Sunday, September 27, 2009

Up, Up, and Away!

We are learning just how much there is to do in little Prosser. This weekend was the annual hot air balloon festival here. The festival is Friday through Sunday.

When I went with Steve on his field-trip Friday, this is what greeted us just outside our door. We could see at least a dozen balloons from our front porch alone. On our way to Mabton, I counted more than 20 rising up and visible from the highway!

Here are a couple of the balloons I really liked from around our house.
It will probably not surprise anyone that we never did make it out to one of the 6:00 AM launches. (partially because we did not know about it until late Friday night) However, we did make it to the end of the “night burn” they hold Saturday night on the Prosser High School football field. It was really neat to see the balloons at night, and we were grateful there were no accidents as the balloon handlers were really fighting with the breeze.

It was also really neat to watch them take down the balloons after the show was over. I couldn’t believe how quickly the balloons were rolled up and put away, or how small they wound up.
Hopefully we’ll be able to make this a tradition, and even bring some of you one day!I know, I tend to look at our camera’s screen instead of the camera when we do these pictures…

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Our Manly Greeks

So, our boys officially have new and improved names. When we got them, the woman called them Dad, Junior, and Mogley. The only one I liked was Mogley and it didn't seem to fit very well. Plus, she couldn't even really describe to us who was who...

Now the boys are Achilles, Ajax, and Pan. Achilles started the Greek theme and after that we just kind of got on a role... Steve likes that they are manly.

Our typical method of naming by meaning failed miserably when it came to good guys names, so we decided to go with our own associations. Achilles is our male who likes to ignore everything and just run in his wheel all day. So he is our fitness guru, but he also has no claws on one of his back feet. Ajax is our big guy, and Steve made the association that Ajax was one of the largest Greeks. Pan was the hardest, and he's named after a guy who was head and body man with the feet of a goat. Well, when Pan gets excited he bites things and his upper body stays still while his feet dance around like crazy like they're from another animal... Steve also pointed out that it allows for the Peter Pan connection to flight and gliding.

So, our gliders now include: Ajax, Keena, Achilles, Zahira, and Pan. More crazy names and we love them!

McNary Dam

For one of our day trips we went to the local dam to watch the fish run. There were some huge fish! We couldn't get any pictures of the fish at the viewing windows, but here are a few pictures from the rest of our day there.

It seems that the fish runs were doing pretty well as of the day we went. Apparently the Coho hadn't really started yet. Here's the counter they had at the visitor center.One of the displays at the visitor center about Native American historical use of salmon.They had a TV in the visitor center where you could watch the fish in the viewing area. Here was a bigger one that swam by while we were watching.We had a great day despite the heat!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Part II - Portland Trip

On Labor Day, we went to Portland! Steve and I have learned that the best part about being in the middle of nowhere is that we are close to everywhere! We're only a few hours from Moscow, Spokane, Seattle, and Portland as well as other places. We look forward to some fun day/weekend trips in the future.

The whole reason for going to Portland was to pick up the new sugar gliders, but we figured we could do something fun earlier in the day. So we went to the Japanese Gardens in Portland. It's the largest and most authentic Japanese Garden outside of Japan according to Japanese ambassador who visited the gardens some years ago. I have to admit, it was breath-taking! Once again, not a ton of pictures of the garden themselves because we're planning on going with Ray and Reva and will post more pictures again then.

First, on the drive there - the mascot of Central Washington: wind turbines!Although I'm sure no one will believe me, I was awake most of the trip, but did fall asleep for a while, and when I woke up, this guy was greeting me in Portland!

We went to some awesome pet stores downtown, one where we will be purchasing all of the cichlids for Steve's next classroom tank, and then had some fast food for lunch downtown. OH MY. I hope there was some kind of convention going on based on the outright costumes, make-up, and number of weird people we saw... One guy was dressed up as Wario from Mario Bros, and we must have seen half a dozen women with furry cat ears and tails attached to their clothes! It was bizarre, and Steve was wishing for his concealed weapons permit...

Next we headed to the garden. Enjoy a few of the beautiful views! There were amazing big beautiful trees everywhere and everything was so green.

We didn't have much time, but we also popped into the Rose Garden just across the parking lot because it was so close. There were numerous gardens there and the place just kept going! Maybe on another day trip we will have more time to explore.
We can't wait to go back with Ray and Reva!

