Monday, September 19, 2016

The beauty of a dark, PNW autumn

The darkness has come over the PNW again this year.  Beautiful, foggy mornings.... thick, dark, rainy afternoons.  In between crazy canning sessions, starting school and school groups, and getting last minute sunny day projects while there are still rare sunny days warm enough to do outdoor projects, I wander with my camera, capturing the beauty that is these unpredictable days.

Just for good measure, I decided to teach myself how to take pictures of the harvest moon.  Unfortunately, it hasn't been clear enough to see it again since the night I took this.  So I am very glad I got such a good shot on my first try!

Farewell, dearest sunshine!  See you next May!

The Entire PNW


Thursday, August 18, 2016

2016-2017 Interviews

It is now a tradition in our house where I interview the kids on the first day of the school year.  I make up some cocoa and a treat and we sit down and I take pictures and ask them questions.  The questions are similar every year because I love to look back on their answers and how they have changed and grown. 
Cyan - Age 15

Color- Orange, but burnt orange, like sunset orange.
Animal - Dogs and red pandas.  I love red pandas.  They're SO cute!
Food - Potatoes
Season - Late spring.  (Dad "You said 'summer' wrong.  Cyan "No.  Summer is too hot." Dad laughs.)

What do you want to learn this year?
I really want to learn a skill.  Like dancing or something like that.  I like learning stuff about anatomy and aspects of stuff like that. I'm kinda excited about learning to sew and stuff.  I've sewn before, and tried to knit before, but I never really got good at it and this year I'll have to so I'm kinda excited about that.
I really want to learn to draw Anime really well.
I would like to ride a horse.  Learning to ride a horse again would be really fun!

Logan - Age 9

Color - Red
Food - Pizza
Animal - Cobra, because I like how they have venom
Season - Winter - because, snowmobiles.

What do you want to learn this year?
I want to learn about cameras and taking pictures.  I want to learn how to draw better and some cooking.  I want to cook cakes and desserts.  I never actually done it.  I'm always the taste-tester or the mixer, never done the whole thing myself.  I want to keep learning about BB guns because I am getting a lot better.
I want to learn more about Neptune.  It's a strange planet.  Did you know there is a planet that could have life on it  We will get there at 2030 or something.  and then we will see if there is life there or not.

Luke - age 5

Color - Green and golden, because golden is the prettiest color of all and sometimes golden is a kind of jewel.
Animal - Porcupine.  They have quills all over them.
Season - Spring.  I like planting the plants.  There is lots of green.  I like summer too. 
Food - Quesadillas.  Chicken sandwiches with giant round chicken and salad inside them.
What do you want to learn this year?
Caterpillars.  Remember that I saw a kinda worm that lays eggs and carries them around?  That's the one I want to learn about.  They lay blue eggs.  I want to learn about porcupines.  They are my favorite animal.
Do you want to learn about reading and words?
No.  I want to learn about porcupines.  and I think I want to learn about Frog-snakes.  Frog-snakes do eat frogs but they can blow a bubble in their throats but the snake blows a throat bubble that is bigger and it swallows the frogs.
And my favorite food is cookies...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Downton Abbey Birthday Party

"Lady Cyan invites you for high tea and cocktails in the gardens of Downton Abbey at half-past four on the thirteenth of July, two-thousand sixteen.  Appropriate formal dress is expected."

Our footmen carried comfortable chairs and tables out of doors for the Lady and her guests.

The high tea menu was a tasty selection of short bread, digestives, and scones. The scones were fresh baked and flavored with Earl Grey tea and fresh dried lavender.  Local honey and lemon curd were added.  Earl Grey and English Lavender Vanilla teas were served.

The ladies were set up comfortably for tea and card games to pass the time while Miss Patmore worked hard in the kitchen, making everything perfect for their celebratory meal.

 Although the gong was rung, the same dress was worn for tea as well as dinner.  Lately at Downton, the formalities have been relaxed. 

The footmen stood at the ready to serve the meal.

The meal was a formal affair, despite being outside.  Carson could not let the light and festive mood slacken the correct notion of propriety.


Cucumber Sandwiches

Cream of Leek and Potato

Fish Course
Salmon Pate
Buttermilk Toast Rounds

Meat Course
Glazed Ham 
Grilled Cauliflower

Raspberry Parfett 
Vanilla Bean Cake w/Raspberry Frosting

Red - Black Cherry and White Grape juice
White - Pina Colada Juice and 7up

At this point, one of the tenant farmers released his farm animals and they were running loose around the formal guests.  The footmen had quite a time rounding them back up without being noticed by the formal party.

Cake and gifts were received with hearty thanks, but nothing improper, from the Lady Cyan.  


In all seriousness, this party was an absolute blast!  As was sharing the show Downton Abbey with my daughter, which inspired this party to celebrate her 15th birthday.  We were wonderfully whisked away to 1920's England for the evening of games, formal dinner, and tea, all in high-class style.  The girls all stayed in character for over two hours.  For us moms, the conversations were our favorites.    

Girl 1: "Lady Cyan, I heard your mother is from.... America??"
Lady Cyan: "Oh yes!  And my father too, actually.  It has been... interesting."

Girl 2: "I have spent my summer at the Kings Court."
Girl 3: "Were there any special gentlemen?"
Girl 2: "I have MANY special gentlemen."
*collective sigh*
Girl 2: "Lady Cyan, how have you spent your summer?"
Lady Cyan: "Well, mostly..." *rolls eyes* "I've been shut in.  BUT, I have been secretly meeting this one boy, ahem, 'gentleman'.  Really, we haven't done anything improper... yet."
Girl 2: *Gasp* "Yet?!?"

Hope you enjoyed it!  It sure was fun to create.  It was a lot of hard work, but wow, it turned out incredible and fun!

Happy birthday, to my beautiful girl!

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