Sunday, September 26, 2010

MAJOR Cabin Update

On Friday, we emailed the builder that we were going to be in the area and were going to stop by the building site.  The builder emailed back to say "the building is up" and "just be careful, we didn't get a dumpster for debris yet". 






Looking into the kitchen areaUp above is the loft.

Looking down the hallway.  On the right in the front is a full bath, behind that is our bedroom.  On the left in the front is a closet, behind that is where the stairs will go upstairs to the second floor, and downstairs to the basement below.  Behind that is our daughter's room.

This photo is taken from the loft.  On the right is a full bath, behind that is a large bedroom.

On this side will be an enclosed porch.  Above it will be a deck that will be accessed via sliders in the loft.

It's ironic because this saga has been going on for so long, yet now suddenly things seem to be moving so fast!!  We could hardly believe so much was done!!  It was absolutely incredible to see our dream, that had been in our minds for so long, then had been down on paper for so long, become a tangible, real thing!!!  It was totally unreal.  Still can't believe it.  I have to keep looking at the pictures!!!

(If you are unfamiliar with this saga, you can read through it all here.  It's in reverse order chronologically, so scroll all the way to the bottom to read the first post, and note the date - almost TWO YEARS AGO!  LOL...)

The end.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More Thoughts Too Short For a Whole Blog Post

Angel Kitty

I know that theoretically you can't change other people - you can only change yourself.  But you know what?  It would be nice if once in awhile the other person *would change*.  Sometimes I get tired of working on myself.  I could use a break now and then.

When I first started blogging I learned all about stuff like google page rank, seo tools, key words, traffic generators....  But for my own personal blog, I just want to blog for fun.  I just wanna show you stuff like my struggling garden, our cabin progress, and share favorite songs like the "Too Fat Polka".  I'll just hope for the best that anybody reads my personal blog.  :-)

Never in my life did I like cheese sandwiches.  Until about two months ago.  All of a sudden I like cheese sandwiches.  Two slices of cheese on whole wheat bread for some reason is delicious.  I am so lazy when it comes to preparing lunch for myself, there isn't a much faster lunch than slapping a couple of pieces of cheese between two slices of bread.  Done.

When my daughter leaves for school, she instructs me that I am in charge of babysitting Moocow.  Moocow sits here on the counter next to my computer and keeps me company.  I love babysitting Moocow.

Seems like as my husband and I are entering the 40s, we both have noticed that our brains just don't always seem to work like they used to.  The other day my husband went to put his coffee cup in the fridge, which we had a good laugh over.  I told him wait until the day comes when you put the coffee cup in the fridge, and then that's where I go to *get* a coffee cup, and neither of us realizes that's totally wrong!

If you're 40ish or older, what silly things have you found yourself doing?  Please share and make me feel better!!  LOL...

The end.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Another Thing I Made With Our Garden Tomatoes

I made this!  
I wanted to use fresh basil leaves, but our rinky dink Stop & Shop didn't have any.

Our block party was a few weeks ago and this is what I brought.  It was the first time I ever made it.  Apparently it's called "Insalata Caprese Salad".  I googled images of it to try to make it look like it's supposed to.  Again, as I've mentioned before, I don't have even one drop of Italian in me, so for a German/Hungarian/Polish gal, I think I did okay. 

Oh, by the way, my husband had the homemade tomato sauce I made tonight for dinner and he said he loved it!!!  (I didn't end up having any because I went out to lunch with my Dad and wasn't hungry at dinnertime.)

I have a funny feeling I'm not going to have to worry about what to do with many more tomatoes.  The weather has already turned so chilly, I'm not sure how many more will ripen.  The thermometer said 38F this morning, the leaves are starting to turn, and the deer are out scrounging around trying to fatten up for winter. 

Speaking of the deer, my husband is ready to purchase a ncstar sight for his BB gun.  I know deer are pretty and all, but they sure are a nuisance.  Not to mention they are carriers for deer ticks which spread Lyme disease.

I am listening to the album "Oktoberfest in Germany" right now.  Thought you'd like to know that.  Some of my favorite German songs are "Ein Prosit" and the "Too Fat Polka". Below is the song sung by Drew Carey and Frankie Yankovic, in case you've never heard this fine little ditty:

The end.

Playing Detective

As I've mentioned, I've been working on our family genealogy lately.  The other day I went to a local cemetery that has a number of ancestors buried there to take photos of the headstones, which is helpful for verifying the spelling of names and birth and death dates.  It's incredible how much discrepancy there can be between various "official" documents (like the census, for example) when it comes to birth dates and spelling of names.

