Storage Wars & Moving Day

 We have been loving this show. It’s so ridiculous but maybe it speaks to the voyeur or the thrifter in me? I do love looking in people’s windows at night and seeing their “stuff”. I admit it. So this reality  show is about auctioning unclaimed or unpaid storage units at locker facilities in the USA. There’s all kinds of copy cat shows out now that are not as good. Berry is my fav. We moved this past weekend from the small island to the big island. Between loads in the Budget truck I took this photo on our front lawn. It made me wonder about what people would bid on if this was a storage unit up for auction? lol. As well, it made me wonder about judgements people would make of us based on our stuff. It’s just stuff but it does say a lot about oneself.

On that note ~ while I was waiting for the delivery pizza on the small island that took over an hour and the guys that it was for were long gone on the ferry ~ the pizza guy / taxi man was circling my lawn items (5 minutes after he should have been gone). I came out and asked “what the?”. He started offering me money for the guitars!

I’m also cheating here a lot when i add these photos as part of my 38 Inspring Objects (before i turn 39 next month!).

#13    The CLOTHING OPTIONAL SIGN. This sign deserves it’s own blog entry but having moved, time is tight for creative writing. I painted this sign on sanded driftwood about 4 years ago when we first moved to Quadra. We have given this sign away and taken it back in a FREE pile at a garage sale. We have now moved again with and will find a saucy place to post it.

#14  The vintage French Provincial Chair. This chair was purchased as a set in kimberley Bc atthe last house I woned. My contractor knew a lady who was moving into a retirement home and had it in plastic for decades! I scored it. The couch was like 10 feet long so gifted it to my neighbour across the street who was also my rental care taker when i moved aaway and rented the place. They have been raising two awesome littel boys on it. wehen I got to uadra, i had the seat reupholstered in CR. It’s about to be the breast feeding chair in our nursery (in say 6 months). Love this chair. So does our cat Salal ( this the reupholsyter)

#15  my record collection. Have I already mentioned that? My other blog is click here for my JUST FOR THE RECORDS ~ DAILY DOSE OF VINYL 365 day project. Boxes and boxes of thrift and gifted records and some from my childhood that I’m creating a collection with.

#16 U Brew equipment. It may seem like a silly thing but we do enjoy (well until I recently got knocked up) making our own fun beverages at home. We’ve made all sorts of fruit beers, wines, port, champagne, mexican beer etc. Some from berries we’ve picked (as seen in previous posts).

#17  My wedding dress. Yes, if you look hard enough you can see my wedding dress in a pile. I’m thinking to Craigslist it next month but it was a surprisingly beautiful exereince shopping for and wearing it. love love love. See posts 2 years ago Feb for wedding photos.

#18 My Nana’s tea cups. My lovely late Nana left me (well my Dad) a lot of special and valuable antiques. We have been using some of it and storing and moving x4 most of it. I’m excited to use her tea cups in the new place!

THANK YOU to my sweetheart of a husband for doing MOST of the moving! I have a LOT of craft stuff. I mean, a LOT. And thanks to great friends Sean & Aren for showing up on move day! So sweet. And special thanks to Aren for the Lasagna, garlic bread and ceasar salad that we have been eating all week! Thanks Dad for helping unpack us!

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We bought a HOUSE!

38 Inspiring Objects #11     our HOUSE!

I know, so exciting right? I keep hearing the price is right announcer bellowing out “Corey & Jen… you have  bought a house! C’moon down!” lol. With much love and support from family OXOXOX we will be moving into our first house together as a family, on September 15th! It’s in Courtenay BC, in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. Otherwise known as “the big island”. We are stoked. I’ve already been taking paint swatches to bed and planning the move. But where will the craft room go? So that’s been keeping us pretty busy this summer. winks*

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adventures of my green thumbs begins.

