Thursday, July 29, 2010

Days in the Sun

One of the most amazing toys in the world are bubbles. They float, dance, reflect colors, and just encapsulate childhood perfectly. The boys have spent a lot of time with bubbles and I think one of my very favorite memories was once, on the Trask, when we blew a gazillion bubbles and there was a carpet of bubbles on the grass that they ran through! We used Bubbles at rest stops to get car wiggles out and have tried to get the cats to chase them (the cats prefer laser lights..). Here, in EO, bubbles don't do as well. It is very dry here and the grass is sharper. And in our small town, I learned that the WATER has a great deal to do with bubbles. We had purchased a huge bubble wand thing for the summer reading program at the library and it wasn't working. As I did research, I learned that hard water is bad for bubbles! You need twice as much soap to make them work well! Professor Bubbles has a lot of GREAT bubble information on his site. One day this summer we had some kids visit for a day and part of it was spent trying to photograph the biggest bubble! What a very fun project!

After the bubbles and some popsicles, the kids were pretty sticky, so one of them opted to play in the water. She eventually decided to be a sprinkler and watered the garden as she sang, "I'm a Little Teapot'. Much more entertaining than the silly tractor that only goes one way or the other!

One of the best things about summer are gardens. One of my friends from College Place gave me some green beans from his and OOOO, were they YUMMY! We have mostly taters in our garden. The tomatoes are crowded out by volunteer sunflowers and I have not the heart to 'pick' them yet. (the sunflowers) We do have some sort of scab on our taters, but so far they have not inhibited the flavor! We have gold ones, white ones, red ones, and blues. Also learned that when you boil red, white, and blue taters together..for some reason you get GREEN water!!

One day while digging taters we found these 'seeds'. I have looked, but cannot find information on potato seeds that look like this! Pretty odd, huh? At first, I thought one of the tomato plants had escaped to another spot, but they are from the potato vines!

This last picture has a background of hops. We got this baby hops plant from Elgin in early 2008 and it FINALLY took off. Literally. It goes from the ground, across the trellis and anywhere else it can! It is sort of a pest! I am glad I planted it in a deep pot!

Am reading Generation Warriors by A. MacCaffrey and E. Moon. Am excited to finish it again because I found a NEW Grandma Dowdel book by R. Peck!!!! Jon hopes that she isn't watered down as that can happen with characters who keep showing up. He is right, but I have faith that Grandma will continue to blast her shotgun when necessary and put the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in their place!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


BYOC will be added to any invites to parties at our house in the future! Bring your own chair! Yup, it was hilarious fun and it should be mentioned that the ones who found it most hilarious did not include the birthday boy. Actually, man as he IS now 46! It was a tad unplanned, but in spite of that I counted 22 forks and spoons in the sink when I started to tidy things up after 10pm. We had people arriving from 645 to just about 10pm~ And many of them brought cards and some even brought presents! This first photo is just around 730. We had only a few people here at this time. I think that there may have been 15 or so. Every time there was a knock on the door people exploded into laughter at the look on Steve's face. He was very surprised that his quiet birthday at home was turning out to be NOT so quiet!

After dinner (we ate around 6) around 630, I suggested to Steve that he might want to go and get some folding chairs from his parents house as I thought we'd have a couple extra people visit. However, his parents got here too early and we 'killed' time playing rummy with some ultra cool cards the boys got Steve while Jon was in DC. They have posters from WW1 and WW2 on them are great fun to read. The funniest thing was that Steve's mom did not remember WW2 at all. She said it wasn't in their history books and they didn't study it! We were amused! She was about 12 or so when it started. Steve's dad got drafted just after he turned 18. He and his twin turned 18 on Dec 10 and they joined the coast guard.

After several rounds we got some more visitors and one of them brought Steve the best present ever. A garbage bag for a car with a pizza pocket and 2 burritos! Cracked us up!
The next best present was from one of neighbors and friends who had a yard sale last weekend, too. He came in with a bag and tissue paper and said he was glad Steve had had a birthday as they had a lot of stuff left over from their yard sale! Inside the bag was the perfect gift for an 'old man'. A beaded massage thing! It almost brought down the house!

