Thursday, April 15, 2010
We've lived next to Lake Camanche for the last 7 years, but never camped there once. I've tossed the idea around briefly several times, but it always seemed too expensive to pay $32 to camp 5 minutes away from my house. Plus things get pretty ugly in the summer; it's only draw then is fishing, and I don't fish. But this year I picked up a brochure and discovered that the off season rates are only $16 a night, so I was set to complete our first Bucket List adventure.
We camped there for Friday and Saturday nights, and I quickly discovered that camping close to home is like being at home only more work. Usually you're off in the woods somewhere far away from your normal activities. Not so with our lake trip. I made about 6 trips home the first night to get things we forgot, so supper was somewhat delayed. I'd planned a gourmet supper; flame-broiled garlic bread, Spaghettios (OK, not all of it was gourmet), wild green salad picked off the land, and cubed potatoes with carrots and squash baked in the fire.It was a lovely idea, but the wood Caleb had been chopping all week was green, so it took forever to get a fitful fire going. Nothing got done at the same time, and not all of it got done at all! Not to worry, these are the things memories are made of!
The next morning we were up with the sun to hurry home, shower, and get ready for church. None of this lazing around the campsite taking in Nature's peacefulness for us. No, sir!
After church and potluck, we headed up to Daffodil Hill, Number Two to be checked off on the Bucket List. Our church group used to go there every year, but we haven't made it the last, oh, I don't know, 4 or 5 years! It was nice to see everything again. And this year we made it during the peak of blooming; usually we trickled in right at the last when a lot of the flowers were dead already.
After our trip to Daffodil Hill, we returned to camp for a more successful evening of culinary treats. We had roasted veggie hot dogs (how can anyone mess that up?), asparagus and mushrooms roasted in aluminum foil over the fire, and strawberry short cake with fresh camp shortcakes--black on the outside and slightly gooey on the inside. It was delicious!
The next morning we hung around camp for a while, took some Facebook blackmail photos,
then headed off to the lake to play a little before leaving camp for the twentieth and last time! The lake was a 'little' chilly, but John and Caleb splashed around for a bit. Finley and I waded out to our special island, created by rising lake water, where he flushed out a goose nest. We've been back once to look at it since then, and Mamma and Daddy Goose are still on the nest taking good care of the next crop of young'uns. I hope I get to see the babies when they hatch.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Of course, you all know what happened. Tomorrow never came. But now I only have 2(ish) more months until I'm gone forever (or at least until I can wangle a visit). It's do or....regret it a whole bunch . So I have been working on my bucket list; places that are special to me I'd like to visit one more time or ones I've never gone to, but have always intended to see 'someday.' Gas being what it is, I've tried to keep them local, and my finances being what they are, I've tried to keep them cheap!
For the next 2 months I will be profiling my attempts to check off as many places on my list as I can, and I hope you will join me for the ride!
The Bucket List:
Get an ice cream cone at the Big Dipper in Escalon
Get an ice cream cone at the Ice Cream Emporium in Sutter Creek (I'm sensing a theme!)
Tour Preston Castle
Stop at the Jackson scenic over-look
Visit the site of Black Bart's first and last hold-ups
Walk to the bridge over Camanche Lake
Float through Natural Bridges
Camp at Camanche Lake,
Eat at King Tsin in Lodi
Go to Daffodil Hill
Visit Pixie Woods in Stockton
Do lots of photo shoots for people
Ride my bike to my mom's house
Buy pumpkin ravioli from the Italian place in Jackson
Tour the history museum in San Andreas
Stroll through the tourist shops of downtown Jackson and Sutter Creek
Visit the Jackson museum
Make fresh strawberry jam
Raise a litter of caterpillars
Go swimming at Lion's Park in Sutter Creek
Take a trip to the top of Mount Diablo
See Yosemite again
Go camping in the mountains before there are none
One. Last. Trip. To. The. Beach.
Find a way to adequately thank every person who has helped me through the years and so richly blessed my life.
Ok, well that last one's impossible, but it's not going to stop me from trying! I know I won't get them all done, but I'll give it my best shot and see how well I do. It helps that I've cheated a little, because some of them I've already done as of this writing and will post about them later. Hope you enjoy your whirlwind California Appreciation Tour!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
There are people in my life who have accused me of being a relentless optimist. Maybe I’m guilty as charged, but why not? Why look on the dim side of things? You won’t change the reality of your circumstances, but you will make yourself miserable in the mean time. Blech! I like to be happy, and I’m always looking for a reason to be. I really do believe the promise that “all things work together for good to them that love God.” Romans 8:28 That means if something bad happens, I just have to look for the good; it’s always there somewhere.
Now I’m facing this move with a life-long and very determined habit of looking on the bright side. I know there will be a lot of things that will not be the same or, sometimes, even as good as I had them in
First, I ask myself if I can change it. If I can’t change it, I try to put my mind on something positive. That looks like this: “The water in
In this post, I will list a few of the things I know I will miss in
The first thing that springs to mind is trees. Out here in
I know that during the long, white winters of the northern prairie, another thing I will miss is color. Out here, winter is the start of the green season, and wild flowers are coming in by late January, early February. On the prairie, it is predominately white for 4-5 months, with a month or two of brown on either end of that. So I know I will need color and lots of green growing things to keep me from getting the blues. Well, I like house plants, and Walmart has some very cheery paint colors, as my sister learned all too well! You may have to wear sunglasses indoors in my new home, but it will be CHEERFUL.
Another way that
Oh, and about the water. There’s not much I can do about that. I’ve heard rumors of complicated water softening systems and cisterns and such, but for now, I will be buying bottled water. However, as always, there’s a bright side. None of us will develop anemia---lots of iron in the water.
Monday, April 5, 2010
I’ve lived in
Requiem for Amador: