Monthly Archives: June 2012

Multnomah Falls & Double Rainbow

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We took a little road trip today.  The initial goal was to get Zoe to take a nap.  That didn’t happen.

When we got to the visitor center before the waterfalls, we realized how poorly dressed we were for the occasion.  At least Molly and Zoe were wearing rain boots!  I gave Molly and Annie the two long sleeve tops that I had in the car “just in case” – and I bought a sweatshirt at the gift shop.  (Zoe was wearing two dresses and long pants.)

   

On our return drive, we were fascinated by the low clouds over the mountains.

   

And, as we turned into Troutdale, we were greeted by an amazing, vivid, complete, double rainbow!

   

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Harvey’s Latest Improvements (small)

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Today:  I “built” two shelves in a previously unshelved cabinet, where we store kitchen towels, rags, food storage stuff, and beer.  The cabinet measures 36″ wide with two doors.  It is 28″ high inside and 9″ deep.  We don’t have anything that shape, so I tried to pile things in it, only to fail at using the space to its fullest potential.  The left picture is my “middle of the project” view, showing the blue bins that I tried to use to hold stuff int he cabinet.  I hung the top shelf before I remembered to take a “before” picture.  The right picture shows the cabinet now … I used beer bottles to determine the location of the top shelf and mason jars for the lower shelf.  (I bought the canning jars yesterday for some kitchen ideas, and they only sell them by the dozen.  I will get rid of the extras eventually.)  The top shelf will also hold two cans stacked on top of each other.  I can’t imagine we will drive around with that many beverages, but it is impressive how much I can now store easily!

Materials:  1x10x6′ (cut in half by Home Depot), 6 small shelf brackets (97 cents each), and wood screws
Tools: jig saw and dremel (to cut notches in two corners to fit around interior cabinet structure), level, power drill, and lots of contortion skills

   

Last week:  I pulled everything out of the master closet.  It is a very, very odd shape.  Previously, I had some stacking plastic shelves, which didn’t hold my clothes well, and we had everything else stuffed in laundry baskets just shoved in.  Time for a change.  I built 6 shelves in the middle, using “Neat Idea” wire shelving squares.  We use them for everything – actual shelves, as they are intended – and as bunny condos and fencing.  They aren’t a perfect solution since there is a really big gap behind them because the back wall curves outward.  But it is a good temporary solution.  My clothes are on the left, and Phil’s clothes are on the right.  He has barely enough room to hang his work clothes – maybe he has too many?

   

A month ago!  … New desk from Ikea – Zoe helped build it. Don’t have good before or after, but maybe the clutter in the background will disappear? Second picture is Biscuit teethmarks on the top surface. Unfortunately, he “found” the desk while it was still in the box, and he tested the fiber content.

   

One more upgrade:  Ikea LED strip lighting.

It isn’t perfect yet, but the lighting comes with a 12 volt connection, so Phil reworked it to connect to the RV fixture.  (We just bought a plain switch and intend to change out the unused fixture this week.)  The RV lighting was giving me a headache, and the new lighting is not.  So, this is good.  We have some round ones that we will add to the girls’ bunk beds next.

Sandy River, here we come!

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We walked to The River this afternoon with park-friends Raina and her son Louis.

Cold is an understatement.
Water temperature: 58 F with a current of 1.8 K
Air temperature:  81 F

The River is fed from run-off from snow-covered mountains, and it has quite a strong current. The warning signs were very persuasive, and we were glad to know that the lifeguards were on duty and took their jobs very seriously. They loan out free life jackets for anyone who wants them, and there is even an ambulance parked in the parking lot at all times!

Louis, Molly and Zoe were not given a choice. We moms would not allow even a toe into the water with wearing it. And it turned out to be very wise advice because within the first 5 minutes, Zoe lost her balance, and the current caught her before I did! I was facing the other direction when it happened, but she was in arms’ reach.

The beach was very steep, and there were a LOT of people there. Most of the little kids were wearing life jackets, but not all. Lots of teens taunting each other to get all the way in the water, and boys bravely swam to a sand bar off-shore. We played on the rocks to the left, and the water over there was slightly warmer than right off the sandy beach. Of course, the rocks were slippery, too, which added an element of fun. Some teens were sliding off the rocks into the current, which looked like fun, but I didn’t want to get all the way in, nor did I want Annie to try.

The lifeguards were dressed in full wet suits and a floatation vest, similar to a SCUBA BCD. There were two on duty at all times, and they used a surf board to patrol the water. While we were there, a lifeguard raced across the river on the surf board to rescue a dog, who got swept away! When he returned, he was muttering about how “people” just don’t realize how swift the current is. It made me even more grateful for the life jackets. I think we will be buying one for Zoe to have with us at all times. I am very relieved that this is the place we chose for our first river-experience. I would never have known.

We had a lot of fun, and we look forward to going there often. The water level will go down in the coming weeks, and it will get warmer. So far, the kids like our location!

