Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Celebration Weekend for Two (and Pets)

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

Here, we celebrated the Fourth of July, Independence Day, 
'quietly' at home. Our animal companions 
do not like the noise and commotion, 
so we stay home to comfort them
 and enjoy our own version of Independence Day. 

Although we live on the edge of the forest, 
that does not insulate us from the revelry 
going on all around us. The sound of fireworks
 carries for miles, especially
through silent canyons and elevations. 

Sound carries upwards....

Woodland walks were peaceful alternatives. 

The wild black raspberries are ripe. 

The robins love these, so we only find a few. 

They are sweet and delicate. 

We found this giant mushroom, too. 

I believe it is a Lepiotas - Chlorophyllum.
Impressive, right?
(I identified it from my guide book :)

It is growing by itself, although I have seen tiny 
mushrooms growing nearby. 

Usually we have mushrooms in autumn, 
but this summer, so far, has been unusually cool and damp. 

You can see how big it is compared to my hand! 

Some of these types are edible, but there are also 
some varieties that can be toxic. 

I would never take a chance. I noticed that it has not
been nibbled.........

Pretty blackberry blossoms and an ancient western red cedar
with huckleberry, ferns and creeping blackberry.

Western red cedar was extensively utilized by
 Native Americans, its wood made into a variety of objects,
the bark peeled for baskets and other items, and foliage used for kindling.

Ramblin' Man has taken the week off work
for a 'stay-cation', so while he tended to
mowing the lawn, I did some baking.

I made Whole Wheat Scones, but left out the raisins
and added two tablespoons of honey for sweetness,
to make shortcakes.

I have been experimenting with healthier
versions of shortcake lately.

I also made some potato salad, and marinated
cut-up boneless chicken in Teriyaki for kabobs.

I make Potato Salad with:
 peeled, diced, cooked and cooled Yukon Gold potatoes,
diced hard-boiled eggs,
a little bit of minced, sweet yellow onion,
and equal parts mayonnaise and Miracle Whip,
(enough to moisten)
with salt and pepper to taste,
 garnished with smoked paprika.

The Miracle Whip is the secret ingredient :)

The evening of the 4th was cool and cloudy.

Too cool for sitting outside, so I set a Patriotic
table inside.

I grilled the chicken with whole, sweet mini-peppers
and brown sugar bbq sauce.

The evening sun shines through the forest
and illuminates my collection of electrical
insulators under the canopy where I am grilling.

The pot of yellow flowers on the rail is
a form of perennial creeping Jenny.

White hydrangea and mint grow in a planter box.

You can't have a proper bbq without corn on the cob!

Time to eat!

Save room for strawberry shortcake!

Sooooo good!

The whole wheat scones are perfect -
and the leftovers can be served with butter and jam
for breakfast.

Unedited clouds at sunset over the Cascade Range of Western Washington State. 

While the sun sets on this patriotic holiday,
we count our blessings that we live in the
land of the free.

America the Beautiful.

And even though we stayed in for the celebration,
we did enjoy watching the fireworks
on television over our beautiful city of Seattle.

With happy pets sleeping at our feet :)


"And so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your
country can do for you - ask what you can do for your
My fellow citizens of the world: ask not
what America will do for you, but what together
we can do for the freedom of man."

John F. Kennedy


Today I am linking with:

Cooking and Crafting with J&J

Won't you join the fun? 


  1. Dear Karen,
    this looks like you celebrated a wonderful 4th of July :O)
    The walk through the woods was beautiful and your food looked so delicious!
    Thank you for wonderufl pictures!
    Buit, I missed the pictures with sleeping happy pets at your feet ;O)
    Have a wonderful rest of the week, my dear friend,
    sending Love and hugs and blessings,
    Claudia xo

  2. Another beautiful post, sounds like a wonderful celebration.

  3. Kare, everything looks so yummy and wonderful!
    The mushroom is awesome!

  4. I dropped by your blog fortunately. The photos are very beautiful. All of you had a wonderful day.

  5. Hello, looks like a fabulous 4th of July weekend with your hubby. The scones and BBQ look delicious. I will have to try making scones some time. The berries look yummy. Happy Wednesday, enjoy your day!

  6. Your dinner looked wonderful, glad you had a wonderful celebration with the kids! Beautiful pictures of the sunset...wow!

  7. Wow...looks like you had a great time!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  8. You two had a lovely holiday and so nice to have a 'staycation' too.

