Tuesday, September 25, 2012

End of September Garden

September is always a busy month at our house.  School gets underway, as well as the beginning of very busy teen schedules.  The weather is transitioning to fall, so far we have had a very dry fall with lots of warm weather and sunshine.

The garden has not been getting as much attention as it got during the summer months, and so today I spent some time in my garden checking on the last of the summer veggies, as well as planning my fall garden clean up.

The pepper plants are still doing pretty well, some of the peppers are starting to turn red.  We had a pretty slim tomato harvest this year, they took quite some time to ripen, and some fell victim to blossom end rot.  This is the first time I have had any major trouble with blossom end rot, next year I will have to work on that more. We still have zucchini going, but the plants have died back considerably.

The nasturtium are so pretty with their bright orange color, they are doing very nicely this year, and were a surprise to me as they came up on their own from last years fallen seed.  I love that fall color!

The zinnias are also continuing to blossom, this was a particularly pretty blossom, a new variety I tried this year, I spotted a few more blossoms ready to open, and I'm looking forward to seeing what variety they are.  I hope to grow even more next year, I really enjoy how easy zinnias are to grow.

Our garden is on the small side for full grown pumpkins, but every year I like to tuck in a least one or two mini pumpkin plants.  Here is our tiny pumpkin harvest.  A very pretty little white variety, they will look very nice along with my harvest decor.

Here is my lone acorn squash of the year.  I am very happy to have harvested this one, I only planted one acorn squash plant in a container, next year I will have to plant a couple more, but we will enjoy our little acorn squash with butter and brown sugar. :)

I experimented with Lima beans this year, just a couple of smaller containers planted.  They took a long time getting going, then I wasn't sure they were done, I went to check on them today, and not only were they done, but the last week of hot weather had started them drying in the pod.  I am not sure how they will taste, I read different things about Lima bean harvest online- some advice said not to let them dry on the vine or they would be too tough, and some said do dry them on the vine.  So I decided to pick them now, and finish drying them in a low oven until they are all the way dry, then I will soak them and cook them up to see how they did.  Just like our Pea harvest , we only got a handful, but I think it is fun to experiment with different plants, and see what we can actually grow in our small backyard garden.

Our fall planting of Kale is doing nicely, I will probably thin it soon, and I am looking forward to enjoying it through the later fall and early winter.  I really enjoy kale, and plan to grow a lot more next spring.

This weekend I hope to get a bunch of fall garden cleanup underway, removing the last of the summer veggie plants, getting out some of those pesky weeds that have been growing this month, finish up harvesting, and planting some garlic and maybe shallots.  Then put the majority of the garden to bed for winter.  I want to be very diligent this year in cleaning up old plants so I don't give any of the garden pests a place to over winter.  Plus having a nice clean garden in the spring makes planting easier.

This week I was in our town's small variety store, picking up a few odds and ends, and as I approached the counter I heard a very familiar noise, a noise I hadn't heard  in many years, but remembered fondly.  The sound of Mexican Jumping Beans hopping around in their little plastic containers.  As a child we used to get Mexican Jumping Beans frequently, and I always enjoyed them quite a bit.  I hadn't seen them in stores for quite some time, so I was so excited to have come across them, and brought home two little containers of them, along with this fun little information sheet and jumping bean game.  So fun and interesting, if you spot some in the store, they are very fun to bring home, we all enjoyed watching them jump around.

This week we also celebrated my son's 16th birthday, he had friends over this weekend to celebrate, and we had a nice dinner and small family celebration on his actual birthday yesterday.  He has been celebrating his birthday with the same group of boys that he has grown up with at church since he was a preschooler, it is so neat to watch this group of boys grow up.  Happy 16th birthday Joseph!

Last week Gary, Sarah, and Joseph, had a wonderful opportunity to get out and work with our local river watch group.  They spent the day clearing trails, here are Sarah and Joe with two of the group leaders, after clearing a good portion of this trail.  We are looking forward to working more with this group, Sarah and Joe's school environmental club, "Green Team", works with the local river watch group to upkeep some of the miles of trails we have around here.  I think it is a wonderful way to get out and help the community as well as get out in nature.

