25 June 2011


when i was a kid there were a few times my mom made us wait until it was 100° outside before we could put on our swimming suits and fill up the mini pool (or run through the sprinklers or get out the slip n' slide). it was most likely a tactic she used to keep us from making a big mess or save herself from dealing with the whole shenanigan but i remember thinking that while it was frustrating, it was legit. this was back when you would "call the temperature," as we would say. yeah, you would dial a 7-digit phone number (from your yellow phone in the kitchen) and get a recorded voice saying, "the temperature is, ninety-seven degrees." we would call over and over getting more and more antsy as the temperature slowly crept higher. the anticipation was excruciating. let's call again! then finally... "the temperature is, one-hundred degrees." wah-hooooo!

here in Reno, after a rather drawn out cold and rainy spring, we've been long awaiting summer. but it's arrived and it's splendid. here's proof:

Tom's improvised bib will soon be all the rage in toddler fashion. keep your eyes peeled.

this week it hit 90° and the inflatable fish pool once again took its place in the back yard. so, keeping in the spirit of things, we check the temp on the computer and when it's 90° (or close enough - i can handle these two small kiddos) we throw on our suits and head for the fishy pool. we'll save the 100-degree days for chillin' at the Truckee river.

20 June 2011

"planting your dreams, watching them grow..."

when i was a working teen i had a great job at Wasatch Shadows plant nursery in Holladay. i loved that job - disliked my dufus of a boss - but loved working around trees, shrubs, flowers, ground covers, perennials, annuals, etc., etc. it was a great job because i was working outside! and when i was helping customers it was because they wanted to buy some plants and they were usually in a chipper mood.

another great thing about that job was that i learned a lot about all kinds of plants. of course i haven't retained all of it but i do remember quite a bit and it has served me well. for example, last week i decided it was time to make some improvements to our front porch area. as you can see it leaves much to me desired.

so i dug up several square feet of encroaching grass and 50 or so rocks that were embedded in the ground. (i think someone had made a path at one point with all those rocks but it was so many rocks. there was even a place where someone buried? their cool rock collection. neat rocks but a pain in neck to dig out.) then using a few of the best rocks from the pile and some other paving stones that were lying around in the back yard, i made a new boundary for the flower bed. and once that was done the fun began... time to pick out plants!

lavender, shasta daisies, salvia, coreopsis, catmint, osteospermum: flowering perennials! visiting the nursery was so much fun. the only let down was that i couldn't find any English daisies. oh, well. perhaps later. i don't think i'm overstepping by saying this is a huge improvement.

now i like to go sit on the porch and just look at the flowers. all i need a cool glass of limeade.

04 June 2011

first camping trip of the season

despite the fact that fickle spring is rubbing off on summer, we got out to Great Basin National Park this week. it was part one of our drive home on highway 50 (a.k.a. The Loneliest Road in America). the problem with driving four hours to a camping spot means it takes four hours for the kids to get their land legs back. but after a few spills and cries, we all rediscovered the joys of camping for another year.

Lehman Cave, one of several in Great Basin, was awesome. it was the first time for Ash, Tom and me in a cave like this. Ash and Tom got a special "Cave Cadet" button afterwards to pin on their jackets. i was only jealous for a couple hours.

our rest-stops on the road home were cool too; desert wild flowers, petroglyphs, and stunning views. i would highly recommend driving highway 50 through central Nevada if you've got a little extra time... "basin, range; basin, range; one mile of height between basin and range."