liralen: Finch Painting (yarn)
I got up before Jet, which is very unusual. I was all dressed and off to the restrooms to put myself together, when I got back, Jet was just up and getting into his clothing. We had a cold cereal breakfast, and gradually put more and more stuff into the van and ended up with nothing in the camp site and everything packed up and ready to go.

We went out the south entrance, through the Grand Tetons, and then headed on a diagonal down to 80. Somewhere in the middle of somewhere, we found a Dairyland burger and ice cream joint with "cheesewheels", which, amazingly enough, were cheeseburger patties that were breaded and deep fried! Ee! We just had hamburgers, fries, and milkshakes, which were very good. It's been a long time since I had a hot fudge milk shake small enough to not make me feel like I was killing myself to drink it all. Jet enjoyed his lemonade and grilled cheese sandwich.

I did some of the driving, and had no more two-lane road adventures, though I did pass a few folks. I did, however, see one example of an insane Californian who passed everyone and everything even on double yellows who nearly head-on'ed into someone and then kept up the insanity. I was glad they were well away from me so quickly.

When I wasn't driving I worked on John's sun/moon sweater. I actually worked on the dark sleeve and finished it and started the cuff of the yellow sleeve while John drove. I-80 proved smooth enough, and I-25 was insanely congested, but straight and smooth, so it was easy for me to knit while Jet watched Finding Nemo and the extras for it and for The Incredibles. We got into some thunderstorms in Montana and then in Colorado, again.

Much of our route was through the Painted Valleys which were beautiful, all the colors I normally associate with the Southwest or with Utah were all here, which was a very different view of Montana than I normally got when driving through it. It was a wonderful alternative to the wasteland approach by I-25 and I-90.

We got home late, around 7:30, and stopped at the Souper Salad for dinner, and closed the place down at 8. We had a good dinner, though, as we knew there was nothing at home. When we got home, John turned on the water heater, and the house was so hot it was crazy. It wasn't much cooler outside, but we opened up all the windows, turned on the attic fan and let it go. Everyone had a shower and cooled off by drying off and running around in our underwear as we gradually unpacked the stuff we were using the most.

It was good to be home. So good that Jet was exploring the mountain of mail, his room, the basement, and everything else. He was so happy just sitting and poking at His Stuff. He got a Lego catalog and wanted, immediately, to buy something out of it, but after counting his money, he needed four more stamps, so he thought of all the ways he could get them. I was happy, too. Happy to finally be where things were ours and just to be still again. The garden had survived and thrived quite nicely, on the most part, and there was a spillage of the Green Zebra plants onto a bench, which I was sad to see; but everything seemed remarkably alive and happy, though. I was impressed by that. The hanging cherry tomato seemed a bit thin; but all the dead stuff had been pulled out of it, which was really nice, and there were ripe cherry tomatoes all over it. Some had been, clearly, picked, which was great. The zucchini plant had one medium sized squash on it, but, clearly, folks had been eating off it, too, which was cool. I love supplying the neighbors when they were doing a lot of the work.

I'm so glad we're home. I'll see if I can sleep tonight, as it's just so hot. Whoof. I'm also completely amazed at the Sheer Amount of stuff we bought home with us. Lots of great food from the Northwest, and I'm going to have fun enjoying it.
liralen: Finch Painting (yarn)
I got up before Jet, which is very unusual. I was all dressed and off to the restrooms to put myself together, when I got back, Jet was just up and getting into his clothing. We had a cold cereal breakfast, and gradually put more and more stuff into the van and ended up with nothing in the camp site and everything packed up and ready to go.

We went out the south entrance, through the Grand Tetons, and then headed on a diagonal down to 80. Somewhere in the middle of somewhere, we found a Dairyland burger and ice cream joint with "cheesewheels", which, amazingly enough, were cheeseburger patties that were breaded and deep fried! Ee! We just had hamburgers, fries, and milkshakes, which were very good. It's been a long time since I had a hot fudge milk shake small enough to not make me feel like I was killing myself to drink it all. Jet enjoyed his lemonade and grilled cheese sandwich.

I did some of the driving, and had no more two-lane road adventures, though I did pass a few folks. I did, however, see one example of an insane Californian who passed everyone and everything even on double yellows who nearly head-on'ed into someone and then kept up the insanity. I was glad they were well away from me so quickly.

When I wasn't driving I worked on John's sun/moon sweater. I actually worked on the dark sleeve and finished it and started the cuff of the yellow sleeve while John drove. I-80 proved smooth enough, and I-25 was insanely congested, but straight and smooth, so it was easy for me to knit while Jet watched Finding Nemo and the extras for it and for The Incredibles. We got into some thunderstorms in Montana and then in Colorado, again.

