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.