Wednesday, October 31, 2012

MAKING BREAD


Posted by PicasaI have been in the mood to make bread. Now I usually make bread by kneading the dough by hand but I may use my Kitchenaid stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. So I saw these photo's as well as others online and printed out the recipe for just basic white bread. But I am going to make cinnamon rolls with the dough.  I have much to do yet today so it may have to wait until Friday as tomorrow is my grocery shopping day. I will be home all day Friday and making cinnamon rolls sounds like a good way to spend the afternoon. I had better not overindulge however or I will not get into my new skinny jeans!

We had an amazing meal last night though I believe I had every pot, pan and utensil in use. What a mess. I made sweet and sour chicken in a pineapple, pepper sauce over rice. Egg foo young patties filled with an array of ingredients smothered in a tangy brown sauce. There was much chopping and saucing, hubby said, when are you going to be through in the kitchen. Tonight we get to have leftovers though so no cooking this evening.

We had drizzly rain this morning but it seems to have stopped. It may come back before the little munchkins come out in force tonight for Halloween.

I am listening to new age piano solo's on Pandora radio while I type. I play music like this also on my big old upright piano. This type of music just puts me in a comforting place almost like a trance. So I would think it would be good for your overall being. I especially love it while writing like now or reading.
Speaking of reading I just finished a book. Mostly it was about the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong in the forties during the war. About those that were interned and what the conditions were like in those prisons. Also about how those on the outside that had connections were  making themselves useful to the Japanese to help their own causes. Anyhow quite an interesting and compelling novel. Now onto something of an entirely nature. Everyone who does not should read. You learn so much and the stories just transport you to a different time and space. Places you could not go in real life, people you would never met, adventures you would never have unless you read books. My parents and grandmother were avid readers and encouraged me as a very young child to love and enjoy books. I slept with my nursery rhyme books and Mother Goose books as a toddler. I preferred them over stuffed toys. 

I am making up my weekly menu once again. I know one thing for sure we having a slow cooker stew or soup again. I am thinking of making a kielbasa german soup it looks really good with sauerkraut and red potatoes and onions and the like. I will pick up some crunchy bread for dunking. We just love soups this time of year.

My afternoon is hanging over my head and I must get on with it. I am deep cleaning our bathroom ugh, the shower always takes me so long. I really dislike cleaning bathrooms but like clean bathrooms and I do not have a maid so today is the day. Darn........:(
I think I shall start the project right now so after I am through I can open the cover on my new read and spend what is left of the day in my chair nose in book until hubby walks through the door.

My daughter is high in the sky as I write this. I missed her call to me from Utah she had a two hour layover in Salt Lake. I just did not hear the phone I was doing laundry in the rear of the house. I thought she would call on my cell not the house phone. I had my cell in my pocket. Anyhow by the time I saw the message light flashing she had already boarded and was up in the sky once again off to Kansas City Mo. She will be picked up there by her son in law and driven to Topeka to spend five days with her daughter and family.  

Well rubber gloves where are you? Off I begrudgingly go.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

SEASONS BOUNTY


Posted by PicasaYes the bounty is fruitful this time of year!
I choose this photo as we went to the Cornucopia yesterday for lunch as I had mentioned.
The place was bustling when we arrived. In the eatery they have four areas in which to eat. We grabbed a table in the mid-section, cozy with an array of about four five tables. There are blackboards hanging throughout the Cornucopia listing their daily specials and of course the many different micro-brews several from our local breweries in Eugene. We lucked out as it was Burger Monday. $11.99 for a burger and fries plus a pint of micro-brew of your choice. As we were going to split this worked out well. Hubby had a local beer from Nikasi Brewery, a seasonal ale and I had a glass of local pinot noir. We enjoyed our lunch it was an amazing burger as usual. Of course two Amtrak trains went by while we were there so our drinks danced about the table each time. When we left it was a monsoon outside. It was raining so hard it looked like a gray sheet hitting the streets and flying back up into the air. I zipped my gortex shell up tight and threw the hood up and dashed as did my hubby we were laughing trying to jump puddles. We leaped in the car faster than Oregon frogs! It was good day.

No rain today and very mild once again. Our two trees in front of the house along the sidewalk and street are just amazing right now at this very moment. If it were sunny I would take a photo. One is entirely red the other totally gold. The leaves under them are starting to pile up and it will soon be time to rake them to the street for collection.

I was out and about today. I bought my husband a new very cozy winter shirt and pair of fleece lined slippers. I bought myself a pair of skinny jeans........yes skinny jeans. I like them however. I have kind of little legs so they look fine but feel like I have a pair of leggings on. Oh the styles are so silly sometimes yet I seems to just go along like the rest of the sheep. 

Here is a thought for the day. What if you had no power for the next week? Would you be OK? What could you do to prepare better? 
Would you be warm do you have something other than power for heat? A lot of folks do not and we are one of them. We have an electric furnace and that is it other than our little electric fireplace. We do have lots of wood and a fire bowl outdoors and lots of down coverlets and wool blankets. So I suppose we could make do. For cooking we do not have gas but we have our outdoor grill with a propane side burner and we do have a charcoal grill as well. We have emergency food stored in a cabinet in the garage as well as a stocked pantry in the house. We have stock piled lots of canned goods that could be eaten cold but better warmed. A supply of tuna and sardines, hams etc. We have a good supply of water and powered sports drinks with vitamins to add to the water if we care to. There is instant coffee and tea and a medical kit and flashlights, matches, candles etc. A bottle of whiskey. Well you get the picture. Hubby has his big backpacking pack near by with alcohol burning stoves so if we would have to leave the our home we could load up the pack with food and take water.
We surely hope that time will not come but better to be somewhat prepared.
I have been thinking of the folks on the east coast especially those in the mountains of Virginia and Kentucky etc where they are getting up to two feet of snow. I hope they are prepared and can stay warm.

