Saturday, June 30, 2012


Posted by PicasaThis is the cute little logo for our business, just thought I would share. I love it! Makes me think of grammar school and drawing and coloring(my fave).

Well another partly cloudy day here in Eugene, we also had a little down pour of showers. A squirrel in the tree above our deck was sitting eating a peanut with his tail up over the back of his head to keep dry. That is so funny how that tail comes up and covers them to keep them dry or in some cases camouflaged. He was very upset and just chattering noisily. There were several crows around and going for the peanuts next door also. Mr. squirrel was not pleased about that fact at all.

I think this year hubby and I may celebrate his birthday on the 4th of July instead of the 5th which is his birthday. Every year his birthday is somewhat of a leftover event it seems. I will take him to Mexican food and I will drive so he can have Margarita's and enjoy himself. 
Our month all of a sudden has become jam-packed. I have been on the go and doing something every day it seems.  Not that I mind I like to be busy but I need to be organized through it all. Today I made notations on the calendar in case something should slip my mind. Next will be a actual list.....really at this point in my life I can leave nothing to chance.

My hubby really made something yummy if you like hot and spicy.  He made these when my daughter was here and just made another batch much improved.
He takes whole jalenpeno peppers makes a slit in them and cleans out the seeds and membranes. Next he throws them in a hot iron skillet to somewhat char them and settle them a bit so they are not quite so hot. Then he cools them and stuffs them with jack cheese slices, then wraps them in thin sliced bacon and secures them with a toothpick that has been soaked in water. Then he fry's them until the cheese is melted and the bacon is all crispy. My daughter said they were great.  I tried one and immediately it burnt my mouth.......what a baby I am.  So anyhow you may want to make these sometime for an appetizer if your guests like a bit heat.

I made us an amazing salad last night. Neither of us had a big appetite. So I made ranch dressing, I had no buttermilk so used half and half with a teaspoon of vinegar that works so well, instant buttermilk.  I used romaine and iceberg lettuce, red onion, trader Joe's marinated artichoke hearts, black sliced olives, tomatoes and radish's. To the side to add at ones own whim I had crispy fried bacon bits and sliced hard boiled eggs. Now this was quite a yummy salad. I love a white dressing with this type of salad or I like my Mom's Russian dressing.
Earlier in the day I made yeast rolls. I know they are so fattening but so fun to make I raised them under my red and white checkered dish towel. It is so old fashioned somehow having that sit on your counter all day. I kept checking them, silly I know but I like to it gives me pleasure.  So it was a perfect meal for two folks that were not really hungry. 
Tonight nothing special is going on in our kitchen. We decided to work on using up items in the freezer. So I am making country fried steaks with mashed garlic potatoes and glazed carrots. There are still rolls left to add to the mix. And again Oregon berries with vanilla ice cream for desert. I will remember portion control for this meal.

I been trying all day to find little moments to read a chapter or two in my current book. No luck so far as there has been interruptions. So now my plan is to open a bottle of wine, pour myself a generous glass and sink into my faded red plaid chair and read for a hour or so. The simple pleasure of that little self indulgence makes me so happy :)
Whatever is our pleasure today do enjoy your day. We only have so many days in this lifetime to take advantage of.

Friday, June 29, 2012


Posted by PicasaThis is was a very yummy moist panini.
What I did was use chibatta buns. I split a bun and buttered the insides with olive oil margarine spread. I laid a nice size slice of smoked ham on one side of each bun, on the other side I placed thin slices of jack cheese then I added two slices of tomato and two fresh picked basil leaves. Put the two halves together and buttered the top with the olive oil margarine spread. I like the tomato and basil in the middle of a panini that way the cheese melts quicker and the tomato is somewhat protected from the high heat of the griddler. Yes I used my Cuisinart Griddler, such a great little appliance. 
To the side I served Italian pasta salad. I made this while my daughter was here and as always I made enough for a army.  Please tell my why when I make a pasta salad this always happens?  So we eat on this salad for days and days.
Anyhow we certainly enjoyed the panini's last night. The chibatta buns worked so well. They were quite plump but they compressed down nicely making for a crusty outside and tender inside. So it made for a chewy bite.

Tonight I am trying to use up as much as possible in my veggie bin. I buy fresh vegetables and fruits as you know at the farms every week. So we will have a simple spaghetti tonight with veggie marinara sauce and a green salad with garden vegetables and Italian dressing.

For two nights in a row we have had a scoop of Tillamook vanilla bean ice cream. This is rich thick creamy vanilla ice cream. I love the texture. I love to buy ice cream made in our state of Oregon. There are several wonderful dairy's that produce these super special ice creams. As well as Tillamook, there is Umpqua Dairy and Lockmead Dairy made just a few miles from where we live.
Over the top of this ice cream we added our local strawberries from just down the road. All I did was clean them and slice them. They are so so sweet and juicy, they are good this year though we have certainly had to wait for them to ripen. What is better than living in the northwest all this fresh abundance.
I saw this recipe called Strawberry cake pie. Now it looks wonderful and after reading the list of ingredients and how you put it together it sounds like a great desert. I am going to try this next week. So I will post photo's and critique the recipe. It very may well be a keeper.

