Friday, August 31, 2012

244/366: Lake Eaton - Part 3

I was pretty excited for this day trip to the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves.

From their website:  During the latest ice age, an unusual East/West fault exposed this ancient rock to ferocious waters from retreating glaciers. Recent mapping and surveying by the National Speleological Society determined that the resulting Stone Bridge appears to be the largest natural marble cave entrance in the East. It measures up to 180' wide and 62' high.  A self-guided trail winds around waterfalls, potholes and deep pools. Trout Brook emerges into a gorge through several caves, some accessible on foot, others only with spelunking (cave exploring) gear.

Echo Cave

One of the more peculiar names, turns out, Peter Pan's Peephole looks like a girlie part...wink wink.

This is turtle rock, center of the photo, just below the upper railing is the head of the turtle jutting out of his shell.

They offer fun exploration for the little kids, too.

It was a great day, if you are in the area, give it a shot.  Discounted tickets if you are a AAA member.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

243/366: Lake Eaton-Part 2

My Little Man found a secluded reading spot

Our second day camping was spent on a quick trip to Buttermilk Falls.  As we were approaching, my eldest nephew said, "I haven't been in it, but just looking at this place, I give it a 10 for awesome!"

 It was beautiful, but sometimes looks can be deceiving.  It was treacherous.  The rocks below were very slippery.  It was hard to navigate through.  The water was really cold.  We made the best of it, finding some sandy spots down stream that were enjoyable.

 We also ventured above.  There were great places to sit and have the rush of the water massage ones back.  We enjoyed that, until, my sister in law proclaimed, "LEECHES!"  The scene from Stand By Me invaded my thoughts as I checked my Little Man and we cleaned these off each other.  I must say they were not the size of the movie leeches.  These were small, cute, baby leeches.  Right?  Leeches can be cute.

Um, no.  They were disgusting.  And they were all over.  And so was Buttermilk Falls.

The final night, we had Meat Fest.  These flank steaks had been marinating in a Cilantro Lime sauce for a full week before they saw the heat of the grill.  My brother in law said, "Once you think you have eaten enough, go back and have seconds.  And then after your seconds, have more."  I obliged.

Tomorrow I'll show you Stone Bridge and Caves and prep you for Pintember!  Yes, Pintember starts on Saturday.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

242/366: Lake Eaton-Part 1

 In the next few days, I will give you a little recap of our time spent camping on Lake Eaton, Adirondacks, NY.  You saw my favorite seat yesterday.
 These are some of my favorite sites from the first day of our vacation.
Love this one with Big Boy watching the duck.  The shoreline was not sandy, but offered lots of little spots for the kids to hang, sit, climb and jump.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

241/366: Solitude

One morning, sitting in my favorite morning spot at Lake Eaton, I took this short video on my iPad.

I sat here...

And drank great camp coffee and read my e-book. Lovely.

That is, until my brother in law sauntered up and pronounced "that looks like a video".

Brilliant man.

Monday, August 27, 2012

240/366: Clowns

Over the summer, I went to a church rummage sale and picked up a Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Two other Games game.  I didn't even open it, looked at the box and new I liked it.

The condition was questionable, but again, the box sold me.

And when I opened it up...this was one of the other two games.  All the tails and noses were cut out and the tails still had real pins in some of them. 

I know!  Real pins for kids!  My kids surely are sheltered, we use tape.

I never really liked clowns.  I always imagined a very sad person under all that makeup.  Not sure why, they are funny little critters, but I guess I thought they had to put the make up on to hide who they really were. 

Regardless of the happiness on the inside, I still think clowns are creepy.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

239/366: Getting Lost on Sunday

Big Boy and I were driving around.  I kept saying, "I think it's right up here.  No, after this light?"

He asked if I liked being lost.

"Yes, yes I do."

I love the puzzle of being lost.  Trying to navigate back to something familiar.

Not only is the destination great, but the time spent with fellow passengers is pretty exciting, assuming they aren't saying "Are we there yet?"

So, go get lost!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

238/366: Beans Beans at Every Meal

Dinner tonight!  This was a taste test for the Texas Cowboy Beans I made earlier this week and froze.

We are going to eat it atop the bag!  So excited.

The recipe is from Penzey's Spices, using their Forward! Seasoning.  Salt Free...tastes great!  Unfortunately, I can't locate the recipe on-line.

Bacon.  Beef cooked in bacon grease.  Bacon.

And beans, of course.  There is also fresh corn to be added, I didn't want it to become soggy.  I like a fresh crisp corn crunch.

What's for your dinner tonight?

Friday, August 24, 2012

237/366: {this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

236/366: My New Space?

Talk about a trailer with "your name all over it"!

I Love this.  So.  Much.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

235/366: Sand Can Be Fun

I was cleaning out my inbox and came across this photo from last month, pre-buzz cuts.

These boys rolled around in the sand after they got out of the water.

Laughing, rolling, packing the sand on their bodies.

