Saturday, June 29, 2013


Posted by PicasaMy daughter Gina sent me this photo of her back yard wild area where she scattered wild flower seeds a couple of years ago. Actually there is a huge area of wildflowers in the foreground of this table that the photo does not show. It is quite charming. I told her she just needs to throw a country patterned cloth over that table and it would be European dining.

I have not blogged for a week now. So busy have I been. 
Today will be a laid back day for hubby and I both. 
He brought back a sack full of Rainbow trout and Kokane from his little fishing adventure at Odell Lake. So those are now soaking in a brine to be put in the smoker when he returns home.
So hubby took his fishing trip when I had my friend from Bend come for a visit. So it all worked out perfectly.

My friend and I spent the fist day and evening at home. Just as I had hoped for. I fixed some snacks and we sipped cold Chardonnay. The reminiscing and chatter went non- stop.
We spent time outdoors also under a cloudy sky however it was humid and warm. Later I fixed the pasta dinner and pear walnut salad.
More wine and then desert. Then we departed to the patio once more. I lit the candles on the patio table and we stayed until midnight with the solar lights beaming and the chatter still going strong.It was good visit as we only see one another once a year so there is always much to catch on.

Tonight for dinner we are bbq'ing chicken legs and thighs. Hubby will babysit the grill as he likes to sop that Carolina bbq sauce on the chicken so it must ne turned repeatedly so it does not burn. We will also grill corn on the cob with honey butter and hot sauce(a good combo). I am also going to make a modified german style potato salad to go with. So it will be quite feast. I wish we could have dinner at that country table of my daughters loaded with votive candles perhaps an ice bucket holding a crisp champagne in that homey array of wildflowers. I can see it my minds eye.

Well I am going to finish this post and enjoy this wonderful day. Hubby just turned on the air conditioner as it is muggy. I have my flower pots under the shelter of a patio umbrella to stave off their wilting. I see a shady spot on the deck that is calling to me and my book of course. So off I go.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


My daughter and I had a wonderful time on our get together.
I was so excited for her to arrive this past Tuesday and she arrived in her adorable red car right on time. In she walked with two huge bouquets of cut country style flowers. Two bottles of champagne and snacks. She is always so thoughtful.
The first day we stayed home and sipped champagne and snacked and caught up. Our chatter and laughter filled the house. 
Hubby arrived home late afternoon and had time to visit with Gina while I prepared Chicken Picata, rice and green beans with bacon. I had made the French lemon tart that morning.
Our dinner was tasty and we sat after dinner and listened to music and visited.
The next day Gina and I went to lunch. We decided to go to McGrath's Fish House. She drove as she wanted to me to ride in her new car and also wanted me to totally enjoy my day without the worry of driving. We ordered coconut crusted halibut sandwiches with a cup of chowder and all was mouthwatering. My lovely daughter treated me to lunch, I knew better than to argue as it is a losing cause.
We then walked over to World Market and spent an hour looking at all there was. I bought her secretly a little gift of a body lotion she liked and placed it on her nightstand when we got home. 
We stayed home yesterday and reminisced and chatted about this and that, oh how we can talk. We listened to music and made Cd's for one another.
For dinner last night we dined on grilled turkey burgers with soyaki marinade with the works and I made homemade potato chips,they turned our good(my first try with the chips sliced on the mandolin.)

It was sad this morning when Gina left. I always go through this. Just as I did with my Mother.
A big lump forms in your throat and it is hard to swallow your eyes flood with tears. So when I watched her drive away I immediately got busy(my best cure) and did my housework and started some laundry as it was spilling out of the hamper. Then I truly crashed in my chair with a cup of tea and my book. Gina called later and we thanked each other for our nice time and made plans for my hubby and I to visit at their place in July.

This evening I am quite tired as it has been a full week for me. And now in four days I have a dear friend visiting me for a couple of days from Bend. So I will gear up once more for fun.
We will go to bed early this evening that I am sure of we need to recharge our minds and bodies.
Posted Friday June 21st.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Posted by PicasaToday is all about Gina! She is on her way to stay for three nights.....oh I can hardly wait. She called an hour ago to say she was on the road. She should be here in about an hour or so.
I have just taken the french lemon tart out of the oven, it looks very lovely and I know it will taste good it is one of my favorite deserts to serve someone special such as my girl.

