Showing posts with label Lancaster. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lancaster. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Four years ago: Hiking Ripley State Park

Feb. 12, 2010
Four years ago today we hiked the Ripley Desert Woodland State Park - one of the last virgin stands of Joshua trees in the Antelope Valley, which is where our homes in Lancaster and Palmdale, California were located.

The park was located way out in the desert, about 15 miles from our house. It was very easy to get to but had no facilities to speak of.

You most enjoyed the numbered markers posted along the trail! The numbers corresponded with a brochure that told about Joshua trees and the local ecosystem. You had great fun searching them out and making sure you got the next number in the sequence!

Here's a bunch of photos from our adventure!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Four years ago today: Tortoise hiking

Spotting a desert tortoise, Jan. 30, 2014.
Four years ago today we hiked a trail in the Desert Tortoise Natural Area. It was a remote area in the Mojave Desert, though driveable from where we lived in Lancaster, Calif.

The wildlife reserve was set aside as a place for the endangered desert tortoise to live. They've been on the planet for about 2 million years but are rapidly disappearing. We were lucky enough to see one, by the way!

I do remember the day being just a tad under perfect warm; we had to wear hoodies and sweatshirts, but it felt very nice compared to the cold winter we'd been experiencing.

Herre's a whole bunch of photos from our adventure!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Kiddie songs from your preschool days

Earlier this week while going through my computer looking for files to delete - having less stuff on your computer helps it run faster, as it frees up memory - I came across some memories of us: a collection of children's songs that we often listened to when living in the green house in Lancaster.

Among the songs were "B-I-N-G-O," the Chipmunks doing Beatles hits, "If You're Happy and You Know It," and "I'm a Little Tea Pot." I collected them by copying DVDs from the library.

You really liked listening to the Chipmunks songs and some of the railroad songs, especially "I've Been Working on the Railroad." Sometimes, though, you'd ask me to play more adult music, like the pop and rock hits from the Sixties. You had grown-up tastes in music even as a preschooler!

Though you probably wouldn't listen to those kiddie songs now, I refrained from deleting them. Maybe one day you'll want to hear them just for old time's sake...

Friday, January 3, 2014

Recall your City Vehicle Action Set?

Do you remember your City Vehicle Action Set? We bought it at Walmart when you were a preschooler and we lived at the green house in Lancaster.

You may not remember the action set but you probably recall pieces of it - that's because I tossed it in the tote with all of your airplane toys! Most of the pieces in the action set seemed to involve airports, so that only made sense!

Among the pieces in the set were fake wall fronts for an airplane terminal and a gas station/car wash. There are were airport signs and a delivery van.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

When snow fell at our SoCal house

Jan. 2, 2011
Three years ago today, we got to enjoy a rare afternoon snow fall at the green house in Lancaster, California! It was the first day our part of the desert had received snow in five years!

I remember that when the snow started falling, I had come over to the window and look with me, and then I asked you if you'd like to outside and play in it. You got superexcited and said "Yes!"

One bad thing about the snow fall was the freezing rain knocked down our apple tree in the backyard. It was the biggest tree in our yard and in the corner.

Here's a bunch of pictures of you enjoying the snow that day!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Remember going to the snowy mountains?

Dec. 28, 2010
Three years ago today, we drove up into the back range of the San Gabriel Mountains and enjoyed some snow!

While temperatures on the desert floor were comfortable in the 40s and 50s (At the time, we lived in the green house in Lancaster, Calif.), a mile up on the mountain tops, snow fell rather than rain. So when the weather cleared up there, we drove up to find several feet of snow, blue skies, and temps in the 20s!

I had bought a blue sled for us, and we went sliding down the Pacific Crest trail near Big Pine, Calif. What is funny is we went hiking there just a few months before!

Here are some photos from our adventure!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Recall 'Luke Skywaker's Amazing Story'?

Our discussion this past weekend of you wanting books to read at your mother's place got me thinking of all of the great books you once had. You probably had close to a hundred of them at the green house in Lancaster.

Then when I went to the book store to purchase a bunch of them for you, I began to wonder if I should rebuy some of those books for you or go for totally new ones?

Anyway, one of the books you had - and one I couldn't find! - was "Luke Skywaker's Amazing Story". About half of the book came from "Star Wars IV: A New Hope", and the other half was a mix of the highlights from the two movies that came after.

