Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Of Family and Friends and Fun

This past weekend I traveled north to watch grandson Ian perform his trampoline and mini-tramp routines at the Washington state meet. Videos are posted on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66iMP9hqJlc and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zhu6iETfoMA Although Ian had no competition in his age, sex and level division, his scores were comparable to the other division winners that did have competition. Here he is on the left with the other four (blurry) members of the Northshore team in their spiffy uniforms at the beginning of the competition. (I have not yet learned how to convince my camera to focus where I want it to.) Three of the five, including Ian, will go on to Regionals in Beaverton, Oregon. For once, Johnny and I will both be able to attend a meet without one of us having to stay home to do chores. Hooray!

However, it was fun to rendezvous in Renton, Washington, for the state meet with friends and family in that area: Kevin and Jessica, of course, plus Jessica's sister Sarah and our friends Hazel and Kinnera, recently relocated to the Seattle area. And it was fun to see Ian with two state champion medals around his neck at the end of the competition. I stole this image from Jessica's facebook page, since my own pictures did not turn out.

Back at Traumhof, I was able to meet all the new horses in for training (the barn has filled up!) and take a few candid photos of Jessica's amazingly fit and shiny Grand Prix mare, Lily, while Jessica hand grazed her.

Kevin weeded and planted his raised beds.

While the others worked, Ian and I played croquet, then created a crockett course out of stuff we found in Kevin's shop. Crockett is the corrupted version of croquet that our kids invented on our farm with stuff from Johnny's shop. We all find it much more fun and creative (and difficult) than ordinary croquet. Ian started the course at the top of the path from the patio. The ball must not fall into the garbage lid or pot just below, but must go through the wicket beyond.

Next came the hole-in-one obstacle, which only Ian ever managed to conquer... and he only once. (Some of our obstacles need refinement.)

Since we couldn't always figure out how to get through an obstacle, several of our bucket traps involved hitting the ball as hard as we could and hoping it would bounce back out on its own. Sometimes that worked, and sometimes not.

This box trap captured our ball every time. We had to resort to a pool cue technique to get it through to the other side.
Crockett is fun but I cannot resist the zipline. Unfortunately, there is no good way to get to the top of the line. The plan is to build a platform to stand on to reach the handles, but the plan has not yet been executed. Usually, Kevin lifts us up to the handles at the top of the line, but he was not around and neither Ian nor I could lift the other that high. So I climbed on Ian's play structure, to which the zipline is attached, and tried to reach the handles. Ian took my camera and documented my struggle. I succeeded, although nearly amputating my hands in the process and then going down backwards and running into a tree en route... and losing a shoe. But it was fun!

On Sunday I left for home while Kevin, Jessica and Ian packed for a trip to California. Ian's cat, Bangle, was not at all happy about their going and tried to hitch a ride in an empty suitcase.

Friend Suue rendezvoused with me on my drive down to our farm and spent the night before heading back east. She had never met a Perplexus before and quickly became addicted. Here is the way two old friends, Johnny and Suue, spent the evening.

Johnny gave Suue a quick tour of the new goat palace on Monday morning and took her through the mud on our EZ Go electric golf cart to say hi to the horses. Then she was off on her journey east all the way back to Maryland.

It was a fun few days but I'm glad to be home... and glad I don't have to drive across the country to get there. There's a limit to how much fun this old gal can handle.

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