A journal of sorts.

I am an avid photographer with a love for digital processing. The Bearded One and I have become "Townies" once again and are in the process of transforming our suburban nest into a peaceful refuge.
This blog is where I like to stash things. An assortment of random thoughts, a recipe or two, a few of my favorite photos, and the processing thereof.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday, A touch of spring and good to be home...

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Well the farm map has been turned over to the proof readers where it will be looked at very closely to weed out misplaced commas, faulty grammar and misspelled words. The map part itself will be scrutinized to see that each representative dot is in it's proper place. After this phase is done it will be handed back to me with errors circled and comments made at which point I will fix them  one by one, hoping that I don't miss any. It then goes to the chronicle presses and they pop out a "proof". If that goes well then it's off to the races and thousands of copies on newsprint will make their way to the farmers market where they will be grabbed up by those looking for fresh and local produce, meats, and directions to the family farms. It's been quite the experience.

Now I can get on to other things like preparing for the upcoming "Art Walk".

Spring has definitely been in the air these last few days. Saturday I was able to go down to the waterfront with the kids and take some photos. Later I was blessed with a visit from friends Lena and Danika who brought "care" bags full of amazing and generous house gifts. Let me switch gears here for a moment... The Girl's got me hooked on this amazingly fun video series. Fun, Food, and history. Try it I think you will enjoy it.

The girls had no way of knowing what was on our "must get" list but low and behold they pretty much brought it all. Living in a fully furnished cottage for two years meant that we had gotten rid of most of our stuff including kitchen stuff. It felt like a party. Thanks you two for your amazing generous hearts. They also were the means to get a tall bookcase home. (we are down to just the wrangler now) not only that but we were able to get it for half price ($20). I was feeling really good about that and then today I was able to get a wonderful dining table that will seat 8 when center leaf is added. I got that for 30% off the $14.95 asking price. Did I mention that it's solid wood and very sturdy? I feel like I walk around in a constant bubble of blessing.

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Our new dining table



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Our new $20 bookcase as seen through our "goodwill" mirror

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A little tray found along the way for a buck

I'm off to watch another episode. I leave you with the "bearded One" doing what he loves...

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy Spring and up to my eyebrows...

Happy springHappy Spring

My not so Cottage Life

Extremely busy with the Farm map but I wanted to check in. I should hand off the proofs for the final edits on Friday then I can jump into enjoying our new little nest. We have been blessed. Big time. Always. the Bearded One is still playing in the dirt and making amazing progress. When the weather warms a bit we will be able to get rid of the lawn weeds. So here's a refresher of where we started.

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The beginning


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How it's looking today

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The Bearded One at work planting some Tinus Viburnum

Our new couch...

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This is our Craigslist couch. We bought it sight unseen. It's perfect for us. Fluffy and large enough to get comfy on...

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I need to get back to work on the farm map so I will leave you with little miss madee ala' peacock feather.

Madee with peacock feather

Monday, March 19, 2012

Late start Monday... Greetings from a "townie"

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The Bearded One sporting his new "zen" do, while stirring the adams all natural peanut butter this morning

Good Morning... loving it back in town, though I'm up to my elbows in "graphic" projects. This is the last week to get the "Farm Map" ready for print. We are starting work late today because of cold weather so I will be working on a few "work related projects" this morning from home. Did I mention that I love living 4 minutes from my front door to the time clock? Life is good. We are settling in and loving the layout. The Bearded One has already begun to bond with the yard. What amazing changes he's made already.

Leslie came down on Saturday and we went "junkin" looking for treasures. She picked up a great little end table at a local flea market,which is perfect. She then blessed us with some wonderful thick white "Costco" towels. Now the Bearded one and I don't have to fight over our "camping" towel. (The cottage had come pretty much fully furnished so we had passed our linens and towels along)...Thanks sis. She also helped scour craigslist to help us find a couch. We pick it up today after work.

Here's an early morning shot of the back yard in progress from the upstairs birds-eye view... Notice he's strung a line to make sure everything is nice and straight. :-)

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Okay gotta get busy... Just wanted to check in. Brrr... it's a little chilly out there.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Moving update...



We are mid move...

Not so Cottage living...

I mention that "we" are in mid-move when in reality it is the "Bearded One" who is doing the moving. One little jeep wrangler load at a time. At this time we are like a couple of bb's rolling around in a large box. We've been living small for a couple of years now and so it seems odd to be surrounded by space. This is a very nice house we are residing in and it feels rather extravagant. We will be paying a little more attention to our budget but the ability to have family and friends over and the close proximity to work will help even things out. Well this is very short but I have hefty bags to unpack. Thanks to friend Sandy for the wonderful little farm table that she has graced us with. I'm sitting at it now it's a blessing indeed. Speaking of blessings, I've never bought anything off of craig's list before but I came across these two marvelous stools right here in Oly for 15.00 for the pair. They are really sturdy and their seats swivel. Just what we needed for the island bar. Whooty Whoo.. filling our space will be fun, I love a bargain. I hope to be back on schedule by this weekend. So until next time...


Okay so I was looking for a different kind of bee bees in a box...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday before the big move...


The boss's Hellebore in bloom

Cottage living...

We're still in the process of packing up and getting ready to move on Tuesday but I thought I'd pop in for a moment. Friday I took a couple of photos of some  colorful spring blooms.


