Urban walk wilderness part 2

logged old growth

scoping for beaver actiivity

a baby on a nursery log

beaver pond

cute!

the climb down is a little rough to begin with

wood duck box

cattails

can you see my husband's hidden camera facing the lodge?

sorry for the glare this was the best I could do ..the prize a beautiful lodge!

another nursery log with salal on top

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm  Comments (1)  

long rainy period followed by sun

Microclimate living

http://research.nwic.edu/npsec/html/ecodesc/climate.htm

I know I have talked about this previously back in either this blog or my older one but here you go ..there can not be too much conversation about the weather it seems.

I actually live right in a temperate pocket ..it is wet, in the 50’s for most of the winter ….we have humidity when it is raining but as soon as it stops the air is very dry..once in a while we will get “muggy” weather ..but unlike growing up in the East where we really had muggy. Here it is rare.   Do I know the scientific’s of all this? No these are just my observations.

The most amazing time for us here is whenever the sky opens up. The sun comes out once in a while and then all the things that are sitting under this sepia/gray cap come to life. The only days I really complain a lot are the ones where I am stuck inside when the sun is outside. Sunny day should be a legal holiday here. You could justify it.

First of all it is a safety hazzard to have sun here. Everyone in Western Washington has lost their sunglasses, and no one can drive with out them because we have adjusted to the din. There are more sunny day wrecks here than anywhere!

Second of all,

 we get a  crazy manic joy with even a few moments of sunshine!

We  get naked, dance around the woods covered in mud

 ..and wear great big moss hats

No one appreciates blue skies and sun like we do here on the Salish Sea

I have not blogged anything but my annoyance with conservative politics and most of those posts were kept in my “save” file because my intent with this blog is to see the shiny side more often.  Not rant and rave about things that make no sense to me …I do not want to offend at all, it is just sometimes I feel so offended by it all …This winter I have been cranky and pissed off with myself for perpetuating my own stupid behavior.

Not only my mood stopped my posting, it was also frustration in my own limitations with my camera!  I think you have to have skill to capture  the beauty of the dismal weather.  My photos all look muddy and gray and sad. Really  the world is muddy and gray ..but more of a  “sepia/gray” with lots of green tossed in …I can not take good pictures of the winter weather at all and wish I could.  

 we are having a sunny week, look what I see right now out my window!

While this is a perfect day for gardening I have to get out of here!

So my husband, 3 year old grandson and myself went for a walk in the wilds that sit right in the midst of our own urban spraw..it is a most beautiful, very quite… isolated spot..

My husband found a beaverhood….

 It comes complete with dam, a pond and a massive lodge surrounded moss covered, old growth,  nursery logs.   Best of all there is a frisky boy and an elusive girl beaver couple who chate like tribbles in the lodge.  I am pretty darn sure they setting up house inside there, together. .

I hope you enjoy the photographs, that maybe it inspires you to go out and find a patch of land to explore? Make your journey safe …we asked the cops and game warden about this spot ..plus scoped before hand, carried pepper spray and maybe I am going to get an air horn next…. I am paranoid but it is realistic!!…I don’t want to be that person who “stumbles on a body”. While we are out on a hike. Trust me some of the places my husband takes me would have one and freak me out! If you are not familiar with how beavers build then please watch this video

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZVbKwDmr-o

Please note the nursery logs on old growth, the moss. We are “The Evergreen State” for a reason and it is not just the trees. See the cattails coming up? The beaver pond, lodge dam? Thank you for your interest

this trail falls right below a very busy road

moss covered logs

we saw the boy right here looking over the pond but did not catch a shot

dinosaur snacks

bad assed little Mountain Man

we have some kind of  mushrooms growing  all year round here

more hiking

beaver pond

baby madrona in bloom, something is eating it

more in to follow

please check back for Beaverhood part 2

 

 

Published in: on February 20, 2010 at 12:12 am  Leave a Comment  

a day off in Tokeland

I just realized that I forgot to post this it was from just before Christmas and such an absolutely perfect day I wanted to share
(I will get back to the coffee roasting shortly this is a just a blissful interlude)
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YUMMMMM I almost cried when we found these popping up everywhere through out my secret area

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rustic coastal lawn ornament
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Happy house in Tokeland 🙂

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Boletus edulis aka porcini

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we take the journey here every year to make sure these guys are still where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there! They were 🙂

nothing like a trip to the coast to refresh and renew

Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 12:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Coffee Roasting on the Salish Sea

So yesterday I  was sitting online making my order for green coffee beans and thinking about this crappy cup of coffee I have to drink because we got so caught up in life we actually ran out of beans to roast!
 

