Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pipe cleaners

SO they've been leaving bags of pipe cleaners in rainbow colors around the work areas here at work. Heres some of what's shown up in the way of creations.

One last quote!

On creativity:

"Give Voice to your river"


I love this quote..
It reminds me first and foremost that a RIVER does exist in there.. i just get caught up in the day to day bs and lose sight of it. The sound of the river gets drowned out by all of the noise and chaos. This is true in real time and metaphorically with the river of creativity. Sometimes my creative outlet gets reduced to keeping a list of ideas for when I have time, or any energy left after working. AT least my mind is still being creative!

another quote

"Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent".
- Sophia Loren


"Sell all your cleverness and buy bewilderment"

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Here's the bread from last night.

So here's the link for the mother earth article on Artisan Bread

The steaming water trick is:
You preheat a broiler pan (or whatever oven safe thing youve got) along with the bread pan at 450 degrees for 20 mns..then, after you put the bread in the pan, you dump a cup of water into the really hot 'extra' pan, and slam the oven door shut.. the steam makes the crust AWESOME!!!

Also, the mother earth article calls for a pizza shovel and a bread stone and I have neither of these.. a regular cookie pan or Im using a stoneware casserole dish. works just fine.
I have been trying out the refrigerator 'Boule' recipe and we've had fresh bread every night and it really does get better!
I am guessing the steam thing works with whatever recipe you use though.

Monday, April 27, 2009

gOOD THINGS - sunny spots

I am trying to mentally work my way out of being sick again.
Good Things from this weekend -
  • Sherpa went and got my tabs for my car! whee hoo
  • The smell of wood chips being laid alongside the house
  • Baptist Ladies plant Sale!
  • Wearing flip flops
  • Planting all the plants that came from the SALES! (this was done with work mostly by sherpa.. I just threw the plants in the holes. - I cant bend that low too well right now and its so frustrating!
  • Making artisan bread with the steaming water trick.. getting super chewy crust and perfect inside.. yes!
  • Homemade lemonade and tea - Arnold Palmers!
  • The lady in the store this morning who OOOOzed peace and love - i want to be more like that
  • Seeing my mom at lunch today
  • Finding out Friday that Mom is cancer free still! after scare last month
  • Son text messaged me and said he was alright - just as I was beginning to work myself into a hissy
  • sunshine
  • all of the new green stuff pressing up through the soil
  • the smell of dirt


So the last few days I have developed Insomnia..
I am about 9 wks out from due date, and after months of being able to sleep at the drop of a hat, I now can't sleep much. I wake multiple time at the crack of dawn.

I dreamt of trying to use a pay phone in a seedy area of Seattle to call my son (who was apparently waiting in the dark for me to pick him up from school at night - whatever.. dreams never make sense.) Anyways i had trouble finding the right change, then when i found it i couldnt get it to go into the pay phone, then I found hundreds of small wadded up pieces of paper in the coin slots of the phone. My childhood friend Gale showed up, and started telling me she needed to get going. We went to my car but the tire was flat.. back to trying to use this payphone. A couple hookers showed up and were railing at me about taking so long to use the phone. I woke up.
Went to the bathroom,
Fell asleep..
and the dream started very near where it left off. I was so stressed out, and sweating from the duress of knowing my son was waiting for me and I couldn't even manage to call him.
more paper in the phone.. my friend begging me now to please drive her home..
i screamed the tires are flat! the hookers sat down beside me, mumbling about how inept I was at using a phone.. I kept thinking Ohhh I hope he's okay, I hope he doesn;t think I forgot him..
I wake up again, go to the bathroom..
back to sleep
starts over..

The worst part of this is that it substantialy reduces my ability to COPE with day to day things.
I have never done well without sleep, I begin to get a permanent lip tremble, and teary look.

Bleeding hearts

Bleeding hearts in bloom.


Sherpa made me lunch today and its my favortie.. veggie sandwich on flax bread w cream cheese! wohoo!

Voodoo lily

Here's a picture of a voodoo lily

Plant Sale madness!

