Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hot day in Manhattan

Anna, in the back seat in Manhattan this weekend.

A: Mama?

B: Yes, Anna?

A: Armpit juice is not nice, but it is very wet.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer Reading

When I was little, one of the best things about summer, hands down, was the summer reading program. You read as many books as possible, getting tiny round stickers all over your chart, and got little prizes every week and the chance to win medium sized prizes, and the possibility of winning one of the big prizes at the end.
When we first moved back home I asked the library about a summer program for adults.

Does that mean I can take credit for the fact that they have one now?

They don't have the tiny round stickers anymore, but... this year... they have craft projects.

For the first one, Anna had to make something out of a box. She chose to make a hat. Abby came out to the house and we spent a couple of hours working at the table, each of us on our own project. It was pretty much my ideal afternoon.

Abby and I both had to decorate masks. I started with a magazine picture that was the right size, and then painted some jazzy make-up on her, and then punched holes and crocheted some picot-y edge on it, and then decided it needed some height, so I made a tiara, and then stiffened it, and then glued on rhinestones! It was very fun.

And I won the adult division! Medium Sized Prize!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Everyone keeps talking about it. So far I'm following a couple of people my email suggested, but mostly only Joanna has said anything.

I'm not sure what I think about it. We'll see.

But if you're on Twitter, then it'll be more fun! But I don't know how to find you or anything. Lost in the forest, you'll have to come find me.

I'm betsyannlob, just like everywhere else.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009



I L-O-V-E my hair.

I know the plan is to go back to brown before school starts... but that's going to be hard. Who knew hair could be this fun?

Abby's warming up to it.

We did an enormous photo shoot while Anna was at swimming lessons. What a sister. :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Today I'm going in for a trim.

And some highlights.

Hot pink ones.

Brilliant or disaster?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Like Mama...

Like daughter!

Anna's been playing weddings lately, and her favorite doll, named Teddy, needed a wedding dress.

Using a bit of lace she had for dress up, she made this doll dress!

Amazing. I'm so proud. It's all wrapped around and tucked in snugly.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Needle Felting

I've been wanting to try needle felting for a year or so, ever since I first heard about it. (Here is a gallery of some things that the pros make).

It's hard to explain. Basically, you take a bit of roving wool, which is wool not spun into yarn, but raw, though cleaned and dyed, and you poke it over and over with a barbed needle, which mats the fibers and felts the material.

You can sculpt things with it.

I found a kit on clearance at Hobby Lobby, complete with a couple of needles and some bits of wool. The project was to put this ugly design on a felted purse, but I didn't want to do that, so I took a little bit and tried to make a heart, a pretty simple design to start with.

Then, being successful with the heart, I made another.

And then,


This is very fun.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

I've got some good ones...

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rock Felting

It was on my summer list.

I've found that this project is one people don't inherently get. "What is that, felting rocks?" "What will you do with them?" "How do you do that?" "Why do you want to do that?"

I can't explain it. I just think it sounds like fun, to dress a rock, make it soft and fuzzy instead of hard and scratchy, colorful instead of gray.

I got everyone together on the porch, and using some roving wool I got in Minneapolis, we got to work. We followed this tutorial.
Basically, you wrap some roving wool around a rock, and then dunk it in hot soapy water and rub it and squeeze it until it starts to felt together.
I thought it would be a fun thing to do with Anna, and I was right. She enjoyed it, though she did get really really messy.

It was hard to know when the rocks were felted enough. Abby found this particularly frustrating. She wanted to have better instructions. I had no advice. I still think she had fun. Doesn't she look happy?

Then we put them in an old pair of hose and tied the rocks into separate compartments and put them in the washing machine. I think I should have used Hot water, and maybe some soap, because they didn't all hold together.

Some are lumpy, some have holes. We'll definitely have to try again. But the good news is, I can still use the felt for needle felting! More on that soon. Another new hobby.
Because I needed one.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Cantaloupe Smoothies

We got some cantaloupe from the store last week, but it wasn't quite ripe, and not too delicious by itself, so I was wondering what we should do with it when I remembered a smoothie recipe from Everyday Food awhile ago.

