Monthly Archive for September, 2015


And now for something more light-hearted. My husband has coined the phrase, “hoof-covers.” This makes me laugh every time I hear it. “CLAIRE! PUT ON YOUR HOOF-COVERS NOW, PLEASE!”

They are his generic term for appropriate footwear, especially when dealing with Claire.

How did this come about? Because the poor guy was tired of rattling off every possible type of shoe, before landing on the one Claire deemed appropriate. “Hoof-covers” indicates that he really doesn’t care WHAT goes on her feet, as long as they’re covered when we leave the house.

She’s very literal.
I have no idea where she gets it.
No, really. I thought I put it up where she couldn’t reach it.


No More Hedeghog’s Poopy Laundry

You know what? I’m tired of doing a Hedgehog’s Poopy Laundry. (That has to be one of the strangest sentences I’ve ever typed out loud.)

I’ve made an Executive Decision to switch to shredded paper bedding. The fleece we’ve used for the last 2.5 years works really well, but you have to launder it. (I’ll let you figure out who the YOU is in that sentence.) I accept all my duties as a Hedgie Momma, but I didn’t change poopy diapers for this long, so I have reached my limit. I have no problem justifying movin’ on to a different way, Lord Henry Quillington Rasmussen. You’re on notice, Royalty or not.

Plus, my husband found a quill in his sock. Again. The hard way. He’s on board with whatever I decide.

So, no more quills in the washer and dryer.
No more fleece bedding.
No more poopy laundry.
We’ve switched to shredded paper bedding, which will require more bags going in the trash (maybe?), but use less water & energy. So there. 🙂

New Nest for LHQR

Henry seems to be adjusting just fine with his new nest.


New bedding LHQR

Funny side note: I had no idea how much bedding to buy. It was on sale at the pet store: buy 2 big packs, get 1 pack free. I wasn’t sure if I’d need more than one pack, but I was going to start with that until I saw the deal. Three bags for the price of two? Sure! Why not? Well! To cover the entire bottom of Henry’s cage, I used a smidgen of ONE bag. I’ll see how often I need to change it, but odds are, I may have just purchased a year’s supply. Ha!

Anderson Farms Coupon

andersonmaze4x6The corn maze at Anderson Farms is one of our favorite activities to do when the days shorten and we slip closer to fall. This year, we’ve been invited to check it out in exchange for a review, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, here are some discount tickets if you’d like to check it out for yourself!


When Claire was a toddler, she’d bring me bouquets of Dandelions. I’d put them in shot glass vases. Now, I use a shot glass to measure out hippy-dippy Household Cleaner. There’s a story of metamorphosis here, but I’ll leave it untold.


She just wants to be a cat

This is Claire’s outfit today. (I ♥ almost-10-yr-olds!)

The School Dress Code doesn’t cite “cat ears” specifically, but there is a “too distracting” loophole.

We’ll see if this passes inspection.
She’s such a rebel.


Edited to add an update! She had them on at Pick-Up! She got to wear them all day. “It’s just a headband, Mom. I don’t know why you were concerned…” she said with a wink. 😉

DIY Fresh Spray

DIY Fresh Spray YLEO

I made another potion. (I’m not a witch! They put this nose on me! …she turned me into a newt! …I got better.)

😉 (All hail the Monty Python fans in the crowd.)

You know that air freshener/deodorizer that probably got its name from a FrEsh BREEZE?

Well! I just made something like it, from scratch.

Yes, really!

I’ve labeled my version “Fresh,” as you can see in the picture above, and that’s exactly how it smells. (“Wonderful” wouldn’t fit on my label.) I also labeled the cap for the bottle as a reminder that I should store the bottle without the sprayer in it. Since this concoction has citrus in it, leaving the plastic sprayer to sit in it can make it all wonky, so plan accordingly.

I got the recipe for “Kitchen Deodorizing Spray” from my Essential Oils Desk Reference, and I altered it to fit the size of the bottle I wanted to use. The recipe says it’s for more than just kitchens, and the description of its uses sounds a lot like that other stuff I used to use.

The recipe calls for:
* 2 drops Rosemary
* 4 drops Lemon
* 2 drops Eucalyptus Globulus
* 4 drops Lavender
* a quart of distilled water

I didn’t use quite a quart, so I changed the number of drops of Essential Oils.

The result?

Ahhhh-mazing! Once again, I’ve found a potion that is so easy to make and yet very effective. The notes with this recipe say that it not only covers up the odors, it cleans and deodorizes the air. You can also use it to disinfect the surfaces you wipe down.

Steamboat Springs!

