Monday, December 30, 2013


Posted by PicasaThis is the clan back in 1973. Missing in the photo is Chris. I cannot remember if she was there or took the photo. I wish she were in the picture.
From left to right standing. My mother,my brother Jim, myself, my father, Carl my husband at the time, Jack my older brother. Kneeling left to right. David Jack's youngest son, Gina my daughter, Mike my son, John Jack's oldest son.

We look like a happy bunch probably most of us were back in those days. But I look at this family and know now how their lives have played out. For some a lot of heartache, sadness, illness, misfortune and so forth. But the good times are the memories one seems to remember and probably for good reason. 

I will have more photo's forthcoming. I am really enjoying scanning the oldies and putting them into a photo album on the computer. The first large bunch of pictures are from the 60's, 70's and 80's. My daughter selected what she wanted me to send her via the email so she could put them into her photo program.

Well it has been a whirlwind of days on end. Our time with Gina and Doug was so much fun. My hubby and I wined and dined them. 
Doug brought us a box of Copper River sockeye salmon fillets individually vacuumed sealed and case of albacore tuna. How wonderful of him, we rarely buy salmon as it is so expensive so this is a real treat. Gina brought me a bottle of very spendy champagne all decked out in a fancy box, a pair of leather driving gloves and some Vermont maple syrup. She knows I love that rich syrup. Now mind you they were not to bring presents but they said they did not, these offerings were nothing more than a hostess gifts they said. Gina also brought her smoked salmon dip and fresh dungeness crab dip. They also brought two bottles of champagne, beer and wine........good grief. Such a sweet generous couple.

We served up the Italian meal the first night, then the next morning my hubby made everyone breakfast taco's. Then we had pork verde dinner that evening with homemade pinto beans and rice and tortilla's. 

We all played games, the men took a long hot tub, Gina and I did not feel like partaking. We sat in my little trailer and sipped wine and chatted while the men were in the tub. It was cozy out there with the heater taking the chill off. Later Gina and I went through photo's for scanning and then exchanged recipes, hand written ones.....a lost art! It was such a good time for us all.

So today is the DUCKS and LONGHORNS at the Alamo bowl. I am not very excited for this game and for that I feel bad. I was so into the games but now it just seems to me like the season is past and I have no enthusiasm left for another game. But of course I want for us to win. I will sit with hubby and scream and cheer them on as usual.

It is another gray day and a little chilly but I must walk.So I will leave you now and put those walking shoes on as well as a warm jacket and cap.

Friday, December 27, 2013


Posted by PicasaThe table is set and awaits the lighting of the tea candles. I have at least ten on the table so it will be glittery and festive. We are looking so forward to our meal this evening with Gina and Doug.

I returned from the grocery store about an hour ago. It was not busy for first time in weeks it seems. 
Why am I always buying groceries?  It seems it is all I do anymore.  It must be the holiday season as I know I have been making specialty items and buying more than normal.
I am thinking of making Mexican food tomorrow. Tonight Italian, tomorrow Mexican, I am getting quite international here....laugh.
I picked up pork and thought I would make pork verde bowls with beans and rice. We love that recipe and it is my own recipe.  If someone prefers they can always make a pork, bean, rice and cheese burrito. But I love the bowls. That reminds me  I must get my pinto beans boiling  that way they will be done for morning as hubby wants to make everyone potato taco's. So it really sounds like Mexican fair on Saturday.

As I am typing my heart is humming because the warm sun is breaking through the steamy fog. Gray mist is lifting from the streets and yards. Oh, I am so happy such a little thing to bring smiles to my face. But the fog has been pressing on us for days so to see the sky blue like the sea and the big yellow sun why it is like a miracle! 
Hubby just went to the deck to adjust the chemical balance and add some fresh water to the spa.
It seems our raccoon is finally through with the tub. He tracked up the deck last night but did not try to crawl up onto the tub. The reason is my husband put a big tarp over the hot tub cover and added a couple pieces of lumber along two edges. I think the coon is fearful of the tarp as it makes noise and knows something different has occurred. So good for us! Let us hope it continues to deter him and then we can finally remove the tarp.

So at this point in my day I have the meat balls to make up and then my husband will form them and brown them. I still need to make salad dressing and salad. I will get the sauce made and the meatballs settled in and then will cook for about a half hour then turn the burner off. Then forty-five minutes before serving dinner I will heat it up again.

I will sign off now and tend to the matters of the day.
Have a nice weekend after Christmas. It is back to normal out there today, the traffic level was doable and the store was not crowded. Of course I was there quite early.


Thursday, December 26, 2013


Posted by PicasaThere is going to be a lot of photo's posted of the past now as my hubby gave me a uptown photo scanner with very high resolution for Christmas. He knows I have been wanting one for a while but I did not want to spend the big bucks for one so I have been holding off. As this one scans documents also we can write it off for the business. So it was a good choice for me for a gift and it is so easy to use. I love it!
I have so many photo's from the past and they are already categorized and put into ziplock bags as I did that time consuming chore two winters ago.
So now I am going to set up albums on my Picasa program as well as making CD albums I am so excited.

