Monday, September 28, 2015

Newport Bay crabbing

One of my favorite things about being married to a berry farmer--besides the obvious perk of eating berries--is that fall is a slower season for them. Fall rolls around & Dar starts getting up just a little later, he lingers just a little longer over coffee with me, & he will randomly ask, "What are you doing tomorrow? Want to go ______?" The other week, it was crabbing. 
We headed over to Newport with his mom & dad, & all the kids that hadn't started college yet. And Riley. It is only natural that he get to come. :). He makes a wonderful deck hand.
It doesn't get any better than the day we had out at the Coast. Which, just an aside, if you are ever out in Oregon, fall is the best time to go to the coast--it is the least windy, the most sunny, & likely to be somewhat warm. Anyway, it was a day perfect for crabbing. 

Crabbing is much more relaxing & enjoyable for me than salmon fishing. It's done in the bay, for one, where there are few large boats & waves. There isn't the constant jumping up for dancing poles, or chaos when there's a fish on. And, if I just want to sit in the bow of the boat, soak up the rays, & take a few photos when there's action, it's all good:).
For those of you who've never crabbed, here's the how-to: Drop the baited (raw chicken works great) crab trap in a promising spot.
Go drop all your other traps. Go back & check your first one. Pull it in. 
Hopefully, there's a few crabs in it.
Let them scuttle around the bottom of the boat while appointed First Mate measures them to see if any are keepers.
Let aforementioned First Mate show off the catch.
Repeat from step one. Enjoy the rest of your day, cruising around the water. It's a lovely past time.

It was Fee's first time on a boat. She performed well. I probably won't take her when she can start crawling. 

This boy & his dad. It's very sweet to see them together. 

The crabs need to be kept alive until you're ready to cook them. You boil them in salted water for 20 minutes. Then the Sinn's prefer to eat them chilled, dipped in melted garlic butter. I don't see why you couldn't eat them warm though, too. (Also, here's a glimpse of Edie's wonderful "fruit room" where she has row upon row upon row of beautiful canned bounty.)

I am so glad Dar & his family take time to enjoy life. It's too easy to get stuck in the grind, or think it takes too much effort to pack up the boat & equipment for just a half-day of crabbing. But they do it. It's such a good example for me to follow when I think I can't _____ because ______ needs to be done. There are few things that will truly suffer from being put off for a day. So, go do something today that will make a lovely memory to think back on & turn over in your mind instead of laundry! What will you wish you had done in 20 years?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Seaside, OR 2015

The Sinn family took a short trip to Seaside & Astoria Oregon this summer. I was so looking forward to some downtime after our busy summer! It was a good time, relaxing & low key. 

The boys spent the day fishing while the remainder strolled Seaside's Promenade & enjoyed the carnival atmosphere of the town. Carnival atmosphere = bumper cars & carousel! Arguably as much fun to watch as participate!
If you're ever in Seaside, OR, look 'em up. For a few bucks, you can have a good old-fashioned time.

 [These photos aren't from this particular fishing trip, but I realized I didn't have any of the fish caught! The boys would've been terribly disappointed had no proof of their prowess made it on the blog;).]

Here are the highlights from the trip:

Gorgeous sunrises

getting up early(ish) & sipping coffee on the deck in view & hearing of the ocean. 

time spent leisurely reading the Bible & working on a Bible study. 

Laura & Jesse were here from Ohio for the trip & I got to catch up with her, as she's the Sinn oddball & likes to get up early. 

Having Fiona with me this year: last year on this trip, we announced the pregnancy! Hard to believe it's been a year already. 

Getting fish & chips at Bowpickers in Astoria. Best fish & chips I've ever had! It's a fun experience too, & perfect for large groups-if you don't mind the lack of seating. We just ate in the bed of the pick-up.

Being able to eat some dairy-free ice cream! Yay!

House ogling on the Promenade

Getting to spend some time with this guy

And of course, spending time with family. I was rarely carrying Fee:)

Not a bad way to cinch up the end of summer. Until next year!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Goodbye summer

Canning is a sign that summer is nearing its glorious, bounteous close. I love fresh garden food, blue-skied, breezeless days, my carton of berries in the fridge, the bustle of everyone being at home, but I love fall. And so it isn't so hard to tell summer goodbye. 
Canning forces me to enjoy summer's last hurrah, as I'm elbow deep in blanched tomatoes, & have burning knuckles from the jalapenos. But it prepares me for the winter too, when I dream about warm tomato soup I'll enjoy from all these canned tomatoes. To survey my pantry with its rainbow of mason jars is pure satisfaction & almost makes me excited about winter.

I'm so glad I don't have to do it alone here. I've been a little more homesick lately; I think it's because Fee is growing so blazingly fast, & it just doesn't seem fair that my family has to miss out. That, & when I do talk to my sisters, they are in the thick of canning & preserving & kids, too. And I'm missing out.
 But I at least have Dar's family. They are a pretty wonderful family. Always there. Not just willing, but expecting, to help out. So it is with canning. I don't have to cry in frustration at home because Fee's needing me when my jars have to be packed rightnow. The daunting empty jars fill much faster at Edith Sinn's. For a pittance, I get to take home a dozen jars, which is a mere fraction of what the canning wonder that Edie is turns out.

My pantry is full. I can tell summer goodbye triumphantly-I am prepared for fall! And Shara comes in less than a month, so take that, homesickness.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fiona | 5 months

Another month is here already. And our Sweet Fee just keeps getting sweeter. I think to myself with each new little quirk, "Now this is my favorite stage." But it just keeps getting better. :).
 She's getting quite active. Gone is the mellow little snuggler we had. Fee loves to be in her bumbo, watching us eat or make dinner. So far, she's had tastes of watermelon, pears, peaches, green beans, & apples. There hasn't been anything she hasn't liked so far. (Pleasepleaseplease stay that way!)
She can sit on her own, but she gets over-zealous & loses her balance reaching. Lately, we've been putting her on her hands & knees & she'll rock back & forth. Might have a crawler soon!
 She still hasn't slept through the night. If you would have told me I wouldn't get a full night's sleep since I got pregnant, I'd have cried. But here we are, over a year later, & while there are moments I'd give up my eyeteeth for some uninterrupted sleep, it is good. After a couple weeks of more than her normal 2-3 nightly feedings, she's back to 2 times a night. And she sleeps in a pack n play now, not her car seat-maybe someday she'll get an actual crib!

Her hair is growing back nicely, although we somehow ended up with a blond, blue-eyed child. Explain that one.
Her blood issue is mostly gone. It crops back up now & then, seemingly unrelated to when I've had a little dairy. :/. We're just plugging along, praying it's okay, & watching her continue to gain weight & flourish. I can't hardly imagine with roly thighs like she's inherited & those chubby cheeks that she's suffering too much. We are sincerely thankful it wasn't anything more serious than a dairy allergy (and one she'll outgrow to boot!) Our home scale is weighing her in at 14# 3 ounces.

Overall, she is a good girl. Like all of us, she has her moments. I have won few of our battles; she is verrrrry persistent. After 20 minutes of crying, she's still going strong! I hope that's something she'll outgrow. Outdoors & at the farm are her favorite places to be. For a first child, she's very tolerant of noise & chaos.
With each new month, she blossoms more & more! It's so rewarding to watch the little being she is unfold into her own precocious person. This month more than any other, I've watched her become Fiona. I still love the moments of sleep where I can observe her at rest, little lips pursed, flossy eyelashes resting on rosy, full cheeks. But I enjoy the moments of interaction so much, too!
It's hard to believe we are here already!