Tag Archives: family fun

Ryder’s First Two Weeks

As much as this was supposed to be a post about Ryder, it is also a post about reality biting me in the butt.  Remember I mentioned in the first Ryder post how puppies are worse than human babies?  Bringing a puppy into the house for the first time in over 30 years (my youngest in the past 30 some years was 6 months) was a major shock to the system.  I’m a night person.  I perk right up at about 10 or 11 p.m. But the Husband has to go to work in the a.m.  So the puppy has to go to bed at a reasonable hour so that he is up with the Husband and getting fed the same time as the cats.  He certainly isn’t going to go back to sleep and he can’t be left running around unsupervised.  And it wouldn’t be fair leaving him in his crate for hours more waiting for me to crawl out of bed. And that certainly wouldn’t help his sleep schedule any.  So that translates into mom, here, having to get up at what, for me, is an ungodly hour of the morning.

Getting a dog sooner than planned meant I hadn’t adjusted my sleep schedule back to a more day oriented routine.  It was like getting thrown into rough water without a life jacket.  I am a light sleeper and thus have a very low tolerance level for sleep deprivation.   My inability to adjust quickly (i.e. go to f@#king sleep at night!!!) that first week was killing me.  I couldn’t function.  And I was getting mad at the dog for existing.  I was ready to just give him away.  I didn’t want him anymore. The hell with having a dog.  I was shocked at how angry I was and how willing I was to consider getting rid of the dog.  I was not in a good place.

As a result, the Husband is going into work an hour later at a more normal time so that I have extra time for sleep. (He normally likes to get in before anyone else so that he has peace and quiet to work undisturbed.)  He is also handling the middle of the night trip to potty.  Unlike me, he can fall back asleep in like 2 minutes and said it made no sense for me to keep trying to handle the potty trips.  Which made me feel bad ’cause I’m the one who brought the dog home out of the blue with no prior setup for it.  But, he was right.  I’m still not sleeping well but the extra I get has taken me from insane to somewhat functional.

Something I’m sure everyone appreciates.

Despite the insanity, some things have gotten done and this second week I have been actually falling asleep by 12:30.  Fingers crossed for continued improvement and attitude adjustment.  It’s been really, really hard giving up my evenings.  Here are some pictures from our first two weeks:

It's hard to be angry with someone who curls up to sleep at your feet even when the floor is hard.

It’s hard to be angry with someone who curls up to sleep at your feet even when the floor is hard.

We've learned that walking on a leash can lead to many interesting places.  Unfortunately, mom is a buzzkill.  She keeps sticking her fingers in my mouth and taking away the rocks I want to eat.

I’ve learned that walking on a leash can lead to many interesting places. 

First bath.  But since puppies get cold easily, I was wrapped up in a towel and rubbed dry and cuddled till I fell asleep.   Nap time!

First bath. But since puppies get cold easily, I was wrapped up in a towel and rubbed dry and cuddled till I fell asleep. Nap time!

I now pee outside when asked except when I'm nervous or scared. Mom wishes this meant no more accidents in the house.  I'm working on it!

I now pee outside when asked except when I’m nervous or scared. Mom wishes this meant no more accidents in the house. I’m working on it!

I like my chewy and my basket of toys.

I like my chewy and my basket of toys.

Dad got out that monster thing that sucks the carpet.  I ran and hid in mom's lap.

Dad got out that monster thing that sucks the carpet. I ran and hid in mom’s lap.

Mom eventually left me to go pat that noisy monster.  I was waiting for it to eat her.

Mom eventually left me to go pat that noisy monster. I was waiting for it to eat her.

I eventually came over to take a look, but I don't think I want to be friends.

I eventually came over to take a look, but I don’t think I want to be friends.

Tired puppies hate missing anything.  But they are no match for the sandman. (Puppies can sleep in the darndest positions!)

Tired puppies hate missing anything. But they are no match for the Sandman. (Puppies can sleep in the darndest positions!)

Mom says it's important for me to stand still while I get my feet wiped off.  I can do this on the porch now, too!

Mom says it’s important for me to stand still while I get my feet wiped off. I can do this on the porch now, too!

I'm learning to play on my tie!  There are lots of good things to eat out here.  Unfortunately, mom is a buzzkill. She keeps sticking her fingers in my mouth and taking away the rocks 'n things I want to eat.

