Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Stills :: Statues & Figurines

Great timing! My dad's hobby provided the inspiration for my submission this week. He loves watching, photographing, modelling, and breathing anything modern day diesel freight trains. A railfan as some would say, but *true* men with the burning passion for locomotives refer to themselves as "Train Geeks". The coolest having personal license plates stating such. :o)

Thankfully, my dad has a ton of awesome model trains on a layout in a 1/3 of his basement for this week's challenge. Most of these cars and engines he's painted and decaled himself. To my sheer delight he had his original, handcrafted tank car out...if you can read the contents, you're sure to see why it's my all time fav!

This is Dad enjoying what he loves!
Here's to all those train geeks out there!!
To see more Sunday Stills re: Statue and Figurines, click here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Paragon of Fashion

Cookie monster put this ensemble together herself.  What talent, eh?

Would you have guessed she'd be going to play mini golf with Moose dressed like this?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sunday Stills :: Metal

At first, this challenge was causing me a bit of stress.

Then i had a revelation.

There is a piece of metal which is the most important piece of metal in my life: my wedding band.

Moose and i looked at a few stores for wedding bands when we were in the market for them almost 10 years ago. I wanted matching bands, and we settled on some that was "alright" from a mall jeweler.

While i was at our jeweler picking out gifts for my bridesmaids, i saw a couple of rings that had been special ordered for another couple with Celtic designs in them, and fell in love! That evening i talked to Moose about what i saw, and we both decided we needed to order new bands. We like these eternity knots and had the backs inscribed with special messages to each other.

Poor Moose had the daunting task of returning the bands we had previously picked out at the mall jeweler. He said he still feels bad because he went in when a couple of older women were working and just told them "these didn't work out" and he thinks the women thought that i left him at the alter. }:o)

It was just meant to be: the rings to us and Moose and me! :o)

Farm Visit

We visited a farm with some friends yesterday. The people were very nice and were how i invision us being when we get our place--learning through experiments. :o)

They were heavy on animals and not so much on plants.
We watched the kids from the farm do their animal chores.

The geese used for eggs and meat Runner ducks used for eggs
and goats for milk and cheese.

I can't wait to have a farm.
The ducks, chickens and goats would be right up my alley,

But i would really have to have a garden too!
Harvested these today for lunch.
It's great only having to go to the store for grapes and avocados!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday = Garden Tour

We had a busy and hot week so far. Saturday, we went to a local island with some friends and spent the day there. Went to a kindie rock concert by Justin Roberts and enjoyed ice cream, the park, and catching up with our friends. I love days like that! We stayed on the island for Mass and afterward we ate at a local restaurant run by a local farm on the island where everything but the coffee is grown locally...the food served is grown, raised by Seabreeze or a couple other farms on the island. It was one of those "once in a lifetime" meals...only wish i was better dressed for it. :o) Their restaurant is amazing: it's a clean little French themed place in a little house next to one of the grocers, ironically. As you walk out to the deck seating, you pass their butcher counter--beautiful meats; the maroons of true, fresh beef roasts and burger, the beautiful yellow chickens and fresh sausages. Oy! More inspiration!! They have a beautiful blog in telling their story and concerns for food trends in this country.

Then, of course, after a gorgeous day on the breezy, farm & tree filled island with 1 traffic light on the whole island and with Mom and Pop establishments beckoning you in with their whimsical but welcoming store fronts (which the anti-conglomerate minded citizens have honoured with a motto known as "Keep Vashon Weird"--there is one franchise on the island: Subway sandwiches. And it was protested so much, i believe another franchise won't get a foothold in the place), it was time to get back to reality where driving through the areas of big box shopping areas (aka "Fertile Shopping Cresent") in a sea of fast food restaurants lining the streets to our neighbourhood where 96 degrees with dead still, smoggy city air.

It's been really hot as of the last 4 the 90's for 3 of them, breaking records for those too.
However,'s cloudy and currently 57 degrees. *sigh*

This Saturday will be 30 degree cooler than last Saturday. *double sigh*
It's not just Mother Nature that hasn't known what season it is all year.
The poppies are flowering for a second time,
I really like these "Buttercream" California poppies!
I hope to have a field of them someday!
Or maybe i'll have to settle for a parking strip full. ;)

Our first yellow squash is coming along.
Proof that the tomatoes have been happy over the last few days, they've started to blush a little.
I can't believe they've almost grown to the top of the 8 ft. stakes already!

