Thursday, September 29, 2011

Brighton in the Fall

Our mission:
To find this lake.
(Photo from Camber 6 weeks earlier)

So on a lovely September morning our cute friends Dave and Stacey picked us up in their oh so cool hippie van and we were off on an adventure.
  The drive was absolutley beautiful...and then the van started sending off beeps and flashing her lights.  Over heated.  Must pull over.

So we took a stroll and came upon a cave...with bad air...not safe to enter...people had lost their lives there?  Why wasn't it closed off?  Creepy.

 Soon she was all cooled down and we were off once again!

The hike was just glorious.  The day couldn't have been more beautiful...
except for one small detail.  We never saw the lake! It had shriveld up to a swampy puddle.
Ah...maybe next year we can come earlier in the year.

 We still enjoyed ourselves and had a lovely picinic lunch together.  The boys reminiced about last ski season and how good it would be to be back again.  And it's coming...the snow will soon be flying.
 The boys reminiced about last ski season and how good it would be to be back again.  

And it's coming...the snow will soon be flying.

 Thank you Autumn...and beautiful mountains of Brighton.  
We loved our time spent with you.

Camber Gets Another Surgery...

September 22, 2011 Camber had surgery to repair a broken jaw...yep, one more surgery to add to her list.  It was a freak accident.  Ten days earlier she went to reach for the remote the same time her roomate stood up and her knee caught Camber under her chin and BAM. She said it hurt like crazy but she never thought "oh my...I think that just broke my jaw!" The next day she called to say that she had the worst toothache she has ever had....long story short:  The next week she came up to see the dentist and he told her it wasn't her tooth but a her jaw.  Both sides of the bottom jaw fractured at the back. The horrible pain was because the fracture was right on the nerve of her tooth. They had to put a plate in with 4 screws on the right side.  It will stay unless she is bothered by it.  She was a trooper once again.  She had an amazing amount of swelling, poor thing.  She missed 4 days of school but is now back at it and happily eating food again!  She ain't no sissy!  She, like all of our children, teaches us many things. She is one positive chick!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Thinking of Em and Sweet Honey!

This photo is from Emily's ipod...I couldn't up load without making it into a collage. 
These two sisters are a riot and they are so happy when they get to chat with each other.

So for the honey harvest this year....
 Not a huge harvest this year.  We calculate we have about 20 gallons of golden, sweet honey. I think we had over 40 last year.  But, that meant a little less work on the spinning day and that was great with us! A few photos to document the day and a funny story to boot!

We use a hot knife to cut the wax cappings off the comb.

 Into the spinner they go. Nine frames at a time. 
It takes about 20-25 minutes to spin a batch. 
And we use to do this all by a hand crank!!  Now we can flip a switch!

 It's always fun to open up that latch and watch the first flow of the golden honey begin!

 When you breath in that amazing smell of the beeswax and sweet honey is heavenly!

Lots of hand washing in between licks! We promise!!

 Not a drop of the bee's hard work is wasted. Mark built this little sun oven to
heat the wax cappings.  The honey drains to a container below and the wax with be filtered and used for great things, like Jiggy Sticks!

This is the pan that catches the honey the wax...the goop stays above.  The wax lifts off the honey easily. We reclaimed over a gallon of honey from the capping wax!  I think it is the tastiest of all.

Within 24 short hours we have beautiful, raw honey ready to fill our shelves and tummy's!

Just about forgot the funny story!
Mark had propped open the door from the garage to the house so we could get in and out without the sticky handle mess....AND because this process smells so great that he wanted the whole house to breath it in.  Well, I had left a window open up in the studio and those busy little girls find that honey scent almost instantly!  I went upstairs to clean up a mess and my studio was swarming with hungry little bees!! It took me oven an hour to get them all scooted out!  One by one they were making their way down into the garage.  We were wondering where they coming from! Good news is that no one was harmed or stung in the process!

For our harvest dinner we enjoyed almond encrusted trout, veggies au gratin,
mashed sweet potatoes and homemade corn bread with fresh honey!

Wishing you were with us.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Gettysburg/DC Trip

 We sure had a great visit with Brady and Dani and those two adorable children of theirs!! Leisa was lucky enough to celebrate her big 50 and it was sweet!  This post will sumarize our trip.
It's a little on the long side...

Liam had helped his mom make a delicious cake and it was on the table waiting for us when we got to their home!  It was complete with trick candles and a rockin Nana playmobile figure ;)

The next day the birthday celebration began with a delicious breakfast of crepes! 

Mark and Brady picked up Mark's rental bike and we were off to Gettysburg for their much anticipated century ride!  That evening we celebrated Nana's birthday with a scrumptious birthday dinner at The Dobbin House Tavern.  The food was wonderful and we really enjoyed our time together.  They presented her with a stack of wonderful birthday wishes from family and friends. 

 ooohh...those crab cakes were amazing!
 Liam and his chicken bones...isn't he the cutest little four year old? He keeps us smiling.
 The Pecan Pie was the best we have ever tasted!

A little time for splashing in the hotel pool and we were ready to hit the hay.

The Ride
Mark and Brady loved every minute of the Gettysburgh Civil War Century ride. After days of torential rain - the clouds parted and the day could not have been more perfect!

 tuning up the bikes

 all smiles and they are off...across the filed of dreams, as Mark put it :)

 The starting point.

The Fair
Meanwhile, Nana, Dani and the kids headed off to York to visit a Pewtar Outlet and and the York County Fair - the oldest Fair in the US.  We had a wonderful day!

 There were cookies to decorate and gobble up...

 The cotton candy was on the top of Liam's wish list.

 The petting zoo was wonderful and we played with so many cute animals. 
 Elsie is smitten with horses.
Up close they are little big big for her :)

 The animals were beautiful...the barns smelled of sweet hay.

 Little by little the cotton candy bag shrunk down...

 As you can see by the look on Liam's face...the dragon roller coaster was not his cup of tea!  
The Nemo ride was a much better fit!

and back on the road....

Mark's thoughts:
We began the ride in a sweet little country town and then began the day of climbing.  Most of the climbs were along mountain passes lined with trees.  We rode in the canopy of trees most of the day except when we would break out into pastoral areas of green rolling hills and farmland.  The road pavement was smooth as taffy the whole day.  We passed civil war monuments frequently and from the comfort of 21st century bikes considered what it would have been like to march with our muskets in the sun, dust and humidity to the next bloody battlefield.  Those thoughts made the ardorous task of climbing 6900 feet emotionally easy.  Brady was amazing.  He had not ridden much this summer.  At one point he said, refering to riding farther than he had all year, "well Sam Gamgee has just left the Shire".
We rode with 1600 other riders, but in actuality rode and hit the rest stops with about 150 others that we leap frogged all day long.  Including one grey-haired woman on a mountain bike that kept catching up with us.  Her bike was decked out with bell and all.  The mantra of the day soon became "whatever we do today we are beating her to the finish".
Riding into Gettysburg was a highlight.  We rode into the park and past Confederate Lane, the peach orchard, the wheat field and to the base of Little Roundtop.  We then exited the park and circled the back side of Little Roundtop and headed for home.  The last 25 miles was rolling hills past rivers, over covered bridges and through beautiful farm land.  We rode fast through that section passing many other riders and put a lot of distance between us and the road bike woman.
Seeing our family at the finish made a great day fantastic.

Waiting for our guys...
 A few weeks ago, Liam decided Elsie's bangs were way too long and he took matters into his own hands. Not a pretty thing for mom to find.  Thankfully he left her adorable curls alone.  Hair will grow and she is still the most adorable little girl you will meet.  Just as sweet as they come!

 We played at the playground until we saw them come flying around the corner!  They made it!!

 A happy reunion and stories to share and the most delicious ice cream for eveyone!!

Mount Vernon
The fun continued.  Long nights chatting, the cat mimicking game on Nana's tablet and a lots of great food!  On sunday we drove out to Mount Vernon and enjoyed a beautiful fall day visiting the grounds.  Lucky for us there was a reinactment going on commemorating the battle of York.

We really enjoyed the beauty and serenity felt there.  It was nice to be reminded our rich history and the amazing people who formed our country. On Monday we were winding down and had to pack our bags to come home.  We made a stop at the new Martin Luther King Memorial.  What an inspiring place. We discussed our thoughts and made claim to our favorite quotes engraaved along the giant wall. There is so much we can learn from each other. So very much.

 A quick visit to the Capital and it's almost time to catch our flight home.  
We have loved every minute of this trip!

 Thanks for the special birthday kids!

 Have fun with the rest of the chocolate milk straws!  We love you...See ya later!