I’m learning to play on my tie! There are lots of good things to eat out here. Unfortunately, mom is a buzz kill. She keeps sticking her fingers in my mouth and taking away the rocks ‘n things I want to eat.

I have a ball to herd. It rattles!

I have a ball to herd. It rattles!

This one bounces funny, but I can drag it around!

This one bounces funny, but I can drag it around!

After all that work, I need another nap.  And this is a really great place to do it!

After all that work, I need another nap. And this is a really great place to do it!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

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The Mineral Springs In Winter

I’ve been dealing with a case of cabin fever here recently as the weather has been bitterly cold and not safe for me to be out in.  But the sun was shining Wednesday with temperatures in the 20’s, so I figured I could handle it if I broke out the heavy-duty winter gear.  With winter coming to a close, I decided to see the mineral springs in all their winter glory. It was supposed to be a joint trip with Spider Bait as my companion, but a meeting beckoned and I was on my own.  So I bundled up against the nasty cold (I have circulation issues) and off I went.

It was a quiet walk through the woods.  It was midday on a weekday and I had the trail to myself.  Crisp clean air and no one talking over the muted gurgling of the creek and the occasional bird.  Heaven.

I love seeing all the little things that can live on rock.

I love seeing all the little things that can live on rock.

The left side of the springs.  I love all the colors from the minerals in the rock.  The cascade of frozen water on the right is the water from the creek that flows into the little gorge.

The left side of the springs. I love all the colors from the minerals in the rock. The cascade of frozen water on the right is the water from the creek that flows into the grotto.

The front view of the grotto.  Long frozen ice falls glittering in the sun.

The front view of the grotto. Long frozen ice falls glittering in the sun.

Here's a side view of the falls from the right.

Here’s a side view of the falls from the right.

Here's the bowl the flowing water from the springs has formed over time.  Notice the spring water hasn't frozen.  It is a constant 58 degrees.

Here’s the bowl the flowing water from the springs has formed over time. Notice the spring water hasn’t frozen. It is a constant 58 degrees.

Here is a picture of the back of the grotto cave.  The whole front was a nasty sheet of ice, so I wound up using the wee creek from the flowing mineral waters to creep into the cave.

Here is a picture of the back of the grotto. The whole front was a nasty sheet of ice, so I wound up using the wee creek from the flowing mineral waters to creep behind the ice falls.  Not that the inside was much better!  Though the grit falling off the ceiling helped give me traction.

The view looking out.

The view looking out.

The backside of the falls.

The backside of the falls.  That little sliver of creek to the left is how I got inside.

Ice!

Ice!

I had trouble with the lighting inside.  Gah!  These are feathery ice crystals that formed on the ceiling at the back of the little cave.  This photo was taken without a flash.

I had trouble with the lighting inside. Gah! These are feathery ice crystals that formed on the ceiling at the back of the grotto. This photo was taken without a flash.

Same crystals with a flash.

Same crystals with a flash.

At this point I left the grotto and went up a side path to sit on a bench above the grotto and take in some sun.  It was blissfully quiet except for a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers drumming and squawking.  But since they can be quite shy, I was more than happy to share space with them.  Sorry, no pics.  They didn’t get close enough for my cheapo camera to see them as more than just specs in the trees.

Eventually I was forced by the cold to get a move on.  I had gotten wet climbing around and wet plus cold is Bad.  So back down the trail to the grotto I went.

Say, "Hi!" to Spider Bait's stand in, his walking stick.  I grabbed this as an afterthought on my way out the door.  It helped me survive many treacherous spots on the trail and in navigating the ice in the cave.  Thanks for the help, Spider Bait!

I felt a need to acknowledge the absence of my son.  Say, “Hi!” to Spider Bait’s stand in, his walking stick. I grabbed this as an afterthought on my way out the door. It helped me survive many treacherous spots on the trail and in navigating the ice in the grotto. The walking stick is 5 feet tall, if you’re wondering.  Thanks, “Spider Bait” for the company and the help!

My first selfie.

My first selfie.  My son said there had to be a picture of me on my trip.  Ugh. (I won’t tell you how many times I had to do this to get my whole face in the photo.) Time to go home!

Beautiful ice patterns in the creek.

Beautiful ice patterns in the creek.

The way home.

The way home.

