Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Good Days

Make hay while the sun shines.  That's what they say down on the farm. 

Here in wet Seattle, we use the precious dry days to get yard jobs done.  With several dry days in a row, Tom finally got a chance to get out and spread the pile of leaves he had delivered several weeks ago.  Now everything is bedded down for the winter.  I got out this morning and raked the lawn, so at least until the next big storm everything is looking tidy.

 We really haven't had a freeze yet, just a bit of frost on the roof tops, so things are blooming, like the winter jasmine
 and primroses.

 There is still some color in the garden.

 With the yard work done for now, Tom has turned his attention to getting Christmas lights up.  Stringing up the maple tree is a big job.
 He got this done today.
 Yesterday he took the blower up on the roof to clean off all the tree debris, and then he got the house lights up.
 Inside, on Sunday while the Seahawks were losing, I baked fruit cake, another batch of cookies, and we figured out how to display the Santa collection on the new shelves.
 On Cyber Monday, I cleaned house, researched gifts and shopped on line, ran some errands, and got the dining room decorated.  This is my Scandinavian theme room, with hearts and straw ornaments and the goat and pig.

First thing this morning I called Yamaha back, actually returning a call I missed Monday afternoon.  It took a bit of waiting on hold, but I finally got through to the tech guy at level 2, the "escalated" level, and together we "fixed" the iPod problem with the new stereo system.  

So this afternoon, as I baked the next batch of cookies, the house was filled with Christmas music.  

The rain is scheduled to return tomorrow afternoon.  By then we should have the rest of the outdoor lights up.

These have been good days.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Day After

We don't do Black Friday.  That is, we don't shop.

Since it was Friday we dragged ourselves out of bed at 7:00 to go to our regular Friday morning breakfast club.  We lingered long over friendly conversation.

It was raining when we got up, it was raining when we got home from breakfast, and it is still raining as the daylight dims and departs.
 My Nikon lens gathers in any light available, and so these photos don't really show how dark a day this has been, and foggy too.  Black Friday, indeed.
 We spent the middle of the day trying to figure out why my iPod no longer plays on our new tuner/receiver.  I have put all of our Christmas music on my iPod Nano, and I was playing music Wednesday when it just quit.  I checked out the iPod and the cable but they still worked in other configurations.  Finally today we had time to call Yamaha tech support.  After quite a while, trying quite a few things, the tech guy said we had the "question of the day" and it had to be "accelerated" to a higher level.  We are waiting for a call back or email for more help.

After lunch Tom and Josy napped while I geared up to start the holiday baking.
We had the Apple Cup on the TV - Washington State Cougars vs University of Washington Huskies.  The State Cougars were the considerable underdogs.  We are fairly neutral, with a slight leaning toward the Cougs.

 I woke Tom to help with the assembly of these chocolate covered cherry cookies, a family favorite.
 These will now go into the freezer to await holiday gatherings.  I'll do another kind tomorrow. 

The last batch of cookies came out of the oven just as the Cougars won the football game in overtime.  It wasn't raining over in Pullman and the home team poured onto the field in celebration.  The Husky fans will have to make the long drive back over the mountains to the rainy west side of the state as losers.

Now I'm having a little down time before we have dinner.  That smoked turkey came off the BBQ yesterday looking like this. 
No, it isn't burnt.  That is smoked-sealed skin.  The meat was moist and delicious with a subtle smokey flavor.  And smokey turkey gravy is so-o-o-o good.  We had lots.  For dinner tonight there will be left overs, a Thanksgiving dinner all over again.  And no cooking!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Is Here!

The newspaper is fat with shopping bargains.

 Tom has assembled equipment for BBQ smoking the turkey.
 Josy senses something is up and contemplates where to spend the day.  The rain has stopped.  Going outside is a possibility.
 The table is set.  Dinner is at 2:00.  Guests include son Jake, sister-in-law Jan, cousins Kris and Dan.  We're keeping track of Jill and family in Colorado via Facebook and email.

 It's time to stuff the turkey and get it cookin'.

 Apple wood provides the smoke.
 In the kitchen, casserole dishes are  accumulating in the refrigerator. The pots and pans for cooking the mashed potatoes and roasted roots vegetables and the green beans and the gravy and the sauce for the yams and assembled.  Serving pieces are collected on the counter.  The Macy's parade is on the TV.
 Tom is spiffing up outside after the last wind and rain storm.

 I'm using the down time to connect with my blog world.

And Josy has selected her "safe place" in the den closet.
All is good.  We have much to be thankful for.  


Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Major League Soccer Season Is Long...

...but it ended tonight for the Seattle Sounders as they played the LA Galaxy at home in the cold Seattle rain in front of almost 45,000 fans.

Last Sunday the Sounders played in LA and lost 3-0 in the first leg of the Western Conference Championship.  The final score is the aggregate of the two matches, so the Sounders were in a deep hole.    

The weather has gone sour, typical cold November rain.  It was not very appealing to leave the warm, dry house and head out into the cold, wet, early darkness.  But we are loyal fans, so we did.  And as we participated in  the March to the Match, along with thousands of other Sounders fans, we got into the spirit.  

That spirit held through the rain and the game.  The Sounders scored twice before LA was awarded a questionable penalty kick.  The Sounders and their fans did not let up, but the final result was 2-1, with an aggregate LA 4, Sounders 2.

And so we are done.  It's time.  We began in the cold of March.  We'll put away the jerseys and summer tee shirts and cold weather sweatshirts and jackets and scarfs, and take a break.  

Season tickets for next year have already been purchased.  March is not that far away.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Working On Whidbey

With the garden clean up done here at home, we needed an opportunity to get up to the island cabin to winterize the garden there.  This week provided just such a weather window.

 When we arrived about 11:00 the clouds were clearing and the duck dotted lagoon reflected the sky.

We got right to work, clipping and grooming.  

Tom took the trusty old beach pickup truck over to the sewage treatment plant for a free load of compost.

 By the time the sun was fading, we had the cleaning up done, some of the tulip bulbs planted, and the first load of compost spread.

 It was foggy this morning, and an eagle perched over the lagoon.

 Was it sizing up a meal of duck?  I hope not these beauties.

 We planted the rest of the bulbs  spread another load of compost, and cleaned up. We were finished with our work by 11:00, just about when the fog melted away.

 We had lunch and then headed for Langley, where I had some shopping to do at the Chocolate Flower Farm.
 Chocolate cosmos outside the shop.

 The cedar garlands were going up on the shops on First Street.

 Boys real and bronze enjoy the view.

 Star Store displays tell us the holidays are almost here.

 Birch trees along the creek still hold their leaves.
 Time for coffee at the Useless Bay Coffee Company.
 As the shadows lengthened, we drove back over to the cabin to  pack up.  And I got one last photo of my favorite view as it glowed in the autumn sun.