Friday, June 29, 2007

Camping continued...

JOCELYN couldn't believe how fast the boys got dirty, hates nature museums and curvy roads, but loves a nice hike.
NATHAN, loved cooking marshmallows for s-mores, fishing, but not actually touching the fish, throwing rocks in the stream, and got sore ankles hiking. He also loved pestering Uncle Dandy, asking Shaun questions, and playing all the fun games Uncle Dandy brought.
SPENCER loved sliding on the big rock by our tent, exploring everything and describing it to us so wonderfully, cooking marshmallows, learning how to fish without actually touching the fish, and slept in the stroller for the entire hike to Tharps log. He is so tender-hearted! He made sure we put the fish back in the stream after catching them. In camp his favorite pastime was kickin' up dirt.

JARED is a true mountain man in the making. He loved everything about camping and was a joy to have with us.
That's a close-up look at the campers who drove up with me. Don't they look outdoorsey? I loved being with all of them and seeing them experience the awesome Sequoia Forestland. I am giving a camper's gold medal to Jared. He was sooo good and enjoyed every minute outdoors. He was the best hiker, believe it or not, and the only time he fussed was when we didn't get him out of the tent fast enough. He especially loved our little hike by Crescent Meadow to Tharps log, and examined everything along the way. To look at his face as he was walking along you would have thought he was in heaven... we were!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sequoia National Park
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Camping at Stoney Creek

Jocelyn,Nathan,Spencer,Jared and I met up with Uncle Dandy's group at Stoney Creek Campground for a couple of days. We sure had a lot of fun! The boys were great campers and got VERY dirty! I'm really tired tonight, so I'm going to post more tomorrow about our trip, but I did put some pictures on Smilebox...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Happy 30th Birthday Karrie !

Happy Birthday to Karrie! She is a wonderful person, a terrific daughter-in law, a great mother and Ryan couldn't have picked a better wife. We love her a lot! She picked a Daisy theme for her wedding, so when I saw this birthday balloon, I picked it to post for her. In this picture, she is wearing a dress she designed and made herself. Wow! She is currently working on a 40's retro dress which will be stunning.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

32 People for Dinner

When the ladies on the retreat found out I had 32 people coming for dinner Sunday, they wondered why I was there and not home getting ready, but I had help, so all went well and we had a WONDERFUL time. It was so good to see Jeremy and Aimee and their families! We had the men cook ribs and chicken. Kacy and Will helped me with the Snickerdoodles and Apricot Cobbler. Brooke walked in and asked, "Where is the garden?", so we picked tomatoes and cucumbers and added them to the salad. Anita and her crew came with armloads of more food. So we ate all the yummy stuff we could, and then the kids went on a TREASURE HUNT. Riley found the first clue in the peach orchard. Jacob is a good reader, and the oldest, so he read all the clues to everyone.
Spencer found the last clue.

They divided up the treasure,
which was found in Grandma Cherie's toy room.
Karrie tried to make the leftovers of the Kern Valley Ward Father's Day handouts desireable by arranging them in a pattern. She left them here, and I have been giving them away for the last three days and there are still more! We didn't have half enough time together, so some of us are planning to join the Clement's on a camping trip next week at Stony Creek. In the meantime, David and I are looking forward to a visit from his Sister, Barbara and her daughter, Carolynn, and of course Stephanie's baby shower. We tried to find a helicopter like Jacob's for Oscar today at Costco, since it was such a hit, but there were none.
P.S. Please note that I got, by accident, camera shy Anita's arm in the above picture!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Camp Wilderness

Last weekend our ward Relief Society had an enrichment night "women's retreat". It was held in the recently purchased Camp Wilderness where it is rumored that girls camp will be held next year. It was a fun trip and all the women that attended enjoyed a night with friends and PLENTY of food. Saturday morning was spent eating more food and attending workshops so we could all improve ourselves. Stephanie, Susan and Bishop Dunn presented workshops, and Bonnie asked me to prepare a Nature Scavender Hunt. I drove up and took Diane, Rose and Kate with me, along with some gear that wouldn't fit in Stephanie's van. While we we were at Stephanie's getting loaded, Monica mentioned that Richard said he knew a faster, BETTER way to get there. Well, since all the women in my truck are adventurous, we decided to try it. The trip was supposed to take about 2 hours. We left at 3:30 and finally arrived at 9:00. Let's just say we now know where everything on the whole mountain is located. Some crucial information (where to make a left turn) was not mentioned to us, nor was it on our map, so we explored for awhile and eventually went back and followed the original map given to us at Relief Society. All that mountain driving allowed us to have more time to get to know each other better and to get hungry. I told the ladies that in the amount of time we had been driving we could have been in Las Vegas eating at the Rio seafood buffet an hour before we arrived in Camp Wilderness to roast our hot dog.
Here's the crew that helped put out the breakfast.
Jocelyn wanted lots of pictures, since she couldn't go, so I took plenty and am only posting a few. This is the main lodge and kitchen which also has several rooms with bunks on the second floor. The main floor has sleeping rooms too, probably for the kitchen helpers and also bathrooms but no showers.
This is looking from the kitchen across the main room in the lodge.
I have several kitchen pictures, but this one shows the stove and ovens. It is a circular plan with the stove in the middle. Lots of storage is everywhere with labels. There are three or four refridgerators, a freezer and an ice machine.
There are 5 cabins like this.
There are about 12-16 beds in each cabin, some look old and some new, with a total of about 100 beds.
Some of the bathroom sinks look like this and some are porcelain.
There are about 5 or 6 showers. This is one. I looks like a lot of work is in progress at various stages.
This is a view looking down on the amphitheater stage. It had a spotlight and electrical outlet. There is also a light pole at the top of the plank seats.
This is a firepit located past the caretaker's cottage.
This is the Caretaker's Cottage.
I also had a picture here of the sea train and trailer used for garbage, but I pushed the wrong button and deleted it, so I'll just tell you that the door of the trailer was pulled off by a bear who smelled the garbage, and it had to be replaced, so they brought in the sea train. The trailer door is now left open all the time.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