They were rewarded at the end of a hard days work with catching a glimpse of this wonderful owl, Gary caught the pictures just in time.  The owl blends in so well with the forest, and it such a beautiful bird!  They also found and brought home a thunder egg, our state rock, we will have to take pictures when we open it up.

I am hoping to get out for another day hike very soon, before the rainy season starts.  I am looking forward to October, cooler weather, and watching the leaves change color, as well as all of the wonderful fall cooking and decorating.

What are you looking forward to this fall?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

52 Weeks of Fairy Tales #34 - Noodle and Welsh Honey Cakes

I was excited to find a new fairy tale book last week with many fairy tales that I had never heard.  The book is called The Fish Bride and Other Gypsy Tales retold by Jean Russell Larson.  These tales were collected by the writer who heard them as a child in the 1930's, in Iowa where Gypsies were camped near the town she lived in during the great depression, as well as stories collected from a family friend in Wales.  The book is full of many wonderful stories and fairy tales, I hope to share a few as part of this fairy tale series.

Today I would like to share a simple and fun fairy tale called Noodle.  A "Noodle" is actually a common character in fairy tales, the stories are often referred to as noodle head  stories, about a simple minded character who tends to blunder through the story, sometimes he learns a lesson or comes into good luck.  I shared a story of this type awhile back called Foolish Jack a favorite fairy tale of mine growing up.


There once was a Gypsy boy named Noodle, and he was very foolish.  One day his mother dressed him up in a fine coat and shiny new boots, and sent Noodle into town to sell honey cakes.

Unfortunately Noodle was not a good salesman, and at the end of the day he left town with all of his honey cakes and headed home.  He made his way through a dark forest, and on his way heard the sound of someone in distress.  He soon found an old man sitting by a tree sobbing in the moonlight.  Noodle asked him what was wrong, and the man told him that he lost his purse full of rubles.  The man begged Noodle to help him find his coins.

Noodle, although foolish, was a bit suspicious, and asked the man for proof before he agreed to help.  The man told Noodle that he could tell him that he had exactly 27 rubles in his purse.  That was enough proof for Noodle, so him and the old man began to search for the old man's purse.  

Not long after they had begun to search, the old man suggested that Noodle should set down his bag of honey cakes so that he could use two hands to search the ground.  Noodle agreed, and set his bag of honey cakes by a tree.  They both went on searching.

A little more time had passed and the old man suggested that they both take off their shoes so that they would not harm his purse of rubles if they stepped on them in the dark.  So Noodle agreed, and the old man took off his tattered old shoes, and Noodle took off his shiny new boots and set them down next to the old man's shoes, and they both continued searching.

After looking further, the old man suggested that they remove their coats so that they could move more freely.  Noodle agreed, the old man removed his old worn out jacket, and Noodle removed his fine coat, and placed it on the ground beside the old man's coat.  

They walked further, and then the old man stopped and seemed to be considering their search.  He told Noodle to go on looking further, and that he would go back and retrace their steps just in case they missed something.  Noodle thought that sounded wise, and continued on searching up ahead. 

Of course, you can imagine what happened next. The old man did retrace their steps, putting on Noodle's fine coat, shiny boots, and taking the bag of honey cakes.  Then the old man went on his way smiling.  

Noodle returned home, poorer but a little wiser.

I thought this was an interesting little tale, poor Noodle, I suppose the lesson is be careful who you trust, I would love to hear your thoughts on the moral of this story.

Today, instead of a craft, I decided to bake up the honey cakes from the story.  I looked up many recipes for different types of honey cakes, and settled on the traditional Welsh Honey Cakes, since many of these tales were collected in Wales.  After looking up many recipes, I found that most contained the same ingredients.  Here is the recipe.

