Tag Archives: yard

two of my favorites…

Another busy week of visitors and button work. There was even a wedding mixed in there too!

Besides all the irises that ring my yard there are two other plants that show up every year: Egyptian Walking Onions and Love-In-A-Mist. They have been here longer than I have and I am happy to see them ever year!

Egyptian Walking Onions are awesome! They can be eaten young like green onions or you can let them grow and eat them like shallots. If you let them grow they make their own little bulbs at the top and send out weird alien spindly shoots that form yet more bulbs! The bulbs and shoots eventually weigh down the plant or reach the ground and plant themselves, hence, “walking”. I like that they sort of meander around my yard from place to play. I also send off bulbs to people to start their own walking garden. Let me know if you would like some.

these onions were made for walking...ok, that was dumb. I'm sorry.


Love-In-A-Mist reminds me of two things; that the plant looks like it should grow underwater, and that my ex-boyfriend had them growing outside his cottage when I was 18. They are one of the first green things to start growing in my yard each year and shoot up fluffy, fuzzy stems that eventually form intricate blue star shaped flowers. They are just so dreamy to me!

Love in a Mist easily reseeds itself which is great. I wonder if these plants are completely adapted to grow under my cedar tree because my neighbor tried to get some to grow in her yard and it didn’t work as well. At any rate, I love these reseeding annuals.

I made a facebook photo album of the cats at my house. I figure if I’m becoming a crazy cat lady then why not document it?


yard labyrinth

The past two days were beautiful in Portland. So beautiful that I got my first sunburn! i cleared my side yard of grass, put down landscape fabric, and covered it in a tiny bit of soil. I have dreamed of putting in a labyrinth for the past few years but wasn’t sure how to do it. I taught myself to draw labyrinths last year and decided I would just mark one out with rocks in the yard and place small bits of moss down that i hope will grow larger.

Well, here it is:

the view from my back walkway into the side yard.

here's a rose my yard. I'm not a bit fan of roses. I think they are the prima donna of plants. There are so many plants that are understated but roses get a lot of attention. As much and I want to get rid of the roses in my yard I feel I have an obligation to keep them. Portland is the Rose City after all!

I’ll post more photos of the yard and the labyrinth as time goes on so stay tunes…or come on  over if you would like to walk it. It is small but still walkable.

Moar from the basement!

Currently I’m in shift at the IPRC. I made some copies of zine and decided to upload these photos!

Paul spent most of a day last week cleaning out the basement. We had piles of empty boxes that he broke down, the IPRC zine library over stock, random junk and a whole small room filled with broken bike parts, boxes of junk from my childhood (including notes from jr. high and a bunch of Animaniacs stuff) broken musical equipment, screen printing supplies and who knows what. I came home to a basement that felt much roomier. It all didn’t photograph that well and we aren’t done with the guest room yet but here’s what it looks like from the top of the stairs down to my new work bench. the door the guest room is to the left of the work bench.

The stencil was made by and old housemate circa 2001 who later went on to work with crimethic

Looking up the stairs

Looking up the stiars and into the back of the basement. Paul stashed a bunc hof stuff under the stairs including our beer cellering mini fridge and brewing supplies.

from the back of the basement looing toward the stairs:Guest room to the left band room to the right

An extremely flattering image of paul labeling the wall of consolidated zine boxes in the future guest room.

I figure that since the band room gets used at least 3 times a week I may as well take some photos of all the crap crammed into the practice space.

It’s a tiny room with a lot of stuff crammed in it. It also makes a lot of noise. Paul has this friend who likes to come over and play his bass through hid old Sunn cab. It shakes the whole house. This room is completely insulated too so it is not usually so loud. We also have a freeway by the house that is a bit like white noise canceling out the sound. Paul apologized to our neighbors for playing past 10 one night and they didn’t even know bands practiced in the basement! They didn’t hear a thing!

Sometimes I feel like there are musical instruments stashed in corners all over the house.

There are keyboards and synths everywhere and some weird trumpet type things too.

