Saturday, August 30, 2008

Labor Day Flea Market

Every Labor Day weeked, the town next to us holds it's annual Labor day flea markets. More properly known as the VFW Flea Market & Gun Show, which has been called the largest American flea market to the east of the Mississippi river. It is held twice a year and usually attracts around 500,000 visiters. Vendors and customers have arrived from as far away as Germany, Africa and South Korea (thanks Wikipedia).

It's hard to really get a feel for it in this pictures, but the entire town becomes consumed by the flea markets. It's 1.5- 2 miles all along the main road, and every parking lot and field is filled with vendors. It's huge!

It was really hot out, and really crowded. We wandered around a bit looking for deals and treasures. Didn't find much, but did enjoy some classic fair food. i just can't resist those blooming onions and Hawaiian shaved ice. The flea market is held every Labor day and Memorial day, although the Labor day one is the big one. We come every year, not really to buy stuff...just to wander and take it all in.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Kenan returned from his week at AGI (wonka world) on Sunday.
He had a really amazing time and met some really great people. He had two demonstrations that went really well. He received a lot of really great feedback from his peers, and got an ego boost that he needed.

Kenan giving a bead making demonstration in the main hall.

Here he is giving a marble making demonstration in the main hall.

He had the chance to play on this monster torch, which has at least twice the power of his torch at home. He came home feeling very blessed, and really motivated to create some beautiful art.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

First day of First grade.

Sequoia was very excited to go back to school. i wasn't quite as excited to send him. :( He did fine his first day though, and was excited to see his friends, play on the playground and get back into groove of things.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


This year we had a crazy amount of peaches! The tree was so heavy with peaches the branches were almost touching the ground. We really should have thinned it down more, but it was so hard to pick and throw away little peaches. :) This has definitely been our best year for peaches so far.

Sage love to help pick peaches. :)

These are some of the peaches we gave away. We gave a bunch away, and then just started calling people and telling them "We have boxes on the deck, Come and take what you want!"

There are still a bunch on the tree!!!!

My mom was visiting this week, and was a huge help. She helped me to tackle the peaches and other foods we were harvesting. This isn't everything! i've got over a dozen pints of peach halves, half a dozen quarts, two dozen jars of peach jam, two dozen jars of blackberry jam and four pints of salsa. i went out this weekend and bought more canning jars. :) My deep freezer is packed to the top!

We took a box of peaches down to our neighbor, and he said he'd take all the spotty, bruised and ugly ones. He's going to make a batch of peach wine and give us a couple bottles in exchange.

When we were canning, freezing and baking peaches...all the skins, soft spots, mushy peaches etc were fed to the chickens. All the badly bruised and rotted peaches are going into our compost. Next year, it'll be added into our garden to help grow more food. So even though i hate seeing rotting peaches on the ground, nothing is really wasted. It's all a circle. It's truly amazing how much one tree can provide.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

...I've got a golden ticket

This week, Kenan has headed to Pennsylvania for the annual Art Glass Invitational. (AGI) The week long glass blowing event is themed after “Charlie and the Chocolate
Factory" and is hosted by none other than Mr. Wonka. The event is limited to around 65 people, and if you are one of the lucky chosen, your invitation to attend comes in the form of a golden Wonka ticket.

The golden ticket!! Wohoo!

This is not the first golden ticket Kenan has received, or the first AGI he has attended, however this year he was asked to be a demonstrator. So he gets to attend for free (cost is usually $600!), and will be holding two classes demonstrating his fuming techniques.

This is a great experience and amazing opportunity, he'll not only get to meet and work with some of the best glass blowers in the world, he may even teach them a thing or two. :)

"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams" ~Mr. Willy Wonka.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo...

The weekend of August 8-10, my folks came down for a visit, and came with us to the NC Zoo. We have been planning the trip all summer. It's only a couple hours away, but we decided to stay the night at a hotel and make a weekend get away out of it.

The zoo was really nice, it was split up into North America and Africa. The animals were not that impressive, but the layout of the zoo was. It was really a beautiful zoo, with nice areas for the animals to roam, beautiful art sculptures and gorgeous landscaping. Although the zoo was quite busy, the area was so spread out that it never felt crowded.

There were several indoor 'habitats' that we really enjoyed. You could walk through and see plants native to the particular climate. Birds native to the region would be flying over your heads, and if you looked closely you might see a snake, lizard or other critter scurrying along the ground. Sage loved these tortoises...or 'tuttles' as she calls them.

Sequoia is always a good sport about getting his picture taken. Sage, not so much.

i was thrilled to see that all the trams and trolleys were powered by vegetable oil! How cool is that???

Sage had the best view of everything.

i loved the 'red' elephants. Their skin is stained red from dust bathing, and rolling around in the red clay soil of North Carolina. hee hee. They were really red!

The kids stopping to rest with Pap.

One of the highlights of the zoo, was the Garden friends playground. The garden themed playground transforms gigantic sculptures of squash, bugs, leaves, vines and flowers into slides, climbing toys, swings and other play structures for children. There was a giant spider web to climb in, a praying mantis to sit on, Several giant squash to climb on or in, you could slide down the giant leaves and there were lots of twisting vines to run through and climb on. It was really very cool. The playground was definitely the highlight of the zoo trip for the kids.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Staining the basement floor.

i first came across the idea of staining the basement floor, after stumbling upon Cathy Moore's story. i was searching for information on concrete leaf pressings, but found this page instead. i loved the way her floor looked, and also loved that it was created just using an inexpensive garden additive. So i shared the idea with Kenan. Unfortunately, the concrete had already set and it was too late to do score marks. So i started looking around at some other ways to finish the floor. i came across this site, which used an acid stain. However, rather than scoring the concrete they used 1/4" quilter tape to create the pattern that would simulate grout lines after the stain was applied. So we combined the ideas...not really knowing if it would actually work.

Kenan did a great job laying down the quilter's tape. Then i did the dirty work of applying the Hi- Yield Copperas. i put two coats on then let it sit overnight. In the morning we rinsed off all the excess, let it dry and then removed the quilters tape. We applied two coats of concrete sealer.

Some of the benefits of using Copperas are the extremely low cost. We paid $5 for the bag of copperas, and only used half the bag. The remaining copperas (iron sulphate) can be used on my blueberry bushes and azalias. It's orginal intended use is to lower the PH in acid loving plants. It is non-toxic, produces no harmful fumes or waste products like the acid stains.

It also produces rich earthy colors, reminiscent of red clay or marbled stone. It was difficult to capture in the pictures, there are no lights down there yet, and the flash made a horrible glare. We took a chance with it, as there was no guarantees on how it would turn out. However, we are really pleased with it.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Budding photographer.

Yesterday Sequoia asked if he could take some pictures. So i reluctantly handed over my camera. He ran around the house and yard taking pictures of different things and then we brought them up on the computer to check them out. Here are a few of my favorites.

Bee balm

Holly hock

Self portrait



Kali (Foo)

Friday, August 1, 2008

My little artist. :)

i've been wanting to get the kids a simple artist easel, but they are so expensive. i decided to make my own, using found objects around the house. i made this in about 30 min. using three wooden tomato stakes, three long nails, one piece of scrap lumber about 18" long and a priority box, turned inside out.

Sage absolutely loves it! It's all she wants to do now, is 'paint, paint paint!!'

She is yelling, 'mama look!, mama look!!' Obviously very proud of her painting.

It didn't take her long to realize she made a great canvas as well. Hooray!! for washable paints!