My hubby and I had a very nice Christmas. All went as planned and we had fun and enjoyed our time with hubby's family and our time alone. I am sorry my son could not join us this year. We are happy however that my daughter and Doug will be here tomorrow evening.
I have the table set so pretty and I really I have outdone myself this time it is a mass of glitter or will be once the tea lights are lit. It is festive and every item on the table invites memories from the past. Gina will love it! She will see her Grandmother, her Mother and her childhood reflected back at her.

We did chores today. I cleaned and tidy'd the house. Hubby vacuumed for me and set up the photo scanner and cleaned the garage. I have been busy most of the day. I finally sat in my chair about an hour ago and finished one of the most inspiring books I have ever read. It is called, "Little Bee". Little Bee is a Nigerian refugee assigned to a detention center in the UK. She was a stowaway in a ships storage quarters that was headed to London. The book made me cry and opened my heart to the many atrocities that take place in our so called civilized world. I surely felt sad when I read the last page and closed the book, my heart ached. 

Now must run to the store in the morning for fresh produce and more wine. Then home to supervise my husband making meatballs. I will make the sauce from our roasted tomato sauce and also make salad and dressing. I purchased a loaf of asiago cheese bread the last trip to the store, so I will thaw that and make a herb spread to slather over the thick slices. Of course there will be rum cake and ice cream for desert. The red wine will flow, it is an Italian dinner after all.

I feel like I have gained five pounds(probably have). Not from over eating but for lack of exercise. The weather has been so brutally cold and now so grey and bleak it is just hard for this gal to get out the door. I must get back at it. This whole week we are to have sun. But an inversion has once again taken over so we are socked in under a damp foggy blanket. Drats! I cannot walk when it is like this I just get to bone chilled. I am a baby once again it seems.

Tonight we are having a repeat of our yummy Christmas dinner. The ham was perfect, not too salty, the glaze I made had a lot of depth, with the sweet honey and dark brown sugar and the earthy spices of allspice and cloves and the tang of orange juice. It was lip smacking sticky on the crust. I love that.
My husband was happy to have ham this morning. He made himself a fried ham and soft egg sandwich on sourdough. When he bit into the sandwich the egg popped. He loves making it that way. I was happy to have a ham snack on a dinner roll for lunch. We always enjoy leftover ham.

I am going to go now to unload the dishwasher and then my to-do's for the day will be done.I just looked out the window the fog has settled in on us even lower. Outside looks blurry and hazy. You can barely see the houses across the way as they are shrouded in grey mist and it appears like a London street scene.
I am thinking cozy clothes soon and my furry slippers, perhaps a spot of tea!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Posted by PicasaBaby Olivia's first Christmas.
I am so amazed when I look at this photo she is a replica of her father Ty at this is like they are twins born thirty years apart. So right now she is bald like her daddy was at that age, but then Tyson grew a gold halo of blonde curls. I am keeping my fingers crossed for Olivia.

My son Mike is having issues with his truck so he will not be coming for Christmas. So he is hoping to spend time with his son, Lindsey and Olivia. It is good they live near by. We will certainly miss him. We will spend part of Christmas day with hubby's family.  Then come home and pop our ham in the oven and make our Christmas dinner together.

Today we are off to the memory care home to take my mother in law her gift and some of my grammy's cookies. 
We will also stop and pick up our lobsters for tonights lobster salad. I have the steak marinating that we will cook in bite size pieces in the fondue pot. We open our gifts on Christmas eve so that will take place and then we have saved a country Christmas special to watch this evening. Also I am sure we will be playing gin rummy. We are thinking it will be another fun filled Christmas eve.

I mentioned in my last post that my daughter and her fiancee are coming Friday and spending two nights. So we have an another event to look forward to after Christmas. My daughter loves Italian food so hubby and I are pulling our efforts together and making an authentic Italian meal. It will be fun we will have time to prep the meal before they arrive then we will have a sit down dinner in the dining room complete with my Mothers's green dinner and glass ware. I will set out many tea lights on the table so all is a glitter. I loves lots of sparkle at holiday time and love to make the table as beautiful as possible.

I just finished pulling the lobster meat out of the shells and I steamed it in a little water and lemon juice. It is now chilling in the fridge. The steak has marinated all day, the salad is made as well as the salad dressing. The bread will be popped into the oven at the last minute. The only thing I need to do now is set our little nook table up for our fondue event. We will eat by candle and tree light.

