Wednesday, July 29, 2009

But I'm So HUNGRY!!

We found this little guy in the concord grapes. What a plump caterpillar! He was actually sort of cute :)

He reminded us of the fat, hungry caterpillar in A Bug's Life.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The garden tomatoes are beginning to ripen.  Below is an Orange Russian - very sweet and tasty!
We have 3 cantaloupe growing right now - they are even getting that great crackle to their skin.
The strawberries, however, are not producing very much - maybe I should yank them to make room for the expansive pumpkin vines?
More tomatoes.  Maybe we'll make some pasta sauce.

The Last Concert in the Park for Summer 2009

What can I say about Mikey except that after almost 10 years of marriage he is still surprising me. Last week was the final concert in the park for the summer and I really wanted to go but Michael and I had made a deal that he would go to one concert with me since stake softball falls on the same night and he's needed there. He had already gone with me a few weeks ago. But lo and behold Michael asked if we could go to the last concert together! It was so fun. I packed sandwiches, we played Scabble before it started and we actually got a seat inside the bowl - which is amazing!

Thanks for a wonderful evening Mikey! You're the best!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It Makes Me Wanna Wail - MAIL!!

We received a very special package today all the way from Buffalo, NY....
Mike was at work, I was bored and so I took lots of pics of me opening it up.  It was very exciting :)
Happy Summer Grillin' indeed!
This is the BEST BBQ marinade ever!  Keith and Erin had us over last year (before they moved and we all got very depressed ;) and it was amazing!!
Look at this stuff - Mike just got home and reopened the box (I repacked it so he could have the fun of opening it up too) and now we are on our way to the store for something to grill!
THANKS KEITH and ERIN you guys are the best and we miss you so much!  Keep our guest room ready because as soon as we win publishers clearing house we are on our way :)

I Got a Pickle, I Got a Pickle, I Got a Pickle Hey Hey Hey Hey

We are growing a lot of cucumbers in the garden this year. So many that we decided to make a few jars of Bread and Butter Pickles. The whole house smelled like Vinegar and onions for a week!

Adventures in Jam Making

Michael and I picked a LOT of blackberries and I decided to try and make some blackberry jam with them. It was actually pretty easy and loads of fun. Totally worth it.
The blackberries straight from pickin'. They had to be sorted through one by one to look for unripe berries and the occasional leaf and then washed.
Then the berries are mashed up using, you guessed it, a potato masher :) until they are mostly juice.
The jam recipe I used required 4 cups of berries/juice, 7 cups of sugar, 1 tsp of butter (to keep the foam down when boiled) and 1 pkg of CERTO liquid pectin. This makes about 41/2 pints.
Stir the berries, butter and sugar until at a rolling boil. Add pectin and bring back to a boil for 1 minute. Ladle into jars and process in water bath for 10 minutes.
Voila!!! Jars of jam! I was so excited that they set. Mike was excited too - he was a little like Joey in that episode of "Friends."
Me with my jam.
Mike enjoying the jam.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Day of Rest

Our nephew Braylon was up with his family until midnight last night watching the fireworks. None of us could get him to go down for a nap today. That is until uncle Mikey came along...

Braylon was one tuckered out little boy.

Independence Day Parade

On July 4th we had the chance to go to the Independence Day Parade downtown with Arthur, Sharee and the kidlets. We had fun but the parade could have used some more marching bands and real floats.

The McHenry Mansion in all it's glory.

Sharee in our lovely, shady spot.
Mikey and Sean.
Sean and Haydin
Dallin, Michael and Arthur
Sean, Daphne, Nathan, Dallin and Arthur enjoying the parade.
Ah...a marching band!  Happy 4th Everyone!!!!

Independence Day Concert in the Park

July 2 was the Thursday night Concert in the Park at Graceda in Modesto. Michael took a break from softball that night to go with me to the Concert. We took a picnic and had fun relaxing in the shade and listening to the music.

The Program (we didn't know what to take pictures of).

The always great picture of us, taken by us.  

95 Quarts and Alligator Wrestling

During the last week of June, my cousin Jenny and her family came down and helped me can the apricots from our tree. Jenny and I ended up canning 95 Quarts of apricots on the hottest day of the year so far, 110 degrees! We had fun and the kids were a big help.

Jenny and her son, Travis.

Our first batch of apricots.
The last of the 95 waiting to go into the water bath.

When we were about 2/3 of the way done Michael came home from work and decided the steamy hot kitchen was too much for him.  He decided to take a dip in the pool...
Michael wresting his first alligator.
Michael, aka the Alligator Hunter with his first kill.

June Showers Bring July Flowers?

June 13th was such an amazing day. It RAINED! I know that doesn't sound so exciting for some people but for us Central Valley folks a nice good rain in the middle of June is a sweet surprise.
The rain was so tempting the whole gang decided to play outside in it, even Mikey enjoyed it.
After that Michael and I went to make like a baby and head out (get it?) to Jessica's baby shower.  It was so fun.  A couple's shower at a great chinese restaurant.  They had amazing decorations and it was lots of fun!

After the rain the flowers really looked beautiful so I put some in an old mason jar so we could enjoy them inside the house.