Much of our route was through the Painted Valleys which were beautiful, all the colors I normally associate with the Southwest or with Utah were all here, which was a very different view of Montana than I normally got when driving through it. It was a wonderful alternative to the wasteland approach by I-25 and I-90.

We got home late, around 7:30, and stopped at the Souper Salad for dinner, and closed the place down at 8. We had a good dinner, though, as we knew there was nothing at home. When we got home, John turned on the water heater, and the house was so hot it was crazy. It wasn't much cooler outside, but we opened up all the windows, turned on the attic fan and let it go. Everyone had a shower and cooled off by drying off and running around in our underwear as we gradually unpacked the stuff we were using the most.

It was good to be home. So good that Jet was exploring the mountain of mail, his room, the basement, and everything else. He was so happy just sitting and poking at His Stuff. He got a Lego catalog and wanted, immediately, to buy something out of it, but after counting his money, he needed four more stamps, so he thought of all the ways he could get them. I was happy, too. Happy to finally be where things were ours and just to be still again. The garden had survived and thrived quite nicely, on the most part, and there was a spillage of the Green Zebra plants onto a bench, which I was sad to see; but everything seemed remarkably alive and happy, though. I was impressed by that. The hanging cherry tomato seemed a bit thin; but all the dead stuff had been pulled out of it, which was really nice, and there were ripe cherry tomatoes all over it. Some had been, clearly, picked, which was great. The zucchini plant had one medium sized squash on it, but, clearly, folks had been eating off it, too, which was cool. I love supplying the neighbors when they were doing a lot of the work.

I'm so glad we're home. I'll see if I can sleep tonight, as it's just so hot. Whoof. I'm also completely amazed at the Sheer Amount of stuff we bought home with us. Lots of great food from the Northwest, and I'm going to have fun enjoying it.
liralen: Finch Painting (trees over Jet)
The night was far colder than I'd expected it to be. I ended up snuggled up against John and stealing heat. Jet enjoyed the coolness, too, but was up when John was up. I slept a bit more by myself as the sun started to warm up the van, but by 8:30 it was too warm, so I got up. John had made pancakes, and they were eating them happily in a near-empty campsite. All the families had headed out early. I guess the van had insulated us, very well, from all the noises outside.

I was unambitious, even after having my coffee. Jet wanted to see geysers. The West Thumb was near us, with just hot pools and paint pots. But there was a lot of beautiful stuff there, and it was close. So we went and did the half a mile and quarter mile loops looking at all the hot springs of all colors, blue, brown, black, and deep. Jet liked it well enough, but asked if every spot was a geyser. *grin* There was one Fishing Pot, where the guides used to catch fish, dip it into the pot to cook it and then serve it to you for more money. Hee.

The paint pots were good and active, so Jet enjoyed those quite a bit more than the still, steaming hot springs. Even when the springs were a deep turquoise blue and so clear it seemed like looking down into forever when gazing down into the Abyss hot spring. Mmm...

The lake was interesting, along with the display that showed that the lake had probably resulted from volcanic activity that pushed up the edges and left thin pockets along the inside, where the hot springs and paint pots pushed through. The depth of the lake at that point was far deeper, too, so it's likely that whole floor just dropped into the mouth of that volcano.

By the time we were done, we were hot and hungry, so we stopped and had lunch at the picnic area right there. There was a table near the shade, which we moved into the shade. Crackers and cheese, carrots and fruit were very yummy with plenty of fizzy water, Kool-Aid, and tracking chipmunks through the forest floor. It was good.

I asked Jet, "Do you want to see one geyser that we're pretty sure will 'explode' or go out to a field where there are lots of geysers which are likely to go off, but we don't know if they will and when they will."
"I want to see the sure one."

So we went to Old Faithful. John hadn't remembered the three huge parking lots before the lodge itself. I had. I remembered that they had been empty when we'd come through in May seven years ago. Completely empty, along with all the grandstands around Old Faithful. This time, we had an hour before it was likely to go off, so we took some time to shop, find propane for our stove, and get a couple of ice cream sandwiches and bars for a cooling snack. When we went back all the stands were mostly full. By the time the geyser started to slosh and steam, the stands were packed, and there were three layers of people beyond them. John estimated it at nearly 5000 people just for the single instance.

That was astonishing, compared to it just being four people standing out in the rain back in that May so long ago. Back when the park was newly burned and so thoroughly, the baby trees had been inches tall, and the earth all the way down to the Lodge blackened and scarred with fire. Now it was all green again, the trees gangly youngsters with thick foliage, hiding the forest floor that had been so stark before.

