Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Island Time

Today we spent hours in the garden, grooming, mowing, edging. Now the house and garden are all spiffy. It's time for a little get away. We'll be heading to Whidbey Island for a few days. Island Time is slow and lazy.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Newly Painted House

It has been a long time since we painted our house, and it was over due. But for the first time, we did not want to tackle the job ourselves, so we hired it done. First decision - who to hire? Tom had worked with a young man named Jonathon, who worked at Lowe's when he ordered materials for the new front porch. He asked him for a referral. Turned out Jonathon was leaving Lowe's and starting his own business, and wanted to submit a bid. Tom worked with him, and when his bid came in at a very reasonable amount, Tom hired him. Last Sunday we worked to get everything off and away from the house. We left the nails in the wall for the Carruth Collection so we would know how to put them back.
On Monday Jonathon arrived and did the pressure washing.
Cleaning always seems to make a bigger mess before it gets done.
Then the weather turned difficult - it was windy with a threat of rain. So nothing happened until Thursday, when Jonathon returned to begin the masking. We have 28 windows. It was an all day job.
Finally on Friday we got paint, but not until Jonathon had to go get some parts for his sprayer. Seems he had loaned it out, and the borrower had not cleaned it. And Jonathon had not checked it. A learning experience?
Saturday Jonathon's wife came with him to help. They are newly weds, which may explain why she was willing to help, but they made a good team. Saturday, late in the afternoon, they ran out of paint. They were back Sunday afternoon to finish the base paint and begin the trim.
Finally today Jonathon finished the job by 1:00 this afternoon. While he was finishing, Tom got all of the windows washed and I cleaned the inside. We have most of the stuff moved back into place outside, with a few more pots to return to the front porch.
It looks good, with the exception of the bottom of the garage door, which might need a bit more paint. We have to paint the green house/shed, do we can handle that too. But it feels good to have this project done.
We got a good job at a good price, and a young man got some experience and some capital to get his business going.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Eating Locally

We had a lovely supper this evening, made up largely of items we bought today at the Puyallup Farmer's Market. This is a large market located in Pioneer Park, in the city of Puyallup, located south of Seattle in the Puyallup Valley. Today it seemed like the place to be and be seen! The market has a bit of everything, from metal sculptures to zucchini. There were cherries from the east side of the mountains. We passed up the Bings, since I had bought some Thursday at the small Burien Farmer's Market. We did buy a pound of the Rainiers.
And a pint of the local strawberries. The Puyallup Valley is famous for daffodil bulbs and berries.
Our own raspberries will be on soon, so we're waiting for them.
I love this statue, right in front of a strawberry stand, of a farmer bringing his berries to sell.
There were many plant vendors. Tom always finds someone to chat with.
I was attracted to this weavers stall. I did buy a felted ball for Jake's new cat, Josy, named after a star on the US Soccer Team. The ball was Rave Green, of course, Seattle Sounders color.
I love the glass glowing in the sunlight. I would like to have more in my garden, but it is very pricey.
Flower stalls are my favorite, with their beautiful color combinations. In nature, colors don't ever clash.
And we must not forget the veggies. Early crops of beets, carrots, lettuce, peas, turnips, radishes, onions, chard and squash were in abundance.
So what did we eat this evening? Market cheese, bread, cherries, strawberries, and a few other things that made up a cold plate to eat out on the lawn. Lovely. And for being so good, we bought ourselves an Apple Award. It's made out of a gourd. Cool, huh?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Oh, Michael

Peter Pan was a fairy tale. In real life people grow up, or perish. Michael is gone.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Garden Touring, Kitsap Peninsula, Part II

Here are photos from three more gardens in the Gig Harbor and Fox Island area that we toured last weekend. This first property was a very large hillside garden stretching from a high bank view all the way down to beach access. This is the entry court!
The mature trees add amazing color to the garden.
How about this view?
The hillside is navigated by way of many sets of stone steps and pathways.
We stopped for a picnic lunch at Kopachuck State Park. Nature has it's own wonderful style of gardening.
Out on Fox Island we found this garden in a rural setting, with spacious lawns surrounded by horse pastures and a distant view of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
The final garden was also hidden away on rural Fox Island. Half the fun of touring is finding these places and enjoying the scenery along the way.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Monday we picked our first handful of strawberries. We haven't grown strawberries for more that twenty years, giving up on them because it was a constant struggle with the birds and slugs eating them above ground and the weevils eating them below ground. But last year we put in a few new plants. Our first crop, small but tasty.
Today we picked a few more berries, and our first vegies from the garden. The carrots, eaten raw, were so sweet. The beets and beet greens were wonderful.
As much as I like ornamental gardening, there is something even more special about growing a vegetable patch. From sprouting the seeds to watching the plants mature to finally getting an edible crop, it's all such a wonder, and keeps you close to the earth that sustains us.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Right to Bear...Cell Phones

Perhaps in light of what is happening in Iran right now, we might consider changing the wording of the second amendment. To maintain a "well regulated militia" we should assure the "right of the people to keep and bear" smart phones. The first amendment would keep the Internet open. We could do our shooting with our camera phones and post on U-Tube. That way we don't actually kill anyone, just their reputations.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Aim Higher, Mr. President.

In his editorial in the Seattle Times today, David Sirota puts into words what it is that I have been stewing on but had not yet articulated. There is no question that Mr. Sirota is a Progressive, and of the ilk that is impatient with President Obama's slow, cautious, low risk attempts at reform. But I find myself often in his camp, thinking we should be making bolder moves in reforming or reshaping our economic system, our health care system, our energy policies. Sirota makes a distinction between a reformist and a revolutionary. A reformist tinkers with what's there. A revolutionary, much like the Wright Brothers, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Franklin Roosevelt, and yes, even Ronald Reagan, re-imagines new ideas and machines and theories that did not exist before. Obama is a self-proclaimed reformer. Are we aiming high enough? Isn't it time to dream up bigger and better solutions? If not now, when? Find David Sirota's column at: Aim%20higher%2C%20Mr%2E%20President Shared via AddThis

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Touring Gardens On The Lower Kitsap Peninsula: Part I

Saturday we went garden touring again, to more Open Gardens in the Northwest Perennial Alliance. Members open their gardens to other members, and it is a wonderful opportunity to see some amazing private gardens. This time we were in the South Puget Sound. Puget Sound is a vast inland sea filled with islands, peninsulas, bays, inlets, and passages. When you cross the Narrows Bridge from Tacoma, you are on the Kitsap Peninsula, in the Gig Harbor area. We visited two gardens new to us, and returned to a favorite we had seen before. Then we visited two new gardens on Fox Island, reached by a bridge from the lower peninsula. Here are some shots from the first two gardens. How's this for an entrance? Just inside the gates is the Rose Garden.
Tea, anyone? We did wish someone had come to serve us.
This is a large garden, and the owners have filled it with bronze statues of children, which added to the delight of the garden.
Around the front, we are met with views and access to Henderson Bay.
The mother geese were herding their young 'uns.
The second garden was much more, shall we say "middle class", in size. We had been here before. I love it for what the gardener does with foliage color. There is an entry court, and then a hillside garden, again down to water access, this time one of the many back bays and channels.
I was thinking a latte would be nice here.
Today is the first day of summer, summer solstice, the longest day of the year, AND Father's Day. Today is a day to go out and play, cherish nature's gifts, love life, and