Friday, December 14, 2012

Walking at Wheeler

It's Matt's day off, we slept in until 9 and dinked around the house a while, getting beds stripped and bedding washed, playing with the dogs, running the vacuum and so on.  At noon we headed out with Ben and Chan to check out a spot at Wheeler we noticed last time we were there, but did not have time to explore. 

We parked on 67 just east of the Visitor Center road at the gate to Airport Road, which is a gravel road closed to vehicles but open to walking, wildlife watching and biking.  This is a nice long walk within half an hour of home, we were happy to have discovered it!  There is a second road we will be heading back to check out soon.  It will be nice to have 10 new miles of hiking without the long drive.

 These are all different dandelions, even though it may look like we all had the same plant in our mouths, that's SUPER gross. They are loaded with all kinds of good stuff, we eat them pretty often when we can be reasonably sure they have not been sprayed.

Photo by Matt.
I am not being cheeky, he had me facing the sun.

The road curves around to a second road called Dinsmore Slough Road.  While we walked down it, we saw a man ahead of us go around a curve and when we got there and went around, he was gone!  We made up a long story about him being Denny Dinsmore and a ghost and got ourselves all worked up, it was creepy!

Where's Denny?

He's not in either direction!

No one was home!  We think he was eaten by a raccoon, the back legs were chewed off.  UGH

It's Dinsmore Slough!

Anyway, we walked at a decent pace, stopping here and there to look at things or watch the birds.  The sandhill cranes are out in full force, if you ever get a chance to be close enough to hear them call, do it.  I can't imagine anything more alien, it's eerie to hear.  It sounds like...not birds.  Go listen to some.

We had a great afternoon, got in just over 5 miles in a couple hours, saw about a million cranes.  Chan and I made up horrible songs about all the ways to fall, we skipped and danced and held hands and jumped around, Ben got the hiccups and we tried scaring him, which made him mad and he had a good frump.  He seems to have about 4 modes these days: sulky, sullen, embarrassed and mad.

I have not had much angst from Jake or Chan, they are both so steady.  Ben has long been very volatile and changes moods frequently.  It's usually easier to wait it out instead of trying to get to the root of the problem, but I think that's not the best approach any more.  He needs some help figuring out why he feels the way he does and putting it in perspective.  We are going to work on that more...

After our walk, we went to get groceries and tried to stop for some food on the way in, but everywhere was packed to the rafters, between payday, holiday shopping and general Friday night, we opted to just come on home and make some pasta.

We found some pasta made with carrot and squash, it's pretty good!  A serving size is also half a cup of vegetables, add some chunky sauce and it's painless to get in some extra veggies!  We picked up stuff to make a big salad tomorrow, we are trying to eat more fruits and veggies, so far we have just been putting away the bananas and avocados like mad.

When we got home, Facebook was slammed with the news of the school shootings.  I feel SO lucky to have the kids with me, the whole day we just played and ate weeds and enjoyed the fall sunshine.  It was such a senseless tragedy, the holidays ruined for so many people-a time when those little kids should have been full of giddy greed and sugar plums.  I can't imagine-all those levels of pain the parents will deal with.

I am lucky, lucky, lucky.  I want nothing more than what I have-the freedom to continue homeschooling, to have Matt come home safe every night, to have friends to join us for food and play, to have a new path to explore, our dogs in the yard, a van with a few more years of travels ahead and always to carry in me a hope, a wish, a dream, a plan.  I try so hard not to take any of it for granted, I am grateful for every ordinary day.

About Me

Unschooling mama from the start with 2014, 2016 and 2018 graduation dates. I enjoy camping, reading, swimming, hiking and photography.