Sunday, July 29, 2007

I'm having fun

Pickles! Real, live, actual, brined (fermented) pickles. I just hope they turn out and I don't do something gastly to them to make them inedible.
I have been reading about our modern diet. Actually I do that a lot. Recently, I've been interested in how we process food and make it not really food anymore. Our bodies are seriously lacking the enzymes that come from a group called lactobacillus. Now, that is a bit misleading, because when the scientists-that-be named this group of micro-organisms, they were studying milk products. Hence the "lacto." But, really, they are found anytime something ferments. In our modern day clean everything world, we think of fermentation as bad. In reality, we need fermentation. Our favorite dairy products--cheese, yogurt, sour cream, kefir, etc are all fermented. The Japanese make and eat tempeh which is very nutritious and makes soy very digestible. So the fact is, fermentation is very desirable. We just tend to process foods to the point that the micro-organisms that inhabit them when we get them are bad. Raw milk, when left on the counter, turns into very yummy things. Like yogurt, sour cream, clabber and such. Paturized milk turns into yucky things. Research is even showing that we may be really harming ourselves by all this processing. I am getting raw goat milk soon for us to try. It stands to reason that if heating human milk destroys the nutrition, heating any other milk will do the same. I am so grateful that there is a provision in Oregon law that makes selling raw milk from a farm legal under certain conditions. And there is a farm nearby that does! Whoo Hoo!

I so love free food. Part of why I love living in Oregon. I plopped G in the stroller and placed a few containers in M's hands and up the hill we headed. In 5 minutes we were in the middle of blackberry heaven. I picked for about an hour. We brought these and 3 full bellies home with us. They turned into 15 half-pints of blackberry-honey jam and one scrumptious pie. The picture of the pie is un-baked. I never got a picture of the finished product. Too late now. :)
But I'm very proud of my crust. It is gluten free, so much harder to make it do things like this. All the time were picking, M was extolling the virtues of a lattice-crust pie. He's wanted one so bad I felt I must try it. It actually turned out great. I just hope he doesn't expect this from every pie!

Just had to include this one. G loves playgrounds. He has mastered all of the climbing stuff. (nearly). He just loves to get to the top and feel like a big kid I think. Can anyone really believe he is 2 months away from his 3rd birthday?! I swear we just brought him home.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

See how the garden grows, always changing, every day

I have finally been able to have a real garden this year. My sweet husband went to so much work just for me! He re-leveled the ground, tilled it, laid out landscape fabric (to control weeds and heat things up for the heat-luvin plants) AND he bought plant starts and planted them. Wowsers! So I guess this is kinda his garden. I did buy a few additional plants and plant those. Mostly I've just been getting excited about all the yummy fresh food we have in our own backyard. I decided to take some pics to share of our efforts.

Here's the main part of the garden. In the front you can see the cukes, cilantro, delicata squash, zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes. There's also peppers, cantaloupe, watermelon and pumpkins.

We had one section that wasn't covered by landscape fabric and not sure what else to plant anyway. C bought a couple of packets of wildflowers and I scattered them in this area. It is so pretty and the bees love it. I need to cut some and bring them inside. Actually I did use some of the white flowers to accent some roses I bought.

I've never grown eggplant before and I have been fascinated watching it grow. It is such a cool plant that I may (*may*) be okay if I don't get any edible fruit from it. Here's a close up of one of the purple flowers. One flower is already turning into a real eggplant.

We planted sunflowers a couple of summers ago and they keep coming back. Good ol' sunflowers! They are beautiful and we can see them creep up outside our S window. I took this picture because I've been worried about the poor bees. It makes me happy to know I have several plants they enjoy.

Me peppers, Me Peppers! I can't wait for fresh salsa with my tomatoes and peppers and cilantro.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Fair

So, yeah, it's been a week now. And the pictures have been here on the computer all along. I'm just slow.
We had a great time. M was a little uncertain. He thought it was just going to be another hot and noisy fair. He wants to go back next year! I love how well the property is managed to have such terrific trees and paths and bridges and everything. We loved the people and the music and the shows. We even met a couple of MDC mamas. And M found a frozen treat at Springfield Creamery that he could eat. Whoo Hooo!