Luckily, these days an enormous amount of data has been entered into computers and available online from things like the census, immigration passenger lists, draft registration cards, etc.  Unfortunately, back in those days, nearly everything was handwritten, and not everyone wrote in neat handwriting.  There are errors in the transcription that can make it hard to find someone you are looking for.  Also, people didn't always go by their given names and so they might be listed on the census by their nickname.  For example, my husband's grandfather's name was "John", but everyone called him "Jack".  On the 1930 census he is listed as "Jack".  Luckily, I knew this, so I knew it was him.  Otherwise I might have had to do more detective work to confirm that was the person I was looking for.

There is some pretty interesting information out there.  I've discovered an ancestor was blind in one eye, another was from an area of eastern Europe I wasn't expecting, and another came from a family important enough to be indicated on a 19th century map.

Unfortunately, nearly everyone in our family immigrated to the US, so it becomes much more difficult to track them down in their home countries.  I'm jealous of people with ancestors that have been in the US for hundreds of years - it must be much easier to trace them back further.  In fact, I've seen some local records and some of them have some pretty interesting info - like "cause of death".  In many cases the cause of death listed is not even a term used today - for example, "dropsy".  Dropsy is an old term for the swelling of soft tissues due to the accumulation of excess water. In years gone by, a person might have been said to have dropsy. Today one would be more descriptive and specify the cause. Thus, the person might have had edema due to congestive heart failure.  Imagine what today's health records might say that might be interesting for future ancestors to see - things like obesity, smoking-related cancer, Nintendo thumb, extenze side effects, Wii injuries.....  LOL....

Have you ever found out anything interesting or surprising in your family history?

The end.

Monday, September 20, 2010

All That Work for This...

Well, that's how much sauce I got for all that work, LOL...  Yes, I will definitely double, triple, or QUADRUPLE the batch next time!  :-D  I ended up pureeing it in the blender because my husband doesn't care for chunky sauce.  It did taste pretty good, though.  I think we're going to have pasta tomorrow night, so that will be the real test.  (See previous posts for pictures/process/recipe.)

One thing I really do like about making the sauce is that of course I know all the ingredients that went into it, and for all intents and purposes, the tomatoes from our garden were "organic" because we didn't use any chemicals at all in the garden.  These days I find myself reading the labels on everything.  It's amazing how much extra crap they put in some products.  Trying to make the "best" choices at the supermarket is not always an easy task.  At least at home you can Google the "mystery ingredients" or brands, or companies or things like the best whey protein powder, but there in the aisles, you have to make your best guess.  (I don't have a phone with internet - which if I did, I COULD research all this while I was standing there.)

I'll be sure to report back on what we thought of the sauce over pasta.  Oh, and I did end up adding salt!

The end.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ok, Next Time I'll Make a Double Batch of Tomato Sauce...

...because this is kind of a pain in the butt, LOL!  (This saga started in the previous post, in case you missed it.)

Do you like my little "Carole" keychain in the background there?  :-P

But I must say, the whole boiling-water-to-ice-water did really make the peels super easy to take off!  That was kind of cool!

The part that was really time consuming and annoying was "squishing the seeds out".  Seems like you lose a lot of tomato by the time you're done with that.  If I ever try making homemade sauce again, I would definitely at least double the recipe to make it worth all this trouble.

Anyway, I chopped all the rest of the ingredients and added all the spices and whatnot, and so this is where I am right now:

This has to simmer for at least four hours, so I'll have to report back later on how it eventually comes out.  I don't know if it will help a sunburn or cure acne, but hopefully it will taste good, LOL!

One thing that is a little weird to me about this recipe is that it doesn't call for salt.  I can't imagine it's not going to need some salt when I taste test it, but we'll see...

Do you ever make homemade tomato sauce?  Any hints for me?  Or want to share your recipe??  Do you think it's going to need salt?? 

The end.

Making Tomato Sauce for the First Time...

So, now that I finally have tomatoes coming in from our "Thousand Dollar Garden of Mistakes", I decided I'd better figure out what to do with all these tomatoes.  I used my friend Google for some ideas, and I have to laugh - you can use tomatoes for everything from a remedy to sunburn, to acne solutions to of course...TOMATO SAUCE!  I thought tomato sauce sounded like a good idea, LOL.

I have never made homemade tomato sauce so I turned to another of my trusted friends - - and I am going to try this recipe: Homemade Tomato Sauce I .  I am a little nervous about the boiling-water-to-ice-water-peel-off-the-skins-and-squeeze-out-the-seeds (???) part, but I'll give it my best shot...

