ENTER THE RAIN

Rainy season has come to the valley.  I do love the rain.  Living in Walla Walla we never saw a great deal of rain and I have always enjoyed a raining day.  It was one of the reasons I had looked forward to living in the Willamette Valley again.  I love rainy, misty, drippy days!  I love the way the mist hangs over the valley, weaving and dancing up and down and in and out of the trees.  I love the sound of rain beating a pattern on the roof and windows, making me feel all safe and cozy tucked in my warm dry home.  And it makes me want to accomplish things and tackle projects.  Indoor projects of course.  But I don’t mind walking in the rain, bundled up tight, its quite invigorating.  Our latest adventure was in the rain as we headed to check out Pacific City.

It was cold, windy, and raining but so beautiful.  Had the best ever cup of Peppermint tea there and hubby had a Chai which was the best I had ever tasted!!

Wet but happy!!

We took a new route home which followed this beautiful creek.

And crossed numerous one lane bridges.  This was my favorite.  Check out the pumpkins on the end posts!

Back at work I was surprised and delighted to walk into my office and find this gorgeous bouquet!

 Happy Bosses Week!!  What loving and thoughtful staff!!  They are a blessing to me!  And also a fruit tray.  Don’t mind my messy office the past month has been a bit hectic at work!

Speaking of work, test results back and no H. Pylori.  My MD referred me out for a endoscopy, but in the interim I started reading everything I could and discovered the benefits of grapefruit juice for ulcers.  It is amazing, seriously!  I dropped all process foods and started drinking copious amounts of grapefruit juice and over night the pain nearly disappeared. Speaking with the gastrointestinal MD he stated that grapefruit juice will neutralize acid.  So for now I am doing that I will try dropping the omeprozole to one a day.  But not brave enough to do that yet.  Feels good to feel good again!!  We never really appreciate our health until we face health issues.  This was a nice wake up call to get my diet back on track with healthy foods and to work on stress reduction!  I will be experimenting with some of my favorite recipes and substituting whole wheat flour and alternative sweetners such as maple syrup.  Nothing artificial however. 

And now back to this:

What better to do on a rainy, drippy, cold afternoon!


Happy Fall,

Patricia


Welcome Pumpkin Season

October has arrived, and with it my desire for pumpkin goodies.  I rarely bake anymore but just can’t resist pumpkin bread. I tried two recipes and while both are good they are distinctly different. The first is a traditional moist pumpkiny flavored bread.

 Yummy perfection.  When this was gone I happened upon a recipe that added dates and pecans.  It made a much darker bread with clovey flavor.  Next time I would cut back on the cloves, yet as it aged over a few days the clove mellowed out. This was by far my favorite!

Here is the recipe courtesy of my friend Joyce

3 cups sugar
3 1/2 flour
2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 can pumpkin
1 cup oil
1 cup dates or raisins
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tsps. each: Nutmeg, cloves (ground), allspice, cinnamon

Mix all dry ingredients, mix all liquids. Stir together until smooth.

Grease and flour a bundt pan.  Bake for a good hour at 350 checking occasionally to see when done inside. 

In the kitchen I also made up some of the blackberry harvest into jam.  Blackberry jam is one of my favorites. I always use the recipe inside the MCP pectin box. 

So yummy spread on bagel and cream cheese!  

One big change for me has been going caffeine free.  A few months back my stomach began hurting and I could not figure out why. Tried clearing things out of my diet with no success. Doctor visit and seems I have an ulcer. Testing for H.Pylori and if not that will be scoping my stomach.  So I went cold turkey off caffeine. Amazingly no headaches. And I don’t miss it. I now drink herbal tea and my newest hot drink love is 100% Apple juice with a shot of caramel.  Yum!  Stomach still hurting but better and bearable with meds. But I want it cured not bearable!!!  Thankfully my new Doctor (yes I switched after the first just put me on meds with no follow up).  This one is a D.O.  I just have no luck with MDs and have not used one in years since discovering the care that a DO delivers!  And with this the hubs and I decided to start eating clean and eliminating all processed foods. Of course this was after the pumpkin bread.  I’ll have to find a way to make it with whole wheat flour without sacrificing the taste. 

In other news the hubs updated his bike. This one had everything he had been wishing for on it. 

Love this man!  

This crazy boy, who is sitting on his sister (he did not hurt her and I got him right down), left us some nice gifts on the carpet one day while we were working.  Ivory carpet at that!  On to Pinterest to find a solution (I just love Pinterest).  Found one and it was amazing. Even took out some spots that were in the carpet when we moved in! 

