Friday, August 28, 2009

blog #319 >> You say tomato...

I say tomata, let's call the whole thing off.

I really wish I liked tomatoes. I like ketchup, I like tomato soup, I like spegitti sauce, I like stewed tomatoes, I even like them sliced up on sandwiches. But I can't bring myself to just eat a plain old tomato... eh, they make me gag. I tell myself I should like tomatoes, they're like strawberries, small red, with little green stems. But really tomatoes are NOTHING like strawberries. And I think homemade ketchup will be the final resting place to many of these tomatoes. Homemade ketchup is completely different from the stuff you buy in the store. And I haven't had any in years.

Beef steak variety.

Cherry tomatoes, which also taste nothing like cherries.

I actually really do like these little guys. Maybe because they look and taste so little like regular tomatoes. I like to roast them with a little salt and pepper and add them to salads.

Also, the Swiss chard is finally doing well, only I'm at a complete loss as to how to cook it. If anyone has any good chard recipes please send them to me!

I think I'm going to try planting a fall crop of lettuce, spinach and peas this year. I'm excited to see how they turn out.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

blog #318 >> Replaced

When I got back to work today from my vacation, I was shocked to learn that I had been replaced by cardboard! Apparently, the Graphics Department got lonely and behind while I was away, so they created this cardboard cutout to act as my replacement until I returned. All I can say is the cardboard cutout did a terrible job in my place. My desktop was a mess and I don't think it checked my email even once while I was gone. I fired it promptly when I got back. But at least it gave Mary someone to talk to. And the likeness to myself is remarkable. From behind you'd hardly notice the difference. They also ran all my pens, pen-mug and teacup through the shrink-wrapper while I was away. It was kinda like Christmas getting to open all those little packages.


blog #317 >> Blackberry Cobbler

Caught up at last! Now perhaps I can get back to my regular blogging schedule. Here is the blackberry cobbler I made from the blackberries I picked out camping. I used my sister's recipe and it turned out delicious. It's the perfect thing for a bucket blackberries or any type of berry really. Now I'm back on my regular work schedule too and it's almost time to go...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

blog #316 >> Left Behind Part 7: Backpacking

The trial head.

Pup creek.

(See Andy, Will and Chris in the upper right hand corner.)

(giant ant hill.)

Alright, I'm mostly caught up, and I'm very tired now and I've got to get back to work in the morning. I'm off to bed now,

blog #315 >> Left Behind Part 6: The River

The day after I got back from the beach I drove up to Willow Grove to visit my sister who was camping on the Columbia. See following:

Will the mud monster. "Mud is good for everything! It keeps the bugs off of you and prevents sunburns."

Here is the Sarlacc, the pit from Star Wars, that my nephews built at the camp site. My camera died just as I was taking a picture of Will being devoured.

Riding the waves without a boat.


blog #314 >> Left Behind Part 5:
More of the Beach

Our one day trip to the beach turned into a three day trip to the beach, and from Hug Point we moved to Lincoln City. Here are the pictures.

Maggie and Charlie playing with "Jim" the bulldozer. Jim is a very hungry bulldozer that we found on the beach. He likes to eat macaroni and cheese cakes.

"A Monument to Jim."
This is Jim waiting for his owners to come find him on the beach. Poor Jim, I found him the next morning washed up in a heap of seaweed. I almost brought him home, but left him on a log instead. Perhaps his owners will find him yet.

Maggie by the swimming pool.

This was the morning that it was so foggy, we almost couldn't find our way back to the motel.

Watching the boats leave Depot Bay just before heading home.


blog #313 >> Left Behind Part 4: The Beach

And after the Ape Caves I went to the beach...

First we went to Cannon Beach, but it was very crowed and very windy and baby Stella did NOT like the wind. So we moved to...

(Maggie and Charlie being silly.)

...Hug Point Beach. Hug Point is one of my favorite beaches. It's about five minutes past Cannon Beach. It's pretty small and secluded and doesn't look like much until you go around the point and then you see all the sea caves and the waterfall and the wagon trail. It's a really neat place! Above are the wagon ruts at Hug Point. During the Oregon Trail the wagon train blasted a path through this cliff that can still be seen today at low tide. Now it's a pretty cool tide pool.

The tide pools in the wagon ruts.

The sea cave at Hug Point.

Maggie looking for a "beach bear."


blog #312 >> Left Behind Part 3: Ape Caves

These are the pictures from our spelunking around in Ape Caves. I hadn't been there since I was really little and could barely remember it. This time we explored the upper and lower caves. The lower caves are really easy, but the upper caves had some climbing, not rope and rock wall climbing, just plain old climbing. Unfortunately, it was very dark, so the pictures look very black.

These are the flashlights in the dark. I liked walking just at the right pace to be between groups and then turn off my flashlight, so that I was alone in complete darkness... kinda scary, but fun!

This is the entrance to the cave.

Here is a lava flow found inside the cave.

The lantern in the dark.

The vent. You don't realize just how dark it is until you see some light.

And this is where I hurt my knee. We had to climb up that and I lost my footing right and the top, and ended up bruising up my knee pretty good.

This is the exit out of the upper caves.

And this is a lava flow outside the cave.