Monday, April 25, 2016

Local Produce

One of the best things about living where we do, is the abundance of fresh food. We are really fortunate to be able to grow vegetables, fruits and herbs nearly all year long. And the Grocery Store near us has an excellent selection of organic, fresh and delicious foods. We could not be more grateful. But one of our favorite people to visit is "Farmer Cliff," an organic farmer who lives just a couple miles from our house. He grows delicious lettuce, squash, tomatoes, and other organics delights and sells them so affordably that I just could not believe it! I found Farmer Cliff by searching, "Organic farms near ____ (my city)." You can try searching, "organic foods, freshly grown foods, etc." and see what you come up with. Many cities now have Farmer's Markets, or you may get lucky enough to find your own Farmer Cliff!
Today when we visited the farm, I was only going to pick up some fresh local honey. But Cliff let the kids visit his new hen houses and insisted that each take home a very fresh egg. They were thrilled! It's amazing that we can live right here in the suburbs and still benefit from farm-fresh produce and wonderful fun on a real farm. We love our town!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bacon- STAT!

Ah bacon....the thing that dreams are made of. Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but I do love my bacon. And so does the rest of my family. In case I haven't mentioned this yet, this crew gets horrifically cranky when hungry. And since we don't really eat packaged meals, preparing a quick breakfast was challenging at first. I found having muffins, pancakes, or banana bread pre-made and brought with us was extremely helpful. But for that real protein punch, having bacon was even better! At first, I used to cook the bacon on our griddle outside the r.v. This works well, but definitely takes time. When beach camping (with electric hook-ups) this is no problem at all. I mean, who wouldn't want to spend time cooking bacon like this?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Sutter's Mill: Coloma, California

After hiking the Monroe Ridge Trail last weekend, we decided to continue to explore the little town of Coloma. Our kids (and we) are fascinated with the Gold Rush era, and it's so interesting to explore the pieces of history that are still standing from that time period. It's like a history book coming to life! The hike spilled us out just a few feet short of the ginormous monument to James Marshall. It was so sunny and hot outside, I had a hard time getting a decent photo, but please bear with me. I still had to try to get a photo of California's first monument. Despite the sun, hopefully you can still get an idea of how impressive the monument was!

Gold Country: Coloma, California

This weekend we decided to take the kids to explore a little bit more "Gold Country" in Northern California. We drove to the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma, California. The drive was beautiful this time of year. We saw rolling green hills speckled with orange poppies and other wildflowers. We are so thankful for all of the rain this winter!

When we arrived in Coloma, we parked at the North Beach parking lot (state park fee was $8). There was ample parking for both cars and RV's. Much of it was shaded. There are also extremely clean restrooms here with flush toilets. Well worth the minimum park fee. A short walk through the shaded park leads you to the visitor center and replica of James W. Marshall's sawmill. We were all excited to see this, and stretched our legs a little while checking out the mill. Pretty impressive!

Monday, April 4, 2016

"Our" Birds are Back!

Last year we were so happy to discover a beautiful looking bird swooping in and out of the little hiding space under our roofline. We kept watching and trying to capture the speedy little guy on film. It was not easy! The only window where the hiding spot was visible for us was from our laundry room upstairs! The crafty birds were building a nest. Finally, I was able to get a photo of the bird, which my friend helped me to identify as an American Kestrel. Here's a picture of the "Daddy" on our house. 

Friday, April 1, 2016


I always thought that as a Mom, I'd be teaching my kids. And some days I am. But many days, I am the one learning from them. My youngest little boy is wild, and crazy, and loving and sweet, and rambunctious and hilarious, and just a handful. When I tried to fit him into the same mold; and teach him the same way as my other kids, it was frustrating to say the least. I think it's fair to say it was frustrating for both of us. Once I realized I had to change things up a bit, both life and the learning process has improved drastically.

So on our hike the other day, when my little ball of energy said to his sisters, "if we wait patiently enough..." it was a lighting bolt moment for me. This kid can definitely be patient and (relatively) quiet. He just needs the right incentive! I need to keep this in mind for the future.

I really love to watch my kids loving and appreciating nature as much as I do. Even little frogs and tadpoles are so exciting. I'm optimistic that they won't lose this enthusiasm for nature, I mean, it's been 40 years and I've still got it!

Between Trips

Jeep-ing around Big Bear

Since Big Bear was only a few hours away, we decided to bring the Jeep along with our  RV. This way we'd be able to try out some of the ...