Well I need to and I repeat I need to unearth the top of my office desk. When we are busy with jobs if I do not tend to it daily this is what happens.
Happy Autumn day to you.


Monday, October 29, 2012

HURRICANE SANDY


Posted by PicasaHow would you like to have this barreling down on you? Oh I would be very nervous. A monster storm colliding with a huge cold front it will no doubt be a disaster, people will die and people will be hurt and displaced. 
My husband and I were talking this morning and years past you rarely heard of a hurricane coming into the eastern seaboard. It is global warming how can some  dispute that? There are to many weather issues that are related to global warming for one to turn his back and pretend it does not exist. For one just take one look at our melting glaciers.

It is so warm here today in the northwest. We hear that all the cold air is being sucked away into the cold front so that leaves us almost tropical for this time of year. I have the door open at this point and the air feels balmy.
We did have a downpour last night however. It woke me about two and it was just a roar outside a constant pounding for almost a hour.  I had a hard time going back to sleep as my brain switched on. Oh how I dislike that.  I keep saying to myself, sleep, don't think. Well I finally made it into a dreamland state and I am awakened to the rumbling of hubby's not so delicate snoring......sometimes I almost give up on a decent nights sleep. The mattress alone is a huge determent let alone all the other disturbances.

We are heading out to lunch about noon I am not eating this morning as I want to be hungry for that burger I will also nibble at some of hubbies onion rings though I am not a fan. You get your choice of fries or the rings and we do not want both....just too much. He loves the way they make their onion rings, double dipped and well seasoned.

Tonight for dinner as we will not require much we are having lobster omelets. I am taking one oversize frozen lobster tail thawing it and chopping the meat and sauteing in a pan of butter till translucent then will set aside. I will then tuck the lobster inside the omelet. I will sprinkle some fresh grated Parmesan and scallions over the top. Sounds about perfect, we will also split the omelet as we normally do. I always make one large omelet it is easier and more time efficient than making two. I do a three way close on the omelet. Each side comes over and then you flip it over.....so easy.

Tomorrow I am out and about once more. Still looking for a new mattress set. I am seriously looking for a sale. One should never buy bedding unless it is 50% off there is such a huge mark up on mattress's. I know as I have sold them in the past so I know well how it is.

I have nothing to write about today so I will get on with my to-do's and figure what I will wear on my little date this afternoon. I always love a date with my hubby:)
Me




Sunday, October 28, 2012

MR AND MRS PUMPKINHEAD


Posted by PicasaWell now aren't they a cute pair? Like it says though the Mrs's is a tad pudgy so best she stay away from the Halloween treats.  

We have rain and more rain here today. It is truly gloomy what else to say?
I feel a little lonesome today. I miss my husband. He as been working every day for a long while now. Today he will be home about three or so and tomorrow he is not working :) We are going to lunch at little pub we both enjoy. It has good pub grub and delicious wine for me and good brews for hubby.  The prices are not inflated and it is a cozy place. There is one thing that though that will rattle you. It sits about a twenty ft or whatever the minimum is to the train tracks. Quite interesting when the Amtrak goes whizzing by you cannot hear yourself think and place vibrates. But other than that we love the place. We are going to split a burger tomorrow. Their burgers are repeatedly voted the best burger in town. They use organic meat from Knee Deep Cattle co in Roseburg and the way they prepare it is so juicy and tasty. We split as the burgers are 1/2 pound burgies. Who could eat a half pound burger? Though my hubby is just under 6ft-3 inches and weighs 212 lbs. he does not eat large portions. He is fit and likes to stay that way. Of course he does not have to workout as his work is a workout everyday. He does love his little junk food snacks however. That is where we are different. I am not a lover of junk food. I just do not care for most things that are packaged snack items. They all taste icky to me mostly from too much seasonings or coatings and salt. I have been known though to snack on cheezit crackers, pretzels, animal crackers, wheat thins and triscots and that about sums it up. Boring I guess. But set out a plate of cheese and above mentioned crackers and some fruit a glass of wine and watch me go at it!

I am making a new recipe this week. It is sweet and sour chicken taken from food network magazine if I remember right. I do make sweet and sour but have always used the same tried and true recipe so I am going to enjoy making this. I will make some sticky rice to go with and I am thinking perhaps some egg foo young patties as well with the good yummy sauce that goes atop them.

Did I  mention that chocolate pie I made? Well that filling turned out amazing. I stood at the stove for a half hour first stirring while the chocolate melted then stirring again after adding the rest of the ingredients to thicken it. My husband said this is the best chocolate pie I have ever eaten. The pudding in the pie is silky rich and just melts in your mouth. With the tender crust and the whipped cream piled high on top it is sensual. I put little gold stars on my recipe card. I like to do that as it helps me when I thumbing through the recipes as it reminds me to make it again and that it was wonderful.

I have Pandora radio on the internet playing as I type. I have it on piano solo's so lovely and just perfect with the rain splattering the windows.

My dear friend called this morning. It is always so good to hear her voice. She has a distinctive voice so I recognize it immediately. Her poor hubby has been so ill for quite sometime now. My heart goes out to them as I know how hard it has been for them. A completely different lifestyle for them now.
A pacemaker was just installed this past week so now he will begin to feel better I am happy for them.