I’m learning how to garden! I know, exciting right? Living in this glorious retreat ~ and by glorious I mean a whole lotta “free” work on our end while paying someone else’s mortgage… Anywho.. the gardens are spectacular, at last!  I’ve been weeding and cutting flowers for vases for both my therapy offices and for both bathrooms and the kitchen, in the house. Awesome. So I have spent some time photographing the progress and I thought i’d start sharing photos of new finds, researching what they are and anything interesting about them, how to close down stuff as it dies (we had this overwhelming daffodil bed by the front door that I discovered I was supposed to trim after it died off.. leading me to wonder.. do I have to remove the greens from all bulbous plants after they kick it? I dunno). *** see middle photo with the ends of the poppies. Do I dry them out in a paper bag all winter and plant that? or is it just the little dry purple hairs that I plant?*** THIS IS WHERE THE PARTICIPATION FROM YOU BLOG FRIENDS, READING THIS ~ COMES IN! Please comment below or send me a link? danke.*

I just like the colours and smells and the ambiance they bring our summer life now. lol. So I’m learning and thought you might like to witness my learning and contribute  a thing or three for my learning? oui? Let’s begin our adventure of my green thumbs together.

This weeks’ fav flower is the peone. Have you smelt a peone lately? Oh man. This is the flower to put in the bathroom that really makes a difference after the mano f the house does his morning business. And what a great name. Did I even spell it correctly? Also pictured here is my new fav summer drink The Orchard peach Cider. yum. And I managed a craft placement of my fish ice cubes! As well, my arms took a serious beating when I tried to pick the pretty pink roses that have sprouted up everywhere! eek.

More on roses another time, there’s several species here.

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***fish on!

It was a strong start to the fishing season, yesterday June 17, th, 2012.. Fathers Day. Yes! Johnny Cash week this week consisted of my dad, myself and my handsome husband on re -con of the Quinsam River in Campbell River, in Beautiful Bristish Columbia. With JC playing in the car, the sun trying to peek out.. off we went.

The stats? A few bites, nothing caught but a lovely afternoon on the banks of the Quinsam river, below the hatchery. Um, it’s gorgous~ just outside of Campbell River. Myself, I’m an ocean girl so I’m looking forward to the future “we have a boat days” (shh baby, I know, there there, we’ll get a boat someday!) ~the ocean sick days out on the pacific ocean swells. You can call me “Ginger” then. 

It was a lovely start to the season. Happy Fathers Day Dad, love You ~ Jenny Penny

A slideshow for everyone’s viewing pleasure.

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Cruise Ship to work

This takes us calling the small ferry to the big island (on our daily commutes to work) “the cruise”  to a hole new level. This was taken from my iphone, in my car on the wee ferry headed back to Quadra. Usually they are doing the Vancouver to Alaska trip. This isn’t even close to the biggest cruise ships that come through here in the tourist season. Cool, though, heh?

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Just like I did when I was 3 years old & even more fun at 38 years old.

camping on Vancouver Island, BC. Exactly between the West Coast Trail and the Juan De Fuca Trail.                May 2012.

photo kinda crappy, sorry

Steps to make your very own shells in a  glass vase,  vases ( for your work side table or a table centre piece etc)

  1. Have your fantastic husband take you away on a “real” west coast camping adventure. Ours was all down the Juan Da Fuca trail, last week. Camping trip details to be blogged after I get back to work.
  2. Spend hours in the sun and mist just flipping over sea shells. Just like I did when I was 3 years old and even more fun at 38 years old.
  3. Sit by the campfire at night with some water and clean the ass smell or possible live mini carbs and sand off of your gems. Seal in safe storage for journey home. Just like I did when I was 3 years old and even more fun at 38 years old.
  4. Get that same adorable husband from step 1 to take you to Ikea on the way home.
  5. Purchase the three glass vases for under ten bucks deal as shown above.
  6. When you are home, alone, in the rain, by the woodstove~ assemble your shells lovingly into whimsical shell vases.
  7. Take them to work so when your clients are talking you are also daydreaming of flipping shells on a ” real” west coast beach.. in the sun.. with your super fun husband.
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a beach story I’ve been following

A Harley Davidson lost in the tsunami changed my life

by Community Team Posted: May 18, 2012 3:38 PM
A Harley Davidson lost in the Japanese Tsunami was found in Haida Gwai. (Peter Mark/CBC)
My name is Peter Mark. I am 32 years old and reside in Masset, B.C. On March 11, 2011 I, along with millions of others around the world watched in awe and horror as the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami ravaged northeastern Japan. Those images of vehicles, boats, buildings and even entire towns being swallowed up by sea will stick with all of us forever. Harder to comprehend is the cost of human life, the loss of family and community networks that are gone forever and can not be repaired or replaced. On that day more than 15,000 people died and many, many more lost family, friends, their homes, their communities and everything but the clothes on their back.

