Lunch

Virginia & Nevada City, Day 3

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After the boys were asleep, we put them in the same bed on Saturday night. Experience showed, on Friday night, that Brendan would kick both of us out of bed on a whim and no one would get any “good” sleep. This is what the little angels looked like. I use the term “angels” loosely, of course!

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The morning was not so beautiful on Day 3. Well, it was pretty and all but, with the lack of sleep, it wasn’t “beautiful.” The boys were up as soon as the sun came up. In Montana, that means extremely early in the morning!

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There is just something wrong about someone being that happy on a morning when enough sleep has been elusive for 2 days!

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Sourdough french toast for breakfast with sausage and a strawberry. We did get fruit cups and the biscuits and gravy. I stayed away from the biscuits and gravy on Sunday morning. I didn’t want to be overstuffed, this time!

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Taking a walk around Virginia City before the crowds arrive (nothing was open, everyone who lives here was in church and there was no coffee to be had).

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Supposedly, this house is haunted by a giant dog. It barks and snarls at you, making quite a fuss, until you turn around to confront him. At that point, he disappears and peace descends for a time.

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One of the locals trying to convince my babies that he had an actual picture of a ghost.

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Showing the boys where 5 men were hanged from the beam of an unfinished building. At least, it was unfinished 150 years ago. Now, they have it all nice and sparkly except for the section used to hang some men.

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Taking pictures of some horseshoe prints. Apparently, in the middle of the night, a team of horses runs down this road. They make quite a racket but cease and desist, disappearing when someone looks out the window to catch them at it.

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While looking at one supposedly haunted house, daddy elected to stand back quite a ways… Scared much, Dad?

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Watching one of the locals make taffy. Yum! This adventure lasted nearly a half hour.

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We bumped into the same men from yesterday. The best part was Brendan pulling out his camera to shock them again! He remembered their … excitement from the day before.

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Panning for gold in Nevada City. We drove from Virginia City down there to pan for gold and visit the living museum again. On the way out of Virginia, I asked Dad if he wanted to stop and schedule the train ride for the boys for later in the day. He said, “Nah. We can do that in Nevada City.” I didn’t say another word but later, we had to drive back to Virginia City to get the boys on the train one last time. No one was in Nevada City to set up or take them. Daddy was now 3 and Jen was 2 for stupid moves this weekend.

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Looking for garnets or gold. We found a little.. nothing to “write home about,” though.

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Back in the “Living Museum,” we run into a lady that’s making a rug from scraps. She took us into her house and showed us how to make yarn, as well.

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This is how yarn starts.

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You have to brush it out and then use the wheel above to wind it up. Jen got to try it out but ran like a scared little girl when asked if she wanted to work the wheel.

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My boys got to “comb” it out, as well!

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The Chinese section of Nevada City.

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Brendan helping another lady make yarn. She actually let him keep a little bit that he made. He was so proud of it, he showed it off to everyone!

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A boot maker’s shop.

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I can’t find any pictures of the lady; however, the lady that feeds all the volunteers for the “Living Museum” makes a divine potato soup! She also makes some delicious biscuits with little flecks of bacon in them. I got both recipes and will try to make it soon! I can’t wait to go to a cabin so I can practice cooking on a wood stove like she does!

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While I was snitching some of the cooks food, Whiskey Joe took Caiden over to another building (the old postal office) and convinced Caiden to help him snitch some food through the window. Apparently, the post mistress left some biscuits cooling on the table and the window open. Whiskey Joe and Caiden were in the process of taking one when she came in and found them. She yelled at them and then made them ask for a biscuit. After she gave one to Caiden, he hauled his butt back to where mommy and daddy were. I don’t think he trusted Whiskey Joe anymore after that.

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All in all, it was a great weekend. When we were done here, we got in the car and headed off towards home. I enjoyed every minute (except for tired and cranky babies) and I’m hoping to go back several more times this summer!

Watch for another post that shows all the shots I took of this town that were “superb” for a budding photographer. These three posts were about showing our trip, not showing off. Another post will do that for me!

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Categories: Family, Holidays, Lunch, Socializing, Trips | 7 Comments

Where, o’where could Naia be?

Well, hello there blogger friends! It’s been over 2 weeks since I’ve sat down to write my thoughts, what I’m up to and what I’m about. I apologize for my extended absence. I started, purely by happenstance, to check out a game my boys were constantly asking me if they could play on my Xoom.

It didn’t matter that the Xoom has been broken since almost as soon as I got it back in June of 2011 (my son dropped it, huge crack on screen – still works great but has a crack). It didn’t matter that there was only one Xoom and they would have to share. It didn’t even matter that playing it on the Xoom was not nearly as fun as playing it on a computer. The only thought in their heads was the constant request to play it on my Xoom.

A little over two weeks ago – pro’lly closer to three – I got on their computer (it is actually the computer from my old store but they think it is theirs) and downloaded the game to the computer for them to play. They seemed to enjoy it and would, on occasion, ask me to help them with this, that or the other thing. At one point, I was asked to help clean up a flood my baby had caused in the town they were playing in. I sat down, started cleaning up the flood – with no clue how to play the game – and got it all set to rights again.

