Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I am a Genius!

OK, post-graduate degrees aside, I have done the unthinkable! Me! No-green-thumb-havin', can't keep houseplants alive me! I made...wait for it....GRAPE JELLY!
We grew these grapes at our own little chicken ranch!! They are wine grapes, I think, so slightly smaller than the kind you might acquire at the grocery. OK, by "grew" I mostly mean we haven't killed the vines yet, but that's probably purely accidental. My husband did do a great job of watering them semi-regularly.
I used a potato masher to squash the juice from them...
...then hung the remaining pulp in cheesecloth until all the juice that was to be had...was had... (thanks for the guidance, Mom!). Such a pretty green!
But there's a reason you don't see green grape jelly, I think...mostly it turns brown pretty quickly. So I added maybe just a touch too much green food coloring. ;) But its super delicious! Hooray for grape jelly! Three cheers for this amazing substance they call "pectin."

I was pleased this fellow didn't sneak into the house on the green grapes, I might not have seen him!
All the better to see the grape jelly with, my dear...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Summer Draws to an End...

OK, so school is done, and summer is [regretfully] drawing to a close. That means returning our focus to working on the Chicken Ranch. Which we estimate will be wrapped up around...2019. In early spring we had the doors and window installed, but never got back to painting the trim. I can't believe our new neighbor bought the house despite the hillbilly house next door!
I might have been photographing while I was supposed to be painting.
This flower thingy kind of gives me the creeps. But at least one member of our family can stay on task.
OK, two members, if you include my husband's assistant.
I was really pleased with the cobwebby detail on this fellow's antennae.
If a grasshopper can emote, I get the feeling he was quite done with my photographing hijinx.

Summer Tour 2010: Willie!

The final show of our Summer Tour 2010: Seven Bands in 11 Days!extravaganza: Willie! This was my 8th or 9th Willie show, but he still doesn't disappoint, even at 77.
Plus, I love that the show was at "Outlaw Field." Hee hee! Willie's my fave outlaw!
We thought it might be chilly, but it stayed warm longer than anticipated.
I thought the opener gave a good performance too...Ryan Bingham, the fellow whose big hit is the theme to Crazy Heart... But he didn't even do that song!
Willie played for over 2 hours. I could have used a more substantial encore, but I understand bedtime sneaks up on all of us. ;) And with that, we bid our summer tour, and frankly, summer altogether, a fond adieu!

Balloon Festival!

According to Kodak, after adorable children, hot air balloons are one of the most-photographed subjects. WELL. That sounded like a challenge to me. Off to the balloon festival to try my hand at shooting this popular subject! The balloon began inflating VERY early...around 7:10. I liked that they began inflating all at at once, like they were creatures waking up.
Omigoodness! So big and bright!
I think this little girl has it right. Next year it's jammies and cereal for me!
Fiii-rre gooooood!!!
We spied Paula and fam taking in the balloon festival too!
Hee hee! I like that this fellow put his name on his balloon.
It was my first balloon festival, but I thought it was a great little event!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Happy Balloon Festival!

Today is Day 2 of the five-day Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic! My mother-in-law had planned to come to the event, but upon learning that they weren't offering spectator rides, pointed her adventuremobile south instead.
I hope to get down with my BIG camera one morning this weekend, but in case I don't, here's some snaps with my little pursecam. Seeing the skies full of bright balloons always gives me such a feeling of promise. Take a break from stockpiling ammo, perhaps the apocalypse isn't nigh just yet...
And since you trekked all the way up to the rooftop, might as well bid good day to the foothills too. :) TGIF!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Summer Tour 2010: DMB!

Next up, Dave Matthews' first visit to Boise since 1998. The venue is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from my work, so we walked! A nicer commute than the one-road-in, one-road-out country road with 18,000 people on it on their way to the Gorge Amphitheater. ;)
It was particularly awesome to not only see this sobering sign (1989 the year I graduated high school), but also to have two separate encounters at ID checkstations. The first cop said he didn't need to check our IDs, we were CLEARLY of age... ;) and the second looked at my wristband and me and offered: "They IDed YOU? FOR A BOTTLE OF WATER?"
I don't know this guy, but he was psyched for the show, and helped me offer a shout out to my Kansas City peeps, who were with us at our last DMB show in Vegas. Missed you guys!
Neither of us were fans of the DMB opener, Alberta Cross. Apparently Ben Harper couldn't be bothered with the show in Boise, despite opening most other shows on the tour. I had a fun time chatting with the young farm couple from Vale, Oregon, sitting next to us. The only other concert of note they had ever attended was the Beyonce Experience in 2007... Their first date! :)
While waiting for the show to start, my husband and I discussed the question, if Dave came out and only did one song, which would you request? I had to go with "Cornbread." Given their extensive library, that they actually then performed Cornbread was kinda crazyawesome. At the end of the song I whispered, "Well, guess we can leave now." NO!!
So we went from actual lighters to cell phone lights to the Zippo app for your smartphone, to the band simply projecting their own lighter graphics onto giant screens...?!? I'm not sure I'm down with this progression, frankly. Nice to see ya, Mister Matthews.

Summer Tour 2010: John Mayer & Keith Urban

In an attempt to suck the last few minutes out of a summer that I only got half of anyway, we are participating in Summer Tour 2010: Seven Bands in 11 Days! ST2010 was invented by...me! So don't try to find a website for it. ;) First up: a whirlwind, relatively last-minute trip to the gorge to see Keith Urban and John Mayer, and opener the Avett Brothers, a first viewing of all three.
We got up early to drop Miss G at the doggie spa, and in heading out to load the car spied this fat mama quail and baby quail kickin' it on our front step! If she wasn't with her baby I might have had to snatch her up and made quail fricassee. Quails is tasty.
Gotta love Eastern Oregon. Fill your tag and then stop by Shari's for some pancakes.
Ah, the fantastic Gorge Amphitheater.
Panorama of the venue taken from my spot of grass. Click for full effect. SUCH an amazing view.
Despite 18,000 people in attendance, we were able to meet up with and sit with friends from Boise!
The gem of the weekend ended up being both the performance by the opening band, the Avett Brothers, and then spying them picking up a few groceries in the Pasco Safeway! On the way home the Cooper sustained a hole in her radiator, but transported us safely home regardless! Loved the shined-up tank on this truck!