Today is a decent day. It is pleasant out, mild in the low seventies. We have cloud cover but it is nothing more than fine gauze obscuring the sun.  Much better than the steaming heat that is overtaking much of our nation. Also those poor folks in Colorado Springs with that forest fire edging into their town. How unimaginable. I will take this any day, good old Oregon with it's moderate temps, occasional showers, bright sun breaks and huge whipped cream clouds floating over the lushest green valley in the world. 

I must get on with the rest of my chores today so I will leave now. I did manage a walk earlier and I have been out and about this morning running errands. So it has been a busy day so far. Time to get done with my to-do's and have some Zo time.

I actually wrote this a couple of days ago and  I am just posting it now. Well you can see how busy my life has been.
That is good I think.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Posted by PicasaYes rain rain go away come again some other day.
This was yesterday. Icky what else is there to say? For a day in the last week of June it disappointed. The photo's do really not show the onslaught of rain. 
My daughter Gina was here with us. We were playing games at the dining room table. The pounding of the rain on the roof was maddening it was hard to hear one another. I ran for camera and opened the back door. It was rather exciting the drenching splattering rain hitting the deck, the waves rolling down the streets, our gutters overwhelmed.
Made for quite an afternoon.

Gina was here for three nights and left this morning. I wanted her another day. I will be seeing her soon however as I am going to her home to spend a few days.

Well I must walk now. And I am rather tired, too much fun I think. I am going to just take it easy today. I have a friend from Bend coming for a visit on Monday so must rest up.

Have a lovely Wednesday. It is partly cloudy here and still cool but should be nicer than it has been the past few days.


Posted by PicasaThis is a memory that is worth holding onto. This was our fourth trip to the Caribbean and also our last trip. The photo's are of the hotel Mount Vernon St. Martin in the FWI.  This island is half French owned and half Dutch owned. The French side is just a hair bigger. We choose to stay on the French side of the island as it is less commercialized than the Dutch side. It is more remote and laid back. Most everyone involved in tourism at the hotels and eateries on the french side speaks French but some English also. The food was French and island fare. 
What we loved about this hotel was the view from our room. We overlooked a huge crescent of sugary white sand beach.  We had a easterly view so no sunsets for us but we got up early one morning to view one of the most amazing sunrises we have ever seen. In the evening the sky was purple tinged, the ocean dark with pink edged foam. 
Many afternoon into early evening we sat on our secluded deck and looked out at the crescent beach while sailboats and yachts sailed right past us. We would grab the binoculars and check out those aboard. Most of the boats were privately owned and they were huge. We are talking millions for these sailing vessels. 

Our routine was usually this( we were there for 16 days so we had a opportunity to actually have a routine). Up in the morning early and down to the main breakfast room to have breakfast. This was part of our package and one of the best parts of our day. The room was bright we were enclosed in windows all the way around even the ceiling was glass. Palm trees and exoctic plants adorned every corner and walkway. The breakfast food was amazing. Every type of french pastry you could ever dream of, waffles, crepes, sauces, fresh fruits of every variety succulent and juicy. Thick sliced bacon and sausages, eggs of every style, potatoes in many forms or make your own breakfast sandwich. The coffee was the best I have ever tasted, with real cream dispensed hot. A juice bar that never ended and on and on. We never tired of going for breakfast in the morning.
We would then go back to our huge room. A room with a enormous sitting area with full windows and sliders out to the patio. A king bed and a small semi kitchen, fridge, micro, and storage. A large tiled shower with a skylight was the highlight of the bathroom. We had a corner room so it was very private and we were on the top floor of a three story hotel(see photo). So the accomodations were wonderful
Anyhow back to the story. After breakfast we would get ready for a day on the beach. We took a day pack and little cooler each day with us. I would slip the pack on and hubby carried the cooler. We would start wandering down this long beach. Each little beach bar would have music and chairs and a umbrella you could rent by the hour or half day. So we would stop at a few favorite places each day. We actually wound up going only to one beach bar toward the end of the trip as we had become friends with the owner Glen and his best little waitress Lyndsee. Lyndsee was  from France working for college money. Anyhow they somehow become our friends. At the end of our trip Lyndsee took us to a eatery in Grand Case a small island town on the french side where her boy friend worked as a waiter. This was a four star restaurant and it was excellent. Grand Case is known on the island for it's culinary delights. Each eatery looked more wonderful than the last. We ate there a few times while on our vacation.
So once again I have gotten distracted. After a day on the beach of eating, drinking, swiming, jet skiing, snorkling we were beat. So back to the room for some rest, showers and perhaps a nap. After we were refreshed we sometimes drove our little rental car to an eatery for dinner or up to Frenchies store for a fresh $2 bagautte and a $2 bottle of red wine this wine was amazing, we still talk about it.  We would also pick up cured meats, cheeses, olives etc and have a little meal on our patio. As the day turned to night we would sometimes throw on some clean clothes and head down to the bar at the hotel. The entertainers were French singing french songs.  Folks were dancing and having drinks. We loved dancing to these songs with the trilling beautiful words in french which we did not understand however it did not matter we danced and danced.
So our days went.
Of course there were variations. There were times when we spent the afternoon at the double pools at our hotel.  Sometimes we wandered over to the Dutch side called St. Marteen. We once stopped by this famous resort for a drink. I had taken my camera but we got stopped shortly after we left our car. Cindy Crawford was staying at the resort and no cameras were allowed. We went into the cozy bar that overlooked the pool and sea but Cindy was not in sight. Poor hubby was disappointed hoping for a glimpse. 

