Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's. On.

They're slimy and disgusting, and they eat my plants.  There's nothing good about these things!

Sometimes they're big and gross and other times they're just tiny.  It doesn't matter.  They all seem to have their way with my garden. 

Recently, we've added snails to the mix too.  My neighbors have snails.  We see them on the sidewalks after it rains.  This year, for the very first time, I actually found one in my yard.  I was NOT happy. 

Garden Snail

To fight these guys, I use a lot of Sluggo.

I have pets and kids running around my yard, and this is a pet safe alternative. 

I've also had great success with this.

I'm not a beer drinker, but apparently the slugs are.  I bury a cup of beer in the ground, so that the cup is flush with the dirt, fill it with beer, and wait.  The slugs are attracted to the beer, and can't seem to control their thirst.  They slide right in the cup and die.  Yeah!  It's really gross, but it works extremely well.  I just have to remember to remove the cups before letting the dog out.  Otherwise, he likes to have a taste too.

Watch out, slugs.  It's on!

Happy gardening!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Weekend Windstorm

I suspect that Springtime in the Pacific Northwest  isn't too different from other parts of the country.  One minute it's sunny, and the next minute it's hailing.  Well, Friday was looking to be a beautiful day.    We were surprised to see 74 degrees on one of the local reader boards, as we were heading out of town.  Little did we know, back at home, there was thunder, lightning, hail, and high winds blowing through our neighborhood.

This is what we came home to.

My neighbor, who was watching our dog, texted to tell me a branch had fallen in our yard.  I was expecting a "branch", but this thing is huge!  It takes up most of our yard!  Luckily it fell in a perfect spot.  It didn't do too much damage.  The gutters were bent a bit and my strawberries got a little smooshed, but otherwise it's not too bad.

On the plus side, my kids loved chopping the small pieces of the tree branch and I think my hubby was thrilled to use a chain saw.

Happy Memorial Day.
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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Welcome to Harrington, Washington

Welcome to Harrington, Friends!  I thought I'd give you a glimpse of my Memorial Day weekend.  Harrington is a tiny little town in Eastern Washington.  When I say "tiny" I really mean that it's the smallest town that I have ever seen in my entire life. My husband's grandma lives there.  She's been there for her entire life, and at 89 years old, has no intention of leaving.  I love visiting because it's such a different life than we are used to.  It's a slower pace, where everyone knows everyone, and friends stop by just because they see your car is there.

Here's the town. Sadly, the town is virtually deserted.  People still live there, but the stores are empty and boarded up.  It breaks my heart to see this beautiful town grow into a ghost town.

It's the kind of town where kids push dump trucks around in their yards.

It's the kind of town where there are more churches than stores.

Everywhere you look, there are cool old windows, beautiful arcitechture, and amazing brick buildings.

Faded murals adorn the sides of the old buildings.

As I walked down the street, I wondered what this town was like in the 30's, before the fire that took so many jobs away and drove people to other towns.

At one time there was a theater, hotel, opera house, and town hall.  Now, all that is left is a small mini-mart and tavern.

The cemetary is the place to go over Memorial Day weekend.  It's the destination place for everyone who has a loved one who has been laid to rest in Harrington.

People spend time catching up with old friends, wishing them well, and telling them that they'll see them again next year.  "Same time, same place."

The houses are beautiful and come with a history of their own.

It's farmland, as far as you can see in Harrington.

My kids love this little town and love visiting Great Grandma.

It really makes you slow down and think... in so many ways.
 Happy Memorial Day.
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Last Home and Family Friday... for a while

I'll be taking a little break from our weekly linky party after this week.  It's getting to be report card time and I just can't keep up with everything.

I hope you enjoy this week's party!

I'm Supposed to Live Without What?

I've never made it a secret. There are a few foods that I love.

Chocolate (Well, who doesn't love chocolate?)

And strawberries. (Honestly, I eat them EVERY day of my life.)

