Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Making Mom's B-day Cake

"What is it we are doing? Making a b-day cake for mom, huh? OK, let's get to work."

"Are you sure this is right? It looks like something else I'm familiar with that is not edible. Wait, let me smell and make sure..."

"Does the recipe really say we are supposed to lick the bowl? Or can we just lick the beater?"

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sometimes you have to just gaze upward and wait for the answer

"Let me see, how did that song go? Old McDonald had a farm and on his farm he had a____?  Wait, wait! What was it? Oh, yes, he had a DUCK. This is a duck!"

Low-rider jeans

The kiddo likes her low-rider skinny jeans.

Monday, October 24, 2016

At the Pumpkin Patch

It's that time of the year when the kiddo's get to choose a favorite pumpkin.  Here are some comparative photos from this year, and last year.

This year, the Bambino seems to know the ropes and how pumpkin hunting is supposed to go. He jumps right in and starts to evaluate the pumpkins.
Last year he was more cautious, taking time to survey the land and understand how pumpkin choosing works.

This is Bambina's first year where she actually gets to choose her own pumpkin. Last year, she did her pumpkin hunting in a papoose.

But this year, Bambina knows what she wants and how to get things done.
Some may call it hoarding. Others call it being prepared.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

He is out standing in his field

We now really do get to say, "the kiddo really is out standing in his field."

Friday, October 21, 2016

The 3 year old is becoming a soccer player

I love this video. It shows a lot of the Bambino's personality at this stage of life. The kiddo is very focused, driven, and loves completing the requested task or assignment. You can see the joy in his little face while he accomplishes what he was asked to do.


Growing up in Utah, every summer my dad would take us camping to Montana so he could try to find some farmland. On one of those trips, we camped in the midst of wild HUCKLEBERRIES, which thrilled my Dad to no end. We ended up picking the berries and then dad expected mom to preserve them.

"WHAT?  You want me to can this fruit over an open fire?" she asked.
So she did.

They found a store, purchased canning supplies, and mom boiled the bottles and canned the berries out in the open air. (Can you imagine?  She really was a good sport. Or maybe she was afraid of being left in Montana with no ride back to Utah.)

Dad had us continue to pick even more berries to keep this production going, smiling from ear-to-ear, while mom sweated over that hot stove... boiling water... bottling fruit....while on vacation.

This huckleberry event caused such an imprint on me. Whenever I hear about huckleberries, I am taken back to that family moment of picking berries and canning them in the wild. It will forever be etched within me as one of those memories of my dad. This event delighted and pleased him so much that it still makes me smile.

At Mount Hood, there is a little cafe called "The Huckleberry Inn," so obviously I had to stop and have some huckleberry pie. I wanted to see if the berries taste anything like I remember.

And, they do.
Love, and miss you, pops.
Thanks for the memory - and the pie.

My visit to Mount Hood

This is the image on the official brochure of Mount Hood, a National Park near Portland Oregon. Pretty amazing, huh?

This is what I saw.

So then, I ventured up to the Timberline ski resort, which is right on Mount Hood, to get that amazing spectacular photo we all want...

The lesson I learned is 
the official photo is FAKE! 
Or only visit this place in good weather.

But on the brighter note, there are plenty of bars in the area with live music on weekends. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Learning to love books

The kiddo's mom has made books an active part of the grandkids lives. Reading books and telling stories are a part of these kids everyday events.

They often visit the library and get the opportunity of choosing their own book.

It's been fun to watch the grandkids embrace the adventures and stories that come inside those pages.

Things like this don't just happen on their own - it takes effort and someone to help make books and reading a part of a person's inner core. What a special and lasting gift their mom has already given these two kidlets.  

Friday, October 14, 2016

That's a punkinino - no, that's not it

The Bambino's verbiage is expanding, and not only that, he at times seems to know he hasn't quite got it right and corrects himself.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Getting ready for toe painting

The Q family has a long tradition of the gals painting the guys toe nails. You can see that Bambina is already eyeing her dad's toes and beginning to plot and plan what kind of polish she will use when it is her turn to paint those cute pearly whites.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Confident Kid

One of the perks about being a grandma, is having a front row seat to observe a human grow, change, and unfold. For example, my 3 year old grandson is standing INSIDE one of the underground tunnels at the park. But last year, he was afraid of these tunnels. Now he is playing in the sand, standing in one of the holes, and has no fear. This change, to me, is rather remarkable. There is a new confidence in his countenance.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Music is my life! (or IS IT????)

This cracked me up. The Bambino having a musical jam session (of sorts) with his Mom and Nanny.

I can do anything you can do

Our little 1 year old Princess doesn't like to be told "no" and DEMANDS doing anything her 3 year old brother can do. She saw him build a tower of blocks, so obviously, she had to build one, too.

And she was right, she CAN do it!

Is there a link between the tongue and the brain?

Is there a link between the tongue and the brain?
Well, I have noticed how the 3 year old kiddo automatically sticks out his tongue when he is in deep concentration.

His father did it, his grandfather, and also his great grandfather.
Perhaps it is a method that tells the brain to pay more attention towards solving this problem. Or maybe it is just something the boys in the family do.

