Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cooking and Gardening

I enjoy cooking and gardening quite a bit but haven’t really blogged about it. Grow Your Own is “is a monthly food blogging event that celebrates the foods we grow or raise ourselves and the dishes we make using our homegrown products.” and has inspired me to blog a bit about my cooking and gardening efforts. I’ve been following a couple of food-related blogs, including Andrea’s and A Year of Crockpotting.

Given the rising cost of food lately, I’m glad I decided to plant my meager veggie garden. My yard is tiny so my space is limited, but my mom has a nice sized garden and she likes to share. This year I planted cilantro, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes, and zucchini. My oregano plant managed to survive the move and the winter, but my chives did not. Mom grows artichokes, spinach, figs, raspberries, strawberries, Marionberries, zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes, basil, and rhubarb and lettuce. I LOVE rhubarb.

Cliff recently went on a fishing trip in the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia, Canada and came home with 43 pounds of fish, which promptly found its way into *my* freezer. Included were Red Snapper, Ling Cod, Sea Bass, and Halibut. Lots of Halibut. So, my challenge has been to find new and interesting ways to prepare all this fish. Last night, we had the first of the halibut. I made Grilled Halibut with Cilantro Garlic Butter. I used fresh cilantro from my garden. I served it with steamed green beans. A nice hearty bread would’ve been good too, but I just wasn’t that ambitious. It tasted quite good. The sauce was not too heavy and allowed the flavor of the fish to come through. Ethan only had 2 bites, but I’m hoping that by the end of the summer he will love fish.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm published!

I am SO excited! One of my photos of Whidbey Island has been selected for inclusion in Schmap, an online, interactive map guide. If you click on this link: Schmap, the photo that comes up in the upper right hand corner should be mine (or scroll through until you see mine). Its pretty exciting for me! Some of my photos are starting to be recognized. Some time back, I received an e-mail that a forestry exhibit was being developed at Northwest Trek and they planned to use another of my Whidbey Island photos in the display.

These photos are all ones that I have uploaded to various stock photo sites that can be used free, as long as my name is attributed to the work. My goal in allowing my photos to be used in this manner is to get my work out there. I’m still very new to photography and will probably think these are crap 10 years from now… but in the meantime, I’m a published photographer!

I promise some knitting stuff soon! There just hasn't been much to tell. I've been working very slowly on just about everything. The knitting portion of my Drops Cabled bag is complete and the rest is all finishing work. I'd really like to have it completely done for "show and tell" at my knitting group next weekend. I promise photos when its TOTALLY finished!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Who would've thought that knit or crochet could be used to explain and visualize theoretical mathematics? Thank you to TECHknitting for posting this link: Making Math with Yarn

I love that these scientists are using craft and applying it to their field of study. However, if you aren't a mathematician, the article might make your brain hurt just a little.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Our Town Our Park

Over the past 5 days, I had the opportunity to participate in something amazing. Our Town Our Park is a community designed and built play area at Storvik Park in Anacortes. Knowing I was able to be part of this is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Never before have I seen first hand a community of people come together for a singular purpose, to build a safe, fun place for our kids to play. Kids designed the nearly 15,000 square foot play area with the help of Leather & Associates of New York. Community members and businesses volunteered their time, tools, and skills not to mention providing food, day care space, and helping in other less visible ways. To build this park outright it would cost the city more than $500,000... This park was built with 100% donated funds totaling more than $150,000 plus equipment and supplies.

Wednesday was the kick-off with the kids parading down M Avenue to the park, followed by a groundbreaking ceremony including a time capsule. Shifts of volunteers worked from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday to build this park. Meals were provided. Childcare was provided. I worked Thursday morning from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. drilling pilot holes for lag bolts that support the structures. It is Sunday night and my shoulders still hurt, but it was worth it. On Saturday, I brought Ethan down to the kid’s work area where he soaped screws (it makes them easier to screw in) and painted a tile. The tiles will be placed throughout the play area. Then Sunday evening at 5:00, they held a “grand opening.” The plan was to use a paper chain made by the kids as a “ribbon” around the park. The kids carried the chain around the perimeter and were quietly waiting for what to do next, when all of a sudden they went for it! 200+ kids converged on this play area at once. Unfortunately, that was not part of the plan. I was so caught off guard, I didn’t even get a photo of all these kids suddenly running for it. Eventually, the appropriate people were able to make their speeches, though to a much smaller crowd, and the Washington State Poet Laureate Sam Green (an Anacortes native) read the poem he composed specifically for the park. Ethan enjoyed playing in the new park for about an hour. He only got hurt once (a minor cut lip) when he got too close to the “big kids” swings.

Throughout the last 5 days, I’ve seen many examples of the joy and pride this project brought to the community. On Thursday morning, I met a young man (about 11) whose mom let him out of school to participate in the build. He told me how excited he was to be involved and I could see the pride in his face. Another girl, upon seeing the completed park for the first time, stopped short and just stared mouth agape. I have lived in this town for over a year now and today, for the first time, I really felt like part of the community.