I will leave you now and go about doing a couple of gross chores........bathrooms need I say more? I usually never do things like that on Sunday but without my hubby here it will keep me busy and I will accomplish something.
Have a nice Sunday even if it is raining. 
Ciao.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

COMING SOON TO A TABLE LIKE YOURS


Posted by PicasaYes that day is nearing. Truly my husband loves Thanksgiving because it is all about the food and the gathering of family and football.  He is not a fan of Christmas as we all know what the holiday has turned into. A big commercial event with buy buy buy and more buying. There is very little left of the true meaning of Christmas.  On Christmas eve we have a lovely meal we make it romantic style. We exchange our small gifts to one another pop open some champagne and spend the remainder of the evening watching a holiday movie and then perhaps a soak in the hot tub weather permitting. 
Christmas day finds us making a meal of ham with all the trimmings. My rum cake is always present and my grandmother's Christmas cookies. Sometimes a pie sometimes not depending if we have company for Christmas dinner. My son Mike always tries to join us if possible. He was here last year and brought a friend that had no plans. So we had four at our table. My daughter has her kids and significant others and also her guy and maybe his kids. So a big group there in Portland.

Today is atrocious outdoors. It has been non-stop rain for the past two hours now. Leaves are plastered like wallpaper to the streets, the windows are blurred, lawns looking like green sponges but indoors I have it cozy. The furnace is on and the little electric fireplace is inviting. I have my wax pot filled with the scent of oatmeal cookie.  Hubby will be home about two this afternoon. We will then watch the game as he put it to record as it starts at noon.
I need to think of a little snack to have while watching the OREGON game this afternoon. Maybe just some simple popcorn would be good. We will have pizza this evening. So we will just snuggle in and let the rain have it's way.

If I lived on the east coast I would be getting nervous about now. I have never lived anywhere that I was plagued with storms, tornado's, hurricanes and such. It is quite placid here in the northwest. Maybe the BIG ONE (quake) is going to get us all and make up for all the normality.
My heart does go out to all the folks that are expecting that huge storm. They may not have power for days on end, snow, flooding, wind and so forth. It is so hard on the older generation and can be life threatening without heat. Let us hope and pray it is not bad as predicted.

I have a few chores today to attend to. 
Of course I wear the OREGON gear for all the games. Even though their true colors are green and gold. They have now become every shade of green, yellow, lime, black, gray and white. But hey it makes it easier for me to find the colors to wear.
Enjoy the game if you are watching..........GO DUCKS! 


Friday, October 26, 2012

MR. PUMPKINHEAD MAN AGAIN


Posted by PicasaI More than likely posted this photo about this time last year and probably the year before as I make him every year though I did not this year. I stuff the clothes with towels and papers and use rubber bands and a belt to keep him all together. Of course he always enjoys a little rum while he is hanging out waiting for the tricker-treaters. He is quite a character and does startle me on occasion when I forget he is sitting in the living room.

Cloudy here in the Willamette valley today. Though no rain has started. I am so thrilled that yesterday the universe gave us that gift of beautiful sun and mild temps.

I put the ingredients for a beef burgandy stew in the slow cooker this morning. I so love that dinner is cooking away today as I attend to other things. I do us my Crock-pot quite often. The Crock-pot I have is a seventies model the brown and cream color and the small round size. It is very old and still works perfect. I love the idea that this is the same pot I used when my children were young.
I am so entranced with the slow cooker bags that came out a few years ago. How wonderful that your slow cooker stays clean.
So tonight beef stew with whole wheat artisan rolls. My hubby will be late tonight so this type of meal is perfect he can dish up whenever. When we were RV-er's I always had the Crock-pot along. I would set it up outside on a table next to the motor coach. That way the smell would not linger in the coach for days on end. It was so handy to fill the pot in the morning with something yummy for dinner and go about our day, biking, rafting, hiking or whatever it was. When we returned dinner was waiting. Never once did we have a problem with an animal getting into it, or someone stealing our dinner.

We have football tomorrow at noon. OREGON plays Colorado. They have the least impressive record in our Pac 12 so it will another game I suppose where after the first half our second and third teams will play. We must kept our starters healthy. The game is here in our stadium and it is to rain. Well our Ducks are more than used to that weather they just waddle and fly right through it.
Hubby is working tomorrow but is going to record the game and we will watch together when he gets home. He should not be to late. We are having pizza tomorrow as I do not want to be bothered with cooking.

I have run out of chatter. So I am off now to do some much needed house cleaning. I am looking forward to reading late afternoon. I will turn off the music and just listen to the fountain in the living room. It is so peaceful and makes me feel so content.
Best get to chores.



Thursday, October 25, 2012

LAST YEARS THANKSGIVING TABLE


Posted by PicasaWell this quite funny actually. How could I forgotten? Here I am once more using the same table scarf and place mats I used last year for Thanksgiving. The only thing difference is the napkins and the new centerpiece. Well I guess I like this old fashioned look. I have two sets of beautiful china one is a Wedgewood china service for 12 actually passed on to me from my dear aunt. But it seems to sit in the china cabinet as I prefer my simple country inexpensive mix. The other china set is my Mom's and I do use it at Christmas time as it is green and white and I remember many a holiday meal eating delicious food off those plates.
I have my menu planned and it is always basically the same. If I changed things up I am sure my family would not be pleased nor my hubby for that matter. Somethings are just meant to stay the same.
Every year I clip gorgeous looking thanksgiving recipes from magazines. But the recipes are never made. There is something to be said for making a meal you could make with your eyes closed. I think it really helps that you are not constantly referring to a recipe when it is such a busy day. And if your family is anything like mine, we are busy and loud. Everyone is talking at once and in and out of the kitchen, snacking or trying to be helpful but really just being in the way. So to say the least it is a busy and noisy scene so the simpler I can make it the better. 

