Sunday, August 21, 2016

Making Fairy Houses for the Garden



So I have been trying to make some fairy houses for my garden. Still working on the process but I will show you what I have  come up with so far.

So I started with a yogurt container, emptied.
After door and window cut out, grout applied and gravel, then
dried.
Building the roof from a pine cone.
Coming along nicely, but not easy task!!!

One Fairy House completed!!!
More later!!! Take Care and Enjoy the Earth....................................................Martha

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Peach Pie and the very best crust EVER!!!

I made a fresh peach pie on 7/23/16. We had some friends coming
the next day so I wanted to be prepared for them. I used recipes
 I found in my old Betty
Crocker cookbook for both the pie and the crust.
 I learned a long time ago how to make the perfect crust. I follow the recipe until I get the water part, then I add water with a fork until the flour combines to become a ball of dough. I usually use much more water, always cold, than asked for. My dough is not sticky, you've added to much at that point. You don't want to over work it either, stop as soon as it is a ball.

The other trick is to take enough dough in your hand to make your bottom crust. Work the dough in your warm hands forming a disc about 5-6" large. Continue until the dough is nice and soft. The warmth of your hands is melting and softening the shortening which will in turn make it easier to roll out the crust. It also gives you a nice flakey crust.

If you are putting on a top crust, don't roll it out until you are ready for it. Otherwise, it will dry out and break when you roll it and transfer it to the pie.
The recipe from my trusted old book. Almost 40 years old!
YUMM
Ready for the oven.
And done!!
And some really yummy ice-cream to go on top.
It was a really good pie. Nothing like fresh peach pie for dessert!!! A friend gave us a bunch of peaches off their farm, YUMMMMMMMM!!!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Shadecloth and a deep clean for the Greenhouse=Happy Orchids!!!

One of my beautiful Paph's in bloom. 
I love this one, so cool and elegant! I can't believe that I was able to get it to bloom with the darkness of my greenhouse. The name of this orchid is:
Paph. philippinensis 'Toogoodoo' X Paph. philippinensis 'Bates'

Because of the darkness,
my husband decided it was time to pressure wash the outside.
 Here's the entrance to the greenhouse and yes that is a toilet with flowers in it. Repurposed!!!! Better than going in to the landfill!!!
 My greenhouse, above, before the cleaning. It is a bit dark in there. Kind of gloomy.

And here is the long side. My greenhouse measures 12' X 18', I couldn't find my regular green shadecloth so found this darker stuff and put it up. As you can see, it doesn't really fit well.

Heres what the fiberglass looked like, before on the right and after on the left. WOWZA!! What a difference!!!!
 I searched for my green shadecloth and found it, so sewed it to the top shadecloth which will make putting it up and taking it down much easier. Sewing 18' of shadecloth was not fun!!! But, job done and it should last quite awhile. I sewed two seams to make in more durable.
And here's the after photos. I still cannot believe how bright it is. My orchids are going to love it!!! Hopefully I will be seeing many more blooms out there and healthier root systems. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fishing and Crabbing in Newport Oregon

This is Newport Oregon. It is a beautiful place to visit and has a TON of things to do.
This photo is our arrival back to Newport from a day of fishing and crabbing!!!
We booked a charter fishing trip with friends on the MISTY through Tradewinds Deep Sea Fishing in Newport. They have several fishing vessels to choose from.
 The crabpots for all the boats. I think we had 14 crabpots in total!!
We are about ready to set "sail".
 Flora, Mark and Bobby ready to go fishing!!!
 My husband Briese :^) The cabin was very roomy, several tables to sit at inside and two bathrooms!!
 Brother-in-law Marc outside on the deck waiting to depart. We were there by 6 am and I think we departed around 7.
 And we're off!! That is Justin on the right. I really never had a chance to talk to him previously but there's lots of time for chatting when you are heading out to sea. Found out that he grew up in Warrenton, just a few miles from Astoria where I grew up. He's the same age as our son Drew and his mom worked at the same hospital in Astoria where my mom worked. Small world indeed!!!
 Our crabpots all baited and ready to throw out in deeper water.
Our captain explaining how to put the lifevest on in case of a sinking which has never happened to him. That was comforting!! Our ocean is cold and you wouldn't survive long in it!!!
 That is Newport-the Bayfront-in the background.
 The Newport Bridge-AKA Highway 101. Notice how smooth the water is. It wasn't that way for long once we got out on the ocean!!!
 Leaving the Yaquina Bay. That's Flora sitting, Willy is in the plaid shirt and my husband is on the right with the beard :^)


