Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lincoln Park Adventures

So, we hit Lincoln Park Zoo & Conservatory the other day. One of the few days this week it hasn't been horribly hot & humid.



I now have to share my camera with my 2 daughters - 13 & 10. (note to self - better cameras for them for Christmas)


Visitors to the zoo - no, that's not me. :o) The Miss America contestants were parading around the zoo, as were the Teen Miss America. Not zoo attire what-so-ever. Heels, dresses and lots of makeup? That's not how we do the zoo!


Parting shot - a bear. We're headed up to Canada in a few weeks. Bear country. We'll be staying on an island, the only way across is by boat. Extreme camping. Hope we don't see any of this guys family up close.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Adventures in the city!

We're actually leaving the house today. With temperatures being in the dangerous territory, we've been reluctant to leave the comfort of air conditioning.

We're headed to Lincoln Park Zoo today and the conservatory.

Summer is running out on us.

Going to enjoy what we have left.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Projects

I've had this picnic table for years. We weren't even using it anymore since the wood was rotting. My husband used it for cutting wood - it became a work table. It was such an eye sore to me. I wanted that thing gone! Hubby didn't have the time to tear it down. (He's busy remodeling our 2nd floor) So, I took matters into my own hands!


Almost done!
Finished! The hubby binded it all up for the garbage man and the table is now gone! Feels good to have that project done. My next job is to sand and re-paint an iron bench that a neighbor gave me. I think we're getting the paint tonight. But no painting will be done for awhile with these temperatures! 115 degrees with the heat index. No way!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Let's play

Name these plants. This one seemed to have sprung up overnight. (Or I just haven't been paying that much attention to that side of the garden.)


Any idea what it could be. I think it's very pretty.



Different angle. Is it a good plant or do I need to yank it?

Here's another. It gets to be about 7' tall with the plumes that hold millions of tiny seeds. They sprout up everywhere, I yank them where I don't want them. It's very pretty. Any idea what it is? Would be great if it were edible.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Garden tour

My daughters lavender
Side yard - I forget what this is called. Snow on the mountains?
My tiny little pond. Birds & bunnies sure do like it.
My over grown garden. Weeding needs to be done.
Attack of the giant tomato plants!
My neighbors flowers. 24 blooms total - then the wind blew them away.
Can you name this plant? It gets to be about 7' tall and has millions of tiny seeds. They're coming up all over my yard and sometimes the neighbors yard!

Home from camping

We kayak'd.
Caught bugs.
Enjoyed campfires
Someone caught a turtle....
The Kishwaukee River is so peaceful. Nice to just relax and paddle down river.

Looking forward to our next outing. Not sure when it will be. We have a list of parks we want to visit. Now, just to find the time.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Essential item....

I have to admit that we're more of "glampers" now. Glamorous camping. No longer do we haul the tent out and sleep on the ground. (Secretly, I was never as happy when my hubby declared he could no longer sleep on the hard ground due to his back pain.)

We had a pop up that was gifted to us by our Pastor. It did it's job well. It was bare bones kind of camping. It did get us up off the ground. But I had to sleep with my youngest child - since hubby took up the entire bed sleeping on an angle because he was too tall for the bed.

One day my husband came home and announced he had bought us a new pop-up camper. Hooray!
2 queen size beds, 1 double. The biggest news - it had a potty! Camping with 3 women, you need a potty. It has all the comforts of home, minus the dish washer. That would be me. We still cook everything outside, even wash dishes out there. But sleep on nice comfy beds. A night I really appreciate having the potty. :o)

It has heat and a/c. See, I told you we were glampers! I'm so spoiled. It's nice when we travel to a state park and there are noisy neighbors (see my other post about not camping well with others and you'll understand). We've used the a/c fan to drown out their music and/or partying.

We're headed out to a remote spot in the next few weeks. No electricity. Only a porta-potty out in the field. No other camper around for at least a mile. Nice and quiet. But no electricity. Which means no coffee pot. Boo hiss! My husband loves to make cowboy coffee over the fire. Which is fine, except it becomes crunchy coffee with all the grounds in it. I may have to borrow this from my parents: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-Coffeemaker/10299012 Debating.... I don't want to be too spoiled.

How do you make coffee while camping? Is it a necessity?

Gear

One of the best things I've bought has been my water shoes. No, not the slip on kind you see people wearing at public pools.

Rugged water shoes that you can hike in as well as hit the water in. http://www.basspro.com/World-Wide-Sportsman-Addy-Water-Shoes-for-Ladies--Gray/Pink/product/10211609/-1751822?cmCat=CROSSSELL_PRODUCT These work perfectly! I actually wear them daily now. I've "creek mucked" in them, crossed muddy hiking paths as well as worn them canoeing. No more slipping in the canoe for me!

We're headed out today to purchase a pair for my 13 year old daughter. With our adventures coming up she needs a new pair. We may have to hit the creek some time today to test them!

We don't camp well with others

Really, we don't. When we camp we like to hear the birds, frogs and other natural sounds. Not the sound of your rap music or the baseball game. We once camped with a camping club. One of the activities was movies projected onto a screen. In the evening. "So the kids can unwind." Hmm, no, not my kids. Even at 13 & 10, my girls weren't into this.

No radio, please. Unless we're expecting a storm, then I turn it on. No movies, no phones, no electronics. Period. Camping is to get away from all that. Not bring it with to pollute your weekend.

Another thorn in my side is campers that light up the campsite like they're landing planes. Acck! Yes, you guessed it, we like it dark.

I think the only people we can camp with is my parents. Big surprise, they're the ones that taught me all this.

You'll find us fishing, singing around the campfire, catching frogs, hiking or just listening to the birds.

Heavenly!

Would you camp well with us?