Then, they got mad because the sand was in their shoes. Mad at me, mad at life.

Wouldn't that be the shiz? Biggest worry is a bit of sand in your shoe?

Ah, relativity.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

234/366: My Vendor

Oh yes, my boy.

Big Boy and his buddies were selling these Superhero pictures they were designing on the computer at  Little Man said, "I'm going to sell something that people actually want.  I'm going to sell flowers."

You go, Little Man.

I made him a vase from a orange juice container, gave him the scissors and showed him best places to cut.  He did the rest.

This dude made $3.33 plus one purchase on a credit card ('my credit is better, you don't have to pay at the end of the month, you pay when you have the money') in less than one hour.

I am so proud, he has the Meyer gene.

Monday, August 20, 2012

233/366: Days of the Week

I thought today was Sunday.

I'm getting all mixed up.  I need to wear my Timex watch again, just to see the day of the week.

On Saturday, I took a whole bunch of photos of some new vintage items for the Etsy shop.  It was fun to get back in the swing of things.  Hopefully I can list a couple new things today.

Have a great Sunday!  I mean, Monday!  Right?  Monday, yes, Monday.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

232/366: Boys and Rocks

 Another couple pictures from our Hamlin Beach State Park.

We ALL had a great time.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

231/366: Failed, Again

I should probably scrap this creation. It started as a purse. The handles were awkward, so I changed them. Then it didn't sell. Just was wonky. Then I thought "a pillow!".

Finally, this morning I made it into a pillow. I love crossing things out of the 'almost done' list.

This one is done. And by done, I mean trashed. The strap that once closed the purse is floppy. The line of the pillow isn't straight. And the top corner turns in an unkind way.

I may try one more thing, and it involves big scissors...if not, at least I tried!

Friday, August 17, 2012

230/366: {this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

229/366: Solo Al Fresco

The kids disappeared on bikes just as dinner was ready, go figure.

I love them, but this IS enjoyable.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

228/366: Dutch Oven

I found a great deal on a Dutch Oven on eBay last month.  I've always wanted to try.  Have you seen those cool cowboy men cooking shows on PBS?  They do amazing things in those dutch ovens.

Always up for a challenge, I tried.

 The first night, I tried to heat our taco shells in the dutch oven.  I really didn't know what the heck I was doing.  I was impatient, didn't wait for hot coals and didn't wait long enough for the shells to heat.  That was a 'fail'.  The next night, only a 'half-fail'.
 I got two turkey legs and a turkey breast.  Added some season salt and orange juice to the meat and froze it.  When the meat had partially thawed in the cooler, I dumped it in the dutch oven with carrots, potatoes and celery. 

The turkey breast was way overdone.  Without the skin and bone, it didn't really have a chance.  The legs were great.  The potatoes were great.  The carrots pretty much stuck to the burnt orange juice on the bottom. 

Next time...much more liquid.  It was a good experiment, though.  I really was expecting raw turkey in the pot after I took off the lid.

This is a very heavy pot, but it is really fun to tinker with.  I think I'm going to try Cowboy Stew with cornbread next.  And maybe peach cobbler....

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

227/366: Beach Break

Tom had three days off in a row, so we (I) ran around making food, buying supplies and doing laundry for a quick two night camping trip.  We headed off to Hamlin Beach State Park on Lake Ontario.  It was lovely.  It may become our 'go-to' campground when we only have a little time.  We can get there in an hour and 20 minutes and get home all on one tank of gas.  

 The beach was very clean (I'm comparing to Beaver Island State Park, so perhaps not a fair comparison), had some big rocks for climbing and lots of rocks to find.

We didn't swim this trip, but there will definitely be a next time!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

226/366: Pintember

Reminding all you Pinterestigans about Pintember-when we attempt our favorite pins on Pinterest.

Join me? Maybe just one item?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

225/366: New Tools

Today, I made a list.

A list of all the important items needed to stock our new camper. Plastic boxes, foil, napkins, tongs, and paint markers.

Seriously, one (I) can't camp without something crafty to do.

This is part of Pintember, but I couldn't resist testing them out. I grabbed a flat stone (my kids collect stones everywhere they go, so this was an easy walk to the living room), and practiced. Or played, however you look at it. So fun!

I chose a pack of Sharpie Paint Markers and used my 50% off coupon. The pack had black, white, yellow, blue and red. They sell other colors singly, so I may be inclined to start "collecting" them.

The paint goes on smooth, no dripping or running and dries fast. I used two coats of the white and red. The blue on back only needed one coat.

Oh, the possibilities!

Friday, August 10, 2012

224/366: {this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

223/366: USA Soccer

I most definitely wouldn't call myself a soccer "fan".

It's the makes us all fans.

The women's semi-final match against Canada was a fantastic game.

Today, the USA Women beat Japan for the Gold Medal.