It was all a “he said she said” thing about who and why we ran out.  I am pretty self centered about my morning ritual and am not happy that my day is starting off with a less than wonderful cup of coffee. On a Saturday no less

 
PLEASE NOTE 
Yes there is so much suffering in Haiti I struggling with tremendous grief anxiety and stres over what I am unable to do for these ever suffering human beings… I am sure I sound petty as hell and should not care about coffee and yes I am grateful a roof is over my head and I can complain and write about cofffee..but know I am not all that self centered I just needed a distraction from the agony  
  
so for me bitching about this awful cup of coffee
is trivial …but I beg you please donate now
Clinton Bush
  
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/01/clinton-and-bush-film-haiti-pu.html
  
here is the link to the American Red Cross
  
https://american.redcross.org/site/Donation2?4306.donation=form1&idb=1616251960&df_id=4306&JServSessionIdr004=bu5uhxbly3.app194a
  
if you can not donate cash give blood
 
and while I am at it how about a Hell of a mini rant?
 
…I curse Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh.I will not give them publicity on this tiny blog but to post this one video so people who listen to..and agree with ..Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson ..oh Hell Fox News
 
please take a good look at yourself
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5TE99sAbwM
 
because this is how WE see you
 
by posting anymore on the subject would mean I was sucked in
I am embarrassed and disgusted by this .
 
so now for a badly needed diversion
innnn through the nose …all the good thoughts in ..out through the mouth ..all the bad thoughts out …sigh …ok
now..
 
let’s talk about
 
COFFEE:
 
 
is to me the elixir of life
 
and a soothing vacation in a mug
 
I will start by saying it is a typical winter today on the Salish Sea. Just another one of those very short, dreary, wet, swampy, moldy, balmy days …he type of day that keeps people from moving here…no shock we love our coffee here huh?
 
It took many years and tons of coffee before I actually grew to find comfort in this weather ..now I love it ..it reminds me of my son and he loved this weather …
 
coffee is culture …
 
we are a crazy world of topless espresso drive through’s …Starbucks on every freaking corner ..people constantly running with paper cups residing in corrugated cardboard sleeves with lids and tiny plastic straws ..in a society full of sugar free skinny caramel CRAPiatos …run run run ..sucking “coffee drinks” through a straw??? and calling it “having a cup of coffee”
 
 
with this frenzy of growth in the coffee industry . where is a person to get to go sit down and have a wonderful cup of coffee?
 
for us it is our home ..the best place I can think of to have the perfect cup of coffee!
  
I have to say honestly ..or bitch honestly …I think people are separating themselves from “having a cup of coffee”.  How can you taste coffee through a tiny plastic straw? with a plastic lid? in a paper cup with so much crap in it???? I mean seriously a “pina colada latte” what the fk is that anyway???
  
You do not see your coffee!
 
 you do not smell your coffee
 
  you do not feel your coffee
 
you do not really taste it either
 
I do not get it ..
call it what you want ..
call me what you want ..
but ..
I beg you …
please do not
ask me to go “get a cup of coffee”
and have one of those things in your hand! 
at least do it some honor and take the lid off!
 
I was born into  a community of coffee lovers..my father said when I was little “learn to drink it black first then you will always know if you get a good cup of coffee or not” he was right! I did love to sip his with him and would shiver at the bitter..it was like eating baking chocolate to me ..something I also did! …I never drank milk …I drank warm milk with coffee in it growing up ..fact is it was the ONLY way I would drink milk ..in coffee ..my mother (I am sure)  drank lots of coffee while breastfeeding me
 
 and perhaps to some who know me this would  explain a hell of a lot!
 
