Out geocaching with my kids and grandkids.
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices [as in my daughter’s iphone]. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.1
Unfortunately, the loot was not great.
Earlier this afternoon we had gone out shooting, meeting another couple and their grandson. Yes, – guns, aiming at cans and thrown clay pigeons. My 5-year-old grandson had gotten a BB gun for his birthday. My son-in-law has gotten a 9mm Glock semi-automatic handgun (really loud – you have to wear earplugs for that one) and a 16 gauge shotgun. His hunting friend had a 12 gauge shotgun and a 22 caliber rifle with a scope. Guess this is what Idaho does to you.
We were off a gravel road, kinda in the middle of nowhere, with scrub brush and volcanic rock, but the place had been used a lot, full of shotgun casings. So I bit the bullet (haha) and took up a gun. Never shot one before but turns out I’m a good shot from crouch stance with the BB gun, Glock, and rifle; can hit a soda can most of the time, but did not try clay pigeons. My son-in-law is great at those. (But when he went hunting with his pals they shot nothing; they called it hiking with guns.)
I hit one can with the 16 gauge shotgun, but it was too heavy (7 lbs) for me and a bit too much if a kick for my bad shoulder (21 to 28 ft/lbs depending on the oz shot used).
Back up a few days. Monday I drove to Phoenix and saw my cousins, those of the chickens and goats2. He (having gotten a degree in naturopathic medicine last spring) had just gotten a good job in North Carolina (they are from Virginia) and they are moving in three weeks! They’ve rented out their Phoenix home and have rented a farmhouse on five acres with a barn in Charlottsville.
They drove me to the airport and I got a pre-checked ticket. Meant that I went through check-in with no line, without taking off my shoes, without taking out my liquids, and only walking through a metal detector, no full-body scan. I asked why. They were having a free Christmas promotion. It was nice, but I’m still not ready to fork out the $85.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will allow more U.S. citizens to enroll in TSA Pre✓ , an expedited screening program that allows pre-approved airline travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on in select screening lanes.
The TSA Pre✓ application program requires a background check, fingerprints, and an anticipated enrollment fee of $85 for a five-year membership.
Before the flight they announced that because it was a full flight, you could check bags at the desk. Which I did, saving the $20 for one bag and not having to lift it into the upper compartment. (When friend N and I west to St Croix and that happened, she thought that it was cheating.)
My son-in law and granddaughter picked me up in Boise for the 2-hour ride back to Twin Falls. My daughter and the two boys picked up her brother at the tiny Twin airport. (I could have flown to Twin, but I would have had to stop in Boise anyway and would have paid $100 more.) Maybe I’ll start doing that.
Christmas was its usual flurry of unwrapping thousands of presents. My granddaughter, whose room I have been sleeping in while she sleeps in her loft, my son being in the guest bedroom, was awake about 4:30, but her parents had mandated staying in bed until 7am. At 7:01 all three kids were jumping on their parents’ bed, Santa has come, Santa has come. As usual, it was A Bit Much.
The Elf on the Shelf® is a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. When a family adopts an elf and gives it a name, the elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day’s adventures. Each morning, the elf returns to its family and perches in a different place to watch the fun. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their elf each morning.
An early turkey dinner, Fred, raised by a woman down the street.
Never got this blog finished. Three grandchildren can take a lot of your time.
Day-before-yesterday took them to see the Disney animation Frozen, which has strong female leads (except – spoiler alert – when the princess falls for a handsome prince) and, of course, they had to be a queen and a princess and wear great clothes, and, of course, look like Barbies.
Swimming and Karaoke
Yesterday we went to the Y enclosed pool for the children to wear off their energy while we enjoyed the warm humid air. My son-in law did have to don his trunks to play with the boys. A friend of my granddaughter’s was their with her parents, who we had been out with the previous night at a karaoke bar (the guy is a pretty good singer!) with two other couples. The guys talking about hunting. When they bag duck they make it into jerky. One of the guys was telling me that his garage is so cold that when he gets an elk he can hang it in there for months, as an elk (a bull weighs about 700 pounds!) takes a long time to eat.
The newspaper has just said that Idaho is allowing the killing of wolves again. I do hope these guys don’t go in for that.
The family is out ice fishing now. I begged off. I liked fishing, but in balmy weather, maybe in the middle of a Michigan summer in a rowboat on a small lake in the early morning. Even in Michigan where the lakes froze five feet deep and guys had little shacks with heaters inside, I still didn’t get into sitting in the cold. OK for sledding or skiing, or ice skating, where you’re moving and the cold doesn’t settle.
First photo – my son and granddaughter. Second – my daughter with her “vampire red” hair. Third – the two oldest grandkids on the right, my daughter with the youngest behind. (My son-in-law was taking the photos.) Last – my son demonstrating that he knows how to clean trout, which we had, pan-fried, for dinner.