Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Track District Finals

I don't have one single image from Friday.

I had to leave my camera in the safety of a watertight vehicle.

It was a crazy day of sprinkles, downpours, hail, wind...you name it...even a peek or two of sun.

Soooo I have no high jump images.

Sending out apologies to my seester, Dylan's cyber coach.

It was just too soggy.

Dylan ended up in a four way tie for 2nd place in the high jump.

Between events both days the team huddled in here:
Notice the nice mud puddle in the front?

These Oregon track kids are a rugged bunch.

Almost every meet this year has been pretty harsh.

Dylan's first event on Saturday was the 4x100 relay finals
He runs the third leg since he's used to the turns from the 200 meter event.

Ok now check out the sky in this one and keep in mind.....this is the nice day.

The boys finished second.

Good enough for a spot at the Oregon State Finals at Hayward Field at U of O this coming weekend.

We're all more than a little excited.

Dylan got to go last year for both relays and the high jump but Rich and I had previous plans.

It's a busy time of year.

I'm really looking forward to being in the stadium at Track Town USA this time around.

There's a whole lotta track and field history in that place.

And there will be no shortage of talent in the house.

Next up was the final heat of the 200 meter race.

It was a tight finish. As it should be with any good final 200 meter heat.

And in the end Dylan finished 4th.

He was a bit disappointed with that.

He had a little block slipage at the start.

And he can be a little hard on himself.

He ran a great race and was only .01 off his PR.

But his plan was to shatter that on this day so....he'll get em next year.

Oh lookey here a little spot of sunshine!

His final event for the day was the 4x400 meter relay.

Dylan ran the first leg in this one.

It went well and his coach was pleased with the time on his leg.

At the end of his leg he was in second position.

He would rather not talk about  how the finish went.

I knew you'd understand.

I'm feelin a little bit like a gypsy but this is the juicy stuff of life.

So we unpack, catch up, repack....

And can I just say... I love this kid.

The way he strives for excellence is really inspiring to me.

From the far side of laundry mountain,


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cool Stuff: Garden Edition - Broadfork

Last summer when Rich's birthday rolled around kid #4 (Dylan) asked him what he wanted for his birthday.

Rich replied that he wanted a broadfork for digging in the garden.

Kid #4's eyebrows rose.

"Ummm really??"



If you ever want a few minutes of quiet contemplation tell your teen you want a broadfork for you birthday.

It's golden.

We had been reading about broadforks for some time.  A couple of our favorite gardening books by Elliot Coleman (The New Organic Grower and Four Season Harvest)  talk about using them.

Since we attempted to go to a year round garden this year we often just replant sections as soon as they become available.

This piece of equipment makes that easier to do.
It keeps all of our earthworms intact.

It's quiet.

It's made in the U.S.A. ....in fact it's made in Oregon.

We got the five tine version.

There's also a larger one but this one fit the width of our beds really well and it's a little lighter.

Rich making a space for some po taters.

We (meaning Rich works while I take pictures) use the heck out of the broadfork now.

Besides replant time, he loosens the soil around root crops mid season as well.

It makes them really happy.

Speaking of po taters.  I wanna show you this.

This is the kind of thing that gets me into trouble.

Imagine, if you will, reading these seed potato descriptions one afternoon in the dark of winter.
It just might provoke a girl to order too many right?


Ummm hello?

Add to that these awesome labels and rockin cool bright green bags....
And I'm a total goner.

It'll give Rich lots of practice with the broadfork.

It's totally for his benefit.

Heading out tomorrow with kid #4 for a two day district finals track and field meet.

I'm taking my camera.

Just so ya know.

Dig on.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Live Catch

Rich has been out with Sean a few times recently on his live catch boat.

I talked him into taking the point and shoot camera along so I could see how it works til I get a chance to follow them around with my camera.

I thought some of you might be interested as well.

You can read some earlier posts about Sean's boat here and here.

This day they went out of Port Orford.

It's a small working commercial fishing port about and hour north of us.

It is a little unusual.

Tide dictates the time of day you put in and haul out here.

On this day the start time was late morning.

This live catch thing is interesting for several reasons...
They fish with fishing poles...
which isn't all that unusual for fishing I realise...
but I guess I never thought of commercial fishing with poles.

