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We decided Charlie, at 16 months, would be old enough for camping. This decision was made before we found out that he’s not much of a sleeper. He is also mobile but unaware of danger so that made it extra challenging.

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A few things we found that need some adjusting are food preparation and clean up, packing and travel, sleeping arrangements, and campsite safety. We took these things for granted before having a little one. It shouldn’t be too drastic to go from metal to paper plates, or tri tip to bean and cheese burritos. Well, maybe John would disagree. Despite the new challenges, we had lots of fun, and best of all, Charlie had a blast. That was the best part!

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Charlie has just discovered eating dirt. Our backyard has lots of it, and to indulge his desire to be in the sunshine, I had to figure out a creative way to distract him from eating dirt and keeping him safe, all while making sure I didn’t fence in more of the outside than necessary.

Gretzky, the red golden retriever, likes to eat anything that resembles food, and who’d a thunk rocks resembled anything edible? I had to find something that could be consumed in (hopefully) small quantities, and that wouldn’t be a choking hazard for a child who is learning about the world partly through his mouth.

I purchased this groundcover http://www.scotts.com/smg/templates/index.jsp?pageUrl=NatureScapeshttp://www.scotts.com/smg/templates/index.jsp?pageUrl=NatureScapes in the color “Red Sierra” at OSH during the Memorial Day Weekend “We Pay Sales Tax” event. At $4.99 a bag, it was the perfect incentive to tackle this first-world problem we are facing in our backyard. It is also pet and kid friendly, a top priority for our “put it in your mouth” family.

I also bought red geraniums for the terra-cotta pot that is lying on its side. Geraniums are safe for dogs and children. I referenced this list to narrow down my search: http://www.ladybug.uconn.edu/hotissues/SafeandPoisonousHouseplants.htmlhttp://www.ladybug.uconn.edu/hotissues/SafeandPoisonousHouseplants.html

Geraniums are beautiful, hearty, and don’t require too much maintenance once they take root. They are a perfect addition to our small outdoor area.

The task was just completed over the weekend, and only involved some dog hair removal, pouring out the groundcover, and raking it to distribute it evenly. The testing has not really started. I will post again with the results once testing is complete. So far, our “bottomless pit” retriever has sampled a few wood chips, with no visible impact to his digestive system.

Thanks for reading!

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New Directions

In the past 13 years, I have moved almost double that number. I have pared down my belongings extensively so I wouldn’t have to move so many things, and I was also redefining my identity; I was growing up. Yes, college changed my perspective on life as it tends to do to young people, but living in Santa Cruz, California, and experiencing something closer to the Northern California lifestyle than I ever have known, really stuck with me.

The delicious offshore breezes and clear skies, gigantic and fragrant coastal redwoods, sweet and vibrant heirloom tomatoes, husky and soothing Cabernets, and charmingly awkward organic markets are just a few ingredients in the comfort food I miss about Santa Cruz and “Nor Cal”.

Now, the point of my post; I have finally nailed what inspires me. It’s the lifestyle I left behind when I graduated and embarked on adulthood, career, marriage, homeownership, and finally – parenthood. I have always hoped that someday I would move back up north with my husband (who also has a fondness for Nor Cal, having graduated from Sonoma State University), but I have realized that I don’t need to be up north to have a part of it “down south”. Sure, we don’t get as much rain, but our community has its share of organic farmers, wildflowers and pine trees, and family-owned shops and restaurants.

My goal is not only to enjoy Los Angeles in a new way, but also to begin reinforcing a way of life that is good for myself and my family. I hope to spend the next few years truly building on what inspires me and going in a direction that helps me define myself and helps me find peace. I think I will start with those palms in the back yard that I am not fond of.

I recently gave birth to my first child, a son, John Charles Klose VI.
I agreed to continue the long-standing tradition of my husband’s family by
keeping the name that has lasted over 150 years. I don’t know any
other “6′s” so I really liked the idea.

