Monday, August 27, 2012

Saturday Market Revisited

I stayed in town last weekend so I could attend the Edmonds' Saturday Market and buy raspberries.  I needed to make more jam.  I am off in a couple of weeks to visit my friends on Nantucket.  If I don't bring jam I suspect that my friend's husband won't be nearly so happy to see me.

There were lots of flowers.

And all sorts of beautiful, locally grown vegetables.

I bought a lot of veggies and made a roasted vegetable salad---beets, tomatoes, carrots, Walla Walla Sweet onions, fresh corn, garlic and fingerling potatoes, all roasted with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Once the veggies had cooled off, I added a good splash of red wine vinegar, a couple of handfuls of chopped fresh basil and some croutons I made from a home baked baguette.

There was music, too, from several sources.  I like this fellow and his bluesy numbers.

I found plenty of fresh local raspberries, enough for two batches of jam.  I think my welcome will be insured!

To cap off an almost perfect food day, a friend dropped by with a Dungeness crab he had just pulled from the cold waters of Puget Sound.  My dinner was complete!

Thanks, Rune.  Your crab was delicious.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Prepping Journals

Next month I am off to visit my dear friend Bee again, the artist who lives on Nantucket.  I always keep a travel journal while I am there because I don't want to forget any little detail of my time with her.  We see each other so rarely that each moment is precious.

This time we are going to head down to Wilmington, North Carolina for a weekend retreat with our friend Judy Wise.  Judy is teaching a weekend, two day class in art journaling.  Bee certainly does not need to take a journaling class, but she loves Judy.  I can always use a class, any class, from Judy.  It will be fun to spend a couple of days in class, working together.  I will get to see a new place.

We are to bring a journal to work in and I decided that I would do one of my quirky portraits on the cover.  I finally got it finished this afternoon.  It's not my best work, but it was fun and the face that emerged makes me laugh, so it's all good.

I had paint from here to Sunday, gel medium, gesso and lots of paper towels scattered all around me.  The sun was shining brightly in the window, my chores were (mostly) done and it was a perfect afternoon to get some painting done.

Best of all, it was fun!

I also covered one of my favorite watercolor paper journals with some paisley fabric.  This journal will be my travel journal for my upcoming trip to India.

I tried out all the Distress Stains by Tim Holtz that I have amassed, looking for colors that would work in the India journal.  I had never bothered to make a color sheet for myself before, so it was good that I finally did.  Now I can just look at the colors I own to see what works for any given project.  I like to pre-color my journal pages to go with the cover or some theme I have going.  White pages can stop me in my tracks, but color draws me in.  I find I have a much easier time of journaling if I add color to the pages before I leave home.

I am also getting ready to fax all my info for my Indian visa to the passport and visa service I use.  The Indian visa is a complicated one to apply for and I trust the service to do it correctly.  Me?  Not so much.  I'll let the professionals handle this one.

Monday, August 20, 2012

August is the Month for Peach Cobbler

Ah.  Peaches.

Juicy peaches.  Ripe, luscious peaches.  Peaches and August just go together for me---one always brings to mind the other.  I love peaches plain, eaten out of hand.  I love peach chutney.   I love grilled peaches.  And peach ice cream is a concoction worthy of heaven.  But my favorite is peach cobbler.

Cinnamon, powdered ginger, a little nutmeg....some grated lime rind. A tiny pinch of salt.  Not too much sugar....

Marry the peaches and spices together with a bit of thickener, so the juices are not runny but not set firmly.  Add a squirt of lime juice, for a bit of brightening of the flavors.  Be liberal with the struesel topping, with chopped pecans, of course.  Bake it (preferably in an Aga!) until it bubbles nicely and the topping is browned and crunchy.

Eat warm.

I'd show you the finished product...but we ate it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Great Garbage Truck Escapade

My younger daughter and her family were here recently for a visit.  My grandson, who is a BIG fan of all things garbage truck-ish, heard some commotion in the alley early one morning as he, his sister and I were getting ready to go out for an early assault on a stack of pancakes.  Well, when we emerged into the alley behind my house to discover that the garbage truck (a rear loader, I was told by the very informed grandson), was actually picking up the trash, was very exciting.

It turns out that the gentleman who was operating the garbage truck, and all it's levers and controls, is a most pleasant man.  He took a liking to my grandson (who was jumping up and down and shrieking, "Look, Gramma Gramma, it's the garbage collector!  Look at beautiful his truck!").

My granddaughter, the big sister of the garbage truck aficionado, was interested in the levers and such when the garbage man actually let them operate the mechanism that compacts the trash!  They both got a turn.  (I was rather envious as I would have liked a turn, but decided not to push it.)

