Thursday, July 19, 2012

Another day at the beach

We spent Sunday at Whatcom Falls Park swimming with Uncle Eric and Auntie Miriam in the cool, refreshing water. Our favorite swimming hole is the one we call "the hottub" because the rocks form a rectangular tub (with jets!) across the stream.
Although this was not technically the FIRST time Conan had been in Whatcom Creek, it was the first time since he became a big kid; old enough to go out into the fast moving water, even if just for a moment. He's never been much of a water baby, but after watching everyone else frolic in the stream he finally asked to be carried out into the deep water.  It was a fun moment.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A day at the beach

We spent a lovely summer day at Birch Bay State Park, playing in the warm shallow ocean with Grandma Debbie, Great Uncle Fred, and G.G.  It was a full day of summer fun!
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Wednesday, July 04, 2012


It's that wonderful time of year again... berry time!
This is a Goumi berry. This is the first year it's fruited for us, and I'm pretty impressed with how much fruit it produced! The ripe berries are pleasantly sweet, with a little bit of astringency that reminds many tasters of persimmons. They have a single pit and look somewhat like very small cherries with speckled skin.
Conan and Moira and Kiah all seem to like them a lot. The deer like the bush and would probably eat the berries too, but we've been keeping it safe with wire fencing.
The salmonberries are ripe now also, and it's a bumper crop this year. Every day when we get home we walk around the perimeter of the yard and pick them. Most get eaten on the spot, but sometimes we are lucky to find enough to put some away in the fridge for breakfast the next morning.
The wild blackberries are just starting to ripen. Looks like a nice crop of them, although there never seem to be more than we can eat of these little jewels.
This morning's berry haul. Clockwise from top: Strawberries, Goumis, the first two ripe raspberries of the season, wild black currants, the first blueberry, salmonberries, wild blackberries, and Gooseberries. Is there anything better than ripe berries fresh from the yard?

Monday, July 02, 2012

Not-Quite-The-Fourth Party

With the fourth falling on a Wednesday this year, it seemed like a good idea to have a party the preceding Saturday. It was a wet and overcast day, but the rain cleared off just around 4 so we headed outdoors and had a great time despite the gloom. Hard to believe it's almost July, with the coats and rainboots, but we're adaptable.

I roasted a leg of lamb (tandoori-yogurt marinade was amazing) and we had lots of delicious sides. The kids particularly liked the unattended chip bowl.
A brief sprinkle of rain after dinner drove everyone onto the porch, but luckily it didn't last too long.
Our porch really is a nice place to hang out on a damp day. The beer cooler being on the porch might have had something to do with it too.
Hey, is he getting out some FIREWORKS?!
The little kids had a blast, as usual, running through the colored smoke from the smoke bombs. The grown-up kids had nearly as much fun lighting them.
Nothing like running through some who-knows-how-toxic purple smoke for a good time.
After we ran out of smoke bombs, the kids played for a while in Conan's "beach" - also known as the worlds tiniest sandbox. Apparently it's got room to fit more kids than we estimated!
Devious Kiah made off with the sand dollars. I didn't actually see what she was doing when I snapped the picture, but it does explain why I found a cache of sand dollars hidden on the porch the next day.
Finally it got dark enough for the REAL fireworks. I didn't get any pictures of them, but they were IMPRESSIVE. The kids stayed up until after 10:30, when they turned into pumpkins and just couldn't keep their eyes open any longer. Grown ups sat around the fire much later than that, enjoying the first taste of summer (really! it's summer!) we've had this cold wet June.