I went from this community in New England to Florida where I learned to love cafe con leche and cafe colada 
..then to the Seattle area
..then to Panama
..then to the Mexican boarder 
..then then
 
..everywhere including Texas and Oklahoma I learned something about coffee …the latter taught me the secret of “cowboy” coffee over the campfire ..
 
coffee should be in a cup or mug made out of some form of ceramic or glass..you should see it ..smell it feel the warmth in your hands
 
 
my hands will risk the heat
 
my nose will smell the brew
 
my lips will feel
 
I will fully  taste the flavor
 
and feel the coffee
 
 
 I have to say we do have many wonderful local roasters in this area.   I can get a great cup of coffee..in a ceramic mug ..with friends … and it is usually $1.50/cup no refills or for .50 a refill
 
I have champagne taste on a microbrew budget ..so I had to find a way to be able to drink all the coffee I want made the way I wanted it ..just like cooking sometimes it is so much better for you and for your budget and your bitchiness  to  just DIY IT !!!
 
2 1/2 years ago we started roasting at home.
 
my husband is an inventor and he gets a little crazy sometimes but honestly ..that works to my behalf when it comes to a project like this! So what started as using a hand crank pot on the stove then rushing out the door in an insane frenzy to get the beans out before the smoke detectors go off …well now we have a motorized prototype to help us in our endeavors..we still have to stand by because it can walk off the stove ..and still also fly out the door because of smoke but considering home roasters cost several hundred dollars ..I do not complain!
 
so part one of my effort to maintain my sanity ..push my grief back a bit and take a “rest” not make and eat an entire pan of shortbread cookies or bake a cake (both crawl into my brain when I do not get enough sleep) 
 
I will  just talk about coffee for a while
 
 
Today it is about how we built our roaster  …so we could roast and drink the finest coffee I can imagine for a third what it costs at the roasters locally
for your best instruction I suggest you check out this link..they have a great section on DIY coffee roasters out of all kinds of contraptions and things you can pick up second hand or new ..lots of great info on the site and one of the places I get my green beans from
  
sweetmarias.com
 
 my goal is just to spark fellow coffee lovers to get back to basics here!

Taste your coffee 

 …sit down and drink it  

..take the damn lid off  

enjoy! 

 
Coffee roasting at my house
 
After months and months of us hand cranking coffee on top of the stove in a crank popcorn popper ..my husband who happens to be an inventor ..also a true lover of fine coffee ..had had it (he was the cranker all this time!!!) and built the following contraption
I will begin by telling you this is a “proof of concept” not an actual coffee roaster per se ..although I imagine if you check with us in five years we will still be using it!
For us this was easy  to pull off (ok for him it was difficult for me it was easy because I watched!)
we just happened to have two hand crank poppers and all this other stuff around to do it.
 you can skip the details but for some it might be interesting to see how I interpret what he did
 
So as you look at the photos here  (photos to be posted later)… you go
inside the black box with the red amp meter mounted on the top is a 4 amp 24 volt dc regulated power supply..this is controlled by a 5000 ohm potentiometer..my husband said that since the motor was only 4 amp 24 volt he had to step down the wall voltage from 110 volts ac ..so then he had the power go through a rectifier/regulator ..T..whatever he knows about that part I don’t …the rest I understand ..
there is a push button trigger at the end of the cord that runs out of the box and the gray box has a reverse switch so he can have crank go both ways …..he cut the last third of the wood piece on the handle of the popcorn popper…he cut the shaft right before the 90 degree bend to make a straight shaft to couple with the motor …then he took a scrap of brass put it in the lathe and drilled the center out so there was a hold slightly larger than the popcorn maker shaft and the motor shaft…then on the coupler (I HOPE HE READS THIS TO SEE I PAY ATTENTION!!!) he drilled and tapped two holes to accept 6-32 TPI Phillips head screws…then cut two 6-32 TPI screws so that when they were inserted in the coupler they would hit the wooden dowels that attached the wooden dowel to the handle …
 
four hose clamps a short piece of wood dowel and attached the dowel to the remaining wooden portion of the handle..the other two hose clamps abound the body of the motor to the dowel and
since the brass coupler will not flex he used a wooden dowel that acts like a shock absorber until he comes up with a rubber joint ..remember this is just “proof of concept”  (I have many of these in and around the house good old “proof of concepts”  ) …
Because of the additional length
 
(husband!!!!  I love you and thank you )
 
of the weight on the handle (IE pot would tip over when it cranked) he took a scrap piece of Lexan plastic made a “bi pod” (his words) out of it to hold up the pot level to the burner of the stove …because the slight flex in the coupler the whole thing started walking ..a damp piece of paper towel has fixed the problem!
 