Cantaloupe Smoothie

It was delicious! Anna and I have been having them almost every morning. Don't worry about measuring, just plop some ingredients in and mix it up. I use vanilla yogurt because it's sweet and tasty, and it's best cold, so we put a few ice cubes in too.

It's also important to drink them out of pretty cups, because then you feel fancy. We like feeling fancy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

One Year

Wisdom 3:1-6,9

1 But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them.

2 They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction 3 and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace.

4 For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality;

5 Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself.

6 As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.

9Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with the elect.

See Matthew's tribute here

the 6 month video here

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Poor little girl.

Here's her...rambling...story.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Yummy Dinner

Abby came out one night last week for crafts and dinner. All three girls are participating in the Library's Summer Reading Program, and one of the things we needed to do was cook something we'd never made before.

Abby chose a recipe from the latest issue of Everyday Food. (My favorite magazine)

We looked all over, but couldn't find gnocchi anywhere in town, so we substituted Orzo, since neither of us had ever cooked with it either.

It was delicious.

We accompanied the dinner with a salad made with lettuce from my garden!

And good old crescent rolls from a can.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Home again, Home again

We got up in the morning and got coffee...I almost left my purse on Chelsea's table.

We said goodbye and got on the train. Sad.

Walked back through Portland and rode the light rail.

Got to the airport and marvelled at how much nicer everyone was than in Denver. Amazing.

Ate sushi at the airport because it looked good. Had french fries first because I was starving.

Rode home on the plane.

Got to Katrina's.

Decided to start going home because I'd always rather stay up late than get up early. Made it to Lamar. Or Burlington, I can't remember. I listened to "Just like Heaven" on my ipod. It's a pretty good book. Not great, but entertaining.

Spent the night in a Comfort Inn.

Slept in, came the rest of the way home.

The house was clean, the family happy to see me.

Dispensed gifts, decided to take the weekend off too.

On Monday, had to start being a grown up again, but found it much easier after the rest.

It was a wonderful wonderful trip. Thank you Matthew! and Anna! and Joan and Marion and Abby and Dad and Margaret and Jim and Lainey and Linda and Spencer and Linda and everyone else who kept my family happy and fed and cared for while I ran away.

I really really appreciate it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


On Tuesday Chelsea had to go to work, so we spent the day with Jim and Dave.

First he took us to a funny/scary ammunition and gun store with lots of signs and articles about the right to bear arms.

Then we went out to his special shooting spot and set up some cans and cups and boxes and shot lots and lots of guns.

It was so fun. I had no idea, I was sceptical, I didn't think I would like it.

But it was SO fun.

Here's a list of the guns we shot:

.22 Rifle with scope
.22 Semi-automatic pistol
.22 Revolver (1940's Western)
9mm Semi-auto handgun
16 g Double Barrel Shotgun (100 years old)
12 g Shotgun
WWII Soviet Rifle 7.62X54R

My favorite was the 9mm handgun. As I think about it, my eyes get big, I breathe in, and nod and smile. That kind of favorite.

Katrina was an excellent shot! I think she hit something with every round. Her Dad would be proud.

I was not a great shot, but in this one video of me--I hit something! So pretend that it was always like that.

After we shot, we went into Oakridge to eat at the English Pub there. I had meat for the first time on the trip, unable to resist having Bangers and Mash at an English pub. It was especially exciting because Matthew and I have been watching All Creatures Great and Small on Netflix, and one of the episodes just before I left featured bangers and mash prominently. It was a very tasty lunch. As we ate, we played Scrabble on the proprietor's Grandmother's Scrabble board, which was very old and very cool, with a turntable and everything. Scrabble was fun, even though Jim beat me.

Then we headed back into Eugene and had dinner with Chelsea at Laughing Planet. Inside the restaurant there was a group of girls who had all met there to craft together. It looked like fun.
After dinner we went to do Pub Quiz with Jim and Dave and some other Eugene friends. We won the first round and all got prizes! I chose a bag of balloons. We didn't win the second round and lost the bonus round too, but we didn't cheat, and I was happy to help with the answer to the question "Name 9 countries that border Brazil". My special mnemonic; Very Clumsy Elephants Play Checkers and Upturn Pretty Bowls (Those are the Spanish Speaking countries of South America); came in very handy.
That was our last night. It was sad to go to bed, but we were pretty tired.

