Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Mushroom Hunting Club


















For over two years I have wanted to join the local Mycological Society and go with them on their mushroom hunting forays.It seemed like every time they were having a field trip I was either in labor, or had a newborn, or we were travelling, or something else was happening that prevented me from going. But this summer, we were home, I'm not pregnant and my baby is a happy, portable 7 month old. 

So...Early Saturday morning I got up and headed out with Violet to my first meeting with a local Mycological Society. We drove for a bit over two hours in the pouring rain to the meeting spot in a state park, thankfully the rain stopped just as we arrived. I put Violet in the backpack grabbed my basket and headed into the woods. We walked and collected mushrooms for a few hours, and the rain held off until we were making our way back into the picnic shelter where we were going to meet. At which point it began to pour on us! Violet had fallen asleep in her pack, but I had thought to bring a small umbrella with me just in case, so I popped it open and she actually slept through the entire storm! A while later everyone met up again at the shelter to compare and identify our finds. I had so much fun! It's not often I get a chance to go out exploring with other people (besides my immediate family) and learn so much in such a short time. First, all of the mushrooms were laid out on tables separating them into gilled and un-gilled varieties. And from there the experts set to work identifying them and labeling each species. One of the things I learned is that some of our very most abundant mushrooms in our own woods at home are some of the very deadliest! I learned to "positively" identify several edibles...but the thought of feeding mushrooms to my children that I collect myself without one of those handy experts to verify that they are indeed one of the choice edible varieties, still makes me nervous enough not to try it just yet... I think I'll study for a while longer before I feel very confident harvesting and eating my own mushrooms!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Crawling~ For your viewing pleasure

May I present a one minute video of Violet, now 7 months old, being chubby and adorable and very loud. She started sitting up on her own and crawling nearly a month ago.



Monday, June 23, 2014

The traveling spectacle






































Last week we took off for a vacation to the beach. My parents invited us to stay with them in a beach house in Ormond Beach, Florida along with my brother. We had a great time.

The drive down felt like it was never going to end. We were stuck on the interstate 5 times in traffic that was standing still for hours. Someone gave Emmett a sippy cup full of juice before we left the house, and it leaked all over his car seat as soon as he got in the car, leaving him with a sticky wet butt the rest of the trip. I put a towel under him, but he kept pulling it out and preferred to sit in the damp car-seat. Two bottles of water were spilled in the van, three separate "I have to go to the bathroom now!" stops, and three leaning over the baby's car seat to nurse- causing bruised rib cage episodes and that was just before lunch on our way down. Finally we decided that we needed a break, and Violet was insisting that she be let out of her car seat, so I asked Rodrigo to stop on the next exit and we would go in somewhere and eat lunch, and let everyone stretch for a few minutes.

Well, the only place on that next exit was a Huddle House (a mediocre breakfast all day kind of place, I'm really not a breakfast fan, I eat it because I have to, and somehow restaurant breakfasts always seem gross to me, Rodrigo and the kids do not share my opinion!) so we went there. They only had small booths so we got two booths back to back. The big boys sat at one, and we sat with the little ones at the other. Matthew promptly knocked over his giant glass of root beer, the waitress was really nice about it and after she helped him clean it up she brought him another one this time in a styrofoam glass with a lid. Logan somehow managed to pick up the styrofoam glass and stuck his thumb through it and spilled the entire contents of that glass across the table. Back came the waitress, still smiling, to help them clean up the table and bring a new drink, yet again. And while we were being slightly mortified at our big kids antics, Rodrigo who was holding Violet, failed to notice that she was reaching for his glass...yep. She spilled his very full glass all over our table. I didn't even want to look at the waitress by this point. I felt so sorry for her. Her smile was still there, but by this point it was kind of like one of those weird stiff smiles you have in your driver's license picture. It was really kind of funny in a sad sort of way. The restaurant was full of truck drivers and they were all watching us instead of whatever that was blaring on the TV hung over the lunch counter. We ate and left as fast as we could. Rodrigo left her a very good tip in apology for the multiple messes... Oh and we promised to never ever go back to that Huddle House in central Georgia again! Poor lady.

We did eventually arrive at the beach house. My parents and brother were already there waiting for us. Mom had cooked dinner and we happily piled out of the van and went inside to eat. After dinner we took the kids down to the beach to play for a few minutes as the sun was setting. Then my brother and Rodrigo started talking about how shark attacks are more common at dusk, and with the county we were staying in being known as the shark bite capital of the USA, I made the kids get back out of the water until daylight!

My dad rented Logan a surf board for the week, and he spent just about every minute we were at the beach surfing. He said the waves were pretty much too small the entire time, but he still managed to stand up and ride quite a few of them. Everyone else was given a chance to surf as well. Emmett fell of the board and into the (very shallow) waves the minute his daddy let go of the board, he wasn't that impressed with the idea after that.

We spent every morning at the beach and went back to the house for lunch and to lay the babies down for a nap. We rested and played board games and ate simple yummy food. In the evenings we went back down to the beach to walk or play in the water again. We went to Ponce de Leon Lighthouse, and to the Ponce inlet a couple of times to explore the tide pools and take pictures there in the afternoon.

It was wonderful. We played together and relaxed the whole time. We all enjoyed each others company and we all had fun!

We got home late Saturday night. Thankfully it was a much quicker, much less eventful trip than the one we had on the way to the beach! I can honestly say that as a grown up, I adore vacations. But I think my very favorite part is when I get to crawl into my own sweet bed that first night home at the end of a trip!


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