Purple, Pink, Green Grapes

Can't you see a scarf out of those colors? I couldn't stop staring at that beauty in front of me!

I love this grape steamer. It was found at a garage sale for probably a few bucks. There are three levels. Water is put in the lower level and the fruit is put in the top level. The top level has holes and so as it steams, the juice goes to the middle level and out the spout/tubing that you see. It's a very cool system.

It's grape time. We picked 2 large Tupperware bowls and an even larger stainless steel bowl (top picture) from our yard. All of those grapes gave us about 22 cups of grape juice. Tomorrow I will make grape jelly out of it (minus any small glasses of juice my kids manage to take before then).
Posted by Picasa


Pincushion Swap

I'm mailing out my package for the pincushion swap (from the sewing board on Ravelry.com). My "swapee" loves bright colors: pink and oranges and also fall colors. My local fabric store was lacking in bright pinks, but this bright orange caught my eye. I also made a thumb pincushion to go along with the square one.

We're supposed to add extra goodies to total around $15, so I went to our local Made in Oregon shop and found some fun things that represent Oregon:

  • Apple/Hazelnut Butter (Oregon is a leading producer of hazelnuts - evidently Oregon grows 99% of our nation's hazelnuts according to this site)
  • A couple of postcards depicting gorgeous Oregon scenes

I'm excited to get this mailed!


Just a Little Giddy Right Now

I just ordered this baby:
Do you know what it's like to go to EVERY clothing store at the mall looking for pants or tops and not finding ONE that fits - no exaggeration. Do you know what it's like to go to a tall shop and pay four times the amount for clothes just because it almost fits and then the quality is not good? I am SOOOOO over it. This is the machine I've been needing. I have a sewing machine. I have a serger. But even with those 2 machines, I've never been able to make certain knit clothes (I adore knits) without having it look like it was made at home. Not good.

This machine makes that double seam that you see on t-shirts, hemlines, etc, on practically all knitwear. Go ahead - look at the knit clothing you are wearing and see what I'm talking about. For once in my life, I'm going to have loungewear that is not "cropped". I figure it will pay for itself in 5 garments made.

PS - Whenever you see a very tall gal with cropped pants on - just smile at her thanking her for inventing that cool style. Those are probably normal pants, just cropped on her :)

PSS - BOO-HISS to Eddie Bauer who decided that it's okay to change the inseam for Tall pants to 35 inches from 36 inches. Every INCH of fabric counts when you are my height.

PSSS - Please do not complain about having to hem all of your pants or offer to give me your leftovers for my pants. Cuffs from your pants do not look good and there is no option for us tall galls who can't find anything. At least you have something to wear.

PSSSS - Rant over - lol.


WOOHOO!!!! I won!!!

Frugal MOM

I can't believe it. I think I'm going to go to Amazon to see what I have on my wishlist.

How cool is THAT?

Plus I get one of Beki's bags!


$100 Amazon Giveaway and More

Frugal Mom is sponsoring a giveaway: one of Beki's bags Artsy-Crafty Babe and a $100 Amazon gift certificate. All you have to do is leave a comment at Frugal Mom saying which bag you like best from Beki's Etsy Shop.


Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce

Remember all of that blueberry picking we did in the summer? This is what I'm talking about. Blueberry heaven all throughout the year! This is my grandma's pancake recipe. I have no idea where she got it. All I know is that I am a pancake snob now and nothing has ever come close to competing with this simple pancake recipe. Sometimes, if there is some whole wheat on hand, I will exchange some of the all purpose flour for whole wheat flour and it is still delicious.

Here is the recipe. International House of Pancakes - eat your heart out.

Mema's Buttermilk Pancake Recipe

2 cups flour
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
¼ cup oil
1 cup blueberries (optional)

Combine all ingredients until until well blended. Cook on electric skillet at 350 degrees. When little bubbles come to the surface of the pancake, flip over. Pancakes are done when they bounce back up when touching. If you leave an indentation, they need to cook a little more.

I don't ever follow a recipe for the pancake toppings. Blueberry sauce with added cinnamon, maybe a pinch of nutmeg, sugar, water, and cornstarch works fine. But what I really like is a combination of blueberry and another fruit - especially peach, lemon, or orange. If you use the citrus fruits, the zest makes it out of this world.

