July 29, 2014

Lake Tahoe Family Reunion

There were plenty of arms available to feed Mabrey.
Cousins Ty, Sophia, Lilly, Abbey and Caleb in a rare
moment of repose at the Raney Lodge.

Big brother Mike and I with Mom.
Abby is taking the law into her own hands.

Alex with his first OREO cookie - mini Megan!
As opposed to the light beer..... 

Mom took a header off the stairs, while she was
trying to take a photo of Lake Tahoe at dusk.  Thank
goodness she was OK, but sported some heavy bruising.
We wanted to know what the other guy looked like!
In the back, Caleb, Tony, Mark, Sarah, Mike and me.
In the front Jenny and Ty.  We hiked up Eagle Rock Trail
 to the volcanic outcrop for an amazing
 panoramic view of Lake Tahoe.

Justin and girlfriend Sandy enjoying a little R&R.

Ethan eagerly volunteered to drive the
boat.  Good thing Anthony is in charge
of the throttle.
Megan and Adrian in a rare 20 minutes alone on the jet ski.
  That must be why they call it "speed dating"!

July 27, 2014

Lake Tahoe Family Reunion

One of the most delightful moments was
seeing my mother painting again.
Sarah and Mark unwinding.  No high tech problems
to solve here at the lake.

Tony had to make good on a bet he lost
last year when the Seahawks beat the
49ers, by wearing feathers and dancing
to "What Does the Hawk Say?"  The

Seahawks went on to make Superbowl
history.  The 49ers were busy watching
TV and cussing that day.
Swimming noodles can also be repurposed to run
around the deck and play tag.  Good to know.

More of costume night - he's strong to the finish 'cause he
eats his spinach, he's Popeye the sailor man!
Butt Furr?  We'd never say who
chose to wear this, Tony.

Mike and the boys ready to take on the monster
whipsaw flip ride.
Jenny waterskiing 

Mike scrambled up onto a
40 foot rock and jumped
into the water!
Caleb and Ty spent hours throwing rocks into the
lake.  My favorite exchange?
 Ty: "I'm out of rocks"
Caleb: "I'll throw you some"
Alex taking in a little Vitamin D sunshine
Beth opted for shade with a sleepy Mabrey.

July 26, 2014

Lake Tahoe Family Reunion

Mom, Catherine and Megan in the chow line.
At the bottom of the photo is that fresh trout,
which Mom cooked up herself.

My brother Mike with all his
 grandkids. Each one proudly caught
 and brought home a rainbow trout.   

Jessica and Ethan playing the tickle tax game.
Have you paid your tummy tax?  Armpit tax?
Mom's homemade pecan pie!

Grab bag costume night, courtesy of Goodwill.
Good thing Catherine has an extra set of eyes to
see out of these sunglasses.  Not four eyes - six!!

You put your right arm in then you shake it all about.
A little Hokey Pokey!

Sarah giving Grandma Bev a hand down the rocky
 path toward this evening's bonfire.

The kayaks made great climbing toys for the kids.
Eventually, we got them into the water after they
got used to the feel of the boats on land.
In the evening by the moonlight, roddy doo dah!

July 25, 2014

Lake Tahoe Family Reunion

An amazing chef, and a fine friend to boot, Aron planned,
 provisioned and cooked up some excellent food.
  Feeding 29 people for breakfast, lunch and
 dinner for five days was no easy task. 

Almost the whole family!  My mom, holding her youngest
great grandchild, took center stage.  Considering that
she's an only child of two only children, this is quite
the clan!  (Missing are Kathy and Steve)

The plan to give Aron a hand.  Everyone pitched
in, and we used paper plates, so we burned the dishes.
Second cousins Ethan and Sophia met for the first
time, and found out that giggles work if you're
 from Seattle or St. Louis.

We lucked out on terrific weather, and enjoyed sunsets
like this from our shore.
Shucks, that's a lot of corn!

Justin's girlfriend Sandy and I burned off some calories
 with precision duet hula hooping.
Proud daddy Jeff with baby Mabrey.
Sophia and Abbey spent hours driving this little car around
the tennis court, which earned the nickname "kid kennel",
because the little ones spent so much time behind
the fence!  In order to help with the demand for food,
the girls collected all the ingredients necessary for
pine cone soup.  Yummy.
Sharing old family photos.  Those clothing choices
in the 90's seemed like such a good idea at the time!

July 10, 2014

Cow business at Red Reflet, WY

Horses win the battle of wits over cows, and seem to
enjoy herding, as long as there are no massive bulls around.

Bonanza!  From the left, "Little Joe" Mary Ann,
"Ben" Mike, "Hoss" Sue and "Adam" Dan.

Being a city slicker is a little hot and dusty.
Mike showing off his roping skills, standing still
with a plastic bull.  Hey, it's a start.

When you have amateur cowhands, you can't expect
the perfect outcome.  Herding the cows into the
playground set wasn't our best move.

We eventually got the four month old calves separated
from their mamas (no easy task) so we could vaccinate
and brand them all.  Oh, and castrate the bull calves.

First the vaccine.  Plunging a needle through calf skin
 requires more oomph that you'd think.   Great care is
 taken with these grass fed purebred Angus cattle. The
beef is certified organic, and some is sold to Whole Foods.

Tag #341 having a cranky day.

Since these cattle graze on the open range, branding
is essential for proof of ownership.  A cow tattoo.
Mike holding the castration knife.  Seems harsh,
but the ranch continually looks to improve the herd
and the quality of the beef.   Only the best strains
of bulls are allowed to mate.

This is an experts only job.  Harry, the head rancher,
is quick with the scissors and a thick coating of fly
spray.  The entire process was done in less than
30 seconds.
Anyone for Rocky mountain oysters?

Newly branded calf with the R and reverse R for
Red Reflet.
Laurence setting a lovely dinner table, where guests
from all over the world trade stories about their day.
Today we drank a toast to Tag #541, who ran fast,
but not fast enough.  Great ribs for dinner.