Monday, May 30, 2011


This was the scene on Saturday. Oh how it hailed. I fear we have lost about half of our cuke plants. They just could not take the battering. The street and sidewalk were white with hail about a inch deep. It totally pounded and the hail danced down for a hour half. There was also thunder in the distance. Quite a spring storm.

The weekend is laid back for me. Hubby is working each day as I had mentioned before. I have done a few projects that needed attended to. I have managed my walks each day but not an easy feat.
Saturday afternoon I went to the Bon Voyage party for my niece Sarah off the Vicenza Italy. There were many of her friends there. Friends from college of course but also friends from as early as grammar school.
She had a fun filled afternoon and was anticipating her flight from Portland the next day. She flew directly to Amsterdam Sunday which was ten hours then on to Venice. I am not sure what the travel arrangement from Venice to Vicenza were.  No doubt she is jet lagged at this point. I know her parents always worry until she arrives safely at her destination.

Tomorrow hubby and I are going out to lunch at his favorite place, mexican food of course. I will be leaving on Thursday and heading north to visit family and friends. So another boring trip on I-5. I hope the weather will not be rain as I dislike driving the freeway with all the truck traffic in the rain. The weather is not going to be warm while I am there. Cool in the low to mid sixties and showers with hopefully a little sun at the later part of my stay. Well in Oregon we take what we get with a smile I suppose what else is there to do?

This is quite a boring blog today but really it has been a blah week so what do I have write about?
We did have amazing Italian sausage hot dogs last night. Hubby requested them we filled them with sauerkraut and onions, pickle relish and lots of spicy mustard. I made a batch of home fries in the oven with a special dipping sauce to go with. I was grilling early evening in a mist so thick Iwas as wet as if it had rained.
I am going to make some lemon sour cream muffins today mainly for something to do. The recipe looks good. I will make six over-sized kind as that is what we prefer. We like the big muffin tops crusty with sugar sprinkles. Of course this could add to the growing muffin top on my own body. Well I will just eat the muffin tops and leave the bottoms for hubby!

Well have a nice Memorial day wherever you are. Some will be coming home from a wet cold camping weekend and will enjoy the warmth of their homes once again.
We saw on the telly last night shots of Odell Lake here in our mountain area. Folks were huddled around a smoking fire all bundled up in coats and hats as snow was falling. My hubby said to me, that looks like fun. Well needless to say I was certainly thinking the opposite. Like how could that even be enjoyable standing by a smoking fire cold and miserable. To each his own.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Posted by PicasaA day of showers, sun, hail and wind. What's new?
I did have a wonderful walk very early this morning. Hubby got up early and went to a job site. I slipped on my hoodie and walking shoes as soon as he left and hit the pavement. People were just stirring and leaving for their work places. The walk was nice as it was bright sun when we woke this morning but I knew the forecast.  It was so good to be home so early with my walk out of the way and the day spreading out before me to call my own.
I have accomplished a lot today and still had time for myself.

I make these pickles quite often for us but find that most folks love them so it is always a good take to a bbq party and I will be going to one tomorrow.
It is actually a Bon Voyage party for my niece Sarah.  She will be off to Vicenza in northern Italy on Sunday to teach children at a army base there for the rest of the summer. Last year she went to Germany through the same program. What a wonderful respite from the college year and just working at a mundane summer job. I want to be along with her in some sort of fashion so I guess vicariously will have to do. I will post a photo now and then as she sends them. The area looks amazing.

Here is this really simple pickle recipe.
1 46 oz jar of baby dills
1 cup of apple cider vinegar
3 cups of sugar
Cinnamon stick if desired

Dump pickles into a strainer and drain off the juice then rinse with cold water.
Cut into pieces. I usually cut these little guys about three times you just want something you can pop into your mouth.
In the meantime mix the vinegar and sugar together and bring to a full boil.
Pack the pickles back into the jar or two smaller jars then ladle the vinegar sugar mixture over to cover put on the lid and stick in the fridge for at least 24 hours before eating. They will stay good in the fridge for a couple of weeks, however they will never be around that long. 
Now I ask you what is easier to make and than these little pickles that are a sweet and sour crunch in your mouth. Too good!

