Thursday, August 30, 2012

113 Pounds

Of fruit. Is how much I bought within eight days.

I picked 13 pounds of unsprayed blueberries in the shadow of Mount Si, at good old Bybee Farms in North Bend. It's always a challenge to stop picking, with heavy branches always within easy reach. I got my berries cleaned and bagged for my freezer within the day.

The weekend before, I'd bought what I thought was a box of nectarines for the freezer. Unfortunately, they turned out to be the fragile white ones. They're in the freezer though, now, along with two bags, so far, of the yellow nectarines I bought the following weekend. Plus, I bought peaches. Mostly I'm just eating the peaches fresh -- great, mouth-filling slices with soy milk for breakfast, slices with cornbread as a sort of shortcake dessert -- though I have at least one peach pie in my weekend plans.

In my hallway sits the 40-pound box of apples I bought for applesauce. But it's too nice out! I just never expect a nice day in Seattle, and when I get them, I can't make myself stay indoors.

Fortunately, apples keep.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Just a last-minute warning: Next week Seattle Public Library branches are closed.

I know, it's awful. Grab your books while you can.

And here's a tip. By great good luck at Ballard Library yesterday, I came across Liz Moore's new novel, Heft. It's about a 500+ pound former professor who lives alone in his dirty posh brownstone until a former student he loved/loves contacts him about her teenage baseball player son. That's all I know so far, which is page 59. I don't want to put it down, but I'm going to have to so I can get on my bike.

But I see there's a copy on the shelf at Fremont Branch. Get there, now.

Friday, August 24, 2012

GMC Denali. Bike.

Right, I'm way behind on my summer blogging. So I guess I'll just start somewhere, and that will be, with my new bike!

Every summer I visit Mom in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Just before I get there, they hold the Menominee River Century, and refresh the marks on the road for the routes, from 15K to 160K. Then during my two week visit, I simply follow the route marks around rural roads like you see above, and along the river and the shore of Lake Michigan.

For the last several years, people I barely know have generously lent me a road bike, but this summer, their grownup kids were going to be home and using "my" bike. What to do?

I thought about shipping my bike: expensive. Renting? Not apparently available. Craigslist? also surprisingly expensive.

For some reason, one day I clicked Amazon to see what they had in bikes. There I found the GMC Denali, an aluminum road bike for $159! Purchasers said they liked the bike. Sure, they wrote, it's not the best, but if something goes wrong, you can buy seven more of them for the price of most entry-level bikes.

The way it worked out best for me was to get this bike through Wal-Mart (gulp), where I picked it up, all assembled, and rode it home. The brakes are way too stiff, but it's flat terrain, so it works. My local bike shop guy smoothed out the shifting for me, sold me a new bike seat, and worked on fit -- all for less than $50.

And how much do you want to spend on a bike you're likely to ride less than 400 miles a year?

I'm liking it.

All material copyright © 2009 by Mary Davies