Today we will probably stay home saving lunch out for tomorrow as tomorrow is to be showers. Today we may luck out and be able to spend some time outdoors. We woke to deep blue skies and lots of sun this morning. But clouds have skittered in when I was not looking so at present we have clouds and sun.
I would like to sit on the deck if possible and have our champagne and little appetizers.
Tonight I will make chicken picata as it is a classy little number and easy to make. I have decided to serve it with green beans. I will fry a couple pieces of bacon and crumble. Cook the green beans el dente and then put them in the skillet with the bacon and drippings, and lots of cracked black pepper.

Gina said she wants to take me to lunch for Mother's day while she is here. If I try to refuse I will hurt her feelings. She always is so thoughtful.We will need to decide what we are in the mood for. Last time we just felt like pub grub which can be very good and a fun time at the right establishment.
I have been craving PF Chang's however. I love the lettuce chicken wraps and also the low mien.So we will see what daughter has in mind.

Hubby will be working the days Gina is here with us. However he does have a short day on Thursday and the weather is to be better. So I thought we would grill turkey burgers on onion rolls with the works.I may try my hand at making some homemade potato chips. I can use the mandolin all the slices will be perfectly the same which is what you need making chips.

I must say that hubby and I had such a fun day yesterday. He had the day off! So we were off to shop for a few things for the outdoors. We found two great stack chairs in rusty orange same color as the deck and some unusual solar lights that hang. A new garden hose and nozzle(now that is not too exciting but were needed.) I also bought a stretched canvas painting for the main bath it is of the Tuscan countryside. We then went to mexican food for lunch. So a nice little outing.

Well I need to stroll through the house and see if missed anything that needs doing.
I will not post for a few days but will certainly have much to write about after my daughters visit.

The sun now is beaming through the office windows(lord they need cleaning). So off I go catch you later.

Monday, June 17, 2013


That is a big question? What really is a father?
There is a biological father, there is an adoptive father, there is a person in ones life that played a father role maybe even a family friend, or maybe an older brother or a special uncle and on and on.
Each one of us has a different reality of what father means to us.
Some of us with biological fathers as I had have many different experiences. 
Years past fathers were more distant from their children than the fathers of current times. I was born in 1942 so I was lucky if my father paid much attention to me. I was taken care of by my mother and would get a little nuzzle or hug from my father as he ended his work day.
I recall from my earliest experiences those special hugs and little touches that meant so much to me. Any special attention made me feel so special. I always had so much love from my mother so I suppose I expected it and was accustomed to it; sad in a way but that is the way it is. It seems the parent that gives you the least is the one that takes your heart when a little love is finally given. 
So my father was a tough guy or at least on the outside, on the inside I am not sure who he was as he was a very private person.
All I know is when he paid me some attention I was ecstatic. So I suppose even when I was in trouble and he administered the punishment it was still attention in some form. Right?
So therefore was our relationship in my young years. I was either ignored or endured or in trouble.
It was only after I had the life threatening disease of cancer that my father became a friend someone I cared to confide in who would talk with me and console me. I will always remember when I was diagnosed at 36 years of age and he grabbed me up in his arms and began to cry and held me so hard I thought he would crush me and he said, why couldn't it have been me? My heart broke open and I felt so cherished. My father a person I had always loved but was afraid of, who was not always the nicest to my dear mother, who always ruled his home with indifference to what anyone thought. This stern man had turned to putty when my life was in danger.
So from that day on my father and I had come to respect and care so tenderly about one another. Now it was not only the jokes that passed between us, the teasing that drove me out of my mind it something on a deeper level.
When my older brother Jack called me on a stone cold morning in March and told me that my father had passed, I took the information without tears but then huddled down under the covers with the man I am now still with who held me as I cried for my father, a man I think no one really knew. A man who could be tender at times, totally humorous most times, and cruel at times. He was a product of his hard young life. I feel he did the best he knew how to do with what he had been given.
I loved my father no matter how he was at times. It is just the way I am and I am happy I am that way. Yes I would wish he was like fathers today with the hands on approach, so loving and caring and taking such interest. But that was not the way it was all those years ago. So I am thankful for the times we had that did make a difference in my life and I am grateful for you my father, Arthur Henry Nesbitt. You brought me more than you will ever know. My inheritance from you is that strength to endure when the going gets tough, I have your crazy sense of humor and your lust for travel, adventure and reading.
I will count my blessings as I always forever choose to see the positive in all things and I miss you still.
Your daughter.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


