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Showing posts from July, 2010

In which we celebrate Saturday Stories : a story about crabs

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When I was in Alaska many years ago, the coastal tourist town restaurants often featured "All-You-Can-Eat Crab Feasts" on Friday nights for a pretty cheap price.

The restaurants knew that cracking crab is a lot of work, and people who are busily cracking crab and talking to their dining companions do not actually eat much crab...but they do end up buying a lot of drinks, and desserts, and other spendy items from the menu.

For people on a very small budget, like me, crab feasts were a cheap way to gorge on fresh protein. I would order a single beer and a small salad and then grab a hammer and start pummeling my way to heaps of happy food.

One night I heard a tourist lady complain about all the work and mess required to actually feast on crab, and to my companions I said, "The best way to eat crab is to trick somebody else into cracking it for you," which was a line borrowed from a very cool story called "Nuts" in a book called The Devil's Storybook by Nat…

In which the food preparation is gently seasoned with "Furrikans"

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It started with a fresh-caught, fresh-cooked crab

that our neighbor Joe brought over last night.

He actually brought THREE crabs, but I ate one that very night, so there were two remaining. (Jim doesn't enjoy crabmeat, and Willy is gone. Bwa ha ha ha--more for me!!!)

I wanted to make a really good breakfast using the crab and food from the farm. But I hadn't gone far before I made a discovery:
Out of butter.

We've been out of butter for a week! What's up with that? Jim and I have both stopped at the local grocery to restock beer, paper towels, and a thousand other things, and somehow we kept forgetting butter.

Argh.

This was the first "Furrikan."

You know Furrikans?

"Furrikan mow the lawn, I need to put gas in the mower. Furrikan put gas in the mower, I've got to get the gas can back from the neighbor who borrowed it. Furrikan ask for the gas can back, I've got to find the wrench I borrowed from the same neighbor last week...."

Furrikans.

In which we reveal the answer: "Where in the Wilderness is Willy?"

The Northwest Youth Corps has posted information about the various work crews out on trails this session. They have 27 crews active right now, with 9-10 kids in each group (plus 2 staff). That's a lot of pulaskis out there working the trails for us!

The kids are identified by the crew color (you know, like Griffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin...?!) Their helmets are the color of the crew assignment. Willy is assigned to the Red Crew in North 4. Descriptions of the North 4 assignments are:

Blue Crew is heading south to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest! Here, they will complete a variety of maintenance to OHV/Motorized use trails. These folks will do everything from drainage and removing brush to constructing rock retaining walls!

Orange Crew will spend their first week south of the Mt Hood area as they remove Himalayan Blackberry and other invasive species such as Vinca.

Red Crew heading up into the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Where they will continue work …

In which Willy embarks on a fabulous wilderness adventure

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Willy has been looking forward to his adventure for months.
He's been accumulating gear for months: workshirts, work jeans, work gloves.
Can you spot the theme?

The Northwest Youth Corps is a descendant of President Theodore Franklin D. Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps, which was created during the Great Depression to put young men to work, building trails, bridges, planting trees, and doing other valuable tasks for the good of the nation. The modern Youth Corps does similar work, hired by the Forest Service and private logging companies to build trails, clear fuel undergrowth to minimize forest fire damage, and whatever else needs to be done.
Willy will be gone 5 weeks, with only a few weekend returns to civilization.
I am so jealous.

We drove over Stevens Pass through the sunshine.
We stopped for lunch at one of Jim's favorite spot.
Willy was almost too excited to eat, but a vanilla shake can be a mighty temptation.
We finally got to the orientation camp. The staff …

In which we clap and cheer for Tevis riders: unofficial results

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Unofficial results from the Tevis webcast page:

#49 Karen Chaton and Bo finished at 3:33am
#67 Molly Farkus and Duffy pulled at Chicken Hawk (50 miles)
#68 Mel Faubel and Farley finished at 3:59am
#98 Jonni Jewel and Hank finished at 4:46am
#110 Paul Latiolais and Pete pulled at Franciscos (85 miles)
#149 Trina Romo and Cecily G pulled at Last Chance (50 miles)

Congratulations to all Tevis teams!

In which we celebrate Saturday Stories : a tale for the Tevis

I mentioned earlier in the week that I always watch the Tevis webcast and cheer for my friends (local and virtual) who are riding the event. And that brought to mind a little tiny story:


Once upon a time, not long ago and not far away either, there was a little kid, maybe 5 or 6 years old.

The teacher at the school had announced on Monday that the class would be putting on a play, and the kid was SOOOOOOO excited. He couldn't wait to be part of the play.

The trouble was, unfortunately, he couldn't ever remember the lines. Ever. Even when his parents and his brothers and sisters and the other kids in his class helped him practice for hours and hours, he still couldn't remember the lines he was supposed to say for his audition. Everybody knew that he wouldn't get picked to be in the play, and everybody knew that he would be really disappointed.

Everybody was really surprised, then, when he came home on the afternoon of the auditions with a huge smile on his face!

"I got …

In which there is a design change on our blog and we try new colors

So.

Purple.

What d'ya think?

In which the ultimate vacation destination is Auburn, Cal.

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You know you are really really really an endurance rider when somebody refers to Auburn California as the "ultimate vacation destination" and you smile. And nod. And look a little wistful.
Auburn, CA is the location of the finish line of the oldest organized endurance ride in the world--and one of the most challenging, as well: The Western States Trail Ride, known more commonly as The Tevis Cup.
Tevis has been held annually since 1955 except when it was cancelled in 2008 because of smoke from nearby forest fires.
The course is 100 miles through the Sierra Nevadas, beginning near Lake Tahoe at Robie Park (named for Wendall Robie, the first ride manager for Tevis pictured above)
over the famous rocky scramble at Cougar Rock, and finishing 100 miles away at the fairgrounds in Auburn, covering approximately 17,040 feet of uphill climbing and 21,970 feet of descent.

(For comparison, Mount Rainier is measured at 14,410 above sea level). As with all sanctioned endurance rides, there a…

In which we take a quiz about horses, and Fiddle sees cervidae

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I'm an ENFP*. My horse is a SECF**. Who knew?
*ENFP: Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving
** SECF: Submissive Energetic Curious Friendly


Blog-friend Leah Fry started the stampede to the Horse Personality Quiz website. Now everybody wants to know what "horse-personality type" is standing around in the pasture. How could we resist?



We couldn't, obviously!

The quiz asks questions like "Is your horse the first in the herd to eat?" and "Does your horse like to be touched, petted and groomed?" You can answer questions online and get a quick "diagnosis" of your horse's personality type--sort of an equine Myers-Briggs Assessment.

I read a different book last year covering the same topic: Ride The Right Horse by Yvonne Barteau (thanks, Sky!).

When I read it, I clearly identified Fiddle as an Aloof-Challenging horse, that is, one that prefers to be left alone, and one that will always challenge authority before giving into it.

"That's my…