You're lots of fun and we love you !
Have a great birthday.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Yesterday I spent the day cleaning up the peach orchard. The Elegant Ladies are almost ready. They are our favorite variety and are sooo pretty. We are going to really appreciate this crop since we didn't have a good harvest last year. Right behind the orchard, David has a spot for the "casitas" all cleaned off and ready to trench.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Thanks to Jocelyn

I just wanted to tell Jocelyn thank you for helping me achieve a new look on my blog. Knowing it would take me endless hours to figure it out, I asked her to come over and show me, since I have never been exposed to Html codes before. It was a lot more complicated than I thought, and I would NEVER have figured it out on my own. It will take me many more tutorials if I ever hope to learn how. Thank you so much, Jocelyn. I now OWE her big time, since I found out people charge HUNDREDS of dollars to set up personalized blog templates.

Monday, June 11, 2007


David, Ryan, John and Jimmy in Granny's pasture.
Remember this?
Yesterday I enlisted John's help to get his dad and mom to start a blog. I hope he gets it up and running soon. To thank John, I rumaged in the old photo album and found a couple of pictures of him from the past. It was fun to have you guy's come to visit yesterday. We hope to see more of you now that you have moved to California.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Happy Bithday RYAN !

I don't want to embarrass Ryan by writing him a poem. But, I couldn't let the day pass without a Happy Birthday wish for him. So, I grabbed a few pictures from his past ( I hope he doesn't mind), and I'll just say I'm grateful to be his mom. He was my first child and I had to wait seven years for another one, so I really enjoy and appreciate him. He is smart, independent, resourceful, adventurous, and helpful. Never afraid to try something new, he has had plethora of "unbelievable" experiences even though he is only 34 today. He's tried everything from scuba diving, to sewing (Yes, he can sew.) Currently, I think riding his motorcycle off road ranks high on his list, although it may take the back burner to building a house soon. He loves to cook outdoors and is well known for his talent in that area. Happy Birthday to a multi-talented, wonderful son!
Here he is at 1:
Marching down Chester Avenue:
Catching abalone:
With the "infamous" Trojan:
Branding cattle:
a "Chippie":
Cooking in the dutch oven:
He's our FAVORITE son!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Veggie Harvest

After spending a few days away from home, I discovered the garden needed some attention. Some of the squash had grown to the size of baseball bats, so we're chucking those. I found some helpers willing to harvest. I'm not so sure they will be willing to actually EAT the stuff they picked, but maybe if I disguise it in some zucchini bread or sauce they might be tricked into eating it. Let's just say they usually avoid pickles, squash, cucumbers and tomatoes. The green beans... well we'll see.

If you read this, and live close enough, you are welcome to come and help yourself. I just picked the last of the apricots and put them in the freezer, but the peaches will be ready in a few weeks.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Redecorating Ideas

Last weekend David and I enjoyed a little excursion to San San Simeon to explore the Hearst Castle with Steve and Dayna Nichols. We got an early start, since we wanted have enough time to see Solvang in the afternoon. It was a little cool when we got up to enjoy breakfast by the pool, so we took advantage of the outdoor firepit along with some fellow travelers at our motel from New Zealand that were also planning a day on the "enchanted mountain". As you can see, the castle was shrouded in fog when we arrived.
David and Steve are dwarfs compared to the monster size tapestries from Mr. Hearst's collection in the visitor's center.
When we first arrived we couldn't see the coastline because of the fog, but it made the castle seem more enchanted.
Dayna and I were glad we had jackets and comfortable shoes. There are hundred of stairs everywhere.
Pictured behind David is his favorite of the Hearst collection, "The Three Graces". (naked ladies) We almost bought him a reproduction to take home, but he declined.
Many of Mr. Hearst's guests enjoyed staying here. We liked the light from the unusual windows in this circular room. Most of the castle was dark.
We love books, and my favorite place in the castle was the library. This is only his personal library. The larger one was very impressive too.

This is a view from the balcony upstairs. Imagine all that space to entertain!
And the view was spectacular.
The table settings in the dining room were very simple, with a minimum of silverware and paper napkins. Also, note the mustard and ketsup bottles. The dining room was surrounded with silver candlesticks and other artifacts.

Look up while you are eating and enjoy a feast of color!
It reminded me of jousting tournaments, and was very festive.
The castle was full of interesting ceilings like this one from a game room. The media room, where movies were shown was bigger than my whole house!

Many people like to entertain by a pool, and Mr. Hearst had two. This is the outdoor Neptune pool, which is 4 feet at the shallow end and 10 at the deep end. It was enlarged three times.
This is the indoor pool which is 10 feet deep. The small alcove under the diving platform was 4 feet deep. Since not many people knew how to swim in those days, and the pool wasn't connected to the main house, not many guests ever used it. What a waste! Over a million small tiles were used in the mosaics which also had gold plating.
Enjoy sports? This tennis court was huge and beautiful. Horse back riding and a private zoo were also offered as entertainment.