Summer walking

With brownies baking in the oven, now is a good time to write. They’re beginning to smell good, maybe I’ll indulge in a portion of little one that’s baking in a ramekin next to the 9×13 pan which Ed will take to the community dinner workers in the morning.

Normally the brownies or cake is baked in the morning for the workers like to dive in while it’s still warm. They’re partial to the Turtle brownies which I jazz up with various good stuff: a few dollops of plum sauce, some ground flax seed, perhaps a handful of ground almonds or hazelnuts and a cup of chocolate chips. Whatever seems good when putting them together. The batch is always doubled so they’re thick with enough for the ramekin. Hey, I have to make sure they’re edible. Right? Tomorrow is supposed to be another day of temps around the 90’s, too hot to be heating up the house first thing in the morning.
One of my neighbors, the one who is teaching Ed how to play the piano, and I have been walking most mornings before work. In the beginning we walked the relatively level, paved route that more or less follows the creek upstream. It’s a beautiful walk though the road is narrow, has many blind corners and often not much of a shoulder, if any.Β  After several weeks of that we ventured up the road leading south out of town. It’s a more challenging walk with the road climbing uphill for about 3/4 mile before leveling out to a gradual climb until it finally tops out at just over a mile. Once we leave town the road is gravel, the traffic is light. Often we walk without encountering any vehicles except in town.

A view from one of the higher points on the road, looking west across the Willamette Valley, Coast Range in the distance, the Pacific Ocean beyond those mountains.DSC03217

Looking northwest from the highest point on Peaks View Rd. The haze is from smoke that drifted into the valley from distant forest fires. On clear days we can clearly see Mt St Helens and Mt Rainer, in Washington State. One crystal clear morning I even saw the snowy peaks of Olympic Mountains, also in Washington.

The road takes us past this small, family run sawmill where Ed gets maple wood for his products. DSC03230
Summer has been good this year. Even if I’ve only stuck my feet in the creek once. Work keeps us busy, as does the garden and babysitting, getting in wood for the winter and canning. The gravenstein apple tree has given up almost all its apples. They’ve been eaten fresh; made into many cakes, and a pie or two; sauced and sealed into jars for the winter. We’ve feasted on sugar snap peas, Swiss chard and carrots. The tomatoes are hanging huge and close to ripe, fingering green beans are growing daily and the corn is beginning to round out their husks.

Spinning, a bit of weaving and knitting continues to happen. These days more knitting than the other two, there’s a pair of boot socks on my needles that have been there far too long. Only about 1/2 an ounce remains of the Alpaca that I’ve been spinning on the Great Wheel. The tapestry loom was pressed into duty, a piece almost half finished when the warp finally convinced me that it definitely needed a redo. The loom is rewarped, I only need to put the heddles back in place and commence weaving again. Once I can block out a chunk of time.

The brownies are out of the oven and cool enough to cover. Bed is calling.
Six o’clock will come too quickly tomorrow morning. Walking hills is best done before the sun heats the day.


Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle used in weaving Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Walking Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing a fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays are set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

8 thoughts on “Summer walking”

  1. What a peaceful post, in spite of all the busyness you talk about! It is a good life; reminds me of mine. (little surprise there, kindred spirit πŸ˜‰

      1. And sheep; you’re lacking a couple little Shetland sheep! Cute little fiber producers . . . and I just happen to know of some available. πŸ˜‰

  2. Just beautiful!
    What a lovely place to live!
    We are having smoke off and on. Clouds this morning.
    This if fair week, so I am trying to work ahead (?) on my
    domestic duties so that I can go and “play” (demo spin)
    at the fair each day!
    Thanks for the e-smell (brownies!!!)

    1. Good question, Michelle.
      The first time I baked the ramekin brownie next to the pan of brownies I expected it to cook faster but, surprisingly, it took almost as long.
      I think it’s due to the ramekin being filled a bit higher so the resulting brownie is thicker – more muffin sized – than the brownies in the pan, plus the thicker ceramic wall of the ramekin slows down the cooking process.

  3. Your post describes my perfect summer dream–walks in beautiful places, knitting and spinning, and of course, brownies πŸ™‚

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