Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Osprey Nest

I found this on my camera and thought I'd share. When we were in Idaho
visiting the Mesa Falls we were told there was a osprey nest on the other
side if the waterfall. I decided to find it and use the zoom on my
camera to see if I could spy the chicks. My favorite part of this video
is the zoom out at the was pretty far away!

Monday, August 29, 2016


School is back in session and I have the house to myself once again. It's nice to slow down after a pretty hectic summer wrap up. I'm ready to gradually get back into sculpting full time as I took the summer off for a change. It was nice to focus on the kids and making fun memories....and we made many this summer.

Ever year around this time we fill up our shop with hay. Enough hay to keep all the critters fed for a year. We always get small square bales because they are easy to handle, stack and store. No big machinery needed, which is a plus since we don't have any. My regular supplier of hay is my friends aunt. This year she decided to do her whole field in big round bales instead of the small square ones. No big deal, I'm up for a change. So Saturday morning I took Sean's Jeep and rented a heavy duty trailer from the local rental place and headed out to the field. The Jeep has a tow package on it allowing it to haul 6500 pounds. Each bale was around 1000 pounds so we loaded up three per trip, making 5 round trips. It was an hour round trip to the field and back. Needless to say it was a long day.

We'd unload the three bales and I'd take off for the next trip leaving Sean here to man handle the bales into a row. Round bales should be stored in rows going North and South and they should be placed as tightly together as possible to keep rain and snow from entering the sides (we did our research). Sean did a great job getting them moved but was pretty sore after manually moving 15 of them. We decided a tractor or a skid steer might be in our future and have started shopping for one...especially if round bales are happening every year from now on.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Grand Teton Vacation part 3

This is the last post of the trip. On the last day together we decided to go north and see the Mesa Falls in Idaho. A nice lady at the grocery store told us we should go see it and so we did! There were some nice hiking trails near it with lovely views of the falls. The kids loved the hiking! We were hopeful we'd see some wildlife but saw nothing except a dead porcupine on the side of the road (is it sad that I got excited over seeing that?!).

Then we drove down to the lower falls area and there were boardwalks around the actual falls. It was really beautiful! If you are ever in south east Idaho I recommend seeing the Mesa Falls.

Family Reunion 2016

Granny Randi is about to be surpassed in height.

Now if you asked my children what their favorite part of the trip was I'm pretty sure they will tell you it was the hotels. They love hotels! Watching SpongeBob, swimming and all you can eat breakfast. It's the simple things for them.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Grand Teton Vacation part 2

After doing a bit of research and finding out how busy Yellowstone is this time of the year we decided to just roam around the Grand Teton National Park one day while we were there. For us it was more about the family reunion aspect rather than the National Park aspect. One day roaming the park was enough for us. Grand Teton National Park was spectacularly beautiful. It really was quite a sight.

The park itself was different. There were two main roads traveling parallel to the mountains and every few miles there was a turn off to a parking lot where you get out and walk down to one of the lakes or hiking trails. What was frustrating about this was all the parking lots were filled to the brim. People would end up parking along the road and walking back to the lake. There wasn't anywhere to park in 2/3rds of the parking lots. This was the Teton's, not even Yellowstone. We couldn't imagine how busy Yellowstone would have been. Sean's brother went to Yellowstone and he said it was stop go traffic throughout the park and an hour wait to see the attractions. Several attractions had signs up saying "Come back in a hour". Perhaps August wasn't the time to see these parks. They say May and September is the time to see them.

But what we did see of the Teton's was really beautiful. The first lake was Jenny lake.

Lunch time came and we packed a lunch but, again, couldn't find a parking spot so we just pulled off the road and had a picnic on the side of the road. It was fun! 

There was an old chapel in the park that we decided to see and at the parking area there was a small trail leading down to Jackson lake. That was probably the most fun of the day, seeing this beautiful lake without a soul around. We had the whole beach to ourselves.

We stopped to get some pictures of the park on the way home.

To get back to the cabin we had to go over Teton pass, a 10% grade pass. It was steep to us flat landers and nerve wracking the first go around. By the time we left we'd gone over it four times and it was super easy. We stopped on the summit to get some pictures the first day and a nice gentleman offered to take our picture. He was traveling to each state's tallest peak and this year was Idaho's. It's fun meeting people and hearing their story along the way.

Wesley got a tablet for his birthday and really enjoyed taking pictures and video along the way.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

First day!

We are back to school folks! Phew! Mama is ready for a little down time. :) Wesley started 4th grade today and Greta started 1st grade. They were excited this morning, something I'm always grateful for. I am happy to have a quiet house again for seven hours and get back to sculpting.

4th grader

1st grader

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Grand Teton Vacation part 1

After 2500 miles and 43 hours in the car we have returned from our big vacation of the year. We were due for a family reunion on Sean's side of the family and decided to meet somewhere this year instead of all heading to New Mexico where his folks live. We settled on the Yellowstone/Grand Teton area. Back in February I started researching places to stay. We looked at small cabins inside the park and they ran $200+ a night per family. There were four families and that became pretty expensive pretty fast. Plus there were no kitchens so food would have to be eaten out too. I ran across AirBNB which is a site where people rent out their homes to travelers. I found several beautiful, huge cabins in the Yellowstone area for around $2000 a night. Still too much, obviously. So my search got broadened. I ended up in Idaho on the other side of the Grand Tetons and found a lovely cabin in our price range (it was $450 a night). It slept 16 people and was a massive 4500 square foot house. It was a good hour and a half from the park but decided, for the price, that would be fine.

It turned out to be a lovely, well kept house. All 14 of us were able to spread out, each getting our own bedroom and bathroom and were able to cook all of our food. Best of all, this was the view out the back deck.

It was so nice seeing everyone! We had some great laughs and all the cousins got to play together. And play they did! My children are still exhausted from the sheer amount of running and laughing they did in those four days together. They all shared a bedroom and I'm not sure they got to sleep before midnight each night. So much giggling. They really had fun.

Probably the nicest thing about getting a house was the ability to cook each meal. We had some lovely meals together. Each family was in charge of cooking one night, so no one person was doing all the cooking. It was also nice to be able to pack a lunch when we went into the park.

Rich and Jeremy hauled their bikes with them so they could rack up some miles in the mountains.

Here is the epic cabin we all stayed in. What a fun and memorable family reunion!


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Myriad Botanical Gardens

When I was researching things to do in downtown Oklahoma City I found the Myriad Botanical Gardens. Turned out they were directly across from our hotel, so it was a no brainer to walk over and see it. It was hard to miss. How often do you see a giant metal cylinder full of plants?

Mind you it was 102 degrees outside so I was pretty excited to go inside where I thought it would be air conditioned. It might have been air conditioned but the humidity was so high you couldn't tell. It was, after all, a rainforest on one side of the cylinder and a desert on the other end. It was very neat and they had some awesome plant specimens inside.