Sunday, July 20, 2014

How To Not Travel Through Eastern Oregon

I love my family.

I do.

Which is why, every single year, I go visit them.

And travel through the desolation know as eastern Oregon.

People who think the world is over populated have never driven those sorry stretches of state high ways.

I mean, it’s pretty barren.

Which is exactly why I was pluggin’ along {going roughly 30 miles over the speed limit} earlier in July.

And also why I got pulled over.

In Christmas Valley.

Actual name.

Actually as lame as the name implies.

I had just driven through the center of town.

And by center of town I mean I rolled through it’s one stop sign and glanced at the one store. 

And I picked up speed. 

And then quickly slowed down as I saw the Sheriff that had just passed me make a U-turn and flip on its lights.

Officer: Hello.

Me: Hi.

Officer:  Do you know how fast you were going?

Me: Yes, sir.  I was going 60.

Officer:  Did you know it was 35 mph?

Me:  Are you kidding me?  I thought it was 55 mph.  {I really, and truly, thought I had hit the sign that said 55.}

Officer:  Nope.  It doesn’t turn to 55 mph till that sign right back there.

Me.  I’m sorry, I had no idea.

Officer:  Where are you headed?

Me:  Idaho.

Officer:  What for?

Me:  To see my family for the 4th of July.

Officer:  I’m from Orofino.

Me:  Are you really?  That’s such a nice area.  {Never been there in my life.}

Officer:  And a guy I trained and is now my friend is working in Meridian.

Me:  That’s amazing.  I grew up in that area.

Officer takes my license and registration.

Officer:  Normally I would ticket anyone that was going 25 miles over the speed limit…..

Me:  I can understand that.

Officer:  Ten over the speed limit…?  Wouldn’t have even batted an eye.  Twenty-five over the speed limit…?

Me:  Totally different story.

Officer:  But I’m letting you off with a warning.

Me:  {Obnoxiously thankful}

Officer begins to walk away and comes back:  I’m also letting you off because you only have one more kid than me!

Thank you, Officer

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And on the way home…

we got to see this beauty:

DSC00619

How you might ask?

Because our tire had shredded.

Forty miles on the east side of Christmas Valley.

And we weren’t breaking 50 mph.

Driving with a spare tire.

Which we had no idea we had in our car.

{P.S. it wasn’t in the trunk.  Discovered only after we had unloaded all of the luggage for seven people coming home from a week long trip to Idaho in 100 degree weather on a deserted highway.}

The trip home took two hours longer than normal.

I love you, family,

so much, that I’m letting you come visit me from now on….

Katie

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Garden Pictures

My friend came to visit.

While I was out of town.

And she and my other friend took the liberty of walking around my garden in my absence.

And gave their kids some of my peas.

They basically trespassed and stole.

However, they encouraged me to share what my garden looks like now.

So for the rest of you law abiding citizens that would like to see what my garden looks like now, here are way too many pictures:

Before

DSC00452-001

Now

DSC00625

 

DSC00626

 

DSC00627

 

DSC00629

 

DSC00628

 

DSC00630

Peas to right.

Tomatoes in the back.

Broccoli, carrots and onions at the bottom left.

DSC00631

Garden helper.

DSC00632

And one of our heavy pieces of machinery.

DSC00633

Tomatoes to the left.

Yellow crook neck squash to the right.

DSC00635

Corn, grapes, squash.

DSC00636

 

DSC00637

Flowers.

DSC00638

Green beans on the right.

DSC00640

 

DSC00641

Table grapes on the garden arbor.

DSC00643

Volunteer sunflowers.

DSC00644

My really, really, really pitiful sweet corn.

DSC00645

Cucumbers.

DSC00646

Water for the bees.

It’s my grandparents old bird bath.

Why I didn’t end up with the base I don’t know.

DSC00647

And loads of beets.

Which my family may or may not hate me for planting.

DSC00648

 

DSC00649

Pole beans.

DSC00650

And elsewhere on the property:

peaches,

DSC00651

apples,

DSC00652

Concord grapes,

DSC00654

raspberries,

DSC00622

and pears.

DSC00653

Katie

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

During the Month of June:

I bought a Chinese Checkers game at a garage sale and it has been a huge hit.

I know this because the kids fight about it constantly.

And marbles are everywhere.

DSC00501-001

Meg turned 5.

DSC00520-001

Elizabeth photo bombed one of her pictures.

DSC00529-001

Bryce’s family had a family reunion and we went to Crater Lake.

Where it was snowing.

In June.

The last week of June.

After we had driven an hour and half to get there.

In shorts.

 

DSC00551-001

We went to Emigrant Lake.

DSC00566

 

DSC00597

And we came home with sand in our bums.

Well, not my bum, but other people’s.

Mostly those under the age of nine.

Or maybe just Bennett’s….

Katie

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Something is Better Than Nothing

At least that’s what I’m telling myself about this post.

Because it’s been a while since I’ve posted.

Maybe you’ve noticed?

If you’re still there?

Spring is a super busy time around here.

Which is exciting.

And exhausting.

Mostly exhausting.

Bryce says it’s because we’re homesteaders.

I say we’re not homesteaders.

He asks then, what are we?

I say we’re just an average looking couple who has a lot of stuff that causes a lot of work: yard, grass, weeds, garden, bees, children, chickens, house, money.

{Just kidding.

We don’t have a lot of money.}

So, in brief, this is what we’ve been up to:

Harvesting honey

Eating peas, raspberries, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, and cherries.

