Friday, September 30, 2011

Camping Chronicle's # 3 & 4

Once upon a dandelion, a month later, when the young mother-to-be was now 8 months along, the couple was invited to go camping with some friends.  The friends had children that were very well behaved, (the same could not be said of their parents, I'm afraid) finally the couple borrowed the friend's boat, drove it to the middle of the lake, at a roar, screaming with the engine in utter frustration.  They stopped out in the stillness of the water, and sighed.  You see, their friends had spent the entire weekend, belittling one another, and quarreling.  It was soooo not fun.  This was to be the last night camping, and sleeping on the ground in the pup tent, as a pregnant mama.....One month later, the little couple were now a little family, as she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.  The little mama had been plagued with an ear ache/infection ever since the last camping trip....One month after the birth of their baby, the mama finally broke down and went to the Dr. and her ear ... gave birth to a grass seed.

The following year, Mama, Papa and Baby Girl and the cozy little pup tent, went back to the same Lake Campground. This time, with two different couples, who were more amiable.  One of the couples had a baby, the same age as Baby Girl.  Mama had sunscreen and a shade for Baby Girl.  As the guys were out fishing, and the gals were sitting lake-side, Mama grew concerned for the other baby and kept trying to share protection from the sun for him.  His mama assured her he was fine.  Finally, not knowing what else to do, Mama suggested  they all go back to camp for a while.  In the middle of the night, he was crying and they ended up having to take him to the ER.  Mama was sad, that she had let her not knowing the other Mama very well, and not wanting to offend, get in the way of what would have been best for that poor little guy.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Camping Chronicle 2

Once upon a dandelion, The sleepy couple, woke up from their hiking ordeal the night before. 
They bandaged Hubby's blistered feet, threw their backpack gear into the car, and drove to an actual campground on a hill overlooking the city.  For supper, they fixed their baked potatoes and grilled steaks over a toasty campfire.  After admiring the city lights under the starry sky that night, they took their still tired selves to their cozy little pup tent.  Far into the wee hours of the morning, the neighbors in the next campsite, partied away.  Sleep, for our young couple seemed impossible to be had.  In the morning,  they climbed wearily out of their sleeping bag on the floor of the small tent, the young mother-to-be, stretched, and rubbed her tummy, and aching back.  As she looked at the cute little blue VW van next door, she tried unsucessfully not to be covetous.  It had a nice little refrigerator, and .....a bed......

(Years and years later, she had the fun of riding in one just like it that belonged to her first born daughter, and son-in-law.)

Liliana, One Month Old

Liliana Kate is growing and filling out.  She is such a good little baby girl.  We came home from Dr. appts. this morning,  and kept her this afternoon.  It gave me a chance to take a few "one month" snaps.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Camping Chronicle # 1 with tips

Once upon a dandelion, there was a young married woman.  She was expecting their first child in a couple of months.  A neighbor (and co-worker), had just purchased a camp trailer, and was selling his pup tent.  "Well", the young woman thought, "Wouldn't it be fun to surprise my husband with a weekend  getaway?" "We could hike away from the bright lights of the city, and go camping at that cool park we've passed a number of times out on the highway!"  The young woman had waffle stomper hiking boots that were a couple of years old and quite comfy.  She compiled a list: they would need a good pair of waffle stompers for Hubby, a orange external frame back pack for each of them, and the Pup Tent of course.  One Friday after work,  the secret purchases had all been made; the young woman enthusiastically sprung the surprise on her unsuspecting husband.  She packed their backpacks, and they set out.  The couple navigated their way down neighborhood streets, out through the sub-divisions, and past the little ranchettes.  It had been a full work week, and they started this little adventure, already tired.  The orange packs began to feel heavier and heavier.  It began to get darker and darker and they had not reached the park.  Hubby's boots began to feel uncomfortable, and the little mini-breaks became more frequent.  By the time the couple reached the park, it was midnight.
There were tall iron gates to the entrance, and they were closed tight.  The flashlight illuminated the mean little sign "DAY USE ONLY".  The temptation to just collapse right there on the spot, was great.  But the young couple trudged back, from whence they had come.  They had passed a little abandoned gas station, with a pay phone on their way.  It was 2 a.m.  They called their VERY good friend to come pick them up.  He even drove them through an all night drive through in town, as they hadn't eaten, and then drove them home.  We   I mean, they backpacked for hours and miles, only to spend the night in our their own bed.

Camping tips:
l. Know where you're going! Make a reservation.
2. Don't pack baking potatoes and everything you own in a back-pack, Grapes of Wrath style   (even if you are in Steinbeck country!)
3. Don't wear brand new boots, or else be prepared to nurse blisters the size of quarters.
4. Start out in the morning, refreshed.
5. Always carry phone money
6. Always, Always, Always, be thankful for good friends.

Flock & Fiber Festival

I love yarn, beginning to end.  Kate and I took all of the kids to the  Flock& Fiber Festival.  They got to pet the angora bunnies,and other woolies.