That is all for today. Must start dinner prep.
Till later

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Posted by PicasaWhat a treat to pull a jar of this sauce from the freezer. It taste as fresh as the day I made it.
 To the sauce I added fresh thyme from our herb barrel, sliced onions, two cloves of garlic and two bell peppers sliced. I tossed in a bit of fresh basil, salt and pepper. Simmered the sauce for a hour or so uncovered to reduce it to a thick heavenly gravy, then I sliced and added the left over sirloin grilled steak we had the previous night. I let that all meld together for another half hour. We then  ladled this rich red sauce over garlic mashed potatoes as smooth as silk.  I just served a oven hot crunchy chibatta bread and butter to go with. Believe me it made for bold flavorful mouthfuls.

We spent a good deal of time outdoors yesterday the sun warming our souls as well as our bodies.
Today is another tale altogether. We woke to the patter of rain on the roof. It has showered today as well as hailed. The wind right now is very blustery.
Once again I concerned about my granddaughter who lives in Topeka Kansas. Today that area is having sever storms and there have been tornado's touching down just east of them. My heart is in my throat for her and her little family. Please stay safe Megan.

I have cemented a little summer outing with a good friend for a few days in August. We will meet up at Crescent Lake high in the Cascade mountains. She has a small motor home for our comfort.
We will lay in the hot sand, suntan and sip wine and share our lives as we have done since we were very young women.  We plan on taking a long hike every morning and will take healthy eats. I am taking the fixings for one dinner. I love a gourmet but simple dinner out in the mountains. I will take a white table cloth to throw over the picnic table, a vase for wild flowers I will gather and always there are candles. I take a lot of pleasure in small things like this.
My friend and I have a great deal of history together. We have known each other for forty- five years, we have shared so much throughout our lives. So once again we are making but yet another memory. 

I am watching and waiting for a period without too much wind or showers as I still have not walked today. Actually right now it may not be too bad, think I shall try.
Till Later.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Posted by PicasaWe had a great time yesterday. Driving out to this winery from Eugene is a treat.
This winery sits in a serene setting of tree spattered hills, grape vines, and rolling fields. It does remind me of the area where I lived throughout my childhood.
We tasted several wines and choose a lovely pinot noir for a glass to be enjoyed on the little patio.
Hubby is sipping enjoying as you can see by the photo.
We lingered over our wine and enjoyed the warmth of the sun and the quiet surroundings. The bird feeder had been filled that morning for the birds so we enjoyed their chattering and flitting about us.
We took our time on the thirty six mile round trip journey. We traveled through little bergs scattered about throughout the hills and valleys. Simple tiny towns with  old fashioned white churches, a small grocery store, a fire station, a gas station and that is about all. Mail boxes are perched on home crafted posts and clothes flutter in the breeze hanging from clothes lines. All is very old fashioned and a time long gone in most folks lives but still very much alive in these tiny bergs.  I felt a longing of sorts driving through these little towns with their small populations where life seems to have slowed and all seems peaceful.
After we arrived home we shared some wine and enjoyed the outdoors for a while at the patio table. The clouds were crawling in from the west however so we started the grill and hubby put on the pork ribs and started doing his thing. By the time we were ready to eat all the blue sky had been replaced by grim gray clouds.

Today we are mix of sun and clouds. I still have not taken my walk and will do that shortly. I am going to call my brother and chat a bit while walking.
Hubby has went to the meat market for franks. He wants a grilled dog later loaded with sauerkraut and stone ground mustard. I admit it does sound good to me also I will top mine with the last of my zucchini relish. Yumo!
Enjoy the day I know we will.
Till next time.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Posted by PicasaWell I guess instead of a food blog this should be a weather blog. Seems it is about all I chat about. It is Oregon so you know the weather is actually quite a interesting subject. But enough already..................... As you can see the living room windows are blurred once again looking out to the rain splattered street.   Oh well it is absolutely wonderful today, so I rejoice.

When I was blogging about our garden planting it reminded me of  my childhood where the garden was the main event in spring. Our garden was big  and it seemed every year it was expanded. Also we had a wild sprawling corn patch. It was fun to play hide and seek in that corn patch with my cousins.
Oh how I hated weeding the garden.  I do not know how much I really helped as I worked rather slowly without enthusiasm. I disliked the sun beating down on my head, the dirt under my fingernails and the leaves made my arms itch. It was a hot miserable job as far as I was concerned. My Mother adored working in the garden she was always humming and smiling and worked hard. The best thing I gleaned from that experience was time spent with my Mother. But hey I would have rather been hanging upside from my limb in the side yard apple tree with my hair swinging and dangling almost sweeping the ground. Or I imagine I would have rather been spending time under the huge banana apple tree that sat in our side pasture. I would not even throw down a quilt I would just sprawl in the grass with my nose in a book. Well am I any different now? Well I do use a blanket now!

