Sunday, August 25, 2013

late summer bounty


Late summer is such a time of bounty. It seems that almost every day finds me harvesting something, and then going through the process of drying, freezing or processing for long term storage. One day I'm using fresh-picked basil to make big batches of pesto to freeze and eat throughout the year, another day I'm picking pounds and pounds of blueberries. Some days I'm just plucking a handful of cherry tomatoes to pop in my mouth and get zinged by their bright bursts of flavor. Yesterday we dug up our potatoes (Yukon Gold & fingerling) and were pleased with our haul. (Digging potatoes is like finding buried treasure, each one adding to our loot.) There are still onions, broccoli, cabbage and carrots to harvest, blackberries to pick, seeds to gather and herbs to be dried. Along with all that, I need to get cracking on some canning! Pickled beets, dilly beans, fig jam, berry jam, pickled zucchini and more. 

What are you harvesting these days?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

traveling without moving

A number of years ago, my man and I took an incredible 6-month long trip through India. As a birthday present to myself this year, I took 200 of my slides into the lab and had them scanned into digital files. I cannot tell you how happy I am to have these images so easily accessible to me now. Many of the photos are fuzzy and a bit overexposed by the brightness of India, but they are treasures to me. Looking at them gives me a slight lump in the throat as I am transported back to the places we visited. I can remember so vividly the smells and sounds, the feelings I had in those moments. If you've been to India yourself, maybe you can understand how that place gets under your skin and never leaves you. One day I will go back, but until then I will travel there through my photos... and maybe I'll share more here, too.

The flower seller was in the town of Vellore, the elephant (oh, how I love the elephants) was in the town of Kanchipuram, both in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

p.s. To learn more about how those piles of flower blossoms are used, follow this link.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Saturday, August 3, 2013

a paddling trip

Last week we slipped away for a few days to visit Ross Lake. Nestled in the heart of the Cascades, the lake is surrounded by mountain peaks on all sides, including Desolation Peak where Jack Kerouac sat fire lookout years ago and penned Desolation Angels. My boat is pointing directly at Desolation in the photo above.

Lake paddling feels so different than the paddling we do here at home on the sea. Mornings tend to be still with the surface of the water reflecting clouds like a sheet of glass. Paddling through it feels surreal, like you're gliding through the sky. You pass other boaters, lots of folks in canoes, groups of boys with their gear piled high, quick to pull out their fishing poles and cast out a line at any stop along the way. 

The campsites situated along the lake are equipped with sturdy metal bear bins to stow away your food and belongings. Picnic tables are well worn and carved with the names and initials of other campers from years past.

Each afternoon the wind tended to pick up, making it a good time to go ashore and relax at the campsite. The warm water invited lots of swimming; little fish curiously nibbling at our toes. Naps were taken, books read, and plenty of time was spent just observing - the clouds, the water - thinking about nothing and everything, and enjoying a respite from everyday distractions. 

I even finished knitting a hat I'd been working on. 

Now, August.

p.s. Summertime distractions have caused me to be a bit negligent in my shopkeeping. I'll have some new items in the shop next week!