Welsh Honey Cakes 

1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (softened of partly melted)
1 egg separated 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
a little milk
Sugar in the Raw

Mix honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and egg yolk until well combined,  then mix in flour and baking soda, and mix until combined adding a little milk as required to mix it all together.  It ends up looking pretty much like a somewhat thick muffin batter.  Then whisk egg white until it reaches a stiff froth, then gently fold into batter.  Bake in a well greased muffin pan, filling the muffin cups half full, before baking sprinkle the tops of each muffin with Sugar in the Raw or course sugar.  

The recipe called for baking at 425 F. which sounded quite high to me, the other recipes were in Celsius, so I started the cakes baking at 425 F. which was too hot, my non stick pan browned the bottoms too quickly, and so I lowered the temp to 350 F. to finish the cakes.  In the future I would probably go with 375 F. to 400 F. and check them often.  They took roughly 15 minutes to bake, but at the lower temp might take longer.  Although these little honey cakes turned out a little dark, they tasted delicious, you could definitely taste the honey, they would be great with coffee or tea.

Welsh Honey Cakes, also known as Tiessennau Mel, seem to be a very traditional recipe.  One variation I saw was to not fold in the whisked egg white, but rather to bake the muffin first, then top it with the meringue and sugar and bake until the meringue is browned, I chose not to make that version, because it didn't seem like a cake that Noodle would have been able to put in a sack to sell, it would be interesting to try another time though.  

The story of Noodle reminded me of the times my grandma tells of when she used to bake cinnamon rolls and bread to sell to earn extra money when her children were young (she is a wonderful baker), she would send my uncles out to sell her rolls in the neighborhood, thankfully they were not like Noodle.  :)


I have had a busy week, my washing machine broke mid-wash, so our machine sat there not moving with a tub full of soapy water and clothes.  It was quite a process to wring out the clothing, the whole family got in on the action. We rung out the clothing, then brought them to the bathtub, which I filled with warm water to rinse the clothes out.  Of course the load of laundry had my daughter's green team club shirts in them that were needed the next morning for a presentation she was doing, so we had to get them rinsed so they could be dried by morning.  After rinsing the clothing as best as we were able, we rung all of them out and transferred them back to the laundry closet to be dried.  Quite a job!  We were all working away at it and really appreciating modern washing machines, you would get very strong washing clothing by hand!

Today, hubby and I siphoned out the water from the washing machine, which was also an interesting task, I had no idea how much water was used for each load!  Luckily I have a very handy husband, who loves fixing things, he took the machine apart, and we were hoping it would be an inexpensive part.  Turned out that a very tiny sock had been sucked into the hose and was blocking the draining mechanism.  Gary was able to pull them out with pliers, put the machine back together, and I was very happy to have my machine up and running.  

I am looking forward to the first day of fall this weekend, the weather is still very hot around here, and hardly a rain drop in sight, but the nights are cooler, and getting darker earlier, there was a beautiful crescent moon in the sky tonight.  I hope everyone is having a nice week!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

52 Weeks of Fairy Tales Week #33 - Puss in Boots

I have been reading a lot of fairy tales this week, I found a new book at the library with some wonderful tales that I am looking forward to crafting and sharing.  Today I read and crafted for one of my favorite fairy tales, a very classic tale that most people are familiar with. Puss in Boots.  Puss in Boots is a French fairy tale written by Charles Perrault.

Puss in Boots

The tale begins when a miller, who had three sons, passes away.  When he died, he left his oldest son the mill, the second son was left with the donkey, and because nothing else was left, the youngest son was left with his father's cat.

The oldest son was able to grind flour with his mill and sell it, the second son hitched a cart to his donkey and  made money by delivering things.  The youngest son didn't know what could be done with his cat, aside from  the cat purring and drinking milk.

One day the cat told his master to buy him a pair of boots and get him a sack.  The cat convinced the youngest son that he was not as useless as he thought, and so the son brought the cat a pair of boots, and a sack.  From then on the miller's son called the cat, Puss in Boots.