  Marc took a photo of me on the boat so I could prove to everyone that I really did go out and fish!!! I'm glad I had my rain gear as it poured on us at one point. We still were on the deck fishing!!
 It takes awhile to get out of the bay and to the fishing spot. Notice the fishing poles ready to go!!?? We learned how to switch the reel from right hander to left hander for me!!! Always the difficult one!
Getting close to the outlet or bar as we call it. There is a rock jetty on the right that goes way out. We saw people on the rocks fishing.
 My catch so far. I ended up with four fish and my husband two!! Glad I had on my gardening boots, No fun having wet feet and with the rain I would have been soaked!!!
 My fishing buddy, my husband :^) We were moving to another spot so waiting for the captain to tell us when to commence fishing.
 We were heading back in at this point. Notice all the smiles. We all had fun. It was a bit on the cold side but didn't damper out spirits. From left, Marc, Briese, Willy, Flora.
Heading in. There were some pretty good swells in the ocean so holding on was a must otherwise a fall was well predicted.
 Waiting for a crabpot to be hooked and pulled in. It took two people to do it. No way was I going to be able to pull it in. Very heavy and full of crab. Briese and Mark are waiting for their turn to pull.

 Briese above pulling the rope up, and Mark, below, pulling the line in. Very Hard Work!!!


 Our deckhand then pulls the pot in and over the rail. Look how many crab are in that pot!!!
 Our other deckhand empties the pot while the other measures them, below photo.

 Measuring the crab and throwing them into the container. The smaller ones get tossed back in the water. We actually limited out and left two crabpots out to pick up later with the next group. That ended up being 12 crabs per crabber.
 My husband in the front, I think it's called the bow, but I will have to check on that. You would think I would know that lingo since I grew up in Astoria, but I don't!!!

 And again, arriving back to Yaquina Bay, Newport Oregon!!

The rewards for a day of hard work. Crab Cocktail. YUM!!!

All in all, it was a good day on the ocean with good friends :^) 
Lesson learned: Listen to your gut instinct. If you tell yourself eating that trail mix doesn't sound like a good idea, it probably isn't. And that makes the rest of the trip a little hard to stomach!!

Take Care Friends. 
If you ever get a chance to go to Newport Oregon, check out the fishing opportunities!!!

Martha

Monday, April 25, 2016

Phal. Sogo Genki

THIS IS PHAL. SOGO GENKI BLOOMING IN MY GREENHOUSE RIGHT
NOW!! IT IS REALLY QUITE LOVELY AND VERY HARDY. NOT EASY
LIVING IN MY GREENHOUSE. I AM SO BUSY WITH WORK THAT IT
GETS NEGLECTED. YOU WOULD NEVER KNOW LOOKING
AT THIS GORGEOUS ORCHID!!!

The flower bed in my front yard. Love this too!! I need to get
out and weed, but here I sit!!!
Oh, and the plum wine
(from our little tree in the backyard)
 is coming along just fine. I will hopefully
be bottling today. I transferred the wine into our brew bucket yesterday
and added 4 cups of a sugar syrup I made. It tastes so yummy!!

Today the wine is resting and tonight or tomorrow night we
will bottle and cork!!
Next weekend I shall repeat the process with the grape
wine!!
Enjoy the Earth and I will see you soon again!!! Martha