Month: June 2016

The NW Brewfest

I usually get roped into child-watching and table-protecting for this annual event, which is fine, because the kids are fun and interesting people usually occupy or borrow the table and my peeps bring me Really Good Food. It was raining yesterday and we didn’t have a large number of entertainment toys for the littles until Mom succumbed to the annual bubble-blowing automaton (a tradition, now), the breakage of which Dad eagerly awaits so he can go all Office Space on them.

They had not broken yet when these were taken.










They’re menaces, no way around it. It’s a miracle the people at the table downwind of us didn’t come over and pull all our arms and legs off.

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… and still more pix!

The following day’s activities were a lot less strenuous than Lake Day. In fact, I think all we (grown-ups, anyway) did was sit around.


Even the little ones played fairly quietly, in between having Unhappy Periods due to severe and ongoing sleep deprivation. Poor dears! Very early the morning after, the Snaotheus bunch left, and things rapidly became nonsequential for me from there.


Playing with Miss J in her room resulted in what her mom called “animal suffocation,” and she was close to right. I think it was that evening that


the neighbors’ pig (and this is not a rural area!) got out and came over to munch on some juicy green grass, and later


Miss J danced all around the room with her dad, which is remarkable considering he’s of the prevalent Modern Man’s Opinion on Dancing: no way! By this time, Miss J was complaining that her teeth hurt and none of us could figure out what she meant. The teenager was sleeping after the tonsillectomy and pretty much stayed hidden for the next several days. But still…



There’s always something to entertain me about the things you can find in the Northern Plains (and for all I know, here, too; I just haven’t looked!).

It turned out that poor Miss J came down with a massive attack of what in a big person would have been a simple cold sore, but in a little one was a mouthful of misery and days and days of fever and unhappiness (herpetic gingivostomatitis). A doctor visit, urgent care visit, and finally full-blown ER visit ensued, and several days later we went to “look” at puppies in an attempt to cheer up both Teenager and Toddler (as well as Mom, of course!).




This—wee Remy—was the result. He stole Mom’s heart in about half a second, reminded her of her dear old former friend of 19 years’ longevity, and simply had to come home with us. He entertained Miss J a little bit


for a while, and through a few lessons on How to Play with a Puppy. This Puppy… I gotta tellya, he’s an elefunk. The rescue group (he’s a genuine Reservation Dog) estimated him at about eight weeks. His paws are roughly two inches in diameter and his leg bones about the same. He is not going to be any wee delicate Spike, that’s for sure. He is hilarious, though; he falls asleep while playing, in his food bowl, wherever, and loves the cool wooden floor.

Miss J had some “magic mouthwash” that did wonders to numb the extremely painful and prolific lesions in her mouth and throat, but it was awfully difficult to get her to take any of it. I’m guessing it hurt so badly just to open her mouth that she was afraid to do that, even though the numbing was pretty close to instant. We all got frustrated about it, and probably Miss J most of all. During one of the numbed moments,


her laughter was more infectious than her germs, and her laugh is a delight to hear: full, rich, involving her whole body. If you look closely, you can see the swelling in her gums, the lesions on her lip, and a few of the lesions on her tongue. Ouch, ouch, ouch!

Before you knew it, it was time for me to come home, so I did. Assessed the damage to my house, reminded my dog who I was since the dog sitter spoiled her rotten, and got busy processing photos to share.

I had an absolutely wonderful time with both bunches. There are no people on earth I’d rather spend time with than my kids and their families. They’re just plain terrific.

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… pix …

And the next day we went to the lake. This is the kind of lake whose beaches disappear when the water’s high, which it was, and the kind of lake the brothers grew up on. Bassmaster patiently hooked up the boat and…


drove us all out there while


Miss J amused herself by coloring in pictures I drew for her (in this case, Spike, if the brilliant artwork doesn’t show that) and


discovering my omnipresent fan, which was a new technology for her. She did pretty well opening and closing it… and opening and closing… and opening and closing… and… yeah. 😉


All the teeny beaches were filled with people so we had a fairly lengthy trip around the water looking for a possible space with some shade. This bull snake (still looks like a rat snake to me, but Bassmaster’s the expert and he said bull snake) was on his way to land and swimming strongly, despite being more than halfway across the lake and presumably coming from the other side. Pretty boy. Or girl; who can tell?

Eventually we found a spot and unloaded, at which point it was obviously time for


FOOD! That had to come before Chilkat and Chilkoot could discover the water.


Miss J was an old hand at it, having spent most of her summer weekends at the lake (as did her dad and his brothers throughout their growing-up years).


The spot I found that had some shade turned out to be a cottonwood tree stuffed with the fluffy seeds that give it its name, and which give both KrisDi and me Great and Amazing Sneezes. So I moved.

Chilkat wasted no time in starting to build Sand Things, even though her brother


didn’t seem all that sure about this whole “uncontained water” business. It wasn’t long, though, before


he and his sister both


were enjoying the patoots out of cool water on a hot, hot day (it hit 100° or better).


Meanwhile, Bassmaster gave Miss J a bit of a swimming lesson.

Those kids were utterly exhausted on the way home and despite struggling not to nod off, I think most of them did. They needed it!

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Having just returned from a visit that involved Sons 1 (Bassmaster) and 2 (Snaotheus) plus both families, and a huge wodge of fun, I have dutifully spent much time distilling the photos therefrom, which oddly do not include as many as I thought of The Cousins playing together. I suspect I was having too much fun watching them play. Or they were moving too fast for my still non-functional back to keep up. I really wish I’d gotten some of them running round and round the trampoline in Son1’s back yard!


Snaotheus (#2) is always a good sport about making silly faces for photos. Since he, KrisDi and the kids had driven from Denver the day before, the exhaustion wasn’t too hard to fake, I suspect.


It seems to be a family tradition that whenever two or more brothers are in the same general space, Experimentation will occur. Sometimes that involves fire. Sometimes not. Sometimes things blow up. Here, they were discussing it.

This time Experimentation was fairly tame. It involved the Bassmaster frying in a new deep fryer everything he could think of. Things like battered cauliflower, walleye (deLISHus), a blueberry (it jetted all around the container), a refried doughnut (not too successful), a tiny blueberry muffin (pretty good), and a seeded habanero pepper (reportedly good; I didn’t try it). This one was, I think, a strawberry, and it must’ve been OK, because…


…some of it was offered to KrisDi (DIL#2), who’s generally the acknowledged cooking expert in the outfit. The next day Indian tacos were on the menu, so the things that got fried got wrapped up in dough first.

Later, Mrs. Bassmaster (DIL1) and daughter J worked on putting the newly arrived birthday puzzle together and then


Mom swung J through her legs, to a great deal of raucous laughter. After a busy day playing on the trampoline with water spraying up from below,


everybody had a popsicle to help recover.


And I caught Duck sneaking a drink of water out of one of the fountains outside. Duck has gone from being a scattery, scratchy kitten to an imperturbable adult.

The teenaged cousin spent most of the day hiding in her room. I can’t say as I blame her. 😉

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