Sunday, November 1, 2015

Yard Projects

We have finally completed our boulevard strip!  It was the only part of our yard that really hadn't been worked on at all since we moved in here, other than an attempt at keeping the weeds beaten back.

A. is "helping".  Mostly he enjoyed driving his tractors in the dirt!

We opted to keep it simple and cleared the strip of weeds, and a little excess dirt, then placed a few flagstone stepping stones and filled in the rest with a thick layer of wood chips.

We mostly just tidied up the few plants that were already there, and ran some irrigation lines to them, so they don't like they they are about to die every summer!  We did plant a couple of 'carpet roses' on each side of the corner.  Here Crandon is sweeping the street, since our tax dollars apparently don't cover that, on our particular street. :-P

Fresh and finished!

Crandon also put in a little retaining wall to create a planter in a bare part of the yard that was too sloped to grow anything.  We have it planted with some flowering perennials now too, but I don't have any pictures yet.

Just because.  :-)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Fall in the Foothills

This week we took a couple days to visit Crandon's sister and family in the foothills area of California.  The cousins had fun together, and we all enjoyed some visiting and an outing to some apple farms in the area.

We didn't even have to leave the house for this event: the boys enjoyed watching the neighbor use a skid-steer.

A happy little munchkin gets a ride!

My boy seemed to be in perpetual motion when the camera came out...

Watching a cider press.

Sampling fresh, hot, apple cider doughnuts.  Yum!  They were so fresh and moist with a nice crunchy coating of sugar on the outside.

Yep, it's a tractor...


Out the barn doors was a view of trees changing colors, and a cloudy sky.  We had some cool drizzly weather, which seemed to go perfectly with a fall apple farm outing.

Picking our apple varieties.

Larson Apples

This farm had a really neat museum full of all kinds of old-fashioned farming implements and household items, dating to the early 20th century.

Also a large collection of old tractors.

Some of the boys.

The whole group.  All facing generally forward--a feat worth noting when five of the subjects are three and under and the camera is on a timer!

A very nice few days.  I focused on our apple outing, but we also spent lots of time at the house, playing, visiting, eating, and doing all the things that babies and toddlers need, no matter where you are!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Camping at Standish-Hickey

While Crandon has his second round of vacation we decided to take one more camping trip, this time North, toward the Redwoods.
Getting the tent all set up.

We spent lots of time just relaxing - reading and playing.

Reading with Daddy.

Boiling water for coffee, and pre-heating the mug at the same time!  We had nice weather, in the seventies during the days, but mornings and evenings were quite cool.

Little E. spent his time zipped into the tent, in the stroller, in the tarp-floored play pen, or in someone's arms.  It will be easier when he's walking!

I thought the tent was baby-proof, but a container of wipes was a nice entertainment until Daddy found out!

A. enjoyed spreading and restacking all the firewood, several times.

More reading time.

Some of the campsites had these old stone BBQs, with a chimney and grates with sliding griddles.

We kept food pretty simple, but everything tastes extra good when you're camping!

Dirt and a two year old!

Our little thumb-sucker.

My brother and family joined us for part of the trip.  It is fun to be making memories with cousins!

Fording the river!  It wasn't particularly deep, but the water was moving pretty quickly and the rocks where spaced a little far for comfortable hopping.  We all made it across and back, but there were some wet shoes and some nervous moments!

Checking out the campground on the other side of the river.

Throwing rocks in the water.

Getting tired and needing a guiding hand.

Cousins in Carhartt overalls!

Playing in the dirt with tractors was probably a highlight for the little guys.

Breakfast time.

A tractor parking lot!

I think that's the last camping trip of the season.  It was a very nice combination of relaxing, eating, walking, reading, and playing.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Flying Outing

In late July we picked a day to fly over to Columbia, a small historic mining town in the foothills of California.  It was really hot, but we had a fun time anyway.  We flew in over there and then walked the half mile or so to the historic area of town.  We enjoyed looking at old buildings, browsing in some shops, watching a blacksmith, and eating.

Getting the plane ready.

This little guy flew for the first time!

Ready to go.

Happy boys!

A. got to try a headset so he could communicate with us.  He wasn't too enthusiastic!

This one didn't like his earmuffs either.  Thankfully, both boys slept a fair amount of the flight.  They can't see much out the windows and the engine noise is very loud, so it's probably hard for them to understand what's going on.

In town.

Going for a stagecoach ride!

In some of the rock "leftovers" from the mining days.

Enjoying some good ice cream at the end of the day!

When we were flying home we saw the start of the Ragg Fire.  The billows of smoke were huge, and we could actually see the flames!

A fun day!