Saturday, July 31, 2010

I've always loved this saying. Maybe because it fits us so well. I never realized it was a Tolkien-ism. I found it on a card at the pet store the other day - with a Border Collie, no less. Too perfect.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


This was the first year we tried growing potatoes. We have two types - Yukon Golds and Irish Reds. We grew them in "potato bags" we bought at our local hardware store. We were quite happy with how they turned out. We harvested the Yukon Golds today. From 5 starters, we grew 33 potatoes.

Here they are as babies, shortly after we started them.

This is the Irish Red plant - not quite ready yet (the plants almost die just before harvesting).

They look delicious ! I hope they taste as good. I'm going to grill some for dinner tonight.

We are definitely going to use the bags again next year, but with more starters. The tomatoes also seem the love the bags. Our two best plants are growing in them this season. Harvesting of those is right around the corner !

Monday, July 26, 2010

best pals . . .

We were so happy that our youngest (Jake) got along so well with our niece and nephew while they were here. He is not around young kids all that much - we hoped we wouldn't be too rough with them or spazz out too much. He and Maddie became best friends very fast. They loved each other. She drew a chalk drawing of her and Jake on the basketball court.

Jake misses his buddy !

Saturday, July 24, 2010

fish galore . . .

Besides the most obvious reasons I like having family and other guests in town, I enjoy going to places while they are here that I would never frequent otherwise. The day Dan and his brother went to Mount Rainier, my sister-in-law and I took the kids to the Seattle Aquarium. We've lived here for 12 years now and it's one place we have never been. It recently underwent a major renovation project. I was pleasantly surprised at how cool it was ! There were great interactive exhibits that the kids really enjoyed, a huge walk-thru clear ring with jelly fish inside, swimming otters in their habitats, sea lions .... we had a really good time.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy 41st Ted !!

You rock !

Mount Rainier - Sunrise Side

Dan's brother has wanted to go to Mt Rainier ever since we moved to Seattle, but other activities seemed to dominate every time he was visiting here. So while they were here last week, he and Dan went to the Sunrise side of the mountain. Even though Dan came home with a MASSIVE sunburn (sunblock works better when it's actually with you and not sitting on the dining room table) they had a spectacular day. All blue skies and perfect temps.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

another String Summit for the books . . .

We attended the 9th Annual (and our 3rd) Northwest String Summit at Horning's Hideout in North Plains, OR this past weekend. It's something we look forward to all year. We were extra excited for this year's Summit because we had family coming with us. Dan's brother, our sister-in-law, niece and nephew all came out from NH for the week. It was so great to have all of them here. Our niece and nephew are the coolest kids and are so much fun to be around. The times we do spend together always make us wish we lived closer.

Everyone had a fantastic time at the festival. The kids loved it - everything from the face painting to the craft tent to the hula-hooping to the music itself. It was a good time had by all. We now count the days until next year's Summit - which will be the 10th Anniversary of the festival. We look forward to spending it with family again too !

Friday, July 9, 2010

new planter boxes . . .

Since our garden seems to grow so well in pots on the cement of our unused basketball court, I've always thought that planter boxes would also do well. I'd like to have 8 - 12 of them to fully take advantage of all the space. Do I buy them - do I make them - what will they look like - how big should they be ??? I got fed up with asking those questions of myself all the time - so I made a prototype of what I want with some of our leftover bamboo flooring. Not the cleanest of designs - and definitely not the material I would use, but it's close to what I'm looking for. Just need to add a lip to the top to finish it off, I think. Wooden trellises secured to the sides would be great for beans or other climbers.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

always blogworthy . . .

We've been wanting to try the Monday night fried chicken dinner at Spring Hill for a long time now. We've been there on a Monday in the past and had to stare at the chicken as it passed by to other tables because we forgot to make a reservation the Friday prior. They start to brine the chicken over the weekend, which is why it tastes SO good. But our friends called weeks ago and made a reservation for last night as a birthday gift to Dan. The dinner really exceeded our expectations. Everything is served family style. Beyond the chicken that was out of this world, the sides and salads were amazing. I could have eaten a whole plateful of the Beecher dumplings. And the jalapeno cornbread muffins with honey butter were fantastic. Melt-in-your-mouth good. I wanted to take more photos, but the table became restless as I snapped my first shot and then proceeded with a "wait wait". Who could blame them ! There was no photo taking of dessert - spoons hit the bowls way too fast. The brandied apricot sorbet was delicious.

I highly recommend - but make your reservation soon, they're booking into August now. Special thanks to Shane, Dominique and Nels !

edit 7/25: Spring Hill's Monday Night Fried Chicken Dinner was listed as one of America's Best Fried Chicken by Travel & Leisure ! Hooray !!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

a wishful post

OK - here's where I wanted to post my photos of the fantastic fireworks we have every 4th of July in our neighborhood (one of the benefits of living in unincorporated-ville). People really go all out with their displays. They rival those of small towns. Unfortunately, I fell asleep too early and missed IT ALL. Heard a few cracks and bangs and booms - but that's it. Damn. I love fireworks.

So I'll post some pics from the Seattle PI of the fireworks from Lake Union, north of downtown.

all photos by Joshua Trujillo/

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Daniel !

Other noteworthy events on this historic day ...

1608 The city of Quebec was founded by Samuel de Champlain.

1775 Gen. George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Mass.

1878 Broadway song-and-dance man George M. Cohan was born in Providence, R.I. (Cohan claimed to have been - as he wrote in one of his patriotic songs - "born on the Fourth of July.")

1890 Idaho became the 43rd state.

1898 The U.S. Navy defeated a Spanish fleet in the harbor at Santiago, Cuba, during the Spanish-American War.

1930 Congress created the Veterans Administration.

1971 Rock singer Jim Morrison of The Doors died in Paris at age 27.

1985 The time-travel comedy "Back to the Future," starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, was released in movie theaters.

1986 President Ronald Reagan presided over a ceremony in New York Harbor that saw the relighting of the renovated Statue of Liberty.

1988 The USS Vincennes shot down an Iran Air jetliner over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.

1997 In his first formal response to charges by Paula Jones of sexual harassment, President Bill Clinton denied all allegations in her lawsuit and asked a judge to dismiss the case.

2005 A NASA space probe, Deep Impact, hit its comet target as planned in a mission to learn how the solar system formed.

2009 Sarah Palin announced she would resign as Alaska governor with 16 months left in her term.