We took two sailing trips while there.  One crusie went to the island of Anguilla. What a enchanting island and one of the beaches Shoal Bay beach is constantly voted best beach in the world. It was incredieble. Sands so white they practially blinded you, soft underfoot, all the umbrella's were bright blue and white stripped. All was neat and perfect just like a photo. We toured the island with one other couple the four us shared a cab(van). We saw local culture the shcool children with their green and white uniforms all the same playing in the school yard. They were a happy bunch hollering hello to the Americans. There were very old catholic churches some in dire need of repair. Our cab driver would give us a bit of history as we drove about the island.

The second sail we took was to the island of Prickly Pear. This is an uninhabited island. There was a large tent set up on the island and we had lunch there.Choices were a whole grilled snapper or grilled jerk chicken. The food was great. The island was deserted. We got to spend about three hours there exploring. Hubby and I went off our own and wandered about a mile along one of the shore lines. Next to the water the sand was littered with corral most of it broken into bits so the beach was white and pink with broken coral. All was soft underfoot as the corral had been washed and sifted by the seas for years.  We nested behind some tall sea grass and laid down on our beach towels in the soft white sand and talked about living on this island. Never to see a soul in this gorgeous place with water the color of turquoise and pink and white beaches. The pure azure sly above and the trade winds smelling like flowers. It was truly a piece of heaven. I have went to that place many times in my meditations.

It is so fun to sail if you have never done it. We could not belive how fast the sailboats go. On the first boat I laid right in the middle of the front deck and looked up at all those white billowed white sails agasint the deep blue skies the only noise I heard was the wind in the sails and the clanking of the gear. 

The first boat we sailed on was a beautiful large catamaran the music played was international. The crew was French. I loved it. In the bottom of mid deck a hatch door lifted and stairs went down into the ocean. It was a large swimming pool in the sea. Quite something. 
The next sail to Prickly Pear Island was on a smaller sail boat still good size though. It was green and white called the Heineken boat. It was not elegant like the catamaran as it was more of a party boat. The crew was made up of Yugoslavians.  It was quite a fun time and got quite wild at times. Everyone on this boat was out for a good time. We raced another sail boat on the way back to our island and we won. It was quite exhilarating.
On both cruises we got acquainted with an other couples. The first couple on the French boat were from Seattle. Randy and Sharon. They were going home the next day. We surely we wished we would have met them sooner in the trip. We were all very compatible.  On the Heineken boat we met Liz and Mike. They were a crazy fun couple from Florida, we did met up with them a couple more times as they were staying on our same beach but in a different hotel.

The food was amazing everywhere we ate. The beaches were gorgeous everywhere we went, the people were gracious everywhere we where. 
There are so many stories I could write about this trip but this is just a recap of our time on this island.

So if possible go and enjoy. We did and we are thankful for our trips to the tropic's. Each trip was different as each island is different. Though we do not make those sorts of trips now all I need to do is close my eyes and let my mind go there. Once again I smell the flowers and feel the moist warm air settling into my skin.......heaven.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Posted by PicasaThis is a new photo taken a few minutes ago, yes I know, it looks just like all my other photo's of apple pie. They do all look the same as I make them the same in the same it is what it is.
I am hoping it will taste amazing. I used half have jongold apples and half granny smith. Jongold are not the best for pies but is was what the farm had available.  So I added the grannies I had in the fridge to make it more tart plus added a 1/2 squeezed lemon. The crust of course is mine. So hopefully it will be juicy and yummy.

We are having flat iron steak tonight with asparagus and deceided to have small bakers also and hubby's cucumber salad. So it sounds like a feast and way too much food. So little portions are certainly in order.

Well here it is the next morning so I changed the text color.
The meal and pie last night were delicious. We watched a very stupid comedy could not help but laugh at some of the antic's but overall just dumb! Why decent actors star in such films amazes me. Of course it is for the pay check but at the same time they sell themselves out.

Today I slept in I did not climb out of bed until almost nine, nine?
Well I  feel rested and ready for the day. 
Maybe the reason for the sleep in is because it is so dark outside. I must have sensed it was still nighttime. It is still gun metal gray out and looks like rain. On the positive side we do not need to water the garden and lawn. On the negative it is a stay indoors day and will more than likely be a boring day. Hubby was going to work in the side yard by the garage. It is a mess and it gets that way occasionally as it is his work yard. But now those plans will not materialize if it rains. I will do what has to be done daily n the house and then I have a stack of new magazines awaiting me. I take five magazines a month and four of them come on the same day how bizarre is that? So I guess it will be  a lazy laid back for this gal. Maybe we can find a decent movie to watch this afternoon and I will make some popcorn.

