Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More blooms from the yard.....

Due to the weather and other obligations such as family visiting, we haven't had much time for riding so I am posting something I've had in drafts since last month....the dahlias and yellow daisies are still blooming though.....

As things have bloomed in the yard this season I have taken more pictures.

Yellow Shasta Daisy.... This was taken after we cut a few blooms to bring inside - bits of lavender in the background:

Generic Dahlia......

Pink Calla Lillies....

And last a generic Digitalis or Foxglove....

-Au Revoir

"People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us."~ Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Faire Sunday

Yesterday, Troubadour and I got dolled up in our renaissance finest and attended our first Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire. Troubadour was sporting his Utilikilt, renaissance "cheesemakers" shirt, and of course the ceremonial dagger. I had on a traditional embroidered renaissance long dress. Not sure if the word traditional should be used with the word renaissance or not, but we'll just say it appeared more peasant than the fancy royalty we saw at the Faire. Unfortunately we did not get any pictures of us, of that I am rather disappointed.

It started out a chilly day in the high 40's. By the time we made it to the Faire about 11:00 am, it had warmed up to the high 70's with intermittent clouds. We were glad we had long sleeved clothing on and not short and I was also glad for the long ankle length dress for warmth. The sun was shining nice and bright though.

We arrived at the Faire and parking was not a problem. This was the view as we walked towards the entrance:

At the entrance we traded in our tickets for a hand stamp. Par for the course for any festival I believe. In entering the Faire, Troubadour had to have the handle of his dagger tied to the sheath. It might have been the first time a lady has ever said to him "Good morrow, I need to tie your piece."

Once in the Faire we wandered around a bit. The jousting did not start until noon and we wanted to be sure to see it. It was the main reason I wanted to go. In wandering around we saw quite a few people dressed in period costumes.....

We strolled for about half an hour and then headed over to the outdoor arena for the jousting event. The Imperial Knights travel around and perform the jousting events at different Faires. We learned that all of their horses are rescue horses so a big" huzzah" to them.

In came Sir Richard, the White Knight, who also acted as Master of Ceremonies:

then Sir Thomas, the Black Knight:

and Sir Anthony, the Blue Knight (the crowd dubbed him Fabio):

and finally Sir Daniel, the Red Knight, on the largest horse I have ever seen:

After introductions they started off racing down the line trying to put their lances through a bulls-eye painted on a bale of hay. They all made their marks and I don't think any of them missed once.

Then they rode the line and put their lances through rings hooked on a stand. The rings were not that large and I think it would have taken them quite some time to master this feat. I don't think any of them missed a single ring. In this picture you can see the Red Knight talking with the White Knight and the stand that held the rings is wrapped in blue and yellow.

From there they went on to the jousting. They made several passes but it was difficult to photograph so I just have one really good shot from when they connected.

Turns out we were standing under the flag of the Black Knight so for half an hour all we heard was "Huzzah for the Black Knight." I have never heard the word huzzah so many times, but we still had fun.

After the Knights were knocked from their horses while jousting, they moved on to hand to hand combat with claymores, shields, battle axes, etc.

We did get some good short videos of the fighting and I will try and get those up in a follow-up post. Not sure I know how to attach them at this point.

After the jousting we walked around the dozens of booths that different vendors set up. Some selling pottery, renaissance clothing, knick knacks, etc. We did get to watch a working blacksmith so that was interesting.

We had a nice curried veggie wrap from the Indian food vendor and then some organic iced lattes and peanut butter cookie from a coffee vendor. Pretty soon we were sunburned and ready to head home. I think our sunburn was authentic as they didn't have sunscreen back in the day and I forgot ours at home.

Before heading out I snapped a picture of this contraption. Not sure if it is a modern day rendition of a medieval chastity belt, but I am glad I don't have to wear one....