I really enjoy our little back yard. If you like hot sun you sit on the sidewalk there next to the house, if you prefer shade you sit in the grass area where it is always cool. I go back and forth. I think I am going to be spending a lot of time in this little area this summer.Of course it goes with out saying I will be reading a book.

Swiss steak did not happen at our house last night. Instead we grilled St.Louis style pork ribs with Zo's Carolina bbq sauce. I re-styled a sauce from a magazine that I felt was lacking in flavor. So I added more tang and it is so yummy.I roast the ribs in a roaster pan with a little water first for about forty-five minutes on 325 degree's. Then baste the ribs about forty minutes in this sauce on the grill basting and turning frequently the finished product are ribs that are slightly crusted at their edges and juicy inside with a sweet glazey taste with a back kick of vinegar tang and a bit of heat. Yummy. I made a italian pasta salad to go with. Not my usual as I used what was on hand. I did not have marinated artichoke hearts which I usually add and I missed those. I put in some garbanzo beans which I have not done before and hubby loved them in the salad. It was a good salad but with a different twist. We also had some doctored up ranch beans. So a nice meal on a beautiful evening.

Now my lovely daughter Gina is to arrive on Tuesday in the midst of showers......can you believe it? The weather turns on Tuesday the days she arrives and is showery and cool the entire length of her stay. Go figure? How does that always manage to happen? We had visions of sitting on the deck drinking champagne and the patio table holding such treats as a sliced baguette with dipping sauces of balsamic vinegar and olive oil with minced garlic. A tray of klamato olives, soft cheese, water wafers, chilled asparagus,deli meats. Well you get the idea. I know we will make the best of it but it is almost the end of June and you would think we would not be having weather in the sixties.

Today I am attacking these hardwood floors. First to vacuum all of the area rugs and remove, then vacuum the floors, then clean the floors with Bona wood floor care. This is applied with a applicator. Considering we have about 1600 sq-ft of hardwood this is a big job. So I will be busy today for the most part.

It is a nice day and I hope all the fathers out there are enjoying families and festivities. My son called me yesterday but I missed his call so I must get back to him this morning before starting the floor marathon.He has been a Dad for quite a long time now as his son Tyson will be 30 years old this October. Seems impossible wasn't it just yesterday he was a darling little baby with a head full of blonde curls and bright smiley eyes?

Now I must get at my day.
Happy Father's day everyone.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


It is an amazing morning. Woke to deep blue sky and lovely sunshine. This kind of morning just makes me come alive maybe more so than a cup of joe.

I have much to do today and some of it outdoors so I am thankful it is a lovely day.

We went on a late lunch date yesterday to Red Lobster. Our Red Lobster has been in Eugene for about two and half years and this is our first time there. We had a Red lobster in this city back in the nineties and we went at that time and were disappointed  Now mind you my grandson Tyson has worked at a Red Lobster in Portland for many years now while going to school and he has urged us to give it another try. Well we were happy we did. The food was good and the staff was very accommodating. What everyone says about those little cheese biscuits is true you know me and biscuits!
We went online before going and downloaded a coupon for a free appetizer. So we had their lobster pizza appetizer. Well it was really good with just a little mozzarella, tomato and basil. We each had a piece and then brought it home for a snack last night. So anyhow a good experience and we will go back. Another plus is we ran in one of our favorite servers from another establishment who was now employed at Red Lobster. We wondered where she had disappeared to. She said she had been there since they opened.