One day Puss in Boots was hunting in the forest and caught a rabbit.  He put the rabbit into his sack, but instead of bringing it home to his master he brought it to the King's palace.  He told the king it was a gift from his master, The Marquis of Carabas.  Puss in Boots brought gifts to the King many more times, and each time he told the King it was a gift from his master, The Marquis of Carabas.  The King became very familiar with the name.  The miller's son knew nothing about the presents, or of the Marquis of Carabas.

One day Puss in Boots found out the King would be traveling with his daughter in the countryside, so he hurried and convinced the miller's son to go and bathe in the river, and told him that it would make his fortune.  Although it was a strange request, the miller's son did as his cat requested.  As soon as the miller's son was in the river bathing, Puss threw his master's clothes into the river.  The miller's son was shocked and wondered what on earth his cat was doing.  But at that moment the King's carriage was about to pass by.

Puss in Boots ran out to the road, in front of the King's carriage, and yelled "Help, Help, My master The Marquis of Carabas is drowning, please save him!"  The King's footmen pulled him out and he borrowed some of the footmen's garments, the miller's son looked very handsome in the velvet jacket and trousers, and the princess immediately fell in love with him.  The princess asked if the Marquis of Carabas could ride in the carriage, and the king agreed.  Puss in Boots excused himself, he said he had something important to do, so he ran ahead.  Along the way, every time he saw peasants working out in the fields, he told them that if the King asks, to tell him that the lands belongs to The Marquis of Carabas.  Each time the King stopped the peasants did as Puss had told them, and the King soon came to think that the Marquis must be a very rich man.

Puss in Boots kept running ahead, and soon came to a large castle that he knew belonged to a wicked ogre. Puss went right up to that ogre, and without showing any fear, asked the ogre "I hear that you can turn yourself into any animal that you wish, I will not believe a story like that unless I see it with my own eyes."
The ogre then changed himself into a lion, and let out a large roar.  The ogre then changed himself back into an ogre, and asked Puss if he believed now.  Puss said to the ogre that he thought it must be easy to change into a large animal like a lion, but that he wasn't convinced the ogre could turn himself into something small, say for instance a mouse.

The ogre was proud of his ability, and didn't want the cat doubting him, so he changed himself into a tiny mouse.  In the blink of an eye Puss in Boots pounced on the mouse, and ate him up!  That was the end of the ogre!  The servants were all so happy because they were now free from the wicked ogre.  Puss in Boots assured them that their new master would be very kind, he told them their new master was The Marquis of Carabas.

When the King reached the castle Puss in Boots was standing with the happy servants.  The King was impressed with the castle.  Puss bowed to the King and said, " Welcome to the home of my master, The Marquis of Carabas."  The miller's son was too astounded to say anything, except to wonder to himself what Puss in Boots was up to.  Puss explained to the miller's son what had happened while the king was getting out of his carriage.  The King was very impressed, and thought the Marquis was a kind and wealthy man.  Soon after the princess and the miller's son were married, and went to live in the castle along with Puss in Boots, they all lived happily ever after.

I just love this story, I love how clever Puss in Boots is, and remember reading this story quite often as a child.  I also loved a 1980's movie version of this tale, featuring Christopher Walken, also titled Puss in Boots.  You can view clips of the movie on youtube, lots of fun songs and 1980's effects.

Here is a link to the movie at Amazon.  This copy is fairly spendy, I bought it awhile back when it first came out on DVD, and was less expensive.  Below is an Amazon link to a collection of 10 fairy tale movies with the same Puss in Boots movie for less than the one.  I am curious what the other fairy tales are like in this collection, and might have to order it.  I will say, this story is not for younger children, the ogre is a little scary, and I remember Sarah and Joseph didn't enjoy this movie until they were like nine or ten.

