Monday, June 29, 2009

For the Ladies......

Well we did it.
We all spent another year at the log show in support of Brad-Amber's husband-and we were not disappointed.
(Again, for those of you who need a refresher about our town's annual log show, please refer to the links on this post)


(Above is Timber the Clown making his grand entrance)


Saturday was really warm, with the temperatures rising into the 80's, which may not sound that bad, but they were running in the 50's the week before, so that was quite the increase. (Was that just a run-on sentence??? LOL!!!)
(Above are two competitors in the log rolling competition)


Sunday was somewhat kinder, in that the weather alternated between cloudy and sunny, with temps finally reaching the upper 70's. Needless to say, even though I slathered sunscreen on myself, I got a doozy of a sunburn on Saturday; however by Sunday morning, it had turned into a nice tan.

(Above is Brad and another competitor taking off in a choker setting race)


Unfortunately, the top of my head burnt on both days, and I now have blisters on the top of my head. It hurts really bad, and I am so mad at myself for letting that happen. Thankfully, just me and Kevin burnt, as I religiously applied sunscreen to the kidlets, who don't even look like they were in the sun. Go figure!
(Above is a competitor either ascending or descending the 75 foot pole)

Now...this is a family blog, so I will watch my self, but let me be the first to say that even though I think a lot of the guys around here-and I am not just talking about the loggers-are hicks, these guys looked damn fine all dressed up in their logging duds, and you would have to be 1/2 dead to not be affected by the smell of bar oil, sawdust, sweat, and men. (Wasn't it you, Chelsi, that wrote about that in one of your older posts?)(Above are some competitors-including my brother-in-law Brad-warming up for the hot saw competition)


Yes, I could sit there all day and daydream about one of those guys sweeping me off of my feet and.....ahem....I will leave the rest to your imagination...lol!!!! (Sorry Kevin!!) (Above is a close-up of one of the crowd favorite's arms)


Now just so you all know, the pictures just do not do these guys any justice. You would have to be there to see what I am talking about, and Chelsi, I was thinking about you and what a good time you would have had the whole time. :0(Above is a group of guys getting ready to compete with their unlimited hot saw. These saws are powered by various high powered engines, such as V-8 car engines, motorcycle engines, truck engines...you get the idea!)


You know what they say about the size of a man's chainsaw, don't you???? LOL!!!! (Did I really just say that??????)
And last but not least, I took a couple of videos for all of you to watch, and I apologize that they are sideways. They are not that way on my computer, but for some reason, when I loaded them onto Blogger, they flipped over. Does that always happen with video???


Below is a video of Brad competing in the horizontal block chop-which he won by the way....
video

Next we have two competitors competing in a tree topping competition, where they climb a 75 foot tree, set up, saw the top off, and then come back down. These guys did not go as fast as they did in the earlier race, because this was the second time they had been up, and it was about 2:00-thus very hot!-at this point.

video

Lastly we have the guys coming down. Don't they look cool??? I was able to put on Brad's climbing gear and climb about 25 feet up a tree, and it is NOT easy. Your thighs feel like they are on fire. Good job guys!!.
video

Again....sorry for the videos uploaded so lopsided!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

You Knew This Was Coming, Right?

Wow!

This is like my second or third post in as many days. Kind of weird, eh? I chose the title of this post because you all had to know that the obligatory kid-and-pony-summer-pics-and-posts were coming, didn't you?

Remember last summer, when all I did was let my kidlets ride, while I did all of the actual work? Well it has started again, but don't worry, I am really not complaining-it just sounds like I am. :)
The panonies were quite happy to see all of us pull into Amber's driveway yesterday, and we were all greeted with loud whinnies and nickers from all of them.

You don't suppose that is because they know that we will halter them and let them graze while we groom them, do you?? Nah!! We'll just pretend it was because they were genuinely happy to see us-which I really think that they were. Who knows?I opted not to ride, and so we left Waska at home, and he was not happy about it. Poor guy, he really wanted to come too. I figured it would be easier for me to be on the ground, as it was the kidlets first trail ride in a few months. That way, if anything happened, I would be right there.
Oh look. It's a moose...I mean Bo...lol!!! (above) Poor Bo Bo. He definitely was not blessed with a typey head, was he? Oh well, I still loves hims. He sure does have a nice chest though, and straight, correct legs.And then there is Miss Katie, who had to get off to go potty. Why do little girls always have to go potty out on the trail???
See the small creek in the next couple of pics? Well it is an off-shoot of the main creek that is left over from last winters floods. You can't really see it,but there is a small waterfall that is out there now too, and guess what?
This small offshoot runs right through where our trail used to be. The flooding completely obliterated our riding area down there, but oh well...we will just have to make new trails, right?
Well I hope that you are all having good weeks so far. We are going to pull our friends jeep trailer over Chinook Pass this evening-while they pull their camping trailer-and then come home on another pass called Pyramid Pass. There is usually lots of wildlife on Pyramid, and I am hoping that I can get some good shots before it gets too dark.
Then we have the "big boys" loggers rodeo this weekend, and I promise to try and get some nice shots for all of you. :)
Toodles!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What's In Your Food?

