Monday, July 26, 2010

California State Fair.... I Love It!

(My friend Catherine looking very cute next to our California State Bear.)

I go usually 3 times each year.  When the kids were small I went once as a family with dear hubby.  Then I went once with the kids without dear hubby.  Then I went once without kids or dear hubby.  Why so many time?

Well, everyone should take the whole family to the fair.  Isn't that why you have a family to do things together?  Plus daddy works hard and wants to have fun with his wife and kids.  I'm not crazy I know it has it's faults, but it has it's good traits too.  You have daddy along to go on rides with, to hold you up so you can pet an animal that's scaring you, to buy you yummy food and one of the best parts is daddy has the skill to win at the carnival games.  We always go home with a few stuffed animals.  I usually gear this trip to be fun for Dear Hubby doing the things he'd like to do and would like to do with the kids.  Down side: he is the DADDY!  Lots of "no you can't do that, no that's too much money, no we don't have time for that."

That's why I have mommy and me day at the fair.  I take the kids and this day I gear toward what the kids want to do.  There are these feet massaging chairs around the fair that cost 25 cents.  I give the kids each 4 quarters and we stop any time they want to massage their feet.  Daddy has no patience for this.  We see all the animals, all the bugs, go on a few rides, and let them try out a carnival game (Even though daddy says they aren't any good at it.  I think it's fun to try.)  We get sticky and colored blue by snow cones and cotton candy.  Things only a mommy has patience for.

Next trip to the fair is what I used to call "Ladies Night."  I discovered after my friends started inviting their friends, sisters, sister-in-laws that it's really "Me and MY friends" day at the fair night.  I usually go with 1 or 2 friends and we all have pretty much the same likes and dislikes and it works great at the fair.  We don't go see any animals, we don't stop by any police/sheriff booths, we usually don't go on any rides.  I don't do well on rides with my bad neck.  What do we do?  We go see all the exhibits.  Ogling the crafts.  We peruse the county buildings.  Enjoying their creative hard work to represent their county.  We shop in the commercial building.  Pressuring each other each year to buy things like salsa makers, toe rings or fancy dancy floor mops.  We stop by the wine garden.  After some intense tasting we each get a glass or two of wine and sit amongst the cooling misters and just chat it up.  We take in a few shows like the hypnotist, a cooking demonstration or even a concert.  All things that kids and hubbies don't have the patience for we are free to enjoy.  No one is tapping their toe or harrumphing in the back ground.  We close the place down at 10pm and watch the fireworks.

(Wilted from 104 degree heat, but greatly looking forward to Little Big Town.) 

The last 4 years we started a new tradition with the kids turning to teenagers.  We take in a popular concert.  The first 2 years we saw Weird Al Yankovic.  He puts on a great show!  2nd year we took in MC Hammer.  We danced our feet off.  This year there really wasn't anything the teenagers wanted to see, so I went to see  Little Big Town on "Me and My Friends" Night.  They are a very pleasant sounding band.  I kind of thought all their songs sounded a like, but I always enjoy live music.  We had a really good time.

Once I've been three times I feel like I've properly seen the State Fair.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'm Ready For The Beach

Found this adorable ring at the mall.  It is made from a real sea shell.  At first glance it looked pretty big a clunky.

Once I tried it on I had to have it!!  It's so unusual.  It's pretty pointy.  I'm thinking someone may get hurt.  I'm just hoping it's not me. :P

If you just have to have a really cool shell ring too... check out Island Jewelry and Apparel in the Roseville Galleria.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Haircut

Just a few thoughts...a new hair cut and boy do I need to straighten up my craft room!

I got my haircut a few weeks ago and was left with something that looked like a mini mullet.  I'm not normally one to get upset over a haircut, because I'm very lucky my hair grows quickly.  This haircut though really got me down.  I'm sure the hair dresser, a friend of mine for 26 years, did exactly what I told her.  After I shampooed and styled it myself I just never could get it to look nice.  It got to where I didn't even want to look at my own reflection, because it would just make me groan.  I know my friend would totally recut it for free, but she's not close by.  I just never really found someone to cut my hair in my own town when I moved back.

My daughter on the other hand has someone she likes.  Toni is the mom of one of my daughter's soccer team mates.  Allison always enjoyed Toni's chirper attitude and when she started getting haircuts instead of letting her hair grow long she picked Toni.  Last week Allison informed me she was ready for a haircut and it made me think I should let Toni redo my doo!  I made an appointment for the both of us. 

