Tag Archive: outdoors



The sun has been shining, the weather much more seasonable and reasonable the past few days. Yesterday, one grandson arrived to help Hubby with some things. The foremost, to me, was replacing a broken stair tread on our porch. It was becoming a bit scary walking down them when it was slick.
Today, three teenage boys are here, the pen for new chicks has been completed, a trailer of junk was loaded and removed.
Now they are finishing the stair railing on the porch steps. :)
Hubby is mentoring and supervising. Tools and training are available.
The reward for all this effort? It is not monetary, hot showers at end of the day, a good meal and being allowed to set up one of the tents in the yard for the night. Well, yes, there is a possibility of a campfire and s’mores.
Sleeping bags and pillows are provided by the management.
There will be more weekends like this coming! It’s time to get he garden ready and planted, school vacation will be coming and then the rewards grow into trips to the river, swimming and fishing.


Recently, several of our chickens have gone missing.
We are now down to four hens and one young chicken.
They are free range critters and only go into the coop at night or to lay eggs in the nest boxes. Not long ago, Hubby found a large black snake in the coop. It is no longer there.
Over the last couple of weeks, the outside dogs have been raising a ruckus at night, and a few times I have heard snarling noises around the place.
Yesterday, after the loss of two more of the young chickens we were out checking the game camera and there for us to see was a bobcat. May or may not be the decimater of chickens, but the evidence surly points that way.
In a court of law, I am pretty sure said bobcat would be convicted on circumstantial evidence.
We’ve had the live trap set for a few days, maybe we will catch the culprit, without losing any more chickens.


On our recent Mississippi River camping trip, we were fortunate to meet a young couple, Kathleen and Eric Williams. They had pulled up to the Dorena-Hickman Ferry landing to cross the river.
Pulling along quite a treasure, a 1961 Shasta travel trailer. A real classic and very eye-catching.
As soon as they pulled up, we walked over to look at this jewel.

1961 Shasta travel trailer

1961 Shasta travel trailer


Kathleen told me they had found the camper in a cornfield and have lovingly restored it to it’s former glory.
The following photos are of the interior.

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mississipi river with bob marla and rob 028

We did tease them, that they needed a vehicle to match. I understand they are looking for one. :)


We went camping on the Mississippi River last week with family. Tents, no electricity, no running water.
“Real” camping, well sort of, I admit, we had portable sanitary facilities and propane stoves for cooking.
The stars were so bright along the river that you could see well without the lantern or flashlights. The campfire made a welcome glow late in the evening.
Night cries of owls, coyotes and herons complimented the quiet hours.
A fine added touch was watching a recreated paddle boat travel past one afternoon.

It only takes a moment to go back 100 years or so

It only takes a moment to go back 100 years or so


Yes, it was a grand trip, and it makes us really appreciate hot showers when we get home.


jelly 006motto
This little fellow was ‘hiding’ on a corn stalk in the garden.
It led me to wonder first of all how he had gotten 3 feet up on the stalk and then why he chose to do it in the first place.
Sort of like people, who often tend to make me wonder about their antics, ideas and actions.


Sometimes, it is funny how my mind works.
It all started today, when my daughter, Tara Banks, posted this on her blog. I highly recommend that you click the link and read the post.

http://craftytara.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/so-there-i-was/

Reading it brought back a lot of memories. Mother used to make these ‘toad in a holes’ on her big square griddle, and in later years we would whip them out to hungry kids while camping.
Enjoying many a sunrise on the river or at the beach, Hubby and I used a cast iron skillet for the delicious morsels. Sometimes on the trusty Coleman stove and more often over an open fire nest to the coffeepot. Kids waited patiently, or not for their plates to be filled.
The thought of those camping trips reminded me of some books we bought long ago. Dian Thomas produced “Roughing it Easy” and “Roughing it Easy 2″. I went to look and sure enough I do have them! Worn and well used.
That led me to a search on Amazon.com. Both books are still available.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0962125733

If you are a seasoned camper or are thinking about it for the first time, there are many fun and interesting ideas to make your trip more enjoyable.


Arizona, painted desert, grand canyon 062
Visit the Painted Desert in Arizona!

Brett as we start our adventure

Brett as we start our adventure

I have made some amazing discoveries in the past two weeks. A little off the beaten path or the interstate, in Arizona for instance…
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Arizona, painted desert, grand canyon 083

Arizona, painted desert, grand canyon 086

Arizona, painted desert, grand canyon 108

Arizona, painted desert, grand canyon 135


blooming lilacs 002a
I have nursed and coddled this lilac bush for several years. Last year, it had one tiny bloom, the first since my father dug it and gave it to me.
It is more than just a bush, it is part of my life. When I see it, blooming or not, I am reminded of some of the wonderful women in my life.
My mother, grandmother, aunts and great-grandmother, who had these flowers before me. Perhaps not the same bushes, but the lilacs, their scent, wraps me in rich memories each year.


Baby bluebirds
>blufbird 016 fledgling 2</a

Plenty of work for Dad to bring home enough groceries

jay in the peach tree 025 Mr. Blue brings food


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Today on our walk, Hubby and I came across a troup of ballerinas, pirouetting just for us.
Clad in gossamer, swaying in the slightest breeze, these delicate ballerinas dance.
I look at them and see not only the beauty in these blooms but the promise of ripe gooseberries to come.
Chubby, tart, basketballs of purple and green.
Sturdy enough not to crush when picked and make a jam or jelly with a distinct tangy flavor.
Two patches endure, and have for 30 odd years, over at the ‘old house place’ where my late mother-in-law first started them.

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