Hiking in Elk Meadow

A friend and I have been doing “a bigger hike” weekly, and I thought I’d post pictures from our last one! (Yes, Claire and I are still doing our mile-long hikes every morning before school. It’s just such a great way to start the day!)

Yesterday’s hike was in Elk Meadow, which is just outside of Evergreen. I’d been on one of the trails a few years ago with my sister, her husband, and their two huskies, and I have wanted to go back. This was the perfect excuse!

The weather was absolutely delightful. I’d printed a trail map and had done my research. You know what they say about the best laid plans… As is recommended by savvy hikers, we’d started out “clockwise,” because that makes the trail even easier. Well, missing one hidden sign later, and we ended up on a completely different trail, which then forced us to go counter-clockwise for the majority of our trek. The trail through the meadow was deceptively strenuous when you go that direction. But we made it! (Plus, had we not gone on that “exploratory spur” we would have never seen the snakes! *snort* Ha!)

For the record, we were never lost. I knew exactly where we were (give or take 0.6 miles). 😉

Here are some pictures from the hike. Enjoy!

My favorite hikes (that aren’t in the desert) are on trails like these.

What a view!

The meadow part of Elk Meadow

Claire wasn’t with us, but we saw TWO of her little buddies. (Yes, there are two snakes in this picture! One is headed that way. The other is headed the other way.) I shoo’d them off the trail so we could go the way we wanted, too.

The aspens are starting to turn!

*swoon*

 

 

A Friday Morning Hike

In addition to doing a quick hike with Claire in the mornings before school, a friend and I have been meeting after school drop off to get some steps in once a week, too!

She is new to the area, so I’ve been exploring some trails with her. The best part of this is seeing how all my familiar trails are connected! (In this area, there are some trails I’ve done many times with Claire, all from different directions, and I knew they were all connected if you go far enough, but I wasn’t sure *how*…and now I do. I love it!)

Yuck. What a dump. I can’t believe we have to hike in these conditions.

 

Shadows at the Spillway

Early Morning Hikes

Well, good morning to you, too!

Before school started for the year, Claire asked me if it would be possible to get in our morning hikes before school. More than anything, this is what she said she was going to miss when school started. (This summer, we’d started a habit of hiking in the mornings, and we both love it.)

I wasn’t sure how this would go with our morning routine, but we decided to give it a go. It’s been amazing. We’ve worked it out to where we walk down to the lake and around to a certain spot and then back. It’s about a mile roundtrip, which is just a perfect way to get the day started. It helps us re-center and works as a great attitude adjustment. It’s empowering, invigorating, and we’re not so harried in the mornings because of it.

Perfection!

Sunrise Collage from 8.22.17

Selfie with Supergirl! (picture taking today.)

Solare Eclipse 2017

Claire and I modeling our fancy freebie eclipse glasses. (She got to see it at school with her own eclipse glasses, so these were the ones we used here at home.)

I also made an old-school viewer. Here’s a behind the scenes shot. The wasn’t a cloud in the sky, so at one point, the viewer doubled as a fan!

Old School Viewer

A crescent in my fist

The eclipse shadows were so creepy and fun to play with! Look at the crescents and claws!

And then we got 93% of totality here. The crickets started chirping; the temp dropped 10 degrees, and it was like it was twilight, but the sun was in the wrong place. Such a wonderful experience!

6th Grade!

First Day of Sixth Grade

Nooooooooo, summer’s almost over!

Tell me how you really feel…

Back to School Selfie

(This may be Claire’s favorite part of school. This year, she gets a LOCKER!)

A Surprise Selfie

Claire was done with selfies, so I told her I was taking a picture of the lake, but she was on to my tricks.

