Thursday, April 28, 2011


Posted by PicasaThis is the view this afternoon from the living room window's and it is not a pretty sight. The windows are blurred with rain, the streets wet, the flowers bowing low while the birds hide themselves away.
The back deck is matted with the last remains of decomposing leaves that have been caught up in the tree branches. In the garden raised beds sit empty but for their rain soaked soil. All is gloomy and dreary.

I feel terribly selfish even writing of these trivial things when we all know what is happening this very moment in the southeast. Hubby and I were just tunned into the weather channel and were stunned to see that the tornado's are still raging and taking lives. My heart is saddened for so many that have been hurt by this terrible disaster that has taken place over the past few days. Some folks have lost homes, their jobs and loved ones. I can only imagine what they are feeling.
This is an incredible time in history I feel. I know there have always been natural disasters but not to this magnitude. I truly feel something has changed, something we need to get ready for. Prophets for years have been foretelling what would happen at the end of times. Perhaps we are getting closer to those times.
If it is true one but can wonder what will happen and what will come after. No matter what your beliefs we know we are souls with bodies and not the other way around. So our life will go one even if there is no earth any longer or even if it has radically changed. We will live on. We all have our own idea's about what that life will be and what it will entail. But we as a human race have hope that there is something so much more. A universe that will filled with love and peace for all and we can find our true home once again. It has been said we are but mortal men but oh I think we are so much more and have been since the day our creation.
So no matter where the day finds you and no matter what it hands you never give up your faith. Faith that life is good and goes on in some manner unbeknown to us at this time. I know the time will come and we will know where we came from, why we are here and where we are going and we will be shown we are all one in the same.

Well my thoughts for the day but one cannot help but to think of these things especially in light of what is going on in the world today.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Posted by PicasaThis is where hubby and I will be dining for my birthday lunch on Sunday. Such a beautiful facility. World renown wines and views allowing glimpses of the coast range. This is truly a loving setting. The restaurant serves dishes made from local produce. We will taste at a few other wineries before stopping at King Estate to have lunch.

Today I am housebound with "wifey" chores as I call them. Perhaps it is a good day to be indoors as it does not look all that wonderful outdoors. Besides general housework I must once again attend to the office duties. There is always filing and a few bills must go out today and I will balance the check book. In this day and age that part is quite easy with online banking. I need to wash the living room windows on the inside it seems I just did that not to long ago. Would it not be wonderful if when you did your deep cleaning all would stay that way forever? It really makes me feel so grand when all is so sparkly clean and fresh. 
I remember when I used to dry clothes on the line years back. It was always such a pleasure to bring them in off the line and touch and fold them and the aroma of the freshness that enveloped them was heavenly. The towels were always a little rough you smoothed them out with your hands to soften them. Jeans were really stiff sometimes they could stand on their own. I always loved folding cotton diapers then placing them all white and fresh in the babies dresser. There is something to be said for the old days clothes drying under the sun, yards being watered with hoses held with caring hands, windows washed with pink window cleaner and newspapers,dishes washed and dried by hand usually a chore done by two. In my case I washed, little brother dried and we fought with one another and snapped each other's posterior with dishtowels. Oh the good old days. There are just to many amazing things to remember. I must list them all one day.

Well it is the present and my duties call so I best start my day. I do wish I was hanging clothes on the line today under a hot sun with a fresh breeze. It would make my heart happy. But off they go tossed into the washer to whirl them clean and then into the dryer coming out smelling like phony flowers or whatever from the cling free sheets. 
Till later have a great day no matter what.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Posted by PicasaThis is the photo of the rainbow that would not upload a couple of weeks ago. So I am going to see if it will upload to the published blog at this time. I am holding good thoughts. 
Till later.


We woke to a gray Easter morning with low clouds and mist it had rained earlier as we heard the soft patter on the roof while still cozy in our bed. The sky now is starting break apart and I do see tiny patches of blue I doubt there will be sun though as the clouds are thick and hanging heavy.
Yesterday was an amazing a day of sun and no breeze. It was so warm and summer hazy in the late afternoon. I hurried through my chores and was fortunate enough to sit in the garden spot for a hour and scan through cooking magazines.

A black and white check table cloth adorn the dining table for our dinner. My mother's green and white dish ware look fresh with my centerpiece, a basil plant wrapped in white paper with a black and white stripped tie and bow. Two white candles sit on each side of the plant. To add some cheer I placed bright red napkins under the silverware. My serving dishes that are part of my Mother's collection now sit empty but soon will be filled with tasty offerings.

My menu is simple this year.
A spiral ham with my red glaze sauce(this sauce is wonderful I will include the recipe)
Red smashed potatoes with sour cream, garlic, scallions with pork gravy.
Cole slaw with shredded onion and pineapple tidbits with my Mother's slaw dressing.
A relish tray consisting of: garlic marinated olives, crispy baby dills, Anaheim pepper sticks, pickled carrot slices, celery spears stuffed with cream cheese and radish zest.
Trader Joe's panini rolls with sweet cream butter.
Lemon bread with lemon sugar glaze for desert.
White wine or shiraz for spirits.

Recipe for red glaze.
Use any red jam or jelly you prefer. I use my homemade freezer jam which a mixed berry jam.
Put a couple of large tablespoons in a saucepan.
Add a 1/3 cup of red wine
Add a 1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
One teaspoon of cloves
One teaspoon of Cinnamon
Mix all well with a whip. 

Heat until boiling and then turn down heat and reduce about a third.
When your spiral ham is ten minutes from being done, remove the foil and ladle the red glaze over the top and finish baking. Do not cover.
This glaze is sweet and savory with warm spices of cloves and Cinnamon and it is so pretty. I have never cared for those glaze packets that come with the hams.

I must say our brunch was fun. My hubby makes the best tequila sunrises. This is his own take on this old fashioned drink as we do not care for sweet things as a rule we do not use but a tad of the grenadine. 
He uses a small pitcher.
6 shots of tequila gold
juice of one lime
two cups of orange juice
two shots of grenadine
fill the pitcher with ice and stir

Load glasses with ice and pour in drink mixture.
This drink is a pretty melon color and I think tastes like pink grapefruit somewhat.
We decided that it would be fun to make them frozen in summer like margarita's.
Of course these are pretty stout drinks so if your prefer just cut back on the tequila and make to your liking. I am not really even sure of measurements I stated. It is just a guide line as hubby just pours. But anyhow they are good alternative to the normal Bloody Mary's, Cesar's, screwdrivers or mimosa's.

I forgot to charge the camera so I cannot take a shot of that yummy red glazed ham. So I will post a photo of the tree that overhangs the back deck.
This is the tree that I constantly complain about as it is always dropping something onto the deck to be cleaned off.
If you click on the photo when it enlarges you can see all those little red buds on the tree that are falling now for me to contend with.

Have a lovely Easter day whatever you are doing and wherever you are. Remember to be grateful for your life and those that fill it so lovingly.
Till Later.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


In Zo's Kitchen Tonight I am making roasted vegetables to go with a slow cooked pork loin. I was going to make mashed potatoes but I wanted a array of veggies. So I used, three russet potatoes, one large yam, one Anaheim pepper, two cloves of garlic, one onion cut into wedges, six radishes thick sliced, and two carrots. Mixed all with olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread in sprayed casserole and covered with foil for twenty minutes at 400 degree's, then uncover and continue roasting for another fifteen minutes. I made a thin horseradish sauce to drizzle over the pork roast. It is a simple sauce of mayo, horseradish and Worcestershire and black pepper. I will make hubby some garlic sourdough toast to go with.
I am taking a photo but once again I am seriously have problems with getting my photo's to my blog. Sometimes it works, other times not so we will see.

I was hoping my daughter may come for a visit this weekend. However she is not. I was originally going to go north on the interstate to visit her and the rest of my family but bagged the idea with the weather still being stormy. So I have decided to wait until warmer weather, if it ever comes. So I will be here this weekend with hubby as usual. He is working on Saturday but we will have Sunday and actually the sun is promised to come out. However those promises have been broken many times this spring, so we will see.

I was thinking the other day that I may submit a story to the magazine, Mary Jane's Farm. A friend of mine told me about the magazine. I think the short stories I have written about growing up on the farm when I was a little girl would have the right format for that magazine if I were fortunate enough to have a story published. The stories are written from a child's point of view and there is always a little moral to be gleaned at the end of each tale. The stories are true to the best of my memory. I had quite a extraordinary life on that farm with it's cow pastures, natural springs and  dark woods of old growth timber. There was a huge scary barn that our many animals took refuge in at night. There was pond for taking a plunge and cooling off on a hot summers day.  We had a huge vegetable garden every summer as well as a corn patch I would get lost in. We slurped up black berries and chomped on juicy apples that grew in abundance on our property. Our home was very humble but so inviting and cozy due to my Mom's talents of sewing and decorating. At the time I thought it was an idyllic life my thoughts have not really changed from that point of view but now I realize I was isolated from other children and I spent a lot of time alone. However I can still entertain myself very well and absolutely treasure my quiet alone times.
So I may explore that avenue and share what growing up in the country forty-five miles west of Portland on that old farm was like for me and my family.

Well the dinner last night was great. I must say it was the first time I have roasted radish's I just did that on a whim as I had them in the fridge. Well you know what? They were wonderful I wish I had put more of them in with the other veggies. They turned very mild and tasted very similar to a turnip but better as they were sweeter. Once again my photo would not post. so I must keep plugging away trying to rectfy that issue. It really irriates me as I love to take photo's and post them.

Rain today and cold. I have the little fireplace going as well as the furnace. Actually last night when we crawled into bed I was thinking I should put the flannel sheets back on. Good grief it is the middle of April. Enough already!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Ready and waiting for springs arrival, wait hasn't spring already come? Well actually yesterday looked and felt like spring but today is back to cold and rain. This has been going on for too long now, enough already! Yesterday I raced about getting to-do's out of the way. It was grocery shopping day for me yesterday as well as other errands. I started quite early as I knew it was to be a nice day. When you have one day in hopes of seeing the sun you surely do want to be out and enjoy it even if you are pulling weeds. I put all away as quickly as possible when I returned home about one. I threw together a half of tuna sandwich as I was starving. Hustled to the garden area with my book and lunch. Ahhhhh, yes, sun, warmth, heat. It felt so wonderful. I lingered over my lunch and happily sat and read for about an hour. Then I grabbed the hose and cleaned the deck and did some tidying up. Then I noticed a haze moving in from the west and the next thing I knew light gray clouds were forming and starting to float over. Well I surmised that was it and I was right, within an hour all was gray and grim. So back into the house I came discouraged that the blue sky had not lasted longer but still pleased that I had a hour or two of enjoyment. We all know what the gray gloomy days do to our emotions. It wears on you day after day and soon you just start feeling depressed. Seems your energy wanes and your desire to do things evaporates. So a sunny couple of hours can do wonders for your well being. So for that I am thankful for yesterday. Today will be a day spent indoors. I even need to do my walk indoors which I manage to do on days such as these.

I will shortly be searing a pork sirloin roast and placing in the slow cooker for this evenings meal. I will make it just simple with salt and pepper and some fresh garlic. Tonight we will have mashed potatoes with pork gravy made from the drippings and fried cabbage with peppers. Then tomorrow the pork will be morphed into taco's. I will shred and simmer the pork until heated in salsa Verde and then heap into crispy corn shells with cilantro, cheddar, chopped onions, salsa and sour cream. I will make a side of black beans. So dinner plans are underway for the next two evenings. The pot of chili I made the other night with left over grilled steak was amazing. We enjoyed it again last night. Now the remainder will go into the freezer as there is enough for chili dogs later this month. I use the freezer a lot for leftovers that freeze well. Also for many of my sauces that I make. I like to make a large batch and what I do not use I place in freezer zip lock quart bags for later use. It really cuts down the time when you are busy and need a fast meal.

Well I best get on with my indoor day. I made out a list last night of little projects that need doing so I will start chipping away at that list today. Enjoy your day whether you are sequestered indoors or happily outdoors enjoying spring weather.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


This is an amazing photo. My hubby stepped out the door and said come quick. Actually we saw three rainbows each one a replica but more distant and less vivid. I did enhance this photo as it was raining so the spots you see are rain drops.
We had a very nice warm day yesterday though the breeze was chilly. Our garden spot that has nothing planted as of yet is on the south side of our home and is shielded from the wind. So a perfect choice for sun bathing. Our poor pastey white winter bodies were surrendered to the sun. We both got some color and that made us very happy. We spent the majority of the day there loving every minute. Then late afternoon we had our first grill of the season. I made bacon, mushrooms burgers with two kinds of cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, red onion and special sauce. We had no side dishes except Kettle Chips. We hummed through those burgers, though as usual I could not completely get through mine.
Tonight we are grilling again. I have a sirloin steak sitting the fridge with my spice rub on it. I will grill it to medium and let it sit for ten minutes then slice on the diagonal and place over a bowl of salad greens with red onion slices and mushrooms. I am making my blue cheese dressing to ladle over all. I have some Tuscon bread on hand so will throw that on the grill with a drizzle of olive oil then rub a sliced garlic clove on the hot bread. So dinner will not be too heavy but very tasty.

Today we are going out for a bit to a neighborhood Mexican restaurant  for lunch, so a little outing for us as we do have a bit of cabin fever it seems.

Well I am going to close as I am very curious to see if this photo will publish. I noticed on my last blog the photo of the beautiful spring tree did not load. Strange. I am doing nothing different than I have in the past. There are so many things that go on in the computer realm that I do not understand.
Have a nice weekend whatever you are doing and hopefully the sun will be shinning on you.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Another day of gray dull low skies. How much longer?
This is the tree in our back yard it is mostly leafed out at this time. All is very green now and many flowers are showing their pretty faces, but believe me this is not spring in the complete sense of the word. It is chilly temp's only in the fifties for the most part. Yesterday we had scattered sun among the many clouds. We popped in and out of our secluded garden area to catch what rays we could. When the sun appeared it was incredibly warm but quickly a shadow would fall over us and chill us and so the afternoon went. Well we got our exercise pattering in and out of the house.

I am making Parmesan crusted chicken breasts tonight with brown rice pilaf and sauteed spinach with garlic and lemon. This afternoon I making nutmeg cake doughnuts. Not that either bodies living in this household need nutmeg cake doughnuts, but that is not even relevant on a grim day like this. I need to smell something wonderful frying up!

I am hoping that my photo will post this time. I have been having problems with getting pictures to my blog site for some reason.

I am planning on making a little trip by myself to see my family in Portland, and Washington state. I will be gone about five days I believe. It will be lovely to spend time with my daughter and son and also my brother once again. Hopefully hubby will be working hard for us while I am gone. Work has been slow but surely will improve, we have hope.

Well now we have had severe storms in the mid-west once again and also the southern states. I wonder what is next? Seems there is something going on somewhere weather wise that is not the norm quite frequently now. My granddaughter lives in Topeka Kansas and I read there were tornado's in that region. I am concerned about her and her little family there. They do have a cellar and they use it when these events happen. I would be very a nervous Nelly if I lived in tornado country. Not for me.

Well today I am de-cobwebbing our ceilings and walls. I have a long fluffy tool that does a good job on those webs. You would think we had tons of spiders for the amount of cobwebs that appear but I never see a one. Good thing I am thinking. I am no spider fan by any stretch of the imagination. I have half of the house finished at this point so I had better get back to my chore.

Have a lovely day wherever you are, maybe there is not a gray blanket overhead as here.

Till later.

Friday, April 1, 2011


I made this wonderful lasagna last night. So so good and it is an original recipe. I developed this recipe as I wanted to make a spinach lasagna made with fresh spinach rather than frozen as I much prefer fresh. So here is the recipe.

Z'o's Spinach Lasagna

1 jar of your fave pasta sauce or home made.
No cook lasagna sheets
1 container cottage cheese or ricotta cheese (for med size casserole if using a 9x13 you will need more)
1 pkg of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 bag of fresh spinach
Put a layer of sauce over the bottom of the casserole, just enough to cover. Lay on the pasta sheets they can overlap. Spread on the cottage cheese or ricotta on top the pasta sheets. Lay a layer of chopped spinach to cover the cheese. Then sprinkle half of the mozzarella over the spinach. Then repeat layers and top with the last of the mozzarella. Bake uncovered at 375 degree's for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with foil for ten to fifteen minutes. This is important. The longer it sits the tighter it will be. It is always best the next day. So you could make a day ahead and just reheat.
This is a sumptuous mouthful. Of course depending on what pasta sauce you buy or make delegates a difference in the flavor.
What I did last night was use Trader's Joe's basil garlic pasta sauce, I poured it in a dutch oven with two cloves of minced garlic and a splash of red wine and simmered for about hour. It had lots of flavor. Most times I make my own sauce from scratch.
Why not make up a batch you will not be sorry and it is quick and fun to make as you do not even boil the pasta.

We are eating at my sis in law's this evening as it is a get together for my hubby's Mother who is moving to Bend this weekend. She will be living with her eldest son and family. So it will be nice to see everyone this weekend and be together.

Yesterday hubby and I sat in our garden space and raised our faces to the sun rolling in and out the clouds. It was warm and we were content to just sit and watch the birds.
It is nicer today also, blue skies this morning but I do see some dark gray coming in from the west. I best walk before they reach us.

Have a nice weekend, maybe yard work at this house?