Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A New Adventure

Finally...I can spill the news.
We bought a house on an island! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.
Things have been really crazy around here for the last couple of months, I haven't been blogging much because my brain has been on overload.

A couple of months ago I went to visit a dear friend out on San Juan Island. We had so much fun, she's a realtor and I helped her host an open house for other realtors at one of her listings. At the end of the tour we went to look at some other properties. While we were looking I asked her about a house I had looked at last year...it still hadn't sold and the price had dropped quite a bit.
Uh oh.

I've always wanted to have a place on the island, we've rented a couple of houses for the summer ...and we have friends who live there that we always have a great time with.

So, we made an offer..and it was accepted! We're going to open a Bed and Breakfast and live there. We've had offers on the farm so we've decided to sell while people are still interested in it, after all...who knows what's going to happen with the economy - strike while the iron is hot!

Hubby is looking forward to hanging out, hiking with Bergie and he says he's going to take up kayaking.
I'll be managing the Inn and doing the cooking. Hubby will take care of maintenance, maybe he'll even do some kayak tours - the house is in a perfect location for whale watching and kayak tours.

I don't have a lot of photos but here are a few to give you an idea of what the place looks like. We'll be doing some redecorating so I'll be posting about that and probably asking for some advice on how to make our guests comfortable.
Oh...and of course we'll be setting up a website for the place.
Such an adventure, I'm on overload!

Looking up at the house from the pool deck.

The view! The house is built so that you can see it from virtually every room.

The swimming pool, covered for the winter.

The breakfast nook in a turret!
Ever since I was a little kid I've wanted to live in a house with one of these!

I'm so excited...and I hope you will come stay with us at our B & B...I'll make you one of my specialties - a baloney sandwich....because that's what this story is - a big bunch of baloney.

April Fools!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Bistro Baffi

Chef Michael with the birthday girl

The good news...I have a new favorite restaurant, the bad news is that it's two-plus hours away from home!
Saturday night we had a little birthday dinner for my friend Diane at Bistro Baffi in Burien.
Eveything about this place is delightful. The decor is warm and cozy, the staff is attentive and charming. The food? In a word, absolutely fabulous.

There are a lot of restuarants that serve great food, but these days...if I'm going to dine out I want the total experience. I'm thinking twice before I spend money at a restaurant, a lot of people are doing the same. This little Bistro makes sure that every patron feels special, I noticed that Chef Michael stops at every table to make sure of that.

I just wish I didn't live so far away.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Basal Cuts and Budget Cuts

My lovely corsican hellibore...last year.
It's nice to have a picture, since that's all I'm going to get this year.
There will be no blossoms on my corsicans this spring...the cold and the snow did them in, the whole plant was flattened by the snow, the freezing temps didn't help a whole lot - the poor thing is a big pile of mush.
So, today...I gave the little darlings a buzz cut, they're not a total loss...there is new growth, there just won't be any of those lovely flowers for me to admire out my kitchen window.
Sad blogger face.

There could be some big changes in the garden this year, lots of winter damage...a few things look like they're total gonners.
Prune heavy my friends, no sense forcing a plant to struggle to maintain dead or dying branches...take a deep breath and make the cut.

Sort of reminds you of the economy...doesn't it?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I feel the need....the need for speed

The last couple of weeks I've been working in the office, cleaning out files, catching up on my filing system that has been sorely neglected for far too long. It's amazing what you find when you dig in and pay attention. Items from 2006 kept turning up in strange places, finally it dawned on me...that was when dad was failing - and when he passed away. Sometimes we just click on auto-pilot and carry on...sooner or later the pieces will get picked up and put away.

