What happened?

16 10 2009

Whoa! I just fell off the face of the earth!

Not really, but life has taken a turn and I’ve become a part-time Whatcom resident. Keith and I have embarked on the [ad]venture of taking over his parents’ candy shop and cafe up in Birch Bay. It’s pretty much the off season right now, but we have a lot of work to do behind the scenes.

Follow along at The CShop blog!





Dog Days

6 06 2009
Dax on deck

Dax on deck

We had a great 3 days sailing and hiking around Sucia Island! Click on Dax for the rest of the photos on Flickr.

I’ve caught up with work and most of my sleep, had scintillating discussion at our monthly Saukrates Cafe, did most of the laundry, watered the garden, planted out some of the overgrown transplants, and generally played catch up around here. Blogging will resume shortly.

But first, the dog story.

We did not leave her lying in the middle of road, drown while attempting to rescue her from the river or any of the other crazy variations of the tale that flew around the Upriver grapevine! πŸ™‚

Usually Maija stays with Dave & Julie when we can’t take her, but this time she had hurt herself launching after a bobcat scent trail and was pretty gimped up. Clancy’s a pretty energetic dog and Maija loves to play with him and the kids so we decided we’d try to enforce her taking it easy and leave her with Dave & Sharon. Chance & Louie are a bit more mellow and they’d be separated part of the day as they were inside and Maija was outside while Dave & Sharon were at work. After all, she never wanders and she was too sore to do so. We thought.

Apparently Maija took it upon herself to go two doors down and visit Shuksan, Billie and Sarah over at Rebecca & Andy’s. This didn’t actually involve proper socializing as Maija was shy and just laid in the road instead! Rebecca returned Maija over to Dave & Sharon’s, but then Maija came back the next day since Dave & Sharon were unaware of her daytime wanderings, but this time she wouldn’t move! Poor Rebecca spent her time trying to get Maija out of the road, calling around to find out where we were, and finally Julie came over and Maija hopped right in to her car. At least she was now out of the road, but where the heck were we?

Maija had no collar (she’d been swimming), was limping (although this is fairly normal), and no one was answering any of the phones! Keith’s cell phone display is broken and his battery was dead so that was turned off while we were out on the boat. Mine was off too. No one answered at home, of course. Luckily we called Dave as we were rounding Point Whitehorn. We gave the iron genny a bit more juice since the wind had died and started home as quickly as we could. 4 hours later we picked up Maija and heard all about it.

We’re still hearing about it. πŸ˜‰

The great thing about this fiasco is that it truly highlights why it’s so nice to live in a small community like this one. Everyone only had parts of the story, but they all came together to help us out. Maija was cared for and now everyone has a story to tell. At least Jason assures me that it won’t be in the next issue of the paper.

Maija the instigator

Maija the instigator

Meanwhile I have a batch of “thank you” dog cookies to bake and distribute with bottles of wine. I can’t wait to hear what else has been happening while we were gone.





Challenges for 2009

3 05 2009

I don’t usually participate actively in blogger challenges, but I do follow some with interest and have passively played along. In 2007 I did the Dark Days Eat Local Challenge put on by Urban Hennery and enjoyed it very much. Those tags have “fallen off” in the blog revamp, but I should get them back on, especially since I plan to play along this winter if Laura does it again.

This year, as a way to virtually kick myself in the tuckus a little, I’ve decided to participate in two challenges and occasionally in an event. In for a penny, in for a pound!

Independence Days Challenge

It’s the second year for the challenge but the first year for me as an official participant. It’s essentially taking the huge issue of increasing self-reliance (not to be confused with self-sufficiency) and breaking it down into smaller steps. By parsing this multi-faceted goal as a series of smaller tasks, it becomes quite manageable. Tracking it makes it easier to see progress that has been made and not become overwhelmed by what remains to be done.

I used the categories last year to sort of keep tabs on myself and found them quite helpful. Since it was such a positive experience just casually checking once in a while, I decided to actually participate this year. I’ll be posting here on my progress on Mondays (or thereabouts).

The Growing Challenge Advanced Edition – From Seed To Seed!

This one started in January, but I’m just joining up now.

The challenge is to grow a crop from seed and then harvest enough seeds to grow it again next year. The benefit of doing this instead of just buying new seed is acclimating a food plant to your particular micro-climate.

