River and ocean

Our pre-July 4th weekend was spent camping on the Russian River, in Sonoma County, CA.  Our friend’s birthday prompted about 40 of our closest friends to gather to camp, eat, and play together for 3 days.  This group of friends is magical.  We all met working together in the mid-90’s on Catalina Island.  Teaching children and living together, we formed incredible bonds that have only grown stronger as the years have gone by.  At least once a year we gather together to celebrate our friendship.  Our numbers have grown as partners, friends, and children have joined the group, and we’ve continued to make memories together.  I feel so fortunate to have this group of friends in my life.

The river was just perfect for playing and relaxing, trying out stand up paddle boards, kayaking, and playing with rocks.

Ella rocked the boogie board, and Everett splashed and poured water from one container to the next for a long, long time!

We stopped off in Northern California on the way home, to get one more day of fun with friends, and enjoyed some great beach time.

We left Oregon on a cloudy, overcast day last week, and returned to the beginning of the Oregon summer.  I’m so excited for the summer fun to begin.

Catching up

Back from our Southern California vacation! We had such luck with sunny perfect weather, good friends, amazing food, fun family adventures, and lots of beach time.

Vacations are truly blissful, but the catch-up afterwards can be a tricky thing!  I had to postpone seed starting until after my return, and now I’m playing major catch up.  Yesterday and today I managed to get tomatoes, peppers, and many varieties of brassicas for spring planting on my heat mat.  I did manage to get some peas and greens sowed in the greenhouse before I left, but something has been nibbling all of the tender shoots.  The two major culprits would be slugs or pillbugs, and I’m guessing pillbugss from the lack of slimy slug trail.  They are so hard to combat!  If anyone has any good pillbug damage prevention tricks, I’m all ears!

So, it seems that gardening season has begun!  Also on our plate has been makin’ bacon!  For several years we raised our own organic pork, but were unable to tackle such a big project this past summer.  Luckily, there is an abundance of amazing local meat in our area, and we split a hog with some friends.  Guided by some awesome resources (Charcuterie is one of our favorites), we home cure our own bacon and ham hocks.  And really, they are divine.

Tonight I might finally finish unpacking and then I look forward to settling back into our family’s rhythm.