The pianista, who sometimes insists that she needs to wear glasses. Not!
Learning how when the sun shines on America, China can't see the sun and when China sees the sun, America is sleeping.
The big day came at last - JiJi's bike arrived!
Go to this site - http://www.rushmillerfoundation.org/ - if you want to see an amazing father/son and their vision. They worked with us to find funding for JiJi's bike - I wish I would have been ready with the camera - her face was priceless when she got on that bike for the first time!
Thanks to Scott and Janice with http://highlander-cycling.com/. They had the bike shipped to them, assembled it and then they delivered to us! THANKS, Scott and Janice!
I just had to share - my first home-grown dahlia! Isn't she a beauty?
JiJi hard at work on her Mountbatten brailler. She loves for me to dictate stories to her while she writes, then she reads them back to anyone who will listen.
What? You don't know what this is? We took a train ride this week from Vancouver, WA to Seattle, WA. The yellow stripe represents the train track. The red triangle at the bottom is Vancouver, the blue crystal is the train and each of the pink dots represent a stop that the train makes. The white circle at the top is Seattle. JiJi loved getting out her map as each stop was broadcast to see what point we were at and how many more stops we had to go.
blog.sina.com.cn/candiedog is the blog of the first guide dog allowed in China. We had the privilege of meeting Candie and her owner, Lian, and visiting with them while we were in Seattle.
Thought I'd share with you a couple of things we have hanging around.
The kids made the above collage for Father's Day using old Scrabble tiles.
This one was done for Mother's Day by MissE. She found pennies that were issued the same year as each person's birth. She even included grandbabes as little frogs hopping around their parent's flower! SO creative!
I am always on the lookout for fun gift ideas - share me some, ok?
I had taken my very last bag of razor clams out of the freezer this morning to defrost.
I was fantasizing about crispy clam fritters all day.
Finally time to make dinner, only to discover that we had no eggs! Kind of a main ingredient in clam fritters!
Although this dish was a totally different taste than what I had been dreaming about, it was surprisingly delicious!
Seared Clams with Brown Butter 6 tablespoons salted butter 1 lemon olive oil 24 razor clams or 24 littleneck clams 1 tablespoon chives, minced fresh ground black pepper Directions:
1 Heat butter in a saucepan, over medium heat, until it turns brown and is fragrant; remove from heat, stir in juice from one lemon, and set aside. 2 Heat a large griddle, or cast iron skillet, over high heat; once very hot, coat with olive oil and place clams, hinge side down, if possible, on griddle or skillet. (I had just chopped them for fritters, so I just cooked them chopped did them this way instead of whole!) 3 Cook until they open, about 5 minutes; turn over and cook until the meat just starts to brown ( cook in batches, if necessary). (this would probably have worked better if my pan wasn't so full - I just kept draining off the juice and probably cooked them 5 minutes total or less) 4 Transfer clams to a serving platter. 5 Reheat butter sauce, stir in chives, and season with pepper; spoon over clams.
We served this over baked potatoes - I just split them open and kind of roughed up the inside and spooned the clams in butter on top of the tater.
Who'd'a'thunk cleaning a tuna would be called carking. Like, who would have come up with such a weird word for cleaning a fish!
I didn't know it until I proudly came home hauling a 25 pound whole tuna.
I can everything else, I was confident that I could can a tuna. How? I had no idea, but my trusty friend "Google" led me to a site that taught me. I have to say it was the easiest game that I have ever cleaned - easier than poultry, rattlesnake, rabbit, venison. I haven't done goat yet, but I plan on that real soon.
I canned us up some plain tuna, some lemon/black pepper tuna, some garlic tuna and some jalapeno tuna. Now it looks too pretty to open up!
If you have to know, out of that 25 pound whole tuna, I got 8 pints and 6 half pints.
So, if you have a twisted sense of curiosity and want to see how you cark a tuna (and I know you do . . . .) here it is.
Unless you want to turn back now.
OK - how is this - if you look at these pictures, you have to leave me a comment on the oddest creature that you have ever cleaned. And eaten.
I bet I might have you beat on that one, too - had scorpions lately??? Kinda crunchy, but not too bad.
Everyone had the day off, so we took advantage of it and packed a picnic.
