Pete’s Quarantine Activities

Pete fixing truck oil pan.
Pete welding oil pan for red plow truck in the background.

Here is what Pete does during quarantine here in Elk WA. He welds up the oil pan from the red plow truck that his wife broke. I left the truck in 4-wheel-drive while we drove around looking for escaped doggies last weekend. Oooops!

Clunk, clunk, clunk and bang.

We got a ride home from the neighbor, Yay! I felt absolutely terrible, because I know his “to-do list” is insane already, but what can I say? Sometimes, I do the stupidest things and really regret it afterwards. This is one of those times.

Pete welding oil pan.I used to always work with my Dad in the shop watching him arc weld, and he taught me to solder and weld too. It has been many years since I fixed up my first pickup truck, but the smell of the torch and metal reminds me of the folks I miss.

Pete the welder.
Pete the welder.

Honestly, I always admire how talented Pete is. He is a truly talented metal working dude, picking up steel wire and patching that pan perfectly. Not many husbands can do something like that. He does it as if it wasn’t even a big deal. Lucky me, I certainly have a keeper in Pete.

 

Alfalfa Sprouts

Alfalfa Sprout Memoriesalfalfa sprouts 03

Remember, the alfalfa sprouts long ago, in the 1970s…. those long warm days walking in the sand and splashing in the waves after work. One of my first jobs was a little beach truck that sold smoothies, and avacado sandwiches fully covered with sprouts. Consequently, I am still a virtual wiz at creating both. That job had front row parking at the beach and frequent swimming, but minimum wage just wasn’t enough. I could have stayed there if all I had to do was enjoy my life.

Food Truck Days

I remember making that perfect avacado sandwich with melted cheese and sprouts? Yum. Growing up I made all kinds of things with sprouts. Those little green guys with crunch. Grown on the kitchen window sill in Kahaluu in a flat dish with a wet paper towel in it. Lots of watering was required to keep that towel damp. Alfalfa sprouts are back and much easier to grow. They are bringing a smile to my face with a lot old warm and fuzzy memories.

alfalfa sprouts 02 The Discovery

Actually, I was searching on Amazon for something else and found these screen lids that fit the standard wide-mouth canning jars which come with a packet of alfalfa seed. What a score.

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Measuring two teaspoons of seed into the jar and filled with twice as much water to sit overnight. Second thru third kept them in a dark area and rinsed each day. Then from day four place in the sun (kitchen window sill) for green action to begin and enjoy. These pictures are from day 5 in the process, Wow! I am eating them frequently. Next, I am thinking a little less would be good.

 

alfalfa sprouts 02Consequently, I’m thinking a little less seed in following batches, because Pete refuses to eat any alfalfa. Alfalfa is for cows and horses, not humans.

Really? Uh Huh. Similarly, he doesn’t like avacado too, so what can I say.

I know, “All the more for the rest of us”!

Gone Fishin’ Gene from Dad

Here are a couple of pictures that show this fishing gene definitely exists on my father’s side of the family. I don’t have as many pictures or memories of fishing with my Dad’s side of the family. My Grandma on my Dad’s side was named Gladys Rafferty, she is pictured here with Ruby, who is her sister and her husband, Joe Lockert.

Isn’t that a humongous trout or a salmon? Hmmmmm what do you think it is?

Gladys Rafferty with her sister Ruby and husband Joe Lockert in Lemmon South Dakota.

Joe and Ruby used to send us venison sausage for Christmas when we lived in Hawaii. Joe liked to hunt, and the sausage was real good.

Don Schultheis fishing in Hawaii in the 1970s.

My Dad with an aku he caught on a boat trip, out of fisherman’s wharf in Honolulu. He enjoyed the day but said it kind of made him seasick cause the seas were a little turbulent. WE had fresh sashimi that night.

Gone Fishin’ Gene from Mom

Val fishing in Colorado mountains 1960s.