    Your food all looks delicious!

    Enjoy the rest of your week ~ FlowerLady

  9. Looks like it was a wonderful and cozy 4th together Karen! I love seeing the woods around there - just so wild and beautiful. That mushroom was amazing! Lol

    Those scones were such a wonderful idea for something yummy, yet healthier. I may need to steal that. ;)

    Blessings on the rest of your week with your Sweetie!! xoxo

  10. I always enjoy the walks you take us on. Seeing all that lush, cool, greenery is such a treat vs. the heat and humidity of a Texas summer that I'm experiencing. Very refreshing! :-) And..oh, those pictures of the Cascades. Always stunning.

    Your holiday meal looks yummy! I'm now in the mood for chicken kabobs.

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  11. Hi Karen, your dinner and dessert looked so good! I love the mountain scenes! The dogs hate the fire crackers! Sounds like you had fun! Thanks for sharing this at Cooking and Crafting with J&J!
    Enjoy the week.

  12. Dear Karen, what a wonderful post and so inspiring in all ways. Your dinner and treats look so good and I love your photography. Love taking a walk with you around your beautiful property. It's so nice to see the greenery doing so well and lush. We are very hot here now and the gardens are beginning to really struggle.
    We are on a staycation this week too. Sometime it's the perfect vacation.
    Wishing you a wonderful week. Blessings. xo

  13. I hope your had a great 4th July?! Everything looks so beautiful. It is great for me to see that all in your wonderful post.Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great week and enjoy.

  14. What a wonderful way to celebrate the 4th! You have the perfect surroundings for a peaceful day, no matter the weather. We did the opposite this year....minor league baseball game and fireworks with all the ballpark food and junk!

  15. Your 4th of July celebration sounded perfectly wonderful, Karen. I'd love your whole meal and of course, I could go for a bowl of your strawberry shortcake as a sweet ending!

  16. Thank you for sharing with us.
    Lovely photos.

  17. What a lovely look into your world!
    I enjoyed your walk in the woods and was amazed to see black raspberries, which I mistook dor blackberries.

  18. Glad you had a good weekend, hope you are enjoying your week with Ramblin Man!

  19. Oh your food looks so delicious! Your pics are beautiful! thanks for sharing it all. Have a great week, Lynn

  20. Your food for this special da looks delicious and the area wonderful.
    Best regards, Synnöve

  21. Love everything you shared, the fireworks, the meal, the cooking, the decorating, the sunset...everything!
    I too feel sorry for the animals and the noise created by us humans. Good for you, staying home to comfort them.

  22. Boy, we sure could use JFK these days!! Your celebration looks wonderful and it's so sweet to hear of people being sensitive to their pets' needs and fears. I love that. Your feast looks wonderful. I wouldn't reject a doggy bag. :-) Your home is so lovely, Karen.

  23. YEAH....I got on your blog this time. I have such a time. I just enjoy your beautiful posts so much. You have a lovely style that is delightful We had a pretty quiet 4th similar to yours. That's just fine with me. Your baked goods sure looked yummy. Happy Summer.

  24. What a wonderful, delicious post, Karen!
    The sunsets look fabulous, America is certainly beautiful in your photos. :)
    Have a great weekend! xx

  25. So many delicacies for a special occasion Karen!I always love the way you put yourself in all the things you do. This is amazing.I really admire you. Your home is a fantastic place to be, not only of the wild surroundings but also because there is so much love and care and charm and elegance and coziness and warmth in it.
    Be blessed!

  26. A wonderful celebration with love ones and pets. Wonderful walks to see the wild berries and mushrooms. That was a very big mushroom. Delicious looking food and cakes. And lovely sunset and fireworks to watch at the end of the day.

  27. Beautiful photos you share. Our 4th was about the same! Our cows dont enjoy noise and neither does our old dog so we avoid it too. We also live back on the edge of a forest so I hear a bit of booming from town also.. ps. I love the photos you share of your cabinets and kitchenware. Im just now enjoying my first hoisier cabinet and love finding cuties to decorate it with. -lisa

  28. Great celebration!!! Congratulations from the South of Spain


  29. Well, I know where I want to be next 4th, your house.
    What a fabulous Fourth of July you had. I am on the shore
    of a salt water cove and lots of woods and I hear the people
    across the cove sound travels over water. The fire works make
    my Bennie pant and his heart beats so rapid, He shakes and hides.
    MAINE has no laws you can shoot fire works all night and all day.
    It's crazy here. You can put your hand on a rock and say I am a builder.
    No licence, just go screw somebody over, the law say go for it.
    If I knew this I wouldn't have built here.