Friday, June 12, 2009

On the Hobbit Trail...

We had grand plans to get up early and pack lunches and hike and eat on the beach...

Instead...we slept in, ate lunch at Chelsea's house, and then hit the road. Yay vacation! I'd always rather stay up late and sleep in.

We did these two hikes, 4 miles altogether.

The first hike took us up up up through the trees and then down a steep curvy bit, ending up right at the base of the Heceta Head Lighthouse.

The hike itself was lovely, mossy and green, trees and ferns and slugs! I'd never seen a slug before. They look like this:

And they really do leave a trail of goo!

At one point on the hike, we heard sea lions barking. We ran to see if they were close, but they weren't. There were some volunteers at the lighthouse that morning though, and one had two telescopes set up; one aimed at the sea lions, and one at the birds on the rocks. They said there had been Orcas in the area the week before. I can't imagine what that would be like. We also got to go up and tour the lighthouse, though we didn't get to see the actual lens, because they were doing maintenance.

Then we turned around and went back, the down part was up on the way back, and it was a bit of a trek, but it's always fun to stretch out and work a little. Then we took the second path, called the "Hobbit Trail", so named because the trees bend over and it all feels very hobbit-y. It was a fun little walk, and all of a sudden around one corner, you can hear the ocean! The last bit is a tunnel made of limbs and sand and then it spits you right out on the beach.

We wandered around, picked up shells, watched seagulls rip apart crabs, dodged the tide, watched the waves. I do love the ocean.

The picture is back-lit, so it's hard to see, but if you look closely-I don't know if I've ever seen three happier girls.

Then that night we had sushi for dinner. A perfect day.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


On Sunday morning we slept late and then went out to the pool. When I go to the pool, I don't usually put sunscreen on my legs, because they're in the water.

It didn't occur to me that going to the pool with Chelsea to lay out would be very different. We laid out for 3 hours. I got a mighty sunburn on my legs, but the pain was mostly gone after a day. Anna asked this morning why my skin had white on it. Still peeling.

After lunch, we went to Trader Joe's; a fancy grocery store Katrina wanted to go to, and Borders, and we had coffee at Starbucks.

Then we met up with Chelsea's friend Mary at Ta Ra Rin Thai. It was fun to eat Thai food with Chelsea and meet Mary, who we've been hearing about for years. The Garden Salad rolls were my favorite.

Then we went to get a little dessert at The Sweet Life. It was absolutely crammed full of people, we had to wait outside the store for awhile before the line even moved indoors. I had the most delicious cupcake ever-- lemon poppy seed with raspberry buttercream frosting. Katrina had chocolate mousse, and Chelsea Spumoni gelato.

We went back to Chelsea's apartment and Katrina worked on her class a little bit, while we chatted with Chelsea's roommate Marina.
Then we three girls, though exhausted, stayed up late talking again. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Busy Saturday

On Saturday we got up a little later than anticipated (of course), and went to the Saturday Market in Eugene. We stopped for coffee first (of course). Then Chelsea asked if we wanted to start with vegetables or with crafts. Guess which I chose.
We wandered around and looked at things and bought gifties for people back home. I saw some really neat book bindings, notebooks made out of old VHS covers, board games, golden book covers, etc. There were a few seamstresses, some adorable kids clothes, some very poorly made heating pads, and some exorbitantly priced quilts. I tried to talk Chelsea into taking up quilting, if those quilts really sell for $150, she could make a living! They weren't fancy or anything. Just the sort of thing I make. I spoke with a basket weaver who'd been to basket college, and saw some adorable needle felted gnomes.

Then Jim called and said we had to get moving. He's a big planner, that Jim. We went back to Chelsea's and had a quick lunch-bagels with hummus and bean sprouts and spinach. Yum.
We got on the road to go wine tasting, we three girls in the back seat with a giant map and list of phone numbers. We called bunches of wineries, searching for free tastings or extra goodies.

