Friday, September 4, 2015

Windows to my Heart

"Set wide the window. Let me drink the day."

Edith Wharton

"Let there be many windows to your soul,
that all the glory of the world
may beautify it."

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

"A house without books is like a room 
without windows."

Horace Mann

"Your assumptions are your windows on the world. 
Scrub them off every once in a while,
or the light won't come in."

Alan Alda

"Happiness is the biggest window
a house can ever have."

Mehmet Murat ildan

Hello, Dear Friends, I hope
you have a wonderful weekend
with many happy scenes inside
and outside all of your windows!

Today I am linking with:
Five on Friday

I hope you'll join the fun!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Little Ray of Sunshine

Sometimes it's not easy being 
a little ray of sunshine
in a world of stormy clouds. 

A bright spot among the gloom. 

Keeping a happy face
when those dark clouds gather
all around us is not an easy task. 

We must look inward and upward
to find our balance and keep our faith,
knowing that the light is always 
shining beyond the storm
 to guide our way. 

Many of us shoulder the burdens
of others as wives, partners, mothers, 
sisters, friends. 

We must find the wisdom and strength
within to be strong 
when those around us are struggling. 

We must be a beacon of hope
when those around us 
feel hopeless. 

This calls for reinforcements
of faith. 

We must take care of ourselves 
if we are to care for others. 

Taking time in quiet contemplation, 
doing things we love,
can restore our spirits 
once again. 

Tending to a little garden, 

Tidying up our home, 

Spending time with beloved pets, 

Eating healthy, 

Taking time for creative pursuits, 

Browsing through a beloved book, 

All these things and more, 
help to keep us centered
and restored,

So we can be a ray of sunshine
for those who need it most. 

How do you stay centered 
in the storms, dear friends? 

Today I am linking with:

Roses of Inspiration

Won't you join the fun?

'To be kind to all, 
to like many and love a few, 
to be needed and wanted by those we love, 
is certainly the nearest we can come
to happiness'

-Mary Roberts Rinehart-

'Kind words can be short and easy to speak
but their echoes are truly endless'

-Mother Teresa-

Monday, August 31, 2015

Whole Wheat Scones with Broccoli Cheese Soup

Hello Dear Friends, 
I hope that you had a lovely weekend! 

It has finally rained here, 
which has made everyone
very happy, especially
the parched and thirsty trees. 

You can practically hear 
them sighing with relief! 

With the rain, came cooler temperatures, 
which put me in the mood for 
a bowl of Broccoli Cheese Soup
and Whole Wheat Scones

The soup is a slimmed down version
with only 140 calories per serving, 
but with all the flavor and satisfaction! 

I have been trying to incorporate 
more whole grains into my baking
and these scones are flaky and delicious. 

So take a seat and I will cook for you! 
(I'll post the recipes at the end)

Simple ingredients for a flavorful soup! 

There is something very satisfying 
in preparing soup home-made. 

You know everything that goes into it! 

To begin, chop the broccoli
into small, bite sized pieces. 

You will also need chopped onion. 
I like sweet onion:)

Washington State grows its own 
delicious sweet onion called 

There are even festivals honoring this onion! 

Chopped celery 
makes up the rest of the veggies. 

Add these to the chicken broth 
and bring to a boil. 

Reduce the heat and simmer until 
veggies are tender. 

Soup simmering on the stove.....

Wonderful on a rainy day! 

Grated cheese, milk, thyme and cornstarch
to thicken. 

I used Swiss cheese, but you could
use any cheese you like! 

I also add a little fat-free half and half for flavor. 

Here's the recipe:

Broccoli Cheese Soup 

Serves 6-8

2 lg heads chopped broccoli
2 lg stalks chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
32 oz chicken broth
8 oz grated Swiss cheese
4 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp dried thyme
 2 cups low fat milk
1/2 cup fat-free half and half (if desired)
salt and pepper to taste

Place vegetables and broth in soup pot, 
bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook until
vegetables are tender. 

In a medium bowl combine milk, half and half, 
cornstarch, thyme, and salt and pepper. 
Whisk thoroughly and add to soup pot. 

Cook, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly.
(you might need to increase heat)

Cook 1 minute more. 

