Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mount St. Helens and the Cascade Range

On our way south to camp at Chehalis, Wayne and I flew along the west side of the Puget Sound to stay out of Seattle's busy airspace. Following our flight path to the east were the mighty peaks of the Cascade Range. Of course, Mt. Baker is in our own Bellingham back yard came first.

Other lofty peaks include Mt. Rainer and Hood, but the most distinctive is Mount St. Helens. At 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted. The massive explosion and an earthquake of 5.1 caused the north face to collapse. Mud from flash melted snow and ash caused devastation near and far. The ash cloud was propelled 15 miles in the air and around the world.

Today you can still see the results of the cataclysmic event. The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Park website provides lots of information about the volcano and the surrounding forest recreation areas. If you are in the area, fly or drive by.

Thanks for visiting part of my world this week. For more great posts from Our World Tuesday, click here.

And also a meme called Through My Lens by Mersad. -- Margy

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Flying Day Trip to Port Townsend, WA

Jefferson County Airport, Port Townsend
Being home based in Bellingham, we get to explore the area in our Piper Arrow.

One of our favourite destinations is Jefferson County International Airport (0S9) near Port Townsend, Washington.

A bonus is our friends Linda and Gary live nearby in Sequim, and they can met us for a tasty meal at the airport cafe, or take us on land-based tours to town.

Port Townsend's busy boatyard.
On one memorable trip, the first stop was to the Port Townsend Boatyard. What an amazing place. Boats of all sizes and types were either on blocks or being hauled around by huge lifts.

We were hungry, so Linda picked the historic Belmont Hotel on Water Street. It was built in 1885 and you can stay in its Victorian style rooms. We ate on the outside deck with a super ocean view. The fish and chips, sandwiches and salads we had were great!

Historic Port Townsend
After lunch we wandered along Water and Washington Streets with shops clustered in old-time buildings. We spent a long time in Forest Gems looking at hand carved furniture and art. Gary's favorite used bookstore (and now ours) is the William James Bookseller. I found several books by Farley Mowat for a really good price. Gary and Wayne love it for the huge selection of science books. What would a walk along the waterfront be without  ice cream, so we stopped at Elevated Ice Cream Company for some homemade treats.

Our Piper Arrow 997 at Jefferson County Airport.
Jefferson County Airport is a step back in time. It reminded us of how flying used to be before all the craziness led to fences everywhere. Runway 09/27 is lighted and 3000' in length. Fuel (100LL) is available at the self-serve pump. There is ample parking both on the paved ramp and on well maintained grass. If you are arriving from Canada, Jefferson County is an international airport of entry. Call ahead to arrange for customs.

Spruce Goose Cafe at Jefferson County Airport
The airport is about four miles from town (a very long walk even by our standards). If you don't have friends nearby, the Peninsula Taxi has 24 hour service to and from Port Townsend. They can be reached at (360) 385-1872. 

Whether you arrive by car, ferry or airplane, put Port Townsend on your list of places to visit in the near future.

Thanks for visiting part of my world this week. For more great posts from Our World Tuesday, click here.

And also a meme called Through My Lens by Mersad. -- Margy

Thursday, August 11, 2016

My Dracaena Spike Plant Blooms

Repurposed BBQ planter.
Back in 2010, I repurposed an old BBQ into a planter. I put it right under my kitchen window at the cabin to give the side of our home a bright focal point.

I annually plant flowers in it, but wanted something to give a higher green background. I picked out two small grass-like leaved plants at Canadian Tire for that purpose.

Over the years, those spiky little plants (you can barely see them in the picture at the left) grew until their roots took over the whole planter. Consequently, in 2015 I relocated them to deck pots of their own.

I went back to Canadian Tire to talk to the nursery expert. She wasn't sure what I had, but thought it might be a plant called Dracaena. I looked it up online and that made sense. I believe mine is a Dracaena indivisa also known as a Spike Plant. It's commonly used in planters and gardens to provide height and interest.

Then this year I was surprised to see one of the plants develop a spike. That spike grew larger and finally opened to a massive bloom.

Not only was it beautiful, it was very fragrant, and provided the bees with an early spring source of nourishment.

Now my Dracaena has created two separate branches from where the bloom was removed. I understand that this well happen each time a bloom occurs. I guess I better look for some bigger pots!