One of the boxes up on the shelf contained an assortment of cards, photos that friends had passed on from wonderful shared ski adventures in the mountains. An unfortunate series of injuries has kept me off the mountain for a few years. As I flipped through the photos all of the memories came flooding back, getting up early to make first tracks, brunch with friends at the top of the mountain - a girlfriend who shows up at said brunch with a whole roasted ham, still warm from the oven. I think that's my favorite story...you just gotta love a girl who roasts a ham, stuffs it in her backpack and gets on a chairlift to meet her friends for lunch at the top of the hill, and yes....the ham was still warm, and yummy!

I miss gathering for apres ski to share a pitcher of beer and laugh and brag about who had the best crash, best saved crash or who hasn't crashed for three days running.

I miss it, I miss it all. The big swooping turns taken too fast..that fleeting thought that "if I crash this could be really bad", but not slowing down because the rhythm of the dance with slope of the hill is too beautiful to abandon.

I think it's time to dust off the sticks and make a few turns....
just to see if I still can.

Some of my favorite ski buddies.

Apres ski...always best when you can sit outside, waiting for the gang to trickle off the hill.

"The Red Rascalls"...
the best day ever
sunshine and snow
brunch on the mountain...
the stuff memories are made of.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Evil Troll

Adding on to the farmhouse.

There...I said it. Now I'll never get a building permit.
I made a little trip to the county building permit office to ask some questions about getting a building permit to add on to the farmhouse. The Husband finally admitted he's never going to move. If this is going to be where I'm going to live until my dying days it might be a good idea to make it "old lady friendly" - that means a bedroom and bathroom on the same floor, right now the bedrooms are upstairs and the one bathroom is on the main floor. Negotiating the stairs in the middle of the night with arthritic joints is becoming more of a challenge.
The guy in the permit office was a creep...there were three other people who weren't, but the guy that they made me talk to about the process of adding on couldn't have been less helpful.
Here's a little of the conversation...I'm still seething.

Him: Who is drawing the plans?
Me: I've drawn it to scale and your inspector told me I should be fine.
Him: Do you even know how to draw a plan?
Me: Uh...well...I aced my drafting and design class but that was a few years ago.
Him: You think you can draw a plan? Are you an engineer?
Me: No, I'm not...
Him: I require a plan of the existing structure, a plan of the proposed addition, section elevation drawings and site photos.
Me: Okay...I've done that. Anything else?
Him: They're probably not to scale.
Me: Actually...they are.
Him: But you said you're not an architect or an engineer....they're probably not to scale.

At that point in the conversation I got a hot flash...or perhaps it was seething rage...not sure.
The evil troll inside of me is doing a freaky little happy dance that the construction boom in the county has come to a screeching halt.
Maybe that little creep at the county permit office will get laid off....
Oh...I can think that but I shouldn't really blog it.
Hot flash.
I did.
I AM the evil troll.
I am the evil troll that will never get a building permit.
Oh well, one more excuse to not spend the money on an addition.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Country Living Envy

photo from Country Living

I love this picture. The garden shed, the pathway...all of it.
It's a little messy...and I still think it's stinking cool.
Why is it that when a magazine like Country Living publishes a photo like this one I think it looks so perfect, quite beautiful actually.

Here at the farm we have all of the above, the shed, the peeling paint, the weedy pathway... the sparsley planted corn because the crows got to the seeds before they germinated, it's all here...all the time.
Here at the farm I think it's all a big mess that needs to be cleaned up, painted, weeded, replanted....
but in Country Living it's stinking cool.

Is there therapy for that?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Little Miss Snooty Face

This is Bergie out in the barn with her "don't mess with me" face.

I'm nervous. My sister decided Bergie needs to go to the doggie park. Bergie gets to go a lot of places but she doesn't get out of the car a lot, sister says that's like taking your kid to the circus and making them stay in the car and watch from the parking lot.
So, today is the day...we're off to the dog park at Lake Padden.
This dog mom is nervous. Don't laugh at me but I googled "dog park manners"...hey, Bergie's a farmgirl, she gets to run around her as much as she wants but she doesn't get to play with a lot of other pup-kids.
I'm ready.
Plastic baggies - check
Doggie treats - check
Strong leash - check
Clothes that can get dirty - check
Towel for dirty dog - check

Cross your fingers and wish us luck ;)

Oh...and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bright Lights, Big City

And deep fried truffles?
Oh. My.