Remove from heat and add cheese, stirring
until melted. 

Keep warm on low heat while preparing scones. 

Whole Wheat Scones:

Bake at 350 degrees - 35 min. 

1 cup whole wheat flour
2+1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2+1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1+1/2 cups chopped dried fruit such as
apricots, currents, or cherries
(I used whole golden raisins)
2/3 cup buttermilk
cream or milk for brushing on scones
sugar for sprinkling on top

Combine flours, salt and baking powder in large 
mixing bowl. Add butter and cut in
 until crumbly and lumpy. 
Add dried fruit and buttermilk. 
Mix just until combined. 

On floured surface, pat dough into 8 inch round.
Cut into 8 triangles. Place 1/2 inch apart 
on lightly buttered baking sheet.

At this point you can cover and place in 
refrigerator for later, or overnight, if you like.  

I used a buttered cast-iron fry pan.

Brush with milk or cream
and sprinkle with sugar. 

 Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes 
until golden and cooked through. 

Oh my! So good! 

Flaky and delicious! 



Today I am linking with:

Cooking and Crafting with J&J

Won't you join the fun? 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Country Drive with Good Fences and More

It has been hot and dry here this summer
near the foothills of the Cascades
in Washington State.

Come along with me and we will 
take a late summer drive
through golden fields. 

Beautiful Goldenrod blooms despite the drought.

A whole field full. 

Sunflowers growing along the edge of this rural airstrip. 
There are houses along both sides, 
all with their own private planes! 

The road bisects the airstrip, with houses
and planes on both sides.
They all have very large garages :)

We frequently have small planes flying over 
our foothills home from this airstrip.

Most of the time, they are sight-seeing.
Sometimes they will do aerial acrobatics!

Just last evening this ultra-light came into view
after listening to it approach for quite
some time.

It was towing this hang-glider. 
To my surprise, the line was released
right above me! The plane cut the engine
 and drifted away while I held my breath.

The engine finally started again
 and they both flew out of sight in different directions.

This is where they were.
Not many things happen out here.
The only 'traffic' consists of aircraft
or the occasional flock of birds!

A beautiful evening for touring the skies.

Here is another shot of the airstrip
 taken earlier this year, 
looking straight down the runway. 

You can see some of the houses alongside. 

Wouldn't it be wonderful to step
out your back door and hop into your plane?

This is their view.
The perfect place to have a small plane.

I had to drive down the private lane to get this shot.
And yes, I was noticed.
And inquired upon :)

The Gentleman graciously let me take this shot
and offered to help me exit.

A neighborhood watch in action.

A closer view of the sunflowers
as I leave. 

Whoever plants these every year
makes everyone smile :)

Further along we see this Rowan Tree full of berries. 
The large purple Beech is impressive, too.

Every year I make a point to drive by this Dahlia farm.

Beautiful rows of happiness!

My Mother loved Dahlias and grew them
every year.

I'm sure these get sold in one of our
 many wonderful farmer's markets.

A simple little cottage that could use some flowers!
It has basic charm, though.

That's better! This is how I would fancy it up!

Cows ahead!

In my rear view mirror :)

A beautiful fence-line corals tall trees.
You can see how dry the fields are.

Forest fires are raging east of the Cascade range
 in North Central Washington State
and frequently fill the air with smoke here,
West of the Cascades.

This amazing photo of Mt. Rainier surrounded
by smoke and red-tinged clouds
from the fires, was taken two days ago by my son,
Dustin, on his way to Phoenix on a business trip.

This year the Okanogan Complex fire is the largest
fire ever recorded in Washington State.
 It has burned 438 sq. miles so far and is
only one of several large fires burning in the state.

It is only 17% contained.

We have lost 3 young firefighters and
President Obama has declared a federal emergency.

The good news is that we are expecting rain,
over the weekend.

Ripening corn.

A beautiful garden.

More pretty flowers.

Love these fence posts.

We arrive at the gate.


My new neighbor's beautiful horse.
I think it might be a Belgian cross.

The welcoming committee.

Where we park....

Home Sweet Home


Thank you for coming along, Dear Friends!

Today I am linking with:

 Run-a-Round Ranch Report - Good Fences

Won't you join the fun?

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