Tonight we will have left over steak sliced thin over a green salad with blue cheese dressing. Of course apple pie and vanilla ice cream for desert.

I will leave you now on this Saturday. Hopefully I can get a walk in before the rain starts so I best get to it.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Posted by PicasaThere was an ocean in the sky yesterday afternoon.This is not my photo I found it online as I did not take a photo yesterday and should have. But this is very similar to yesterdays event.
Clouds were rolling in on a blue sky like waves on sand. In they came one after the other along the horizon line.
They were flat on the bottom building on top to pillowy foamy peaks. Soon the sky above us was filled with sky waves. It was a churning sea in the heavens. 
It was surreal to look and see above what is normally below. So "As above so below" came to mind. It certainly was fitting for the moment. 
Later the clouds moved over us exposing a clean blue palette.
It was quite a sighting.

Today I make apple pie :) I love to make my own crust.  I have always made good crust just following my tried and true Zo recipe. My mother always said to me, "you always make the best pie crust".  I would show her what I do but for some reason hers never came out the same way.
Here are some key things that need to observed when making crust. 
Never handle the dough more than needed.  Make it moist you can always add a little flour on the bread broad if it sticks while rolling it out. Get it right the first time as not to re-roll the dough. The overworking of the dough will make it tough. To dry will make it crumbly.
Here is what I do.
I put some flour in a large bowl enough for a double crust which is what I am making today.
I add some salt, stir to together.
I use vegetable shortening and not butter or a combo of(though I have made a decent tart crust with chilled butter)
To the flour add salt I add a good dollop of shortening. Using my pasty blender or two forks blend together until small lumps about the size of pea's form. Then I push the flour mixture toward the center of the bowl. Around the edge of the bowl I add ice cold water by the tablespoon full. Start with about three or four for a double crust. My key to crust is to get enough water in there to make the dough hold together. After adding the water work the flour together if it is not coming together drizzle in more cold water until the dough will form a ball. Add flour to your bread board and flour your rolling pin. Then roll starting at the middle and rolling out. When it is the size you want then trim with a pizza cutter. This works great just roll it around the edges. 
That is it. No putting in the fridge in plastic wrap to chill, there is nothing wrong with doing that but if your water is ice cold it is a step that does not need to happen.

We are having grilled flat iron steaks for dinner with sides of roasted asparagus and a green salad with blue cheese dressing, my mom's recipe.
I will put on my steak rub which is noted on another blog.
Wrap the steak in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for a few hours.
Take the steak out at least a half hour before it goes on the hot grill. I have also blogged about how to grill the perfect steak and I will say we(I) do a awesome job. The most important thing is after the steak is grilled take it off the grill, put several pats of butter on the steak(have these ready to go) cover tightly with foil and let rest for at least 8 minutes. This is so so important. I cannot stress this enough. The meat has to rest in order to settle the juices and finish cooking. If you do not rest the steak all the juice will run out all over your plate when you cut into it and your steak will be dry.  I guarantee your steak will be juicy and tender if you let it rest. Of course you can omit the butter but it adds so much. Also you can make compound butter with many different herbs and good.

Well my gosh here it is almost ten AM and I have not done a thing other than read the paper, have my coffee and be on this computer.
That's all for now from the lazy girl.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Posted by PicasaThis is not my own photo but looks very reminiscent of my walks on misty mornings along the country road  in our area.
I love looking online at all different kinds of photo's and downloading them. I am rather a photography buff.  I do love to take photo's and the subjects do not seem to matter to me though I do prefer certain things. For instance a dilapidated barn , a downed fencepost wrapped in barbwire, a dried out creek bed, a abandoned house, winter light through bare branches. Anyhow those are the sorts of things I seem to be attracted to. Photo's that make you wonder what went before.

Misty is not case here this morning. We woke to bright sunshine flooding in the living room windows. Oh how I love to greet the morning sun!
Yesterday was also a lovely day. We did spend a little time outdoors yesterday after hubby returned home from work and I finally got home from my marathon day of errands.

This morning we chatted and we decided to go for a late lunch today at our favorite Mexican place. They have an outdoor patio and it is to be a fine warm day. Tomorrow the clouds will return, temperatures will lower and it could shower. I have learned living here in valley that when the sun shines you make hay so to speak. No waiting until tomorrow. 
So off we go for taco's and is always good.

So I will wait until tomorrow to make my apple pie. A better idea as I love to bake when it is showery outdoors as it brings some warmth and comfort to our home. Apple pie takes a while in the oven and as it bakes the aroma of apples and cinnamon hangs in the air like a promise of whats to come.

I must make haste as I still have my house duties to get out of the way and must water the garden this morning and tidy the deck.
We have been given a gift today of sun and warmth so do enjoy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Posted by PicasaI love the farms!!!! I cannot say it enough. There is so much to choose from and all is so fresh and priced better than your local supermarket. I picked up apples for the pie I am making this week. My mouth is so ready for a piece of that sweet/tart apple pie with a nice sized scoop of  Umpqua (Oregon local) vanilla bean ice cream. I am wanting to grill the day  I make the pie.   As the calender says summer I will make summer fare.  

