a view from the laundry pile…

…it's all about perspective.

Stuff I Saw Today…

I must say, it’s been a lot of fun going out on these photo playdates with my friend, Crystal. Each time we try to go somewhere different or focus on different techniques — both to keep her (already) keen eye sharp and to get me used to looking for things that I might, otherwise, miss when peering through the little hole in my camera. It’s hard to know, right away, which shots are going to be good and which are not so good but all are fabulous learning opportunities (and it’s always a plus to have a few that come out well!). Today we focused on both taking photos of the same things but, obviously, through different eyes. I can hardly wait to see how hers turned out!

So, here goes; stuff I saw today… 

DSC_0858 sigWatching the water come and go…

DSC_0832aa sigSpring has finally sprung!

DSC_0875 sigTree roots coming out of the side of the cliffs.

DSC_0803 sigThe rhododendrons are starting to bloom!

DSC_0891a sigGetting up close and personal with the beach…

DSC_0899a sigI get teased about the number of photos I take of the clouds. I just can’t seem to get enough of them!

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my beautiful day today! See you soon!

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Hurricane Ridge

Living in the Pacific Northwest, you could wait for good weather to go do things…but then you might not do too much. Fred had a day off so we packed up the dogs (yes, all three of them), and headed up to Hurricane Ridge. I’d never been there but had seen photos and was quite excited about the adventure.

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We stopped, about 1/2 way up to take a peek at where we were and where we’d been. It was quite a panoramic view!

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These sweet, little birds were everywhere – and none of them too shy. In fact, this one seemed to be mugging for the camera and let me get within two feet of him to take this fabulous shot.

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As soon as my ears started popping, I knew we’d reached a significant altitude in a very short amount of time. We stopped again (this is why this is a “day trip” rather than a “few hour” trip), fed the dogs, took them for a little walk and look at the view we found through the trees!

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It wasn’t long before things starting taking on a “black or white” hue, the closer we got to the top.

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At the top was a nice ski area, small lodging, and a lot (at least, more than I’ve been used to the last few years) of snow! Interestingly enough, it didn’t even seem all that cold. Perhaps my body is finally adjusting to the constant cooler weather in this part of the country.

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A nice spring storm was starting to come in so we decided to head back down. We’d watched Les “Survivorman” Stroud, the night before, get “stuck” (I enquote this because I’m pretty sure, with every adventure he goes on, his rescue crew is just around the next corner…) in a huge snow storm and have to cut his car cushions apart to make boots and eat leftover deer head. Just not something I was looking forward to doing…ever.

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We stopped at Crescent Bay on the way home to take a few photos. As much as I love the mountains, I think I’d have a tough time being too far inland. I love the water too much. But I’m happy, and very grateful, to have both so close.

 

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Butternut Squash Soup

I never liked soup as a kid but, somewhere in the last 40 some-odd years, I’ve grown to love it. So, with 1/2 of a Butternut squash left from my last recipe (“Easy Vegetable Curry”), I decided to “invent” a soup recipe. I really like the way it came out – delish!

butternut soupButternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Butternut Squash, peeled & cubed (smallish cubes so they cook faster)
  • 1 small Carrot, shredded (or chopped really small)
  • 2 Tbs. Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Veggie Broth
  • 1 medium Sage Leaf, chopped (or use about 1/4 tsp. dried)
  • Dash of:  Turmeric, Curry, and Cinnamon (more to taste)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup Almond Milk, unsweetened
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Any of the herbs are, obviously, optional; you can use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth; and you can use any milk you want (cow, soy, etc.), this is just what I did because I’m a vegetarian and I’m the Queen of  “what I had on hand.”

Directions:

  1. In a dutch oven (or comparable), heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions, garlic and saute until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add everything else EXCEPT the almond milk and cook until the squash and carrots are tender.
  4. When the veggies are cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the almond milk.
  5. Let it cool (at least a bit*) and then put through the blender/food processor and serve hot/warm.

*It’s not a good idea to put a lot of hot foods in the blender all at once. The heat can cause the top to “blow off” and it’s rather messy to clean up (yes, speaking from experience here).

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Grumpy Old Men

I remember being in the second grade, during “art period,” and our assignment was to draw a self-portrait using a mirror. I think that was the first time I ever really looked at any face. Mine wasn’t symmetrical or perfect, in any way, but it was nice and made me, me. Since then I’ve been addicted to drawing and painting faces.

Looking for something on the web, I came across a photo of an old man and noticed he had the most interesting features. I knew I wanted to paint him and thought this would be perfect for my continuing “block art project” (painting on recycled wood pieces rescued from the burn pile). 

Doing the initial drawing, I had this idea to “characaturize” (is that even a word?) him, and had the most fun doing it (and the dogs were quite entertained by all my giggling). I love the way it turned out — so I decided to do a few more. Meet, Artie, Giovanni, and Miles. They’re the first in my “Grumpy Old Men” series for my online shop (www.lbd.etsy.com).

All

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Easy Vegetable Curry

I really do enjoy trying new things…as long as it doesn’t end in a trip to the emergency room.

Every now and then, I’ll take something that I’ve never really cooked with and try new recipes using it. I think this is a good way to see what’s out there. I’ve never really had a sweet potato outside of  Thanksgiving dinner…and, now, I have no idea why?  I grabbed 3 different varieties at the store to see if there was any difference. For this recipe I used the “whiter-fleshed” sweet potato and found it was very similar to a regular baking potato but, obviously, a bit sweeter (and I do mean a “bit” — ie: don’t think of “smothered in marshmallows and butter”  sweet, here). I’m going to try using this variety in other recipes that normally call for white baking potatoes. Stand by… 

veggie curryEasy Vegetable Curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium Sweet Potato, peeled & chopped
  • 1/2 large Onion, peeled & chopped
  • 1 large Carrot, peeled & chopped
  • 1 cup Garbanzo (aka: Chick Peas) Beans (organic canned works well for this)
  • 1/2 cup Kale, chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground Turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground Curry Powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. ground Cinnamon
  • Dash of Salt & Pepper (or to taste)
  • Juice of 1 Orange (or 1/2 cup Orange Juice)
  • 1/4 cup Water

Directions:

  1. Over medium-high heat, heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add the sweet potato, onion, carrot, kale, & garlic. Sautee 5 minutes. 
  2. Add the remainder of the olive oil, plus the rest of the ingredients listed, cover, and cook 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked (the potatoes might end up softer than the carrots – you’ll need to decide how “done” you prefer), stirring occasionally to keep the veggies from sticking.
  3. If you want a “thinner” curry, you can add more water or O.J.
  4. Serve as is or over rice (I used brown Basmati).

 
Adapted from “Marrakesh Vegetable Curry” as found on AllRecipes.com

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Top of the world!

I wasn’t planning on this but I did something today that I’ve never done before — but have always wanted to. I went to the top of one of the highest streets here, one that overlooks the water…and stayed there. For 1 hour I did nothing but look out and take photos of what I saw.

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I thought it’d be interesting to blur the background on this shot. I’ve done this with other photos with great success. I’m not sure if this one is included in that list but I do kinda like the way it turned out.  

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There’s a shipyard across the Sound. I lucked out and saw a “test drive” today.

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Aah, the great “take-over” begins. As much as I love blackberries, they do run amok here.

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U.S. Coast Guard Chopper flying maneuvers.

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Eagles taunt me. I know they get together and talk about ways to fly past me, really fast, before I can get my camera ready. Today, one flew right overhead…and I got him (or her).

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The snow-capped Olympics peeking out from behind the top of a lighthouse.

Who knew there was so much to see? I’m glad I took the time to do nothing…at least for a while.

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