Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Outside my window...  after several days of cold, clear skies, the clouds are rolling in and we're expecting rain.  Which would be normal for this time of year.

Hearing...  the dryer tumbling and a fairly quiet house.  Gunnar is doing some reading (for homeschool), Wyatt is studying, and Tate has finished and headed to a neighbor's house.

Pondering...  November is usually so soggy, I've really enjoyed these clear days, in spite of the cold! Nearly all the leaves are off the trees, and the boys and I did some raking and cleaning yesterday.  One of our trees drops huge, heavy, thick leaves and they were all over the new grass we planted above the rock wall.  I told the boys they didn't have to get them all, but the grass would surely die if we left them. They did a good job :D

Thankful...  for getting all those leaves raked up while they're DRY rather than wet and soggy. :D
We've had some strange weather this fall, including TWO tornadoes - very rare for our state!  One was actually a waterspout.  The second was on land and did some property damage, but I don't think anyone was hurt.

We're also VERY thankful for Wyatt's job at UPS.  He's got a really heavy load right now between school and work (25-30 hours a week, in the wee hours of the morning), but he's handling it.  (Oh to be eighteen and have that kind of energy and stamina!)  We're really proud of him.

Wearing...  blue jeans, t-shirt, navy long sleeve sweater.  Still pretty chilly, but the clouds are warming it up a bit.

Creating...  Christmas gifts and a couple of baby gifts - pics later :D

Going...  to take the boys to youth-group tonight.  Except Wyatt.  Who goes to bed at about 6pm.

Reading...  a Francine Rivers novel my mom loaned me.  A Mother's Hope.

Looking forward to...  the holidays - we LOVE this time of year :D

In the kitchen...  hmmm, need a plan for dinner!

In the learning rooms...  our schedule was a bit disrupted last week, so we're kind of playing catch-up.  No big deal though, as the boys are hard workers AND I don't schedule any homeschool work for the whole week of Thanksgiving.  I'm hosting and I want some prep time, and it's a good strategy for us for homeschool to build in some lag time.

Around the house...  very fall-ish :D  I am NOT tired of pumpkin spice candles :D

The Mother Load...  mostly revolves around Thanksgiving right now.  Some house cleaning to do, and a lot of food prep.  I make as much ahead as I can - potatoes, sweet potatoes... I even cook the turkey and make the gravy ahead.

Noticing that...  some Tuesday nights, after CAP, the boys like to go to Dairy Queen with the other cadets.  I don't mind - I like for them to have the chance to socialize with a nice bunch like that.  But OH MY WORD is Gunnar grumpy the next day!  I think he must be in another growth spurt because boy does he need his rest!

Something fun to share...  Naomi (my niece) was up over the weekend and had her first tractor ride with Grandpa Grasshopper.

Way up in the bucket (with Daddy)

And in the cab, with Grandpa

She was pretty excited to tell about it!

A favorite quote for today...  No one ever said life was fair.  Just eventful.  - Carol Burnett

One of my favorite things...  taking a warm rice bag to bed on a cold night :D

A few plans for the rest of the week...  I get to go to the eye doctor!  Oh boy!  I lost a contact (bummer) and then realized that my eyes have changed and I need a new prescription before they re-order it.  So I'm stuck with my glasses (also the old prescription) for awhile.  Then (Friday) the boys are going to the CAP Aerospace Fun Night - a (supervised) overnight full of fun activities.  Wyatt wants to go.  But since he usually goes to bed around the time the thing starts, I'm not sure how much fun he'll be having.  I'm going to a brunch for ladies at my church on Saturday (fun :D) and then we're having friends to dinner.  (TO dinner, not FOR dinner.  What kind of people do you think we are?)

A peak into my world...  compliments of the boys...

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Tate had a big day :D

Grandpa says he made the shot from about 270 yards - that's some good shooting!

Well done, Tate!
Best 16th birthday present ever ;D

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Washington Pass Overlook

While we were headed east at the beginning of our getaway, we stopped to take lots of photos at the pass... you know, mountains, larches, etc.

And I love the rock.  How it looks so fluid.  Well, you know, it was once.

And then there was this cliff.

It looked to be at about the same elevation as the pass itself, though far above the highway on this side, and I wondered if anyone had cut a trail out to it.

