Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall Is In the Air

We have been doing loads of projects and having fun around the house the last few weekends starting with a long Labor Day weekend. The weather has been cooler and so it has been more fun to be outside than it was in August. Even the critters seem to be enjoying it!

My plants have been thriving too...

The "Trifids" have been catching lots of bugs in their pitcher-like mouths and have been multiplying like rabbits.

The two redwood trees I got in the late spring have each grown about a foot (behind the bear)!
Tracy's birthday was last weekend...

and we've done a bike ride or two...

Yep, it's still humid.... see hair.

... but that didn't stop Paul!
He poured his own sweat into making some shelves for the Star Wars room, even learning to use 3 new power tools: the router...

Table saw and lastly a bisquit-joiner (not shown).
He covered the garage and himself from head to toe in sawdust in the process.
... and then collapsed.

Maybe next week I'll show what projects I was working on. For now, it's dinner time. Goodnight!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Cooking Tip from the Sister-in-Law

Straight in off the press -- Alison passed a message along to me through Paul, that if you want to have an easier time chopping rutabaga (or swede, as it's called in England), boil it for a few minutes and then chop it. Gone are my troubles with rutabaga- I love the veg but will cook with it often now that I know how to minimize the trouble of preparing it.

Capitol Visit Part 2

Sunday morning we all decided, after Nate had made us a fancy breakfast, that the zoo was first on the list. The cheetahs were the highlight for me.
Lunch time already? Well it was 3:00 by then and we all had planned a trip to this Indian buffet as priority to fit somewhere in the weekend. So we high-tailed it there after the zoo and were lucky to get there a 1/2 hour before the buffet closed down. We all ate too fast, in hopes of getting seconds, so was it worth it? You betcha!
Laura and Nate dropped us off at the Memorials again, since we didn't have time the day before to finish them, and they headed off to church.

First we went to Lincoln's memorial - a favorite.

We loved that we could see the Washington Monument from between the columns of Lincoln Memorial.

Then we trekked the Mile and half or so to get to the Jefferson Memorial across the lake, but in the process came across the Roosevelt memorial, which was filled of many of his wonderful quotes. Here is just one portion of the large memorial that wandered like a trail through his life.

The Jefferson Memorial was my favorite as far as beauty, although they were all magnificent in the uniqueness of each that represented very distinct and influential heroes.

Jefferson had a cool ponytail tied with a bow, but it didn't show up very good here.

A few hours later we were all hanging out at a bar and grill enjoying the beautiful weather outdoors while sharing appetizers and drinks. We hung out and talked for hours before heading back to go to sleep.
We had to leave Monday morning from Union Station after Nate left for work. We had to ask Laura to take us to Target to buy a blanket for the train trip back because the air on the train is kept at 60 degrees we are convinced.
It was sad to go, but we were not bored on the long trip back with all the entertainment we brought. Between naps I did plenty of spinning on my drop spindle, reading, knitting and movie watching on the laptop, and Paul watched movies.

We had such a fun weekend, and although it felt like it went fast, it was the perfect combination of sightseeing and relaxation, with nothing over-powering or taxing in effort. We came home feeling so refreshed and had so much fun spending time with the cousins. I am sorry to see them go, but I'm sure they will have the greatest life experiences traveling abroad.
A few days after coming home I made a huge pasta casserole using the basil Laura sent home from her herb garden. Nothing like fresh basil!! Thanks, Laura and Nate, for such a great weekend-- We will miss you!!