Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fairy Staircase

One of the problems with camping at the same place for 25 years is that you eventually run out of pictures to take. We have enough of each other, the sweeping vistas when you hike to the top of the road, each other at the sweeping vistas, friends, friends at the sweeping vistas, friends' dogs at the sweeping vistas, sweeping vistas in the rain, sun, clouds, etc, etc, ad nauseum. Some years we don't even take the camera out of the backpack.

But it is a comfortable place to camp, we can let the kids run around and not worry about anything but the creek (once they got old enough, that is). And I did see a cougar once. Or was it a deer? I decided not to follow to find out, but headed back to where everyone else was. Rattlesnakes have also been sighted. One was killed fed it to the ants. My daughter's best friend is very good at catching lizards. She got a pine bark beetle once. Not squeamish, that one!

We go there for the friends, mostly. It is a place where there is no cell phone service, you are not worried about cleaning house and if you really need a latte there are a bunch of places (not all Starbucks) within a short drive and you can always find someone to go with you. If not for a latte, for the quilt shop.

Sometimes, though, you look away from the sweeping vistas and find this on top of a 5 foot tall tree stump.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I just thought I would photograph my rhody relative on successive days. It's smaller than your normal rhododendron, which means that either it is a separate plant, or it really doesn't like the dry climate here. Or both.

Dates, from the top:

April 24

April 29

April 30

May 1

May 2

May 4

May 8

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In which we discover

Dirt tastes good.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

recipe for disaster, part 2

In a word, that recipe is rain. It could have destroyed the whole prom experience, but the timing was right. The next day, I headed to Leavenworth to take 6 kids horseback riding.

At 8:30 am, the wrangler called. It was pouring down rain, do we still want to come? I asked if the horses were OK with this, and he assured me that they would be. So I said we would come and see if the rain let up; if nothing else we could wander around Leavenworth for a while. I asked the 3 at my house if they still wanted to ride, and was assured they did. I called the three I was picking up a hour from my house if they still wanted to ride, and was assured by the 14 year old that they did.

So we headed off. When we hit rain south of Yakima, Stephan asked why I thought this was a good idea. (I told him it was that or drag him to church.) Inwardly I groaned...

At the top of Manastash Ridge, the wrangler called and said the rain was letting up and he was going to go ahead and saddle the horses. Inwardly I breathed a sigh of relief.

At the top of Blewett Pass, the rain let up. mostly. Inwardly I breathed another sigh of relief. (2 to 1 in favor)

By the time we got to the stables, it was a steady rain. I groaned. (tie. Which is like kissing your sister. You won't understand this if you are French, because you kiss everybody!)

So they saddled up and left. It took about 1/2 hour to saddle up for a 1 1/2 hour ride. 15 minutes after they left, the rain let up. (3-2).

15 minutes before they got back, it started coming down even harder. (tie. again.)

They had 1 waterproof jacket between them, contributed by my husband. The girl from the Netherlands (a country that gets a lot of rain) spoke up for it first. The boy from the Netherlands did not, which tells you something about the thinking ability of teenage boys. (The 14 yearold boy I spoke to on the phone neglected to inform his parents that it was raining, or there might have been more waterproof jackets.) So, I envisioned 6 drowned rats: cold, tired, hungry and complaining. As you can see from the pictures, what I got were 6 drowned rats, cold, tired, hungry, complaining and totally pumped up about the whole thing!


Did I mention that it never rains on this side of the state?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Recipe for disaster, part 1

I have a way of not thinking, and things happen.

In the stuff we were responsible for, one of the crucial factors is The Color Of the Dress. All we knew was "turquoise" and "on the darker side". From this, we are supposed to choose a matching tux and corsage. We opted for an all black tux, not even trying to mind read (knowing, unlike German TV, that Star Trek is only a fantasy) matching a colored vest. This, of course, does not work for the corsage. For one thing there are no black roses. (That, of course, did not stop my daughter, who spray painted hers black one year. The paint is still on the back porch to commemorate this.)

So we spent a lot of time at the florist trying to decided which colors would go with an unknown turquoise. Yellow, pink and lavender would work if the dress was light to medium. White would be the safest choice, but I wanted a spot of color on Stephan! Orange is out, but could have worked if the dress was exactly the right color. I don't like yellow and black together, and the lavender was a weird color. Pink would work for light to medium shades of turquoise. We finally settled on red, which would definitely work for the darkest shades and and not work well for the lightest shades.

Final opinion: it worked. The dress was the perfect shade for red. But it could have gone terribly wrong! Even the bow tie, which was supposed to be black, worked.

As we were driving to Lauren's house, we were watching some really interesting clouds. Those were slightly obscured by rain on the way to the restaurant. After they were safely inside, we got walloped with .2 inches of rain, mostly in 15 minutes. Timing is everything; the road between the house and the restaurant was later closed due to standing water.

I keep telling people it never rains here.

Of course, Lauren did not have a jacket, but this allowed Stephan to be gallant and loan her his. So this, technically, did NOT go wrong.

The next day I asked how prom went. "Fine" is all the answer I got. It is all the answer any parent is every going to get.