Well, as a matter of fact, there's more than a trail.  There's a wonderful little park here called the Washington Pass Overlook.

So glad we stopped!

It's the kind of place where you'd expect to see Julie Andrews come bounding out from behind a tree singing, y'know?

But more alpine.

And cold.  It was misting lightly and I thought I saw a few snowflakes,
but that may have been wishful thinking ;D

It's so impressive to see the mountains up that close and personal.
And with so little effort!  If you go that way, you really should stop.

And you'll feel quite safe - sturdy railing and all.

Yep.  That's right on the edge of that cliff from the first photo.

I'm always amazed at how hardy the alpine plants are.
They'll burst into life with the slightest encouragement
and only a tiny patch of soil.

Love the stone work that is part of the trail :D

And the absolutely vibrant moss clinging to the twisted trees.

And just above us?  Snow. 

Now this made me feel all Christmassy - you?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Coming Home

Coming back over the pass we were really IN the clouds and Kerry likes clouds and mist.

Some of it felt very Lord-of-the-Rings-ish to me - like these could be the Misty Mountains ;D

And of course, we saw fresh snow - more than had been there when we started the trip.

Remember when I commented that this looks like a pretty place to live?
I mean, who wouldn't like that backdrop behind their place?

Well, not far down the highway is the site of the Oso Mudslide.
This is not a route we often take, so we hadn't seen it in person.

That may be the nearest house that survived.

The eerie thing was that it didn't look like a very steep slope -
not one you would've expected to let go like that.

The highway crew were still working to stabilize the area and repair the highway.

Those piles of dirt and gravel are (I assume) covering what used to be a neighborhood.

So in spite of all the beauty and relaxation of the trip,
it was also a view into destruction - with the remnants of the mudslide, the wildfires, and the flooding.

So glad to be home :D

But I have one more place to show you... later ;D

Monday, November 10, 2014

Take Time

Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.
 - Elizabeth Lawrence

Kerry loves the larches (and so do I),
but I came east looking for aspens.

And places like this - love that school-house red with the wrap-around porch.
And right by the river, too - you can see it through the trees.

The day it poured we went for a walk.  The rain let up late in the afternoon and the wetness of everything made the colors even more vibrant. 

A wind has blown the rain away and blown the sky away and all the leaves away, and the trees stand. I think, I too, have known autumn too long.
E. E. Cummings

Everything glowed - even the moss and lichen. 

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
John Muir

Kerry and I both love the cinnamon-red tree trunks over on the eastern side.

And a perfect trail, right along the river.

Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees.
Faith Baldwin  

How beautifully leaves grow old.  How full of light and color are their last days.
John Burrough

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Around Winthrop

So, being the low-mainenance vacationers that we are,
guess what we really enjoyed?

Walks around Winthrop.

I wish I was a better photographer, but even if I was,
the camera just can't quite capture what the eye sees.

The sun shining through the plain, old cottonwood leaves was more beautiful than any stained glass.

And there are plenty of great places to walk and hike.

We liked it along the river :D
That's the suspension bridge we just crossed.

Even though part of our walk was actually ON Highway 20...

... we weren't exactly threatened by the traffic.

*Happy Sigh*

Two rivers, the Methow and the Chewuch, meet at Winthrop.

And nope, I didn't edit the color of those red leaves.

Knowing that nearby Alta Lake State Park had been devastated by the wildfires, we were curious to see how Pearrygin Lake SP had fared.  Turned out we couldn't drive down into the campground, but could tell by the surrounding area that it had been spared.

This tree?  Not a casualty.  (Not of the fire, anyway.)  It just looks... weird.

Looking for ducks?

We found 'em.

Even an old rusty silo is pretty in the right light and setting :D

Drove by this place up in the Okanogan and had to go by again to get a photo of the skins drying on the wall.  Somebody had a successful hunt.

Love the way the buildings weather.

And then there's the actual town of Winthrop, which was redone in the 1970's with a Western theme (appropriate to the area) to attract tourists.

At last count the population hovered around 400, but in hunting season... probably higher :D

You can't miss Three Fingered Jack's Saloon, but we also loved the Mexican place, Carlos 1800.

Kerry liked the architectural details...

... and I liked the saddles out front of this resort ;D