Friday, June 28, 2013

Salt Creek–Port Angeles (and the last Fitness Friday)

turtle-islandLast year I did a short hike with my hiking group starting at Salt Creek County Park.   Stunning location.  Vowed to bring the husband back soon.  Today, we made the trip (about 20 miles) and it was just as impressive as the first visit.  Located on the west side of Port Angeles on Highway 112 (a few miles off Highway 101).  The only downside of the trip was the holiday traffic on Highway 101 was horrible. 

World War 2 Bunker, Salt Creek Recreational Area, Port Angeles, WA USASalt Creek Campground includes 90 sites, 72 of which have views of the water. Some are in open areas while others are in forested locations.

The park was once the site of a World War II installment known as Fort Hayden.  Parts of the fort still exist, including a number of small bunkers and two concrete bunkers that once housed 16 inch cannons.

Now a word about my fitness and health plan.  Good intentions, but I need more motivation.  Drinking 32 ounces of water a day--check.  Daily stretching—need a morning commitment.  Daily exercise—shake it up between golf, walking, and biking.  Eating right—yeah, right—gotta work on it.  But, writing about it, is not helping.  Sorry, I thought a weekly commitment made public would help out. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

No Waste Wednesday #26 - Entertaining

Reference:  Resolution posted 12/31/12 –eliminate unnecessary trash from our lifestyle

olive-assortmentSince retiring, we find we do a lot more entertaining.  And entertaining always includes food, at least appetizers!  In the past, I would stop in at Costco and purchase a couple of pre-made packages to serve.  I love Costco both for its prices and the way they treat their employees (good wages, benefits, and management philosophy) but wow, they package the heck out of their products.



Instead I have found inspiration (again) from Bea Johnson (the author of the Zero Waste website) with suggested appetizers from the bulk section of our favorite grocer or easy to make. 

     - Mixed Nuts

     - Cookies (our grocer has three different types of “fig newtons” with either raspberry, fig, or apricot filling)

     - Olives (from the olive bar)

     - Candy (chocolate chunks or chocolate covered fruit)

Easy to make items include deviled eggs, toasted sliced baguettes with cheese, any kind of chopped veggie with a home-made spread. 

We are also collecting wonderful recipes and ideas from others when we join them at their place!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fitness Friday #2

MtWalkerViewWell.  My inactivity over the winter months caught up with me today.  Went for a round trip 5-mile hike on Mt. Walker (2.5 miles up and 2.5 miles down).  It is a steep, continuous climb and last year it would not have been a problem.  Made it up 2 miles and that was it.  My legs were like lead.  Coming down was worse.  I have had back issues for about 10 years and this last year it has affected the iliotibial band on the right leg.  So….halfway down the leg simply gave out.  Surprised the heck out of me.  Never hurt; just simply collapsed.  Finally stood up after a couple of tries and slowly made it down the mountain.  

So, what does that tell me.  I need to strengthen my legs, focus on my core to help my back and just begin walking on a regular basis.  No more once a week strenuous hikes until I am confident I have my strength again.

This week I will start with morning stretches to focus on the back and get some sort of daily walking exercise.

As an aside….We did drive up to the Mt. Walker summit once we made it back to the car.  You can look out over the Puget lowlands to the Seattle skyline and beyond.  In June, rhododendrons grow wild along the steep slopes of Mount Walker and they were spectacular. I hear Mount Walker is one of the best places in the state to witness the state flower.  Worth the trouble—driving or walking.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

No Waste Wednesday #25–Organization

Halfway through the year, we realize the most important habit in zero waste management is ORGANIZATION.  If you are not prepared with your canvas totes, mesh produce bags, empty bottles, and cotton bags, the whole thing falls apart.  We keep our “kit” in the back of the car, ready to use when hitting the store.  Here is what we have on hand:

Grocery_ShoppingLarge canvas totes (2) – to carry bulky items

Medium canvas totes (3) – to carry eggs, produce, and meat

Mesh produce bags (4) – bags up our weekly vegetables and fruit

Cotton bags for bulk products – bags up oatmeal, rice, spaghetti, flour, sugar, snacks, bread

Reusable bottles – syrups, honey, peanut butter, shampoo, laundry detergent (local stores offer fill your own)

This seems to be working, but we continue to fine-tune the kit.  Our bags are not the fancy packable nylon type that fold up to a small square; but, hey,  they are fine and there is no need to spend the extra money.  After you remember to bring in the bags and bottles for a few weeks, it all becomes routine.

[No, the photo is not me—some sort of publicity for Victoria Beckham.  I thought it was related in a very strange way. HaHa!]

