Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lake Chelan (Round 2)

It was a whirl-wind of a trip, but so nice to be together.
We filled our 2 night camping trip with:
beach play


eating, campfires, a waterslide park, and just plain good old togetherness.

E was thrilled to finally have some buddies around to play with, and I was thrilled to share this beloved place with my beloved friends. It was kind of euphoric to have so many people that I love in one very special place.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Lake Chelan (Round 1)

This is a very special camping trip that I have done every year of my life (with an exception of once), and my mother before me, and her mother before her. This is a tradition! We plan and prepare for weeks, we've accumulated every necessity, and the process of unpacking and setting up is automatic, we know our jobs and the only question that remains when we arrive is where to put the tent. We come to this State Park in Eastern Washington in the summer, when it's hot! This lake is a glacial lake, so the water is cold (hovering right around 70 in mid August), but extremely clean. We live in our swimsuits, eat out of a cooler, and sleep on the ground.

Because of the drastic temperatures this area is ideal for growing the apples Washington is so famous for. In every direction, there are apple, peach. apricot and pear orchards. And recently vineyards and blueberry farms have started taking off as well.

This year D had to stay home to get work done, so E and I made the 3 .5 hour drive with my folks and really had a nice time. It's harder being a single parent of an energetic (almost) 3 year old camping. Going to the potty is an ongoing annoyance, as she's obviously too young/small to go on her own as she does all day at home. I refuse to let her hoist herself up on the public toilets, and there's no stool or soap to aid her hand washing afterward! This, every hour or so and in the middle of the night! Ahhhh...

All in all a nice time away from the city, especially after it stopped raining.

Looking forward to Round 2 with our dear friends Jen, Trey, Tim & Tania and all their kiddos, in a few days!

setting up the tents

first boat ride with Gram in Papa's boat

campfires every night

her new pink life jacket

wedgie by the waves

with Mama

ice cream Massachusetts style

water wings

running through the blueberry bushes

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Jetty Island

We finally made it to Jetty Island! I've been trying to go for the last month, and there was always something that prevented the trip. We even made the trek out to the boat dock yesterday morning, but because of the beautiful weather and the article that ran in the paper last week about the destination, all sailing times were booked up until after lunchtime.

So this morning I pried myself out of bed at 7:00, loaded up the backpack, and made our way up to Everett once again. We were in luck, receiving 2 passes for the 1st sailing of the day. E and I boarded the 2 minute ferry, made our way to the other side of the island where the sand was warm and the tide was so far out, we never made it to where the water lapped at the shore. She explored and chased the seagulls while I sat and enjoyed nature, relishing this downtime with just the 2 of us.

After a quick lunch of homemade hummus, apples and Superfood. We made our way down the beach to plot out where the treasure hunt for her upcoming pirate birthday party would be. It was a nice leisurely walk, and she got a kick out of wadding into the small tide pools (avoiding at all costs the "cold squishy seaweed"), and rolling down the sand dunes.

Really looking forward to our party out there in a few weeks.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Kids, Kids, everywhere

I never really thought I'd get to the place where I was counting down the days until school started up again. I listen to my friends that have older kids that are going crazy with their 24/7 relationships with their children in the summer and I can't yet relate. I don't have any school aged children to get rid of, yet. And El loves it because what would normally be a mommy coffee date that she has to tag along for, summertime makes it a play date with her best buds.

We live 2 blocks from a school, and the sweet silence of my days without the school buses lumbering past morning to night was welcomed. But the kids! They are starting to get on my nerves. They're everywhere; milling around the streets with nothing to do, noisily chatting on their cell phones in the grocery stores, racing up and down my street at all hours of the night yelling out of their windows and screeching the tires on their mom's SUV's. I'm so annoyed.

I have officially become a crotchety old lady, who rolls her eyes at the scantly clad youth whilst watering my hydrangeas.

14 days and counting...

Courtesy of Jen

We met up with a handful of friends for a much needed sunny (finally) day at the beach. Jen took a slew of photo's and captured my new favorite shot of E.

Thanks Jen!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hand Surfing

E discovered the joy of her hand riding the air currents outside her window in the car this morning.

No, No, No, No!

