Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Peeps

Happy Holy Week!(A week set aside to remind us that bad things happen to good people)

Has everyone stocked up on peeps for the coming Easter weekend? Here in Kingston the peeps are filling up the kitchen to overflow.Now we bigin! With 2 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Barred Rocks and 2 Rhodes Island Reds we are chicken people. Our 6 chicks are very small but growing rapidly in their kitchen gerbil-home. Unfortunately, it will be six months until they prove their worth, depending on whether they are hens or cocks, of course. Sacks Feed assures me that this particular supplier has a very good record of providing hens so we can only hope for no offering to the hatchet! The next big agenda is the tractor but it will not be put into use for another 5 weeks so I have time. I did order some plans just because I think it might save me several mis-measurements. I will keep you up to date on my progress.

Along with chicks, Spring is supplying lots of lovely flowers and weeds. The rain this week is slowing down my yard projects but last week I had a great day exploring Seattle with my ESL student and enjoying the delicate beauty of Spring in the Northwest. It is always fun to see home with new eyes.

This week has time for plenty of indoor projects and Easter preparations. We are planning a brunch at Lynne's since she is still a bit inbound. Anita will be there, as will Colin. I am looking forward to starting April with celebrations and smiles. March did not start as well as we might like (roof gymnastics).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's Spring!

March 21 and officially Spring!
Happy warm weather to everyone and many more smiles ahead. Today I worked until 6:30 in the garden and it was still light when I came in to make dinner. The wonders of Spring ! The bunnies are combed and the goats are sheared- we are all ready to move into the growing season. With the mild winter I just keep adding more garden projects so I can't say I am ahead of the game this year but the early garden work has sure been more pleasant.

This weekend David and I had a very special treat to start the new season. We shared dinner with Glen and Kathy Wilson then attended the Bremerton Symphony, where Kathy plays second cello -her responsibility for the past 30 years. The Symphony is always first class and an enjoyable evening but this performance was the best ever. Featuring old world music from Spain and new world music from South and Central America, there were many unbelievable delights.
The solo violinist was a 20 year old Bremerton musician who studies and performs years in England. She was outstanding! There were conch shells and 20 different percussion elements in the South American pieces. Tons of fun and very festive for heralding the season of fertility.

With such an amazing start, this Spring is certain to be full of amazing events. Number one is Kyrsa's new job working in the soon to open tasting room of Airfield winery. Airfield is one of several Yakima wineries opening tasting rooms in Woodenville, in a cooperative tasting community. It is very exciting that Kyrsa will be able to try out her new knowledge of wine and get in on the ground floor of a new idea in wine marketing for the Seattle area. I for one can't wait to visit her at work.

The Spring will also bring new visitors to Tulin Road. They will be staying in the old gerbil home. Keep your eyes open for their arrival and all the new development in the area.

Until then, safe and happy travels to Erin and Colin and good wishes for laughter to everyone.
Mama Llama

Friday, March 5, 2010

Colin says...

well. i tried a dozen times to comment on the blog and it's not working. will look into it.
but here's what I was going to comment!

I DO wish we had a picture of you cruising around on the back of the tandem. Other favorites from the visit: eating burritos in the car in golden gate park, walking down valencia getting project ideas, slumber party night and extremely lively games of banagrams and scrabble, wine and grocery shopping. and thanks for not mentioning how chubby I am now.

From Mama Llama: We did have so much fun doing all these things. I only lost my footing on the tandem pedals once at the intersection! Pouring rain did not keep us from our burritos and it was just lucky we didn't have more time at the great book store on Valencia. The new ice cream store on Valencia was extraordinary (ginger saffron ice cream after Indian food!!!) and they game me a free vanilla bean TWICE. There is really no chubbiness happening in Davis though the flat road are not keeping Colin in the tip top biking shape of D.C.
I guess there will need to be more bike rides out to the mountains 40 miles away!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Davis or bust

Before I forget one glorious moment or bite, I must share my long California weekend with you. Starting from Bainbridge, I rode ferry, lite rail, airplane and bus to arrive on Colin and Susan's doorstep. Actually Susan had to come out to the curb and guide me into the little, secret alley that leads to their wonderful bungalow between C and D street. It is tiny and well organized, as Colin and Susan constantly accomplish. There are beautiful little touches everywhere and a kitchen that both are accomplished at using- TOGETHER?

I know this because they prepared wonderful food for me all the days I visited. We had fresh vegetables from the student farm where Colin works and harvests, prepared in amazing ways. I will share the most complicated menu with you- a Christmas gift from them both.

First Course: Winter salad with celeriac, endive, radicchio and a Caesar-like dressing finished
with truffle oil and pumpkin puree with kalamata olives

Second Course: Rosemary pasta dressed with caramelized onions and aged Gouda and sauteed beets and beet greens served with horseradish yogurt

Third Course: Pan-seared Cauliflower steaks with capers, caper berry and golden raisin relish and a fresh mixed greens salad

Dessert: Citrus pie with whipped cream made from fresh squeezed oranges, lemons and zest

...and of course there was wine. We even had roasted brussel sprouts one night and I am now a convert to that vegetable treat.

Besides eating... Colin and I visited the new San Fransisco Academy of Science. We did have burritos at a wonderful Mission District restaurant for lunch and met Susan for an amazing dinner at Dosa's in the Mission District, serving outstanding Indian food.

I walked and biked through Davis exploring the Arboretum gardens, Student Farm and pea patch as well as amazing display gardens all over and almond trees in bloom along every street. We hiked the hills above Lake Barriessa just south of the Napa and looked down from the ridge of the mountains so that we could see both east and west. We had planned to add wine tasting to that adventure but thankfully were forced to change plans. We all agreed we would have collapsed long before getting home if THAT had been the program. Instead we headed back to the cottage and had a wine tasting there!

I can't think of a more delightful and inspiring vacation. During quiet moments I read Giai's Garden and planned new garden projects with Susan's help in improved designs. Now if I could only duplicate the Davis sunshine I might even be successful- those people don't really garden down there- they just throw seed to the wind and harvest the bounty! But at least I can dream!