Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Boogie Woogie

Originally uploaded by mtnester.

Lilies are my favorite flower. I love their scent, and their commanding presence. White lilies are just exceptionally elegant. This is one of two tree lilies that my friend Christine gave to me for Christmas. Yes, they call them tree lilies (Garden Rant) and can get up to seven feet tall. Mine are in pots and are only about 2 feet tall this year. Each year is supposed to be more magnificent and flower more abundantly than the last. This one's color is called Boogie Woogie. Now I am about to boogie woogie on outta here for a little R&R with family and friends in WI. See you in a couple...

But before I do I want to share that rice salad recipe. I put it below the photo of the salad in my July 13th post. Hey Anne, I found the black rice at Heng Heng market in White Center and the guy behind the counter asked me if I was going to make rice wine.
I guess that's why there were only two bags left on the shelf!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Camping on The Olympic Peninsula

I still have SO much to learn about putting pictures and slide shows on my blog. I had comments that went with each photo but they did not show up on the slide show. It's a long slide show and that is why I did not use Flickr or PhotoBucket. It would have used up too much bandwidth and I refuse to cough up money and go Pro because most months I am well within the 100MB us free loaders are given. Anyway, if you scroll to about 3:42 on the slide show you will see my husband looking into his camera on the edge of the Quilcene River. We are on Falls View Canyon Trail #868. And where am I? To the left of the husband on my back in the rocky bed of a rivulet that feeds into the river. Me, who always tells my students "STAY on the path to the playground!" I went off the path, to get a better picture of course, and I fell, HARD on a slippery rock. I had the presence of mind to curl my head (Pilates comes in handy!)and raise my camera. I narrowly missed hitting my tail bone. But my oh my, do I have the bruise! (No I will NOT take a picture of it!) I managed the next hour of the hike with much more caution. I don't usually complain much about sleeping on the ground but that night I don't think I slept a wink. Ice and Ibuprofen seem to be doing the trick. Going home and sleeping in my own bed was a welcome relief!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

On the Wild Side

We just got back from 4 days of camping on the Olympic Peninsula. Spent one night near Dungeness Spit but that was all once we realized it was also the Lavender Festival in nearby Sequim and the campground was fully reserved for Friday and Saturday nights. Imagine mobs of mostly middle aged ladies wearing lots of purple and straw gardening hats strolling up and down the aisles of a street fair where the air is infused with lavender; lavender sachet, lotions, soaps, sprays, jellies,lavender plants, lavender tied up in bundles, artwork featuring lavender. Watch out Provance, Sequim is nosing in on the cachet of lavender! Can you believe it; my husband accommodated my curiosity, stopped the car and we actually did a quick 'browse and buy' at the stalls? It did help that: #1 It was early, barely 9:30 and the serious crowds had not yet accumulated. #2 We both needed a good coffee fix. On from from there we went to Seal Rock campground near Brinnon. The Turk's Cap Lily in these photos was taken at the viewpoint for Mt. Walker.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I am trying to figure out if this is the invasive weed called Policeman's Helmet. I am quite certain it is a type of Impatiens. The seeds fly at the slightest brush in the fall. Then in spring the new plants are everywhere in my shade/woodland garden. They grow to about 3 feet tall in my garden. I rather like them and find that they are easy to control by just pulling them out before they all go to seed.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Visit to Havercroft

View slideshow

This is the Black Rice Salad that I took to the Open Garden at Havercroft, home of our friend, Roger. It is the last time this summer I may be able to make this salad as finding black rice is as hard as finding hen's teeth. I suppose I could use wild rice but it just wouldn't be the same. So you want to see Havercroft? I bloomin' betcha you do! Take a click on the slideshow button for a tour.

As requested, here's the recipe:
Chinese Black Rice, Orange and Avocado Salad

2 Cups cooked black rice
(Wehini or wild rice can be substituted)
2 cups dice peeled oranges
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds, toasted
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
¼ teaspoon of salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon ground chipotle
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced into half inch cubes
4 Lettuce leaves for arranging the salad and peeled orange wedges for garnish

In a bowl combine the cooked rice, orange juice, toasted pumpkin seeds, orange zest, salt and chipotle. I squeeze a lemon or lime over the avocado pieces (to keep them green longer ) before I gently mix them into the rice mixture.

Spoon the salad onto the ‘lettuce cups’ and garnish with orange slices. Since it was a potluck I just put the salad into the bowl.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Eilen Jewell

Chris and I went downtown today to hear Eilen Jewell and her band play at Occidental Square. It was a toe tapping time that's for sure. Her voice is lovely; sometimes soulful and other times with just a hint of country twang. The lyrics of the tunes she writes are insightful and speak to the experience of down and out people. Take for example:"It's a Rich Man's World". She sang several tunes from her new cd Letters From Sinners and Strangers and of course I bought it. About the only negative I can say about her performance is that while her singing is beautiful she does not have any catchy patter in her introductions or between songs comments. Great music but not a lot of showmanship. But then again the 2 street people in the photo below were putting on a whole show all their own. It was actually hard at times to concentrate on the stage performance because of the scarf waving, warty backed guy in a purple kilt and his lobster skinned, shirtless friend dancing away in front of the stage. My husband says to me, "Did you see the eyes of the guy in the kilt? He's just plain crazy, bat shit crazy!" I do believe he was right. On one hand I felt sorry for them but then hey, they were all smiles and having a whole lot of fun dancing. Eilen and her band were really quite patient with the antics of these two men and one of their lady friends. She even honored two of their requests for Billie Holiday and Loretta Lynn songs.

The scarf dancer was also at the Solstice Parade....aren't you glad I didn't post buck naked photos of him?

