Monday, July 25, 2011

First Canning

Laura, Joel, and I went over to Pick and Pick where we picked about 5 pounds of blackberries.

Here's Laura's half. The farmers said that it had been a bad year for them because of the April frost, so we just got enough for both of us to make some jam.

After a hot hour and a half or so in the field, we went for a swim at their house.


I stayed up late and made jam. This was my first time canning, but I knew it was going to be hot work. Doing it at night was a good idea.

I divided out my blackberries so that I had what the recipe called for.

Then I gathered my supplies.

The jam came together nicely but I couldn't take any more pictures since I was wearing oven mitts.

After that I sliced up the cucumbers that Stacy and Star brought over. Dill pickles are supposedly really easy to make, so I tried a packet of Mrs. Wages pickle mix for the first time. It actually was pretty simple.

After a good night's sleep I woke up to find that all of my jars sealed! I now have 7 quarts of pickles (3 garlic spears, 1 spicy dill chips, 1 dill chips, and 2 dill spears) and 7 jars of blackberry jam.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bruce and Bela

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We were offered free tickets again, this time for Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones at the Crossroads in Kansas City. It was a no-brainer for me, since I grew up on Bruce Hornsby and the Range's "Scenes from the Southside". We had our doubts about the show because of the heat and the outdoor venue. The temps at 9pm were 91 degrees, so it was a sweltering night. In the end I was really glad that we went. My highlights were Bruce doing "Standing on the Moon" and when Bela joined him for "Valley Road". Here's a great article about the show from the Kansas City Star (plus photo credit). The encore was a jam with both bands, so I was really glad that the heat broke a little and we stayed until the end.

We stayed at the Hyatt Crown Center for the second time. I completely forgot my camera, but I managed to take pictures of the "Buckyball Sculpture" with my phone.

Andrea split the room with us, and we spent most of Saturday morning in the pool. As she put it on facebook, "I don't think there's a better way to start a summer day than with a dip in a pool. The whole weekend was a giant win!"

Since we wanted to make the most out of our Kansas City journey, we traveled over to 80 acres, formerly known as Doolittle Farms. The Central Plains Jamband Society crew (who also run the St. Bernards program) is having their 10 year anniversary party out there. We met some of the CPJS's board members and the sound guy to look things over. There is a very simple stage, camping areas, and a kitchen. It is going to be the perfect place for food (pot-luck style), camping, and music (5 local Kansas City bands).

Since we were detouring all over the place anyway, on the way home we stopped by the Lexington, MO airport dropzone to see our friend Chris jump out of an airplane. He's a tandem instructor, so there was talk of going on a tandem dive. I think I'll save that for another weekend.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mid-Week Show

Wednesday night shows are usually difficult for us to get to, but we made a special exception for The Heavy Pets. This band is from Fort Lauderdale and is on their "rare" Midwest tour. They played a killer show at Mojo's!

The only downside to this show was that on the way out, I dropped one of my Etymotic earplugs and it went underneath the Mojo's deck. It's gone forever! Now I'm going to have to order a new set.

Photo from

Saturday, July 2, 2011

KC 4th of July

As a St. Bernard thank you we were offered two VIP tickets to Umphrey's McGee in at the Crossroads in Kansas City. We booked a hotel room at the Hyatt Crown Center.

Here's our view from our room on the 34th floor.

We swam in the pool in the afternoon. The we went to dinner at a nice Italian place in the shopping center before the show.

We especially enjoyed what we named the "bucky ball sculpture" in the lobby.

I didn't bring my camera because we walked from the hotel to the venue, so I didn't want to carry a bunch of stuff. I got one shot with my phone.

Looks kinda steamy, huh? It was a hot out!

I've listened to the recording of the show twice already. It rocked!

The next day we had some time to kill, so we went to the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum. We could have spent all day there, easy! Here's me standing on the front step, overlooking the one of the World's Largest Shuttlecocks.

One of our favorite exhibits was Roxy Paine's Scumak's and Dendroids. Here's a picture from above of the Scumak maker:

And here's one of the finished pieces:

I was almost too overwhelmed to take pictures. It was amazing and I'd love to go back again soon.