Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cooling off at Cold Creek

The heat has been rising this week, and we are not used to temperatures in the 90s. With the heat, in addition to being alone with the kids for over a week, I really felt like I was beginning to suffocate. You know that feeling where you just need to get out into wide open spaces, with fresh air, natural sounds, and most importantly, water? We drove up the curvy roads, stopped at the friendly ranger station, and got some excellent advice for a place to go to cool our toes: Cold Creek. It's a bit off the beaten path, and I never would have gone there myself, but the ranger's advice was spot-on. A wide spot off the quiet forest road, a few renegade campsites, and a cool, shallow, well-behaved stream with tall, shady trees all around. Easy access to the creek meant that we could drag our stuff down and stay awhile.

Oh, how lovely! I truly appreciate these kinds of spots, where I can take the kids, hang out, and breathe for awhile, escaping the heat and pressures of the city and the crowds at local swimming holes. And I didn't even need a NWForest Pass! Score!

We came home as the sunset was fading, and Daddy got back home just after we did. We laid out on the lawn and watched for shooting stars until the kids got too tired to keep their eyes open. It was a good day.

Making Jam

Every year I tell myself that I am going to take advantage of the summer's fresh produce and learn to can. Well, this year, in spite of the moving and upheaval, I miraculously found the energy and made the time to follow through on this wish. Here are some of the fruits of my labor:

Apricot butter (from the last fruit that got over-ripe), several jars of apricot jam, blueberry orange preserves, and two jars of runny red currant jelly. I really felt like I was learning something new with each batch I made. Each one has at least one mistake. But they are all yummy and I feel satisfied about what I was able to do. If I can summon up the energy, I have plans for other preserving. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Visiting the Pomeroy Farm

We had an interesting visit today to a local living history farm called the Pomeroy Farm. It was settled by the Pomeroys in 1910, and portions of the farm have been preserved and are open to the public once a month. People can see what life was like "in the old days." This weekend the farm is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a showing of quilts. All the quilts on display throughout the farm were made by or collected by members of the family. Some are quite old and weathered, others look newer, but spread out all over the farm it made quite a sight. I'll put a bunch of photos here instead of trying to explain everything. Here are images from our day:

The house was made from logs, and has much of its original "charm" inside.

One of the farmers demonstrated an old saw run by tractor power. He was cutting up logs for firewood.

The kids got to experience how much work it took to churn butter.

Even Annika got up the nerve to feed the goats!

The blacksmith shop was up and running. The smell of coal was thick.

Some old vehicles and farm equipment were on display. This truck had a burlap sack hung in front of the radiator. These were used to cool water.

This fellow was hard at work using different wood-working tools.

We got to learn how to put together quilt blocks. These would be sewn together and donated to various charities.

The gals in this section helped us assemble the blocks, and then they sewed them together so we could see what they looked like.

Annika stands proudly by her finished quilt block, on the door by her head.

And here is Gabriel's finished block.

I even joined the fun!

Quilts were hung all over the farm, and blew gently in the breeze.

Several quilts had this sweet little girl motif.

The back porch looked so charming from the garden!

Even this car had a quilt covering! Someone put a lot of love into that project!

We had a relaxing, creative, informative afternoon.