See that point way over in the upper right?

That's Cape Blanco.

Cape Blanco is the most westerly point on the continental United States.

It's also home to the most southerly light house on the Oregon coast which was built in 1870.

Yup that's it.

Right there.

What that means is that it's a pretty exposed section of coastline.

It also clocks some of the highest wind speeds on the coast.

Which is why our favorite windsurfing lake from this post and this post is located just on the other side of that point

It can be a heads up kind of place.

It has a healthy reef.

The guys really like fishing here.

You can see some of the rocks that form the reef in the distance here as they head in at the end of the day.
A pretty nice way to spend a day huh?

Here is what makes this port a bit unusual.

Because of it's rugged location there are no docks or ramps.

Every day, around the clock,...as tide and conditions permit... boats put in and haul out using this crane system.

This obviously isn't Sean's boat.  They took this picture from their boat.

One day I'll go play paparazzi for them and check it out.

Apparently it's a sort of cheap entertainment for a group of the locals who bring their coffee in the mornings and come to watch.

Makes sense to me.

The other boats wait for their turns to first unload their day's catch, and then be hoisted up by the crane.

This is why tide matters.

They want a good amount of water in there while they are making all these maneuvers.

As they catch the fish throughout the day, they put them into this aerated tank built into the deck of the boat.

The goal is keep them all alive and active.

These fish ultimately go to fish market tanks and restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area.

These are the guys you see in the tanks swimming around.

They sort the fish by types into these baskets for the buyer.

And then they use a sort of pulley system to unload at the buyer's dock area.

Elevator up.

The crews ride up and down with the boats.

Sean replaced these straps the next week and double checked all the eye plates they clip into.
Confidence in your straps and eye plates is a good thing.

It could get ugly.

By the time it's all unloaded, hauled out, on the trailer, and cleaned up it's time to call it the end of a good day.

The gifts of this day?

 The drop dead beauty of the Oregon coast.... 
 how could you not feel close to God out there?...

And a little father-son time.

They both speak the language of boats (constantly) and really love time on the ocean.

It's a really physical job.
Rich came back tired and sore but loving every minute of it.

Remember to stop and notice the beauty of wherever you are,


Friday, May 7, 2010

Cool Stuff: Kitchen Edition - La Chamba

I first saw La Chamba cookware when we were in Jacksonville last summer for the amazing Britt Festival concert experience. Before the concert we walked around in Jacksonville.  Jacksonville is a town whose roots go back to the gold rush in the 1800's.  It's a great place to spend an afternoon.  One of the shops there had La Chamba cookware and we were smitten.

It was beautiful.

A Fair Trade product.

No glazes.

No toxins.

The cookware is handmade in Columbia from an ancient clay that ends up black when it's fired.

You can see the artisans' finger grooves in the stuff..

None of it is perfectly symetrical...I love that!

I pilfered the following photos of the cookware being created from lavidaverde.com.  They are importers of La Chamba and you can see more of the different kinds of cookware in the line at their site.

We didn't buy any that day in Jacksonville.

We did the..."Well it's kind of expensive. Let's think about it and come back." thing.

And of course we didn't go back.

But I did a whole lot of thinkin about the La Chamba stuff.

And every time I pulled out my 9x13 pans I wished it were La Chamba that I was cooking in rather than whatever cheesy metal they make those things out of.

Cooking in metal gives me the heeby geebies any more....except for my cast iron... I love that stuff still.

Anyhoo... I finally got some La Chamba for my birthday in March.

I use it every day.

No joke.

Loooove it.

And as a side note the black makes the food look really purty.

You care for it a lot like clay pie pans or pizza stones.

You don't preheat your oven because they can crack.

We have an electric stove (unfortunately) so the pots can't go directly on the stovetop to cook but they do offer an adapter that goes between the pot and the burner so it's a possiblity.

I plan to expand my collection of this gorgeous stuff.

Enjoy the weekend!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spring Garden Update

We had a fabulous sunny Sunday last weekend.

I love when that happens.

One thing about living on the Oregon coast is that you learn to really appreciate when sun lands on the weekends in the winter or spring.

Sunday's haul from the garden:

Tons of lettuce. And baby carrots that we planted in the greenhouse as our backups in case the outside stuff didn't work out.  It's almost time to replant our summer stuff in the greenhouse so we've been feasting on the baby carrots.

