Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summertime, sorta

G'day all!


Gigantic lilium.
There will be more pics of these.

A chestnut, flowering now!
Animated Space Needle!

Love echinaceas,
even yellow/orange ones.

Summer is the best time to be in Seattle, really.  It's been a little San Jose (Bay area, California) here recently - not the heat but the mornings have been foggy and a little tardy in clearing, but once it has cleared?


Summer makes winter almost worthwhile, cos to have these summers, we have to have crap winters.

Today's sunset.

I walked up to Sunset Hill again this evening and watched the Sun set.  It is moving back down the Olympic Peninsula again, quite clearly moving towards its winter solstice home.

The Sun was setting in front of me, the Moon rising behind...  The Moon is full tonight and apparently again tomorrow night.   Mt Rainier was clearly visible and nicely pinked up with the setting sun.  The breeze was so light as to not be there and it was a pleasant 22 or 23C.

These are the evenings that make my heart happy.

It has been a quite relaxing weekend.

A King (Chinook) salmon.

Yesterday we had breakfast (brunch by the time we had waited 55 minutes for a seat!) with some of Nathan's colleagues, then took them to the locks and the fish ladder.  The clouds were taking their own sweet time clearing but by 1pm the sun had broken through and by 2 it was clear as a bell.  The difference it made to how the locks and the inlet look is quite amazing.  Hopefully I didn't bore them witless by taking waaay too many pics of things.

This tug tows barges to and
from Alaska!

We saw two harbour seals playing in the wash.  I presume they were playing - maybe they were being amorous.  They didn't seem to be going after the salmon that we could see swimming around below the fish ladder.


Today DH carried four half flats of berries home for me (lovely DH!) - marionberries, boysenberries (X2) and loganberries.  I added them to the tayberries and 2 half flats of blackcaps (black raspberries).  This afternoon I made blackcap jam.  Tomorrow I have to make marionberry jam, boysenberry jam (or syrup) and freeze the rest of the berries.  Our freezer is almost jammed to the top with frozen berries now - I need to get some different bags to double bag the berry bags in - at the moment I am not using the space efficiently.

I now have strawberry, tayberry and blackcap jam.  I don't actually eat that much jam so I think I'll be giving some of it to new homes as gifts!  I'll just have to find some people who like jam.

Strawberry jam.  Yum!

I made an artful arrangement of some flowers in a vase.  I cooked a roast (chicken, but it wasn't as nice as I expected - the chicken was bruised and had not been handled gently).  If I had cleaned the place, I would expect a medal for being a domestic goddess, but we have to draw the line somewhere!  I did manage to get all the dishes done for about a whole 20 seconds before I started making jam.

Knitting?  Hooray for me, after pulling the neck out three times, I finally got the cast off neck of my new top sitting right.   The sleeves were done in a trice and then the weaving in of all the ends on a rather slippery yarn.  Alas no pics yet cos DH decided to have a snooze and it is hard getting pics of yourself, or at least it is hard to get pics where you don't look a bit wrong.

A preview.  It is very pink!

The next top is about to begin.  It is another summer top - gotta make them whilst summer lasts, then I'll have to make some winter things again.  It would be nice if I wore my winter woollies more but I seem to like microfleece tops a lot.  Maybe I'm just lazy.  Or cold in winter.

Quilting?  Umm, what is that?  We had a visitor early in the week and I packed everything up and have not unpacked it yet.  I was busy knitting instead.  We took him for a drive to one of our favourite spots, but alas it decided to rain on us!  At least the snow had melted quite a way further up the mountain.

Montane flowers.

It was quite amusing taking our visitor to the airport - he was using his iPhone to give me directions, and Siri wanted me to take the next right at one point, even though I realised that there were signs up ahead that told me how to get to the airport.

It turns out that Siri is a very literal person, if a computer program can be called a person, and was taking me to the closest part of the airport, known as the runway...  Since I had gotten into completely the wrong lane, I then had to hit the turbo boost button and zip off at the lights to get across TWO lanes.  With my indicator on of course!  Then after we dropped our guest off at the airport, it started to rain.  I've only once driven in rain like it (in Melbourne, on Boxing Day in ?98?).  It was dark, it was pissing down and then just one lightning bolt lit up the gloom in a retina burning display.  I drove from the airport up to the U district in pouring rain, then by the time we got to Ballard (?five? miles west), it was almost completely dry!

At least it gave the car a bit of a wash - it was that heavy!

Recognise the mountain yet?

I had an odd reaction to something early in the week.  I'm still doing this rehab stuff - am starting to think I'll never complete it.  I just keep breeding adhesions in my armpit and boob (well I hope they are adhesions!) where the muscle fascia rubs directly on the underside of the skin - when they took out the lymph nodes from my axilla, they just took out the whole chunk of fatty tissue, and of course the boob had a tumour so that whole area was resected.  Anyway, the skin and the underlying tissue want to stick together and will probably always want to stick together.  It is tedious.  However, I am much stronger than I was and can now do full squats with overhead extension and one legged squats.  I even discovered I can do girly push ups (but my pec area on the bad side puffs up like a balloon afterwards).

These were running quite well!

Anyway, the chiro called me an athlete, and I just bugged out.  Me?  An athlete?  My body responds to exercise well, except for when it breaks down because it is whingy and whiny and a bit overly flexible.  I build muscle - not like a bloke but I do develop muscle.  But I've never been an athlete.  Not ever.  I could've been good at various power sports at school but the phys ed teachers were only interested in the cool and tough kids, not in the unco, unfit, slightly chubby kids like me.  I could jump further than anyone else in my year, I could throw a javelin or a shotput as far as the more sporty kids but eh, I was unco and unfit and below being noticed except for being abused.  IF they had bothered with me, I could've been useful rather than being the last or second last chosen for sports teams.