Look! Two more keyboard and a guitar in this corner!Look! Two more keyboards and a guitar in this corner! I also saw a midi controller by my bed, an air organ and a 4 track recorder in the dining room, a six track recorder on my work bench and there’s a ukulele around too.  And I don’t even play any instruments!

I’ll post more on the progress of the guest room as it comes along. I also took some photos of my yard because I want to start documenting it again. Paul and I worked in the yard a bit last week and Maggie even helped me pull some weeds the other day until our hands got cold in the dirt. I did find a few of the first violets! They always make me happy to see. Violets and Camellia are always the first bloomers in my yard followed by tulips, daffodils, and bluebells. I’m excited about spring!

Paul and I after working in the yard the other day.

A weekend of dogs and some garden talk.

It has been a weekend of dogs…. and the cats hating me. I have had my sister and brother-in-laws dogs since Thursday. It’s not that they are bad dogs, they are just really needy and constantly looking at me like “so, when’s mom coming back?” And as many times as I tell them they just stare at me and then go find garbage or cat poop to eat. Currently they are both sleeping in my bed while I type and will accompany me to the airport in a few hours to finally have their question answered. I wonder if all the times they have gone to the airport they just think that one or both of their people jsut stays in that airport building until they decided to come home. who knows.

Yesterday my mom called me to see if I wanted to dog sit for afew hours whil she went shopping. She just got a Cavelier King Charles Spaniel that I hadn’t seen yet. He name is Maggie and she is adorable! I spent a few hours up at the Riverhouse dog sitting for 3. Mostly I just held Maggie who had two modes:I want to bit every inch of you and also sleep. I wish I had more time to spend up there but I had to get home.

The two cats at my house are indoor outdoor so they have been glaring at me with the dogs. Jackie just sits on the porch and watches the dogs who don’t seem to notice him half the time .OK just freaks out and runs away.

The weather has been cloudy and I have been working in my yard a bit. I planted some Morning Glories that I have grown from seed so i’ll have 3 different varieties to entice the Hummingbirds. I also planted some plants I got at a yard sale. Some were mislabeled and some weren’t labeled at all. The woman told me one was a bluebell and it clearly wasn’t. But, I put them in my yard and I have started planning what I’m going to transplant next year to make the yard a bit more colorful during the whole growing season.

Paul and I are also planning to take out our chainlink fence and leave the posts in and attach a picket fence to them .We are also thinking about using the chainlink to make a chicket coop and get chickens next year. We’ll see if it works out.

Right now I have to get up and start my day. Gotta pick up my sister soon and i have a zine symposium meeting tonight that I need to do some work for.

Oh, here’s a new review of Stolen Sharpie Revoluntion 2 on Book Spew.

July 2009 Garden photos

I have’t posted any pictures of  food or my garden lately. So here are some garden pictures. My yard is winding down from the glory of spring color but new things are imerging in summer color. I left a lot of random borage growing in the humming bird garden to take up space but I took some out to make the morning glories, bee balm and other tubular flowers more accessable for the humming bird. You know the ones I haven’t seen yet but built an entire garden for.

We have lots of spiders eating bad bugs, lots of different kinds of bees, a few different kinds of butterflies, and even a couple kinds of dragonflies! I love the dragonfiles. I hope I can take pictures of them some time. But, no Hummingbirds!

Anyway, click here to see a slideshow of my garden in July. here are some photos:





black eyed susans and daisies

black eyed susans and daisies

In the center of my garden I have 3 artichoke stalks from last year propped up. Growing on and up them are sweet peas and climbing nasturtiums. My garden is sort of messy. I like it wild like that.

In the center of my garden I have 3 artichoke stalks from last year propped up. Growing on and up them are sweet peas and climbing nasturtiums. My garden is sort of messy. I like it wild like that.

I’m dog sitting for my sister so I’m currently sitting in bed with two dogs. The cats are not vey happy about this. They be gone soon enough.

infused vodka, asparagus and more garden shots

I have always wanted to infuse vodka…. but I’m not really a hard alcohol drinker so buying mass quantities of vodka is never really first on my mind. But, Paul got a deal on some good vodka while I was gone so I came home to find a glass jug of vodka sitting on top of my fridge. I thought that this must be my chance! I roasted some coffee and cracked it but didn’t grind it, pulled some strawberries out of the freezer and picked some mint from the yard and this is what I got:

hand roasted Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Strawberries from our yard last year and mint from this year.

hand roasted Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Strawberries from our yard last year and mint from this year.

