Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Brother

My brother John and his band the Dead Fiddlers Society have a new CD out called Livin' It Up (check out the track Ruben's Train). John is a musical talent extraordinaire, and I'm not just saying that because he's family and I have big sister goggles on. He plays a multitude of instruments: fiddle (Irish and oldtime style), banjo (clawhammer), contertina, guitar, harmonica and piano. He is a self-taught expert in refurbishing vintage free reed instruments like concertinas and harmonicas. He teaches fiddle, banjo and concertina to new and experienced players and he is known and respected by other great musicians all over the world. He's currently unattached, in case you ladies are interested, and lives in an incredible log cabin home on the idyllic Idaho ranch that we grew up on. AND to top it all off, his dog Ruben sings along when he plays concertina. It's really cute. Here is Ruben when he rides in the car with John and hangs his head out the window.

My brother is awesome and so is his dog.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Like us? Let us know!!

OK!! Seattle Sundries needs more friends on Facebook, so I'm doing a give-away! The goal is to reach a new total of 250 "Likers". My three lovely children have chosen three random (and secret) numbers up to 250. Three lucky folks will win two bars in tins, or three bare bars of LUSCIOUS Seattle Sundries Soaps. Spread the word so your friends can win some and maybe they'll give one to you!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

4H Camping 2010

We had another GREAT 4H camping trip at the Ranch in Idaho this year! For three nights and fours days we camped on the grassy banks of the pond, and enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air. Here are a few of the activities that we filled our days with...

We got to ride around in "The Mule", which is basically a big, beefy, slow moving golf cart. At one point I think we had 14 people (12 kids and 2 adults) riding on it all at once. Mostly the kids ran around or rode their bikes anywhere they wanted to go, but the mule was a huge hit.

We fed the horses apples from the orchard. Everyone practiced holding the apples in the flat palm of their hands so that the horses didn't nibble fingers.

We visited the other livestock and the working buildings of the ranch...the barn, the feedlot, the quonset hut. We sat on the tractor too.

We made ice cream from scratch with an old crank ice cream churn. We theorized about why it's helpful to add rock salt to the ice when you're churning the ice cream. Do you know?

We enjoyed the pond endlessly. We swam, used the paddle boat, bounced on inner tubes and fed the fish.

We honed our fire building skills...without the use of newspaper. Only twigs and bark for starter!

We cooked yummy food for every meal, and shared in the clean-up chores.

We returned to Fish Creek to continue our stream restoration project. This year we planted fewer trees, but we enclosed them in wire cages to protect from the small furry creatures that apparently enjoyed munching on last year's trees. Hopefully when we return next year many more will be thriving.

We enjoyed my brother's wood-fire hot tub. You'd be amazed at how many kids can squeeze in!

It was a great visit. Everyone played hard, worked hard and slept hard. Can't wait for next year!!