Christmas Eve has always been a good memory for me. I put much importance on this little evening. Not in a religious sense but in a family sense. 
I can still in minds eye see our humble little home on the farm all decorated with my Mother's best efforts. Cozy, warm and holiday festive.
Family and friends stopping by in the early part of the evening with a little something for our family which we would reciprocate, usually something homemade or home grown.  
Christmas Eve my mother always made up a variety of fancy sandwiches, salads, snacks and deserts. Each could have what they desired. My mother always pretty in a holiday dress being a gracious hostess. One favorite dress I liked her to wear was a red twill dress with little shoulder straps, belted waist and little metal silver stars on the top of the bodice, there was a little cap jacket that went over. With her black hair and sparkly dark eyes and the red dress she was amazing and then when she smiled it lit up our little world. I wish I would have told her how lovely she looked, how proud I was of her, but of course being a kid I did not. Brings tears to my eyes now when I think how she was putting all of her energy into each and everything to make Christmas wonderful for us all.

So on those throat lumped thoughts I will leave you this Christmas Eve 2013.
Remember to always cherish what is the simplest. Your family, your friends, your good health, a warm home. Everything else is just frosting.
Happy Christmas Eve!

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Posted by PicasaThis is the cake my husband must have at Christmas time. This is a grand cake with a good amount of dark rum. Yum!
So today is cookie day, tomorrow is rum cake day. I like to serve this cake with vanilla caramel swirl ice cream. Tillamook and Umqua both make a good ice cream and are northwest favorites.(photo last years cake)

Right now I am sitting with dye on my hair. Not a favorite of mine to dye my hair and I do it only when my temples are screaming at me to ditch the gray! My husband is in the family room watching a movie and I asked him not to come in the office..........PLEASE. I look a wet rat! Well off I go now to rinse it out. I will return.

OK that chore is done for another few months. Now on to cookie baking.
This recipe has been in my family on my Dad's side for so many years no remembers where it started. My Grandmother ate them when she was a young girl, so her Mother knew the recipe.I would imagine in the olden days they made them with lard as there was no crisco or margarine. It is a good recipe and I have shared it with many folks. My daughter makes them every year and has given her daughter Megan the recipe. So we will see if it continues to roll on.
The cookies are very simple. They are a basic sugar cookie but they are made with brown sugar and crisco or margarine (I use crisco) they are soft and stay soft if you put them in a container with a snap lid. I like to roll and cut them out a little thicker than normal as it makes them more cake like. I usually frost or glaze about a third of them as we like plain ones for dunking in coffee or tea. I make a butter cream frosting on the thin side this makes for a smooth silky frosting.
I did purchase some sprinkles this year usually I do not mess with that but thought why not? These are the only cookies I make and I do not make candy or fudge as I care for neither. I usually buy hubby some good quality chocolates like Godiva.

I had some wonderful news yesterday. My daughter emailed me asking if they could come the Friday after Christmas for two nights. Well that just makes our holiday. We love to have Gina and Doug. Doug and my hubby get along famously and are good buds. So that makes it very nice indeed for Gina and I. The four of us love games. So we play Wii golf and cards, dice etc. I reminded them to bring their spa attire so they can take a hot tub if they choose to do so. I hope the raccoon will not jump in and join them. Last year we were soaking in the tub and a raccoon was in the shrubbery nearby scolding us. It is probably the same one we are pestered with now.

It is later now and I am back working on this post. I needed to get the cookie dough made and into the fridge to chill. So that is happening now. I was sent to the office by my hubby as he is wrapping my gifts. I asked him, do you want to use gift bags? He answered no, I need to wrap them. Now if you ever saw even one present my husband wrapped you would know why I suggested gift bags. I was astounded the first time I saw one. My hand flew to my mouth in horror and I fled the room afraid of hurting his feelings.

Hubby just told me he is through wrapping(I hope I don't laugh.) Now I can go and start on the cookie making.
He is making dinner tonight so that will help me as I will be in the kitchen a good while making five dozen cookies and frosting some of them.

Hope you all are having a nice Sunday, only three more days till Santa jumps in his magical sleigh!

Saturday, December 21, 2013


I thought it a good idea to make a list of my simple pleasures. To remind myself of what the good stuff in life really is.

Zo's simple pleasures.
The cool side of my pillow.
The first cup of coffee in the morning.
Nestled in a warm bed on a cold night.
Sun creeping in through the wood blinds to make patterns on the floor.
My water fountain.
Gazing out my kitchen window while I do dishes watching the little critters.
My screen doors inviting fresh air in and keeping bugs out.
Candles and scentsy pots.
Amazing smells coming from the kitchen.
A clean house.
A lovely walk.
A spring day.
My radio playing on the kitchen counter.
A game of cards with my hubby.
Sipping wine while I cook.
Pants that fit.
No snails in spring.
The first tomatoes on the vine.
A warm tomato just picked and sitting in my hand.
First buds on the spring trees.
Fall leaves.
A warm rain when the air smells like wet rocks.
Line dried sheets.
A good soak in the bathtub or hot tub.
A hot shower a fresh towel.
The warming rays of spring sun.
Watching the crows drop nuts to the pavement to crack them open.
Seeing photo's of little Olivia my great granddaughter.
Eating an ice cream cone.
Watching a movie and munching on popcorn.
A drive in the country with my husband.
A picnic anywhere.
A campfire. A roasted wienie.
A hug from my hubby.
A twenty minute doze in my chair.
Reading a book.
Playing the piano.
Writing a song or a poem or a story.
Sketching a picture.
Sitting on a dock and feeding the ducks.
Planting flowers.
Eating Italian food.
Baking cookies.
Sharing time with someone you love.
The scent of star jasmine adrift on a summer breeze.
An apricot sunset.
Clouds heavy with rain. 
Clean sheets.
Calls from my children or grandchildren.
Time spent with my brother.
Warming clothes in the dryer before slipping into them on a cold morning.
Painting my nails.
Eating outdoors.
A pansy's face.
A cup of anything hot on a bone chilling day.
Doing something thoughtful for someone.

