Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Jam Sandwich

My jam set!!! I can't tell you how much I am doing the happy dance!

Remember all those beautiful berries...? My big plan was to try a small batch of jam using xylitol instead of sugar. I was worried it wouldn't interact correctly with the pectin , and therefore not set, but it worked perfectly. In fact, it was more solid than I had expected.

Hey, Look! A big bowl full of jam!
Scoop it up...
Wow, that's alot of jam.
Maybe I should make it into a sandwich!
Mmmmmmmmm, mmmmmmmmmmm, does that look good?!
Oh yeah! That's what I'm talkin' about!

Monday, July 30, 2007

LLL? Campout

This campout was in the planning stages for months! Back in late Spring I asked if there was a group campout planned for La Leche League and was told, no, but what a great idea to plan one. So I tried... which meant many polls about dates and where people wanted to go. It was too late to get a group site at any of the great State Parks, but several people suggested Oxbow as a casual alternative because they don't take reservations. Um, not such a great idea since the place was already almost full on Thursday night! But it turned out OK considering not that many people showed up to camp anyway. I joked it was more like Lisa and Friends instead of LLL and Friends since most of the folks who came were friends of ours I had been promoting it to for awhile. I thought some other LLL folks might show up for camping, but it was just us as far as I know....

For some strange reason, I don't have a single picture of our campsite. I think I was constantly worried about being in organizer mode. I did get a few nearby though. There were deer all over the place that would just cruise through the sites.


I did get some nice shot at a couple of other places. First off... the river! That is the main attraction, after all! Too bad Oxbow is actually a gorge! The hike down to the river was quite steep from most access points. There was a maintained trail pretty much right across from our campground, though, so that was pretty cool! After loping around in both directions along the river, another family pointed us in the direction of a "pool" somebody had made for kiddies with rocks. Even then, it took us a bit of time before we found it, but we prevailed and it was just the right spot!

The ring!
Unschooling moment! We had a great time taking away and adding rocks to see how it affected the water flow.

Boys, boys, boys. That is Daddy Scott with little Finn in the background.

Orion being herded by Connor.
The rest were taken the next day at the park area in the campground. I love this one!
Baby Olivia showing off her skills.
Orion's pile o rocks.
These naturalists stopped by to show us some neat stuff. Can you tell what they are?
Orion's new friend. He loved playing with this little girl he met. They were filling his pail with rocks and dumping them down the slides haha.

So weird to think this was months in the making....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More Berries!

Weeee're back....

Yay for having a camera this time. It was just too rainy last time.
Rows and rows of berries.
View from the farm. I think I have said this before, but it is just so amazing to me this is like 5 minutes from my house. It just warms my heart to think of raising Orion someplace we can come out to farmlands like this and see how food is grown and pick it right from the plant.

Stick boy. Hey, who curved my magic wand? OK, been reading too much Harry Potter.
What the raspberry rows look like, or the berry forest as Orion calls it. They let these get a bit more overgrown, I think because raspberries are not so thorny.
Who's been eating berries? I love Orion's hair, but it does make an awful lot of shadows on his face.
In one of his favorite states - with just one shoe. (Who knows?) Today much time was spent playing hide and find the shoe in the berry bushes.
Score! There are marionberries and boysenberries on the bottom as well, but I spent most of the time in the raspberries. They are so much easier to pick, and I like them best as well! But I do also enjoy the variety.
Now... what to do with them all!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Look What We Found!

A nest! It was just sitting on the ground. We have a spot under our deck where this one robin always builds. This must have fallen down during one of the storms. Thank goodness it was after the babies were out! She has rebuilt and we get to inspect this one!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Cool Moth

Random, I know, but we get the coolest moths around here. I thought this one was really pretty.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

He Did It!

The process that was officially started on Saturday was mostly finished today. I never thought it would really get done in a weekend. What a handy guy my husband is!

Whoa, look, there's a hole in our wall!
Now it's a totally naked wall!
Uhoh!!! Turns out there is like a 3 inch lip of concrete coming up from the foundation. What the frick! Ron was freakin and saying he would have to rent something to cut concrete, but I suggested a landing like step that can go all the way across the wall, and that turned out to be the plan we are going with. Gotta think outside the box sometimes, or would that be think of the box? haha, sorry.
This picture doesn't look like much, but the insulation is gone and there is a first long verticle cut into the wood.