When the harvest started in the garden it was a busy time for Mom. The canner was always on the  stove, whatever was harvested from the garden was being preserved for our winter food. That kitchen would be so hot. Mom would keep the windows and doors open and the fan going full speed. I can see her there now standing in front of that stove, sweat beaded on her forehead, he apron tied snugly around her waist stirring a huge pot of blackberry jam. When I make jam now I close my eyes and I am back once again in that kitchen.
The fruit tree's yielded plums, apples, peaches and cherries. Then there were the never ending  berries. So on and on it went into late summer the preserving and freezing and canning it consumed my Mother's life.
Mother would store all those jars of beautiful vegetables and fruits such as pears in colors of red(cinnamon) green(mint) and white(regular) in neat rows on shelves at the back of the barn. 
I remember so well always being asked to go to the barn and fetch this and that for dinner. Well there was no problem except that when it got into winter and the days drew dark sooner I would sometimes find myself walking that dark shadowy path up to the barn. There were bats and mice in that barn and I was always afraid so I would flip the light on and race as fast as my legs would take me to the back of the barn and quickly grab whatever was asked for in a flash.Then race back out of the barn heart pounding and slide the big door shut and then lean against it to catch my breath.  And I would be so thankful that a bat had not darted toward me or that a mouse had ran in front of me.  What a baby I was when I think of it now. Seems I was always afraid of something especially at night. I am not much better now though I hate to admit it. Why I wonder?
I will say it is much easier and less stressful working in our little garden these days. Besides seems hubby rather likes to weed the garden. Yahoo!

Well I must head out the door for my walk. Oh how I am going to enjoy it today the sun is blinding this morning. The sky is deep blue and all is quiet, no wind. This is a miracle day!
Have a good one.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Posted by PicasaThese little flowers are so strong. Yesterday it rained so hard and just pounded their little faces. But here they are this morning all smiles and ready for a day in the sun.
Hubby and I went to our nearby farm yesterday and walked through all the green houses. We buy all of our flowers and veggie plants there every year. They are so healthy and well taken care of and seem to fare better than what the big box stores have to offer.
We bought cuke and zucchini  plants, walla, walla sweet onion starts, romaine lettuce and three tomato plants. Last year we had five tomato plants and it was to many.  I also bought a flat of violets for the front area. I will get those planted tomorrow into a cute container to set by the door.
Hubby spaded up the raised beds and added organic fertilizer and planted our veggies. The tomatoes already have their cages around them. It is easier to do that from the beginning. 
Shortly after he had planted the rain came in and like I have already mentioned it was pounding, there was no mercy. They all held up well despite their battering.
So we have a start now. We still need our pepper plants and some additional herbs. It is to early for peppers yet.

I have had a busy morning running for groceries and I also had a few errands. So the menu is set for the next week off of what the sale ad's had to offer. 
Tonight I have making chicken pomodora I have not made it for a while. I do have the recipe posted on a earlier blog. It is a fave of ours and simple to make but it does have some nice complex flavors so it perfect to make on a busy day.
I picked up boneless pork short ribs for Friday's meal. Hubby and I wanted to grill after returning from our winery visit. I wanted to get regular old style pork ribs but they were out. So this will suffice. I will put my rub on them and sear them then into the roaster for a hour or so to pre-bake. Then onto the grill over low heat while mopping them with sauce.

I am in a very pleasant mood today. Hubby is working and out of the house!  Really it is quite hard with him about when I am so used to my time alone during the day.  When he is home he helps with chores and cooking and such but I still like to be queen of my castle. 
I am going to set aside a little time for reading this afternoon and to catch up on some correspondence. It is quiet in the house no telly no radio no anything. I have the doors open and hear the birds, mostly the jays. Wow, they can chatter they must have so much to chat about.

Well off I go outside to enjoy some sun while sweeping the deck and then to the garden area to stick my nose in a book. This is a really wacky book I am into now. It is funny and witty it's a hoot. It is a nice change of pace for me and makes me laugh out loud, I love it!!!!

