Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A day of fun

We had our annual B-Patch Gardeners Day at our community garden Sunday and I thought I should share some pics (all pictures buy Rebecca Dare)
Yes, your favorite attention hog demonstrating the joys of hanging gutter gardens
Graham the Beet Master!
Catherine demonstrating paper starter pots
Cat loves her plot!
Graham reacting to my demo

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Weekly Challenge Update

Independence Days Challenge Year 4, Week 30
Plant something- collards, radishes
Harvest something- Tomatoes, Blackberries, Amaranth leaves, Dragon tongue beans, a few runner beans
Preserve something- Froze 1 pound of black berries
Community: Participated in our annual Community Garden Celebration (In cohorts with National Kitchen Garden Day
Preparation: Removing Blackberry canes, prepping garage reefer for removal
Eat the food/Try something new: blackberries and cream; boiled amaranth leaves
Waste Not/Repair, Re-Use, Recycle- I found an igloo cooler in the garbage… reused it, works fine
Want not: Parts to complete my “gutter garden”

Monday, August 29, 2011

Guerilla Gardening Alive and Well

Romeo and I were walking along the flower beds of Town Square Park in Burien, and came along this tomato plant planted in one of the cleared out flower beds. Obviously it was planted there by some volunteer. Anyway I am going to keep my eye on it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

DIY Bike Rack

I was thinking of a quick, inexpensive way to make a bike rack so here is what was in my mind:

The Advantages:
  1. Not godly expensive
  2. Can be painted to what ever color is needed
  3. parts are available at any hardware store
  4. Probably don't need any permit or anything to install on your business or residence
  5. Not fancy...

The Disadvantages
  1. Can only really hold one bike per rack
  2. Not fancy...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gutter (Garden) Success!

Just thought I would give y'all a look at the Gutter Garden all planted and happy!

I am going to have a talk with a gal from the community garden who is a professional landscaper on adding drip irrigation to it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

April Fresh from the dryer!

Dryer Bags- The store bought bags from Trader Joe's, and my DIY bag

Miss the smell from your laundry sheets? I soften my clothes with Dryer Balls, but according to Allie at the greenists, they are worse than the laundry sheets.... an alternative would be to use tennis balls But they don't make the laundry smell nice... I was shopping at Trader Joes and found these neat little dryer bags filled with lavender, But TJ's being TJ's they came packed in a plastic clam shell. So of course my mind began to think Tobacco bags... Of which I was plum out of. Then I thought about my Maggie's Pureland Soap Nut bags (the bags that come with Maggie's Pureland Soap Nuts) I had a few laying around... so out to the garden to shear of a few Lilac flowers... dry them and put into a cloth bag. The TJ's ones are in a paper "Teabag" so that part is good, But I like my home made version better... I just dampen the bag and throw in for 4 or 5 dryer loads, the compost the old, spent lilacs (If I had carpet I would sprinkle on there and vacuum first) But the result is pretty good smelling laundry. A person could also use these as sachets I would imagine, and just lay them in dresser doors or hang in closets, but that would make me smell like my Aunties- so I don't go there.
Very simple to make... take one small canvas "tobacco" bag, fill with two tablespoons of Lavender petals. Moisten bag, throw in dryer with wet laundry dry as normal, use 4 to 5 times! Refill bags and use over and over

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Weekly Challenge Update

Independence Days Challenge Year 4, Week 28
Plant something- Lettuce and chard for fall crop in the gutter garden planter, beets, collard greens, hot mustard greens, broccoli
Harvest something- tomatoes, plums, chard, beets, peas, dill weed, broccoli
Preserve something- Froze ½ Lb of chard; ½ pound of beet greens
Community: Participated in the first Burien Pie Joust to benefit organization to put Bike racks in all over town; Attended a plant Sale for fall garden from my friend that has the green house at her home and has seasonal plant sales
Preparation: Starting to prep the allotment plot for fall, took out pea plants that are aged, hoping the tomatoes ripen before I have to remove the plants!
Eat the food/Try something new: Roasted beets, salad w/ lettuce, peas and tomatoes
Waste Not/Repair, Re-Use, Recycle- Recycling some planters
Want not: Bought some fall lettuce, collard greens and broccoli for fall garden from my friend that has the green house at her home and has seasonal plant sales; Bought a planting bag for next season

Monday, August 22, 2011

Surely You Joust...

Well what I don't do for bike racks. Last Friday was the inaugural Pie Joust in Burien- I was a participant- I didn't win unless you call getting pummeled in the kisser with a paper plate full of hand made whipped cream a win. An excuse for a messy fun event... I actually had two tries, The first resulted in a "Re-Joust" the second I dropped my pie and in the spirit of the rules rode on to get pummeled, so the Ref declared a duel- off the bikes, back to back, One step turn and Splat! Being short that was my downfall... LOL It took John"Da Organizer" Nelson 3 attempts to bring Captain Pie Hole down! It was put on by the B-Townies a group advocating and raising money for bike racks in Burien, something there is a serious lack of. Oh well... for a good cause...
From the B-town Blog "Splat Cam"

And from the Seattle Times:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mom goes for Color

Mom bought a Tullsta Chair with changeable slip cover years ago when she moved from her house to her apartment. Recently I went into her apartment and the chair was sitting there with no cover- naked! All my life my mom has pretty much gone with beige or tan, all of her walls painted white. God knows how i developed appreciation of color!

Mom says she wanted a new slip cover. So I showed her some fab choices from Ikea- and a few other spots I knew of

Like – Ikea Red

Or from J Caroline Home

(this unique fabric designed by my How about Orange? friend, Jessica Jones (J Caroline has a bunch of Jessica Jones fabrics for Ikea Slip covers)

Or even this home hack design seen on IkeaHackers

I was thinking Finally some color in her drab life of course she decided to go with


Way to step out on a limb with that color choice, Mom. Oh well at least she picked a good piece of furniture that can be redesigned with new slip covers. Nice and much better than buying another chair from the big box furniture store.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ikea Hacking a Growing system!

I was surfing the interwebs, as I do and came across this post on Ikeahacker-Broder "farm" for a meal a day, What is is about is using the Ikea Broder system to make an in-home aquaponics unit designed for the next generation kitchen or living room. It grows one meal a day: a portion of fish and a side salad. I love it when two of my favorite interests meld together.
To read more on this go to Conceptual Devices.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Happiness is a New Freezer!

On the truck and ready to go!

I just found out that to buy something for an energy star rating is not necessarily the best solution. Example- I broke down and bought a new freezer to freeze a lot of my harvestable bounty this year. This decision, like any other appliance or major purchase is not easy for me as I am somewhat of a tightwad and hate giving my money to box stores. So, I did some research and a new Energy Star rated freezer, the smallest I could find at 14.9 Cubic feet, would have cost $499, and the energy guide says it would use an estimated 357 kWh per year.

The small, (5.0 Cubic foot- but big enough for me) model I bought cost 179.00 and uses only 240kWh to run for a year.

So, since I figure that math is good and 117 kWh less is better as well, so I bought it and put it in the studio closet for know. What fun to be able to pick veggies and freeze them again. Okay now I gotta go out to the garage and unplug the spare Reefer. That to me is a waste- to use a reefer for the small freezer, then cooling all big refrigerator space . Wouldn’t be a problem if I drank that much soda, but since I use a soda stream for soda, get rid of it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I Made a Gutter Garden!!!

I became so obssesed with the Gutter Garden I had to make one for myself! First problem is I couldn’t find the “U” shaped style gutters they used in theirs, but I did find this kind of hermaphrodited "V" shaped at Lowes for $6.19 for a ten foot section, since I am making 5 levels to my gutter garden, that was great… although the end caps were $2.77 each or $16.62. Still, Under $5 for each section… is more than Do-Able. Of course my garage has those crappy vinyl gutters, and they must come off soon so it is good to know I will have a use for them after their existence has been terminated. Anyway back to the project:
First- I cut the gutters to 5- 23 ½ inch sections

Then I drilled to holes for the Eye Hooks and for drainage
(A quick hint: Since the holes have to be approximately the same measurement on the gutter, you can stack the gutter pieces together and drill them all at once to dave some time and frustration.
Then I installed the end caps
Then I put the eye hooks in,
a ¼”-20 X 2” on the bottom,
and a ¼”-20 X 4” on the upper or inside of the gutter using a coupler nut (so I have an eye hook above and one below so a person could stack the gutters by chain
Then it is done- you can go hang your gutter garden.
I suppose a person could just build on a wall or a fence by installing the gutters like they are on your house, but where is the fun in that? Besides I needed something in this space on the front porch. Now to start planting with chard and lettuce seeds! This would also be perfect for planting strawberries. The total cost ended up being $30.75, but would of course be a lot cheaper if I reused those old gutters on the garage!

I only party down with the best at:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Beware of Former Beauty Pageant Contestants


Very Scary this. Now yes I know this is probably a joke... or is it??? While not liking math in school, I also realize there is a use for it. Apparently, a lot of the Miss USA contestants don't get it. Except Miss. Vermont. Hey- wasn't Sarah Palin a former beauty contestant??? I am guessing this is a parody... Donald Trump's Beauty Contest couldn't be searching for Dumb Women now? Could he? Oh well keeps him in stock with ex-wives. That's all.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Personal Evolution

Now I am not getting in to argument of Creationism versus Darwinism, but rather talking about my own personal evolution. I am thinking (brace yourselves)… of selling my ’79 MGB and my 66 Plymouth.
These cars were great fun, if not a bit of a money pit, and a lot of work. But my tastes and interests are evolving. I am more interested in Bicycles, electric bikes and scooters, and walking. A bit more healthy and such. And a hell of a lot cheaper. I have always prided myself that my “classic” cars get great mileage and such, but in today’s economy, with the State, County and City trying to make money by adding users fees and such it is getting to be a bit much. And I don’t drive them as much as I Should or use to. Sometimes you just have to say good bye to childish things. (Big sentiment considering I am thinking of giving them up for bicycles!) But then I have to consider the following… the financial and environmental foot print keeping these vehicles, and do I really enjoy them anymore? And if I am being honest, I would have to say I don’t. I really desire the space in my garage, and I really don’t look forward to spending a whole day under a vehicle anymore. In short I am getting older. And I am in need of new toys. Time to get rid of the old!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Simple Meatless Supper: Local and Fresh

"A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins." - Laurie Colwin

My simple supper monday- a tomato with Muenster. This is how I choose to use my first tomato of the year- Vine ripened and fresh. This is a take of on the Tomato W/ Provolone recipe I posted here. I didn't have any provolone, but had some muenster. A little bit of Rosemary and some pepper and a dab of olive oil, 5 minute under the broiler and I had supper! Top that off with a slice of homemade bread and I was in bidness!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Weekly Challenge Update

Independence Days Challenge Year 4, Week 28
Plant something-Started some lettuce and Swiss Chard, for fall crop and a demo I am planning to do for the community garden day celebration
Harvest something- Plums, My First Tomato of the year! Beets,
Preserve something- Dehydrated some plums; cantaloupe
Community: Participated in the first Burien Walk N Talk
Preparation: Got my new Rain Barrel installed need to install the down spout
Eat the food/Try something new: Dehydrated plums
Repair, Re-Use, Recycle- making a mini rain barrel out of a 12 gallon tub I have for the porch and a garbage can lid
Want not: Nothing wanted this week
Plant A Row Challenge, August 2011
Well my First Carrots are about ready to pull out of the ground and be taken to the Food Bank. Along with some plums makes a better donation!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Walkin' N Talkin'

Phew!What Romeo and I won't do for those community points in the Weekly Challenge. We went on the first ever Burien Walk N Talk yesterday. a 2 1/4 mile walk around the city with our new friends from the community! What a great way to get some excercize and meet new friends and some old ones- turns out the gal that put it together Maureen was 3 years ahead of me in High School! Nice folks and a good walk besides, I finally have seen Lake Burien after living in the area for some 49 years! Romeo was pooped out as well. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? This will be happening the First Sunday of each month.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Scooters Catching On!!!