And, this time, Old Faithful was faithful and went off right in the range of time given, which it hadn't that early spring evening. Jet got to see a geyser erupt. It sloshed around a few times, more and more frequently, and then higher and higher and then a constant stream a good hundred feet high. Then it went gradually lower and lower and took a long time to end. Folks had already gotten up and left by the time it was half its size, which was kind of sad. We sat through to the end.

Then folks started splashing around in the streams that resulted from the eruption, which was sad and stupid, as they didn't know what was in that water. Though some tested it to see the temperature, I was glad when the ranger finally chased them out of the area. Sigh.

From there we decided to just head back to the campsite and go swimming in the lake. Or at least go and throw rocks in the lake. It was great fun, but a bit too sunny. We all used a lot of sun screen, but it was still too hot. The lake was shallow enough around the edges that the water was very warm. Jet loved going into the lake to find rocks, and we threw them in happily for him to find. I brought along my knitting and knit a bit. John swam for a while, which was good, too. After a while, we got tired of the sun, and went for a walk around the lake in the shade of the trees. Then, to my surprise, a couple of mosquitoes attacked me! The first time since we'd been at the lake, there were a few mosquitoes! From there, we headed back to the camp ground, and the dust and stuff chased off the mosquitoes, but the biting flies were still around. Those flies bit hard, and left welts that itched, darn it.

Dinner was spaghetti with vodka sauce. Jet had it with just a three cheese mix we'd found at the grocery store and ate a whole plate of spaghetti with it. All the walking really helped up the appetite. We had a great fire after that, and roasted marshmallows and made s'mores. Yummy. By that time, it was dark and we headed to bed. Jet liked spending his second night "sleeping in a volcano." This time I remembered to pull out a shirt for when it got too cold and my sweater as an extra blanket for later, too. That worked out great.
liralen: Finch Painting (trees over Jet)
The night was far colder than I'd expected it to be. I ended up snuggled up against John and stealing heat. Jet enjoyed the coolness, too, but was up when John was up. I slept a bit more by myself as the sun started to warm up the van, but by 8:30 it was too warm, so I got up. John had made pancakes, and they were eating them happily in a near-empty campsite. All the families had headed out early. I guess the van had insulated us, very well, from all the noises outside.

I was unambitious, even after having my coffee. Jet wanted to see geysers. The West Thumb was near us, with just hot pools and paint pots. But there was a lot of beautiful stuff there, and it was close. So we went and did the half a mile and quarter mile loops looking at all the hot springs of all colors, blue, brown, black, and deep. Jet liked it well enough, but asked if every spot was a geyser. *grin* There was one Fishing Pot, where the guides used to catch fish, dip it into the pot to cook it and then serve it to you for more money. Hee.

The paint pots were good and active, so Jet enjoyed those quite a bit more than the still, steaming hot springs. Even when the springs were a deep turquoise blue and so clear it seemed like looking down into forever when gazing down into the Abyss hot spring. Mmm...

The lake was interesting, along with the display that showed that the lake had probably resulted from volcanic activity that pushed up the edges and left thin pockets along the inside, where the hot springs and paint pots pushed through. The depth of the lake at that point was far deeper, too, so it's likely that whole floor just dropped into the mouth of that volcano.

By the time we were done, we were hot and hungry, so we stopped and had lunch at the picnic area right there. There was a table near the shade, which we moved into the shade. Crackers and cheese, carrots and fruit were very yummy with plenty of fizzy water, Kool-Aid, and tracking chipmunks through the forest floor. It was good.

I asked Jet, "Do you want to see one geyser that we're pretty sure will 'explode' or go out to a field where there are lots of geysers which are likely to go off, but we don't know if they will and when they will."
"I want to see the sure one."

So we went to Old Faithful. John hadn't remembered the three huge parking lots before the lodge itself. I had. I remembered that they had been empty when we'd come through in May seven years ago. Completely empty, along with all the grandstands around Old Faithful. This time, we had an hour before it was likely to go off, so we took some time to shop, find propane for our stove, and get a couple of ice cream sandwiches and bars for a cooling snack. When we went back all the stands were mostly full. By the time the geyser started to slosh and steam, the stands were packed, and there were three layers of people beyond them. John estimated it at nearly 5000 people just for the single instance.

That was astonishing, compared to it just being four people standing out in the rain back in that May so long ago. Back when the park was newly burned and so thoroughly, the baby trees had been inches tall, and the earth all the way down to the Lodge blackened and scarred with fire. Now it was all green again, the trees gangly youngsters with thick foliage, hiding the forest floor that had been so stark before.

