Monday, August 23, 2010

A Busy Weekend

This picture is like those out of focus Sasquatch pictures. I come home from work on Friday and can't believe what I am seeing. I quickly took a picture. Notice the tortoise-shaped spot halfway up the fence. Yep, Hank has learned to climb a fence. Although he can't negotiate the up and over move and just falls off.
He falls off and then lies on his back to catch his breath before another go.
Friday night Kelley instigated some shenanigans down at the power and light. Sam rode 30 miles on Saturday and 50 miles on Sunday and was sore from bull riding the entire way.
Sunday I did the Jackson County triathlon. It was a short one with a 0.6 mile swim, 25 mile bike, and 5 mile run.
It was a little foggy at the start and kind of hard to see the buoys.

It was a 2 lap swim. You have to get out and run to the start, kind of strange.
It was a really nice day for a ride.
This was the first time Sam has watched a triathlon. The non-athlete spectators are entertaining.
Sam made some blueberry scones which were great racing fuel.
The latest experiment. I am trying to ferment pickles. We will see how they turn out. There are lots more cucumbers in the garden that need to find a home.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dishwashers, baklava, and a tortoise

Wow, it's Thursday already. We have been pretty busy hence the late post from last weekend.
In an effort to be greener we are trying to convert Nera to solar power. Sam thinks her light color allows more solar efficiency.
Hank was living in the back patio until I read that elephant ears and ivy are toxic to tortoises, oops. While not much work I fenced in around the garden to make our very own tortoise run. He seems to be enjoying the stray tomatoes that fall off.
He likes the mulch and has made a nice burrow.
Eric helped me pickup our new dishwasher. Portland supervised installation.
Now I don't have to spend half an hour every morning doing dishes.
In an effort to make enough dishes to try out the new dishwasher, Sam decided to make a simple dessert. Turns out baklava is a little bit more time consuming than the internet recipe said.
Portland still supervising.
Saturday was Greek night over a Jerad's. The baklava turned out well. We also made a greek salad with tomatoes, feta, chick peas, and Penzey's Greek salad dressing. It was good too.
Sunday Sam made a really good pork tenderloin stir fry with quinoa.
Summer is quickly drawing to a close. I have to start thinking about home projects that need to get finished before winter. Not a comforting thought.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Things I thought I would never say

So on my way to work this week I found a tortoise. I full-grown male Russian tortoise named Hank to be exact, well Sam thinks his name is Hank. Anyway I was driving to work and I saw what I thought was a turtle walking down a pretty busy street. I couldn't let a turtle get smooshed so I stopped to pick it up and ferry it to the creek. I picked it up and noticed it was a tortoise and not a turtle. Since I am a veritable fountain of useless knowledge, I know the difference between a turtle and a tortoise and that tortoises are not native to either Missouri or Kansas. So I brought him to work with me.
Turns out Russian tortoises are commonly sold at exotic pet stores and are very good escape artists. They dig and climb.
Yes they love to climb. Hank has taken up residence on our back patio for the time being. He moves pretty fast and spent the first day looking for ways out.
Oh if I could only do a pull up.
Not quite there yet.
They love dandelions and he will pick through the lettuce to eat them first.
So if anyone is missing a tortoise named Hank let us know.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I can't believe it is already August. The summer is slipping away fast. We had some tomato-related structural damage in the garden. A couple of the tomato plants broke their metal stakes. The cucumbers didn't take to the roof and instead headed back into the tomatoes. So when I go to pick a tomato sometimes I get a cucumber instead.
Happy jalapenos.
We even have a few green peppers.
Has anyone seen six foot tall peppers? Here you go.
I found this guy eating the carrots. It looks very similar to a monarch butterfly caterpillar.
We are getting hot peppers daily now.
Here is our state of make-shift structural support. 1 cage, 1 small stake, 1 large stake, and 1 wooden support. These are barely holding up the tomatoes. Next year calls for drastic measures.
Sam made some great pico this weekend with the garden haul.
The littlest munchkin bike is up and running. I am planning on getting it finished in the next week or so. If, we can keep from racing it against certain lawnmowers.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ah, The Smell of Bleach

It's hot, really hot. Yep, same as last week and the week before. Summer is fun but we are ready for some cooler weather. We both biked and ran in the heat getting ready for the next set of races. Saturday was a relaxing day spent at the pool drinking beer and floating.
I have to warn you the following images may be disturbing. To help soften the blow I have some nice flowery pictures.
I canned some hot pickles and peppers this weekend.
This was my first attend. Everything seemed to go ok, we will see in a month.
Here is the scene of the crime. This winter the dishwasher froze. It stopped working and then just started working after a couple weeks. Before the party it stopped working again.
Recently we have noticed the trim looking kind of rotten. I didn't want to deal with it before Italy and it took this long to get my courage up. So I this weekend I pulled out the dishwasher.
Yeah, this is kind of what I thought. Looks like that when the dishwasher froze it split the fitting and started slowly dripping. A slow drip over a few months feeds lots of mold. Mark came over for some warranty work and help get it pulled out.
Pretty gross and smelly.
Some scrubbing with bleach and a fan made it look much better. Luckily the mold hadn't spread too much and nothing else will have to come out. Maybe next weekend we will track down a new dishwasher.