Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Doormats and toilet brushes

It is now officially
April 12
May 1
July 1
Sept 1
Dec 1
Dec 10
December 28th
And we have not moved upstairs.
With a lot of teeth gritting, hair pulling and acceptance I finally threw in the towel and made a new due date of March 1.
That is still less than a year since we moved in, and we ONLY get this one chance to willingly (HA!) live in the basement.
In hindsight, we decided on December 26th, that we are taking the month of  December off of working on the house.
At first it was just distractions and impromptu plans that only happen in December. Work trips, dinners with friends, endless errands... and then Christmas came and went, and we STILL didn't get to work.
So it is no longer procrastination, but part of the plan.

Now year end is fast approaching and I still have more to do that has NOTHING to do with progress.
Update my books read list, take donations to good will and craft a year end blog.

Meanwhile I will give you my Christmas wish!
Doormats and toilet brushes!
Finally getting rid of the doormats left by the previous owners and all their dirtiness is a great joy.

But I will save you from the picture of toilet brushes and just show you this DOUCHE who had road rage at Christmas time in front of the mall.

 And on a much lighter note, we spent our xmas eve, engagement anniversary(does that count?) upstairs with our first fire! Quite romantic.

And did you know? Spring is coming!!
I found these hungry little mouths after cutting back the Autumn Joy earlier this month.

That is all I have time for today. Maybe I can post a long list of pictures that need remembering before the year runs out.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Down came the rain and washed the gravel out!

This weekend our area received 2.97 inches of rain. Now this isn't too unusual for this area and time of year... but it happened in less than 36 hours. Sundays usual average was .18 inches but we received  2 inches MORE than normal.

People who do not live here think it rains like this all the time in the Seattle area, but it doesn't. It is usually a light to medium rain on and off all day. Some days I managed to get to work, go to lunch, come home from work and work in the yard all without getting wet.
In fact, I have just purchased my first true rain coat this year and have lived here all my life.

So anyway it was wet. Very very wet all weekend.

We stayed inside as much as possible until it was time to go to the most amazing show ever* on Saturday night. 
But we left through the front door so we didn't notice this:

 Until Sunday night when the rains(monsoons?) stopped. We found a chasm of great proportions!
Our very own Grand Canyon! The picture just cannot portray the awesomeness.
It is 6+ inches deep and at least as wide all carved out by the water coming down the hill.
 And there goes all the gravel...

 And farther down...more gravel. This is the storm drain Travis has to keep clear of leaves or we have a large pool of water on the road. Large like all the way across the street.

Again the pictures do not show what is really going on. We have a gushing flow down from this trench dug last week. Our water meter is amphibious most the year being at the lowest point in the yard.

 A close up of the river dividing

This river doesn't look like much as it comes down the hill but it was quite soggy and around the shed had some pools of water (equally bad quality photos not provided) around it and then it was untraceable somewhere in all the greenery.

But here is a really bad video of what is going on at the top of the hill, and in to the neighbors yard.
At the very beginning if you watch the center you can see quite the river pouring out of the fence. I really should review my camera work before calling it a night.

*more awesomeness from the show can be seen herehere and here. These videos were taken by strangers at the same show. I did not watch them all the way through because I was there. So if people are doing inappropriate things, it has NOTHING to do with me. Just wanted to share some of the awesomeness that was Roger Waters-The Wall at the Tacoma Dome 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Yes Virginia, There is a Red Jalapeno!

Being the newest gardener on the block
it wasn't til this summer that I ever saw my first
 ripened Jalapenos on the web...

It was RED!!

I was stunned. It was beatiful!
Why oh why have I NEVER seen such a sight!
They have only been green! EVER!
You know---what they sell in the stores!

Travis has been on a jalapeno kick for about a year...
since our last favorite neighbors.....

(who stole a zuchini and held it hostage!) 
(and sent me this picture!)
grilled them with bacon in foil on the BBQ
(they are totally forgiven!)

We tried to recreate the act, but it turns out first you must precook the bacon
(Uncooked bacon and overdone jalapenos...Mmmmm)
We have since learned our lesson yet not recreated...
out of shame (must try again sometime)

We have added jalapeno to our weekly shopping trips and our daily menu.
Jalapeno cheeses (on the search for habanero chedder currently)
 jalapeno added to every store bought pizza,
On top of chicken with bacon (precooked!) mushrooms and cheese (to hold it all together!)
We included in lots of grilled veggies,
and a few WAY to spicy Kabob episodes.... with unsuspecting guests.
A few left over kabobs with jalapenos
in salad which made ME in to dinner and a show
(not a rarity!)

Also jalapeno hummus, homemade salsa,
a hint of jalapeno Tostito scoopers, jalapeno popper dip
Plus in scrambled eggs, breakfast burritos and 
(in a box, with a fox)
jalapeno straight up,

 and if there was a jalapeno vodka,
we would probably try it.
(I bet I could add a fresh one  to straight vodka like I did the Skittles....)

