Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dayton Dragons

Who says America's Favorite Pastime is dead?  Though I'm a little late in posting this, a week ago Friday my husband's work sponsored their annual night out with the Dayton Dragons at Fifth Third Field.  They reserve a Party Deck, supply it with hamburger/hot dog fixin's and drinks and just let everyone come and go, eat and enjoy as they wish through the evening. 
The Dragon franchise (I guess that's what it is?) always keeps the evening entertaining by filling any slow moments in the course of the game with silliness and games.
 
Seems like there's always someone out there who is unafraid of being goofy in front of others and the Dragons folks know how to find them.  For example...blindfolded musical chairs...
And here are the beloved mascots, Heater and Gem having their own brand of fun...minus the blindfolds...

During the evening, just outside the stadium, a geyser erupted!  We don't know if it was soooo sweltering that someone messed with a fire hydrant or what...this is what we saw...
I always thought a hydrant would flush into the street, but whatever it was, the water went straight up about 4-5 stories!

The only other photos I took that evening were of the church steeples within sight of our seats, Dayton has a lot.  It's something you don't see in newer church architecture anymore.  Sad.

The games are always relaxing and I love the feel of community in the stadium.  It's something I never felt attending games in Portland.  For some reason it's "cozier" here, Portland may have just been too big city to be cozy.  I guess the City of Roses will just have to settle for being surrounded by beauty...poor them.

Maybe one year we'll buy a season pass.  I kinda like that idea.  I wonder how much those air conditioned boxes are????


Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Federalist Papers

OMGosh...look what I found in the junk bins at the Goodwill Outlet!
I had already decided that I wanted to read The Federalist Papers and this find made it that much easier...and cheapier (I just had to leave that! lol).  I'm a little sad though, that it was in the junk bins...the well known Goodwill last stop before the trash heap.  Depressing.  While this is just a partial release of the complete works, it's a good start.  As the language is pretty intense, I'm gonna just take one at a time and go at a slow pace.
If you're interested in reading these, here is a great companion site that Janine Turner (of Northern Exposure fame) co-chairs with Cathy Gillespie, http://constitutingamerica.org/.  Janine also puts up videos on YouTube under JanineTurnerActress that are fun and informative.

I really like Janine's posts.  She seems very outgoing and personable. She's also kind of a nut, in a GOOD, endearing way.  Someone I could hang out with, you know?

Anyway, go check out the sites and have a good read!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Rhubarb Cake

Growing up, we had 3 enormous rhubarb plants behind one of our sheds.  They were monsters.  I think the reason they grew so well is because they were situated quite near our old outhouse (typed with a snicker and sick little smile).  I lived in a very old German settlement house, square nails and all, in foothills of Mt. Hood until I was 6 years old.  No heat except for a wood stove, no real insulation and no bathrooms.  It was home.  As a youngster, I didn't realize this wasn't the norm, although for the times, in some parts of the country this was probably very normal, just not for our area.  Dad and Mom saved and built a new ranch style home right next to the "old house".  It took a few years, Dad did a great deal of the work himself.  He paid as he went, bartered for services and never incurred any debt, an amazing feat. When the house was finished we stepped into a new home and a new century, rhetorically speaking.
 (You can see the edge of the 'old house' on the left)
 While our lives changed that day, the basics of the family did not.  I am grateful.  My dad continued to hold down a full time job while tending the farm.  Hereford cattle always, accompanied by stints of chickens, pigs, goats, and a Shetland pony named Silver, all who passed through the doors of our big ol' barn.  We had a big garden and ate like kings all summer long.  How Dad managed it all, I'll never know.  He's my super hero.

One of the best parts of the summer garden for me was when the rhubarb was ready.  Mom would make rhubarb sauce and I could hardly wait to dive into the sweet pink concoction.   Another recipe she would make was my Grandma's rhubarb cake, though I'm sure it's a recipe that floated around the community.
After a couple years of hits and (mostly) misses I finally have a couple rhubarb plants in the back yard that are doing well.  Guess what's on my agenda?

Babe's Rhubarb Cake

Items needed:
9x13" pan, ungreased


Fill pan 3/4 full of sliced (1/4"-1/2" thick) rhubarb mixed with 2 cups sugar and a little cinnamon, to taste.
Add 1/2 c. water to the pan.
Sprinkle 1 full box regular size box DRY white or yellow cake mix over top of rhubarb.
Drizzle 1 c. melted butter over top of cake mix. (Now we know why it's good...)
Optional:  Nuts or coconut can be sprinkled over cake mix.  If coconut is used, add 1/2 way though baking.
Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until done.
(Ignore the mess around the edges of the pan, please!  When I took it out of the oven and sat it on the stove it nearly slid off onto the floor!!  Thank goodness for quick reflexes and an apron to keep me from getting burned!  Yike!)


