Friday, July 29, 2011

A Lost Art?

The other night I was helping out at Young Women's and they were making secret sister gifts. (Don't know what secret sister gifts are - well, you are assigned another camper to give stuff to. This stuff can either be funny, practical, or - sadly what I normally get - junk. I don't have a good attitude about secret sister stuff. But this year I got a blow up flamingo for my secret sister. Why? Because it made me laugh. Anyway, back to the story.)

One of the gifts they were making was flavored water. Well, actually, a bottle of water with a stir-in thing attached to it with curly ribbon. You know, curly ribbon. The ribbon you curl using scissors.Yeah, I got that blank stare from the girls and a couple of the leaders too. I mean, seriously, you don't know how to curl ribbon?

So, I thought I would teach them this apparently lost art. I showed them how. And they tried and cut the ribbon. So I showed them how again and they tried and it didn't work. So I showed them how again and they just asked me to do it.

Why is curly ribbon a thing of the past? Is it because you can buy a giant bag of already made bows for mere dollars? Is it a product of our gift bag and tissue paper generation? Is it one of those things that skips a generation - these girls kids will be asking their grandma's how to curl ribbon?

I don't know, but I'm going to single handedly (is that how you spell that?) keep it alive. So, the next time you need to wrap a present, throw some curly ribbon on there. No, not the kind you buy already curled, but the kind you curl yourself. It's easy! I promise.

Ok, just send it to me and I'll curl it and send it back.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rain, Rain, I Don't Know How Long You'll Be Here, But You're Making Yard Improving Difficult

While the rest of the country has been experiencing a SUPER hot summer, we here in the Pacific Northwest have yet to really experience summer. Yesterday it rained almost an inch and was about 60 degrees or so at our house. Not that I'm complaining, really. It's just that we have a big old project going on outside our front door and I would like it to be done this year. You know, before the BIG rains come.

For those of you who have never been to our house, we have a weird front yard. It is surrounded by steep planting beds. What is that? You don't quite understand, well, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words....
That is what we look at out our front window. When we moved in, there was ground cover on the slope but it wasn't strong enough to fight off the weeds so we had ground cover with weeds coming through it. So we took out the ground cover and tried to plant some plants. Nothing has ever done well there. It's just too steep. A couple of years ago I said that we might need to terrace it, but neither of us really wanted to, so we conveniently forgot about it. This year though, we both had had enough so we dug up the plants that were eeking out their living on the hill and Brent started to dig...and dig...and dig. Really, here is the HUGE pile of soil to prove it!

That pile is probably 4 feet tall by 6 feet wide. And most of it is going it the backyard to make a slope, but that's a different post.

But, this weekend, amid Ashley making Brent take her to see the new Harry Potter - I cried - he moved around a thousand pounds of rock to begin the first retaining wall. It looks so good! See...

He still has three more rows to put up then it will be a three foot tall retaining wall.

So, once he's done, then I get to plant some stuff that should live. I'm so excited!

If the rain ever calms down for a few days, he might be able to get more done. But, next week is Girl's Camp - yep, still going this year - so he should get sufficiently bored to work some more on the great wall that is going up in our front yard, provided it stops raining for a few days!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Sitting By the Dock of the Bay...

I was trying to think of a catchy title besides "Baby, You're a Firework" because I don't like Katy Perry, so this is what I came up with. You'll understand.

The Fourth of July was a GLORIOUS day here in the Northwest. MUCH better than last year when it rained so much before the fireworks that we left. I mean, we're Northwesterners, we're use to the rain and it still chased us home to watch the fireworks on tv.

We had a great barbecue at Court and Brad's, then we were off to the fireworks. I love the fireworks here in town. They set them off over Sinclair Inlet, so that's cool. (See, that's kind of like a bay.) Plus, you can buy some pretty amazing fireworks around town so other people put on a firework show over the water before the "big" fireworks start. Which means we had about 2-1/2 hours of some pretty good, and LOUD, fireworks.

Here we all are ready for the sun to go down. It doesn't really get dark around here until about 10 pm this time of year, so the fireworks start late. Notice the sweatshirts. Yep, it's July 4th and still kind of chilly. I love it!

See, there goes the sun behind the Olympics.

Court, Emma, and Brad

Got to love Sarah and Chloe's glow-in-the-dark masks!

Kyle and Aaron enjoying their free pop. The place where we watch the fireworks - no, I'm not going to tell you where because it's a secret - was giving away free pop this year. I thought that was really nice. It kind of made me mad as we left when I saw all the empty cans people just left for them to clean up. Some people, I swear!

See, I was there too!

I have a function on my camera that is for fireworks. I have ALWAYS wanted to try this function out, but I've never had a tripod with me. Until this time. I took a TON of firework pictures. Some worked, others didn't. But here are the best ones. And, yes, there are a lot, but I'm super excited that they worked.

Seriously, that's a pretty cool function!

Hope your Fourth of July was as fun as ours! My ears are still ringing!