And, this time, Old Faithful was faithful and went off right in the range of time given, which it hadn't that early spring evening. Jet got to see a geyser erupt. It sloshed around a few times, more and more frequently, and then higher and higher and then a constant stream a good hundred feet high. Then it went gradually lower and lower and took a long time to end. Folks had already gotten up and left by the time it was half its size, which was kind of sad. We sat through to the end.

Then folks started splashing around in the streams that resulted from the eruption, which was sad and stupid, as they didn't know what was in that water. Though some tested it to see the temperature, I was glad when the ranger finally chased them out of the area. Sigh.

From there we decided to just head back to the campsite and go swimming in the lake. Or at least go and throw rocks in the lake. It was great fun, but a bit too sunny. We all used a lot of sun screen, but it was still too hot. The lake was shallow enough around the edges that the water was very warm. Jet loved going into the lake to find rocks, and we threw them in happily for him to find. I brought along my knitting and knit a bit. John swam for a while, which was good, too. After a while, we got tired of the sun, and went for a walk around the lake in the shade of the trees. Then, to my surprise, a couple of mosquitoes attacked me! The first time since we'd been at the lake, there were a few mosquitoes! From there, we headed back to the camp ground, and the dust and stuff chased off the mosquitoes, but the biting flies were still around. Those flies bit hard, and left welts that itched, darn it.

Dinner was spaghetti with vodka sauce. Jet had it with just a three cheese mix we'd found at the grocery store and ate a whole plate of spaghetti with it. All the walking really helped up the appetite. We had a great fire after that, and roasted marshmallows and made s'mores. Yummy. By that time, it was dark and we headed to bed. Jet liked spending his second night "sleeping in a volcano." This time I remembered to pull out a shirt for when it got too cold and my sweater as an extra blanket for later, too. That worked out great.
liralen: Finch Painting (dandelion)
We didn't get up early, but we did get out of Chelan pretty quickly once we were up. We just stopped for some espresso and muffins and headed out along a road that wasn't on our maps but was something that the lady in charge of the Apple Inn knew well. She did us two good turns, the first in getting us to the Apple Cup diner and on getting us onto the right road to Grand Coulee Dam.

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (dandelion)
We didn't get up early, but we did get out of Chelan pretty quickly once we were up. We just stopped for some espresso and muffins and headed out along a road that wasn't on our maps but was something that the lady in charge of the Apple Inn knew well. She did us two good turns, the first in getting us to the Apple Cup diner and on getting us onto the right road to Grand Coulee Dam.

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (sheep egg)
Cut for length on friend's lists. )
liralen: Finch Painting (sheep egg)
Cut for length on friend's lists. )
liralen: Finch Painting (trees over Jet)
We spent most of today just wandering around to see more of town and more areas just to see what there was around.

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (trees over Jet)
We spent most of today just wandering around to see more of town and more areas just to see what there was around.

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (leaf)
I learned how to actually, physically shuck an oyster! Woohoo!! I knew, conceptally, that one sticks a shucking knife into the joint, push it through and then detach the main muscle from the upper shell. But the conceptual description is nothing on the actual physical sensation of trying to basically put a knife into my hand and just not being able to do it until I figured out what it felt like to have the hinge finally give way.

The rest of the evening. )
liralen: Finch Painting (leaf)
I learned how to actually, physically shuck an oyster! Woohoo!! I knew, conceptally, that one sticks a shucking knife into the joint, push it through and then detach the main muscle from the upper shell. But the conceptual description is nothing on the actual physical sensation of trying to basically put a knife into my hand and just not being able to do it until I figured out what it felt like to have the hinge finally give way.

The rest of the evening. )
liralen: Finch Painting (bridge)
Looking at houses in Bellingham. )
liralen: Finch Painting (bridge)
Looking at houses in Bellingham. )
liralen: Finch Painting (Toast)
It was sad to leave Isabel and George. We'd been making their house our home for the last week and a half, so it was a bit like packing up and leaving home again. It was hard to do, too, as there was so much stuff spread out all around the house. I was amazed.

We brought things out to the car from about 8 am through to 11. There was just so much of it and most of it was packed up into modular bundles, but some of it was not. Jet got into the van nearly an hour before we left, and the grandparents climbed in with him and talked and fed him something of a snack for lunch. That was pretty cool.

Leaving time was around 11:30, and everyone got hugs and promises to see each other again, and we got everyone and everything in and buckled down and doors closed. We drove down the hill and my celphone rang. It was Isabel. We'd forgotten Jet's Hawaiian suits hung up in the closet. So we went back and got them from her. Then we went to Trader Joe's to fulfill our neighbor's requests and then to Uajamiya to fulfill mine. :-) The Takahashi Gold and the stuff they make that still has the germ but not the hull was really good. So I bought big bags of both. We'll eat them happily.

Then we headed north. The side trip we made was instead of hitting the 99 market in Lynnwood and the Trader Joe's up there. So we just went north, stopped at Mount Vernon for gas, and then kept going. That's when I realized I had a message on my celphone. It was Isabel, we'd left the three bottles of teriyaki sauce AND a cold pack in the freezer. I figure we should be able to have them priority mail them to us when we get home and it should stay "cool enough" with the cold pack.

*sigh*

So we got to David's and got to see all the kids and Mary and we had a gorgeous dinner of locally caught fish with ginger and garlic and scallions and cilantro and plenty of light soy and teriyaki sauce! :-) That was funny. It was accompanied by roasted potatoes and green beans with much onion and garlic goodness and a salad. So we ate well. Jet had his own macaroni and cheese and some bread. He loved it and happily bantered with the Big Kids when they ate.

When it was bedtime, Jet insisted on sleeping on the rock-hard wooden floor without a cushion. Huh. But he did it and only thumped around a few times while we were asleep, which was loud, but didn't seem to wake him up at all. We stayed up to talk with Mary and David for a while and that was very nice indeed. It's good to have other parents to talk to, especially since they're so far ahead of us in some ways.
liralen: Finch Painting (Toast)
It was sad to leave Isabel and George. We'd been making their house our home for the last week and a half, so it was a bit like packing up and leaving home again. It was hard to do, too, as there was so much stuff spread out all around the house. I was amazed.

We brought things out to the car from about 8 am through to 11. There was just so much of it and most of it was packed up into modular bundles, but some of it was not. Jet got into the van nearly an hour before we left, and the grandparents climbed in with him and talked and fed him something of a snack for lunch. That was pretty cool.

Leaving time was around 11:30, and everyone got hugs and promises to see each other again, and we got everyone and everything in and buckled down and doors closed. We drove down the hill and my celphone rang. It was Isabel. We'd forgotten Jet's Hawaiian suits hung up in the closet. So we went back and got them from her. Then we went to Trader Joe's to fulfill our neighbor's requests and then to Uajamiya to fulfill mine. :-) The Takahashi Gold and the stuff they make that still has the germ but not the hull was really good. So I bought big bags of both. We'll eat them happily.

Then we headed north. The side trip we made was instead of hitting the 99 market in Lynnwood and the Trader Joe's up there. So we just went north, stopped at Mount Vernon for gas, and then kept going. That's when I realized I had a message on my celphone. It was Isabel, we'd left the three bottles of teriyaki sauce AND a cold pack in the freezer. I figure we should be able to have them priority mail them to us when we get home and it should stay "cool enough" with the cold pack.

*sigh*

So we got to David's and got to see all the kids and Mary and we had a gorgeous dinner of locally caught fish with ginger and garlic and scallions and cilantro and plenty of light soy and teriyaki sauce! :-) That was funny. It was accompanied by roasted potatoes and green beans with much onion and garlic goodness and a salad. So we ate well. Jet had his own macaroni and cheese and some bread. He loved it and happily bantered with the Big Kids when they ate.

When it was bedtime, Jet insisted on sleeping on the rock-hard wooden floor without a cushion. Huh. But he did it and only thumped around a few times while we were asleep, which was loud, but didn't seem to wake him up at all. We stayed up to talk with Mary and David for a while and that was very nice indeed. It's good to have other parents to talk to, especially since they're so far ahead of us in some ways.
liralen: Finch Painting (hatjet)
The four days out at the Oregon coast were wonderful, mostly overcast, one brilliant day, and we ended with a real soaker, which was exactly the right time for it. We camped with John's parents, whom I was very impressed with, and his brother and his wife, whom I've always admired. It was a lot of fun to be with them, and Walt's cooking made me fascinated with Dutch ovens. The rainy day was good in that we could pack up, tour the Tillamook plant, have ice cream, and just go home, get everything hung up to dry, and have a wonderful dinner at Yeh's Wok.

The only problem is that, during camping, my Visor spazzed when I put new batteries in it, so I've now lost contact information for just about everyone. Also, given how full John's made our social calender until we leave on Sunday, I'm not likely to get to visit with any more folks, realistically. *sigh*. Sorry about that, Kirby and others. I apologize for spazzing on that.

Yesterday John and I wandered the new Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square and then got to see Pirates 2. ARRGH! I say, "ARRGH!" It's great but there's another movie coming, which should be great. I'm really looking forward to the next one.

