Friday, August 15, 2008

While summer is a time for play it is also a time for work around the farm. For some reason my horses feel that summer is also a time for them to play. So not appropriate. I have a couple of mares with their yearling fillies and one mare with her 3 month old colt (who would remain nameless but since he is so not innocent let us refer to him as Trouble with a Capital T and he very much is) that go out into a side pasture.

You would think this would be good enough for them. Hec, no they want more and by 'they' I am referring to the youngsters. I come home to find that they have crawled through my electric fence and are merrily chomping away on grass in the neighbor's 10 acres. They do not have livestock or apparently a mower of any kind so the grass is kind of tall. And by 'kind of' I mean that my almost 15h yearling filly has disappeared into the grass.

Fortunately, they all love me or their moms or perhaps the hay I put out - but at any rate they crawl back in. I get to go out and find out where my fence is discharging. I find it and decide to just redo an entire section of fence. This is not really too difficult but I needed to replace a couple of T-posts along the way. You drive in T-posts with a post pounder - basically a hunk of metal weighing quite a bit that you lift and drop repeatedly onto the T-post. Yes, I have lots of experience doing this.

So for the viewer's edification - this is a line of T-posts with electric tape on it.

This is a T-post pounder .... And this is my hand after holding and using a t-post pounder on a 95 degree day without even thinking about why my hand might be getting sore. Apparently the metal was hotter than I thought. Actually 5 blisters but one went down right away when I sort of popped it pulling on the electric tape.
Hey at least I know where I got these blisters from. I never remember where I get the bruises from. Maybe next time I will remember to put gloves on first. Nah....

Monday, August 11, 2008

Poodles+Water=waterdogs=Happy happy dogs!

Whenever I take my dogs to the lake, river, whatever people always seem fascinated when they hit the water full furry force and enjoy themselves! They love the water. Well, except baths. For some reason they think that water is not so fun.

I always take Jake with me to the water. He loves it and has actually pulled quite a few children through lakes and rivers. He also loves fetching anything you throw. This summer we also took Spike. While Jake seemed born to be in the water Spike had to work a little harder at the swimming thing. Work he did because all the poods love being in the water.

Spike became the official diplomat for standard poodles in Idaho. This means that he chewed through a couple of leashes and gamboled on down to the water's edge inviting all ages to join him in the fun. And even though Spike is a large dog no one seemed to mind playing with him until his unsuspecting owner (yes, that would be me) realized he was out and about and caught up with him. If we stayed anywhere long enough the fans would start coming over to ask the dogs to come out and play with them.

Hitting the water - no time to lose!

First! Got it! Spike would actually dive under the water and stay there to retrieve.

Shane helps the boys by searching the bottom with his feet.

Jake is one happy boy!

Uh oh - shark attack! Well maybe it is just a Spike attack - at any rate circling around...

Friday, August 08, 2008

A new bike!!! Scored a bike for his birthday! And wow! a spiderman bike. It just does not get any better.

Happy 5 years old!
The horn was a very important accessory!
And we're off!

Nathan turns 5! August 5th is his actual birthday but we celebrated a couple days early. He did not seem to mind.

Blowing out the candles and making a wish.....
Unwrapping under the watchful eye of Shane and helpful fingers of everyone.
Everyone jumps in to help him read his cards! He loved the one that opened up and sang "who let the dogs out!". He goes to bed with it still so he can play with it.
Score -transformers movie! Mom(that would be me) got tired of renting it from the redbox.
Hmmm - what could the helmet be for.....
And we take a break from our action packed summer to provide some soothing and contemplative pictures of my little garden. I so did not have time to do anything this year so this was it.

And, yes, those sorry looking tomato plants down and in front are actually producing tomatoes. I just like to shock my plants by moving them here and there before finally allowing them to settle down.

Sarita's 12th birthday!! Ack - how did this happen??

Awww -the littles grow up so fast. I guess I can just comfort myself with the fact that she occasionally still acts 5.

I can wear pink if I want to - it's my birthday!
When outside huge cupcakes make for a better bday cake than a cake! Yes it does spell out Happy Birthday.
Katelyn and Nathan show you just how big those cupcakes really are!
Food - who cares about presents! We need food. We have been in the water all day!
Spike hangs out. You know he is thinking that if he just moseys up to the table he'll get a cupcake too.
Eagle Island State Park - where family fun can be had. This is the outdoor place for family get togethers and birthday parties.

