Friday, August 30, 2013

Un-official Event with Girls from a Particular Group

We seem to randomly bump into some girls from Tate's sanctioned "girl group" at a local winery - odd, really. The moms are really fun and the girls have a great time. Smith was along this time, too, and was a popular target. Oddly, he was the first to ask to leave...

Yes, they are sitting on him.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Catching Up - Appalachian Trail

Late July - The kids and Spud and I went to Bear's Den, a local-ish hiking spot on the Appalachian Trail. It's so beautiful there! We had a few odd things happen. 

One, Spud was snorting through some grass/weeds at the side of the trail and jumped back quickly. Something got his ear - we never felt a bite or sting, but his ear by the end of the hiking trip was easily 10 times thicker than it was when we started! Poor guy kept shaking his head to make it stop. 

Two, there was a large camp group at the rocks, so we found a more secluded area to sit and relax. However, as soon as we got to our little spot, there were two women on the rock in front of us who had just opened their urn of ashes, which caught the wind and was heading in our direction, one rock back...we quickly moved aside while I whisper-screamed, "don't breathe in!!" It did end up in a nice conversation with the kids about who, exactly, was in that urn and why were they released here - was it the person/animal's favorite spot, or the people releasing the ashes? Where would they want ashes left? It wasn't scary or morbid, just a nice conversation.

Three, as we were leaving, we noticed piles of trash that the campers left. These were church organizations! They just up and left, leaving fruit snack packs, ziplock baggies, drinks, etc - as if they had just raptured or something. But they hadn't, as we caught up with them a bit later, and told the councilors about the trash EVERYWHERE. Guess what they did? A whole lot of NOTHING. Said oh no, then got on their buses and left. Good example.

I guess I was angrier about that than I thought...


Walking like an Egyptian

Beagle with a fat ear

Heart rock (always think of Papa when we see these!!)

Olan Mills fake tree shot

Thursday, August 15, 2013

And another Fair

David took the day off and the 4 of us went to another nearby county fair - but this one is a BIG one. It's the one where I grew up, although in the 80s it had a very scary component to it. There were roving hoodlums and ne'er do wells - if you were there at night, and a teenage boy, chances are you would be mugged, or at least an attempt made. Somehow they cleaned up their act, the fair that is, and it's now a very family friendly environment. I went with Smith a few times when he was little, but it's been 8+ years! (Remember this, Eliza?)

So this is 2013...

Jenga-style safety, yikes!

They rode this, I think, 7,264 times. Thank god for the wristbands.

Pumpin out some hot tunes for your listening pleasure!

Duck races. Also had potbelly pigs, "regular" pigs, goats. Adorableness.

Sheep make me think of knitting. This one had such a beautiful color - very caramel. Gorgeous, and very friendly for a sheep!

I swear this mini pony looked like a stuffed animal that could walk!

A great day! David coming was a last minute addition, and I told the kids the only down side of him coming with us was that it meant less JUNK that we would eat. He's more strict about that stuff than me...hey if it's a special event, I'm in! So we had to forego the fried oreos, but definitely got our fill of petting goats and sheep and pigs and cows and bunnies and birds!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Pumpkin Butternut Squash Soup

A neighbor brought by a butternut squash the other day. I went to pick up Tate at a friend's house, who was just finishing up roasting a butternut squash for soup. You can see where this is going.

I found this recipe, on Joy the Baker, for pumpkin-butternut squash. We grow sugar pumpkins in our garden and I had 2 cups of pureed pumpkin left over from last year in the freezer, so a soup was born!

Sadly, I did not get any shots of the soup in progress, which is a shame because it was really pretty. Swirls of cream in the orange pumpkin squash, with little bits of green from the onions. I substituted quite a few things - chicken broth in place of veggie, green onions in place of shallots, and I just kind of mixed it all together until the consistency came out how I wanted.

Afterwards, even while cleaning as I was going, the kitchen was a bit of a scene. A beautiful mess, really. David asked if it was all worth it - yes! Sometimes the cooking then consuming of something is worth it all.

I am the only eater of said soup - while I imagine Smith would like it if he tried it, he won't, and Tate is not a soup girl. David would not willingly eat butternut squash. So, more for me, and I will definitely make this again. Delicious.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

County Fair

After 7 years of living here, we finally made it to the County Fair! The impetus was a couple friends with daughters showing their sheep. Meat sheep, not wool sheep. It was a great day, not too hot, as that can be rather unpleasant while looking at all the animals.

Oh the names!

Tough mama

Gorgeous cow

David suggested this participant needs further schooling

This winner was next to the 2nd place winner, a bunch of rubber stamps in a drawer. My friend Tara suggested we sweep the fair next year by submitting something in every category.


Possibly my favorite part of this day was the nutella and banana crepe - oh yum!