I heard from my son Mike last night. He was in Nampa Idaho on his way back from Wyoming as he bought a snowmobile there. A long drive from Portland Oregon going straight through. He had been driving for 27 hours when we talked. He did have a buddy go with him so they did share some driving time. They had to stop he said as they were getting rather rummy. Well I would suppose so.
They will be home today at some point. A whirlwind trip down the interstate, through mountains, desert, snow and sleet.
My son has always been a guy that liked his toys. From a very young age...22 months actually when we got him his first tricycle and he ran to the Christmas tree and screamed HONDA. You see his father had a Honda dirt bike. So it all began. Today he has at this point two snowmobiles, three motorcycles  four mountain bikes and a speed boat. My heart goes out to Mom's that have sons like this. When he was young my heart was always in my throat.
He was always stretching himself to go faster or higher or farther or whatever it was.
I recall one time on a dirt bike he was practicing wheelies. Just what a Mother loves right? Anyhow he came in through the kitchen door while I was doing dishes and said come look I am getting so good at wheelies. Well of course out I go to see him perform. Here he comes roaring down our gravel road then up on his back tire sitting straight in the air then over backwards he goes........ooops. He is fine and  actually laughing while brushing himself off and I am running toward him my heart beating in my ears my dish towel streaming behind me like a flag. There are  dozens of stories I could tell. It is enough just to say he has had numerous concussions. Heaven help us all. 

Today is a perfect autumn day. After daylight came this morning we were surprised that the sky was blue no clouds. There is not even a hint of the wind we have had the past few days. This afternoon the temps have warmed into the 60's.
I am going to take a walk now. A short one as I have been going since six this morning and my achy back is starting to put me down. I do want at least a half hour walk though through the red and gold trees that line our streets. I just looked out and they are glittering in the sun. 
Out the door I go.  You should go too if your day is nice and just enjoy the great outdoors and breathe in the fresh fall air. 
Bye for now.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

MY SON MIKE AND BABY TYSON


Posted by PicasaI could not resist posting this as Tyson's birthday was yesterday. The quality of the photo is not good also the shadows over their heads looks odd but I love the essence of this photo. A father kissing his baby boy. Too sweet.

Oh it is so hard to get out of bed on dark rainy mornings. I must be honest and say I am rather dim witted in the morning until my coffee kicks in.

I did get a spurt of energy late yesterday afternoon and I went out to the farm and could barely find a place to park. This is their busiest time of year as they have tons of pumpkins, gourds, cornstalks and etc for Halloween. They also have hayrides, maizes, and on and on. I filled two large canvas bags with fresh produce. I bought a sack of gourds I so like to decorate with them. So I made up my Thanksgiving tablescape early evening. It is to soon of course to put out the table service and such. But the table scarf I made thirty years ago, my mother's patchwork place-mat's she made for me at least that long ago were placed on the table. The cloth napkins that I set on are different from one another but a mixture of harvest colors.  I filled a sage green wire basket with multi colored gourds and small red pine cones. On the table also sits my mother's antique oil lamp filled with red oil and an assortment of tea lights in red glass holders. All looks very inviting. I will take a photo when the table is actually set and post it. So bottom line I had fun waiting for my hubby to get home, listening to jazz, sipping wine and decorating.

Our spaghetti dinner was good and satisfying. Then after dinner cleanup we just crashed it seems. Watched a favorite show on the telle and then one of the Airiel shows on the Smithsonian channel. This time it was Rhode Island  We love these shows that are viewed looking down from the sky. We did not finish it however as we soon were drifting off into no mans land. So we will finish that this evening.

Well I need to get on with my day. Tomorrow I grocery shop for the coming week so I must configure our menu and my list of needed items. Also I have a few office duties. I will certainly try to squeeze in a walk between showers. If not I can always house walk as I call it. I put on some lively music and walk the hardwood floors throughout the house. Sometimes my walking turns into dancing if the mood strikes me. All is good though for a little exercise. 

So I will leave you now on this rainy day.




Tuesday, October 23, 2012

GRANDSON TYSON


Posted by PicasaWell now look at this little darling who turned 29 today and he's just as handsome and endearing as ever.
I love this photo and it sits right here on my computer desk.
I am very close to my grandson from the time he was born to present. He was my first grandchild and I was a young grammie so we had so much fun together.
When he did not live near us we still had him for two weeks in the summer and spent every Thanksgiving with him as well as frequent visits.
He will be here with us this Thanksgiving as usual he is bringing his girl friend Lindsey and his dad my son Mike. I will be so happy once again to have this young man gracing our thanksgiving table. 
So Happy Birthday Tyson from your grammie Zo and grampy Imre. We love you so and we will see you soon.

Blustery today. I wanted to walk but the wind makes it miserable and I guess I feel whimpy today. Do not want to put myself out much. I know I have sat on my butt to much today and that is not good. Every once in a while I have a lazy day. I did spend time in the office this morning taking care of my managerial duties and I have done laundry and stripped the bedding off our king bed and put all fresh linens on. So something accomplished I suppose.

Tonight for dinner we are having spaghetti with my summer tomato roasted, pepper and garlic sauce. No meat in tonight's sauce, just straight up and simple. We will add fresh grated Parmesan cheese and I have purchased a chewy olive bread with a thick crust. Nothing better than a meal like this on a autumn evening. I can see us now slurping spaghetti, sauce on the chin.....dipping bread, sauce on the chin....well you get the picture.

Well have a lovely Tuesday whatever the day holds for you.
Later.




Sunday, October 21, 2012

TOSCANA SOUP


Posted by PicasaMy take on Zuppa Toscana soup. 
This soup was so delicious last night that hubby kept giving me a high five. Too funny. It was the same as always but maybe it tasted so lovely because the evening was wet and dark and we were cozy with our little fire and bowls of soup and wedges of bread.
We each had a cupcake later, a perfect finish.

