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Posts Tagged ‘whidbey island’

DSCF4299Last Saturday was the annual Memorial Day Parade here in Coupeville.  I take delight watching the folks in my small town cruise down Main Street in their classic convertibles, like the Girl Scout Daisy Troop retro 60’s wagon below,GirlScouts and for the past four years I’ve gotten an ample kick out of watching the Coupeville High School marching band keep the beat going and the parade moving along (even if it appears it’s to the beat of a different drummer).

MarchingBand

I love the fact that lions (head in hand), dogs and fish, no matter their political leanings (think about that), can come together to honor the men and women who died for their country. DSCF4307

ChocolateLab_edited-1OfficerSnook

Did I mention how happy I’ve been these past four years watching from the sidelines?  Well, times have changed dear readers.  This year, against all I know myself to be, I found myself in the parade with this band of zany, merry women (left to right – Angie, Toni, Aurora and Mare)…DSCF4296

walking in front of Lavender Wind Farm’s intrepid leader, Sarah…DSCF4322

and behind this…DSCF4324

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I kid you not.  Lavender Wind Farms was positioned right behind the equestrian entry in the parade.  Might I say there’s not enough lavender from Whidbey Island to Provence to remedy what  happened right in front of us as we marched down Front Street bearing our purple banner and spreading lavender love among the crowd.  Perhaps it was Aurora’s drumming, or Toni’s single maraca; maybe it was MJ’s (not in photo) Tibetan bells that caused the sudden and voluminous equine cleanse, but hindsight being what it is, I think it was probably due to my penchant for being in the right place at the right time where calamity reigns.  I know nothing about horses, but I believed Mare when she said, “That horse was stressed.”

The next big parade is Halloween and I guarantee, I’ll be watching that one from the sidelines.  Any parades in your town that you wouldn’t dare miss?

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After our haunting Holland Happening experience (you saw how we turned out after exiting the Gravitron), it was time to get down to business…whiskey business.  I’m not much of a drinker – the occasional glass of wine, maybe a beer after working on the property in the heat of summer (that would be when the thermometer reaches the very rare (there are no fans left to be found at Home Depot) 80 degrees).  And here I was sitting at a table with bona fide sippers of the grain, expert in their assessments.  I, on the other hand, have never been a whiskey drinker; well, perhaps once in my youth, which is why I may be a bit put off by the spirit.  But that was a long time ago and I was willing to let bygones be bygones.

Whiskey-Before_edited-1The line up on the table in the photo to your left does not represent the order in which the whiskey was tasted, and some brands did not make the photo cut because I took the photos after the tasting when the bottles looked more like this (see below):

Whiskey-After

1)Jack Daniels Unaged Tennessee Rye, 2) Redbreast Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Aged 12 Years; Bulleit 95 Rye American Whiskey, Makers Mark 46, McClelland’s Islay 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, and Laphroaig Islay 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whiskey.

The tasters included William Bell, Bev Heising of Whidbey Island Distillery, Whidbey Island authors Mike McNeff, Mare Chapman, and Rowena Williamson, Bedford Cheese Shop Cheesemonger extraordinaire Nate McElroy, and me.  Oh, did I mention that William hosted us down at Local Grown?  Now I know how he stays so very mellow while drinking so much coffee.  (Note: This was a private party. No rules were broken.  Let me add here that the rumor Local Grown is installing a whiskey machine, like the one shown below, is not true.)

whiskeyAlong with the whiskey there were cheeses to sample and pair with the spirits. The finest among the cheese was a wedge of Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Uplands Dairy in Dodgeville, Wisconsin that Nate brought all the way from NY. You’re beginning to understand why he’s my favorite, aren’t you.  p-best-in-classWe also enjoyed Britt’s pickles out of Seattle, Fermin Iberic Salchichon, and Screamin’ Banshee Bread from right here on the island.

Nate was in charge of the pour so you know every taster had an ample sample.  Experienced tasters saw the sample to your left:9143738-whiskey-in-a-crystal-shot-glass-isolated-on-white

This is what I saw:The_simpsons_flaming_moes_02

There was a “dump it” bucket for those who wanted to walk out of the coffee shop, but I seemed to be the only one using it.  I’d like to be able to break down the descriptors used by the participants for you in accord with each whiskey, but after the first sip, I knew I’d never be able to match one with the other.  Here are a few of the words I do remember: Refreshing, light, vanilla, apples, cherry, oak, smooth on the tongue, lingers at the back of the throat, moss, smoke, hints of orange blossom (I may be making that one up).

