Monday, September 28, 2009

Cabela's Expedition - Lacey, Wa

We undertook the ultimate Sunday expedition yesterday, a pilgrimage to the monumental Cabela's store in Lacey, Washinton. It's at the opposite end of the Salish sea from us about a 2.5 - 3 hour drive one way. We were undaunted, especially with the addition of a friend to accompany us who prefers to be known only as "Ka-Jo Nes".
From the history of Cabelas: "Cabela's, the World's Foremost Outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, was born somewhat inadvertently in 1961 when Dick Cabela came up with a plan to sell fishing flies he purchased while at a furniture show in Chicago. Upon returning home to Chappell, Nebraska, Dick ran a classified ad in the Casper, Wyoming, newspaper reading: "12 hand-tied flies for $1." It generated one response.
Undaunted, Dick formulated a new plan, rewriting the ad to read "FREE Introductory offer! 5 hand tied Flies....25c Postage....Handling" and placing it in national outdoor magazines. It didn't take long for the orders to begin arriving from sportsmen and women around the country."
Back to our story... a nice aside is, it wasn't too far from where J's brother lives, so he and his two kids popped over to meet us for lunch. Here they are checking out our new family member "Big Blue". [J's brother also drives a gorgeous Dodge Ram.]
Upon entering the store we were awe-struck, so much so all we could do was immediately find something to fortify us. Here K and J enjoy a 1/2# Buffalo Burger, and a Venison Kielbasa. I opted for the deli sandwich on wheat with thin sliced Wild Boar, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion and jalapenos. Mmm-mm, fabulous. Really great fries as well. They had a selection of exotic game meats on the menu, which made it especially interesting to eat here.

To shake off the lunch slump, K and I had a friendly competition on the Big Buck Hunter Pro game. Here we are deciding where and what to hunt.

And here we are shooting up the Montana wilderness trying to bag some elk... "shoot the Bucks, not the Does!" K seemed always ahead of me until he removed his sunglasses, and there went his mojo.

K decided this was, "Man, returning the favor," to the rodent population, in this case a Prairie Dog. Did we ever really shop?

Apparently not. Escalators and levitation.

Here I am checking out a New Holland Tractor out front before heading out and enjoying a frosty treat.

What frosty treat you might ask? Snow Ka-Jo Nes!!

Stay tuned... for more riotous shopping adventures!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fall has fallen

The image above is is of Persephone, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, a Pre-Raphaelite painter.
In Greek mythology, the start of autumn coincides with the time the goddess Persephone returns to the underworld to live with her husband Hades. Persephone was abducted by Hades who fell in love with her and took her to the underworld. Persephone's mother, Demeter, goddess of grain and the harvest was so distressed by the loss of her daughter that in her grief, she withdrew her nurturing presence from the earth. Flowers wilted, and crops on earth died and became dormant. The earth became cold and barren.

It was eventually agreed that Persephone could return to her mother for two thirds of the year but would spend the remaining months with Hades. While Persephone is with her husband in the underworld, seeds lie hidden in the barren ground and when she returns to her mother, Demeter celebrates by resuming her divine duties and restoring fertility to the earth. Seeds burst forth in crops and fruits and life reborn.
We're still madly harvesting and putting up food for winter here at Seven Trees, but things are starting to wind down. Check out Newt, taking a break in a wheelbarrow of hay.

What are these two looking at? They were watching the mini-rodeo as we wrestled with Buddy.Buddy in the stanchion, getting his halter adjusted. Not long before Buddy & Doug will do their part in the cycle of farm life and feed us for a good long time. For now, we're giving them lots of treats and all the hay they can eat.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Make Millions Farming!

Warning! Adult language, as in swear words. But we may have stumbled onto the secrets of striking it rich at Seven Trees.....enjoy!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Visits as summer wanes

Brother drove up again to go shooting at our favorite, roomy spot. Another old friend, Dave, was also visiting and as a professional photographer gifted us with many pictures of our outing. Notice Joanna showing off her beloved 10/22.