Well what I discovered is that I could go on and on with this list. It makes me realize that I am thankful for my life because of these simple pleasures. 
When you think about it, it takes so very little to make one content and happy. I feel very blessed that I have recognized that. We always need to be grateful for what we have.

Friday, December 20, 2013


This morning we woke as dawn pushed at the windows. My body resisted as it wanted to linger in the heat of the covers. But no time to spare for my lazybones as it's a busy day.

I went to the grocery to gather the last of needed items for our holiday meals.
Next off to the Valley River Center which is our major mall here in Eugene. Bah humbug, nary a place to park but I was lucky as I was lurking past full parking spots a van pulled out. Yes! Thank goodness for little miracles. I am rather disappointed in the gifts I bought for my husband. Though they are items I had on my list but they do not look like I envisioned them. However he will probably be pleased regardless. I also bought myself a couple badly needed tops. One for the holidays a bright royal blue sweater with a scoop neck, loose knit and very cozy. I will wear them with my skinny jeans..oh I am just so in.......laugh!!!
Back home to store the groceries and eat. Why do I not eat before going out in the morning? I come home starving almost shaking because of low blood sugar when will I ever learn? 
The rest of the afternoon is mine now to do with as I please. It is three pm so it will be a while before hubby gets home from the job site.

A flat gray sky covers our area today. It is cold and so gloomy. Everything is so messy outdoors, the leaves that remain scattered about are dirty and matted. Our deck looks bleak and unkempt as does the back yard. The hot tub cover is once again a mud mess as the coon is back. This is a big problem now. I have noticed where he crawls up there is a small tear in the cover flap. I really think as we cannot get him to leave it would be better to put the stool back there that I get in with we took it away as we did not want to encourage him. But that way he would not have to grab hold of the lid to pull himself up. We are going to put a large heavy tarp over the cover, the bar in the middle of the tub that lifts the cover should hold the tarp in place.
Last night my husband went right over to him and hollered and waved his arms and raccoon boy just looked at him, "like what the heck you want me to leave?" So he got up and slowly went over the fence, but then as soon as hubby was back in the door he was back on the tub again. This time my hubby threw a empty soda can at him, he did leave but begrudgingly. He is not afraid of us. I read about them online and it said they are aggressive if angered and will attack humans as well as large dogs. If you get bit you need to go the doctor as the coon may be rabid. Good grief! I just wish it would go away forever. Why does he think he needs a heated bed, he is a wild animal for goodness sake?

Well the light through the windows is getting dimmer by the minute. This weather makes me want to curl up by the fire(if i had one) well second choice snuggle up to the electric fireplace stove, grab my book and a cup of hot tea.
What a good idea, off I go.
See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Posted by PicasaOh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree.
Well here it stands in all it's glory with nary a present to be seen!
I will have something under it by Monday.

Friday my hubby and I are going to lunch at El Torito. Always one of our fave places to go. He so loves mexican food as you all know, I like it but cannot go spicy as I have a sensitive tummy. I looked at their lunch menu online and I think I am going to have halibut taco's.

We talked last night and planned our Christmas eve dinner.
I will buy two lobster tails and remove the meat and cut into bite size pieces. I will marinate a sirloin steak and then also cut into small pieces. We will place the fondue pot on the nook table by the tree and cook the lobster and steak in hot oil. I will have lemon butter to dunk the lobster in and a homemade peppercorn steak sauce for the meat.  I will make a cesar salad with lots of garlic and parmesan cheese and have a crispy hot baguette. We think it will be fun to sit at the nook table with the tree lights twinkling and Christmas music softly playing. I am sure after dinner a gin rummy marathon will commence.

I hung our big red metal star on the family room wall by the bookcase this morning. I set up the front door decor yesterday afternoon after getting home from shopping. I did buy some large vanilla candle jars and have placed them in various places. Oh they smell so wonderful.  So now our home is filled the scent of fresh fir and vanilla. 

I wrote letters for my two Christmas card folks. So they will get off in the mail this morning. So I am checking things off my list slowly.

Our pizza was so wonderful last night. So no more picking up pizza and baking it or even going out for it. This is wonderful pizza crust and actually it worked better after the dough sat in the fridge after raising. As I could roll a nice perfect round very thin with the rolling pin. So from now on I will make the dough one day and make the pizza the next. For our next pizza I am going to make a leek and bacon pizza with mozzarella and parmesan cheese with my homemade sauce.

