Friday, February 17, 2017

Flashback Friday: Open Space


open space

Last Sunday, while some people were reliving past years' travels while reveling in Super Bowl hoopla, I took my kids out into the 'hood for a little hike. It's not the same neighborhood canyon that was documented last spring, it's on the other side of the street, aka the hill between valleys. I love that we have such easy access to completely different worlds when we step into the canyon. Every time we go, I scold myself for having stayed away so long. And every time we go, we vow to return soon and often.

It's beautiful out there in the open space.

Welcome to Goober Nation!

Love this body language, a reaction to the buzzing of a nearby bee
My girl is a somewhat reluctant nature lover. She likes the idea of the great outdoors, but she would generally rather sit down than hike, and she scares easily. At one point, I let out a nice, big, healthy outdoor burst of a dainty burp, and shescreamed. She said she thought it was a lion roaring. Ay yi yi, that girl.

My boy blazed the trail nobly

This is Jeffrey.

This is a pretty girl observing a Jeffrey.

We had to cross the river bed in a couple of places, as demonstrated gracefully here

And gingerly here

We heard frogs, but we couldn't spot any

Noble and graceful, but a dork through and through.

He wanted to go in there soooo badly. I promised him that I never, ever would allow it. Too much Stephen King in my formative years.

Coming out of the canyon, it's breathtaking to look back at where you've been

And then mosey right on up to the Middle School.
After our canyon foray, we stopped at a nearby park for a little scooting and sunning.

You can't really see the mountains back there, but it was a positively delicious day - clear, crisp, warm, and beautiful.
Why is my chair empty, you ask? I was enticed away by the fitness course that the kids had discovered!
I suck at pull ups, but my boy is a champ!

I also suck at tricep lunges, but my kids handled them with aplomb

I do not suck at sit ups, but the photos that my girl took of me doing them were unflattering.

Still unflattering, but I didn't want you thinking that I idly observed the fitness course. I love push ups. 

And I love open spaces, especially with my home chickens.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Hybrid dork

So, I got a new car. I'm still getting used to it. I've driven an SUV for more than 15 years, and now I'm in a super low, super sporty hybrid hatchback. I wouldn't say that the car is very "me," but I don't really care when I think about the money I am saving on fuel, the guilt I no longer feel about driving a big-ass car around that gets only 16 miles to the gallon of a substance that is finite and the cause of many of the world's woes, and the fact that I have to go to the dreaded gas station half as often.

I used to fill up weekly for about $45 - $50 each time. Not anymore.

I've turned into quite the eco-driving nerd and am now tracking my mileage and fuel usage. I know, this is boring, but like I said, I'm a dork now, so I'm taking you with me. My average miles per/gallon goes up and down a bit, but is at 45.2 right now, and log results are below:

First fill up at 416 miles
Tuesday 12/20/16 4:30

Next fill up at 847 miles
Wednesday 1/11/17 at 5:45

Next at 1280 miles
Friday 1/27 at 9:15 am

Next: 1744 miles
Just this week, on 2/14 at 7:30 am

Yes, so this means 4 fill-ups in 9.5 weeks for a total of $115.88

Compare that to my prior 9 fill ups for $450 - $505 -- that's crazy, no? That's $289.12 - $334.12 less spent in just 9 weeks. And less dependence on gas/oil.

Why didn't I do this sooner?? 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Niko and Orson

We had a couple of visitors here in New London and in New England over the last few days . . .

. . . Storm Niko . . .

Welcome, Niko. C'mon in.

. . . and Storm Orson.

Actually, Orson, we didn't invite you.
Niko shut the world down and everybody got out there and did their wintery thing:

The cutest snow blower in all the Land.

That's our street. And that's our car down there on the left. See it? Past Patti's house and George's garbage can?

 The poor rig was absolutely buried . . .

. . . and then the plow came.

I thought for sure she'd live safely under there until Spring . . .

. . . but then Mistah sent me photographic proof of his singular, Herculean efforts . . .

. . . which he justly rewarded with luncheon . . .

. . . served by you-know-who . . .

. . . and then we took the bus home. We sat in the back row like Lord and Lady Muck and had ourselves a Time.

But wait. We had another visitor over the weekend, too . . .

Between Niko . . .

. . . and Orson . . . 

. . . we had a warm, welcoming visit from our old friend Full Moonie.