I'll keep ya posted how it turns out...

If you're the praying type, say a prayer....

The end.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I Ate "Bulgar Wheat"

Portobello Sandwich 9.50
Warm olive oil roasted portobello mushrooms with soft goat cheese, red onions & baby spinach tossed with balsamic vinaigrette. Served on our caramelized onion Francese bread with a side of bulgur wheat salad.

Now the school has started and things have calmed down a bit and life is into more of a schedule, one of the first things on my agenda was to meet my cousin (Dr. Mom) for lunch.  If you're a regular reader, you know we like to go to the Apple Pie Bakery at the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park.  Lunch was absolutely delicious, as usual.  I must admit, I was a little worried about the "bulgar what salad", but it was REALLY good - even my cousin had a bite and was as surprised also how tasty it was (what the heck is "bulgar wheat", anyway??).

For dessert I had a chocolate croissant.  I had an idea in my mind what it was going to taste like, but when I took my first bite, it was like 10 times better than I even thought it was going to be.  The food there is like "magic food".  I'm tellin' ya, they should have a kiosk outside the place selling diet pills.  I don't know how any student graduates there without being 500 lbs with all that great food to eat!

On the way to meet my cousin, I stopped at a local cemetery to take some pictures for my genealogy project.  I am actually very lucky that so many of my husband's relatives are all buried in one cemetery so close by!  More on how that is all going in a future post...

The end.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I Would Like to Start Thinking About Christmas Shopping, if You Don't Mind, Frontier!

(I am so annoyed right now - lately our FRONTIER DSL has been SO UNRELIABLE!!!  ARGH!!!  The last couple of months have been HORRIBLE!  Of course when I call it's a bunch of "we're working on it, yada, yada, yada".  For awhile it would turn off right after 5pm - so I KNOW they're turning it off to work on something.  I guess they figure all your important stuff must be done by 5pm.  NOT!!  Tonight it was down AGAIN!)

Anyway, as the Christmas shopping season approaches, I want to sign up for some good shopping sites that will alert me to online coupon codes (like for free shipping, or 20% off housewares at Amazon, red envelope promotional code, etc., etc.). I was out at a scrapbooking crop tonight and when I got home, while it was fresh in my mind, I was going to put my feet up and search out the websites I was told about.  I have saved a TON of money over the years by taking advantage of coupon codes online.  I absolutely hate to pay for shipping, so if nothing else I always try to at least take advantage of shopping at sites where I can get free shipping.

But, the internet was down.  Grrr.....  Eventually I was able to get back online (as evidenced by me posting this) and I haven't had much time yet to check out all the sites my friends told me about (because it was TOO LATE by the time my stupid Frontier internet service came back on!!!), but I did like and so far....

And NO - it is NOT too early to be thinking about Christmas shopping!

Please share if you have any coupon/online shopping code sites you like and I'll check 'em out (if, of course it's ok with the folks at Frontier!!).  With our forthcoming "cabin" to start paying for soon, I am hoping to save a lot this holiday season between coupon codes and "Swagbucks".  But hey, no matter who you are or what your situation is - who doesn't want to save some money on holiday gift buying, right??  :-D

The end.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Finally Got to See Citi Field

We finally got to see the new Citi Field last week when we went to a Mets game.  It's really nice!  It's very "open" and of course everything is brand new with modern furniture / seats and even the floor was painted in blue, white and orange speckling.  We had tickets that were on the "inexpensive side" but I thought we had a great view.  These tickets were actually my husband and father's "Father's Day" gifts, purchased months ago when we had thought that this might have actually been a great game, LOL.

The view from our seats

Not surprisingly, the Mets lost, but I still had a great time.  It was really fun to see our favorite players in "real life" and have the fun of being at the game.  This is our kittycat Angel's favorite Met player - I took this picture for her since she wasn't able to join us:

I have to hand it to her, she does have good taste.

Here's one of my favorite players, Ike Davis who plays first base:

Of course we had to partake of some of the food and drink at the new stadium.  Our daughter had chicken fingers (which she thought were extremely tasty, and the portion was a good size too), I had a cheeseburger and fries from Nathan's which exceeded my expectations, my Dad and husband had sausage and peppers, which they said was very good, plus beer and soda.  Oh, also, my husband took out a second mortgage on our home (ha ha) and bought a gigantor barrel of popcorn, which was also very good.  My daughter and I shared this fun treat for dessert:

I must say, although it is very disappointing that the Mets have totally pooped out this season, on the bright side, it was GREAT being able to leave the ballpark after the game and not be stuck in traffic forever, LOL!