Tonight I am making a simple Martha Stewart recipe for Chicken fettichini Alfredo. This recipe is so easy I could make it my sleep but so yummy with lots of garlic and the tender chicken strips that have sauteed in butter. We have a green veggie salad left over from last nights meal so that will be our side dish.
Speaking of the chicken I had better take it from the freezer now.
So off I go have a wonderful hump day!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Posted by PicasaAll at once I am saying to myself "Christmas is next week". What is wrong with me why had I not seen that date creeping forward on the calendar? It really caught me by surprise this year.
So with one gift purchased and half of the food items I need for my meal and baking seems I will be flying by the seat of lackadaisical britches!
It is not like I have not been unaware of the dates flying by. But it is like my mind has been elsewhere.
We have the tree up in a timely manner as we always do by December 15th. But I have given no thought to baking.  So off I went this morning to buy what is needed for my Christmas cookies. That will be start at least. I also picked up my ham for Christmas dinner. I purchased a gift for my mother in law. So a little progress has been made.

My husband and I did talk this morning and we both decided to do a small amount of gifts for one another this year. There is nothing we really need and it is senseless to spend money on items we do not need especially in light of the fact that business has been slow.
So we will focus on our lovely holiday meal, our grand tree with a few little thoughtful gifts tucked under, the love and caring of family and friends and being thankful for our life together.

It was gray and cold when I went shopping this morning but now the sun is sliding in and out of feathery clouds and it is rather nice outdoors. I may be compelled to take a walk later.

We have not seem the raccoon again and we think that is a very good thing. We are concerned it will rip or snag our hot tub cover as it hauls it'self up on the tub. Covers are expensive so we certainly do not want to replace one.  I am keeping watch at night and will have no problem shooing it away if it comes again.

I was thinking it is odd how one conforms to something. I quit sending out Christmas cards about 2-3 years ago as I was not receiving but a pittance back. So the only folks I send to now are the ones that do not use a computer. I think that is two people...laugh.
I now write an e-mail or private message on the FB. And I like it! I always thought I liked to send cards but the older I became it seemed a chore. I always wrote at least a short note in them which takes time when you send about fifty plus cards. It would take me one long afternoon. Plus the stamps are expensive, plus the cost of the cards and I have always loved the more artsy cards meaning more costly. So I find it easier as I am lazier now!  Christmas card sending is a lost art, sad but true. 

I should not have taken the time today to post on my blog as I do have much to do so I will begrudgingly  return to my chores.

Monday, December 16, 2013


Posted by PicasaSo cute but worrisome. We have a visitor at night this photo is not our raccoon actually ours is so much cuter if that is possible. It is deep brown and cream with his black mask and is quite large.
The situation is this. As soon as it is dark he comes to our hot tub and gets on the top and sleeps there. Last night I peered out as we left the porch light on thinking it would deter him but it did not. There he lay curled in a ball on his side with his little face pressed down on the cover just sawing logs. We opened the door and he raised his head and just stared at us. Hubby hollered at him to leave as we are fearful he will rip our tub cover with his sharp claws. He stood up and jumped up on the fence and went down the other side and then we saw his hands on the fence rail and his little bandit face peeking over looking at us. I just laughed it was so cute. So we went in, hubby looked out again about a half hour later and there he was again sprawled on the cover enjoying the warmth. So we scared him away once again.
This has happened now for two evenings in a row. The first night we were stepping out to take a hot tub and he was there sitting on the tub. I talked some baby talk to him and he just stayed and listened tipping his head. Oh such an adorable creature but so mischievous. The thing is he does not even seem that threatened by us, he has become citified I suppose.
I wonder if he will be back again tonight as the temps are to drop to 29 degree's.

I was surprised to see rain this morning. We were up before light filled the windows as my husband is working on a install for a few days. Then he has a few jobs lined up after so that is very good indeed.
The weather did not call for rain, we are to have clouds and sun today. At the moment we are soaked in mist and it is just so dismal.

So i'm home alone today. I was going to go out and about as I have not bought one single gift for Christmas. Not that we do much but still something needs to be under the tree.
I have decided however to go tomorrow instead. I spent most of yesterday trimming the tree so today I do need to catch up on some house chores. I was going to set up my holiday decor at the front door area and I will if the weather scene changes for the better.
Speaking of the tree, it is a beauty. Also it is a delight to have it in the nook area where we can enjoy it more. It was very cozy last night with the little black stove going and the twinkle of the lights on the tree.
I need to buy a bagful of vanilla candles, even though I have scentsy pots in most rooms there is nothing finer than good quality vanilla candles at holiday time.