Here Dave fixes the AR-15 to suit him. My brother has it adjusted so well that it's hard to miss the target.

Just point and shoot. The day was in the mid-80's and proved to be quite toasty down in the gravel pit.

The new truck held all our gear quite nicely as J takes a moment in the shade it created. Next time we've decided we'll bring the BBQ and just make a day of it.

The world's most powerful handgun... well not quite.
But J still practices her Clint look.
We had a great time with our visitors, including the trip shooting, and look forward to when next we all meet. In the meantime, harvest carried on back at home. The Centennial Hops were very ready and needed attention. Notice the cat foreman, Crichton overseeing this task as he does most all tasks inside and out.
Another bonus from our kind neighbors as our young Italian plum trees aren't yet producing. These will either be eaten fresh or dehydrated... the jar contains dried exactly what the bucket does fresh.

And speaking of buckets... I'd no sooner set the pick bucket down on the back porch after emptying it, when I next passed by it was already occupied. At first glance, I thought I missed a leaf, but it was a small tree frog who decided it was a nice place to hang out.

Once noticed though s/he headed to points "up".

Not sure if you can tell, but high up at the top of the back porch is a second frog who our bucket frog joined. Did froggy go a-courting??

The back porch now appears to be a favored frog hang out as we either hear or see them there these days. Maybe they like that we replaced the leaky porch roof this summer.
It gets dark earlier and light later now, so we have installed lights on timers in both of our mini coops for the chickens. Today was an egg record with a total of 21 laid!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Harvest frenzy continues...

We procured a lovely steel shelving unit for our harvest drying rack this weekend that was quickly put to use for curing veggies.
But right about the time we thought things were settling down Monday the neighbor stopped by. Seems he'd gotten a call from a friend about a shipment of grapes that weren't able to get where they needed to, so they were looking for someone that would use them. Since he has grapes already, we got a delightful special delivery... wow!

Lots more than we expected! A closer view of the beauties. We'll juice them and use some for jelly. If there are no takers on sharing some of this bounty, then we will start a batch of zinfandel wine as well. Good neighbors... well they make good neighbors!!

In the meantime, Newt, who always tries every object out as furniture... gives this drip hoses a test for comfort. She lays on them often, so maybe they retain heat or something to that effect. She's an odd cat, if we haven't said so before.

While Newt goes experimental, Magnus, the intrepid house-cat, "lols" on the living room floor. He seems to have no penchant for testing anything uncomfortable, preferring to lounge on soft things like fluffy rugs, fleece blankets or his human's bed.
Smart kitty!
And an update. Neither of us got a call about winning that draft horse filly. Sigh...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Visit to the Draft Horse Show!

At the Evergreen State Fair. And just below is Dixie Valentine, an 18 month old Clydsdale filly that is being raffled come Thursday this week. J is pretty darn sure she bought the winning tickets, but that's hard to believe since I was the one who bought the winners.

The sights and sounds were overwhelming to us northerners, with the place being packed, hawkers yelling, rides roaring with associated shrieks, smells assailing from roasted meat to cotton candy, and the sun beating down on all. We finally escaped to the barns where I shared ice cubes from mango/lemon ice tea with one of the draft horses in the cool, far more quiet confines.
Finally 5:00 PM rolled around when the draft event started. This was the winning wagon in one of the senior driver competitions. This 60 year old gal below made driving her team look effortless, but truth is it's just that she'd been doing it all her life. Her percheron team was also in top form and well trained which certainly helped as well. Blue ribbon!

Another shiny wagon competing with black percherons, and from Bellingham none-the-less! We stayed on through the pulling competition, but finally had to depart for home when it started getting late.

Speaking of horse power...

This is a small portion of the harvest that we dropped off at mom's yesterday. The garden is winding down, although J has some nice winter starts going that will hopefully keep us in veggies for a good while longer.

Happy week to you all!