Just before the hot weather we were able to harvest some of the fingerlings and lettuce.
This picture represents 3 pounds of fingerlings. Cookie Monster's had some made into mash, and they really weren't that bad.
Yesterday, we had some excitement too, that you've probably been reading about in the paper. I was downstairs watching t.v., flipping back and forth between Dylan and local news coverage, while C.m. was playing the computer with her grandma. I heard a huge crash, as if C.m. had fallen to the floor. I envisioned broken bones. Then she yelled "Mom, what was that?" I came running upstairs to see and there was another boom--the west side of our house moving violently. There wasn't any prolonged shaking, so it wasn't an earthquake. I panicked at the thought of having to go outside to see what it was...that side of our house isn't near any streets, but maybe something **HUGE** could have happened on the freeway--a tanker explosion or something? Then i started thinking bald eagles! They've been known to tangle in the air during fights and crash land in people's yards. Could they be on the roof? Was that the booms we heard? I looked out the window and the chickens seemed to be okay.
So i ran back downstairs to check the news. The president was visiting here in Seattle. He even went to my most favourite bakery who has a glorious cookbook that everyone should own! The news flash happened pretty quickly, as 911 was knocked our in some counties and overwhelmed with calls in other areas. Apparently, some yuppie was returning from vacation in a remote wealthier area of central Washington and didn't realise he had flown his private plane into secured airspace. Those booms? The 142nd's F-15 Eagles that were scrambled to intercept the yuppie's float plane--from Portland International to Seattle in 8 minutes!! Their sonic boom was heard from Longview, WA to Edmonds, WA (a distance of about 150 miles.) The planes in this division of the Nat'l Guard apparently cover the northern border of CA all the way to Alaska. They were reporting if the planes were scrambled to AK (which is 2550+ miles from Portland to Anchorage) it would take them 15 minutes to get there!! Amazing! (But so glad i didn't join the Air Force when i really wanted to be a pilot as a kid!) :o) Can you imagine the adrenalin rush those pilots had when they were called up, then cleared for flight faster than the speed of sound once they were in the sky?? **sheesh**
I sat out on the deck hoping to get a view of Air Force One as it flew passed, but conditions were such that it was taking off to the opposite direction. Grr! Of course, the year we see it from our deck, i didn't take a photo because it had Bush, Jr. in it, but this year when i'd like a picture....grr! That could have been my entry for Sunday Stills this week too, which is about metal.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Stills :: Where's There's Smoke, There's Fire

This week's challenge required smoke or fire. Many different interpretations have been submitted and are very interesting. You can check them out here.

In Western WA, there's only one safe place i know of for this to photograph this subject: Flaming Geyser State Park.

Granted, the name stirs all kinds of imagery in one's noggin, and seriously make's it sound grander than it is. But really, it is kind of a cool phenomenon.

Out in the Green River gorge between Auburn and Black Diamond, there are huge pockets of coal seams, that were mined about 100 years ago here in Seattle area. From the pockets that still exist, methane emits from cracks the ground.

When they first found this geyser the flame was a foot and a half high, it's flame fading little by little until it was snuffed out a decade or so ago. Then we had an earthquake Ash Wednesday of 2001 and it was revived again.

I'm uncertain why they decided to make the "improvements" to the geyser. Forced through a pipe encased in cement, it doesn't really look like a natural anomily, however i've read that at one point early in it's history, this property was privately owned and slated to be marketed as an "amusement park". Up at the top of the ridge from the flame is the "bubbling geyser", where the gas escapes from under the creek that runs up there. Thankfully, when the property went up for sale and was destined to become developed into housing sites, the state was able to acquire it.

Sadly, a lot of the trails are unusable, as the bridges have fallen into disrepair and aren't safe. We trekked out to the river and found lots of kids enjoying rafting down the Green River on a sea of camping mattresses and innertubes. :o) And in the Fall, it's a playground from all kinds of spawning salmon. If you're quiet as you approach the shores of the river, you can see the salmon swimming everywhere!
Never the less, it does make a wonderful respite from the scorching heat in an 85 degree house on a Friday evening, especially when paired with family and good takeout bbq!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

*so not* My Kinda Town

Which is worse?  A sword wielding psychopath or our local St. Vincent's thrift?  After I fill you in on the depressing find I found today, i'll let you be the judge.

So, something must be going on in the world of cool old Christmas ornaments, because today, after we painted pottery, we headed to St. vinnie's and about 25 original boxes of Shiny Brights of various sizes and colours in their original packaging for $1.50!  I thought I was in heaven!  Upon closer inspection, I found that someone from St. Vinnie's had used packaging tape across the bulbs themselves to "secure" the bulbs in place.  Problem is, when you take off that tape, say off of a red bulb, you have nothing left but an aluminum coloured bulb and tape with a red film on it.  Ei yi Ei!  I mentioned something to a clerk I saw nearby, but I could tell she didn't care.  Sad.  That's the trouble with kids these days, eh?

Hoping your thrifting this week is going better than mine.  I'm of a mind to stop calling it thrifting and refer to it as historical revitalization. 

I do have a couple really cool things to show you in another post.  Remember, curiosity killed the kitty!

Tuesday = Garden Tour

It's the dog days of summer, eh? In the garden too, especially with the weird wintery weather we've had all season. Just in time for scorching ninety degree days to come this weekend.!