This is what I do for this soup.
Ingredients
3/4 pounds more or less of mild italian ground sausage.
4 russet potatoes peeled, and cut into quarters then sliced fairly thin across.
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 red pepper chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
2 cans of chicken broth
1 cup of half and half( or you can use whole milk or canned milk)
1/2 bag or more of fresh spinach copped into large pieces.
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish.

In a large soup pot add the chicken broth and sliced potatoes. If you need to add a little water to cover the potatoes do that.
In a med size non stick skillet slowly fry (do not fry crispy or dark) the sausage, onion, red pepper and garlic till done. When the potatoes are just shy of tender add the contents from the skillet into the potato pot.Then add the Italian seasoning and the half and half. Continue to heat on med low till all is melded and well heated. Then add all the spinach and stir till wilted. 
Ladle into deep bowls and add good quality grated Parmesan cheese over the top. Serve with a good crunchy bread for dipping into the soup.

Note. The idea of this recipe is that you can basically do what you like. We like it this way however you make it thicker, just cut down on the liquid. You can extend it, add more liquid. Add more meat if you like or potatoes. You can add more veggies ie carrots and celery. You can use a combo of whipping cream and milk just be carefully not to let it boil. For the greens we like spinach as that is our fave but you can add arugula, chard, collard greens or any assortment of greens you prefer. So bottom line when I made up this soup recipe I just had fun with it. Enjoy.

Home alone again today. It is a good day though. A lazy day for me. Took me over an hour to drink my coffee and read the thick Sunday paper. Then onto the computer for a bit. Did my house chores. Wrote to a couple dear friends snail mail.....who does that anymore? And I researched more mattress's online. Thinking now of going with latex foam. I am certainly not looking forward to this task. Tomorrow it starts.

About two I snuggled down into my comfy chair eating a bowl of ramen noodles that I loaded with lots of spinach. I am nuts about spinach. I finished my book a great gals novel by Judy Blume. I love her writing she puts you there.
So now I get to start a new book. I have two waiting lol. But first I have a few cooking magazines I must browse through. I only take five but they come all within the same week.

Now I am going perk up my face before hubby comes through the door and unload the dishwasher. Oh such an exciting Sunday for Zo.
Later.



Saturday, October 20, 2012

BUTTERY CUPCAKES WITH LEMON FROSTING


Posted by PicasaNow this little project entailed about two hours plus in the kitchen. I had forgotten how long baking cupcakes from scratch took by the time you make a couple of batches and cool them and make frosting and frost them. Whew!
It sure brought back memories though. I made cupcakes for my two children throughout their young lives. Before I would start baking anything, cookies, cakes whatever the kids would have to choose who got the beaters or the bowl. Well the bowl was mighty popular but knowing that the beaters held less I always kept a good amount of batter on them. It took longer to lick the beaters than to swipe out the bowl with little fingers. So I suppose it was really toss up. Now days I would not let them do that. I guess I never thought about raw eggs. But they survived.
Funny how doing something like making cupcakes put me back to those days with my little ones. It made for a fun couple of hours to reflect.

Tonight I am making my rendition of the Olive Gardens Zuppa Toscana soup. I think mine is every bit as delicious  It is a soup made from spicy italian sausage, potatoes, greens in a creamy broth. Makes my mouth water to know I will be having a big deep bowl of that tonight along with an artisan loaf of semolina sesame bread. This bread is dense and chewy on the inside and crusty crunchy on the outside. So good for dipping in the soup.
We are going to watch the OREGON STATE game tonight while we eat. The game starts at seven they are playing Utah. I even am wearing the orange and black today in honor of OSU and Halloween of course. I am all for OSU to do well. Makes me proud to have two Oregon teams so high in the ratings. However I am a OREGON DUCK fan through and through. So obviously when the Civil War game rolls around I will be screaming GO DUCKS! That may well be our hardest game and it will not help us that it is at Corvallis this year.

I did spot the sun this morning for about a half hour but that was the extent of it. It is just gray today out there like an ol wool blanket spread over the sky. Oh well if I can get a quick walk in that will be good if not I will survive. It is that time of year sometimes I get the walk in sometimes not.
When the weather turns like it has at this point I certainly do get more interested in doing things in the house which is a good thing. I do not mean like cleaning necessarily but you know little projects, things I have been wanting to tend to. Also I love to change little area's up like rearranging accessories.
I am quite stuck in the family room as far as changing up the furniture. It fits one way and that is it. The living room I have a little more flexibility. However it is always fun for me to re-accessorize. I have a large dresser in the quest room that holds my extra accessories. So I can get a new look occasionally by trading items out and setting themes to go along with the season. So my mind is always calculating as I walk through my home imagining this here and that there.
Seems I have always been that way. A good thing I suppose as that led me to a career in the design field.

I am looking forward to this coming week and not looking forward to it at the same time. Reason being I need to shop for a mattress set. I dislike shopping and shopping for a mattress set is equivalent to shopping for a swimsuit when you know you are too old to be wearing one. Not fun either one of these shopping excursions.
I think we are going for a Temperpedic. Maybe not the brand but a good memory foam mattress with a solid core. I am through with the innerspring's. I heard latex foam is good also. The cost of these types of mattress's for a king are prohibitive. But we must bite the bullet as they say and go for it. So that is my task this coming week. I am so tired getting up in the morning with a crimp in my back. I roll over so many times a night to get comfy so the sleep I do get is not restful. So it is time. 

