Thursday, April 26, 2012

Clearwater rising

Torrential storms have hit us this past week and the river continues to rise - the highest we've ever seen this early in the year. We can stand on my parents' porch and see it, about a quarter-mile away.
Tuesday evening while we were watching a movie we could see the sky turning that strange yellow color it does when a storm is moving in. I stepped out on the porch and heard the hail coming before I even knew what it was. A minute or so later, wham - we were pelted with hail and then rain as this huge thunderhead moved over us and then up Church Canyon.
Pictures don't do it justice - the thunderhead was stacked and swirling, very impressive to watch. And it filled our rain barrel screen with hail.
Last night we walked the dogs down to the river to see how high it was (this is rural entertainment). The Island (on the right, above) is barely sticking up out of the water and the "boat ramp" at the end of the road is way, way under. Not sure what this means for our summer weather. 
Keith's been after me for a week or so to thin the lettuce growing in the grain drill, but I just have a mental block against pulling up plants that I deliberately planted (silly, I know), so I told him to go for it I ended up with a tiny bowl of microgreens (I didn't want to take the time to wash them for 2 bites.)
The tulips under the apple tree are withstanding the rain quite well and now the apple and pear trees are in bloom. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Rainbow Season

Last week was my dad's 70th birthday and we went with my parents on a 45-mile roundtrip drive for Chinese food (well worth it) and came home through some stormy skies. The rainy season here is nothing like what we experienced in Portland, but it does put a damper on outdoor activities. Thankfully we don't have to take the dogs on long walks through the city anymore when it's raining, we just boot them out the front door.
Lazlo barks at thunder - it's hilarious. Also, airplanes, geese, helicopters.

Sunday we decided to have a picnic (a cheap activity when we're broke and have cabin fever), so we drove up the South Fork of the Clearwater. Despite cloudy skies and cooler temps, there were a lot of people out camping, fishing and even floating the river on catamarans.

We scouted some camp sites and stretched our legs after eating our egg salad picnic lunch.

The lettuce I planted in the grain drill we installed on the front porch is stretching up toward the sky. I will have some tasty homegrown salads here soon. I was worried it might not get enough light, but these little guys are going strong.
The bathroom remains Under Construction. Being broke slows us down. So we wait and in the meantime try to get done what we can with items we already have. We spent $16.95 on an all-wood, Made in the USA toilet seat at the local hardware store and borrowed the dog food bucket to mock up our composting toilet.
Getting inspiration from a variety of places including The Pee and Poo Show (ha!) and here for urine diversion and here for composting the poop in rain barrels. I think there will definitely be a learning curve, but it just doesn't make sense to either one of us to use fresh water to deal with human waste.

One of the most beneficial practices I've started recently is going to a weekly yoga class at Riverbend Yoga  (above). It's held in the walk-out basement of this house on the South Fork and it's the best $5 I spend. One hour of gentle yoga on a Saturday morning helps me get rid of stress, build strength and improve balance. Our teacher does a great job of incorporating mindfulness lessons and I always feel like a better person when I leave. This week Saturday's class is canceled and I knew I didn't want to wait another whole week for my de-stressing, so I went on Wednesday night. It had been raining off and on all day and our teacher mentioned it was "rainbow season" which is a much more positive take on the weather. I also started reading Karen Armstron's "Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life" and I'm finding that helpful in dealing with some of the stress of work and everyday life. Definitely recommend!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

2 details

My print from CanvasPop is now installed in the bathroom. The canvas is really heavy and the print turned out great - I have a couple of coupons from the order I'll probably use on some smaller prints.

The counter for the outside kitchen is installed!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Marching forward (well, now it's April)

Keith's trimmed out the medicine cabinet and window in the bathroom with barn wood - looks great! I've been getting ready for work in our own bathroom (after showering at my parents'). The tin is up on the shower walls. Next is the tub and toilet, each will be quite a project. I won a $50 voucher to CanvasPop last week, so I ordered an 8"x16" canvas of this print from our 2006 trip to Mexico to hang in the bathroom - it should arrive tomorrow!

Doggies waded over to the sandbar at the river last time we took them both for some play time. The river is up and steadily rising with all the rain we've had.

Lots of rain so far this spring, so we set up the rain barrel at the front of the house. Friday I'm going to dig some lilies at our librarian's house to plant between the grass and barrel.

We replaced the barn wood shelf that was swinging in front of the house with this cool old seed drill Keith salvaged from somewhere. A great aesthetic and practical improvement!

Detail of the bottom of the drill, neat old farm equipment piece.

I planted lettuce in one half and spinach in the other (seeds left over from last year) and then watered everything with a spur-of-the-moment watering jug I made filled with rain water. It's kind of shaded, though, and I hope it gets enough sunlight to sprout. If not, Plan B.

Keith has the red formica glued to the counter top, which is curing in the pantry where it's warm. Should be able to install that this weekend and finish up the outside kitchen tout de suite! The water pump will go under the counter by the bathroom door.

One afternoon last week during a sunny rain shower a double rainbow appeared over our tiny house. Awww.