Our Shepard's pie last night was very yummy. I cannot believe how long it took me though to put it together. By the time you clean the veggies and mushrooms and dice everything, make the mashed potatoes, the sauce, cook the meat and fry the bacon it is a process. It is so worth it though we once again hummed. It was so very flavorful with that burger and bacon mix, the baby portobella mushrooms offered an earthy taste against the tang of the tomato sauce and the brightness of the herbs. I made the full recipe as to have the same for dinner this evening. I heated an artisan loaf of garlic clove bread from the bakery. A very comforting dinner.

So I am off now to start my day. It is Monday after all and I have much to get accomplished. I would like to walk today but this outdoor scene needs to change. I am fair weather walker for the most part.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Posted by PicasaWe made rustic style pizza last night.
We had a lot of fun in the kitchen. I made the dough in the Kitchenaid stand mixer. While the dough raised I simmered the roasted tomato sauce made from summer tomatoes with garlic and olive oil to reduce it. 
After the two mounds of dough raised into large boobies we each stretched our dough out and into lopsided ovals so they would both fit side by side on a baking sheet. Then we added our individual choices of toppings. They were tasty believe me even though they were very rustic.
I have more dough in the fridge enough to make a medium size pizza and we have pizza sauce left also. So Monday we will have pizza with salad.
I will take more time in forming my pizza and it may be a round shape(I hope). We had couple glasses of wine while making the pizza maybe that is why they are so rustic looking.

Sunday dinner today. I will make Shepard pie a request of my husbands. The recipe from an older Food Network magazine looks so pretty. The fluffy golden potato topping,the rich flavorful center with both ground round and bacon, vegetables and crimmi mushrooms in a lovely sauce. I too am looking forward to this comforting dinner.

We put our adorable tree up yesterday in front of the nook window. Our family room and nook are all part of a big room that is also open to the kitchen. Our little table normally sits in front of the window, but I moved that table to the back of the sofa that divides the area from the family room. It looks quite cozy sitting there with the inviting little lamp. I think we are going to be happy that we can see the tree so well from the kitchen and in the evening the Christmas lights will give a holiday glow in the room we spend most of our time together, the family room.
Now that frees the living room(my room) for a few decorations keeping it simple of course. I love the living room. I have my comfy chair, a chair for guests my old trunk for a coffee table. Of course my old tired and true piano makes a big statement in that room. It is a room that holds things that make my heart happy. So my room.
A least a couple of times a week, my hubby will join me in there in the spare chair. I will put my book down or whatever it is that is occupying me at the time as I know he wants my attention.
He will say do you want to conversay? I will say yes. So we sit and talk. It is special time and very important I feel in ones life. To have a conversation for conversations sake with your spouse. We talk on many subjects. Yesterday for instance we were relating how family life was for the each of us when we were young and growing up. How our dinners were, what structure took place during meal times, our families evening habits etc. Different for us both of course. But whatever the talk brings it seems to be interesting and leads in different directions. It is our time to connect and share without other distractions.

Well I must get what I need to do today out of the way so I can fun with the tree trimming.
Have a lovely Sunday, it is pretty here with a broken sky of blue and white clouds.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Posted by PicasaThis is still the scene minus the fall leaves. It is still cold and frozen with snow still crusted on the roadways.
Today there is a possibility of freezing rain, let us hope that does not happen.
I am feeling enough is enough.....I know that is spoiled of me but that is why I live here and not across the mountains in central or eastern Oregon.

The streets are very slick so I am staying home rather venturing out to do my weekly grocery shopping. Hubby and I are going together tomorrow to grocery shop(heaven help me)a trip to Bi-Mart, the bank and to see his Mother who is in a nursing home. I will take her a stack of my latest magazines and the current newspaper and we will stop and take her a strawberry shake as she loves them.
So tomorrow will be busy and that is good as we are going through a bit of cabin fever.

Tomorrow evening I am making individual pizza's for us. I have an assortment of toppers so I will make the dough and we each will make up our own pizza. Sounds a fun way to enjoy the evening.
Tonight a simple little chicken noodle casserole just big enough for one evening. My fridge, freezer and pantry need to be re-stocked.
I have made my grocery list for the coming week and have some interesting meals on the agenda.
For one I am going to make a Shepherd's pie. My husband seems to think he would like it so I found a yummy sounding recipe in one of my cooking magazines. Also I will be making British meat pies and polenta with peppers,scallions and topped with sunny side eggs ready to ooze out their creamy goodness all over the polenta. Also we will have wok night lots of veggies wok stirred but still crunchy and served over steamed rice with a teriyaki brown sauce .

I just finished another book I have a huge stack I am working on. I love to have many books just waiting for me to open their covers. It is like a present when I go through them reading the reviews on the back and selecting the perfect one I am in the mood to read. It is what I call one of my simple pleasures.
I have also been working on a drawing of a mid century city while my husband works at the other end of the dining table putting together a puzzle. We are quiet in our work it is a nice pleasant way to spend a winter afternoon. Another simple pleasure.

This afternoon I am going to make a pan of my granny's cinnamon rolls. I will make the dough in the mixer so it will go faster. I can then take my mother in law a couple gooey cinnamon rolls tomorrow. She will enjoy that.

