August

We went out to our favorite spot along the Snake River Canyon during a pretty significant dust/wind storm. It was so windy that I could not get any decent pictures.  I almost didn’t post these, since the quality s so poor, but I decided that they really show how windy it was! We had a pretty good time!

Lots of yard work was done. This topic needs to have it’s own post. The hard-scaping is what’s taking the longest, plus Jason keeps adding to it, making it take even longer. Kinda a 1+1=2 thing, huh?

We love to go out to Owyhee Lake, but we really don’t go as often as we should. Also, we need a new raft because 1) this one is to small for our family now, and 2) it has a slow leak, which prevented me from trusting it to hold me up!

Evidently Bam uses the camera to take fashion shots of Java when I’m not looking.  He makes a good model. This also explains why the battery is always dying.

Bam is quite the model himself! We got a little overwhelmed with all the back to school shopping so we detoured. He saw these women’s slippers and decided to try them on for me. I think they make the man!

A little family time back in my home town. The girl cousins give Jason his girl time, and they don’t seem to mind his rough play! They beg him to swing them around and act dead so they can beat him up! It is so fun to watch them play and have so much fun.

This baby girl wanted nothing to do with Jason Time and everything to do with Auntie time.  Who could say no to that? Not me, that’s who.  Lots of snuggle time, her and I.  Her momma got a lot done with all of her babies having someone else to hang on to!

Fred is so good with his baby cousins. He likes to play soft with them when he thinks no one is watching. And because of this, I had to take pictures on the sly. This equals cruppy photo’s.

The reason for our trip to Hometown, was because my cousin was getting married. We left the boys with Nana and Papa, and left a few hours early for some much needed alone time. What do you and your Sweet do with your alone time?  Go to the mall, get bored and walk the canyon rim?  Us too!  It’s my fave!

My older Sis and I, both not paying attention to our pictures being taken. Nice. Just nice.

On the road again.  Good bye Hometown, We will see you later. The drive home reminded us just how bad the fires have been this year, and just how close they are getting to towns. Scary.

A quick trick to the capitol for a Dr appointment for my main squeeze. And since i had promised to take the boys to their favorite park before school started, we decided to save gas and make one trip. We packed a dinner and make a date out of it. I just love this park as much as the boys. We hiked the trails (no pictures of the boys-they took their own way), played a little Frisbee, and played on the playground.  They good thing about our boys being small for their age? No one knows our 12 year old is playing with their 8 year old!  Not that our 12 year old would initiate any kind of conversation or play with any other living being, unless they’ve known each other for at least 10 years. It just isn’t going to happen!

We have decided that we are too old and/or broken to go camping anymore. With my back, and Jason’s knees, sleeping on the ground is enough to make tears come to my eyes. BUT I love camping!  So Jason surprised us with a back yard, best of both worlds camping trip. He got hotdog makings, smore’s makings, and started a fire in our pit, and  we all had a great evening around the fire. When we all got sleepy, we poured water on the fire, came in, showered, and went to bed. In our nice, soft, warm beds. It was a night we will treasure for a long time. In our talking with the boys we learned that the don’t like tent sleeping either!  We’re a spoiled bunch.

School starts on the 4th of September. I hope we can make a few more memories before that day comes, but if not, I hope we can all just sit back and enjoy this last drink of summer we have together.

Advertisements

Pinterest Review- Baking Soda

Source

While searching Pinterest, I often see this pin. It claims that you can use baking soda as a weed killer. I am a huge fan of baking soda for a couple reasons.
1: It’s cheap
2: It’s not unhealthy, and safe for everyone in my family
3: It has about 3 billion uses

So, after searching, and reading all about the weed killer claim,  I have to admit I was a little nervous. It says it will neutralize the soil, and I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to risk that.

Well, after a few weeks of mulling it over, I kept coming back to my side flower bed. I have rubber bark, and weed barrier in that bed, but the neighbors grass loves to come under the fence and grow in my flower bed. On a side note, I am not a big fan or believer in weed barrier. Jason insisted, and I let him do it, but I have to pick weeds ALL. THE. TIME. Such an invaluable tool, huh? A majority of those weeds I have to pick is grass. It drives me bonkers!

