Embrace The Camera

I recently found myself searching through my pictures looking for a shot of me and my Mom and Dad. I wanted something they wouldn't have seen for a while that I could make a birthday card with. I came up empty handed. I had some pictures, but they have been used for similar reasons. Back in my day, we didn't take pictures as much. Our cameras were old and we didn't want to waste film. We never knew if we had a good shot until we had paid for the prints. Now we take pictures like mad and eventually get something good. I'm talking about those of us who know nothing about photography. As in ME!

With this in mind, I took a lot of pictures while my parents were here visiting this summer. I think I drove my dad crazy. I wanted pictures of them with the grandkids. And I got it!

I was teasing my dad because he was "Texting." He wasn't, but he was checking his phone, maybe emailing? When you don't get cell service at your house, you find your guests "plug in" the minute we get into town. I wouldn't know, I don't know how to check messages on my phone, so I don't hardly use it!  But this is what I got. Not exactly Hallmark Card worthy, but we were having fun!

I just found Emily's blog, The Anderson Crew, the other day. She hosts a blog link-up called Embrace the Camera. She says she wanted her kids to have pictures of her. I take lots of what I call, "arms length shots!" Again, for my kids, so they will have all these wonderful memories of me and them. 

So here we are, at the cook out spot. With Mom's silly cop glasses.
And having fun! 


Why Aren't They Swimming?

There's no one in the pool! 

Why aren't you swimming? 

 Oh MY Gosh! 

 Mom saves the day... and the spider! 
(Not that HE needed help, HE can walk on water! 
Trust ME I tried to flush one of these guys before… he swam right back up again!) 

 Now back to working on those freckles...

:) xoxo


Coming To The End

Summer is almost over. School starts this week. On wednesday. We have just two more days. I'm really sad. I told Adventure Man I was sad and he said, "I thought you were looking forward to it?" No, they are looking forward to it. They are ready. They are sick of each other. And yeah, I don't like that they are fighting more and I see the need for a break from each other. But mostly, I love having them here. I miss them when they aren't. I hate that they only get to be here a couple of hours and they usually have homework to fill the last few moments of the day. Then it's off to bed.

With the winter coming, they get home just as the light is changing to shadow and they leave just as the sun hits the mountain. It's not a lot of time. The darkness makes it seem even shorter.

Summer vacation is my time. My time with them. And this summer has been kind of lazy. We haven't gotten everything done that I wanted but we have done a lot of wonderful things. We've had a birthday, we've had lots of people come and see us. Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, cousins. I thought we would take it easy and let them come to us. But feeding all of them was a lot of work! I loved it! After all we are innkeepers, right?

It's been a wonderful summer. And yes, even though there was a lot more Xbox played then I like, we still have made a lot of memories!

Now here's to a new adventure. Jr High (7th grade)! 4th Grade! Music Class for toddlers! I guess I'm ready and excited. But I do miss them when they are gone. After all, they are mine! xo


A Summer Downpour

The wranglers are just work'n in the rain…. 

July 14, 2012

They brought in the guests and now they're putting things up…. 
With smiles on their faces! 


Ni Hao Yall

A Celebration of Each Other!

They did it! They filled the warm fuzzy jar
It helped that I started using it as an incentive to get chores done. 
That helped a lot! Helped ME! 
And the reward was a trip to Big Town to the water park! Woo Hoo!

It also happens to be Adventure Man's Birthday this month and our Anniversary! So we were out celebrating it all! (Might as well get it all done at once, right!)
 It was such a fun day! 
I got to go on the slides with the kiddo's 
due to Adventure Man's spill earlier this month. 
That was hard for him. He likes to play with the kids.

He still got to have some fun. And he was good at sitting with Bunny. 

Until Bunny wanted to take a nap. Which she did… in the pool! 

We had a lot of fun!

And had a lot of snuggles. 
(She loved it, but wouldn't let go of the death hold on my neck!)

So, way to go kids! 
Happy birthday, AM! 
And here's to 17 years of adventures! 


Lost and Found

I found it!
Orangie, My camera!

I mentioned before that I had lost it and now it's found. I'm so happy. Not being able to take pictures on a regular basis was killing me! It was actually Lulu who found it. It was in the side pocket of my swim bag. The bag I carry around to the pool, with spare diapers, crackers, fruit snakes, goggles and things. Do I feel dumb or what!?