In the process of doing this, I realized how fun the game was. The object is to build stuff and kill weird bad guys that only come out at night. You destroy them with swords and bow-n-arrows. The building part of things was awesome! I started playing with the boys whining behind me about how it was “their hour to play on the computer, not mine.”

Eventually, I set about installing Minecraft on my laptop. I really wanted to build things and play!

My First Castle in Minecraft

My First Castle in Minecraft

Within a very short few days, I decided I needed to install the server version so I could play with my children. When you play the game without a server, you play alone. No one can help you build or kill the bad guys. The server version allows many people to play in one world and have fun together.

Playing upstairs. Mommy moved the server upstairs so everyone had a computer. Server is big Beast on the right. That's what we call it, "The Beast."

Playing upstairs. Mommy moved the server upstairs so everyone had a computer. Server is big Beast on the right. That’s what we call it, “The Beast.”

I have a server in my home. I used it for my store and I use it constantly for storage and other items. I’ve offered it up for other people to use, as well. Why not put it on the server that doesn’t do a lot and has a lot of room and ability to do so much? A few hours later, I had it installed on the server and was testing it out. I got a hold of Jen’s brother and told him I had a server he could play on – come join us!

My Dining Room got taken over by computers/laptops/gamers.

My Dining Room got taken over by computers/laptops/gamers.

He ended up spending a weekend with us and we played the entire weekend. I told the boys that they had to do good in school, not get in trouble, not pee their bed at night if they wanted to play with us. It works great as an incentive!

It has been just about 3 weeks since this all started. We are now in the middle of our third weekend Minecraft party. The goal? Get all of our stuff done during the week so we can play Minecraft all weekend with no worries. Goals: Keep our sheets dry at night (Brendan) and not get in trouble for popping in and out of our chair and talking too much in school (Caiden). My goals? Get the work done for my clients. I’ve failed a little on that but I’m doing alright.

Shari's for pie at 10 p.m. last night.

Shari’s for pie at 10 p.m. last night.

We get the house cleaned and we play all weekend. We might take breaks and go to Shari’s for hot chocolate or pie. We might hop in the car to run to the store or perhaps head off to the playground with Jen to get some energy out.

My house did look like a train hit it with the laptops and computers we had set up to play our game. We finally settled on getting a table set up downstairs to put our stuff on and play down there. We don’t do much down there, so it is a great place to keep it out of the way and still have it all set up.

It was so easy to fall back into the routine of playing on the computer all the time. I did it before, when life was kicking me in the britches and I was not terribly happy. I played EverQuest for nearly 5 years – before my children were born – and it was an excellent way of distracting me from my back problems and the fact that I didn’t spend the 20 years in the Navy that I had wanted to do.

It was a depressing time, finding out that my career goals were brought to a screeching halt and I was sent home, in 1998. My entire life had been spent trying to get into the service and then I was sent home, a failure. At least, a failure in my eyes.

When people thank me for my service, I always cringe inside. They don’t realize that I didn’t finish! I didn’t go the full 20! I didn’t do what I set out to do! Mind you, I understand that physically I was broken and couldn’t finish – it wasn’t my fault. It just still hurts to think about not finishing a goal I had nearly all my life.

That’s where EverQuest came in. I didn’t have to think about my failures and shortcomings for nearly 5 years of my life! And, honestly, I had no life when I played EverQuest. I had nothing except the game. It got so bad, at one point, that when I did finally eat, my body would reject the food because it didn’t know what to do with it. I had to break that addiction and get a life again and I did. It was hard, because it was so easy to “check out of life” by playing the game.

But, I have children now. I can’t afford to “check out” and back into a computer game. I’d fail them miserably if I do. Even if I am getting kicked around with the stupid lawsuit. Finances are a toss-up right now because there is a turn-over in who is managing them and it’s always rough with someone new figuring things out.

So, I am starting to pave the way for them to not play so much. Yes, it was fun playing for nearly 3 weeks – without a care in the world! But, we have life to do and spring is coming. We’ll be going outside more and traveling to various places to take pictures. True, the weather has kept us housebound a lot this winter. Finances kicking us in the britches and forcing us to stay home even more.

Spring is coming, though and with it, we have so many opportunities to get outside! I’m actually looking forward to it and planned a road trip for today. We were going to go after we woke up – after staying up very late playing Minecraft as a family (Jen’s brother included). We were going to go for a drive through Montana so we could replace the pictures I lost when the hard drive crashed.

Except we woke to a small blizzard passing over our town. We stayed home. Played Minecraft.

Mark helped make breakfast of sausage patties and eggs. Jen and I made quiche and upside-down pizza for lunch and we have bread on the counter for snacks. I promised I would sit down and write a blog post after taking a nap and here I am. I may write another one and pass on some pictures of the last three weeks. They’ve been sitting on my camera card for too long.

So, there’s where I’ve been. Look for more as I try to get updated and back on track with things. Thank you for being patient with me while I drifted a bit to the far left.

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Categories: Breakfast, Family, House/Yard Changes, Lunch, Military | 2 Comments

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