I had a wonderful conversation yesterday with two of my favorite men. My brother and my son. After a total of two hours on the phone my ear was red and sore, but so worth it.

I will leave you now and proceed to the kitchen to get the dough made and put to rise for the rolls. 
I will look forward to the rain coming in tomorrow.
Stay warm.

Monday, December 9, 2013


Posted by PicasaYep we are in the freezer and still not out.
I just read in today's paper that Saturday AM it was minus -7 degrees here in Eugene and on Sunday morning it was minus -10 degree's. We are talking minus here folks!
Today we will gradually start to warm somewhat. What does that mean?
Quite an experience for us valley folks. Now if I was still in central Oregon it would make sense. I remember the olden days back in the 60's and through the 70's when I lived south of Bend in La pine. The winters there were horrendous, it was expected. In the winter of 1972 we had -42 degree's below zero. Yes you read that right. I remember stepping out on the deck to retrieve some wood for the fireplace and my breath froze in the air, just turned to ice crystals. The winters in Bend were no picnic either. I lived there from the early 80's to the mid 90's and then again 1998-2000. Slipping and sliding on streets, slipping on the ice while fetching the morning paper. Not going anywhere until vehicles were scrapped and warmed and the driveways and berms from the snowplows were shoveled away. All of it gets old fast as those winters on that side of the mountain are long.
So in retrospect we have it easy here in the western valleys. But the thing of it is that no one knows how to drive here when we get snow on the ground. There were over three hundred accidents on Friday. Three hundred! It is not safe out there as there are folks on the roadways that do not know what they are doing, why don't they stay home is my question?

I put out a few Christmas decorations yesterday afternoon. I took away the Thanksgiving tablescape and exchanged it for my simple Christmas table decor. An old Christmas story book I have had since I was young, my old dolly, Mom's oil lamp and lots of candles and a small lace scarf made by my Grandmother Sarah on my Mother's side. Items that mean something to me.
I took down the little orange lights that surrounded the nook table and put up our racer lights and hung our Happy Holiday sign in the middle top of the window. As the days go by I will add more touches.
We will not put up a tree if we go away for Christmas. 

I will go now and start my daily chores........and then what? Who knows what the day will bring.
Oh the photo at top is a shot of Timothy Lake near Mt. Hood. It was taken by my son while on a snowmobile outing.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Posted by PicasaBrrr is right! Looks like this character is bundled up good. Right now it is 16 degree's at our house. And the sun is out, the snow is still frozen and all looks so sparkly outside the windows. I intend to stay indoors where it is cozy and warm. Lordy I will hate to see our power bill, the heat pump goes nonstop.

I am making a big pot of potato leek soup for this evenings dinner. I love this soup as it is pureed and it is so smooth and full of flavor. I will of course make the cheesy biscuits to go with. I would prefer to have a crusty loaf of bread but do not have one in the freezer.

My husband and I are both so bored. Tired of playing games, reading, watching the telle etc. I have baked for something to do not that we need the calories. We have cooked together messing up the kitchen. Well it gives something to do right? I will be happy when this freezing weather is over and temps are back to normal. Maybe then my hubby can get his jobs lined up and back to work and I will get onto my schedule again which I miss.

So no news today just wanted to post for lack of anything else to do.
I have a big stack of unread books so I suppose I will go sit on my bottom once again read for a while.

Off to my chair!
Oh, just heard hubby holler, "do you want to play a game?". Good grief.........

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Posted by PicasaSnow and cold. I shot these photo's yesterday. The snow kept pilling up all day so these pictures are not truly showing how deep it got as the day went on.
We sat a played Scrabble again and watched out the nook window as it snowed and snowed and transformed the landscape.

I had cookies baking in the oven. A new recipe I tried and they are good. They are called rolled brownie cookies. They do taste like a brownie cookie and very tasty with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream to the side of one.

Tonight it is to be 5 degree's and a high of 25 today. So you see what we are dealing with. The eight inches of snow that dropped is now frozen on the ground and will not melt for several days. Tuesday is a turning point as it will warm up some and rain will come in.

We took a hot tub last night we keep it at 104 degrees. We just could not resist the icy cold and it was still lightly snowing. So I donned my ball cap to keep the heat in the top of my head and out we went. Hubby had shoveled a trail to the tub. I was happy when I stepped into that hot water. Just that short walk was bone chilling with my spa clothes on.
We had the little strings of chili lights glowing around the nook window and the ice crystals in the snow were sparkling so it was a very beautiful winter scene.

It is college football today so my husband will be entertained. I am not sure what I will entertain myself with today. I have a couple of little projects in mind I could work at.
Regardless it will be an indoor day.

Tonight in my kitchen I will be whipping up some bbq'd pork sandwiches for dinner. I have enough pork roast left to shred and simmer in my Carolina sauce. We will load that into toasted sesame burger buns with chopped pickles and onions. Baked beans and coleslaw to the side. I am thinking yummy!

