Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Charlie and the Trains

"Bumpa" found a wonderful train set at the thrift store the other day.  It still had all its pieces and we knew Charlie would love it.

Sure enough, it has become a favorite toy at our house.  According to his parents, it is the first thing out of Charlie's mouth in the morning.  "Go to LaLa's?  Play Trains?"

I LOVE this little engineer.  Toot Toot.  Puff. Puff.  Chug.  Chug.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Our New Home

So this is our new......

-mountain cabin
-beach bungalow
-lake house
-Grand Canyon lodge
-Yellowstone hotel
-Alaskan tourbus
-Redwood Forest treehouse
-Montana motel
-Mt. Rushmore resort

and basic "FUNMOBILE" for the next 40 years!

Want to see inside?

Step right up and come on in!

Up above the cab, there is a bed. 

It folds out of the way when we want it to.

There is a little kitchen.

And a dinette!  (Also makes into a bed.)

A master bedroom. 

And a bathroom.  Complete with shower.

My grandparents had a camper.  And my fondest memories are of spending summers traveling all over the United States with them.  My brother and I would lay up top over the cab and watch the world go by.  Now my husband and I can have the same joy.  (And maybe invite a grandchild along once in a while!)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Blowing Hot Glass

The other day when I took Charlie to the farm, we also went to the art studio at Thanksgiving Point.  There is a special observation room there where you can watch the glassblowers work.

I've seen glass blowing on television before, but I REALLY enjoyed watching it in person.

This was no easy task.  Definitely not an art medium for the weak or faint of heart.

We were all behind a glass window in nice air conditioning.  But these glass blowers were in the hot studio with the fire.

Into the fire, back out again.  Over and over again.  Blowing it a little bigger every time.

He had to keep the hot glass spinning constantly as he worked with it.  This bench is made special to roll the pole back and forth on the arms of it as he works.

When it was to a certain size, he attached a bottom piece.

Then that bottom piece had to be trued up to center.

Without me even realizing it, they then transferred the glass from one pole to another.  So now he is working on it from the opposite side and there is a hole in the top.

They added a lip of orange glass to the top.

Then, without warning, they suddenly flared the glass WIDE open.  

The assistant took a blow torch to it.  And the piece was done.

Soon to become another item for sale in their lovely shop.

Did I mention you can take glass blowing LESSONS here?  (This may be in my future.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Charlie at the Farm

Charlie went to the farm today.  At Thanksgiving Point.  His mamma started law school this week, so he is spending some time with his LaLa and his Great-grandma Larson.  Today was a field trip.  ; )

Charlie loved the cow SO much, he almost climbed in the pen.

The cow was happy to be so loved, and came over for Charlie to pet up close and personal.

"Cow says Moo, La La."

Next up was a pony ride. 

Then on to the Jacob's Sheep.

Then we met another cow.  This one knew Charlie was a cow-lover.

He stuck his head right out gave Charlie cow kisses.

Charlie got to feed him.

Then it was on to the garden area where Charlie found a huge gourd growing way up high on a vine.  It was amazing the vine could hold up something so heavy.

Then on to the duck pond and some more feeding the animals.

 This huge work horse was happy to make friends.

Charlie got to pet and pet on his nose and the horse didn't even mind when Charlie accidentally poked a finger up his nostril.  ; )

These chickens were VERY hungry.  Charlie was happy to oblige them by pushing every stray kernel of wheat through the fence so they could peck at it.

The peacocks were SO enchanting, that Charlie decided to stay a while.

He even made a friend and the two of them discussed the wonders of peacocks together.

Then it was on to pet the angora goat.

And his short-haired friend.

Next door, the llama was getting a little jealous.  So we had a long chat with him.

Not bad for our first field trip!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nature Walk

All the women in my house (daughter, daughter-in-law, and me) went on a nature walk the other day.

Fall is fast approaching, but there was still quite a selection of wild flowers.

People around here call these "sunflowers."  But I've always called them "Black-eyed Susans."  What a lovely showing they put forth.

I believe this little weed is Chicory.  It was brought over from Europe ages ago---as a coffee substitute.  Apparently, the root can be roasted and ground up and has some stimulant effect.  I just remember picking them off the side of the road because they were such a lovely purple.

This butterfly was quite shy.  So I moved in slow. 

Who knew there was such beauty on the edge of a road?

I'm trying to focus on something in the center of this picture--but look at the amazing dead weed formation in the upper left corner.  My camera apparently knew what was worthy of its focus.

But seeing as I was pushing it, my camera agreed to focus on the grasshopper in the end.  Lovely creatures, grasshoppers.  So fancy in their legwear.  But then their legs are their best feature.  ; )