Friday, June 22, 2012

Let the summer begin

Before Keith left for the summer (trying not to mope too much, at least in public), he built a plywood box with a window as a door for a stove stand. It holds dry goods on the top shelf and washing basins on the bottom - perfect! I usually don't eat all that well when he's gone (cooking for one and all), but I used the griddle last night for Nature Burgers and diced zucchini - the old stand-by. I also hung up our folding wooden dish rack. Today I need to take our water bottles up to the spring for a fill-up.

The pups and I are trying to stay busy with the ChuckIt, walks, and visits to the river to cool off. Yesterday during the heat of the day we walked down there to find it crowded with people and also a neighbor dog. Both my dogs did outstanding, Mia never even barked ONCE, and I let them cool off in the river for a few minutes before coming home. We'll have to time our trips down there better until the water recedes and there's more beach to share.
We'd planned on at least getting the composting toilet operational before Keith left for the summer, but it just didn't happen. Mostly budget restraints, but also time. I hung a glass crystal that my mom gave me outside the window and at just the right time of day it's like a disco in the bathroom.

Still not sure if I am going to grow any vegetables this summer. A friend we met in our farming class a couple years ago has a line on some good heirloom tomato plants and I might scout the town to see what else I can find.

Sitting on our porch writing this post, the hummingbirds are visiting the feeder I hung up frequently. The other day I had the doors open and one flew in the house. I didn't realize it at first because I was outside. When I came in I heard it beating itself against the window. I tried calmly capturing it in my hands, but it was too frightened, so I just cupped my palms and tried to shoo it in the direction of the open door and out it went.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Steel Anniversary

We celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary this weekend with camping trip up the Lochsa.
There was:

free camping at "Kayaker Camp"
pancakes in a cast iron skillet (the. best.) documented with IP film and the SX-70
a nice soak in Weir Hot Springs - all to ourselves
and a pair of eagles riding the currents above the ridge where we camped.

This past year was probably the most difficult in our relationship. But we both had some major breakthroughs and now we're in possibly the best shape ever as husband and wife. Each marriage has its own strengths and weaknesses and if you'd asked me 11 years ago if I was ready to go through all of it, I would've returned a blank stare. I didn't know what I was capable of then, and maybe I still don't. 
But accepting your partner 100% they way they are is the best advice I have after 11 years. Just this past year I finally let go of The Way It Should Be and opened my heart to The Way It Is. Don't judge, just love. Simple as that.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Now we're cooking. Dinner. Really.

Say goodbye to the Coleman camp stove and welcome a new addition to our outdoor kitchen - the CampChef Oven with 2-Burner Range (with griddle, oh yeah).

I had pinned this very appliance when I first discovered them and then last month when I saw Costco was carrying them at nearly half the retail price - oh we wanted one BAD. It was painful waiting to be able to afford it and hoping there would still be at least one in stock on payday.

It's got a temporary slightly unstable milk crate base. Repeat: temporary.

We've all seen burners work before, so we christened it with a batch of delicious black bean and taco TVP nachos. The temperature regulation's going to be a bit of a learning curve because the thermometer is separate from the LO-HI knob. However, we are extremely stoked to have upped our self-sufficiency in meal prep.

The second night we had Nature's Burgers and diced zucchini. A friend sent me a small herd of boxes of this veggie patty mix and we are loving it - great, thick texture and great taste - definitely an easy fix as I'm single parenting it this summer while Keith works out of state.
What good are dogs for if not the pre-wash cycle? Mia's the smart one, she stops the plate from scooting by stepping on it. Street smarts, yo.

My mom was in the hospital for a couple of emergency surgeries last month and it threw our whole family out of whack for a bit. She's recovering but we lost most of May and it appears no one is growing a garden this year.

I had planned on doing a 3x3 plot after reading a book on square foot gardening and I even wrote out the order form for seeds, but just never could find the extra lump sum for seeds. I procrastinated. And now it's too late. Maybe not for a summer plot. I still have a compost pile going. Possibilities are open.

We're in a rainy patch of weather and last night a big hail storm went through. Of course Keith thought that was a good time to be fiddling with the rain barrel. No damage, just a good lightning show.

Hoping to hit a hot springs this weekend in celebration of our 11th anniversary. Nothing as involved as our 10th anniversary road trip, but I am planning on enjoying it, rain or no rain. In the hot springs who cares about rain? Also, I have a pack of Impossible Project film to run through the SX-70. Good times are happening now.