31 March, 2010

Beaver Freezer Triathlon

My child's gonna win.
I am trying to look over the course to see if there is a chance in (the universe) that I can see the end of the triathlon at OSU on Saturday.

Swim 10 laps. Bike 12 miles. Run 3.1 miles.

Later: He came in around 40th. Quite a turn-out. This, apparently, is the first triathlon of the season. Contestants come from miles away (other states!) to compete and see how their training is coming along.

He learned about 'dead leg'. Picture yourself biking for a few miles (12)  and then hopping off and sprinting. He said, "the first 100 yds were the hardest time. It was like running through sand."

Of course, everyone shows up on their $5000 bikes - which can be lifted with one's pinky.
And, don't forget the shaving and buffing to attempt seconds off one's time.

30 March, 2010

Planting Peas. uh huh.

Nearly the same photo of Rusty. The dog is 7 and look how well he minds me!  (Bribed with a tennis ball!)
The crocuses are gone now. The stella d'oro day lilies are lusher. The fringe Tulips have not bloomed yet (May). The weeping Jap. maple is unfurling its  bloodred leaves. Right behind the maple is a varigated weigelia. The tree in this bed is a Coral Bark Maple (Sangu Kaku).  Way behind all that is one of two Star Magnolias blooming (white)- planted in honor of my kidlets.

Garden: Got to plant those peas. Just as soon as I finish turning over the soil.  The fenced area is not a deterrent to the dogs, but it does keep them from running pellmell through all the vegetables,  chasing imaginary trespassers, and indiscriminately pruning. They like to graze at the peas, not to mention the strawberries, and don't even attempt to keep blueberries for yourself.
Come to think about it, they adore the raspberries too. Am I growing all these vegy's and fruits for the dogs?

29 March, 2010

Rockaway Beach

We drove down to Rockaway Beach this weekend. It was sunny on Saturday, stormy during the night and like this the next morning.

A few years ago, the boys were boogie boarding. The beach is often sunnier than in the valley.
This particular beach has a very shallow slope which makes it fantastic and easy to practice your moves. If my child is reading this, then I'll add --unless you are middle aged.

Flamingo Jim's: The only other reason to stay at Rockaway Beach.
The quintessential beachy 'dime store'.

24 March, 2010

Only 33 Million Bugs Committed Suicide

March 24, 2010
We went flying this afternoon. Just for a half-hour or so. The annual was done last weekend and the plane got buttoned back up Saturday morning. We were going to go try her out that afternoon - but then the wind picked up.
A slight delay for that first flight of the year.
We pulled the plane out and I grabbed my helmet and headset and strapped myself in.
"I should have grabbed the camera. But then I have to unbuckle and get out...it'll be okay."
A real string of random thoughts tore through my mind during the entire flight and I feel like trying to recreate the craziness of my brain.
It was quite warm - nearly 70' and I am going up in just my t-shirt. A little worried about getting cold up there but, nah, it'll be okay.
The engine starts with a huge cloud of smoke - this is from the oil that gets trapped in the bottom of the cylinders and we idle for a few minutes while the oil warms up.
Then we taxi to the end of the runway, one neighbor's backyard  over and do our run-up. This is where we run the engine up to about 1600 rpms and check our magneto function, carb. ice and assorted other little checks. We line up to take off and get about 200 yds down the runway when my hubby lowers the throttle. He forgot to pull down his goggles. Back we go to the start of the runway and this time we get airborne with an ease that never ceases to amaze me for all that the plane weighs a bazillion tons and then the airflow over the wings lifts us up. We're flying.

We climb out over the blue barn and circle back over Canbyland - over Randy's house on 10th because he expects it.

