Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Maddie's first day of school

Today was our niece's first day of kindergarten. Dan's brother sent us this photo of her anxiously awaiting the bus. It's hard to believe she's old enough for school already. Seems like her baptism was just yesterday.

Hope you have a fantastic year, Maddie !

Monday, August 30, 2010

some of our favorites won !

I only caught a few minutes of the Emmy Awards last night, but was very happy to see the list of winners this morning. One of our favorite shows is AMC's Breaking Bad. Both the writing and the acting are absolutely superb. Bryan Cranston (Walt) won for best actor-drama and Aaron Paul (Jesse) won for best supporting actor-drama. So well deserved.

We also really enjoyed HBO's movie Temple Grandin and thought Claire Danes gave an excellent performance. She won last night for best actress in a TV movie/mini-series. She looked beautiful - and how nice to see the real Temple Grandin in the audience. Her story is remarkable.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

what's been missing this summer ?

Well, at least here in Seattle, the most obvious thing missing this summer was the sun. Which directly correlates to another thing missing this summer......my multiple posts about the tomatoes in our garden. It's been a very sad season for the tomatoes, although we are starting to see many ripen in the past few days. We stuck to our favorite again this year - the Sungold. Only four plants, which is a small number for us. But maybe that was for the best.

What seems to be loving this weather are the greens and the kohlrabi. I planted seeds on August 2nd and we've been enjoying salads for the past week. The kohlrabi will take a bit longer, but the planter box is brimming.

From left - spinach, kohlrabi, red leaf and green leaf lettuces.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

B O N S A I !

We ventured just about 15 miles south the other day to visit the Weyerhaeuser Bonsai Garden for the first time. We've noticed its sign from I-5 several times, but have never stopped. It is an amazing place - far exceeding our expectations. Each tree is beautifully presented, with info placards explaining the origin and species. The grounds were impeccably maintained.

This is only a small sampling of what we saw, but contains a few of our favorites. More can be seen here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

awesome additions !

I received a couple packages from my mom yesterday and, pardon the pun, they really were a true motherload ! Amongst other goodies, she sent me two new additions for my ever-expanding Polaroid camera collection.

One is a Polaroid Model 80 (Highlander). (from rkphoto.com) Made from 1954-57 and the first Land camera to be smaller sized than the other current models. The camera body is steel with brown painted crackle finish and self-erecting bellows design. It has a rigid viewfinder on top of the camera and the exposure is set by Light Value scale ("Polaroid numbers"). The shutter is a 2-speed everset rotary-leaf design (1/25 and 1/100 plus Bulb) coupled with a 100mm ~ f/8.8, 3-element glass lens. The flash is M-sync via Polaroid "hot shoe". This camera series is also known as the "Highlander". Look for some Model 80 (not all) to have real chrome-plated trim.

The other is a Polaroid Model 95A. (also from rkphoto.com) Made between 1954-1957 and was basicly the same as the Model 95. However, a wire frame finder replaced the sighting post used on the earlier Model 95. A couple more changes were made as well. An X-sync was added for a flash while the shutter speeds were increased to 1/12 - 1/100 second. Features a 130mm ~ f/8 lens and folding optical finder.

They are in great condition and I love them both. Thanks Mom !!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

another fun read

I've enjoyed reading books by Laurie Notaro for several years now. I started with her first book, "The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club" and have been laughing ever since. She mostly writes non-fiction, taking stories from her own experiences and blending them with her fantastic, crazy sense of humor. Which I love. I just finished her second venture into the fiction world, entitled "Spookly Little Girl". It had a very strong (and hilarious) main character, a really good story and was a fairly light read. And most important, it made me laugh out loud.

She also has a website that is equally as funny as her books. Her August 6th entry is tear-jerking.

Friday, August 20, 2010

they were supposed to be red . . .

At least that's what the label said ...

We dug up the remaining potatoes this morning and they definitely aren't Irish Reds. They look a lot like the ones we harvested last month. That's ok, since those were really delicious. But we were looking forward to some variety. Once again, the potato bags have proven to be quite successful.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

ahhhhhhhhh Democracy . . .

Quite the organized protest at our local Target store last Saturday morning ...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Julia Child

Today would have been one of our all-time favorite chef's 98th birthday. She is a true classic !

Saturday, August 14, 2010

bring it on !

Our Weather Channel thing on the computer has been warning me of a Heat Advisory all morning. It makes this noise that is supposed to mimic thunder. Except it sounds more like pans falling over in my cupboards - especially when Dan was the last one at the computer and the volume was cranked. I tuned that little feature off pretty quick.

Back to my main point - I welcome a Heat Advisory. For multiple reasons. It's only supposed to top out in the low 90s, last three days, not include humidity and we haven't seen more than two days in the 90s all summer. And it is summer, after all. My garden would love a few days of heat.

So bring it on, I say ! (hoping not to regret that comment in two days - won't admit it if I do)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Georgetown Saturday Market

My friend and I went to the Georgetown Saturday Farmer Market this morning. There were more vendors - or variety of vendors, I should say - than I expected. They had everything from fruit and vegetable stands to food vendors to great breads/desserts/pastries to antique dealers - all lining the aisles. I feel really lucky to have such great fresh and local produce at my disposal. It's also nice to buy farm direct.

Who doesn't love a great selection of Hawaiian kitsch at their market ?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

maybe he should be a therapy dog . . .

Proud parents blog about their kid's achievements - I blog about my awesome dogs. Once again, I'm amazed how good Jake is with children. He can be quite a goofball around adults, but goes into "delicate" mode around kids. He's gentle, very patient, plays well, does whatever they tell him to do and loves to give kisses. Most of all, he seems to really enjoy the attention. Just look at that smile in the last photo. He couldn't be happier.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Jerry

Today would have been his 68th birthday. Bet it's one hell of a party up there !

homemade jam is YUMMY

I made strawberry jam for the first time ever. Not sure what came over me - just an urge to make some jam, I guess. And I saw a recipe for balsamic strawberry jam that sparked my interest. I improvised a bit, but am really happy with how it turned out. It's sweet and sour at the same time. And delicious ! Not bad for a first attempt.