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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Weekend of Honey, Cousin, Hiking, and Driving

Eddie, the doggies, and I spent the last 4 nights in Gualala and I wish we were still there.  In fact, if it weren't for a cardiologist appointment tomorrow, we might have stayed longer.
We made a quick pit stop at Salt Point State Park.
Eddie had fun blowing dandelion seeds all over the place while the dogs ran around
(and then we got yelled at for not having the dogs on leash...oops).
We arrived on Friday afternoon, to an empty house.  The puppy was in the yard and she was overjoyed to see us--or maybe just Ruby.  My poor girl was terrorized by that rambunctious puppy the entire weekend.  Honestly, the only break Ruby got was at night when all the dogs were sacked out.
Ruby was growling at the puppy for being too close to her on the bed.
Soon everyone else arrived home--Dave, Peggy, and John.  I took Eddie out for a ride on the ATV to see if the excavator was at the shop before making penne pasta for dinner using the load of veggies I'd received in the CSA basket the day before.  John was mystified about eating a meatless meal but we sure did make up for it the rest of the stay.
Apple box?  Eddie box!
Saturday morning Dave and I took Eddie to the beach for the first time ever.  We are the worst parents, I know.  Having lived on the coast for his first three months, we never took him to play in the sand or the waves.  It was windy and sort of cold, but we all had a good time.  The sand wasn't suitable for making big castles and it didn't matter anyway since Eddie kept destroying everything Dave attempted to build anyway.  After about 2 hours we were all exhausted from the cold wind and headed for the grocery store to buy dinner fixings.  Peggy loathes cooking so it's my job when I'm there and she insists on the doing the cleaning up, which is obviously fine with me.  

It is a breath of fresh air to have adults around me, and adults who will eat what I cook.  Normally it's just Eddie and me and he doesn't care about good food or about making pleasant conversation at meals.  Our discussions center around me asking him repeatedly to eat a little more and to sit on his bottom while at the table.  Only about 10% of our conversations include him telling me what he did that day at daycare.  I always make a point of telling him what I did that day and what we're going to do the next day, just so he'll get used to "normal" conversation and hear some new words.  

Anyway, back to the beach:
The boys, with a view of our soon-to-be-home on the cliffs behind them.
My handsome moat-digger.
Wadamus and I were cold toward the end so we buried our legs in the hot sand.
Eddie loved playing house inside these massive drift wood structures people built on the beach.   
There was lots of charred wood scattered around so we made our mark, which blew off in a matter of seconds from the wind.

I had high hopes for Eddie taking a nap after that but he didn't take one.  At least he and Dave had some quiet time on the couch watching shows so I could cook dinner.
I made ginger beef and sapa sui with all those veggies.  I added some ginger to the sapa sui and it was delicious.  John was confused by the glass noodles, saying that he was expecting pasta, not "slippery stuff."
 After Eddie was down for the night, Dave and I headed over to the little apartment at the Sanderson House to replace the broken stove.  Eddie and I purchased the new one on his birthday but it was never installed.  Dave had to convert it to LP, which took about 30 minutes.  Now we just need to replace the hood with the new one I bought and it'll be all ready for guests!
Yuck.  I found this nearly-dead guy on the floor while I was cleaning up all the plastic wrap and cardboard in the apartment. We'd JUST been lying on the floor near it, working on the stove.
Dave says they are all over...I think he didn't tell me about it because he knew it'd freak me out.  
 Sunday morning we had pancakes and then headed over to collect a load of horse manure for the garden.  The people who live at the north end of the runway have 6 horses.  For a while they were scattering the manure around on the field over their fence.  John noticed and said he didn't mind if they put it over the fence, but requested that they put it into a pile so it we could compost it.  This is aweeeeeeeeeeeeesome since the soil is pretty acidic, not very deep, and severely lacking in organic matter--all bad things for the large scale gardening I have in mind when we move up there.
I got to drive the big rig up the runway to collect the poop. 
Papa and Eddie collected the manure to load into the truck.
 I dumped the manure onto a huge bed of partially decomposed redwood shavings.  During every Gualala visit, I plan on using the backhoe to turn the pile so it'll compost nicely.