I am making swiss steak tonight out of sirloin steak. I will make a rich tomato sauce with green peppers, garlic and onions added. Will put a nice mound of silky mashed potatoes on each plate for this tasty sauce and meat to sink into. I will serve some roasted cauliflower to the side. If you have never fixed cauliflower this way you should. Just clean and trim and put the crowns in a bowl and add some olive oil and salt and pepper and mix well. Spread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and pop into the oven about 425 degrees and roast until tender about a half hour or so. I let it roast until the tops are nicely browned. Roasting instead of steaming condenses the flavors.

I will go now and start my day. First to tidy the house. Oh yesterday I finished waxing all the furniture so that little chore that I did not mind in the least is completed. Today I shall work out on the deck and in the garden area. There are a few more weeds to attend to.

Have a lovely Father's day weekend. I must call my son tomorrow and wish him a Happy Fathers Day. And my Grandson Tyson is a daddy too though his little one is still in the oven and will make an appearance in September. So Happy Fathers weekend day to Mike and Tyson.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


We enjoyed the chili last night though I did not make it spicy as I cannot do spicy any longer and hubby can add as much heat as he likes after he dishes up.
So this is what I did.
This recipe is for the slow cooker.

Red and White chicken chili.
2 cups cooked cubed chicken
1 can small red beans, drained
1 can small white beans drained
1 plus cup chicken broth
1/2 onion small chopped
1 large red bell pepper finely chopped
1 anaheim pepper seeded and finely chopped(for more heat use a jalapeno
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 teaspoons of ground cumin 1 teaspoon oregano leaves
Mrs. Dash or salt to taste and black pepper
Secret weapon. A good squirt of ketchup
Put in slow cooker and stir well.
Cook low for about 7 hours or high for 3 1/2 hours.
If you want a thinner chili add more chicken broth or if you desire a chunky version just cut down on the broth.

Try my trick with Jiffy corn muffin mix.
1 box Jiffy mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
and add 1/3 cup shredded mexican cheese, or a dab of cottage cheese about a 1/3 cup or a 1/3 cup of cream corn.
These all add some texture and density to the corn muffins so they are just not dry and crumbly. Bake as directed on box.
I used cheese last night and they were yummy.

I did take a good looking photo of our meal but I could not download it to my blog post. Sometimes I have to try a few times and did not want to take the time today.

This morning as we were slowly edging out of our comfy warm bed my husband said, is that rain I hear?
Well yes it was actually pounding on the roof. It was dark and dreary and wet!
This event made us want to climb back into the bed that still held our body heat. But the day must go forward regardless of the weather.
It is now several hours later and the sky has brightened considerably  I had my own mission this morning as I was going grocery shopping, banking, dropping off items at St. Vinney's and a meat market stop. I was lucky and never got caught in a cloud burst.

This afternoon I am waxing and cleaning furniture. This is something I actually enjoy doing. I started yesterday on my antique pieces. I enjoy touching the wood that is so very old, polishing the little decorative trims and cravings. It is amazing how the patina just comes to life with a good waxing. So several pieces are done and now waits the biggy my big old oak piano as well as the rest of the wood furniture. When I am finished the entire house will smell of lemon polish.....I love that.

Tonight we will dine on leftover soup and muffins so an easy night in the kitchen for me. I picked up some pork spareribs and sirloin steaks at the market today. So in a few days I will make swiss steak with peppers in a rich tomato sauce served over silky mashed potatoes. I love it that way. I like having the St.Louis ribs on hand as hubby gets a yearning for bbq ribs every now and then. So I try to keep a package on hand.

Well that bottle of furniture is calling my name so I will put on some music and tend to that chore.

Enjoy the rain if you are having it also. Actually I do not mind one bit if I have nothing planned for outdoors. It is rather cozy and somehow makes me feel content.I suppose I am like my Mother in that regard.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Posted by PicasaWe decided this is the best chicken we ever grilled. This photo was taken after I separated the thighs and leg portion that is why they are sitting backward to the chicken.