Oh, to live among gardeners!
SO Saturday morning, browsing craigslist.. we realized THIS was the weekend of the University of Washington experimantal gardens PLANTS SALE! YEEEE!
Which means.. it was also the weekend for the Baptists Ladies League plant Sale (which is even better deals!) (or maybe it was vice-versa) anyways the two happen the same weekend.. and it means UNBELIEVABLE selection of strange and SUPER cheap plants!
This threw us into high GEAR! we even skipped coffee to get out the door quicker. This is one of my Favorite weekends of the YEAR!
An example of why we hurried? we got ot the baptist ladies sale around 10:30am.. (which is super late) they only had 4 tables of plants left! - 2 hours later we drove by and there were none! One of the best things about this sale is the ladies.. they are gardening gurus! I have learned more from them in a 15 minutes discussion than any book!
The second best is the prices! 1$-3$ per plant! we got a fasciated willow tree (about 2' tall, for 3 dollars!
We got voodoo lilies, columbine, candle plants (i forget the real name) at the UW we got more columbine, chervil, aromatic basil, all kinds of shade stuff for my moms new garden - last year we got solomons seal, and jack in the pulpits, and a mouse plant! they are all healthy and have a 100% survival rate! the voodoo lilies are supposed to really stink up a storm! hee hee


Im not sure what these are.. Sherpa says they are what turns into the money plant later on. They're pretty though.
Ok so Sherpa was right! they are money plants! they're called Lunaria, and they later turn into that plant that looks like it has little coins with seeds in them.

Crafty citizens

Driving around this weekend, we came across a few ARTSY installments around town. The first one was an old truck along side the road with a very unusual tire.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Her "chubiness"

Here I am in all my rounded glory.

One thing I regretted about earlier pregnancies was I never had any pictures later.. ( I avoided the camera like the plague cuz I was so fat!) So this time I am trying to embrace my fatness.. he he and look forward to the day I can not waddle anymore! Which is about 10 weeks away at this point! i chose the lovely background of the bathroom at work! HA

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Green snappy morning today.. ahh

There's the Burlington Northern to the right.. the one that always blocks me at the intersection. :) i tried to outrun him and cross at 3rd.. but the light got me.
Beautiful sunset last night

"Our lady of the twilight She hath such gentle hands, So lovely are the gifts she brings From out of the sunset-lands, So bountiful, so merciful, So sweet of soul is she; And over all the world she draws Her cloak of charity." —Alfred Noyes on Twilight

Monday, April 20, 2009

Divide and Conquer?

The chickens have divided, maybe it is Spring
or nesting instincts
I don't know, im not an expert on Chicken behavior.. but something is going on.
They have split from the pack (well two of them have) and started homes elsewhere in the yard. They are spreading out, to cover more of our land.. maybe they are planning a hostile takeover? a coup? who knows..
Yesterday was the first weekend sunny day in a while, so we started spring cleanup! Deck cleaning, pressure washing, deck chair rehab.. both boys were home and we even busted out the barbecue for lunch!
Anyways, while spending so much time out of doors we realized some thing had changed.. there were strange rustlings in the reeds beside the house, weird noises coming from under the garden shed..
Upon investigation, we found 5 eggs, carefully nested beside the crawlspace to the house! in a little tuft of grass and dandelions.. what the hay!? (who KNOWS how old they were.. eeew.. but since we dont have a rooster.. our eggs don't hatch no matter how much you sit on em)

Then when we went to feed the chickens way out back in the coop, and as soon as we lifted the lid to the tin food bucket (which is noisy) ......there came a squawking and screeching like someone was getting murdered beneath the garden shed!! (about 30 feet away)
Within seconds, out popped a full sized hen, in a cloud of feathers and dust.. from underneath the shed, squawking and pitching a royal hissy fit all the way.. as she ran (I had no idea chickens could run this fast - picture a velasa raptor in small scale - like jurrasic park!)
Ran for her life towards us, and the food we were about to deliver to her sisters wihout her presence!!
'How DARE you!!' - she squawked..
'Why didn't someone ring me and say we were having lunch??!!' - she cackled..
'WAIT FOR ME!!!' - she screamed..

When she finally got to where we were standing...dumstruck by the show she was putting on.. she was a wreck! her feathers were all ruffled.. she had shed dust in her crown, and she looked completely and totally frantic!!
I bust up laughing.. to which she responded by deruffling her feathers, and muttering in a low chicken growl to me.. which sounds something like Brrrrr pht!
She wiggled her way beneath the fence to where the food was. Geesh! what a fuss!

Ahhh I LOVE chickens.. they are freakin hilarious!

I think she may be the same chicken who supervised the greenhouse project (pictured below) as she seems to be fickle about where she lives,
and has a penchant for 'alternative housing'
so far she's been caught 'living' in the hay cover, the greenhouse and the compost pile.
Maybe she is an outcast..
Maybe she's just a rambler, a hobo, with a love for travel and a change of scenery.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Back Yard going's on 2

Notice the crowd of 'look E loos' in the background... nosey chickens!