A year has passed since the horrific events of that disaster. I recently received a stark reminder of the event that quite literally shook the world. On April 18th I was beachcombing on the east coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands and came face to face with a piece of the aftermath from the wave that took so much from so many. In just 13 months an insulated container holding a Harley Davidson motorcycle, five golf clubs, tools, tent poles and other small weathered bits and pieces drifted across the Pacific Ocean some 6,500 kilometers and came ashore in an area I frequently visit.

The container washed up on a remote beach approximately 50 km south of Rose Spit. When I first arrived on the scene I was in shock. I could see the motorcycle from a distance but it wasn’t until I got closer that I could see the license plate, a bent, algae encrusted piece of metal with Japanese characters on it. We knew tsunami debris was coming but I never expected something this big this soon, never mind a Harley Davidson!

My first thought was, “What?!?”. It dawned on me that this was something that might be in my backyard, something one of my neighbors might own. These were somebody’s belongings, somebody that might have lost everything, possibly even their life.

The unit had thick styrofoam under the fiberglass exterior which allowed it to float. How the bike and other items remained in the container all the way across the Pacific is a mystery to me. The bike was not tied down and the door of the container was ripped off. It was quite an eerie feeling stepping inside. It felt as though I was trespassing on someone’s property. I also knew this might be the first known item that washed ashore from the tsunami that could be traced, both by the license plate and the VIN on the motorcycle. I took several pictures of the container and the items inside.

Being on my ATV and alone there was no way for me to move a 600 pound bike from the container to high ground. I looked through the contents of the container for anything that could be saved. Everything was in bad condition. The bike was very rusty and banged up. The other items were badly corroded and equally battered. All I could save were the golf clubs that seemed to resist the corrosive effects of the salt water better than everything else. I could see that there was a water line showing on the bike, it looked as though it was sitting in at least 8 inches of water for quite some time. I also suspect waves would have often swept through the open door.

When I returned home from the beach I told several of my fellow beachcombers and friends about the find. I also researched the Internet on how to report such a find. I found very little out. NOAA posted an e-mail address for reporting debris. I sent an e-mail to them and have yet to receive a reply. Quickly word spread. It wasn’t very long before CBC got in touch with me (April 24th). I made them a deal. I told them that I would supply the VIN number and photos of the license plate so they could confirm the bikes’ origins before posting the story. Right away they called me back. I was informed the plate was registered in the Miyagi Prefecture, one of the areas hardest hit by the tsunami. We had our smoking gun.

The CBC ran the story on the evening of April 29th. I was not prepared for the amount of attention the story would receive. Immediately Ralph Tieleman from Vancouver Island contacted me. A man I have never met before. He asked if I would be able to recover the motorcycle? I had not considered it. The bike was in such bad shape I didn’t think it would be practical to do anything with. I thought it would stay on the beach, a memorial to the Tōhoku tsunami. Ralph offered with the help of his friends to restore the motorcycle and return it to its owner if they could be located. We knew this would be an expensive undertaking. The bike was virtually destroyed. They would need to strip the bike to its frame and start from almost scratch. I agreed and the next day with the help of my friends we went and recovered the motorcycle.

In the following days I did interviews with 4 or 5 major news agencies in North America and 5 in Japan! Late in the evening on April 30th a Japanese news correspondent located in California called me with good news, the owner of the bike was alive! From the moment I laid eyes on the motorcycle I wondered the fate of the owner. I had my fingers crossed and was hoping he/she would be found alive. There it was, the words I was hoping for, “They found him, he’s alive!”. I went to bed with a sense of relief. The next morning the CBC called with the news.

Twenty-nine year old Ikuo Yokoyama lost much on that day in March 2011. While I was watching on TV, Ikuo lost three family members including his father and brother. His house, the container in his backyard he used as a shop/garage for his motorcycle and everything he owned were swept away by the devastating wave. I was very happy Ikuo was alive but overwhelmed by the thought that so many others were not. Ikuo like thousands of others, is currently living in temporary housing. The man from CBC referred me to an online video interview from NHK with Ikuo. He was looking at pictures of the motorcycle that I had taken. He expressed how happy it was found and returning to him, “A miracle!” he stated. He also wanted to thank me.