I hope your day is lovely where you are. We have been waiting so long here for that shy sun to make a appearance I do not want to waste a moment.
So off I go!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Posted by PicasaYesterday was a day of sunshine and slushies! Too fun. We have waited so long for a hot day and it did not disappoint.
Imre created this drink and I have to say I really prefer it to a margarita. I have always had a problem drinking margarita's. I do not know if it is the sweet and sour or what exactly. But these sunrise slushies  go down easy are not sweet just yummy and fruity.
This is what Imre does.
This makes enough for four drinks.
Fill a blender halfway with crushed ice
Add six shots of gold tequila
Add approximately three quarters cup orange juice
Rose's brand grenadine to taste. This is sweet so be careful we use it sparingly and I would say one shot is enough. If you prefer your drinks sweeter just add more.
The juice of one lime.
Blend until snow cone consistency.
Pour into a small pitcher 
I like to use big balloon wine glasses for this drink add a straw and a twist or two of lime.
I could drink these sunrise slushies all summer. Problem is they may go down too easily. All I can say we had a mighty fine afternoon!

Today is back to gray skies and low clouds. A while ago it go so dark I surely thought the rain would come but so far so not a drop.

I had a irritating morning but I really held myself in check. Patience is something I need to work on so I am very aware how many annoying things come along to test me.
I grocery shopped yesterday but needed to run back to the store today as we are making fish taco's this weekend and we had used up all the limes in the slushies. So I ran for those as well as a couple other items. Of course Saturday afternoon is always a mass of working folks doing their shopping I always try to avoid that at all cost. Oh well I told myself I enjoyed reading the entire People magazine while waiting in the check out line.
I also had taken two big bags of sensitive and personal papers to be dropped off and put into a secure truck to be trucked away for shredding. This is a free service that is offered once a year in our area. Well it did not turn out to well for me. There were a lot of folks doing the same thing so there was no where to park. I would have had to park a long ways away in the grocery store parking lot. So I could not see myself carrying those two big plastic bags to the area I needed to be. So I bagged it! They are still in the back of my rig. Now what?  We do have a shredder but it has seen it's better days, hubby has struggled trying to fix it for days. So back to square one but what was that? I still managed to have a smile on my face for hubby when I returned, I am making progress.

We are going down the street to my sis in law's tonight for taco's and beans and I am taking Spanish rice. I like the way I make my Spanish rice, it is so easy I am almost ashamed to share the recipe. But I will take a photo and share that recipe tomorrow.
After dinner and probably before dinner we will play games. I think tonight Gin rummy is on the agenda. It will be an old fashioned evening just like my parents enjoyed in their younger years. Those were the days of the great depression and so many a night was spent playing cards and games with family and friends and gathering together what food they had to share. There was probably some bootleg liqueur being served as well.  I have heard the tales. 
So for a lot of us these are the days of our depression so similar evenings still bring enjoyment without expense.

Well I have a few more things to attend in the line of my wifely duties so best get them done.
Have a lovely weekend.
Till later.

Monday, May 9, 2011


This was the scene the other night waiting to grill fish. We had to outwit and out wait the showers that kept blowing though.
We finally had success and managed not to drown while grilling, sometimes I wonder about this spring.
Last night we grilled turkey burgers. I took a photo as they were so tender and tasty but the picture was not good.
This was one wonderful turkey burger and here is what I did.

1/2 pound ground white turkey(makes two patties) two tablespoons mayo
two tablespoon of my zucchini relish(you could use pickle relish)
a small amount of minced onion
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon horseradish
four slices of jack cheese
Italian bread crumbs to bind mixture. Does not take much as you want the mixture very moist and not dry.
Mix all together except the cheese and form two patties. Put patties on plate with wax paper and tuck into fridge for a hour or so. These are soft so handle them carefully.

Mop sauce.
1/3 cup your fave bbq sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
a good squeeze of honey
Mix well.

Prepare grill and spray with cooking oil
Gently place patties on hot grill.   Leave the first side down until grill marks form. Coat the top of the patties with mop sauce and turn. Now slather mop sauce on the top of the grilled side. When the bottoms are grilled flip one more time and add more sauce and the cheese slices. When the cheese is mostly melted remove from grill. Cover with foil while you make the toast. We used sourdough bread and cut it to size for the patties. I do  not like more bread than is required.
We spread mustard and mayo on the toast and added the patties, tomatoes, sweet onion rings and romaine lettuce leaves.
They are tall turkey burgers and a big mouthful. They were tender and juicy I feel that relish mixed in with the turkey made that so. Just make sure not to over cook.
I just served them with Kettle chips.
We like turkey burgers if they are not dry. Healthier for you than burger and a nice change from the norm.

