Friday, June 10, 2011

SUMMER!! Well, for a second

We didn't get a Spring this year. It was washed away during the month-long rains. Thankfully, they stopped just as the Yellowstone River spilled into every fishing access parking lot, and the Cooney Dam was about to break. Fortunately, it didn't but it will still be awhile before the dogs can go swimming again.

Most of last week produced sunshine and actual summer weather. Unfortunately, this week - after the major storms that blew through on Monday - we had more of the same rain, rain, rain. We had been dealing with a leaky roof in the addition part of the house, but I think even it got bored with the rain so just sort-of stopped. Last weekend was absolutely beautiful, though; two perfect summer days.

I still had housework to do but I didn't want it to interfere with being able to spend some time outside. As my husband likes to call me, I'm a sun baby. My mother is a sun baby too, we're always seeking out the sun and where it is currently directed. When it started to get warm last year, I liked to spend my days outside with a book, a pot of macaroni and cheese, and a gallon of milk while Jacob worked on his cars. And whenever I sat in the sun (with out without food) Zoey would kick me like crazy. I hear babies love to be outside in general, but I'd like to believe she is next in a long line of sun babies.

Jacob is thisclose to having the engine in his Honda rebuilt and ready to go (ok, with some other minor tweaks here and there, I'm sure). And with it being so nice out, I figured it a good opportunity to start from scratch yet again on my garden. The downside is that my tomatoes didn't make it since they had to spend so long in their little containers. And then, ok, they sort of got a tad neglected during that stint of nice weather. Oopsie! Regardless, I missed the optimal time to plant anything. And since I spent most of the day re-doing what I had done a month before, I didn't have time to plant last weekend either. I guess keeping it weed-free will be my foray into gardening.

If this looks a lot like my previous 'before' picture, it's because this is my second 'before' picture; post 4-week monsoon.

What will have to constitute as my 'after' photo for now. Obviously, I grossly underestimated the amount of white picket fence I would need, and it looks rather ridiculous with just that slab. I still may plant the flowers just in case nature is a few weeks behind like me.

That was Sunday. Zoey's naps are pretty all over the place so we can't count on any certain time we have while she's sleeping to do anything. And, of course, we aren't going to deprive her of whatever we might be doing if there is some way she can be involved, so we brought her outside with us. Sun baby to the fullest, the loved every minute! I took her playpen and plopped her under a tree with a large, densely shaded area with a bunch of her toys and let her have at it. She played while I gardened and Jacob worked on his car for a solid 2 hours. She watched every car that went by, stood up and sat down and walked along the edge of her playpen countless number of times, chatted with her toys, and chatted with us. She is always so much fun to have around.

 Just loving being outside.

 Loving watching the cars go by.

(That's the driveway, not the street corner, just to be clear)

Such a diva! <3 My little drama queen!

Like I said, that was Sunday. Saturday was just as nice and I wanted to - at least at some point during the weekend - get out of the general vicinity of the house and take in the sights of summer. Jacob is always down for a drive so I suggested we take one when we had the time and since the weather was so nice. After I had cleaned the bathroom, kitchen, and made a dent in the laundry (of which Jacob helped), we packed up every article in the house and were on our way.

 With the sun finally shining, we of course needed our shades!

 Talk to the hand.......No autographs, please.

We didn't really know where to go. We ended up driving around the city for a good hour before Jacob decided to show me the town of Rapelje, MT, where he had started high school, and where his sister had graduated. We take the road there pretty often, using it as a back-woods go-between between Laurel and Billings. As it happened, just two days later, the very almost-tornado that I spoke about before threatened to touch down on the very same road we traveled on. Life is spooky sometimes...

This small farming town in Montana is about as interesting as you might expect. But I'd like to think that city people (such as myself) find country towns to be rather interesting; very Rebbecca of Stoneybrook Farm and what girl didn't want to be her? If nothing else, I find them very Norman Rockwell, especially in the summer.


The K-12 school Jacob attended.

 We stopped a little ways outside of Rapelje for some diaper changin'. And in this family we learn to drive early!

 Then we decided to take the long way to see what Cooney Dam looked like with a week of warmer temperatures and little to no moisture (minus what hung in the air).

 Turns out, it looks about the same. Let's see if I can adequately describe this picture: right in the middle of the picture, the water is spilling over a shore of rocks, then continuing down a hill not far from where the photo ends. If not for whatever that structure is called to divert water under the road instead of over it, the road would have been completely washed out. But it's like the mighty Colorado running under that dirt road. This is Cooney Dam, where we take the dogs swimming. From the very right of the photograph, all the way to the other side is where the beach used to start.

 This is further to the left, the lake that has always been there as part of the damn. From here, turning clockwise to about 3 o'clock is the picture above. Also, the water didn't used to come up this high. Where the grass ends is a huge drop-off, so ordinarily you'd have to walk to the edge of the grass to see this much of the water.

We wound up in Columbus but stayed in town before taking the long way home. The last time we were in Columbus, Itch-kep-pe park was flooded and closed, so we decided to see if it had since reopened as the Yellowstone had gone down considerably. It was, in fact, open and many people were camping, fishing and boating. It was a very nice day to be in the park by the river. There were a lot of bugs, but not as many as there could be since most of them didn't get the memo on our sudden surge of moisture.


The YooHoo Chocolate "drink" - aka Yellowstone River - running through Itch-kep-pe park.

 Enjoying the outdoors with Daddy.

 Exploring the outdoors with Mommy.

 Looking at and picking the flowers. We figured out real quick they were not tasty.

 Mommy and sun baby enjoying the sun.
 Yup, that's about right...


 Blowing dandelion seeds.

Naturally, it went into her mouth first. Something else not so tasty. I guess we learn more than one knew thing a day. She did enjoy them very much, even if they didn't taste very good.

That was like the calm before the storm; literally and figuratively. Tornadoes blew through town, and all throughout our daily routine. But it was just the pre-storm of things to come; new, exciting, and fun things, of course, but crazy-busy nonetheless. Jacob and I will be celebrating our best friends' nuptials; our mutual friend, Matt and Chelsa, and my best friend, Liz's. Irreplaceable memories will be made, but I really wish I could just sit down for awhile! :-)