Monday, October 27, 2008

Fruit Loop Day (what do you think this means??)

We decided to take a day 'off' this past Saturday and drive the Fruit Loop in the Mt. Hood area. Now, get your head out of the breakfast aisle (or gutter) and stay with me here - the Fruit Loop is a 35 mile loop around 30+ orchards in the Mt. Hood/ Hood River area (yes, only in Oregon). On the way up, Myra decided she wanted to take the scenic route to check out the changing leaves through the mountains (this way took about 3 1/2 hours) - it was very pretty, but nothing compared to the changing leaves of the Adirondacks!

The 'loop' started with a visit to a real, live, Alpaca farm - lots of baby Alpacas, soooo cute. We found out that female Alpacas are worth $10,000 when there little baby feet hit the ground! The owners were talking about how this farm has really helped them diversify their portfolio - no kidding! They really do have nice 'fleece' though...but $10,00???

Next, we stopped at a place, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, for a BBQ behind an old country store. It was very good (with cider baked beans and pear coleslaw) - a bit crowded as there was a tour bus - yup - a tour bus! They were also making fresh apple butter the ol fashion way over a fire in a big copper pot - Myra took a turn stirring the pot to relieve the worker (really, just because she likes doing dorky things like this).
The rest of the afternoon was spent going to different orchards, getting some fresh fruit and some hard cider from the locals. Then we took the 'non-scenic', scenic, route home (an interstate along the Columbia Gorge), which was only a little over 2 hours....But, after all that, we were still back home in time for take out and a movie - what a great day!!

Harvest Time!

Myra decided to do a major harvest of the garden the past couple weekends. The tomatoes and squash plants were dying so it was time to bring the 'veggies' of her labor inside for some major cooking!

The tomatoes made some fabulous salsa!! Only about half of the squash have been cooked (those things are a pain!). So fun fact - when different varities of squash are planted close together they crossbreed and you never know quite what you will get! But, still, there was enough 'buttery' squash to make a ton of squash gnocchi - yummy!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Celebrating and saying good bye....

After only be back home for a couple weeks, we packed up for a quick visit back east, and I mean QUICK. We arrived at Joe's parents' house in PA at about 3:30am Sat. morning, and left again on Monday afternoon! It was WELL worth the quick trip though.
Our reason for such craziness was two-fold. (1) To celebrate Joe's grandmothers 90th birthday at a surprise party(Ruth Long) (2) To see Joe's brother Jeremy, wife and Erin and beautiful little girl Isabel one last time before they moved to Brazil a few days later...

The 90th birthday celebration started with all of grandma's children and grandchildren attending church in the morning - what a large section we took up! Ruth is the oldest charter member of that church and was celebrate by everyone there though! Next we went to a great buffet where we had our own room with lots of food and pictures. Below is a picture of his grandmother, one with her and her living children and one with her and her grandchildren...

Following the celebration Joe and Myra went back to grandma's house to help her open her presents and cards - very fun experience! :-)

Of course our second reason for visiting was no less important - to see off Joe's brother, wife and little girl, I'm not sure we let anyone else have much time with little Isabel. She is TOO adorable. Here's just a few pictures of our too short time with her: