Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring, spring, spring

We've been in a gardening mood, followed by lazing on the porch like lizards.  I think we've been to Portland Nursery three times this week.  It's so close that we don't need much of an excuse... we can even walk there.

Display at Portland Nursery

Cherry tree on the walk to Portland Nursery

I got a new bird bath for the back door.  It is small and shallow.  You can see it on the left here.

We moved the fountain further back.  We knew the old spot it was in would be in the way for the kitchen demolition.   The fountain is heavy enough that we don't like to move it often.   I like it back further.

You can see the fountain from the Room of Requirements now.  The cats like that.  There it is through the window beside Guanadeen (my dress form).

We put the old bird bath (a plant saucer in a clay pot on top of another upside down clay pot) in the front where we can see it from the porch.   The birds have already found it!  We saw one having a grand bath last evening.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The door to summer

It was 76 today and the door to summer was OPEN.

back door

front door

front yard

Update: we broke a record with that 76 and today we broke another one.  It's been lovely.  Everything is unfurling and growing so fast you can almost see it change.  Of course there will be a price.... some things will bloom for a much shorter time.  Me, I am going outside to soak in every minute of the sun and scents.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Working on my quilt

I am making a quilt for our bed.  Since it is for the bed, that means that it is BIG and going to be at the mercy of cats.  I don't want to invest huge amounts of time, so it is going to be on the simple side.   It has simple ten inch blocks.  The blocks aren't sewn together yet in this photo.

I really enjoyed pairing up fabrics for the blocks... it's all about color for me.

Here it is on the floor with  green print triangles to finish off and square the edges.  I like how the green looks with the blocks.  I am considering a dark red binding.


I am machine quilting it in sections so I don't have to struggle with quilting such a big piece at once.  I have four square center sections of nine blocks each and four triangular corner sections.  I am working on quilting the third  of the center sections now. 

Even though the blocks are pretty simple, it takes quite a bit of time to make something 86 inches square.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sink Cabinet Progress

Here is the stickered  stack of drawer faces,  ready to be sanded and drilled for pulls:

Here are the remaining tasks to do (and the estimated time for each one) before demo and installation:


The twin boy toddlers we took care of were wild about elephants.  I looked for elephant videos on youtube and the best ones I found were from a place called the Elephant Sanctuary.  Here they are watching one of their favorite elephant videos.

They especially liked the videos of Tarra (an elephant at the sanctuary) and her best friend Bella (a dog).  This video talks about that.

Bella was killed, they think by a coyote.  It's been quite a while now since that happened.  The death of Bella has been very hard for Tarra.  She has paired up with another elephant now named Shirley and the caregivers say that Tarra stands watch over Shirley when she naps.  Not too many things bring tears to my eyes, but that did.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Palouse Falls and the Missoula Floods

I am fascinated by the Lake Missoula Floods.  That's where a gigantic ice age lake near what is now Missoula Montana broke through an ice plug and roared across parts of  Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.  In Oregon, it came down the Columbia Gorge at an estimated speed of 70-80 miles per hour, and that is why we have all those wonderful waterfalls.  It happened more than once, filling the Columbia Gorge, carrying lots of soil and rocks the size of school buses.  When it reached the Willamette Valley, it had the room to slow down and deposit all that soil from Eastern Washington.   The topsoil in the Willamette Valley is 300-400 feet deep.   Sorry, Washington.  We have all your topsoil and we aren't giving it back.

Palouse Falls are in the scablands of Washington and are part of the Missoula Floods geology.  I'd love to go there.  Recently a Portland Hiker named Dean did and he took some fabulous photos.  Portland Hikers lets people post trip reports for their hikes and their are many great photographers who post their photos.  There is lots of other cool information about hiking on Portland Hikers as well.

Dean's trip to Palouse Falls

Map showing Missoula Flood path

Missoula Floods

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sink cabinet pullout drawer faces

I am so excited about these drawer face panels.  It is so fun to see them come to life.  They've been in my mind for six or seven years now and finally....

Finished pullout drawer face (one of two)
 This is the back of the panel.  The center panel is painted black on the other side and goes behind the cutout.  You won't see this side at all.  It will be attached to the pullout drawer.

back of drawer face
the flat black panel (goes behind cutout)

The panels get mounted here

Brownies with Almond flour

I tried making a batch of brownies with almond flour and guess what?  I like them better than brownies made with wheat flour.  The flavor and texture are both divine.

For the chocolate, I used 2 squares of baking chocolate and a half cup of chocolate pistoles.  My neighbor turned me on to these and they are excellent for baking and just plain eating.  When I need a chocolate fix, I have a few of these right out of the box.  They are about half the price of any other chocolate I like.

Here is the Brownie Recipe

Monday, March 25, 2013

Wahkeena hike

We went for a short hike today.  It was great to be out on the Wahkeena Trail again.  The sun was shining right down the canyon.

Wahkeena Falls


I remember when they built that wall and now it is all mossy 

Click your heels together, Dorothy

Fairy Falls

Looking good there, John

March gardening photos

New gloves
Saving my new gloves...

A long slow spring

We have very long springs here in Portland.  Spring starts on Valentine's Day and doesn't end until the 4th of July (or so).  Some would argue with my definition.  I call it spring when the bulbs begin to bloom and it's still spring until the rainy season ends and the temperature is consistently warm.

I love our springs.  Some people long for summer and think spring drags on too long, but not me.  I especially love our wild March days when the weather swings from sun to rain or even hail several times a day.  It's downright invigorating.

We first came to Portland in early March.  We came from the worst ice storm I ever saw in Massachusetts.  The whole world was frozen for about two weeks (it was still frozen when we returned from our Portland trip).  And what did we find in Portland that early March?  Balmy air filled with the scent of daphne.  Lots of blooming things like bulbs and shrubs and very green grass.  And that wild weather with its sun and rain and hail.  I was immediately in love.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sink Cabinet Project... getting exciting!

You know how it is with projects... they go on and on and then....Something HAPPENS!   That's how today was.