August 29, 2011

My Birthday Weekend

My birthday weekend began with a Gnoming... akin to a flocking, but with gnomes!
This was a long-distance collaboration between my sister Sara in Ohio, who purchased the gnomes, and Mike, who had to surreptitiously set them up in the yard before I left the house.  He did this on Friday, the day before my birthday, because he had planned a surprise overnight trip to the McMenamin's Edgefield for that night, and he wasn't so sure he'd be able to gnome me in the hotel hallway.

The Edgefield is my favorite McMenamin's property - it has beautiful gardens and lawns, the wall murals are plentiful and fantastic, and there are several buildings/places to explore while on the grounds.

A new place for us to discover was the soaking pool at Ruby's Spa. This is one huge outdoor tub, with heated saltwater and lovely flora surrounding it. We went in it twice, and it never felt too crowded. Another amazing plus to this hot tub - they have an outdoor bar and allow you to drink beer while in the tub - bliss.


On the morning of my birthday we had breakfast at the Black Rabbit (can't recommend their breakfast, but the dinner was lovely). After breakfast I opened presents on one of their many wide front porches, then we wandered out to the vegetable garden. Since our veggie garden is less than prolific this year, it was a pleasure to see theirs in full bloom (and to have eaten their carrots, figs and cabbage for dinner the night before).

 Thirty-two, and all it's glory.

 I loved this trellis and would like to replicate it in my garden next year.


I don't know what this plant is, but it was climbing up a trellis and I loved it and want it.

After our garden foray we met up with Alan, Anja and Lilly and headed East to hike to Tamanawas Falls.

Lilly did really well on this hike, as did Alan and Anja, who had to carry her most of the way in the ninety degree heat. But Lilly walked far more of it than I expected, and would have walked more except part of the trail had  steep drop offs on the side. I think this girl takes after her mom in her love of the outdoors.

Sadly, I did not make it to the Falls, as about 1/8 mile from the top I was "sick" and had to head back down. Luckily, I felt better by the time we got back to the car, and it didn't deter me from enjoying my beer and burrito at Everybody's Brewing.

We ended our hiking day the same way we ended all my hikes of the last 32 years - with ice cream.

August 24, 2011

River Kayaking

Two weeks ago Mike and I headed North for a boating adventure. The "plan" was to head out to the San Juan islands on Mom & Mark's boat and do a little salmon fishing. Unfortunately that plan was derailed when a leaky boat pump was discovered on Friday afternoon. Not one to let that little setback keep us off the water, Mom suggested taking the kayaks out on the river.

Mom has no less than 7 kayaks. Seven. They range in size, color and use, and we made sure to try them all.  On Friday evening Mike, Mom and I headed out to the mouth of the river in a Necky, Dagger, and a sweet little Walden Sunapee.

When we reached the closest bay we rafted up to chat and drink cold beer.

 By lovely coincidence we also happened to be celebrating our 3-year wedding anniversary.


On Saturday afternoon we again headed out on the river, this time with Aidan in tow! Literally!

This was Aidan's first time in a kayak solo, so he started out slow. We put him in the Dagger and tied it to the back of Mom's new sit-on-top kayak, a Lifetime Daylite.

When we got past the bridge we asked Aidan if he wanted to untie the rope and paddle around a little on his own. He was game, and got the hang of it so quickly that the training rope was off!

Knowing that we might not get another chance this summer, before we left on Sunday we took the kayaks out for one last paddle.

This time Mike and I tried the Hobies - a pedal boat and a paddle boat in one.

Being morning, the tide was very, very low.

We pulled up to a sand bar to explore before heading back up the river (against the current).

Despite having to change our weekend plans, we had a really great time. The time on the river in the kayaks was wonderful, as was the time with my nephew and mom. Aidan is such a great kid - that wonderful combo of sweetness and sarcasm - something that I can truly appreciate. I  loved watching his cautious nature about kayaking, but not being afraid to try it on his own once he felt comfortable. I hope that he can keep that level-headedness about him as he grows into an adult. Mike and I hope to make these kayak weekends a new tradition!

August 16, 2011

Festive Forest Baby Mobile

My gift for Remi & Andrew (and ultimately the babe) was a Festive Forest mobile.

I handsewed a Raccoon, Deer, Mouse, Bird and Hedgehog from cut felt. The deer and mouse you've seen before. The others are my new patterns designed especially for this mobile. Finishing touches included needle felted mushrooms, butterfly and dragonfly.

The felt trees were sewn to "velvet" ribbon and the felt banners were glued to white crochet thread.

 Mr. Raccoon, all duded up with his purple striped tie. His tail is needle felted from wool roving.

This Bambi has gussied herself up with a big, pink bow.

Little Miss Birdie has donned her favorite hat.

Monsieur Mousie is dapper in beret and scarf.

 Ever the party man; Hedgehog has shown up with his good-for-all-occasions party hat on.

August 13, 2011

Celebration for a future Bambina!

While Sara and Susanna were in town at the beginning of August we decided to have Remi and Andrew over for cob oven pizza and a little mini-baby shower for their upcoming bambina!

Unable to resist, we added just a touch of pink.

I limited our pizzas to just two combos and I practiced my new pizza dough recipe (courtesy of my Poppy): butternut squash + ricotta + onions and sour cream + pears + prosciutto + blue cheese. Despite some worry on my part, they seemed to be a hit.

  There were many presents from Mom, Sara, Susanna and I.

Including an amazing quilt made by Sara.

Congratulations Andrew & Remi!
We're looking forward to meeting our new family member.

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