Sip and Paint

For a few years now, the business of adding a little wine/beer, an instructor and paint, has become popular. A FB friend of mine has done several of them and it looked like a lot of fun. About a year ago, one of the venues was having a 'pet' night where you brought a picture of your pet to paint. I wanted to go sooooo bad and put out a plea on FB for someone to go with me. Ok, I begged. No one wanted to go and I was really bummed.

So finally when The Kid turned 21, I knew who I was dragging along with me. I found a place kind of far away across the border into Idaho, but they discount their paintings through the summer. We chose the painting and day we wanted to go and made an appointment. This is what we were going to be painting. It's an abstract using mostly a pallet knife for the butterfly.

The room holds up to 40, but we had a small class of 14. The instructor walked us through every step and stroke. The background was no problem, easy peasy. Then came the body. Adding the wings is where I messed up. The angle was just all wrong and it went suckily downhill from there; in my opinion. The Kid wasn't doing any better. We're glad we went though and had a good laugh when we got home. Maybe we'll do it again sometime, although I think I'm a lot better at coloring and painting ceramics.

This is the group photo and it's cool to see everyone's different rendition of the same picture.


How Could You FORGET?!

We've all seen the headlines of babies dying from being left in hot cars. About 37 children die each year in that situation. Some are out-and-out neglect cases which result in much deserved charges for the parent or caretaker.

But most seem to be the "I forgot" defense. Busy lives. Both spouses working, swapping who takes the kids to daycare. Running errands, going to meetings or work, etc.

Charges generally are not filed against these parents, because it was a mistake. A tragic mistake. And at that point, unless they can prove the action was neglectful, it wouldn't bring the child back. Their child's death is enough punishment.

What really baffles me is hearing the parents say, "I forgot little Billy was in the car." How in the world can that even happen? The baby may fall asleep, but at some point they will fuss, cry, laugh, and play with noisy toys.  It's true that rear facing car seats inhibit your view of the baby, but a mirror can easily be placed on the back of the seat they are facing, so you can glance in your rear view mirror and see your child's reflection. There are just so many things you can do to prevent this! Being busy and distracted is no excuse. Checking on your child when you are driving should be as common as checking all of your mirrors, watching traffic, and watching the speedometer. Eyes checking, scanning, checking.

I am terribly forgetful and when our daughter was a baby, I had plenty of distractions and stressful days. But I never once forgot she was in the car with me. Never.

You can forget milk when you go shopping. You can forget your cell phone at the office. You can forget your gym bag in the car. But NEVER forget your child is in the car.



Garden Ramblings

Things are finally starting to ripen in our garden. Cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and cukes are being eaten as fast as we can pick them. The regular tomatoes have been very pokey and we haven't been able to pick ONE of them. This mystery plant started growing out of our compost. We knew it was probably some kind of squash but not sure as to what kind. They got very large and rotund so we picked them and ate them either raw or grilled. One night I noticed the consistency was stringy. Ah ha, mystery solved! We got ourselves some spaghetti squash. It's probably been well over a year since we had put seeds in the compost so that little guy waited all that time before it sprouted. We'll leave them alone now so they can ripen to a golden yellow instead of a pasty green.

We've been back to Green Bluff a few times, once to pick beans in a storm. It wasn't planned that way but it was thundering and lightening when we got there. It sure made us pick a lot faster though. We were able to freeze several meals' worth that should carry us through Thanksgiving. 

They also have a large greenhouse with just tomatoes, LARGE tomatoes. We can have our fried green tomatoes now instead of waiting till the end of the season. Grilling them was OK but I'd rather do them in the oven and get them done all at once. It's a messy and time consuming job but sooooooo worth it.

I bought a food dehydrator on CL so we could make some zucchini chips. The trip there was almost not worth the effort. I didn't think it would be a 2 hour round trip, some of it on gravel road. People that live in the boonies apparently don't have to live by any city codes and their houses look like run down shacks. The woman is a dog breeder and the place just grossed me out; The Kid wouldn't even get out of the car. But I cleaned the dehydrator well and it works.

We tried to make some zucchini chips but I cut them too thin and they dried to a crisp right on the tray. We chipped off what we could but then soaked the trays in  hot water to re-hydrated them. As they floated to the top, they went in the compost, yuk. It was a disappointing first attempt considering the work we put into it.

That's all that's new with us because it's been too darn hot to do anything else.