Here is the recipe:  Just mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a container and add a generous squirt of Dawn dishing washing liquid.  Saturate the spot and scrub thoroughly working the solution all the way into the pad.  Blot out all the liquid you can with dry towels, let dry, and vacuum.  Spot will be gone!  Amazing!

Crafting and knitting has rather taken a back seat as work has gone crazy and been putting in 10-12 hour days (may be the reason for an ulcer?!).  But I did take time to make another banner for work.

Candy corn!  Simple yet cute. Did not get a finished photo. Just love making these banners.  Again Pinterest is the inspiration!  

Happy Pumpkin Season!

Patricia


Autumn: A Season For Renewal

Autumn is here!!!  My most favorite season of them all!  I love the brilliant autumn hues; russet reds, golden yellows, burnt oranges, and deep plums.  The crisp snap in the air is invigorating and the musty smell of burning leaves and logs is somehow comforting. Autumn always makes me want to cook up hearty stews, fruit crisps, and golden loaves of crusty breads.  The bounty of the garden harvest is in and it is a time for celebrations!  

I have always viewed September as the advent of the new year.  The idea of a new year beginning in the deep of winter is just without merit in my opinion.  But September, with back to school and crisp fresh days; yes that is where my new year begins!  

The last of the summer visitors have come and gone as children are now back in school and it is time for a thorough turning out of the house before holiday decorating begins in earnst!  A summer of yard sales has added exponentially to my already burgeoning boxes of decor!  

However before I get too carried away on the spleandors of Autumn here’s a look at the last lazy summer days.

Two little wood sprites came for a visit!  We had lots of fun exploring and of course they could not wait to hit the yard sales with their grandma!  And they found treasures, lots of treasures!

Always have to get in park play time too!  And a birthday celebration as a sweet wood sprite turned twelve!!!

So grown up and beautiful, my Milsie!!!

And of course a trip to the beach was included!

The waves were huge and cresting quite a distance from the seashore!  It was magnificently beautiful!!

The house is so quiet when the grands leave and it takes me a few days to readjust and resume my routine as I miss them dearly.  

The hubby has week days off still but I managed to sneak away one day for us to hit the beach and explore a few wooded paths.

Oh how they love to run and play on the beach!!  

While there we checked out a myriad of properties. We lucked into a great realtor. Mike took us to a dozen places and we have pretty much decided upon the area we want. Now just to find that perfect retirement cottage!!!  It is so fun to look and plan for that next step, the time when we both step away from work and turn our attention to play!!!  

And let’s not forget a few of my latest yard sale finds!

The sweetest carrying case for my iPad and a hand painted milk glass piece, plus a set of ikea dishes and silver!! 

And now off to mix up some delicious pumpkin bread!  Autumn is the perfect excuse to make yummy loaves of sweet breads!

Happy Autumn!

Patricia

 

More Good Times!

Of all the reasons I love summer my favorite is that is when all the grands come for a visit!  This week it was my oldest Christina, her hubby, and four wonderful precious sweet peas!  I had not seen them in almost a year so was very excited for them to arrive!!  The weather was perfect and I could not wait to share my favorite places with them.

We have the best ever park right nearby so spent a lot of time there.  They just loved climbing on the structures and showing off for their gramps. 

Salem really knows how to make parks that are kid friendly.  Water features are a normal part of these parks. The grands loved them!

On the way back home we always had to stop by the berry bushes.  We took buckets one day to gather enough to share with mom and dad and to make some yummy blackberry milkshakes!

They were some serious berry pickers!  Frankie filled that bucket by himself almost!  Course it never made it home that full as those berries were too sweet to not eat on the way!  

It has always been a practice between the three girls and I to share our crafting stuff and decor. It is handy as one always has something the other needs or can use. So while Christina was here we hit my sewing room with a vengeance and went through every last thing!  I now have closet space and she has stuff she needed for her creative processes.  Of course she warned me she has a carload to trade back.  My girls laugh at me, but they do appreciate that I usually have what they are looking for. The joke in our family has always been “don’t tell mom that you collect something unless you are prepare to have an enormous amount of said items.” I love yard sales and am always on the lookout for special things they would like.  Bless the son in laws as they know to leave room in the car when they come visit as “mom will have boxes of stuff to send home.”  

My grands love my collecting bug and always take home the treasures I’ve collected for them. I love toys and have a hard time passing them up at yard sales!  So I don’t and then I send them home with my grands. Yeah the parents love that too….not!  

Just look at all that junk!  It’s all gone now!  Don’t worry I’ll fill it back up soon!

Of course one day was spent taking the grands to yard sales.  Oh what treasures they found, too!  It was tiring, but they persevered and came home loaded with goodies!  

