Tuesday, May 29, 2012

To My Favorite Person in the Universe...

Happy Birthday, darlink ;-)

Remember this? Of course you do! It must have been at least 7 years ago -- we were just starting out together. I wish I could remember the conversation that brought about this picture. Do you remember?

Well, I want you to know that I will laugh out loud every time I see this picture for the rest of my life! 

I keep it by my desk -- kinda peeking out from behind my computer screen -- and anytime shit feels real heavy, I just look at this picture and can't help but to smile. 

It has everything that I love about you in one goofy picture. It has the magician's eyebrow, that maniacal smile, the piercing brown eyes, those sweet cheeks, that gigantic fucking grapefruit (gawd, we laughed so hard at the grocery store when we saw that thing), the Waterford (shudders to think we once lived in the ghetto in Valley Ranch, TX -- what an experience, but at least we were together), and SO many other things that aren't visible to others. 

I'm looking forward to years and years of more silly-shit pictures to keep me smiling!

Happy 41st journey around the sun -- let's make this one the best ever!

I love you, Jason, and always will. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

The good kind of cloudy day

The weather is beautiful in Portland right now and it's threatening to be a beautiful long weekend. We might go to the river in Canby or maybe fishing!

It's a cloudy day but the good kind. The marshmallow-puff-Disney-backdrop kind of cloudy day.

I just want to reach up and pull one down to take a nap on...

Here's a 360 degree view from my driveway:

On a completely separate note -- how could we have missed hearing about Sasquatch Festival at the Gorge!?!?!?!

I heard an ad for it on the radio this morning and it sounded awesome so I looked it up and holy cow!! The line up is insane! Jack White, Bon Iver, Beck --- come on! They only sell 4 day passes and they go on sale starting in February! This is an annual thing so I think we just might have to do this next year. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Garden update - May 23, 2012

The garden is really starting to take off! Everything we planted is doing great so far. Here's the photo rundown:

Raised bed (greens, snow peas, tomatoes, watermelons, rogue broccoli)

Snow Peas (green and gold)

Four types of tomatoes this year.

 Broccoli - we had to put the trellis around it because the high winds knocked over the big guy yesterday!

This is where we should see the crown - soon maybe? (They've been growing since October!)

Kale - and a bunch of it!

The strawberries are starting to bend over which means we'll have red ones soon!

Cucumbers - pickles please!

 Radishes with red roots

Root veggie garden (cucumbers, red onions, yellow onions, carrots, beets, radishes, bunching green onions)

Blackberries beginning to bloom by our bedroom window

The jasmine we bought last year at the Beaverton Farmers Market is starting to bloom. We'll have jasmine breezes soon. Smells so good!

The only thing missing from the garden this year is a little white doggie photo-bombing all my pictures.

I miss the Pooh.

Monday, May 21, 2012

I don't miss the nuclear fallout haze

I went to Los Angeles last week for work. Here are some photos from the trip.

Crater Lake

The island on Crater Lake -- looks cold!

The photo below was taken over the Pacific Ocean on the approach to LAX. The dark blue is the ocean and then there is a low cloud cover. Gorgeous!

LA River Basin (aka. The Wash)


 What a traffic nightmare!

I don't miss that nuclear fallout haze at all!

From the tarmac -- welcome to L.A.

"City View" from my room.

This hotel took the highway-robbery-mini bar to another level! This tray has sensor pads under all of the tempting items. The note even says that if you accidentally move the items, your room will be charged. This tray was right between the phone and the TV.

People with small children -- watch those little hands! Those M&M's are $7.00!!!

11:30 pm and not home yet. Hello Sacramento!

This picture is just how I was feeling after training all day and taking the late flight -- I bit swirly and blurry.

Hooray, PDX!! Of all the cities I've seen, you're the most beautiful - day or night.

So happy to be home!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Irises for the soul

This flower bed is filled with soul. Our irises grow bigger and taller than all the others in our neighborhood. These bulbs traveled a long time before they got to us. 

They are a beautiful reminder of who they came from.  
Always thinking of you.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blunderbuss and Silence

We just can't get enough of Jack White's new album Blunderbuss. The whole album is incredible. Every song tastes different than the one before it. I've been especially diggin on this tasty jam "Hypocritical Kiss." I think the piano is badass.

Jason and I went to our third all-day silent retreat at Yoga Hillsboro this past Sunday. It was a beautiful way to spend a day that is still a bit raw for us. We jammed out to Jack White and then retreated inwardly for 6 hours. We had a silent lunch under a stand of 150 year-old Sequoiadendron giganteum. They were like somber buddhas who spent their whole life in silence. They may be onto something.

I have noticed that I can calm my mind pretty readily these days, but then the body energy goes crazy. After hours of sitting meditations, I was about to jump up and run around the block ten times. It was an interesting observation.

Always learning and working on our never-ending meditation practice. Calm feels good.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ready! Set! GROW!!

BOY HOWDY! This post has been a long time coming! I've been taking pictures since October when we started the double-dig endeavor. Every time I get ready to post, something has changed and new pictures need to be taken. Quite the cycle to be stuck in, but that's life, right? Seems like if we spend too much time looking back at what was yesterday, we'll miss what's growing on under our own two feet.

So, let's get down to business! In October, we began the process of making a third garden bed. Wanted to do this one double-dig style instead of a raised box. So, we killed the grass using an organic gardening trick -- put down newspaper, covered it with cardboard, and put a bunch of heavy stuff on top. The grass rotted away during the winter and this is what we ended up with in February.

Once the grass was dead and starting to decompose, we began the double dig!

I started with a hoe and just whacked at the top layer of grass for weeks.  Nothing like having your very own hole to dig (after all, "a hole is to dig"). Lots of stress was worked out during this whole process, that's for sure!

After I got all of the grass peeled off the top, Jason came in for the BIG DIG. (Note: he wanted to help get the grass up but I became a bit protective of my stress outlet/hole and wouldn't let him help with that part. I NEEDED THAT HOLE!)

We borrowed some heavy-duty tools from Larry the Landlord and tore shit up! I'd use the pick-ax and break the dirt up and Jason would come behind me with the other diggy thingy (sorry, I don't know what that tool in the picture above is called).

We worked in quadrants and knocked it out in a few hours. Nice hole, eh?

So, the main idea behind a double dig is that, first, you dig a hole (done!), then you add compost to the bottom of the hole (below) then you finish filling it with the dirt from the hole.

I have to admit it felt a bit counterproductive to fill the hole that we spent months digging. But that's life too, right? Digging one hole while filling another...

Then we put the dirt from the bottom of the hole on top of the compost and mixed them up. It was looking pretty shitty at this point. Double digging is not for those who require instant gratification.

All the clumps and rocks were raked out and more compost added to the top.

Phew, almost there!

Next step, we received our yearly special dirt delivery from the nicest landlord on earth. This dirt is super bionic, ya'll! Now we can get started on the raised bed too!

Covered both beds with the bionic dirt and raked out all the clumps again. (Lots of raking and breaking up dirt globs by hand to integrate the dug dirt and the bionic dirt.)

Now those are some beautiful beds! Let's start planting! After all, "the ground is to make a garden."

Next on the list -- make rows and plant seeds! We put mostly root veggies in the DD bed - carrots, beets, radishes (mom, get ready for the ultimate bellyache!), bunching onions, yellow and red onions. We also put three cucumber mounds -- we're going for the big guys this year!

In the raised bed, we've started with greens -- fancy lettuce, kale, mesclun, and romaine. 

Four days later and the mesclun is already making an appearance!

We also have somewhat of a "squatter" situation in the main raised bed. It's some broccoli that I planted in October! These little buggers have made it through the whole winter and are really thriving (that's a whole post of its own).

Jason and I decided anything that wants to live that badly should get the chance. So we are planting the garden around them! Greens to one side and watermelon on the other. We have the remainder of the raised bed set for tomato starts, green beans and peas. We just need to get to the farmers market for those guys.

We're almost finished!

Speaking of the  Beaverton Farmers Market, I want to mention our friend Cathy from Curious Farm. She taught us how to make sauerkraut (which turned out DELICIOUS) and she also wrote this intriguing blog post about her personal experience with Maurice Sendak. Check it out.

It's funny how you just don't know about people. I would have never guessed this fervent fermenter had worked with him in NYC when Where the Wild Things Are was happening. I can't wait to see her tomorrow at opening day of the farmers market. So many questions!

And goodbye Mr. Sendak. You left us and we love you more.