And eggs.

Lots and lots of eggs.

Jumping on the trampoline.

Eating dinner under the grape arbor.

{Which was recently outfitted with some outdoor lighting.

And is home to a mommy, daddy and two baby robins.}

Adeline got a duck.

We made a chicken run.

{Bryce loves me, but he was tired of chicken poopy being every.where.}

Washing, hanging and folding laundry.

Spray painting and regular painting.

Dishes, always dishes.

Bennett is crawling.

Spencer is always hungry.

Meg still doesn’t know her letters.

And Elizabeth and Adeline are done with school this week.

 

 

DSC00459-002

Hiking at Table Rock

DSC00463-001

 

DSC00469-001

 

 

DSC00471-001

 

DSC00472-001

How Adeline sweeps the floor.

DSC00481-001

How Bennett is the favorite.

DSC00495-001

How Elizabeth looked as Betsy Ross.

Hope you’re having an awesome week,

Katie

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I Hope We’re Still Friends After You Meet My Children

We have these friends.

The kind of friends that when you stop by on a Saturday evening to drop off a cookie cutter, invite you to stay for dinner.

Which, of course, we did.

I was all settled down to dinner when I received an urgent message.

Via Adeline.

From Bryce.

Voiced in an alarming way.

A whisper.

“Dad needs you.”

“Did he split his pants?”

{Why did I think that was funny to say out loud?}

“I don’t know, but he really needs you up stairs.”

I pawned off Bennett and headed up the stairs.

Where I found:

Spencer - half naked.

Bryce - grumbling under his breath.

Dirty underwear on the floor.

A stench that you wouldn’t believe.

And poo spread pretty much from here to Timbuktu.

Which is a big deal.

But even worse:

The bathroom is white.

Top to bottom.

Marble bathtub.

Bleached white rugs.

White commode, toilet paper, counter top, flooring, walls and door.

Now all haphazardly, but fairly thoroughly, smeared with Spencer’s attempt to wipe his bum after a bout with the runs

……and I had used the rest of the wipies from my bag minutes before hand, had not a spare pair of underwear or a lone diaper.

The bathroom received a once {that’s a lie, it was like two or three times} over with wetted toilet paper - maybe a whole roll’s worth?

{Toilet paper and Bounty paper towels are not even in the same category for this kind of emergency.}

Did I mention Spencer had also managed to clog the toilet?

I don’t even know anymore….

So Bryce worked on that.

I put Spencer’s shorts back on him wrong side out.

{How the outside of his shorts were soiled while the inside remained unblemished is a secret Spencer will take to his grave.}

Plastered on a smile, and walked back to dinner, praying that the poo smell, some way, some how, magically evaporated on its own.

This is the kind of embarrassment only realized by parents.

Oh children.

Katie

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Did I Say Monday? Because I Meant Tuesday…

The winner is:  Emily Morgan!

Thanks for all {twelve} of you that entered.

Quick question, the pictures for my blog aren’t showing up on my computer.  Anyone know why?

I will be back later this week with another post.

Promise.

This week.

For sure.

It’s going to happen.

on path

Here’s a picture of my grandma to tide you over.

Katie

Thursday, May 15, 2014

This Is Me Finally Getting Around to Posting…. {& A Giveaway}

But let’s be honest.

Spring is kicking my bum.

Which would be awesome if my gluteus maximus actually tightened up.

But it’s not.

There’s still a fair amount of jiggling going up and down the stairs.

True story.

It hit 95 degrees yesterday and I’m like, what the heck?

I’ve had enough time to barely get the absolute done leaving little remaining for anything ‘extra’.

What consists of absolute?

Laundry.

Putting Spencer in time out.

And meals.

Always meals….

The big to-do {and by big to-do I mean hours of manual labor from Bryce and myself, but mostly Bryce} has been the garden:

this what it looked like for the first couple of years.

SAM_1796

And here it is today, mostly done.

Just needs more gravel in the paths and some rows of corn and fewer weeds.

DSC00447-001

We brought the doors with us when we moved from Colorado.

Which Bryce was not thrilled about.

 

DSC00448-001

 

DSC00449-001

 

DSC00450

 

DSC00451

 

DSC00452

It has a mini flower bed around the outside for cut flowers and marigolds.

DSC00453-001

It’s enormous and my favorite room in the house, well, until the weeds start up in full force.

DSC00454-001

Anyway, I did manage to stop at an estate sale a couple of Friday’s ago and picked up some vintage Radio News magazines from the 20s and 30s.

They were giving them away for free.

I like radio, in the sense that I almost never get to listen to it in the car and when I finally do it’s a song that I’ve never heard before, probably because I never listen to the radio….and so it cycles.

Moving on, I picked these up because I really liked the graphics on them and, again, they were free:

DSC00436

I dug out some frames that I got for Christmas two years ago.

Still had the ribbon and note and everything.

I’m pathetic.

DSC00437-001

I tore off the front pages, framed them and hung them on the ladder with S hooks.

I don’t love them there, but if we recap, it took me two years to do anything with the frames in the first place…so….

DSC00456-001

In addition to the radio magazines at the sale, I found this cute little book.

DSC00457-001

Which because of it’s vibrant pictures I thought would make a great paper bunting.

DSC00458

Like the one in the girl’s room:

SAM_3248

So, if you made it to the end of the post, I’m giving you a chance to win the book bunting.

Leave a comment telling me your favorite picture book from when you were a kid.

The winner will be randomly selected and announced Monday, May 19th.

Katie