This is what I did.
One whole chicken with backbone removed and breast cracked. Rubbed with olive oil and seasoned generously with cumin, coriander  salt, pepper and paprika. Spread all over chicken evenly with a pasty brush.
Line a baking tray with two layers of foil and spray with cooking oil. Before placing the chicken, breast up on the baking pan make a bundle of fresh rosemary sprigs and lemon thyme and flat leaf italian parsley. Tie this bundle together with cooking string. Place on the baking pan and center the chicken over the bundle. Roast on grill at approximately 375 degrees for about an hour. When an instant read thermometer stuck into the fat part of the thigh registers 165 degrees it is done.

Extra cooking tips. My hubby made a pan of alder chips to smoke on one burner under the grill top, to that he would add every so often  more springs of rosemary and thyme creating a smokey fragrance that probably drove everyone in our neighborhood crazy as well as making that chicken taste so fragrant and lovely.
Also I turned the chicken about three quarters through it's grilling time. That way we had crispy crust on both sides.
The chicken was so crispy and flavorful with the earthy rub and it was chin dripping juicy on the inside. I am telling you that breast meat melted in your mouth.

We ate a good share of that chicken last night as I only served a ear of corn for each of us and ranch beans to the side.

Also a very enjoyable part of the process was the both of us sitting outdoors. It was a gray late cool afternoon so we kept warm sitting behind the grill as that amazing aroma wafted about us. Fun!!!!! Folks that do not enjoy cooking are missing so much in life, my feeling anyhow.

Today the remaining chicken will be morphed into red and white chicken chili. A simple but yummy recipe that cooks in the slow cooker. I will make corn muffins this evening also I always use jiffy mix but add cottage cheese or cream corn or something like that to them so they are heavy and moist. We like to put these dense muffins in the bottom of a deep bowl and pour the chili over, then add chopped onion and cheese to the top. I will post the red and white chili recipe tomorrow.

I just came in from outdoors before starting this post. I was tidying the deck and bringing in the chair cushions and readying the deck  for a little shower, which the paper said would not come in until tomorrow. But looking at this sky right now I am thinking it could happen anytime.

We were both tired this morning when we got up at 5:30 AM. We stayed up later than usual watching a very stupid movie that we both fell asleep to out on the sofa's. Why we do this sometimes is beyond me. I hate then to wake myself up and drag to bed and start all over again. I have another busy day ahead of me also so I had better get some energy going. I need a boost so maybe a sports drink or a cup of tea. I am going to walk this morning so that usually gives me a lift.

I will leave you now and really you should try chicken this way. 
Best grilled if the weather is conducive to that. Or you can do it in our oven at 375 degrees. You can go one line if you do not know how to scissor cut the back bone out and break the breast bone. The main thing is have fun with the whole process, make it an event.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Posted by PicasaMy plan was to make strawberry freezer jam today but alas it is not going to happen. I went to the nearest farm and they did not have their own berries they were from Benton county and looked quite green. I tasted one it was not sweet. So on to the next farm down the road. I tasted a berry there same thing and as I looked not quite ripe berries filled the boxes. Also the price on the half flat that was not overflowing to say the least was $16.00. So I will wait a bit as berry season has just started. But I was so looking forward to making jam today but on to other things there certainly is plenty to do.

I picked up some Gerbea daisies at the first farm for my large ceramic pot. But could not find anything I liked for a dangling plant to go in the top of my old red milk can on the fronts steps.Yesterday I picked up some snapdragons to go in the back of my herb barrel. So I will get the above mentioned planted into their new homes today.
Also yesterday I bought some very cute colorful solar lights to line our sidewalk that borders our small backyard. They did look very adorable last night when they came to life and glowed. I love them! I also gathered some other yard and deck decor on my little shopping trip yesterday. I was hoping to get some new patio chair pads but did not see anything I cared for. I love bright primary colors and most were dull tan, brown, sage green etc.
It is always fun for me to set up the deck for summer. So I will continue to work on that today though it is not really a nice day, not bad but rather cool with dark gray clouds moving over the sun more than I would like them to. It even sprinkled for a few minutes, it sure smelled good I will say that. Those fat drops falling from the spring sky were so fresh.

