Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Daisy's Black Eye

Quite puffy
Daisy and Junie crashed into each other (racing to get back into bed as they heard the Feet of Justice coming upstairs) and poor Daisy got the worst of it. However, she likes her black eye very much and has been Most Anxious that I document it in every stage. I used to make my mom admire my bruises too ("Ah, Stage 2," or "Stage 3," she'd say, with a clinical eye) so I quite understand. Here Daisy is over the course of the week.
Less puffy (with sad face for effect)
Purple and black
Purple and yellow
Brown and green--almost gone!
Just a ghost of its former self

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Random Thoughts

I was playing background piano music for an art show last month and I started playing "The Rainbow Connection." It is impossible to feel like a serious musician while playing "The Rainbow Connection." I was really, really hoping someone I knew would walk in so they could hear how earnestly and sincerely I was playing it.

I find the phrase "light industrial" (as seen on zoning/for sale signs) strange. It makes me imagine an upper-class, pearl-wearing woman who just drops in occasionally and dabbles in a spot of welding or car repair.
I like braids and ponytails on little girls, but I especially like the strange actions they do with their heads so they can feel their hair swinging. When I was little I used to swish my braids around and say to my mom, "I'm an egg!" (??)
This look is such a classic Junie-face. ^^ She's been doing it ever since she was a baby.
 The skies this month and last have been spectacular. I guess August doesn't have a monopoly on good clouds!
Daisy dressed herself up as a Penguin Scientist going to Antarctica to study penguins. It makes me hot just to look at her. Glad she's got her Blankie tied on there too.

Seb's been totally immersed in electronics for the past several months. This means that most electronic things we own have been various states of disassembly and I'm always stepping on tiny, tiny screws. On the upside, he's somehow managed to fix my bedroom clock, my metronome, and the kids' room fan remote control. 

I find great satisfaction in telling Abe I'm giving him "the opportunity" to change Goldie's diaper.

Overheard recently:

Abe: "My hair would taste terrible!"
Daisy: (singing) "My hair would taste hairible, hairible, hairible!"

Junie: (sniffing sadly) "Mommy, Daisy keeps saying 'theobroma cacao' while I'M trying to say it!"

Malachi: "You don't really have to be a strong MAN to resist scratching your sunburn. You just need strong willpower. Luckily . . . I have it."

Junie: "I can’t open the gate! I’m full of hands!"

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Longest Day Celebration

I love the longest day of the year! We celebrated with our traditional stay-outside-till-it-gets-dark party. We had rosemary lemonade and I made tiny loaves of bread, and then we made little open-face sandwiches with various spreads. Everything was good!
I really liked this carrot-cheese curry spread---it sounds weird, but it was so good! Yum. I left out the mincemeat, not being one who keeps canned mincemeat on hand (?!).

We made homemade ricotta, which is heavenly. And here is the recipe for the rosemary lemonade. It's so easy, but tastes so fancy---just different enough from plain lemonade! When I was newly married, I demonstrated how to make this herbed lemonade for a Relief Society activity one time, and everyone was so nice about it. It's one of the first times I felt like I was "one of the ladies" instead of just tagging along. :)
 Herbed Lemonade

Syrup:
1/2 C. sugar
1 C. water
4-5 sprigs of mint, rosemary, basil, or other herb

Combine water and sugar in small saucepan. Add sprigs of herbs. Stir over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil. Boil 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for 2-3 minutes (for rosemary, 20 minutes)—or as desired. Remove and discard herb sprigs. Cool syrup before adding to lemonade. 

Lemonade:
4 c. water
3 c. lemon juice (about 16 lemons)
1 1/2 to 2 c. sugar, or to taste
Herb syrup, above

Combine water, lemon juice, and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add mint or rosemary syrup to flavor as desired (I use about 1/2 of the syrup for 2 quarts of lemonade). Garnish with mint or other herb leaves. Makes 2 quarts.
Nutmeg came out to enjoy the day with us too. He feasted on fresh mint and oregano from the garden.
Seb did a lovely job with the flower arranging
Goldie looked like this (concerned/mad) every time she ran out of milk in her cup, which was often.
Maybe the best part of the evening was having these Izze floats. Have you ever tried Izze in floats? It was an amazing discovery for us. Blackberry was probably my favorite, but the clementine and, surprisingly, the apple, were SO good too! I've had floats with orange and various other sodas before, but they are usually too sweet for my taste. The slightly-sour Izze worked perfectly when sweetened by the ice cream, I thought. And it looked so pretty! :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June Sky

We've had such pretty evenings the last little while. The other night the setting sun had beams. We rode our bikes to follow the last of the sunset. It was changing every minute!
The sky overhead, above the gold clouds, was a bright cerulean color. Or did Sam call it cyan? He's the resident Color Expert. Anyway, it was so striking, above the oranges in the horizon.
Looking the other direction. I love these little feathery paintstrokes.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tom McCall Nature Preserve

This was another stop as we drove home from Oregon---I had read that the wildflowers were beautiful in the Spring, so we stopped to eat our lunch and go on a little hike. We didn't get to do the whole hike (around a "permanent pond," as I kept pointing out to Sam on the hike map---I don't know why I found that phrase so funny) but what we saw was SO lovely. There were a few yellow and white flowers still out, but mostly it was huge sweeping fields full of blue.
I think these are called "Bachelor's Buttons" or cornflowers. Daisy had to hold one still for me while I took a picture, because there was a constant wind making them wave back and forth with the grass!
There were a few of these purple flowers too---I don't know their name
To get here, you just get off the regular Columbia River Highway at Mosier and go East on the old scenic Highway 30. It takes you up onto a plateau overlooking the gorge and the river. You're not even that far up, but the views are amazing! You drive through pretty orchards as you drive up the plateau, and then suddenly: vast meadows of wildflowers! The place we stopped is Rowena Crest Viewpoint, and the Tom McCall Preserve and the hiking trail are right across the road from the viewpoint.  If I lived closer I would want to go here every day between April and June.
I'm pretty sure that's Mt. Hood in the background

Bonneville Dam, Multnomah Falls

To break up the drive a bit on our way home, we stopped at Bonneville Dam. We do love a good dam in this family, and we seek them out whenever possible. This dam is quite interesting because of the changes made in it over the years. We went on a tour of the powerhouse and enjoyed it immensely!
Huge generators (turbines are below, with the orange stripe)
Junie by one of the stator coils
Our tour guide told us that a huge chunk fell off of this mountain and dammed the Columbia River in Prehistoric times. Much of that landslide later eroded away, but that's what gave the river its distinctive shape and two-channel flow pattern.
We loved watching fish jump up the fish ladders
And Daisy also loved this huge turbine, evidently.
Fish ladder from below
Lampreys! If there's one piece of information I know in this world, it's what a lamprey has: a round sucking mouth with rasping teeth. I learned it in 10th-grade biology and I have been repeating it frequently ever since (ask anyone). So you can imagine my pleasure and delight at seeing one in the flesh. Round sucking mouth! Rasping teeth! It's all there.
Seb poses precariously on a hill
We were pleased that our path also took us right by Multnomah Falls. I hadn't planned to make a special trip there since we'd already seen such great waterfalls, but when we saw that it was right by us, we stopped and made the quick hike up to the bridge. It was beautiful.
I love the way the water fans out like lace on the rock.