Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Random Wednesday Thoughts

1. I ate a fortune cookie the other day and the fortune said, "Much success will find you in the coming year." Then I ate another one and the fortune said something like, "Take control of your subconscious before someone else does." What does that even mean?! I'm going with the first one for sure.

2. Fresh, warm zucchini bread is wonderful. It just came out of the oven and I'm eating while I type. I think I could eat the whole pan. It's like eating vegetables, right?

3. I love the sound of tearing perforated paper. Like the checks at my job. I don't know why. I told you these were random thoughts.

4. I also love listening to my ipod on shuffle. This is because: a. I hear songs I forgot I had; b. I am reminded that I have great, eclectic taste in music; and c. the juxtaposition of songs in fantastic! I love that I can hear Miles Davis, Sons of Provo, Frank Sinatra, Yellow Card, Barbara Streisand, and Rascal Flatts all in the same afternoon. Currently: Bing Crosby singing "Silent Night." Also, this way it's ok to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. The excuse: "What?! My ipod was on 'shuffle.' It just came up." Brilliant.

5. Speaking of brilliant, my new favorite TV show is just that. Anyone ever watch Top Gear on BBC America? You should. My brother made me watch it a couple of weeks ago and I was not excited, because I thought it would be a lame car show. NOT LAME!!! So funny I was crying. I now have 11 episodes on my dvr and I've converted Ariane.

6. I am so excited for my family to be here next week that I'm about ready to burst!

7. Next Thursday morning will the "1st Ever Harlow Family Run Before You're Hungry." Intrigued? Check back next week for pictures and results. Should be a blast!

Ok - I have a zillion more thoughts, but you'll have to tune in next time to find out what they might be. :)

Last item: Anyone know what the picture below is? I mean - besides a sign that says, "Nando's?" 50 points to the person can guess the significance.

By Popular Demand

Because two people requested pictures of the gourds, here you go. :) They're nothing fancy, but we had fun. It's more like we stained them. Some people paint designs, make them into snowmen, etc. We just made them look fall-like. Clearly I do not have the skills to make them look great in photos, and if I had some fall leaves it would be better, but you at least get the idea. Enjoy! And...if anyone wants to paint gourds next year, I'm in!

*Yes, these were the same three gourds in this whole series of pictures. :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Adventure: Gourd Festival

I know what you're thinking. "Who even goes to a 'Gourd Festival' and how is it possibly an adventure?' Is that what you were thinking. I knew it. I'm a little psychic. So let me explain.

I'm not sure if this happens in other places, but in California's San Joaquin Valley and surrounding areas, we like to have festivals. These generally revolve around a fruit or vegetable or something for which the area is well known. My hometown of Stockton has the Asparagus Festival. Sometimes these festivals are money traps disguised as celebrations of a particular food. I was greatly disappointed when I went to the chocolate festival (in a town that will remain nameless) and did not find the streets paved in chocolatey goodness. No. In fact, chocolate was hardly anywhere to be found, and the free samples were even more scarce. (We all know that every good festival should have free samples.) There were about a dozen or so tables selling chocolate, and the rest was carnival rides, car shows, concerts, and food stands (none of which sold chocolate). And everything was over priced. But I digress...

Davis Ranch is a farm just east of Sacramento, between my house and my grandparents' house. And apparently (among the other delightful produce that they sell) they are known for gourds, because that is the festival that they hold. My Aunt Lynda and Uncle Mike were in town from San Diego, so my mom, grandma, Lynda, and I spent a lovely Saturday morning with the gourds.

And I have to say - it was a wonderful festival. Free parking and admission put me in a good mood right away. The set-up was clean and well thought out. AND apparently I've been missing out on gourd art for the past 32 years! Some of it was weird and I'd never buy it. But some of it was fabulous! The artists were very friendly and shared techniques and ideas with us.

So...We bought a big bag of raw pick-your-own gourds, and then we cleaned them and painted them. And they came out beautifully! It was really fun. You'll have to stop by and see my gourds sometime. :) And, I think I'll go back next year. Here are a few pictures that I took.

I know these aren't gourds, but they had the most wonderful pick-your-own strawberry patch. They use a hydroponic growing system so they have a ton of berries - and you don't even have to bend down to get them. Genius! And the smell was divine. Here's Lynda, Grandma, and Mom picking berries.

Aren't these gourd-geous? Hahahahaha! I love gourd humor!

So maybe I didn't take any specific pictures of the gourds, but in this picture of a strawberry you can see a big crate of the unfinished ones in the background. See it? Really - there were mountains of gourds.

Oh - and this was my favorite sign found near the goats. "Important safety tip. Thanks Egon."

Adventure: TWINS!

Way back in July, my brother and his wife added TWINS to their family. Mollie was a trooper and carried these bundles of joy all the way to full term! In August, my grandparents and I were able to make the trip to Boise to meet the newest additions to the family - Dylan and Claire. Then I was lucky enough to turn around and visit them again over Labor Day weekend. Three kids = Aunt Heaven. I am so lucky to be an aunt! Love! Love! Love! Here are some picture of the first trip.

Here's Mollie with Claire and Dylan. Doesn't she look fantastic?!

Me and Kalls. We sure do have fun together!

And...sometimes we're a little silly. :)

Kallie, Grandma, Grandpa, Dylan, Me, and Claire. Kallie is an expert roller-blader (as long as you're there to catch her).

What a cute family!!! I wish we all lived closer together!

Monday, November 1, 2010


We're one game away from winning the World Series! So...for all those who thought it would be the Braves in 4, the Phillies in 5, the Rangers in 6, but NEVER the Giants, here's a little music video about how much some people believe in our team. Some people listen to Akon, but Giants fans have Ashkon. Enjoy!