Saturday, December 14, 2013

Polar plunge and Thanksgiving Fun

Polar plunge?  California?  I think 42 degrees qualifies.
November was busy with a trip north to Ma and Pa Hunter's for Thanksgiving
 Cheering with the cousins during the Apple Cup football game
Setting out crab pots
Caught a few keepers  the next day and some unexpected sea life
All the kids did a little plinking with Gracie's .22
And a little dress-up...
Along the way north (17hrs) we stopped to see our friends the Kanyers and Rickerts - Byron and Barb below

Monday, November 11, 2013


This year John and I packed into an area near the Bob Marshall Wilderness to hunt elk.  I've been hunting this area for a few years but have always been a foot soldier, taking in only what I can carry on my back.  Pack animals added another dimension to the hunt ~ some very nice amenities ~ making a 5-day, 6-night adventure much more comfortable.
We stayed in Augusta, MT & had a steak dinner at the Buckhorn ~
Unloaded and packed up at the trailhead on 29 Oct
"I am not an elk..."
7 degrees and 12in of powder.  I kept in touch with the family via SPOT
 A wood stove was nice ~ try filtering drinking water in the winter without one...
I was in charge of dehydrated cooking ~ we had Scrabbled Eggs and Bacon, Breakfast Skillet, Beef Stew, Chili Mac with Beef, and Sliced Strawberries.  Powdered drinks included mango Acli-mate Mountain Sports Drink, Apple Cider, and Coffee.  For emergencies we had the packaged Mountain House meals in our backpacks.

It was big country and we covered a lot of it.  We spent nearly 30hrs glassing one of my favorite south-facing slopes from year's past called The Point.  There was very little elk sign in our area ~
We had a local grizzly going north and south through our area & fortunately we never met.  We saw plenty of his tracks along with those of wolves and deer.
We saw no more than 10 sets of elk tracks, all bulls, all singles, all moving non-stop.  The weather hadn't been severe enough to push the animals into our area.
In any other year I'd go home and come back in a few weeks... But not when you're 3 States away.  Such is the new way I'll have to approach MT hunting from now on.
We had a blast and John escaped with only a few bumps and bruises; from side-hilling snow covered rock slides to surviving a bareback rodeo on Homey (and watching them trot over the horizon without him), he had a great time and we're sure to return ~
These folks weren't so lucky.  They'd taken the back end of a pickup and converted it into a wagon, built a bench seat and had 2 horses pulling it down the road (it's an 8-mile closed stretch of USFS road).  They couldn't control their speed going downhill, fishtailed and lost control, and probably nearly killed their animals.  Clothes and food were scattered everywhere... 

The mountains are calling, and I must go ~ John Muir

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Getting ready for Trunk or Treating at the school last Friday.....yes, we've been celebrating Halloween for almost a week and I'm ready to be done! ;-)
Jessie the Mermaid, Gracie the Black Cat, and Emmett as Jango Fett (bounty hunter from Star Wars ;-)

Tarzan and Jane?

We wanted to carve our pumpkins before Jason left, so we did them a little early. Unfortunately, they only lasted three days before I had to scoop them off the porch with a shovel and put them in the compost bin.....

Friday, October 18, 2013

Happy Birthday

We met when she was 19 and it's been an amazing 16 years...  
Happy Birthday Sweetie

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Last weekend we met my parents and our friends Byron and Barbara to watch the Cougs play at Cal in Berkeley. It was a great weekend, especially with a Cougar win! I don't think I'll ever go back there for a game, though. Berkeley was dirty and crowded, the campus was overgrown and cramped and almost every Cal fan who even acknowledged us was either sarcastic or just plain rude. (The people we've met in Fairfield have mostly been really friendly.) My parents and the Rickerts decided that they still haven't been on a campus (and they've been all over the PAC-12 and several others) that could compare to WSU in Pullman.  Sidenote: It took everything that Gracie had in her to take this pic with Butch - she is still terrified of mascots - or anyone wearing a mask.  I love her for the effort because this may be the only picture I get of all three kiddos with Butch!

Monday, September 23, 2013


  So Jason and I were reminiscing last night, which I decided is really good to do because it reminds just how cute and adorable my kids are and how much I love them....even when they are screaming and fighting with each other or whining because they don't like what I made for dinner or complaining because they didn't get a turn to play on the computer.......and so on! Here are a few of my favorite pics from September (give or take) over the last 8 years. 
(I loved this process of digging up pics, so I will probably be doing this a lot over the next year - consider yourself warned, my faithful blog readers! :-)