I will guess on my measurements for this morning's pancake topping. We had some left over canned peaches in the fridge, so I blended that up, added about 2 cups of frozen blueberries, 2 cups of water, sugar to taste, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Bring all of the above to a boil. Then in a separate cup, add a tablespoon or so of cornstarch and mix with cold water until the cornstarch is mixed in well and you can pour it. Slowly add the cornstarch/water mixture into the boiling berry mixture until you have the desired thickness. That's it. It's so delicious.

This is one of those great breakfasts to have for dinner when you can't think of anything else to make. We've never had a complaint at our house!
Posted by Picasa


Chevron Scarf . . . . Done!!

Remember that Chevron scarf I started in April? It is finally done. This baby takes a LONG time to knit. It is the perfect project for brainless knitting, but it really goes on and on and on. I'm glad to have it done - just in time for my favorite season, fall!

Would you look at those gorgeous colors? The store owner at Farmhouse Knits picked them out for me - she knows my colors. Pagewood Farm Denali Hand Dyed Sock Yarn: Really Red and Mississippi Mud colorways

I love this scarf, but I won't be knitting it again!


Pincushion Swap

I am participating in a pincushion swap on Ravelry.com and today I received my package. It came all the way from Cambridge, Mass. We had to fill out a questionnaire and I mentioned some of my favorites: fall colors and cobalt blue. She made me a cobalt blue wrist pincushion and another pincushion using fall colors. I also mentioned dark chocolate. Wish you could see the big smile on my face. She also included a sewing marking pen and pins. This was my first time ever participating in a swap. My goodies are ready to send, I'm just finishing up the pincushion.


Girly Party

Pearly Girl invited 6 friends to the Oregon Zoo and then over to the house for pizza. The weather was perfect and it was great to be with such sweet young teens.

We have a new addition at the Oregon Zoo, Samudra.

May I just say that this is the UGLIEST critter.

Have you ever seen a giraffe run? This one had a piece of foliage of some kind on it's back and couldn't get it off. He tried to shake it off and it wouldn't come off, so he started running. It was quite a sight.

Pearly and me

Sadly, the zoo had to come to an end for the day.

Doing the Wizard of Oz skip in the parking lot.


Fall Activities

Still doing more salsa with tomatoes from the garden. Bunny helped by printing "'08" on the jars.

I'm participating in a pincushion swap on a sewing board on Ravelry. These are the fabrics I chose based on the swapee's color preference of bright colors, especially orange and pink. There's no pink, but the orange is definitely bright. This recipient lives in the Dakotas, so I imagine a bright pincushion would be a nice pick-me-up during the long, dark winter months.

Okay, lots of piano practice going on around here. I am volunteering at the local high school concert choir class playing the piano for them. This has been a challenge. For many years now, I've been playing primarily from chord lead sheets and generally faking it. Now I need to learn both hands precisely. I like the challenge and the musical connection it gives me with my eldest son.
Posted by Picasa


New Ventures in Homeschooling - Lapbooks!

I've been teaching my children at home for 17 years - YIKES!! We basically have a relaxed and eclectic approach. I like a little bit of Classical Education, a little bit of Charlotte Mason, some workbooks, and some days, even some unschooling (:::gasp:::). My friend, who has been homeschooling for about the same number of years told me about the lapbooks she is doing with her children. I listened thinking, "that's cool". Then I started doing google searches and youtube searches on lapbooking. I immediately began to see how lapbooking could easily compliment our schooling and would give the children something that has been missing - more hands-on, crafty-type activities.

To make a lapbook, you simply take a plain folder (legal or letter size) and decorate it with "mini-books" that are filled with information on the subject of interest. Our first lapbook was on the scientist, Archimedes. We read the book, Archimedes and the Door of Science and kept notes as we read. From these notes, we were able to categorize them into groups which formed the mini-books.

Front of lapbook

This is 2 legal-size folders glued together and refolded to create a lapbook.

Accordian book

Page with several "mini-books"

Another kind of mini-book with flip pages.