The Sherpas latest project.. Our new greenhouse was started yesterday.
The SUPERVISOR of the Greenhouse project - The secondary supervisor was the next door neighbor, who stood in his backyard chainsmoking and suspiciously eyeing the new project.

Back Yard going's On

The baja has moved to the back of the house.. a coffee can protects the stinger. looks funny

The big magnolia is open!!

My artsy birdhouse..

backyard goings on!!

Spring at Swauk Mt - more nursery visit pics

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lunch hour + Beautiful Day = priceless

Today I took lunch! It was a beautiful day! I got a coffee (decaf - phht) Click on the pictures to see full size :)
Took off in the car..

And drove to one of the best places to go in early spring!!!
The Nursery at Swauk Mountain - just look at the layout.. ahh

Everything was in bloom or at least bud..
I just love it here! the only sounds are wind and birds singing

I loved these rock sculptures


The morning "SLOG" - Drive to work

The sky looked pretty this morning as we left home and headed for work/school.
Romans sweatshirt was almost as bright as the sky .. HE HE

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


This is the vietnamese vegetarian restaurant right next to work, they have the BEST red curry in the world! They also have terrific 'pretend' chicken and PHO. MMmm
We cut down the big itchy (juniper) bush on the corner of the house, after someone tried to get in the window behind it. (We've been robbed in the last few months.) All thats left is my birdhouse which used to be in the center of the juniper. Looks sort of forlorn all by itself.


This is a pic i took on accident with my phone. Its a view of my baby belly from the side - Im wearing my favorite fuzzy warm sweater..I like how perfectly round it looks, like a ball.

"And your very flesh shall be a great poem." Walt Whitman

The lineup

Lineup of perennials and a few veggie starts to be planted when the weather clears and I have a day off!!

Almost home - RR crossing

"What is madness but the nobility of the soul at odds with circumstance." - T. Roethke

I frequently get stopped by a big long Burlington Northern train just blocks from my house after the Lonnng commute. It used to be the final straw, and drive me up the wall, I even blew the light once! (bad idea)
Now I use my waiting for the train time as meditative time, to come unwound from the commute and the day and transition into a peaceful 'home' state of mind.
There was no train today, but a beautiful really low cloud hanging down right behind the corner store.

Two bud

The one bud has opened and today there were two buds! woohoo!

Monday, April 13, 2009

ONE bud

Camelia Bahdelia! I think I may have been a bit zealous in my pruning earlier this month.. I have ONE bud from the 2 camelias I have.. oops.

The veggie stand - This is the River Road veggie/farmers mkt near our house. There is another farmers market that starts up in may, this one goes year round! You can buy locally made honey, jam (loganberry is the best!) homemade salsas, walla walla onion and sesame seed salad dressing (So awesome) fresh flowers and locally grown veggies that are simply the freshest, cheapest, best deal average bill here is around 20 bucks for fresh everything! Sure you have to get whats in season, but it would be that way if you grew it yourself anyways!
This is a really crappy picture.. my camera was acting weird and overexposing everything..

Thursday, April 9, 2009

View from my desk

Here's the view from My desk @ work.. I inverted the colors to protect the identies of the folks. Top secret squirrel!
Okay not really it just looks cool

The recession brings back some oldies but goodies - Bartering!

Eggs for Homemade Bread
So the chickens are in 'production mode' We're getting almost a dozen eggs a day.
Dont get me wrong i am NOT complaining.. they are excellent, beautiful, toasty brown, and delicious gifts! (dont want to ruffle any feathers)
What to do with so many eggs? Trade them.. We gave some to a lady who made us some delicious homemade bread! this stuff smells like heaven and I dont have to wash any bread pans! SCORE!

Green Lima Bean Work Machine

We were getting a lot of flack from the folks at the grange about stuffing haybales into the back of the wagon.. Luckily the Chicken Sherpa got this Lima Bean It's an awesome work truck (besides the 'I LOVE HOOTERS' sticker on the visor) - ha ha ha
and gets better gas mileage than my car. We already went and got Straw in it! woohoo!


(Cold Frame - Ready for seedlings)
Joe Dirt - "Life's a garden, dig it?"


This is the garden shed, which is more of a toolshed now, all of the garden stuff is outside under the side, I was trying to paint the door to look like a haida totem pole.. and never got around to finishing it. The top is a ladybug, whose totem my grandpa gave me when i was small.. the bottom has a raven and a bear. No family significance - besides there was a raven sitting atop the nearby burnt out pine.. talking to me in his low voice mumbling ..."cudddrrhhh" (they dont say CAW like crows.) - while I painted.. so I figured he wanted his picture on there.

"If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.”
"I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers."-- Claude Monet