There are a few things I remember very clearly about being pregnant,
and a few things I don’t remember at all.
For example, I hardly remember being this size.

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And although it was more recent, I hardly remember being this size…

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What I remember most, is life after this guy.

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Charlie is 3 months old tomorrow, and the past 3 months have been
the most fleeting of my life. Life with a baby is overwhelming
on every level. This is the best thing, next to getting married
of course, I have ever done.

It’s been over a month and a half since my last entry, and time seems to be going faster than I could have imagined. This day’s theme is a little difficult for me because there is absolutely nothing that I want lately that seems practical. That’s a good thing! I guess another reason I’ve had difficulty is lack of inspiration. I guess that happens to everybody, but it seems that this state of mind can take over for quite awhile. In the meantime, I’ve started reading pretty regularly.

I joined a book club put together by my cousin-in-law which helps keep the pressure to finish the books going. It’s been a great experience, and the first book I read was “Mrs. Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs. The story reminded me of the Harry Potter stories, but definitely not Harry Potter. Be warned, this book is just the first of more, so when you start reading, be prepared to enter a world that has no conclusion when you finish.

I am currently reading “Rules of Civility” by Amor Towles. This story takes place in New York City in the late thirties, and is absolutely fabulous. It is written from the perspective of a young professional woman making her way in a “Mad Men” kind of environment.

Funny how, because I was unable to think of a few practical things I want but haven’t gotten for myself yet, I wrote about books.

Ok, so I took the whole waiting-a-few-days-in-between-posts to the next level. That’s how I roll.

When I was first thinking about my hobbies, I couldn’t think of any that really have lasted through the years. Unfortunately most things I consider hobbies have a short shelf-life. Except camping! My parents took my sister, my brother, and me camping all the time. We were serious campers, too. None of that ritzy motor-home camping worked for us. We liked to sleep in a tent, get dirty, and cook spam on a small Coleman stove. Some of my favorite memories spent with my family as a young’n involved being  outdoors.

Lucky for me, I found a man who loves camping as much as I do, and who loves making fire! Camping is definitely a Klose hobby. I wrote a little snippet of our first camping adventure of the year. Unfortunately, we were blown out by heavy winds, and I couldn’t hack it with a sniffly nose and sore throat. We got lucky with our most recent camping endeavors. We squeezed two camping trips into two weekends in a row, and it was a wild and totally necessary ride.

Our first trip was to El Capitan in Santa Barbara, Ca. We had to cancel this trip the past two years in a row, so we were thrilled to finally use the reservations my husband woke up extra early to make!

The weather was perfect, the area was beautiful, and we found a little private beach by walking a little off the regular path. The dogs were grateful. Part of our camping hobby includes finding water for the dogs.

Happy, wet, and stinky!

Our second camping trip was in Mammoth, Ca at Agnew Meadows Campground. It was my first trip to Mammoth and my girlfriends from college had booked it and were waiting for us to arrive. The drive up from Los Angeles was quite an adventure. The road is dotted with small towns every 30 or so miles. When you get into town you have to slow down from 80mph to 20mph. The local police are just waiting for speeders. I think it helps the local economy. We didn’t get any speeding tickets, but we made it to our destination in exactly 5 hours.

Everyone was pleased to find out the campsite was right next to a creek and tucked up against the edge of the campground which meant no traffic passing through our campsite. The best part about being in Agnew Meadows was that we could hike to Devil’s Postpile

and Rainbow Falls.

See the little rainbow down in the lower-left corner? It never leaves! We finished our quick trip with a visit to a beautiful glacial valley at Convict Lake, so-called because of a shootout that occurred between Nevada convicts and California law enforcement, sometime back in the day.

And, of course, the dogs went swimming.


 

I wouldn’t say I’m OCD, but my husband might think so. I can sweep the entire house and spot the giant tumbleweeds easily. Our two dogs are indoors, and they are especially sheddy in summer.

Tumbleweeds Indoors

I guess since I am using this as my OCD post, I should just admit I’m OCD. Dogs 1: Me 0.

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