Oh Hello!

fwFrida has been enjoying daily walks then rolls to the garden.  The cool weather has helped her go pretty well on the walks and her cool demeanor has helped her enjoy the rolls.  Today she barked at me to hurry up as I prepared for the walk.  I haven’t heard that for at least four months.  After the walks, she stares at me through the back door until I put her in the trailer.  A routine, then.  Every day a little better.  Fingers crossed.frI pulled a bunch of wild onions from the garden.  They spread like crazy.  A pot of oniony soup is simmering now.so

Frida is standing next to me insisting on a neck rub.  Who am I to say no?  Besides, typing with one hand is tedious.



The lupini beans are done and delicious.  I stopped the twice a day brine swap after seven days so the preparation took nine days in all.  Lacey and I shared a cup of them with wine last night.  The saltiness would also have paired well with beer.  Maybe tonight!  I am enjoying them so much I may make another batch at some point.


See that fuzz on the middle bean and the speck to the left of that?  Both of those are inside the lens cover on my iPhone.  Really annoying.  I’m tempted to crack the case to clean it out, but I’ve never done it before.  We’ll see.Frida 05.18.15

Frida is doing very well.  She isn’t a fan of the hotter days but still manages to walk a mile or more.  Her eyes seem very comfortable and we’re cautiously optimistic that the sodium chloride is starting to part the clouds obscuring her vision.  We’ve allowed ourselves to leave her for hours even if it means we miss by a bit a scheduled eye drop application.  We feel bad most every second while we’re away, but it is important for our mental health.  Frida doesn’t seem to mind.  Last time we did it she was at the front door when we left but on the bed sleeping soundly when we came home five hours later.  Bless her furry heart.

I’ve enjoyed biking every day.  No long rides, but out a couple of times a day to run errands.  The weather has been perfect.  I’m getting my legs and lungs back.  Back enough to pedal two miles anyway.  I’ve started using Frida’s Tail Wagon to haul groceries.  I can’t get over the added caution drivers exhibit when passing “us” (my groceries and I).  If you are thinking of getting a cargo trailer to haul groceries and whatnot, I’d strongly recommend either a kid or dog trailer instead.  At minimum borrow one and pedal down the street and see what you think.

Care about the safety of cyclists?  Consider contributing to this gofundme campaign.  The fundraiser wants to become a League of American Bicyclists certified bicycle instructor and offer complimentary safety classes, helmets, lights and vests to 60 new riders.  I don’t know the fundraiser but I know and respect one of the contributors so I am confident the money will end up where it should.  Any amount will help.

Nothing else here so I’ll let you get back to your life.  Thanks for stopping by.  Take care.

Fool’s Errand

One of my favorite co-op employees was putting out a new to the store bulk item–lupini beans!  They are very high in protein, fiber and a dozen other cool things all of which are very bioavailable.  What’s not to like?  LB

I’ll tell you.  They came with instructions on how to safely prepare them. I don’t fear instructions or long preparation times.  It’s the safely part that started to get me.  Lupini Bean Recipe 05.14.15

When I got home I read that incorrect preparation “allows pharmacologically significant amounts of the anticholinergic alkaloids to remain in the beans, and poisoning symptoms result.”  Symptoms “include dilated unresponsive pupils, confusion, slowed thought and disorientation, flushed face and/or fever, high heart rate and blood pressure, tremors, difficulty with or slurred speech, in-coordination, dizziness, burning dry mouth, stomach pain, and anxiety or malaise.”  If I didn’t know better, I’d guess lightly soaked lupinis could be the next big thing with the drug set.  As it is, I’ll soak! LPC

I am strapped in for a twelve day project requiring twelve gallons of water and five cups of salt.  I am four days into it and haven’t had a taste.  Why try one early?  Happy to wait twelve days.  But now I read there are new varieties of sweet lupini beans containing very low levels of the dangerous alkaloids.  These require little or no soaking.  What kind do I have?  Dunno.  Soaking!