Nellie Takes A Trip

Hey it's me, Nellie! My Mom is pretty tired today after just getting home from our little trip so I thought I'd fill you all in on how it went. Last Sunday morning they loaded the car up and then decided to throw me in the back. They made it all nice looking and comfy but I still didn't like going in that way.

I would lay down for awhile, then stand up and pace back and forth. When they stopped at a rest area I tried to get myself out MY way and end up tangled up in the food box. That's when my hip went out. Mom carried me under a shady tree so my Dad could work on me to get it back in. When we finally got to our destination I was tired, hot, and confused. I got caught in between the wall and bed so I just crashed and slept for a long time. That night I slept on the deck just because it was hot in the room. The next day I got to lay here for hours and rest up.

My family took turns staying with me while the other two would go out and about. I loved walking around the property, they had a nice grassy area and a hill that I walked up every day when my Dad walked me. Every time I went outside, I wanted to walk up that hill! One day we even had visitors up on the lawn.

In the evening we would go up and sit on the lawn and watch the birds and listen to the river. Usually I would take advantage of a cat sighting to chase it, but I was too comfortable lying down and he did not seem impressed with me at all.

I had my family convinced that I was afraid of the deck because I fell a lot on the slick boards. So my dad was inside the room and I walk out there, knocked some chairs over that were blocking (ha ha, not really) an exit, walked under a safety rope and was walking in front of the deck just 2 feet from the edge of the river bank. My Dad just about pooped his pants, ran to grab my leash and followed me out on the edge of the bank to get me before I became fish food. I'm surprised he even told Mom about that!

Just when I was getting used to this new routine, they packed the car back up and threw me in again. I was a little more chill on the way home except for trying to jump out the back instead of waiting for someone to get me, kind of like a kid jumping in a swimming pool before the parent is ready. I can be an obstinate old broad sometimes.

All in all I'm glad they took me and I hope they feel the same way. Here are some more pics my Mom took, and now I'm going to go back to doing what I do best, ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz.

More deer with babies close by
The cabins
Wenatchee river, cabins on right bank
Really low river this time of year


Spider Wars

My older brother and I sometimes resort to our childhood shenanigans. It started last summer when I dug out an old plastic spider I used to scare Hubby with. I took it to my Mom's and tied it to the lawnmower that he uses. He retaliated by putting it in the yard shoes I leave there. I'm not really afraid of spiders but it did startle me a bit. Now if he had used a rubber mouse I would have did some dancing and screaming.

Since all he does is mow the lawn I didn't have many good hiding spots so on my turn, I hung it from the inside of the shed door. I found it next on the inside of the shed door that I use. Every time I opened that door it got me, even knowing it was there.

By then it was fall and he wasn't mowing, but he started it up this summer by putting it above my sun visor when we were there at the same time. I didn't find it until a week later when I was driving down the road. Again, glad it wasn't a mouse!

I had to get pretty inventive now so came up with the brilliant idea of tying it to the toilet seat so when he lifts the seat.......boo ya! That would be great except the guy never pees. (My husband does though and we could hear him yell from the dining room) It took him a whole month to use the bathroom but when he came out, Mom said that he was laughing. I think she's enjoyed the war as much as we have. He wasn't smart enough to take it with him though so I grabbed it and will have to plot my next spider attack.

I may just keep it at home and torture my husband a bit more. At least I can watch his reactions, and boy does he react! Let the spider wars begin......again.


Busy Summer

With The Kid home for the summer and my husband on break from work, we have been getting out and about having fun.

After we went to Turnbull, the next stop was a drive to Sandpoint, Idaho which lies on Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced pondaray). There's a lot to do there but since we were on foot after we parked, our distance was limited. We walked along the city beach and through downtown before hitting a farmer's market. Hubby found some packs of smoked salmon which we enjoyed for dinner. It reminded us of our coastal trips. No pictures that day but this is the view from a plane.

We've taken a few drives to Greenbluff, which is a local community of orchard owners. Within 30 minutes, you can be picking or buying any fruit or vegetable in season, to your heart's content. We've bought cherries, picked apricots, green tomatoes, and raspberries. We will probably go back to pick green beans because I don't think we will get much of a haul of our own this year. The scenery is beautiful and most orchards have lots of activities going on. We try to avoid those though.