There is a hidden waterfall about 10 miles from our home, so we decided that would be the destination. We had heard that if you climbed above the falls and went back the creek a ways, you could find some cool rocks.
When we got to the falls, someone had been there and made a huge display of pleasing rock towers. Kind of gave it an even more peaceful feeling.
After much bushwhacking (us whacking the bushes, to be sure, but plenty of the bushes whacking us, too!) and challenging terrain over brambles, fallen trees that we crawled over and under, we finally found the top of the falls.
I would also like to introduce to you our current stowaway, MrD. We are very happy to have him living with us!
The Lulie's and the dufus mom - believe me, this was the best shot of several - sad.
That is ok - this mama was enjoying every second of so many of us being together in one spot at the same time!
The posin' Papa - no wonder our progeny likes to goof off so much - it is hereditary!
A beautiful ending from our front porch to a beautiful family day.
JiJi (blind) wants to put her own fingernail polish on, just like her sisters.
Towel on the counter, so whatever polish doesn't make it to a human surface doesn't adhere to the counter.
Meanwhile, mama figures it is a perfect moment for an iced/blended coffee drink. It is afternoon, and she needs one.
"Mama, what doing? Gonna be loud?"
"Yes, but I'll tell you before I turn it on."
She understandably doesn't like loud noises and, well, what does any kid do to block out a loud noise?
Green fingernail polish in the ears and on the hair.
"Sweetie, I told you I would let you know before I turned it on!" "sorry, mama, sorry" Cleaned her up and turned to put more yummy ingredients into the much desired coffee (no, no brandy in the house, rats!)
A door being shut in the background alerts me and sure enough, now there is now green fingernail polish on my bedroom door frame. Forget the coffee, I'm gonna take a swig from my homemade vanilla I think!
Yup, moments like these are all too common, and I wouldn't trade them for anything!
OK - gotta get my coffee before something else happens!
Maybe you've heard the news about the new Perkins SMART Brailler and if you have you're probably pretty excited about it.
Imagine a brailler with a computer screen and the capability to remember who you are, save your files and settings, quiz you on your braille skills and talk to you!
As a sighted parent, imagine being able to see what your child is typing on the screen in both print and braille so you can follow along and help them! What an amazing tool for anyone (child or adult) learning braille and what an amazing tool to have in a classroom!
Here's what the new SMART Brailler looks like:
SMART Brailler Features:
A video screen that displays SimBraille and large print, combined with audio feedback, for an instantaneous, multi-sensory learning experience
The ability to edit, save and transfer electronic documents via USB
The "Building on Patterns Series," developed by the American Printing House for the Blind, can be downloaded to the SMART Brailler, offering easy lessons for anyone – sighted or blind – who wants to learn braille
Headphone jack and volume control
Acapela Text to Speech from Acapela Group
Mechanical brailler capability
Multiple language platforms including English, Spanish, French, German, Russian and Portuguese
Rechargeable and removable battery
Want to learn more? Watch this video below and be prepared to be amazed:
Would you like to win a brand new Perkins SMART Brailler for your child (or classroom)?Entering this giveaway is easy. Simply send me an email letting me know that you want to enter this contest or leave a comment below. I'll be accepting entries until October 5th at midnight.
Rules for the SMART Brailler Giveaway:
One entry per person. There will be one winner for this giveaway. We can only ship in the US and Canada.
Would you like to earn one extra entry? You can do one of the following…
We had the opportunity to visit IBoy in the far north west of our lovely US of A before he comes home in two weeks. It was only a few days, but we made the most of it and had a blast!
I think staying in a beach house was WAY more fun than a hotel.
Even if we had to sleep 3 to a bed. Didn't seem to bother the littles at all!
Our family has always enjoyed the books and movies with Ma and Pa Kettle - a true story of a young woman from the Pac NW and her adventures. We passed right through the area where most of the book was based, so we had to stop and document it.
And then it was on to the circus pre show tour!!
And then the actual circus . . . .
The circus clown chose our row to do part of his act in.
Dad and Chicka checking out something exciting.
MissE on the edge of her seat during the motorcycle act.
And then back to more fun in the water
We had a bubble gum blowing contest.
MissE being goofy.
Dad fell asleep at the park, and our new found friend guarded him.
The same little guy was so sweet and gentle with JiJi on the beach.