Friday, October 29, 2010

Barefoot, Boys, Bands, and Books

A bunch of random notes from today -

Tyler and I went barefoot running again. This morning we ran in the "lowlands" and if we run a certain route we run right by the local fruit stand where Tyler works. This morning, we needed some lettuce so I bought some in the middle of the run. We then took turns carrying it back to the car while we were running, which was pretty darn nice of Tyler. He could have rightfully made me carry it the whole way. Good thing we run on deserted country roads, cause it honestly looked like we were "stealing" a bag of lettuce.

A couple extra boys arrived to spend the weekend with us while their parents are collecting grapes in Eastern Washington. I think by tomorrow night we will have four extra boys, er, young men, spending the night. Which gives us a boy:girl ratio of 5:1 or ten males to two poor, innocent, helpless (hardly!) females.

I then left to go run errands and visited 9 different stores between 11 and 2:30. Whew.

Made it home for a late lunch and then headed out to take Andrew and Luke D to their gymnastic teachers house. He lives about 20 minutes away and from his family's house there's an amazing view of downtown Portland. What's funny though, is that the houses on the property were all built before the land was cleared and none of the them take advantage of the view.

After that went and hung out with a friend for dinner.

Went with said friend to a benefit concert being put on at our church. I enjoyed the lyrics of the first singer and also enjoyed the band because it was so, um, different than what I normally listen too.

Also picked up a book from the library, A Natural History of the Senses. Laura apparently had to read it for her class, so thus it must be good. I liked the introduction... apparently Helen Keller could place her hand on the radio and tell the difference between the cornets and the strings. Who knew.. I wonder if ear buds work that way for deaf people?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Sheepish Excursion

Today Jacob and I went out to give the sheep their minerals and give anti-biotics to one ewe that's doing a little poorly. Here's the man sheeps coming to check us out. i'm sure they're thinking.. "Food! food! FOOD!"

Jacob posing with Violet, our ewe in distress. And no, she's not being choked to death. She's just merely intent on the feed bucket that I'm holding.

Jacob's picture of me in the field that has the ewes... By this time raindrops had smeared the camera lens rather uniformly... but I do like how my sweater matches the trees in the background.

Late Leaves

Notice something odd in this photo? The Dogwood on the far right is slowly turning red, but our orchard trees look just as green in the summer. In fact it seems like around us, the leaves are only just starting to change. We've been trying to remember when the leaves normally start changing and I'm thinking that usually they've fallen by now...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why I didn't make it to Bible Study this evening

Today was one of those days where I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off. Well, not literally. But almost.

First off, it didn't help that I woke up an hour late. I had been tossing for a little bit, thinking my alarm on my phone would go off any minute as I could hear people moving down stairs when it finally occurred to me that I had left my phone downstairs and that it was probably quite late.

Tyler and I went running. It was a beautiful sunny morning. Jacob wanted to come with us, so he did. I don't think it was quite what he expected but he made it. We ran near and through the local elementary school, and it made me a little nervous to be running around with a 9 year old that wasn't in school. At one point, Jacob was behind me by about 50 feet as we were on a quiet stretch and he was catching his breath and a lady drove by in a truck. She drove by slowly and then stopped. I'm pretty sure she was wondering what in the world was going on. It probably didn't help that Jacob's beautiful Indian skin doesn't exactly match my pale whitey skin. We are on our third day of barefoot running and I think its starting to feel more natural. Hopefully I'm going to do a post on it soon.

After we went running we had less than an hour before we had to leave. Managed to have Andrew and Daniel recount the chickens int he freezer so we knew exactly how many were available for our last batch of customers. Thankfully there were more left than we thought. PTL.

Then we left to drop Daniel off at the church for an early piano lesson. On the way we discovered that Jacob was wearing the pants that he had put on for running. They had huge mud stains and a large rip on the knee.So after dropping Daniel off, I then dropped off Mom and Jacob at Fred Meyers to look for pants, and then went to Joann's for fabric for Sunday's costumes. Then it was to Taco Bell to pick up lunch. We had grand ambitions of making lunches, but everybody was behind this morning. Then back to pick up Mom and Jacob at Fred Meyer and then back to church to eat lunch.

Mom had signed Jacob and Daniel up for a mini world history conference at Exodus so we drove up there and I dropped peoples off again. Came back to the church, helped with decorating for Reformation Night on Sunday, had my violin lesson, and then left to go to the mall to get my glasses fixed. However, I got int he car and found out I had a text asking if I could go by Exodus on my way to the mall and drop off the crayons in the car that they were supposed to have at class. So I headed up there, and when I was about 30 seconds away, Mom called to say that they didn't need them but that she was starving. I said, "Me, too" and I picked her up and we went to Roukes hamburger stand. There we grabbed some hamburgers and while they were picking my friend Rebekah from Spokane called, so we chatted outside while they cooked. When I heard the waitress announce that they were called, I attempted to get inside by opening the door with one hand, hold the phone in the other hand, and hold my cup of water with my teeth. Something went wrong, because when I had the door open about six inches the cup dumped about half of its contents down my shirt opening. So my shirt was all dry, but at the bottom all of this water was dripping out and Mom and I were laughing hysterically. Since the hamburger joint was super small, we decided to sit in the van to eat and that way we could talk by speaker phone to Rebekah. After about 20 minutes, Scott tried to call and I answered it, and found out that he had just driven by us and his way to another work site. I read my Agatha Christie for 10 minutes while Mom tried to sleep for a minute and then it was time to go back to Exodus to pick up the boys from class and head over to gymnastics. Mrs. A had graciously already taken Andrew and her son to gym from church so that Andrew could get there on time. When I got home I found out that they had driven by Mom and I as we were eating and Andrew had even taken a picture of us.

We got to gymnastics, where once again, I dropped people off and back tracked to go to United Grocers. Grabbed a few things there and then headed back to the Gym. Sat at the gym for half an hour trying to attempt a few math problems and figure out my knitting buttonhole. Mom and a Mrs. A left to go run errands and meet us back at church. Gave up and then read my Agatha Christie until it was time to go.

I drove the boys back to the church where I had arranged to meet someone to finish up their costume for Sunday... He's coming as Saint Valentine. ;) By this time its almost 7 and everyone's getting hungry.

We had arranged the day before for the whole family to meet at the little airport cafe near us for dinner. Dad came from home, Tyler came from school, Scott came from a church family's house were he was working, and the rest of us came from church. So we had four cars for eight people there. ;) At the restaurant we had some pretty amazing BBQ. Yum. Yum.

Afterwards, we all made our way home. Andrew and I had still had to give some antibiotics to a sheep so that was done in the darkness, cause that was another thing that didn't get done in the morning.

Lessons learned today:

1. No matter where I am in Portland, there is a good chance that a sibling will drive by.
2. Do not open doors while trying to hold a cup of water in your teeth.
3. I really should be in bed. Right now.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Today I used this recipe to cook Romanesco Broccoli or Roman Cauliflower. Is it just me who's confused? Somehow that doesn't translate right...

I left out the lemon juice and red pepper flakes and then sprinkled some Smoked Spanish Paprika from Penzey's Spices as an accent.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Insides and Outsides

On Sunday I read a list that was compiled by the Notes from the Trenches gal about what she's learned in mothering. My favorite piece of advice was...

"9. Don't compare your insides to everybody else's outsides."

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Accomplished today with the help of Mums and Jacob:

Cinnamon Rolls for brunch as a friend came over to cut the menfolk's hair

A four times batch of caramel corn made for desert with friends at their home tonight

A four times batch of scalloped potatoes made for church tomorrow and later on in the week

Lunch was successfully made and randomly eaten at various times by various people

A large salad for dinner with friends tonight

Home made salad dressing for said salad

Long conversation on phone

Some laundry done

Kitchen left a mess in order to get out the door on time. Tyler and Daniel graciously cleaned it up since they couldn't go anyways...

Some sewing done after visiting friends house as I need to bring it to church on Sunday.

No pictures taken.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Afro Duck

My mums posing with one of her favorite duckies... I just think Mom needs a matching afro!

Chocolate Souffle

Made my first Chocolate Souffle today... Didn't quite know what to expect as I had never had one before, but if you've never had one before, it tasted like chocolate pudding with more of the texture of a cake (but no flour was needed). I used the Best Recipe Cook Book which called for Grand Marnier. I didn't have any, but used Contreau. Not sure if it made a difference, but next time I would love a little more orange-y flavor.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Herbert gets a Clean Sweep

Today I had a little extra time and got to work on Herbert. I was able to finish tearing out the board separating the storage area, swept up all of the debris and pulled up a few floorboards.