Do any of you ever think about the food that you put in your mouths? I mean really think about it? I guess I always thought that I did, but as I was curiously watching a cooking show that my hubby was watching on the Food Network-while pretending to read a book-I noticed that the chef/cook was using butter to grease her casserole dish with instead of an olive oil cooking spray-as I have been instructed to do. That got me thinking about all of the new fangled, modified, and genetically/molecularly altered foods that are out there on the market; our populations massive consumption of them because they are "healthier;" and the rise in certain diseases such as cancer and MS. Now I know that I may sound like a wacko here, but bear with me.....
Because I had borderline gestational diabetes, because Type II diabetes runs in my family, and because I already tend to show resistance to insulin, I have always been instructed to avoid real sugar as much as possible, and to substitute real sugar for things such as Splenda or Nutra-Sweet.
Have you ever read about how either of those sugar substitutes are made, and the "potential" side-effects?? I have, but I always assumed that the benefits outweigh the risks.
What about butter? I am rather old fashioned in that area, and still use butter, but have you looked at the ingredients in margarine or other butter substitutes?

I guess what I am trying to say is did people 30-60 years ago die of different things than people tend to die of today? Where there more cases of clogged arteries, heart attacks, and high blood pressure from butter and sugar than there are today? Have sugar substitutes stopped diabetes from occurring???

No...now we ingest all sorts of non-natural chemicals and substances, and we really have no idea what they are really doing to our bodies.

Take this can of olive oil cooking spray that we are now told to use on everything. I happen to have one right here, and the ingredients seem pretty benign: %100 extra virgin olive oil, soy lechitin, water, and propellant.

Propellant??? What type of chemicals are used to propel this spray from the can to my waiting pan? Who knows?

So, here is what I have decided to do. I am going to use real sugar-in moderation. I am also going to keep using real butter-in moderation-and I will stop using cooking sprays to grease my pans. I can use a small amount of butter, because I actually know what is in it, right?Will making these small changes prevent me from getting one of the above mentioned diseases? Probably not, but I at least have some idea about what I am putting into my mouth.
I am also vowing to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, and to try and steer away from more processed foods.

So who wants to join me for a yummy bag of Doritos??? I kid...I kid...lol!!!!!

Anywho...do any of you have any insight on this subject?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ready???? Here We Go....

Once again, I have been away from my computer for almost one week, and you know what? It has felt good. I guess that is because during the school year, the computer equals work for me, and my mind has not quite wrapped around the idea that I can get on the computer for fun yet.

So, what have we been up too? Come along and I will show you.... Last Wednesday was the kidlets last day of school, and on Tuesday, they had a little dress up party/ball thingy that they do every year. Once again, Eric was a cowboy, while Miss Katie was an English rider, complete with her 1/2 chaps and all.....
It was really sad this year, because as I have mentioned before, their school has been closed down due to budget cuts. On the last day of school, when I picked them up from school, I stood out in front with the other parents that I have stood out front with for the last three years, and I cried-we all did.

Which is pretty amazing in itself, because I don't cry. Oh sure, there are plenty of times that I want to cry, but I hold it all in. Well, on Wednesday I did not, and I sobbed like a baby for about 30 minutes. I tell you what.....

