Friday, August 28, 2015

Goings On and a Little Rant

I took these from across the Columbia looking back towards where we live. These were taken last week. You can tell because the smoke level was way down. You wouldn't be able to even see the mountains if I'd taken it any of the last six days. It's been just awful and it's getting old. Eyes and throat burning and itching, chest uncomfortable-feeling, and just plain old icky...

Look how gross. The skies are that icky brownish color all the time.

I wonder what our lungs look like.
Probably not much better.
Supposedly it's going to clear out over the weekend and we may get some rain.
That would be a God-send.

Well, the stove is in, but it's not hooked up yet. The gas guy still needs to come and install the ducting. I think the blue walls look even worse now. We're going to paint these walls very soon. Do I keep saying that? We really are. I'm leaning towards a chocolate-milk brown. I can picture the walls painted and a big rug in front of it. I hope we didn't make a mistake getting the black, but I think it will look so much better once the walls and decorating are done.


We got our Life Flight cards in the mail.
Hopefully we'll never need this insurance, but we have it just in case.

I made some sourdough starter yesterday morning.
It'll be ready to use in a few days.
This is how I made mine:

Mix 1/2 cup very warm water, 1 pkg active dry yeast, and 1 tsp sugar together in a glass bowl and let sit until foamy. Add 1 cup of flour and mix well, adding more warm water until you have the consistency of cake batter (probably not more than 1/2 cup more water). Cover loosely and let sit at room temperature on the counter for 4-5 days. It will begin to smell sour, as it should. Then you can use it, as directed, in any recipe that calls for a sourdough starter. I'll be making Teresa's Sourdough Flapjacks for one. Her recipe and post about it is HERE. Thanks, Teresa!

I soaked these beans all night in water and started them in the crockpot this morning with water and ham. The recipe I use is on the back of this package. I buy this at Walmart, and I use a package of ham chunks instead of hamhock. It's the BEST recipe you'll ever make for beans & ham. We love it.

Last night we had fish tacos. I used some frozen tilapia filets. They are individually wrapped in plastic and thaw out in about an hour in a big bowl of water. I saute the filets in a small amount of olive oil for 2 minutes each side, and add salt & pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. So quick and easy and good! Serve in warm flour tortillas with fresh spinach leaves and a little sprinkle of cheese and salsa. I made salsa from 3 cans of drained, diced tomatoes (1 can blended in a blender with onion, 2 fresh jalapenos (one de-seeded and de-veined), 1 handful cilantro, 1 tsp cumin, juice of one lime, and salt & pepper to taste, and the other two cans not blended so it's chunky.) 

I sat down and tried to make a copy of this doily yesterday. It worked, but my thread (size 10) was much finer than what was used in the original doily. I didn't like the way it looked so I ripped it out. Maybe I'll try it with Size 5 and see how it looks. It gave me something to do while the workmen were here yesterday installing that stove.

I've had a couple of comments that mentioned me living in Montana now. WTF? Where did y'all get that idea? I live in Washington State, not Montana. Somebody isn't paying attention!

Under the totally ridiculous, you-should-be-ashamed-of-yourself category:  Seriously? $8.99 for one little doily pattern? What is wrong with people? Can you say greedy? It's a pretty doily, but there is nothing anyone can say to justify this, even if it's for charity, which this is not. This is the type of thing that perpetuates what some people say is "stealing" patterns. The seller of this pattern is the thief in my opinion! You make me sick and are much worse than anyone who buys it and then gives it away many times over, and that's exactly what will happen. I'm not buying it, but someone will. Disgraceful.

I have to work a little today.
See ya.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I Got Video of the Bear!


Turn your sound up. I'm whispering like I'm a golf announcer. Heh-heh.
If you can't play the video here, you can see it on YouTube here:  Bear Video


He started climbing down when we stopped. You can't see him very well, but you can hear him.

Isn't that fun?

We're on day four or five of heavy smoke and the air quality level is "unhealthy" so we've been staying inside. I haven't felt very well anyway with the back and just general aches. The back is better. I finally took half an Ambien and slept like a log last night. We went into town and did the grocery shopping and ran some errands today. I went in search of the lost hexies Monday. I found them in a box in the garage and made a few. Other than that, I've done nothing. Oh wait...

I made a chocolate layer cake with chocolate frosting.