When I was released from my jury duty on late Monday I met "the girls" down at Elliots on the Pier...it's one of our regular spots for chick chat and catching up.
Since I'm a foodie I tend to watch what the waitstaff is bring to other tables.
I was in the middle of a sentence and came to a stop...I'm a talker, it takes a bit to get me to shut up. My girlfriend chuckled and said "what did you spy?"...I said I saw what looked like a plate of meatballs and ice cream! I was close...it was deep fried chocolate truffles with a couple of scoops of ice cream.
I'll think I'll stay with their fabulous deep fried halibut cheeks, maybe a shared knife and fork salad...and crabcakes for appetizers.
Thank you very much.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sleepless in Seattle

Sunday night I drove to the 100+ miles to Seattle so that I could report for Federal Jury Duty Monday morning. I had made reservations at the Hyatt because it's so close to the Federal courthouse and they were willing to give me a deal on a room because I was a potential juror. When I printed out my confirmation before I left the farm there was a note on the confirmation that my reservation had been changed...uh oh. Hmmm...the date was correct, the price on the confirmation was what I had been quoted, so I dismissed any concerns and loaded up the car for the drive.
The drive was fine...although it was snowing, I was really glad that I had made the decision to drive down in the evening instead of waiting until morning.
Check in...no problem, although they seemed to be extra nice.
The bellman pretty much insisted on taking my luggage up to my room with me, normally this strong farmgirl carries her own bags..but I had a lot of stuff because of the potential length of my stay and frankly I was too tired to care.
Off we went...and the elevator went up...and up...all the way to the 30Th floor, the very tippy-top. My dear bellman directed me to turn right, then left, then right again. Finally...it hit me, those darling people at the Hyatt took pity on me and gave me a corner suite, it was huuuuuuge. This farmgirl immediately spazzed out and got all hyper...while the bellman tried to show me around my new digs, the mini bar that looked more like a mini-mart, the twelve foot high windows with electronic window shades...good gravy it was deee-luxe.
The bathroom? A marble palace as big as my living room...
The picture is the marble foyer,
I shoulda packed my roller skates, seriously...a girl could do some spins that place was so big.

The bummer is, I got in late Sunday night and had to leave that glorious room at 7:15 on Monday morning to report to the courthouse. It took me forever to go to sleep because I was soaking in all that luxurious beauty, I've never had the space needle as my night lite!

After a long day in jury voir dire I was released from my civic duty and sent on my way.
Even though I was only in the city for one night it feels like I've been gone for much longer, the jury selection process was long and complex...it was the largest group of jurors they've ever called in because of the sensitive nature of the case.
I came close...but they didn't pick me.
It would have been intense...and I know I would have shed some tears.

It's lovely to be back home among the swirling clouds of dog hair and to my bathroom that's the size of a closet.
Farm Sweet Farm.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sharing Backyards.com

A lovely raspberry vine in my garden last year...yummmmm!

Just ducking into blogland to share something I learned about today.
such a fabulous idea!
I'm incredibly fortunate (and sometimes overwhelmed ) because there is a whole lot of space here at the farm for me to play at being a gardener.
When I moved here in 1980 the yard was about 1/4 of what it is now. Yep, I'm a gardener run amok - the garden has grown to the south, west and north...I couldn't go east because there is a road in my way ;)
This site I bumped into today is for folks who don't have the space for a garden...and for folks who do but would like someone to share the toil as well as the bountiful harvest!
Most of the folks I know have enough room to grow a garden, but just in case there is somebody out there wandering around on blogs I thought it was worth it to pass the info along.
Okay...I'm back to pruning roses, planting peas and watching patiently for that first daffodil.