Hope you enjoyed the walk!  If you would like to see our summer pics of the mineral springs, go here.

Outing Part 2 – My Hike To The Mineral Springs

**********

Special thanks to Spider Bait for using his fancy schmancy new phone to help with the photos.  My camera was very finicky about the light there at the end and I got lots of dark photos.  His fancy phone did much better than my camera.

**********

After I had been on the lake with my new kayak long enough to feel guilty about leaving Spider Bait on shore all alone, I headed back in and offered up the kayak so he could take a spin.  He declined and said he wanted to take me hiking up to the mineral springs.  So I deflated and bagged the kayak and then changed back into shorts and shoes.

Back in the 1800’s the mineral springs were a big deal and boasted curative waters.  They even had a resort on the hill above them at one time.  Now it is all woods and a hike to get to them.`

Into the woods we went.

Into the woods we went.

One of the first interesting things I spotted was this tree.  It doesn't look it in the picture, but this tree is quite large with a huge hole in it.

One of the first interesting things I spotted was this tree. It doesn’t look it in the picture, but this tree is quite large with a huge hole in it.

 

And then I found a fungus among us. :D

And then I found a fungus among us. 😀

An interesting burl on a tree.

And an interesting burl on a tree. The wood framing you see to the left are supports for a bridge across a section of the creek.  It was a Boy Scout Eagle project.

I love how Mother Nature is reclaiming this tree.

I love how Mother Nature is reclaiming this tree.

"Come on, mom!"  "I'm coming, I'm coming.  There's a damn bug down my shirt!"  Did you ever notice how your kids always take these less than flattering shots of you?

“Come on, mom!” “I’m coming, I’m coming. There’s a damn bug down my shirt!” Did you ever notice how your kids always take these less than flattering shots of you?

We made it!  This is the main cave at the spring.  We have had a very dry couple of months.  Normally there would be water cascading off the top of the cave in a waterfall.

We made it! This is the main cave at the spring. We have had a very dry couple of months. Normally there would be water cascading off the top of the cave in a waterfall.

This is a pile of rocks that have broken off in the middle.  There is a smaller cave to the left.

This is a pile of rocks that have broken off in the middle. There is a smaller cave to the left.  You can also see the drips running off the edge to the left of the rocks from a small creek that runs down into the spring area.

Part of the steps from the  upper trail down to the spring are original back to when the resort existed.  You can see the springs at the end of the bench where the iron stains are.

Part of the steps from the upper trail down to the spring are original back to when the resort existed. You can see the springs at the end of the bench where the iron stains are.

These are the mineral waters that everyone came to drink.

These are the mineral waters that everyone came to drink.

Water and time have eroded an almost perfect bowl into this rock.

Water and time have eroded an almost perfect bowl into this rock.

Of course, after hiking through the woods in the heat we were both thirsty.  Spider Bait went first.

"Brrr, it's cold!"

“Brrr, it’s cold!”

Well, if he thought it was cold there was no way in heck I was putting my face in there.  So I dug out the ziplock bag I had for my camera on the kayak.  It made a perfect canteen.

Some for him...

Some for him…

And some for me!

And some for me!

We then decided to grab roots and climb up above the springs and look around. There was a creek up there with neat rock formations.

My son fiddled with his phone and got this picture of the same rocks.

I wish I had had a flash light so I could see how far back inside that little cave/overhang goes.

I found some interesting lichen up there.

I found some interesting lichen up there.

And a tree growing right on the edge of the rocks.

And a tree growing right on the edge of the rocks.

And then it was time to return Spider Bait to school and get home for dinner.  So one last look around…

The springs from the creek bed up above.  I'm going to want to come back after we get some rain so I can see the waterfall.

The springs from the creek bed up above. I’m going to want to come back after we get some rain so I can see the waterfall.

I managed to catch Ms. Bumble Bee just before we came out of the trees by the car. It was a nice end to the walk.

I managed to catch Ms. Bumble Bee just before we came out of the trees by the car. It was a nice end to the walk.

Hope you enjoyed the trip!  Night!

