Saturday, July 5, 2014

Camping 2014

We left Sunday, June 22, for a week long getaway to the Oregon Coast.  We enjoy, during that time, many trips from our camp at Fort Stevens to several places of interest from Astoria to Tillamook.  We had fun...at least we did when a certain 4 year-old wasn't being whiny and in need of a nap.

Here you can see us at a rest stop for the dogs and Chloe.
 Chloe loves the beach.  Most times it was a great effort to drag her away from it.  Even promises of ice cream seemed to be no good at times!
At some point we sent her chasing seagulls.  I told her if she could catch one she could keep it as a pet.  She did not succeed.


 I was able to do some night photography.  I pedaled my bike over to Battery Russell one night and was only interrupted by the sheriff once.  Here you can see me and a shooting star.  It was pitch black except for me and my flash.  I had to close my eyes each time I let it strobe, otherwise my night vision would be shot for a few minutes.  There were at least eight flash bursts in this photo.
 We went to the museum at Fort Stevens and Chloe did not fall down on the ground and claim to be tired!  It was amazing!

 Of course, she DID get "Jumpy Squirrel" from the gift shop.


 We went to Fort Clatsop one day.  Chloe got to do the Junior Ranger training (She got a patch).
 And the volunteers were dressed up in period garb.

 We went to the aquarium at Seaside.  We enjoyed touching the sea creatures there and feeding the seals.  There were two who tried to out compete each other by splashing and slapping.  Chloe enjoyed it entirely!



 We went to the beach a million times...ok, it seemed like it.  Only the first day or so could even remotely be said to be beach weather...Chloe disagreed with my assessment and would have been on the beach the entire time.



We had a really good time.  Chloe insisted on being a mermaid, just like last year, but we were not in the position to allow her to cover herself up completely.  You see, on the last morning, we cleaned up, packed up, and then went to the beach to say goodbye for a few minutes...it turned out to be sunny, warm, and amazing.  If it had been THAT way the entire time, I doubt ANY of us would have left the beach.
On the way home, we stopped in Astoria for fuel and food.  I got fuel, and Cora and Chloe got lunch at the Burger King.  I parked the rig in a lot between the two places and got out.  There I saw three seagulls and a pigeon.  I decided to feed them a hot dog bun while I waited.  Within thirty seconds I got swarmed by thirty more pigeons.  Soon they were attempting to land on my hand to get the bun themselves as I wasn't doling it out fast enough.  When the girls came out I had several on my arm and two on my hand.  It was all quite fun.  We made Chloe eat first before we let her feed the birds.  When she was ready, they had all gone off to some other place.  She was left with five.  She kept trying to catch one, though.

We asked her why.  She said, "Well, you SAID if I catch one I could keep it."  We then explained the difference between pigeons and seagulls.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Backyard Oasis

 Last weekend...or is it two weekends ago?  Whatever, we finished our backyard oasis, and we now have a patio and our gardens are in..  Look at that lovely patio!  We have been getting a lot of use out of it since the temperatures have been so warm.


 We all worked together and made a wonderful fairy garden.  The fairies bring things and put them in the wheel barrow...flowers, acorns, whatever.  she loves it.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Actually Did Something

I'd hoped to finish the bathroom, but due to problems beyond my control...namely the fact that it turns out I don't like inside when the weather's nice...I haven't.  Yes, it's been over a year.  Yes, I feel like a failure.  Yes, it would be nice to have another bathroom again.  Especially since my daughter is getting older.  No, I don't plan on running out and finishing it in the next two days.  Basically, I blame Chloe.  I had planned to work on the bathroom last year during Spring Break, but her coinectomy took me away.

No, today saw bigger fish begin.

It's Cora's fault.

She's the one with a vision.  I'm happy to sit in a chair and read a book.  She suggested, just the other day, that we take the side yard and put in pavers instead of grass which is reluctant to grow.

It sounded like a good idea at the time.

So, Tuesday I took the rototiller and rototilled the area in question.  So, today and yesterday a little,  I tried smoothing and leveling said area.  Then Cora said, let's get gravel.  Fine.  I ordered a load of gravel.  Then went to town and got some soil for the raised gardens.  Then I came home and worked outside again.  The gravel came and Chloe and I went to town again and got a couple of pavers to see which we liked.

I made quite a bit of headway...now to repeat the process again tomorrow and the next day and the next until it is done.

Chloe helped a lot.  She drove stakes into the ground...in places i didn't even know needed stakes!
 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Life Lately

I've had this blog for a very long time.  It seems lately, though, that is has fallen into disrepair.