I remember going out to the car, the day after we had taken it to Big Town. I remember it was in my hand while I walked into the house because I remember thinking how hot the camera felt and I had the thought that I hoped it didn't hurt it. That was the last thing I remember. But now that we have found it, I think I know what I did. The next day we were having a pool party for my daughter's birthday. I put it in the bag, so I would have it for the party.

It's a waterproof camera and we love getting great underwater shots of the kids as well as awesome dive board shots.

Adventure Man

It also takes really good close-ups and landscape pictures. I've used it with all my wildflower captures.

wild rose hips 

And sunsets. It seems to like orange, just like me. Plus, having an orange camera helps if you loose things often. It's a good bright color that stands out on a cluttered counter top of a dark bag… well, usually!

SO I had it with me ALL THE TIME! Ugh!


The Little Sip Cafe

This is my hopping little cafe that has got my sugar tub running on empty! This was taken this spring, before all the hollyhocks where in bloom. We aren't quite as busy these days.


August ~ Me Myself and I ~ Link Up

Kermit the Frog
It's MMI time again, people! You get to learn more random crap about me! Read it, and learn something!

1) What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

I know I should say, "Start our own business. Our dream would be to have our own place!" But really this is what I would do… 
Learn to play the banjo and the ukulele.

Oh, and learn to do tricks with a bull whip.
Not anything kinky, just for fun, like in the rodeo or something... You know...

Kelly Brook as Indiana Jones 
photo credit: Google
2) If you had only six months left to live, what would you do with the time?

I'd go visit everyone in my family and take my kids on a few fab vacations.

3) If a front page news article was written on you, what would the headline be?

There's A Stranger On The Mountain,
and She's Telling All Our Secrets.
Crazy Mama of Four Didn't Kill Her Kids Today And Instead Baked Some Awesome Cookies!

4) What is your biggest pet peeve?

When my kids ignore me.
Am I really that annoying when I say "Set The Table" 12 times? I'm hungry!
Oh, and when they take my comb out of the shower. I have curly hair.
That is the only place I can comb my hair!
A Room with a View
photo credit: google
It's just not nice to be naked and dripping with conditioner and looking for a stink'n comb!

5) What is your favorite 
chick flick movie?

Hands Down, "A Room With a View"
with Helena Bonham Carter and Julian Sands.
It's just delicious!


Now head on over to the hop, pick up the button and let everyone know more about you!

Thanks for coming 'round! xo


Sunday Afternoon With My Darlings

I've been wanting to take some photos of my kids and last Sunday afternoon was the perfect opportunity. We all headed out to play after lunch and the kids still had most of their Sunday attire on. 
Not all of my kids participated, but 3/4's isn't bad! 

Here are some of my favorites! 

She was standing at the edge of the world, 
taking it all in with her artist's eye. 
She turned to me and I started snapping. 

Having a moment of fun on the pogo swing.

Into everything and always on her way. 
She was escaping the deck and off to the swings. 
She's not big enough to swing solo, 
but she sure thought she was cool when I sat her on it by her big self! 

I've used the Nikon D70, but I must confess, I do not know what I'm doing!

Ni Hao Yall


Bruised and Broken But Not Forgotten

Last week we had no guests. Not a single person in the whole world wanted to come stay at our Ranch. So we closed and let the staff have the week off. That same week was the week my brother and his family were already planning on being here. Lucky for them, they got to sleep in one of the guest cabins!

This also meant that we gave the horses the week off too. They were up the mountain for a few days when we decided we wanted to have our family go horseback riding. There were a few staff members who stayed here, and one of them helped saddle up a pair of horses. Sam, who she's been working with and Ruby for Adventure Man to ride while they wrangled in the rest of them. Now just because Ruby wasn't out to pasture with the rest doesn't mean she wasn't on vacation too. I guess she was enjoying her "staycation" too much, because she made it really clear that she didn't what to go out. So Adventure man got off, ran and got a helmet, and they made her turn some circles. They had her turn some more circles after AM got back on and that's when it happened. At this point they were up the trail a little ways when her saddle slipped and the movement of her hissy fit sent Adventure Man down into the dust. Only he didn't hit dust, he hit a rock. Right in the ribs. He was having a hard time breathing and since he is an EMT himself, he knew he better head down the mountain to get checked out.

