So beautiful that it seemed we just had to get out. I spent a fair amount of time gardening on Saturday with Katrina: planting two new plants, cutting back ones that are getting out of control, answering her incessant, "Moooo-oom?" every time she has something to say (sweet but tiresome).
But after a while I could tell the boys were getting stir-crazy and needed to get out. So I took them all to OSH to check out plants and patio furniture. Now that I want to be outside in our yards, we need somewhere to sit!
We couldn't find the firepit in the catalog, but Katrina enjoyed testing out a lounge chair.
When we got home, Julian and Katrina engaged in a game of "find the foxtails" -- that is, weeds that have nasty sticky seeds that cling to dogs' fur. We've mostly rid our yards and park strips of these unfriendly plants (I like native, but not too native), but there are still a few around. Then they decided to water some new plants, and some that aren't irrigated.
Though any kid would rather play video games, I was glad to see these two happily engaging in the garden and plants for the better part of the afternoon (Gabriel was inside obsessed with a voice recording project, which I allowed).
Somehow, the retro-snob in me has to believe this is better for them than what they want to do (which is sit inside playing video games on the computer all day). There's only a short window in your life that finding foxtails is a truly fun activity....funny, I'm getting back to that place in life myself!
But today, Sunday, as nice as it seemed to lounge around, I could sense that everyone needed to get out. I had planned to work as much as possible today, but I could feel burnout and stir-craziness building in everyone. Gabriel in particular gets into a state in which he's unbearably obnoxious and out-of-control.
So I endured the 30-minute process of getting everyone ready to get into the car and off for a little excursion. It wasn't totally random; it was a park in Los Gatos that I'd seen was connected to an open space preserve with short loop hikes -- perfect. Well, perfect if I'd noticed that the hikes didn't actually have trailheads in the developed park itself, and there was some hiking to do just to get to where I'd planned, if you'd downloaded and printed the correct map that is. The park didn't even post one!
But we made do. The objective was to get the kids (and myself) out, and that we did. We hiked a short 1.4-mile out-and-back along a fire road that was pretty steep. The boys were very engaged in Gabriel's off-road RC car, while Katrina happily chatted with me about how much she liked mountains and hiking.
On the way down, Katrina got ahead and was running, so I trotted to catch her to warn her that running downhill can lead to painful falls, but not in time -- she slid on leaves just as I was within earshot, and fell hard on her back. "I have butt burn!" she cried. She got over it in 5 minutes, but was much more cautious about running downhill after that. I've tripped and fallen running downhill too, and it was bad -- both knees, both elbows, lots of scrapes, and an out-of-commission thumb for a few days. It's easier on kids, but falling while running down hill is no fun.
Short but sweet, and totally what was called for. The rest of the afternoon was spent lounging around at home after a substantial snack (some would call it lunch but our timing was way off!) - which a nice little hike transforms from goofing off to a deserved relaxed afternoon.
We are very lucky to live in an area with so many opportunities for the beautiful outdoors so closeby!
And even closer -- our own backyard! A white "sticky monkey flower," some of which we saw in a light apricot color today at our open space preserve hike, truly native.