The boys had a go at a community art project. It was so sweet to watch them work together on it. They just were so absorbed in the creative spirit.

We stopped and rested a while at the dragon fountain. M had fun exploring it and seeing all the details of this amazing creation. He took this picture himself.

M also took this picture of drummer we listened to for a few minutes. His entire set was made of plastic buckets and glass bottles. Very intriguing. It actually sounded good too. Either my boys weren't that impressed, they forgot, or aren't very musical though because I haven't seen any recycled bands taking shape around here. I kinda thought I might.
M's favorite area of the fair was definately the archeaology area. He found an arrowhead made from blood obsidian (which I can't find a picture of anywhere online--I'll just have to take on of his and post it later..) that the guy at the booth sold to him for $12. He's so proud of it.
Then we watched a man give a stone-age fire demonstration. He started a fire with a stick, a piece of bark and some dried moss. We were duly impressed.I'm very glad we just went on Friday though. It was a little crowded and I can only imagine what Saturday must be like. I also think that we'll leave the stroller at home and figure out how to get the wagon to the fair if we go next year. That was a Pain! All in all it was a great experience, the temperature was just right and we all want to go back next year.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

More of our North Idaho Trip

More! I promised! I delivered!

My parents and my brother and sister-in-law at a bbq outside. The resort had lots of grills for use by their guests. It was nice to eat outside. Fortunately, we also had very nice kitchens in our units--and A/C!

The highlight for M was the day we spent at Silverwood theme park in Hayden, Idaho. We began the day by taking a ride on the steam engine. It took us on a loop around the park where we saw the land around the park and even some bison with 2 babies. The first part of our day was spent in the main part of the day riding rides and seeing the sights. C and my brother and his wife all rode the roller coasters. G just could not figure out why anyone would willing subject themselves to something like that. We watched Dad on the corkscrew (right over our heads!). When C came back, G looked at him, looked at the ride and turned back to dad. "You want do that, Daddy?!" he asked in wonderment.

Then we moved over to the water park.
At this point, it was just the 3 of us while M played with Uncle D. G wasn't sure what to make of this toddler area at first. He didn't want to get in. So he headed straight into the wave pool instead. Wish I had a picture of that one! But he came back here and had a blast.

Of course, all that playing was quite exhausting!

Fourth of July found us in Clark Forks, Idaho. We had a thoroughly small town 4th.
We began with the CF parade, where M got lots of candy and even taught my niece, L, how to run out and gather the colorful stuff up. There were lots of great cars, including of course fire trucks and motorcycles, so G was happy.
After the parade, we went over to my Aunt's house. She looks great and it was so awesome to see her again. I think she is wonderful. Then we wandered over to the high school lawn where they were having races. D took little L on the father-daughter race. She had a great start, then realized she had no clue what her crazy dad was up to. M and I ran in the mother-son race and he got a quarter at the finish! The picture above is D and me in the brother-sister race. He ran, I tried to hold on and not fall over. It was a pretty hilarious sight I'm sure!
Afterwards, we headed out to see the old homestead and then over to Montana to see my cousins. It was very relaxing to be at their place at the lake. The boys had a great time and I had fun too, catching up with my aunt and cousins. My family is so great. I miss being with them and the way they interact. My husband thinks they are crazy and wonders how on earth we keep up with each others conversations. I gently point out I'm just like them. He also points that out to me sometimes. What a doll. :-P

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Car Trip!

We went to Blanchard Idaho with my family for a little family time and to celebrate (a year late) my parents' 40th wedding anniversary. We had a great time and stayed so busy we are still recovering I think. I might have to make this multiple posts...

G with his way cool WikkiStix sunglasses. It was a bit of a challenge to keep him happy in the car all by himself. But he really did remarkably well.

My sweet niece and her awesome mommy. Didn't I tell you she was precious?!

We took a cruise on Lake Pend Oreille. M had a great time being a captain for a few minutes. Here's a link to another picture.

Policy on this cruise is that the first passenger to spot an osprey or an eagle gets a mug. M of course was the first, and he spotted a Bald Eagle. Icing on the cake for this cruise for sure!