The Renaissance Festival 2014

We hit the Renaissance Festival a couple of weekends ago.  Right after I spent a couple of days fighting a stomach bug.  So I wasn’t exactly running around like lightning.  Nor was I eating all kinds of stuff.  But I did eat some good things, drank a lot of liquids to keep hydrated (it was hot), and still had a wonderful time.  It took me this long to get through all the pictures.  Yes, you read that correctly.  This year I was not responsible for picture-taking.  See, I always forget something when I go on trips.  This year it was the camera.  I was sooo sad.  So my wonderful son gritted his teeth and offered to take pictures with his new fancy schmancy phone that Grandma got him.  And took pictures he did!  203 pictures to be exact.  Yikes!  I eventually whittled them down to 59.  No I won’t make you look at all of them!  I also had problems taking pictures of this year’s loot.  But that is going to be the next post.  Enjoy our trip to this year’s Renfest!

The upper level and some shops.  It was early and not too crowded.  But a couple of hours later it was packed!

The upper level and some shops. It was early and not too crowded. But a couple of hours later it was packed!

That is a real married couple!  They are now doing weddings at the Renfest!

That is a real married couple! They are now doing weddings at the Renfest!

The Klass Klowne! He is one of our favorite acts.  That's real fire and he's standing on a board on a barrel!

The Klass Klowne! He is one of our favorite acts. That’s real fire and he’s standing on a board on a barrel!

That's a pogo stick falling out of the picture.  Do you see how high he is?  And going over backwards!

That’s a pogo stick falling out of the picture. Do you see how high he is? And going over backwards!

Blowing fire! Can you imagine how bad that tastes?

Blowing fire! Can you imagine how bad that tastes?

The lower eating area.  Popcorn on a stick and a couple of the locals!

The lower eating area. Popcorn on a stick and a couple of the locals!

The parade!

The parade!

Bellydancer!

Belly dancer!

The Owlchemist Queen.  Look at all those feathers! (She had to be roasting.)

The Owlchemist Queen. Look at all those feathers! I wish he had gotten a picture of her face.  It was wonderful.  (She had to be roasting!)

Skidmark, the Village Beggar.  You should see the 'stuff' in his little cart!

Skidmark, the Village Beggar. You should see the ‘stuff’ in his little cart!

Yep, that's me!  The branch over my left shoulder is also the branch I'm sitting on!  It  made a nice seat!

Yep, that’s me! The branch over my left shoulder is also the branch I’m sitting on! It made a nice seat!

It was raining while this was being played and the pictures didn't come out.  It makes wonderful music!

It was raining while this was being played and the pictures didn’t come out. It makes wonderful music!

More awesome music!  My son went and grabbed their CD so we could listen to them at home!

More awesome music! My son went and grabbed their CD so we could listen to them at home!

Flourish, an acrobat!  Look at those muscles!

Flourish, an acrobat! Look at those muscles!

I loved this picture by one of the artists.  Whose name I have forgotten.  I should have written it down.  *sigh*

I loved this picture by one of the artists. Whose name I have forgotten. I should have written it down. *sigh*

At the end of the day on our way out we were treated to 'Zinnia the Fairy'.  Her outfit was wonderful.  And, oh!, her wings!

At the end of the day on our way out we were treated to ‘Zinnia the Fairy’. Her outfit was wonderful. And, oh!, her wings!

And, of course, we had to treat ourselves to Cinnamon Almonds before we left!  In the next post I’ll show you all our loot! (Mostly mine! 😀 )

The Renaissance Festival 2013

Yep, my picture-taking skills are abysmal.  Again, I was having too much fun.  Just like last year, pictures were an after thought.  Even though I told the woman who does my hair (an absolute angel) that I would get some ’cause she wants to take her husband there!  And I didn’t get a single photo of my kids!!!  Or Saver’s S.O.!  Not that they cared. *sigh*  We also had my BFF with us and she’s very anti-photo.  Ah, well.  Here’s what I got:

Enter!

Enter!

The top level and shops.

The top-level and shops.

Our favorite juggling guy.  This kid is awesome!

Our favorite juggling guy. This kid is awesome!

Part of the lower level.  Shopping central!

Part of the lower level. Shopping central!

Have to have my turkey leg!

Have to have my turkey leg!

Music!

Music!

My favorite crystal shop.

My favorite crystal shop.

And the wonderful man who has been selling them to me for years.

And the wonderful man who has been selling them to me for years.

He has the most wonderful face!

He has the most wonderful face!

My son, of course, HAD to buy another pointy thing.

My son, of course, HAD to buy another pointy thing.

