Thursday, August 16, 2012


The next few days here are going to be very warm.  I realize for us that means something far less then the 100˚ plus temps some people have experienced for weeks, but hey - we do have the ocean waters that help cool things down.  Call it the luck of geography.

I was born here, and only managed to move far enough from north Seattle to land on an island.  LUCK!!!

As it turns out.

We have our issues here - lack of nightlife, for instance - but I must say the pros are outweighing the cons these days.  It rained like mad while the rest of the country sweltered... my garden is happy.  It's blazing hot now (haha), and the plants are loving it - we will soon have beans and even more zukes coming out of our ears.  I dug the first small batch of yukon gold potatoes up, and they are quietly aging in the garage.

I swear, I'm going to till up the majority of the yard next year for more garden action.  We could maybe even have a corn maze!  As long as you don't mind walking in a straight line...

Here's some nice cooling water to help you through the hot days.  Enjoy!

Cooling waters...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pig Roast!

Yes folks, it's that time again here in lovely Oak Harbor - the annual block party and pig roast.  We missed the last two, as we were trapped at the Coupeville Arts & Crafts Festival running the music stage - but not this year!  Two years was enough.  We wanted our freedom to attend any old local fest and we got it!  So to the pig roast we went...

The pork cooking operation

Mmmmmmm... look at all of that pork!  This was one of many cookers roasting madly away to cook enough pork for the greedy festival attendees.  We were glad to arrive early!  The line wasn't too long and there was still enough food - last year they ran out, apparently.  Added 500 pounds of pork this year.

The good people of Oak Harbor love a free meal.  They solicit donations to cover the costs, with extra going to local charities.  But payment is not required.  We paid, we're not cads.

The best part of the event is the sampling and voting in the BBQ competition.  There weren't as many entries this year as the last time we made it, but they were good.  I'll be curious to see who wins.  We voted for the Oak Harbor Tavern entry, in honor of Syd who could not attend the pig roast due to obvious conflicts between his nose, mouth, and behavior.  They had a damn good vinegar sauce for their pork.  Maybe not the best plain, but the vinegar sauce was soooooooo good!

Two hot dogs - not fun!

On the topic of dogs... why do people bring their dogs to events like this?  They're no doubt overwhelmed by the crowds, hot, and tempted by the tantalizing pork smells.  It's madness!!!  We will never torment Syd in such a way as this.  It doesn't seem fun at all for the dogs.

New this year was a chalk art competition on Pioneer, down the hill from the pig roast.  It looked like a bit of a failure - poor guy sitting at a table with tonnes of chalk and pretty much nobody participating.  There was this though -


Syd approves.  He always approves when there is any mention of food involved.

Can you blame him?

There is still one reminder of the pig roast lingering on downtown... three days later and this poor deflated sap is still stuck littering up downtown.  Typical...

Wither the pig!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


A few days ago we took the dog for a walk on our favorite beach - and we saw this:

I'm pretty sure this guy was stuck

I'm pretty sure he was stuck.  The path down looked pretty treacherous - and in fact there really wasn't a path.  Just a cliff.  Easy enough to climb up, not so easy to get down.  I worried that when we passed by again he would have fallen and snapped his neck.

But no, he was still sitting in the same spot, and talking on his phone.  I wonder what happened to him?

Nice sandy cross beds, by the way...


This is the 4th year for our backyard garden - it gets bigger and better every year.  I have half a mind to rent a tiller and dig up a big chunk so we can really go big next year.

Might have to anyways, what with rising food prices and all.  But I digress, sort of.

What I really wanted to talk about are the volunteer plants coming up this year, all over the garden!  I have a very unruly garden this year.
The unruly garden

Plants of all sorts coming up randomly here and there!  Sunflowers, borage, snapdragons, feverfew, cosmos, potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins (I think), and squash!  IT'S A FREE FOR ALL!
Ahem.  Sorry, got a bit carried away for a minute.  These things happen when you have a sloppy compost pile.  I've threatened to leave a bit of the garden open next year just to see what comes up.  But back to the here and now, especially the squash plants.

Earlier in the season, I noticed several zucchiniesque plants coming up here and there in the garden.  I decided to let them go and see what kind of trouble they got up to.  Turns out, there's two kinds of trouble.  A couple of the plants have very distinct pumpkin characteristics - long snaking vines, tendrils wrapping around anything nearby... and one of the plants now has a small round yellowish fruit.  We'll see where that one goes.  Unfortunately, the other plant gets stepped on and bumped almost daily because of its location - if it can produce even one fruiting body I'll be thrilled.

But the others... they looked just like zucchini plants!  Just like them!  Until they didn't.

Strange squash growing in the garden near the compost pile

And guess what - they tasted just like zucchinis.  We've eaten them twice, and they were just wonderful.  Michael made stuffed zucchini the other day, and tonight we had zucchini parmigiana.  NOM NOM NOM
The unusual squash from the garden

Looking good so far!

Stuffed frankenzuke success!
In other news... Syd!

Syd resting

The weather has been decent, I'm ready for summer reading to be over, and I only work 10 days in September.  

I suppose I can't complain too much.