Category Archives: brilliant ideas

That creepy, eery feeling

Ever feel like you’re being watched?

This morning I was reading with my back to the window and suddenly felt the urge to turn around, like some foreign energy was boring into the back of my head. Was I being watched?
band-tailed pigeonsYup. I had a whole judging panel flight of those giant, band-tailed pigeons looking down at me (this shot was taken while I sat, lazy wildlife photographer strikes again.
band-tailed pigeons
Waiting. Coo‘ing. Waiting…

Is it just me and my propensity for drama but does this remind you of anything?The Birds movieYeah, creepy. It was just like Hitchcock’s The Birds. And I live near a school.

But at least with these guys, I had a sneaking suspicion why they lurked.
bird feederAt least, I hope it’s the seeds they want…

If you don’t see any more blog posts from me, well, it was a pretty decent run. You were mostly awesome although would it kill you to comment from time to time? Thanks for the memories. Becca, be a good dog. Hubs, turns out you can have the whole garage after all. Kid, there’s M&M’s hidden in the soup pot. I love you, Mom.

Seattle Houseboat Tour 2012 – See For Yourself!

Hello, my name is Wendy and I am addicted to houseboat tours.

Every other year, the Seattle Floating Homes Association hosts a tour of houseboats. And I go and I go. This year may have been my 4th, or possibly 5th.

I’m fascinated by the whole scene. They’re all so different, some very quirky, some Architectural Digest. It pulls me in like a giant belt buckle to a magnet. Or rain to Seattle…

I’m sure I romanticize the whole existence like I do with so many other people or things.

I’m the first to admit the reality of living on a houseboat may not be so great. First off, there’s no garage to park in oh, yeah, like when the Hubs filled my side of the garage with tools years ago….

Also, there are beavers to battle for possession of your stuff like the Kid and the Dog. And God forbid, you get less than sober and slide right off your wet, Seattle wooden dock and into the drink yeah, there’s really no comparison here. Brrrrr.

But there is all this to counterbalance that….
So, who’s in for 2014?!

Bainbridge Island Chicken Coop Tour 2012

Bainbridge Island is a perfect spot to get all farm-y or pretend to after your day job.

For the past 4 years, the island has celebrated this urge with its own Tour de Coop, a fundraiser for Helpline House, our local food bank. Lucky for you, in case you missed it, I didn’t. (Click a photo to enlarge.)
Some chicken coops were tucked in the corner of a garden,
and some backed up against the main home. One had its own garden inside, a wisteria plant growing up through the roof.One or two coordinated with a barn on the premises.But they all had two things in common: chickens
and chicken accessories! I love eggs, and the Kid would love to have chickens.But the problem is someone else in the Let the dog in! household would also love to have chickenGuess we’ll just keep enjoying the tour!

Have you gone on a chicken coop tour? Do you have chickens, or wish you did?

Wet camping trip? Try dutch ovens and lemon squares!

Camping is becoming a ritual for our family (now that we can put the kid to work!), and this year we battled Mother Nature to prove it.

Everyone always kids in a totally serious way that summer doesn’t start around here until July 5th, but at my brilliant suggestion we bit the bullet and went camping anyway.

Just to give you an idea of the weather we faced, here’s a headline I read when we got back: “Summer squall downs trees, knocks out power around region.”

And this: Seattle’s total rainfall for June so far is 2.78 inches through 5 p.m. Saturday – which makes it the eighth wettest June on record with still a week to go.

So, we left in a downpour and hoped the worst had passed through. Foolish, yes. Because where we headed ended up with .63″ of rain Friday, .3″ Saturday, and then voila! on Sunday, the SUN came out for us to pack and get the hell outta there before we all grew mold in our private areas.

Our friends fed us martinis and abandoned us left early, halfway through the weekend, which just goes to show it’s all relative because in Juneau, Alaska, yours truly was the prissy camping princess.

It helps that the Hubs is true Alaskan and can tie up tarps at 100 yards. We also ate well and constantly. Here’s his set-up. He’s #1 on the local hunters’ most-wanted camp cooks list…
That was our entertainment, sitting under tarps and watching the Hubs make stew, roasted chicken and braised short ribs.
In case you think I did nothing but growl…
(Ok, probably a fair amount of growling was heard while I sat by our additional, illegal campfire because I was scared if I went in the tent I’d never come out!)
I’ll have you know that I pre-measured ingredients to try to make lemon squares, baked in a Dutch oven. We had nothing else to do, so we were zesting, juicing, stirring, patting, and baking. Granted, I forgot the powdered sugar, but it tasted pretty decent in all our sogginess. Yes, life gave us lemons and we made lemon squares!We couldn’t keep covered enough out there. But, the surprise Jiffy Pop was a huge hit and went pretty well with wine in a box.Like I said, the sun did come out Sunday, thank goodness, so we kept our sanity packed easily and hung stuff out to dry at home.

Ok, Mother Nature, now that you waterboarded us from the sky we’ve paid our dues, all the rest of the summer camping weather will be splendid, right?!

A camping princess can dream, can’t she?


Do you have any tips for camping in wetness?? Would your family stay or pack back up?

Landscaping, Bainbridge Island-Style (with goats)

Bainbridge Island Parks and Rec recently hired a new crew of landscapers. They are good workers, always on the job, and have a friendly disposition: goats.

For the past several days one of our local parks, Fort Ward, a running favorite of mine with its waterfront route and shady forest, has hosted 260 goats on its hillsides to eat back the ivy.
If you are not a goat fan, I advise you just skip this post because, well, I couldn’t get enough of these guys. There weren’t just goats; there were baby goats, people.
They were baaaaa‘ing, chewing, jumping, watching, nuzzling, napping and lots of other goatly behavior.Watching and learning.Goatly cuteness.And yet more cuteness.They sometimes took milk breaks. Hafta stay hydrated.This one keep bleeeting and got stuck in brambles for awhile.Cozy siblings.A gorgeous mama.Hill o’ Goats.Quite the horns, eh?Goat teamwork, always good.
I know, you want goat landscapers on your hillside, too. But I’m told this team is booked through August on a traveling work tour. They leave Bainbridge Island tomorrow.

Would it be too weird to follow them and become a goat groupie?

For more information, check out the articles on Inside Bainbridge about these goats here and here.

And if this weren’t enough, maybe you need a tiny bit of video?