January 30, 2013

A Breakfast Dilemma

Friday morning we are having a breakfast potluck at work to say goodbye to a wonderful gal who is leaving.  Out of the seven people who will attend, there's one vegan, one vegetarian, one gluten free, and 2 dairy free-ers.

I cannot bring scones (butter, milk, gluten), muffins (milk, gluten), fresh bread (wheat), or even a vegetable frittata (cheese, milk).

I'm wondering if we will be sharing asparagus and carrots for breakfast.

Ideas, anyone?????

January 29, 2013

Hot Tea Month

January is officially Hot Tea Month!  Who knew?

My favorite tea is honeybush, a very mild, smooth, faintly sweet variety grown in South Africa.  Sorry, I think I've shared that at least a few thousand times before.  =)  I've discovered this past week that it's best brewed over about 20 minutes, so patience is in order.

And now I've found yet another reason to love it so much: it prevents DNA damage.  Research indicates that at normal concentrations of customary tea drinks, there are two drug detoxifying enzymes that are significantly induced in the liver.

So there you have it!  Hope you enjoy a cup of your favorite tea today!

January 28, 2013

Snowshoeing on Mt. Hood

It was an impromptu day on the mountain!  Sir Bradley said let's go and I couldn't think of a reason not to.  So we threw our boots and snowshoes in the car and told Miss Elsie to hop in and off we went.  The snow was beautiful and the old growth forest just couldn't have been any more beautiful.  I left the camera's memory card in the computer, so we took a few phone shots and the rest is all in our own memory.  =)

Elsie had the time of her life. We figure she ran about 10 miles, running up the trail, running back and checking on both of us, plowing through the deep stuff around the trees, and heading off again!

And a trip up the mountain would not be complete without stopping at this hole in the wall.  (Scary looking, I know.) They make the best donuts this side of the Rockies, and anyone who knows anything about Mt. Hood stops here.  The cake donuts (plural) with chocolate frosting did not disappoint!  

And can I just say that I was thrilled to find I could still get the spandex ski tights on.  Even after the donuts.  (This made my Top Three.)  Miracle of miracles!  And there's no picture for that event, thank goodness. 

January 25, 2013

Friday Flowers

Here in the Evergreen State our colors outside are pretty much green (flora) and grey (skies).   Thank you, Aunt Jo, for a spot of beautiful color today! 

Happy Friday to all!  Hope your weekend holds promise. 

January 24, 2013

Grinding Grain

It wasn't that long ago when I overhead a woman saying that she home schooled her kids and she lived on a farm and raised her own beef, but she would never go so far as to grind her own wheat.  She wasn't that kind of woman!


I guess I'm that kind of woman.

And just for the record, by and large, I'm pretty normal.  =)

And freshly ground wheat tastes fabulous.  For those that bake, once you try it, it will be hard to ever go back to store bought. And ground corn smells like corn - warm, sweet corn.  The stuff you buy smells like, um, cardboard.  I rest my case.

January 23, 2013

Ginger Apricot Scones

My original post disappeared!!  But here is the recipe once again.

2-1/2 c. flour (may use part whole wheat)
1/3 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. cold, unsalted butter
1/2 c. unsulphured, dried apricots, chopped the size of blueberries
1/8 c. unsulphured, candied ginger, chopped the size of small peas
2/3 c. milk

Combine flour, sugar, baking  powder, and salt.  Cut butter into dough with pastry blender until mixture resembles crumbs.  Add in apricots and ginger.  Pour in milk, mixing until just combined.

Divide dough in half.  Pat each section into a circle approx 1/2" thick.  Cut into 6 wedges but do not separate.*  Bake @ 375° x 12-13 mins until scones are just firm to the touch and just starting to turn light brown.

*Dough may be frozen until later use.  Place frozen into oven, bake as usual with a few added minutes. They are even better this way!

January 21, 2013

A Frosty Morning

Last year I decided to shake things up a little bit and move the bedroom furniture around.  Although the bed looked perfect directly under the window, I realized that there was a whole world of beauty going on outside that I couldn't see.  Why miss out?

So in a moment of wild abandon (bahahaha!), I moved all the furniture and placed the bed next to the window.  Every day since then I've woken up to see nature, which is about a billion times more inspiring than looking at the wall or the curtains on the opposite side of the room. It almost makes me want to turn into a morning person.  =)

And this morning it was 27° with freezing fog - magic!  The picture below was my actual view through the window. 