I'm hoping it will be just the cure for the 4 unripened Purple Cherokee tomatoes and 1 bunch of Chocolate Cherry toms on our vines and not the death of them, ya know?
The installation of the hummer buffet has finally paid off. :o) There are two to three hummingbirds out there each day, fighting for rights. Unfortunately, i found ants out there last week too, so i need to step up my food rotations. The lively zippers have a little routine going. First they check out the raspberry canes, then they fight over the feeder a bit and the losers zoom over to the garden on the other side of the yard to patiently wait their turn while perched on a tomato cage (that is guarding the pumpkin vines from the scratch-happy feathered flock seeking to destory the garden.) After a few seconds pass, the zippers buzz the feeder to let their friend know time's up. If you happen to be out there, they will buzz you too. Especially if you have the sprinkler in your hand. :o)

Other than pulling out the spring veggies to make room for fall seed and tying up tomato vines, there hasn't been much else to do. It's pointless to try to keep up with the dandelions in August. But we have had luck in starting a few new strawberry plants from the runners.
These are destined for the wash basin in the front yard.

The bees are out in full force too.
Sadly, none of our sunflowers are. :o(
But the dandelions and enchinacaes are tiding them over.

The hollyhocks are as tall as the deck! Hooray!

The cukes are starting to flower prolifically...
with a few fruits of our labour...
i am hoping these are going to be some of these tasty looking pickles this year!
And by the looks of it, i think they'll be just enough cukes for one jar! :o)

The brussels are coming along too.
Need to plan my attack to save these babies for Moose from the slugs.

The tomatoes

borage is loving the tomato bed

Our corn is doing really well,
considering we planted it towards the end of June.

And our cocozelle is finally putting off some squash!

This will be my screen saver come November!
I also have a question for any Western WA gardeners: i've heard from a few people that we can start onion seed here and it overwinters. Any truth to that rumour?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Happening Now

Dear Sword Wielding, Carjacking Menace Who Has Barricaded Yourself in the Motel up the Street From Our House,

Please, do yourself a favour and surrender now.  We would really appreciate it to as we cannot stand having 3 news helicopters hovering over our home.

Thank you.

The More I Find

the more i love it! This Early American patterned beauty came from Goodwill (i know some are bashing the GW, with good reason as some of their wares seemed ill-priced. For instance, the beautiful, mint cond. 70's style upholstered slipper chair i saw this week for $4.99 next to a banged up, faded topped end table marked with a sign that said "Ethan Allen end tabel $19.99.") For some reason, i always seem to find the "colour of the day" or whatever their silly gimmicky sales are. I had no idea these oval divided serving dishes had a wooden trivet that came with them. I thought the metal carrier was standard. Research is needed.

But i still love, love, love it!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sunday Stills :: Clouds

The probability of you believing this next statement is quite slim, however, we just haven't had many clouds in the Seattle skies here for the past week. This week's challenge was saved by the fact that weather has been so warm in Central WA, that their thunderclouds are visible to us over the Cascade Range.

Unfortunately, the skies haven't been all that blue, as the smoke from the wildfires up in B.C., Canada have been tainting our skies. Last weekend, it blocked part of the sun and we had an orange bowling ball in the sky from 1 in the afternoon till sunset.

Wednesday night, the thunder clouds were really thick and billowy.

Made a pretty scene for the air travellers coming in.

Then Thursday morning, we awoke to this gorgeous sunrise, looking like it

was nestled in a pillow of rainclouds.

I love it when it looks like the sun has set the clouds ablaze!

Care to see clouds from all over the world? Head to Sunday Stills for challenge of the week of Aug 1st.

All in a Day at the Zoo

Yesterday, Moose was working from home, so i had to distract Cookie Monster for a little while. We also had a couple errands to run for school and church, which would take us all the way to Lakewood. So we decided to distract ourselves at the Tacoma zoo.

I forgot how rude late summer crowds can be at venues like the zoo. Thankfully, the animals cooperated and were out to be seen. Well, all except C.m.'s favourite polar bears.

There was a pile of lazy lemurs. That one on the end seems to be saying, "Ack! I can't breathe! Loosen up the tail a little bit will ya, Madge?"
We were very surprised to see meerkats!
Half the time, they seemed to be trying to plan an escape.

"Whatcha looking at, Bub?"

The arctic foxes were being hand fed.
This one seemed to be receiving training on how to wait for his food from the handler. :o)

The otters were in heaven.

The puffins were preening.

Cookie Monster was enamoured with the new walruses.

We took a break and watched an animal show where the birds of prey fly
straight over your head.
This is a vulture.

This guy was the finale.
The main attraction was the two new bengal tiger cubs.
C.m. and i agreed that we were very happy human moms don't have to
clean their babies like tiger moms do. :o)

After our zoo adventure...
we visited a little area of town outside of Pt. Defiance
where there is a gathering of antique stores and a couple of sweet eateries.

We had a delightful lunch at here.

Then walked a couple blocks down the street to Ruston and had an old fashioned ice cream soda.

To complete the experience, we headed home through the Pt. Ruston Tunnel. I love this's one of those nostalgic pieces that most people hate because their attrocious SUVs don't fit in it, but to lovers of old, it's like riding the teacups at Disneyland! Before entering, you have to turn on your lights and honk your horn so the people on the other end know you are coming. The tunnel is just wide enough for two modestly sized modern cars to pass.
You can imagine my delight when just as i grabbed my camera i hear "ah-oog-ga, rrhhhlll, ah-oog-ga" from the old motorcar pictured above. I *love* it when that happens!!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
We are off to look at farms for our little family to relocate to.