Saturday, July 12, 2008

Full-blown crawling

During the two weeks that I've been in Ontario, Hattie has perfected the art of crawling. She even made it up 5 stairs the other day before she noticed I was near and wanted to be held. When she breathes out hard, you can hear the remnants of the cough she has had since birth, which has earned her the name Velociraptor from my sister. Enjoy!

P.S. These pajamas have given her another nickname, "Pink Leopard."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I feel like chicken tonight

I mentioned before that my dad has started to raise chickens. It's strange in the morning to look in the yard and see a few hens chasing each other around, and to hear the roosters crowing.

We've never been much of a pet family. Most previous methods failed quickly, usually due to a lack of interest as the novelty of owning a pet wore off. Rabby bit a whole out of his cage...he obviously didn't like us much. Another rabbit died of heat stroke. Two other rabbits were eaten by dogs. Cookie the dog was hit by a car. The guinea pigs and hamsters always stunk too much. Rainbow the fish would only eat fruit flies, so once summer ended, he starved. The cats stowed away in the car to run away. The thermometer in the fish tank broke. Our most successful venture was probably walking sticks. Yes, we had an aquarium full of walking sticks (the bug) for a year or two. I think they survived only because we didn't have to do anything to take care of them.

With these chickens, it's the first time we actually killed the pet on purpose. Dad's been planning on it for a while. I was with some of my nieces and nephews while he was doing it, and they kept making jokes about cutting of heads and dead chickens. But none of them were too keen on going to watch. He only killed 3...there are still 14 left! We haven't cooked them up yet, but I'm anxious to see how they taste.

I don't think I'll be able to sit underneath that particular tree any time soon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I was able to spend a whole week in my favorite home-away-from-home. I came up with Hattie to McCall, Idaho a week ago for some family meetings and family playtime.

The fun started on the morning of the 4th. I guess it was more masochistic than fun. We had the Polar Bear Swim to the island. The water was probably in the 60s. I could hardly breathe - I was so cold. But we had good times. Zoom in on my sister Val's face in the water to get an idea.

Here we are making our way to the island. It was probably about a 1/2 mile. My sister Lisa was the winner...for about the third year in a row. I wish I had my wetsuit from the triathlon! (Paul was the picture-taker in the kayak...he floats like a rock, but I'll talk him into doing it next year.)

Later that day we went to Ice Cream Alley, a McCall summer tradition. As kids, when we would go to McCall, it seemed like we got ice cream every other day...riding the boat into town and having ice cream was certainly our favorite activity. I think I have a picture of me and my cousins sitting on this same bench when I was a kid.

Abby Wilford, Mack and Andrew Easton, Hattie, Myra Bernard, Natali Easton, and Grace Bernard

That night we had a BBQ and games for the kids...and the adults. Hope you enjoy some of the highlights.

Later that night, Paul and I watched the fireworks in the bed of my sister's truck. Too bad some trees blocked some of the fireworks. The highlight was my niece Abby saying "BOOM" after every firework and copy-catting all of our commentary.

Saturday morning we were scheduled to do a ropes course. We had lots of fun and got lots of sun and bug bites. Paul and I both enjoyed the Vines.

He also attempted the "Panther Pole" which was harder than it looks. Out of our whole group, only one person was able to grab the trapeze.

It was a fun, hot day. Hattie did great with the babysitters...or at least I assume she did. I was beat by the end of the day, but was up for a little swimming with the kids.

And now Hattie and I are back in Ontario...both with colds. Sniffle. And Paul is "up the mountain" for the last time ever.