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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Last year, while I was gone to Gabe's party, we had a huge ice storm up here.  This year, I came home to an early spring.  All the trees are in bloom already.

I always look forward to and love the chartreuse green color of the new willow leaves. It is even better with the blue of the lake as a backdrop.

The beaver has left his mark.  It made me think he is counting off the days of quiet in the park before the summer crowds march in.

Such hard news for my friend Bonnie.  She had to say goodbye to her husband after months of caring for him with cancer.  So bittersweet, letting him be released from the cancer and now in heaven waiting for her, but wanting to keep him here too.  She and I spent a day together last week taking photos of a falls we have not been to before.  Shepherd's Dell.  

The last day of February was Jessi's birthday.  She still tells me how much she wishes I would have picked the 29th to be her birthday.  I was able to pick the date, since it was a cesarean, and I gave it a lot of thought, really, I did.  I decided that I didn't want to have a leap year birthday for her.  I wanted her to have a real day every year.  Oh well, I picked the wrong one.   I can not believe that my youngest is now 35!!!  Like really, isn't that how old I am?  I can't say it enough how fast the years seem to be going by!  

Before we left the LA area, we made sure and spent a few days with Uncle Jimmy.  He is a great host and we always enjoy our time with him.  Every Thursday morning, there is a farmer's market in the town park, I bought myself a bag of mandarin oranges.  They were so good.  I sure wish we could get them fresh from the trees up here!
Gabe turned 5! 
 He is growing up so fast.  This year he had a space themed party, complete with his very own spacesuit.  But the suit that he liked better was his little scientist outfit he received as a gift from his Grandpa and Grandma Kappe.  As soon as he finished unwrapping his gifts, he was off to the kitchen to do his first experiment.  

Since Jessi is on maternity leave, she and Ariel decided to make the most of it and traveled to LA to celebrate Gabe's birthday with everyone.  It is so fun to watch the kids get to know each other.  

Lina is 2 months old already!  

While Gabe was in the kitchen doing his first experiment with Josiah, making a volcano...Arianna was figuring out all about the magnifying glass that was part of the scientist kit.  This shot of her checking out Lina makes me laugh every time I see it.

I am so proud of this boy!  I can not believe it when I see his name on a Book!  Can this really be the same little guy who hated school, who hated homework, who had trouble reading until we realized he was having trouble tracking.  Once he gained control of his eyes, he took off reading, but he still didn't like school.  Ends up, he stayed in school longer than the other two.  He has a PhD. .Ends up he now has his name on articles.  Articles that are so complex, that I can't understand all he is saying.  But there are plenty who do and that is what matters.  

We headed to LA for Gabe's birthday via Reno.  On the way, I saw my first wild swans.  Trumpet swans, a whole bunch of them, right along the road.  Of course I had John stop so I could take photos.  
And, in usual fashion, I walked to the lake by the Peppermill while they had fun inside, I visited my swan and other water fowl.  The little heron above finally had to stare me down, probably was trying to figure out what I was doing.

I had never noticed the feet on the coot until this time.  Pretty strange, huh?
I like the way the tail on these seagulls looked like they were crossing their fingers.

The swan was still there.  This time he was really in the mood to pose for photos.  Maybe he was just looking for food, but he kept close to the edge and had my camera a clicking!  I could post a zillion photos of him, but narrowed it down to these three. (I really don't know if he is a he or a she)

Here are a few shots I took from the truck as we coasted on down to LA.  Not that great of focus, but what can I expect while moving 70 mph?  The hills were so gorgeous with the yellow flowers in bloom on the fresh green grass.  Then came the flowering trees, I am pretty sure these were almond trees.  

I actually took this one on the way back home going through the Shasta area, but I will post it here with the other drive-by shots.  

February started out with a retirement party for Cyndi and Dan. She sold the print shop and he put in his notice at his work. They celebrated with an island theme since that is their favorite type of vacation.    I took home a flower arrangement that fit in just perfect for Valentine's.