Friday, August 29, 2008

Another reason to go ORGANIC!

The Organic Center’s analysis of government data found that it’s most important to choose organic versions of produce with thin, edible skins.

It determined that the 16 items listed below have the highest dietary risk index scores, in descending order.

green beans
sweet bellpeppers


The center also found that non-organic, imported produce might contain higher levels of residues than non-organic U.S. counterparts.

For more information, visit and browse the “State of Science” section.

To read the article: Pesticides and Food ~ Flying Blind (about U.S. foods), just click on the title of the article to link you there...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Goodbye ~ Evergreen State Fair

For a few years, 4-H was a HUGE part of our life (actually it's probably my favorite season of life with our children)! Elizabeth and I would spend nearly everyday at The Evergreen State Fair each year (12 days + some time before and after) and the boys joined us now and again. I think our last year involved, Nicholas spent quite a bit of time out at fair too.

Well, we still have dear friends involved in 4-H and I love seeing the sheep (though I didn't get there today), 4-H barn and 4-H/fair friends ~ so everyone had today off from work and we thought it would be a great family outing for our Sunday afternoon/evening. The weather was predicted to be light rain with temperatures in the low to mid 70's (and we live in Seattle), so no worries... It started raining (fairly hard) before we left home, but Blaine reminded me that we were driving about an hour northeast and the weather would likely be better. Famous last words! It poured relentlessly the entire time we were there. At first, it was just raining steady ~ but by the time we left it was coming down in buckets. Ugh!

While it was a bit amusing, but not a lot of fun for a fair day ~ we did discover it was a time of 'closure' for us. 4-H was a wonderful season in our life, but now we've moved on to new things. We don't fit in with the 4-H people anymore and the fair just didn't excite us much. So, we said our goodbyes today. Fair food didn't even sound enticing... Elizabeth and Nicholas each got a Purple Cow, Benjamin got a corn dog and we all shared a bag of Kettle Korn ~ we collectively decided that fair food for dinner wasn't appetizing and we stopped on our way home and got Blaine, Benjamin and Elizabeth Thai food, Nicholas Taco Bell (he is still 16 - give him some time) and I got a Jamba Juice (plus ate leftovers at home). And, we did end up with some great pictures! Enjoy!

The "Fab Four" ~ don't you think this would make a great album cover?!

The cute girls!

Elizabeth waiting in line for a scone. Oh yes, they all had to have a scone before we left the fair. The boys went ahead of us, got their scones and left to walk back to the car. I waited with Elizabeth to get hers. She's the one in the faded blue jeans (at the end of the line).

Nearly the same picture, but closer to the storm drain to see all the water flowing into it...

After what seemed like 'forever', Elizabeth reached the front of the line and was successful! However, she told us the scone tasted better when it was only a dollar... (they raised the price to $1.25 this year)!

And, a flashback to the same day 3 years ago - August 2005. The family (minus me - I stayed in the 4-H barn) went to see the Sunday evening concert: Audio Adrenaline. The weather had been fairly nice that day, but the downpour began during the concert and they were all thoroughly drenched when they got back. It's still a concert they remember to this day and loved it! There was so much water on the stage, the stage crew was using a large squeegee to get the water off... You can tell how wet they are by their hair and their pants. Oh, what great memories!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A new garden tool!

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with Blaine that I was really challenged trying to work outside for long lengths of time as the heat from the sun was really bothering me. I "borrowed" this idea from watching a neighbor work outside... So, Blaine and I spent several hours searching for a market umbrella that I could move around the yard as I worked. After driving around Seattle, we found my new umbrella at Fred Meyer (a few blocks from home)!

It works great and has really helped me make progress ~ well, when I'm not side-tracked working on a house project! :)

The SHELVES arrived!

Blaine and I bought cabinets for the new family room and the bedroom/office (basement remodel project) Memorial weekend at Ikea (no sales tax), but the shelves were out-of-stock. We got a raincheck and I called twice weekly with the same answer every time ~ still not here and we don't know when it will arrive... So frustrating! We moved everything back in downstairs (stacked in boxes) and Benjamin brought all his stuff home... And week after week, no shelves...

Last week, I finally talked to a manager that 'had a clue'. She was great! I checked in with her on Tuesday and the shelves were in stock. She apologized that the wait had been so lengthy and Ikea wanted to take care of me by offering me a $100 gift card (which I was able to use toward the cost of the shelves)! What a huge blessing!

We put Benjamin's shelves in right away, so he could finally put his things away. Saturday, Blaine and I spent several hours putting the books and home education and garden books/supplies away. It's finally feeling like the basement remodel will come to a close in the next couple of weeks and all the space will be useable!

The new bookcases. The room is still in process, but beginning to feel like 'our space'.

The majority of my home education curriculum, photo albums and gardening books!

Look! There is still room for more books on the gardening shelf!

And, with multiple home/garden projects going on ~ it's no wonder I'm having a challenge getting things done in a 'quick' amount of time... :)