Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Trees in the Mist

Eight more days until Halloween!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Sleeper - Edgar Allan Poe

So creepy. I don't even want to know what's on the other side of these doors.

Monday, September 17, 2012

So here’s what really happened

whoops!Last week I teased my Facebook friends with this picture of my left foot in a walking cast, asking them to come up with a story about what happened here. “Can your crazy story top what actually happened?” I asked.
Almost all thhe replies were fantastic stories and I wish they were ALL true. it certainly would make for an interesting Christmas newsletter at the end of the year.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

SFFD to Cape Perpetua

Our family has been taking lots of road trips around the Pacific Northwest over the last month. On one weekend, we decided to drive out to the coast and spend some time exploring Cape Perpetua. Sandwiches, dog, kid, cameras were loaded into the car and off we went, down highways 22 and 18 to Lincoln City, then south on Hwy 101 until we arrived.
The weather was calm; the trees grow this way.
The kid, being a teenager and all, was a little grumpy about having to tag along with mom and dad. The dog, who usually whines every 15 minutes for a long sniff out an open window, was surprisingly quiet. Things changed once we got there, however.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mergansers on Suttle Lake

It’s stupid to have lived in Oregon for almost 10 years without really exploring beyond the Willamette Valley. Before yesterday, I had made only two trips over the Santiam Pass. Over the past few months, I have started to come alive and am rapidly expanding my world, which includes discovering Oregon.
Yesterday, when plans to meet up with a friend for a hike and photo shoot in the Jefferson Wilderness fell through, I grabbed Rachel and we headed east. Lunch was made and the car was ready for a road trip, so why not?
Santiam Pass, Hwy 20 Oregon
Photo of the Santiam Pass burn area courtesy of A.S. Photography
When we first moved here for the upper midwest, I was dying to go swimming in a lake. Local friends recommended Suttle Lake, and while I knew where it was, I had never gone. Yesterday I pointed the car in that direction and drove… over the pass, through the insanely surreal B & B Complex burn area, and to the lake. Yes, it’s a lake all right, but a Midwesterner (aka me) would be hesitant to swim at the gravel beach and steep grade to the bottom.
Rachel stayed in the car (party pooper) while I walked down the Suttle Lake Smoke Trail, along the north side of the lake. I don’t know why I didn’t take my camera. What was I thinking? Darn, I’ll have to go back. Early. With camera and tripod.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mpls Misc

After arriving at at the MSP airport, I made a quick trip to the Mall of America (half hour!) and then started to head north through the city. My 200 mile drive would take me up I-35 through Duluth and then east for an hour or so to Washburn, Wisconsin. By the time I hit the road, rush hour was getting into full swing.
Boy, I had forgotten how icky rush hour is in the Twin Cities. I thought Seattle-Tacoma was bad, (and it is) but after being away for so many years, I had underestimated the Twin Cities’ “slow and go” freeway crawl. I was on the south end of town and had to head north across the entire metro. Because of rush hour, and since I had a rental car and was not at the mercy of anyone else’s transportation, I stayed off the freeways as much as possible. My route took some nostalgic turns through old neighborhoods where Frank and I lived.
Here are some miscellaneous pictures of my journey through town:
This is the first apartment that Frank and I rented together.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Odd Socks

At the Mall of America, there is an odd little sock store called Little Miss Matched. They sell mismatched socks by the trio – yes, you get three per package – with the idea that you should not have matching socks.
Personally, while I’m not interested in shelling out up to $3.11 plus tax per sock, I absolutely love this idea.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Hunger Games at the Mall of America

About a month ago, I made an impromptu visit to my old stomping grounds in Northern Wisconsin and the Twin Cities. After landing at the airport, I drove my rental car across the freeway to the Mall of America. I wanted to stop in for a just few minutes before heading north to Wisconsin.
Yes, it is possible to stop in for just a few minutes.
If you have willpower.
I was there for a half hour, tops, and that includes walking to and from parking. The visit would have been even faster if not for the day’s scheduled event and me with my camera.
I guess I’m getting old. I hadn’t heard of The Hunger Games before stopping at the Mall of America. Maybe I led a sheltered life, too, since I had never been part of a screaming frenzy of teenagers.
Both book-turned-movie and screaming teenagers filled the south end of the MOA (Mall of America) when

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Basil seeds → Pesto

This past summer, Frank had an assortment of potted herbs on our south-facing steps.
Near the end of the season, when Frank was in the hospital, I chopped off the seed heads and dried them in our dehydrator. Since we love basil, I also managed to buy a full stem at a farm market in Jefferson. Those seed heads also went into the dehydrator.
The rest of the stem became fresh pesto. Mmmmmmmmm.
Here’s everything in the dehydrator. The rosemary plant also got a trim and those stems were also dried.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Salt, salt, salt, and salt

We always have a variety of salts in our kitchen. My least favorite is the metallic-flavored table salt. I think my favorites are the Baleine and Kosher.

At the Hawthorne Fred Meyer up on Portland, they've got a huge variety of salt available in their deli. We've been trying to get Frank up there for months, to look at the salt. Red salt, grey salt, black salt, pink salt... I've never seen so many varieties. 

Have you ever read Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky? I read it a while ago and it was one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. Anyway, after reading the book, seeing the salt in person boggled my mind.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sweet Sixteen

I don’t believe I ever shared a picture of Rachel’s birthday cake from her 16th birthday.
She wanted number candles instead of 16 burning sticks melting wax all over the frosting, so I rummaged through the birthday candles and came up with 16.
When the cake came out, she looked at it, smirked, and said, “Yup, that’s 16 all right.”

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ode to Ollie

When we got Ollie from the Animal Shelter, they were having a buy one get one free deal. Two cats are better than one, so we wandered through the place, trying to decide who to adopt. Violet picked us first, and after a lot of searching, Ollie picked Rachel.
You’ve heard the old adage “You always get what you pay for,” and this couldn’t be more true for sweet dumb-dumb Ollie. He was the free one. He is the goofiest, silliest, most loveable dork of a cat we have ever known.
World, meet Ollie.
Can I jump to the house roof?
Maybe I can get on the roof this way?
I’m just gonna wait here.
I can haz tequila?
Gardening makes me pooped out.
Hold me like dis. My back likes the stretch.
Why you wake me up?
Dad’s leg is cuddly for nap time.
Why are you pointing that box at me?
My comfy chair.
2011-06-16 001
Nap time.
Caesar, you watch out for mom while I look for my presents.
This water tastes like dog drool.
Bugs are cuddly for napping.
I see you, Mr. Squirrel.
Halp. My claws are stuck in the rug.
No, I don’t know how that tomato ended up on the floor.
I like jalapeno peppers. They are fun to play with.
Go away, he’s my daddy.
So if I fall outta the tree again, you catch this time, ok?
(Ollie has a habit of falling out of this tree and landing on people’s heads.)
I can has dog cookie?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hot Peppers and Not-So-Hot Peppers


Last summer, Frank planted several varieties of peppers. The two most prolific varieties were Mariachi (gorgeous colors as they turn red) and Thai peppers (the skinny red ones.)


Once they were ready, Frank put on some gloves and prepared for a little taste test.


The Mariachi peppers were nice and sweet with just a little kick.
Even the wimpy, Scandinavian members of our household were able to eat them.
The Thai peppers, on the other hand, were left to the expert for tasting.


Frank made two kinds of hot sauce with these peppers: Sambal and Piri Piri
You can get the recipes off his food blog, DeafChefAtLarge.com

Meanwhile, I did my part by saving the seeds to plant next year.