The floorboards are amazing... I get the feeling that they were soaked in some amazing non-environmentally friendly 1940's era toxic solution. Kind of like the wall panels that appear to be coated in thick lead black paint. The panels are definitely original and they are so well coated that they've only just begun rotting.

While sweeping up the debris, I kept finding turquoise paint flakes... and I was playing around with painting part of the inside turquoise, so now I am definitely leaning towards using it. :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Herbert

Herbert got moved to a new spot today. Previously he was residing near the orchard. We (read: Scott) finished spreading the new gravel around the barn, and Herbert now has a spot near the Charlie the tractor, and more importantly Scott's welding tent, which means easy access to tools. :) I think Herbert looks pretty happy now.

Lawning: Success!

The green grass is growing grandly! Yay!

If you look at the flagpole you may notice that a certain person's bathrobe is hanging from it. Standard operating procedure around here for repeatedly left out clothing items.

Monday, October 11, 2010


They are two and a half weeks old. Their wings are as small as ever.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Herbert looks on

Since I didn't get a chance to work on Herbert this afternoon, (Go away sore throat!) I thought I would post a picture of Herbert watching the drainage ditch digging yesterday. I can't decide if he approves or not.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day Ramblings

Went to watch the musical of Les Miserables with some girl friends this afternoon. Last year we attempted to read Les Mis all at the same time. It kinda worked. One friend cheated and read a lengthy (but abridged!) version, and the other friend and I read the same version. We may have started within weeks but I think we all finished months apart.

Came home to find that Tyler had cooked an amazing dinner of Cajun Chicken Sausage & Corn Stew.

Lately we've been using hand motions to help memorize Bible verses during school devotions.
Tonight, after dinner, we sang "The Son of God" for family devotions. Someone started using hand motions to match the words and as we came to the word "train" (as in "procession"), you could see half the family's thoughts turn to what clever hand motion they should use for the word "train". Three people did a chug-a-chug (think punching motions) and someone went Woo-Woo! with a hand pumping motion.

After dinner, Scott entertained us with the account of a empty nursery flat bed truck that took about 20 tries to get up the hill on our road. The hill isn't steep at all which made it all the more amusing of hearing Scott imitate the whiiiiiinnnnnee of the truck going up the hill and then it zooming backward to wind up for another attempt. Scott happened to be working on the tractor in the field near the road at the time and asked them if they wanted help. They turned him down, but later he saw them using a Ford Escape to drag the truck up the hill.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Fall Cake

With the help of Anna (5 years old), I made a second attempt (maybe the title of the post should be fail cake?) of Gâteau de Mamy à la Poire from Chocolate & Zuchini, which is an awesome French cooking blog. The first time I made it, the cake turned out to be more of an over-baked-eggy-pudding-sort-of-smush. Not what I was going for! It did get devoured, however, and Daniel wants the mistake version for his birthday desert. Not sure how I am going to manage that...

Going over the recipe again, I figured out where my mistakes were...

I did not add anywhere near the amount of fruit she had, as there's no fruit measurement on the recipe. You have to figure out by the photos, which wasn't obvious to me the first time.

And I have a sneaking suspicion that I put in baking soda instead of baking powder. Oops.

Also, I lowered the oven temp by 25 degrees.

But, anyways, I made it this time, with lots of pears* and it turned out quite delicious. I think next time I could put in a smidgen less fruit, to make it slightly more cake-y, but then again, it might just depend on my mood!

*From our own over-bearing (in a good way) pear trees!

Friday, October 1, 2010


Yesterday I spent about an hour helping Scott finish smoothing the dirt and then two hours finishing it off by seeding and setting up the sprinklers, while he left to go jet skiing... aren't I nice?*

*Of course, I don't mention that he's put about 400 hours into the project whereas my great culminating total is now at, um, 4? But I cook him dinner.


So today I spent about 1 1/2 hours on Hubert. Took out about 20 bolts on the side panels and the rotting wood panel between the horse area and the storage area. Also, first time ever using the grinder to ground off about 8 rivets on the side panels.

Last Friday I mostly focused on getting the wood off of the ramp piece. The piece is littered with rivets. Since the trailer was built in 1947, I now have a deeper meaning for Rosie the Riveter. Apparently, 1940s manufacturers were very fond of rivets!