Friday, October 30, 2009


Steve decided we had better carve the pumpkins or they'd go the way of last years..uncarved, unlit, and unfun. (actually, those were my words!) So, Jon grabbed the large orange one and left Steve the greenish one. After they drew on their faces, it took forever to get them open and once they did, we say why. Look at that rind!!! Wow!

During the carving, Jon decided he wanted the seeds this year. And he even said he'd eat them..not like the last however many years of seeds we have cooked and eventually given to the birds. Well, we'll see! As you can see, Jon prefers the Greek method of carving. Steve prefers the artisitic method, thinking hard about his design and then applying it to the rind. I, liking Leah's pumpkin this year, asked for a cat. He obliged me by patterning it after Moses. Well, they are both orange!

Jon's turned out pretty good, eh?
And here they are waiting for the 31st. The two next to the kitten pumpkin are not carvable..they are soft and so are being used as basic fall decor!

This last shot is one I wondered if I could do. It is 'From the Eye of a Pumpkin". Looking up to the sky..or actually, it is the edge of the railing on the deck. Now, if I could just paste in a cat....hmmmm.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Falling temps and leaves and pears

Well, I realised I had not put up a photo of the addition with the siding all done. Note the strange color variation? We are not sure why there is a difference in the blue and green pieces. They all came off of the back of the house. We are thinking it may have been a fading thing. Which is why when people wanted to look at the house no one knew if it was green or blue. Go, figure. (note, I may have mentioned this in an earlier blog, but it is VERY strange!)
The youth in our church went to a corn maze in Walla Walla. One of those things that says fall is truly on the way. Jon thought it was tame because they had paths to follow. I thought it was rather long, myself! And another part of fall is the falling leaves. Here we have Moses who has been liberated of his hated collar and was decorated with locust leaves. As I crouched to take the picture, he decided he wanted to see what I was doing. He had been sitting there in the sun for several minutes and was looking very cute!
The most amazing part of this fall has been the plethora of pears! Our plum tree was pretty sparse this year, but the sink in the photo has just some of the pears that fell off the tree during yesterday's amazing wind storm. I don't know what to do with them all! No one but me eats pears~ And the teeny one came off of our other pear tree. It was too cute for words and I set it next to the teaspoon for a true comparison.
And last, but by no means least, is our dishwasher!!!!!!! The 25$ bargain we found on Craig's List covered by a piece of wood from Home Depot that was also a bargain (I think it was 6$ because it was broken on the far end.). Am very excited about this being up and running finally! And I have more real counter space now!!! Steve did a great job! (even if it is not quite finished exactly...)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Chem Lab!

Well, we didn't get a single deer. Very sad. So, deer season ended last Wed. This Saturday we did a chemistry merit badge at Whitman college. It was a great deal of fun and although Jon did most of the stuff at home, he did get to do some hands on experiments. We also got to see some pretty cool demonstrations of chemistry. Unfortunately, I am not very adept with my new camera yet and many of the photos were blurry. Sad, but true. So, here is what I got today.

These are of the mento and soda pop blow ups. They used these specially made doo hickey things to drop the mentos in the soda. It worked VERY well. The last two frames are of Jon's soda pop. The worst part of this was the boys were told they could NOT drink the leftover soda as the mentos had been in the chem lab. It is very bad to eat things that are stored in the chemistry lab. That rule made the Scouts very sad.
In this first photo the guys are making mini marshmallows grow and shrink with vacuum.
Here Jon was doing something with combining chemicals, they had to record their results in pen. It appears that pen is the preferred method of recording chemistry data and it is recommended that you use ball point as some other forms of pen react badly to certain chemicals. One young chemist told us about a lab partner he had who actually lost all his data when a chemical spilled on his paper and the ink vanished! (So much for the dog eating your homework!)

These last photos are of a couple of the experiments. The goo in the tube is called elephant's toothpaste and the young lady had already moved when I turned the camera to see what the boys found so amazing! The young man in the background is Nathan, the chem lab professor. The balloon has hydrogen in it and when it was lit on fire it well..exploded. The boys were VERY impressed with that one. The last one almost didn't work. The plant container on top had thermite in it. When it was lit on fire with magnesium the stuff melted and turned into molton iron that flowed into the bottom containers. It melted the top clay planter, too!
An amazing day in the world of Science!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Still no deer, but....

Jon caught this bug up at Grandma's...well, ok, it is a praying mantis and it was so creepy I had to use the zoom part of the camera on it. I don't mind snakes, but bugs just have too many legs. (shudder) If I am close to bugs, they better be in bug jars!

Later that day, we did see the most amazing thing ever. A young (it was a teen age kitty) cat was stalking a pheasant! We watched it for a long time, and it appeared the kit finally gave up. We really wanted to see what would happen when they met. The pheasant did look rather confused, though. It was too far away in the field for a video, so you just get the series of photos.

On Friday there was no school, so Jon and Grandpa went up in the Toyota. All day they wandered the hills in search of deer..and found nothing.

Finished Howard's End (very very very good book). Might do The Fairy Godmother by M. Lackey again..not sure.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Hunting season

So, far it has been just a lot of long hikes. I even went up with Jon after school one day (Monday) and it was lovely, but very cold. He wouldn't let me hike with him, though..he said he could be quieter on his own. He also is using gdpa's rifle...which is an automatic and so far he has not gotten his deer. Very sad, but kind of funny! One shot, one kill has bit the dust! Steve said he's a normal hunter now.

In the last photo there is a black is a bear. It was watching them! Except for the bird and the one of Jon, all the pictures are on or around a draw (or canyon) that they like to hunt in.

The robin is one of the hundreds of of them that are all over up at the ranch. We did see a grouse..Jon almost ran it over with the Toyota (he drove it, 3rd generation to do that!).

Saturday, October 03, 2009

It is finally fall...

OK, I am not totally thrilled fall is here. It has been rather chilly out and last week we had to turn on the heater for the first time since well...we turned it off! I did get my blanket done in time, though. Very glad.

I learned a lot from this project. 1. Buy fabric from a fabric store. I like the patterns and the print, was NOT printed on the fabric straight. 2. Just because a fabric has lines does not mean they always end up the same direction when you cut. 3. If you go back to a project after a bit of a spell...measure everything again! I had to rip out the first seam of the thing when I realised the printed material was off. I had not noticed it on the bed, but did when it was on the floor. 4. When making a blanket, use the old one for a reference. I made this one about 6 inches short on each side. 5. Serging over a serge is not as easy as it sounds. 6. And you CAN serge and sew on the same project!!! So, there you have it. Our 'new' polar fleece blanket and if mum can send me about 2 more yards of mid weight dark brown fleece, I can make it right!

It is a cool cats print and the 'edges' are of a plaid that is within the print. I backed it with my very favorite old flannel sheep sheet. (Just on the printed part)

This is a project Jon made for Biology. It is a plant cell made in 3D from wood. He cut it all out and then painted it and labeled it (I helped with that, he need more hands to glue and hold the strings tight while they dried a bit! I held the glue and the blow drier...)
Best news ever: Tony is back from Romania!!! He is in Vilseck and we'll see what happens next.
Am reading EM Forester's book Howard's End..very long and very funny and very thoughtful!