Friday, April 29, 2011

Princess Fairy Tale

Of course I stayed awake all night to see the Royal Wedding. I simply couldn't miss it. There it was, a real life Fairy Tale, and in living color! I started thinking about why so many people love a good Fairy Tale Wedding. Here it was, the beautiful commoner, marrying her handsome Prince. I think I have come to some conclusions about that. First of all, the pageantry was spectacular; the castles, the uniforms, the horse and carriage! And there she was, the beautiful princess in her diamond tiara, entering the spectacular Abbey to marry her Prince. And then it came to me why we love the Fairy Tale wedding so much. We all want to marry our handsome Prince, the one man that cherishes us out of all the damsels in the kingdom. It comes down to that one word, Cherish. And no matter whether we get married in a spectacular ceremony, or under a cherry tree in a field, it is knowing that there is one person in the whole kingdom who loves and cherishes us above everyone else that keeps the Fairy Tale alive. So, even if we can't be Princess of Camelot we can be Queen of 'Quite a Lot'

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Further into the Woods

I walked a little further into the woods. Spring beauty was everywhere I looked. The White Trillium are blooming, and the lovely Pink Salmonberry that lures the first humming birds back. The Ferns are unfurling, too. A native Douglas Squirrel chattered at me from above. This little white and navy butterfly floated by and stopped for a rest.

A Little Walk-About

I went for a little walk-about to see how Spring is progressing. It was too chilly for me to attempt any gardening, so I just meandered around noticing the beauty around me. I thought I would share a bit of it with you.

The End of the Rainbow

The weather has been so crazy lately! I know I can't complain, as we have relatively mild weather here in the Pacific Northwest compared to most places. But things seem to be looking up a little bit. Yesterday it was showery, with the occasional hail storm, which is typical for this time of year. It does bring your spirits down a bit when it lingers for days on end. But just as the day was coming to a close, when the sun was setting enough to get below the clouds, we saw a beautiful rainbow! It cheered Hubby and I up considerably. I hope it does the same for all of you!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter or margarine softened                 1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups golden brown sugar, packed                          1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract                                                         1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 lg eggs                                                                          1/2 tsp salt
2 cups old fashioned oatmeal                                          1 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour                                            1 cup raisins

Place racks in upper third of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. In a large bowl with electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add eggs and mix well. Add oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Mix on low speed until blended. Add nuts (optional) and raisins and mix on medium speed until blended. Drop batter by heaping tablespoons 1 1/2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until golden brown. Cookies will feel soft but will firm up as they cool. Let stand on baking sheets 2 minutes before transferring to racks to cool.
Makes about 45 cookies

A Rainy Day

Yesterday was a cold, rainy day so I stayed inside where it was warm and cozy. I have had to keep a fire going in the wood stove nearly every day this month! I thought it was a good day to replenish the cookie jar for Hubby. Lately his favorite has been Oatmeal Raisin. They aren't the prettiest cookie in the cookie jar, but they are mmmmm, mmm. I wish I could share them with all of you.......Have a happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter at G&E's

Yesterday we had a lovely Easter Brunch at my oldest son G and fiance E's chic townhouse. I always love to visit them as they are excellent hosts. My son is the chef of the family, and a very creative one at that! He served a delicious meal of savory quiche on a salad with his own dressing of oil, vinegar, fresh orange juice and honey! We also had black forest Ham. I baked a coffee cake, and there were Mimosa's and Bloody Mary's to help us along.

My future in-laws were also there and now I know where E
gets her sweet personality. It is always a joy for me to have my whole family together and now the family is expanding soon to include these wonderful people.
I made up some tiny Easter Baskets and little pots of purple flowers to hand out. I can't quite give up my Easter Basket tradition, even though there are no little ones yet!

We also celebrated my youngest daughter J's birthday. I found these delightful little cakes at the bakery instead of a birthday cake.

It is always exciting for me to come around the corner and get the first glimpse of 'The Emerald City'; Seattle! Although, yesterday was very gray and rainy, so it was more like a city in the mist. G&E live in a posh little community of townhomes. They remind me of something you might find in Amsterdam! I love the way each one is painted a different color.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Little Tour

I thought I would take you on a little tour of what my gardens and cottage look like from the outside.  We have cleared the property by hand mostly, retaining as many of the native plants as we can. We are very fortunate to live in an area of lovely wild flowers and native flowering trees, bushes and berries. As the year progresses, I will show you some of them. I 'garden' mostly in raised beds or pots, as my soil is very rocky and full of clay. Once we hired a tiller to come and plow out a vegetable garden. That was quite the adventure, as we ended up with more rocks than vegetables and what did grow, was quickly consumed by the wild things! I think I harvested a few tiny guourds! My dream is a greenhouse!

My Day in the Garden

Today I worked all afternoon outside in the warm Spring sunshine. First of all, I have to tell you, I am not one of those dedicated gardeners who will go out in all kinds of weather and whose gardens look like something in a magazine. I am what you might call an 'opportunistic' gardener. Meaning, it has to be warm outside, I have to be in the mood, and I can't feel pressured. I like to go out and do whatever pleases me at the moment. But it seems to work for me. I am very layed back as far as weeds go, too.

 What is the saying, 'One man's weed is another man's flower?' Well, that is my motto. And you can change that to 'woman', thank you very much. This is an example of one 'weed'. It is a native 'Pink Current' bush. It started growing along the edge of my garden one year. The hummingbirds love it. It blooms before most things in the forest and stands out with it's bright pink blossoms. If the birds don't get to them first, there are white berries in the summer. It is a jewel in the forest.

Sunny Day

Today is a rare sunny day here in the Pacific Northwest. I plan on going outside and working in the yard. I haven't had much of a chance to do that this Spring, as we have had unseasonably cold weather. I woke up to several inches of snow earlier in the week! I feel bad for the little birds who are nesting and raising their little ones now. I have already seen the first batch of nestlings flying around...young Stellar Jays. They are so sweet with their innocent and clumsy ways and the tufts of feathers on their heads, not yet formed into sleek crests like their parents. I have many birds here, as we live in the forest, and they have lots of shelter to nest and raise their young. I also have a feeder where I put out only black oil sunflower seeds which I buy by the 40 lb bag! This attracts more than birds, though, and I have had my share of wildlife over the years, including bears, raccoons, possum, and lots of squirrels, to name a few. Occasionally a skunk will come by. I had a little cat, Yami, that fell in love with one skunk, and followed it around for days. She was a funny little cat, and loved anything really stinky. She would put her whole face inside hubby's shoes, and I can tell you, that was a stinky place! She is gone now, after gracing us with her presence for 18 years. I could write a book just about Yami, and maybe someday I will.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Commemorative Garden

 I started a commemorative garden for my Mother who has recently passed away. I want to create a place of peace and beauty in remembrance and honor of my Mother's life. This will be a work in progress, that I will add to over time.

 Yesterday I also planted Columbine in honor of the students who died 12 years ago to the day in Colorado.

 This garden is where my children's sandbox used to be. While I was planting flowers, I noticed a little matchbox car in the soil I had just dug.

 Then I found a marble.

Pretty soon I was sifting through the dirt and I found 7 matchbox cars and 44 marbles! My youngest child is now close to 30, so I imagine these toys have been buried for close to 20 years! And so, all of the generations are tied together in one little garden, all started by my Mother and her Mother before her, Beatrice Euphemie.
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