It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!
It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!
This is a picture of the Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) shrub in our yard, finally in bloom!
I have nurtured this for several years. Though the brutally cold temperature dips appeared to kill it to the ground every winter, it popped up green shoots each spring. But, this is the first year it has flowered for me. While we were out of town for the month of August, I hoped I could keep it and some of our other flowering plants alive with an automated sprinkler. Upon our return, I was so pleased to see that not only did they all survive, but this plant had 2 flower heads ready to bloom. A happy gardener, here. 🙂
FWIW, I would recommend the low-tech sprinkler controller I picked up at Home Depot, since our underground sprinkler system is out of commission. But I’m also overjoyed by the unending rain we’ve had since we returned at the end of August. I’ll happily take every drop.
I was working out in the yard today unloading wood scraps and trash from a box by the shop when I unknowingly disturbed a wasp nest. I was stung once, where the sun don’t shine (I’ll spare you a photo of that), but it could have been much worse.
Monte went out later and sprayed the nest with wasp killer. And uncovered it. It was huge! It’s burning in the drizzle out back as we speak.
While my butt-sting hurts terribly, I’ll take it. I’m glad I didn’t get swarmed.
Be careful out there….
I’ve read about an easy do it yourself way to clean up tarnished sterling silver jewelry. I finally got around to trying it today.
– a piece of aluminum foil
– boiling water, 1-2 cups
– baking soda, 1 Tablespoon per cup of boiling water
– some tarnished silver jewelry to clean
Crumple up the foil really well, place in an empty bowl, and nestle each piece of jewelry into the foil so it is making good contact with the foil. This is really important to ensure the electrochemical reaction required to clean the silver.
Boil the water, add baking soda, stir well and then pour into the bowl with jewelry and foil. The chemical reaction to remove the tarnish from the silver will bubble while it’s happening.
Wait 15 minutes or so. Remove jewelry and rinse well.
Tarnish results from silver reacting with sulfur-laden substances in the air, forming black silver sulfide on the surface of the silver. This technique reverses that reaction, causing the sulfur to instead move to the aluminum in the foil.
Wasn’t that easy?! 🙂
We took the scenic way home from Rachel’s, dropped Rebecca and Aaron off, and then came home and whipped up a delicious risotto for dinner.
The next day we stopped by my nephew Jared’s new house, and then had a fun family get together at Noreen and David’s.
Then, FINALLY, we had one glorious, clear summer day on Hood Canal. Jake went for a hike with us and then we met up with James for dinner.
These are two pictures from the same place, taken at about the same time of day. The first is from one of the smoke-filled days, the second one was taken 5 days later.
I MUCH prefer this one….
We headed west with a mission to see where the Pacific Ocean meets the state of Washington.
Along the way, we stopped in Aberdeen, home of Kurt Cobain, former frontman of Nirvana. We stopped at a modest but touching memorial to him.
We thought this sign at the neighbor’s house was especially funny.
And we did finally make it to the coast. It was our first smoke-free day, and it was lovely. We spent a day at Ocean Shores…
And another clear sky day at the coast, this time at Westport…
We spent the night at our niece, Rachel’s, new home, joined by Fran, Aaron, Rebecca, Noreen and David. We had fun exploring the area and enjoying our time together.
The next day, we drove to Colleen’s house. She cooked pulled pork, from scratch, and it made for delicious sandwiches. We visited with her, Lee and Jake all night. The next morning we headed to Whidbey Island for a day trip.
The smoke and haze was very bad. But it’s a beautiful destination.
Whidbey Island Distillery makes a nice whiskey, and delicious berry liqueurs. They use a continuous still, homemade – see the copper pipes and tubes in the second picture below.
I walked down to the beach to get a view of the Deception Pass bridge…We popped into the Admiralty Point lighthouse…Then we hopped the ferry to Port Townsend…VERY smoky. This is a shot from the deck of the ferry of the sun setting over the beautiful Olympic Mountains. 🙂
We toured the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain tall ships with Francine, Rebecca & Aaron. It was fun to learn they would be here during our visit.
The next day we ambled through some antique shops, and then took the ferry to Seattle to visit Pat, Nga and the boys.
A photo of the Southworth ferry (manipulated with the Prisma app)…
They have a beautiful new home in seattle with a view of the Sound. Another pic, manipulated with the Prisma app that I so enjoy playing with.
Will helped Monte hang their dartboard. And the throwing ensued.
We walked around the neighborhood garage sales, and all the beautiful yards.
Then blackberry picking…
Then we made a wonderful seafood dinner. I sautéed some Manila clams. They were eaten so fast I only got an after photo…
Pat grilled salmon and it was perfect!
Nick and I put together Lego dinosaurs after dinner – well, I helped. 🙂
We made an overdue visit to the Pacific Northwest to visit family and friends.
Fires are burning all across the area, and in Canada as well, so smoke was thick everywhere.
A drive up into the Olympic mountains made for a lovely day trip, but you could not really see the mountains, even standing amongst them at 5700′.
Port Townsend is one of my favorite places. I just can’t visit there too many times. We walked through the Maritime Center and watched shipwrights work, and walked the docks where the Wooden Boat Show will be in a few weeks.
The next day we took the ferry to Seattle and spent the day exploring the waterfront, Pike Place Market, and Seattle Center.
I’ve just returned from a week of sailing down the Texas Gulf coast from Galveston to Port Aransas and back. Monte and I joined Mike to crew for Lori on a shakedown cruise on Trident as she prepares for her cruising life later this year. The week flew by, with the drive to the coast, 2 days of boat projects in Kemah, then anchoring overnight off Galveston Island’s Moody Gardens before sailing in the Gulf of Mexico for 450-ish nautical miles roundtrip, including an overnight watch while sailing each way, and a two night stay at Port Aransas Municipal Marina, and back again. It was a fun trip – lots of laughs, sun and wind. The weather was very different from February when we sailed across the Gulf – much calmer seas and weather this time, and MUCH hotter.
Sky on fire. Burgers on grill.
We spent the morning working on the flower beds along the front of the house. This little guy hung around, feasting on bugs in the dirt – flirting less than a foot away most of the time – an adorable Eastern Phoebe.
Tom and Doray hired Monte to build a dining room table for their new home. We delivered it yesterday, and since it’s about an hour away, we stayed overnight to play a bit, too.
The table is beautiful, a live-edge walnut table.
After setting it up, we made stops at Real Ale Brewery and Cypress Creek Reserve Rum Distillery for some celebratory libations.
So many good brews to choose from.
Pretty good rum at Cypress Creek Reserve Rum. Doray and I enjoyed their White Texan, while Monte sipped on a pour of their aged rum.
We took a boatload out to watch fireworks on Lake Travis tonight. A good time was had by all.
A pretty sunset:
And one shot of the fireworks:
What a fun night to enjoy with friends.