Then on Thursday, we got up early and helped a couple of the teachers move out of their classrooms and into their new schools. That was also pretty sad, but it was good for the kidlets I think. It gave them closure.
Along came Friday-my riding day-and it happened to be absolutely down pouring outside. Finally, during the afternoon, the rain stopped and me, Amber and the kidlets took off on a bike ride. As you can tell from the above pictures, we stopped at a couple of marshy areas and caught salamanders and tadpoles. Aren't they just the cutest things ever???The bike ride was gorgeous and very peaceful/healing, as it was in an area that I used to ride my pony and play when I was a tween.......Until it started to rain again. We hid under some tress for about 20 minutes, but when it became apparent that the deluge was not going to stop, we turned back around-we had ridden about six miles out-and pedaled for home. Just look at poor Katie's face!Okay...where were we ??? Ah yes, Saturday. Saturday was the Jr. Log Show, and this year, both of my kidlets participated in it. For those of you who are newer to my blog and are wondering what the heck a "log show" is, please refer to this post, this post, and this post, so I don't have to write about it all over again. :)
Katie was able to compete in the ax toss-notice that her "ax" is really a plastic toy ax-the rope climb, and in choker setting. She looks pretty excited to be tossing that ax in the above picture, doesn't she?? Do you suppose she was imagining her brother at the other end??? LOL!!!
Eric had to compete against a girl in the choker setting, and you can just see his smirk in the below picture. He looks like he is thinking that he can take her any day, doesn't he?? Well we'll see about that....They look pretty close here, don't they?And here....And maybe even here, but.....Eric pulled ahead and won by a landslide. Of course he did, he is my son, isn't he??? LOL!!!!
He also ended up taking first place in the ax toss for his age division-for the second year in a row!-and his ax was real. Sent shivers down my spine, that did! Katie got really mad that she didn't win any trophies, and she said that Eric better watch out next year, because she is going to win everything. Should I tell her that she will never be in his age division??? Nah...
Finally, we had fathers day, which we spent out on a small cruise ship on Puget Sound. Kevin's cousin had a small wedding ceremony that took place on the boat, and do you think I remembered my camera???? NO!!!! I was so mad. It was a glorious day, filled with lots of food, laughter, family, and fun.
Anywho...hope that this updates me for awhile, and I hope that you are all doing well out there! :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

For Auntie Mary....

As most of you can probably tell, I am not a writer, nor am I artistic or musical either. Sure, I may wish that I could get my feelings and emotions out on paper-or computer screen!- but it rarely ever happens.

My sister-in-law, Mary, is however, and she can compose a great poem-you know...like ones that actually rhyme and have a beat to them???

So, without further adieu, I present you with a poem/meme thingy that Eric had to write for school....Mother Nature's magnificent mountains
Yonder in Yellowstone National Park

Where wolves wander and
Owls hoot
Rabbits rapidly jump into view of
Lovely lakes of
Drifting water

Pretty cool, huh???? And from a boy no less....lol!!!

I guess he gets that from you, eh Mary???

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Yellow Brick Road

These are pictures from a recent ride.....

Follow the Yellow Brick Road. Follow the Yellow Brick Road. Follow, follow, follow, follow, Follow the Yellow Brick Road....
We're off to see the Wizard, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.You'll find he is a whiz of a Wiz! If ever a Wiz! there was. If ever oh ever a Wiz! there was The Wizard of Oz is one because....
Because, because, because, because, because.Because of the wonderful things he does.We're off to see the Wizard. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
And we wonder why none of us can breathe around here...lol!!!!
As fellow Western WA people know, we always have a lot of the yellow stuff in the spring, but this year, I swear it has taken over everything.
We have literally been surrounded by a sea a scotch broom on our rides. It is kind of pretty though, right? LOL!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pictures

We recently had our family pictures taken by my friend, Angie, and here is a sneak peak at a couple of them.....

http://angiepenrose.blogspot.com/2009/06/for-my-friends.html

When I look at these, I think "Where has the time gone??"
The next thing I know, it will be time for their senior pictures.....egads!!!! LOL!!!

Thanks so much Angie!!! I can't wait to see them all. :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

What We Have Been Up To......

Well I have certainly been a bad blogger lately!!!

I have had several family members and friends ask me why I have not been blogging, and the truth is, I don't know. Maybe I am enjoying my free time between my classes being finished, and the kidlets school getting out (next week) but I have not even gotten on the computer to check my emails......

Honestly, I think that I have just been mentally recuperating from the past year of school. It was a tough one, and it's only going to get worse next year. I have also had a lot of pressure to join FaceBook, but if I do that, I will most likely stop blogging, as I do not have the time to do two things.

It has been nice to be able to do things with friends again-because I don't have homework to do-and we have been spending our weekends doing fun things again, like jeeping with friends (we don't have a jeep, but our Chevy does fine), chatting with friends over food and drink, and even meeting and making new friends. All stuff that doesn't happen when I am in school!

And of course I have been riding!!!!

