July 31, 2014

Peppermint Tea

The next garden project is drying peppermint.  It should make some lovely tea!

July 30, 2014

Chickens and Nail Art

Oh, yes, it was a fabulous time with a young high schooler who's experimenting with nail art! 

And those dots?  The chickens thought they were bugs.

There was some fancy dancin' for a few minutes, trying to get away from the girls.  They would not be deterred.  

July 29, 2014

Wanted: Vacation

work  -  chores  -  sleep
work  -  chores  -  sleep
work  -  errands  -  sleep
work -  meeting -  sleep
work  - chores  -  sleep

Summer vacation, where are you???!!!  
I'm sorely in need of a beach with white sand and blue water!!!

July 23, 2014

On Not Following Recipes


Oh, it will be the death of me some day.  Some (you know who you are) keep rolling their eyes, wondering why I insist on cooking like this.  It's just so hard to follow a recipe, especially when I'm tired, hungry, and way short on time.  My best successes are those dishes that involve the oven, which somehow tricks my mind into thinking I'm really baking, which is something I do love.  When I'm not in Paris, of course.

The organic, healthy side of me refuses to use anything mixed or boxed.  Scratch it is, yes ma'am. "Some assembly required" is always the stumbling block.  Which is why I stuck with my 5-ingredients-only rule for many years.  Honestly, I should never have strayed.

Last night the dish started as sauteed vegetables, but it seemed awfully boring.  Everything was occurring on top of the oven. Suddenly it dawned on me to pull out a cookbook for ideas, and curry chicken became a real possibility.  Of course I didn't have all of the 13 ingredients (does anybody??!), but perhaps it could still work:


Vegies:  I've got onions, zucchini, garlic, and carrots started in the pan, so let's start there.  Lovely!  A bit too chopped, but surely they will work.

Coconut oil:  Well, everything's already mixed in olive oil, but surely the two are compatible.

Rice:  Yikes, no time to start that.  Didn't plan for 45 mins.  But here's some leftover wild rice I can resurrect...

Lamb chops:  There's lamb burger in the freezer.  It should taste the same, no? Let's just throw that in.

Yogurt:  Not in the recipe, but definitely in the fridge and needs to be used up, and it should go nicely with everything...

Tomato paste: Might be some in the freezer, but it's down in the lower depths. Fathoms deep.  Best to skip it altogether.

Sauce:  A little too runny, so I'll just add some flour.  Hmmm...whole wheat is healthier, so let's try it.

Curry:  Oh, as a general rule, it's definitely too hot. I'll just use a smidgen...

Cilantro and mint:  Score!  I've got both in the garden!  


118 failures.  But this?  Victory!!!!  It looked a little mashed (dog food?), but it tasted GREAT!!!! That's a big win in my book.

See, this is part of the big problem.  These rare victories keep me going.

July 22, 2014

Devils Punch Bowl

It was quite a day at the beach!!

I had many happy times as a kid with my grandparents in Otter Rock, with lots of beach time. Marine Gardens was by far our favorite, with lots of tide pools, ocean creatures, rocks, and treasures to collect. A kid's dream. This weekend I went back, and the emotions and memories just came flooding over me as I recognized so much of that same beach.  And because the Oregon Coast is constantly battered and changed with time, there were plenty of new features - and missing features! - to explore.

We walked over to see the Devils Punch Bowl (just around the bend), which is now a State Natural Area. From the top, you can see the water spewing and churning in the bowl.  It's quite awesome to see the fierceness and strength of the water. But it was our good fortune to arrive when the tide was very low, so for the first time ever, I was able to walk into the bowl from the bottom. Stepping inside was just shy of terrifying, but an experience not to be missed!

I hope that someday my own grandkids (in 30 years or so, when I'm old enough to have them - let's be clear about this) will have their own memories of us in the same way, full of love!

July 16, 2014

You Have To Laugh!

One of those days at work: when a patient, family, and caregiver all think the disease is caused by drones, government conspiracies, and alien invasion...

Sometimes we have to laugh to keep our sanity.

And sometimes a little sign seen during a lunchtime walk brings hours of comic relief.  =)

July 14, 2014

Alaska Adventure

Bears, more bears, reindeer burgers, a demented innkeeper, deciding which of the two had to share a twin bed...the stories are being revealed via texts. And so the Alaska Adventure has begun!

Before he left, that handsome guy in the middle thought we ought to pray that the young'uns could keep up with him. So far, so good, I believe.  =)

July 7, 2014

A Grand 4th!

Oh, it was another grand year of celebration on the block!  This festive event was attended by young and old, short and tall, and everyone in between who was hungry for a potluck BBQ and some fun.

There were contests involving watermelon, water balloons, lifesavers and whipped cream...

and hula hoops.  Let's just say Sir Bradley gave it his best.  =)

Kids hung out with their grandparents...

or adopted someone new...

while the big boys did some serious dickering with the currency of the day.

And once again, those Brits lost the battle.  

God bless America!

July 4, 2014

Lady Liberty

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
                        --Emma Lazarus

July 3, 2014

Wild Sweet Peas

They come every year, popping up along the freeways and roads.  The tricky part is finding a safe place to pull over to grab some.  Yesterday was my day.

Oh, these are pure delight!

July 2, 2014

Fruits & Veggies

We have a challenge going on at work to eat more fruits and vegetables.  And no kidding - woohoo! - our team is now ranked #8 out of 137 teams!!  There are significant prizes associated with this, so we're all in.

Oh, the things my team mates do to stay focused...