Wednesday, July 29, 2009


It's been a day for the record books...

I never thought i'd ever say AZ followed me North, but it did.

Right now it is heading close to sunset and it is 103.8 in the shade on our deck. Yikes!

Today, Ri and i went to a concert of a local band called Recess Monkey, and i have to say, those guys rocked--especially be a monkey bar climbing conga line was formed and we all headed through the big granite ball waterpark on the corner of the venue to cool off, half way through the show.

That was at twelve...and on the way home, driving through the Valley, we noticed that the temp on the bank sign was reportedly 109 degrees. Sheesh!!

Thankfully with a daylight basement (with our windows downt here blocked with some lifesaving curtains Poppa and Achoo assisted us with before they left for Brasil) and 3 window a/c units, we're keeping our house in the cool lower 80's. Tonight i am needing to head over to our neighbour's home to air it out, as she is out of town in L.A. (lucky girl!!) and i am not looking forward to the 90-100 degree temps i shall find in her home.

Washington just wasn't made for this heat! The webbing is drying out and cracking been my toes. :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Seafair Is Here!! Woot Woot!!

The roar of the Blue Angel has come to the Pacific NW!! This is the most exciting time of year around here! Naval ship come in from Everett to the Seattle Waterfront, the Blue Angels come into town and do shows of I-90 and Lake Washington, and the hydroplanes hold races out on Lake WA too! If the weather holds out, we should be able to see a few Blue Angels from the deck as some of those manuveurs
they do require 5-7 mile long "u-turns" to get back into position for the next trick.

I miss working at Harborview for this reason only: we'd go out at showtimes and you'd catch a glimpse of the planes flying so close to the tops of the buildings. One of the most beautiful things i've ever seen--a Blue Angel framed by 14 story sandstone coloured buildings with a deep blue sky in the background. Oh!, but the racket they made--a minute or two after they flew by seemingly so silently, then the sound catches up and reverberates off the sides of the building! Ei yi ei!

This video here was taken by our KOMO news at Boeing Field, Seattle.

Avoiding Fried Chicken

Poor hot chickens!! We've been changing the h2o regularly and giving them a bit of the ol' watermelon. Their still panting and spreading heir wings like their very uncomfortable, so next i think i am going to try the water frozen in milk cartons idea--the melting ice will result in a condensation "miracle" treatment for these poor birds.

I also was able to contribute to the YouNews on our local ABC news affiliate and it was posted almost immediately!

Thank goodness this is all over on Thursday!

Official reading at 3:45pm is 93.4 degrees (in the shade) UGH!!!

Have I Been Teleported Back to Tucson?

3 words (because my brain is slumping in this heat like a pillar candle in a wall sconce):


Soon i suspect that saguaros will be sprouting in my garden next to the tomatoes! :o)

Monday, July 27, 2009

RIP Blueberries...

i hope you were as sour as i thought you were, which is why i left them on the bushes for a few more days.

Welp, as if i needed another reason to move from our neighbourhood and completely withdraw from society and become a hermit, i just discovered another one:

walked out to check how the blueberries were holding up in the heat, prepared to pick them if i needed too, and Lo! and behold, if someone didn't beat me to it.

Checked with hubbie. He didn't pick them.

Checked for damaged berries dropped by birds. None.

Stems are still intact and green berries are still on bush where bluer berries were next to them.

I'm no Sherlock Holmes, but i believe that some blokes made off with my blueberries!! There was atleast a pint on one bush!!

(and i apologise to any blokes that may be reading this blog, as i realise that "blokes" is too good of a term to be using on scumbag neighbours that would steal produce out of someone's garden. However, i light of this being a family friendly blog...i hope you'll understand.)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Red Handed = More Jammin'

Today, Hubbie took Ri to an M's game and i got to spend a good portion of the day with my parents before they leave on their 2nd honeymoon to Brasil in a couple days!! Woot!

So we decided to try out the new International Farmer's Market (i don't know why it's called that, especially in this day and age of promoting "eat local") in a town just south of us. And, it wasn't a bad little market for the 1st season it's been in business. I was very surprised they had a meat vendor and lots of yummy fruits and veggies to choose from, 2 local honey farmers...

We splurged on a 1/2 flat of boysenberries from my favourite farm in Sumner and a yellow watermelon. Their market is right in the heart of the Sounder commuter rail station, so it was like 7th Heaven for both my parents--Mom could get her fill of "window shopping" while Dad could train geek it up, taking pictures of the commuter rail and Amtrak and frieghts rollin' by.

After we meandered home, i decided i should get the boysenberries made into jam to be sure they wouldn't be wasted. Using the basic recipe from before and with a full blown brainstorm, i combined:

2 cups mashed boysenberries
1 cup pitted, mashed cherries
3 TBSP lemon juice
2.5 cups sugar

It tastes delightful so far!
I'll have to try to make some more and maybe i can call it my special "boys 'n' cherries" jam. :o)
I wonder what allspice would taste like in it??? Hmmmm???

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

U of ID Extension "Children's Learning Garden"

While in ID, Achoo took us to the Children's Learning Garden. The Ag Extension offices are located just a hop, skip, and jump away from my parent's place, so what better garden to get ideas from for them, but this one! It was designed by the U of I Master Gardeners. It's hard to read on my handout i picked up, but i believe the entire area is 24' x 40'.

For construction of the beds, they used a variety of materials they found on site.

side views of the entire garden

Here is a bed constructed out of cinder block (64sq ft)

It consists of onions, chili peppers, and maybe some green beans there around the poles.
I love how they planted the holes in the cinder blocks too...trying to think if something edible could be planted in those holes.

Here's another bed (88 sq. ft.) constructed of timber.

Lots of cauliflower and broccoli.

This is another timber construction bed (96 sq ft)
constructed to be able to use row covers when frosts come (if they come early.)

All tomatoes! Now that's what i'm talking about!!

This is a 80 sq ft bed made of wattle (the straw filled tubes used in controlling sediment flows in runoff on construction sites.) At the garden they call this the "Keyhole garden", which would explain it's unusual shape.

this just contains lettuces and herbs

as you can see just behind is a little rock fountian and a bird bath.

This is a 84 sq ft area of the garden left for planting corn.
They used the 3 Sisters method (a Native American tradition) that uses corn as the trellising mechanism for beans, which in turn provide fixed nitrogen for the corn. Squash is also planted for a living mulching system. The combo didn't seem to be working too well, however maybe in longer, warmer climates it would.

This is their pumpkin patch at 16 sq ft.

I love their composting bin, and can't wait to get one of my own like it someday!
I dont' know what the solar panel is for though.

Now i am not saying this garden is the end all be all...i can't believe they don't have any berries or fruits in the garden!! Granted, the berries would attract the bears, but is a garden complete without fruit? And on that note, i can't imagine how the deer haven't devoured this garden yet! Heck, or the moose even--this is near the area we captured that video of the meandering moose.

The best part about this garden though are not only it's experiments, but ...

it's all being grown and donated for the local food banks!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Happy Anniversary!!

There is a little known holiday celebration today. As it was from the beginning, it is trumped by the celebration of the first man to walk on the moon. After all, who can compete with NASA.

However, considering the troubles NASA has been having lately, i would venture to say that maybe today's celebration is the rememberance of something profoundly successful, if not more, than our nation's beloved space program.

40 years ago my parents drove from AZ up to Tonopah, NV to get married. The day after, they watched in awe with the rest of the country the "Giant Leap for Mankind". Kinda fitting for something like taking a giant leap with someone else, promising to live the rest of your life together.

Congratulations Mom and Dad!!

Our Cast of Characters

Ri feeding dandelions to Lil Miss No Feathers

Meringue (aka Mama Chicken), who sadly is broody again! Grrr!

Victoria (aka Vicki) planting herself in the garden--hee hee

And now...introducing the chicas y chico!

Vanilla Macaroon (previously known as Perch, because everytime i open up the coop, she jumps on my arm like she's a pet hawk.) Ri wants to call her Nilla or Mac for short.

Ri named this chick Caroline. Perfect, don't you think?

Ri also named the smallest chick of our flock Chocolate.
(huh, do ya think maybe Ri was hungry when she named these chicks?)

This is Souffle', or Sue for short.
Of course, the minute i said it, Ri started singing "My name is Sue, how do you do?"
Sue has the prettiest eyes for a chicken!