You absolutely loved the book! You'd have me read it to you night after night as a bedtime story, and the pictures kept you in rapt attention.

I think if I can find this book somewhere, I will purchase it for you, just for old time's sake!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Remember Star Wars' pop-up book?

When visiting bookstores as a preschooler with me, one of the Star Wars books you often enjoyed looking at was "Star Wars: A Pop-up Guide to the Galaxy." In fact, I think we got a copy of the book at the library in Lancaster, Calif.

With each page were several illustrations that popped up and flaps that could be pulled to create scenes from the various Star Wars movies. Among them was the cantina from "A New Hope"; it as so elaborate that it almost looked like a mini playset!

Another scene had the big battle between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker from "Return of the Jedi." Sometimes you'd like to take the two characters and have a light lightsaber battle between them!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Your Balok and puppet Star Trek figures

Do you remember your Balok and puppet action figure set? It was a Star Trek collection of three action figures, which included Captain Kirk, Balok, and his menacing-looking puppet.

I had purchased the set back in 1998 when there were tons of Star Trek toys out. I always liked to collect those from The Origianl Series.

I never opened it and kept it packed in totes in our garage at the green house in Lancaster, Calif. After you discovered that I had action figures/toys in the totes, you eventually came across the set!

Though I planned to collect the action figures, so many of them were produced that most were worth less than I paid for them, so I figured why not open 'em and let you play with them? After all, it gave us an extra Captain Kirk (We also got one with the shuttlecraft!)!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Remember hiking Piute Butte?

Three years ago today we hiked Piute Butte east of Lancaster, Calif.! It was the site of ancient Indian villages and the Antelope Valley Indian Museum.

We began with a hike around the grounds through some interesting rock formations. You really liked the loop because there were numbered markers identifying key sights, and you liked finding the next number! The picture at right is of you showing disbelief because somehow you'd missed marker No. 8!

Afterward, we went into the museum, which was this neat building literally built over rock on the side of the butte. You enjoyed looking at all of the pottery and Indian artifacts.

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our adventure!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Your picture is in a magazine!

Your picture appeared in an online magazine last week! Every few weeks I write an article about hiking for Seattle Backpackers Magazine and usually send along photos to go with the text.

My most recent article is about dressing kids for winter hikes. Of course, I had photos of you dressed for winter, from when we went up into the mountains after a snowfall while living at the greenhouse in Lancaster, Calif. (at right).

The photo shows us sitting in a sled together! You might remember that I pulled up the hill on the sled and then we went sliding down it together.

Here's the article!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Remember going to the rock show?

Three years ago today, we attended the Rock 'n Gem Roundup, held at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds. We had a blast!

Like an asteroid blast - you got to stand next to the fossil skill of a T-rex, which was so large that it could have eaten you whole! You also got to look at all kinds of other rocks; I believe it's one of the reasons that you're still interested in gems and minerals (When we were at the Minnesota Zoo a couple of weeks ago, you even bought a geode with amethyst in it!).

You won the drawing for free gems at the show, by the way, and got a necklace with a fossilized shell in it! In truth, I think they rigged the contest because they wanted to keep young children interested in their hobby (The Palmdale Gem and Mineral Club sponsored the event). Not that we complained!

Here's a whole bunch of photos from our adventure!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Remember playing 'Scary Monster"?

With today being Halloween, I thought I'd share my memories of playing "scary monster" with you! When we were in the green house in Lancaster, you would pretend to be taking a "nap" on the sofa and then say, "Dad, Dad, I think I hear something!"

I'd say, "There's nothing there!"

"There was, there was!" you'd say.

"I'll go check and show you that everything is okay!"

Then I'd go into the hallway where you couldn't quite see me, and I'd say really loud, "There's nothing here. Now you go back to taking your nap!" I'd start walking back to you and go, "Hey, what was that noise?" Turning around, I'd go, "Oh my God, what is that?"
Then I'd make loud monster growling noises and go "Aggh!" and pretend to slam myself into the wall and slide down it.

A second of silence would pass (You'd be peeking over the sofa to try to see what was happening.), and then I'd start walking with a limp like a zombie toward you, making monster growling noises and saying, "Now I can eat that little boy!"