that is it ..pure American Ingenuity at work …my husband is a brilliant man ..I have a semi- hand crafted coffee roaster it sits on the a gas stove ..you set a timer  flip a switch and voila’ off you go roasting your own coffee
 
this machine is wonderful, functional and works very hard..
I also have a husband who  is wonderful, functional and works very hard
  
So HE does the roasting ..and due to the nature of his brain he has it down to a science now..
 
he uses a special thermometer to get it just right..watches the color and the aroma of the beans ..he knows exactly when to stop while the  green beans morph into roasty toasty shades of brown
 
 I do help with the chafing..cooling and clean up ..and drink enough of the final product to make it worth all the trouble
 
my order is in and I am just waiting for my beans now …
 
I had to run out and go buy some Batdorfs and Bronsons because I could not stand other day of whatever the hell he was brewing for me ..I hope my beans come fast I can not afford this it was almost $14/lb!!!
 
sooo worth the contentment to take the extra effort..build a functional roaster and roast our own beans
 
..the plan now is to order a large stash and keep ahead of it!
 
…take care and please give to Haiti
 
 
 
 
 
PHOTOS WILL BE POSTED LATER
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING THIS BLOG
Published in: on January 17, 2010 at 3:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

it is a beautiful fall on the Salish Sea

a dahlia as big as my head

a dahlia as big as my head

I do not know the names of the types of dahlias I have

I do not know the names of the types of dahlias I have

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there are mushrooms growing with the lettuce

there are mushrooms growing with the lettuce

white one

white one

3 year olds do not need stems on flowers

3 year olds do not need stems on flowers

dahlias and rolled up pants! :)

dahlias and rolled up pants! 🙂

looking for seeds

looking for seeds

lots of nasturtiums left

lots of nasturtiums left

tasty garden snack

tasty garden snack

how crazy to find a ripe strawberry in October?

how crazy to find a ripe strawberry in October?

this from a grab bag of dahlias I had no idea I was getting it pretty huh?

this from a grab bag of dahlias I had no idea I was getting it pretty huh?

tiny shedding maple

tiny shedding maple

this is a beautiful honey suckle gift from a sweet Drake Maiden friend

this is a beautiful honey suckle gift from a sweet Drake Maiden friend

fall

fall

Published in: on October 24, 2009 at 8:44 pm  Comments (2)  

I am proud of us and thrilled with the fact President Obama Won the Nobel Peace Prize

Here when a monumental award is offered to  and accepted by the president our country ..all I hear on the news is doubt that he has earned it?

News black outs are a good idea  for your own sanity.  People are nuts and the media in general feeds on it to the point of insanity ..Y2K?  H1N1? People are even gearing up against the government thinking they are going to be forced to be vaccinated against thier will?

This all validates my desire to be a hermit ..to avoid people who disagree with me …not because I do not want to learn ..because I do ..I want more than anything to undestand how on earth people get Socialist from the Obama adminsitration…I am very community oriented and believe I am one small part of a whole picture and how I behave, vote and act on issues of the community ..does indeed affect the WHOLE….I do not have to speak out loud or argue my issues of community caring and animal rights,  quality of life/end of life  and healthcare in the US …and I can  ignore the panic, paranoia and insanity of folks who think we are giving more power to the governement or forcing people to do things they do not believe in ..or to even understand the fear  of this man as our leader????

…well let me remind the few who did not vote for Obama..he won by a landslide and if that is not proof enough that he had the smarts and ability to run this country or even that his history and potential do not allow for them the high honor of the Nobel Peace Prize ..well to you few I am sorry …but he does deserve this and I am so very proud he is given this honor!

 Right now he is the best choice to leading us ..the rest of the world is begining to actually “like” us a little again.

I will admit my blood ran cold when Sarah Palin was choosen as a running mate by the Republican party ..OMG you guys so would have had a chance if you had choosen Olympia Snowe!  Talk about a woman with the desire to get things done! So I tried ..I read about her  (Sarah Palin) I studied her, asked questions of her followers ..from guys I got “she’s cute!” from women “she represents our values” but no logical answers …. and for me  the more I read the more afriad I was!

