We decided to get a real Christmas tree this year. Our first ever. We picked up Danelle’s dad and headed out to one of his friend’s farm in Washington, MO. It was extremely cold outside and we did get snow flurries while we looked for a tree.
Danelle in her coveralls.
Henry was colder than he wanted to admit.
After a long discussion of which tree. And could it support the cats climbing it, this one was picked. Corvin is cutting it down.
After the tree was packaged and we all paid, we took Henry out for lunch. He doesn’t get to eat out much and we wanted him to select. He landed on Mexican and we found a great place in Washington to eat. After we all got back home and settled, the tree was moved back inside. Coatrack had to check it out first!
And eventually we even decorated it. Overall, it was a great choice!
We had a weekend trip planned for Echo Bluff State Park. Echo Bluff is a fairly new state park in Missouri. We were going there to celebrate the Missouri Stream Team’s 30th anniversary. We shared a large cabin with two other couples and had plenty of space!
This is actually a duplex. First floor is one rental. Second and third floor (what we had) is a separate rental.
Danelle had her own activities going on, so the kids and I had plenty of time to hang out together. We did go out for a fantastic group hike!
This overlook was up on top of the bluff looking back on much of the park.
Sonora wanted to pet the wild horses behind her.
The hiking trail had several sections set up for mountain bikers to test their skills. Corvin and I looked longingly thinking about taking our unicycles over this, but both know deep down that we’re not quite skilled enough for this!
Looking from the second floor at the inside of the main lodge. We played several board games and enjoyed the fire.
On our way home, we stopped by nearby Devil’s Well. Since it was very cold outside, the well felt warm.
It wouldn’t be fall without us participating in another River des Peres Trash Bash. This year, Danelle was working a the festival site coordinating activities and food. And I was leading a clean up along the River des Peres not far away. And of course, its Cross Country season, so Corvin is out running with the team.
The three of us before things got busy.
Brian Waldrop giving a safety talk.
Sara Wright was here to help!
Cleaning up along the River des Peres.
My canoe is useful as a cooler!
Lots and lots of pizza.Something like 80 ordered.
Look mom, I made the local news!
Yeah, that’s about it. We cleaned up lots of stuff and the weather cooperated!
Danelle has been spending a lot of time in the lab sorting “bugs” from her samples. Luckily, she has been getting help from some students who are looking to get some lab experience. Karen and Maria have been her reliable helpers this year. This time, Danelle even got me in on the act as we tried to use AI (artificial intelligence) to speed up the process. We were taking pictures of the animals she has collected so we can let the computer count how many are in each sample. It didn’t end up working, but it was worth a shot to try to cut down on counting time!
Karen looking at her sample jar and getting ready to look at the contents under the microscope. Danelle is doing the same behind her.
Maria helped me as we tried to get photographs of the sorted bugs.
A sample photo of the scuds from jar 220. That’s a lot of bugs!!