Thursday, March 30, 2006

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

If that's not rain, where did all this water come from? Do you here something leaking? Not really leaking, pouring would be a better term... Seems to be flowing out of the storage room, do you see it? HOLY COW... the hot water tank has erupted!!
What a sight to come home to after a long day of work. Thankfully the hot water tank is in the basement and even though there was alot of water, it had thoughtfully flowed the right direction and really didn't ruin anything. Shilo's new carpet was wet in one fairly small spot and the rest had gone in the direction of the cement floor. It even stayed away from the boxes in the storage room. All in all, quite the lucky day, wouldn't you agree?

Kevin is here right now. He starts classes at Western Culinary Institute in Portland on April 10th. We will be going to his orientation with him this coming Saturday and possibly apartment hunting. He will be rooming with a kid from California who should be getting in sometime tomorrow. Kevin is very excited about starting this new chapter of his life. I'll keep you posted...

Shilo and Dustin are on spring break this week. They are having a good time, but as usual, they seem to make a mess of the house everyday. In a few years I plan on going to their houses while they are at work and messing them up... I'm going to make PB&J sammies and leave the sticky knife on the counter and my bread crumbs on the floor. I'm going to leave three or four half empty glasses, a bag of potato chips, my shoes, random socks, books, backpacks and DVD's in the living room. I'm going to collect their mail and newspaper and scatter them out all over their dining room tables until you can't even see the table. When they come home from work, I'm going to be sprawled out on the couch and ask "What's for dinner" befor they even get all the way in the door. Wait....maybe I'll just let their kids do that and I'll sit back and laugh instead....

Monday, March 20, 2006

It's Spring...

Today is the day when bold kites fly,
When cumulus clouds roar across the sky.
When robins return, when children cheer,
When light rain beckons spring to appear.
Today is the day when daffodils bloom,
Which children pick to fill the room,
Today is the day when grasses green,
When leaves burst forth for spring to be seen.
--- Robert McCracken---

Happy, happy spring :)
I spent much of the weekend in my backyard flower beds. Someone in years past had lined the whole bed with black plastic, dumped dirt on the top and thrown broken concrete on the top of that. The only purpose for this as far as I can tell was to choke out whatever was growing underneath. We bought the house last spring and with all the other projects, I never got to the backyard ones. I have made it my mission this spring to restore those old flower beds. I had ordered shade loving plants from the Michigan Bulb Company and Brecks during the winter and they arrived Saturday. I knew they were on the way, yet I hadn't prepared my beds...procrastination! I spent Saturday moving the rocks and old concrete, shoveling dirt and pulling up plastic. Riff took pity on me and came to help with the carting off of debris. Thank God for helpful husbands!! Pulling up the old plastic, I unearthed some wonderful finds. There were several clumps of spring bulbs still trying to push their way up to the sun, even through the plastic. Very determined little things! I also found a Clematis. I just can't imagine why someone would cover them up. By the time the sun set Saturday, the bed was free of nasties and ready for compost. Sunday morning we were up with the Robins, (that Boots was trying to hunt with no luck!), and turning compost and steer manure into the beds. A carefully placed bit of driftwood and I was ready to plant. Shortly, with any luck, I will have a riot of Lady Ferns, Widows Tears, Daylilies, Bleeding Hearts, Astibles, Lily of the Valley, Sweet-Peas, Snapdragons, Nastursiums, Delphiniums and Chammomile. Some of these I planted from seed, so only time will tell... Riff then covered it all with chicken wire for me. We decided to try that to keep the dogs, Blackie and Hannah out until the plants are established. I don't think they will bother with it after the plants grow. I hope I'm right...

Sunday afternoon we went to Fort Clatsop to listen to one of my favorite authors speak. Jane Kirkpatrick writes Christian historical fiction based closely on the true lives of women. The first book of hers that I had read is called "A Gathering of Finches" and features Cassie Simpson. Cassie was the wife of Louis Simpson, timber baron and co-founder of North Bend, Oregon. Louis built a mansion and botanical garden for Cassie which is now a state park known as Shore Acres outside of Coos Bay. Wonderful story that even Riff has read. The latest 3 book series that I have read is about Marie Dorian who was the only woman in the Astor party.(The first expedition to the Pacific Northwest after Lewis and Clark). Very good books. Check out her website at
Happy reading.......

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy Saint Patty's Day!

I just want to share my favorite Irish Blessing today (Or is it a curse?!)

May those who love us, love us.
And those who don't love us,
May God turn their hearts;
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we will know them by their limping...

I have always found this vastly amusing. I hope you share my jovality:)

Corned beef and Cabbage is simmering away in the crock-pot so that we may enjoy an Americanized idea of the perfect Irish meal tonight.

May the luck of the Irish be with you....

Monday, March 13, 2006

These are a few of my favorite things...

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things...
...from The Sound of Music....