Then I lost my voice as we went to the old Rosehill Ale House (which is something else now) and celebrated the retirement of someone that had joined Data I/O a year before John had. And, consequently, met up with nearly 30 people that we haven't seen for nearly a decade. It was astonishing. The pub was, as usual, quite loud, so I pretty much lost my voice trying to talk with far too many people.

It was odd, though, in some ways. Meeting and greeting folks that I hadn't seen for that long. I felt distanced, but also like I *should* know how to act with them, but also knowing that that really wasn't the case. It was very cool, though, to see Patricia Blair, the wife of Nello, whom we used to work with. she's now Mrs. Washington! Hee. She won a beauty pageant!! And is now the traveling Mrs. Washington with engagements, parties, and doing judging at beauty contests herself. Lots of charity work in there, too, which is making her very happy. That's very cool.

I had enough voice left, when I got back and had a mug of tea, to read Jet his good night books, and that was very good indeed.
liralen: Finch Painting (hatjet)
The four days out at the Oregon coast were wonderful, mostly overcast, one brilliant day, and we ended with a real soaker, which was exactly the right time for it. We camped with John's parents, whom I was very impressed with, and his brother and his wife, whom I've always admired. It was a lot of fun to be with them, and Walt's cooking made me fascinated with Dutch ovens. The rainy day was good in that we could pack up, tour the Tillamook plant, have ice cream, and just go home, get everything hung up to dry, and have a wonderful dinner at Yeh's Wok.

The only problem is that, during camping, my Visor spazzed when I put new batteries in it, so I've now lost contact information for just about everyone. Also, given how full John's made our social calender until we leave on Sunday, I'm not likely to get to visit with any more folks, realistically. *sigh*. Sorry about that, Kirby and others. I apologize for spazzing on that.

Yesterday John and I wandered the new Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square and then got to see Pirates 2. ARRGH! I say, "ARRGH!" It's great but there's another movie coming, which should be great. I'm really looking forward to the next one.

Then I lost my voice as we went to the old Rosehill Ale House (which is something else now) and celebrated the retirement of someone that had joined Data I/O a year before John had. And, consequently, met up with nearly 30 people that we haven't seen for nearly a decade. It was astonishing. The pub was, as usual, quite loud, so I pretty much lost my voice trying to talk with far too many people.

It was odd, though, in some ways. Meeting and greeting folks that I hadn't seen for that long. I felt distanced, but also like I *should* know how to act with them, but also knowing that that really wasn't the case. It was very cool, though, to see Patricia Blair, the wife of Nello, whom we used to work with. she's now Mrs. Washington! Hee. She won a beauty pageant!! And is now the traveling Mrs. Washington with engagements, parties, and doing judging at beauty contests herself. Lots of charity work in there, too, which is making her very happy. That's very cool.

I had enough voice left, when I got back and had a mug of tea, to read Jet his good night books, and that was very good indeed.
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
My God. It was actually out and out and completely sunny today. Unexpectedly, gloriously, completely sunny today. Hot and amazing and beautifully sunny.

It even started that way after a pretty cuttingly cold night, the humidity in the air made it far colder than I thought it would be, but the blankets were enough to get by. But when I finally awakened, after ignoring my bladder for longer than I thought I could, I got dressed and put together and Waltr was out making cinnamon rolls for everyone. Wow. I trotted off on the long trip to the bathroom and then came back to orange flavored cinnamon rolls out of the Dutch oven and coffee. Coffee that John had made in the vacuum flask with our drip maker. Hee. Yay!

That was a fantastic way to start the day. I'll admit that the hard cushions of our van bed really made their impression on my hips and back, it wasn't that great, but with a bit of food and plenty of stretching I was okay for the day, which involved, mostly, going out to the beach and digging in the sand. :-)

Cathie had had to leave in the early pre-dawn morning to go to work. She wouldn't be back until Tuesday and we missed her.

Jet and John and I mostly just went out on the beach and dug all day. I built a bunch of stuff.

Jet found brine shrimp in the sand, thousands of them. There was a section of sand at the right depth or something, and when the waves came in the brine shrimp would leap up from the sand, swim around in the water while it lasted. Jet could see them all in the water and catch them on his hand and gently show them to me. When he or the waves deposited them high and dry on the sand, they would burrow in under the surface.

I found that if I stepped on the sand they were buried under, the sand would wiggle under my feet, and my feet would sink into the sand. When I lifted my foot, there would be a brief puddle, and the shrimp would come up into the water for the brief moment it was there, and then bury themselves back into the sand as the water drained away. It was odd to see them flash up like that and then down again. Jet loved seeing them and digging for them and picking them up only to put them back into the surf.

