Halloween 2022

November 1, 2022 7:47 pm

For something new this year we read Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October (a Halloween tale told one day at a time). So we finished reading it on Halloween after dinner, which was orange pancakes, eaten after Corinne got back from swim class. It was fun and the girls even mostly listened to the story. That put us a little behind schedule though, so getting ready for trick or treating was a little rushed and there was very little light left to get any pictures, so they're pretty lousy, oh well.

"We" carved pumpkins on Sunday. By which I mean, I carved pumpkins based on designs drawn by the girls. Though this year Corinne did help scoop some guts out. Heather drew a horse head, Corinne made a square-eyed, pointy-toothed creature, I went with a simple Triforce.

Since I had procured a fog machine to use, in part, for Heather's birthday adventure I set it up along our sidewalk for some extra Halloween ambiance.

Our whole neighborhood was pretty hopping this year with kids. Seems to have completely changed character from when we moved in 10 years ago. Lots of younger families with kids now. I seem to recall things being pretty dead on Halloween when we first got here.

We went down our street and back up the next one over. By the time we got home both girls' buckets were overflowing, so it was a successful night.

Halloween Party 2022

October 30, 2022 12:07 pm

We had a little Halloween get together with the Spencers this year. We dressed up in costumes, did some crafts, colored on the table runner, played games, and ate food while Halloween music played in the background. Oh, and played with googly eyes.

In the past I've made a Halloween Trifle, but decided to try something different. I started with blondie bases, added a layer of either peanut-butter buttercream or whipped-cream frosting, then a layer of chocolate cake, topped with more buttercream or frosting. Sizing and piping was inconsistent, but they taste really good, so I'm happy.

Fort Bragg 2022

August 24, 2022 5:05 pm

We wanted to get out to the coast before school started up again so we headed out to Fort Bragg over the weekend of Aug 4-7. We stayed at the same place we've stayed for several years, but it now costs almost double what it did 4 years ago and it's getting a bit ridiculous--especially since they're not providing breakfast or housekeeping. It's gone from being a pretty good deal to being rather expensive. So in the future we may have to explore other options.

Regardless, we had a good trip this go around.

We drove out on Thursday the 4th stopping for lunch at Chick-Fil-A on the way. We got checked in and headed down to the beach for a bit before having dinner at a BBQ restaurant and ice cream at Cowlick's.

Friday was down to the beach again in the morning and wandering around downtown which we've never really done in the past. We took the scooters with us because I thought the girls might like to ride along the pedestrian path that runs along the shore. So I rode Jess' scooter downtown and wandered about while Jess and the girls stayed on the beach longer.

I wanted to find a sun hat since I had left mine at home and that was going to result in sunburning. I did successfully find a hat and then spent some time wandering about until the rest of the party joined me for lunch.

After lunch the girls and I scootered back to the hotel for a rest out of the sun while Jess visited a yarn shop. For dinner we picked up pizza from a local pizza shop. And after dinner I did a bit of walking around with the camera to take some pictures as the sun set. I got some really nice shots.

On Saturday we visited the Point Cabrillo Light Station because they were giving lens tours. So we got to climb to the top and learn about the workings from docents. Everything was going great until it was time to go back down and Heather had a bit of a panic attack about coming down the ladders. The place was busy with groups ahead of us and behind us and only one ladder up and down to each of the 3 levels. So after some calming and coaxing we eventually had to simply put Heather on the ladders while I guided her foot onto each rung/step and we made it down.

After a quick lunch and bathroom stop we were on to our next adventure--the long-awaited horseback riding! We got to Ricochet Ridge Ranch and picked out helmets and then situated on our horses: Nightcap (Corinne), Whisper (Heather), Voltaire (Kyle), and Pancho (Jess). Corinne and Heather were on leads, but even so they loved every minute of it as we walked through the woods to the beach and back.

I had my camera on my shoulder strap, which allowed me to snap some pictures without worrying about it falling; but I couldn't give it a lot of attention while still managing my horse. So there was a lot of spray-and-pray picture taking, especially over my shoulder towards Jess.

We had dinner at Lee's, the only Chinese restaurant in town, which was quite good. Heather just about managed her whole meal using chopsticks. Then a walk around the block to Cowlick's for ice cream afterwards.

On Sunday we packed up and started working our way home. Decided to take a slightly different route this time to try something new and see if the windiness was any better. So we came back via route 128 (instead of route 20), stopped in Boonville for lunch, and bought some real apple cider from a roadside stand. The windiness was about the same overall, but did have a break in the middle.

Micke Grove Park Japanese Garden

August 23, 2022 4:42 pm

Over the 4th of July weekend we drove out to Micke Grove Park in Lodi. We enjoyed the walking through the Japanese Garden there in which we found a rabbit hiding in the grass and a mamma cat with her kitties.

We also visited the small zoo. Then we met up with Thomas and Jill for lunch. As we finished lunch a brush fire had clearly started just across the railroad tracks which ran along the parking lot, but it got put out quickly. On the way home we stopped for ice cream at the Ghirardelli outlet store in Lathrop.