As I am not making jam today I may as well go for a walk. I have not been since my eye allergy kicked in solid. That is gone now, so no excuses. I enjoy my walks though as you all know but tend to get a lazy at times.

So off to hopefully have a day of joy and accomplishment.
You too have a great spring day.

Friday, June 7, 2013


Posted by PicasaThis photo is taken from the boat when my brother and I were cruising around Silver Lake. This is a island where there are a couple of tree houses for rent. I also hear there is to be a zipline installed on the island. Regardless it is a very lovely cabin and you would be totally private if you rented one of these little tree houses.

I had a amazing time with my brother there is no other way to size it up.
My brother and I arrived at Silver Lake early Sunday morning. It was still cloudy with a chill in the air. By the time we unloaded the food and my bags it was starting to lighten up a bit. Regardless I was there to camp so we went outdoors and spent the afternoon catching up and having snacks and drinks.
It was too windy that evening to have a camp fire and I was tired anyhow so off to bed early. However I could not drift off to sleep easily for the moan of the bull frogs. I had left a window open to enjoy the breath of evening air. Well I soon had to close it against the mooing of the bull frogs. There must have been a few as they crooned to one other throughout the canal.

The next morning we woke to low clouds that burned off rapidly. Oh I cannot tell you how grand it was to be outdoors in that lush,green paradise. My brothers camp is steps from the canal where geese and ducks both with their little ones filled the canal. We conceded we could watch them for hours. Always so alert to every little thing that may be a threat to their offspring they are such caring parents. 

I put the slow cooker on the table outdoors and filled it with chicken and salsa verde, onions and cumin and coriander  There is simmered to perfection for our dinner.
We spent the afternoon reminiscing which prompted me to get out my journal and I started taking notes as brother told stories of our earlier years. Which then in turn put the notion in my head to ask questions about our move to the farm and about the back story of life on the east coast from where my parents had come. So I took notes for a couple of hours and pumped my brother for information. I think I exhausted him but he is last one left in my family that could give me this information in the right time line.
I will type it up and send to my brother to see if I got it straight......who knows we were sipping I need to say more? 
That second evening we had our wonderful mexican fare and later had a cozy campfire to sit by as the frogs started their chatter and the birds settled into the dark trees.

Tuesday was my favorite day, I think my brothers also.
We woke to deep blue skies and lots of sun streaming in the trailer windows.
After a breakfast of two Milano cookies dunked in my coffee I tidy'd up the trailer for brother. Threw on some shorts,summer top and flip flops. It was like summer!
Late morning my nephew David came and brought his guitar along to play and sing for us. I can say he is one talented man and we so enjoyed hearing his music.
After Dave departed, we grabbed our boat hats and long sleeve shirts and went for a boat ride. My brother always takes me all around the lake through the canals, out on the open water and past the islands. I so enjoy it and never tire of looking for the huge cranes so like prehistoric birds. We saw several and caught them on camera. We saw wild goats, and so many other bird species. Silver Lake is truly a sanctuary. After being on the water for a couple of hours it was time to head back to camp.
We opened some wine and had snacks and sat in the gazebo with a nice little breeze keeping us cool. Brother worked on crossword puzzles and I read and looked at a new magazine I had brought along. That way we each had a little space, comfortable with one another so no talking was required.
I morphed our mexican meal into a tex-mex bowl of goodness. My brother had baked a pumpkin pie(Marie Calendar)in his outdoor oven. So he had pumpkin pie for desert.
Once again we had campfire under the black sky slowly being lit with stars.
I slept like a baby girl and woke feeling refreshed for my drive home early Wednesday.

So there is the recap of my trip. As you can see I use my blog in some instances as a journal and this is one of those times.
I hope I did not bore you with my little adventure.

Today we have lots of sun and it is heating up quickly. The air just kicked on in the house.
I have the patio table set pretty with a big basil plant,candle jars filled with flowers and a colorful table scarf.
I am going to buy some new chair pads as the ones I have are faded but still functional. So they will go off to St.Vinney's on my next trip for someone else to enjoy this summer.

Have a happy day!!!!