Wheat Field

Hops for Beer
One morning we headed 15 minutes away to Pine River Park. It's a small little beach of the the Little Spokane River that is very family friendly. We packed a picnic and just enjoyed the shady day. That's when we decided to buy a portable tabletop grill.

One place my daughter and I have been to before but not Hubby, is an very eclectic auction business off of the freeway about 20 minutes away. You will find everything from a space ship to bathtubs full of rusty treasures. His prices are a bit high so we didn't buy anything this time but it's fun to just walk around. One thing we found there was definitely interesting..... He has a lot of property but half of it is now dedicated to a pot growing business. No kidding! I thought I had smelled pot at one point but didn't say anything. When I saw this huge tall fabric fence I had to take a peek. There were security cameras all over so we couldn't get too snoopy. And me without a camera this time, dang. Since it's now legal he either grows it for the medicinal or retail end of it. 

The Kid and I spent a day at a ceramic studio, our first time ever. It's so simple, pick out your piece and paint it. They fire it and the following week you pick it up. We'll probably go back one more time before Fall. I want to make my Mom and Hubby something for Christmas. I love my new mug!

Before, after painting and after firing. 
So far though, I think the best outing we have had (although the hardest) was a visit to Liberty Lake County Park. Liberty Lake is a small community about 30 minutes east of us. My older brother and his wife live there and we have never been to the park. It was quite popular many years ago when there was not much for recreation around here. We packed up our new grill and some grub and found a nice picnic table. Then we attempted to attack the hike. There is an 8 mile loop hike that I knew we couldn't do but we tried our best to get to the Cedar Grove which is the oldest stand of old Cedar trees in the county.

The trail was wide and mostly flat with a gentle incline. We passed by marshes, a beaver dam which probably isn't inhabited anymore. We heard and saw plenty of birds. The higher we climbed, it became cooler and shadier. I swear we had tele-ported over to the rain forest on the coast. To find something like this so close to home was magnificent. We crossed over the creek 3 times and soldiered on but sadly did not make it to the Cedars. We knew it was 'just around the corner', but that corner never happened. We were tired and our enthusiasm was waning; plus we still had to walk back down. I felt sorry for my husband, he kept lagging farther and farther behind, which is not like him. I apologized for thinking this was something we could do. Although we didn't make it, we did hike over 4 miles which is a new first for us. It will probably never happen again though.

It was so dark, the flash actually went off

When we finally dragged ourselves back to the picnic table we hardly had the energy to cook. It was a great day although it took us a whole day to recover. 

And there's nothing wrong with just sitting in your own backyard and building a campfire.

Other than having all this fun, I've still been helping my Mom, going to the gym, and keeping up with yard work. Yep, it's been a busy summer so far.


Fighting For Space

In one half of our kitchen cupboard, we have a Lazy Susan which holds all of our meds. Everything fits nicely, the prescription bottles as well as vitamins and other supplements. Hubby takes a lot more supplements than I do, and their bottles are large, so they lie down on the top of Susan.

With his recent heart issue he is taking more prescription meds. I bought him a pill organizer so he can load of his daily pills into one large compartment. He didn't like it.

"I have to dump everything out to get what I want for different parts of the day."

He uses it, but for only some of his pills. If I bought him a larger weekly organizer he still wouldn't use it. The organizer now sits on the counter, along with another bottle and a newly acquired powder he mixes in water twice a day for......uh never mind. Not only the bottle, but a glass and measuring cup have to be there too. Like he can't eyeball a cup of water?

I ask him why all this stuff has to sit on the counter.

"So I don't forget to take it."

Really husband, you would forget to take these particular pills if they were in the cupboard with all the other pills? There is no logic in that.

I have one prescription in the cupboard as well as vitamins. My little bottle doesn't take up much room but he moved it to the nether regions of the cupboard because, "It was in my way and I'm afraid I will take it by accident." Really husband, you don't read the labels of the pills you take? There is NO logic in that.

I asked him not to do it, but he did it again. Instead of asking nicely again I took all of his pill bottles and put them everywhere in the cupboard so he would have to find them. The cupboard also houses coffee, filters, paper plates, dog meds, and a bunch of other stuff so you could imagine how long he had to search. To solve the problem of not enough room, I tossed some very old pills that we will probably never take. It took me about 30 seconds, problem solved! Now, that's logical.

I guess we are just two people with totally different ideas of what logic is, and not enough room to use it.