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June, 2010:

Works For Me Wednesday

Do you make deli-style tortilla rollups? I love ’em! Does it continuously unroll when you set it down between bites, like a burrito that you overfilled even though you just put a little of each ingredient in it?

No more of this nonsense! My incredibly useful life-changing tip of the day to save you from this lunch-time disaster:

Spread a little cream cheese on the edge of the tortilla – the inside of the edge that will rest on the outside of the rest of the tortilla when you finish rolling it (clear as mud, eh?) When you roll the tortilla, this cream cheesed edge will stick to the outside of the tortilla, creating  a lovely seal and preventing unsightly unrolling during breaks in consumption.

Go ahead. Try it. Eat a deli-style tortilla with a touch of cream cheese. Your life will never be the same.

Father’s Day Camping Trip

We went on our first camping trip of the summer . . . it wasn’t a typical camping trip for us – we didn’t do any hiking! But we did get a lot of fishing in, searched for a few geocaches, and saw a bunch of stuff we hadn’t seen because we went to a part of Colorado we hadn’t been to in the 14 years we’ve lived here. Our trip started with a flat tire on the Highlander about 2 1/2 hours into our almost 4 hour drive. We were in the Pizza Hut parking lot changing the tire – we unhooked the popup, but didn’t lock the raise wheel in place before Hubby started cranking to get it off the hitch. WHAM! The trailer fell to the ground. Nice. Luckily, one of the kids from Pizza Hut came out and helped us lift up the trailer so we could put the wheel down and lock it this time :-) A couple hours later we had the tire changed, got the flat one fixed, and were on our way. Then we got to see and do all this . . .

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Hartman Rocks Recreation Area. You really need an ATV for this area, but we still had fun driving around in the Highlander. There is a TON of worthless land, so they let the ATVers and bikers use it for fun. It goes on forever! Pretty cool view.

 

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I baked myself on some rocks like a gecko while the kiddos ran down the trail to climb on those way cooler looking rocks down away from parents.

 

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We tried to find some geocaches . . . we couldn’t find this one, but Dude had a blast climbing on all the rocks while we searched! Did you know that a WWII B52 crashed in the mountains near Gunnison, CO? Me neither. We definitely need to go back and hike up to the crash site!

 

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Our campground was in Taylor Canyon. We drove up the canyon to the Reservoir in search of another geocache. This was the view from where the cache was :-)

 

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Further up the road from the reservoir, way up on 4-wheel drive forest service roads, is Mirror Lake. We headed up there to do some fishing. Hubby and the kiddos fished while I hung out and enjoyed the absolute peace, quiet, and beauty of the mountains. That little bit of snow up there continues to melt and create this fun waterfall that ends up in Mirror Lake. I could’ve sat and listened to it forever!

 

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On the way to the great awesome out-of-the-way fishing lake is a tiny “town” called Tin Cup. It’s so cute and little and old and wonderful! Bill works here . . . and I’m pretty sure Bill knows EVERYTHING that goes on in and around Tin Cup :-) I could totally live here – at least part of the year.

 

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This little cabin is for sale in Tin Cup. I LOVE it. And want to buy it. Except it costs $175,000. For 1,000 square feet. And no yard – just the space the cabin and propane tank sit on. And it’s seasonal. When it snows too much to drive up there, you can’t go. I can’t afford that :-(

 

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Did you know there’s a place in CO called Black Canyon? I didn’t. It’s BEAUTIFUL and huge and big and fun. Dude thought it would be fun to “climb” out of the canyon.

 

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 Of course Princess wanted to go on a climbing adventure as well.

 

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This place is like a mini Grand Canyon in our own backyard! And like the Grand Canyon, pictures do not do it justice. You have to actually be there. We drove down the canyon to the water so the kids could work on their Junior Ranger badges. Had we known, we would have arrived at the park way early in the day and hiked down there. OK, I would have – and Hubby would have – the kiddos might’ve been a bit mad about that since it was around 95 degrees out.