I am going to leave you now and take a chance on walking. It is still gray but not raining. That does not mean it will not shower on me. I so like living on the edge lol.
Ciao






Wednesday, October 17, 2012

BROTHER JACK'S BIRTHDAY


Posted by PicasaToday is October 17th my brother John William Nesbitt's(Jack as he is known) birthday. He is 83 years young! And I mean that. This photo was taken this past July. That man is healthy except for a bout of gout at times. He takes no medications except for the gout. He is active and stays fit. He moves around better than I do and looks fifteen years younger than his age. I love and adore him so and I am so proud of him because more than anything he is a fine human being.
So Happy Birthday dear brother.

Last evening we took our first hot tub. Crystal clear hot water, oh it felt so good. Did not stay in long as it was late already. We watched the presidential debate before going in. We needed some relaxation after watching that aggressive debate. 
The stars were a glitter and it was so peaceful. We only stayed in about twenty minutes but it was enough to unwind.

This morning we woke to thick fog and it still lingers three hours later though is not as dense. It was so heavy this morning it was actually dripping, first time I have seen that. It is chilly this morning also. I believe it is about time to start the furnace in the mornings.

I never made muffins yesterday I got sidetracked so today I am going to make cinnamon rolls instead with my grammy's bread recipe. I put nuts, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon inside them. On top I make a glaze of cream cheese and powered sugar and vanilla to drizzle over them.
Has anyone noticed the price of walnuts right now? Hello, nine dollars a pound, say what? I bought just enough for the rolls. I think I will run out to the farms for a few things and buy some of our wonderful Oregon hazel nuts(filberts). They are probably more reasonable than walnuts. I will keep them on hand for my baking.

Well I need to get my day started. I will spend a good deal of time in the office today. Filing, sorting, paying bills etc. 
Tomorrow is grocery shopping for the week so I must make up a menu and grocery list also. I like to get to the grocery early in the morning as there is no one there.
Have a nice hump day.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

OUR STREET


Posted by PicasaThis is the scene on our street.
Very pretty this time of year. It will actually get better over the next week or so. Last year I took some amazing shots.
Seems our big rain storm is over. Today we woke to clear skies once again. At the moment we have sun, white huge clouds and a few gray ones scudding across the sky. It is mild out.
I was out for a while today. I thought I felt like doing a little shopping for a few needed things. It did not turn out however. I just had no heart for it once I was on my way. I only found and purchased three things on my list. I went to four stores in two I left empty handed.....so much for a shopping outing.
It feels good to be home. I just ate a hot bowl of noodles in broth it really tasted good and filled my need.
I think now I will make a batch of lemon poppy seed muffins. Then read the afternoon away.
Tonight we are having leftovers as we still have half a casserole of chicken divan. So tomorrow taco's. The casserole was really good last night. The creamy sauce with cheese and chicken and steamed broccoli all go together so nicely. I made scratch biscuits to go with.
This morning I made small breakfast sandwiches for hubby filling the biscuits with crispy bacon, egg and cheese. He loved them.

Well off to the kitchen and muffin making. :)
Later.

Monday, October 15, 2012

HALLOWEEN DECOR


Posted by PicasaWell that time of year is almost upon us.
Halloween. The holiday of witches, goblins, ghosts and all things that go bump in the night.
I recall when my children were small they rarely got to wear a cute custom. We lived in cold snow country so at Halloween time it was usually freezing if not snowing. I would drive them around our small town and drop them here and there, they would trudge along the streets bundled in their coats, boots and stocking hats. Then back into the warm car with their cold red cheeks and runny noses and freezing hands. Not too much fun I am thinking but they seemed to love it, it was that stash of candy in their bags that they loved.... I'm no fool.



Here is a photo of the roasted butterflied chicken I roasted last evening. It was so yummy. Crispy on the outside and juicy inside  I do not eat the skin it just never has appealed to me but hubby does. We have a good deal leftover as I thought we may as it was well over a five pound chicken. So tonight it will be morphed into chicken divan and the next night chicken taco's. So it will be well utilized. 
I love to make a large chicken just for those reasons alone. Always it is nice to have a chicken on hand to make up into sandwiches, soups, casseroles or what not.

Well I have another project today. After thoroughly cleaning out my china cabinet and sideboard I moved on to clean my huge linen closet yesterday and now this afternoon it is my walk-in closet. I have a large closet to myself as I use the one in the adjacent guest room. However as nice as it is for all my wardrobe and shoes etc it does get cluttered with extra things.......an assortment of the oddest items are perched on the shelves and stacked on the floor. Usually when this happens it is time to take a car load to St. Vinnie's. So as soon as I post this I am off to spend a hour or so in my closet. I do not mind as today I feel rather house wifey and industrious.

Until another day.




Sunday, October 14, 2012

WHAT A CHORE


Posted by PicasaThis was surely a chore this afternoon. It took about three hours to clean all that is in this cabinet and also clean the sideboard(no photo). So all the dishes, stemware etc were washed and dried the glass in the cabinet cleaned and the wood surfaces cleaned. 
I was right all I had to do was reorganize it all and reclaim some wasted space and it all looked much better. I need a cabinet twice this size but the wall that it sits on dictated the size. Just around the side wall the sideboard sits and it needs to be there as the bottom of it holds an assortment of vases, specialty serving dishes etc and our alcohol and martini shakers, carafes and decanters.
There are three drawers in the sideboard. One holds an array of  candles and holders, waxes, oils etc. Another holds all my cloth napkins some of which have been with me for forty some years. I still cherish them as they given by friends or loved ones. Some I made out of designer fabric's from when I worked at a design center. One large drawer is for my table runners and place mats. So all needs to be in that space adjacent to the dining table. For napkin rings and ties I have a good size woven basket with a lid that sits atop the sideboard. We entertained more in the past than we do now but I still set a pretty table for when we have quests for dinner and especially over the holidays. Making a tablescape is one of my favorite things and sometimes the table is set a couple of days ahead. My daughter who knows me so well sometimes say's, how long has the table been set Mom? Do the dishes need rewashing? 
This cabinet cleaning project has been nagging at me as Thanksgiving is coming and all who sit at the table would see the dirty glass and disarray in the cabinet. So today'special project plus four loads of laundry have been accomplished. 
It is now three pm and guess what I am going to do? Your right! Sit in my chair with my feet up and my nose in my current book. I just read a FB post of my daughters. She said, a cozy fire in the fireplace, my book and a glass of cab. What could be better? I so agree and will be in the same scene in a few moments.

