Regrouping

We got back home yesterday and today I’m hunkered down inside. It’s nearly a triple digit temperature day and I’m just not up for it. In fact, I was in my jammies until after lunch and Rex has spent most of the day naked or nearly so*. I’m in the process of uploading pictures and sorting through them. I’ll try not to bore you with too many vacation photos, but fair warning, a few are coming.

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*Rex showed an interest in his little potty today, so he went nude for a bit.

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Summer Company

We had company come to stay with us for the last week. Wednesday-Sunday, we hosted the lovely Liisa and Shanti (and Dobby!). Sunday-Tuesday, we had another set of friends with their two youngest daughters. We whooped it up, visiting lots of local sights and eating way more than we should. OMSI, the Zoo, Pearl District, etc. We hit a few new-to-me shops including Penzey’s, where I got dried chives and shallots to experiment with homemade ranch mixes.  We also did the tour of Bob’s Red Mill and spent some time in their factory store. (Dave’s Killer Bread is made across the street, so the entire block smells like a bakery.)

2014-07-25 10.29.33Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Store

At the Zoo, Rex decided he was afraid of most of the animals. He was mainly interested in the lions (the cubs are getting so big!) and the boa constrictor.  The giraffes and the hippos were ok, as long as we didn’t get too close.

2014-07-29 11.33.16Mama Rex Selfie at the Zoo, in front of the lions.

I love having friends visit, but I am looking forward to a quiet day tomorrow. I may just stay in my stretch pants all day…

 

OCF 2014

Last weekend, we made our annual trip to Veneta for the Oregon Country Fair.  It is an amazing and magical place with an event like no other.  You spend all day there, but it seems like you hardly were there at all. When it’s over, you’re exhausted and dirty and can’t wait to go again.

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Like last year, Rex especially favored the drum circle.  Sam was kind enough to lug his little drums around with us, so our little musician could drum along. He found the half-naked, painted, horned woman and aged tie-dyed hippie dancing together to be just fascinating.  I felt like it perfectly embodied the Fair.

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The weather was quite warm, and while his cheeks were rosy, we kept him pretty cool. Multiple applications of sunscreen and bug spray kept our little guy protected and we poured water down and on him as often as he would tolerate.

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Of course, what he really wanted was to play in the dirt. He came home with a piece of grass, picked from the field we parked in. His favorite souvenir.

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We are very lucky because we know folks who work and camp at the Fair.  Because of this, we were able to take a couple quiet breaks, off the path.  This allowed Rex to air out a bit and stretch his legs (we packed him the Ergo for most of the Fair).

This was Rex’s third fair and he seemed to really enjoy it. We can’t wait to go again next year!

Food & Attractions

As an aside, we stayed in Eugene and visited several nice local places. Obviously, we had breakfast at Off the Waffle (we like the new downtown location). We were pleasantly surprised at the delicious menu of Falling Sky Brewing.  We were less than wowed with the menu at Hop Valley Brewing, but the food was good and the beer was excellent. Don’t waste your time at Morning Glory* unless you’re a vegan who enjoys a pretentious atmosphere and terrible service.

*I could write an entire post ranting about that restaurant, but I’m going to take a deep breath, pull out my polite card, and leave it at that.

To and Fro: Idaho

I dropped off the map this week and popped in Idaho. Rex and I traveled by plane and by car to visit my grandparents.  We flew there and drove back, which made for very interesting packing.  As Rex is now two, he had to have his own seat. I also had to transport his car seat as well as all of our luggage through an airport. By myself. Thankfully, there is no photographic evidence of my pack mule look, but know that it was epic. I packed a week’s worth of clothes and supplies into an adult back pack, a kid back pack, a small messenger bag, and a small black travel bag. Through the clever use of space bags and bungees, everything we needed fit.

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Rex rode on the plane like it was no big deal. In fact, the only thing he was upset about was having to stow his books during take-off and landing.  We were met at the airport by my uncle and dropped off at the great-grandparents’ house. From there we met up at the hotel with my folks and my sister and her family.  All told, I moved Rex’s seat in and out of vehicles and on and off of the car seat dolly over a dozen times in 24 hours…

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Rex took naps in a variety of locations, including on Great-Grandma’s couch.  Buddy, one of her rescue chihuahuas thought napping was a pretty good idea.

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Of course, there were toys and balloons and all of the things that come from a trip with grandparents.

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And he ate more ice cream than he usually does in a month.

All in all, it was a very fun trip.  We got to spend some wonderful time with my grandparents and can’t wait to see them in August at the family reunion.  Rex was so sweet and gave his great-grandparents and his grandparents lots of hugs.  It was so neat to see how he changed this year as compared to our visit last year.

Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival

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Despite the torrential downpour, we braved the 17th Annual Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival on Sunday.  We made a quick tour of it, but still had a good time.  I picked up a bag of alpaca neck fiber from an animal named “Cocoa Puff” and 8oz of hand dyed colonial top. Rex wanted to live the Alpaca Lifestyle, but we couldn’t fit one in the trunk.

**HOUSEKEEPING: I got a notice during this WordPress preview that my visitors may see ads at the bottom of my posts.  I am in no way in control of these.  I apologize in advance.**

Too Much Fun

10 days in Baton Rouge is a lot.  And boy did I have a lot of fun!  So much so, that I ended up mailing 3 boxes back. Two to myself and one to Tyler (he got a new summer wardrobe, courtesy of the Carter’s Outlet).  Plus, my suitcase was so full I could barely zip it.

But today, I wanted to show ya’ll (see, too much time in the South!) a few random pictures.

There was a fantastic shop at The Riverwalk that had these oil paintings of The Big Lebowski.  They were extremely well done and awesome.  (The same shop also had great t-shirts and an entire display of Yellow Submarine swag from The Beatles.)

Also at The Riverwalk, in one of the kitchen stores, was this great apron.  (Apologies for the sideways photo, but it was taken by my cell phone).  Do you see the cleverness?  On one side there is a pocket and on the other, a button that holds a dishtowel with a loop.  The brilliance is so simple, yet so awesome.  I think this might be a feature on the next apron I make.

Paula wanted to get this alligator head slingshot for Tyler.  My sister said he could only have it if it lived at my house.  I’m no dummy.  We left the slingshot there.

And finally, a random picture of cuteness.  She was sleeping and blowing spit bubbles.  Too freakin’ adorable if you ask me.

Crawfish Boil

Yesterday, after a harrowing trip, I finally made it home.  Instead of being angry and ranting about how awful airlines are, I’m going to tell you about the Crawfish Boil.

On Sunday, we went to a Crawfish Boil.  Now, being a northern girl, I’d never been to one of these.  But it was a lot of fun!  Think “giant BBQ with shellfish instead of burgers” and that’s pretty much it.  This particular Boil was in celebration of a wedding (and man was the bride hungover…).  They boiled up 200lbs of crawfish in about 4 batches.  This is the first batch, waiting to meet their delicious end.

Quicker than you might think, those clawing little lobsters became bright red piles of deliciousness.

After getting trained on how to properly eat a crawfish (suck the head, peel the tail), I decimated a pile of these bad boys.  But I saved Fred for last.

He was delicious.

Pro Tip: Wash your hands before going to the bathroom because these little guys are spicy and you don’t want your bits to burn.  So glad Paula warned me first…