At the Sandy Beach


While Cousin Alex was visiting for Camp Aunt Rachel, we visited the sandy beach and brought along YaYa’s friend, an exchange student from Austria.  (A very patient and polite exchange student who clearly can put up with a lot of crazy!).

The girls were off for a stroll along the beach, and the boys buried each other in sand and ran around irritating one another.  However, they seemed to have a lot of fun irritating each other!

They found about twelve ways to bury one another in sand, but my favorite was when Mr. SP dug himself an enormous hole, sat in it and covered himself back up with sand.  Then, after about ten minutes he realized he was stuck.  Really stuck.  He could not get the right leverage to pull himself out no matter what he did.  Because he’d been a little bit of a pill, I decided to just leave him that way for awhile.  Eventually, after about a half hour or so he managed to dig himself back out, but I captured some pretty funny video clips in the mean time.

YaYa’s friend tried swimming in Lake Superior for the first time as well, which was really fun to watch.  It seems my crazy family can inspire almost anyone to be brave enough to fully submerge in the frigid Lake.  We are sad that she is heading back to Austria soon.

Sunday Night at the Beach 2017: Late Night, Slightly Illegal

A week ago, when I picked up Cousin Alex from the cabin, we got back to Duluth a bit after the sun had set.   But I was determined to go to the beach anyway, so we stopped on our way back to the house.  We arrived at the beach at 10:02 p.m. and drove past the sign that said “Park closed at 10:00 p.m.”  So, we were a crew of lawbreakers!  Don’t worry, it was freezing cold because of the east wind, and we literally got out of the car, ran to the rocks, took a couple of pictures and scrambled back to the car to get home.  All of the kidlets involved thought it was pretty crazy!

Scenes from a Day Trip to the Cabin

On Sunday we drove to the cabin to pick up Cousin Alex and bring him to our house for Camp Aunt Rachel, a weeklong extravaganza.  We dropped off The Banana, who went back to North Dakota to help Auntie Dot with the little ones for the week.  We had a great afternoon playing in the water!  

Baby Cousin looks great in Mr. SP’s goggles.

There were approximately 24,537 trips down the slide.  So much fun!  Auntie Dot weeded the waterfront and Mr. SP was recruited for some forced labor raking and hauling.

Grandma and I got some terrific snuggles from Cousin Nathaniel and his blankie when he woke up from an afternoon nap. 

Is there anything more adorable than a baby niece decked out in your fantastic cat eye sunglasses, ready to drive?  I think not.

Gin Mason - June 15, 2017 - 6:18 pm

Elizabeth is getting so big and is so cute. Looks like all had fun. Being with cousins is the best.

First Baseball Game

Mr. Trouble on Feet is so very excited to be playing baseball.  He loves baseball practice.  He loves baseball games.  He spends all his spare time in the yard throwing balls and catching them, and trying to run around the bases he’s set up in the yard as fast as he can.  He knows almost all the rules, and has analyzed what each person in the infield should do when playing their position.

His first game was last week, and the excitement was, well, uncontainable.  At his age they thankfully do not play for outs, and each player gets to bat each inning and run all the way around the bases so that they learn what to do.  They also use a pitching machine when they are at bat.  Mr. TOF loved every second of the game.  He did a great job hitting the ball when he was batting, and he even made an awesome play that earned him a high five from his coach.

Sunday Night at the Beach 2017: Meet a Friend


YaYa’s very good friend from music camp happens to live in Wisconsin (which is pretty crazy since music camp is on the International Border  of North Dakota).  Her family happened to be up the North Shore of Lake Superior for the weekend for a family trip, and on the way back through they stopped to meet up at the rocky beach.  Wahoo!  This was a highly anticipated affair.

The day had been crazily warm, but RIGHT before we left for the beach we had a little thunderstorm at our house (but nothing really at the beach).  The wind shifted and the temperature literally dropped 27 degrees in 21 minutes according to the newspaper the next day.  So, we ended up at the beach ill prepared for cold weather!

That didn’t stop great conversations and a fun time, though.  Since we were running a bit late because I misunderstood something and then we frantically tried to bring in the laundry drying outside ahead of the thundershower, we did not manage to stop at the grocery store to grab some food on our way.  YaYa’s friend’s mom graciously offered my crazy troupe some of their vegetables, humous, crackers, and cookies, and embarrassingly, my children depleted their food stores ridiculously quickly, taking advantage of the fact that I was busy talking and not watching how much they were actually eating.  I felt a little bad about that, but this family was so very nice, and it was really fun to meet them.

