Saturday, September 22, 2012

Recovering our Breakfast Nook

 Twenty four years ago, we went to the Fair and found a company that came out and custom designed furniture for our breakfast nook area.  At that time our children were mostly grown and we didn't have any grandchildren.  So we chose a nice light colored fabric that has worn like iron over the years.  However, after years of children using it for forts, eating dinner and ice cream there, and chasing each other around the table on the cushions, it was a spotted mess.
So in the interest of the general maintenance we have undertaken this year, we found a local company to reupholster the nook.
First step, figure out the jigsaw type puzzle of how it all went together and tear it out.
Then we had to figure out how to load it all into the installers truck. It took two trips, but their shop is only a mile away.

Once the furniture was gone, we thoroughly cleaned the area.  After 25 years, it really needed it!  
Two days later, the recovered furniture comes back!  Notice the more appropriate color for a 20 grandchildren kind of place.
The jigsaw puzzle was easier on the second exposure to it.
We are really happy with the finished product and would highly recommend "The Upholstery Shop" in Granite Falls!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Canning Tomatoes

Today was the day that Amy brought her hoard of tomatoes up and she did a marathon canning session with a tiny bit of help from me.
Oh my - this looks like a pretty big job.  "Go large or go home" seems to be the motto of my daughter.  So she started with 90 pounds of tomatoes and two pressure cookers, and dozens of jars.
Several hours later, she had 36 jars of tomatoes, and the kitchen looked like we had a food fight in there.
Amy was tuckered out, but she can take all those beautiful jars and stock her shelves with non-pesticide, non-genetically altered good whole food.
I took my swim while she cleaned up and a good day was had by all!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Doing the Puyallup

The biggest fair in Washington State is at Puyallup every September right after Labor Day and it runs for about two weeks.  Even with kind of iffy weather sometimes in September, it draws huge crowds and has vendors from all over the country and good performers booked for the shows.  We foolishly thought that we should go on the first day of the fair this year "because crowds would be lighter".  What we didn't realize is that the opening day offers free admission from 9 until noon.

We had a leisurely breakfast on our way - Puyallup is about 75 miles south for us, beyond all the major job markets of Bothell, Seattle, and Renton.  We didn't want to get caught in the morning rush hour, so we didn't hit the "high traffic" area until around 10.
Even so, traffic was bumper to bumper for about half of our journey.  It is coming back to us why we don't venture out to the big city too often.

Probably not the best place for someone who is slightly claustrophobic.  I have never seen so many wheel chairs, Walkers and baby strollers in one place in my life.  In the midst of the commercial tent, I had an unsettling thought about how much damage a terrorist could do in there.  We went through as quickly as we could and headed outside where the crowds were a bit thinner.
 Our golf cart died of old age this summer, so this is what we were looking for.  To our dismay, this one was over $15,000.
This one was nearly $20,000 - We have been out of the market for a long time. 
The nice lady who took this picture of Ron and I with Smokey asked if we knew what Smokey's middle name was.  We thought we didn't know until she told us it was "The".
The wood carvings were really amazing:
We trudged around the fair for hours in the sun and got some sunburn in spite of lathering up with sunscreen before we left.
We even looked at the animals - mostly for the shade inside their buildings.
The gorgeous day offered us stunning views of Mt Rainier for most of our travels.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Last Days of Summer

Usually by the middle of September, it is feeling a lot like fall, and we are thinking about heading south with all the other migrating seniors.  This year, we are still fully into summer, I am still swimming every day, and I am a bit overwhelmed with vegetables and fruit.  The experimental compost garden has been amazing.
In the interest of simplifying our lives, I started doing raised garden beds with "just enough veggies to have fresh" - In this tiny raised bed, the corn is over 8 feet tall, and the beans have basically taken over, winding around all the corn stalks, and dripping over the edges.
I picked enough beans to can 8 pints this morning.  The apples are ripe and dripping off the trees too, so this was a canning day.  I also did 8 pints of applesauce.

Yesterday we couldn't resist the beautiful weather and we played hooky from our mini-farm and took the bike on a really nice long ride.  First stop, Klein farm in Arlington to drop off a jar of blackberry jam to the farmer who was kind enough to let us pick berries on his farm last week.
Don Klein with one of the many antiques he is working on.  This one actually runs and yes, it still takes a penny to make it gallop.
Don with one of his original trucks back in the day when he milked 300 cows.  When the highway department used eminent domain to take a swath down the middle of his farm to reroute Highway 9 just north of Arlington, he quit milking cows and did an organic row crop farm for six years.  He sold produce from the farm then, but now the farm is for sale in pieces and Don looks forward to finally retiring to Soap Lake where his kids reside.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Family Gathering

We had our second annual "Treasure Hunt in the Maze" for the grandchildren on Sunday.   While we didn't have all of our 20 grandchildren attending this year, we did pretty well with 15.  Even though they range in age from 4 months to 17 years, all of them enjoy wandering in the woods around our house.  Ron keeps the trails mowed on most of the acreage.  The oldest grandchildren have helped to trim the once planned Christmas tree farm into a maze on part of the property.  So we have a "big maze" and a "little maze" and once a year, Ron and I gather Dollar Store treasures and hide them through both mazes for the children to find.

I managed to leave my camera behind when we scoured the maze for treasure, but I did get some pictures of the participants.  In oldest to youngest order: