EcoGrrl-icious

1 Comment
Driving home from Buck Lake on Tuesday, we had to stop to capture this quiet moment on the road after a deer had crossed in front of us.

Driving home from Buck Lake on our “vacation day” Tuesday, we had to stop to capture this quiet moment on the road home. A deer had just skipped across the road, the world was quiet, and it was purely an “I love Oregon” kind of moment. Happy sigh :)

Here’s to another gorgeous summer week! The heat wave has ended and we are back to our traditional low 80′s summer weather here in the Pacific Northwest, with work at a healthy clip, Dan’s green card interview awaiting confirmation, the pumpkin vines getting so long it feels like they’ll knock on the door soon, and a whole lotta optimism about life in general. So much I’ll share with readers over the coming months, but in the meantime, here are my weekly green and other cool things I hope you’ll be interested in…

* Super cool to have our wedding story featured in this month’s Green Bride Guide! Next week we’ll be married a whopping two months and yet it already seems so long ago since we were having this celebration. I’m digging marriage 2.0 for sure :)

* Amazing photos from Dorothea Lange on the internment camps during WWII. Why do so many choose to forget that while the Holocaust was occurring in Europe, that our own country was running its own concentration camps?

* Always trying new varieties of guacamole and this one claims to be the best guac recipe. I’m all over it!

* Bike tourism taking off in Portland? Coolness.

* I love this article! Eating organic is like two extra portions of fruits and vegetables per day with no added calories.

* And adding onto last week’s coffee awesomeness, learn more about Cafe Feminino and the work they do to support women coffee growers – and support the foundation!

It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home.
~Carl T. Rowan

Vacation Day: Buck Lake

3 Comments

A real day off. No emails, no texts, no cell phone service to interrupt our day away. We’ve decided once a month to get a Zipcar and go somewhere new each time, exploring areas just outside the city. Tuesday I took him to a place in the Mt Hood National Forest I’d only been once before, six years ago with a girlfriend, so it was almost new (got lost on the way and everything!) :)  On a 95 degree day, escaping the city into the woods and slipping into a quiet alpine lake with very few people around? Perfection.

Ladies and gentlemen, Buck Lake.

(PS – no photoshopping done, this is actually how the lake looks!)

Heading up the trail. And I mean UP. It's not an easy place to find and there is no GPS or even very good road signs, and it's a bitch of a short climb from the trailhead - but man is it lovely when you arrive at the top!

Heading up the trail. And I mean UP. It’s not an easy place to find and there is no GPS or even very good road signs, and it’s a bitch of a short climb from the trailhead – but man is it lovely when you arrive at the top!

Greetings!

Greetings!

Ahh, happiness. Did I mention the lake is NOT ice cold??

Ahh, happiness. Did I mention the lake is NOT ice cold??

Chillin' out on a blanket watching the sun fall upon the trees...it's so quiet here, just listening to the wind is a gorgeous thing...

Chillin’ out on a blanket watching the sun fall upon the trees…it’s so quiet here, just listening to the wind rustling the leaves is a gorgeous thing…

Really shallow fairly far out so you can wade or swim quite a ways on foot in the water, not to mention it's so clear that you can see the turtles and fish and even a lizard or two!

Really shallow initially so you can wade or swim quite far out, not to mention it’s so clear that you can see the turtles and fish and even a lizard or two! Next time we’re bringing an air mattress :)

A little panorama shot for y'all...not bad for a Tuesday in July!

A little panorama shot for y’all…not bad for a Tuesday in July!

Emerging from the water!!!

Emerging from the water and feelin’ so serene…there are photos of us swimming but we’re gonna keep those to ourselves in the interest of modesty!! :)

Workin’ 9 to 5 (…and empowering others to be successful)

Leave a comment

Today I want to share a video featuring Albertina Kerr’s Port City / Project Grow program where my husband volunteers, working alongside the developmentally disabled as they learn how to make a living.

It is beautiful what this organization does, and I’m so proud to have a partner whose career has been dedicated to supporting the lives of those who deserve just as much of a shot as the rest of us.

Weekend in Pictures

2 Comments

 

Noice! Lunch at the Oregon Public House where my husband just started volunteering! They are a 100% nonprofit pub - awesome food, great cause, and right in our neighborhood, yay!

Noice! Lunch at The Oregon Public House where my husband just started volunteering! They are a 100% nonprofit pub – awesome food, great cause, and right in our neighborhood, yay!

painted our dingy gray stairs black and white with the help of Rodda's zero-VOC Horizon paint.

painted our dingy gray stairs black and white with the help of Rodda’s zero-VOC Horizon paint. And hope we never have to paint these ever again – nothing like painting stairs and losing access to your basement for 24 hours to make you think carefully ! :)

sunflowers are happy happy happy!

sunflowers are happy happy happy!

