way this time:

Mark cannot resist the urge to make a dam in a slower part of the river.:

My sister Gail and her daughter Casey. Casey's style was a bit cramped, as you can guess. She was the only one of our crew who did not eventually douse in the water, but we feel she earned an honorary membership in our "polar bear club".

Even little Lily (Gail's new puppy) went in, and it darn tuckered her out!

Mark's rock-scrambling gene is popping out in this one...

Speaking of Mark, here he is, plotting his course down the river:

Suffice it to say, we found a much safer place for the kids (and me) to jump in. But, um, my camera ran out of power, so you'll have to take my word for it!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Big A*% Trees

Usually I do a decent job of filtering what I think before I write it down for all the world to see. Because to be honest, some of the monologue in my head is more like a sailor than a room-mother. This is no surprise to those who know me well.

BUT once in a while, my filter is overwhelmed, and I have to say something like "Wow, that is one big-ass tree". This is just such an occasion.

See what I mean? C'mon, you're thinking it too, aren't you?

Over 4th of July weekend, my family, Gail's family, and my cousin Donald went up to Dinkey Creek and camped, just for one night. We had hoped to see fireworks at Shaver Lake, but our plan to approach the lake on the non-crowded side didn't pan out. Instead, we ended up just hanging out in the forest, exploring the creek, and taking a dunk in the icy stream. More about that later. We also ventured down to McKinley Grove, home to about 230 giant sequoias. The largest of these was over 20 feet in diameter, and some are estimated at about 2,000 years old.

I learned a few interesting factoids: the root system of the giant sequoia is very shallow and wide, generally no more than 5 feet below the surface

The bark of these trees is full of tannins, and is very resistant to fire, so fires actually help the trees by killing off the competition. The tannins also preserve the wood long after the tree dies. Interesting, eh?

Once again, I'm amazed that we live practically next-door to all this amazing stuff.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Abby's Blog

My daughter, Abigail, told me she wanted to write a blog. She wanted to take her own pictures and write about them. So I showed her how to use my camera, and she busily started clicking away. Later that morning, we reviewed her shots. She chose her first subject, and I showed her the caption space where she could write.

Turns out, she was not satisfied with just writing captions...oooohhhh noooooo. She wanted lots of space in which to type her commentary. I was a bit skeptical, but kept it to myself and set up a word document, inserting the picture she had chosen. So here I give you...Abby's first post:

This is a picture of daddy. He works on houses. He is a pro at that. A pro is when you get paid for doing something. He worked on my friend Emma’s house, he worked on Mrs.Fellding’s house. He has planit Earth on his shirt. It has a rocket lonching. He has light blue eye’s. He has werdy fat glasses. Abby

I don't know about you, but I was pretty darn impressed!