Marshmellows and Coffee

Five a.m. and I’m on my third marshmallow with the coffee brewing. Off to a good start.  Not the best food choice but I seem to be doing well enough for my age. Years of exercise.

We decided to roast marshmellows for Easter this year. Twenty minutes family time is what we managed to squeeze out of the teenager. Incineration was the preferred cooking method. Who doesn’t like a carbonized shell with a gooey dirt magnet underneath?  I couldn’t whittle my stick thin enough so every time I tried to force a mellow onto it, about ninety percent of it would be displaced, leaving nothing but shreds.  Surprisingly, our son suggested we roast again the next day.

Dusting off the lawn chair.

Speaking of food choices, my husband will eat anything.  He finds tortillas especially useful and would put a trout on one only he doesn’t like fish.  Yesterday, I saw him crammed into the pantry from the waist up, looking for a snack. Later I caught him ladling the last night’s hamburger gravy into a sourdough bun he’d hollowed out. Not so bad except he was eating it cold. I’m grateful he recently discovered cooking with Chef Ramsey.

We always have sweets around but so too do we have fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s tick season so we keep the garlic out on a cutting board. Every day we slice it up and eat it on bits of cheese or tomato to help it go down. Garlic can make you nauseous if taken alone. My husband and I smell but that’s the point. Thankfully, we cancel each other out.

We could eat healthier and exercise more but our coffee and marshmellows aren’t going anywhere.


Wood Gathering: A Poem

At night in the woods.

Disclaimer: This is kind of a cliché poem but I had fun writing it.

Air sharp as glass, ice scraping flesh

Breath escaping in frosty plumes

Feet frozen, struggling up hill to the place where the wood lies

Snow glows bluish, dark shapes fracturing it’s crust, frozen in escape

Stillness, snow holding tightly to all sound but the travelers

Constellations assume their poses, looking back through time with patient curiosity, eyes extinguished for millenia

Flashlights swing right to left and back, searching

Pausing, putting down the wood bag; catching breath

One stands watch while the other sets to work

Listening; sharp crack, blade falling

Wood rending under blows

Load bundled, nervous glances; fears better left unvoiced

Back to light, too far away

Not too quick, not wanting to look behind

Home close, steps quicken in urgency

Silent reassurances; nothing is there

A sound from the darkness, wood flung aside, clattering

All thoughts of fire forgotten

In flight, flashlights abandoned

Stairs, porch, door flung open, in

Dawn brings light, safety promised

Door opens, cautious glance

Long shadows cast by an early sun reveal clawed tracks in the snow

A track my husband found right outside of our trailer last winter after hearing howls “like out of a movie” nearby.


The ban has lifted.

The burn ban was finally lifted the other day so time for some fires between now and winter.

Eastern Washington is a wild fire waiting to happen. It being dry and moderately arid out here, it seems as if there’s always a fire somewhere. I actually applied to be a wildland firefighter but I couldn’t pass the physical test. You had to carry a 45 pound backpack for three miles in less than 45 minutes. My body frame was just too small. The pay would have been excellent but I wondered if I could do it anyway.

There was an especially large fire just past the neighboring town of Kettle Falls on the far side of the Columbia River. It seemed to last a couple of weeks although don’t quote me on that. We watched helicopters dip their water bucket thingys into the Columbia and swing around back to the fire. The fire was named the Boyds fire and it burned a lot of acreage.

Air quality was really bad and once when we went grocery shopping downtown, you could see a haze inside the store. It seemed as if almost every day we’d hear the siren going off, summoning all hands to a fire. There almost seemed to be a perpetual haze in the distance.

We had our first fire tonight. Built a fire pit and I’m building a sort of natural patio around it. I’m setting rocks into the ground and filling in between them. I plan on doing a little at a time and doing about a 20 foot radius from the fire. I think it will look cool.

I’d like to eventually create some kind of semi dessert garden area. Some place to sit. It would have to have trees or I will roast.

I took some cool pics of the fire tonight. I thought some of them looked unique without color.

Looking forward to some more evenings by the fire before the bitter cold arrives.