Fido... looking sharp!

King 5 in Seattle did a report a few months back on the new popularity of scooters (I can attest that Scooters are fun transporters), watch to the end of the report to see FIDO, an new electric scooter being developed here in Seattle

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Mind is in the Gutter!!!

I am loving this Gutter Garden I found on Apartment Therapy~ now a really cool garden you can hang from the balcony above you! Here are the instructions from AHA! Home and Garden - and this hanging, vertical garden will be featured in the book, "Garden Up!" by Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Attack of the Killer Shrooms

Well another mushroom kit post! This is my second crop from my "Back to the Roots" mushroom kit... if you look close, You will notice I got mushrooms coming out both sides... The Old side decided to "volunteer" some new mushrooms. I am thinking that moving it into the bathroom was the trick. Gotta love volunteers!

Armchair Philanthropy

You know my biggest lottery dream (If I ever win a big one) is to make start up loans to people who want to start small businesses. Now thanks to KIVA, I can make that dream come true...

How Kiva Works from Kiva Microfunds on Vimeo.

Kiva is an organization that allows everyday people to make micro loans to those living in lands far away. They pay it back, you get to put it in your KIVA account and make more loans. Loan amounts are as small as $25 US. So far I have made three loans- On to A pig farm collective in Ecuador, on to a young man starting a chicken farm in Senegal, and one to a group selling used clothing in Tanzania. It feels good to give a hand up.

The neat thing about KIVA is they also sell gift cards, so you can give the gift of giving! So if you can afford $25, I strongly urge you to think about loaning it someone in need.

I invite you to take a free trial offer

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Weekly Challenge Update

Independence Days Challenge Year 4, Week 27
Plant something-Nothing
Harvest something- Some beets, chard, some amaranth leaves, 2nd batch of pearl oyster mushrooms,
Preserve something- Pickled 1 pint of chard stems, started a jar of celery salt (dehydrated celery leaves and kosher salt); froze 1 pound Swiss chard; Pickled beets, froze beat greens: froze remainder of the beet peels I didn’t eat for later use
Community: Starting to plan for our commumity garden/kitchen garden day celebration; found some more cat food to take for the pet food bank
Preparation: Seeing if I have room in the pantry/laundry/mud room for the freezer- would make it so much more convenient.
Eat the food/Try something new: Pickled beets; Amaranth leaves
Repair, Re-Use, Recycle- Found an old wooden trellis- perfect to use next season for peas, beans; Saw a bike made into a planter in my neighborhood!- gives me an idea what to do with my old bike
Want not: Ordered replacement bags for my mushroom kits; bought 5 pounds of pickling cukes;

Monday, August 1, 2011

Silence of the beets...

Well if CSI filmed here they would book me! You should see me hands all red with blood… from beets! I pickled two quarts of beets and you would not believe the mess. Beet juice is running rampant. Everywhere, Now I know why mom sighs when I ask her for pickled beets. Anyway, after cooking the beets I got one good Idea…. Save the water I cooked them in to blanch the beet greens for freezing. Saved some mess and reheating another pan of water! But back to the pickled beets. I don’t know why I didn’t use my old standby pickling method, would have been a lot easier. And next time I think I will grow enough to make a full batch… at least to make it worth my time! Oh well on to dinner… Chicken pot pie with a side of fresh cooked beet skins… (does that make me a cannibalistic serial killer?) Just tell Grissom and Catherine you didn't hear that from me!