So it is no miracle that we grew jalapenos this year.
In our first garden.
Our garden advisor said it was a bad idea....
but at the same time never grew any til this year herself

Looking back thru summer pictures... maybe I should have documented more....
(this is possibly not even jalapeno!)
(2nd thought--I am pretty sure this ISN'T)

 And played around less....
 Mr Potato head...only using peppers.
My favorite

 Here we are--the only shot I took of it in the garden
I was way more impressed by the bell pepper blossoms.

On to the progress!
In late September (or october, again, no documentation!)
we dug up the plant and brought it inside.

First one starts to turn red...
and eventually rots before it is finished :(

Next up, turning red and I keep a close eye on it...

Almost there!!

Jalapenos first snow---
happy to be indoors even if my photo taking skills needs work.

Begining to look a lot like Christmas!

Alas, we let it rest. Nov 28th.
One red jalapeno was sliced up.
We each ate a slice and exclaimed!
It was much spicier than green, but it sure took its sweet(spicy) time!
The original plant was planted in early June.

Jalapenos first(and only) pizza!

We have one left on the plant, just a hint of red starting, on December 1...
Will I have a red jalapeno for Christmas guests?
Ever since bringing it indoors it has not been doing so well.
There doesn't quite seem to be enough sunlight this time of years inside.

Maybe I can call it my Christmas tree?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dueling sanders

I have finally got a taste of the job Travis has been working on.
He has for 60+ hours now been working on this:

Click for larger view

CLICK IT! You know you want to!

And turning it in to this:

East Beam complete, West beam needing touch up
Now he tells me he has to go over  all 70ft of beams again with a finer sand paper!

Poor guy. Sanding off a millimeter of rough painted and varnished wood is not easy.
The top photos are the best we could get of the roughness.
He has been working on this 1 item on our to do list, while I get to keep crossing off many tasks!
Well, this weekend I finally got a taste of...

I took these cupboards:

And added some elbow grease (and vast amounts of TSP)
Have you ever wiped down the very top of your cabinets?

Also ruining some sand paper in the process...
Go clean your cabinets NOW NOW NOW!
Or you will have this some day.
The left paper is a normal worn out piece,
the right is from the top edge after I cleaned it with TSP vigorously.
I swear it was clean and no longer sticky to the touch

I created THIS:

OK, no really-- I created this:

I shouldn't have sanded the front of that one shelf on the lower right. Oopsie.

He keeps making his project look nicer, and mine keeps getting uglier!

I got myself some green coveralls and I look awesome while working on this.
Now that I have mastered the order in which to don my gear.
Respirator first, then goggles, then earplugs and gloves.

All I have to do is avoid Travis trying to take photos of me in all my hotness.

I'm sure there will be pictures here as soon as he hacks my account.
I knew there was a reason I hadn't given him permissions to post!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow celebration!

I adore the snow! The first snow and the morning after is the best time. When it is so pristine and untouched.  I was so sad to be driving to work when it started Monday morning! I got home by 4, and the snow was everywhere already but it kept up til 10pm or later so pictures this morning were way better. By morning everything was covered. And the sunshine made it dazzle.
I took a bunch of photos last night thinking it was the best thing ever, until I couldn't feel my fingers and realized the best thing ever is taking pictures with the right hand and a hot toddy in the other! So forgive the quality of these.
For anyone NOT in the Pacific NW, most of the area shuts down completely. School closed, offices closed, roads are a mess with cars and trucks parked all over backwards and in ditches. We are really not very prepared because we get so little so infrequently. We are expecting it more than usual this year. Lucky for me I can work from home(not). On the plus side, Costco was super empty today with plentiful parking!

Now to share some pictures:

Brrrr. It was 18 degrees this morning

Last night was 24 degrees but that and snow didn't stop Pooper from coming for treats!
Such a surprise seeing her all dressed up.

This is a plant I admire often out and about.
I have a whole series of the year but this is my favorite with little tufts of snow at the end.

I think it will be a few days before we BBQ again.

9am, Nasturtiums are not doing so well

4pm, bye bye Nasties!

It really isn't easy taking photos holding a Hot Toddy.
There is that tree again towering over our house.
Autumn Joy seems happy enough

Purty hat!

I really should have harvested Sunday.
Now we test the hardiness under snow.

Ooops, should have moved these flats of groundcover! I guess we see if it will live under snow on the patio.Hardy to 0 F

Funny, at 4pm Monday I thought we had a harvest problem

What greens? All I see is white and a lovely sunrise
When ever snow is pristine like this I refuse to let anyone walk on it.
Once it starts to melt around the edges, then it is free game.

Feels about the same as 24 degrees did, eh?

It is quite comforting to forget the 'to do' list
and all other required chores
to just enjoy the snow and staying warm
(with hot toddies and a crock pot)
Hope you all are enjoying it as much as I am!!