The end.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

More Thoughts Too Short For a Whole Blog Post

Ok, don't get me wrong, it *is* nice and all to espouse your faith, BUT, I've seen enough variations of:  "Press "like" if you love Jesus" or "Let's see how many Christians are on Facebook - press "like" if Jesus is your Savior" on Facebook.  You know what?  I may be living dangerously, but, I've never "liked" any of those, and I'm pretty sure I'm still goin' to heaven, LOL.  Or maybe I'm wrong - for all I know Jesus Himself has a Facebook page.  I should probably check into that.  I don't want to get to heaven only to have Jesus mad at me for not friending Him on Facebook...

I wish the Mets didn't stink.  Pfffft.

There are certain events where an e-card or e-vite just aren't appropriate (sympathy cards, wedding and Baptism invitations to name a few), no matter how technological our society has become!

You know you've played Farmville on Facebook too much when you drive by a big clump of plants and your brain thinks "those look ready to harvest".  :-O

I have gone back to working on our family's genealogy.  It's so much fun - it's like a mystery - trying to put together clues found on this census here, and this old newspaper clipping there...  It is so satisfying and exhilarating when you "find" an ancestor!

My yearly eye appointment is coming up and our coverage includes one pair of glasses per year.  I already have a couple of nice, "normal" pairs, so this time I'm going to pick out some funky frames and if no one likes them, well too bad!!  :-P

The end.

Ok, Now the Positive...

Ok, after my tales of garden questions and woe, I thought I'd show you what I picked in the garden last night.  Not too shabby, eh?  And if you recall, I was asking a couple of posts ago about when are the scallions ready - well I picked the biggest one that was out there, and it was a decent size.  They still need some more time, but they are getting there.  This one I picked actually had quite a "picturesque" look to it's stems - would have made a fine wedding cake topper for a gardening enthusiast, LOL!

Anyway, I've got LOTS of tomatoes coming in, and the lettuce crop has been really good too.  I'm not that thrilled with the green peppers (they are small and have very thin "flesh"), but hey, at least they grew!  And survived!  :-D

Oh, and by the way, this garden was planted with "non Monsanto" seeds (if you aren't familiar with "Monsanto", google it or WATCH FOOD INC.!) and we have used all natural, homemade means of dealing with our pests and problems (which have worked well - it's been our own fault for not noticing problems quickly enough), so essentially we have an "organic" garden.  That's a good feeling, yay!

The end.

The Aftermath of the Powdery Mildew

It's hard to see in this shot, but our giant, prehistoric looking squash plants are now looking quite bare and pathetic after our attempts to stop the powdery mildew.  In fact, my husband went out again a few days after this picture was taken and pruned the plants down even more of infected leaves.  Luckily we did get quite a few zucchini before disaster struck.

The lesson learned was that next year we should visit the garden every. single. day. so that anything harming our plants is noticed right away and we can take action.  (We lost some seedlings earlier in the year to some sort of bug infestation that we caught too late as well.)  Now I am beginning to understand why "master gardeners" positions are so valued - those are like healthcare jobs for plants instead of people (and probably as good paying as well)!  There sure is a lot to know about keeping your garden and plants healthy.

We aren't sure if we will get anything more from any of the squash plants, which is pretty disappointing, but, *in booming voice* NOW WE KNOW.

Yet another chapter in our "thousand dollar garden of mistakes"!  :-P

The end.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Do These Scallions Look Ready to You?

I have decided I don't like garden vegetables that grow under ground - ya can't see how big they are to know if they're ready!!  :-P  (Ok, yes, I realize you should be able to tell from the "top", but when you're a newbie like me, it's not so obvious.)

A couple of weeks ago I picked one, because I was just dying of curiosity.  My husband told me it wasn't going to be anywhere near "ready" yet, but I picked it anyway.  He was right.  But I didn't want to waste it, so that night in his salad he got the tiniest slices of scallion you've ever seen.  I'm note sure he could even taste it.  :-P

When we went to the Dutchess County Fair I was hoping in the landscaping building there would be master gardeners to talk to.  Actually I wish I could have taken pictures of all our plants, put them on a flash drive, and said, "Here!  Tell me what we're doing wrong or right!"  At least our tomatoes are finally ripening.  They are delicious.  I should take a pic of the inside of one to show you - not too much "gook" - nice and "meaty".