 

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The fam near the edge with the canyon in the background. I could’ve stared at it forever!

 

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There’s a nature trail at the end of the south rim road around the canyon. We weren’t up for a long hike – it was hot and getting late and we were tired. But we did find this awesome spot with this great view! Telluride is way out there in those mountains somewhere.

 

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This is what you get when your brand new Junior Rangers take the camera exploring at the campground.

 

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This is what you get when you send the kids out to gather some kindling. Apparently, they thought there would be kindling way at the top of the rocks behind out campsite. Certain death if they had fallen off the edge. At least they got a good shot of the new-to-us popup that we absolutely loved! So much easier than the other one – we downsized and upgraded . . . we love it! The kiddos were bummed our campsite didn’t have a tent pad. They wanted to sleep in the new tent while we slept in the popup. I was glad there wasn’t a tent pad – it made it easy for me to say “no” to the tent sleeping. The first thing the campground host said when we pulled in was that they have a bear, and they’ve seen it quite a few times. It’s just a little guy, but he’s out there wandering around. Um, nope – not gonna leave the kids in the tent alone if there’s a bear cub wandering around eating things :-) And if there’s a popup, I’m not sleeping in the tent.

 

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I’m not sure what my Junior Ranger Princess is doing . . . but she and Dude were gone looking for kindling for a long time! I’m glad they took my camera with them :-)

 

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On our way home, we headed back to Tin Cup to fish in the kids’ fishing pond. There were SO many fish in there – and the water was completely clear. The kiddos didn’t even have to watch their bobbers . . . they would just watch the fish swim to the worm and then set the hook when the fish took a bite :-)

 

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Princess was a riot. She’d drag a worm out of the bait container, play with it, kiss it, put it on her hook, and catch a fish. She had a blast! Too bad we didn’t have anywhere to put the fish for our drive home . . . it was a catch and release day for us.

 

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Teamwork to get the fish off the hook . . . there was no helping allowed by the big people!

 

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After eating lunch at Frenchy’s Cafe right next to the kid pond, we headed home. We drove the unpaved narrow curvy forest service road over Cottonwood Pass . . . which is right on the Continental Divide. There were so many awesome views . . . and if we weren’t totally pooped and needing to get home, we would have gotten out and done some hiking.

We did drive through a number of campgrounds on our way home and mark down our favorite spots. We didn’t get to do nearly as much as we discovered we could do in that area of the state, so we’ll definitely be going back. We had a great time, and the kiddos absolutely loved actually catching fish for a change :-) But next time, we’ll have to get out on the trails a bit more and check out some more of the back country :-)

How about you? Did you have a good Father’s Day?

Twelve

Twelve is . . .

. . . the number of kids I coach on my daughter’s coach pitch baseball team.

. . . the approximate number of balls that bounced right by Princess while she was the catcher.

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. . . the approximate number of balls that rolled by her before she fielded one and threw it to first base when she was playing pitcher.

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. . . the approximate number of inches she just missed catching a pop fly by.

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. . . the approximate number of times she swung at the ball and missed :-(

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. . . the approximate number of times I told her not to run in the dugout when it was her turn to sit out.

. . . the number of minutes she cried uncontrollably after she slipped and her face met the cement wall of the dugout.

. . . the number of minutes it took the doc at the Urgent Care to decide whether he could take care of her or if we needed to go to the ER for a plastic surgeon.

. . . the number of stitches it took to fix up her lip after she hit the wall with her face and bit through her lip.

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. . . the number of times during the stitching that she asked “are you done yet?”

. . . the number of times per day that she has to swish and rinse with salt water.

Princess is doing fine – is limited to very soft food (smoothies, mashed potatoes, etc.) or tiny bit sized food for 7 days so she doesn’t accidentally bit her lip. She got 4 stitches inside her lip, 5 on the outside but inside her mouth to seal it shut, and 3 on the underside of the outside of her chin to close the hole where her teeth went through. Yes, that’s blood on her shirt. Her white baseball pants were pretty much pink . . . in fact, I owe the assistant coach a new glove after she sat on it and dripped blood all over it. Faces bleed . . . a lot.

