Friday, August 16, 2013


So the Daily Mail ran the story above this morning. The headline is so sweet, isn't it? Soldier writes home to his brother from the front, family unity, love. History = uplifting.

But what's that P.S. say?

"There is plenty of Donna's here the price is a tin of Bully and there is a does [sic] of V.D. generated with each." 

Wha??? Google says "Donna" is slang for Dona, or woman. I think we know what V.D. is.

So history, it turns out, is complicated. Uplifting and lovely at times, but always totally human.

I'd love to know whether the DM published the bottom bit on purpose. There's no reference to it in the article.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Twin Lakes

Sunday hiking. Our new family tradition. This time, we started in a slightly different place (the parking lot by Silver Lake rather than the parking lot at the base of the main chair lift, both at Brighton Ski Resort.).

The trail is relatively steep, with lots of areas where you step from rock to rock. But it's shaded by a lovely canopy of trees and this time of year the aspens quake madly in the wind. So everything has a dynamic feeling, never quite still. The chipmunks and ground squirrels are out in force, too. They need to fatten up for winter and store enough for spring. Based on the rate of acorn-fall, I think the squirrels aren't waiting for nature - they're up in the trees chucking down their dinner.

As usual, Iain hiked holding Charles' hand. On the way down, this is for safety. On the way up, it's encouragement.

Silver Lake, from about a quarter of the way up the trail. Go another 3/4 of a mile and you're at a reservoir called Twin Lake (? I think - it's not entirely clear to me which lake is which up there, and there are a bunch). Pretty, with a wide beach and plenty of room to picnic, it rewarded us for our sweat. The way down wasn't nearly as terrifyingly-horrifying-steep-kill-me-now as I expected, either.

Monday, August 05, 2013


Strolling up along the ski runs at Brighton...

 Reaching the rocky bits near the top of the trail...

Lake Mary, a pretty alpine lake with rocky islands and plenty of spots to sit and feel the sweat cool on your back. When you start to shiver, it's time to go.

We hiked this trail Saturday a week ago and again this Sunday. The second time we took Iain's advice and brought muffins and strawberries for a snack.

Not that a promised snack can stop Iain's complaints. He said his legs were so, so tired. "How tired can they be? They're only 5 years old! Should last another 80 years!" We practice Not-Very-Sympathetic Parenting. It's also Not-Very-Effective.

But despite his terrible fatigue, Iain managed to walk up to the lake. We popped by Dog Lake on the way down, too.

Friday, August 02, 2013


Weather, climate, divine moodiness... I dunno. Gardens are weird. Two years ago we enjoyed a ton of lettuce. This year they all bolted before we enjoyed any tasty salads. Last year, the tomatoes were OUT OF CONTROL. Really.

This year, the tomatoes grow only enough to indicate to me that they can grow. Any more than that would be a waste of energy. Also, they disdain my hopes. It's like a vegetal finger salute. "Lady, I could grow, but I ain't. So there."

Other plants, though. Huh. I've never before grown bush beans but last year's experiment with sugar snap peas made me angry. They just never set very many pods, relative to the space they consumed. So this year I replaced my edible-pod efforts with plain old green beans. Bush beans, suited for the heat of summer. They're doing great! First of all, they're perfect for Square Foot Gardening. The seeds are large enough that you can actually plant just one seed per hole and space them appropriately. So I've got about 20 little plants making me green beans.

Also a success: cucumbers. I bought one or two small plants from a local nursery and so far we've enjoyed 3 cukes plus there are many more to come.

So here's to the total unpredictability of nature. You never know what you'll get.