Monday, June 14, 2010

Gradding, winching, boating, picking, and hiking

This was a very busy weekend. But before the weekend, we had Darci graduating from kindergarten.

Darci noticing the piece of yarn dangling in front of her face.

Darci doing something about it. It's hard to believe that she will be a first grader next year.

The Boy started his weekend by adding a winch to his new bumper. He then took the top off (hopefully for the last time this summer). The last time he took the top off, we entered a rainy stretch. For now, we have moved the umbrellas closer to the door. He is currently desperate to find someplace to get stuck so he can test out the winch. He would be satisfied with trying to pull out a few trees with it though.

The grandkids spent all weekend at our place. Since the weather was hot, this meant it was time to get out the inflatable boat for them to swim in.

This works amazingly well and they have a blast trying to splash all the water out of the "pool." I can't remember the last time this boat was used as a boat - probably at least ten years ago.

How's this for a sign that it was hot - Mrs Notthat in shorts and a tank top and smiling about it.

We then grabbed the ladders and buckets and picked all the cherries from our tree in the front yard. Well, all the cherries that the birds left for us. In the past, we have wrapped the tree in netting to try and protect it from birds, squirrels, and Teddy, but this year we gave up - the tree has gotten too big and I have gotten too lazy.

In any case, there were still a lot of cherries - many more than we've ever had before.

Teddy loves cherries, and patiently waited to snatch any that were accidentally dropped.

The grandkids spent a mostly uneventful night at our place, and both were excited about going for an early (8 AM) hike the next morning. When I got up at 6 AM, Darci saw me stumbling down the hall and asked if it was 8 yet.

Darci ate her normal chocolate chip oatmeal and Riley asked for his normal chocolate chip yogurt, but we were out of yogurt. He looked at me with deeply understanding eyes and said "That's OK, just give me the chocolate chips." In the end, he settled for applesauce with chocolate chips. (I suspect he would have settled for ketchup with chocolate chips.)

We hiked to the Tafoni Monolith at El Corte de Madera Open Space. It was great to get there early while it was still fairly cool and not very crowded (this place is very popular with mountain bikers - there were a lot of them in the parking lot as we were leaving).

Leading the pack in this picture is Selma, who lives next door and has become popular with the grandkids because she is old (8!) and likes playing with them (her old age gives them a bit more freedom - they are able to ride their scooters to the end of the street and back with her).

Here we are at the improbable sandstone monolith. It's about 1.3 miles to here from the parking lot. Selma and Riley were great along the way, and Darci was OK, but she began wanting snack stops at about the halfway point and every 50 feet from then on.

The plan had been to go out another quarter of a mile or so to an overlook, but Darci hurt her ankle and we had to head back. The ankle injury would mysteriously vary from extremely painful (picture shards of bone sticking out) to completely healed and back depending on whether Darci thought about it or not. I've got a video where she is running with the other kids, laughing and having fun, until Mrs Nothtat asks her if her ankle still hurts - she immediately lifts it off the ground and starts limping like an old man.

I only carried her for about 50 feet before she wanted down (apparently it hurt just as much being carried as walking on it). Shortly after this there was a devastating finger injury she had to suffer through, but soon she ran out of injured body parts and we managed to get back to the van.

They all posed on a random rock near the parking lot.

And that was about it. More time was spent playing in the "pool" but the kids (and adults) were a bit worn out, so movies were watched and pizza eaten (chocolate chip free!) as the weekend came to a satisfying close.

In spite of her graduation ceremony, Darci still has four more days of school left and then her summer officially begins. And this coming Sunday, Mrs Notthat and I head for Florida and a class reunion cruise sort of thing.

And that's just the start of what promises to be an exhausting summer.

That's it - move along...


DAK said...

I love that picture on the rock. But isn't the other girl's name really amleS?

mary ann said...

Love the swimming pool boat...