Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas on the East Coast

Even though I live in Oregon, my mother's side of the family all live on the east coast. I haven't been back there since my sister Jessy graduated from high school in June 2005.
I'm way over due! So this holiday season I wanted to head back east to Maryland, Virgina and Delaware. Here's a few Christmas photos from my trip:)

Getting ready to leave on a jet plane from San Francisco after sunrise.

Flying over the California Bay Area.

Christmas day in Delaware at Aunt Kathy and Uncle Travis's house.
My mother Roni, Uncle Travis, Aunt Kathy and I.

My sister Jessy and I. Unfortunately she's taller than me.

My beautiful sister Jessy.

In Virgina at my aunt Julie's place. We went for a small hike in acres and acres of hardwood forest. I'm not used to not seeing many evergreen trees. Julie and her dog Bobo.

We decided to go and check out Great Falls National Park in Virgina (Potomac River Gorge).

Trying to model somewhat...just being goofy:)

I'm not the only photographer in the family!

Kayaking the Potomac River
Great Falls of Maryland and Virginia

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season for 2008!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Apple Pie in a Jar

Fall harvest always brings out the best in cooking and baking. I try to use everything we grow in the garden and if I don't I give it away to people at work. I try not to waste anything.

Last year I canned apples we harvested from our fruit trees. We enjoyed this recipe so much I decided to make it again this year. Apple Pie in Jar is from the cooking website Allrecipes. This recipe makes a completed apple pie mixture ready to be baked in a pie crust. From what I understand it is a gluten-free recipe as well. The recipe quotes for 7 quart size jars but I can only get 5 jars total. I must not be packing the jars enough with apples:)
Enjoy! As with all canned goods it is recommended to use within a year.

Here's a few pictures through out the process.
Freshly picked apples from the garden.
The quart size Kerr jars before sterilization.

Leftover apple peelings are great to compost. I used an apple corer, peeler and slicer all in one. A very handy tool for preparing apples.

Packing jars with apple slices before the cinnamon sugar mixture.

After pressure cooking the jars, now they sit and cool. We always keep our ears open to listen for the popping of lids. These jars make great Christmas gifts. About two jars will make an apple pie or just open one heat up on the stove top to put over vanilla ice cream.

Happy holidays!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wandering in the Redwoods

On our way back from California, we detoured our trip down the "Avenue of the Giants"!!!!
We stopped to stretch our legs (dogs too:) ) There was plenty of smoke lingering from all the fires reshaping Mendocino and Humboldt counties forest.

I do truly miss the redwoods, this is where I went to Humboldt State University to learn forestry. This majestic environment has so much appeal. Walking among giants that have been there centuries before I was born. It gave me a feeling of how little I really am in in this world. Mother nature really out did herself when she created this species of tree. Banana slugs making a home for themselves in the red fissured bark.

Here a few shots as I wander through this old forest in Northern California.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fourth of July in California

Keith and I go to California every Fourth of July to soak up the hot sun we miss so dearly and visit friends and family.

Not to our surprise we started smelling smoke from the wild land fires in California. I got a smoky shot of a smoky orange sunset in Southern Oregon in Ophir on our trip down. We pulled a red eye drive down. We didn't get to Gram's house until 4:30 in the morning. I was tired.

My good friend Colleen and I have a tradition of going on a canoe trip every year. We both get to take the day off and slowly stroll down the Russian River just NW of Santa Rosa. We rent a canoe and enjoy the scenery and warm water. We used to go all the time when I lived on the river in Forestville 8 years ago. We've known each other since high school.

Unfortunatly, We weren't able to make to the river this year. Colleen's husband hurt himself skate boarding and We couldn't leave him at home watching all three children by himself with a broken knee. Poor guy he was pain. Watching children is a lot of work even with a healthy knee. So instead we had lunch at the Russian River Brewery for a few hours. If we can't go to the river itself, we might as well go the the brewery:)

I had a few pictures from our canoe trip from last year I wanted to share. I recommend taking time out of your life for a day canoe trip. Very relaxing and invigorating. Here's some pictures.
My sister Jessy joined us for a drift down river from Washington DC. She found this dog that was randomly strolling the beach. She was a sweet puppy.

