Thursday, June 25, 2009

Washington D.C. with Hayes

We spent all day in Washington DC and had a blast! I was so excited to introduce Hayes to this amazing city. It was his first trip. We made sure to give him the small digital camera to take his own pictures. He had a really good time with it.

We started our day at the Lincoln Memorial; Hayes did a president report on Lincoln this year in school and was thrilled to get to see this in person. It was so cool to watch him take it all in.

We stopped by the Korean War Memorial on our way to the Smithsonian.

And we didn't go up in the Washington monument, but we got to walk all around it. It was hot and Hayes and I were needing to get inside to some air conditioned museums!

At the Museum of Natural History, we saw a really cool bug exhibit. Hayes even got to hold a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach! Talk about thrilling....

And of course we had to see the dinos. Daddy was able to join us by this time and we loved having him with us for the rest of the day.

Then it was over to the Air & Space Museum to do a Simulator Ride with Daddy,

and see a cool show in the Planetarium.

They thought we wouldn't be able to get to all of it, but we did! We had a great day!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Family Time

We've been in Maryland for a couple days now. We've partied and celebrated 90 years with Grandmom. I can't imagine living so long and seeing so much in my lifetime. (I don't think she can either.) And caught up with the entire family on news and newborns. It's been fun.

So now we are off to the shore where the living is easy. I've already scoped out the yarn shop in St. Michaels (on-line) to be sure I can pick up some notions and needles I'll be needing to start the cable knit sweater my dear brother-in-law requested. (If you're reading this, you damn-side better wear it!) And we'll be making a stop in Washington D.C. with Hayes. I can't wait to show him the Smithsonian! I am sure there will be many photos to follow :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

I HAVE to try this jelly

I'm not usually a jelly maker - I prefer jam. I love those bits and pieces of fruit that I picked myself. But when I stumbled across this recipe at I just couldn't resist. Ever since I tried rose petal tea in Paris, I've had a soft spot in my heart for cooking with roses.

Of course, I haven't tried this jelly yet, but you can bet that it will show up this summer at some point. Here's the recipe:

Rose Hip Jelly

NOTE: Rose hips contain tannic acid in the seeds which cause a chalky taste. (Slit hips down one side and knock out seeds, or take pin and push out seeds before cooking for jelly.) The rose hips reduce by 2/3, so you will need 3 cups of raw rose hips for each cup of puree.

Rose hips have little or no pectin; therefore, a gel is difficult to achieve without added pectin. For this reason, we strongly recommend using pectin!

With Pectin: Yields 7 jars

9 cups raw fresh rose hips - to make 3 cups rose hip puree
l pkg. powdered
low sugar or no sugar pectin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cups sugar
Add coloring, if desired

Simmer the prepared rose hips in water until soft -- about 10-15 minutes. Mash with a potato masher until smooth or puree in a blender. If you want extra smooth, clear jelly, filter through a jelly strainer or cheesecloth.

Combine 3 cups of the puree with pectin and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Add sugar, boil hard for 2 minutes or until gel is reached (see page 1). Pour into sterile jars, leaving 1/8" headspace. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids and rings. Water bath 5 minutes.

Socks That Might Change My Life

Perhaps that's a bit of hyperbole, but not by much. I love these socks. They actually fit my feet. My bricks with toes attached feet. And they are SO soft, and warm, and colorful, and fun. They make me want to head up to the lake to give them a try (as the weather here is not exactly sock weather). I must make more.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Times They Are A Changing

Hayes has been aching for an electric guitar. This has been an constant drip of a request for the past year or so. I think he actually got the idea when Uncle Josh asked him if he liked to play air-guitar in the car last summer. We've been talking about Hayes having more responsibility around the house and so I finally bit the bullet. His daddy and I insisted that he start with an acoustic guitar. This did not put any sort of damper on Hayes's willingness to play. 

So, we have a new 3/4 Yamaha. Hopefully he will love it as much as he thinks. I just hope he won't be too discouraged if he doesn't pick it up as quickly as he thinks he will. He's promised to practice every day. We have lessons scheduled. We shall see what will come of it! 

To tell the truth, I'm over the moon that we have an acoustic in the house again. I hope to pick it up and play a little myself. Hopefully we can jam with Eleanor and her mandolin a little bit this summer.

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Last Knit

Thanks to my friend Liza for this one. Some of us are just a bit obsessed.

The Perfect Bike For Jody

My sister has been talking about wanting a Granny Trike for a long time. You know the kind that the old ladies in the trailer parks ride with the handy basket in the back? Like this one:

My grandma had one that we loved to ride down to the Banyan tree in their trailer park. Hers was green, but essentially the same thing. Did I mention how much we loved it? But I digress.

My sister and her family live in this great little town - very walkable, and yet hauling the groceries back from the market isn't all that convenient without a car. I found the perfect solution! Check out this amazing bike:

It isn't the most affordable bike I've ever seen, but it sure as hell beats the Granny Trike in sophistication. I bet all those eco-minded neighbors of hers would be green with envy over this little puppy. I know I would be.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Garden Update

You were wondering about the progress of our garden? Well, let me assure you things are progressing incredibly well. Wanna see?

The garden path is coming right along! It's not completed yet, but this section is and I LOVE it. The slate is reclaimed from a friend's re-roofing project and the paver base was left over from the patio project. This is one eco-friendly project! And our quest to rid our backyard of it's grass is moving along nicely. We now have ideas for the next beds to plant.

This year I have decided to beautify with some flowers as well. I am loving this. Hoping to get some cuttings to bring inside with some of these.

We already have a baby pepper! This is significant as we have never had our pepper do anything more than this. We shall see if the summer heat loves them.

And our rosemary is in bloom. Not something we've really seen before, but this March it started to blossom and hasn't stopped since. I hope we see this beautiful blues all summer.

My primroses and foxglove with my new garden statue (can you see her there on the left side of the photo?). I love it. Below, you can see my other new garden sculpture. I'm a hopeless Francophile. Seeing this every day makes me so happy.

And the English roses are as happy as ever; raising them up made such a difference. They are really blooming and they smell divine! I can't wait to see what they'll all do.