Steve says this camping trip marks the end of us “just visiting.” We live here now.


First off, cousins Violet and Clea stopped here in Huntsville and took an interest in the horses.


We took the scenic route to Dinosaur National Monument, stopping at a campground near Flaming Gorge. Here are most of us.


Here is what Flaming Gorge looks like.


Lou could always be counted for a smile.


Mike slept on his recently bought cot, part of his new lifestyle, and reported that it got very, very cold. 


Cousin Clea was Walter’s constant companion.


Steve slept in the tent with my love bunny.


And I slept in the camper with this musical creature.


Riding in the truck was one of the best parts.


Wyoming windmills!


Here Steve is teaching the kids about Tony from “The Shining.”IMG_1288

“Tony’s the little boy that lives inside my mouth.”IMG_1297

Friendships were formed.


Limits were tested.


Fathers were fêted.





Green River mud baths.





I’ll be honest with you, we didn’t see a lot of dinosaurs. 


And we were only gone two nights. We left Violet and Clea and Company on Tuesday and returned to civilization and watched “Finding Dory” and got our countertops updated while our California cousins dug deeper into camplandia.

BUT George caught a fish. George sort of caught a fish.

More horses when we all reunified on Saturday.


It wasn’t until I looked closely at my pictures that I realized my friends felt I was taking a few too many.


Love you folks!


Brexit Haircut

Della cut her and George’s hair, and I know this is a pretty typical thing to have happen in childhood; I don’t know how other parents cope – I personally had to develop a new personality that is still unconditionally compassionate toward these children. This new personality has a marginally Irish accent and is based on Annie’s North Irish hairstylist Tracy, perhaps because Annie and Co. are currently in N. Ireland, and because this issue relates to hair, and probably also of course because the Brexit is on everyone’s minds.


You maybe can’t see it here, but the haircuts were fairly substantial, with an asymmetry that is at the very least consistent from kid to kid.

Me to Steve: She told me, “That was just our little shady spot, and I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, I just wanted George to get a gummy bear.” Because she told George if he let her cut his hair, she would give him a gummy bear.

Della: And me. I wanted a gummy bear, too.


Steve: I wonder if the original idea of hide-and-go-seek was to not find the kids.



They’re not supposed to play with the fan, but man fans are fun.


There is also, probably, about to be a ban on play involving this trashcan full of birdseed. But man, this is also fun. You can (as Della does) get totally naked, get totally inside of it, ask someone to put the lid on, pretend you’re oscar the grouch. Also, scattering scoopfuls of seeds around the garage, sweeping it somewhat up…lots of fun. 


Moving onto heavy pets: 


This mother allegedly weighs upwards of 700 pounds.IMG_3912

Might as well show you one of her babes:


Hmmm. What is George thinking here?


Wait, where are we?? 


At nearby Carver’s Cove Petting Farm. All of these exotic creatures, but the kids come mostly for the kittens.


But Bappa comes mostly for the kids.



Okay, other things: the gondola at Snowbasin is open for summer exploration.


We have since trimmed Georgie’s bangs. He’s back to looking really weird.IMG_4036

Everything in Utah is mellow…


…EXCEPT Costco. Costco is like I-95 on a Friday afternoon. Look at this inventory. Just…gone. 


Bappa says he likes having us here, but look at how we’ve brought him to his knees.


Curled up in the fetal position. IMG_4226




Flashing back to almost two weeks ago, our friend Chris arrived in Huntsville with a sleigh full of Steve and Trader Joe’s snacks, too.

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It was really nice of Chris to endure the 3.5-day, 12-state journey. Most excitingly, the lug nuts on one tire proved not to have been properly secured! Chris and Steve were unknowingly down to a single nut when they pulled off the Interstate in Iowa. Myers Automotive in Orion, Illinois, not only solved their lugnut problem but also ferried them to and from the bar while they waited and supplied complimentary, branded beer koozies (pronounced “cozies” out here, by the way). Steve says, “You can’t forget Kenny from Sam’s Towing.” So, Kenny: we remember you.2016-05-26 20.40.21 HDR

As one does, we walked the property shortly after our guest arrived. Here is a picture from that walk that is a lot like another, older picture.

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Also during Chris’s visit, we activated the slack line. 

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Now this is pretty much all I do. I’m really excellent and can do flips over mountain lakes and stuff.2016-05-27 18.15.44 HDR

Continuing on with our Chrismassy theme, it’s been snowing a lot!

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Actually, this is cotton from the cottonwood trees. Yesterday it was downright blizzardy!

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And finally, not Chrismassy at all: Bappa explains to George that he severed his forearm in an accident involving the garden closet door.

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Ditch Day!

Ditch day comes but once in awhile. 

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Here Della performs a simple magic trick. Abracadabra…

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Hands muddy…DSC_0591 copy

Hands relatively clean!DSC_0611 copy

Plugged up at the culvert. 


Other ditch day festivities.

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On my long, luxurious walk today whilst the children were in school, I stopped by Jimmy Z’s house.

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He showed me his racing pigeons. This one’s a baby.

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They can fly from Idaho Falls in a few hours.


He doesn’t race them anymore, but when he did, he had to sit outside in his yard and wait and wait and wait looking at the sky for hours.

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He says they have magnets in their brains, and their True North is really True H (for Home).

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When they swoop over you, you can hear their wings whoosh, and it feels like you’re flying with them.

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