Oh nooooo! Now there really is a hole in our house!
At least it's a neat hole now. :)
Hole from the outside - um, yeah, we are going to need some steps there too, eh?
Hey, a framed hole. And, um, it's getting dark, better hurry!
Woohoo, doors! So the rest of the wall has not drywall, but it still ain't a gaping hole in the side of the house after just one day! My fun part lies ahead. Hmmm, think we will have to paint the whole room. And what to do with the landing step? Visions of all the articles I have seen about painting floors to look like rugs come to mind....
On a total side note, we went to this super cool arts and crafts thing downtown during the day. I wish I had the camera, but Ron really wanted to document the doors. We saw tons of artisans at work - potters, spinners, woodworkers, sculpters, glassblowers. It was cool because so many of them had things that turned, so we talked about how useful spinning is. And then we hung out at the playground for awhile and I met this awesome family. They had an older girl and younger boy. The boy had kindof longish hair and was wearing one of his sister's old dresses! The dad says he just loves them, and they have just stopped correcting everybody that thinks he is a girl. How awesome of them to let him make choices like that! I love Portland!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

David Korten in Portland

What a great ending to a fun day! Thanks to my friend Teri for letting me know about this event just a few days before it happened, and thanks to Kristin for letting Orion stay with them, I got see one of my current favorite activists in person. You can see more about David Korten under the link entitled The Great Turning in my favorites.
His talk was so inspiring. I have never heard somebody talk so fast and present so much dense information and yet still be perfectly clear. One of my favorite tidbits:

We need to switch from the love of power to the power of love.

You can read more in the link if you are interested, but his basic premise is that we are at a crucial moment in human history. In order to survive, we need to move from the competitive empire model of society to a more cooperative and community based model.

He gave this great extended metaphor using the transformation from catepillar to butterfly. The catepillar is a voracious consumer. When it goes into transformation mode, the cells of the catepillar initially resist the organizer cells that try to form the butterfly. But then the higher self wins out, and the butterfly is born. Now we have a creature that helps to pollinate and is life affirming. This is the transformation our society is hopefully going through. That was a VERY short version, but you get the picture!

Overall, I came out very inspired to step up our efforts to go biodiesel and to put more effort into getting a cohousing community off the ground, among other things....

Tati is One!

Or Totty if you prefer. Her name is Tatiana, so I think Tati makes sense, but there is apparently some argument about what will be the final spelling. She is my friend Kristin's daughter and cute as a button. I took about a bazillion pictures, because nothing is cuter than a baby eating cake, but here are a couple favorites:

Friday, July 20, 2007

Berry Picking! and... Just Say Yes!

We finally got out to Union Gardens to do some Berry picking! We didn't get many as it started raining pretty hard, but wow, were they yummy. I put about half of them out for the drum circle and had to stop Orion from eating the entire bowl.

An interesting thing happened as we were checking out.... Orion was running back and forth to the opposite sides of the building and stomping in the puddles. One of the women working inside said, "Oh my gosh, I would die if my son was doing that." She said it good naturedly though, not like she was judging me or anything. So I just said, "Well, it's not really hurting anything. He can get cleaned up at home. I always try to think before I say no to something and ask myself if what he is asking for or doing will cause any harm." Who knows? Maybe she will think about it or maybe she won't, but I felt good about saying it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


So we have been wondering for awhile why we don't have any cherries this year. Our tree in the front yard was packed with them last year. We were worried the tree might be sick or something. Well, we found out in the wee hours of the morning. Stupid raccoons! Kona was barking and I looked outside to see them up in the tree. I went outside and there they were munching away. And they have no fear of people at all. I used to like them, but now... grrrr. If there was only a way to keep them out of our tree, we could happily coexist, but any type of fence we put up they will just climb over. I am bummed. There is literally not one cherry left on the tree! :(

We didn't get pictures that night, but here is the family (or I assume) up to no good getting into catfood on our neighbor's porch:

See the glowing devil eyes? They are evil I tell you!

Monday, July 16, 2007

My Nature Boy

We went out to a park in Vancouver today called Lewisville. It was our first time at a river beach and Orion absolutely loved it!

Here is he is wading out to try and reach a friend's son

But this is the picture I am totally in love with. I like it so much I made it my desktop background!