         

   

   

Slushie Day Today

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fresh California oranges, lemons, strawberries + ice and a few frozen raspberries …
sweetened with a few drops of stevia ….. mmmmmmmmmmmm

We harvested a few dozen before leaving the park in Orangeland. It is a difficult fruit for me to eat or work with oranges and lemons because citrus juice really hurts my hands. So, when we made juice last week, I made the kids do as much as they would. Today, I was experimenting with the Vitamix, since research showed that I could just peel them and throw the whole thing in to blend. (I peeled them with a knife.) We weren’t really thrilled with the frothy results, so I added berries and ice and made slushies instead of juice.

It may be all we eat today. 🙂

Orange Juice can’t get any fresher!

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Imagine our surprise and joy to find out that we can pick ANY oranges in this park!  Well, any that are in common areas, empty sites, or our own site … that’s fine!  They even let you borrow a fruit-picker to get to the high ones!

The kids and I walked around the park for half an hour or so, and we collected two bags of fruit.  I wish we had counted them!  We returned to our site to make orange juice:

   

We juiced 45 oranges and lemons!  (We decided that orange juice with a little lemon tastes pretty awesome!)

We drank a lot.

We froze some for popsicles.

We juiced another 2 quarts, in the fridge.

Here is the aftermath … let me know if you can read the text …

I love my antique criss cross juicer, but we really need a good strainer for the seeds.  I had one at the house, but I guess I didn’t bring it.  I decided I won’t cry too much if my juicer breaks.  That will just be an excuse to go antique shopping …

Tucson to Orange, Part Tres

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Today, we arrived in California!  The temperature had dropped nearly 20 degrees by 5:00!  ❤  We just drove through a humongous wind farm: San Gorgonio Pass.  I really want to tour a wind farm one of these days.  Too bad we didn’t plan better today …

Now, it is midnight, and it is currently 65 degrees outside!  It is predicted to be in the 70s all week!  Loving this!!  Except that the kids want to go swimming.  I don’t like cold water.  Hope the pool is in the sun tomorrow.

The following pictures show what happens when we arrive at our destination … after dinner, that is …  Tonight we ate at Whole Foods and walked out of there $120 later … sigh.

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And, that is how traveling ends for us.  Hopefully, this blog lives up to “your” expectations!

Tucson to Orange, Part Dos

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Driving days usually start with the kids all immediately bickering about something and claiming to be hungry.  It could be legitimate.  I tend to forget to feed them when I’m trying to remember all the OTHER stuff I need to do.  Plus, I can not understand how they can feed themselves every single day but not on a day when we’re traveling.  They also immediately demand music.  We have recently implemented a 10-minute rule:  no requests or interruptions til we’ve actually been on the road for 10 minutes.  Phil and I really need a few minutes to gather our thoughts and make sure we didn’t forget something … like lowering the tv antenna …  It’s a work in progress!

This slideshow is from yesterday:

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Our very first RV trip, in 2009 was a challenge because we had never done it before.  We struggled to figure out how long we could drive before we had to stop.  On that trip, Zoe was 8 months old, and she defied all of us and wouldn’t sleep enough in the car.  She was, however, just like her sisters and refused to sleep or be happy once the sun set.  Anyway, my point is:  on that trip, we finally figured out that if we drove for 45 minutes, we could stop for 10 minutes, and everyone was happy.  Any longer in the car resulted in a LONGER break, and nobody was happy.  We did drive for longer, if Zoe was asleep, but that was totally unpredictable.  We did a lot of running around in rest stops.  🙂  Our next big trip was in 2011, when we drove to Calgary.  We didn’t do much better.  Everyone got really cranky when we tried to drive too long, and Zoe still wasn’t happy riding at night.  We depended on electronic gadgets a LOT on that trip (iPod, iPad, DVD).  The trip to Florida was more relaxed, but we still needed those gadgets …

Well, we haven’t used any of those gadgets on this trip!  Our new truck has everything except a DVD player.  I think that it is a slippery slope:  if you have a DVD player, everything else is needed.  The kids only have cameras now.  (They keep forgetting their iPods.)  I have been using the MacAir for the last two days, and they haven’t even really been begging for that.  We do have Sirius radio, and that is always on.  Road trips are impossible without music.  Now, if they would only let me have MY music occasionally.

So, yesterday, we drove across Arizona.  We stopped twice in 4 1/2 hours.  Today, we drove another 4 hours, with one stop!  Wow!  I never would have thought that was possible.  Today, however, we bribed the kids differently:  we surprised them with spending money when we stopped at a gas station.  Told them they could buy whatever they wanted … ok, I’m a mean mom – I told them no candy or cookies.  They are used to that rule, but they were excited by chips and chocolate milk and mom saying “yes”.  I’ll have to try that more often!

The next pictures will be in the next post … revealing what happens when we arrive at our destination.