We THOUGHT we knew what the weather was like...

Adapting to life in the Northwest.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer is Finally Here

Summer in our family means birthdays- every 3 weeks or so, and Liz and Jason are doing their best to keep up the tradition! First Jim's, then Liz', followed 1 day later by their anniversary, then Anne's, with Nate's right on the heels. Hazel's is only a few days later, and her little brother's birthday will be somewhere in between there. So as we await the birth of the newest member of the family, here are some pictures of Jim's celebration, and our wine tasting adventure in Woodinville with Anne & Nate.
Oh- and the PINK cake? Jim had fond memories of a pink champagne cake from his childhood, and I found one at a bakery in Bremerton-- but let's just say that some memories from childhood are better if you don't try to recreate them.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Garlic Scapes and Garden "Friends"

I've decided that it is about time to get serious about updating this blog. But the emphasis will change a bit- more on the trials, tribulations and JOYS of gardening and eating locally in the Northwest. God gave us such a variety of good foods to enjoy, I'm afraid I may get on my soapbox occasionally about eating fresh, healthy food. Sorry Cool Whip fans- none allowed here.

Today I harvested garlic scapes. They are the blossoms of the garlic before they open, which should be removed anyway to make the bulb grow bigger. And what became of these?
GARLIC SCAPE PESTO. Which was pretty tasty- Jim had 3rds.
Of course, after weeks of drizzly weather, our basil and tomatoes are sulking. Some members of the garden "family" around here is definitely relishing the weather.At least he didn't seem to be eating too many peas.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

All that was Missing was the Lussekatter

Tonight the little burg of Poulsbo celebrated the annual arrival of Lucia at the waterfront. We had truly nordic conditions- freezing cold , plus a "brisk" wind that made us vow that next year we are bringing a thermos of "glögg". A good sized crowd of Poulsboians and others turned out to hear the retelling of the story of the Christian girl from Sicily who somehow became the Swedish Lucia. Norway and Sweden were once united, so I guess the Norwegians can honor her, too. (albeit 1 week early- Lucia day is actually Dec 13). Our famous Vikings, carrying torches, paraded up the boardwalk along the bay, around the park and onto the dock to await Lucia's arrival. Once there, there was a few long blows on their Viking horns (real HORNS!) and a small Viking boat appeared around the corner, with a few rowers doing their best to make headway against a strong north wind. All I was hoping was that Lucia had on her long underwear beneath that white gown. And perhaps a life vest.
After escorting her to the gazebo, we had another sort-of-rousing chorus of "Santa Lucia"- sung in Swedish (the Norwegian/ Americans were doing the best they could), and then the Vikings and Lucia walked over to light the bonfire. The pagan Viking traditions got a little mixed up with the Christian Lucia traditions at this point- the people lighting fires in the darkest part of the winter to ask that the sun return, etc. But there was a reference to the salvation provided by Christ replacing the pagan beliefs- that was a very good surprise!
The bonfire blazed, everyone cheered, Santa arrived on a fire engine, and the event was complete.
A fun way to start Christmas- so we came home to glögg and a warm fire. And snow is forecast for tonight. Great evening. Even a "Tomte" was there.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What May has been...

A Mother's Day weekend visit to Colfax. Planning (still) the house remodel. Jim spending seemingly days under the house doing mysterious things like wiring (new sub-panel), cleaning (ever vacuumed your crawl space?) and getting ready to fix some posts that need shoring up. I've been- where else?- in the garden or reading northwest gardening books. Jim built an awesome raised bed from cedar-- we better have the best tomatoes in Kitsap County for the price of the wood! With the retaining wall finished, I started planting part of the front yard. Dogwood, Japanese maple, ceanothus, cotoneaster (2 kinds), and various other perennials. Yesterday we trekked all the way to Monroe (with a side trip to DD Meats and Trader Joe's of course) to fill the car to overflowing with plants- maybe the 30% I saved buying them from the growers paid for the ferry.

Jim is finishing up his class on website design at Olympic College. We are S_L_O_W_L_Y settling into a church.

And a great Viking Fest was had by all last weekend! Velkommen til Poulsbo.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring, we never thought we'd see ya !

Hard to believe that just 1 week ago we were shivering in freezing rain while doing some chores outside, and Wednesday (yes- 5 days ago), it snowed on the hills right above us as well as in Seattle. Today the Lord blessed us with a real SUNday.
After a wonderful church service, our church had a potluck and egg hunt at Island Lake Camp, just 10 minutes from town, but you'd never know it. Towering fir trees around a lovely lake, and a great lodge where we ate our lunch and had some great fellowship before the kids scrambled all over the lawns and forest hunting eggs. It was above 60, so off course most of the younger men had on shorts and flip flops- and we all enjoyed being outside without a sweater or jacket- I think for the first time since October!
We had the rest of the beautiful afternoon left, so Jim and I decided to drive across the Hood Canal Bridge to Quilcene and take a hike down to some falls. What a glorious day- the shrubs are just leafing out, daffodils are blooming along the roadsides and the sun was shining.
I have to remind myself daily that actually LIVE in this gorgeous area. 4o minutes from our door we are in Olympic National forest, hiking through a forest cloaked in moss and lichens, with the roaring Quilcene River at our feet. Doesn't get much better than this- (especially when I work in an office with no view all day) .

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Catching up

Pictures of a fun weekend with Hazel, Liz, Anne, Nate and Wes. Was that only a week ago????

A Lesson in Patience and God's Timing

How many times have we heard the message that we are to wait on God's timing and not expect Him to be on our timetable? Well, I guess He needed to remind me of that. My California gardener habits just jumped ahead of spring up here in Washington by a few weeks! Yesterday we had a productive day talking to contractors, electricians and landscapers at the Kitsap Home and Garden Show. On the way home we stopped by a big nursery to get pots for transplanting some bareroot native plants we had purchased 3 weeks ago at a native plant sale. I had visions of a relaxing weekend transplanting and digging in the dirt. So of course, I couldn't resist buying some heather, ceanothus and chives, and catnip (for Henry of course). Jim did comment that it was "chilly" at the nursery- 15 mph winds with a temperature in the 40's. Plus it was raining, but hey- we DO live in Washington!

So this morning I was really convinced of my folly when we awoke to a light snow falling, which rapidly turned into 4" of snow on the ground, including the roads, so we decided to hunker down and not drive to church. The plants I bought yesterday sat out in the snow. No gardening today- but I do have one intrepid daffodil in bloom- in a pot where it must have hitched a ride from Ripon. And the shrubs in the ravine are showing the slightest hint of green. And as I write this, some of the snow has melted and the sun is shining! I am reminded of this from the Song of Solomon "For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have already appeared in the land; the time has arrived for pruning the vines" S .of S. 2:11.
It started slowly

And 2 hours later looked like this.

Henry chased snowflakes.