Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Birds and banjos

KC was up for the birthday. He can pick up any instrument and make music come out of it. C. and I are jealous – we collect old musical instruments, somehow expecting proximity to produce ability. Disappointed, we hang them on the wall and wait for KC. C. traded a pair of workboots and a rabbit for this four-string banjo-uke. Must have been the spring 1983, at the Tonasket barter fair. I remember Scotty wearing welding goggles as he opened bottles of his homemade root beer. And little Emma sound asleep at Elf's table, sitting bolt upright, clutching a cookie and a banana. Good times.

Henley the chicken has trained C. for grub retrieval. Rotten logs hold some lovely custardy grubs.

Below, the awesome 1960s spinning clothesline makes a fine perch for a buckWHEATing guinea.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Late March

We celebrated two birthdays this weekend, and I made the world's ugliest Martha Stewart sour lemon cake. As a slob and a person with a life, I find Martha recipes to be tasty but overly elaborate and fussy. C. made the lemon butter jelly to go between the layers, and I spackled the thing with cream-cheese lemon drizzle. It looked like a fourth-grader's model volcano. Tasted OK, though. (Yes, Martha, that's what counts.)

Jim from the garden club is going to show me how to graft fruit trees this weekend, and I'm excited about that.

That's it for now.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


I told C. we should scale back on the garden a bit this year since my back is giving me trouble, so she started only four flats of onions. Last year, she started four flats of onions. She is either compulsive (she is) or figures I'm not that much help in the garden (I'm not). Her dad's given name was Gardiner (though he was called Bub) so I guess she's got a leg up, genetically speaking.

Two kinds of onions are getting tall in their flat under the grow light in the dining room window.

Here are the two midcentury plant-starting lights we use to start seeds. They're stylish in that vintage-wire way. (Remember the curly-wire poodle letter racks?) We also use charmless shop lights.

We ordered six or more varieties of onions, or ung-yums, as Em used to say when she was little, and they do really well here.

It's been rainy all weekend, which is handy for us since we need to map the roof leaks in the kindergarten room. And when I boobled through the building to find the ladder and get mapping, I discovered a robust new leak in the other kitchen, the dye kitchen off C.'s studio. Feh.

We saved the damp items, including C.'s huge and precious cedar jewelry box made by her cousin, and mopped up. And dragged the ladder from room to room, sending C. up to shine the flashlight around the attic and spot the drips while I drew their locations in orange Sharpy on the back of an envelope. After a rest and a cup of tea, I clambered onto the roof and smeared tarry stuff on the suspect areas. We won't know if it worked until the next rain. Ah, the joys of owning 11,000 square feet of flat roofing!

Here's a gratutious bunny shot. That's Fondu, looking magnificently fluffy.

I know I haven't posted very often this winter. My back is pretty wrecked and I'm either having MRIs or other tests, or worrying and brooding about it. We're keeping up with caring for the animals, stoking the wood stove, picking away at garden-starting, and feeding ourselves. Progress on the building is not happening; neither is art-making. I thought I'd spare you most of my whining, and will post when I have something upbeat to report.

Damn, that is one fuzzy rabbit!