Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunshine, Soccer, and So Long For Now

I have learned two important things recently:
  1. Nothing says summertime like fresh peaches.
  2. We may have our blueberries and strawberries to brag about, but Oregon peaches pretty much suck.
So it was that with these two thoughts in mind that I asked my aunt and uncle to bring me a flat of peaches from California. And they arrived with not one, but two flats of the juiciest most tender melt in your mouth peaches I have ever had. You either had to stand over the sink or tuck a dishtowel into your shirt in order to eat these peaches. Or you could try Sawyer's method which was to strip down naked, steal peaches off the counter, and hide out in the backyard getting covered with peach juice and grass clippings, but I don't recommend it.

So I canned a flat of peaches, made several pints of peach butter, and then we just gorged ourselves on the rest. It is taking all of the willpower that I possess NOT to crack open one of those jars and gobble every single peach slice with my fingers while standing over the kitchen sink. I think I just drooled on the keyboard.

I finally picked up a canning pot at a thrift store for a few bucks, and now I am wondering how I lived so long without one. I kind of do this weird thing sometimes where I won't buy something that I really want- like I just wait for it to come to me and sometimes it never does. It's almost like it just never occurs to me that I could just go to a store and buy stuff. Anyway, a few years ago I was telling my friend how I really needed to break down and buy a pastry cutter because I had been crisscrossing those butter knives like a fool for years with my pie crusts. And then next day she showed up at my house with one, 'cause you know, Freddies is just around the corner and pastry cutters cost all of about $3 and any normal person would have just bitten the bullet and bought their own. But not me. I'm not sure what the problem is.

Where was I going with this?

Ah yes, the canning pot. So then I started thinking that we could really use some patio furniture because camping chairs are cool when you are camping, but we have lived here for six damn years already and some real deck chairs might be a bit more homey, you know.

And then I found these at the thrift store for ten dollars! This is the before picture- Sawyer is helping me clean them up and yes, he does usually wear his underwear backwards. I will show you the after pictures when I finish the new cushion covers.

Hmmm. What else? The pool with friends has been fun. (Have you caught on to the fact that there is no overarching theme to this post? I am trying to dump a buncha pictures before we leave for Montana tomorrow.)

Yup, that's right, we are going back to Montana (!!). But this trip will be different from last year's because Brent can't go, so the kids and I are taking the train (!!) and meeting Doug and Mary at the cabin for a week of swimming and eating and relaxing and maybe we will even see another bear (!!).

The kids and I spent a weekend in Portland (Brent met us halfway through for some time with his family and a Timbers game). We had a mini family reunion complete with tickle torture from a freshly shorn Uncle Nick.

My grandparents who just keep on keepin' on. (I swear these people do not age.)

No family reunion is complete without a freak accident. Apparently. Poor Aunt Bobbi.

We were total tourists in Portland and Nick showed us a good time. We got there early and stood in line for 45 minutes to eat breakfast. Screen Door did not disappoint.

People always notice how much Jack looks like Nick. What do you think?

In preparation for our upcoming Amtrak trek to Montana, and because we were being Portland tourists, we hopped on the Max for a free ride downtown. The kids were fans, despite the loud whistle. (Sawyer is a delicate flower when it comes to noise. You might find that hard to believe unless you have ever been in a thunderstorm with him. Delicate, I tell you.)

It was 100 degrees that day and muggy and crowded and expensive. But then we found this fountain block and everything was just fine. Portland with kids is a lot different than Portland in your twenties. I did some reminiscing while I was herding the kids out and around about the time I spent living in Portland long ago.

Who needs swimsuits? Especially when you have the Lego Harry Potter Quidditch shirt. This shirt has been the most fought over item in our household ever since I paid $1.25 for it at a thrift store. (I kind of wish it fit me!)

We barbequed and swam and relaxed at Cousin Xavier's house that night and the next day was The Big Game! Jack, Brent, and Tracie are all pretty big soccer fans, but I was pretty much just along for the ride.

It was another hundred degree day and the stadium was packed with hot and sweaty people. As we stood in line to buy ice creams and beers, I ran into some friends that I had not seen in years. You know how you lose touch with people and then from time to time you think of them and wonder what they're up to and why you never kept in touch? These were those people. And my family waited patiently in the swampy arena while we caught up and laughed about those good old living-in-Portland-in-your-twenties days. That was one of the highlights of the game for me.

This is what an $8.50 beer looks like.

Now, about the soccer. Everything I know about this sport I learned from Jack playing on the kindergarten team this spring, and it turns out that MLS soccer and Kidsports soccer are actually pretty different. The Timbers have goalies and redcards and you can actually boo the other team, which ended up being another highlight for me. Heckling the opposing team is pretty much frowned upon in kindergarten soccer, so this was a real treat.

We told Jack he could get a Timbers shirt but he wanted this flag instead and he enthusiastically waved it during the entire game, to the dismay, I suspect, of the man sitting next to him.

Even though our seats were in the shade, we still melted. Tracie said it best- it was like being in a very crowded sauna. I was so amazed by the Timbers Army and their unwavering support and enthusiasm despite the sweltering heat and the fact that soccer isn't exactly an edge of your seat kind of game. (Am I going to get in trouble for saying that??) But then it occurred to me that they were all probably drunk and/or suffering from heat stroke and somebody had the foresight to bring their trumpet so why the hell not keep on cheering and singing even if your team is losing?

I wanted to see a goal. Just one goal so that I could see the chainsaw guy come out and saw through the log and AT LAST! GOAL! But I could barely see the chainsaw guy and the crowd went apeshit and we were all jumping up and down and screaming like we had won the lottery and it didn't matter that my dress was completely soaked and stuck to my backside or that we had paid $4 for an ice cream bar or that the Timbers were now tied for last place in their division. GOAL!!

And then it was over. This is what it looks like when your five year old learns that it was a tie game.

Welp, I better continue mentally and physically preparing for the train trip tomorrow. I have snacks and books and toys galore so hopefully we make it in one piece. I'm sure that, if nothing else, I will have some entertaining stories for you all. 

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