I let the coffee steep for 2 days, the mint for 5 and I’m going to take the strawberries out after 7. The coffee vodka smells amazing! Now I jsut need to figure out what to make with these!

Paul and I went to the Farmer’s market on Wednesday and picked up some asparagus and other things. The other night I made some spinach pesto pasta and topped it off with asparagus, onions, grape tomatoes, and olives cookined in red wine. It was yummy!

Spinach Pesto and Asparagus

Spinach Pesto and Asparagus

I have also been working in my yard… as usual. Yesterday I decided that I don’ want any grass anymore and started removing some by my front door. Paul thinks it is just an excuse for me to buy mroe plants. Maybe he is right but working in the yard keeps me sane and we all like a sane me.

I bought a few more veggie starts and so far this is what is in the veggie garden: Carrots, chard, spinach, lettuce, beets, purple cabbage, celery, brussel sprouts, broccoli, about 3 different kinds of beans, 2 different tomatoes, pumpkin, zucchini, yellow squash, strawberries, eggplant, and corn. I also planted flowers in the middle of the garden because I think they will look nice so there are climbing nasturtiums crawling up some old artichoke stalks, sweetpeas and sunflowers. I think once everything starts growing well I’ll have a very pretty garden. I’ll take more photos when things take off!

I’m excited that  I came back just in time to see my irises in bloom. I’m really going to have to clean them out and trade them off in the Autumn thought because they are getting unruly again.


wisteria off my porch. It is a bit faded but still pretty

artichoke. Paul likes to talk to it and tell it how much he will enjoy eating it. It is sort of weird and also very cute.

artichoke. Paul likes to talk to it and tell it how much he will enjoy eating it. It is sort of weird and also very cute.

first of many foxglove blooms! I love foxglove.

first of many foxglove blooms! I love foxglove.

Cascade hops!

Cascade hops!

blooming sage. It has taken over the lavender plant that grows next to it.

blooming sage. It has taken over the lavender plant that grows next to it.

little white moss flowers. There is moss growing between chunks of concrete that is my back patio. I love the tiny flowers they have.

little white moss flowers. There is moss growing between chunks of concrete that is my back patio. I love the tiny flowers they have.

Paul and I are taking off to the riverhouse tonight after my IPRC shift. I’m really looking forward to getting away for a few days. I need it.

gardening, beer, and karaoke and songs that touch your heart

I slacked on my work yesterday after coming back from the post office but I have and good reason… False Spring! The sun was out and the weather was in the mid 50’s. The irises are starting to shoot up as well as the bulbs. I trimmed up some bushes, transplanted some plants, put some plants in pots to give away, pulled weeds, and even read a zine while sitting in the sun with Marc’s cats, OJ and Jackie. I also smashed a finger, that wasn’t fun.

Toward the end of my day someone came to pick up some custom buttons while my hands were inches deep in the roots of a violet plant. The buttons were for somoeone in a beer competition…. and the person who picked the buttons up bround me a half gallon jug of beer! What a perefect payment and a great way to end my work day! I think the beer was an amber and it was really drinkably smooth with a nice malt base and very balanced.

Then Paul and I made a vegan mushroom alfredo sauce with penne while listening to records starting with Jane’s Addiciton- Nothing’s Shocking. The alfredo sauce is really rich and I made with a coconut milk base. I hadn’t made it for awhile so I’m glad I remembered the recipe. Paul made the garlic bread my favorite way: margarine, Vegenaise, fresh chopped garlic and parsley. Seriously, Vegenaise makes everything yummy! The beer went really well with the meal too. Then we worked on our crosswords puzzles while continuing our late 80’s early 90’s alterna-rock with Jesus and Mary Chain, Love & Rockets and Nine Inch Nails-Pretty hate Machine. ha!

