Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Different Kind of Adventure


Kitty yoga? White Socks NEVER lies on her back like this. I think she's trying to imitate Wing Nut. This is what Wing Nut has been looking like the last few days.



Diva Dog napping? Don't let her fool you. This is one seriously stubborn GSD. Since Thursday she has been refusing to leave the house except for potty breaks.

Why are the critters acting so oddly? I think Wing Nut should tell you--the rest of the story.


What's wrong with this picture?


Wait a minute, those aren't Wellies. And those silver things are not garden implements. What's going on?

I (Wing Nut) had a bit of an accident this week. My right foot was squashed when a rack of potted plants tipped over and landed on it. Fortunately, I only broke one bone and it was a clean break. Things could have been much, much worse, and we are grateful that they weren't.

I'd like to say a HUGE thank you to all of my AWESOME co-workers and managers for scooping me up, giving me some ibuprofen, taping ice packs to my foot, and finding a pair of crutches within a matter of minutes. I'd also like to say a special thank you to MARY for shuttling me to the doctor, the pharmacy and then home, and for putting up with me while I tried not to freak out or fall apart too much.

So now I'm at home for a while -- eating, sleeping, taking pain meds, surrounding my foot with ice packs, and wearing this spiffy new boot.


Diva Dog is most supportive and loyal -- snuggling with me for my afternoon naps (of which there have been several the last few days). 

But she is also being stubborn and not going for her afternoon walks with Curmudgeon! The weather is absolutely gorgeous this holiday weekend, and they could be having wonderful long walks to Fremont or Ballard. Instead, she's usually sleeping beside me while I'm stretched out with my foot raised on a pillow and covered in ice packs. What a great dog! An under-exercised dog, but a great dog!

I'm sad that we aren't enjoying family adventures this weekend like we did previous weekends. According to the tide charts, there was a really low tide yesterday morning. We could have had fun at the beach, playing on the sand flats. But no -- I'm homebound and not moving much.

Going back to work may be an adventure too. I'm allowed to do desk work, but the computers are all located upstairs. In a few days, I should be able to climb stairs, as long as I don't do it frequently. I'm also not sure how I'll get to work -- I broke my right foot and can't drive with the boot.  There's no way I can do my regular job for a while --- 8 hours on my feet on concrete floors, running around stocking plants, unloading trucks, assisting customers and such. Sigh... this is not the summer adventure I wanted to have this year.

Friday, May 22, 2009

An Adventure -- Part II

After watching the gravel barge go through the locks and visiting the fish ladder, we walked around the Carl S. English, Jr. Botanical Gardens.  Here are some of the lovely plants we enjoyed.

I was going to do a little research to get the names of the plants I've pictured, but the Wenches have been dealing with a different kind of adventure this past week. So just enjoy the pretty pictures.









This is one of our favorite trees in the whole park. It's magnificent! It's huge and towering with a full and rounded shape plus golden-green soft needles/leaves. We think it's a type of cedar. If you look closely, you can see Wing Nut and Diva Dog looking for squirrels beneath its branches.

Friday, May 15, 2009

An Adventure --Part I

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day. So we loaded Diva Dog into the car and headed out in quest of an adventure. We ended up at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks--better known as the Ballard Locks.  It's always great fun watching as sailboats, pleasure boats both large and small, commercial ships and the impressive NOAA research vessels move through the locks. The locks help boats move up from the Puget Sound as they enter the Ship Canal or down from the freshwater lakes as they head out to the Sound and the ocean beyond. It's mesmerizing to watch as the boats get directed into a spot in the locks, the gates close and the locks either fill up or empty out. But this time there was something passing through the locks that I'd never seen before.



A huge gravel barge.


The Island Breeze tug and barge filled up the larger of the two locks all by itself.


As the barge headed out into the Ship Canal, we saw this familiar feathered friend cruising by.


After the Island Breeze headed into the ship canal, we headed over to the spillway dam. The spillway has six gates that either hold or release water as needed to keep the level of the freshwater lakes at 20-22 feet above sea level.


The funny looking tube is called a smolt flume and it helps the smolt, juvenile fish, as they leave their freshwater birthplace and head out into the big blue ocean. Apparently the water current is so strong, it pushes the young fish through the flume tail first.


At the far end of the spillway, and right above the fish ladder, is a very fun sculpture, Salmon Waves.



Wing Nut went down into the observation platform of the fish ladder but there wasn't much happening. May is the tail end of the Steelhead migration. The fish action will pick up in June with the Sockeye (Red). In July the Chinook (King) will follow. And the Coho (Silver) follow in August.

After checking for squirrels along the southern shore of the locks, we crossed back over the spillway and the locks to visit the Carl P. English, Jr. Botanical Garden located along the northern shore. That'll be Part II of this adventure.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Slugs and worms and viruses, oh my!

No, we did not fall off the face of the earth. No, we have not been buried under rabid rhubarb. And, no, we have not been covered by crapping camellias. Although, the camellias are still crapping all over the potager, and the rhubarb really does seem to be on steroids. The Wenches are still here, but we've been having some woes.


Despite Diva Dog's best efforts at guarding the cloches, slugs have been eating our salad greens.  But they've left enough for us to be able to get our first taste of spring salad greens, complete with baby radishes. And there was a lovely picture of said salad to go along with this post, but due to user error it got deleted. Oops. Sigh.

Worms and viruses have been wreaking havoc with our computer. It was running slow as molasses, and something was hijacking our browser. We'd click on one link and end up somewhere else, far from our original destination. Wing Nut has been working her day job at the nursery and then coming home and burning the midnight oil late, running all manner of scans looking for malicious programs, viruses, and spyware. Work at the nursery is exhausting this time of year, so much so that they are thinking of having t-shirts made that say "I survived Mother's Day!" The computer troubles are downright maddening -- there's a whole lot of nasty stuff out there in cyberspace! So now we're functioning again, but something still seems not quite right.

And through all the craziness, the critters remind us of what's really important--enjoying a nap in the sunshine.