PDX Skillshare was on Saturday, where one of the classes I took was in book mending - so cool learning easy cheap ways to fix old books. With my great-grandmother's Elsie Dinsmore books that are well over 100 years old, I've got a ton of projects to do this winter in this area!

PDX Skillshare was this Saturday, where one of the classes I took was in book mending – so cool learning easy cheap ways to fix old books. With my great-grandmother’s Elsie Dinsmore books that are well over 100 years old, I’ve got a ton of projects to do this winter in this area!

Gar

Woo hoo! Garlic harvested and we’re just beginning the curing process.

Gypep

These gypsy sweet peppers we’re growing this year for the first time are really taking off – we have 6 or 7 plants and they’re by far in the lead. Love that they go yellow to orange to red, bypassing the (IMHO) yucky green phase completely :)

Olive

To my husband’s delight, the arbequina olive tree is full of these li’l guys. I’m apathetic when it comes to olives but he’ll be eating them right off the tree, I’m sure.

Po

yay! finally enough fingerlings and red potatoes to make a delicious German potato salad that will include homemade parsley and locally produced bacon and eggs. (mouth is watering….)

Tomatillo

my second try at growing tomatillos, this time in a pot…they are again growing at a rapid pace…a few years ago I tried and while the little paper shell thingies were in abundance, absolutely no fruit was inside them! here’s hoping for normality because this gal wants to try her hand at making tomatillo salsa!! :)

 

EcoGrrl-icious

Leave a comment
my makeshift outdoor canning station!

my makeshift outdoor canning station in the back yard which has turned out to be incredibly awesome on those hot evenings when boiling water in the house is not fun!!

Gorgeous week, with the weather cooling a bit to give us a break before next week’s heat wave puts us in the mid 90′s (ugh!). Fortunately, my hubby and I have several basement projects to work on at home and as for the garden, we stopped by Goodwill and picked up a whole bunch of sheets to lay over our precious peppers and tomatoes so the lovely fruits that are emerging don’t get hammered by the evil hot rays.

With that, here are some eco-goodies to pass your way this week that I hope you enjoy…please tell me how you like these by the way, I love your comments!!

* Love this piece on growing huckleberries – we have three bushes that are a few years old and can’t wait for them to fruit (hopefully next year!).

* A bike sharing program for kids? Awesome! Check out how Paris is doing it and get inspired!

* Speaking of kids, one of my coaching clients told me about her company supporting Coffee Kids, an amazing nonprofit supporting the children of coffee farmers around the world.

* With Australia in the midst of having their own version of GW in office, the country is seeing the conservative (known as “liberal” there, the opposite of here in the US) leadership stripping away social and environmental programs that have been doing the country so much good. Here’s a good article about power bills and energy efficiency that clarifies a lot of the garbage being dispersed out there.

* And on the topic of electricity, check out what’s happening here in Portland with Trimet and the e-bus. Along with the carbon footprint effects, it’s sure sounding dreamy envisioning following a bike on my bus and not getting icky exhaust fumes in my lungs!

* Finally, some love for Braking Cycles, a nonprofit in Portland I just learned about who is using bicycle repair, job training, and repurposing bike parts to help break the cycle of poverty. One of the six community nonprofits supported by The Oregon Public House, every time you sip a local cider or tasty stout, or eat a veggie burger or their awesome sweet potato tots, or bring your kids in for a tasty meal and entertainment, you can select them for 100% of the net proceeds from your meal to support Braking Cycles. RAD.

For those wounded by civilization, yoga is the most healing salve.
~Terri Guillemets

Weekend in Pictures

Leave a comment

Gorgeous weekend with SO much keeping us busy, it’s nice to have a lazy end of the day on Sunday to catch up on work, blog, and even some pleasant zoning out for a wee bit.

Hee hee hee could not resist this li'l piggie watering can at Fred Meyer, made in USA so there ya go, I was patriotic this weekend.

Hee hee I could not resist this li’l piggie watering can at Fred Meyer, made in USA so there ya go, I was patriotic this weekend.

Dinner at Pok Pok Noi involved the amazing papaya salad with shrimp & pork, along with wild boar with bok choy & sticky rice. Sweating from the heat and the food and then washing it down while cooling down with a mango alexander (mango, vodka, coconut cream). Dang that was tasty.