Harley Davidson stepped in. They heard what Steve Drane and Ralph Tieleman were planning to do and decided to finance the restoration. They contacted Mr Yokoyama and told him about the planned restoration. Despite the desire to be reunited with his lost bike Ikuo declined the offer. He said that he was not financially capable of owning the bike nor did he have room to store it in his temporary shelter. He thought it wasn’t fair to spend so much on his bike when so many others had nothing. It is very honorable that Ikuo has put the needs of others and the needs of his community above his own hopes and desires. Harley Davidson has offered to give the money they would have spent on fixing and returning the bike to a tsunami relief fund in Ikuo’s name instead. Harley Davidson is going to stabilize and preserve the bike. It will either be put in a museum or made into a memorial for the victims of the tsunami. They have offered to pay for the salvage of the bike and the transport to Vancouver Island. Hats off to Harley Davidson, Steve Drane and Ralph Tieleman for stepping up to the plate and doing a good thing.

The story isn’t over yet. So many people have lost so much. There may be few opportunities to reunite people with their missing belongings. I feel that there still may be something I can do for Ikuo and plans are in the works.

I have been told that items like the motorcycle were not insured for events like earthquakes. A reporter from a Japanese news agency sent me an article about insurance for the tsunami victims. It states only 23% of people were insured. People that had insurance were only covered for their houses. Vehicles, cash, items worth more than $3000 and businesses were not covered. It seems that Ikuo will receive nothing for his lost belongings. When I try to put myself in Ikuo’s shoes I come to the conclusion it would be very hard to decline Harley Davidson’s offer to return a prized possession after loosing everything. Could you do it? I know many people in Canada are financially strapped, especially in the northwest but in comparison to the events unfolding in Japan we’ve got it pretty darn good.

This has been a wake up call. There are no good systems in place for reporting tsunami debris and no plans as of yet to deal with it once it’s here. Its very likely that much more debris is coming. It is very important that any items located should be treated with respect. I’m sure there will be times when personal items can be retuned to their rightful owners. Common sense is important in these cases. Not everything can be returned and there will be many cases the items would bring back bad memories for the original owner. There are many people that care about the beaches and spend a lot of time on them. I’m sure many of these people will go out of their way to clean up debris. Nowadays the world is a very small place. I hope people keep this in mind. I myself live in a coastal town on the ring of fire. One day my ATV or boat may wash up on the shore of Japan. If that ever were to happen I know I’d hope that my belongings would be treated with respect as well. I also hope that government agencies will work will local people who have been exploring the local beaches for years if not decades. Many of us have a deep understanding of ocean currents and what types of items might wash up and where. This knowledge may prove invaluable in the years to come.

Peter Mark
May 2012

Baby Robins. The final chapter.

No really. Sadly I report to you all, dear blog friends… They are dead. All three of the were in the nest, cold & stuff the morning after I took a great video, that I’ll post next week..
So sad. Again, I’m positive I was not touching anywhere near the nest or birds. I only went out when momma was away etc. I feel so bad. Nature sucks.

I was creatively using the baby robins experiment to keep me positive as my 14 year old best dog friend Amos was in the late late winter of his life. The day after my dog passed last Sunday, so did the robins. I’ll write tons about Amos when I’m ready for that. Xoxo.

So nature sucked last week. Suck it nature (I’m in my “pissy” stage of grief & I don’t give a hoot). Lol. Xo
What I did before I left on this mini vaca, that I’m currently on – 4 days camp / 4 days big city trip- was plant this! It’s a dixi cup kids bird gourd!

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RIP Amos & little bird friends.
Make Something Every Day

tourist in my own backyard

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the classic spring bud micro photography

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SPRING PHOTO SHOOT IN THE YARD FROM THIS PAST WEEKEND.

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good morning moon

A really impressive full moon ferry ride from Quadra to Campbell, last week.