Well we have a little outing planned so I must get ready for that so best get at it.
Till later.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 6, 2011


Posted by PicasaI cannot let go of wine country especially after wine tasting the other night at the Hilton. My sis in law, hubby and I went. Tables and tables full of delectable wine. Where to go first? We decided to walk around the edge of the tables to keep ourselves in some sort of fashion. We never did make it to the middle tables which was disappointing but there was just too much wine and not enough time. I stuck to tasting reds as they are my fave especially the pinot noir. Hubby tried it all white or red. The food was disappointing to say the least. Just the simple boring usual fare of cheese, crackers, breads, olives and assorted dips. The only interesting item was lamb chops in some sort of a fig and rosemary sauce. The sauce was really tasty but the chops I thought were to the tough side. Hubby enjoyed them, he is a lamb fan as I am, if it is tender and succulent. So mostly we tasted wine which is why we were there.
Now two days later my mind still lingers on thoughts of my birthday day and the wine tasting. Maybe my heart is drenched in wine and it will take a while to wash away. Also the weather warmed us and energized us for a few days now back to the dreary gray. Sometimes my soul screams I am so weary of this. I sometimes feel like life is just passing by each day without much enjoyment. I seriously never want to feel that way as it is a waste.
We must grasp each day with bright eyes and open hearts. A moment missed could be a lifetime if the moment is meaningful. And a meaningful moment could be the slightest little thing that makes your heart sing. You know like baby birds in a tree chirping their tiny chirps while their parents are scolding them for chattering so loud and drawing attention to the nest. Or perhaps it is the tiny violets you have coxed through the winter and now their smiling sweet faces are multiplying. My cedar barrel is almost full and a month ago it was barely half full. I know they have had a struggle this spring as we all have trying to find those warming rays of a scanty sun.
The other morning as I was looking out the window I watched this little girl skip down the sidewalk she was singing to herself. She reminded me of myself at that age just feeling free with not really a thought except being in the moment. But then she did the unexpected as she passed our neighbors yard. She stopped and looked and then every so gently she reached down and plucked a bright red tulip from it's bed. Then the girl with the tulip clutched in her hand ran down the street with the biggest smile on her face. It was a sweet and private moment but something I probably would not have done. I would have been to fearful I would have been caught. I guess maybe we should take a few more chances in life. I believe I have done that as I have aged and it has brought to me more excitement and fulfillment than when I was younger and more cautious.
Well I titled this blog, thoughts. And I suppose it is.
So perhaps steal a tulip out of someones yard and run as fast as you can, which in my case is not that fast.
Till later.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Posted by PicasaWhat a wonderful birthday I had yesterday. Hubby made everything so special for me. He drove us to wine country here in the southern Willamette Valley.  We went to three of our favorites and then finished off at  King Estate for lunch. Our meal was lovely and so yummy. We both had Hanger steak, it was tender and so flavorful it was served with asparagus and potato gnocchi in a sage butter sauce. We had a nice bottle of King Estate pinot noir. The day was beautiful and warm. We still had wine left after our meal so we filled our glasses and strolled the grounds and finally wound up sitting on the steps in a quiet area. There were quite a few folks around and the patio's were not set up for the season as yet. So folks were perched here and there sitting on railing, steps and the few chairs that were offered. 
Our stop at Sweet Check's Winery was enjoyable as usual. The view from there takes in the whole valley with the Cascades peeking over the tree line in the distance. 
We purchased a couple bottles of wine to enjoy later at home. I remember the days when we purchased cases of wine. Our budget does not allow us that luxury at this time however.
Driving the back country roads home we took our time. It was so lovely to be out in the country driving past pastures dotted with sheep or cows. Some farms are humble some are grand affairs with multiple buildings and mini mansions. Much of the country is just open land with no structures. The roads wander along through hills and valley's, trees and fields all so green and lush.
I heard from loved ones and friends yesterday it is so nice to be remembered on your special day.

We spent the late afternoon playing games after we returned home. Then hubby made dinner for me. I did not raise a finger to help in the preparation, cooking or cleanup. How sweet is my guy?

I need to take care of a few office duties this morning so best get at it. However I am still kind of lost in yesterday. I would love to do it all over again today however we are having showers this morning but after this little disturbance the rest of the week looks clear and mild. FINALLY
Till later.