It looks like this pulled apart.

It looks like this pulled apart.

And, of course, I have to have my crystals.  Top row, left to right, Dumoriterite, Rhyolite, and Serpentine.  Next row, left to right, Amazonite, a Barite Desert Rose, and a crystal 'Floater' from a Geode.  The long bottom crystal is Smokey Quartz.

And, of course, I must have my crystals. Top row, left to right, Dumoriterite, Rhyolite, and Serpentine. Next row, left to right, Amazonite, a Barite Desert Rose, and a crystal ‘Floater’ from a Geode. The long bottom crystal is Smokey Quartz.

This year I decided to try my luck with Geodes.  This is one side of the Geode.

This year I decided to try my luck with Geodes. This is one side of the Geode.

And this is the other side.  The 'Floater' you saw above came from this Geode.

And this is the other side. The ‘Floater’ you saw above came from this Geode.

We did some more wandering and...

We did some more wandering and…

... of course, before we leave we have to treat ourselves to those seriously expensive, but wonderfully yummy, cinnamon almonds.

… of course, before we leave we have to treat ourselves to those seriously expensive, but wonderfully yummy, cinnamon almonds.

Another year at Renfest over with.  I’m planning for next year already!  (And I should make a list of pictures to take for a much better memory collection. *shakes head*)

Saaaaaaver…you should put in a picture of what you and your S.O. got as well!

Night All!

The Renaissance Festival 2012

I wish I could say I was this awesome photographer that gets all the right shots.  However…

I get distracted.  Taking pictures in the middle of having fun is an after thought.  So there are few pictures of the acts we watched.  And I didn’t get all the good shops either.  Like the crystal shop, and the weaponry shop, and the glass blower guy and…  Well, you get the idea.  And then, of course, there was all the moaning and groaning from the boys about mom stopping to take pictures for the ‘damn blog’.  Sigh.

There is never enough time to get everything done or see all the acts we want to see.  But we always have a really good time.  So here is a taste of the day at Renfest.

Enter! Usually there are more of the court on top calling out to the crowds below.

You have no idea how much time was spent in this shop when my son was younger. I have a container of wooden swords, daggers, an axe…

A lot of people like to dress up for Renfest. They have shops where you can buy or rent costumes.

This is the ‘upper’ portion of the grounds

Also an ‘upper’ portion. Think two sides of a square. We usually eat way in the back on this side.

We were extremely disappointed to get ripped off on this miniscule teriyaki chicken sandwich which cost as much as my turkey leg.

Have to have my turkey leg!

And, of course, before we leave we have to treat ourselves to those seriously expensive, but wonderfully yummy, cinnamon almonds.

This is down in the little valley in the middle of the grounds. Lots n lots of shops and nice shady trees. Parade time!

King and Queen representatives. *snort*

When we got down into the valley, we discovered that they had cleared more land and expanded.  When they started clearing, they found some big, big trees.  So they brought someone in to take a look at them.  They are estimated to be between 270 –  300 year old oak trees.  Wow!

Oooold tree.

This poor old tree is damaged. Say ‘hi!’ to Saver (5’2″)

We had to get in line to get this picture and Spider Bait moaned, groaned, and bitched through the whole thing. Mooooommmmm!!!!!

Entertainment! This kid was amazing. He is only 18 years old!

Saver got pulled into this act. An escape artist with seriously politically incorrect patter. We laughed our butts off. (Heeey, babyyyy!)

And, of course, we had to shop!

My son has gone from pointed wooden things…

to pointy metal things! Sword cane! Actually, I say dagger cane.  It now sits with his sword and knives.  We’re going to be able to start our own armory soon!

Mom got into the act this year. I have no idea why this knife appealed to me. I have a nice sturdy buck knife that has served me well, but this design caught my eye. And it was small and cheap!

A feather motif and Indian with feather headdress.

Now to get my stone out and sharpen it!

And no trip the Renfest is complete without a stop at the crystal shop. This year I felt the need for a fist size chunk of Sodalite.

Another view. The picture doesn’t show it well, but there are shiny grey metallic stripes. Could be pyrite or aluminum. I’ll write about its properties in my next post. Such a beautiful stone.

Saver, you should pile your goodies together and stick a picture of them in here.  She got some really pretty necklaces!

And that was our day at Renfest!  I can’t wait for next year to come around!