And this guy, from Day One i've had his number (well, Day Two i guess, cause when we brought them home they were 2 days old.) :o)
He's always been the chick that jumps on the others' heads or competes for the cool perching areas. He's also started the nasty biting habit, but i am trying to have a little counselling with him on that. You know the kind, "You'd better watch it boy, or you are going to end up a table decoration!" Ri calls him the Naughty Looster.
But from Day One, i've called him Stormin' Norman
(or Norma--depending on how the case may be...)

As you can see by that emerging comb, i think it's a Norman.
Let's hope we don't have to get him the Roo treatment,
but i have a feeling it's only a matter of time. :o\

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Gifts From The Garden: 7.18.09

echinaeca are sprouting back to life

we've 4 pumpkins now

the honeybees are swarming the lavenders...drunk with all that wonderful nectar!

these are the first hollyhocks i've ever grown

and the sunsugar toms are ripening! woohoo!
the best news today is: Seattle's LIGHT RAIL opened!
hooray! we can't wait to use it for field trips this year!

Friday, July 17, 2009

No Horsepucky Here: Wilber, WA

As promised last month, here is a post about a little Maw and Paw place we have come to love ever since our straying from the Interstate and heading to Idaho an usual way: by US 2--where the speed limit is still obeyed and if there are any other cars on the highway besides your's, they are at least a half mile ahead or behind. :o)

We were travelling through Wilber, WA when we found this:

Just the sign intriguied us, because it was Father's Day weekend and we were heading over to see my parents, one of whom happens to have a history of being called "Billy". :o) So of course, immediately, my kid wanted to stop to eat here so she could tell her G'pa that she had eaten at a burger joint with the same name as him. :o)

Little did we know what true treasures lay inside--


Here are just a few items of her collection that Ri really liked:

These have to be my favourite.
Maybe it's because i grew up in close proximity to Tombstone, AZ? You know the old headstone from Boot Hill Graveyard? "Here lies Lester Moore, took four slugs from a .44. No Les, no more." :o)

So if you ever find yourself on US 2 WA, then you'd be doing yourself a favour by stopping in to Billy Burgers! The burgers are pretty darn good and the shakes are great! So thick, they'll make it to the next town (which is saying alot because the next town to eat in is about an hour away!) :o)

Nona and me enjoying a peanut butter and chocolate shake

And just for a teaser for my next post....
we also found this out on the outskirts of Wilber.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Just An Opposable Thumb Away...


I couldn't believe what i witnessed today, and it has me thinking about the whole evolution thing...specifically whether my chickens are going to start caring for themselves or not. :o)

I watched a black capped chickdee today pick a nugget o' goodness out of the suet, and with it tightly clutched in his beak, he flew to the wire just above my head. I was going to move out of the way before the inevitable happened, but rather was sucked in, gawking at this bird by his ability to transfer the nugget to his claws--and with both feet grasped the nugget and started peeling away at it nibble by nibble.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Home again

Two literal meanings to that post title there: we just came back home to Hubbie after spending time in Idaho at home with Achoo and Poppa. It was Poppa's birthday--and it was SUMMER! So we had lots of fun!

Sunset over Roman Nose and the Seven Sisters (Selkirk Mtns, ID)
Poppa's Birthday Brownie:
maybe we shouldn't joke about not skimping on the brownie or i.c. since we had a birthday boy with that kind, albeit sneaky jokester of a waiter again...he went a little crazy with the serving size. Thankfully he didn't skimp on the brownie though, because it's made with their microbrewed Knot Tree Porter! Yum! Just like Nigella's "Guinness Chocolate Cake" i love!

Nona and me at the beach

Lake Pd'O

Sunset over the Selkirks and Lake Pend d'Oreille

There is this place in ID known as "Beyond Hope"--i believe it might be an actual township. Anyway, as you're heading East on Hwy 200 (toward MT), you travel through Hope, then East Hope, then Beyond Hope, and the local joke is that once you pass there and come to Clark Fork, ID then there's "No Hope". :o)
Anyhoo, at Beyond Hope there are a lot of cabin rentals and RV parks, lakeside camping, etc. So as you can imagine the deer are pretty friendly here because they are always getting a handout. We saw this little one (lots of fawns this time of year!) and 31 other deer just driving through the neighbourhood there.

Little did we know that wasn't going to be the coolest animal siting of the evening...

Sorry it's not a very awesome video...but we were all just so excited to see her (as you can hear by Ri's soundtrack.) :o)