Row Row Row Your Boat

This summer in Montana, we decided to try rafting down the Yellowstone River. Peter, was so completely opposed to going, it was laughable. He said that the rafters screw up the fishing for any anglers on the river and he did not want to participate in ruining someone’s day fishing. There was also the big question if it was safe enough for Baylor and for her buddy M to go. Wild West Rafting Company assured us that the girls would have a blast. And did they deliver – for everyone! We had such a great time, we went back for two more white water trips and each time we had a ball.

The ONE thing about the rafting that killed me is that you can’t (or shouldn’t) take your camera or even phone. You get soaked while rafting and there’s a chance you could fall in – or jump in and go for a swim in the calm sections. Thankfully, Wild West thought of that and they snap group pictures before your float and then hike down and snap action pictures down the river. Love. Love. Love.

The girls were a little freaked out…

IMG_5420[1]And ten seconds later, they were both up front, begging to “ride the bull” which is sitting on the front of the boat, legs over the bow, holding onto a strap.

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B was also the second over the side of the boat for a (voluntary) swim!

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Our last trip included our niece and nephew, my sister Ali and her mother in law, Vicki. Who was terrified but thankfully was loving it by the first rapid!

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She was so pumped to have an oar

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Don’t let the fact that B was covering her face fool you – she just didn’t want her face wet
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Patio Living

Nine months of the year, our living space grows by several hundred square feet. We have a huge back patio and almost every room in our house has a door to the outside. This time of year they are rarely closed and life seems to just move outdoors. We eat dinner on the patio, play in the grass, pick lettuce to eat and even watch whatever game is on (I learned long ago that in March, there will be either basketball or baseball on our TV. Trying to change it is futile. So I joined) thanks to PW’s handy work converting an old armoire into an outdoor TV home. It was too pretty not to snap a few pictures this weekend.

In about a week, I’m going to have a whole bush full of these little beauties!

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My new kumquat tree

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I love the way lavender smells Рthis one under the kumquot looks distinctly Tuscan

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The ocotillo loved all the rain. It’s finally getting it’s leaves back and it will have blooms in a few weeks

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The prettiest thing in the yard…he was mid sentence when I snapped this one

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Lettuce and herbs

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Sprinkler time already!?

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Reduce, Recycle and Reuse

A few years ago, Peter’s mom and dad gave us two beautiful chimineas straight from Mexico. And literally with in a week, we had broken one of them.

For those not in the know – a chiminea is a little ceramic fireplace for the outdoors.

Well, WE didn’t break it, the umbrella did. If I hadn’t seen what happened with my own eyes, we probably would have never been able to piece the crime scene together. I was on a conference call for work and pacing the house. It was one of those extremely boring calls but one that required me to actually pay attention so pacing kept me from the temptation of Facebook and People.com. As I passed through the living room, I stopped to admire how nice our backyard looked. The plants were green, we had new patio furniture and of course, the chimineas. As I was watching, a small breeze kicked up – and suddenly the umbrella in the new patio table was lifted from its resting place, flipped end over end into the chiminea and landing in the small tree in the corner of the yard. Bam! Just like that, my beautiful utopia was smashed. literally. The chiminea was broken and spilling sand all over the patio, the umbrella broke and arm and more than one delicate branch on the tree was snapped.

Stunned, sad and a little too emotional to trash the broken chiminea, I convinced Peter to help me move it to a spot in the yard where I could turn it into a planter. PW was skeptical and not very supportive, but he can’t say no to my sad face/ nagging so the chiminea found a new home and became a new home for plants.

It dawned on me when I was watering it this week just how pretty the Petunias looked spilling out the front opening and the broken back – and then a little breeze kicked up….Bay and I made sure the umbrellas were all down and then took cover, just in case.