Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We Got Some SNOW!

Its old news by now, but last night we got ALOT of snow - really fast, too. Just in time - the kids were getting BORED!

You can see - we got about 4-5 inches in just a few hours.

Playing in the snow is fun... but playing in the snow at night is BEST!

Here you can see an ambush-in-the-making.

The snow was perfect for a snowman.

After the snowman was done, and our arms tired from throwing snowballs, it was time for SLEDDING!

The dog and little girl rode in the truck with Dad - nice and warm.

Our dog loves being in on the fun, especially when she can be warm and petted.

Our hill isn't quite steep enough for speed, so we tie on the sleds to the back of the pickup. There is speed enough behind there!

Hang on, kids!

You can see they've done this before...

Even when its your turn to ride on the truck it is fun.

After an hour or so up and down the lane, it was time for cocoa!

We put a curtain-rod up above the woodstove and it works great for hanging coats to dry.

Nice and toasty.

This morning was beautiful and quiet outside.

You can see the boat is nice-n-dry in the new boathouse!

The peace and quiet didn't last too long - the kids are up and out.

And soon it was time for more sledding.
Even the little ones got in on the action today.

Here's an action shot.
Not alot to do when driving...

In between runs there was plenty of snow to throw.
Nice shot!
Snow in the Pacific Northwest is always good for packing and playing in. The best part about the snow is that it doesn't last long and will be gone soon!

Meat Treat

We just got our pepperoni's back from the butcher. We had ~80 lbs of our deer meat made into pepperoni... spicy and teriaki.

It turned out FABULOUS!

Steve at "The Meating Place" did a great job. Email if you want the phone number.

A few seconds to warm it in the microwave, and then alot of Beaver's Hot-n-Sweet mustard and you are good to go!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Leftover

Here's a Christmas Leftover that didn't get posted.

One night before the Eve we like to make a bunch of salt-dough ornaments. It is simple and fun.

Even the older kids really get into it.

Besides, the tree is so big we need alot of cheap ornaments to cover it up. And big trees fall down, so if these get busted, we'll make new ones!

Some pretty good designs they did this batch.

Can you recognize any objects from adventures earlier this year?

Vacation Fun - Off on a Family Hike

Here's another secret for a fun vacation, especially here in the Pacific NW - get out and hike!

The weekend turned out beautiful. After cutting the trees, we all loaded up and took a hike along the Columbia River.

Here's one of the old boats moored up.

There are some railroad tracks we hike occasionally with the family. Nice level grade and beautiful scenery.

The trains seldom run this stretch, but we kept a keen eye out!

He said, "Over there - lets go to the water some more!"

"splash splash!"

It is great to get out and walk a while. Lots of junk and bones for the kids to look at and explore, too.

Most of the junk was heavy enough that after carrying around a load of spikes, they were content to dump them again and leave them behind. Whew!

We did leave a small marker behind - not really a buried treasure, but something the kids can get excited to go back and find the next time.

Unless a Hobo discovers it...

On the way back an eagle soared close overhead.

So many places and beautiful things to get out and do... it really adds alot to the kids vacation and gets them out and moving.

That way, if/when it starts to rain again it isn't so bad being cooped up playing the Wii...

Vacation Work - Cutting More Trees

One key we've found to making a great vacation is... WORK!

Too much TV or Wii games make everyone bored and sluggish.

Besides - Dad has alot of projects still to get done... like clearing out those trees in the front yard.

The kids are really good sports about jumping in to get the work done. Very little complaining and we have a great time talking and joking.

Dad is careful not to bite off too much work, too. Only about an hour or so, and not every day. Gets the blood pumping and everyone outside.

The front really looks nice and openned up with the pines gone. We have plans for new trees there in the front - some orange maples to go with the yellow aspen....

But that is for another vacation time. Stay tuned!

Holiday Tradition - The Barbarian Feast!

A great way to build solid memories and fun during the holidays are to have family traditions. This one is a fun one!

We started a few years ago with our Barbarian Feast - no utensils, no manners, just loud and yummy fun.

It took the kids a while to get into it, but now they are truly barbaric.

Mom makes alot of good finger-food. BBQ ribs, fruit, noodles, and bread.

Delicious ribs!

Throw me a roll!

We had pop from the bottle this year, and also grape juice from the bowl.

Most of the pictures posted are of the younger kids - the teenagers get into it but don't want pictures posted!

Cream pie for desert got alittle messy!

Kind of like the shaving cream fight on Thanksgiving, except NO food fights allowed.

And like the true barbarians they are inside, they passed out in their food.

Sort of... there was too many loud noises and giggling to stay asleep long!

The other tradition that follows up on Barbarian Feast is our "Manners" dinner - we wear nice clothes and eat with our best manners. The Feast is only once a year, but it is something to look forward to!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Gifts for Fishing Buddies

Here's a nice gift for the Pacific NW fishing buddies that have it all - they always catch more fish, have better lures, and never seem to loose a fish at the net...

So what to give them? How about a LUCKY BANANA Lure! These are so hot, you can't ever find them in stock at the store!

The legend goes back to the 1500's - banana boats were always unlucky, and any self-respecting salmon fisherman would NEVER allow bananas in his boat! At least NOT willingly...

But that is the secret of the banana lure. They float and dive on command.

We put these together for all of our "luckier-than-me" fishing buddies. We've made extras to hide them in their boat should they 'conveniently' forget to take 'em along!

Pretty cool, huh? Some small eye-screws and siwash hooks are really all it took.

We hesitated posting these pictures before Christmas, because our fishing friends are the only ones (besides Mom) who regularly keep up with this blog!