Oh and pirate booty! Well, actually I don't think that other than the birthday kids any "booty" was to be had but I did get a cool pirate float for half price that they all had fun on.

Callista and Nathan take up anchor and head out to open waters.
Are they sinking - no! ok all is well on the good ship.
Whoops, looks like they have been boarded by cousins!
Avast ye mateys! This is my ship (and my inflatable sword)
Callista has the cannon but Shane has the helm. Nathan is now along for the ride.
And we take a break to see what damage a 4yo can do to a chocolate bar. He would not touch chocolate when he first came home. I wonder what/who could have influenced him to make such a change???.... heh heh heh

Introducing Chiang Wanji. He spent 3 weeks with us in July. Fortunately, he had an excellent sense of humor since he had to put up wit htwo 11yo girls. The fun thing was all the kids got to do a lot of things together that we would not have had time to do otherwise. They went to the zoo, bowling, scavenger hunts, Boondocks, the museum and on and on.

Oh, and Chiang hated when I took his picture then gave me a very nice book of pics of him and their activities when he left.

Most of these pics are taken at the activity building where the kids met up in the morning to start their adventures.

Nathan did not understand the "visit" part. I think he was sure that I had gotten him a new brother. He was quite upset when he left. Fortunately, Dakota came back from visiting friends in Washington the same day Chiang left. Nathan recovered once he had his Dakota toy back.
In July I got a surprise when my cousin, whom I last saw when her daughter was a very verbal 3yo, came into Boise. We all met up for dinner. When growing up my family and Lisa's, my cousin, spent a lot of time together. Now as adults we hardly ever see each other. Different States and in one case a different country/continent all together. Yet I have to admit it was like we see each other every weekend. The kids had never met each other but it only took about 10 minutes and some food to break the ice.

The back of Lisa's head, Callista, Dallas, and Sarita.
All the kids-Callista,Nathan,Dakota,Savannah (the one that was 3 when I last saw her), Wyatt, Dallas, and Sarita with Nathan apparently going on the lam. And here they are again with me holding on to Nathan to prevent any more escape attempts. The All Girl Band - Callista, Savannah, Dallas, and Sarita. World watch out!
Settling down for one picture. This time Wyatt was not as afraid to get so close to the girls-LOL.
Emmett is known for Cherry Festival (in June). However, unfortunately, since I have moved here most of the orchards have been mowed down. We do have some that remain and allow us the fun of picking cherries all by ourselves.

Can we reach these? Sarita and Callista w ork out strategy.

Nathan gets the lower branches.
Callista looks charming even on a hot day picking cherries.
Look, mom, we have some more.
The funniest thing was that as the kids got out of the car the owners of the orchard asked if we were with the bigger group? Hunh? what? Amazingly enough out here in Emmett, ID was a huge group of Chinese tourists (kids and all) picking cherries. We went ahead and tagged along since they also brought ladders.

The worst part was that they had just mowed and I started sneezing about 10 minutes in. You would all be proud of the way I stayed the course until we had gathered 12 lbs of cherries.

Callista up in a tree - with that functional vision of hers that gives her no depth perception- HA!
Sarita is up another tree spying out those cherries.
Nathan joined in the tree climbing fun too. No way you are going to leave him out of this fun!
Ok, mom, we have some cherries. Can I get back to climbing now?
Ahh summer -where has it gone? First there were the swim lessons. Then the running around here and there to parks and friends' houses. Of course, there are all the birthdays that start on June 15th and do not end until Sept. 8th. And to make sure I was kept busy enough one friend cancelled on having her daughter come out but then we received Chiang, a 7th grade student from Chengdu, into our homes for 3 weeks. Betcha he is going to take some stories home...

I guess I will start the summer-a-thon with some pictures in the park. This is at Settler's park in Meridian. We met up with Jodi and her kids for some fun.

HOT Days - let's take care of that Dallas taking some time to contemplate washing her hair
Whoops! Callista forgot her swimsuit. So not a problem for her
Sarita takes Spike for a watery cruise
Callista and Nathan ham it up. Is it just me or does he look like he is thinking of aiming for her toes??