Back from UTAH. The land of layered clothing, glossy hair, frozen yogurt, and lovely, lovely canyons. I had a wonderful time. It was way, way, WAY too short though. I’m thinking I need to take some unpaid time off so I can have a respectable vacation. I still really don’t know how anybody has time for a full-time job. I certainly don’t.
Anyway, while I was in Utah, I had some cheese curds and didn’t hate them. The last time I ate cheese curds was 13 years ago when Erin M. bought some on a young women trip to Southern Utah. The cheese curds I had this time were from Logan, from the Utah State University creamery, which was the ONLY thing open when we went there to show Katie the campus. (Seriously. EVERY other building was locked up.) I also had some ice cream while I was there, which was pretty good. But alas, Katie – poor Katie – she chose the bubble gum ice cream. She said it was the worst ice cream ever. And I thought, “Surely, it can’t be the worst ice cream EVER – I mean, come on. There’s some pretty bad ice cream out there…”
But then I tried it. And let me tell you, Internet. It was, truly, the Worst. Ice cream. EVER. Also, we’re pretty sure it was a monster.
We had lots of fun. I saw new babies, and new houses, and watched Stardust under the stars. (Seriously. The freakin’ stars.) We also went to McDonald’s. This isn’t particularly noteworthy – except that I took a picture.
Last night I found a baby skunk on my road. He couldn’t walk, but he wasn’t bleeding and he was still very much alive. I wasn’t sure what to do, since it was midnight and I couldn’t call anyone. So I googled “injured skunk”.
The internet told me to check and see if the skunk was really orphaned or injured (check), then put on gloves and pick it up, holding the tail end away from me (check), and contact a wildife rehabilitation organization. So I put him in a laundry basket and this morning, I was able to connect with Sierra Wildlife Rescue. I left a message, and a nice lady called me back. She asked if I could meet her in Coloma, since she lives in Georgetown… so I put the little baby in the back of the Subaru, and I met her in Coloma. She took the little baby skunk and gave him some painkillers and fluids, and put him in a little carrier with a warming blanket so she could take him back to her house.
Apparently, she’s a volunteer, and she takes injured baby skunks and keeps them, feeds them, rehabilitates them, and then releases them back into the wild. I hope my little skunk is okay. I feel like I have a new family member. She told me she would email me with pictures, if “the outcome is good”. So I’m crossing my fingers…
I think I’ll call him Oscar.
I’ve done a couple of great day hikes in the past few weekends. Mount Diablo near Walnut Creek, and Bassi Falls up off Highway 50 past Pollock Pines.
Round One: Mount Diablo. Connor did so well on the hike. We hiked about two miles, roundtrip, with a nearly 1000-foot vertical gain. It was a beautiful day – blue sky and breezy. Lots of people driving around in their convertibles. At the trailhead, we saw this little guy getting a drink out of the faucet. Didn’t even flinch when we walked up to take a picture. Animals that aren’t scared of people = slightly creepy. (Still cute though.)
When we got to the top, we could see the whole valley. A little hazy – but still pretty cool.
Round Two: Bassi Falls. WHAT a FUN trip. Oh wow – we had a great time. We went with some friends, and Connor got to hike with the boys. He LOVED it.
It’s an amazing place. The water comes crashing out of the mountain, onto some enormous boulders, then filters down in streams and rivulets over a wide swath of flat granite and trees.
Origin of the falls:
View from the other direction:
Connor brought his Pokemon toys – and played in the little streams while the bigger kids climbed up to the top. Then the boys made little boats out of duct tape and pulled them along with strings in the water. It was great – almost like we borrowed some older brothers for him. Sometimes I feel like he’s missing out, not having siblings… but not this weekend. Nope. This weekend, he wasn’t missing anything at all.
So, I got a flyer in my son’s Friday folder – “Come see wild animals! Woot!” (I’m paraphrasing.) I thought, “Okay, that might be fun…” so I bundled up my 7-year-old, his friend, his friend’s sister, and we all went to the school at 6:30 on Friday to see wild animals. It was actually really, really cool. An animal rescue group in Auburn that rehabilitates and releases animals that are found being illegally kept as pets, and also takes care of animals that can’t live in the wild for some reason. (They have a blind opossum and a kangaroo that was abandoned by its mother).
All of this was really great, the kids loved it – yay! (Did you know that lemurs lick the inside of other lemurs’ noses when they greet each other?) And then, at the end, for some reason, they decided it would be a great idea to let the kids all line up (read: swarm) to touch…. a LIVE ALLIGATOR.
What do you say to your child? “No, honey. You can’t touch the ALLIGATOR.” All the other kids are lining up to pet – hello – AN ALLIGATOR, and I feel like I’ve suddenly wandered into this alternate reality where parents don’t have natural protective instincts that say ‘ALLIGATOR. IT’S AN ALLIGATOR – 2000 POUNDS OF JAW FORCE, JAWS WHICH INCIDENTALLY, ARE FULL OF RAZOR-SHARP TEETH – KEEP YOUR YOUNG AWAY FROM IT’.
What’s wrong with us?
Maybe I’m uber-paranoid mom here, but I didn’t feel at all comfortable with that. Not to mention the gym became this out-of-control mass of children and parents and I couldn’t even FIND my son for a few minutes. The problem ended up solving itself – the boy got tired of waiting in line and wanted a drink, so we left. But the whole time, I’m sitting here, thinking, “Okay, you have baby alligators – they’re, like, 6 inches long. Let the kids touch the BABY alligators. But the 6-foot-long, fully-grown alligator? Oh sure, it’s never eaten a child YET…” Something about being a parent makes me absolutely sure that MY child will be the first.
So, despite my longstanding internal objections to organized sports, I decided to sign my kid up for community basketball. Funny, the things we do for our kids. And I have to say – watching a bunch of six-year-olds play “basketball” is AWESOME. Just the sheer quantity of rule violations in any given quarter is really amazing. Traveling? Check. Double dribble? Double check. Personal foul? Personal check. They’ve got it all. All that plus endless energy, only a dim understanding of what it is they’re actually supposed to be doing at any given time, and they’re just SO CUTE!
I have to say… I think it’s been really good for him. He’s having fun. And, completely random, he was lucky enough to get on a team with his best friend. Tomorrow is his last game. And I never thought I’d say this… but I can’t wait for next season.