Well, 3 cakes and 6 quarts of ice cream later we have most of one cake, a bit of the angel cake and about 2 quarts of ice cream left. OH, also made a cake and sent it to work with Steve. That vanished like snow in July. All in all, it was a great deal of fun and I appreciate everyone who helped to make it that way. Until next time-Happy birthday, Steve!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

There be squirrels among us!

If DC ever runs short of Obama burgers (Jon had one while he was there "It's not the largest burger I've ever had, but it was pretty tasty.") they can probably survive on squirrel! Here is a recipe in case anyone ever needs it from for slow roasted squirrel:
  • 2 squirrels - skinned, gutted, and cut into pieces
  • 4 large potatoes, quartered
  • 1 pound carrots, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 medium head cabbage
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. In a slow cooker, place the squirrel meat, potatoes, carrots, green bell pepper, onions, water, cabbage, salt and ground black pepper.
  2. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 hours.
Everyone that seemed to review it thought it was really very good! At any rate, here is a montage of Washington DC squirrel photos by Jon!

I was a bit annoyed with this one, it appears they gave it a bit of a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie that I made for Tony's birthday! However, the critter seemed to like it as it got so close to Jon that the only thing in focus on that picture was the tail! So, if Shirley C needs a job, she can go to DC and feed squirrels (it was her cookie recipe!).

Jon took this one in the Capital I think it was. Yup, there are squirrels in the Capital building! Or something that LOOKS like a squirrel!

They are everywhere, looking for treats, burying treats and you can even find them in skeleton form or STUFFED! (not with cookies, I might add!) The last two came from the museum of Natural History, I believe. Which made me realise that squirrels are EVERYWHERE!

We'll post more of his amazing adventures later, but I just HAD to put the squirrels on first!

Monday, July 05, 2010

4th of July weekend

No pictures. Jon took the camera to DC. However, it was a good weekend anyway. It was odd having no kids around, first time EVER that has happened. But, we survived. We wanted to go to the Walla Walla Valley Band concert at the park and missed it completely. BUT, the very best thing happened when we DID go. We got to see one of the sweetest little girls from our past who has grown up into a really very nice young lady. I was so proud of her and so proud to know she is in our circle of friends! I must have hugged her close to a gazillion times and it wasn't enough!

Later, we decided to go and see some fireworks. We had gone to a location in College place every year ages ago and decided to try it again this year. It was amazing! When we visited that spot when the boys were smaller, it was popular, but not packed. This year, it was packed! We even saw people out with little bbq's! It was pretty fun, we ended up sitting so close to the action that we could see them light the fuses! Well, sort of. On the other hand, it was really rather too loud, but am looking forward to going back next year to the same spot! A couple times I wondered if we would be getting sparks as they floated down from the sky very close to us! We got to sit (unplanned) near some friends from church and they had two very young ones there (ok, 4ish?) and a tweenager. The twins and the tween were a great deal of fun and it was so neat to have a twin crawl up on my lap and say, "I like you.' After the show, we sat in the parking lot and waited for people to leave. As we waited we watched 5 or so teens play hacky sack! After reflection, we realised that was popular in the early 80's and THAT was at least 30 years ago! I came home and googled it and learned that it was created in 1965 or 1972, depending on which link you prefer! Pretty amazing, huh?

We also spent our weekend watching movies. Movies that Jon would perhaps NOT like. One of the more classic ones we watched was Flashdance. What GREAT music! Story line was a tad lame, but fun movie all the same. Now we are looking forward to seeing Footloose, on film and then on stage in Walla Walla!

Also read a story about the Tillamook Burn (Fire on the Wind) and am thankful for all the rain and one of my old 4th of July favorites (Clancy's Glorious 4th), which is fun old fashioned kid lit.