Friday night we went on an road trip to see some hot air balloons in Ozark, MO, just south of Springfield. This is the farthest we have trekked into southern Missouri and it did not disappoint. Rolling green hills, a sprinkling of trees and the Osceola Cheese Company. 

We had no idea what we were getting into and Ozark is whoa fully unprepared for the amount of people and traffic that come to their small town for the Balloon Glow Friday night and then the Sertoma Duck Race (yellow rubber duckies floating on the river) the next day. Let's not forget rodeo and rides as well. We got to see a car show, a bunch of booths and festival rides, and a night firing of the hot air balloons. All the big ticket stuff was the next day. This place was so packed that it took us an hour at least to get out of the parking lot at the end of the night. Couple that with a very tired preschooler that emphatically insists that she doesn't have to go until just as we are leaving the parking lot despite being in the car right next to a port-a-potty for the last 45 minutes. All of us were a little cranky at the end. 

This was my first time around hot air balloons and I was itching to try out the camera on my new cell phone. Just so darn cool. My favorite part was watching the balloons slowly rise up off the ground and fight each other for space. They really packed them in tightly together and we watched them all bend and sway when their flames were turned on. I didn't expect the hot air balloons to be so hot. All the conductors? pilots? were sweating through their shirts. But it totally makes sense seeing hot they are shooting a giant flame up into the balloon. 

In the end my favorite thing to watch was the people. 

Farm Report: I canned my first batch of pickles of the year! Bread and butter pickles made from the cucumbers that I grew from seed. Those plants are so hardy they are strangling out my tomatoes and sugar snap peas and climbing the yard fence. There's going to better crop planning next year. But just look what a little experimenting can accomplish! 

Reading: Waste Free Kitchen Handbook by Dana Gunders. It's pretty amazing the amount of food we waste and we are very experimental cooks. With these new phones I'm looking for ways to button down the hatches and trim some corners. In reality it's just apart of a larger reduce, reuse, recycle kick that I've been on. I just found out that we can recycle all the plastics!

Listening to: Artists Helping Artists Podcast. They had an episode on copyrights! This is now my new favorite podcast and I'm working my way steadily through the back episodes. If only it weren't so skewed towards painters, but that's the medium they bother work in. 

Cooking: My tomatoes haven't been doing too well. It's been so hot here that I've had a hard time keeping them watered. On top of that a lot of them have developed blossom rot so I've been picking them to conserve the plants strength. I had probably about 7 or 8 little green tomatoes with rotten ends and then I got the brilliant idea to slice off the bottoms and make friend green tomatoes. Delicious! Waste not want not. We had a big fry last night for dinner because once you have the oil going you might as well do everything.