A Quick Step in New Mexico

I live in a beautiful place. This, I know.

Sometimes, it’s nice to get out there an see other beautiful places- so when I had the opportunity to join my aunt for an outing to New Mexico for a quick there and back, I couldn’t say no.

We spend time in Albuquerque and Sante Fe and wished we had more time to explore more of the wilds in the area. Nevertheless, we spent as much time enjoying the New Mexican lifestyle as possible.

We visited the Petroglyph National Monument before heading up to Sante Fe.  It was a beautiful early winter weekend with plenty of sunshine. These PNW girls were in desperate need of some Vitamin D, albeit a crisp day.

The food was great, art game was strong, and I had to resist every urge to buy turquoise and leather everything. Next time, it is out to venture in the mountains and hot springs.

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This corner of the world

I have been wanting to get out into the woods a lot more lately it seems.  My house needs some major attention in the cleaning department, but I keep finding really important things that seem to take priority. There are plenty of wet days ahead to take care of the “have to’s”, so I plan on taking advantage of the less rainy days to enjoy what is outside in this corner of the world- the Pacific Northwest and my backyard.

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Night and Day

Things have been busy- in all the right ways.  I had the opportunity to travel for work this week to sunny San Diego.

When I wasn’t busy meeting some of the most amazing colleagues in my field, I was given a few spare hours to enjoy the city. As a regular tourist, I hopped the local bus to Old Town for dinner and onto Balboa Park for the evening.  The park was fun and inviting with warm lighting and much to do- I spent my time taking it all in. Mission Beach was gorgeous with the perfect sea breeze and the California sun.

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Glorious Spring

Season changes can make the world of difference. Here in the great PNW, the first day of spring brought giant clouds in a bright blue sky.  I had to take full advantage and get out there- my creativity has finally escaped the winter blues.

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Suburban Homesteading

Although I’ve grown fond of my current home, I don’t quite belong in the suburban area of Olympia. I am naturally drawn to the extremes of a big city or small town.  Lately, it’s definitely been on the smaller side of things. This is best demonstrated when I use my spare time to do a little homesteading. This can be anywhere from using local flora for decor, or making preserves from local bounties.

After a trip to my Gram’s orchard, I found myself with two large crates of our family pears amongst apples and Italian prunes.  In hopes of avoiding waste (and fruit flies), I took to the kitchen with mason jars and some patience. Pears were 1st.

The method is so simple:

Wash & Rinse

Cut pears in half

Remove the core

Peel and chunk

Add a squeeze of local honey and lemon juice in the bottom of each jar

Add the pears with some hot water

And finish in a water bath to seal

No unnatural additives, just pure, sweet home pears.

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An Afternoon in the Blueberries

At our house, we try to stay local whenever we can.

Eat Local, Shop Local, Adventure Local.

A much needed day away from work allowed for some free time on a stunning Friday afternoon, so I took to the county road and spent a few hours in the quiet, warm, rows of deliciously plump blueberries at Teddie’s Berries in Olympia, Washington (right off littlerock road).  Teddie’s offers several long rows of blueberries for the picking. The farm also is home to Black River Winery, of which I did not partake unfortunately as I was there on a mission for berries only. (not to say there won’t be another visit out someday…) Back to the berries. They are plump, sweet, and ready for eating.  This season’s rates are $1.30 per lb for U-Pick and $2.30 for prepicked berries.  It was well worth my $1 savings per pound for a few quiet hours out in the blueberry rows. Not to mention, the pure joy associated with pulling a warm berry straight off the bush to make sure that bush was sweet enough to pick…This was a perfect summer outing, and my only regret is that I didn’t bring a group to enjoy the fun (and maybe missing out on a wine tasting).

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Brave NW Gardening

For some, May seems like the absolutely appropriate time to start a garden. Here in Western Washington, things are a little different. Tomato plants shiver thinking of frost, beans wither just by the sight of cold dewy mornings, and gardeners unite in one brave move to get their plants in the ground at the first sight of sun.  The Hubs made another planter box for me this  year, since the last years have proved the need for more room.  It has been unseasonably warm this week (today we were the hottest state in the country), and the weather offered the perfect window to get my plants started.  We’ll see how they do, I have a lot of travel scheduled for work this summer, so if half the plants survive, I will call the garden a success. (also, I am not a magician, the Hubs also helped to take photos)

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