My hubby keeps the altitude about 1000 feet. I'm just in a t-shirt and it is just right. Another few hundred feet up and it would be brisk. My job is to look for other planes and they seem concentrated west over the Aurora airport doing touch and go's. Nothing else in the sky.
I'm thinking about my yard and weeding and rain tomorrow and I should transplant all those volunteer poppies tomorrow. All of the farmers have tilled their fields and my garden isn't turned over yet.
Spring green is the color against the fresh- turned dirt of the fields. Seems like all the nurseries are growing evergreens, hard to find anyone growing rhododendrons - at least nothing is blooming en masse in the fields. Rhodies and azaleas have fallen out of favor.

We turn east towards Mt. Hood. Northwards, I can see Mt. St. Helen's in a little bit of haze. Jefferson is a tad south for me to see over the horizon.
It's been warm lately, so all the snow has melted off the foothills.
Between the Ireland fields and the Canbyland fields is some similarities - animals grazing, Spring green colors, white plastic bales of manure - composting. The distinct perimeter lines of the fields show up the differences - lack of ROCKS everywhere in Canbyland. Ubiquitous in Ireland.
Rocks, rocks and more rocks there.

None of these pictures are from today - they are from August last year on the trip to Madras for the airshow. Very dry and clear weather going over to the east side of the state.

Approaching Canbyland again, we buzz the other airpark.  Except for one person out mowing, no one sees us go by - but they hear us.
A round engine, one of the loveliest sounds next to a Harley motorcycle.

I'm thinking momentarily about my latest doctor visit and the new medicine. I'm tired from it but I'm not reacting to it as much as the antibiotics. I'm also not as hungry. I had the extra cube steak this afternoon after I did a bit of yardwork and then I took a nap. I think I'll skip dinner - we'll get back around 6:30pm.
We putz around for a few more minutes and then land it back home with only a bounce in the landing to remind us to practice flying more often.

We land, taxi back to the hangar, flip the prop to horizontal and put her away.
If you want another ride in a Stearman, it's time to debug the wings and wipe the excess oil off the plane.
I can assure you that there were a thousand thoughts during that flight but they seem to have drifted out and away at 1000 feet. I can only recall a few now.
I love flying.

23 March, 2010

Leverage - the Maltese Falcon Job

Filmed in Portland, I am watching this new (to me) show on tnt - called LEVERAGE.

The landmarks, the tri-met bus...

Interesting,  quirky, crime thriller, plus the  'identify the landmark' game.

More from Oregon Live:     
And pdxsucks:
and from KATU.

21 March, 2010

I Found My Sewing Machine Needles

Now when your daughter goes off to college, I think the rule is to wait two years before you change things up.
The first year, I would go sit on her bed and just miss her. A little thing called instant messenger saved me because sometimes we would be on-line at the SAME TIME.
But then, you know, time marches on, and the second year - while I still missed her, I was beginning to think about a dedicated room for sewing. And crafting, and the problem of integrating her stuff with my stuff.
The third year, I had narrowed my thinking to a twin daybed for when she came home.
And that would leave room for the sewing machine, bookcases to hold fabric, the ironing board and a really cool craft table. My daughter and I traipsed around IKEA one wintery day and took pictures of anything that would work for a craft table.
But the price... I thought about that worktable for an entire year but kept coming back to how perfectly the Ikea one would help me store sewing implements.

Finally - I am at a point of workability and am able to show off how this room is coming together.

12 Drawers: How to divide and conquer? First drawer is for my scissors, and other sharp implements.
Another drawer will house my growing vintage Japanese fabric collection.
These three: Bias tape and trims; snaps are in there for now. second is my knitting/crochet needle collection. and the third is holding leather straps, assorted purse trims, grommets + tools,  and oddly, gold buttons.

The iron will gets its board back. It's a process.   Moving things here, and then there because it's not working.  Eventually with some help from family and friends, I now have a guest slash craft room.
As a last note on this post,  here is another garage sale find that is ready to be used.

20 March, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Daffodils

This is Simple.
Yet, people are in awe of these unique green-edged daffodils.
How do you get the green stippling?

First - cut your daffodils a day or two before St. Patrick's Day. Place them in a glass vase. Add 3 to 10 drops of green food coloring to the water. TA-DA!
Actually, it's a few hours before the stippling starts.
These photos are two full days later.

