Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Lunar trekking

I wanted to record more of the trip to Utah/Idaho on the ol' shoebox castle wall, even though it's been a few weeks since we got back. (college child update: she's enjoying it)

Jim and I decided to drive through Craters of the Moon in Idaho in between seeing his mother and sister, and arriving in Rexburg to see Jimmy (who I found out goes by JAMES at his jobs. Kinda weird, because he's still JIMMY. Or Other Jim, here at the castle).

I'd never heard of Craters of the Moon park before Jim mentioned it in regards to this trip. It sounded interesting, though.

And I will have to go back someday! It was great! It's a small park, in the middle of nowhere, Idaho. It's mostly hardened LAVA. It is kind of otherworldly. My pictures do not do it justice. But I'm going to post some anyway. If you find yourself in the middle of Idaho for a day and don't know what to do, spend the day at Craters of the Moon park.

The grass ends abruptly at the volcanic rock edge. It's weird to walk on.

There's a little 1.3 mile hike through the volcanic rock bed.

The landscape is strange enough so that an asphalt path through it looks thoroughly out of place.

I love the waves of hardened lava

Lava breaks in great chunks

remnants of the cone

more choppy volcanic rock

looking up a cinder hill. Because of the uniformness and lack of any tree or boulders, it is very hard to judge the scale of this hill. It is quite steep in places and kinda scary to climb.

And even scarier to go back down. We didn't go all the way up the hill, although I would have liked to had we more time.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Little cougar

We are here in Utah with Hayley, just about ready to start the process of getting her settled into college life. Today's to-do list:
1. Bank account
2. Check in to apartment
3. Get student ID
4. Buy books
5. Die from little child going to college syndrome

We'll see how much of that gets done. We also have to eat.

The trip out was many funs! Devil's Tower, Independence Rock, saddle seats, and general goofiness. Jim's best one liner was "I-80 is my least favorite interstate." Who has a list of favorite interstates? Hayley noticed a sign for a place called "Extra Space Storage." She thought that was redundant, but I suggested maybe it's the place where people store their extra space. (I don't have any extra space, so I'm only guessing)

Anyway, it was a nice trip. I'm not going to upload any photos right now because I am hungry, so I want to go bug Jim and Hayley to get going so I can eat something. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Parading's better

What does the robotics team do during the summer?

They build a parade float for the Lakefront Days parade. I don't think we would have ever heard about the parade without vigorous interrogation of our robotics boy. I don't get why he doesn't share stuff like HE'S GOING TO BE IN A PARADE! When I was a kid, watching the Foley Fun Days parade on my grandparents front lawn, all I dreamed about was being in a parade--either by being some fair princess, or by being in a marching band (and I was later, but we never marched in any parade except the homecoming parade through downtown Excelsior, and that was just a shorty mcshortshort parade with floats made by various school clubs--mostly the football team and the cheerleaders and the dance team), or by riding around on one of the Shriners' go-carts. So I don't understand Budge's lack of excitement for BEING IN A PARADE!

I'm glad I weaseled it out of him so that Jim and I could go. We invited Katie and Christian and Jackson, the cutest grandbaby I have so far.

So anyway, I knew that the Robotics float was near the end, so we sat back and relaxed while paraders walked by, most of them handed cheap candy out. That's almost better than Halloween--we, the candy receivers, just have to sit in one place while the candy givers walk by us and hand us the goodies. We got several beer cozies and cheap beaded necklaces too. Katie even got a form to sign up for Windjammers--we saw Mr Z, her 5th and 6th grade band teacher and he had a form on him and now she's all set to be in Windjammers starting in November.

Then we saw the Robotics float. And I did what I thought all robotics parents would do, I rushed to the float, yelled "MATT!!" a bunch of times, and tried to take pictures. Matt was not cooperative. Too bad! I got decent pictures anyway!

Jackson pushes his little tooties on the tray for something to do.

Matt tries to hide behind the shield

garbage can antics

Serious face

Jackson and granddaddy

the robot in the back of a pickup

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Vanna White

...as in my vehicle, my albino Dodge Caravan.

Since Matt got his license, he has driven Vanna more than I have.

Two kids with driver's licenses and various places to go at different times, and only one car between them.

It won't last long, since the two-kids-one-car situation is only in place for another few weeks, but it's still strange to say, "take the van."

The norm for dinner has also changed. It's rare to have the kids home to eat with us.

The transition to empty nesters is ramping up.

Wildlife on walk report:
This evening's walk was a two-bun affair. The two I saw were quite frisky.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Time keeps on slipping slipping slipping

into the future...

10 things about this summer
1. Paul is working for my brother, much like I work for my brother, but I get to do a lot more sitting than Paul does. Paul is a stable boy, essentially. He's glorified go-fer, but he's doing stuff like fixing a car, assembling a wind machine, cleaning out a chicken coop, splitting wood, babysitting hyper little cousins, among many other things. Every job Mike says he's given to Paul is an experience Jim and I could never give Paul. I hope someday Paul looks back fondly on his time with Uncle Mike.
2. Two kids got their driver's licenses!!! Both had difficult (and very different) paths to achieving their licenses, and much was overcome! That's the last of the licenses to get. No more driving to seminary, and much fewer drives to kids' work.
3. Jim and I are planning the road trip out to Utah to take Hayley to college. We plan to see Devil's Tower, Yellowstone Park (Old Faithful), Jimmy, and Beartooth Pass. Both of us are excited.
4. We lost 1.5 trees in our yard. One to a dumb driver and one to us not pruning it and the weight of the apples was too much for it and half of it fell off.
5. I made a swell grad cake for Hayley, and an I'm-too-tired-to-exert-a-lot-of-effort-because-I-used-it-all-on-Hayley's-grad-cake birthday cake for Paul.
6. Can't quite wrap my head around Hayley going to college. She's my little Cheeky! Who will I laugh at funny memes with? Matt.
7. Matt has started to watch "The X-Files." I am secretly happy about this. Soon I will rewatch the whole series, after I am done with "Stargate: Atlantis."
8. Katie and I went to a fabbo cupcake place called Sweet Retreat. Two of the cupcakes had gold glitter on them--that's how fancy they were! I LOVED the almond cupcake and the oreo one with cookies and cream frosting.
9. I have killed almost a dozen japanese beetles in my deck plants. I found one on my neck this evening and at first it freaked me out and I flung it halfway across the room. Fortunately, japanese beetles are slow, and after I recovered, I grabbed a couple of kleenexes and sent the beetle to its eternal reward. I went out almost hourly today to pick them off my flowers. I fear becoming Carl Spackler-ish in my quest to rid my plants of these pests.
10. I have a mosquito bite on my back in a place where I can't quite reach and I CAN'T FIND MY BACK SCRATCHER. It's gone walkabout. When it gets back, I'm going to give it SUCH a talking to.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Paul in Minnesota!

I got first hug this time!

We had a traumatizing hour in the afternoon wondering if Paul would make it home because of insufficient funds on his card for luggage, and part of it was that I was not at my phone when he called. We had no way of contacting him but eventually we were able to confirm that he had boarded the plane. Crisis averted!

Gigi held Jackson while we waited.

Some of our welcome home signage.

Paul is back!

Grandpa and Paul

Aunt Jenni, Paul, and Grandma

Hayley, Katie and Paul and Jackson

It was a long trip

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

He's in the US

Paul is presumably in LA. I'm operating on the belief that no news is good news, and we have tracked the flights so he should be in Cali. His next flight leaves at 12:45 PDT, 2:45 CDT.

Pictures later!!!! SQUEEEEE!

Powwiwogg is almost home!

Bunny count on this morning's walk: 5