  30. I think this year was the worse we have had of many people setting off fireworks all around us, poor little Peanut can't hear very well anymore but that is good for this time of year cause she doesn't know what is going on all around. Your dinner looked amazing, with all kinds of goodies to eat :) Wow that sunset is just amazing, glad you enjoyed a nice weekend!

  31. Very pretty 4th of July post and I sure did enjoy that previous one with your fairy garden too! Love how the one fairy collects marbles...ooooops!---- orbs!

  32. Very pretty 4th of July post and I sure did enjoy that previous one with your fairy garden too! Love how the one fairy collects marbles...ooooops!---- orbs!

  33. Another lovely post to look at and read.
    Your photo's are a joy and your meal looks great - I bet it was delicious!

    All the best Jan

  34. Dearest Karen,
    Lovely post about your 4th of July evening!
    Love your broccoli soup with the scones recipe in your previous post. Guess I would completely use whole wheat pastry flour and probably coconut oil instead of butter...
    It is so true that pets hate fire works!
    Guess our kittens were all hiding inside when it was the evening of the 4th of July.
    Both of us were enjoying fireworks from our 7th floor at the Hyatt Place in Orlando, overlooking Disney World, Epcot Center and Sea World across the I-4 Interstate. Very impressive and a perfect ending of our 8 nights in Florida, on the way up north from Miami...
    Sending you hugs,

  35. Dearest Karen,
    Pieter just did sit beside me for checking on your Lepiotas - Chlorophyll.
    He said, yes you are right about that! Although there are several varieties but I told him that in your climate they probably are 'in heaven' with cooler and wetter climate.
    Enjoy your weekend dear friend!

  36. Dear Karen,

    Looks like you had a wonderful fourth of July and your photos are so lovely. You are so wise staying in, as pets really do not like fireworks. The walk through the bush looks perfect seeing the wild black raspberries and how delicious your food is.
    hope you are enjoying the weekend

  37. Beautiful photos!! We stay home to and the kids come over....I had to work the night of the 4th but we can usually see the big fire work display that the local city puts on from our front porch which I think is the best seat in the house!!
    Thanks so muchf or stopping by and ofr your kind words!!


  38. I love the photos from the forest. The giant mushroom is wonderful.

  39. So many lovely photos in this post Karen, I don't know where to begin, but how about that dessert!? After all, we know we should always start with that, right? It almost looks like a pavlova, which I've been itching to make.

    It's funny, but I had a dog that wasn't afraid of fireworks but very afraid of thunder, and another dog that was the opposite. While I love the visuals I'm not a fan of the noise, so I understand how they feel.

    That mushroom is unbelievable! I am not sure if I've ever seen one quite so large.

    Your dinner looks and sounds wonderful. I've been using small peppers lately too, and they're slightly sweeter than their larger cousins which I enjoy.


  40. Karen, your photos are just gorgeous! They always make me want to step right into the picture. Right now I'd like to step right into your cozy kitchen and have a scone and cup of tea!

  41. A woodland walk is most definitely a peaceful alternative to the fireworks and chaos :) I tend to not enjoy the 4th of July loudness myself. But maybe that is because I am a quiet person in general :)

  42. I love how you can connect with nature and your walks in the woods. In Michigan the paths have long grown over and poison oak and ivy is rampant. It's still wonderful to have that beauty nearby.

    You had a wonderful 4th and the week with your husband home. How nice that you made it extra special by baking! We have the heat now. Ugh!

    I'm having problems sending emails to those who comment on my blog but it's just as well...a visit is much better! I love that you have a cockatiel. I used to hand raise them. What started as a nice learning experience for my kids turned into 5 separate clutches. At one time I had 15! A crazy time!!!

    Thanks for your visits, Karen!


  43. awwww karen, such a sweet, fun post!!! i can't imagine it being "too cold" on 4th of july to eat outdoors, it was too hot here!!!

    we had such a fun weekend with friends and family, our town had fireworks the thursday before. we are a summer destination so the town always does one round of fireworks on thursday for us and a second round on the 4th for the tourists. we skipped that one!!!

    the unedited clouds are gorgeous!!!!


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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