And each type of daffodil stipples differently.
Check these daffodils out. They are bred/grown/created in Hubbard, Oregon.
Mitsch's bulbs are gorgeous. If you have the funds... Some of their bulbs are $60 each.

I buy my bulbs every November - or December, often at 50% off or even 75% off.
I live in the easy bulb planting state of Oregon. I've planted bulbs in January and had them bloom. Our winters are mild enough to get away with my  'frugal' approach.

When asked where I had gotten  these gorgeous daffodils, it was quite entertaining to tell people they grow this way in my yard.
Very few people knew how this was done.

19 March, 2010

198 Dollars A Yard

I revisited a fabric store I found a couple of years ago walking around Tualatin on my lunch break.
Called Fabric Gallery, it's tucked away behind the hardware store in the middle of town (where the dog food plant used to be >30 years ago!)
At that time, I had picked up at a garage sale, a 3-piece living room set of sofa, love seat and chair.
I had grand plans to reupholster them within two years or I would resell them.
Well, work intervened with no  time off for good behavior and they have sat untended since. Then, last summer, while garage saling, I found another chair and ottoman for twenty bucks. 

The first set is very intimidating - mostly for fabric choices. What would look good on all three? Definite fabric fear.

This latest find is much easier because obviously, you start with the ottoman and a yard of fabric (or so). Not a huge $$$ investment and not much can go wrong with reupholstering an ottoman.
It's got some double welting to try my hand at sewing and some wood refinishing. I like the medium wood tone already - it just needs to be redone. The arms on the chair are really worn.

So now we are at fabric choice time. The one I really really loved at the store is soft and durable and $198/yard. Amazing. 7 yds. is about $1300.00
Ouch. Fortunately, when I got it home, the color wasn't turning me on. Safe for now.
I was thinking of a subtle tone on tone with texture (cheniles) but now I am not sure.
I definitely like the blue-green tones.

There is also Calico Corners and Fabric Depot to check out as well.

18 March, 2010

Dragonfly Earrings

Here on Etsy.

Mimic Cream

I did a Whole Foods run today. Something I do about every two months or so. My  local grocery stocks many of my 'alternative' foods now but Whole Foods still tends to bring them to market faster.
Baking aisle: Agave syrup, nut butters
Chip aisle - at the end - it's the CHOCOLATE section
sports bars - Lara bars - reading labels again - can't have the ones with almonds
Past the frozen aisles  to canned goods - there's the tuna.
Perimeter walk to dairy section to see what's new.
Whole Foods stocks canned tuna in water that is actually water.  Label reading - love it or hate it. When the front of the tuna label says "packed in water" - well that should be  - uhh - water. But it typically means packed in a vegetable broth which is derived from soy. Major allergen for me.
And then you come to the chocolate aisle. The house brand '365' has one without soy or dairy that is good and not horribly expensive. They seem to stock something for everyone's 'tastes' (or is that allergen?).

Perusing the coconut milk offerings- did you know there is a coconut yogurt? I must have missed it. I would like to try it.  Next time...
I did see a product called Mimic Cream which is made from brown rice and almonds and supposedly makes a good substitute for cream in your recipes. It whips up and does everything whipping cream does.

14 March, 2010

Last frost?

Sunday. The Paper, A Fire, Dogs curled up.

Rockets likes his drapery coverlet. Rusty his sunbeam.

Another March frost is difficult to remember in February when it gets above 60 degrees.

Spa Time in Aurora

I invited a friend to get a foot bath with me this last week. Don't look if you tend to have a queasy stomach.
The foot bath is accompanied by a mild electrical current. The quest? to remove toxins and chemicals from the body. Gravity tends to deposit some of the heavy metals in our feet. Feet have larger pores from which to extract the gooky stuff.

