April 29, 2005


Well, when all the planets and stars align, the local weatherfolk predict the truth. But the truth hurts. It's raining. We have the best outdoor intentions for this weekend but now we are considering alternative options, like museums we've never visited. Perhaps we drive to Tacoma and explore the The Washington State History Museum. There are two photographic exibits currently on display. Faces from the Land: A photographic Journey through Native America and The Art of Virna Haffer. The link to this information is broken and I am having little luck finding significant information on this Washington State photographer. As such, I'm more curious about her work. I do know that she created "photograms" and that she authored at least one book back in the late 60's.

If we get to the Tacoma area tomorrow morning and the weather looks improved, we might keep driving and head straight for the
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge in Olympia. And if the weather clears enough, we will try to camp at Millersylvania State Park, about 10 miles south of Olympia.

We'll see.

April 26, 2005


I love cheese. I don't eat a great deal of it but I love it. It's the main reason I could never become a vegan. Well, it's probably the only reason. Not that I'm considering following a vegan diet, though I do love food that is vegan. I'd give up meat in a heartbeat before I gave up cheese. In an attempt to bring cheese even closer to my heart and closer to my mouth, I've registered for a class through Discover U - Cheesemaking: A Traditional Art. Among other things, this three hour class will provide "an introduction to the lost art of home cheese making. You'll make and sample several types of cheese that are easy to make in your home kitchen like homemade mozzarella, goat cheese (chevre), indian paneer, feta and cheddar!" Next, I'll get a goat.

April 25, 2005


The weather was great and the turn out huge for the 2005 Safeco University District Street Scramble carried out by the Cascade Orienteering Club. Headquarters was the University Heights Center. This historic building was University Heights School from 1903 to 1989. Historic photos grace the interior. The grounds are also home to a Community P-Patch, a neighborhood garden. More on the P-Patch program later.

As for the Street Scramble, participants may opt for the 90 minute or the three hour scramble. You can decide while you scramble so there’s no pressure. We opted for the three hour tour and we hustled. We walked at a brisk pace the entire time, covered over six miles, only breaking once to tie my shoes, once to check the map, and once to buy a snack. You can view the results here. Scroll down to the "3 hour FOOT" category. We are "Will Walk For Cheese" and placed 12th out of 15. Keep in mind that our division included runners. Also note that we did make it to more check points than the teams in 10th and 8th place. But the check points are valued by the distance from the starting line. Farther check points are worth more than closer check points. We did our best and we had fun. Afterwards, we chowed on picnic food. But we saved room for a bubble tea at Gossip Espresso & Tea on University Way (aka, "The Ave"). They really make a damn fine bubble tea. By the time we grabbed the bus for home, we were in a blissful bubble tea coma.

The map Posted by Hello

Mental preparation (FYI: She IS wearing shorts) Posted by Hello

View from inside U-Heights Center Posted by Hello

Ugh! Posted by Hello

Park sculpture Posted by Hello

Picnic grub. Hey, after a three hour walk, you just eat it. Posted by Hello

The real reward! Posted by Hello


The weather was too nice to do anything but be outside on Sunday. After a walk for coffee we walked to the International District (I.D.) to do our produce shopping at Rising Sun Produce. For produce, you can’t beat the I.D. Pike Place Market is far too crowded and overpriced. And fresh produce markets don’t rain on the goods with those damn hoses like in the grocery stores. Who wants soaking produce? Besides, we love walking to the I.D. We filled our backpacks with fresh ginger root ($.99/lb - Safeway $3.99/lb), cilantro ($.39/bunch), Thai basil ($.79/bunch - Safeway, not available), jalapenos, plantains, Japanese eggplants ($.79/lb - Safeway $4.99/lb), baby bok choy, Chinese black vinegar, tofu, rice noodles, mango juice, green onions, broccoli ($.79/lb), wasabi peas, and french baguette rolls for just over $15. At Rising Sun we can also get a variety of dried beans and legumes and at least a dozen kinds of rice. Please support the local produce folks and tell your grocery store to stop raining on the food.

As for our garden, there are highs and lows. Slugs still drive me to madness but there are signs of hope. Things have sprouted here and there and I spent a good part of Sunday sowing new crops and starting seeds for indoor growth. When I sow seeds, I get right down close to the dirt and purposely drop 2-3 seeds in each little depression in order to keep things aligned and reduce the time spent thinning later. It takes a little more time initially but it’s well worth the effort. I know exactly where to expect the growth and will only have to thin out a couple of extra shoots. Overall, I’m still implementing a Square Foot Gardening technique but with a slightly relaxed execution. It’s done mostly by sight instead of using a string grid.

Cats make poor gardeners. Posted by Hello

Does this plant make my butt look big? Posted by Hello

Strawberries. Posted by Hello

Leeks and lettuce. Posted by Hello

Arugula is ready for salad. Posted by Hello

Bush peas thrive in large container. Posted by Hello


In addition to the P-Patch program, Seattle is home to many other community gardens, like the garden at Wisteria View Manor, a senior Asian community. These terraced plots grow dozens of kinds of vegetables, making impressive use of limited space. I’ve included shots from this garden as well. Check back in the future for more info and photos of Seattle’s growing spaces.

Wisteria View Manor's terraced gardens. Posted by Hello

J explores the terraces. Posted by Hello

Calla Lily Posted by Hello


Seattle is fortunate to have the P-Patch Community Gardens, providing garden space for residents in 44 Seattle neighborhoods. As mentioned earlier, we visited the University Heights P-Patch while participating in the Street Scramble. Closer to home we often walk through the Squire Park P-Patch at 14th & Fir. Below are some shots of that.

Neighborhood growth. Posted by Hello

P-Patcher patching. Posted by Hello

Way to use small space! 5 or 6 varieties in one box. Posted by Hello

Seed starting ingenuity. Posted by Hello

Garlic and strawberries. Posted by Hello


We wound up the weekend with dinner at Sally’s. She’s been wanting to try the Thai Eggplant recipe so we went over and walked her through it. It was delicious and the Viognier from Dusted Valley Vintners out of Walla Walla was a nice compliment. Speaking of compliments, girl, who did your toes? Very nice!

Sporty (Columbia) yet feminine. Posted by Hello

Stripe. Posted by Hello


Crossed paths with some great neighborhood cats on Sunday’s walk.

Roommates Posted by Hello

The Mane Attraction Posted by Hello