We stopped for lunch for a while and put lots of sunscreen on as half our crew was sunburnt from just the morning. Jet said he wasn't hungry but then devoured the food we put in front of him. Then we all went out again, picked a different spot and dug in deep.

I'd gotten braver and thought a bit about what I wanted to do and build a high tower with curved walls to either side circling in from the arched entry way. It was fun to see it happen. Then I remembered something in the book and wondered if it would work.

I swirled the sand and water until it was all flowing, got a double handful and started passing it from hand to hand. When it had drained a little, I added half handfuls of dry sand at a time to the outside of the handful and, eventually, I had a sand ball. It was dense, heavy and solid, and Jet yelled, "CANNONBALL!" when I handed him one and he launched it in the direction of the waves. I made several more, set some of them on the sand to dry and harden and drain a bit from its contact with the sand, and eventually I topped the tower with a series of sandballs that looked unnatural. :-) One doesn't think of sand staying in the shape of a snowball the way snow does.

A family with three girls came up to look at the castle and admire it, and Jet said it was the ice cream castle. I liked that name. I asked them if they wanted a sand ball and they nodded shyly. So I handed them one. John made another one and Jet another for them, so they had a set. Jet took to shaping them so naturally it surprised me, but he got good ones, too.

Jet happily put a bunch of balls into the sea, too. Ones that were set aside for him. He felt that he could knock over the castle too, but John did his level best to persuade him to not to while I went to get a camera before Hurricane Jet did it's destructive best.

I got pictures. But by then Jet was uninterested in knocking it down, he was far more interested in flinging handfuls of sand into the sea.

Eventually, I took Jet to the showers and got him cleaned up and all the uncomfortable sand washed away. That was very useful indeed. :-) He cleaned up nice and warm from the hot water, and I dried him off, dressed him and when we got back there was a taco dinner underway. Jet ate four shells with cream cheese and furikake. The rest of us had, essentially, taco salad in shells. There was lots of good salad and some refried beans and taco seasoned beef.

While dinner was being served, I thought I'd try out my Visor for journal entries, and when it complained about low batteries, I took out the old batteries and put in new and the darn thing spazzed on me. This new one keeps spazzing out whenever I replace the batteries, unlike my old, faithful, original Visor which never complained about a voltage change of any kind. So I may well just go back to my rubber baby buggy of a Visor and at least HAVE all my data when I need it.

I now have no contact data other than what was in my cellphone. I am unhappy about that.

When dinner was done and the hot chocolate came out the mosquitos came out, too. John slathered Jet while I slathered myself with the non-DEET stuff that's now out. But by the time Jet wanted to go to bed the stuff had decayed enough that it wasn't working anymore. So the mosquitoes, after the warm day, swarmed us. Jet got five big bites on his face, neck, behind the ears, and in the van one landed on his cheek while he was whimpering at it, and got him there. Thank goodness West Nile hasn't made it this far. Sigh. I was upset. Jet was upset. John tried to calm us down without making us more upset. We finally cleared the van of all the bugs and John read to Jet.

Then I nursed him and he fell asleep, but when we tried to put him up, even as tired as he was, he cried and cried. This time I explained to him that he had to help us put him into the sleeping bag when he was done, and that worked well enough in his near term memory that when he realized we were putting him in again, he tried to help and he fell deeply asleep in his sack.

This night was unbelievably cold for me, and I ended up on John's half of the van, nearly on top of him as he was actually a heat source. I was amazed that it got that cold even in our insulated space, and Jet didn't notice a thing and said that he slept really well, woke up once, turned over and went back to sleep. He said that the sleeping bag made it so that he could sleep all night long. Yay for all night!!
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
My God. It was actually out and out and completely sunny today. Unexpectedly, gloriously, completely sunny today. Hot and amazing and beautifully sunny.

It even started that way after a pretty cuttingly cold night, the humidity in the air made it far colder than I thought it would be, but the blankets were enough to get by. But when I finally awakened, after ignoring my bladder for longer than I thought I could, I got dressed and put together and Waltr was out making cinnamon rolls for everyone. Wow. I trotted off on the long trip to the bathroom and then came back to orange flavored cinnamon rolls out of the Dutch oven and coffee. Coffee that John had made in the vacuum flask with our drip maker. Hee. Yay!

That was a fantastic way to start the day. I'll admit that the hard cushions of our van bed really made their impression on my hips and back, it wasn't that great, but with a bit of food and plenty of stretching I was okay for the day, which involved, mostly, going out to the beach and digging in the sand. :-)

Cathie had had to leave in the early pre-dawn morning to go to work. She wouldn't be back until Tuesday and we missed her.

