Sunday, August 29, 2010

Let's Go Fly a Kite

For the last Saturday of summer, we did something completely different.  Dandelionslayer's friend took us down the inlet in his boat.  D2 thought the ride was noisy, but was surprised to learn that we were in a motorboat.

Rollo let the wind whistle through the space where Scoot knocked his tooth out.  (Don't worry--it was already loose.)  But a boat ride was not sufficiently thrilling.

Dandelionslayer took to the sky with his friend's parasail.  He loved the flight, even though Rollo frequently encouraged the driver to dip his feet in the water.

Splash!  Apparently the flight was worth the landing.

The Caterpillar tried it, too, while Scoot hung out with the friend's boat-loving dog.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

First Tomato

A friend shared with me some of her mother's advice:  "If you can't pronounce it, you should not put it in or on your body."  This seems pretty sound to me, considering things like iodopropynyl butylcarbamate or methylisothiazolinone.  But I hope it need not apply to this tomato.  Its name is Malakhitovaya Shkatulka. 
Can you say that? 
It is a Russian variety, named for the resemblance of its innards to the green malachite boxes made in its native land.  This first specimen was not quite as bright green as I'd expected, but it certainly was delicious.  I look forward to opening more of these treasure boxes soon!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

End of Summer Giveaway

Is summer ending already?  My first tomato is almost ripe, and school starts next week.  How time flies.

But all is not lost!  Terresa, at the Chocolate Chip Waffle, is serving up some cool, delicious books (and cookie cutters) in her End of Summer Giveaway.  Check it out and enter to win by Sunday night!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Tale of Two Beach Trips

Three years ago, we were trying to go on an exciting vacation.  But we missed a ferry, and decided to find a way to amuse ourselves before going home.  We drove over to Sequim (pronounced "squim" every time I've heard it).  I thought I had heard of the Dungeness Spit, or at least the crabs, so we took a look.  It was a cool, gray August day, and what I remember most is that:

    1.  as soon as we reached the end of the half-mile trail to the beach, Rollo claimed he needed to go to the bathroom, up at the trailhead, and

    2.  while I watched D2 play with rocks, Scoot and the Caterpillar wandered into the restricted marshy area, and got their shoes stuck in the mud.

To the boys, this is a good memory, and they've been asking to go back ever since.

After scraping off the mud, we found our way to Graysmarsh Farm, where we posed in the lavender field and picked a bucketful of blueberries, which spilled in the van on the way home.

We have returned to the farm, each August, on the way home from camping farther west.  This year we made a special trip.  We picked two bucketfuls of blueberries, ten pounds in all, and it was hard to stop there.  But, stop we did, so we could make the long-awaited visit to the Spit.

It was a sunny, warm day, especially after toiling in the blueberry field, so some of us were excited about getting wet.  The water was, well, frigid.  But I let it splash up my legs, and the boys let it knock them around a bit.

Scoot tempted fate by building a pyramid upon the sand.  His brothers willingly helped build a stony fortification to protect it from the relentless waves.

And, of course, the floods came up.  The wall remained, looking like a misplaced fire ring. 

We were not alone in splashing and playing with rocks, sand, and driftwood, but we only saw one real swimmer.  We never saw him come out of the water.  In fact, we only saw the top of his head, and a bit of his back, once.  He happened to be a seal.  You wouldn't be impressed with our photographic evidence, but we saw the brown head bobbing just offshore.  We felt privileged to be splashing in the same waves. 

I'll remember Dungeness Spit more fondly from now on.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ticket to Ride

     When Rollo was 4 or 5, I took him to Target one day during Christmastime.  As we walked near the toy area, a lady approached us.  She needed to purchase a gift for a 4-year-old boy with whom she was not well acquainted, and she wondered if we had any suggestions.  Rollo answered, without hesitation, "Trains!"
     Though Rollo may play with Legos more often these days, he still enjoys his train set, and D2 is right on track.  So, last month, I thought it was time to take a real train ride again.
      The Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad uses real steam engines to pull a few cars around on old logging tracks.  Rail conditions dictate a leisurely pace, which is perfect for enjoying the scenery.
      And we were fortunate that the scenery was actually visible that day.  The company makes no guarantees, but the sky was clear, and we enjoyed a good peek at the peak.
          We took a brief walk by this lake while the train turned around, and headed back all too soon.  Perhaps we'll visit again, on our own schedule.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Deep Purple

When the deep purple grows, within my garden rows...
There are quite a few purple things growing around here, from this quiet heather,

to this hydrangea (do you think the pickle juice helped the color?),

to this outrageously tropical fuchsia.

But the deepest purple of all can be found in the vegetable garden...
in these Royalty Purple Pod beans. 
They are only purple on the outside, and revert to a deep green when cooked. 
But they are so lovely on the vine, and delicious, too!