Dinner at Pok Pok Noi involved the amazing papaya salad with shrimp & pork, along with wild boar with bok choy & sticky rice. Sweating from the heat and the food and then washing it down while cooling down with a mango alexander (mango, vodka, coconut cream). Dang that was tasty. (photo source)

Clouds

Love staring up in the sky from our back yard with a cider in hand and hubby by my side…

Dan

Good husband, good weather, good life :)

Fire

Our backyard fire on the 4th got a bit tall, oy! Fortunately it mellowed quickly :)

Gravy

Biked over to Mississippi on a gorgeous morning to have some pretty delish corned beef hash for me, biscuits ‘n’ gravy for he. Yum.

blue-flwr

Noticed this pretty while picking blueberries on Sauvie Island.

blueberries

Best way to avoid the summer heat while picking blueberries? Sit down under the bushes!!

Cohorasp

Coho raspberries for the husband were picked in abundance. This is actually the only type of raspberry I can eat a wee bit of – I have never been a fan of raspberries but these were pretty tasty. Eight jars o’ jam canned thus far for the mister, and eight jars of blueberry/raspberry coming up next! Also froze 6 quarts worth for smoothies etc. Not bad at $2/lb!

Dan-chooks

Rode over to the mister’s workplace on Saturday morning for some last minute taking care of the chooks while the staff was out for the holiday weekend. They love him and I gotta say, it’s nice to see him getting the urban homesteading addiction :)

Dan-SP

Making sure Salt ‘n’ Pepa, the Port City goats, got fed as well. Heehee.

Dan-watering

LOVE the garden he has been helping out in – they have a CSA and just gorgeous veggies growing everywhere! Click here to read more about Project Grow.

eggs

And with all the chooks comes all the eggs :)

fireworks

Independence Day was remarkably tame in our neighborhood compared to the war zone of years past. We were in bed by a decent time and while there were some ridiculous booms by the illegal fireworks around us that were horribly awful to the pups in the neighborhood, there were also a few pretty displays we captured right from our backyard seats :) Probably our last year without a dog, so we figured we’d enjoy them this year as much as possible.

sunset

Ahh, love the summer sunsets after a day in the garden. Tis a good, good life we got here.

EcoGrrl-icious

Leave a comment
The hubby rockin' his new bike on a gorgeous day in NoPo :)

The hubby rockin’ his new bike on a gorgeous day in NoPo :)

Hot hot hot! What a hot week with Tuesday topping out at 99 degrees in our fair city, which was aggravating for my delicate flower of a self :-) “Heat anxiety” is I believe the term me and a few gals at the grocery store checkout line were discussing…which for me was primarily to ensure my lovely tomatoes and peppers didn’t get scalded!

Here are a few things that caught my eye in the eco-world and beyond…

* How gorgeous are these garden gates by local designer Richard Cawley?  I rode by Fargo Gardens recently and had to google who the maker of these lovely pieces made from repurposed materials and now my husband & I are totally inspired for when we have the need for one!

* LOVE how California is keeping an eye on not only the environment, but environmental justice through it’s new budget earmarking money from it’s new cap & trade. Oregon, please follow suit! And everyone else in the US!!!

* Speaking of going faraway places, I dug this article on surviving a cross-country road trip as a vegan. I know when I travel, just staying away from dairy and gluten has caused major internal strife (and some occasional glutenizing, resulting in instant regret). Next year we’re pondering a Southern USA road trip (think DC to Georgia through the Deep South and across to the Southwest before driving up home to PDX) and this is something to keep in mind. Fortunately I’ve got a deep and abiding love for seafood and pork that keeps me from full-time veganism, but still…!

* Alabama’s leadership hates women, that’s for sure. Yes it sounds harsh but read this. Fuck those fuckers who passed that law. It’s reprehensible and sickening.

* Finally, gotta share this recipe for New Jersey Ribs from The Sensitive Pantry, a great site for gluten-free, dairy-free, and (while not this one in particular) vegan recipes as well. It was our first time making them and DANG! they were soooo good.

Summer is really, truly underway. Gotta love it!

“I love America more than any other country in this world; and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”
~James Baldwin

Workin’ 9 to 5 (and the many options for summer work)

Leave a comment

I admit, I get a little frustrated at all the complaining about high school students not being able to find summer work. When I live in a neighborhood with tons of kids, yet no flyers around about yardwork, cleaning, babysitting, etc., like when I was younger, along with the tons of minimum wage opportunities picking on farms (who are always complaining they are short on workers), working in fast food (not everyone can be a barista!), grocery stores, and retail (never say no to a job stocking shelves!), as well as volunteering (there is a massive need in so many places for volunteers, that is great fodder for college applications, resumes, and of course good for staying out of trouble).

This is a good infographic describing a lot of what is out there for students during the summer (and psst…it applies to college students as well…oh and other folks who say there is no work but then actually won’t take work under a certain pay range…ahem! Eight bucks an hour is better than zero bucks an hour!)…