My mom's notes:  It took about 6 cups or 20 stalks rhubarb to fill pan 3/4 full.  (I found this to be about right)
**This cake can also be made with fresh prunes.  It takes about 36.  If prunes are used, omit water except for a few drops.  (I have never tried this, but grew up with lots of prune trees in the yard...figures mom gave it a go!)

My Notes:  I used an 8x8" pan and cut this recipe in half.


Hope you enjoy this cake, it's simple with not many ingredients.   I have 2 or 3 others that are quite similar that I'd like to try.  Maybe I'll do an analysis on which one is my favorite when I'm done.  Won't happen right now though, still "suppose" to be eating healthy.  Bummer....
...And don't be afraid of Rhubarb!  So what if it's green...and pink.  Once sugared up it's wonderful!!!!

I'm hoping to add a photo of "the old house" to this post soon.  I think my sister may have one, if not...it's time to sweet talk my bro into some scanning duty.  He'll love it.  Yes, he will...
Off to rummage through old photos...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dutch Beauty Sampler

Thought today I'd post the cross stitch project that has had me tied up for the last 3 years!  I haven't worked on it solidly during that time, I've taken hiatuses here and there to do other projects.  Such as Queen of Freedom ...
...the Sarah Hook Sampler, unframed here, which I fell in love with because it reminded me of the old cemeteries in Boston, where we lived for 4 years...

...and this little guy, also unframed...don't remember the name of the pattern.  It was one of those postcard jobbies...

But here is the the mother of all stitcheries, or is it stitcherys?...

Okay, I know it's a wrinkled mess, click on the link here to see how it's suppose to look.  I do all my work free hand, no hoops or frames, so with a piece this large I've had to roll the fabric like a scroll.  As a result you see my 'scroll lines'.  I'll post a photo later of the completed project all nice and pressed and hopefully framed (if it doesn't bankrupt me!).
In the meantime, here are a few crinkled semi-close ups of the larger motifs...
This is where I am in the pattern at the moment...
 I believe there are 21 pages to this monster.  I only have 3 more to go!  I have enjoyed working on 'Beauty' as I really despise alphabet samplers, they are just too tedious for me and the motifs are really fun to see fall into line one by one.  My biggest concern was, "Geez, I hope I counted this out correctly", which it now looks like I did...WHEW!  All I could think of was what if I run out of fabric at the end?  Disaster. 
Oh, one more note on the pattern...if you are a color freak...don't stitch this.  You only work with about a dozen fairly bland colors, and it gets old REEEEEALLY fast.  I'm seriously thinking of doing the 1814 Butterfly Collection next, just for sensory input!

I was hoping to have Beauty finished by the end of August, but I can now see that it's not in the cards, so I'll be happy with a year end finish.  Not positive what I'll do then, but I have a few big patterns waiting in the wings for attention.  I'm a glutton for punishment, but I love it.

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Update April 9:  To see the finished product, click on this link
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July 2010

Am I the only one with a severe case of summertime malaise?  Maybe it's the full body crash and burn goin' on after all the June company left, but I have no motivation.

I did, however, manage to get my act together enough to have a wonderful 4th of July.  A little BBQ, some backyard fishin', and the now annual squirt gun, or should I say cannon, fight.  The package was nicely tied up with the city fireworks show, which is held in a nearby park.  This is the view from our driveway (give it a sec to load)...

I had a wonderful time.  What did I bring to the BBQ?  My MIL's Potato Salad, some beer brats (m-m-m), and these lil' guys found at Noble Pig's website.
You'll also find a video demonstration here: How To Make 4th Of July Bald Eagles
They scored very high on the cute-o-meter, however it never occurred to me that people would actually dislike coconut!  Huh.  Did not see that one coming, but have tucked it away in my 'note to self' mental box.
Maybe you could substitute jimmies for the coconut?  That could be overly sweet though.  I'll need to think about this one...

I think I may just let myself go, malaise-wise.  I deserve a small break and need to catch up on my cross stitching.  I'm working on  a huge project I'd love to finish this year.  I'll post photos soon.

Hope your Independence Day celebrations were as filled with food, fun, family and love of country as ours.  Happy 234th Birthday, America!