I also reviewed a dozen recipes online.  My favorite is the traditional Italian method of putting the beans in a cloth sack and placing the sack in a running stream for a week or two.  If that works, what’s up with all the salt in my instructions?  Granted–it isn’t that much at once.  1/4 cup per gallon of water.  Just enough to make a brine to keep unwanted bacteria from growing during the long soak.  But since you have to change the brine twice a day for 1o days, that’s 5 cups of salt in the end.  I’ll end up using a bit less.  I put three quarts of water in a gallon jar and three Tbs of salt.  I left out the last quart so there’s room for the beans and reduced the salt by 1 Tbs to keep the concentration of brine constant.  I’ve also been using two one gallon jars.  Two jars allows me to have one ready to receive the drained and rinsed beans.  Then  I rinse the newly empty jar, fill with three quarts of water and add salt.  This gives the salt 12 hours to dissolve.  The recipe doesn’t say anything about dissolving the salt, but that has to be better than not.

Many recipes use no salt at all but then the soaking time seems to double.  Some only change the water once a day.  I stumbled upon a page that seems to be the word for word source for the instructions I got, except the beans were soaked in plain water, not brine.  Who knows.  I understand the safety benefits of salt and I love the taste.  We’ll see–on May 21, 2015.

I also learned that the edge of the shell is to be bitten to break it and then the inner bean is popped into your mouth, one at a time.  You don’t eat the shell.  That’s the shell on the left and the bean on the right.  slb

Lacey remembers eating these from Italian delis as a kid and never liking them.  Too tough.  She didn’t know to remove the shell.  I’ve surely done the same thing if I encountered them.  Can’t say if I have.  They look like fava beans which I know I have been served.

My favorite saying is lupini beans are made for the next generation–because that’s how long they take to make.  On the same page there was a picture of a man boiling a huge vat of beans for his village.  Oh!  Here it is.  I’d make a joke related to lupini beans and hair loss, but it’s best not to joke at the expense of the fellow preparing your lupinis.  If I had a lupini walla in the neighborhood, I’d be a frequent customer.  And I’d tip well for the long soak.  As it is, this quart may be my first and last.  Not worried about poisoning, but who has time for 12 day recipes the end result of which are beans?  This may be the classic case of the “juice not being worth the squeeze.”  Isn’t that priceless!  A guy dropped that at the community garden today like it was no thing.  Best thing I’ve heard in awhile.  My guess?  I’ll stick to black bean burritos.

Frida is rocking, which reminds me–it is time to administer her midday trio of drops–immunosuppressant for tears, sodium chloride to reduce corneal edema and comfort drops because I love her.

Speak at you later.

I Don’t Know

I haven’t been able to closely observe Frida in her wagon as we are underway.  I sorta have to look where we are going.  Today I held my phone behind me as we rolled on a quiet street and got this.

I am starting to think Frida likes it.  Have a great weekend.

Her Chariot Needn’t Wait

Frida at Pond 05.07.15After Frida’s morning walk and portrait session (above), we rolled to the community garden to plant seeds for beets, napa cabbage, endive (I should now settle on a pronunciation), spinach and beans.  I planted seeds.  Frida slept by the shed.

Garden 05.07.15

I am so happy I bought the Burley Tail Wagon!  Day two and she now lays down as soon as we are underway.  Much easier than surfing the bumpy roads.  Admittedly, Frida looks miserable below but she isn’t as cramped as she looks.  She scoots forward six inches and then fits very well, but she wouldn’t scoot for the photo shoot.  Very strong willed these days.

Frida in Tail Wagon 05.07.15

After the garden, we went to CVS for some eye drops (always buying Frida eye drops), to Oliver’s to fill a growler (Uinta Hop Nosh at 7.99 for 64 ounces is a great deal), to Lynn’s to pick up food and then to my friends back yard for lunch. This trailer has really freed us up!

Here’s a photo taken by my parent’s dog’s sitter.  Isn’t it a gem?  I showed it to some friends and they didn’t seem wowed, but there is something about it that really tickles me.Daisy and Friends

Back to work.  Take care.



On Friday Frida enjoyed lunch at Tierra.  She was perfect.  After ten minutes of sitting quietly at our side she lowered her head and snoozed until we left.  Only one thing bothered me–I brought her there in my car.  I shouldn’t fire up a machine with 1,200 pounds of carrying capacity to move 200 pounds of cargo two miles.  I mean I wouldn’t get out a sledge hammer to hang a picture.  So this arrived today.Frida's Burley Tail Wagon

A Burley Tail Wagon!  I am still loving my Burley Nomad cargo trailer–nine years and going strong–so I didn’t hesitate to again dip a bucket in Burley’s well.  The idea is to trailer our vision impaired pooch to local eateries with outdoor seating so we can enjoy the world as a family.  My car, sipping electricity from a battery tender, will wait patiently for longer journeys.  Here’s Frida keeping a (cloudy) eye on her trailer.  Guarding Trailer

Then she relaxed.  Frida's First Ride 05.06.15

I almost didn’t buy it.  Who knows how much longer Frida will be with us.  But isn’t that it exactly?  We don’t know.  She could be enjoying life for months or more and I don’t want to spend the whole of that time at home.  And I am not uncomfortable admitting to myself there will be other dogs.  No Fridas, to be sure, but our future may (subject to Lacey’s veto right) hold a Gertrude, a Selma or a Sena.  One and all will be invited to audition the trailer–if it is to their liking, they will be chauffeured all over town.

An aside.  When I was putting it together I noticed a made in China sticker on the trailer.  My Burley Nomad, purchased in 2006, was made in Eugene, Oregon.  Based on that, I assumed the Tail Wagon was made there as well.  The manual says Burley by Design.  Their site says “In 1978 Burley became a worker-owned cooperative, and in 2006 members sold the company to Michael Coughlin, a Eugene businessman, community leader, and Oregon native.”  Maybe this fellow moved production overseas.  Oh well.  I hope the workers enjoyed the proceeds of their buy out.  Their right, you know.

One more thing about the trailer–all cars changed lanes to pass us.  They must have thought I was hauling a kid.  Whatever.  I loved the safe passes.  I’ll probably use this trailer to haul groceries and enjoy the added respect I get as a perceived procreator.  Winning!  Have any dog trailering stories or tips?   Please share them!Hosta

Yesterday I ate my first Hosta.  In Japan they are known as urui and are cultivated for food.  Only the young shoots are eaten.  Harvested in Spring and best when cut in the morning.  Mature leaves are bitter.  I ate just one raw.  Delicious.  Crunchy.  Tasted like chicken.  Just kidding.  Tasted like romaine.  I’ll harvest more next Spring.

Here’s Frida asleep in fallen pedals from our magnolia tree.  Precious moments (reference intended).

Asleep in Pedals 05.0515

Thirty days have passed since I wrote to the CDTA about close passing.  No response.  So I wrote again.  Five bucks says another thirty days will pass without a response.  Maybe I should type a response for them and include a self addressed stamped envelope.  Something like

We are very troubled by your report of the behavior of some of our operators.  We take safety very seriously and will do everything within our power to ensure our operators not only follow all laws at all times but also interact with other road users in a courteous manner.  As an initial measure we have added to our training program a module on safe passing of vulnerable road users.  Operators will be required to review this module annually.  An outline of the module is attached for your review.  Please share with us your comments.  Best regards, CDTA.

That, or they could keep up with ignoring the issue.  I’ll (probably) survive.

Be well.

Three Magic Things

Last night I enjoyed the best ride of the season.  One point six miles from two games of Scrabble (I won both!) to home at 10:15 pee em.  Blinkies front and rear made me visible to… no cars!  I bushwacked back roads all the way home.  I did meet a friend walking his dog and had a nice exchange, but the rest was slow silent rolling through an otherwise unpopulated world the thermostat of which was remote controlled by my mind.  It was perfect.Magnolia 05.0.15

This morning our magnolia tree was at the peak of its bloom.  My nose isn’t great and works less well when populated by pollen, but if I stick it in a bloom and pull the perfume is sublime.  Magnolia Bloom 05.01.15

Today Frida barked–twice.  She has hardly made a sound since mid-January.  As a genuine temple dog she has always tended toward quietude, but she used to break her silence three or so times a day to let us know she wanted to go out or come in or that an unauthorized person was crossing our walk.  We think she barked a week ago.  Maybe once the week before that.  Both were unconfirmed, though.  Today we were sure and we loved hearing her cute voice.  Never incessant.  Just two loud barks and then again with the waiting.  And just now again for three times!  This feels really good.  I can’t but believe she is feeling better.  Frida 05.01.15

I didn’t catch her midwink, but please give her a break.  She has her reasons for one partially closed eye.  Earlier today we also circumnavigated the pond at a reasonably good pace.

She sniffed, pretended to see and soaked up stranger love.  I could not engineer a better end to the work week.

Hope your weekend is swell.

P.S.  Don’t forget the 5th Annual Albany Bicycle Expo 2015, Sunday, May 3rd from 10 to 4 at the Washington Park Lakehouse.  I won’t be selling this year, but there will be reasons aplenty to enjoy yourself.