Tuesday, June 22, 2010

GL* Week 2: Opening Day

I am lucky enough to live in a good eat-local-foodie city. And when the weather warms up (please, please let it warm up soon) the farmers markets seem to spring to life throughout Seattle. Case in point: Downtown.

While we do have Pike Place Market, it's usually filled with tourists this time of year. Not exactly the ideal place to pick up your locally grown veggies and fruits when people are constantly taking pictures of your veggies. Luckily Pike Place Market created Pike Place Market Express, a smaller version of the famed market minus the loud fish tossing guys right in the heart of the Seattle business district. And even luckier for me, it's right outside my office door. Literally.

Today was first day. I ran outside at 10 a.m. eager to see what was in store. There's plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit, and of course the famous market flowers. New this year is a local honey vendor and meat booth. While I passed them up this time, I am going to try them both out this year. This week I couldn't pass up the raspberries or the apples. I have to say, I love the apples from the farmers market so much more than the ones at the store. Not only do they taste better, but they are the perfect size! I can't stand the super sized apples from the grocery store. Too big for me.
I took this pic with the phone on my camera. It was a pretty quick pic because I didn't want a coworker coming into my cubicle asking, "Why are you taking pictures of your food?"

The only downside to this market. Getting your bounty home on the bus.
* GL = Going Local. If you haven't seen it, check it out.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ian & the Oz Vest

Remember a few months ago when I was working on the Oz Vest pattern for a friend? It was a simple pattern that gave me more troubles than I care to remember. Even after sewing it on all twisted, ripping that out, sewing on two different sets of buttons because I didn't like the first set, I still managed to get it all done and ready to go before the little guy arrived. There was minimal OK, a lot of swearing while working on this project.

But in the end it turned out pretty darn cute.

And you know what? Ian seems to give it the thumbs up.

And that's just what I wanted to see.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

#%^! Slugs: Part Two

I have to thank you all. I put out a call for help when the slugs infested my garden again.
I received several comments. Many suggested the beer traps. I got one for Slug-O. And an eco-friendly friend suggested a plant wash.

The hubby decided to take matters into his own hands and that wasn't eco-friendly. At first I wasn't so thrilled with that plan, but frankly, the stuff said it was OK for a garden and I was tired of seeing the damage done from those slimy buggers.

But at 10:30 p.m. the other night, the hubby grabbed my headlamp and decided to see if could track them down. And he did. He quickly came back to report that they were in the lawn and heading towards the artichoke. And that they were pretty big.

So I had to check them out for myself. And he was right. Four of them were heading towards the artichoke and they were big and clearly on a mission. I got a little defensive towards my plants. I channeled my inner 8-year old boy and I took care of the problem. With salt. Yeah, that's right. I salted the hell out of those little buggers. Peta fans just step off now because I enjoyed it a little too much.

I managed to stop these four but I know there are others out there. Too bad for them I picked up my salt at Costco.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Three Years

June 16, 2007
The adventure begins.

April 2010 (take on a weekend get-a-way at Lake Quinault)

Three years later,  the adventure is still going strong.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Going Local 2010 (and getting a late start)

Once again this summer I'm taking part in Living Sense's Go Local Challenge. The theme this summer is Using Your Bounty. I'm really excited to take part again this year and I'll even be a guest writer on her blog in July (I'm excited about my topic but you'll have to wait and see it for yourself!)

Each Monday (OK, I'm late already but are you really surprised here?) I'll be posting on my site about my local gardening/eating experiences and sharing links to others in the program. Be sure to check them out!

I have to admit that so far my local eating and gardening hasn't been so great. The cold, wet spring hasn't been too kind to my garden, especially with my slug infestation! But I'm hoping this challenge will help get me motivated to look for some good local food at our area farmers markets. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

#%^! Slugs!!!

They're back!
Towards the end of the summer last year the slugs found my garden. Apparently they've been waiting for me all winter.

It didn't take them long to feast on the veggies I've got in the ground. I haven't even tried anything in the garden and they already have.

They even got to my little baby bean sprouts! Is there no justice in the garden?!

So....what do you think? How do I get ride of them? I'm not a fan of putting chemicals in the garden. Last year I tried an organic treatment and I think I could hear the slugs laughing at me as they still slithered and munched away.