Jet and John and I mostly just went out on the beach and dug all day. I built a bunch of stuff.

Jet found brine shrimp in the sand, thousands of them. There was a section of sand at the right depth or something, and when the waves came in the brine shrimp would leap up from the sand, swim around in the water while it lasted. Jet could see them all in the water and catch them on his hand and gently show them to me. When he or the waves deposited them high and dry on the sand, they would burrow in under the surface.

I found that if I stepped on the sand they were buried under, the sand would wiggle under my feet, and my feet would sink into the sand. When I lifted my foot, there would be a brief puddle, and the shrimp would come up into the water for the brief moment it was there, and then bury themselves back into the sand as the water drained away. It was odd to see them flash up like that and then down again. Jet loved seeing them and digging for them and picking them up only to put them back into the surf.

We stopped for lunch for a while and put lots of sunscreen on as half our crew was sunburnt from just the morning. Jet said he wasn't hungry but then devoured the food we put in front of him. Then we all went out again, picked a different spot and dug in deep.

I'd gotten braver and thought a bit about what I wanted to do and build a high tower with curved walls to either side circling in from the arched entry way. It was fun to see it happen. Then I remembered something in the book and wondered if it would work.

I swirled the sand and water until it was all flowing, got a double handful and started passing it from hand to hand. When it had drained a little, I added half handfuls of dry sand at a time to the outside of the handful and, eventually, I had a sand ball. It was dense, heavy and solid, and Jet yelled, "CANNONBALL!" when I handed him one and he launched it in the direction of the waves. I made several more, set some of them on the sand to dry and harden and drain a bit from its contact with the sand, and eventually I topped the tower with a series of sandballs that looked unnatural. :-) One doesn't think of sand staying in the shape of a snowball the way snow does.

A family with three girls came up to look at the castle and admire it, and Jet said it was the ice cream castle. I liked that name. I asked them if they wanted a sand ball and they nodded shyly. So I handed them one. John made another one and Jet another for them, so they had a set. Jet took to shaping them so naturally it surprised me, but he got good ones, too.

Jet happily put a bunch of balls into the sea, too. Ones that were set aside for him. He felt that he could knock over the castle too, but John did his level best to persuade him to not to while I went to get a camera before Hurricane Jet did it's destructive best.

I got pictures. But by then Jet was uninterested in knocking it down, he was far more interested in flinging handfuls of sand into the sea.

Eventually, I took Jet to the showers and got him cleaned up and all the uncomfortable sand washed away. That was very useful indeed. :-) He cleaned up nice and warm from the hot water, and I dried him off, dressed him and when we got back there was a taco dinner underway. Jet ate four shells with cream cheese and furikake. The rest of us had, essentially, taco salad in shells. There was lots of good salad and some refried beans and taco seasoned beef.

While dinner was being served, I thought I'd try out my Visor for journal entries, and when it complained about low batteries, I took out the old batteries and put in new and the darn thing spazzed on me. This new one keeps spazzing out whenever I replace the batteries, unlike my old, faithful, original Visor which never complained about a voltage change of any kind. So I may well just go back to my rubber baby buggy of a Visor and at least HAVE all my data when I need it.

I now have no contact data other than what was in my cellphone. I am unhappy about that.

When dinner was done and the hot chocolate came out the mosquitos came out, too. John slathered Jet while I slathered myself with the non-DEET stuff that's now out. But by the time Jet wanted to go to bed the stuff had decayed enough that it wasn't working anymore. So the mosquitoes, after the warm day, swarmed us. Jet got five big bites on his face, neck, behind the ears, and in the van one landed on his cheek while he was whimpering at it, and got him there. Thank goodness West Nile hasn't made it this far. Sigh. I was upset. Jet was upset. John tried to calm us down without making us more upset. We finally cleared the van of all the bugs and John read to Jet.

Then I nursed him and he fell asleep, but when we tried to put him up, even as tired as he was, he cried and cried. This time I explained to him that he had to help us put him into the sleeping bag when he was done, and that worked well enough in his near term memory that when he realized we were putting him in again, he tried to help and he fell deeply asleep in his sack.

This night was unbelievably cold for me, and I ended up on John's half of the van, nearly on top of him as he was actually a heat source. I was amazed that it got that cold even in our insulated space, and Jet didn't notice a thing and said that he slept really well, woke up once, turned over and went back to sleep. He said that the sleeping bag made it so that he could sleep all night long. Yay for all night!!

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