Saturday, August 29, 2015

Summer's Almost Gone

We've had summer until today.  We have enjoyed the weather outside as much as possible, given my impending post-surgical incarceration.  These big white puffy flowers have been everywhere this year.  The flower heads are really big.

Thursday we rode out in Carnation Valley.  We stopped at a farm stand and bought produce.  The corn was good, the tomatoes not so much.

And now there is this.  Rain started at 4 this morning.  We've had off and on rain, heavy rain, gusty winds and sun.  Two people have died from falling trees, and at one point 450,000 people had no power.  We had a couple of outages, but they were brief.  It's an unusual storm for August, this usually happens in November. 

The next four days are supposed to be wet.  It may be time to join a gym since we're going to be here until the end of October.  Living in an RV is not as much fun when you can't go outside.

Surgery is on Monday.  I have to arrive at 1:30 in the afternoon.  I'm really unhappy about this start time.  It'll mean getting up at 5 am, eating something, and then sitting around until early afternoon being hungry and thirsty and extremely cranky.  It'll take three or four hours, so by the time it's all over I should be very difficult to be around due to low blood sugar.  I'm trying to have a positive outlook on this, but am failing miserably at the moment.  So, that's what's up in the GPNW.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Peanut Butter

I love peanut butter, but it has so many calories!  Yesterday we were at Walmart picking up the essentials of life (toilet paper and paper towels) and we saw this.  It's powdered peanut butter.  It has 85% less fat than regular peanut butter.   We figured even if it wasn't great, we might be able to use it to make peanut sauce.

It looks like this in the jar.

One adds one tablespoon of water to two tablespoons of powdered peanut butter.

Eh voila!  We have peanut butter.  Jim put it on toast with jelly. He says it tastes like peanut butter.  It's good, and is an excellent low fat alternative.

So, there it is, my gastronomical tip for the day.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Fires in Washington

I swear, watching the news coverage of the fires in central Washington makes me feel like it's end of days.  It's just tragic.  Photo swiped from the internet.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Boating on Lake Union

Wednesday evening, Vicki and Dave surprised Kim, Jim, Jim and me with a cruise on Lake Union.  The Electric Boat Company rents these boats to cruise Lake Union.  They're Duffy boats. Both of those links go to graphics intensive websites, so if your data is limited, you may not want to click on them.  The boats cruise at 7 knots, and have zero fumes or noise.  They are really fun boats.

There are many stand up paddle board users and kayakers on the lake.

That's Dave driving, with the two Jims.

Lake Union has many houseboats. It's a very cool life style, whose popularity has made it fairly expensive.  At one point I think every Seattle resident thinks, "how cool would that be?"

We went out to the Ballard locks. Out by the locks were two trash barges.  Someone has been out picking up dead boats, dead logs and debris.  There were two boats on the pile.

There are also sea gulls.  They are everywhere.

This an old sedan cruiser.  One wonders if the roof was built to support that many people sitting on it.

Here we are at Gas Works park.  Here is a brief clip from wikipedia.
The Lake Station gas manufacturing plant on Lake Union was the largest private utility then existing in Seattle. It operated as “Seattle Lighting Company” until 1930, when the name was changed to “Seattle Gas Company”. Its primary product was illuminating gas (so-called because it was used for lighting) manufactured from coal. The gas was later also used for cooking, refrigeration, and heating homes and water. It was also called city gas to distinguish it from natural gas. The gas was made from coal up to 1937 when the high cost of operating the old coke oven and coal-gas generating sets forced a change-over to oil.
The soil at the park is hugely contaminated from the years of gas production.  Large amounts of dirt were brought in to cap the soil.  It's now a beautiful park.  Thousands of people come here on July 4 for the fire works.

This is the other side of Lake Union.  There are more house boats over here.

The blue house is an older model.  Some of the wood is a little chewed up.  These houses are the old Seattle.

And then there is this.  Talk about not fitting in with the neighborhood!  The new house boats sit on concrete pontoons, and are much better insulated than their older neighbors.

I was hoping it would be easier to see this in the picture - look at the bottom.  You can see the logs that are floating this house.  They occasionally have to be replaced after they're water logged.

We're not sure what kind of boat this is.  We saw another one, where the people were paddling furiously.

This is a fantastic way to see the city from the water.  No real boat handling skills are required.  If you're in the area, you should do this.

We send massive thanks to Vicki for organizing this.  After boating, there was dinner at their house.  It was a perfect evening.