Not the greatest picture, but you can sort of see in the center of the bottom of the photo, my rock  boarder. The grass has totally overtaken it. And along the fence is awful too. I try to keep up with the grass, but sometimes it just gets out of control, and it takes days for me to get the whole flower bed. I’ll start one day, and do a few feet, a few more the next, and so on, only having to start all over at the beginning.   Behind my Coneflower on the left, you can see the grass gets much thicker. As the summer goes on, and my flowers get bigger it makes it even more difficult to get that aggressive grass. When I do pull the grass/weeds, they almost always break off at the ground level. I have to pull out my hand trowel to get the whole weed, but if you’ve ever tried to pull grass, you know the root system is pretty extensive, and is impossible to get rid it it. Plus, considering this grass is coming from our neighbors healthy yard, I don’t see it stopping just because I pulled it. (At ground level.)

You can also see why I was hesitant to try this experiment. The boarder, and the fence is very close to my flower.  I love my pretty flower!  I would be sad if it died! It would be even more heartbreaking it I was the one who killed it! But, after some thinking about it, and careful planning, I went for it.

I pulled out my trusty Baking Soda. I seriously use this for all sorts of stuff! Love.

I was very careful to not get it within 6-8 inches of the base of my flower. I wasn’t sure if that was still to close, but I had to try! As you can see I had two annoying dandelions on the inside of the flower bed, so I shook a little extra soda on those. You can also see I’m a compulsive weed picker, and I picked one even though I was running a test on a weed killer! I just had to. Sorry.

You can see in the circles where the dandelions turned black (left one), and the leaves got crunchy (right one). This was about a day and a half later. I was shocked to see it worked so fast.  In the before picture you can see that there was some brown grass under the green. That is because a lot of times when I pull the grass I leave it there to work back into the soil. The photo does a poor job at showing this, but there is actually more brown grass in the second picture.  I didn’t pull any of the grass in the area I sprinkled the baking soda. I raked it back with my hands!  The roots were dying. Amazing! The dandelion’s roots are still in the ground so we will see how that plays out in the next few weeks, but the leaves being black a day later was awesome.

A crumby, fuzzy picture of the black dandelion.

AFTER:

You can see my rock boarder again!!  All of the grass along the fence is gone. (In that spot)  To show the difference between hand pulling, and the baking soda:

This is behind the Coneflower. You can see where the grass is just ripped off at ground level, and will be out of control within a week.   I am looking forward to seeing how long lasting the baking soda lasts.  I do plan on continuing along the rock boarder, and the fence, but I’ll have to pay close attention to not sprinkle any of my lovely flowers. It’s late fall now, but I’m curious to see how this would have worked over the summer months if applied in the spring? I will need to do an update on this post in the future.

Initial results?  SUCCESS!

So how about you?  Have you ever used baking soda as a week killer?  Was it successful? How long does it last? Any tips?

Here is a glance at the work ahead:

Better Late Than Never

I was looking back through some of my older posts, and realized that I never posted a post of Fred’s birthday! But perhaps that’s because we were busy with the end of school, and soccer. We asked him if he was ok having his get-together later in the summer, and luckily he was.  He, and a friend went to Tucano’s.  Jason’s mom takes us, and his brother there for their birthdays, so we just added one more. It was very nice to take his friend somewhere he had never been and to not have to worry about having a party here.  Fred doesn’t really like traditional birthday parties. He doesn’t like to be the center of attention in that way. After lunch we came back home and he and his friend played Pokemon and Playstation. Every birthday should be so pleasant!!

(Crummy cellphone picture)

I had him fill out his favorite things. This is straight from a 12 year old boy: (Everything in parenthesis is my comments) 

Favorite Things

Color: Red

Food: Waffles  (He likes waffles so much he encouraged me to spend my Christmas money on a waffle maker)

Music: I like a lot of music like clasic rock (Seriously! He’s all over the place with what he likes. It would be a full post right there, but I think it has a lot to do with him listening to all the music I like, and  Jason’s when he’s in control of the radio.)

