Friday, July 23, 2010

Channeling My Grandmother's Talent

I had an adventure this week. I was a little nervous in the beginning, and somewhere in the middle I was wondering if everything was going to work out, but it did (as it always does) and I have have a new skill to show for my effort.


My lovely sister Robyn has a HUGE apricot tree whose fruit has been calling to her for the past week. Since she's heading to Europe, she wanted to do something with the apricots (or at least some of them) before she left. Neither of us had ever made jam before, but we grew up enjoying the delectable sticky stuff my mother and grandmother made for us. So, we decided to try.

We spent the majority of the afternoon Wednesday buying supplies, picking fruit (hard work without a ladder), and making a complete mess of Robyn's kitchen.
Four hours, two tired girls, and three phone calls to Mom later (thanks for answering the phone repeatedly, Mom), we had sixteen successfully sealed jars of jam!
As we were stirring the sugary goo, trying to decide if it was at a "rolling boil" yet, we started talking about Grandma's blackberry jam that was always a special treat growing up. I like to think that Grandma was watching us in that moment, cheering us on as we stirred. We both took a moment to channel our inner Grandma Wright, and I guess it worked, because the jam turned out quite tasty!
P.S. - I got so excited about the jam that I made homemade wheat bread yesterday to go with it. Mmmm. Love fresh food. :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sunny California!

I'm back from California, and what a WONDERFUL trip it was. It was so good to relax for a few days and enjoy time with friends and family. Ann was a stellar hostess, and I even got to attend a yoga class she taught!

Here are some of the highlights:

*Watching the sea lions at Pier 39. There was one big bully who made the show quite entertaining.

*Trying to navigate the mirror maze at Pier 39. It's amazing how much you can think that a reflection of a person is the real deal. You can't tell the difference until you get really close. I'm pretty sure there is some profound gospel parallel in there somewhere, but I'll leave that for another time.

*Exploring the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Word of advice: wear short sleeves when going to the touch tanks if you don't want a wet sleeve all day. Oops. The bat rays feel cool though. :)
(This is a picture of a Sea Dragon. I know it looks like kelp, but it's an animal. I promise.)

* Going to the beach! Okay, so I never went to the sand, but Graham and I climbed around on the rocks at Lovers' Point Park, which was fun...and windy.

*Basking in the sun on Angel Island (the west coast's version of Ellis Island...I didn't even know it existed before now). It was a gorgeous day, and I was almost hot at some points. Brilliant!

There are the pictures from going to see WICKED!!!! But I'll have to do a second installment after I get pictures from my friend Charron who came on the trip, too. Stay tuned...