YaYa still can’t quite get the sassy pose down.

The siblings bombarded the last couple of frames.

The Banana

She’s one quirky girl, and makes me laugh almost every single day.

It takes a special kid to look over at her parents who are having a wee bit of a tiff about the correct procedure to fold up the sun umbrella on the deck and sing so sweetly and nicely to them, “Be kind, be kind.  It’s only an umbrella!”

And then the next day, Dr. Peds and I were discussing what trees to plant in the front yard.  We lost many trees in the great catastrophic thunderstorm of last summer.  Particularly mourned for were our baby trees which were just starting to look like terrific trees when they were  thunderously smashed by the gigantic pine trees that fell on them.  We are in the process of planing several new trees, and it was my desire to have an oak tree on the front corner where the trio of large pine trees once ascended into the sky.  Dr. Peds was reluctant because oak trees are a bit more slow growing than maples (I really love maples as well, and we are planting several of those, but I also really adore the brilliant late turning oak leaves in the fall).  In particular, Dr. Peds detests stepping on things in the lawn, such as apples, crab apples, and acorns.  So he was pushing hard for not planting the oak tree.  Back and forth we went.

Finally The Banana piped up from the middle seat in the van, “Good grief!  What does it matter!  The tree grows slow.  You’ll practically be dead before the acorns become a problem.”

And guess what?  We planted the oak tree on the front corner!

(Mr. TOF is working hard on his father to get an apple tree planted as well.  No luck yet.)

The Cougar Chase

I only had ONE runner at the Cougar Chase this year!  The Banana unfortunately was plagued by another injury to a tendon-like thing in her ankle and wasn’t able to run the 5K like she had hoped.  Mr. TOF ran the 1K race at a fast and furious pace.  He’s one competitive little person and came in third in his age group.  He’s astoundingly proud of that medal.

Fresh Audio Perspectives

Around here there seems to be some sort of live music making going on most of the day each day.  If I’m not practicing, I’m listening to a kidlet practice or a student play at a lesson.  Because I’m easily overstimulated by lots of sound, when I’m doing something that I need to concentrate on such as writing something or reading something or talking with someone, I almost always elect for the option of silence.  This has meant that over the past few years of raising children, the opportunity to actually listen to music recordings has gone by the wayside.

It’s not that I never get to listen.  I just don’t get to listen very often.  As a result, for the past few years I haven’t purchased many new recordings of music.  I’ve snatched up some recordings at the Annual Used Book Sale at the library, but for the most part, the things that I have purchased have largely been pieces of music that I was specifically studying.

A few months ago YaYa’s English horn had an issue the day of her youth symphony concert where she had a solo in part of a piece being performed.  We had to make an emergency trip to her oboe teacher’s house to repair it (success by the way!).  I don’t normally go in to her oboe lesson, but on this day YaYa asked if I’d come along.  Her oboe teacher is married to a clarinet professor at the university, and the lower level of their house was filled with a huge collection of  classical recorded music.  It made me think about a choir trip about a year ago now to Winnipeg for a concert, when I stayed in the home of one of the members of the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir and that family also had a very extensive collection of classical recorded music in their library.

Of course, these days music collections are not tangibly visible for the most part; they are stored digitally on iPods, phones or computers.  But seeing both collections made me think a bit.  I really do enjoy listening to classical music and  hearing new pieces.  I decided it would be nice to grow my collection a bit, so I decided that every month or so I would give myself permission to purchase a new classical album.  It just makes more sense to purchase classical music by the album, because enormous portions of each album belong together, and I almost always listen to an album consecutively.

To start things off, this month I actually purchased THREE albums to make up for lost time, and I’m happy to report that I have greatly been enjoying them while walking, doing dishes, cleaning, and other non-concentrating tasks.  This month I purchased an album of Arvo Part choral music by the Latvian Radio Choir (one of the world’s very best choirs in my personal opinion), the Enigma Variations by Elgar, and a compilation of music by Samuel Barber.  I have a long list of music that I’ve already picked out to be purchased bit by bit, and I’m really excited.


K i d l e t   B l o g s
F r i e n d   B l o g s
I n t e r e s t i n g   B l o g s