-Au Revoir

"The Realm of Fairy is a strange shadow land, lying just beyond the fields we know." ~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Little more of this and that

Seems I haven't had a lot of time for blogging and writing posts lately. Not too sure what we have been up to. Yes, work is still crazy but mellowing out as the boss is back on his feet (so to speak).

Let's see. For Labor Day weekend we did a few things. I know I made a pie on the Friday. That was yummy. I don't bake often though. With just the two of us we end up eating it all, but we don't really need it.

On the Saturday we went to morning coffee, then headed to Portland for the All British Field Meet that is held at the Portland International Raceway (PIR) every year. On the way we stopped in Salem at the Royal Enfield/Ural dealer. Looked at a few, sat on a few. They were kind of a cool old school looking bike, but I don't think we'd actually purchase one. Was good to look though. We were running late and north towards Portland we went. We managed to get to PIR about 3:30. By that time the rain had cleared up and it was nice and sunny. This year they were saluting Healeys. We wandered around looking at all the cars and such, not many motorcycles there, fewer than last year. Finished off the afternoon with an iced vanilla latte and watched a few of the races.

Here are a few pictures we took in no particular order. Kind of a mix and match of British vehicles.

Complete with the 1954 Austin-Healey Bonneville Land Speed Record car:

We had a great day and got home late. I honestly can't remember what we did on Sunday. I believe we had a 'stay at home and watch crap on TV' day because of the rain then headed out on Labor Day for a motorcycle ride. I found out later my brother and his fiance got married on Monday. So congratulations to Tiger and Tanisha. Here is a picture of the happy couple....

Last week turned out to be slightly chaotic. My boss tried to come back to work a little earlier than he should last Wednesday and overdid it, which meant scrambling around and cancelling things for Thursday and Friday. I did score another Friday off which was nice.

Saturday Troubadour went to morning coffee then we went for a motorcycle ride to the coast for chowder with a buddy in the afternoon. Was a nice relaxing ride at a good pace. Didn't manage to get any photos though.

Sunday was also a good day. Started out overcast and a little cooler so I made us some tasty homemade vegan blueberry muffins for breakfast and we decided to putter in the yard. Started off cleaning up debris from under our sequoia tree out back, then limbed it up, then cleaned up that mess. Then moved a canvas and metal gazebo from by the patio door to underneath the sequoia. Looks nice down there. If that wasn't enough we decided to tackle the brick patio that was here when we moved in 3 years ago. It is 11' x 11' but isn't in a great spot. We want to build a 16' x 12' wooden deck off our french doors and the brick patio was partly in the way. So..... we took every brick up by hand, cleaned off every brick one at a time then stacked them on a pallet for future use. They will make a nice base for a hot tub one day. That about did us in. We are still a little stiff and sore.

And now it is back to work but we are looking forward to this weekend as it is the Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire. Yes, they really have jousting. This is a picture from a past year. We are hoping to get a lot of pictures to share.

-Au Revoir

"Be happy while you're living, for you're a long time dead." ~ Scottish Proverb

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cat Wisdom #7

Baxter learned that if you think you can fit, you probably can, maybe just not all of you......

He always did love boxes.

-Au Revoir

"Cats, it is in their eyes that their magic resides." - Arthur Symons


Friday, September 4, 2009

P is for Peach

What does one do when they have extra time because they scored a Friday off? You bake a nice deep dish peach pie from scratch for your hubby, that's what. Have I mentioned that he is spoiled?

I went to a local orchard on Wednesday morning and picked up 15 lbs of fresh peaches. Unfortunately they are not as good or as large as the ones I grew up with in the Okanagan Valley. I grew up in Keremeos (the fruit stand capital of Canada) then moved to Penticton, also known as the Peach City, which has a Peachtree Mall and a Peach Festival. A few miles down the road is Peachland. I know peaches. Well, at least these taste like real peaches and are nice and juicy not like the store bought ones.