Chloe is growing and learning and never ceases to amaze us with her audacity and intelligence.  She is generous and loving.  She also just got her THIRD tube for her ear today.  She impressed the outpatient surgery staff.  When she told them she wants to be an anesthesiologist, she made about a dozen friends.  Seemed they bent over backward to make sure she had a good experience.  Not only did she add to her already significant stock of medical items, she made a bunch of people happy.

Cora and I were happy that she behaved and did not cry, since she'd been somewhat uneasy about the upcoming surgery.  Over the last couple days she'd pretty much given up whining and seemed resigned.  When she got there the staff took good care of her.  There was no crying.  She is such a wonderful person.  I was particularly fond of her parting hug and kiss.

Other than that there have been no emergencies this spring break!  Given last year's I'm okay with that!  You can see some pictures at my photoblog:  awesomejim.blogspot.com

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Much Needed Break!

This morning my in-laws called and offered to take the girl for the day.  They went up to visit their other grand daughters and thought C would like to go along.  That left Cora and I some time alone. For awhile we were confused and somewhat panicked.  Un-planned alone time...what do we do????

It was raining.  Well, snaining.  Part snow, part rain...it really couldn't decide.  Otherwise we would have totally gone for a hike.  So, we ended up shopping a little and finally going to lunch.  It was good, we just had some appetizers.  Ahi Tuna and some scallops.  It was delicious.

We got home and unloaded our loot, just as we closed the door, the phone rang.  We'd had several glorious hours of talking without interruption and without hearing singing from the back seat.  But it was time to pay the piper.  She arrived about a half-hour later.  And...you know what?  I'd missed her.  I always miss her.

Now we are relaxing as a family.  Tomorrow?  Who knows what tomorrow holds for us!  Perhaps a new adventure.  We will just have to see!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Last Few Weeks

 Chloe and I spent a few days at home...

 Friday night (February 7) it snowed.  She was in pajamas...

 We went out and enjoyed it Saturday.








And then Saturday night it just started snowing.  It came down HARD.  I went for a walk to take pics.  Cora and Chloe came out and met me on my way back.  We played in the snow for awhile and had fun.  I used my flash...


Sunday I dug the cars out.  I decided to put the snow on the yard in a pile.  It worked well, because we used it to go sledding with Chloe...








Friday, January 24, 2014

A Letter to My Daughter.

Dear Daughter,

I love you.  I love the person you are becoming.  I love to watch your sense of humor develop.  I REALLY love that your sense of humor is a strange meld of mine and your mother's sense of humor.  But, let me be honest, I see my own sense of humor most.  It's in the way you steal my glasses in the morning and try to wear them.  Then, when I try to take them back, you rub your fingers all over the lenses so they'll be smudged.  Then you belly laugh.

You were so small when we got you.  You loved your mommy so much.  You hardly spared a look for me, apart from acknowledging me as someone who was kept around my your all-important mommy.  Without me, you didn't figure having her would be possible, so you suffered through my company and, when necessary, my attentions.

Now, we can have entire conversations with you.  We can discuss whether or not we are going to Gymkids, the Post Office, or shopping.  We've been doing that for some time now.  Still, I never hesitate to ask, and you go to great lengths to convince me of our real destination.  I continue to get the word "leotard" wrong and ask you where you "Leah" is, and then your "Leah's Card."  Then "Leah's Cart."  I never tire, but neither do you tire of correcting me.  I think you enjoy it.

In the morning when we are all getting dressed for our day, you are sometimes helpful.  Other times not so much.  On several occasions I have asked you to assist me by grabbing my shoes.  You have often obliged.  It's when you choose to walk over and pick up the shoe in question, then look at me, place it on the ground and then put your foot in it and run away that lets me know you have my sense of humor!

I love the way you see things.  You decide to wear leopard spotted clothing, even though it drives me nuts.  You know that using chap stick on your cheeks is something that really enhances your beauty.  It also makes you smell like root beer.  You know that it is necessary for me to rub your armpits with my deodorant, even though, I usually put the cap on first.

The other night, I held you up so you could brace yourself on the walls and hold yourself four feet above the ground.  You FREAKED OUT.  Even though I was trying to assure you I would not let you go.  The next morning you asked me specifically to do it again.  Your mother thought we were crazy.

It makes me laugh every time you look at the smoke in the room when we are cooking and say we made the room blurry.  You say the same for fog.

There are so many things about you that are awesome, well, I could go on for hours, and , perhaps I will, but for now, I love you!!