Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Pilot or Co-Pilot

Sometimes it's hard to tell.

I fly from the left seat.


Wayne, with his instructor background, flies from the right seat.


And George, our autopilot, flies from the font panel.


No matter how we do it, it's fun to fly in 997 . . .

Final approach to Mahlon Sweet Field Airport in Eugene, Oregon,

. . . to places far and near. -- Margy

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pacific Northwest Plants:


Cottonwood Trees

Full grown Cottonwood Tree
For a week now in Bellingham there have been puffy white seeds floating everywhere from the Cottonwood Trees.

Cottonwoods are a type of poplar, with the same quivering leaves. They grow in moist areas, so the wetlands behind our Bellingham condo is a prime spot.

Male and female flowers are in separate catkins (long, slim clusters) that appear before the leaves each spring.

The female catkin produces the cottony seeds that are blown long distances. It's these fluffy white masses that give the tree its name.


Each spring the white fluff flies through the air creating the plant version of a snow storm.

video

The seeds are very small (1X4 mm) which is remarkable considering they can grow into one of the largest trees in North America, up to 100 feet (30+ metres) high.

Cottonwood Catkins
Not only are Cottonwoods large, but fast growing, reaching maturity in 10-30 years. Young trees can add an amazing six feet per year.

Historically, their trunks were used by Native Americans to make dugout canoes. As a commercial product, their course wood is best suited for making pulpwood in the paper industry, pallets and shipping crates.

As summer changes to fall, the leaves of turn bright yellow and orange, making a warm contrast to the cooling blue skies.


Here's one framed by a double rainbow near sunset. -- Margy

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Crock Pot Chicken Tamale Pie


You've heard of chain letters. This is a chain recipe. I googled and found it at Krista Kooks. She got it from Beantown Baker. And she got it from Stephanie O'Dea. Stephanie got it from Lorie's Stitch in Time. Each blog has some great recipes. Now it's my turn to add my own twists to Crock Pot Chicken Tamale Pie.

When we were recently in town, I bought a rotisserie chicken for dinner. Afterwards, there was lots left, so I boned it and here's how I used the meat.

Crock Pot Chicken Tamale Pie

What drew me to this recipe was its simplicity. Spray the crock pot with cooking spray. Put all of the filling ingredients in the pot and stir until completely mixed. That's it.

Filling Ingredients

2 cups diced chicken
1 can drained red beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can drained corn (reserve 1/4 cup)
1 small can sliced black olives
1 small can diced green chilies
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cornbread Topping

1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg beaten
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup drained canned corn

In a bowl, mix the cornbread topping. Start with the dry ingredients, then the wet and blend. When finished, pour evenly on top of the filling in the crock pot. If it is too thick to pour, add a little extra milk.

Cover and cook on low for 5-8 hours, or on high for 2-3 hours.

I always use the low setting. That way there's a hot supper ready for when we are ready to eat, a win, win for everyone.

p.s. Let me know if the chain continues. -- Margy

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Christmas Spirit on Lopez Island, WA


During a trip to Lopez Island, Wayne and I walked from the airport to the marina to get lunch. On the way, we passed a unique mailbox.

As you can see, every day is like Christmas on Lopez Island.

Lopez is one of the San Juan Islands off the northern Washington coast. It can be reached by air (your own plane, Kenmore Air or San Juan Airlines) or sea (boat or ferry). Lopez is one of the most rural of the San Juans. Walk or drive the quiet back roads and you'll see lots of interesting mailboxes. Come and see for yourself. -- Margy