I have never found anything bad about the foot baths. I tend to look  upon it as a relaxing pampering session - all about  my feet.
Do you remember the movie, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? The original one with Gene Wilder? The kid with the cowboy/TV fetish who got Wonkavisioned into the tiny TV screen?   Remember the particles over their heads? That's what the foot bath reminds me of.
These colorful particles start appearing, bubbling up. They are tourquoise, orange, black, & brown.

Anyway these particles start appearing, the water gets murky, things are bubbling and it's different every time.
Mine was lighter and foamier. My friend's was much darker.

The foot bath takes about 35 minutes and its very relaxing. The first time I did one, I brought a book to read and my sudoku puzzle to do. Then I looked down and was mesmerized.
It is very entertaining.

The foamy stuff is supposed to be from cleaning out your lymph nodes. You can almost make out those turquoise spots.
My friend didn't have so much foamy stuff. Hers was much darker. Pretty gooky.

13 March, 2010

Fresh From The Garage Sale

Today, after work, I felt well enough to try and find the two Canbyland garage sales.
My sister was born in June and sometimes is a little crabby, so this little crab caught me.
Literally, the front claws move!
It's back is hinged to hide some tiny little gift for her birthday?

And the glass bottle next to the crab? Another gift for a creative friend who can turn this kitchy bathroom bottle into very cool art. The shell stopper is so...

 Look what she did with this bottle.

Loot from the garage sale:

Stitchery Yarn Crewel Kits, pompom fringe in orange and red, some fabrics.
The red and white grid at the bottom is a tiny ironing board - about 18" long by 5" wide.
The brown piece at the left hand bottom side? A good size piece of leather @ 25 cents!
The box labeled Dansk? Very thin taper candles. x four boxes.

Nice weather today -- it's a good start to garage saling season.

07 March, 2010

Cream of Broccoli Soup - non dairy, no wheat.

It's Sunday, therefore I must be making soup.

Today, it's a stab at Cream of Broccoli Soup.
Possibly St. Patrick's Soup.

Broccoli florets were on sale at my Thriftway for .68 cents/lb so I bought two plastic bags worth.
Then they sat in my fridge - umm, seven days. I'm sure that was to age them/ripen them.

A quick look online confirmed that thyme would go well as well  as a dash of allspice.

My recent food allergy panel showed that I am now allergic/intolerant of foods that were fine before.
Like carrots and green beans and almonds.
So soup has become stock, meat & celery. Not fun and totally boring.
I  tried that cream of celery soup with the cashew cream recently and had an iffy reaction. I tried celery root again in a plain chicken soup and again, an iffy reaction.
Undecided if it was too much of the cashews or the celery root or....I wish I could say it gives me a headache but by avoiding certain foods, I've taken care of that daily reaction.

Back to soup thinking:

I steamed my broccoli in 2 cups of chicken stock until nearly falling apart.
I added some thyme - couple of pinches and some allspice (v.1996). Next,  some salt and I was going to grind some pepper into the soup when my hand reached for another recent acquisition. An Italian Herb grinder containing rosemary, pepper, garlic, onion, sea salt and parsley.
I like these grinders as it is more difficult to add unwanted ingredients - like flour to the spices to keep them from clumping.

Then I used my new discovery of coconut milk to help puree it in my blender. I probably used about 2 cups of the coconut milk.
I tolerate an ice cream made with coconut milk and while it has a slight aftertaste of coconut, the soup doesn't seem to impart it. Maybe because the broccoli overwhelms you?

I didn't use a lot of liquid cooking my broccoli, but even though I did add a couple of cups of the coconut milk, the soup came out thick. I wouldn't say creamy, but smooth.

It tastes good, but when I serve it, I'm going to add a pinch of romano to the top - to garnish the soup, mind you.

A few minutes later I added this: good soup.
We are having hamburgers for dinner, so I dished up more soup and cut up my hamburger into chunks and added that to the soup. mmm...mmm...good

Maybe a little TMI.

Another idea? I think I will make this again next week but I will roast the broccoli first.