Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Done Deal!

Ok...all of you out of town relatives can save the date for sure now. I got paperwork and permits in the mail for a July 18th wedding. It's going to be beautiful out there!

Prop 8, enough said.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What's that on your stove, a reactor?

It's my birthday present! Made in Wisconsin!

Delicious rich turkey first pressure canning project. Up until this point it's been pickles and fruits!

Monday, December 1, 2008


This is a fun little meme. I actually completed it a few days ago. You only get one word per answer. I tag FireGirl.

Where is your mobile phone? Buried
Where is your significant other? Working
Your hair color? Horsey
Your mother? Animated
Your father? Tinkering
Your favorite thing? Bookshelves
Your dream last night? Sublimated
Your dream goal? Bibliophile
The room you're in? Victorian
Your hobby? Oscillates
Your fear? Anxiety
Where do you want to be in 6 years? Aware
Where were you last night? Horizontal
What you're not? Bored
One of your wish-list items? Chesterfield
Where you grew up? Rootless
The last thing you did? Checklists!
What are you wearing? Wool
Your TV? Computer
Your pets? Abundant
Your computer? Cursed
Your mood? Optimistic
Missing someone? Usually
Your car? VAN!
Something you're not wearing? Socks
Favorite shop? Aladdin's
Your summer? Cold
Love someone? Passionately
Your favorite colour? Changes
When is the last time you laughed? GIRAFFES!
When is the last time you cried? Elections

Try it!

Wooohoo! Compost!

I guess we're doing something right in the garden.

We got our dates at Hovander Park for the wedding! I won't really believe it until I get something in the mail from the Parks Department. I had to get the one person who had never made reservations before. It took her 35 minutes. Oh well..... I'm happy!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hovander Homestead Park.....

Sorry about not blogging lately. I just haven't been feeling it.

However, I did want to share the probable location of our wedding with some folks who were curious. Please keep in mind it's nasty out and the pictures don't do justice to the beauty of the place.....

Saturday, November 1, 2008

New Upholstery Project.....

I picked up this chair at Value Village for $9.99.... You'll see the finished upholstery soon. I chose linen for the fabric. I still have to put the back on it.... the only part that requires sewing...grrr.

Here it is torn down. It had really great hand-tied springs in good condition. I sat on it just like this, with no upholstery and it was still comfortable. That's my test for a good design. It was stuffed with cotton and straw rather than horsehair. I think that's fairly common. I had to keep the vacuum on hand and tear off the seat on the porch because of the straw bits.


The Queen of Hearts...

Sunday, October 19, 2008


On Friday, Tyree helped me frog (knitting term for unravel) an entire sweater that I scavenged out of the free closet at work. Everyone had been trying to give me this sweater for months, knowing that I love handknits. Yes the cables were nice, but the shape of the sweater was such that only Bill Cosby could truly love it. The neck hole was so tight I couldn't get my giant brain through it. I'm not kidding.

Not one to waste 900 yards of fine wool.....

Does it remind anyone else of a certain packaged Japanese convenience food that costs $.19?

Processed into skeins.

After a dyebath... Truly, though I love the color, I wish I'd left it natural. Sometimes I just get caught up in the process and it had been so long since I used my dyepot. Oh, well. I chose an Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern for a casual saddle shoulder sweater. Since the yarn is sort of scratchy aran (Irish) utility grade, I didn't want to make anything too fancy, more a functional fall weekend sweater. You'll see!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fell out of the world for a bit....

Sorry for the long absence! But I feel like I'm getting my mojo back now.

About the leg surgery/procedure....I have to warn you that this post will contain some kinda gross photos. But since my family almost exclusively reads this, here goes.

I had been prescribed compression stockings some years ago for my legs and after a time, my insurance would have covered the procedure but my platelet count was too dangerous to do it. As of this last winter , though, my platelets are back in the low, but normal range, and I decided to go for it.

This first photo was taken the morning on my way to NW Vein Center. This is my left leg. It is significantly worse that my right leg, for the record. THose bruises are pretty much always there.