So here I am this morning and stupidly turned on the news ..rather than us celebrating on Sunday morning the fact our President has won such a high honor! Well it is still a bone of content  and people say he has not earned it …where you listening when Fox was happy we did not get the Olympics? So sad we can not be a “WHOLE” and have to live in a world where the “ME” is more important that the community …like we could not have used that money here? Especially now especially here!!! Why would all people in the US not want to ahave the Olympics??? what is wrong with us????  Like Rio has such great record in human rights? …it is ok I am turning over a new leaf ..instead of ranting about not being able to understand I am going to accept the fact there is a deep seeded insantiy in this country and hopefully show empathy and love to everyone I come in contact with (and honestly if I do not leave the house other than to go to work or talk to anyone who does not agree with me or listen to the news ..I should be ok right? Just keep fighting quietly for what I believe in and move from there …

as somone who wants to live in peace in my world I am going to mantra the word “Accept it ..do not try to understand it”  

please enjoy  and sing along with me if you are so inclined

As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin for light in the darkness of insanity.

I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

And each time I feel like this inside,
Theres one thing I wanna know:
Whats so funny bout peace love & understanding? ohhhh
Whats so funny bout peace love & understanding?

And as I walked on
Through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
So where are the strong
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony.

cause each time I feel it slippin away, just makes me wanna cry.
Whats so funny bout peace love & understanding? ohhhh
Whats so funny bout peace love & understanding?

So where are the strong?
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony.

cause each time I feel it slippin away, just makes me wanna cry.
Whats so funny bout peace love & understanding? ohhhh
Whats so funny bout peace love & understanding? ohhhh
Whats so funny bout peace love & understanding?

Peace, love, understanding..not funny just a very serious family value ….
thanks for listening
your liberal, pinko, socialist, commie, left winged wacko who really does care what happens to all of you inspite of you …
Published in: on October 11, 2009 at 4:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

it is October

I just crammed all these in ..I so admire people who take beautiful pitures and make lovely lay outs ..but as you can see from all the grass and weeds I have in my plants ..my garden is kind of like this blog!

please enjoy  

 

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IMG_4618Drake Maiden gave me this thank you!!! it is blooming if you look under the leaves! Very pretty!IMG_4616I always think this maple dies in the fall..it looks so bad!IMG_4609IMG_4607IMG_4606IMG_4602IMG_4600IMG_4599IMG_4597IMG_4595IMG_4593IMG_4591IMG_4590IMG_4589IMG_4579IMG_4580IMG_4582IMG_4585IMG_4586
I love these perfect flowers

 

 

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Published in: on October 4, 2009 at 9:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Chipmunk Day and a box of plants from Central Florida

Papa helps open the box

Papa helps open the box

what is this?

what is this?

wow look at this! everything is a surprise!!!!

wow look at this! everything is a surprise!!!!

I love this child and his intensity :)

I love this child and his intensity 🙂

finding new digs for each of the plants and settling them in

finding new digs for each of the plants and settling them in

time to move them to their new home from the South East to the Northwest

time to move them to their new home from the South East to the Northwest

moved in to the mock green house to settle in with the new homies ..nice big drink of water!

moved in to the mock green house to settle in with the new homies ..nice big drink of water!

:) the chipmunk needed a little water too

🙂 the chipmunk needed a little water too

thanks so much Joe we really enjoyed this!

Published in: on October 2, 2009 at 12:46 pm  Comments (2)  

another surprise ….

grandbaby

coming in June

Published in: on September 29, 2009 at 10:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

cough remedy

bragg

4 cups fresh apple cider (fermented a few days if possible)

1/4 cup Bragg cider vinegar with the mother

1/2 cup dark raw honey

mix the above together well and then set aside

bring to a boil the following

2 cups water

1 big sprig of thyme

sliced fresh ginger root (the more the better I put at least 6 long slices in..or half a knuckle sliced)  

1 or 2 habanero peppers

juice of one lemon

and then simmer around 10 min ..strain and add to the cider …drink warm all day long

(you can add a shot of brandy or something to this if you want to but it gives me a headache when I do so I don’t)

what a difference drinking this makes when you feel like crap 😛

Published in: on September 27, 2009 at 3:45 pm  Leave a Comment