Clothes: Track shorts and track shirt and a wind breaker  (Clothes are pretty cheap when that’s the preferred!)

Animal: Dog

TV Show: Wheel of Fortune (How old is he again?)

Movie: X-men

Subject in School: PE  (His school doesn’t even have PE… they have Creative Movement.)

Sport: Soccer  (duh)

Vehicle: Mustang

Gadget: Pocket knife  (Nana and Poppa got it for him for his birthday. We have to tell him he can’t take it out in public!)

Holiday: Christmas

Smell: Dirt  (Really? Gross.)

Drink: Jarrito

Candy: Atomic fire balls and lemon heads  (That’s my boy!!!)

That boy has a really silly personality! I love him to death!

And since we celebrated Jason’s birthday at the same time, the only picture he wanted to help him remember the day was a photo of his dessert.  He turned 40 this year, and was a but bummed for a few days. I wanted to do something big, and fun for him, but he really wasn’t feeling it, so I think maybe next year. It’ll give him time to get over his 40’s blues! Ha!

Strawberry Cheesecake is without a doubt his favorite dessert. I always make it from scratch, and the strawberry topping was fresh and homemade too.  It was heavenly!

Pinterest Review #1

So for my first review I decided to make taco shells in the oven.

Image

Source

I’ve seen this pinned over, and over, so I figured I’d try it out. We have tacos once every two weeks, if not more often. It is my easy go to meal. I either make soft tacos with flour tortillas, or crunch boxed shells. I am trying to phase out as much boxed food as I can from my pantry. But, on the other hand I hate frying up my own shells because they are so greasy, and I hate the way my house smells after frying anything in my house. I never fry things. Blah.

I took a bunch of pictures, and somehow they all got lost??  They are not on my SD card. A few made it to the card, but they are not relevant.  Grrr. How does that happen? So my first review is kind of a bust.

BUT, I will share my opinion!  First I changed two things;
1: I only sprayed only one side of the tortillas.
2: I turned my oven up to 400*.  I was opening, and closing my oven door so often to check on them I decided it needed to be turned up.

At first it was kind of hard to get them on the racks, I was afraid I was going to burn myself, and was using my tongs, but then after ripping one tortilla and dropping the others through the bars, I got the hang of it, and used my hands. I left them in until they were pretty crunchy. All except one, Jason prefers softer shells.  He also hates corn tortilla, which is what I used.

*Imagine picture of finished shells here.*

Final opinion:  I’m pretty sure I will try this again. They were a little chewy, but they crunch was good. I think that if I sprayed both sides it might help the chewiness.  I would say this is definitely worth trying if you usually fry your shells. They are not greasy at all. The boys loved them!

*Imagine picture of my plate, with filled taco*

I would recommend them.

Vacation (Part 2)

We did pull ourselves away from the beach long enough to do a few other things.  Of course we went to the Newport Aquarium. We went to the Seattle Aquarium a few years ago, and we loved it.  While the Newport Aquarium is awesome, and we do encourage you to go, if you have plans of being in Newport, but we were a little disappointed, as we were told, and had read that the Newport Aquarium was much better, and bigger than Seattle.  It is a good aquarium, and because of the tunnels, it is amazing, but it was not better than Seattle. It was maybe equal.  Seattle’s outside portion was more visitor friendly, but Newport’s inside area was really geared towards kids, so either way, we had fun!

 

We made good friends with a walrus. We named him Wall E. Russ.  Yes, we are a creative bunch…. 😉

 

A second plan that was foiled was our trip to the Sea Lion Caves. We drove all the way down there, just to be told the elevator was broken, and that we couldn’t go down. We asked to use the stairs and they told us nope. The cave was closed, but that we should feel free to check out the gift shop.  We said nope, and drove all the way back to Newport, without seeing the sea lions. Sad times.  We did a lot of walking around town, we watched the fisherman bringing in their catch, and cleaning and cutting it. We ate. A lot. I dislike seafood, my trip to iconic “Mo’s”, I tried their burger and it was delicious. We tried the clam chowder, and we thought other smaller local places had better chowder.

