Thursday, April 30, 2009

The kids are growing

I am reminded of how quickly time goes by when I see photos like these. Here, the budding equestrian I see so deftly riding (and jumping!) is a young woman that was once my son's best buddy. As they got older, the gender roles kicked in and their thick-as-thieves status soon diminished to a "hey" while passing each other in the middle school hallways. An enduring, mutual admiration still quietly exists under the veil of aloofness.

Em's growing up!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Geoducking on Vashon

It's a LOT of work, but they're here on Vashon!
We'll definitely do it again during a minus tide.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Vashon Youth Baseball Opening Day

Zach is in there! He's playing on D&R Excavating's team in the Bronco league and is he ever happy! We were waitlisted because we registered late. all worked out beautifully. His team is the dark green w/yellow uniforms. If you click the photo it will expand; you can just make out Zach on the very far right, between two adults in blue. Lauri Hennessey, up front and center in red and white, sang a colorful rendition of the national anthem. The adults-only social was held in the evening at Sound Foods and it was the perfect setting. Lots of fun all around.

The coop is so close to completion!

We're getting there.
This is done on an OLD digi camera but you'll get the idea here.
There's also a glimpse of the two beehives in here.
More later as we progress.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Is Bold Beautiful?

This morning I received my subscriber e-blast from Palouse Winery's Linda Kirkish.

In it, she sought feedback about the new winery "sign" on their facility, located on their Vashon Highway property.

Privately, I emailed my thoughts to her. I want to know what you think, too. If you leave a thoughtful comment, I'll pass it on to her.

Granted, this is a business, it is also Vashon Island. Apparently, a neighbor convinced her to use the side of the building for visibility. This neighbor is a marketer on the island (so am I, but...).

Alright folks, spill it. You can leave anonymous comments, too.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Weekend in Westport

Okay, this did not happen on Vashon...
This weekend the boys and I headed to Westport and bunked in a cute little beach cottage with Sue, Jim, and the rest of the Edwards kin. There was a morning razor clam dig for a couple straight days. Alex, my 12-y-old, was not digging it, pun intended, but Zach took command of the razor clam gun like a pro and he nearly "limited" so that was good enough for me. We had a wonderful time, even as the weekend weather turned to horizontal rain and whipping wind.
Our last trip to Seabrook (this is the best place ever to razor clam--they're big and plentiful on this lesser known stretch of the Mocrocks district) had us maxed out and we still have tons from that trip, so quantity was not a factor this trip. I brought these and the last of the chowder home to David, where we enjoyed a yummy lunch with fresh clams dropped in to the mix of chowder. Then David made rosemary shortbread for the full kiss of decadance! I will never be skinny again.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Powder Room

The new chicken coop shall be named "the powder room!"

Thanks to Dennis Loeb, our neighbor who kindly spared his scrap materials, we created a chicken coop out of ladies room doors (and one men's room door--no roosters allowed!) and also spare lumber from David's friend and colleague Bill.
David and Zach are doing a bang up job. Also Krista Dehnert let us rifle through her pile of old it has leaded windows on one side and vinyl/alum combo windows on the other! Thanks to these cast-offs, about 97% of the building is salvaged material. Chickens are imminent in May!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Stimulus is...knowing we have a refund!

I always get nervous around tax time. I used to always inevitably OWE the feds money or get back a paltry refund at best. My first year as a divorcee, I hired Joyce Olson on VI to do my taxes. She helped me get things in line and gave me a lot of direction for future years, for which I am thankful. From there, I bucked up and filed my own returns.

I made sure to claim just two exemptions to get more taxes taken from my paycheck. That move paid off with decent refunds, for the first time since the glory days of filing a 1040EZ in the simplicity of being 18-21! Remember those days?

This year was the best yet: I have fully realized the tax benefit of being married (when both parties have conserved taxes all year long, there are no ugly surprises) and things look good. Granted, it's a bit intimidating to file a return that has with it three schedules and special forms, but if you have the patience to follow the directions, it's really not difficult at all!

We may treat ourselves to a snorkel stove (hot tub) to celebrate.

The lesson, as I've made the big 4-0, is to conserve. I save elsewhere, too, and have learned to just live without that money each paycheck. It's pretty sad though when you lose 35% of your 401K, 39% of your RothIRA (which was in S&P stocks), but then MAKE 6% on a WaMu savings account. That is the first time I've celebrated the return on my savings account. Take those wins where you can find em!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Man V. Blackberry

Blackberry is evil. Blackberry is the devil incarnate. Canes the length of 30 and 40-feet arch into the trees and tangle through shrubs on the property, specifically, where David plans to put two beehives. This week we did serious battle, and have the scabs and puncture wounds to prove it!

Not that I love pesticides, I don't. I'm all about mulching, smothering. For blackberries, it doesn't work well. islander tipped me off to a trick in which she hacks down the big mofo canes at the base and takes a watercolor brush and brushes the roundup onto the base's exposed cut. It works and minimizes the toxic factor.

The only thing worse than cutting the canes was REMOVING the canes to a pile of yard waste, which caused more bloodshed (minimal, albeit those little wounds hurt for days after!).