Here it is Sunday morning. It is clear today which is a surprise as we expected clouds and perhaps showers.
So I will walk today. Some tree's are mass of color now however our street tree's in front of the house are still green but slowly fading to gold.
Hubby and I are both sneezing like crazy. Some one mentioned the other day on the radio about fall allergies. So that must be it as we do not have colds.

I am butterflying and roasting a large fryer this afternoon. I love roasting chicken. The house just fills with this amazing aroma. I cannot decide whether to make cinnamon rolls made from my grammy's bread recipe or lemon nut muffins. Both sound good.

My project today is to tidy up the linen closet. It is a huge closet and I tend to just toss things in there at times. It will not take long but surely needs to be spruced up.

I will leave you and go make myself a little breakfast. Maybe  a slice of nine grain toast and a small dish of my homemade applesauce. That sounds about perfect.

Have a great Sunday. Go for walk if it nice where you are. Nothing better than taking a stroll in the fall.
Ciao

Saturday, October 13, 2012

OLD LETTERS

Old letters are like journals.
Before my Mother passed she gave me a large box of letters. Every letter I had ever written her since I was an adult was in that box. For many years we lived in different area's so writing letters was our form of communication. In the olden days as my grandchildren would call them, calling long distance was really prohibitive as it could make for a very expensive phone bill if you were not careful. So it was truly a treat when we talked on the phone as it did not happen that often.
The letters I have commence in the early seventies. Before that time my parents lived near us so no need for writing.  The letters in the seventies are primarily seasonal letters as my parents would spend the winters Arizona the rest of the year they lived in our same community.
So it is quite amazing to read my words written by hand on pretty stationary or cards or on cheap lined paper and scraps of this and that. I poured my heart out at times and shared what was happening in our household.  I see though that I withheld some information that would have been worrisome for them and glorified other events to make my parents feel happy. 
Regardless I love reading them and it seems at least once every couple years I pull a batch out and read them as if I am possessed. Once I start a packet I cannot quit. I am truly so happy I have these as well as the ones my mother wrote to me that I saved.
It makes me realize what a large life I have lived as I have forgotten so much. Reading them brings me back to that place in time and I become immersed in that day that I put pen to paper. So I say thanks Mom for holding on to all that history.

This afternoon the showers started and now that continual drizzle in happening. The house seems dark I have lamps in every room turned on as I do in winter. Our little electric fireplace is glowing orange making all seem warm and comfy. 
It is not cold however we have no heat on. Hubby asked if I wanted the furnace turned on. No, I said. I like it like this. I do not like feeling overly warm in the house.  He said, I am going to grab my flannel shirt and he put on his long pants too! He lives most of the year in shorts.  I said, are you the same man that came knocking at our motor coach door a few years ago looking like the abominable  snowman? He sheepishly said yes.
We had camped in the parking lot of Mt. Bachelor ski resort for a couple of nights. He had left early that morning to go cross country skiing. It was snowing hard and the wind was wild. By the time he came home late afternoon he was a frozen snowman. His hat, face, mustache, were frozen over. He was so happy and thrilled with his ski trip.   Now he grabs a flannel shirt when our first rain starts?.....well you can see why I gave him a hard time.

Last night we had wild caught cod fish. The fish was crusty on the outside and so succulent and juicy on the inside. Along with homemade tarter sauce and coleslaw and dressing it was a feast.
I watched hubby as he ate. A piece of fish in one hand dipping into the tarter sauce a bottle of malt vinegar in the other giving it a good sprinkle. Then his smile as he pops the fish into his mouth.....mmmnnn such pleasure.

Sunday we are having a butterflied whole chicken.  I will do as I did last time making a rub of  warm spices(cumin, allspice, paprika, coriander, salt and pepper)  and laying the chicken on a bed of rosemary, garlic and onions. To the side we will have danish squash filled with butter, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Red potatoes with parsley and butter and more coleslaw as I bought a large head of cabbage.

So enough talk about food as it is making me hungry. Right now I want to get back to my book. This book is a riot. I find myself laughing out loud.
I just finished a beautiful tender book by Elizabeth Berg written in the time of world war 11. 
This new book is quite off the wall and funny yet filled with details of the late fifties and early sixties  So I can really relate   I love it so far and I am only into the 3rd chapter. So now it is calling or I should screaming at me to come and open it once again.

Well now it is a day later. I got involved yesterday and did not get back to the computer.
So this Saturday morning I find myself alone for the entire day. Not a bad thing I will make it a productive day.
I have finished re-covering the dining room chair seats. I am pleased with the results. 
Today I am going to try to reclaim some space in my sideboard and china cabinet. Both are running over and I have not bought new items so I know it is just a matter of rearranging items.
We are having family for Thanksgiving so the china cabinet sparkling and orderly is a must.
Of course I will make time for my wild wacky book today. I normally do not read these kinds of books but I am so enjoying it.