 

This was the first time I was able to see the sun set all the way over the water.  And we only got to see it once the whole time we were there. All the other evenings it was too cloudy.  We watched it from our car because it was so cold, but it was amazingly beautiful!

 

Awe, the drive home. It was bittersweet. We were ready to go home, but we had had so much fun. We drove through the enter of Oregon, through Sister’s. Those mountains were mind blowing! They’re HUGE!  That no smoking sign cracked me up! I love it!  Also, beware, the drive between Bend and Burns is miserable. MISERABLE!!  It has to have a huge suicide rate. I was about to lose it, it is so boring. Blah.

 

Ahhhh, what a wonderful sight! We were so happy to be home, and to go pick Java up from the vet, where he was boarded.  On the drive home we were already planning our next vacation!

Yellowstone or Grand Canyon?

 

 

 

 

Our 2012 Vacation (Part 1)

* I have started this post twice now. The first time it was right after we got home. I had it nearly finished, and the whole page crashed. I was so irritated, I shut my computer down, and walked away.  I was pretty angry. I think I had loaded way to many photos. We do not go on vacation very often, so I think I just got a little excited. I spent awhile creating a bunch of collages, to help the process run a little smoother, and plus so many people have been sharing their vacation pictures, so it’s probably best that I scale it down a touch. The second time was last evening. It wasn’t that big of a deal this time, as I had only uploaded the pictures, and hadn’t put to much time into the actual text portion of it yet.  Nonetheless, it’s aggravating, and makes me want to punch my computer. After some searching I found WordPress’ old post editer, and I’m very hopeful this one will make it to being published. *

We started planning our  Oregon Coast vacation this year during spring break. We decided that if we really wanted to go, and not just talk about it, we needed to start planning and saving early. It’s not like it was almost 14 years ago, pre-kids, when we talked about it in bed one night, and got up and left the next morning! BUT, our trip was definitely worth the wait, and the going without to make it happen.
We got up, and left before the sun came up and headed towards Portland. We knew we didn’t want to make the entire trip to the coast in one day, so we planned to stop the night in Portland. We also started our trip with a very flexible mindset to our plans. This is a good thing because our plans got changed with our very first activity!  We wanted to take the boys to Multnomah Falls. It is AMAZING!  But as we drove down the narrow road it was immediately obvious that we would not be able to stop. There was NO parking anywhere. We were able to get a photo of one of the smaller falls, but not Multnomah. I was pretty disappointed, but there was a LONG line of cars behind us, and coming the other direction. Even it we would have parked, about 1/2 a mile away, our jackets were packed in the big suitcase on the bottom of our stack in the trunk. It was pretty chilly.   Soooo, no picture of  Multnomah Falls, but the boys were able to see it out the window.

(You can click on all of the pictures to make them larger, so you can see them better)

Driving:

Water Falls:

We came in at Lincoln City, and we had to stop. This was the first place I had ever seen the ocean. It is a special place for me, and now having it be the first place my boys saw and played in the ocean, just makes it even more precious to me! The weather was pretty good for the hour or two we spent playing and exploring the beach.

We stopped in Depot Bay on the way to Newport, to go to a book store that we went to during our honeymoon, but it was closed. We were able to recreate a photo that we took way back when we were younger, but this time Fred took the picture, not our camera on a rock with the timer set! And we weren’t wearing coats this time. 🙂


We stayed 3 days in Newport, and our hotel was right on Agate Beach. We were wondering where we were going to get directions to go see the dock that came in from Japan. After we put all our bags in our room, we headed down to the beach, and the Japanese dock was right there! We walked down to it everyday. It had a steady stream of people visiting it all day. It was cool the entire time we were there, 61 degrees, but the wind blew the whole time. We decided, who cares? We were on a beach vacation, so we acted like it. We dug wholes, made sand sculptures, and played in the water. We got lots of  stares, and quite a few people stopped, and watched us, or asking us what we were doing.  So, evidently it’s extremely rare for people to play on the beach  in Newport???

**End of Part 1…. to many pictures!  And I thought I cut out so many!