Of course now a days we have Puss in Boots played by Antonio Banderas of Shrek fame.  I think it would be beneficial to read the original story to children who are fans of this version, so they know the real story of Puss in Boots.  I do think the new Puss in Boots  character is pretty fun and cute though.

For my craft I decided to do a little decoupage craft, I found a vintage image online and reduced the copy down to fit a round wooden slice of last years Christmas tree ( We cut up last year's Christmas tree into various sized twigs and sliced the truck into various pieces, great way to reuse/recycle the Christmas tree, I have enjoyed having it to craft with this year, and will do the same with my future trees!).  First I stained the tree truck wood with purple and tan water colors, when it was dry I decoupaged the paper image onto the wood with Mod Podge.  I gave it a few coats of Mod Podge, and when it was done drying gave the trees a little glitter embellishing.  Here's how it turned out.

Here is a side view so you can see the side of the bark.  This was a fun project and would be easy for kids to make, it would be fun to make up story sequence blocks like this as well.

I also thought I would show a little collection of mine, years ago I used to collect Wade Whimsies, mostly the nursery rhyme series, these figures come from England, and they are similar to the figures that can be found in Red Rose Tea (it is always fun getting a little goody in you box of tea).  Over the years I narrowed down my collection, but kept some of my favorites, including Puss in Boots.  Here they are on on a book shelf.  Hickory Dickory Dock, Humpty Dumpty, The House The Jack Built, Doctor Foster, and the Old Woman in the Shoe, and up front, Puss in Boots.

Here is a close up of Puss in Boots.

I am hoping to share another fairy tale this weekend so I can start catching up from our relaxing summer.  We have had a busy second week back to school, we had the school open house last night, the weather has been very warm, high 80's, although we did have one lovely day of rain and fall weather which both me and the garden were very happy with.  The warm weather is helping to ripen tomatoes, and finish out the summer garden.  Hope everyone is getting ready for a nice, almost fall, weekend!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our Day at Rose City Comic-Con

This past weekend, Portland, Oregon hosted it's first Rose City Comic-Con.  Our family enjoys classic sci-fi, so we thought it would be a fun event to attend, and it was!  I was very excited, when earlier this summer we found out that the special guests would be Richard Hatch from both the original and new Battlestar Galactica  and Kathy Coleman who played Holly Marshall in the original Land of the Lost.  Longer time readers of my blog may remember that last summer me and the kids did a unit study on The Lost World , and as part of that we watched through the entire original Land of the Lost series.  Of course we were very excited to meet these special guests.

The turn out for Rose City Comic-con was wonderful, and many people got into the spirit of the event.

Lots of very authentic Star Wars costumes.

Here is Iron Man hanging out with a storm trooper and Darth Vader.

A Star Trek Klingon.

The event was packed, you can see in this picture just how busy it was, although it was very hot and stuffy, everyone was so friendly and excited to be there that it didn't seem to matter much.

The people in costume spent a lot of time out front with people snapping their pictures, looks like they were having fun getting into character.

Of course since it was Comic-con, you can imagine there were plenty of comics around.  I don't collect comics, but I was really drawn to the classic comics, the vintage looking art work was really appealing to me.

We had fun browsing, and one stand was selling old comic books for only one dollar each! We bought an old Battlestar Galactic comic to look through later.

My sister, who runs a wonderful Etsy shop called Amlowi's Hat Shop, sells creative crocheted hats, some of which are sci-fi themed. She had a booth set up at the comic-con and her shop was a hit.

Here we are at my sister's hat stand, having fun with my sister and brother-in-law, as well as my two nieces and nephew.  My sister and her family live a couple of hours away and now that all of our kids are older, and very busy, we don't get to visit as often as we would like, so it was great seeing them all.  They spent the night at our house and we all had a fun time chatting and hanging out at the end of the day.

The highlight of the day was meeting the special guests.  We first stopped by Kathy Coleman's booth and got to meet her and get autographs and pictures with her.

She was such a friendly person, you could definitely see the resemblance to her childhood character Holly Marshall.