Sorry to ruin the suprise, Brent - we have one for you, too! Merry Christmas!

Another Bigfoot Siting in the Pacific NorthWest

Ok, now your paying attention. Actually, this is a shameless plug for our local Chainsaw Artist - you've probably seen him at work in Rainier, OR near the Longview Bridge.

He's really busy keeping up with orders - so if you want some cedar work in time for Christmas, better go see him ASAP.

Actually, he is TOO busy - which is why we've been posting about WORK instead of FISHING!

He has started on another lifesize Bigfoot carving, though...

Really a nice piece of wood.

You can see the yearning in his half-finished eyes to dash back up into those fog-banked hills.

It is great fun to watch Robert at work. We took alittle time in between jobs to hang out at the Men's Clubhouse and talk about fishing, chain saws, muddy tires...

Check out more of Robert's stuff at:

Cool stuff. When you try your hand at carving with a chainsaw, you'll really appreciate the work he does even more!

Besides - chainsaw carving is MUCH SAFER than drilling holes in a gutter...

Hanging Gutters

Its been a long weekend of rain... we're trying ot get all our chores done so next week we can get back to fishing!

Hopefully the steelhead fishing is good when the rivers are back in shape.

In the meantime, all the rain is good motivation to get gutters up on the shop's addition for the boat. Here is one gutter up and it is GREAT!

To keep a good slope we dropped about an inch over the 14' length. It doesn't line up with the other gutter very well, but it isn't very noticable and keeps the water flowing.

Assembly was pretty straightforward. We went with the metal instead of vinyl so it would be more durable in case of more snow and ice.

We also drilled holes and rivetted the pieces for added strength.

In the spring we'll seal the seams when the weather is warmer.

The joining pieces are a necessary pain... seamless gutters would have been nice, but we couldn't find someone willing to mess with just a few feet we have.

Plus, they are pretty proud of their seamless gutters.

All in all, they went up smoothly and look very nice...

Except for the drilling... I KNEW I should have been more careful, and ended up punching through the metal and into my finger!

Wow - it happened fast, and went about 1/4" deep. Really didn't hurt much, but felt funny feeling the drillbit twist up the meat inside the finger.

Fortunately it has healed quickly and really no pain. Alot of blood at first, but now it is in great shape.

My jaw didn't lock up, either (yet) so hopefully this is a LOW COST lesson well-learned.

Another Camas Update - Look at the Bulbs

Here are some of the camas bulbs we had in our fridge. You can see all of them - even the rotten and busted ones, are vigorously growing!

We dug these on the 1st of July, and here is where they are.

Here are several of them potted out in the Garden House. We are keeping some indoors (but in the cold), some outdoors, and one pot inside on the windowsill.

All of them are doing well, but outside they aren't doing much.

In on the windowsill the bulbs are GROWING quickly! The growth is solid and green, and has doubled in size in one week.

Maybe we'll get a flower in March?

Christmas on the EDGE

Holy Sugar Comas, batman! Look at what Mom brought home for Christmas!

I thought these things were only make-believe in the Calvin-n-Hobbes cartoon!

Good thing the kids have lots of work to do outside for their vacation...

Cocoa Puffs with Marshmallows - dreams really DO come true!

Auto Repair #25 - Another Window Fix for the Pontiac

It was bound to happen again... back in April, the rear window on the passenger side came off its bracketting and fell down - it wouldn't go back up. And it was raining. We 'fixed' it back in June (Auto Repair #20).

Well... this week the OTHER window slipped and wouldn't go back up. And it has been raining, of course.

Pontiac seems to have a bad reputation for poorly designed automatic windows - it has been a great little car, but things like this make you wonder why GM killed the Pontiac brand?

Oh well - at least it is an easy 'fix'. It took us about 30 minutes to open up the door, remove the motor, install a brace (to keep the window up permanently), and close it all back up.

Refer back to the posting in June for more pictures and details. Nice, easy, and inexpensive 'fix'.

Many people on the internet report having the window fixed for $250 only to have the same problem 1-2 years later. This is a better fix.

Weekend of Work - Cuttin' and Stumpin'

This weekend was rainy and wet - the perfect time to cut trees and remove stumps. We're clearing out some of the big pines in the front yard to open it up. The ground was saturated - standing water in the holes, so it was easy digging.

A come-along between stumps helped lift-n-loosen them.

The stumps came out eventually, so we put down 2 other trees and limbed them.

The kids are out this week for Christmas vacation - being bored is worse than anything, so we have plenty of work to avoid boredom.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Caught Some Antlers!

Its been great fun getting pictures of the deer in the neighborhood. Best shots were by the apple trees.

Most of the apples are gone now!

This doe and her fawn are regulars - pretty common to see them at 6 or 7 pm every night. Every night there are apples down, that is...

They never seemed to notice the camera flash...

We got tired of just doe pictures, so we put some doe-in-heat urine on a rope, and hung it in the tree to see if the bucks we've seen would come to the camera.

Two problems, though - we used an apple to prop up the camera for the best angle... and this doe ATE our apple!


This little dude came in within hours of putting out the urine. He was very interested in that rope!

The second problem was we didn't reload batteries - they died after 1 sequence of photos.

Oh well - we'll be reloading both urine and batteries to hopefully get photos of the BIG buck running around out there. Stay tuned!

It has been fun getting the kids involved with the cameras- usually they can't come along in the woods if we are in a hurry... but it is fun to run over at night and see how many photos we've gotten. One night the total is at 42, the next its at 64!

Good times even with the dark and the rain.