Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Work in Progress

    It's been a quarter of a century that we've been in our home. Every now and then we undertake renovations to make sure it remains live-able and like-able. We've revamped the kitchen, put on a new roof, re-carpeted and replaced flooring, and switched out toilets! This summer, we're tackling some outdoor projects. 

  The photo above shows a brick pathway that has been more than a year in the making - it  may actually get done this summer! When complete, we'll have a second access to the backyard - this one just around the corner from the front door. 

Besides being practical and beautifying, this project is providing an opportunity for bonding. Dad has been showing the boys how to throw down mortar and butter and strike the bricks.

They've got it down to a system with each person having a specific task that makes the whole process flow smoothly.

Nothing like getting dirty and sweaty as a family!

The other big project in progress is re-landscaping an area along the front driveway.


  Hard clay soil makes it difficult for anything delicate or pretty to grow. Only a hardy bush (which snuck over from the neighbor's yard) has made its home here for a substantial amount of time. Our poor little lemon tree is struggling to survive! 

   Last month, our neighbor scraped up his dying lawn, a victim of the drought, and replaced it with rocks. LOTS of rocks as you can see below.

   So we decided to follow suit, hoping to give a seamless appearance between the neighbor's yard and ours. The children worked hard to break up the ground and smooth it out, and today we put in landscape fabric and hauled rocks from the backyard to the front. 

   They discovered there's an art to laying to rocks: picking just the right size and shape, and choosing features that they wanted to highlight - stripes, speckling, color.   

   We finished a quarter of the area; it's harder work than we thought!  

We'll keep going, rock by rock, and post photos when this project is complete!


We promised an update when the front project was done -- and here it is:
          I like how the neighbor's yard blends almost seamlessly with our yard. The hope now is to keep the lemon tree growing and producing fruits for us.  Feeling pleased with the kids' work!

Friday, June 17, 2016


     WOW! Has it really been almost three years since we last posted? Ahem, well, why, yes it has been! We won't bother explaining why we dropped off the face of cyberspace, other than life was happening and we just didn't pause to document its happenings! Thank goodness for new beginnings. 
   And this is what we hope this will be for the Aranas Clan. This time around there will be more contributors -- more members of the family will be learning how to maneuver around this bit of technology while practicing their prose. We can't guarantee lots of literary flair, but they say pictures are worth a thousand words, right? 
   So, here we are again - the Aranas Clan at the start of Summer 2016.

Edna (21), Angel (12), Meemz (18), Twitter (14), Little Man (10), Coco (8), and Big Bro (23)
The camel isn't part of the clan; he was on loan from the San Diego Zoo which we visited in May (one more item scratched off Mom's bucket list!). 
With the older kids newly arrived from college and their summer jobs soon to start, we threw together some clothes and our cell phones and headed south for a week before obligations took us our separate ways. More on the trip later, as well as some other events as the children see fit to post. Knowing that this blog can be a way to look back on our lives, they thought it would be good to go back and post some of the highlights that previously were unrecorded, so some things may be old for us, but new for you. 
   That's it for now. Re-entry accomplished ... pretty smooth!


Saturday, June 22, 2013

More Summer Fun ... 

More photos from our trip to Tahoe.  It's always great to get away and spend some time in a different environment. There are more greens, blues, browns here ... more texture .. it prompts reflection as well as good times.  Deo Gratias!

Fishing at Lake Baron

We discovered a new fishing hole not far from G'ma's house.  You can walk along the lake, go fishing, picnicking.  There's even a playground with an old fashioned merry go round and a swimming hole!
Twitter got a kick out of his new (thrift-store new!) pocket fishing pole.  It actually worked!  Well, worked in the sense that he was able to cast and cast and cast and cast ... but he didn't catch anything this day.

Neither did Little Man ...
Nor Angel ...
Coco wasn't interested in fishing .. just playing in the dirt.

Angora Lakes ... 

... is our favorite getaway.  
A short but strenuous hike into the hills and we're surrounded by noise absorbing trees...
... cliffs daring enough and sometimes too dangerous to dive from .. 

 ...a slim strip of sand perfect for digging in toes ...
... and digging out holes... 

..rocks, just the right size to stretch out and sun...

...and a lake, of course...
 ... for boating...

...and for catching YOUR FIRST FISH!

One more item for Twitter to strike from his bucket list!

We always end the day posing at the "picture perfect" spot:

SUMMER FUN -- and we've only just begun!