This photo doesn't do the lower shin veins justice, but you can see the greater saphanous vein is bulging pretty badly and I had just gotten out of bed for the day. I experienced a lot more pain during the procedure than I was supposed to. They're going to have to up the valium to get me in there for the second next week.

These two photos were taken a week afterward (tonight) and I still have a lot of pain, but as you can see that bulging vein has been lasered shut through some incisions. Not too bad.

This leg is a lot less lumpy, but the recovery, for some reason, is a lot more painful. Sorry about the ickyness of the post. I will now return you to your regularly scheduled craftastic yarnfest.

Monday, September 29, 2008

They say it's your birthday....

It's somebody's 8th birthday today! I can't believe she's 8!

She has spent the last few months pleading for a Nintendo DS and as a collaborative gift between Mom, Dad and Grandma Marino, she got it, complete with 2 games and a padded case. She's pretty careful with her belongings, so I hope she takes good care of it.

For those that are worried, her games were rated E for Everyone with a warning of Comic Mischief. My boss, who is in her sixties and has two adult children, gave Bella some DS pointers today. Apparently she's had a Nintendo DS since they first came out. She loves video and computer games.

The tiara is from our friend Leslie.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Girl Weekend....

Melissa, Isabella and I got to hang out this weekend. Tyree went across the mountains on a ghost town/fishing adventure and we had the house to ourselves. We watched Youtube videos and learned how to knit and crochet. We had breakfast (with eggs cracked and scrambled by Bella) and went out in the pouring rain (Whee! Bellingham!) to pick pears and dahlias. Luckily we had 3 pair of Knee high farm boots. Of course, now that it's Sunday afternoon, it's sunny.

Theta doing her thing.

Last weekend Tyree and I drove around and picked apples, berries and plums from abandoned farms (soon to become strip malls or condos.) I froze about 3 gallons (more) blackberries and canned these plums and the apples are in a giant mountain on the table still waiting to be pressed when the sweet apples are ripe. These were mostly tart and you have to mix them, see?

Some sweet guy heard me say over and over that I wanted a fancy white cake stand and when he spotted it at Goodwill last weekend, he snagged it for me ($2.99!)
I think I might just marry him.

I got completely ready to can these today. I sterilized jars and made syrup and then decided they were nowhere near ripe enough. They need another week. Luckily Bosc pears ripen off the tree.

We went to the U-Pick dahlias at Boxx Berry Farm. This was my bouquet.

This was Isabella and Melissa's Bouquet.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


My dad and I are working on a little project involving genealogy and family records. I've asked him to dig around in his papers and get me all the info he can find on my great grandfather Matthew Marino. In the meantime, I've gotten a look at some family photos I hadn't seen in a while.

I mean, I might just be trippin' out here, but does this person look like me at all?

My great grandmother Caetta

I'll try to look a bit more somber in my next photo.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Two wheels good....

Tyree got a new toy last night. He has been tinkering with it all day getting it street legal. It has a few minor issues, but all in all, it's in good shape. It's mostly just for toodling around town. It's a Honda CT-110. The Australian postal service uses these bikes and they're called 'postie bikes' and in other countries they're sold as farm/agricultural bikes. They were/are in production FOREVER and parts are everywhere, so that's a plus. Oh, and it's supposed to get 95+ mpg in the city!

It suits him.

Long Term Investments..... and "Red Meat"

I've been thinking lately about the future.... about the upcoming elections, winter, step-parenthood, getting older and hopefully wiser.

I wrote earlier this year about my decision to go ahead and order a 1/4 of beef from Skagit River Ranch, even though I used to be a vegetarian and even though it was a hefty initial investment for my (our) income. Today was the day that I drove south to pick it up. It was three nice boxes, frozen. I got it home and though three boxes (not huge ones) doesn't sound like a year's worth of meat, for our little family it looked like a ton. We don't eat it all that often. It is lovely grass-fed, organic, antibiotic and hormone-free beef. George, the rancher, runs his machines and his trucks on bio-diesel that he refines himself from used vegetable oil in his barn. He teaches workshops for other farmers. His beef has won national taste tests and been written up in all the American gourmet magazines. I feel really good about this investment.