I come from a long line of “Gone Fishin”, in the family. Really. We have a fishing parasite along with a strong love of the outside. We embrace a meditative state as we lure our dinner into the fry pan. I have proof of this through generations of photography.

Sedilla Pyle in the 1960s Colorado Rocky Mountains looking at the aspen.

The first photographs are of Sedilla, nicknamed “Dillie”, who is my maternal Great Grandma. She had a habit of outliving her husbands, so her last names were numerous including Oxendine (maiden name), Canniff, McKibben, and then Pyle. She fished wherever she lived, these are pictures of her and her kids fishing in Colorado, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.

Dillie Pyle in 1960’s Oklahoma.
Billie McKibben fishing with Sedilla Pyle.

What the heck kind of fish is this?

Billie McKibben with Dorothy & Gus Nethery were Dillie’s children so the fishing gene gets passed on.

I guess there were no fishing limits back then…

Sedilla all bundled up in her folding chair while fishing Colorado.
Stopping for a family, cool feet dipping, during a long Colorado mountain drive with Sedilla, her sister Beulah, and her daughter Opal Kilpatrick.

Honestly, I remember Grandma pulling over cause she saw someone fishing. She’d casually ask them what they were using for bait, and ask if they caught anything.

Opal Kilpatrick 1960s Colorado, getting ready to fry up another delicious dinner at her house in Denver Colorado.

This woman could cook a rock and make it taste delicious.

Fishing is a weekend long event where we would drive up to the mountains, picnic and camp, fish and hike. I loved it. It is probably why I feel so free hiking in the mountains still.

Plein Air at Slavin Conservation Area

Slavin Conservation Area SouthYesterday I was able to go and paint plein air with some friends from our Spokane Watercolor Club. We went to the James T. Slavin Conservation Area just, off of highway 195, and it was really chilly 24º F, but did warm up to 40º around noon. It was surprising how close to Spokane it is. And, the conservation area covers a lot of ground (600+ acres) with a lot of different natural wonders to see. I was able to paint two sketch images while I stood on a little knoll directly in front of the parking lot.

Slavin Conserv 01First a Watercolor Sketch

I painted while looking south standing upon the first knoll near the parking lot for the first plein air image. It had meadow grasses with scattered burgundy bunches of bush, then going off into into where the forest pine and birch tree line appears. I made a rudimentary watercolor sketch of this scene, but stopped there, as my watercolors and  water were freezing. But, when the other artist’s arrived, I learned about a trick that stops that from happening. I love painting with other artists, because, you always learn something helpful from each other. If you want to know the secret, you’ll have to come paint with us to learn. 🙂

Slavin Conservation Area West
Slavin Conservation Area West
Slavin Conserv 02
Slavin Conservation Area 02

Second is an Acrylic Sketch

The second image is painted using acrylic paint on a canvas board. Standing at the same location but turned to face west where a pair of pines flanked the left side, with grasslands reaching off into a distant treeline and hill silhouette behind. These colors are a little tricky to get right, but are quite beautiful when it comes out right. Neither of these plein air sketches are any way near finished, but the scenes are embedded in my mind and I am sure I’ll be able to finish them in my studio.

I am not up to strenuous hiking, but thankfully this area is easily accessible with parking close by so it was a totally rejuvenating day. Being able to paint with other painters has revitalized the artist in me. It was surprising how many people walk their dogs there. There is also evidence of a lot of horse hoof prints on the trails. In about a month, that whole field is going to be covered with wildflowers, one of the local ladies told me .

EYE CANDY SURPRISE!

Next month sounds like a great time to schedule another plein air painting trip there. Yep, I’m looking forward to it.

 

Dragonfly In Cosmos

Dragonfly in Cosmos
15″w x 11″h watercolor & ink on 140lb Arches cold press.

