Friday, August 28, 2009

Canning, Natalie, State Fair

The summer days are flying by so fast, I can hardly believe it's the end of August. My son, Shane, turned 19 years old today (August 28th). We went to the Minnesota State Fair yesterday and spent time together as a family. I have been busy canning beans, spaghetti sauce, and dewberry jelly, and freezing corn. Zack, Becky and Natalie came to visit last Sunday. wonder August flew by!!

Here are pictures of my accomplishments!

The dewberry jelly turned out awesome!
Pretty good for my first time making jelly.

Looked at all those berries! This is AFTER I made 10 pints of jelly!
With all these berries I made 12 half pint jars of jelly.

Here is Natalie eating her sweet potatoes. She is a GOOD eater.
She is using Dad as a high chair as Mom feeds her.

Becky said she put her in this 18 month size dress, and it just fits.
Does that tell you something???

She had just filled her diaper and it took both Mom and Dad to change her.
Now she's clean and happy again.

Well, it's State Fair time again. We look forward to going every year. The only time we have missed the Fair is when Shane was born. His birthday is August 28th, right in the middle of Fairtime. But, it was worth missing the Fair 19 years ago!

Shane went with Kelly and I this year. He missed the last three years because he had football practice. Those days are over now that he graduated. We arrived at 9:00 a.m. and had our annual breakfast at the Fair.

The guys are taking a break and waiting for me as
I shopped around in Heritage Square.

Now it's my time to wait for them as they try to shoot the star out of the center.
They both almost did it. But notice no stuffed animals in hand!!!

There was a record crowd on the first day. All you see as you look down the street is a sea of people. The kids waiting in line to get a corn dog noticed I was taking a picture. I told them they'd be on my blog!! Kelly is in line behind them waiting his turn. His favorite thing at the Fair is corn dogs (and beer)!

We always take a break and ride the chair lift which goes up over Machinery Hill
to the other end of the Fair. Then we walk all the way back down.
I doesn't make sense, but it's become a tradition.

Here's Shane behind us looking thrilled with the whole thing!
Actually, he was a good sport and didn't complain a bit as he
spent the entire day with his wonderful parents!!

A view from above.

Of course we had to stop at the Marines booth.
Shane refused to let me take his picture by the poster.

We had a wonderful day and the weather was absolutely beautiful. We did not leave the Fair until 8:00 p.m. Our feet were telling us it was time to go home. The sad part is we didn't see even half of the exhibits. Well, there's always next year.

Enjoy the remaining days of summer!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Garden Update

It has been so fun to watch our garden grow. Kelly is out there every night doing something such as sprinkling fertilizer, pulling weeds, picking beans, watering, or spreading grass clippings. Here are a few pictures for you. I am waiting for the tomatoes to ripen and then I'm going to have a full time job canning salsa and spaghetti sauce!

Look at all those squash plants!

We have three watermelon plants. I counted seven melons on the vines. This is a picture of one of the biggest. I don't think I've ever grown a watermelon this big.

Here's the pumpkin patch. There are about 8 good sized pumpkins that
will make great jack 'o lanterns this Halloween.

Remember Natalie's pumpkin?? This is it but only now it's orange.

Here's a marigold plant I just stuck in my flowerbed on the side of the house.
It's like a bush, and it's beautiful!

Because this bed is in full sun all day long, the only thing that will grow is moss roses. They thrive in the heat and fill in nicely. Would you believe that I only planted eight plants in this bed this spring!

Below are the fruits of my labor this weekend.
I canned four more quarts of green beans. That makes 12 total. And for the first time ever I made jelly. We have wild dew berries in our field so Kelly and I have been picking them. It must be a good year for them because the field is full and the berries are very plump!

Have a blessed week!