We kept our guests here so they could go on their ride once the wrangler got back with the heard, but I loaded up the four young ones and we drove Dad to town. He had 2 different sets of x-rays taken. Once they determined his ribs weren't broke, or cracked than they needed to decide if his lungs were collapsed. He was ordered to come back the next three days to be monitored.

It has been determined that Adventure Man does indeed have Pneumothorax, a collapsed lung. He has been monitored by the best in Little Town. I am extremely confidant in his Doctors. They have told him to take it easy and that he may be in pain for the next 6 - 8 weeks. I told him, "Yeah, Just like having a baby!" Haha! He has a hard time with the taking it easy part. But he'll survive.

And I'm just glad it wasn't any worse. It could have been A LOT worse!

My brother and his family enjoyed the ride immensely and even got to see one of our local Mama bears and her two cubs enjoying the wild berries up the mountain. They were lucky enough to see another Mama and cubs earlier that morning through the spy scope so that put them at six bears in less then 24 hours of being here! Nice!


What. Is. That. SMELL?!

It all started the day my brother and his family were here. I walked into the living room and said, "What is that smell?" They all looked at me as if they had know idea what I was talking about. OK. My brother has 3 boys. Three teenage boys. Maybe that's just their boy smell.

But I wasn't convinced... At All.

These boys are good looking kids and they practices good hygiene. I was pretty sure it wasn't them.

Our living room is the log cabin, a one room home that was once owned by one of our wrangler's grandparents. Whether they lived in it year round or just used it for a hunting or vacation cabin I don't know. Perhaps I should ask! The rest of the house is an addition. And really quite nice for an older home. The only complaint we have is the lack of bathrooms. No wait, we DO have bathrooms, what I mean is we don't have enough. Really we just wish there was a master bathroom.

The next day the smell was stronger. Can you really not smell that? They didn't seem to notice. By this time I knew what it was. It was a mouse. A dead mouse. I know that smell, I have a cat! I started checking the traps. The one behind the wood burning stove was still set. The one under a cabinet was tripped, but had caught the extension cord. I'm guessing that was from yanking the standing fan in front of the screen door too many times.

I had put out more traps just a few nights ago because I had seen a mouse run past the stove at 3 AM when I was up with the baby. He had come out from under the T.V. and had paused when he saw me in the big chair. I had paused too. I don't think it was for the same reason. But maybe it was. Maybe when a mouse sees a human, he gets a shiver down his spine. The hairs on the back of it's little neck stand up. But then again, maybe not.

That night I put out a lot more traps. But the next day I took them all down again because we were having a birthday party and I didn't want to trap party guests. Or gross out any moms. I checked all the corners where I thought there might be a forgotten trap but found nothing. The smell was getting worst. I could hardly stand to be in the room. Adventure Man couldn't smell it! My sister-in-law couldn't smell it. She asked what it smelled like and I told her, "a dead mouse!" No one knew what I was talking about. I tried, for the sake of our guests to not complain. To not say something. What if  I was wrong! What if teenage boys really DID smell like that! Heaven help us all when our girls start dating… when they are 29…

It wasn't until the day after my brother, his wonderful wife and all those great boys left that we found it. Bean bent down to the speaker next to the T.V. Then she come and whispered in my ear that she found the mouse. There was one more trap, in one more corner that I had missed. And it had been there for at least 4 days in a room  without AC in the hot summer heat.

I threw it all away, trap and all. I scrubbed the area, and let is soak to loosen that which was stuck to the floor. That was when Adventure Man walked in and said, "I smell it now!"

Darn Right You Smell It! And I Cleaned It UP!

I am happy to say, that my living room smells much MUCH better. And it wasn't my teenage nephews at all!


Mr. Cottontail Is A Daddy

We have lots of cottontail rabbits. I believe there is a family under the house. We have another family in the barn, and in the shed, and probably in the woods. We see them a lot.
But this little guy was much smaller than the others.

He seemed to be just as interested in the kids as they were in him! 

He was very little!

The pictures aren't very good because I shot them through a screen. I used the Nikon D70 which probably helped me get the focus past the screen so we could see the bunny. I haven't taken very many pictures this week because I have miss placed my other camera. My point and shoot panisonic. That's the camera I use the most. I took the pictures of the wildflowers with it as well as the horseshoes and the hummingbird at sunset.

Ni Hao Yall