I'm the type of person who finishes lunch, and immediately craves a piece of chocolate.  It runs in my family.  My mom and sister are the same way.  It's funny because there are people who say they are just like that, and people who have no idea what I'm talking about.

So, over the past few weeks I've been dealing with kidney issues.  I've had constant infections, a couple of minor surgeries, and lots of time to sit and rest.  (I'm kind of tired of sitting and resting.)  It turns out, my kidneys can't process oxylates.  My doctor shared this information with me at my last appointment. 

Which foods have oxylates in them, that I should eliminate from my diet? 
The doctor started the list:
hmmmm... so far this sounds ok.  I've lived 37 years without those.  Don't think I'll miss them.  I was little disappointed as the list continued:
(I cook with this a lot.)
(Um, meat?  I didn't sign up to be a vegetarian!)

Then came the really bad news:
peanut butter
(That last one was the kicker!)

At this point my husband asked the doctor, "Are you planning on living with her?"

No more chocolate chip cookies.

Remember the salted caramel shortbread bars?

Toffee squares with chocolate frosting.... mmmm.

The ultimate killer... no more peanut butter and chocolate TOGETHER.  I loved those peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies.

And that really was a darn good chocolate cake!

As sad as I am to give up chocolate, giving up strawberries is almost like a death sentence.  I LOVE my berries. Fortunately, Biringer Farm also has raspberries, and those aren't on my "don't eat" list.

I can't tell you how much I'll miss my daughter's Cook-A-Doodle-Doo strawberry shortcake.

My mom actually sent me a sympathy card.  (For real.)  I got a good laugh about that, but it still doesn't take the pain away.

I love you little Biringer Farm berries.  I'll come pick you and make you into jam for gifts.  I'll eat up your little sisters the raspberries instead!

There's no happy today.
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wishing For Sunshine

I was just looking through some old photos.  I took this one at my cousin's farm, in Eastern Washington.  Oh, how I wish I could be enjoying a day like that right now. Years from now, when my kids are grown, and my hubby and I are ready to move, I'm pretty sure this is where I'll need to live.  I'm a farm girl at heart. 
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Rainbow Dish Towels

One of my favorite sewing blogs is A Pretty Cool Life.  Cheryl has great ideas.  She posted her rainbow kitchen towels last week and I knew I needed to make some. 

Now, I have to tell you, I have a love-hate relationship with my floursack towels.  I love them because they dry dishes so well, they are kind of old school, and you can embroider anything on them and they make a great gift.  I hate them because I can't EVER get all of the wrinkles out! So, please excuse the wrinkles.  I really did iron these. 

I had the floursack towels in  my sewing cupboard.  I like to keep these on hand to whip up a gift when I need to.  I sew whenever I get the chance, so having thread in every color of the rainbow was highly likely.  Voila!  Cute and simple kitchen towels without even running to the store for supplies.

Thanks for the inspiration Cheryl!  Happy sewing!
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Grape Slurpees At Home

After weeks of dealing with kidney infections, I thought I was finally on the mend.  I headed back to work for 4 days and I was finally off of my antibiotics.  4 days.  That's all it takes when you live in the petri dish we call kindergarten.  Saturday morning, I woke up with a sore throat.  When you're a kindergarten teacher, and you have a sore throat, you don't hesitate.  You take yourself directly to the nearest walk in clinic, where they proceed to stick a giant Q-Tip down your throat to find out which nasty bacteria is bringing you down this time.  Yep, 4 days off of antibiotics and I wound up with Strep Throat.  Lovely. 

What do you do when you can't eat anything and you're craving something cold?  Make Slurpees!

I saw this idea on Pinterest.  Here's the recipe I used.

2 cups club soda
3 cups crushed ice
1 packet Grape Kool-Aid
1/2 cup sugar

Blend and then put in the freezer for about 30 minutes. It tastes just like a Slurpee, and you don't even need to leave the house. 

Happy blending and happy healing!
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