Friday, August 29, 2014


We had a bit of science happening around these parts last weekend. 
 Our youngest is a "Why" girl. 
She is very inquisitive and eager to learn new things.
Keeping that alive in her is important
I saw this and thought she would enjoy it.

Cover eggs with white vinegar in a bowl.

Immediately, you will see the acetic acid in the vinegar react with the calcium carbonate in the shells to form carbon dioxide bubbles. 
The shells look fuzzy. 
They also take on a different texture to the touch.
Kind of slimy.
After about 20 hours, Sugar Plum Fairy was able to rub most of the shell off. 
The ends were still hard, which led her to believe they are the stronger parts of the shell. 
Makes sense.

After several more hours, the shells were completey gone. 
The shape of the yolk was visable in the sunlight and the membranes were quite sturdy.

That is until poked. 
They then exploded.
Very cool.

Do you or have you done any cool experiments with your kids?
Will you share?

                                                                            Science is fun!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Mt. Shasta Memories

When we were in Mt. Shasta last month, the kids knew that I would inevitably force them to sit in front of places that held memories for me and they were correct!
The house we lived in for most of our time in  Mt. Shasta when I was a child, was the ranger's house next to the Forest Service Office. 
It has since been changed into more office space, but the exterior remains as I remember...there is a picket fence around it that wasn't there in the good old days, but it still looks like home to me. 
 It is located catty-corner from the Catholic Church as well. 
So after we attended Mass at St. Anthony's,  we had a photo op.
Why do things like this make me so happy?
Sharing with our kidnicks places that meant a lot to me as a child is rewarding. 
The fish hatchery and Sisson Museum is a must see and we do every time we visit. 


Staying in Mt. Shasta for a week really allowed us to immerse ourselves in the town. 
 Finding treasures at the Farmer's Market...
...wandering through a car show...
...strolling downtown with my girls for a smoothie in a cool bookstore...
and dinner and a game of chess in a café.

 ...driving past the home in which we lived for a few months when I was a newborn...

 ...finding a perfect route for a bit of exercise with my eldest daughter...

... and comparing two Italian Restaurants (hence the reason we need the running route).

We had dinner at the Piemonte on our final night.
Appropriately, Mike and Tony's was on our first evening. 
Our dinner at the Piemonte was one of our favorite times ever. 
We laughed, we told stories, we laughed...oh, and we laughed and had fun.
I prefer Mike and Tony's food, but the memories at the Piemonte that night will remain in my heart forever.
 I wonder what things they will want to share with their own children?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Trip Down Memory Lane

When we visited Tunisia in 2010, we were greeted with traditional music on the dock.
  We also had the opportunity to ride a camel. 
The girls jumped at the chance.

Shortly after these pics were taken, this camel kicked my Hubby in the ankle. 
He survived.

Happy Hump Day! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

California Drought

As many people know, albeit NOT everyone in my state, knows that California is in a severe drought. 
We are still in the midst of the hottest summer on record. 
 I saw this yesterday and was flabbergasted.
 The 180 drought maps from January 2011 through this month were put together to form a powerful image of what our water situation is.
Please pray for rain .

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Truism

This was floating around Facebook recently and I thought it so very true. 
Sometimes we all need to take a moment and really see those around us.

"Everyone will go through some hard times at some point.
Life isn't easy.
Just something to think about...did you know the people that are the strongest are usually the most sensitive?
 Did you know the people who exhibit the most kindness are the first to get mistreated?
Did you know the ones who take care of others all the time are ... usually the ones who need it the most?
Did you know the three hardest things to say are 'I love you', 'I am sorry', and 'Help me'?
Sometimes just because a person looks happy, you have to look past their smile and see how much pain they may be in."

Friday, August 22, 2014

Love in a Lunchbox

Both of our girls take a cold lunch from home when they are in school. 
 I like that I can help control what they eat and frankly, both girls are terrific to cook for.
Some days there is a salad, other may have a wrap or sandwich. 
  There is always fruit and some sort of veggie. 
As a fourth grader, Sugar Plum Fairy has gained enough confidence to defend her bell peppers to those around her who say, "Ewwww....grosssss". 
 I think she gets a kick out of it now.
Over the summer, I began seeing lunch box notes on the internet.
 I thought it might be fun to include one each day. 
 There may be a joke, or words of encouragement.
Some are just fun
There are endless sites on Pinterest to meet every whim.
The greatest compliment was when I discovered my teen is saving hers

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Busy, Busy

Our garden has been producing wonderfully for the most part. 
 I am trying to keep up with it and not let anything go to waste. 
Shredding the zucchini and freezing in one cup muffin tins (storing in freezer bags once frozen) will allow me to make zucchini bread all winter long or add to a soup if it ever gets cold enough for soup again.

The jalapenos have gone gang busters. 
 I have made Pickled Jalapenos and Jalapeno Jelly for the pantry and gifts.
There is nothing quite as satisfying as the "pings" of successful canning.
We are trying to dry more peppers in the smoker today. 
I want to make Chipotle Powder. 
We shall see if it works as I envision.
 We have several stone fruit trees as well that are 2 years old. 
We only had a handful of pluots, but the peach tree must have broken some sort of record! 
 I am taller than this tree,  and that is saying a lot. 
This trooper produced almost 40 pounds of fruit!
  After we inhaled the first Peach Cobbler made from our very own peaches, I made and froze 5 more large desserts.
  I also made Peach Butter for the first time. 
The recipe suggested using a crock pot so as not to have to babysit it on the stove all day. 
I went one step further.
I let it cook all night AND I added a vanilla bean. 
 Such a rebel, I am! 
 Anyway, my youngest has deemed the Peach Butter, "Amazing!" 
Are you canning or freezing from your garden?
Do tell.