Beets from last fall.  This was an Autumn Harvest blend so there were white, yellow, and red beets.

And if there's one thing you've learned about me by now it's that I'm all about gardening for visual coolness.
The beets did really well early on in the Fall but as soon as it got cold they kind of came to dead halt and just sat there.

As the spring warmed up they started up again but we decided to pull em and make the beet salad and move on.

Time to get the Chioggia's planted. 

I love me some target beets.

Things are looking good in the garden.

The garlic is right about where it should be.

While I was gone last weekend Rich got the tomoatoes started in the greenhouse.

Good news locals.

Once again I got carried away with my basil planting.

It looks pretty happy so save a space.
That little guy in the lower right is celery.

It'll be my first time trying celery.

And the catalog said it's best not to to do seeds indoors and transplant.

I'm off to a great start don't ya think?

I just can't ever totally follow directions... not sure what that's about, but it's a fact.

Maybe it's a trust issue I should persue in therapy.

Like I said things are looking good in the garden .

Arik's dog, Duke helped out on Sunday too.

He even pulled a few weeds when he saw what Rich was doing.

Now there's a skill Arik should follow up on don't ya think?

I mean really any old Lab can chase ducks....but weeding...

So last year we had a dismal squash crop ... as you may recall from this post.

As I was perusing the Territorial Seed catalog that lives on our kitchen table this time of year I found a product called Green Mulch that said for vining crops it could increase yeilds 20-40%.

It works by heating up the soil...our main problem.

Look no further.

Sign me up.

But then as I was rolling out this 2mm plastic sheet of wonder, I had a rush of guilt.
Here I am...

Miss Organic Gardener

Miss Double Bin Composter

Miss Clean Living

Rolling out 23 feet of (albeit very thin) plastic in my organic garden.

This one will definitely require therapy...maybe I can squeeze in the thing about not following directions at the same time.

I did notice the soil heating up immediately though and...after a thermometer check... went ahead and got my zucchini planted.  The melons will need to wait another week or two for the temps to rise a bit.

To alleviate my guilt I immediately recycled one yogurt container and made some plant markers.
That oughta make up for it huh?

Rich busted out the catalog again and found two possible alternatives for next time so that I wouldn't keep him up all night talking it to death.

There is one called Bio Film that composts into your soil in 90 days....which would give us just about the right amount of time...And one called Planter's Paper that will also biodegrade.

Neither of these have claims quite as lofty but  they do say they heat the soil....and I would sleep better.

BUT while we were searching the mulch section he also spotted the Silver Mulch  which is plastic like the green stuff but claims to drive away certain pests including aphids...which he battled all summer last year on his pepper plants in the greehouse. 

Life is so complicated.

I'll keep ya posted

Thanks for listening.

I got a few new herbs for the garden...

Some English Thyme

This one is a Rosemary variety that they call Barbeque because the stems can be used as kabob skewers...how fun is that?  It's supposed to get to be 4-5 ft tall....I'm hoping it won't get out of control. 

Rich is the pruning master so I'll leave that one in his court.

And some Lavender Grosso.
I've been missing lavender.

My last one got weed wacked several years ago.

It happens.

Here's another crazy adventure we're trying this year.

Shitake Mushrooms
I should have taken pictures before....

They send you little dowel pieces that have been inoculated with spore and a little book of instructions

I think Rich decided to use Tan Oak logs for ours, since we see mushrooms in the forest liking Tan Oak stands.

After you let the logs sit for a few weeks you drill little holes and stick the dowel peices in and then seal in with beeswax.

The spore is supposed to colonize the log and hopefully in a few months we'll start having shitake mushrooms.  The normal mushroom season here is after the first rains of fall ....so late October thru early December.

It'll be fun to watch and see what happens.

In other life events this week.....

We have another funeral to attend tomorrow.

Rich's Grandma Molnar passed away Sunday night.

She was a sweet lady who fed people wherever she could and spread the love via apple strudel...a lost art.

We'll miss her sweet spirit but are happy that she has been able to leave the difficulties of this earth behind and join her Lord and her much missed husband in a peaceful eternity.

Life is short.
Get out there and share the love,