I have been reading some pretty deep books of late, so yesterday I started a whimsical little tale. Silly summer reading books I call them but I have to be honest and say I do enjoy them occasionally. I can read away and if the TV in the other room or the stereo distracts me I do not mind as I really do not have to concentrate that much. I am just reading for the sweet pleasure of it.
I usually have two types of books going at the same time. One patiently waits while the other gets the attention. Somewhat like children or pets but without the distractions and noise.

I have come to love this period of my life. I am rather selfish in my pursuits and if put upon to much will feel myself rebel inside. I do not like that in myself but it is there nonetheless. But for the most part I roll along with what the days have to offer me.

Sometimes I do feel it brought the best out of me when I worked outside the home as I had to be there, accounted for, a smile on my face and do my job well.  Sometimes after a great day which in my field of design and sales was usually generated by a great design presentation and the sale that followed. This not only thrilled me that the clients loved the project but also put money in my pocket. It was a high there is no denying that. I would come through the door in the evening sometimes just so exhilarated and chattering to no end. My hubby would have to hear and endure every detail while I tried to put something on the table to eat. Sometimes the meals were quirky if I was to wound up.

Today my life is simple. I like that. I adore getting up and planning my day.
Of course I have obligations as I am running our home and home office for the business but it leaves plenty of time to peruse what I find pleasurable.
And another plus I am not rushed for the most part. I have never liked to be rushed as I get grouchy and certainly do not do my best.
So my little life suits me now. I love that I find happiness in the smallest things. I have more time to look for them I suppose but still.......
Sitting on our small but private back deck reading I listen for squirrel and bird chatter, they seem to be my friends as they are always hanging out. I love to watch enormous whipped cream clouds float by as sunlight twinkles through the leaf trees like fireflies. 
I have three wind chimes and  their music is so melodic there are times I just float off into meditation without trying.
These are just a few things that content me and give me peace and pleasure. 
Just some thoughts today........

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Posted by PicasaI will be making us a batch of Buttermilk blueberry pancakes with flax seed meal this coming weekend. The batter recipe is enough for two mornings or for company. Sometimes I cut the recipe in half if it is just the two of us and we only want pancakes for one morning.
The best way to make blueberry pancakes is to use your favorite pancake recipe then just when the pancakes are starting to form bubbles scatter some blueberries onto them when the bubbles pop turn the cakes. This way the batter does not pickup color like when you add the berries directly to the batter. Always remember to sprinkle a few more blueberries over the top when served and do yourself a favor and use pure maple syrup it makes all the difference. Here is my tried and true buttermilk pancake mix.

Buttermilk pancakes
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons flax seed meal(optional)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk(shake well) or use more depending on how thin you like your pancakes.
2 large eggs beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

Put all dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir with a fork to mix well.
Add the eggs, buttermilk and oil and stir.  Batter will be a little lumpy.

If you have leftover batter it will store well in a plastic container with a snap lid. It will not be quite as thick but still will make a good pancake with more of a crepe consistency.

Tonight in Zo's Kitchen I am making chicken noodle soup with chicken thigh tenders. This makes for juicy pieces of chicken in the soup. I also add diced celery, carrots and onion. I am serving a rustic sourdough bread along side to sop up all that good broth.

No wedding photo's as yet. Every morning I am anticipating them on my e-mail. Well they will come at some point. Several folks have asked me to forward them along when they do show up.
I am just a proud Grammy I suppose and cannot wait to see my sweet beautiful granddaughter in her wedding dress.

The flat screen TV is mounted on the wall in the bedroom and it is very nice indeed. We have so much more floor space and the room looks so nice and spacious. I need to find a small simple shelf to mount on the wall under the tele for the cable box. The box is small so I do not need a large shelf,  I want something very simple and understated on that wall.

I need now to get my walking shoes on and get out the door. It is not a pretty day here in the valley.  Once again clouds hang like a gray shroud over us and it is still cool. Tomorrow the first day of summer is suppose to be a nice one. Warm and sunny...oh please let it be.

Whatever your pleasure have a nice day.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Posted by PicasaI am out to the farms this week for apples to make a pie. We are hungry for a juicy apple pie with a sugary tender crust. I will get some vanilla bean ice cream to go with. I also love to have mine with a thin slice of cheddar cheese slightly melted on top. May sound weird to some but it is a tasty combination.

It is so cool here today you would think it was early spring instead of two days short of summer.  Only 63 degrees projected for today. It is cloudy with glimpses of blue and a bit of wind. 
I took a large ficus tree outdoors to clean and I am also airing some throw pillows so I do not want it to shower.

We bought a 40 inch flats screen TV for our bedroom so hubby is busy mounting the bracket for it now.
We had a rather large cabinet in there for our other TV to sit on so now that can go to another area of the house. The old TV will be given to our niece Brooke for her garage sale this coming weekend. She is trying to raise money for a missionary trip to Africa.

We are having baked pork chops, potato au gratin and roasted asparagus for dinner. Just a simple but good American meal meat and potatoes.

Here is a thought for the day. I like this one.