 

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the Mexico Sign

front

the back of the sign

38 Inspiring Objects

#6 of 38

the MEXICO sign  was originally created for a roadtrip around The Breton trail Cape Breton, Canada. It was a cold April weekend when we set out to honour our favourite movie at the time NEWWATERFORD GIRL. I’ve mentioned it before on this BLOG and included a youtube video clip of the trailor ~ but if you haven’t seen it ~ it’s a Canadian GEM! The sign is featured in the first 5 mins of the movie. We recreated it between my best friend and I when we moved across the country from one another. Every time one of us travelled over a period of a few years, we mailed it,  took the sign and attempted to photograph it in different locations. As seen below Kate in Newfoundland and in Cape Breton. A newer version was created for my  wedding in MEXICO a year ago, next month. The original version arrived this xmas 2011 to BC, in my xmas package from Nova Scotia. Where will it go next? It’s for sure an inspiring object. Thanks Kate, love you.  

    

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winter storm walk scores

My 13.5 year old,  young dog and I hit the beach today. What better thing to do on a dark, rainy, windy afternoon ~when the weather has basically sucked for 2 weeks? Hit the beach! Here’s some photos of what we found and where we went. Wonder what I’ll make with these? Suggestions? 

my Amos! 

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the christmas whale… ho.

BEST xmas card EVER

This photo goes with the above best ever xmas card by my friend Tigger's child. So awesome.

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BEST foundobjectbeach item EVER

38 Inspiring objects

#3 of 38. 

Japanese Glass Fish Float from Haida Gwaii, BC. This is the one remaining fishing float from a fleet of dozens that were given away when I loved off island. I proudly gathered them after  south wester wind storms, while living on Haida Gwaii, almost a decade ago. The magic of my 5 years there is still forefront in my creative heart. Just ask anyone who knows me  ~I’ll blore you to death with stories of living off the grid in a driftwood cabin, surfing, driftwood, making art daily, seashells, best friends and Haida culture. I love this float and it sits proudly in every house that we rent.

#4 of 38.

The Princess Bell Telephone is back! Truth be told ~ I had an original princess bell in my bedroom as ateenager. The ringer is obnoxiously loud like an army of machine guns going off. I love it. This one is a cheap replacement from a thrift store, as the original was sold at a family garage sale. I’m still mad at my parents for that. On Quadra ~ cell does not work so we were forced to bite Telus cult bullet and get a land line. This is our proud phone (with a wireless back up ~ thanks to Dad). 

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fish heads, croquettes & a mounted salmon

The pets & I spent a lovely, stormy but warm-by-the-woodstove kind of day yesterday ~with my dad in our Quadra kitchen!  We laboured for many hours and created 5 dozen deep fried Greek Christmas ling cod & snapper Croquettes! YUM! He had put a sticky note in the bottom of a returned, clean pyrex with his mailing address for refills. Dad arrived with Xmas cheer and the rest of the ingredients. We mastered the recipe yet again! See my BLOG OCT. 22, 2011 ~ for complete photos & how to make. Thanks Dad & Abby for a lovely day.  This being a very FISHMAS week for him… what with being Xmas Mounted Salmon punked, see BLOG entry this week for more festive details.

My creative photography share today is also about our stinky friends. This time from Chinatown, Vancouver.

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Crafty Womyn on Quadra

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I had an awesome time with a cabin full of lovely crafting ladies, this weekend. It was in a really cool A frame cabin that happened to be next door to our first Quadra beach rental! See blogs from 2 years ago for those photos. Christmas crafts, female shennanogans & wine were enjoyed. My peanut butter balls were a hit! Lol. Thanks to Bluetree photography for the photos. PS. You should totally like them on facebook.

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take charge of your own life and decisions

More helpful messages that have come my way this week…

recent fortune cookie

how we role on Quadra. Killed with kindness..and paying for parking at the ferry? no way.

thefollowing are from a feminist page called A GIRLS GUIDE TO TAKING OVER THE WORLD ON FACEBOOK 

          

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Let the celebrations begin!