It is almost ten and I am still in my sweats bottoms and hoodie so best throw on some warm togs and get myself around.

Stay warm and keep your heat on at night and if you are in danger of frozen pipes as many are you should keep your spigots dripping a bit. We normally keep our heat off at night but have been keeping it on low these past few nights.
We have a heater in the travel trailer also, though there is no water in the lines, still it is best to keep some heat in there.

Until tomorrow.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


So we are trying to survive the cold and the boredom.
No work for hubby and we just try to think of things daily to fill the hours and make our life happy and content. Seems no one wants their floors done when it is this cold.
Today a game of Scrabble is on the agenda, drinking soda's and munching on popcorn seems a good way to spend a cold afternoon.

Yesterday we went to Bi-Mart, yes for an outing. We are funny we go to that little store a lot it seems. We scour their ad when it comes out. There are always things we think we need or do need. So we had our little outing yesterday there.
The day before on on Tuesday we went to lunch at the Cornucopia. Always such good pub fare there. We split a ruben on homemade rye as the sandwich is gigantic and the best ruben I have ever eaten. We each had one drink. That eatery is always just bustling no matter what time of day. They serve good eats, the service is good, it is a casual place and you feel at home and it is our favorite area of the city. So we tend to go there often.
It was nice outing.

We have been keeping the heat very low in the house at night. Under normal winter conditions we do not even have it on. 
Last night I actually was a little cold. I kept waking and pulling the covers up over my shoulders tight into a cocoon. I must have been curled into a ball for most of the night as I was almost stiff when I crawled out this morning.
I will be happy to get back to normal conditions. Looks as if that will start happening on Monday but slowly.

Tonight for dinner it is pork taco's and oh my word that pork roast was succulent and so tasty. I enjoyed our dinner last night with the roasted vegetables always a hit.
So loaded taco's tonight. I will ask my husband to make the shells he does such a good job. I will shred and heat the pork and cut up all the toppers. I am fixing pinto beans instead of black. I prefer black beans but my Mr.loves pinto beans so I will let him have his way.

I have some things that need attending to before we start our Scrabble game so I best get to them.
Stay warm and cozy.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Posted by PicasaWhat a yummy casserole. Leftover turkey stars in this dish with broccoli, bechamel sauce and parmesan cheese. 
Almost every cookbook has a recipe for chicken divan and this is what this is, only made with turkey. This variation has chicken broth instead of milk in the sauce. This dish is so rich and creamy we really enjoy it. I fixed a simple green salad with Russian dressing to go with.
We had this dish two nights in a row, now there is but one small portion left that I will claim tomorrow for lunch.

This afternoon I made muffins. I felt like having a good muffin on hand for breakfast and the grocery stores at least our stores have gooey muffins with too much sugar and we have no bakeries near by. So I found a basic muffin recipe and added to the top of the muffins before baking a mixture of cinnamon, raw sugar and nut sprinkles. I already tried a muffin.....bad me and it was so good. I cannot wait for morning to have my good Starbucks Blonde coffee with cream and a muffin.

Tonight for dinner we are having a slow cooked pork shoulder roast. Served with roasted yukon golds, yams, bell peppers, garlic and onion. Tossed in olive oil then salt and peppered and spread in a layer on a baking sheet and roasted in the oven.  I bake at 375 for about 45-minutes or till the potatoes are tender. When tender I remove from the oven and heat the broiler and slice tomatoes and arrange over the top of the veggies and then sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and heat under the broiler until the cheese and tomatoes are bubbling.
Tonight I will just have them straight from the oven as  I do not have enough tomatoes on hand......oh summer and tomato garden where are you when I need you?

Tomorrow that leftover roast will be morphed into pork taco's with black beans to the side.

You can tell I am in the food mode but I should not be. I feel I have gained a couple pounds lately. It was not the thanksgiving food that made this happen, I think it is my hubby. He has been home and not working and when he is here we go to lunch, he runs for fast food, and basically I just do not eat as healthy. So I blame him.....better than taking the blame myself.

He was so sweet this morning. He got up earlier than I  and when my feet finally hit the cold floor and pushed into my slippers, I smelled breakfast! It was ready and so delish. My husband makes the best fried potatoes with onions. He cuts small rectangular pieces so they get all crispy. He had pan of bacon fried to perfection and sour dough toast ready to pop in the toaster. He asked how I wanted my egg but I did not want an egg. So I loaded up my plate and poured a glass of OJ and off to the nook table by the heater vent and while the sun streamed in the window I ate and read the paper..........ah heaven.
No mind you I am not a breakfast eater, but see this is what happens when he is home. Zo gains weight.

It is so cold today..brr. Last night it was teens tonight also and colder and by Friday as we will be having night time temps in the 10 degree range. Too cold for me. We may have a cold brittle winter according to many experts.

Well I am tired and need to recharge in my chair with my book for a while before starting dinner. I am going to pour a juicy glass of my fave red wine and put my feet up.

Have a nice evening and stay warm by the fire.