We started at Tyee, a pretty little house out in a field

It was a hot afternoon, and we were a little cranky from the car ride, so that may be why Tyee wasn't our favorite. It was crowded in the tasting area, right in front of the door, and I felt like I was in the way.

I don't remember our next stop. We three girls sat that one out.

Then we went to Coelho-picked because they gave you bread and cheese with your $5 tasting fee. The wines were good, but too expensive for me. The bread and cheese were excellent, just what we needed to perk up. I correctly guessed that coelho was rabbit in Portuguese.

Now we didn't have to drive so far in between wineries, which was nice. Just down the road was Mia Sonatina, with no tasting fee! We all liked their Riesling and Serenade, I brought a bottle of the Riesling home with me, and we had a bottle of Serenade later that night at the drive-in.

Their tasting room was open to the room with the barrels, all still under construction. He didn't take us around or explain anything, but it was neat to see anyway.

Our last stop was Kristin Hill, also chosen for the free tasting. We really liked these too. The winery is named after one daughter, and wines after the others. I brought home a Kat's Meow and a Fizzy Lizzy. I also tried Port for the first time, which was delicious! I had no idea. Jim bought a bottle of the Port, and I kind of wish I had too. The owner (so friendly and helpful, not wine snobby at all) said she liked to have a tiny glass and a bit of chocolate every night before bed. Doesn't that sound lovely? This one was my favorite.

She took our picture in front of the tasting room.

On the way to McMinnville, we stopped to look at the Spruce Goose, the Howard Hughes plane. The museum was closed, but we were able to peek in the windows and look at the other planes that were outside.

A real plane from D-Day!

Then we had to drive a bit more to get to McMinnville to eat at McMenamins. We ate way up on the roof (5 stories!), which was hot and sunny, but so much more fun than eating inside. I had a yummy pizza.

Finally on to Dallas, OR, to go to the Motor-Vu Drive-In. We hid Chelsea under some blankets in the back to squeeze in an extra person. I was not excited about seeing Wolverine or Terminator 4, but Chelsea and I had a great time mocking the movies. I kept thinking Katrina was asleep, but she was just bundled up to her ears. It was cold!

This is us before we all climbed into sleeping bags and under blankets. We didn't get back to Eugene until 3:00 in the morning. It was a great day.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Hot Springs!

On Friday we slept in...wonderful. All week the girls let me sleep in the single bed. What a treat.
Before Chelsea had to go to work, we ran to Dutch Brothers to get coffee. Mmmm, Oregon coffee. I think someone should put a Dutch Bros. stand on the corner of Lear Rd. and the Highway. I think it would do a good business. I would go every day. That would be delicious... Medium Vanilla Latte for me, iced coffee for Chelsea and Katrina. I can't handle iced coffee. Just tastes wrong.

Then Katrina and I had a lazy morning and had lunch with Chelsea and Jim and David (friend of Jim's) at Glenwood. I had the "Garden and Grain" sandwich, with lettuce and tomato and avocado and cucumber and cream cheese and yummy bread. It was delicious. I keep thinking about replicating it at home... I realized at that point that I hadn't had any meat since arriving in Oregon, and decided to see if I could keep it up. So many vegetarian options!
Chelsea had a meeting so Katrina and I wandered around the campus and the shopping area near the campus. We went into the UO bookstore and I was thankful that my school colors were not yellow and green. They're nice colors, but a whole bookstore full of it was shocking. Not like purple, which feels like home. :)

We saw a couple of boys playing with a tightrope they had strung between two trees, and watched several a capella groups sing in an outdoor amphitheater. It felt like a very different campus, but maybe I just haven't been on campus in a while. We saw a girl with hot pink hair and discussed dying my hair for the summer...

We caught up with Chelsea and she suggested we stop for Bubble Tea. Bubble Tea is some strange stuff. It's tea, or some other sweet drink, there are lots of flavors, with giant black balls of tapioca in the bottom. You drink the whole thing through a huge straw and when you get a tapioca ball, you chew it up. It's like a flavorless gummy ball. I had peach tea flavor and it was very sweet. And strange. And fun.