This is interesting to me since I have an especially challenging situation and have been figuring out what works and what I just can’t grow here. The other benefits are learning a new skill and saving a bit of money. I’ve been doing this over the years here and there, but a little less randomness is probably in order. This should help.

I’ll be posting about that on my Garden Journal whenever Melinda requests the weekly update.

Grow Your Own

My friend Nate of House of Annie asked me to submit my nettle pasta post to the Grow Your Own Roundup #27 event last week.

I probably would have written my post slightly differently had I intended it for the GYO Roundup, but I appreciated being alerted to this blogging event and submitted it as it was. I love the concept and think it’s a great way to show off some of our local bounty to the wider world.

I’ll be participating more casually on this one, but intend to try a posting at least once a month. Since it’s only twice a month, I may be able to participate more often, but I’ll be shooting for original recipes so we’ll see.

Is this a change in direction for the blog?

No, I’m still focused on the Skagit foodshed and what it has to offer. As you may have noticed, there hasn’t been much “shopping” going on around here recently. Since both of us are self-employed, the economy has hit us quite hard and we haven’t been eating in our local restaurants or even driving around to see what’s new as much lately. I did have my birthday brunch at Cameron’s in Anacortes and dinner at Seeds in La Conner though!

Since the root cellar has been deemed a success, we’ll be doing our best to fill that up for the winter. We’re still eating down the freezers for defrosting, but we’ll be filling that with local meat and produce over the summer as well. During all the seasons, we continue to forage and learn about our local wild edibles. Each new addition to our stores will get posted about here.

Now, however, the rain has turned to sunshine again so I’m off to plant a few more things out in the garden!





THSTF

5 03 2009

While it may have seemed quiet here on the blog front, I’ve been fomenting disorder behind the scenes. In the next couple of days I’m going to switch themes so it’s likely that chaos will reign temporarily. If you’ve done this, you know that there’s only so much that can be prepared before going ‘live’ and watching the whole thing go kablooey. πŸ™‚

Since there will be a significant format change, the archive photos won’t fit well, but life is too short to worry about that. Most of them click thru to the larger image anyway so I will consider that sufficient.

So stay tuned and there will be a couple of new posts and a bit of messiness, but I look forward to the new look for spring!





Enough snow already!

3 02 2009

I cleaned up the greenhouse a little bit and sorted through my seeds, but frankly I’m kind of tired of the white stuff.

Theres still about 8 of compacted snow in the garden

There's still about 8" of compacted snow in the garden

Theres still plenty in the driveway - not so compacted

There's still plenty in the driveway - not so compacted

Maija doesnt mind so much as the firewood is easier to pull in the sled than the wagon

Maija doesn't mind so much as the firewood is easier to pull in the sled than the wagon

Dax doesnt mind so much as its easier to stalk squirrels

Dax doesn't mind so much as it's easier to stalk squirrels

The chickens dont mind it too much as long as its not actively falling

The chickens don't mind it too much as long as it's not actively falling

I’m starting to mind it. At least there was some good sun today!





Sunday: Water plants

4 01 2009

This is a time for resolutions, but it just hasn’t been my thing. However, this year I decided I could have just one resolution.

Sunday: Water plants

I’m a compulsive list-maker and besides groceries (usually one for each store), I make lists of the various tasks that I feel I need to do during the week. Since I work at home, work is done whenever it is there to be done. Each work project can sometimes have its own list as well.

All this usually means that despite being relatively organized, I rarely really know what day it is or what holiday or 3-day weekend is looming. This is fine except that I never really know how to answer the inevitable, “What are you doing for ________?” My usual answer is, “Oh! When is that?” This sometimes means that my 3-day sourdough rye bread baking project or my plan to oil the wood floors get pre-empted by a sudden need to conform the idea of other peoples’ time off. The wood floors can wait (and have … and will), of course, but the sourdough project can be a bit stickier.

I’m not sure I’m going to be able to overcome that scheduling gremlin, but I have decided to dedicate one day each week to unstructured time off. My Sunday will be devoted to reading, napping, listening to the radio, hiking, or whatever my inklings are. All the other items on all the other lists will just have to wait. I won’t feel guilty for not vacuuming, taking out the compost, finishing up that work project, or writing all those latent emails.

Or even publishing blog posts. So …

Sunday: Water plants

Clancy & Maija on the lane

Clancy & Maija on the lane





Happy New Year!

1 01 2009