You'd jump off the sofa and run screaming into the kitchen, where you'd break out in laughter!

Happy Halloween, Kieran!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Remember hiking to the dry lake bed?

Celebrating that we've reached
the shore of the dry lake bed
Three years ago today we hiked the El Mirage Dry Lake Beds east of Lancaster, Calif. It's in the Mojave Desert below the back range of the San Gabriel Mountains.

The day we were there, the dry lake bed wasn't entirely dry, though! Rain had recently fallen, so there was an inch or two sheen of water across much of the lake bed.

At this point in your life, you were able to walk on your own during our hikes, but the amount of mileage you were willing do varied each time; we didn't walk very far on this one. I think you were fairly excited about going to the nature center, though, and so wanted to cut this hike a little short!

Here are a whole bunch of photos from our adventure to the dry lake bed!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Do you remember 'Bob the Builder'?

When you were a preschooler, one of your favorite shows to watch was "Bob the Builder" on Sprout and PBS. The claymation program featured trucks and construction equipment that talked and had personalities like people.

I once got you a dump truck for a sand toy, and it came with a person who sat in the drivers seat. You called the person "Bob the Builder"!

You may also recall there was a Bob the Builder ride at the Toys 'R Us in Lancaster, Calif., that you sometimes got to ride when we went to the store. Usually you were too excited about playing with your new toy to want to go on the ride when we left the store, though!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Recall our Peter Pan playset?

Do you remember our Peter Pan playset? It consisted of figurines of the major characters from the movie and some other cool accessories.

We purchased the playset during one of our many visits to Disneyland. It formed the core of our box of "pirate toys."

Often we used the figures and accessories when playing with our "ocean" toys - especially the rowboat and gazebo. We usually played with them on the glass coffee table, which served as the "water surface" of many ocean and island adventures, at the green house in Lancaster.

Theonly real downside to the figures is that they didn't move like our many other action figures!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Your first 'Star Wars' action figure!

Do you remember what your first "Star Wars" action figure was? It was Grand Moff Tarkin, the evil general who ran the Death Star in "Star Wars IV: A New Hope."

We never purchased Grand Moff Tarkin. Instead, we found him the flower bed at the green house in Lancaster. I washed him up, and viola! we had a new action figure.

At the time, you were more into the "Star Trek" action figures I had squirreled away in the garage. Once we started watching "The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars" rerun marathons, though, you got quite interested in "Star Wars" action figures, and our collection took off!

You really liked to collect clone troopers - but I'll save that for another entry!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Your Matchbox Car Wash Mini Playset

Do you remember your Matchbox Car Wash Mini Playset? It was one of many Matchbox car playsets that you had.

This one was neat, though, because it folded up into a box that you could carry around! We kept it in an end table between the sofa and the wall in the green house we lived in at Lancaster, Calif., along with all of the other Matchbox and Hot Wheel sets.

I think you were more of a collector than a player with the Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars, though. You'd play a little with them each day, but you were more into your action figures.

The two purple guys who came with the car wash got put in with our airport toys, if I remember correctly. I think we used the guy carrying the rag as an airplane mechanic at the airport hangar!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Remember your basketball set?

Do you remember your Little Tikes basketball hoop? It was a basketball hoop with backboard on a short stand that I bought you when a preschooler while we lived in the green house in Lancaster.

You had a soft Nerf basketball that you could use to make buckets. We kept it inside until the weather got warm then moved it outside onto the side of the house by the grill.

Generally you preferred to play football or hit the baseball off a t-ball stand rather than "shoot buckets." Still, you played with it just about every time we went outside, usually by tossing the ball at it a couple of times.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Remember that big St. Bernard stuffy?

When we lived in the grene house in Lancaster, you might recall that I had a couple of big pillows a large fluffy St. Bernard dog stacked next to the television in the living room.

Sometimes you way lay on the pillows and dog while watching television. Other times you'd play tackle the dog!
When we did football, "tackle drills," I'd place the the pillow beneath my knees so I'd beyour height for you to ram into.

The dog was a stuffy I got for your mother before you were born. She liked St. Bernards, and for a while we were putting together a mystery novel about a nurse whose St. Bernard solves murders that the nurse gets entangled in!