I worry about how much more we're going to get out of our garden now that it's nearing the end of the growing season, although you wouldn't know that from today's weather - HOT AGAIN!!*%@!!

So, do those scallions look ready to be picked to you?  I kinda think they might be....??

The end.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Scottish Games in Altamont, NY

We took this picture during the "mass bands".

On Saturday we went to the Scottish Games in Altamont, NY.  I think it's the biggest Scottish games in the area (there seemed to be quite a contingent from Canada there as well).  It was about a two hour drive north for us.  I've mentioned before that my husband's family is Scottish (his grandfather was born there) and occasionally we try to make it to the Scottish festivals when we can.  This year my mother-in-law reminded us that the big Scottish games were Labor Day Weekend and asked if we'd like to go.  Amazingly, we were free and were able to go.

It was a nice day but kind of weird that in the sun it was quite hot, and when the clouds covered the sun it was freezing cold.  There were all sorts of events such as: Scottish Breeds Dog Show, Caber Toss, Celtic Dancing, Music and more.  They also had a lot of nice booths selling lots of Scottish/Irish/Celtic/British items like jewelry, food, scarves, and tartan clothing items (no wholesale electronics or anything like that).  They also had many booths representing the different clans.  We, of course, had fish n' chips as our meal.  I'm told they used to serve it in newspaper which I'm told is the authentic way to eat fish n' chips, but alas, it was in cheap concession paperware.

I have no Scottish blood in me (I'm German/Hungarain/Polish mostly), but I've been asked before if I'm Irish.  I have fair skin, light eyes AND freckles, and if I dye my hair a reddish shade, I always get the "Are you Irish?" question.  :-)  I wish I was actually Scottish because I love their culture, but, at least I "married in", LOL.

Being German, myself and my family are big fans of a good Oktoberfest which it will be time for in just another month - anyone know of one worth traveling to in the NY-CT-NJ-MA area??

The end.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Now Taking Breakfast Orders

Guess I got elected to make the bagels!  :-)

I volunteer through my church to help out with a local Dial-a-Ride, and every few weeks I take a couple of THE sweetest older ladies out for a few hours shopping.  Usually we go to Walmart, but today we went to a shopping plaza that has TJ Maxx and Price Chopper.  I browsed in both stores the whole time, but all I came home with was some bagels and a bag of candy corn.  We often get bagels as a "treat" for the weekends.  I've never had the ones from Price Chopper before, but they had some yummy looking flavors like Asiago cheese (got two of those).  Usually we get our bagels from a local place that we think makes great bagels.  They've been there forever and they are always busy.  Over the years I've watched them grow from a little hole in the wall to a happenin' place with a dining area and everything.  They've even gone high tech and have a rack mount PC for the register and ordering and who knows what else.

My favorite bagel is pumpernickel, though I must admit, I've rarely met a bagel I didn't like.  I think the only kind I don't like is a salt bagel.  They are just WAY too salty.  I don't know how anyone can get through one of those. Generally I prefer butter on my bagel, or sometimes a LIGHT spreading of cream cheese.  I hate it when you are out and order a bagel with cream cheese and they put this huge glob on - bleecch!  I always end up wiping most of it off which is a pain in the neck and messy.

What kind of bagel do you like, and what do you like on it?

The end.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dinner on the Hudson River & Tryin' Not to Speed Over the Bridge

This is a picture taken from a restaurant that is right on the Hudson River where we enjoyed a lovely dinner one summer night recently with family.  Our daughter actually took this picture.  The bridge in the foreground is the "Walkway Over the Hudson", which is now apparently our local big "attraction".  It is the longest pedestrian bridge in the world.  We walked over it last fall and I blogged about it here (I think I got up on the wrong side of the bed the day I wrote that, sheesh!).  In the distance you can see the Mid-Hudson Bridge (technically the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Mid Hudson Bridge).  I used to drive over it all the time when I went to college at SUNY New Paltz.  One of the things I hated was that the speed limit over the bridge and coming off it is 25mph, and they would often have cops with radar guns sitting along the off ramp.  It's hard to obey the law and try to do the speed limit when everyone is speeding by you, ya know?  I never got a ticket but it made me nervous.  I don't know if you're aware of it, but they have some pretty sophisticated means of clocking your speed these days - one of them is a "laser" type of radar gun.  Radar detectors can pick it up, but by then the police have probably already clocked you.  Although maybe radar detectors themselves have become even more sophisticated and can pick it up sooner, somehow.  But there are still plenty of police using "regular" radar guns to make a radar detector still pretty effective I'm sure.  If I could have ever had a radar detector, that would have been the one place I would have wanted it. Then I wouldn't have had to stress out every morning on my way to school worrying that around that curve was going to be a police officer, waiting to catch me speeding, in my little Plymouth Colt, backseat crammed with art supplies, and give me a ticket.  I probably would have tried to cry my way out of it, but luckily I never had to.  :-P

The end.