Another great game!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

222/366: Apple Bread with Chia Flour

The apple bread is almost perfect.  I have made this three times, tweaking the non-gluten free recipe to work as gluten free.  The only missing thing...a little crumbly buttery sugary cinnamony crumble on top.

I also made this in a 9 x 13 instead of loaf pans.  Very happy with the results, more of the crunchy, crispy crust.

Gluten Free Apple Bread with Chia Flour
adapted from AllRecipes

2 1/2 cups Gluten Free flour
1/2 cup Chia Flour
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. xantham gum
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups apples, peeled, cored and chopped

350 degree oven, greased 9 x 13 glass dish

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl; set aside. In separate bowl, mix oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and apples.  Stir into dry ingredients.  Bake 30 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

These make really great muffins, too!

Monday, August 6, 2012

220/366: Sharing the Music

Last week we were given a keyboard for the boys.

This Little Man enjoys hard rock style and if he is in a crowd, he will have to turn the volume up all the way.

Good to know.

Oh, and now LM needs headphones so he can rock out.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

219/366: The Beginning

It's just to hot to do much of anything. But sometimes, if I start, I'm determined to finish. Hopefully, with Tom starting to set up the fish tank, I will be encouraged to rid the living room of paper and junk and toys.

I've cleaned out behind the bar and have one drawer and all the glasses to find a new home for.

By showing you this picture today, I'll be motivated to finish the mini move and share the new space.

Ready? This is my life:

Saturday, August 4, 2012

218/366: Coffee Break

As I was waiting in the car line for my Friday morning coffee treat, I kept looking at these grasses.  They so gently glided in the heat, almost lulling me away from the everyday business and allowing me a moment to settle my senses.

Usually, while waiting in a drive-thru, you see garbage, stone, concrete.  Up here in these parts, we have Tim Horton's coffee.  This is my favorite location to wait in, it's almost a forest path.  To the right of this lane is pine trees and woodlands.  It's a nice respite.

We are in the midst of some very high temps.  Again, no rain in as long as I can remember.  My dad and I were talking last night and his read the paper with a cup of coffee on the porch while it rains.  He didn't want money, or a day off, or world peace.  Just rain.  That's a gardener for you, and I feel the same way.

I hope that soon, we will get that rain.  The entire country could use a week of rain. 

Stay cool!

Friday, August 3, 2012

217/366: {this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

216/366: Gluten Free Banana Bread

Yes, it's that bread again.

Banana bread.  Gluten Free.  Mini-chocolate chips.

I followed this recipe:

Best Banana Bread – GF
Adapted from Bette Hagman by Carrie

1 1/4 cup GF flour
½ cup chia flour
2/3 cup Sugar
1/3 cup shortening
½ tsp. xantham gum
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
½ tsp. sea salt
2 eggs
3 bananas mashed
Mini chocolate chips (about 1 cup, give or take)
350 degree oven
Cream shortening, add sugar. Add beaten eggs. Slowly add flour and dry ingredients. Add mashed banana. Add chocolate chips.
Bake in greased loaf pan for 40 – 50 minutes. Cover with foil half way through. 

For the flour, I usually make up my own mix, highlighting Sorghum flour.  Wouldn't you know, I'm out of sorghum?  I used mostly King Arthur GF Flour Mix (1 1/4 cup) and Chia Flour (1/2 cup).  It gives the batter a dark speckled look, which I deem healthy.

Salt.  It calls for 1/2 teaspoon.  I grabbed the sea salt since it was first to fall out of the spice cupboard.  Since I am not good at following recipes...I'm a rebel, you know...I used the sea salt for the full 1/2 teaspoon and then added two shakes of regular salt.

It's a winner.  Not sure what makes it so good, the proper flour blend, the surprise bits of chunky salt or the mini chocolate chips.  I'm not sure, but this may be a recipe I follow.

Try sea salt, it's interesting in banana bread.  I bet it would be really nice in an apple bread, too.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

215/366: Hungry Frog

Let's talk about my pond, k?

If you don't want to talk pond, then I hope you visit tomorrow, when I talk about food.  Gluten Free food.

On to the pond.

I am totally transfixed by this pond.  Ever since I got the UV filter, it has been a renewed joy to just stare into the pond and watch the fish.  Especially watching the babies...yes, we once again have baby fish.  This time two, perhaps three. 

From my kitchen window, I can see and hear the pond.  I noticed Mr. Frog was spurting water, not spitting. 

I assumed it was a filter issue and it was getting clogged up.  When I approached, I became uneasy.  What the _____?
It was so disturbing, I went in and got the camera and a paper towel.  Slug, in the mouth?  How did it get in there?  Did it get sucked into the filter when I was cleaning the sponge part?  Then through the tubes and it's now stuck?  Gross.

I got my towel ready, I was all shaky from disgust.

Do you remember when this frog jumped out at me?  He's up to no good.  Ever. 

Especially today, this was not a slug.  Just dead stems from my water plants.  I scare easily.

The frog is definitely on to me.