It is pretty darn cute, though, don't ya think?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Noble Pass Trail in Lassen National Park

There is a little spot in the middle of Lassen National Park with a plaque identifying the Noble Pass.

Noble Pass Plaque
Nobles Trail Info Sign
Nobles Pass Today (2016)
I had never heard of the Noble Trail until I saw this sign and learned it was part of several trails built to get more goods and people to the gold rush area of California You can see on this California Trail map the arrows pointing to both ends of the Noble Trail - which began in 1851, originating in Deep Hole Springs, Nevada, and ending in Shasta City, CA. Originally it was 300 miles long, but now days, only 26 miles are part of the historic register and goes through Lassen National Park.

Noble Trail Map
There is an interesting blog called "Trails West" showing a current day photo tour of the Noble Trail. This photo tour is captivating. It reminded me how challenging the actual journey would have been, especially knowing there were very few places to eat, pee, or sleep. How hard would it be to eat beans every night, sleep with not much more than a blanket, and have wild coyotes and bears prowling around for months and months?

Even today, the trail looks rather lonely. You can almost see some broken dreams scattered along the trail. It is a good reminder that fortune hunting extolls a heavy cost and is a difficult path.

Sharing the daily events at mealtime

Mealtime is often when everyone gets a chance to share what happened in their day. The kiddo adds some dramatic flare to make sure we stay captivated to his report.

I'm all smiles

"I'm pretty lucky" says the Bambina. "I get to sit where I want, eat what I want, and even choose what to drink. Life is good."

My Visit to Lassen National Volcanic Park

There's nothing like getting up early and being the first one in a National Park.  I mean, it seemed like I had the whole park to myself for awhile, and it was rather thrilling! The view from the top is amazing.

The variety of geology is breath taking (except for the sulfur smells which are kind of like rotten eggs that gag you).

With delicious looking mud, bubbling away, as if inviting you in for a dip.

With many clear water lakes, mirroring back all the wonder around them.

This area is part of a string of volcanoes linked with other famous mountains, such as Mount Hood in Oregon, Mount St. Helens in Washington, as well as the volcanoes in the Hawaiian Islands. It's like they are one big happy family strung together like black pearls up the pacific coast and then swerving down to Hawaii.

Monday, October 3, 2016

I got the ball!

"Did you see that?"asks the Bambina. "The guys got distracted with some flashy-shiny-thing allowing me to go in and swoop up the ball! Sheesh. This game is just too easy."

Baby Bingo

"I only need one more, and I will win this game!"

"Psst....see where my finger is pointing? That's the one I need if you have any influence..."

Friday, September 30, 2016

Lunchtime surprise

"What's this?  A vegie burger?"

"Nope, it's MEAT!  We are still carnivores - just with a bit of ketchup."

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The tutu obsession started here for the Bambina

Ms Bambina went to a b-day party where there was a PRINCESS in a lovely gown! The Bambina was totally enchanted and mesmerized by this special person.

Bambina studied and followed the Princess's every move.

And came home with her own new tutu...

which she LOVES and adores....even with her jammies.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Lassen VOLCANIC National Park - California

I'm making plans to visit Lassen Volcanic National Park, located in Northern California.

The title of this National Park includes the term, VOLCANIC in its title, which is rather interesting, don't ya think? The place is located in the Sierra Mountains, so some of the park gets closed in the winter. I've tried visiting this place in the past, not thinking of the possibility it might be closed, but it was. So this time, I'm going to make sure the roads are open before I go.

The park is filled with diversity. There are high snow capped mountains, along with barren landscapes that burp up hot mud and fart out those powerful sulfur smells. There are also places of extreme beauty, kind of like being in a water color of pastels. To me this says it is going to be rather homey.

Diverse landscapes...

painted dunes... 
Painted Dunes Lassen National Park
different shapes and terrains...
Cinder Cone in Lassen National Park
and even some god-awful smells
Sulfur Works Lassen National Park
My plan is to hike and visit some of these places of wonder, such as a hike to Devils Kitchen and then off to hike Bumpus Hell. Those names alone are enough to say, "let go see what's out there, shall we?"

Acadia National Park - Maine

Acadia National Park is the oldest national park East of the Mississippi, located on the East Coast of the USA, in Maine.

During our visit, it was cloudy, foggy, and sometimes raining.  Here is MY photo of  the area called, "the Bubbles".

The view of "the Bubbles" on the day I was there

Here is one of the more official photos of "the Bubbles." The two mounds in the distance are officially called "the Bubbles" but the locals have called them "the bubies" (or boobies) because it is obviously a woman lying on her back exposing her boobs.

The Bubbles at Arcadia National Park

Because my photos of Arcadia National Park are all pretty much crap, I'm linking to some photos to show how beautiful and peaceful the place really is.

Acadia National Park - Maine
Cadillac Mountain Summit

The area was carved by glaciers and the place is filled with granite rocks, making the geology of the place pretty spectacular. You can feel that sense of calm, beauty, and purity, even in the fog and rain.