More of What We've Been Up To...

We've had a jam-packed summer this year.  The craziness kinda started off with our unexpected week of vacation with two days notice at the beginning of July.  I didn't have a lot of things actually planned this summer, stuff kinda just happened.  Sleepovers at Grandma's and her cousin's, a trip to our dear friend's house near Syracuse, parties and BBQs, playdates, the garden, day trips with piano lessons and 4H thrown in there.  It's been a fun summer though!  But TOO HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am actually pretty mad right now because we're having another heat wave.  It's like summer just wants to get it's last licks in.  Pfffft.

The pic above was taken when our daughter was having a friend sleep over.  I bought that slip n' slide like three years ago at Walmart for under $10.  I distinctly remember thinking when I bought it that it looked pretty flimsy and probably wouldn't last more than a few uses, but for under $10 I could deal with it.  Well our daughter has used this thing a million times and I CAN'T believe it's still in such good shape!

Another recent development is I unfortunately discovered the addicting Facebook games of Farmville and Frontierville.  (If you're unfamiliar with them, you basically get to run your own farm, and/or set up your own homestead.)  Really fun, but you have to have self control - you could easily sit there all day "farming" or trying to complete the Frontierville "missions".  Probably the most fun games I've played since SimCity (anyone remember that one??).

Lastly, our garden has taken a bad hit with powdery mildew.  Not sure what of our squash is going to make it.  We did have a good harvest of green beans over the summer.  The cukes are coming along and we finally have some peppers ripening.  Actually, a lot of the peppers are hot peppers and we're not exactly sure what to do with some of the more unusual ones - they're cool looking, though!  LOL.  Some of them are these narrow ones, remind me a little of Black and Mild cigars - I forget what variety they are, but I still have the seed packet I can refer to...  We also have had plenty of lettuce.  And the tomatoes have only JUST NOW finally started to ripen.  Geez, it's only SEPTEMBER.  Better late than never, I guess!

What have YOU been up to, my bloggy friends??

The end.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Yes, I'm Still Alive!

Last week was the Dutchess County Fair, which is the best country fair in New York state, easily.  In fact, I've heard some people say it's better than the state fair, but I've only been to the state fair once, years ago, so who knows.  Anyway, besides our 4H involvement, we just love the fair and spent many, many, MANY hours up there last week.  We have to see everything.  Twice.  At least.  LOL!  There truly is just so much to see - tents and steel buildings of animals, exhibits, shows, crafts, and the FOOD!  Although we brought a lot of our own food this year - you could go broke just on food there.  Sad to see how the prices have really gone up over the years.  Fortunately, there still is a lot of entertainment to be had for free.  Everything from high diving, to musical acts, to dock diving dogs to simple "people watching".  As you can see, our daughter took home quite a nice ribbon for her culinary entry (woot!).

In other news, there seems to be forward motion on the "cabin".  Building supplies and appliances are being ordered.  Still not sure when actual construction will begin, but I suspect pretty soon.  I'm just so glad we're past the permit process!  Right now we're messing around with the windows a little, because we want to put the gas woodstove in a corner and have to remove a window to do it, and we are thinking of adding a small hexagon window in another spot to try to compensate a little.

In still other news, we went for a follow up to the pediatric urologist re: our daughters two episodes of kidney stones.  Well I am happy to report that her kidney ultrasound was normal, and the other results showed that she is not drinking enough water, and has low magnesium (which is a kidney stone inhibitor), and that is probably why she had kidney stones.  So, it's a real blessing that the solution is just to get her in the habit of drinking more water, and changing her multivitamin to one that contains magnesium.  I am relieved.  I freak out about "medical" things more than the normal person.  I know I'm being irrational when I imagine these horrible scenarios, but I can't help it.  Oh well.

More soon, I promise.  I am a person who thrives on routine and by the end of summer I truly always feel out of sorts.  As much as the freedom of summertime is nice, I am looking forward to school starting and getting back into a routine.  (Both my daughter and I have been gradually going to bed later and later, and getting up later and later, and boy will we be in for it when we have to get up for school!)

The end.


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