August 24, 2014

  • Mudatation

    Carl explains what is really going on in the picture below. The counselor, Gabe, saw the photo lady approaching and gathered up Carl and Jack (Jack is on the left in the picture) for this quick pose. “Carl, Jack, quick, lets muditate!!” As it turns out, Carl was not thinking of a perfectly cooked bone in rib eye. He tells me that giant lollipops were on his mind.

    After the mud-fest, the campers normally jump into the Sound to wash off. On this day, the kids were about to hit the showers instead. The counselors said, “No way, you will clog the drain with mud!” So the staff set to washing the group with a hose. After much complaining and bitter cold, the group finally hit the showers and clogged the drains with mud.

    Today I must have cleaned a teaspoon of soil from each ear of the boys. I felt bad digging out dirt and rocks with a cotton swab but there was just so much! Perhaps after a week of tub soaks and showers we will get the dirt out. At least the odor does not make my eyes water anymore.

    We love having the boys home again.

August 23, 2014

  • Clean Shirt Saga Continues

    Carl takes the clean shirt request to a new level.
    At Orkila, the campers get one day in the mud before jumping into the sound to wash off. I fear that may be the boy’s only cleaning. It is my expert opinion, Carl is the one on the right. He is meditating the religious attributes of a 16 ounce ribeye.

    Mud Mud-crop
    I left this picture at full resolution so you can expand it to find Carl. I think this mud is therapeutic, much like a mask you may get at a beauty salon. Carl will return two years younger…does this mean we get to relive the past couple years?!

    Here is Étienne after his day of mud. Now we see why he removed the shirt on mud day. He wants to impress mom with his forethought and ability to keep his blue shirt clean!

    Today the boys finally come home. Judy is already fuming with the possibility that Étienne will still be wearing the blue shirt we put on him one week ago. We both dread the odor they may come home with. We stocked up on bubble bath and soft scrub to clean the inevitable bathtub ring. I think we may pick them up on the bicycle and throw them in the sound before letting them in the house. Most of all, we look forward to hearing the stories, laughs, and joys they bring home. It is a happy day at the burrow.

August 21, 2014

  • Clean Shirt?

    From Tuesday, we find Étienne is NOT wearing a dirty shirt! Kudos to you Étienne,
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    In reality, I think he took off his shirt, that he has been wearing since Saturday, to keep it clean so that he can put it back on after this romp in the mud. That’s my Étienne, thinking ahead!

August 20, 2014

  • Orkila Update

    Tuesday we catch Étienne playing GaGa Ball.
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    The rules are simple and Carl tells us it is the most fun. Players must use their hand only to hit the ball trying to knock out competitors like dodge-ball. The boys usually end play with very dirty hands, torn pants, dirt covered shoes, and a giant smile.

    Later in the day Étienne is painting something.
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    All we get are the pictures on Smugmug, no captions or descriptions. I look forward to quizzing Étienne about this activity when he returns home. Most interesting will be his explanation as to why he is wearing the same shirt he wore Saturday! Caught-Ya!!

August 19, 2014

  • Goodbye Shoichi

    On Sunday, August 3, we said goodbye to our Japanese student. Before leaving, we did get Shoichi out on the water.
    We spent lunch on Grant’s sailboat docked in Shilshole. Carl took Shoichi out on the dinghy for a short tour of the marina. Grant is prepping the boat for a week long sailing trip with his family. Today a new stove and navigation systems were getting installed.

    We hit the store on the way home and fit this grill into the back of the car with the three boys squeezed into the middle row. Shoichi helped me assemble the new unit. Thank you Shoichi.

    Now we are off to return Shoichi and pick up Veronica from Kenmore Air, Lake Washington.

  • Jane and Veronica visit Victoria

    On Friday August 1, Jane stopped by to pick up Veronica for the weekend. What Veronica did not know was that they were flying Kenmore Air from Lake Washington to Victoria BC. Yes, we let Jane take Veronica out of the country on a water plane! I can only imagine the look on Veronica’s face when they pulled up to the air terminal and checked in. Kenmore flies both turboprop and radial engine float planes. It is a noisy but short hop from Seattle to Victoira. The clear and calm weather allowed beautiful views of the surrounding country.

    While there, the girls enjoyed afternoon tea, botanical gardens, and fireworks.

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    On the return trip the girls were the only passengers. Jane sat up front and enjoyed views out the front windscreen. They made a short stop at Lake Union and cleared customs before splashing down at the North end of Lake Washington.


August 17, 2014

  • Cabin Assignments

    Salish: Veronica is happy to have more girls in her group. Last year she was one of only two girls biking. Now she has about a week of sailing the San Juan islands. The weather forecast looks great for the whole week.

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    Gwinn and Quinault: For the record, I lived in Gwinn Michigan in the late 1980′s. It is great seeing big smiles on the boys. I can tell they are having a really great time.

  • Boys Arrive at Camp

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    Camp Orkila maintains a photo box on Smugmug. Here is arrival day (yesterday) and both boys made it to camp. We dropped them at the bus in Shoreline where they rode to the ferry and caught another bus to the camp on Orcas Island. Étienne is wearing his infectious smile and Carl is his usual happy self. No pictures of Veronica yet. In the leadership development program they spend most of the time off site, sailing between the islands.

July 26, 2014

  • Shoichi and the Zoo

    Today we took a little ride to the Woodland Park Zoo.
    Steve, Veronica, Judy, Étienne, Carlton, and our Japanese student Shoichi.

    I am still working on how to embed my Strava postings here. Until then, follow the link. We rode as a group of 6! It took me half an hour to gather enough bike shoes and swap pedals for all of us. Étienne rode his single while Carlton stoked the tandem with me.

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    Asian Small-clawed Otter (Veronica’s favorite), Sleeping Meerkats, and Étienne riding a lion.
    The otters were a big hit. They ran about, played tag, and found little pieces of fish to chomp on.

    We get Shoichi for another week! What adventures will we take next weekend?

July 19, 2014

  • The Comedy of Errors

    Veronica took a one week class on Shakespeare from the Taproot Theater. In 5 days they auditioned, read, blocked, costumed, and performed William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors. The class started on Monday and they practiced script free by Wednesday. The cast ranged in age from 9 to 16 from the local community.

    The best part for me was the independence Veronica showed. After escorting her the first day, Veronica took charge of her own commute, using the city bus. She never missed the start time. Our Veronica is maturing!

    If you are not familiar with the works of Bill, Wikipedia has a great review of the play. Through the mistaken identity of two sets of identical twins, a series of wild mishaps, slapstick, and comedy occur. Veronica teacher put it best when she told the actors not to think about the plot too much because then you will realize it doesn’t make any sense. Oh, the setting is 1950!

    Here is the program with the cast listing.

    Veronica played two characters. She played the merchant of a business, and Courtezan. Listining to her practicing the verse made me very proud. She kept up her piano practice, crocheting, and cross country conditioning for the fall.

    Here, as the merchant, she warns Antipholus of Syracuse he should not be seen around Ephesus under penalty of death.

    Mom’s favorite line: “My present business calls me from you now.” We are actively looking for the perfect opportunity to use it so Watch Out!

    We have to show the girl with the Bling Ring. I missed the money shot when Veronica gave the audience a big wink upon getting the ring.

    The Cast. They really had a great time and accomplished a whole lot of fun in five days. Veronica already wants a two week camp. Perhaps next year.