Thursday, June 28, 2012


This is just a quick overview of our trip to Yosemite last month.  What an amazing place!  I'm so glad to finally have seen it, and with my husband who has enjoyed camping and hiking there several times with his family.  The grandeur of this place points me back to God.  I was trying to take it all in from a lookout point, and kept thinking, "all this is to remind us to give glory to God, all this beauty is for our enjoyment and His glory."
Part way up Yosemite Falls trail, with a beautiful view of the valley!
At the top of Yosemite Falls!  You can't tell from looking at this pictures, but I thought I might die before making it to the top!!!  I hear this isn't even one of the more strenuous hikes.... Next time I'll prepare for hiking....
This is the river above the falls.  It had lots of deep holes swirled out of the rock--really neat!  The water was icy cold, I could barely stick my feet in it!
This is one of my favorite spots in the whole valley!  Swinging Bridge is no longer swinging, but it is a lovely spot to cross the Merced River, see sweeping meadows, trees and stunning rock backdrops.
We rented bicycles to ride the length of the valley and see Bridalveil Fall.  These cruiser bikes were really fun--no gears, and back-pedal brakes!
Another pretty spot as we headed out for an evening walk to Mirror Lake.
This is the view of Half Dome looking up from Mirror Lake.  The lake is really only a wide, calm spot in the river.  It hasn't been dredged for sand since the 1970s so it's slowly filling in.
Michael, Bethany and Kiran part way up Vernal Falls trail.
Us, with Vernal Falls in the background.  This is a well-travelled path!  We had to wait our turn to get a picture here!
A natural water slide above Vernal Falls, one with a sudden drop off just below it!
Nevada Falls behind us.  We didn't get that far.  Some of us (me) really weren't up for the kind of hiking we could have been doing at this amazing place!
Laundry was necessary when Kiran ran out of clothes!  Everything got up on the line just in time for the snow and rain to give it a final rinse.
We had very nice weather for the first part of the trip but it turned very cold and wet.  We spent the afternoon riding the shuttle and checking out all the indoor attractions and shops.  This is a topographic map showing our hiking trials.
The misty weather had it's own beauty.
Michael and Crandon trying to stay both warm and dry!
Cooking dinner over the campfire.
Yumm--potatoes and veggies done in foil packets!  We also had sausages roasted on sticks. 
Hi Christina!  The sun came out in time to mostly dry our stuff before breaking camp.  I'm so thankful--it's somewhat miserable to pack up a bunch of wet stuff and have to deal with it all as soon as you get home!
I think these "Royal Arches" are my favorite rock formation in the Valley.  Not the biggest or most stunning, but unique and interesting.
Before heading home we visited the "Big Trees", the giant sequoias.
Group picture!  Michael, Bethany, Christina, Kiran, Angela, Crandon.
Wow.  The trees make the log cabin look like a miniature!
We strolled though an outdoor museum of various types of wagons and buildings from different eras of park history.  Here Crandon is next to a chuck wagon.
And a covered bridge.  I wish I'd taken some pictures of the Wawona Hotel.  We walked by it late in the evening with the warm sunset glow on it--so pretty!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


May (vacation month) is over, Crandon is back to work, and fruit is ripening!  All that means that it's time to get busy for me too, and keeping on top of ripe produce is top of the list!

That and experimenting with our summer fun purchase--an ice cream maker!  I don't have any pictures of bowls of ice cream to show, but this one shows my try at using a real vanilla bean.  I added it to the custard being cooked up for the ice cream.  It was really fun to try and I had no idea that the tiny black flecks in some vanilla products are actually seeds!

Our lettuce is producing prolifically and has started to bolt with the hot weather this week.  I think we'll try planting small batches every couple of weeks, because a whole row of lettuce is really more than two of us can keep up with (the bugs and slugs were doing a pretty good job for a while there, though! Crandon has them mostly under control now.)

Here's a few pictures of my first ever water bath canning project.  We got a 25 lb. box of apricots that I'm about a third of the way through "dealing with".

Preparing for making apricots in honey syrup.

We opened one jar for breakfast, to taste before deciding if I'm going to do more jars.  Yum!  A nice sweet-tart flavor.

I was completely surprised at how much the fruit shrank after processing and cooling, especially since I nearly squashed them to get enough headspace and have the liquid coving the fruit!  A friend told me this always happens!