Some of MY favorite things
1) breakfast
2) walks on the beach
3) folk art painting
4) baking
5) gardening
6) reading
7) cooking
8) bubble baths

Ever have one of those days where all you do are things that you enjoy? They are rare and unexpected gifts. Sunday was that day for me. Riff and I rose early, watched the sun peek its delightful face out of the clouds, then decided we needed some breakfast that wasn't available in our refrigerator. We headed down to the Wet Dog Cafe', sat at a window table watching the ships go by and had a very nice breakfast. We then loaded up the dogs and took a long walk on the beach. The dogs chased the sandpipers and splashed happily in the incoming tide. We met only one other beachcomber on the first leg of our walk and possibly five on the return journey. Such crowds should not be tolerated!!
Back at home, I gathered up my JoSonja paints, brushes, and paraphenelia and headed to Shilo's room. Shilo had a bit of an unpleasant experience with a rat(?) (the creature was bigger than a mouse, but not at all your typical rat size) this winter who had gotten into our basement and chewed an actual mouse-hole into Shilo's room. Boots, our kitten, had spent the night with Shilo and a "cat and mouse game" had insued. Shilo spent the next several nights upstairs in the guest room until the invader was caught and dealt with severly. Anyway, back to my paint brushes, I proceeded to paint an adorable "Rat Hole", including the rat, in the now repaired original spot.
My next stop for the day was in the kitchen. I had recieved the most recent issue of "Cottage Living" last week and thought the cookies on page 116 looked wonderful. I can't recall what they were called, but they turned out wonderful. The dough is flavored with baking cocoa and a touch of peanut butter. You then have a mixture of peanut butter and powdered sugar that you roll into small balls and press into the middle of your chocolate dough. Before baking you dip the top of the cookie in sugar. Delightful!!
The cookies were fininshed and the sun was still shining strong so I ventured out to my stone planter boxes that line the front walk. In no time, I had my hands dirty and the old leaves and dead stems out. The primroses are blooming and ready for some friends to join them, although the weather isn't cooperating just yet.
Now, it seemed to me, was a little time for some reading, so I grabbed "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova and settled in on my sunporch. I am about a third of the way through this book and am enjoying my trip to Dracula's lair.
Thirty minutes later my stomach was starting to growl, so I made my way to the kitchen. I found two naked chickens waiting for me, seasoned them up and threw them in the oven. They came out very moist and flavorful. I don't know why I don't roast chicken more often. It sure is good.
After dinner, Riff cleaned up and I enjoyed a nice long bubble bath.
I hope you enjoyed your Sunday as well as I enjoyed mine!
These are a few of my favorite things....

Friday, March 10, 2006

Snowflakes Are Falling...

Snowflakes are falling
On the ground
On our houses in our town
On my nose and in my hair
Snowflakes are falling everywhere...
Author unknown....

We woke to a enchanted world of white this morning. I sat mesmerized as tiny, sparkling diamonds fell from the sky. One would think I had never seen snow before, although we all know that I spent my first 18 years of life in an area where you do not see the actual ground for quite a few months in the winter time. One also would have forgotten that I spent the last 11 years in Wyoming where snow does not linger long, but falls from the sky many times in the winter. Our two dogs, however, had not forgotten. As I let them out this morning, they each turned to look at me as if to say "I thought we had left this nonsence behind!" Boots, our 5 month old kitten, thought it was great fun to romp in that chilly white stuff and was not even ready to come back inside by the time I left for work. He may need therapy. I do not think that this is appropriate kitty behavior!
I decided to swing by the beach this morning before getting to the office, just in case the snow had decided to settle there also. It had!! I took several pictures which I would love to include on this post, but do not yet have the technology. Such is life.
May you all be blessed with your inner child today...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I Wanna Drive A Zamboni

Now ever since I was young it's been my dream
That I might drive a Zamboni machine
I'd get the ice just as slick as could be
And all the kids would look up to me
I want to drive the Zamboni...hey
Iwant to drive the Zamboni...Yes I do!

by Gear Daddies

I had given Riff hockey tickets for Valentines Day. The big game was Saturday night and Riff was already in Vancouver for a surveyors seminar/training thing-y-ma-bob, so I drove over and picked him up at the convention center. We quickly made our way into Portland so that we had time to swine at Windmer Brothers Brew Pub. Riff is a big fan of their brewskies with the "Drop Top" being his beer of choice right now. We had an appetizer of their baked pretzel with a wonderful german mustard for dipping, then I had a turkey deluxe sandwich that came fully loaded with guacamole, lettuce, tomato and red onions on a homemade sourdough bread and a helping of german potato salad. Riff sucked down a new york steak smothered in blue cheese and sauteed onions, served with garlic mashed potatoes. MMMM...MMM...MMM!!
Off to the Rose Garden we trundled, bellies full and taste buds satisfied.
Shortly our cheeks were in our seats in anticipation of a great game. The timer sounded and within two minutes two different sets of "fisticuffs" had broken out. Penalty plays right off the bat! The boys soon settled in and played some good hockey. The Winterhawks beat the Rockets 2-1. What a fun night we had. I only wish we could go more often!!
For now, I had better get the "puck" outta here....