I need to get back to packing but I will leave you with this... I was visiting Finegardening.com and found this neat idea for candle holders. Click on the link for the video how to and several other projects... Happy spring.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lamb chops for two... 6 days and counting, Wednesday on the Bay

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Tonight's Dinner

Cottage Living

We have lamb in the freezer thanks to good friend Pat Labine of Oyster Bay Farm. She raises some of the best lamb I've ever eaten. The Bearded One had gotten some chops out for dinner.

Lamb chops for Two


  • 3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 lamb chops (3/4 inch thick)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter


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  1. In a small bowl or cup, mix together the rosemary, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub this mixture onto the lamb chops on both sides. Place them on a plate, cover and set aside for 15 minutes to absorb the flavors.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place lamb chops in the skillet, and cook for about 3 1/2 minutes per side for medium rare, or continue to cook to your desired doneness. Remove from the skillet, and keep warm on a serving platter.
  3. Add shallots to the skillet, and cook for a few minutes, just until browned. Stir in vinegar, scraping any bits of lamb from the bottom of the skillet, then stir in the chicken broth. Continue to cook and stir over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by half. If you don't, the sauce will be runny and not good. Remove from heat, and stir in the butter. Pour over the lamb chops, and serve.

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This really turned out well. The balsamic reduction sauce was amazing, although I had to substitute chopped onion with a little garlic for the shallots this time. We had some leftover brown rice and I roasted some beets from the garden. Topped it off with a small glass of Trader Joe's $2.49 finest Cabernet... Perfection.

A little Art...

These rusty sand dollars were spotted along the way at work. They fit in well next to the Sound. Great idea...

Sand dollars

Until next time...


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Very, Very, brief but had to share...

I hadn't planned on doing the blog tonight. Filed our taxes instead, tying up some loose ends before we move. then I came across this really cool website that has lots of freebies like this...



CoffeeShop Frames 15 ad

So I tried it...

It's not the "crayola" effect but it's fun none the less and the price is right. Free.

Here I've used my grandson Hunter as an example.


And then here's another one...


Okay I'm done just had to share. A regular post tomorrow.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Let the countdown begin...

Mockup roots and soil Wolberts Edit

The Final-final Crayola rendition...

Cottage Life

It's official. One week from tomorrow we will get the keys to our new abode. "The Wolbert's lawn treatment" is really beginning to show. The weeds which were abundant are now beginning to decline a bit, the moss has turned black, and the sparse blades of grass are vibrant with color and should begin to fill in. We will over seed after we move in. I will be posting pictures of the transformation. Be prepared to be amazed. We will have sun. I may be complaining about too much sun coming in the sliders later this year but right now it sounds fabulous. We will be sleeping on a blowup mattress with a tempurpedic topper for the first bit though the "Bearded One" would much prefer the floor. I like to roll out of bed using gravity to propel me on my way. Getting up from the floor... not so easy. It's more of a get on your hands and knees, back your derrière up into the air and then push off sort of procedure. Gravity working against you.

derēˈe(ə)r| noun informal euphemistic term for a person's buttocks. Behind.

We will begin to do a little yard work while we have a break in the weather. I admit that I've sat on the back step a time or two and taken in the ambiance. Well the "imagined" ambiance anyway. I can smell the burgers on the BBQ grill already.


A little Art...

I'm dragin' a little so this dragon seemed appropriate, although not really very artsy.


Hmmm... Pause for Thought

There is no thought...I'm heading for bed.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Whoops, I must've fallen off the face of the earth for a bit...


What I've been up to... If you missed it refresh the page and it should cycle again.

Cottage Life

I've been a little pre-occupied. Trying to learn webpage design in dreamweaver, animation gif files, learning to shoot HD video with the canon 7D, and doing the layout for the Thurston County Direct Sales Farm Map. Oh and then there's the little matter about getting ready to move. So I will attempt to get myself back on track.

The last of the "crayola" files

Well my trial for AlienSkins SnapArt ends tomorrow. I have really enjoyed playing with the program. I thought I'd run a few images through the crayon filter since it is one of the most fascinating techniques. So here goes. A plethera of photos.

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Oak leaf Hydrangea

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This one is colored pencil

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A very primitive farm scene with sister Sandy's critters


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Marbles in the snow

until next time... Grab a crayon.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thursday, a little wine... okay a lot of wine.


Sharing a glass of wine with the Neighbor

Cottage Life

These are happy-sad times at the cottage. Happy to be getting into our new digs which will allow us to have the family over, and yet very sad to leave the quaint little cottage that we've called home for the last two years. I went to the neighbor's / landlord's house for a glass of wine this evening. A mixture of laughter and tears. She is thinking of turning the cottage into a vacation rental. A place where people can go to get away for a couple of days. It will be perfect for that. The Bearded One and I have certainly enjoyed the peace and quiet it has had to offer. The one thing I was going to miss terribly was the "emeril" cookware. Bless Melody's heart she took pity on me and is giving me all of it. Two frypans and a small stockpot. I am truly in heaven. I will be planting some primroses in the planter boxes and getting it ready for spring.

Untitled 2 EditPrimroses  ala' crayola...

A little Art...

A great photo taken by my good friend Sandy Wolbert... Crayola'd of course... It seems to be a theme, and alas, I only have the program for a couple of more days.

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Hmmm... Pause for Thought



Until Next time...

I couldn't help myself... really.

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