All my grandchildren inherited the creative gene. Building, sewing, knitting, writing, movie making, sculpting, drawing and painting, and so much more; they all engage in a creative outlet.  I love that!  Turns out that Toot is a knitter!  And wow can she knit!  

She found some faux fur yarn on one of our shopping trips and had this much knitted up right away.  She’s fast!  It appears she inherited her great and great great grandmother’s knitting skill! 

As crazy as it is with a houseful of kids, I just always hate seeing them leave. The house is just too quiet and so lonely. But soon enough the normal routine of business creeps back in and there is always something that needs tending to.  But how my heart aches when they pull away and I walk back into that now silent house!  


My poor little Cinny is getting so old!  She had another hematoma in her ear and needed surgery. She looks so pathetic and acted like the world had ended!  She has another surgery scheduled in a week to remove a growth.  Poor little girl!

Silly crunchy nosed baby!


That big boy we adopted has walked right into our hearts. The hubby is dead in love with him. He has adjusted so well and is no longer requiring crating while we are away.  He loves his little sister and she him. Like my Holly, he is an in your face dog and adores the grands. Bill wanted to take him home.  The hubs would have none of that, he’s nuts over that boy! Although we named him Bruno, I call him Polooka, cause he is a big silly ole Polooka!  

My knitting has remained small simple things. I am in desperate need of dishcloths and so making a half dozen of these:

I go through dish cloths and bleach the heck out of the so just using some yarn I got at a yardsale nothing fancy.  Quick, simple, but the best dish cloths ever!

I did find this on my trip to the Book Bin with Christina and can’t wait to start some projects in it.

Summer includes being invaded by ants.  What pesky little annoyances!  Searched Pinterest and found a remedy that works. Equal parts borax, sugar, and water in a jar lid or small container. Attracts them and they track it back to the nest killing them off. Seems to work OK so far.  

And now must dash off to work….oh how I pine for the days when work in not on my agenda!

Patricia 

 

Summertime!!

I have been blessed with a vivid imagination and am always on the lookout for magical mystical places. Imagine my delight when I was out hitting yard sales and discovered this!  A path disappearing into the woods!!  How magical is that!?

The path went down, down, down winding deep into the woods.  I felt like Alice in the rabbit hole.  There were paths branching off here and there and it was difficult to decide which one to follow.  

This is one place I will definitely be returning to often.  It is a great place to walk the dogs and there are so many yet unexplored paths.  I just love how Salem is full of unexpected surprises!  Oh and this is practically in the backyard of the Governor’s Mansion

 

Summer has hit us with a day of 100 degree temps.  That is certainly not my cuppa.  Thankfully it dropped right back into the low 80s.  However it is expected to rise again. I am not a fan of extreme temps either way. When the temp rises what better thing to do than head to the beach and 60 degrees!!

I seriously don’t think I will ever get enough of the ocean!!!  We expected crowds so left the dogs behind.  And then discovered empty beaches…go figure…  We walked miles and then just set staring at the waves while Doodle Bug climbed on the cliffs. What a perfect day!

Since starting to make these simple tea cosys, I am hooked.  It is such a great way to use up my bits and bobs of left over yarn.  I really love the look of hand dyed and variegated yarns in the skein or hank, but not in sweaters or clothing. This is one way I can have my variegated fix. 

Check out this hydrangeas in the background!  Love them and have vases and pots throughout the house as the backyard is full of them. I could never get them to grow in Walla Walla.

Every hearth needs a cricket.  This darling clock I nabbed at a yard sale for peanuts. It is from Austria and has the most beautiful chime on the hour. 

Oh yes the yard sales!  They are marvelous here.  Can’t even begin to list the treasures I’ve found.  I can go out with $20 and return with a carload.  Clothing (entire wardrobes for the grands), dishes (an entire set from Target for $2 just missing 2 bowls which I can replace), yarn, vintage Pyrex, vintage revere wear (I love my revere cook wear but not the newer stuff, the original is heavy and solid), knitting needles, toys and more toys, decor, amazing holiday decor….the list never ends. Of course I’m always grabbing things for the girls and grands….sometimes they think perhaps too much….  I just nabbed this for my eldest.  

The entire set of Franklin Mint James Herriot plates. Look at this detail!!

I love James Herriot and his stories of the trials and tribulations of a country vet.  And know what?!  I snagged this entire set for $10.  Can’t believe it!!  And that awesome tablecloth…yup yard sale for $1.  Gorgeous heavy lace from Europe. 

What did ya’ll do to celebrate Independence Day?  My hubs got stuck at work so Doodle and I did our own fireworks and then lit the fire pit and enjoyed the beautiful evening.

 

And now off to more yard sales.  Wanna join me?!

Patricia