We went back to Chelsea's apartment and discussed what else we wanted to do. We finally decided to head out to the Cougar Hot Springs. Katrina asked if we had to be naked, and Chels said no. As we were walking up to the Hot Springs, she did mention that other people probably might be...

The Hot Springs generally has 5 pools, each a little cooler and a little lower than the previous, but a tree fell down last year sometime and so they were doing work to rebuild the pools, and only one was open. When we got there, there was a drum playing family, a married couple, and a man. The woman was wearing just the thong part of a bikini. The husband normal trunks, and the man nothing.

She was VERY chatty, telling us everything we would ever want to know about the Hot Springs. We HAD to go sit in the cave, and the water would drip down on us like rain drops. Then we HAD to fill up a bucket of cold water from the stream and dump it over ourselves. We should NOT be there after dark, or we would get a big ticket. She also spoke disdainfully of the "Forest Fairies" who came out from the forest "butt naked" and who didn't even shave. It was funny to hear all of that from a woman less than 1/4 dressed.

The man was quietly meditating, doing yoga, and stretching. Foot above head, that sort of thing.
yes-naked stretching.

We did sit in the cave, and it was very hot, and the water dripped down on us, and we did fill up the bucket with ice cold water. The woman helped, I complimented her on her lovely nails, she told me her husband spoiled her, I said that was good, she looked me square in the eye and said intently: "A good man is hard to find." I agreed. (Thanks Matthew, for letting me go on a trip all by myself and sit in a Hot Springs with naked strangers).

We drove home through the pretty dusk, smelling like sulphur and giggling like schoolgirls.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

On my way...

I left town around 1:00 on Wednesday for the trip to Denver. I listened to some music and didn't worry about the lyrics. I listened to 3 episodes of This American Life and some CraftSanity.

Denver was gripped with excitement over the playoffs, so we enjoyed an extremely noisy dinner as the Nuggets lost.

To bed, too late, and up EARLY the next morning to get to the airport.

We got to the airport, got checked in, got to the gate, got on the plane! It went quickly, but took two hours. Whenever I fly out of Denver I'm reminded why it seems worth the extra money to fly out of Garden City. It's so nice and small and friendly! Katrina and I didn't get to sit next to each other, and we had to wait on the runway for a long time while they checked some sort of computer system, and the man sitting next to me never said even one word. I read all of my magazines before the flight was over. 6 magazines. Then I looked out the window and listened to my music and nibbled on the pretzels I brought. Pretzels seem like plane food, and I was afraid (correctly!) that pretzels had been cut, so I brought some to be safe. Sipping soda and nibbling pretzels on a plane makes me feel like a big shot. I'm flying!

Then we landed and got our bags and asked for directions to the train station. We rode the light rail for a while and then walked about 10 blocks to get there. Both of these things also made me heady with freedom and fun. I'm walking in a city! With a rolly bag! As though I am a world traveler and know what I am doing and do this all of the time!

Then we checked in at the train station, which was beautiful, and checked our bags, and had lunch at Wilf's, right next to Union Station. We sat in giant red comfy chairs and had a delicious lunch and enjoyed the funny waiter and had apples for dessert.

Then we got on the train. We stayed in our seats because we were tired and had all of our stuff. I looked at the funny sprinklers and all of the flowers. We texted back and forth with Chelsea to let her know when we'd be there.

We got to Portland and got our bags and waited out front for Chelsea. It was hot and sunny and fun to sit in front of the train station waiting for our girl.

We went to Chelsea's apartment and sat for a minute and had a soda and decided on dinner. We ate at Cafe Yumm! which was very tasty. Their rice bowls are pretty simple, rice and beans and tomato and avocado and olive and cheese and the special yumm sauce. Here's a recipe for the sauce I found online, if you'd like to try it out.

Then we went to Jim's house (that's Chelsea's boyfriend-here's a picture of the two of them I stole from his camera)(also-we like him).

And had some wine.