Monday, June 27, 2011

Cherry Harvest 2011

yeah...just turn your head sideways for a minute and you will see that I really am wearing pink pants.

One of the weeks of the year where I speak more Spanish than English, enjoy the outdoors at 5 am, and spend a lot of time in my fathers orchard.... Cherry harvest.
When I was 5 my dad and uncle purchased land in Walulla, WA and planted an orchard...
I was probably in 6th grade when we started getting real harvests, and I have been working out there almost every year since I was twelve...
Most of all; the experience is beautiful and peaceful. I love being hidden in the middle of many acres of trees, feeling the Columbia river breeze, and listening to the leaves rustle under the big open blue sky. I also love how busy and hectic the week always turns out as I try to help manage a temporary crew of 75 to 120 pickers and get all the fruit off in the small window of perfect ripeness.

I have gotten to know a lot of the workers who return year after year, and that is definately the highlight of the harvest for me!
It is fun to be back working this year!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Home Ec -Sewing

sock puppets (practice sewing buttons)
My friend Frann from the MA TESOL program at PSU moved to Mexico last summer to teach English. She is an amazing woman who was fun to work with while we attended classes. When she left she gave me a food processor to make baby food with. She also offered me a sewing machine. I took it.
I found myself with a sewing machine, a new baby, and dreams of sitting on my sisters couch while Elias played with his younger cousins and I sipped tea, chatted and rested with my sister.... the dreams had not originally included a sewing machine, not my sister home schooling her children. My dreams evolved.... to teaching home ec for my sister's kids in their homeschool program. I wanted to spend time with them, but not interrupt their home school schedule, and the sewing machine provided a way to make that happen.
We meet each Thursday morning for an hour or two. We had "threading the sewing machine" class, "pinning" class, "sewing lines class", etc... slowly building up to our final project.

I have learned a lot about step-by step teaching, and working with younger children. I will always look back at this as a special time with my nephews and niece.
*disclaimer* I am not even good at sewing, but I do know how to thread a machine and do some basics, which is good enough for one semester of elementary classes. Next up... cooking. I think I am ready and qualified because I have an apron....Everyone that will have to eat the food we cook next year in home ec will probably appreciate it if I read a few books before I embark on this next subject.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Xiongs visit!!

Over Memorial Day weekend one of my best friends from College and her hubby came to visit.
We lived in the same dorm our freshman year, and over winter break, a group of us took a road trip up to her parents house... I guess that's when I became part of their family.
Here are some pictures of us in college in 2000:

A shower display at some store...
The student Union where I worked some... Did they really trust me with keys to close up? DeShauna must have had some.
The last time I saw Josh and Mai Kao was their wedding 6 years ago! That was before Andy and I even met, so needless to say they hadn't met Andy yet. They had 2 ceremonies, American style and Hmong style, I got to be in one, and observe the other, they were both pretty cool.
Mai Kao let me try on the Hmong wedding dress.
That was then... this is now:
Mai Kao is a Wonderful cook and cooked us a delicious Hmong lunch
beef laab, stuffed chicken wings (like egg rolls but instead of egg roll shell, a chicken shell!) Rice and noodles.

No trip to Portland is complete with out a trip out the Multnomah falls and the gorge.

Saturday Market

Friday, June 3, 2011