Be impeccable with your word
Don't take anything personally
Don't make assumptions
Always do your best

Enjoy this day in whatever manner is befitting to you.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Posted by PicasaThis is Sarah at her party last night. She had all these games for us to play. It was fun and you can just tell what a marvelous teacher she is going to be. She loves it and makes everything fun.
We played all kinds of games involving geography, spelling, math etc. After a couple glasses of wine I could not think. Normally I am quite a good speller but I certainly failed yesterday it was embarrassing to me. I would have done better playing jeopardy as I knew most of those answers but I was still eating when the game started.  I am the slowest eater on the planet it seems.

I like this format for photo's it is new from Picasa. You can do all kinds of things in the pencil sketch mode. Anyhow I like this as it is different and kind of a comic book look.
It was a nice warm afternoon yesterday. I took over thirty photo's as I thought it would be a nice thing to do for Sarah as no one else was taking photo's except on cell phones. I posted them when I got home from the party.

Today I got mom in law and brother in law off after a fat filled breakfast....not good. But all chowed down so it must have been suitable.
Then I just crashed........ tired. When  get tired it is because I need to re-charge my battereies and re-charging for me is quiet, alone time. If I have a hour or so I am ready and up for anything. But today there was nothing to be up for as it was just a laid back day for hubby and I. 
I did call my son and wished him a Happy Father's Day.  We stayed on the phone for well over an hour as it has been a while since we had a good visit.

I have not received photo's yet of my granddaughter Megan's wedding. I will certainly post a few when they come through. The family is flying back in the morning.

We had a simple dinner tonight as we are both tired from the weekend festivities. 

I will leave you now as I have a kitchen to clean and then into my comfy clothes and a little tele watching.
Till tomorrow.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Yes, Sarah now is a teacher. We went to her graduation yesterday afternoon at OSU(Oregon State University). We went to see her accept her education degree. She will graduate at the regular commencement with the all the other graduates on Sunday also. So, four hard years of study and here she is on her life's path.
Sarah is off to Europe in less than month. First to teach a couple of months in Germany once again and then on to Switzerland to be a nanny for a year and a reprieve from school. Can't say I blame her. Lets see that is 16 years of school so a break is well deserved. 
We had a nice afternoon yesterday before her graduation. Sarah took us on a long winding stroll through part of the college campus. It is such a beautiful university. It was a nice day lots of warm sun and deep blue skies as we trailed under the huge trees and by old classic buildings.
So congrats Sarah you certainly worked diligently for this and we are so proud of you.

Today we go for a celebration for Sarah at her parents home. I have made my coleslaw(my job). They are having pulled pork sammies among lots of other goodies, sounds great I am saving myself.
We had my hubby's brother and Mother spend the night with us last night. They will again tonight.
My mother in law and I watched one of the aerial  shows last night. Germany/Bavaria.  It was so beautiful. These shows come on PBS on cable. We love them.

Well tomorrow is another day and I have things I need to do before heading down the block to the party for Sarah.

My wonderful, delightful, beautiful granddaughter Megan is getting married today in Eureka Springs, Ark. I will post photo's tomorrow on my blog. There are few coming through now. Brings tears to my eyes I adore that girl!

Have a lovely Father's day weekend. Our weather today is nice, high clouds, mild breeze and warm. I am loving it!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Posted by PicasaWow~ what can be said about Easter Island?
It really makes you wonder how these monolithic heads came to be on this island. Well I certainly know what I believe to be true but we all have our own truths. 

I love getting on the internet and viewing photo's. I think of a place or somewhere that has been mentioned in a book that I want to see and read about and there it is at my fingertips, that still amazes me.  I can certainly see why they quit printing encyclopedia's. I remember the days that the salesmen came to your door with the beautifully bound books and supposedly good deals. My Mother bought a set piece by piece if I remember right. I loved those books but wished they'd had more pictures.  That set of encyclopedia's was well used by our family throughout the years. I wonder what happened to them? 
When my Mother ordered the set of encyclopedia's  she also received a gift book. It was a big book with bright colored pictures. I loved that book it was pictures and stories about animals, insects, fish and reptiles. 
I was older than my little brother Jim. He was always asking me to tell him the stories about the pictures in the book. He was not allowed to look at the book himself he was to little and probably would have messed it up somehow.
So after much nagging on his part I would sit down with him. I would start to turn the pages and tell him about the animals and fish. He would start to get scared when we got to the pages showing the reptiles. Reason being is when the page was turned to this huge snake I would sometimes grab his hand and put it on the picture and hold it there, he would holler and I would laugh. He thought the snake was going to bite him. How bad I was. I did not always do it but he was apprehensive just the same. But still he wanted me to sit with him and turn the pages and tell the stories over and over again.
To this day I do not know why that memory holds perfectly clear in my mind. Maybe I was ashamed of myself, I should have been.  Jim and I used to talk about that book and that snake picture years later when we were grown.

