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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Puzzling Times

And, so the summer goes. This is the second puzzle Rick and Tatum have tackled in a week. The first was sea shells and star fish. This one is an American flag decorated with presidential campaign buttons. Not as easy to put together as you may think.It was educational for Tatum. She learned a lot about various modern politicians (from the 1960s-present) from both major parties. Rick learned to embrace his obsessive personality that continually strives for everything to be perfectly in its place.

Monday, July 20, 2009


My father-in-law arrived with two flat boxes filled with cherries. One filled with Rainiers and the other with Bings, freshly picked that morning from the Yakima Valley.They made for challenging project of preserving them while simultaneously hosting company in my house, helping my sister and mom hold a yard sale in my yard and entertaining children.

My mom helped clean all the cherries. She rinsed and pulled stems while I searched through our storage for my canning supplies. We water bath canned most of the cherries in quart jars. I find the process of canning, especially when doing it with my mom relaxing and productive - productive in a way that is different from other housework or office work.
There were enough for 28 quart jars and 14 pint jars of cherries. I even did one jar with a mixture of the two. The Rainier cherries look stark against the deep red juice the Bing cherries make in the jar.
There is something very gratifying about seeing your shelves filled with the "fruits of your labor."
After a couple hours of canning, there were still more cherries left than we could possibly eat before they spoiled. So, into the dehydrator they went. I cut each cherry in half and removed the pit. They looked like tiny peaches or nectarines. They were treated with Fruit Fresh in hopes they would retain their color after drying.
And, they did! They look wonderful and taste wonderful.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Looff Carrousel

The Looff Caroussel at Riverfront Park turned 100 today. We got an early start on the day and participated in the celebration before the crowds gathered.The carrousel began operation on July 18, 1909, and all the original horses are still in use. There is a replacement goat, but he wasn't on the carrousel today. Tatum had to settle for a horse.I have fond memories of riding this carrousel. My grandparents let me ride several times during Expo '74. Grandma Mary took us to the carrousel, a tour of The Davenport and a movie at The Fox for Thanksgiving weekend amusement. I begin to wonder what it says about me that these things were mere amusement when I was a child, but now they are labeled historic or antique.
They all enjoyed the ride. Apparently this carrousel kicks it up a notch and goes "faster and smoother" than the carnival carrousels they have had the opportunity to sample. Everyone wants to go back - soon.

Of course, no carrousel ride would be complete without grabbing the brass ring. Today they are plastic. They don't hit the target as easily as the brass rings did. Happily we all got a brass ring with a commemorative card as a souvenir after the ride.