Canning with my Niece

Last weekend Kelly and I stayed with my niece, Kara, and her husband Travis in Spooner, WI. Saturday was my 30 year class reunion. Sunday we were all going to get up and go for breakfast at Jo Mama's where my other niece, Alyssa is working. Kara and I were up at 9:00am ready to go. Trav and Kelly were still snoring so we let them sleep. That's what they get for staying up until 3:00 in the morning!

Kara and I waiting for our food

Here's our adorable waitress, Alyssa

After breakfast Kara asked me to go in town with her to price a pressure cooker because she wanted to learn how to can. Trav and her planted a garden this year and she wanted to can some of it to enjoy this winter. We did stop at her house first to see if the guys were up, but they were still sleeping so we headed off to town without them. Through Divine intervention we found a pressure cooker at a bargin price and knew Kara was meant to have it!

Before we could start canning we had to head out to the garden and pick some beans. We were able to pick about four bucketfuls which was enough for 6 quart jars.

Beans are washed and in jars waiting to be canned!

Canning is quite the process, but it's so worth it!!

Puttin on the lids, almost done!

Kara canning her first batch of green beans!!! Way to go, you did it!!!!

The most wonderful sound to my ears is hearing the lids ping and you know that all your efforts were not in vain and your jars have sealed. I love to can and I am so glad I was able to teach my niece how to do it. Knowing Kara, she'll be a pro and have her pantry stocked for the winter.
Love you Kara and I really enjoyed spending time with you, it was the highlight of my weekend.
God, thank you for the gift of family and for the harvest season!
Sheilda / Auntie

Monday, August 10, 2009

Class Reunion

Has it really been 30 years since I graduated from high school? Saturday my husband Kelly and I headed to Spooner, WI for my class reunion. We stayed at my niece Kara's house, so we stopped there before the event started got dressed, did my makeup, and finished up my hair. I wanted to look fresh and crisp instead of wilted from the humidity that day. I think I asked her about 10 times if I looked okay. My husband said, "you're nervous aren't you!"

Here we are ready to head out to Taste Budz.

It was fun to see "79" on the sign. I remember how important saying 1979 was in high school. You know, 79, 79, 7777 79! Does that bring back pep rally memories???

Some of the crowd is starting to gather. About 40 classmates showed up. Some of our teachers were also invited. It was wonderful to see them again.

Sheila McDermott and Barb Palm (sorry I don't know their married names)

Kelly Ardappel, Tim Johnson, Jim Donovan (Dunnie)

My best friend in high school - Lisa Rand Niskanen and her husband Donlee

Another one of my good friends - Tammie Westphal Johnson and her husband Bruce. Kelly and Bruce spent most of the evening talking. Kelly entertained himself as I ran around visiting with everyone. What a guy!!

Another friend - Kim Markgren Fox and her husband Dan.

Group Shot!
It was hard to get the group together, but Bill Perlick and his wife Laurie managed to do it.
Thanks Bill!

Buddies forever!

My friends!!!

Tammie, Me and Marilyn Hughes (Marilyn is married to Harry, one of the guys I graduated with)

I am so glad I went to my reunion. It was great to see classmates again. I had butterflies so bad before we walked into Taste Budz, but once I was in the door and saw familiar faces they all disappeared. We voted to have another reunion in five years. I hope we do. Unfortunately we are getting to the age you never know what will change in five short years.
God Bless the class of 1979!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Natalie Visit

Zack, Becky and Natalie came to visit us on Sunday. It was a wonderful surprise! It had been two weeks since we last saw them. We are always amazed at how much she has grown in two short weeks! Here are some recent pictures. She will be 5 months on August 20th.

She is sitting up like a big girl in her pretty dress.

Natalie and Uncle Shane

Uncle Shane, Grandpa Doonan and Natalie (look at her face!!!)

She learned how to make noises with her lips. She kept us entertained with her cuteness!

Here is a video of her making noise. Watch the drool!!

Daddy and Natalie. We went out to the garden to see her pumpkin.

Becky, Zack and Natalie. What a cute family!!

Have a blessed week!!