It really makes me wonder about PE teachers.   If an English teacher or a maths teacher treated the less scholastically inclined kids the way the PE teachers treated those of us who weren't particularly athletic, the English/maths teacher would be on report.

So I bugged out.  Me, an athlete?

I guess it is one of those vulnerable spots.  I have a few of them, like anyone I guess.

I've also been doing a bit of reading on my Meyers-Briggs personality type again.  I persistently test as one particular type (INFP) and most of it is very me.  It is much more accurate than say an astrology chart (Scorpio, moon in Cancer, Pisces ascendant if you must know - all water signs).  Anyway, it is nice to know that I'm not totally crazy, or at least if I am, there's quite a few crazies out there with me, and some of those crazies are/were very well known authors.  Also it is good to know that various of the things I do are typical of people like me.

Such a pretty spot on Rainier.
Maybe next time I'll have pics of the new knitted top and of a couple of quilt tops - I have lots of difficulty getting good shots these days cos I do not have a washing line or even a fence to hang the quilts/quilt tops on.  Or maybe not! 


Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Ides of July

G'day all!

I can't believe time is whizzing past so quickly.  I am a bit worried that it will suddenly be November again.  November at home is ok - weather can be anything, but the days are lengthening out.  Here in Seattle, it is the opposite and I am not real happy with November here, even if there is a local knitting convention that falls on my birthday again this year (yay!).

So I've been busy busy with work and then this week with work and then feeling average.  I think DH brought home a virus cos we've had very similar symptoms, just a few days apart.

I am feeling a little ripped off at the moment.  It seems we had summer in June cos ever since the fourth (of July) the weather has cooled off some and we've had a few days of gloom!  But today was glorious and just in time for the Ballard Seafood Fest.  It is an odd little festival, with a beer garden boasting locally brewed beer (and probably a few non-local but I didn't check,) a salmon cookout (fresh salmon is delicious!  I love it!  Cooked, of course... So much nicer than frozen, though good frozen can be quite enjoyable but fresh!  The oils, the yum!  If I cook it on the steak plate, it practically deep fries itself and is even yummier!), a number of arts and crafts stalls plus the local do-good societies of various types (one had OMG kittenses!  But I can't have kittenses!  I can't have a cat - I never know when I'll be moving home and I don't want to get some poor animal, bond with it and then throw it back to the humane society because I can't take it home without great expense and planning).  And then there are the food stalls.

Would you eat this cow?

Alas I didn't get a shot of the deepfried PB&J sandwich stall - there were too many heads in the way.

You will note that the sky is a lovely blue - the cloud cleared late yesterday and it has been lovely ever since.

Perfect weather for a wedding!  One of Nathan's workmates got married to his sweetheart today and it was lovely.  Such a lovely, happy wedding.  We got to talk to some very interesting people too.  And there was nerdery.  Much nerdery.

I may have brought Kirk and Spock home with me.  But not the tie fighter.  I figured the groom might be a bit unhappy with me if I stole one of his toys.

I have discovered a new and wonderful appliance.

How on earth could anyone's life not be complete if you had a "wax vac"?  Of course I left it on the shelf.  I prefer my life to be incomplete, clearly.

I've wandered and ridden along the shipping canal.  Last night I saw salmon leaping near the Fremont Bridge.  It was quite weird - I've been told they don't feed but I have no idea why fish would breach if they were not feeding.

I have spent more than a week in tie dye - hooray!  Before the wedding today I wore tie dye but alas Blogger has a weird thing that won't let me load certain pics and that pic is one of those pics....  Anyway, I didn't tie dye these myself, but I did tie dye today's top (it would look quite different cos it was my first tie dye tshirt!).

(PS those are not gratuitous shots of my chest for self-promotion purposes - as you can see, there is not a lot to advertise!)

I had a lovely wander down the beach at a very low tide.

We took DH's intern and a friend for a drive to one of our favourite places - Mt Rainier.  Gosh we love Mt Rainier.  By the end of the month, it will be in full bloom.  As it was, we saw plenty of flowers, just the phone pics are pretty average....

Box Canyon on Mt Rainier.
It's deeper than it looks (about 30m).
?Tatoosh? Range and my car
The Mountain was out!
Query - underdressed?

Still a little snowy.

Mineral Lake.  Ah the serenity.
The extra-low tides we have been having had a fascinating side effect - the salmon got stuck in some of the different levels of the fish ladder.  This particular bay was seething with them.

Fish ladder, now with fish!
 The sun is already starting to return down the Olympic Peninsula.  As it sets, the sun slides northwards quite amazingly.  When it is clear here, it is glorious.  At quarter to ten, the sky is still quite light, there is still colour on the horizon - it is fantastic.  Winter, of course, makes up for this....

Ah summer sunsets - so loooong.

Berry season!  Need more blackcaps and tayberries.
I see some jam making in my future.  I bought a small bottling set today and with the bottles I already have... I'm not very good at making jam but it will entertain me.  I'm worse at eating it than I am at making it, actually, cos I try not to eat too much sugar.

I might have pics of a couple of new quilts and a summer knit by the time I blog next.  It isn't like I don't have the odd thing to blog about, I just get busy or distracted.