It’s been almost 4-years since we’ve been to Steamboat Springs! We thought it was well-past time to return! Originally, we were going to spend the night at our favorite hotel and then use Steamboat Springs as a spring-board for a longer trip out west to go camping for Labor Day weekend. The more we researched, however, the more we realized we weren’t alone in our planning.

Rather than give up on the idea of escaping if only for a short break, we kept the reservations at our favorite hotel in Steamboat and will go camping out west during a Fall Break that not everyone has. 😉

Yet again, Steamboat did not disappoint.

We broke the shorty out early and headed for the hills! (Okay, truth be told, I filled out all the requisite Excused Absence Forms for early dismissal, and she’s getting tall! …and they were mountains, not hills!)

We drove through some rain, but not enough to damper our excitement.

At one point in the drive, we were right at cloud level!

At one point in the drive, we were right at cloud level!

At another point, the highway completely disappeared and we were driving on what can only be described as a good ol’ mud road. The construction sign earlier said, “Rough Road,” and we’re thinking the usage of the word “Road” was rather liberal. THIS sign along that 6-mile stretch made us laugh out loud!

Lanes? There are lanes?

Uneven Lanes? Really? Also, there are lanes?

You should see Sue. We didn’t get any mud on the windows, but that’s about it.

Muddy Sue

Muddy Sue

We checked into the Rabbit Ears Motel, our favorite place to stay in Steamboat. (Pro-tip: They have river view rooms with a balcony AND discount tickets to the hot springs literally across the street! Listening to the river as we fell asleep was just an added bonus!) We went to our favorite restaurant, Mahogany’s, and it was still as fantastic as we remember. After dinner, we went back to the hot springs and soaked and played for over two hours before going to bed. What a fantastic night!

Rabbit Ears Motel Labor Day 2015

The next day, hiking was on the agenda before we pointed our muddy car in the direction of home.

We opted to do Fish Creek Falls. The first part of the hike was listed as “easy,” because it was a trail that was only 1/4 of a mile and very accessible down to a gorgeous waterfall. You could cross the bridge and do a “moderate” trail on to the next waterfall up, with an even more strenuous part you could do after that up to the lake, if you chose.

First Bridge

First Bridge

Fish Creek Falls from the First Bridge

Fish Creek Falls from the First Bridge

We compromised and did the moderate trail to the second bridge. Poor Daddy insisted that the “moderate” trail we had just done was “easy,” and he wanted to go even farther to the lake, but after weighing the importance of hiking in peace while NOT carrying a body (or two), he opted to be happy with the second bridge and cute little waterfall & stream to explore.


Roots. You gotta give your kid roots & wings.

Still, that part of the hike was not for the faint of heart. Claire and I managed with no problems, but it was a challenge. (That part of the hike was 2.5 miles in one way, with a 2000 ft elevation gain. As always, “down” was my favorite part.) Ha.

The "easy" trail.

The “easy” trail.

We took some fun pictures along the way and had a great time. We’d opted to do this in the morning before lunch, because lunch at the bottom is a great reward, in and of itself, and the risk of storms is that much greater in the afternoon.

Claire and JoAnn Labor Day 2015

The Second Bridge

The Second Bridge

We hiked for about 3 hours, and as predicted, lunch tasted fantastic after we’d survived the adventure. 😀

Food always tastes better outside. True story.

After lunch, we headed home. We opted to drive through Rocky Mountain National Park on the way and exchange Claire’s paper pass for a plastic one. This year, 4th Graders and their families get a FREE National Park Pass. (We even used the paper version at Fish Creek Falls to pay the day-fee of $5. National Park Passes were accepted at this location and after a bit of educational convincing, the park ranger let us use it. It was the first pass, of what I’m sure are MANY, he’d ever seen, so he was skeptical but willing to play along.) We had no problems whatsoever at the gate at Rocky Mountain. They were ready for us and gave us all the info. (If you have a 4th Grader, don’t pass up this deal! It’s fantastic.)

Claire's FREE Park Pass is good for a whole year, thru August 2016!

Claire’s FREE Park Pass is good for a whole year, thru August 2016!

The weather was some of the best we've ever seen up there! See the elk? (Click photo to see more detail.)

The weather was some of the best we’ve ever seen up there! See the elk? (Click photo to see more detail.)

We even saw a bear as we got closer to town! I didn’t get a picture, because I was too busy yelling, “BEAR! Look, a BEAR!” to the other occupants in the car. This black bear was playing by the stream on the side of the road in one of the towns on the way home. I’m so glad we all got to see it!

After dinner at a local place we love, we headed home. It was a great adventure, and just right. This way, we got to escape for a bit and then still have what will seem like a full weekend at home.