No rain today but it gray and all is wet from yesterdays drizzle.
I may decide to make a couple loaves of bread today, seems just the perfect type of day for bread making.
Off I go.






Tuesday, October 9, 2012

MAKING APPLESAUCE


Posted by PicasaWho does not love homemade applesauce? Of course this applesauce is made with gravenstein apples. Hubby just loves it dished up plain and simple. I do too but I especially love it spooned over pancakes or waffles so yummy. What I made the other day is almost gone I will try to get another batch or two made before the apples are over for the season.

Well I started the chair seat covers yesterday but could not finish the project. I could not get the screws that hold the seats on out of the chairs. So I am stuck until hubby does that for me. Oh well I am in no rush I suppose. The covers are all cut and ready to go so once I get to it all will go fast.

Today I am off to do a bit of shopping. There are few things I need. It is a another very awesome day so will not mind a little running around but the sooner the better before the lunch hour starts. The freeways and stores surely are busier then.

Tomorrow for dinner I am making a new slow cooker recipe. I am going to make stuffed green peppers in the slow cooker I bet they will be amazing as the slow cooker really melds the flavors. I will stuff the peppers with ground pork and beef, rice and seasonings. I am using our roasted tomato sauce to cover them in. I am thinking they will be very tasty. I will serve them with mashed potatoes that is our favorite side dish with stuffed peppers.
If they turn out grand I will take a photo and share my recipe with you.

Last night we had a simple old time meal. I made a tuna noodle casserole with a white cream sauce, cheddar cheese, celery, yellow peppers, onions and peas. It is very good, creamy with the cheesy sauce and has a bit of a crunch from the celery, onions and peppers. I served it up with lots of sliced red tomatoes from our garden. We will just repeat tonight with the addition of garlic bread.

I have my lightweight down comforter in the washer. I know it is best to have it dry cleaned but it is old and I figured I would just clean it myself. It will go on our bed this afternoon. I was chilly this morning with only our lightweight cotton quilt. So the summer bedding is going away this afternoon and a fall scenario is going to take it's place.

I have nothing else to share and know this is boring so I will leave you know and get onto my chores.
I cannot wait to get outside this morning to enjoy this pristine day.
Bye for now.



Monday, October 8, 2012

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES IN A BROWN PAPER BAG?

Yesterday afternoon I opened a brown paper that held six large gravenstein apples purchased at the farm. You are going to say here she is with the apple stories again well.......
I was preparing to make a small batch of applesauce. 
When I opened the bag my summers from childhood jumped out at me. I closed my eyes and went back into myself. Memories stirred within me that had not been roused for years. I will not go into the details but it brought tears to my eyes and a large lump deep in my throat. Not because I was sad in any way but because I was that young girl again on a summer's day living on the farm with my Mom in the kitchen and my little brother outdoors playing. With the warm sun high in the sky, the big white clouds, the grasshoppers, the horse hanging his head over the fence waiting for tidbits. The dog and the many cats scampering about. The buzz of bee's busy in the flowers along the sidewalk, the scent of blackberries thick in my throat and most of all the sweet juicy aroma of those apples. Yes all of that came back to me as I stood in my kitchen with my nose tucked into that bag inhaling deeply those six sweet fragrant apples. 
Hubby comes in and says "what are you doing?" I look at him and smile, how can I explain? So I just said, it is only some childhood memories in a brown paper bag. He looked at me knowingly and nodded, he knows how I am.

I am alone today. My husband left early for the job site. It was totally dark when we left the comfort and warmth of our bed. The house was colder than it had been for many months now. I rustled up my thick furry slippers and a cozy hoodie. As the sausage cooked and the egg sizzled for hubby's breakfast I warmed up slowly sipping my hot coffee. It truly was our first fall morning.
Now the sun is hot on the deck and I will go out as I do each day at this time to sit and read and sop of some vitamin D for a while. I wonder how long this amazing weather will last?

I will leave you now to enjoy this October day.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

GAME FARE



Posted by PicasaYes pretty good chow. Not the best photo's the plates lack in presentation but what can I say I had been sipping champagne waiting for the late OREGON game to start. Does that not explain it all? 
The lobster was succulent and sweet, the ribs we actually had the day before but they made for an excellent appetizer earlier in the day. 
We spanked Washington as they say. What a game in the beginning  That is the way it tends to be, a rather slow start then watch out. It is because of all the depth we have and too our endurance is amazing. Could we possibly hold that number two ranking in the nation and play Alabama for the National title? Who knows, that is many games away but fun to dream a bit.

What can I say about today that I have not said numerously this autumn season?
But I will try.
What I saw this morning when I opened the back door was cobalt blue. A sea above me of the deepest blue in the foreground were several leaf trees golden at this stage and then the dense dark green of our hedge. Combined it was a color wheel of beauty.
The air was chilly with the night time cold still hovering at it's edges.
A squirrel was running quickly along the lattice above the hot tub and I saw cat paw tracks on the spa lid. A grand place for a sleeping tabby at night as the cover is warm and comfy.
I closed the door as my arms were starting to goose bump. The just brewed hot coffee surely tasted good and warmed me through. I need to start pulling on my sweats and furry slippers now in the mornings instead of wandering out in my summer sleeping attire.
Now it has warmed and both doors are open to the fresh air of fall. Hubby has went to his sister's house for a few hours to help with a project so the house is quiet except for the bird and squirrel chatter outdoors.
I am at peace.

I had a long conversation with my son this morning. It was so nice to hear from him. He has been putting in such long hours at work he have not communicated much of late.
I wished my little granddaughter Kali a Happy Birthday. My daughter is having a celebration lunch for her today.

I will leave you now and enjoy this perfectly appointed autumn day.
Ciao.