I was out and about this morning but not as early as I would liked to have been. I was out of the shower had my small amount of makeup on and dressed ready to blow dry my hair and after minute or so the dryer just stopped. No burning smell no nothing it just quit. I tried the reset button on the plug in, nothing. So I guess it is done. So then I had to allow my hair to air dry and when that happens I have this horrid wavy mess that I cannot do a thing with. So I had to use the flat iron on it and the crazy waves still would not come out. So as well as slowing my morning down I look like a dork today!
One of my errands today was St. Vinnie's for more reading material. I have had my nose into my spiritual books for the past week or so and I wanted to get a couple novels for easy relaxing reading. That place was packed today. I never buy a thing in there except for books but a lot of folks are buying up everything it seems.
I made another run to the farm for more fresh vegetables and fruit.
Tonight I am making mushroom, onion and spinach, cheese omelets for dinner. I have some good sourdough bread so will make toast. We like a nice omelet every once in a while filled with some of our favorite goodies.

Another day of clouds and sun, not much sun though at this point. It is quite cool more like a coastal day. Summer will be here before long and seems spring has not really sprung yet. Just like last year. 

I heard from my niece Jaysa and she is coming for a visit. Hopefully this next week. She is fun to spend time with we enjoy one another. Hubby will be working so we gals will do our own thing.  Jaysa is the daughter of my younger brother Jim(the book story) Jim passed away in 2001. It was very sad for his two children. Jaysa misses her Dad, they were close and she adored him when she was a small girl. So I always want my door open for this girl the daughter of my brother who in not in my life any longer. If he knows that his daughter and sister get together it would please him so.

Well I must go now.  I have not walked yet today but now my back is letting me down so it may not happen. One thing I know I need to get out of this computer chair and plop in my chair that gives my back much needed relief.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Posted by PicasaThis is not the best photo but the casserole was good. Every time it is a little different as it depends on what I have in my pantry and fridge.
So this is what I used this mind you this a no-brainer as they say really easy not gourmet just a good side dish.
1 cup of long grain rice (actually I used short grain as I was out of long grain)
Substitute chicken broth for the amount of water needed for the rice usually about a cup and a half is good for a cup of rice
1 can small red beans drained and rinsed(you can substitute black or pinto beans also) or do a mixture.
1 can diced tomatoes with their juice
1 cup of cheddar cheese shredded or shredded Mexican cheese blend
1/2 onion chopped small
1/2 pepper of your choice chopped small(I used a mild Hungarian pepper)
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
Tabasco, hot sauce or salsa

Cook the rice in the chicken broth according to package directions.
Drain and rinse the beans add to the rice, add the canned tomatoes
Saute the onions and pepper till limp add to the mixture
add the seasonings  mix well
spread in a 8x8 or 7x9 greased casserole dish
sprinkle the top lavishly with Tabasco, hot sauce or salsa 
then cover with the shredded cheese and bake at 350 for a half hour or so till all is heated and the cheese is bubbly.

You can make this as hot as you like by adding cayenne or red pepper.  I kept it mild this time for us.
It is also good with pickled  jalapeno slices scattered over the top of the cheese.

Hubby grilled and bbq'd the chicken it was slightly charred with gooey sauce and so juicy inside he did a very good job. It is not easy to grill chicken as you know you always have flare ups. He left the lid open on the grill and grilled on med-low heat turning frequently. One must baby sit chicken.

It was a very pleasant evening last night. We sat outdoors while the casserole baked in the oven and the chicken grilled. I worked on a cross word puzzle as hubby babied the chicken. The birds and squirrels kept us entertained as our mouths watered for what was to come. It was a content peaceful evening in the back yard.

Speaking of yards our front yard is much improved. Hubby mowed and fertilized and spread new bright rusty colored bark and weeded. He was a busy guy yesterday with all his outdoor chores. I completed what I had on my list.
It rained during the night which was a surprise as it was not suppose to.
So this morning I have sopping chair pads to contend with on the deck. It is cloudy today so far but very mild and the sun is to shine upon us so the pads will dry out on their own I think.

I have much to do today so best get on with the day. My morning will be spent in the office as I also do laundry a little multi-tasking. Then this afternoon I want to get my fence decor up in the garden area.
Tonight we are having leftovers as we still have a good deal of chicken and casserole left I will add a green garden salad and make some ranch dressing that will go good with the mix.

Have a great Tuesday.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Posted by PicasaThis was hands down the best berry cobbler I have ever eaten. Reason being the crust is crispy and sugary on top. It is kind of a strange recipe I got it off the internet yesterday as I wanted something different than just a biscuit type crust. This recipe has a strange twist that makes that crust crackle.
So here is recipe.
2-3 cups of mixed berries a frozen bag full is usually this amount.
3 tablespoons shortening
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup boiling water

Spread the berries juice and all in a bottom of a 8x8 inch greased pan
Cream the shortening and 3/4 cup of sugar well
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together add alternately with the milk to the creamed mixture. Batter will be thick
Spread batter over berries(I kind of patted it on)
Combine the remaining sugar and the cornstarch together and sprinkle over the batter. (This is a juicy cobbler so if want it thicker you can add an extra 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch to the sugar) I did not do this as we like juicy cobbler.
Pour the boiling water over all and DO NOT MIX.

Then pop in the oven on 350 degree's for 45 minutes (It took longer than to bake the crust in my oven so I just added what minutes I needed)
Top warm cobbler with real whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
I am telling you that crisp in that crust is amazing.......we really hummed!