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Happy Birthday to me! Celebrating my birthday in our first mostly unpacked day in the retreat on Quadra!
My sweety has to work on this day of my birth so he took me for West Coast Salmon Eggs Benny brunch, yesterday. And then he gave me…

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Tickets for us to see Gordon Lightfoot in Vancouver, November 20!!! Awesome! I’m celebrating today with my dad, who we just moved to Vancouver Island in the last 2 weeks. Him & Abby will be adventuring over on the ferry to play for the first time. So much to be grateful for! I MAY even start unpacking … Drum roll please … The craft room!
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found object beach art

unfinished ~foundobjectbeachart by Jen ~fall fair project 2011

“Why is this the name of your website?” Well, living on Quadra near the ocean, beachcombing is one of my fav things to do. And one of the only things to do come winter storm season. I was shocked the first summer we lived here, at how much colourful plastics littered our “david Suzuki” beaches. So.. I started picking it up. Piece by piece, my pockets and pockets of my husband were getting full. I started bringing a reusable bag on our walks. It got filled daily, during the winter months especially. I would lean over to pick up a plastic lid, a buoy, or an old, empty oil bottle that I had guessed was tossed over or wind blow off a ship at sea. YARRR ! I make stories up to myself or with husband about our best daily treasures. Even the tampons. Corey calls them “beach whistles” and uses a Russian accent to say “vat iz dis beach vistle?”. (I think from a movie?). Hygeine products and shoes are the only items that I discriminate against, all else goes in the bag. Hygiene products for obvious reasons and shoes.. well, that’s usuall just creepy finding the one flip or baby runner ~but in recent years there have been over a dozen feet / leg parts found in shoes that have washed ashore in the Vancouver region. So yeah. Of course, finding glass balls and eagles feathers are an added bonus. More posts about those items this winter! Here are a few “in the making” photos of the above project and a lighters project started:

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This awesome find was five bucks at the Quadra Island Farmers Market, last Sunday. A great score! I saw this beaded ball pattern a lot at the Filberg and wondered how it was made. This bracelet had a flaw in it so it was cheap. I took her home and gave her a new life /  refinished it.

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Fluffy, non. Tasty, Yes.

delicious Quadra (island Winery) red wine!

Souffle fail. My first Souffle and I made it on Snapper (though recipe calls for Salmon). It didn’t rise and looked like mayonaisse baked on fish. Fluffy, non. Tasty, Yes. 

Costco score ~ these beans rehydrated in the wedding crockpot were pretty great though.

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I only like WILD SALMON… berries

It’s salmon berry season on the homefront and we have been busy trying to pick them faster than the birds can eat them. YUM. I love this identification video. I also found a variety of REALLY wacky stuff when researching what to MAKE with these berries. We didn’t pick enough for making booze or jam but we are loving them in our morning smoothies. 

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Wimbledon Miso Soup

(written a couple weeks ago)

Wimbledon Miso soup
Tennis ! First mixed doubled tourney today on Quadra- weather still permitting which may be the humble start to my pro tennis former therapist, career. We may have to put the roof over centre court again. Roddick might need both of my professionsl services now – Poor Roddick losing yesterday. He can go back to USA and cry with his sports illustrated swimsuit model wife.

So before I leave, I’m trying another wedding crockpot experiment_ miso soup. This time ingredients a bit different:
Brown miso
Tons plain garlic
A green onion (in & to garnish)
Tons mushrooms (in & to garnish)
Sea salt & pepper
Lemon juice half cup (didn’t have lemon grass today -boo)
A dolup of Chinese hot sauce (don’t worry Corey I didn’t ruin this one too)
Bay leaves (from our tree)
Cilantro & parsley (from my greenhouse)
Cauliflower (I know, right?)
Turkey stock (home made 1 ziploc)
4 cups water
And start of summer Wimbledon love.

Sauteed garlic & cauli. All in the crockpot on low for 6 hours.
See you after my tennis tourney & local potluck! “go ANDYYYY!”


Update: the miso was decent! Congrats to Djokavic for breaking Nadal’s 6x Wimbledon champion status! I still love you Nadal.

However sad for Nadal… I got a trophy at tonight’s tennis tourney potluck (and my name in the local rag!) and it was  just up the street! I blushed like a beet. Corey came too. He quickly whipped up some rock scallops and garlic butter~ which were a big hit! Really lovely, welcoming Quadra tennis folks. great day, great first tennis matches & great food.
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