Friday, October 30, 2009

Angus is back!

About three weeks ago Angus disappeared and it was starting to look like we wouldn't be seeing him again. Going to the pound every week was getting depressing and heart breaking. Long-haired black cats all look the same! Then yesterday I received an email from a woman who lives in Deming, ~25 miles away. A long haired, black, male cat had shown up on her doorstep. I was like no way he got out there. She was persistent though and kept talking about how great this cat was. He sounded like Angus. She sent pictures and it looked like him. So I made the long drive out there and sure enough, Angus! We're not sure how he got out there but we're so happy he's home!

Cider pressin' time!

Last week we had our second annual cider pressin' with Betsy and Devin. We pressed ~20 gallons of cider, all destined to become hard cider! We learned a few things this year:
1. One large plastic tote makes 3+ gallons of cider
2. Some apples are way juicer than others
3. A Subaru carload of apples makes ~20 gallons of cider
4. There are lots of free apples in the Bellingham area, you just have to find them!
5. Hard cider tastes best ~1 year after you pitch it.
6. It's hard to wait a year to drink it.

Elderberry Wine

Finally, the Elderberry Wine is in bottles! It was supposed to happen a few months ago, unforeseen events stalled the process but finally, it is done! The wine isn't all that fabulous, but it looks nice in the clear bottles. Our next attempt at making adult beverages....mead. Stay tuned, it may be a few months.

Monday, October 26, 2009

My favorite new book!

My favorite new book is not a new book at all. The River Why, by David James Duncan, is a story of place, of loving a landscape, and there's a love story intertwined at the end. What's not to love! Below is my favorite quote from the book, pages 53-54.

“A native is a man or creature or plant indigenous to a limited geographical area-a space boundaried and defined by mountains, rivers, or coastlines (not by latitudes, longitudes or state and county lines), with its own peculiar mixture of weeds, trees, bugs, birds, flowers, streams, hills, rocks and critters (including people), its own nuances of rain, wind, and seasonal change. Native intelligence develops through an unspoken or soft-spoken relationship with these interwoven things: it evolves as the native involves himself in his region. A non-native awakes in the morning in a room in a bed in a building on a street in a county in a state in a nation. A native awakes in the center of a little cosmos-or a big one, if his intelligence is vast-and he wears this cosmos like a robe, senses the barely perceptible shifting, migrations, moods and machinations of its creatures, its growing green things, its earth and sky.
You don’t get native intelligence just by wanting it. But through long intimacy with an intelligent native, or with your native world, you begin to catch it kind of like you catch a cold. It’s a cold worth catching.”

If you haven't read it yet you should. It will make you wish you knew how to fish. It will make you strive to live as a native of your place. And, it will likely make you a fan of David James Duncan.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


We started working on the house last week. Progress is amazingly destructive. But, the work of demo is nearly done and finally we get to start putting things back together!

Perhaps a little update on the 'plan' is in order as I'm not sure that everyone knows what a massive project we have undertaken.

Bedrooms: In both bedrooms we will vault the ceilings, repair framing, hang drywall, refinish the fir floors, put in new windows and paint.

Office: We really only need repair the drywall and paint!

Living room: We're refinishing the floors, painting, and putting in a slate hearth.

Kitchen: Well we haven't started so.....more about that later.

And, the whole house is getting insulated and rewired! And, the plan is to move in around November 15! Of course the house won't be done but hopefully it will be livable!