Fortunately, faces and mouths also heal very well. She gets the 3 outside stitches out on Thursday. The others will dissolve on their own. She didn’t knock out any teeth, miraculously . . . and she didn’t break her nose or smash her glasses, like the other kid we saw at the Urgent Care, wearing a YMCA shirt – ya, he broke his nose that morning when he missed a ball and it hit him in the face.

Her lip is huge the morning after . . . she’s actually smiling in this picture . . . she just can’t really because of her lip.

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Nice road rash on her chin, too. Princess sure got a taste of a natural consequence for this moment of choosing not to listen to me!

Is It Lent Yet?

In the past I’ve given up sugar and swearing for Lent. This past year, I gave up sugar. I should have given up swearing…

In the car listening to the radio – Waking Up in Vegas

Princess: Oh my gawsh! She just said a swear word on the radio! I thought they couldn’t do that?
Me: She didn’t REALLY say the swear word. She just said a word in place of the swear word.
P: In place of what word?
Dude: Oh! I know what word! But I can’t say it because I’d get in a LOT of trouble.
Me: Yes, you would get in a lot of trouble.
P: Oh. NOW I know what word it is, Mommy. It’s like when you say “Are you BEEP kidding me?!”

Yes. She actually said “beep” in place of the word.

Yes. Apparently I have said that terrible nasty word in front of my children in some of my not finest moments.

Yes. I’m giving up swearing . . . now, instead of waiting for Lent.

When I’m Eight

Around the campfire . . .

Princess: I think when I’m 8 I’ll stop calling you Mommy and start calling you Mom.
Me: Why when you’re 8?
P: Because I’ll be old enough to call you Mom then.
Me: But Jason is almost 10 and he still calls me Mommy most of the time.
P: So. I think when I’m 8 I’ll call you Mom.
Me: Dude – why do you still call me Mommy?
Dude: Because I think it will make you sad when I start calling you Mom.

Such a wise young man :-)

It’s Hard To Find The Flavor

I was buying breakfast groceries . . . I was jonesing for eggs, bacon, toast . . . the whole deal. I decided to try to make one healthier step and buy some turkey bacon instead . . . people have told me it’s good, so I thought why not.

Let me tell you something – turkey bacon sucks. It should be illegal to put the word “bacon” in the title.

As Dude said “It’s hard to find the flavor.”

Um ya – unless the flavor you’re looking for is CARDBOARD!

So ya – no more turkey cardboard at the Boedie Abode.

Only honest to goodness pig butt from now on.

Memorial Day Weekend – Day 3 – Absolutely Horrible

On Memorial Day, we packed up and headed back to Grand Lake once again. The previous day, we saw a flyer that said there was a Small Town Memorial Day Parade at 10:00 a.m. . . . what better way to spend Memorial Day than by watching a parade? We also wanted to drive home through Estes Park, and were banking on the fact that Trail Ridge Road would be open.

When we got to Grand Lake, we were surprised that there were cars parked on the road . . . nothing was blocked off for the parade! We parked by the park so the kids could play while we waited for 10:00 to roll around . . . Hubby went to the information booth and asked about the parade. We found out why the street wasn’t blocked off . . . because you can do this:

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How awesome to be able to sit in the back of the car to watch this pass by:

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A huge shout out and thank you to all of our veterans and active military! We watched an awesome small town parade, complete with candy, Smokey Bear, horses, political campaigns, and fire trucks before we took our chance and headed back up Trail Ridge Road to see if it was open. The Ranger said it should open within the hour – YAY! With a little while before it opened, we stopped to take in this:

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A huge herd of elk off in the meadow – apparently they had stuck around for a couple days. Then we ran into the line of cars waiting for the road to open . . . and the kids did this:

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Of course they took the opportunity to run around in the road when Hubby said they could! It didn’t take an hour for the road to open – yay! They’d cleared all the ice and we were off . . . almost literally . . .