Here are my descriptors: FIRE IN MY MOUTH! BURNING!  MY TONGUE HAS GONE NUMB! GOOD GOD, ARE MY LIPS STILL ON MY FACE?  Tasting the Laphroaig and the McClelland’s Scotch reminded me of standing in the middle of a debris burn I did my first winter on the island that lasted for a week.  Back then, I was sure I must be smoldering days after the burn was over, that’s how strong the smell of SMOKE around me remained.  I tried to listen as Mare and Rowena (the Scotch experts) talked about the peat moss used, the fire, the barrels, etc., but I was having a hard time doing that while gobbling down bread to calm my taste buds.  Thinking back on this, I’m reminded of Tom Hanks in Big when he tastes caviar for the first time.

I’d like to say I have a sophisticated palate when it comes to sampling spirits in their purest form, but I don’t.  So, here I sit weeks later looking at these near-to-full bottles of Redbreast and Bulleit Rye and the thought comes to me: I would probably like them a great deal if I used them to accentuate my chocolate truffles.  Now we’re talkin’.  I’ll let you know how that turns out.

whidbeyislandI’ll end with this note. Yesterday, May 17, marked my four year anniversary here on the island.  Thanks to all who have made my stay here some of the best years of my life.  To those who have followed my silly little blog during that time, hand-to-heart gratitude for riding along with me.

 

Thanks wipwapweb.com for the “whisky” machine.

Moe’s flaming drink from images4.wikia.nocookie.net

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Grass_backThe wind is blowing like it has something to say, but I don’t have time to listen.  It’s St. Patrick’s Day and that means it’s time for the first mow of the season.  You can ask me why that’s so, but let’s save each other some time…I have no idea.  Speaking of no idea…I was all set to do some fancy foot work here at Greetings from Coupeville and when revisiting Bob-K-down-in-Florida’s latest correspondence (as promised in my last post), I was going to link “gutter cleaning” to the post I did way back in August of 2011 to refresh your memory.  But someone has moved that little picture of the link from where it used to be and now I am more than befuddled.  Normally, I would call my friend Tess, who is a wizard when it comes to all things linky, but Tess has just returned from many days of silent meditation and I don’t want to be the one to make her crack.

Where was I?  Oh, yeah, mowing.  Now, my regular readers (okay, perhaps the “s” in “reader” isn’t necessary, but I’m feeling the luck of the Irish, though, I’m not Irish…well, maybe just a hair of a leprechaun).  I’m not sure how to end that sentence, so I’ll just move on.  Did I mention I took some allergy medication before sitting down to write this?  If I stop mid-sentence, don’t be alarmed, I’ve simply dozed off.

As you know, I sometimes have limited success with my power equipment starting up on the first try, second, third; sometimes right up to the sound of my shoulder dislocating from yanking on that pulley gizmo.  Who thought that was a good idea?  However, today (and again, I’m assuming it has something to do with the wearin’ of the green) my lawnmower started up without me having to resort to “You piece of $(#%*@#!”  And I was off and running.  Let me be clear for any new readers.  When I say “off and running” I mean that literally.grass_riding_lawn_mowers_expensive

Oh, I’ve seen these fancy riding mowers around the island, but I take pride in the fact I can still push my Toro up and down the slopes of  the jeoruwoer euroepqeupq eupeupqeur perupqrepuj 43kjmpw.  (Oh, sorry, meds just kicked in.)  Anyway, when I work on the property for the first time after a long winter’s nap, I find what I simply call “missing parts.”  Missing parts could be anything from part of an old screwdriver, maybe the handle of saw; today it appeared to be a leg with a bit of fur still attached.  I can’t swear that’s what it was because after tapping it with my foot, it broke away from whatever it was attached to, the rest of which appeared to be buried under a log, and I broke away from the scene of the crime.  I’ll go back tomorrow and tape off the area and wait for the ground to dry out (we  usually have that day in August when it’s dry for 24 hours) and I’ll examine the remains more closely.  No I won’t.  This is what’s going to happen: I’m going to forget about it and one day I’m going to reach down to pull the weeds that have grown around it, hiding it from my view, and when my hand comes up with a patch of weeds and a rabbit’s foot, I’m going to scream like a girl.  And then I will bury the “missing parts” in the “volesoleum,” an area I’ve created for critters who have met their demise.

