Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer Road Trip- Hoist The Mainsail!

Bruce has lived his dream. How many people can say that? He piloted his own ship. On the ocean. By himself. You may not know that he has an obsession with sailing. He reads every word of Yachting Magazine. It probably comes from his time in Tahiti. He would love to live near the ocean and sail a boat every day.

We took an evening sail out of the harbor near Seaport Village with the nicest Vietnamese man (whose name I can't pronounce.) It was a sunset cruise, and we were out for about 3 hours. The skipper was totally great with teaching Bruce the basics of sailing- steering with the rudder, filling the sails with wind and adjusting the jib.
 Bruce was concerned with the other water traffic in the harbor. Especially this impressive tour ship that looked like it was going to swamp us:
But, apparently there are traffic lanes and rights-of-way, even on the water. We didn't have a motor, so we pretty much had priority over everyone else.

There was lots to look at out there on the water:

Seaport Village
 Why are there always seals resting on these markers?
 The Manchester Grand. Always impressive.
 Oh! And the Fish Market, where we ate the other night!
 I love the light at sunset.
I even took a turn at the helm, and as long as I had a solid land target to steer towards, I did ok.
After a few happy hours we made our way back to our hotel, which was looking pretty funky at night:
And Bruce drew a chart of all of the sailing things he had learned out on the water. For future reference.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer Road Trip- Japanese Friendship Gardens

Who doesn't love the tranquility of a Japanese Garden? I had to go to the Japanese Friendship Garden at Balboa Park. Had to. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Intrepid Explorers

Yes, that's what my sisters and I are. Intrepid explorers. We make our way into the wild frontier, blazing our own trail and exploring new lands.
Well, kinda like that.

We did wander off up the river to a pretty spot by the river where we took yet more pictures. It's hard not to take lots of pictures in such a beautiful place. (Ok, those of you who know what some of my picture-taking mantras are. Let's say it together. "You've got to take a lot of pictures to get a few really great pictures.")
Look at how pro my sister is!
There were so many wildflowers blooming that we must have looked tipsy, the way we were swerving over there, then over here to a particularly pretty bloom.
I'm such a sucker for Indian Paintbrush. Maybe it's the bold color. Or it could be a flower that I remember from our family camping trips to the Tetons when I was young. When we all loaded into a Coleman tent and tried not to kill each other. 
An intrepid hike to the river is good for the soul.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Mom

This is my mom.
A few things that I'm grateful to my mom for include:
- She dragged 4 kids to church on her own. It would have been so easy for her to just not go. If she hadn't kept going, I would not be doing the things I'm doing or have the precious family that I have today.
- She made me keep taking piano lessons. Thanks to that, I always had a place to belong in school and I will always have a place to serve in church.
- She gave me the chance to cook while I was growing up. My mom is a great cook and I've learned to love cooking too.
- She taught me the basics of sewing. I've been able to make some fun crafty things and make clothes for my kids when they were small and money was tight.
- My mom is very intelligent- valedictorian of her high school class. She expected us to learn!
That's just a few things I'm grateful to her for. It was fun to spend time with her at the cabin. We don't see her so much now that she's moved to Twin Falls.
 She read poetry to us at the cabin. She started with "In Flander's Field" and we countered with "Over in the Meadow, in the Sand and the Sun..."
I have one awesome mom.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Still The Best Dog

 My sister brought wonderful Ollie along for our girl's weekend. He's a year older, a bit bigger, just as smart, a bit more sneaky and still the best dog. He only threw up once.

This is his "anxious to please, or maybe climb onto your lap" face.
We would walk down to the river and throw sticks for him to fetch. It's good for a dog to have a purpose in life.
He only stole from the garbage once.

There was one moment of panic when he almost ate a baby sparrow. He is a bird dog, after all. But the crisis was averted and the baby bird was whisked off to safety in a dustpan.
Ollie only snuck up onto the couch twice during movie time.

This picture captures Ollie's joy in life:
Too bad that my BIL will have to completely retrain him to rid him of all the bad habits he's picked up from us during the last few days! Such a good dog!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Few Sticks of Buttah...

Every year when we go to the cabin, we occupy ourselves by talking (a lot!), walking, playing games, taking pictures and doing crafts. Our crafts this year, pillows, cards and necklaces, were really cute!
 C and I discovered that we both bought the same awesome new camera:
And, in all humility, we are amazing cooks, so we made and ate the most wonderful food, from decadent Twice Baked Potatoes to Buttermilk Chocolate Bread to Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings to strawberries freshly picked from my mom's garden.
More butter was consumed than should be allowed by law!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The "Cabin"

 Last week my mom and sisters and I spent a few days at my sister's "cabin" in Idaho. The cabin looks like this:
Basically, it's too big to fit in my camera frame.
It has all the required comforts of home- hot water, gourmet kitchen, cozy beds...but no outside communication such as phone service. In a word, it's perfect.

This is what greets you when you go upstairs:
Did I mention my BIL is big into hunting?

Oh, and fishing too.
What do you think happened to the back half of this poor guy?
The view is pretty much amazing.
My BIL is on a crusade to eradicate the wolf. This is a sign that hangs on the fridge. See the note that's been added?
 In the next few days I'll fill you in on all the fun things we did at the cabin!