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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The worst thing about vacations is that they end.

OK, that's overstating it a bit--running out of money is another problem. And I do develop a little homesickness, too.

But we're back after a week plus of fun up north. Here are some of the highlights.

Technically, this one didn't happen on vacation, but I'm a big fan of Louis' pasta-eating acumen:




This is Gladys, our winter refugee. She managed to escape from the house while we were gone. Did I mention we haven't been able to have her spayed yet? We're "looking forward" to a litter of kittens in a few weeks. Probably. Wanton strumpet:


We think this may be the father, or perhaps just an obsessive stalker/suitor. He actually waited on our stoop and looked for her yesterday evening. I'm thinking "shotgun," but not "wedding":

Loser.

Oh, and Dale has offered to try to sell the kittens. If he pulls that off, I'll put him in charge of the family's finances.

Back to the fun stuff. Here's Louis' second haircut. He's a perfect trooper with haircuts, and Bill the Barber in Harrison is no slouch either:

The weather was unseasonably cool all week, but the kids all jumped in the water anyway:



Louis with his big brother and hero, Dale. The reason Louis never freaks out at the barbershop is that I have Dale go first. If big bro can handle it, Louis realizes he can, too:



Rachel was delighted that her doll could float:


Maddie, collecting water and sand in a large bucket. Purpose never quite ascertained:

Maddie and Rachel, aqua-conferencing:

Now, to the next great annual adventure--the trip to Aunt Tude's Farm in Gladwin, Michigan. It is a working farm that is open to the public Friday-Sunday from spring through autumn. The kids are given feed buckets, food and a list of "chores" to complete before earning their prize. It's a great place, and the kids love it.

Heather and I do, too. It's smack in the middle of God's Country, Northern Lower Michigan District:

Here are some of the working, non-pettable animals on the acreage:



Louis is a big fan of the non-operable tractor:

There were a lot of "babies" this year, like these two month old potbellies:


And these four-day old piglets:

And these two-day old chicks:

And this not-quite-born robin, discovered by Madeleine in the hay barn. I held the camera above the nest and struck gold on the first shot:
Maddie loves the haybarn:



There's a lot more to wander around to see (OK, I just wanted an excuse to show you how Heather is coming along with the Impending One):


You can milk Blossom the Endlessly Patient Cow, though Louis was happy just to pet her. Very, very carefully:

You can ride a pony--if you're under 99 lbs, that is. There's a reason it's cheaper for adults to get in:

And you can feed all sorts of animals, including my favorites, the llamas. Henceforth, these two are the Official Blog Mascots. Both of them find your premises and argumentation to be dubious where not actually risible:





Oh, and even seasoned farmers can suffer from brainlock. Now just what could possibly go wrong with a giant pile of play sand and a litter of kittens nearby? He's already removed half of it, with the rest to go this week, a good idea ruined by feline biology:


We crashed quickly:


Finally, some snaps from the Summer Palace and immediate surrounding area, mixing shots from Memorial Day and the week past:



Don't ask me how I shot this one:



The lake is largely undeveloped, and I hope it stays that way:



From Memorial Day weekend, early in the morning. The waterfowl you see moving across the liquid mirror are loons:



Back to this weekend, in the early evening of Sunday, July 5:


Pretty much says it all:




Finis.

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