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Yes, it really does drop off the edge to absolutely nowhere . . . no there are no guardrails. Yes it sucked when you had to pass an RV or pickup pulling a boat when they didn’t want to stay on their own side of the road. We also go to drive through this:

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Of course it’s neat when you drive through a wall of snow that is taller than your car! Notice that the snow isn’t even close to the top of the plow sticks . . . that’s because the snow has been melting each day in the hot sun, and running down the road, and freezing overnight, creating an ice rink – which is the reason the road is closed part of every day – it’s too slippery until the plows can get out and clear the road of ice. I, for one, thank them. No way I want to drive on icy roads with those huge drop offs!

On our way to Estes Park, we stopped so Princess could enjoy this view:

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Fine – she’s actually watching a marmot. And we didn’t stop for the view – we stopped so Hubby could use the bathroom. But I enjoyed the view! Then we did a little climbing here:

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. . . and here . . .

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. . . so we could get here . . .

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. . . Many Parks Curve . . . the exact location and boulder where Hubby proposed to me on March 18, 1995. Ahhhhhhhhh.

Off to Estes Park for lunch at the always yummylicious Oskar Blues, then we hit the road for the final push home.

All in all, a terrible, horrible, crappy Memorial Day Weekend :-) How about you? Did you have fun?

Got Pollen?

No? I’ve got extra if you really want some!

Every spring, the trees do this . . .

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While I appreciate all those lovely little yellow buds that make my forested yard awesome, I do not appreciate when the warm spring wind blows and those lovely little yellow buds blow polleny pine dust ALL OVER. This is my deck . . .

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The picture doesn’t do it jusice. It’s yellow . . . very yellow. And there’s lots of it. This is what happens when a Princess runs her hand across the railing:

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Raise your hand if you feel the need to sneeze.

Have I ever mentioned that we don’t have air conditioning? Have I mentioned that it’s been 90 degrees this week?

Guess what that means.

Yup – windows must be open or house becomes oven.

Guess what that means.

Yup – the INSIDE of my house looks like my deck.

For 2 weeks every June, I get the privilege of vacuuming and dusting and sweeping and wiping counters and chairs every. single. day. And really, it doesn’t help. The windows are still open and the dog still lays on the deck, comes inside, and shakes pollen all over.

Last year we got lucky and had a nice little hail storm at just the right time to knock all that pretty little pollen out of the trees . . . no dusting every day.

This year – no luck. My poor Dude is allergic to pollen. Nice time of year for him. Claritin is his best friend. I should buy stock.

Poor guy wakes up with the worst red puffy eyes and stuffiness! We’ve kept his window shut for obvious reasons, and I’ve washed his bedding twice this week already . . . he’s still awful in the morning.

Tonight he’s sleeping downstairs in Grandma’s room . . . it’s cool down there so the windows are never open and the door is always shut to keep the puppies and kitties out of there. In theory, it’s pollen-free in there.

I think he’s just excited to sleep in there because he thinks he’ll get to watch TV in bed.

I wonder if he’ll remember that my bedroom is right over Grandma’s bedroom and that I can hear EVERYTHING…

Memorial Day Weekend – Day 2 – A Complete Bust

It only got worse from Day 1 . . . on Day 2, we woke up and headed back to Grand Lake for buffet breakfast at the Fat Cat Cafe – TOTALLY worth it. Yummy! The English couple that runs the place is delightful, and the food (especially the pastries and other desserts) is amazing.

With full tummies, we headed back to the cabin to change and get ready for some geocaching! Lo and Behold, the lure of a gravel road around a large beautiful lake got the best of us. There was a campground? Only 9 miles down that dusty dirt road? Of course we went to check it out!