This is the back (oops, should have closed the left flap). I like the idea of taking the boys' pictures to put on the back of their project. They will be able to see exactly what they looked like when they did the project.

The boys love this. They love using their creativity. They love to use Mommie's scrapbooking supplies that have been sitting and collecting dust. They love to share what they learned as they read from their mini-books. This is a very great tool for retaining information because they had to write info, craft it into a mini-book, and every time they look at the mini-book, they will have the opportunity to reread the information again.

Oh, and I like that these are all uniform in size and will be able to store very easily. Well, now you're up to date on our latest homeschooling venture.



Have you seen this movie? My sweet husband and 2 of our boys saw this movie on Sunday. What I like about this movie is that it was produced and directed by normal people - not from Hollywood. This was made in Podunk, America where people from all walks of life donated their time and energy to make something that they believed in - something that would encourage people in their marriages not only to help make it last, but to make it sweeter. I'm sure we could pick apart little details that weren't up to par compared to Hollywood, but when I looked at the credits and saw how many people were involved in this effort, it only made me smile and overlook little minor details that don't matter much anyway.

I come from a family where divorce is rampant. There is not one person in my family besides my husband and I who has not been divorced. My mom and biological father divorced when I was one year old. My mom remarried when I was 3 years old, but divorced 25+ years later. Even though Dad was not my biological father, he was the Dad who raised me. I wanted their marriage to work and it devastated me. It's very hard to explain to children about love and commitment and for them to see divorce all around them, kids going from house to house, having step-brothers and sisters and then having those step-siblings torn apart because of yet another divorce.

I know we can't prevent divorce, but we, as parents, will forever try to do our best to protect the institution of marriage, to honor the commitment that we made before our friends, family, and God, and also to try to be an example for our children and their children so that they can have a stable foundation on which to begin their lives as adults.

This movie may not be shown in all local theaters, but see if there is something shown near you.



Mt. Hood Railroad Excursion

Saturday, I spent the day with Orange Boy, celebrating his 11th birthday. I had taken Tall Dude on a train ride when he was 2 yrs old and decided that I would continue this tradition with any future boys. Well, I'm way behind, but it was worth the wait.

We went on the Mt. Hood Railroad in Hood River, Oregon, about 1-1/2 hour's drive from home. I didn't tell Orange Boy where we were going, just got him up early Saturday morning, packed a sack lunch, and took off. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, he figured it out - or at least the train part of it. What I didn't tell him was that this particular train ride would be a Western Train Robbery excursion. After receiving the tickets, the clerk handed me some extra money "just in case":

We waited in the station until 10AM when the door opened and the conductor yelled out, "All Aboard!"


Just before the ride began, we were able to quickly snap this picture at the caboose:

On the ride, we were given a history of the railroad, local attractions, and quite a bit about the most popular business in the area of Hood River, the fruit (apples, pears, peaches, cherries, etc). This area has probably some of the best fruit produced in the US. We saw numerous orchards and trees heavy-laden with fruit.
Notice the fruit on these trees.

Our first glimpse of fall foliage. Peak is probably still another couple weeks away.

We rode over about an hour or so to O'Dell Station where we got off for a layover in a podunk town with only 2 gas stations, one grocery store, and a couple small restaurants. I think that was it! Snapped a few more shots in front of the train:

On the way back, however, the excitement began. Over the intercom, we were told there was some sort of commotion in another car and asked if there was a doctor in the house. Then we were asked if their was a preacher on board - lol. Next thing we knew, 3 armed bandits came onto our car demanding we raise our hands and money up in the air over our heads.

Orange Boy was . . . amused.

As we pulled into the station, the bad guys were surrounded by good guys and the good guys won.

On our way back home, we stopped by Multnomah Falls to eat our picnic lunch. Orange Boy climbed up to the bridge and I told him to take a picture of me from the bridge while I took a picture of him from down below so we could compare the distances.

Orange Boy took this picture and he had the camera zoomed in.

If you click on this picture, you can see Orange Boy waving at me - he's left of the center of the bridge. I did not zoom in on this picture.

And this was a rare treat - normally Multnomah Falls is packed with visitors. How cool it was to get this shot with no people on the bridge.

Orange Boy and Me

This was a great day with my sweet boy!


  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP