Monday, September 2, 2013

Aloha from Oregon!

Kirstyn and I planned a peach canning expedition to the not-so-sunny land of Salem, and embarked there-on Wednesday morning, if you count ten o'clock as morning...we were a little behind schedule at that point...I must digress to tell the story.

Originally, the plan was to haul ten dozen empty quart jars to Aunt Sharon's, go to a you-pick orchard, obtain approximately three hundred pounds of peaches (fifty cents a pound if you get them off the ground!), and can them over the next couple of days. Having given ourselves more than a week to be gone, we would also have time to get the weekend of Boring 2 and go to Powell's book store in Portland, which, for a couple of home-grown nerds, qualifies as pretty close to heaven on Earth. Then we would head home, hauling our bounty of canned peaches with us.

But apparently plans are made to be changed. We ended up finding organic peaches for seventy-five cents a pound, which is awesome, but they were located in Bozeman, not Oregon. So we called up Aunt Sharon, to ask if we would even have enough from the you-pick once we got out there, figuring we could supplement with some at home if need be. Apparently, the chance of having enough peaches in Oregon was slim, so we decided to hang back a day from our trip to can our 300 pounds of peaches at home before we left.

Since Kirstyn had her paper route Tuesday morning, we didn't get started until about eight, but we got cracking and worked with basically no breaks through the day, and had all of the peaches blanched, peeled, sliced, and in jars by ten...that night. It would have been awesome to be done at that point, but sadly, all that work, and we still had to actually boil and seal six dozen more jars. Considering we could do seven jars at a time, and each batch had to boil for forty minutes, that basically meant death. We didn't have the option of staying behind another day (we had very permanent plans to leave early the next day), they had to get done that night.

So I went to bed.

And Kirstyn stayed up until five, boiling jars. She was kind of glad when I showed up then to take over so she could catch a couple hours of sleep. I only had two more batches to do, but it took until about nine o'clock to finish cleaning up the mess. The floor, covered in peach juice, was a nightmare. We ended up leaving at ten, and Kirstyn, understandably, slept a lot of the way. I drove about nine of the twelve hours, which was considered hunky dory by both parties.

Anyway. We had a couple very lazy days at Aunt Sharon's, since we no longer had peaches to can. It's endlessly amusing being surrounded by this family...never a dull moment...and much time was spent talking food (mostly Kirstyn and Sharon) and parenting and housekeeping. Never a quiet moment either!

Saturday, Chantal and I decided to go to Portland to hit up Powell's early (we have another trip scheduled for Wednesday) and then off to Boring for both Saturday and Sunday. Everyone else came as planned for just Sunday morning. It was awesome to see everyone that I rarely get to see...yet another reason we plan to make this trip an annual affair!

Sunday afternoon I went out to Gale's Creek to see Tanner's parents, as well as Tyler and Alexa. The latter have a four-month-old little boy whom I hadn't gotten to meet yet, but it was completely worth the wait...Never has a more adorable offspring been produced, except for maybe their three-year-old. And mine, of course, but I have to wait til he's officially here to be able to say that. Anyway, he has the cutest pout...complete with bottom lip sticking out and trembling.

Have I mentioned that I'm really lucky to have awesome in-laws? I'm so glad to have a second family in which no one squabbles, and no one minds when I decide to make bacon chocolate chip cookies, and they (or at least the women) like to shop as much as I do. That's what we did today. Joyce and Karen and I headed out to Babies R Us for baby paraphernalia. To warn anyone who hasn't been there before...that store is dangerous. We went in to browse the stroller section, and ended up spending two full hours there. And we were the weirdos that hung out in front of the door until they opened. Courtesy of those two wonderful women, we walked out with the coolest stroller known to mankind, and a carseat to boot! And then I spent a whole bunch of money too, but hey...I needed those crib sheets. And the super cute pair of size two loafers that were on sale. And a bunch of other stuff. Shh...don't tell Tanner.

Afterward, we went to P.F. Chang's for lunch (the first time I'd been there in years...and it was FABULOUS), then to the Container Store, which is a place of rainbows and unicorns. Next came another baby store, the name of which I forget, but we obtained some Oregon State Beaver stuff for the munchkin, strictly for Tanner's benefit.

It was a long drive back to Salem after that...would have loved to stay longer! But now it's time to chill with Sierra...haven't seen her since our hour long lunch while she was in Montana back in June.

And I'm being bugged to go Skype Allyson with everyone else, so I'd better go for now, but I'll update at the end of the trip!

Ta for now!

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