We were not disappointed. The drive itself was fun, but we were happy as clams when we discovered the campground. Finally, a secluded campground that didn’t have all the trees cut down from the beetle kill. We decided to head up the road a little further to check out a little lake that was supposedly up there . . . we were not disappointed. Always ready, we grabbed our gear out of the Highlander and did this.

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Again, no luck in the actually catching fish department, but it was quiet and rustic and beautiful and the kids were content. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

Back to the cabin, we got our gear to go geocaching! The first one said “there might be a little brush bashing if you take the direct route from the trailhead rather than stay on the trail.” A little brush bashing my ass! THIS was the brush bashing:

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Along with the first successful geocache find of the day, Dude and Princess also found this awesome little “fort” as they called it.

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Back on the trail, we had successful find of geocache #2 beneath a Juniper bush about 100 yards up (and down and around) the trail.

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Back on the trail, Dude started to lead us to geocache #3. After a little while, I made him read me the clue again . . . something about an awesome view of some Peak off to the southeast. Hmmmmmmm . . . if the peak we can see is to the southeast, why are we heading DOWN the trail to the northwest? “Because that’s what the arrow says!” I just have to say that if it weren’t for my logical thinking that maybe, just maybe, the trail that goes up might take a sharp turn, we’d have followed Dude into lala land. The electronics are not foolproof – or 9 year old proof (or 39 year old proof for that matter).

Anyhoo, we had successful geocache #4 find about a mile later.

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For those of you who are not familiar with geocaching, you go online to the geocaching web site, locate geocaches you want to find, and download the coordinates into your GPS. You can also print the clues and decipher them for a little help. Then you head out hiking and follow the arrows and distances on the GPS to get you to the cache. Caches can be of all shapes and sizes . . . they usually have a log book to record your name and the date of the find and also have little trinkets inside to trade. If you take something, you must leave something . . . this, of course, is the most fun of geocaching for the kids – the hike is the fun part for me and Hubby :-) Princess hit the motherlode in this geocache and traded a little marble maze toy for a shiny purply fish necklace.

Then we headed on to geocache #4 . . . which required a drive in the car. Successful find #4 was here:

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Princess got HUGE eyes when she saw a tube of glittery lip gloss in the tin! I put the cabosh on that trade because it didn’t have a safety seal on it – explaining to Princess why she couldn’t have lip gloss without a seal. She was all bummed, but wasn’t willing to give up the fish necklace for anything else in there.

Then we got half way back to the car . . . and Dude decided he didn’t like his trade and wanted to go back – so he and Princess went back while Hubby and I went to the car. The kiddos got back and we were off. Then we realized Princess had taken the lip gloss; so we made her give it to us so we could throw it away. Oh. My. GAWD! Complete tired hungry thirsty 7 year old girl tantrum – right there in the car. We got to the trailhead of geocache #5 and I stayed in the car with Princess while Hubby and Dude went searching . . . it was an easy find. I got out to help them because they found the location, but not the cache. Princess followed me . . . we had successful geocache #5 find for the day, and Dude made the appropriate trades and signed the log.

How fun! 5 for 5 – WOO HOO!

Time for awesome dinner at a little pub in town before heading to a local kids’ fishing pond to try for some more fish. Amazingly, this happened!

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And then this happened!

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Could it be a trout big enough to actually keep and maybe eat? Why yes, yes it is . . . until it falls off the hook back into the lake because Dude didn’t bring it onto shore while I shouted over and over at him to look at me so I could get a picture of the very first big enough to eat fish he’s caught.

No fish for us.

Oh well – s’mores at the cabin were a good consolation prize.

Awesome breakfast, great finds on campgrounds and secluded fishing lakes, successful 5 for 5 day hiking and geocaching, yummy dinner, successful fishing, and s’mores. Yes – Day 2 was definitely a complete bust. Check back to see how terrible our last day – Day 3 – turned out to be!

Wordless Wednesday – Gone Fishin’

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