Which brings me to the idea of sacrificing today for a more secure tomorrow. We have a little less money to play today, but we know we're going to have food for a long time.

What are we really willing to sacrifice so that our families can have what we believe is important? What values, freedoms and services mean more to us than the accumulation material things? From a voter's perspective, what would I be willing to give up now to ensure that my niece has the same reproductive choice that I enjoy 15 years from now? So that Conor can afford to go to college?

Women have traditionally been "issues voters." If we could extract the identity politics out of the national discourse, we have to face the simple fact that there is never going to be the perfect candidate for all of us. We have to come as close as we can. Barack Obama has come the closest for me than other other candidate in my adult life, completely irrelevent to the fact that he is intelligent, and a charismatic speaker.

I have a conservative, wealthy relative, who claims to be socially liberal, who is aghast at Obama's tax plan and how it will effect him. Guess what? I don't care how it effects the wealthy. Trickle down economics is a proven failure. As a non-profit social-service provider, I fall well below the median income for families in my area. Obama's plan will save me as much as $900 a year. He's worried about Obama's radical church affiliation. Guess what? Obama has played it a hell of a lot safer than I have as far as fringe political and spiritual ideology. He looks like a frat boy compared to what my friends and I have done and believe in.

I have to vote for the candidate who protects freedom of choice. I have to. There are potentially 2 immediate Supreme Court seats coming up.

I have to vote for the candidate who's universal health care plan ends the pre-existing condition clause. I have an incurable, potentially fatal auto-immune disorder. My sister has a treatable mental illness. Period.

I will vote for the candidate who supports renewable energy, energy independence and who uses the best available environmental science. I could really give a crap whether gas prices ever get lower. I drive less. I made the decision to live near my job and near the services I use at the expense of having a great big giant lawn to mow. We finally caught up with the REAL price of gas in the rest of the world. Guess what? I will NEVER be able to buy a hybrid car, but I will drive the hell out of an electric scooter when someone invents one that runs in the rain.

I will support the candidate who voted AGAINST the Iraq war. I knew that it was bullshit (along with 3,000 other protesters in the streets of Bellingham) and so did Obama. Anyone else had an agenda or is simply ignorant. I will support the candidate who voted to provide our troops with appropriate EQUIPMENT for their 2nd, 3rd, 4th tour in an illegal war.

I desire a clearly delineated separation of church and state, the use best available science, realistic sex education, equal rights for gay and lesbian partners.

Well. That's all I've got for today. I just popped a deliciously browned organic roast in the slow-cooker. Tyree and I are going to go fishing at the Nooksack River. The salmon are starting to run.

A shameless plug for SRR.

This is 3 feet deep!

You have no idea how good this looks.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The First Wedding Post.

JULY 18th, 2009

Ok...without getting all Bridezilla, I wanted to give those folks that live far away the EARLIEST possible notice on the wedding date. Here ya go. I still plan to send out a clever little "save the date" card for those in my circle and Tyree's who don't play with the innernets. Look for those in the next few months. Invitations with REAL solid venue details, etc, will be out this spring. I have already reserved this date at the current venue of choice.

The plans for the wedding (I am told by experts) are fairly intimate, though it is certainly the largest dinner party I've ever thrown. I am already actively recruiting my local friends and family for a little DIY help. Hopefully, when the out of town chefs arrive (Mom) there will be details, but not overwhelming details, to keep you busy.

We are catering our own. There you have it. Next Spring's garden will be dedicated to wedding food production. We're brewing our own beer. We are even making the cake. We just like to do stuff ourselves.

The shocking parts (not for anyone who has known me for more than 1 hour) :
We're being married by Marty, one of our closest friends who is an officiant. We'll develop the ceremony with him. There will be a visible tattoo. Um...I might not wear white. Not sure yet.
Our unique personalities + minimum "spectacle" = Happy Janet and Tyree in love.

Thank you thank you thank you so much to everyone who has offered to wrap, grow, cook, assemble, arrange, fund and otherwise support us. I love you all.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I've been tagged!