What I really wanted to write about was karaoke. Last night I went to the Alibi with Marc and LillyMonster. I needed to get out of the house and they invited me. Let me make something perfectly clear, I don’t sing karaoke, ever. end of story. See, I have this thing. I will never do karaoke. I know it is all fun and no one cares blah blah blah. But here’s the deal: I have sang in real bands and when you are in a band everyone has a chance of messing up. When you are singing karaoke the one messing up is you. I can’t wrap my brain around that to make it alright.

Last night I got made fun of  for scouring through the song book by band in alphabetical order. Most of  the bands and singers I had never heard of and definitely none that I would want to sing to a room of drunk strangers. Sure, I have a soft spot in my heart for a few things like Meatloaf (yes, Meatloaf) ABBA and Willie Nelson but I jsut couldn’t see myself singing any songs by them in front of people. It made me realize some things.

One, I’m sort of a snob. and two, I have spent many years living in a pop culture vacuum. I stopped listening to FM music radio in 1992 so I don’t know any of the popular songs and even when I did listen to the top-40 radio it was the “modern rock” or “college rock” station. As I put it to them last night I was already too-cool-for-skool by jr. high in the late 80’s and made fun of people who listened to the New Kids on The Block, and Milly Vanilli. I don’t have those strings of nostalgia attached to them that would make me want to share it with others.

The songs that I have those connections to aren’t going to be in that book. I won’t find The Cure-Jumping Someone Ele’s train, Joy Division-Transmisison, Bad Religion-You, Tilt- Suspended, Dead Milkment-born to Love Vocanoes, or Discount-Fixing Rubble Building Us. Those songs just aren’t going to be there. Because of that  I guess I just don’t see the point. I’d rather be good at making zines and solving crossword puzzles. I’ll leave the singing up to people who enjoy it like Paul… except for the one time he coaxed me into singing back up vocals on the very last song here… cause there’s a lot in life you can’t explain.

Eat it!

Ok, off to go polish my workshop notes or the Etsy Workshop I’m teaching at the IPRC tonight.

False Spring… happens every year.

It seems like every February in Portland there is a false spring. A week or two of beautiful sunny weather that tricks everyone into wearing shorts and riding bikes in smiling  packs. For me it lures me out into my yard with planning and planting in mind..

I live on a small corner lot and in the past someone must have really loved this yard. There is a  short chain link fence and every color iris you can think of growing all around the edges. There are lots of interesting plants that grow in the yard, it seems that I find new ones every year! There are lots of neat plants: lemon balm, roses, foxglove, strawberries, violets, money plants, mint, lupines, Camellia, lavender, peony, hen and chicks and on and on. I have also planted a lot of things in the past year too including a vegetable garden and a humming bird garden (Paul really likes humming birds!)

Last year I planted a bunch of seeds but our housemate at the time had a cat that got into our room and decided to eat all the seedlings! What kind of cat eats plants? I also had a damping off problem since it was really humid last year. This year I planted over 40 different seeds on Imbloc (feb 2) Some of the seeds are old and about 30of them have come up so far, I think that’s pretty good. I’m going to be gone a lot this spring so I wanted to get started early.

Last year I realized that I had never documented the seasons of my yard so I started. I have photos from April 2008, beginning of May, Mid May, and June. Well, after that the year went down hill and I got busy so I wasn’t able to take more pictures. I was able to get my winterizing done though so there isn’t much left to do this spring.

Well, our false spring was last week and I got Paul to scour the neighborhood with me for fallen birch branches. I have been building little fences around all of my flower beds. I think they look really nice. Today I spend about 2-3 hours working in my yard… most of it was spent trying to tie up the unruly Wisteria vines.  I let then grow our last year because I read that they will have more blooms of you do. Anyway, here’s an image that pretty much sums up my yard work and garden in February of 2009.

yard work...

yard work...

Spring always reminds me of Paul’s old band Homesick. They had a song called Sping:

“…Maybe this year spring will never end

I feel my life’s been filled with hope again

maybe someday we’ll walk hand in hand

maybe this year everything I’ve planned will come together in the spring...”