Miss Elsie and I ran outside to see what we could find.  She enjoyed chasing some sticks while I started snapping shots, which lasted for a few short minutes until I could no longer feel my fingers.  (Sorry, Sir Bradley, but I had to access the wood pile.  She was crazy with energy and I had to keep her busy.  Everything will be back to normal once you're home!)

January 19, 2013


Some visitors are coming soon.  Welcome, new friends!  It's cold outside, so come on over and we can sit by the fire and chat awhile. If you time it right, I'll have some tea and scones ready for you.  Honeybush and apricot ginger, to be exact.  (And just for the record, I generally don't prefer apricots or ginger, but these scones are amazing!)   

Hopefully you will land here and find a bit of inspiration, some laughs, some joy, and a smile.  I'm on a journey to find the extraordinary amidst the everyday, ordinary stuff of life, and I'd love to have you join me. 

January 18, 2013

First Eggs

The girls finally did it!  After six months of (our) impatient waiting, today there were two little eggs in the roost.

Breakfast, anyone, on this happy Friday? =)

January 17, 2013

Over the Top Stress

Do you ever feel sometimes that work is just over the top?  Too stressful?  Just a bit too much to handle, even though you're grateful to have a job?  Even if it's generally wonderful?

My answers this week have been yes, yes, yes, and yes.

I love my work and my team.  But this week we've moved offices and found ourselves with new support staff, new management, new phones, new faxes, new computers, new paperwork, new workflows, a new charting system and even a new water dispenser!  Several of those new things have already stopped working or were not designed to work properly in the first place, creating havoc.  Meanwhile, the phones have not stopped ringing and patients still need help.

On top of all that, within a week's time we had two patients die, more patients admitted to the hospital for serious issues, a staff member die of a sudden heart attack, and another great coworker resign.

I think this qualifies as over the top.

And so it's confirmed.  Yesterday Sir Bradley and I decided to move into the chicken coop and rent the house out so I can stop working.  The heat lamp is on, so it should be cozy.

For a while I was not kidding.

But yesterday things started improving.  I cannot credit my own willpower or mental decision to survive amidst the chaos.  I can only think that several were praying for something supernatural to happen, for things to start smoothing out in an impossibly horrible situation.  And it is happening. Thank you, friends!  Thank you, God!  Why do I think that miracles don't happen?

January 15, 2013

Icicles on the Coop

And so the red heat lamp warmed the roof of the chicken coop just enough to create some lovely icicles. 

Every kid in the county is wishing for bad weather and a late start for school!

January 14, 2013

It's a Frosty World

It's cold here...enough to freeze the watering cans, the grass, and all forms of vegetative life.  The chickens, however, seem warm enough up in the roost with the heat lamp we're leaving on day and night.

Today they couldn't resist a look around the place.  The frozen grass didn't seem as tasty!

We're hoping when it warms up we'll start finding some eggs.  

January 11, 2013

Friday Changes

Ah, Friday!  Today I am headed into work to help out on the last day before everything changes...office, staff, paperwork, charting systems, computers, faxes, phones, and even furniture. There will be sad goodbyes and hopefully an air of new expectation.  At the end of the day I trust that we will come out smiling in spite of everything.

Onward!  And may you successfully tackle the challenges of your Friday as well!

January 10, 2013

The Eiffel in My Office

My coworkers know me too well!  This week they gave me a belated birthday luncheon and guess what I was presented with??  Love it!!  =)

January 9, 2013

The Onions Have Sprouted

Seems I'm not the only one wishing for spring.  The onions aren't waiting. =)

January 8, 2013

It's a Jungle Out There

Nothing like a jungle party to start the day!  Happy 2nd birthday, Tommy! 

January 7, 2013


וְמְשַׂחֲקִֽים : merrymakers

"Again you will take up your tambourines and go forth to the dances of the merrymakers."
                                                                                        Jeremiah 31:4b (italics mine)

Who were these merrymakers?   I have come to think that we are in want of them again these days.   We are in need hope, cheer and joy. 

This year I hope to rejoice in the blessings we have been given, big or small!  I would like to be a merrymaker!

January 4, 2013

Pink for the New Year

Christmas Cactus plants never bloom for me. I've tried various techniques, i.e. dark therapy, light therapy, extra watering, keeping the soil dry, and everything in between.  No luck.  I gave up on them over a decade ago but decided 3 years ago to try one more time when a coworker gave me a little start.

Imagine my surprise coming home and seeing this little beauty!  

January 1, 2013

New Year's Day 2013

It's been a great first day of the year, including a birthday, a beautiful walk by the bay, and snowshoeing up in the mountains.  And lots of time to reflect on upcoming goals and plans. 

I hope you are looking forward to 2013!