Friday, August 31, 2012


The Plum Thief...

                                                                       P.T. for short...

...or Petey.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Racing to School

You know you live in a bike-crazy town when the start of school is postponed a day because the US Pro Cycling Challenge is in town. Their 2012 race began here on Monday the 20th, and everything else pretty much stopped.

But on Tuesday, our 6th and 5th graders packed their school supplies, got up early and told me to "Chop! Chop!" so they wouldn't be late.

On Friday, Acacia informed me that there were only 40 more weeks left in the school year.

Lawd Ha' Mercy!!

The race coming through  Durango, seen here at J-Bo's corner.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

This is War

When I heard part of the rock wall tumble down the stairs Friday night, my first thought was, "Oh no you don't, Bear... Those plums are MINE!" I didn't exactly go outside and tell him that. I actually first had a heart attack. Looking up and seeing a bear is always a bit disconcerting. Then, with my heart pounding in my throat, I locked the doors because the bears around here can open them. As a matter of fact, Ilona's neighbor had one in the house the other day. The bear opened the garage door - from the bottom! - came into the house, opened the fridge and helped himself. I kid you not.

Thing is, Cayenne and I had already transformed all those gorgeous Reine Claude plums into jam and tarts and sorbet... in our minds, at least. The tree was so laden after our warm frost-free spring the branches were bowing to us. 

Saturday morning revealed that he had enjoyed some of our plums, and judging by the pits in the massive pile-o-poop he left for us, this hadn't been his first trip. Apparently, he'd also visited our apple tree and many of the acorn scrub oaks. 

So the girls and I picked about one hundred of the ripest plums that evening, hoping he'd leave the tree alone in favour of a different tree with riper fruit. We also sent a Diarrhea Curse his way: "You will pay for this sacrilege with the squirts!!"

He broke a couple of small branches that first night.

(We'll save the wall for Nick...)

This morning had more surprises for us. Our harvest-of-the-ripest did not work, and seems to have brought out the beast in him. He destroyed a third of the tree. Branches lay twisted and broken at her feet, my Reine standing nobly with open wounds.

But it seems our curse worked.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


If I were to ask Nicolas to describe the perfect vacation, there would be lots of altitude in the response and not a whole lot of, say, floating along a quiet river and socializing. But that's exactly what we spent last weekend doing with two other families and it was a blast.

Kicked-up silt made the San Juan river soupy

I wonder if the artists were arrested for vandalism...

Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings (600-1300AD) along the river

Sunset at our campsite (Jen in the boat gathering ingredients for a delicious dinner).
Notice the piglets in the mud trough in the background...

Annelise and Acacia greeting the day on the paddle board

Nicolas floating in a vat of cafe au lait

Leland and Cayenne enjoying the peace (away from their sisters!)

Seven Little Pigs

A family of bighorn sheep, some of many we saw along the way

Gregg, the Pied Piper, making the kids laugh after a freak thunderous storm sketched them out

Best time of day!

Annelise and Acacia piloting as Cayenne sits on the front, directing traffic

We saw loads of beautiful wildlife. This Blue Heron followed us for a while...

Lunchtimes weren't lunchtimes without a jumping rock!

Much easier travelling against the current when Dad's pulling you!

We're in Namibia! Check out the Herero woman watching over us.

The locals call it Mexican Hat, but really, it's a Herero woman.

The end of a very fun long weekend. Mexican food on the way home
was the perfect final touch!