Tuesday, June 30, 2015

R Day 2015

Yesterday, the class of 2019 reported to the Academy.  It is so much better having a son that is a cadre! I like this side of R Day so much more - as does he.

He told me not to expect any pictures.  Imagine my surprise when I stumbled on these two.
I would love to be a fly on the wall…I think!  Most importantly, I hope he enjoys these weeks as a leader.  It will be hard work, but very rewarding. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

COS

The Big Guy was out in Colorado Springs on business.  He took a tour of the Air Force Academy.  He sent us this selfie.   Love that he visited wearing his CGA polo!

Friday, June 26, 2015

JAM

These are local blackberries grown right here in our little town.  The smallest quantity available was one gallon.  We eat lots of berries, but one gallon is quite a few.
Yesterday, I decided to try my hand at making some jam.  I thought the crockpot would be good.  The process was simple, but it took too long from a time standpoint using the crockpot.  I strained the mixture resulting in seedless blackberry jam!  I used sugar and lemon to make the jelly.  Since I took this pic, I've added labels.  One jar is in the frig waiting for the first taste test.
We went blueberry picking on my birthday.  I think we left with three gallons of blueberries.  Today, I tried my hand at blueberry jam.  This time I made it on the stove top.  I had to punt with some of the canning steps as I don't have special equipment.  I was so excited to hear the jars "pop" when they cooled.  I might be on to something.  It is too early to think about Christmas gifts?  My other idea was blackberry vodka - thinking about trying some of that.  The process doesn't seem too hard.  I just need to explore what you do with blackberry vodka once you have it.  Oh!  I need to find a good biscuit recipe to use up some of this jam!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Back in the USA

And, like that we are back from vacation!  It was a lovely time.  I can't believe it's been three weeks since we got home.  I loved looking back on the pictures.  Makes my heart smile.
It also has my brain thinking of a creative way to get up to CT to give Pumpkin a hug!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Birthday in Barbados

Peanut turned 17 while we were in Barbados!  How cool is that?  We woke him up and he opened his gifts in bed.
 Looks pretty cute sporting the bucket hat!
 He was my backseat buddy for most of the trip.  Hard to believe he is my baby!
 Had some great boogie board surfing on his birthday.
 We went to the Oistins Fish Fry for dinner.  It was crowded.  Lots of vendors selling fish dinners.
Of course, we sang Happy Birthday.  We bought the cake at the grocery store thinking it was an ice cream cake.  It turned out to be an oreo cake that was frozen.  We made the most of it!  What a great birthday.  As Pumpkin kept saying, "it beats the shower head I got for my 17th birthday!"

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mount Gay & Earthworks

So, the island is known for sugar cane and made its mark in the rum business.  We toured Mount Gay, the oldest on the island.  Of course, we ended up bringing back some silver rum and are learning how to perfect the mojito at home!
There is a pottery place, Earthworks, on the island.  You can walk through everything and see the pottery being made.  It is all hand painted.  So interesting how some craft ideas make it and people run with them.  As we walked through, I asked where the clay comes from.  Pittsburgh, PA!  We just had to laugh.  They ship the bags all the way to Barbados to make wonderful things out of it.  There are pieces of the pottery in use all over the island.
You can see the shelves of the store behind us.  Of course, I had to bring some home.  It was a challenge decide what to buy!

Monday, June 22, 2015

St. Nicholas Abbey

It is not a real Abbey, but is/was a working sugar cane plantation in what feels like the middle of nowhere Barbados.  The house was built in the 17th century, even more amazing.  We toured the house which remained in the original family until about 10 years ago.  It was built by and Englishman in their style, very different from island style.  There are three fireplaces in the house.  Not much use for a fireplace in Barbados.  There is a working sugar cane mill that we got to see in operation.
There are beautiful mahogany trees that line the entrance to the Abbey.  The boys were a bit tired of me taking pictures adding some goofiness to their steps!