Friday, August 27, 2010

Beautiful By-Products of the Compost Heap

Baby's Breath flowers are growing wild in our yard!

It's mixed right in with the 2-foot dandelions!

You can see the compost heap behind that repurposed fence and bed frame.

Whenever I get a bouquet of flowers, I hang them and let them dry out. Then I snip off the dried flowers and keep those in shoe boxes. I discard the rest of the bouquet (leaves, stems, etc) into the compost heap.  

The wind must have caught the dry seeds at the right time and voila!

Baby's breath growing wild in my backyard -- sometimes I feel like I live in a dream world.

And it's a pretty nice place!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dance of the Dandelions

It's funny how there are things in our lives that we've always known and think of as absolute truths. Then something presents itself that makes us look closer and reconsider the concept of "absolute truth."

Exhibit A: Dandelions
Dandelions are present in some of my earliest memories. I remember running around, pulling the short little yellow flowers out of the ground and thrusting it under the chin to check butter levels (if your neck reflects yellow, you eat lots of butter). Okay, the butter test was never considered a truth to me, but the fact that the dandelions were always short and close to the ground was as inherent as breathing.

Now I see this.

Everyday in the summer from mid-morning to early afternoon, the dandelions stretch to the sun covering the entire yard in a yellow frenzy. We've let them get over 2 feet tall before!

If you would have told me about this two years ago, I would have laughed, "Dandelions don't grow like that!" But now, I guess I'll add that to the all-the-shit-I-thought-I-knew-but-really-had-no-idea-about list.

Funny how that list gets longer as I get older.

I really thought it would work the other way.

Add that one to the list, as well!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Space is the Place

I was just looking around me and thinking "Wow, I really love the space I'm in these days!"

So I thought you might like to take a little tour of the places and things I'm enjoying lately:

Sauvie Island Farm UPick

Mount St. Helens over the trees

The window seat for Clancy. Isn't he just too sweet!

My kitchen window -- full of tomatoes and a view of the garden they came from.

The nice, public tennis courts that we have made our regular tennis spot.

Wearing dorky all-white tennis shoes and spanking Jason everytime ;-)

Seeing Mount Hood as we drive through Portland.

Since I pretty much work from home full-time now, I've cleaned up, rearranged, and redecorated a my office/craftroom a little.
(This is actually pretty clean for me)

From the hallway door...

Looking out the window (I spend a lot of time doing that).

Sewing machines, diplomas, Jameson Irish Whiskey taster certificate, chinese calendar, stuff.

My work station (antique drop-leaf tables are so much nicer than cubicles!)

My forever-junky and filled-to-the-brim-with-shoes closet

Well, I hope you enjoyed a look at my space cuz it is the place (for me)!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

There's a BIG story in that LITTLE cartridge...

...that's what Jason told me after his first week at Cartridge World.


Here he is in the production area, refilling and remanufacturing ink cartridges...


Here's a few that I found astonishing:
  • Every remanufactured laser cartridge saves nearly 2.5 pounds of metal and plastic from being deposited in landfills
  • A laser cartridge thrown into a landfill can take up to 450 years to decompose. Some components made of industrial grade plastics will take over a thousand years to decompose
  • 70 percent of used printer cartridges throughout the world are currently being thrown out
  • In one year, if the world's discarded cartridges were stacked end-to-end, they would circle the earth over three times

It's pretty amazing how much difference it can make by just recycling one cartridge!

Saving the world is hard work. Here's where the "king" takes his mandatory 1 hour lunch break.

In short, Jason is loving his new job, learning cool skills, and enjoying being part of our community.


Monday, August 09, 2010

Arabian Treasures

As I've mentioned before, my brother and his family are currently living in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Well, last month my parents went to visit for a couple of weeks and sent me quick updates while they were gone.

Here are some of my favorite bits from the updates:

My clothing screams Arkansas hillbilly, my [grey] hair is one of the natural wonders of the Arabic world. (Mom)
The traditional dress has me mesmerized. There is so much about this culture I would like to know. Not sure I would like it once I found out, but am very interested. Women are treated like Queens and objects at the same time. They have everything money can buy, except a public relationship with their husband. Don't know what goes on at home though. (Mom)
Andy and I are golfing in the morning (105 degrees) then it's pretty much all over but the traveling (28 hrs). We leave A.D. At 2:30a Sat morning and arrive in Texarkana at 8:30p! Hard telling how many time zones we cross. (Dad)
I think it's wonderful that they got to see a glimpse into the crazy/exciting experience my brother and his family are having.

I also think it's wonderful that a package arrived for me today loaded with beautiful pillows, fabrics, and a wall hanging from Abu Dhabi.

Treasures travelling from the Arabian Peninsula to Oregon via Arkansas with love. 

Wall hanging:

closer pictures of the details


Fabric (all 3 together):


This fabric is like nothing I've seen before!

Each run or length (several yards) has an extra amount of fabric in a different pattern for the blouse. That's what the "with blouse" tags mean.

It's mind-boggling to see how the pattern just changes into something completely different.

Treasures from other worlds make for happy Mondays!

Thanks for goodies, Mom and Dad! I love 'em!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Garden Roundup

Well, the summer was off to a cold and rainy start when we put the garden in back in April. But in just the last few weeks everything has really started to look great.

It's so difficult to do garden updates because as soon as I take the pictures, something new is popping up. Seriously, I looked at the cucumbers that we planted in the tires one morning - no sign of growth. Checked again that afternoon and I could actually watch the sprouts push back the earth and push through.

Gardening is an amazing thing.

Here are pictures from the garden this morning:

Cucumber tires

Tomatoes, beets, parsnips, green beans
(Already harvested lettuce and snow peas)

Rhubarb (second round), strawberries, spices, onions

One messed-up blooming onion

Acorn squash transplants from Larry

Tomatoes and green beans

I've uploaded this album with the other 190 pictures! teeheeheee!


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Magician's Eyebrow

I CANNOT stop laughing when I look at this picture!

My hilarious, silly-ass husband and his out-of-control eyebrow-raise which, I think, should be strictly reserved for magicians or something.


Wishing you were here to make me laugh right now.

Working from home isn't as much fun when no one else is here.

P.S. Even the dog is having separation anxiety.