I was pondering what I should make with some of them when Troubadour piped up with "peach pie?" He looked so hopeful that I couldn't resist making him one this morning. Will be a nice treat for him after dinner. I even tossed in a few blueberries for good measure. Then I had to email him a picture of it at work just to tease him until he gets home.

My great grandfather (Gran's dad) was a baker and I believe at one time, back in the day, he owned a bakery in Grants Pass, Oregon so we have an awesome old style flaky pie crust recipe that everyone in the family uses. My mom used to own a little cafe in Keremeos when I was in school and she used to get up at the butt crack of dawn to make all of the pies from scratch. People would come from all over to sample them. She always made the best pies. Must have got it from Gran. I think it is in our genes.

Once you master the dough you must go for presentation and I like to make decorative leaves out of leftover dough to put on the top crust when baking.

Mmmm peachy.......

-Au Revoir

"Family life is a bit like a runny peach pie - not perfect but who's complaining?" ~ Robert Brault

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Little of this, little of that

Doesn't seem like another week has almost gone by, but here we are at Thursday again.

Last Saturday Troubadour and I rode the America down to Eugene and visited with family. My maternal grandparents (Gran & Papa), Aunt Stephanie, Cousin Chelsea and her husband Danny and their son Carson are all in Eugene so when we go down we visit with everyone. My grandpa isn't doing so well and so they had to move him into a home at the beginning of August. He seems to be adapting well. We got to go over and visit him. Here are a few of the pictures we took while there. Please excuse my helmet hair and riding gear:

My grandparents....

Troubadour, Papa, Gran and I....

Papa, Gran and I......

When we got back to the house Carson started to ham it up for the camera. He is such a cutie. He will be 4 in a few more weeks.

Good food was eaten and good times were had. Before you knew it we were heading north trying to beat dusk and avoid any deer heading out for an after dinner drink.

Sunday came and brought a little creativity. I've mentioned the photo tag before. Well, Troubadour got someone else's tag which meant he needed to post up a picture. We remembered a friend on the forum who said he loved his bike so much he would keep it in his living room if it would fit. Well..... as a shout out to that friend we managed to get the America in our living room and dared anyone to come "get the tag".

A few guys off the forum thought we were a little nuts, but no one seemed ready to take us up on our offer to park their bike in our living room. Sissys. Finally we had to call upon our buddy Rick. He jumped on board and came over Monday night.

He has an older Kawasaki Concourse that has seen better days. He was side swiped by a deer several weeks ago and is missing his left luggage as well as most of his fairing.

Troubadour took a dremel tool to the fairing to save his dash and 'Mickey Mouse'd" him some lights and turn signals. Another forum friend helped out with a donated headlight and yet another welded up the bracket for it. It is good to know people with skills. Especially when they are willing to go above and beyind to get a rider back on the road again.

Tuesday was pretty boring and last night we headed to Corvallis Bike Night. It was the 2 year anniversary of when Troubadour started the gathering and what a crowd we had. There were well over 30 of us packed into American Dream Pizza. Some first timers and a few that had been there from almost the beginning. All kinds of bikes ranging from several Harleys to at least 3 Ducati's, 2 R1's, an old BSA, and even an old Hondamatic 450. Good times. Wish we hadn't forgot the camera.

At bike night one of our friends suggested a different bike for me that we had not thought of.... A Royal Enfield Bullet. They have several models now all 499 cc and half have fuel injection. Intriguing.... Any thoughts from the peanut gallery on this? We don't know much about them but might have to check them out as there is a dealer about 25 miles away in Salem. I like the Electra seen below but I don't think it has EFI.

Now I am winding down to a nice 4 day weekend. I am lucky to have tomorrow off as my boss is still recovering from his surgery. It will be hard to go back to the office come Tuesday. No big plans this weekend as the Oregon State Beavers have their home opener. (Go Beavs!) Nothing like 30,000 crazy fans driving into town to keep you off the roads.

Have a great and relaxing labor day weekend everyone. Ride safe.

-Au Revoir

" Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun." ~ George Scialabba