Is the bounty so close?

birdsThe other day we the hubs put a new round of seed out for the birds in the feeder. It had been awhile – they are such pigs, I grew tired of watching how fast they plow through those expensive seeds. What did you do before this feeder? Your existence cannot be my responsibility, right? I wondered.

On the same day, we the hubs also put up a new round of suet in the suet feeders in the front yard. Rich, fatty suet with seeds and dried bugs and all kinds of goodness for those of you with beaks.
blue sky on Bainbridge Island, WAThe sun was out and the freezing cold wind wasn’t blowing, so I sat down outside with a mug of hot toddy tea. I watched the chickadees do their swoop-swoop diving flight path to the feeder and chow down. The nuthatches and junkos hopped on right away, too. Chirp-chirp, swoosh-swoosh, they made a fairly noisy scene.

As I sat quietly appreciating them, I kept thinking hey, if you think this is good, there’s suet in the front yard. Go check it out. Helloooooo, suet is over there. Right. Now. GOGETTHESUETSUETSUET.

But they just kept flying over to the seeds.

And I kept trying hard to somehow be The Bird Whisperer to them. Hop, birdies, over this roof. It’s super easy ‘cuz you’re birds. You can do it. And, oh the yumminess that awaits you!

But no. They stuck with the seeds and it took the usual 24-36 hours for them to find the suet in the front yard. Hours and hours of a short bird life, right?

And I suddenly thought, wow, am I like the birds, too? How often is there something awesome so close to me and I don’t even see it. I won’t even hop over that roof to the front yard? I don’t even think to hop over. woodpecker at the suetMaybe there’s suet over there somewhere right now, totally untouched and waiting for a peck. And maybe there’s even someone trying hard to send that message to me, but I’m not hearing it. I’m busy pecking at these seeds.

How often does that happen? I’m missing the suet, all obsessed with the seeds.

How do I open up my ears (or whatever hears these kinds of messages) so that I may pause on all the fuss about the seeds and see if there may be a big, fat cake of suet somewhere else?

Or do I get the message every now and then? And then go back to seeds, just because the seeds are well, so seedy and so…right here?

Are you eating the seeds or did you find the suet? How’d you find it? Who told you?

Growing Mushrooms Inside Your House

Some Pacific Northwest people have gone outside to get mushrooms during this recent bumper crop of fungi, but not us.

Did you know you could grow mushrooms inside from a kit from Cascadia Mushrooms?

I had no idea until after taking a farm tour, my dad brought this plain, brown block to us to try it out. And no thanks to me it worked!
growing mushrooms insideKits are 100% Certified Organic blocks of enriched, sterilized hardwood sawdust fully colonized by mycelium, a hardy strain of Shiitake. Just have your husband spray water on it twice a day and BAM! here they come!shitake mushroomsEarly on, we had a super-achiever.big shitake mushroomThe Hubs We harvested the bounty today and will resoak the block for another round of ‘shrooms. It’s reusable for many more times.harvested mushroomsAnd if you’re really lucky, someone will use these delicious, fresh mushrooms to make you breakfast!eggs and mushroomsMmmmmmmmm.

Odes to Autumn

Before October ends, I had to get these photos of our local Bainbridge fall colors out. I’m so glad I took these shots because we had strong winds blow a lot of these leaves off just a day later. I hope you enjoy them!
fall colors on Bainbridge Island
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
― Albert Camus
fall colors pond
“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”
― Henry David Thoreau
pumpkin patch
“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.”
― John Donne
fall color tree
“It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.”
― P.D. James
fall colors
“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”
― Nathaniel Hawthorne

How to Start the Business Blog You Meant to Write

You got your company’s website up. Maybe you went somewhere for help or DIY’d it. And what sounded good at the time?

A blog!

And yet, frozen in indecision or fear you have not written a word.

I’m a firm believer in company blogs. They can be a fun (& cheap) way to get news out, engage with customers and spread an all-round warm, fuzzy vibe about what you do.

But I also have clients who have great businesses and freeze when it comes to their blog. Oh, that blank page!

So I have a few tips for you owners of empty blogs.

1. Aim Low. Perfection is not the goal. You will be frozen a long time trying to craft the perfect blog post. Yes, be friendly, have an upbeat attitude and share some information. That’s it. Continue reading

How to Go Ziplining (for anxious, whiny babies)

Are you like me?

Have you become a parent, settled down into home life and couch-dom and gained weight accumulated more and more anxieties? While at the same time drinking wine and enviously watching others soar through life on tv, confronting gravity and their fears?

That plus the ease of regretful emails is why my friends and I went ziplining when we recently met up in Utah.

Yes, I sent the email…but I didn’t think any of them would say yes. We’re all 40-mumblemumble-year-old moms with young lives relying on us. But once the ball got rolling, it apparently couldn’t stop. I couldn’t bail when it was my idea, right?

To help us acclimate, we started with a short, lower zipline. Continue reading