When we were done with the manure-moving, Mike and Zennie arrived.  Eddie was giddy with excitement at seeing his cousin.  It was so nice to have another adult there so we could take turns watching the kids and getting other stuff done.
Peggy and her youngest boys.
Eddie has mastered Jeep driving and took Zennie on rides every day.
 That afternoon we harvested honey...a pathetic 40 quarts is all.
Papa John manning the electric knife.
I didn't take a picture of dinner that night and it's too bad because it was really good.  We had gnocchi that were boiled, browned in tons of butter, and topped with a creamy pesto-and-sundried-tomato sauce. There was also grilled New York strip steak and salad...but who cares about those when there's pesto gnocci around?
This visit was full of Daddy and Uncle playing.
Cousin bath time!
 Monday morning Mike suggested that we take the kiddos and doggies on a hike in the woods, since these suburban munchkins don't get to do that kind of thing very much.  It was super duper foggy, to the point that I had trouble even finding the old logging road off the runway.
The kids walked/hiked the entire 1.5 hours.  We were super proud of them because it was a lot of work once we entered the woods.
Parts were very steep and slippery with wet leaves.
Our destination was "the big tree," an old growth redwood who presence dictated the logging in this area.  
Eddie and I at the base of the big tree.
 After we saw the big tree, we decided to make a loop instead of going back the way we came.  So we just started hiking "up" the valley until we were out of the woods.  Since we weren't on the old logging roads anymore, it made for quite the adventure (which I loved).  We had to climb over/under downed trees, hop over waterfalls, climb up rocks, etc.

We found this burned out, moss-covered stump, which made for a fun playhouse.
Up, up, up we go!
We stopped at the waterfall to let the doggies get a drink.  Here you can see everyone on the hike except me: Mike, Zennie, Eddie, Tater, Ruby, Zelda, and Puppy.
Mike and Zennie taking a break.
Eventually we emerged from the woods, about 200 yards south of where we entered.  Lucky for us, we were right behind the orchard so we stopped for a snack.
Eddie was double fisting a pear and an apple.
We were all tuckered out, wet, dirty, and cold.  Mike took the kids inside, sans filthy clothing and I bathed each of the dogs in the garage.  Again, I was hopeful that there was a nap in our future, but there was not.

It was nearly lunch time when we got back inside, so after watching some tv and packing up some snacks, we drove out to the logging area to see Dave.
The boys and their munchkins.
Eddie wanted in on the action--the guys were trying to fix a broken something-or-other on the skidder.
We encountered a full logging truck full of redwood logs on the drive in.  While we were there an empty one arrived so the kids got to see the excavator/loader machine lift off the trailer and get it into position to accept the load.  These kids are SPOILED--these machines are featured in so many of Eddie's library books and here, he gets to see them in real life.  Sheesh.
We made yet another trip to the grocery store while we were out.  My goodness we went through so much milk, eggs, and bananas while we were there!

I had planned for us Davis Bowers to leave after lunch on Monday.  But Peggy pleaded with me to stay one more night so the cousins could play together some more.  I'm glad we did because it was really fun for them.  John and Dave were at work and didn't know we'd decided to stay.  We decided to surprise them with a yummy salmon dinner, using up the tail end of the salmon someone had gifted us this summer.  I made herbed mashed potatoes, beets with lemon juice from Peggy's garden, green beans with caramelized onions, and salad.  It was goooooooooood.
Growing up, my mom made fish a lot (snapper, usually). She'd always say this silly poem at dinner: "Fishy, fishy in the brook.  Daddy catch it with a hook.  Mommy fry it in the pan.  Baby eat it like a man."  
The next morning while Dave headed off to work, I packed up the van, washed it, got gas for the return trip, and drove Eddie on the ATV again.  This time we went up to see the horses.  While we were petting the animals, the owner came out to say hello.  I'd never met him before, but since he's the local airplane mechanic, I've seen him flying a lot.  We got to talking about me (someday) getting my pilot's license.  He had some good insights about the resources available in Gualala versus Davis, the time/money it takes, and whatnot.  Also: he has two girls who are the perfect age to baby sit Eddie!  I will have to go meet his girls next time I'm up there--Dave and I would LOVE to go on some dinner dates while we're up there visiting (and his parents don't baby sit).

We departed at noon, making a quick stop at Trink's for bagels and a white mocha to go.  Eddie slept the first two hours of the drive, allowing me to listen to two whole episodes of Radio Lab in peace.  Ahhhh.  This time I listened to Time and Are You My Brain Double?.  

1 comment:

steph.kelley said...

What a lavish post, so full of photos and captions and stories. Your pics are just wonderful, and your words to match. It's a real pleasure to be a "corresponding member" of the Bower family! :D xoxoxoxo to y'all