So, there you have it.  I’ve survived another winter here on the island, and I’ve got my fourth annual First Mow of the Season under my belt.

Bob K down in Florida, good luck with your Gutter Clutter Buster advertising campaign.  And if anyone knows what WordPress did with that link doohickey, be sure to drop me a line.

The image of grass can be found at:
www.athleat.co.uk/grass-fed-beef.html

The photo of the riding mower can be found at:
www.squawkfox.com/2009/06/17/grass-cut-lawn-care-costs/

Where frugal living is sexy, delicious, and fun.  (Who knew?)

 

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From this

to this

I had this soup for breakfast before heading out on the property.   Happy to say it kept the chill away for the better part of the morning.  Thank you Rosehip Farm, Willowood Farm and Prairie Farm for growing the finest local produce on the island.

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My last post chronicled my attempt at cleaning my too-high-for-a-vertically-challenged-slightly-older-woman-who-should-have-known-better-in-the-first-place gutters.   But it was all worth it, because Bob K. down there in Florida sent this comment to Greetings From Coupeville.

“This has been a very entertaining story that I have heard several times before but not quite so eloquently! It sure seems like it would be a good solution to cleaning gutters; however, the thought of all that gunk and muck being blown all over the roof, me, and my wife’s flowers sure sounds like something I truly want to avoid. And, that’s why I kept searching for a better way and finally invented and patented the Gutter Clutter Buster, an attachment tool for your wet/dry vac that VACUUMS GUNK OUT and leaves the gutters as clean as a whistle. I don’t have any muck on me and my wife no longer screams at me for messing up her flower beds. I invite you to check out our invention and then you decide which way you want to “save money, time, and energy” the next time you attempt cleaning gutters at https://www.GutterClutterBuster.com My wife says you should write for SNL!!!

Well, don’t you know I just had to visit Bob K’s Gutter Clutter Buster website and lo and behold there was a picture of a lovely woman (perhaps Mrs. K.?) bustin’ up the clutter in her gutter with a cheerful smile on her face and nary a hint of debris in her nicely coiffed hairdo.  Now that’s the kind of advertising that suckers us three-in-the-morning-could-it-be-my-hormones-keeping-me-awake types to pad our way through the dark  looking for our credit card.  Wait!  I’ve fallen for this type of advertisement before and ended up with flying parts spiraling off my deck like fireworks on the Fourth of July.

So, here’s the deal Bob K. down there in Florida.  If  you’re up for it, I’ll test your Gutter Clutter Buster and if it lives up to your claim, I’ll promote it here on my blog.  Now, here’s the catch Bob K. down there in Florida…we’re gonna have to do this in a here’s-a-freebie-Gutter-Clutter-Buster-for-you-to-try-kind-of-way.  You see my gutter cleaning budget was wiped out by the will-not-mention-the-product-but-you-can-see-the-photo-in-my-last-post gadget.  Oh, one other minute detail, Bob K. down there in Florida, I don’t own a wet/dry vac so  you’d probably want to send one of those along with the Gutter Clutter Buster.  And remember, Bob K., I  don’t live down there in sunny Florida, I live in the great Pacific Northwest where it’s damp a great deal of the time, and that has a tendency to cause “clumps” of debris, or perhaps it’s left over parts of critters who didn’t make it through the winter, to form in my gutters.  I hope the Gutter Clutter Buster you have patented has a wide mouth to accommodate the above-mentioned items.

Bob K., whether or not you decide to participate in my search for the best gutter cleaning equipment, I want to thank you for taking the time to write to me.    And on a side note to Mrs. K – Why thank you for saying I should write for SNL.  I’m assuming that’s Saturday Night Live (which started up several months after I left working for NBC there at 30 Rock, NYC); and not Snooze ‘N Lose – a twice daily publication for hyperactive people looking for validation.

My summer project is bird houses.  I’m making them without gutters.

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