I was tagged by Firegirl at Just a Bunch of Silliness, Really. I was supposed to write 6 random things about myself, but I was almost simultaneously tagged on Myspace with the "10 Things You Might Not Know About Me " meme. These little writing games float around on the innernets all the time. Since I was almost done with the 10 things meme, Here's my go at it:

Ten things you might not know about me.. or might, if you've known me long enough.

1. I can Bellydance. Its harder now that I'm curvier, but I can still do it. I used to dance a lot.

Janet in the Bellydance Troupe days.

2. I love watching reruns of The Rockford Files. I think that James Garner's iconoclastic anti-hero is awesome.


3. I find the smell of my dog's fur comforting. When I'm bummed I drag her under the covers with me and sniff her head.

Also Awesome.

4. I prefer popcorn when it's stale.

5. I don't really care for cats. I have three of them living in my house, but I'd prefer not to. I don't have the heart to give my sister's cats away and Boo kitty belongs to Tyree. Boo kitty isn't really very like a cat, anyway.

6. I don't really like alcohol (of any kind) very much. I might drink socially but left to my own devices, I would choose root beer every time. I can, however, tell the difference between really good beer and wine and not-so-good.

7. I have Lupus (SLE) and I take medication for it daily.

8. I have to sleep with at least 1/3 of my legs and feet out of the covers otherwise I get too hot. I tuck my blanket completely around my upper body and clench it all night. I like to think it will keep bats out.

9. I am a very skilled certified forklift driver (I was trained by Marty). I can maneuver in really tight quarters. My skills are totally wasted now.

10. My longest solo motorcycle trip was from Bellingham to north of Helena, Montana. I slept the first night in a forest fire scar on a picnic table (ants) and hid out under an overpass during a dust storm. I sold my bike because I stopped traveling without my dog. And also a fear of dying.

Sold it. Loved it, though.

I suppose I'd like to read the list of Marty, Tami C. And Diane H.
You have your assignments.
It was a nice weekend. We took a picnic up the Mt. Baker Highway (thanks for the picnic bag, Grandma Mo) and tried to find a decent spot to fish for trout. We didn’t find the trout spot, but we found an awesome picnic spot. The river was just moving a little too fast and cloudy for shore fishing.

Tyree did see a large fish in a sort of side pool and after all but bludgeoning it with his bait, he reached in and grabbed it by hand. It was a HUGE, old (and I mean beat) salmon. It was really old and beyond eating and we wished it happy trails but not before Theta got a really close look at it. I don’t think she’d ever seen a fish like that before.

I shamelessly stole this photo of the Nooksack River from a county government website. This is not really as pretty as where we were.

Sunday I pulled up all the old plants from the garden and planted a fall crop of peas, spinach, lettuce, chard, parsnips and radishes. I have new bush beans and broccoli sprouting and hopefully we’ll get one more crop of each before the days are too short. This will be my first year of real winter gardening and I’m pretty excited. Our back yard is pretty well protected, so I have high expectations.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

We Made It!

Man...that RV just got smaller and smaller as we raced towards home.

We got home at about 5am on Saturday morning after a marathon driving session between Tyree and I. We took two days to relax and catch up on sleep and it was back to work on Monday.

This was a really great trip. I got to see my folks and sister and niece. I got to meet my new family. They are awesome. Thank you all so much for going out of your way to make me feel so welcome. I really felt welcome. In-Laws! Me! Who would have thought?!

Todd and Dennis deserve massive thanks for keeping our plants and animals alive and well.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Guys Go Hiking

I did not accompany them. All of these photos were taken by Tyree or Conor. On the night we all had dinner with his mom and brothers, they went for a short evening hike and came across a Gila Monster and a Rattlesnake with it's recent kill. Enjoy these photos of Southern Arizona wildlife.

Gila Monster

Tyree guessed he was about 18 inches long.

A surprised rattlesnake and his prey. The rabbit was already dead.

Ocotillo in bloom.

Next Stop.... Grand Canyon

After leaving my parents in Pueblo, Colorado, we headed for the Four Corners and the Grand Canyon. I'll do my best to put these in the right order.

The entrance to Navajo and Hopi land. A lovely rock formation.

Conor in 4 states at once.

The Grand Canyon

I loved the huge Ravens at the Grand Canyon.