Any ideas? Anyone?

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Queen Bee

I came home early from work today and discovered a swarm of bees in the tree in my neighbors front yard. I mean a swarm of bees. I could hear them before I saw them.  I wasn't really sure what to do about it, but I luckily someone in the neighborhood did.

A few people were right in the thick of it, looking at the bees and very excited about this. I asked what was going on. The woman explained a queen bee had landed there and was being protected by a new group of bees (hence the swarming). She said they needed to get the queen to a hive, someplace safe, before the bees moved on. She said they could possibly get into under the eaves of one of the houses and motioned to mine and my neighbors (not something I'm really keen on). There were a lot of bees and I'm not really a fan of large swarms of bees so I left them to be excited and went inside.

About 10 minutes later I heard a couple of cars pull up and a few people get out. A guy, whom I later discovered was named Brian, had a cardboard box and he and the lady, Margaret, got right in the thick of it trying to get the queen in the box. That seemed to make them swarm more, but Brian, Margaret and the others gathered to watch didn't seem to mind. I watched from a distance.

I swear there are lots of bees there but you can't see them. I didn't want to get to close. They looked quite busy. They got the box under the huddle of bees. Margaret said it looked like football hanging from a branch as the bees were huddled on each other covering the queen.

A few hours later, the crew was back at the tree. The box I had noticed was sitting under the tree with a note on it. I went back outside to see what the status was. Most of the bees were now in the box which Margaret said was thick with bees. I took her word on that one. She said they were waiting for more scouts to come back, then Brian would take the box back to his place and one of the empty hives he had. I wasn't sure how he was going to get them back to his place. I wouldn't want to be in the small hatchback he pulled up in, but that's just me.

See, lots of bees. Brian's trying to get the bees in the box.

I learned a few things today:
  • First, next time I see a swarm of bees I should call Puget Sound Beekeepers Assocation and someone will come and take care of the swarm. Since honey bees are dying off, it's important to keep the queens safe and make sure they have good homes.
  • Second, I'm not a big fan of swarms of bees, honey or otherwise (but I kind of thought that to begin with.)
  • Third, I met a few neighbors over this ordeal. Margaret and her hubby Mike have chickens and they invited me over to meet "their girls" anytime I want! And I plan on it!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Simple things...

Reading a good book on the couch on a Sunday morning.

Making homemade soup.

Laughing with friends.

Going for a run.

Eating chocolate chip cookies with milk no matter how old you are.

Sometimes I really appreciate the simple things when life gets to be a bit hectic. Which is why I really loved knitting the Simple Things Shawlette. It was a quick and easy knit which is just what I needed these days. I loved coming home after a stressful day to just sit and enjoy the hypnotic sound of my bamboo needles and easy repetition of the pattern. And the kick ass red color didn't hurt either.

Project: Simple Things Shawlette by Mary-Heather Cogar
Yarn: Pashmara by Fly designs in Blood Red
More details and pictures can be found on my Raverly page

Sunday, June 06, 2010

I am Elinor Dashwood

I saw this post on Sara's blog and I just had to procrastinate my laundry more and take it right away: Which Jane Austen Heroine are you? I have to admit, my answers were a bit all over the place so I wasn't sure who I'd end up being. But Sense and Sensibility was the first Jane Austen book I ever read (and still one of my all time favorites) I think this answer will do!

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Yarn Storage

When my parents visited a few weeks ago, they brought up my college graduation present from my grandmother. It's not like she didn't get me anything when I graduated, oh, so many years ago, it's just that I didn't really have a place to put it. I was in the post grad stage of constantly moving from one crappy apartment to another and I didn't want to move it around as it was a piece of furniture that didn't require assembly (something very rare for a post grad).

So now that I'm a homeowner, my father delights in bringing me item of my past that have been stored in the garage/attic/former bedroom/etc. This last trip brought me this:

It was my great grandfather's trunk. It had been living in my grandmother's garage for years and she thought I might like it. And I love it! My father, the creative, handy guy that he is, refinished it for me and added this delightful element:

Removable and slideable drawers! Perfect for organizing sock, lace, worsted, etc. You get the picture.
(Clearly I was so excited about the yarn storage/organization system that I didn't even notice the picture was blurry.)

And the best part is, now I have way more room for my yarn! Time to go shopping!