Then they were invited to climb up into the cab and sit behind the wheel of the truck!

It was so cool.  Can you imagine the delight for a 4-year-old garbage truck lover to be able to operate a real garbage truck and to sit in the cab??!?  Let me tell you, judging by the the squealing and hand clapping, it was a most big deal.

I would very much like to thank the extremely nice Mr. Nicholson from Sound Disposal in Edmonds for giving my grandchildren a real thrill.  That man has a very big heart, bless him.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The Fair in Silvana

Recently Nonie and I went to the Silvana Fair.  Silvana is a little tiny place not far from my cabin and the fair is mostly about the 4H kids and their animals and projects.  It is only a one day fair, but very fun and friendly.

The focus is all about the cattle, swine, rabbits, cows, sheep and what have you that the kids raise.  There were all sorts of very well cared for animals and some very proud young people watching over theirs.

This bunny reminded me of when my daughter Annie had two gray mini lops while she was in high school.  She got them, Moose and Goose, when she was a freshman and they were her pride and....well, maybe not joy, but she loved them greatly.  Moose died sometime during Annie's high school years.  I can no longer remember exactly when.  Then Annie went off to Stanford.

And left me with Goose.  Goose the bunny.  The very animal I had never ever wanted to own....and that rabbit lived and lived and lived and then it lived some more.  I called the vet once and asked how long a mini lop might actually live and they told me that if we got 5 to 7 years out of one we were doing well.

Ahem.  That rabbit lived until Annie was in GRAD SCHOOL.  I think it was almost 12 when it finally went to the big carrot field in the sky.  I hate to say it was the rabbit that I wished dead, but there were times.....well, I did take good care of her and we did come to an understanding and we got on pretty well---mostly.  But, I really never, ever, wanted to have a rabbit as a pet.  Even a cute one like Goose.

This bunny brought that all back.  (I'm glad it's not mine!!!)

This young woman was gently petting her chicken.  I can't say I had ever seen anyone pet a chicken before, but she did.  For a long time.  Very gently.

There were lots of hens and some roosters, and some cockerels and a pigeon and (maybe) a love bird.

There was a greased pole and a long line of children waiting to try their luck at getting to the top and snatching one of the envelopes stapled to the very top.  I assumed there were prizes and that the envelope told you what  you had won.  We only saw one girl who actually made it all the way up to claim a prize, but all the children seemed to be really enjoying the greased pole climb.

It was quite a warm day and these cattle were enjoying a rest in the shade on a handy pile of straw.

This little piggy was so sound asleep it was snoring!

There were lots of exhibits inside the Viking Hall.  Prize winning jams and jellies, baked good, quilts, artwork (both children's and adults) and produce were all displayed.

I was quite taken with the eggs.  There were turkey, hen, duck and quail eggs, all displayed neatly in baskets.  The duck eggs were, truly, a lovely soft shade of duck egg blue.  For some reason that always surprises me.

It was a lovely fair.  I hope I can go again next year.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Summer Snapshots at the Cabin

I had a lovely weekend at the cabin.  The weather was perfect...sunny but not too warm.  Just right.

My bedroom at the cabin is so comfy, and is especially appealing to me when the sun streams in the windows.  Something sweet is blooming outside the front window, which makes sleep that much more pleasant.
detail of the old quilt, an antique market find, at the foot of my bed
I love bluebirds and have them all over the cabin on plates and cups, wall hangings and embroidered on all sorts of linens.  Why did bluebirds go out of fashion?  They are so cheerful and they delight me so.

I, frankly, just like birds!

Here's my favorite reading nook in the "library."  My DH made the wall of bookshelves for me when I first moved in, way back in 1999.

view out the front door

Over the years, mowing of the native grasses has given me quite a nice lawn, easy care.  It only gets a haircut about three times a year.  There are daisies, Sweet William, California poppy and other wildflowers that bloom amid the grasses.  It is pretty to view and judging from the critters living there, healthy and good for the environment.  (The garter snakes are fat---and sassy.  )

Right now the Buddleia and the hydrangeas are vying for the most vivid bloom color.

All the repairs that were necessary when my reverse osmosis unit leaked all over the kitchen and dining room in the winter have been made, the painting is done and I just got the new carpet to go under the table.  I like the new look and it no longer just reminds me of the mess, but looks like I redecorated.  It's nice to feel the house whole and healthy again.  I didn't realize how sad the robbery a few years ago and the mess from the leak had made me and how it had tainted my love for the cabin.  All is well now.

I found another, smaller dhurrie for the living room while I was in Long Beach.  I like how it compliments the new dining room rug.  It looks planned, not a repair job, even though that is exactly what it was!

I'll be back up there next weekend and I'm really looking forward to it.