It is NOT supposed to be 57 degrees in August! I shouldn't be tempted to turn the heat on, I shouldn't be searching for more blankets in the middle of the night because I'm FREEZING! We shouldn't be bundled in undershirts, long sleeves, and fleece hoodies to walk around Green Lake! No, No, No, NO!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Rhubarb Crumb Cake

Lately I've been checking out a few food blogs (like this one), and coupled with the fact that I picked up some really handsome stalks of rhubarb at our farmer's market I thought I'd post one of my favorite and most nostalgic recipe's in case any are interested.

Rhubarb is admittedly a confusing vegetable, as we use it like a fruit. It looks like thick red celery, and I know at least one friend that will tell you it tastes just about as good in desserts... It's taste and smell raw, reminds me of a crab apple, but cooked it becomes very complex. It's chuck full of Vitamin C and fiber. The leaves are poisonous, so I think those especially with small children are reluctant to work with it. But even if you don't plan on using it in the kitchen it can add quite a desirable texture to your garden with its broad ruffled leaves and shocking red stalks.

My experience with rhubarb goes way back to my maternal grandfather. He kept a pretty large and meticulously neat garden. Beans, zucchini, raspberries, plums, figs, and rhubarb plants with leaves as gigantic as an elephants ear! My grandmother would chop the stalks and cook it up with a ton of sugar until it melted into a slightly stringy tangy sauce. It was a treat, and I ate bowls full. Another treat she would bake up was the recipe I'm going to share with you;

Rhubarb Crumb Cake with Cinnamon Crumble Topping

Chop enough stalks of rhubarb to measure 3 cups, set aside
In mixer cream 1 1/2 cups brown sugar and 1/2 cup shortening
Add in 1 egg, 1 cup sour cream, 1 tsp vanilla
Then sift 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda and add to the mix
Dump in rhubarb. and mix
Pour and pat evenly into greased/floured 9X13 glass pan
Sprinkle with topping as follows:

Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 TBS flour
Cut in 1 TBS butter

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes

I have loved rhubarb for a long time, when it's on the menu, I order it. Blackbird Bakery on Bainbridge Island made an out of this world rhubarb tart, if you're ever in the neighborhood stop in and order a slice!

Sunday, August 5, 2007


This summer we have made multiple trips to our little waterfront to bask in the sun, breethe the salty air, dig a hole, play a game, collect a shell, and throw a rock. Last night after dinner we made such a trek in the warm glow of the setting sun.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Street of Dreams

This was a real experience. My mom and I went this year, and these homes are beautiful. All a scant under 2 million, and nothing overlooked. I liked different things about each of the 5 environmentally friendly homes; private balconies, outdoor/indoor water gardens, outdoor living areas, home theatres, saltwater fish tanks, built-in espresso machines in those gourmet kitchens, reclaimed hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, cozy office/work spaces, recycled paper counter tops. The list could go on. Really nothing was all that surprising; really nice homes, with lots and lots of rooms filled with lots of nice furniture. But the one thing that caught me off guard was the toilet in the very last house we toured. Automatic. Well, as far as I could tell (they don't let you test out these things). Upon entering the partitioned area of the bathroom for the toilet, the lid immediately comes to attention beckoning you to sit. Once your business is through, there were so many options to finish your experience I just took a picture of the flushing pad so you can let your imagination go wild (click on photo to enlarge):

And here's a video I found from the case you're interested.

I balk at the ridiculous amount of money people spend on these things, but truly, this just might be the answer to all of the sensitive pipe issues we manage to have at our house.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Report Card

Aside from the APGAR Test, E has never been evaluated in anything. And I suppose her first Swimming Lesson Report Card isn't anything truly to write home about, but here I am. I am so proud of how far she's come this summer! Here's a little blip of her explaining/stalling (mostly with her hands) to her teacher exactly what will happen after she jumps (is she her father's daughter or what?).


We went to the beach this morning and as if the ferry rolling in and out, and the trains whizzing by weren't enough excitement, there were a pair of acrobatic airplanes showing off their tricks across the sound. At first we weren't sure about what could be making such terrific circling plumes of smoke. At one point I mentioned that maybe it was the Blue Angels as it's Seafair time here in the Seattle area. Upon closer inspection we realized that they in fact were not, but none the less pulling off some incredible loops and dives. As E stared out over the waves, she nudged her buddy and said pointing, "Look, there's angels in the sky!"