Just finished a fun watercolor of a dragonfly in cosmos blossoms. We have dragonflies in our garden every year and they are just so fascinating to watch. Their wings seem to glisten as they fly over all the blossoms with their transparent wings. An “eye candy” insect with great colors in their silent flight. They are also quite the benefit to have around, check out the info here. Dragonflies

I do dragonflies frequently because each one I find is always different in colors and shapes and they are usually admiring blooms as I do while I work in the garden.

Red Amaryllis Blossoms

Pete’s brilliantly beautiful red amaryllis’ bloomed with four beauties on it. So, we are taking our camera to task for all kinds of great photographs.

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red amaryllis

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Yesterday one of Pete’s brilliantly beautiful red amaryllis bloomed. It has four red beauties on it. S0, we took our camera, trying all kinds of settings to get great photographs of it. I definitely plan to be painting this blossom while the bloom lasts and afterwards using the best of these pictures.

If you know my wonderful husband Peter, with the green thumbs this is one of his favorite flowering bulbs. I think he got a lot of it from Mom. When I remember all the beautiful blossoms that used to greet us during the holidays at their house.

“Each blossom has six petals, six thing-a-ma-jigs along with a longer thing-a-ma-jig. Hmmm. I’m not a botanist knowing all of the correct terms for the parts of an amaryllis bloom. So, I had to google it to find out more and be able to finish this post with a modicum of knowledge.

Amaryllis – A bulbous plant with white, pink, or red flowers. Meaning determination, strength and love. Amaryllis in Greek is a female name meaning, “to sparkle”. Some more Googled info to put in your gray matter.

Hope you enjoy the amaryllis slide show.

Hurley’s and the Kids in Snow

Hurley and Isaac 1Snow Favorites

Hurley did not forget his kids or their favorite snow “ball” game. When the snow came, they were all outside having fun and he jumped up over and over and never tired of chasing every snowball thrown.

Hurley Isaac Ben 05 Hurley Isaac Ben 03How many team members are that dedicated to catching a ball? Especially, when the ball continually dissipates into a million pieces, every time you catch it. Dogs are truly the most dependable friends and never hesitating to have some fun.

Hurley and Ben 2 Hurley and Ben 01

 

Hurley Loves Snow

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Hurley 03

Hurley is a Golden Doodle (half golden retriever and half poodle) who loves snow. When we got him he was skinny and loosing all of his hair (more than half his coat). After getting him checked out at the vet, we paid for an allergy blood test and found that he was horribly allergic to many things (17). Look at all the red boxes on this graphic of his test results.

Hurley Allergies
allergy test results

After first getting really overwhelmed… the vet said, “First pay attention to eliminating allergens with sensitivity numbers over 200, especially in food. Many times doing that will greatly improve things avoid others if you can.

Foods to Avoid:

Corn, Rice, Peanut, Oat, White Potato, Green Peas.

The vet gave us a list of food sources that costed anywhere from $4 each meal or more. Whew! Fifty dollars or more a week for food, is just not affordable for us. Hurley is generally a great dog, but we are not millionaires. Pete checked out the internet and found a solution on www.chewy.com. This brand “Victor Dog Food”, suited our needs perfectly and at a good price.

Before we did the allergy test, I was beginning to think that maybe we were dealing with some horrible disease that was going to claim him in the near future. He had ear infections over and over. There were itchy sores similar to “mosquito bites on steroids”, wherever his hair had fallen out. Nothing seemed to improve, with salves, and medicine for his ears. He was constantly dragging his body on walls, handrails, to scratch and was always licking his paws and chewing for itch relief.

Eliminating his worst food allergies by getting him food without those items in it. We have seen a transformation as he improved incredibly and amazingly fast. He is now a whopping 120 lbs. (from a sickly 80 lbs.). Things have greatly improved since we found out what Hurley is allergic to. We have to limit his portions now to stop weight gain. His hair is thick, fluffy and soft and he  loves to go roll in the snow outside because, I think he is a little too hot. Here is Hurley outside loving his roll in the snow.

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Hurley Loves Snow
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Hurley Loves to Roll in Snow