My sister paddling in the front.

Colleen paddling in the back. So guess who has the middle, basking in the sun?

At the end of our trip, there were some kayaks left from previous day renters. I took one out for a spin while we were waiting for the bus to pick us up in Guernville.

This trip is also in celebration of our nations independence. We were invited over to Colleen and Christian's house for a BBQ and fireworks at the fair grounds, this year the City of Santa Rosa had their fireworks on July 3rd. It was hard not to say "Happy 4th of July"! during the gathering. I had to keep correcting myself, dooooh! Colleen's eldest daughter Adria has her birthday party(her actual birthday is on July 5th) on our nations independent holiday. I brought my camera and snapped a few shots this year with the new camera.

Adria opening her birthday gifts.

One of Colleen's twins, I believe this is Sophia or is it Anna? Isn't she cute!

Here's a shot of my first attempt with fireworks. I hope you had a

Happy Fourth of July Everyone!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Clouds and Light

A couple of weeks ago, I was playing with my dog Dozer around six o'clock until I happen to look up. There was crescent shaped rainbow directly right above us. Oh my goodness! I yelled and pointed for Keith as I ran in the house for my camera. All I could hear from him was, "Hurry, I see it !! If you wait fifteen minutes, the weather is going to change and fast (a saying I've heard from natives here in Oregon). They're not kidding either.

This going to be hard to explain so bear with me:

This is a crescent shape rainbow right above us. There's a thin layer of clouds. I look towards the sun and there's a band of light in a full circle, parallel to the horizon but further up. There are two twin sun spotlights (looks just light the sun but dimmer in the clouds at a 90 degree angle from the sun on a north and south bearing. This is the only way I can explain it, scientific. Here's a handful of photographs of the rainbow.

The darker images are from reducing light exposure in the camera.

Dark Side of the Rainbow

Rainbow in the Dark

Among the Clouds


I haven't named all of these photographs yet but I'm sure I'll figure something out. If you would like to purchase any of these images please email me at foresterchick@hotmail.com.

They are for sale at http://TwoDogGardens.etsy.com/.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Irises - Greek for Rainbow

Irises have become one of my favorite flowers. So many different colors all across the spectrum. The coolest part of irises for me are their names.......Superstition, Southwest Tattooed Lady, Witch of Endor, St. Louis Blues and many more!!

I do sell some of these beauties. If your interested there are some available at my Etsy shop or you can email me at foresterchick@hotmail.com for your custom iris order. Just give my the name of the iris and I see how many I have available.

Here's a few that I have in the garden this year.

This iris was the last to bloom in the garden and I think the best was saved for last! This is Artist Time and the colors are so striking.

St. Louis Blues Iris (Inner Beauty Photograph)

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Gardening Tip #1 - Yoplait Plant ID Tags

As mentioned before we have a decent size garden at our place. One of the things that's important is labeling my plants. I found a way to recycle Yo plait yogurt containers into plant tags. I've also included pictures:) All you really need is a pair of scissors and a #2 pencil to mark the tags with.

Make sure to wash out the yogurt containers first. I usually fill them up with water and let them soak for a day before drying and cutting.

Start making a cut from the top of the container down to the bottom and then make a hard left ( or right) and follow the rim all the way around until the bottom is completely cut off.

Then start cutting the body piece into parallel strips about 1/2" to 3/4" wide. Leave enough space to write on.

With each strip, cutting sharp wedges to create a spear like effect.

A close up of the finished tags.

Write on the clear white side of the tags. Don't use any felt tip pens on your tags. They will fade with sun exposure.

Wah Lah !!!!