Hop on over to the Homestead Blog Hop at Not So Modern Housewife and see some great ideas for homestead and simple living.

http://nancyonthehomefront.com/Want more ideas? Try Nancy's Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop. -- Margy

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Relocating a Cat by Airplane

Wayne and Stick at the cabin.
When Wayne and I started spending more time in Powell River, we decided to relocate our cat, Stick Tail (a coyote nibbled his tail down to a stubby stick).

We want to have him closer to us and he was taking on a new career as a companion for Mom. It was the perfect move. We got to spend their last years close to each other.

To get ready for the big move, Wayne took Stick to the vet to get his certificate of health for Alaska Airlines. We purchased an airline approved soft carrier to fit under the seat. We chose a Sherpa Delta model that had plenty of room to move around and mesh sides for good air flow.

We also purchased absorbent pet training pads (wee-wee pads, sorry for the embarrassment Stick) to line the bottom.

We practiced getting used to the carrier. He wasn't happy, so we got some over-the-counter homeopathic anti-anxiety drops (check with your vet first) to calm him during the trip. Since he'd never been on an airplane before, we didn't know how well they would work, but the airplane ride was better than any previous car trip.

On the morning of travel, Stick didn't want to be caught (he has a sixth sense about these things). After fifteen minutes and a few drops of his anti-anxiety remedy he was snuggled into his carrier.

Stick was loud in the car, but settled down before the Alaska counter. After paying for his "seat" under the seat ($100), it was time for security. I'd been dreading this. Wayne opened the bag and carried him through without a struggle.

Stick didn't like takeoffs, landings and turbulence, but was quiet and calm for the majority of the flight. One passenger even talked with him in "cat voice" for quite a while.

When we got to Mom's condo in Bellingham, he was ready to get out but not to explore. He went straight under the bed. We put his food, water and litter box nearby. After he settled into his new home, we inched them towards their real  locations.

With the relocation done, it wasn't as bad as I had feared. And it turned out that Stick did travel by airplane again.  After Mom passed away, he became our full-time cat once again. Going to and from Powell River on Pacific Coastal Airlines it took only 25 minutes. Traveling by car it was seven hours with the ferry transfers. For a cat that got car sick, it was worth it.

Do you have any pet travel stories to share? Let us hear from you.

Camera Critters Thanks for visiting my post this week. I'm linking up with Camera Critters and Saturday's Critters. Check them out for more great animal pictures. -- Margy

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Chamomile Liqueur Spritzer

In April, I decided to try making several liqueurs. One of them was with my home grown chamomile flowers.  Chamomile Liqueur sounded like a nice drink to sip in the evening so I made some. Click here if you would like to see my recipe.

I'm not sure if it was the brand of vodka I chose, but the results was quite strong in both alcohol content and taste. So here is what I came up with to make it more to my taste.

Chamomile Liqueur Spritzer

Fill a large glass with ice (crushed or cubes)
Pour in one jigger (1.5 oz.) of Chamomile Liqueur
Add one packet sweetener or sugar equivalent
Fill glass with 7-Up

Chamomile Liqueur Spritzer

The sweetener mellowed the alcohol bitterness and the 7-Up lightened the drink. It has a distinctive chamomile flavour and is great in the evening, or on the porch on a hot summer day.

Do you have any favourite summer drink recipes?

Hop on over to the Homestead Blog Hop at Not So Modern Housewife and see some great ideas for homestead and simple living.

http://nancyonthehomefront.com/Want more ideas? Try Nancy's Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop.

Head on over to Blogghetti for the Happiness is Homemade Link Party to see more recipes, crafts and DIY projects. -- Margy

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Banana Bran Muffins

Here's another recipe from my files when I used to cook lots of bran muffins with Mom.  She loved bananas, but sometimes all of them would ripen at once.

I used my allrecipes.com iPad app to get some ideas. What scrolled to the top was Banana Bran Muffins by Shelley Mitchell.


Mix together:

2 eggs
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Add dry ingredients and mix:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oat bran
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Stir in by hand:

1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cup raisins soaked in
warm water to rehydrate

Using a brush, coat the inside of muffin pans liberally with oil. Fill the pans about two-thirds full to give them room to rise. This was one step that Mom could help me with. She loved to cook and bake, so it was important to find ways she could keep her "finger in the pie" so to speak.

Mom always gave me a helping hand.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until puffed up and light brown on top. Check at 10 minutes and adjust time as necessary. I also swap the pans from top to bottom in the oven.

Remove and let cool for 10 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and let cool completely before storing.

This recipe made about 36 small muffins. They freeze well for future use (if they last that long). -- Margy