Friday, October 4, 2013


Not long into our journey as passengers on the MV David B. we caught sight of the Schooner Zodiac in full sail on Bellingham Bay.   The Zodiac is a beautiful vessel owned by The Vessel Zodiac Corp. and is used to provide sail training for youth and adults.  Before we boarded the David B we had seen a bus load of school children being herded through the marina.  This was their day to take a field trip on the water.

 A few minutes later we saw the Schooner Adventuress; a smaller vessel also used to teach sailing and environmental education about Puget Sound, and also carrying a boat load of youngsters.

Both ships are many decades old and were originally used as fishing schooners and pilot boats.  They have been restored to their original design and are registered as National Historic Landmarks.

The combination of big white sails and morning sunlight on the water provided unlimited photo ops.  I brought home plenty of references for my watercolor painting.

I just finished “Morning Schooners” and put it up for sail on my Etsy site.  I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out.  It won’t be easy for me to give up this souvenir of our vacation.

I also have some small paintings on display on the VirtualPaintout of the Isle Of Wight. 

It was entertaining and educational to “tour” that part of the world using Google Street View.

This month’s location is Lima, Peru.  DH and I visited Lima, but it was during their winter and in a very un-scenic part of town.  I’ve already done a little exploring and found some better looking places that will be much more interesting to work with.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


HA! I finally nailed pulled pork.  Funny how I'm more proud of an accomplishment when I've tried and failed in a most impressive and magnificent way than when I figure it out the first time and get a handful of praise. Ever since I tasted my son's pulled pork with slaw on a hard roll I've wanted to duplicate the experience myself.  

The first time I followed a recipe that told me to simmer the pork roast overnight in my slow cooker.  I kept waking up with nightmares to wander in to see if the whole thing had gone up in smoke or turned to a charcoal brick.  By lunch the next day I had a crock full of barbecue flavored pork the consistency of baby food. MEH

The next time I tried the root beer recipe.  When it was dinner time I had a hunk of rubber swimming in brown water.  Not so good.

This time I tried this recipe from  I got up this morning and put the pork roast in my slow cooker with the onions and the sauce.  I didn't have chicken broth or apple cider vinegar so I substituted white vinegar and lemon juice.  I let the whole thing cook on the high setting for eight hours.  The liquid was almost gone at that point and things were getting a little crusty around the edges, but the pork was perfect. I pulled it apart with two forks and served it with slaw and whole wheat buns.  Tah dah!

A trick I learned from Alton Brown on his Good Eats show on the cooking network (well, I've learned a lot from the few shows I've watched such as don't EVEN try to deep fry a Thanksgiving turkey) is a way to turn off your slow cooker at a specific time when you're not there.
Plug the cooker into a timer like the one we use to turn off our Christmas lights at midnight.  Set the timer and, if you do it right, it won't matter if you are delayed getting home.

And now since we're talking about crock pots, here are some alligators....

Wait.  If a gator eats a croc, is it cannibalism?