Here is the picture we got signed.

I also brought my original vintage view master Land of the Lost reels (one day I will really have to share about my vintage view-master reel collection) , I was so excited to have it signed!

Here is a close up look at the Sleestak she had at her table.

If you haven't seen the original you can find it at Amazon, the entire series set is a very reasonable price, and its a fun show to watch, one of our favorites!

Next we met Richard Hatch, Apollo from the original Battlestar Galactica.  He also plays in the new Battlestar Galactica.  The original series was one of my favorites growing up, and I loved his character.

He was also very friendly, and we got our family pictures with him as well as an autograph.

Here is our autograph, I chose a picture of him in black and white from the original show.

You can also find the original series of Battlestar Galactica on DVD at Amazon.  

After meeting them in person we attended both of their interactive sessions.  Kathy Coleman told fun stories about filming Land of the Lost as a child, it was fun to hear.

Richard Hatch is a very dynamic speaker and shared about his career as well as other interesting information.

We all really enjoyed both of these sessions.  We also found out that Richard Hatch was leading a class on The Art and Craft of Acting, my son Joseph is in his school drama club, and really enjoys acting in the school plays. After hearing what a wonderful speaker Richard Hatch was, we thought it would be a fun class for Joseph, so Gary and Joseph drove back into town the next day for the class, which they both enjoyed very much.  Today Joseph will be auditioning for a role in the school musical Annie Get Your Gun, I'm sure he will bring with him some of the new things he learned in his class.

The Rose City Comic-con was an all around very fun and memorable day.  We all are looking forward to attending again next year!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

52 Weeks of Fairy Tales Week #32 -The Fisherman and His Wife

We are at the tale end of a very busy back to school week, full of various doctor and dentist appointments, last minute school supply shopping, and our first fall football game.  With our busy schedule I have fallen behind in my blog posts and fairy tale crafting, but hope to catch up as we transition into our fall routine.

The fairy tale that I have had in mind since our last beach trip is a very interesting tale that visiting Seaside inspired, it is a tale collected by the Grimm brothers called The Fisherman and His Wife.

The story begins with a Fisherman and his wife, they are poor and live in a run down hovel.  Each day the fisherman goes to the sea and fishes, one day he catches a golden flounder.  The golden flounder speaks to the fisherman and tells him that he is really an enchanted prince, and begs to be let go.  The fisherman is a kind man, and releases the fish right away.

Later that evening he tells his wife about his encounter with the enchanted prince fish, and she scolds her husband for not thinking to ask for a gift in return for the fish's freedom.  The fisherman's wife nags her husband until he agrees to go and summon the fish to ask for a gift.

The next day the fisherman returns to the sea and summons the fish.

"Flounder, Flounder in the sea,
Prythee, hearken unto me:
My wife, Ilsebil, must have her own will,
And sends me to beg a boon of thee." (from the original Grimm's version of this tale)

The fish appears and asks the fisherman what his wife would like, and the fisherman says she would like to live in a nice cottage.  The fish says, it is so, and the fisherman thanks the fish and returns home to find his wife happy with their new cottage which is surrounded by nice vegetable gardens and plenty of livestock.

A week or so goes by, and then the fisherman's wife becomes unhappy again.  She wants her husband to summon the fish again and asks this time for a castle.  After much nagging the fisherman agrees and once again summons the fish who grants his wish.  His wife now has her castle.  But she quickly becomes unhappy, and repeatedly nags her husband into summoning the fish for greater wishes.  After the castle she wishes to be king (or queen ), then emperor, then the pope, each time the flounder grants her wish, but every time the fisherman returns to the sea to summon the fish the sea becomes much rougher and stormy.

Even though the fisherman's wife is now the pope, she is not content.  When she realizes one morning that she does not control when the sun rises and sets, she has another wish in mind.  She wishes to be Lord of the Universe.  Her husband is appalled by his wife's requests, and begs her to be happy as pope.  She threatens and nags her husband until he goes to summon the fish.  When he arrives at the sea the storm is much worse, and the skies are dark, he summons the fish who asks what the fisherman's wife wants this time, and the fisherman tells the fish that his wife wishes to be Lord of the Universe.  The fish says "Now she must go back to her old hovel; and there she is."

