strawberries and weird neighbors

It has been a while since I posted, but I have been busy.  Not working much, but busy none the less.

I went and picked strawberries with my friend, German, a few weeks ago.  I forgot to take pictures while we were out at the u- pick farm, but it was a gorgeous, sunny day in the Willamette Valley.  The farm was only a bit out of the way, but they definitely did not seem to be expecting much business on a Friday after a few days of cold and rain.  We were greeted by a big cat, but no humans in sight for a while. We had the berry patch to ourselves and there were tons of huge, beautiful and ripe strawberries.  The farm had a policy of letting you eat a ripe strawberry (no charge) if you toss a dead one out of the patch.  It only took us about 1.5 hours to collect over 11 lbs each!  That doesn’t count the ones we ate (which were a lot…  there were a lot of dead ones) and I was pretty choosy about getting the best of the best since there were so many to choose from.

Here are some pics of the booty.




de-stemmed and cut up


mixed with sugar and vanilla


I let it all mingle for a couple days, then processed it into canned strawberry jam!


Most of the remainders got frozen, but we saved enough for strawberry shortcake that night.



Then, I went on a road trip!!!!!  I went up to Lynnwood, Washington to visit my friends Jes and Matt for a couple days.  They have a great house with big, tall evergreens shading in a lovely back porch.  It was a nice change to sit out on the cool porch in the morning after a stretch of >90° days in Corvallis. We explored the arty, little town nearby called Edmunds and played a lot of Catan and Jes cooked some really delicious food.  It was such a nice time.

I left Lynnwood and took a ferry from Edmunds to Kingston and drove up into the Olympic National Park.  I spent a lot of time on the Olympic Peninsula when I was doing the field work for my masters degree, so it was nice to be back, but just get to be a tourist for the day.  I went for a lovely run on a forest trail.

DSC_1801 DSC_1806

Afterwards I drove down to Olympia, Washington to visit my friend, Lauren.  Bret drove up to Olympia with Ed, so we were all reunited for the weekend!

We had a great time tasting the cuisine and delicious northwest beers.  We also explored the Saturday market and went for a walk out at the Woodard Bay Conservation area.  Our first attempt at a walk was thwarted by some breeding birds who apparently wanted some privacy, so the managers closed the trail.  It worked out though because we had a nice walk out to a bay where we saw some seals and read a little about the history of the conservation area.  It was once a log transfer facility owned and operated by Weyerhaeuser, but since it was transferred to state ownership in the late 1980s, the area has been impressively restored.  Also, Bret took this picture:



on to the weird neighbors….

Some background. On one side of our house, the neighbors did not get along with the previous owners of our house.  The previous owners of our house did not wish to assist with the building of a new fence between the two back yards, so the neighbors built their fence 1 foot inside their own property line.  I was told this when I was looking at the house and I did not think too much of it, other than that it was an odd thing to do.  We have some temporary fencing that we use to keep the dog in the back yard despite the 1 foot gap and to keep the deer out of our front garden. We we remove the garden fencing every fall and we asked for permission to put up the temporary fencing (but from the husband).

So, we got home Sunday early in the evening and Bret and I were tending to our garden which was very thirsty.  The wife-neighbor calls over to me and says, we have to talk.  So, I went over and she proceeds to tell me that we have to move the temporary fencing a foot away from her fence.  She then goes on the explain the whole thing about owning a foot beyond the fence line…  She then lets me know that her mother thinks our vegetable garden is pathetic. Then she changes her mind and says it is fine if we leave the temporary fencing where it is, we just have to let people know if we decide to sell the house.  So, I think she really just needed an excuse to let me know that her mother has a much nicer vegetable garden then ours… so weird.  I really had no idea what to do, so I just said thanks about letting us keep the fence.

I have been thinking of theories to explain it.  1.  She may have been drunk.  This is the most likely explanation.  2.  She is a super control freak which explains the whole building her fence 1 foot inside the property line thing.  I can’t think of a better way to have power over your neighbor.   It also kind of makes me want to build another fence 1 foot away from hers.  Not that I am a control freak or anything.

any better theories?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *