Thursday, September 29, 2016

Flock, Flora, and Food

I've loved Japanese Anemones forever. Somewhere there are photos of me posing in front of my grandparents' pink anemones on my first day of school when I was six or seven. Now that our front yard is no longer a mess of blackberries and dying grass, I've had the opportunity to plant all of the plants I've always wanted to have. There isn't much shade in the front yard, but there is one spot shaded by a big pink rhododendron that I've stuck three anemones in; two white and one pink. The first one to bloom has these pretty blue/purple streaks on the back of the petals. Swoon... Can't wait for the others to bloom too!

Last weekend we went to the Flock and Fiber Festival. It features yarn (fiber) and the animals that provide the fiber for the yarn (flock). The kids love the animals, I love the yarn and the animals, and we all love the corndogs and ribbon fries. I don't know how I didn't take any photos of yarn. Whoops! The angora bunnies were so amazing. They look like they're squished into their cages but really they're like 80% fur and only 20% animal. We got to pet one and it was like petting a cloud. So Soft.

On monday night, after speed eating our dinner, we all watched the presidential debate. Playing bingo helped offset the anger I felt while listening to the stream of lies come out of Trump's mouth a bit. At the end of it Gianna, who is six and a half, said that she thought Trump and her class bully (my word, not hers) would get along because "they just seem similar." She is wise beyond her years.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Goodbye Summer/Hello Fall

Looks like I took most of July and all of August off from checking in here. The summer can be like that. Here's a little catch up: the garden grew and now is dying back, we cheered as we watched a WOMAN become a nominee for president, spent a lazy week at the beach in the best little beachfront house, said a happy goodbye to the elimination diet (!!!), read good books, did many Lego projects, canned lots of applesauce, turned our front yard into something beautiful (with Vincent's help - he built retaining walls and I planted perennials), turned 40, enjoyed the hummingbirds sipping nectar from our Scarlet Runner Beans, discovered that Scarlet Runner Beans are poisonous if eaten raw (so much barf, so much laundry), Dean discovered how to write his name, celebrated the start of First Grade and the lost of her second tooth, made a skirt for the first day of school, had a wet yet great camping trip at the beach, and so much more.
PS We turned on the heat for the first time today. I was trying to hold out longer, but when Vincent came home and found me wearing a wool sweater and wrapped in a blanket he declared that he was turning on the heat, plus "It's officially fall now."

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Summer Camping: Crater Lake

We have a few camping trips planned this summer and the first was to Crater Lake. It's the deepest lake in the US, it's right here in Oregon, and yet we'd never been there. We didn't camp in Crater Lake National Park, but just outside of it. It had a creek and canoes available to use, which was my favorite part. It was a high desert environment and smelled like sweet pine. It was nice, aside from the mosquitoes. We had fun doing scavenger hunts on the nature walk around the campground, looking for ants, birds, and tiny fish.
Crater Lake itself was awe inspiring but not great for the kids. It was a volcano that erupted 7700 years ago and has since filled with water. You can drive and walk around the rim of the crater, with a cliff dropping off to the lake below. It turns out taking a three year old there who doesn't want to hold hands and instead wants to run to the edge is really stressful. If only he could have read the giant DANGER signs posted. Despite that it was our best camping trip so far.
We had a lot of fun earning different buttons for doing jobs/tasks, such as washing dishes, signing songs, setting up camp, etc. There were even buttons for camp cocktails and making a fancy dinner. I earned both of those. The templates for the buttons came from the book Camp Sunset: A Modern Campers Guide to the Great Outdoors. The recipe section looks amazing and I am looking forward to cooking from it once Dean is finished with his elimination diet. There's a recipe for campfire baked cinnamon rolls!