September 28, 2012

A Beautiful Sunset

The fires are burning up in the Gorge, and we heard they are now under control.  So we smiled at the silver lining last night... an intensely beautiful, smoky sunset.

September 26, 2012

More Work

Hi ho
Hi ho
It's off to work I go...

Wait, didn't I already sing that?!

When others in the office get sick, the work is still there waiting. So out the door...

I go
I go
Till when I do not know...

Thinking of ways to get a trip to France outta this.

September 25, 2012


We were downtown Portland and stopped by to check out Blick, a new art store.  Beautiful!  There were more professional art supplies in one place than I have ever seen. While I managed to walk out with my bank account intact, I predict several new projects coming my way.

Blick = Candyland

September 21, 2012

Friday Flowers

The snowberries are out in all their beauty.  Enjoy!

And have a wonderful Friday.

September 20, 2012

Cloth Napkins

Oh, it started as a brilliant idea!

I decided to make the switch from paper to cloth napkins.  But because I refused to spend any more money doing so, I dug deep into the fabric pile, finding yards of muslin that went unused from a previous drapery project.  Soft, 100% cotton, easily washed, neutral color to hide stains - it was all coming together.

But it took 1.4 minutes of sewing to remember why I ditched this fabric in the first place, why it went back into storage.  You can't sew it!  The grain is not straight and it will never let you sew straight, no matter your degree of "seamstressing".

The best part about this project?  A great shot of the scissors.  =)

September 19, 2012


The peppermint turned out so nicely that I turned to the basil in my next spare moment.  Once again, I waited a bit too long and should have harvested the plants earlier in the season, but the leaves were still quite tasty.  With a wash and a spin and bit of dehydrator time, I've got enough basil to last for months!

I'd like to show you a delicious picture of the pesto sauce that I created, but it turned out kind of a putrid green color, and I couldn't bring myself to show the real thing or photoshop something more appetizing.  Not one of my prouder moments in the kitchen!

September 18, 2012

Peppermint Tea

Tea, anyone?  I decided to try and make my own tea this year, if only a couple of cups' worth to share for Christmas stocking treats.

I should have harvested the leaves much sooner, but they dried nicely and still smell like peppermint, so now I'm in search of fillable tea bags.  I know they're out there.

September 17, 2012

Chocolate Squash Bread

Two things, right off the bat:

1.  This is why I need a new camera, and
2.  This bread is so good it'll knock your socks off!  It's moist, soft, chocolately, and not cloyingly sweet.  And delicious.  Did I say that yet?

I've never needed to beg for your garden squash, but I may have to resort to that.  If I was smart I'd get busy and bake 52 loaves for the freezer so we could enjoy one for every week of the year.

Chocolate Squash Bread
4 eggs
2/3 c. honey
1 c. canola oil
1 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. each of soda, baking powder
2/3 c. dark cocoa (the darkest you can find, i.e. double dutch dark or black cocoa)
3-1/2 c. flour
4 c. grated, raw summer squash (leave out seeds/pithy middle)
1-1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Mix well.  Pour into bread pans lined with parchment paper.  This makes 2 full 8-1/2" loaves + 1 mini loaf.  Bake @ 350° x 65 mins.

September 14, 2012

Friday Flowers?

OK, this will have to do for a flower today.  Kind of cool, though, don't you think?

Happy Friday!

September 13, 2012

Spode Teacup

This little Spode teacup is one of my favorites.  Good things come in small packages. =)

September 11, 2012

Fall is in the Air

The mornings are cool and the leaves are changing.  More signs of fall!

September 10, 2012

That Day Of Rest Thing

We're trying something new this school year.  We figure if God took a day of rest, then maybe we should pay attention! We seem to be busy from the moment we crawl out of bed until we collapse late in the evening, day in and day out.  It is part of our American culture, and it's nearly impossible to disengage from it.  There is always more to do.

So yesterday was a grand experiment.  We worked like crazy all week to free up our Sunday, and it was a bit of an adjustment for me.  As life would have it, I had to work extra days in clinic and so I crammed in more chores in even less time.  Honestly, I wasn't sure I could keep it up much longer.

But it was worth it!!! Here's what we did:

  1. Slept in a long time.
  2. Ate a relaxed breakfast.
  3. Did some reading.
  4. Fell back asleep on the couch.  
  5. Gathered our Love-in-a-Mist seeds from the flower beds to use in Valentine's Day cards.  (No weeding allowed.)
  6. Chatted with a neighbor.
  7. Went on a long walk with Miss Elsie around the lake.
  8. Gave Miss Elsie a much-needed bath upon returning home.  OK, this was stretching the rules a bit. But it couldn't be avoided, so we decided to approach this in a calm and unhurried manner: no yelling at a wet dog who's straining and lurching and clawing to get out. Miraculously, she behaved beautifully.  She must have picked up on our soothing touch. =)  
  9. Made a Costco run.  Admittedly, this was more than stretching it, because shopping for milk and eggs should not be allowed.  But we went together, kissed in the parking lot, and shared a salad in the food court.  So it was a date.  Kind of.
  10. Dropped in on friends on the way home, crashing their dinner time. (Forgive us.)  Gave hugs to the kids, enjoyed talking for a few minutes, served water, and passed a lot of things from the counter to the table pretending to be useful.
  11. Finished making some homemade bread.  (A new clay pot adventure!) 
  12. Ate homemade bread while watching a movie.
  13. Laughed together.
  14. Ended the day giving thanks.

You know what?  We feel better this morning.  We're more rested, more happy, and more settled.  

We've gained margin.

September 7, 2012

Friday Flowers & Tea

Happy Friday to you!  The honeybush tea is waiting...come enjoy some with me.

September 6, 2012


Hi ho, hi ho
It's off to work I go!
(add whistling)

In this economy, I cannot complain.  I am so thankful for my job!  But the extra hours certainly cut into my creative time, and there are projects to be started!  How much can a weekend hold??

September 5, 2012

The Classroom

The classroom is decorated with lots of hanging paper balls (IKEA lights, without the lights) to bring the ceiling down lower...there's a new laptop that links to a new interactive "chalkboard"...the desks are arranged in pods...there's a reading corner with rugs and pillows...fabric has been hung on the walls for warmth and color...and everything is clean.  It all adds up to a place created for lots of learning. And because Sir Bradley's in charge, lots of laughter as well.

I heard that Open House was a great success! It's going to be a good year.

September 4, 2012

Fall is Here!

And so summer is officially over in our household with the beginning of school.  We spent our holiday weekend in class, getting it ready for 28 fourth graders.

We took an extra long walk last night, and I spent some time in the gutters, stomping hard on the leaves.  The scrunch is better than ever this year.

It's a good feeling all the way around.  =)