It is a busy day around the grounds of our home today. Hubby has been at it since early. New bark is now spread in the needed area's in the front of the house. Next my husband will be working on the side yard.
I deep cleaned our big outdoor grill, not a fun chore but all nice and sparkly now. We are having bbq'd grilled chicken tonight. Hubby picked up a fresh fryer and we are going to put it on the grill late afternoon and play games at the patio table. That aroma coming from the chicken grilling will set our taste buds a dancing.  Some pieces will be mopped with my home made bbq sauce and a few pieces with Chinese five spice glaze. So a little mixture there. All of it will cause sticky fingers perfect for licking.
I am making a side dish of my rice and bean casserole. This is simple little dish that is so good and satisfying. I will take a photo of it tonight and post the recipe tomorrow.

It was totally blue sky when we woke this morning then high wispy clouds swirled in and now we have mostly high haze obscuring the blue but it warm and very pleasant outdoors so I am not complaining. 
My walk was quiet today. Very different than walking on the weekend unless it is very early. I noticed most folks had worked hard in their yards this past weekend. All looked so nice and tended to. I adore this time of year.
Our neighbors feed the birds and squirrels, so there is much activity. They eat at their yard and then hang out in our yard. That is fun for us. A pair of blue jays have decided they love the tree at the end of our back yard.  We love to listen to their chatter. The squirrels are on our deck, in our garden, on top our spa, in the flower and herb barrels and pots. They are so busy they have hundred of peanuts stored everywhere on our property. Perhaps we could start a peanut farm. Regardless we love watching their antic's.

I had best be on with my day as I have a few more to-do's to attend to.
Have a lovely spring day.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Posted by PicasaI love this photo. 
Who would not want to walk down this path?
It has been a busy day. I was off first thing to the grocery store early this morning. There was hardly a soul about so that was nice. I just went about my business and was out of there in no time. Then I was off to the farm near my home to buy some veggie plants for a very small garden this year and some herbs and flowers for my pots. I was home in a flash. At the farms they make apple cider doughnuts and while I was wandering around through the greenhouses I could smell the cinnamon in the doughnuts and it made me drool, seriously. So when I went to the counter there they sat all warm at forty cents each.......well I could not resist. Not this gal. So I came home unloaded the groceries and the plants and after washing my hands(have a phobia about germs at the grocery stores on the carts) I fixed a cup of tea grabbed a doughnut settled into my chair grabbed the paper and in four bites that baby was gone. Oh it was so good and I licked all the cinnamon sugar off my fingers and was smacking feeling no guilt as this is not my norm.

It has been a good day in every way. Hubby came home from the job site at about one or so. We had lunch and then went outdoors to talk about what we were going to do over the next two days before another job starts for him. There is much but not today. Today was relax and just enjoy life.
We sat outside and watched the clouds, big enormous and white so high in the sky. Then it would turn totally gray as the clouds merged together then they would float away from one another to reveal that deep blue once again. And so it went. We sat and talked and planned what we would do over the next couple of days. The garden will be planted, all weeds will be pulled, a tree behind our garden shed will be cropped, my flowers will be planted into my awaiting pots, extra herbs will be added to my herb barrel, the front sidewalks will be cleaned and the roof will get a scattering of moss be gone and new bark will spread around the yard. I think that is it but I may have forgotten something it will be a busy couple of days.

We are having a veggie dinner tonight as we sometimes do.
I have big bakers in the oven at the moment. I will make a chopped salad of assorted greens and tomatoes, onions, cukes etc. I made ranch dressing earlier so what we like to do is split one of those big bakers and flatten them out. Spread on some ranch dressing load salad over the top the add more dressing and then add some shredded cheese and sprinkle with seasonings. Sometimes we top also with salsa or bacon bits etc. but tonight just veggie. 
It is a great meal and we do this quite often when we feel we have had enough meat for a while.

Tomorrow we are having a Sunday brunch about ten-thirty. I am making buttermilk blue berry pancakes with pure maple syrup with a side of thick sliced bacon. Hubby is not much of pancake man but I can entice him with homemade buttermilk pancakes. They are so light and fluffy and I make them small so we can load a few on a plate.

The neighbors are having a garage sale. It started yesterday and I can tell you it has been like the interstate in front of our house for two days now. I try to get rid of my accumulated junk but it keeps giving birth so I am always taking things to St. Vinney's for donation. Here folks are flooding to this neighborhood to buy  someone else's surplus junk? I guess we are  society of consumers or most are.
I did go to garage sales when I was a young mother. We were always scratching for money and garage sales were a good source of children's clothing and things I needed for my home that I could not afford to buy in a regular store. So yes I did go to see what wonderful bargains I could find. But these rigs that were pulling up in front of this house were new pickups, sports cars, folks that were not down and out.  I guess they were just out trying to have some fun and hoping to pick up a deal. Something to do on a Saturday.
Anyhow to each his own but I will be glad when it is over so our street is quiet once again. We even had folks blocking our driveway.

I need to go now and make that chopped salad. Hubby is watching the basketball playoffs cheering for Miami. His buddy(his brother in law) always goes for Boston so it their thing. Funny, men and their sports thing.
Till another time, good evening.