Now I had never sat in the chair with Toni before.  So, of course I'm comparing her to my gal.  She took me back for a shampoo.  It was very quick minimal products used, but a good decent shampoo.  Then a scratchy thin towel like the ones I put in my rag drawer was wrapped around my head.  Still perfectly good towel, but not fluffy and soft.  Toni begins my hair cut.  She uses a razor during most of my cut.  Cutting and shaping my pitiful mullet into something adorable.  I felt a little like Edward Scissorhand's muse she worked so quickly around my head.  She applied some gel and next came the blow drying.  She just let it fly blowing hair all over my face.  Whipping into my eyes and into my mouth.  It was comical.  I spit, I sputtered, I suppressed a laugh.  My hair dresser seldom gets hair into my face and when she does she apologizes.  Once my hair was dry she took a flat iron and styled my hair into the cutest little bob.  I was SO happy to be rid of the mullet.  I was cute again.  At least in my own mind and that's what's important!

My daughter and I very happy with our new haircuts went to the register.  Something I forget between haircuts with Toni is how reasonable her cuts are. So, reasonable that I feel like I'm ripping her off paying so little.  My friend the hair dresser is reasonable too and to put it into perspective the friend charges nearly double what Toni does.  I asked Toni, "How much?"  She told me.  I said a little surprised, "For both of us?!"  She said, "Yes."  I gave her a big tip.  On the way out I thought she does and excellent job for that amount.  I think she may be my new hair dresser.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Return of the Fruit Leather

Can't help it we love it so much.  It's quite an involved project, but so worth the effort.  I do it once a year, so it doesn't seem like such a chore.  If you click on above link it will take you to last years post with all the directions on how I make fruit leather.  This year is not much different.  I did decide last year it was easier to remove all the wild Sierra yellow plum seeds before putting pulp in food mill was easier.  They are the size of cherries, so it took me about an hour.  I did find out pretty close to the time I was done a technique that worked well.  If I took about 2 or 3 plums and squeezed them tightly the pulp would squeeze out the cracks of my fingers and the seeds and skin would stay in my palm.  That worked great, but I was nearly done by the time I figured that out.  Anymore than 2 or 3 plums and the seeds would squeeze out too.  Next year I'm hoping to remember this technique. LOL

This year I had some leftover Rough and Ready sour cherry pulp from my 2 batches of jam.  I decided that I'd save it for making cherry fruit leathers.  After cooking it down for a while it was still too watery for leathers.  I decided that I'd mix some plum pulp with the cherry to thicken it up.  That worked out great.
This year we'll have 2 1/2 cherry/plum leathers and 4 1/2 plum leathers.  This will make 21 servings.  Last year I didn't think 18 servings was going to be enough, but they made it through the whole summer.  In fact one got pushed to the back of the fridge and my daughter found it the end of September.  She said it was dried out like chewy gummy candy and was still fantastic.
This is a peak into my Excalibur food dehydrator.  A dark door goes on the front to hold the heat in.  I've had it about 15 years.  It's still going strong.  Most of the year we make beef jerky, but summer it's fruit leathers.

Dear Pete and Jeanne,

I really miss you!  I went out to their grave site to see if their head stone was there.  My first thought was they had to have gotten the years wrong of their death.  I just doesn't seem like they've been gone for 2 years.  It feels like five.  They were dear dear people and I feel so blessed to have gotten as many years as I did with them.

When we moved to Orangevale first one to greet us was Pete.  He basically said, "Hi I'm Pete and I'm 80 years old and my wife is 70."  My first thought was we're not going to get much time with them, so we better cherish every moment.  Believe it or not we got 16 years with them. 

I remember Pete inviting us over to meet Jeanne.  She asked, "Are you newlyweds?"  I said, "Oh no we've been married for 3 years."  Pete laughed and said, "We've been married for 43 years."  My husband laughed and said, "I guess we are newlyweds."  We lived directly across the street from Pete and Jeanne with their loving eyes upon us.  Never intrusive.  They watched us start our family and got to know our kids into their teens.  When Jeanne's eyes got bad my daughter would go across the street and read to Jeanne.  When they wanted to paint their house they called me over to help them pick out colors.  Pete said, "Well, I figure you're really the one that has to look at it."  Sometime I think I'll never meet nicer people.  But having met Pete and Jeanne lets me know there are a lot of nice people out there.