Any one shaking their head at all of this, please know that our kitchen garbage can is still empty and has been for a week….

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fitness Friday #1

The Wednesday blog posts documenting our weekly changes to reduce garbage and attempt to manage a zero waste home have been very effective.  One new habit a week and documenting it, seems to make it stick.  Is it possible to apply this method to other areas of our life? 

Up until now, I have avoided the dreaded weight loss resolution.  Mainly, because I never had a good plan to follow through.  But this one small weekly lifestyle change with the zero waste just may be the approach for working towards a healthier lifestyle.  My doctor said it is time to lose a few pounds.  (At my age, it is not about looks any more!)  Okay.

DependWith help of two friends (yeah, I did some fast talking to get them to join in), we will attempt to incorporate one healthy eating habit or exercise goal each week.  Small steps.  Baby steps.   

This week’s habit:

The most basic.  Water.  64 ounces. 

My plan:  One glass (16 ounces) in the morning, one with dinner, and the other 32 ounces in an insulated thermos going with me wherever I go.

Wanda’s plan:  OK.....Mine is also the 64 (I am going to have to learn how to swim and wear Depend, me thinks) ounces of water a day !!!

Nancy’s plan:  I’ll start with the water!

Monday, June 10, 2013

No Waste Wednesday #24–Central Market

1017About 30 miles from here is one great grocery store in Poulsbo, Washington—Central Market.  I love Trader Joe’s, but this is even better than TJ’s.  They have it all including a very comprehensive bulk food section.  We are able to buy bulk quite a bit closer to home, but Central Market has much, more to select from.  Worth it to visit once every three months, which will include a visit to an out-of-this-world deli for lunch (pick from traditional sandwiches, ethnic food or a fresh hot pasty.)

Bulk foods are, on average, 89 percent lower in price than packaged goods.  It is also a great way to discover new foods with minimal investment.  Remember to bring your own bags!!

  • Spices, grains, flours, granolas, snacks, trail mixes, nuts, beans, rice, pasta and candy
  • Local specialty candies include Fran’s, Seattle Chocolates and truffles by Coastal Mist Chocolates
  • Pour-your-own oils, maple syrup, honey, soy sauce, and other liquids
  • Grind-your-own nut butters

poulsbo_fallBesides the produce and bulk foods, they have a large variety of local seafood.  Very impressive.

Poulsbo is a beautiful little town and fun to visit.  Lots of reminders of their Norwegian heritage are everywhere.  Usually we breeze through on our way to the Bainbridge ferry to downtown Seattle.  Need to spend a little more time exploring. [Photo from the Front Street Gallery]

Thursday, June 6, 2013

No Waste Wednesdays #23–Fresh Bread

Reference:  2013 Resolution posted 12/31/2012

breadBased in Port Townsend, Pan d’Amore, bakes wonderful bread.  We buy the bread either from their satellite store in Sequim (and when we visit Port Townsend) and from grocers selling local products.  They sell their breads in paper bags rather than plastic.  Easy to recycle or burn in the outdoor fireplace. 

Perhaps I can take the next step and eliminate the paper altogether.   With a clean pillow case stenciled with the word “bread”, two loaves can be purchased about every other week.  No need to deal with double plastic packaging when you get it direct from the baker.

Sometimes we buy the sourdough and other weeks the baquette.  After slicing, it goes into the freezer to keep fresh (the refrigerator dries out the bread).  The thick slices are used for French toast or smeared with butter and garlic to eat with the spaghetti.   The thinner are for sandwiches or sopping up soup. 

Better tasting than the fluff you buy in the grocery chain stores.  What is not to like?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Whimsical Birdhouses

IMG_2770Every Saturday at the Sequim Farmer’s Market, we would oh and ah over the birdhouses sold by local craftsman, Val Jackson.  Made from fallen trees and branches, old barn wood and driftwood; each birdhouse is unique made with love by Val. 

birdhouse_val_jacksonWe finally broke down and bought one, but we had the opportunity to visit Val at his home to pick out our favorite.  Val and his wife, Nancy, live on 14 wooded acres next to McDonald Creek.  During the summer months, their time is devoted to building birdhouses, gnome homes and bird feeders.  When the weather turns cold, Val devotes his time to the business of consulting as electronics engineer with his wife also very much involved in the business.  Creative and analytical. 

IMG_2771Now if we can get a occupant in the birdhouse, all will be well.  Maybe we will list it with one of the local real estate offices and put a tiny “for sale” sign out front.

You can see more on Val’s website:

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