Occidental Park

Occidental Park is in the Pioneer Square neighborhood of downtown Seattle. This is the oldest neighborhood in Seattle and it really is not a square although Occidental Park comes close to being a square. It is a great place to just hang; of course all the street people know that too. If you are ever in this neighborhood in Seattle I recommend you buy a sandwich from Bakeman's Restaurant which has been around for a LONG time. It is located between First and Second streets on Cherry. You will not be disappointed. The bread is baked right there and it is the yummiest; maybe second only to my Grandma Caldie's and Great Grandma Cornell's. But be forewarned; if you go there during lunch KNOW WHAT YOU WANT! The people behind the counter can be like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld and they talk fast too. I had oven roasted turkey, white meat, on whole wheat with mayo and cranberries and the price; a mere $5.60 including a big dill pickle. The cash register guy gave me a bit of grief for not having my bills organized by denomination but I came away relatively unscathed with my yummy sandwich in hand.

Who's Snacking on My Zinnias?

Last week I bought a few zinnias to put a touch of bright color in the rockery border. Well, every day this week I noticed that two of them never could seem to get enough water. Their leaves always looked limp, even in the early morning. Snap dragons had flourished in the same spot earlier in the summer, iris' did just fine in the spring, one zinnia only a foot away looked quite healthy and content in it's spot. This morning I fully intended on moving both of the limp zinnias to new locations. Imagine my surprise to see that some critter had done the job for me. One whole plant was torn out of the ground and ripped into 3 pieces by some seriously annoyed animal. I don't think I am going to get more life out of this plant but I replanted it along with it's sorry looking sibling; but in a new location. It sure enough is a backyard mystery.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

On Stacation

So you might ask, "What's it like to have the husband on 'stacation' with you?" Not half bad I must say, downright enjoyable at times. It's all about choices. You can look at a midlife lay off as a crisis or an opportunity. We are doing pretty good at choosing option number two. I have an occasional anxiety attack and reach for the paper bag (NO, not to wrap around a bottle; to breathe into), especially when tuition bills of seven thousand plus come in the mail. But then the sun is up and we get in the groove and it's off to the Y we go or me for a run, him for a skate, time to delve into the invisible, yet real, job jar, or perhaps an hour or of reading, an hour or two of blogging, time for him to get creative, and me to get crafty. See the end table photo? That is one of the two I am trying to spray paint(water based) gloss black. Spray painting is not as easy as I had thought! It will probably take me all summer to finish the 2 end tables and the DH cranks out a new painting every 2 weeks or less; each one better than the last. I guess I should do a dozen or so end tables to improve my spray painting technique.
Here's the song I can't get out of my head today: Mess Around by Eilen Jewell. She's playing at the 'Out To Lunch' concert in Occidental Park this Friday; I'm going!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

What's that smell?

Well, if it makes you crinkle your nose in disgust it could be a Voodoo Lily , in Latin: Dracunculus vulgaris. This one I have deep in my shade garden. It gives off a rotting horse flesh odor to attract flies for pollination. The smell is intense for only one day. The blossom is about 8 inches long; impressive but not the sort of flower you put into a bouquet unless it was for your worst enemy.

Voodoo Lily
Originally uploaded by mtnester.

Licorice Scented Hyssop

I'm a sucker for licorice. I drink licorice tea everyday. You really don't get the benefit of the scent unless you brush the leaves with your fingers.

Licorice Scented Hyssop
Originally uploaded by mtnester.

Tangerine Sage

This one is a hummingbird magnet, or so the plant tag says. It probably will be once it gets a bit more established and the blooms become more prolific. The smell is truly delicious when you rub the leaves between your fingers.

Tangerine Sage
Originally uploaded by mtnester.

Chocolate Flower

This plant is really low to the ground, you need to get down on your knees to smell the flower and the smell is present only in the morning. But it is worth the effort, it smells exactly like dark chocolate! It is a native to the rocky mountain states and it's Latin name is berlandiera lyrata. I got 2 of them for 50 cents each off the clearance table at my neighborhood nursery, Village Green. Whenever was chocolate such a deal?!

Chocolate Flower
Originally uploaded by mtnester.

Friday, July 04, 2008


Today our country celebrates it's birthday and two days ago I celebrated mine. Not with fireworks and hoopla of any sort but it did not go by unnoticed. My friend Christine and I drove up to Woodenville to go to Molbaks 2 for 1 plant sale and then on over to Flower World to take advantage of the 15% off sale. This is a birthday present I look forward to every year. Christine is the best of friends; she does the driving AND buys me lunch. And all along the way we talk, talk, talk about our classrooms (we teach in different schools), our families, our vacations, our health, and our gardens. So what did I buy? The list is long, the bottom line was about $125. and worth every penny. Today I put everything except a couple ground covers into place. I am most satisfied with the plants that I bought to put in front of the weigela (Red Trumpet Flower) along the south fence. The bed is curved and I already have Iron Cross Oxalis and Wax begonias on the edge. The new comers to that area are 4 Limemound Spirea and 3 Day Lilies with orange petals streaked in red, which should look very nice in front of the orange Crocosmia. I'll take a picture soon. Right now you will have to be content with the shot of the little urchin in the above photo: me at age two! I see very little resemblance to the me of today aside from the fact that I had a bad hair day in 1956 and I did this year too. Blame it on humid weather!
Well, I hear snaps, crackles and pops filling the air so within an hour I will go to a park to see what I can see of the fireworks. I'll be sticking close to home. Front row seats to fireworks in Seattle come with a price tag of snarled traffic and a ride home that is three times lengthier than usual; not my idea of fun.