 I just love these Orenburg Shawls made by ladies in a Russian Coop.  They are as light and soft as a whisper.

She trotted around and made this look like so much fun.  It reminded me of a trotter cart my Dad made for me and my little 1/2 welsh pony when I was a girl.  I was fearful then, now it sounds fun.
 Lately, I have been really identifying with these two little lovelies ......
 Which is why I have an appointment with my "hair dresser" today to get a new cut.
 So I can look lovely like this darling Alpaca diva.....
Or well groomed, like this beautiful, napping, cashmere sweater with legs.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Timber's Game

[this photo by Cyndi Johnson]

What?! Not what you expected?!  Gotta tell ya, I absolutely love this little team.
There were hugs from Mama, high 5's from Dad, and a proud Nanni and Papa, as Liam scored the last TWO goals of the game!

Monday, September 26, 2011

There's a Frog on a Log.....

Pollywog Pond on our property is covered in plants.  Last week, we were attempting to begin cleanup by removing some limbs from downed trees. Who knew there were so many?!!  There was no way they were coming out by hand, so we used the pickup and a tow rope to pull them out.  Going back and forth over the pond bank, and fastening the tow rope was the most difficult part.  Jim is on a heart monitor, and after a bit, he was worn out and fatigued so I started doing the fastening part, with him, as the driver. I ended up looking like a swamp creature, covered in thick, gooey, muddy, clay.  At one point, I sunk way deep into a  hole with one leg.  It was hard enough to remove my leg... impossible to retrieve my shoe... it's still there. 
There's a shoe in the bottom of the pond
there's a shoe in the bottom of the pond,
there's a shoe,
there's a shoe,
there's a shoe in the bottom of the pond.  ;-)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Oktoberfest 2011

Just like the lebkuchen we got in Germany's Nuremburg Christkindlmarkt.
There was good participation in the chicken dance.
This little liebling reminded me of our Sarah at that age.
Aren't they cute?  They're a yearly fixture.
He marched to all of the songs and little sister followed like a shadow.  It was so sweet.
The girls did a great job with the maypole dance
as shown by their completed weaving

A little violin solo of "Eidelwiss"
A cute group including 2 expectant mommies
The girls picked their partners from the circle of boys

Pretty hops

We ventured up the hill to the Weiner dog races

and to listen to The Voices of Hope concert in the beautiful St Mary's Parish Church.
I love the strong sense of community at Mt. Angel.  It warms my heart to hear the locals greet one another by name as they pass one another amidst the throngs of visitors.  It was nice to be able to share Oktoberfest with Sarah and her family this year.  Of our girls, she has the most memories and emotional attachment to Bavaria/Germany from when we lived there.  It was like stepping back in time; seeing her blonde, braided hair, daughter in a shop, admiring a dirndl set for her doll.  I found some more candles for our Christmas pyramid. (They're kind of a tricky size.)  Seeing all of the hops adorning the booths, reminded  me to pick some of ours and bring in the house.  I usually forget about them until they're spoiled by the fall rains. I'm enjoying them on the dining chandy.


It seems sort of strange to be canning more pint-size jars these days. After having a full house for so long, reverting back to preparing for two, is an adjustment. Pints or quarts doesn't seem to change the amount of mess I'm able to accomplish though. (It's cleaned up now, and no longer looks like a crime scene...whew.) We love having home-made tomato juice, spaghetti sauce, and salsa. Jen blessed us with such lovely tomatoes to work with.

Friday, September 16, 2011

School Days

The little Farmgirl started Kindergarten this week. She's now a big girl and rides the bus with her big Sister. (Kindergarteners little legs going up schoolbus steps always make me teary.)
I gave them some special back- to- school apples for an after school snack yesterday.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Corn Chowder

Fall is in the air, we had stopped at the country produce market, and picked up some corn. Perfect for some of Sarah's corn chowder.
Corn Chowder
1 &1/2 lb. boneless chicken breast
1/2c. chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
3 Tbsp. butter
2 chicken boullion cubes
1 c. hot water
1 tsp. cumin
2c. half & half
2 c. shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1 16oz can creamed corn (I used the fresh corn)
1 4oz can chopped green chilis (undrained)
1/4 - 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/2 c. salsa
Cut chicken & brown with onion, garlic, & butter. Dissolve boullion in hot water. Add to pot with cumin. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add the rest of ingredients, up to the salsa. Cook over low heat stirring frequently. Stir in Salsa before serving.

A Village

It takes a village to raise a child.
~ African Proverb ~

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I love watching them interact. They came over and hung out awhile after Ashi's kindergarten assessment, waiting for the school bus to get here with big sister. Liliana Kate got a sponge bath on a fluffy towel next to the kitchen sink. She's so tiny and so sweet. I totally understand why Anna is savoring every minute with her, before having to go back to work!


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