Labor Day Weekend Part I - Summer's Wedding

Saturday of Labor Day Weekend was my cousin Summer's wedding. We went to go see family as we weren't sure the next time we would see a lot of them. The wedding was on Lake Pend O'reille and it was a BEAUTIFUL place.

This was the set-up just before the wedding started.
The cake. My very talented aunt made this, and managed to fix it when the night before it collapsed on itself! You would never know looking at it.The ladies.The guys, including the groom, and my uncle who performed the marriage.The bride, her Dad, her son (who was not very happy at this point), and the very cute flower girl who made friends with me later on and gave me a hug goodbye after I helped her roast a marshmallow.
The next few are from the service. Summer sang a very beautiful and touching song to her husband Rich after they were married, and then they combined sand to illustrate combining their lives.Steve found a seat to relax on out on the deck on the lake and took a bunch of pictures of people who weren't aware, such as Jen and myself...We had a lot of fun being goofy and got made fun of for being more affectionate than the bride and groom at times, but we had a great time! When I get the pictures people took of us being goofy, maybe I'll post a few.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What's 3 More???

Steve and I have known we wanted to add a few more sugar gliders to the family for a while now. However, with our situation being up in the air, and having no idea where we would be in a few months, we decided it was best to wait. Then, soon after we moved to Prosser, we saw an add on Craigslist. The next weekend, we were on our way to Sandy, OR to pick up our newest addition - BOYS!

The woman we got the gliders from has her licenses to rescue exotics, and has had a lot of gliders through the years. These 3 boys she was getting rid of so she wouldn't have to worry about breeding anymore. It was really neat to see all the animals she has rescued. She had a serval, a marmoset, another monkey, a skunk, cats, great danes, and gliders! And we thought we had a zoo...

The boys were overweight, and used to more time out than they get with us, but not as much human contact, so they are still getting used to us. But they are improving quickly! Too bad we'll have a definite relapse soon because we're going to neuter the boys. The whole point is to be able to have a big community cage; gliders do better in colonies (the way they are in the wild) because then if one glider passes away, they have others to associate with.

They don't have new names yet, I know, I'm slacking... But they will soon. So right now, they just go by main attributes...

So this is Papa (the other two boys are his joeys) also lovingly called Chunkito by Steve because he's quite overweight. But improving!
Papa is very active and LOVES being out of the cage. He's a punk about going back in.
This is "the Skittish one". He's getting better, but is quite jumpy and takes some time to warm up to us each night... Eventually he'll get more comfortable. He's doing much better with us already.Papa and Skittish one eating.
Lastly, this is Wheels/Runner. In this picture, he's hiding from me. This is pretty typical. Only usually he stays in the wheel the whole time and refuses to come out of the wheel/cage. Once he's out he does alright, but it's taking him some time to even think leaving the cage is worthwhile. He's the only one we've been nipped at by so far - when we blocked his way to the wheel and cage.We learn more about them each day. For instance, even though our girls get up early and go to bed early morning, the boys sometimes won't get out of bed till midnight and are still up at 9:00 AM! They also eat their vegetables before anything else and fruit last, whereas the girls eat fruit first and don't hardly touch their vegetables. It's funny to see the differences.

So, there you are. Steve says I just wanted boys so that we wouldn't have all boys when we have kids... Somehow the ratio of male to female animals in our home is supposed to influence the gender of our children? Well, he likes the theory anyway.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sacajawea State Park

The first weekend Steve and I had in Prosser, we needed to get out of the place and go explore. Steve knew there was a large state park in Tri-Cities, so we hit the road. We went to Sacajawea State Park where the two rivers meet and the Corps of Discovery passed through. I'm not posting as many pictures as normal because we plan on taking family there when parents come to visit, but here are a few!

The park was so nice and green and full of people on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
We love the feature from Microsoft that allows us to create panoramics now! Here's a shot of part of the waterfront.If you look closely in the shot before, you'll see what has become a regular site for us in this part of the state. Wind turbines everywhere!Another panoramicWe loved these old railroad bridges.And Steve was totally entranced watching this barge. What was crazy was watching two jet skiers get up close to the barge to ride its wake! When the waves hit the shoreline all the docks got ROCKED...
We enjoyed walking around the park and their Lewis and Clark interpretive center, called the Sacajawea Museum. It didn't look like much from the outside, but was great!Steve is proving he could have been a long bowman.They had skeletons of different Native homes off of the park.Fun day!