See ya.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Last Couple of Days

This is the highway into our little town. As you make that bend, our house is the first one on the left. We rode our bikes up this looooong hill on Saturday morning. Or should I say we rode our bikes and walked a lot up this hill. It was tough, but we made it, and then we took a left at the top of the hill and took the "old highway" back into town, a much easier ride and mostly down hill.

On the old highway, we ran into some deer. See them on the left side of the road? They were running away after hearing and watching us coming. Their baby doe ran to the right and stood like a statue until we passed, but all I got in my photo were the trees.

A lovely manicured lawn.

We rode on into town and rested at a table at the Community Center.

I love our pretty little town!

 Even when the heavy smoke rolled in again, it has a certain beauty.

I made a big pot of Veggie-Beef Soup yesterday.

It sure was good and hit the spot.

I slept on the couch starting just before noon so it was a soup kind of day yesterday. I'm not sure what I did, but I wrenched a muscle in my back and right least I think that's what it is. So I've been sidelined ever since it showed up Sunday morning. We did get a long, early-morning walk in through the empty streets with Fletch and Sammi before it came over me. It's still with me this morning. I'm loading up on Tylenol and hoping it fades away quickly. I've no time for such nagging nonsense, dammit! I don't even know how I did it.

Hope y'all have a wonderful week. I may not post for a few days if this back thing doesn't go away. Not much to post about laying on the couch! Maybe I'll get some crocheting in and maybe not. We have a busy week coming up. Trips to town to apply for our "enhanced" driver's licenses so we can go into Canada. We're looking forward to getting those since it's a much shorter trip to go to the nearest town there for groceries and things (about 20 miles instead of 40). Neither one of us has ever been to Canada. It's so weird that we live only 10 miles from British Columbia! Anyway, I got off-track. We're also having the propane heater stove installed this week and are getting a new, bigger propane tank installed. It seems like there's something else I'm forgetting that we're doing this week too. Hmm. Anyway... 

See ya!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Morning Bike Ride

Let's go!

He enjoyed every minute of it.

We rode across that bridge and back.

I could have sat right here all day!

An eagle!

Ignore my lovely, straight-out-of-bed hair!

The water was murkier than usual this morning.

When we got home, we sat in the backyard and had coffee, cantaloupe, bananas, and peaches for breakfast.

See ya!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fresh Food and Raging Fires

Fresh cucumbers & onions pickled in 50/50 Vinegar/Water and just a little Splenda.

Fresh-picked corn, cabbage, and squash.

We blanched the corn on the cob and then sliced it off and froze 4 bags.
We got these four bags of corn from 14 ears of corn.
We went back and picked 34 more today!

I made this cabbage slaw out of some cabbage we picked, apples from our tree, raisins, pecans, and a dressing of mayo and lime juice, salt & pepper. YUM.

This was made from canned peach pie filling, but I did buy some fresh peaches at the farmer's market today along with some nectarines, tomatoes, jalapenos, cantaloupe, and a jar of local honey.

The honey came from Addy, a little town about an hour south of us. Addy is one of the places where the fires are raging. When we were there today at a little antique store, we saw the firefighters in helicopters working frantically to get them under control. This one is still only 10 percent controlled, which is pathetic.

I didn't buy a thing.

I was more distracted and interested in the fire-fighting we could see going on...

More fires have broken out today and gone out of control. Three firefighters have lost their lives today and four were injured. It's so sad.

Yesterday we were sitting out in our yard and heard a helicopter coming. I didn't think to go get my camera before it was upon us.  It flew right in front of our house in front of the mountain at a very low altitude. I could see clearly that it was a military helicopter. We had heard on the news that 200 National Guard were coming with one Blackhawk Helicopter. I don't think what flew by the house was a Blackhawk, but it was definitely military and Army green. It made me cry to see them coming. I'm such a crybaby! It makes me emotional to see our military coming to the rescue. I wish they'd send more.

This was how it looked from our backyard about 30 minutes ago. I took these pictures from our back driveway...

When we left this morning, it was clear-blue skies, but when we returned, this is how it looked. So smokey you could barely see the mountains, and you couldn't see them all as some were obscured by the smoke. The fires aren't even really that close to us. They are just so big and so many across the state, the smoke travels a long way.

Sorry to end on kind of a bummer, but that's the way it is. This state needs LOTS more help with the firefighting before the whole damn thing burns to the ground. I'm not exaggerating either. It's bad. If you're the praying kind, say a big one for these men battling these fires and for the people whose homes are in their paths.

See ya.