Good Manners

Conversation we had the other night:

Claire: What’s for dinner?
Dad: Boogers.
Claire proceeds to (pretend to) pick her nose and eat it.
Me: CLAIRE. DON’T DO THAT. It’s RUDE…to eat before everyone else is ready! 😉

(We’re keepin’ it classy ‘round here.) 😀

Digging Rocks

Doing our best to create a “my parents made me dig rocks” childhood in this new generation. #uphillbothways #buildsmuscles #buildscharacter

Swoon-worthy Sunset

Last night’s sunset was just gorgeous!

Learning Something I’ve Never Even Imagined

As you may remember, we said goodbye to Jasper a year ago. 15 years was a long time to share his life with us, and we were very sad to see him go. Well, his brother Merlin has started losing weight (this has been an ongoing battled, but has recently taken a concerning turn), so we took him in for some blood work to see if we could figure out what was going on. As it turns out, he’s in the early stages of kidney disease, which is really common in a kitty who is almost 16 years old!

Still, this is distressing to us, and the vet talked to us about a course of action. There is nothing we can do to stop kidney disease or “cure him,” but our vet had an idea for helping to ease the progression. It may or may not work, but we were able to find a solution that wouldn’t strain the budget. We’ll try this for a month and then do another blood test to see what the numbers tell us.

What are we trying? Well, I got to learn something I never thought I’d ever do: give subcutaneous fluids to a cat via an IV.
Yes, really!
I guess people even abbreviate it “subq.”
This is like a whole new world!

The funny thing about this, is when I talk to people, I get one of two reactions: a shocked gasp or a knowing nod. I know so many people who have done this for their kitties! I had no idea.

Our vet said to give Merlin this treatment once a week for a month. Last week, Claire and I went in, and they trained us how to do it! Yesterday, we got to do it ourselves, and BOY, was it an adventure!

He tolerated it really well…but even then, he’d had enough right before he’d had enough. *sigh*

I ended up sticking him a total of four times. The good news is that I know what I’m doing now…

The person who trained me said the most important thing to remember is to be confident in your poking of the needle. It also took me a while to figure out how to insert all the tubing and whatnot into the bag, but I figured that out. (They showed me, and it was SO SIMPLE to see them do it with all the “pull this and insert that” stuff…but I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right when it was all in front of me! …but I was.) As for being confident, I was just going to have to pretend. 😉

During the first session (yes, there was only supposed to be one session…more on that in a minute), the first “confident” poke went through both “tented” layers of Merlin’s skin and ALMOST into my fingernail on the other side! Eeeeks! Luckily, I have a tough nail polish, or I’m not sure how THAT would have ended. (I know WHERE it would have ended, and that would NOT have been good!)

The second confident poke went well! …until the liquid squirted out of Merlin and onto the kitchen floor! Oooops. (That meant I went through both “tented” layers again! Ack! They’d warned me this could happen, but it’s one thing to hear about it, and another to see it! Then I had to scramble to figure out how to stop the fluids, which I know how to do when things aren’t so URGENT.)

(This was the part of the procedure that almost made me cry! What if I can’t do this!? I took a moment to gather my wits about me, and tried again.)

The third confident poke ACTUALLY went well, and we got what we thought was 150ml into him. He was DONE before we got to 150ml, but we kept him restrained and then let him go…only to realize that when you hold the bag in a different way, (don’t ask. Ha!) we weren’t quite to 150 ml yet! (WHAT!? Aaaargh!)

We let him roam for a bit and then cornered him in my office for a second session (rather than the kitchen this time…the cabinet pulls make a GREAT IV bag holder**, but there was no way to convince him to stay in THERE…). This time, I got everything inserted properly the first time.

**No, “being a great IV bag holder” was not even on our radar when we picked those new cabinet pulls years ago! Who knew!?**

So, the good news: Claire was a fantastic helper. She and I know what we’re doing now and what to expect. Of course, so does he. I held him after the procedure, and he purred and purred and his tongue was sticking out like it does when he’s happy, so I don’t think he’s holding a grudge.

I guess we’ll see how much he remembers next week!

Here’s a pic of him napping while we watched a movie last night. (Yes, our remote is marked for easier use. Our guests thank us. Ha!)