We have also put our pool up early due to the warm weather....
...and Katie lost her first upper tooth!!! She pulled it out herself!
Speaking of teeth, Eric had his palate expander removed and was fitted for a retainer. Yay!!!!
Now we are moving towards the kidlets last week of school, which will be very bittersweet this year, as their school is being closed due to budget cuts. :(
Damn recession!!!!
Hope all is well out there and I am once again promising to stay on top of this little thing called blogging.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Twilight Zone...

So you know how I mentioned that it has been unseasonably hot around here? Well the night after we took the bear print shots, there was a small forest/brush fire. It happened to be on the other side of the creek from where we were, and it happened to be near where we sometimes ride.It was kind of ironic, because when Amber and I were out riding two days before, we were saying how it felt like summer in the woods, but also how it didn't yet smell like summer in the woods.

Let me explain....because it is still technically spring around here, the Scotch broom are in full bloom, and the wooded areas smell cloyingly sweet right now; whereas during the summer months, the woods smell like hot pitch and burning/hot pine needles. (Well technically "fir" needles, but I always call them "pine" needles)
Therefore, I was really surprised when we got a phone call from the fire department (Kevin is a volunteer) asking Kev if he knew which road would give them the best access to the fire. I was like "Fire??? What fire???" But sure enough, if you looked towards the mountain, there were two distinct plumes of smoke rising up out of the foothills. It was soon determined that the fire was not where we had been the other night; rather it was on the Sunset Lake side of things, and the local departments were told to just stand-by. Around 8:30 that night (Sunday) we took a quick ride up where we had been the night before, and there was the fire.

We sat and watched a helicopter dropping water on it for about 40 minutes, and then we took off for home as it was getting dark. Now....the reason I called this post the "Twilight Zone" is because there was never any mention of this fire on any of the local news channels. In fact, had we not taken these pictures, it would almost be hard to prove that there ever was a fire. (I am obviously exaggerating here, as I am sure the other side of these hills looks scorched)

Those of us that live down here in the "South end" often joke about the news not caring about what happens to us, but to not even mention a small forest fire??? Come on people...lol!!!! I even googled it and checked different forest fire websites, but nothing mentions any incident in our area. Kind of weird, huh???

PS-Sorry for the poor quality of pictures. It was about 8:45 at night and I cannot believe my camera even picked up anything.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Do Bears Poop In The Forest???

(Sorry for the title guys! I just couldn't help myself, but I must give Kevin credit for coming up with that saying as I was taking a picture of bear poo...lol!!!!!)

The other evening, Kevin, the kidlets, and myself loaded into the truck and decided to go check out the bear feeder that is located in the woods near our home. As I have mentioned before, we live in a small town, but it is completely surrounded by nothing but woods...privately-owned- by-gigantic-corporation-woods, but woods nonetheless.
And every year, Kevin and hundreds of other poor suckers...I mean hunters...purchase passes and are given keys that unlock the numerous gates to allow them to access these privately owned woods, and I must admit that we do get a lot of enjoyment out of them.
(Bear scat/poo near the feeder in the above picture)

So to answer the age old question of do bears poop in the forest, the answer is yes, they most definitely do. :) The picture of the can with the lid on it (above) is one of the bear feeders that is placed out there, and in case you are wondering what type of food it is, it is some kind of pelleted stuff.(A view of Mt. Rainier, which happens to be about 50 miles away -as the crow flies)

Speaking of flying, we watched this giant hawk stalking and pouncing on some poor little unsuspecting mousey creature. Oh well, it's good education for the kidlets, right?? Marty Stouffer's Wild America right in our very own backyard...lol!!!!
Okay...back to the fun stuff!!! While we were driving along, we noticed these old bear tracks in a dried out mud puddle. Pretty cool, huh??? Unless you are not in your truck driving down the road (I thought of you Chelsi, I swear I did!!)
Further up the road, we came across fresh bear tracks, and they appeared to be from two different bears. It is hard to tell from the pictures, but there were two sets right next to each other. I had Eric put his hand down next to the tracks to give you an idea of how big they were.And for those of you who may be thinking that Eric has small hands-which he doesn't- here is a shot of my size nine foot-and really white leg!-next to the tracks.I was also able to get a good shot of Mt. Baker. It kind of looks like a mini Mt. Rainier, and I wanted to give a shout-out to all of my Northern blogging pals. See, I am not that far away...lol!!!! Just travel over the river and through the woods, and to Melanie's house you will go!

Well I hope you are all having a great week so far. It has been in the 80's around here, which is basically unheard of for this time of year. We are all walking around as tan as we normally would be in July. It's great!!