And to this day that is where the fisherman and his wife are.

I loved this tale, perfect for teaching a lesson in contentedness as well as a cautionary tale to the nagging wife.

This is a picture that hangs in my parents-in law's beach house.  We all love this old sea captain picture, and it reminded me of this tale as well (even though he is a captain and not a poor fisherman).  He welcomes us to the beach every time we visit! :)

For this fairy tale's craft, I originally wanted to sew a golden fish, but I didn't want to leave out the fisherman, so instead opted for another page in our fairy tale scrapbook.  I decided it would be fun to make the scene as though one was looking at it through a ship's porthole.  Here is how it turned out.

I am looking forward to getting more fairy tale crafting done over the next couple of weeks and have quite a few in mind to work on.  I really enjoyed our beach trip, and our whole summer, and am now looking forward to the new school year.  I hope everyone has a nice weekend!

You can read about our recent trip to the beach in my post Flying a Kite and Exploring Tide Pools.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Flying a Kite and Exploring Tide Pools

Last week we decided to squeeze in another trip to the coast before school started.  The beach is one of my favorite places to be, and we had a wonderful few days of playing in the ocean and exploring the coast, a perfect way to end our summer break.

We always get to the beach and get our things settled and spend our first evening playing in the sand and the waves while the sun goes down, the sunsets were beautiful.

The moon was also putting on a rather impressive show over the weekend as it approached a full moon on Friday, the second full moon in August, which by some definitions made it a rare "blue moon".  On the drive home we saw the moon so big and round and orange it was definitely looking like an autumn moon, sadly our auto focus cameras did it no justice, but it was beautiful.

We spent a lot of time splashing around in the waves, the water was warm, and really nice.

Every year when we visit the coast in August we see large flocks of pelicans, they were flying back and forth fishing, they are such large and impressive birds!

One of the days we were at the beach the wind was blowing sand everywhere, so we set up a nice spot to relax among the grassy hills that kept the sand from blowing into our eyes.

Sarah took the opportunity to make a fairy house in the grass.

She wove grass blades to make the walls, made beds of woven grass and feathers.

Decorated with found sticks and a couple beach flowers.

And Gary whittled a little fairy table out of a stick.   We are sure the fairies on a beach vacation will enjoy it. ;)  We are inspired by this series  Fairy Houses . . . Everywhere! (The Fairy Houses Series) , and enjoy finding spots to build little fairy houses.

One thing that was on my list of things to do was to fly a kite, we had never flown a kite on the beach before, and always see them flying.  We found a small classic looking kite in the local toy shop and thought we would give it a try.

I had no idea how easy it was to fly a kite on the beach, it went right up.

We all had fun watching it dance around, and seeing how high we could get it to go.

I have definitely found a new tradition, I enjoyed kite flying quite a bit.

I think our classic little kite looked so pretty up in the bright blue sky.  I look forward to trying other kite shapes on our future beach trips.

We also made our way to Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach, during low tide you can explore the tide pools all around it.

We spent quite some time looking in all of the different tide pools.

There were lots of very colorful starfish and sea anemones.

I loved this color of green, it looked like a miniature landscape of beautiful lush islands.

Sarah and Joe had a great time exploring.

I loved the purple and orange star fish.

and these bright green sea anemones.

There were lots of individual rocks in their own pool of water, we had fun looking for hermit crabs and little fish.

Cannon Beach was such a nice place to explore, we brought binoculars and were able to see various birds living way up on top of the rocks as well, definitely a great place to visit.

I look forward to our next beach visit, it was a very rejuvenating trip, and the perfect way to relax before gearing up for the busy school year.

Hope everyone is having a nice Labor Day weekend!