Monday, March 29, 2010
Desert Botanical Garden, our lovely Seattle Mariners, and of course, the warm and dry weather. From there we drove north to Flagstaff and the glorious Grand Canyon, where there was still plenty of snow on the ground but clear and sunny skies. I got all fired up about making plans to hike rim to rim through the canyon next year, but after getting home and researching it I was a little dismayed by all the gruesome ways hikers have died there. Breaking a leg and then drowning in a flash flood! Drinking tea brewed from poisonous flowers! Heat stroke! Dehydration! Hypothermia! Lightning! I would need a companion, (Drew already says hell no), and some experience with desert hiking. Maybe it will be a 2011 adventure. For now, I'm just relaxed and happy after a week of sunshine, baseball, and gorgeous scenery.
Friday, March 19, 2010
The fruit trees all seem happy, and I have tons of flowers blooming throughout the property. It really seems like spring now.
Inside the house, even the cat (Cloud Bai-Yun, who shares the house with us and his sister/lover Ginger Root Six Nipples), was gardening his little patch of oat grass this morning. Cherry and regular tomatoes are sharing my master bath with fish peppers. I've potted on the tomatoes so they are taking up a lot of space, but the peppers are still in their peat pots, growing slow as dirt. The room has a lot of glass, which is odd for a bathroom, but it makes for a nice little greenhouse, especially with a space heater cranked up a couple of hours a day. And yes, I have other bathrooms, so I'll still be showering over the next couple of months as the seedlings grow. In case anyone was concerned. In a cooler spot I have some broccoli and napa cabbage humming along, and I'm growing cilantro inside this year, hoping for better results than I've had with it outdoors. So far, so good.
We still have some cleanup from a nasty windstorm that came through earlier this week, but generally I feel like things are in pretty good shape and that all is well here in Zhutopia.
Happy weekend to all.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
We've had freezing temperatures, wind, rain, and a bit of snow this past week; but also some signs of spring. My rhubarb plants are rearing their wrinkled heads, and of course the daffodils have been going for a few weeks, and the crocuses are mostly gone already. I keep early spring flowers in the rhubarb patch for a little color early in the year before the rhubarb wakes up. By the time the rhubarb is full-sized the flowers will have died back, and the rhubarb leaves will cover the dead foliage. It is all very clever of me.
I love rhubarb raw with salt, cooked in a crumble, stewed and served over vanilla ice-cream, and any number of other ways. And bless it for being a perennial, not to mention high in fiber and vitamin K.
My Granny used to make these cookies for the grandchildren all the time. They're not much to look at, but are so...very...tasty. I'm chomping one now, as my nephew Max would say. Granny got the recipe from her neighbor Flo, and even when she passed a hand-written copy along to me she was careful to give Flo credit.
The beauty of this recipe is that you don't need to preheat an oven, dirty a bowl, or even use a cooling rack. The ingredients are mixed in a pan, boiled on a stove, and dropped onto tin foil or wax paper. They take about five minutes to make and ten minutes to cool. If there is a faster way to make cookies, I'd love to know about it.
• 1 C white sugar
• 1 C brown sugar
• 4 T cocoa
• ¼ C butter or margarine
• ½ C milk
• 2 t vanilla
• ½ C peanut butter
• 3 C quick oatmeal
• coconut if desired
1. Combine sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk in saucepan
2. Bring to full boil, keep at rolling boil for one minute, while stirring. The key to getting the right consistency is to keep boiling for a minute AFTER the butter has melted and the mixture is at a full boil.
3. Remove from heat.
4. Add vanilla, peanut butter, and oats
5. Stir until it starts to thicken
6. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper or tin foil and allow to cool.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
North Kitsap recently gained another park, Heritage Park, and the main entrance is just two miles from our house. Just after it opened in January, Drew and I hiked a few miles into it and along the way saw this old car. I'd love to know how it got all the way in there. I went back in February with my cousin Liz and took this very Western Washington-y shot of mushrooms and moss on a tree.
This is a nice addition to our park system, and I'm pleased to have more trails to run on.
Hopefully in three months I'll glide across the finish line, looking just as fresh and cheerful as the girl in the picture! And doing that cool hula thing with my hands.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
This is one of the first photographs I ever took, circa 1980, on the Idaho farm I grew up on. Those good dogs are Blue and Biscuit, and that's my grandfather's truck. Drew and I have been without a dog for a year and a half now, and seeing this picture makes me sorely miss having one around.
Labels: from whence I came
Monday, March 1, 2010
The next guy is a porter delivering goods to the hotels in those same mountains.