Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ruby don't take yer love to town...

Say hello to the newest member of our little family, Ruby! We adopted her from the Seattle humane society over in Bellevue ( I don't get that ) and couldn't be happier. She is a super sweet smallish terrier mix about 3 years old. I loooooove her ears! She is all black except for a white patch on her chin and a white stripe down her chest. We don't live in a very big house so a smaller dog was important to us and she is perfect! 
Last night we went to the dog store and tried out some doggie beds and crates. It was funny to have Ruby try them out, she would just hop onto the beds and settle right down. She also adores the crate we got. I have never had a dog that was into crates before and it is almost magical to have Ruby prefer her crate to any other place in the house. I guess it's important for all of us to have a safe place. 
She is even pretty chill with our cat Stella. She has taken a few lunges but none too severe and surprisingly Stella is being relaxed about the whole situation. Not hiding or sulking or puking. We totally lucked out.
We love her and can't wait to have all sorts of good times together. I wonder if she can swing a hammer?

Monday, February 14, 2011


Husband was down in Portland, Oregon this last weekend for the work related Oganicology Confrence hosted by OGC and I drove down to join him on Sunday for a little inspiration and relaxation. Portland did not disapoint! Every time I have been to Portland in the last decade ( as a kid all I cared about Portland was Rose's and that they had doughnuts as big as my head  ) I have seen so many excellent gardening and art ideas that I leave with a ton of projects stewing in my brain.
We checked out the excellent Mississippi Ave ( so hip ) ate at Pine State Biscuits ( so tasty ) and generally cruised North East Portland ( so neat ). As we walked off our enormous biscuit and gravy breakfast sandwiches we stumbled upon a painted intersection that the residents had named Sunnyside Piazza. Now, I have had the honor to work on one of these super awesome traffic diversions in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood. The projects are intended to bring together residents to work together on painting and maintaining a giant street mural to help slow down traffic in their intersection. But the people of Sunnyside Piazza went way beyond just a mural. Some of the features included gazebos on each sidewalk corner, planted barrels, and my favorite a green roofed neighborhood bulletin board/ kiosk. Talk about taking a good thing to a whole other level of awesome! Granted the mural needs to be repainted but all in all so cool! 
We finished up our adventure by having a drink at Roadside Attraction. They had just lit the outdoor firepit when we got there and so I enjoyed my mimosa under cover warmed by a crackling fire on a misty drizzly Northwest Sunday. sigh. so good. 

But now we are back home and the raised bed project ( along with all our other half-finished projects ) and the rapidly approaching spring planting are looming. Onward!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fire Cider

   Husband has been obsessed with Fire Cider after sampling some at our friend's bar 1022 South, a fantastic craft cocktail establishment in Tacoma, Wa. I know, a bar doesn't sound like a place one would find a cleansing tonic such as Fire Cider, but after a couple of stiff ( and incredibly delicious ) drinks a shot of Fire Cider cleared one's head and left you feeling refreshed. So, after saying we were going to try making some we have finally gotten around to it.

   We chopped up a small yellow onion, minced an entire head of garlic, two cherry bomb peppers, grated a half cup of fresh horseradish and a half cup of ginger and put this all into a quart container. We added one teaspoon of ground tumeric ( although I would have liked to use fresh but our store was out, ) one and a half teaspoons of cayenne and filled the jar to the rim with apple cider vinegar. Then placing a peice of parchment paper over the rim of the jar ( to prevent corrosion ) we sealed the jar, gave it a good shake and put it in the back of one of our cupboards to stew for the next eight weeks. There is some debate as to how long you need to wait till it's "done," but eight weeks sounded good to us. So until then we will give it a shake every now and then and taste later. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Plans, plans, plans...

Welcome! It's February in the Pacific Northwest and on our little plot of land in the middle of the urban jungle spring is already starting to emerge. The witch hazel is blooming and the currant we planted last fall has huge green buds! Although I love this sign of hope it leaves me with a little anxiety, we are already starting to run out of time!
 So now it's time to finalize those plans we have been dreaming of since last spring and start making them come true. First up and the most important is our veggie raised beds. Our neighborhood of Georgetown in Seattle Washington is a hotbed of lingering industrial waste and thus I am nervous about planting directly into our soil. Neighbors have addressed this situation by planting veggies in raised beds. So deep raised beds it is!