Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Lavender Chicken

I planted 3 lavender plants last year that have turned into beautiful "drifts" this year. I have been experementing with sun tea to try to duplicate a Lavender Mint Julep Sun Tea that is sold at our local Sunday market. It's too die for and hard to wait all winter to get my fix. As I was blog surfing the other day, I ran across Gabriella's sight at www.mylifeasareluctanthousewife.blogspot.com . She has a great sight and wonderful recipes. I tried out her Lavender Lemon Chicken last night and it was delicious!! I substituted fresh lavender for the dried and used thyme out of my garden also. Head over to her sight, grab the recipe and try it. The smell while it is cooking is heavenly. I saved all the dripping to use as stock in something else later on. Can't wait to try her lavender garlic bread!!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sun and Sand

"On the beach you'll find them there, in the sun and salty air..."
-Beach Boys

Record breaking temperatures this past weekend. I am not complaining, mind you, after our incredibly long, rainy winter. Shilo and I went to Portland on a girls shopping trip on Saturday. After five hours in the cool, air-conditioned mall we almost melted as we got back into the car. I would like to have had the sunroof open for the ride home, but Shilo was feeling a bit tired and whiny..."My legs are sore(soccer practice), my tooth hurts(new filing), I'm hot(wearing jeans), my stomach hurts(cheese on her sandwich), I don't know any of the songs on your cd's(not my problem!), I'm gonna have a sunburn on my forehead(which gets us to the sunroof!) All in all, we had a pleasant day.
Riff and Dustin got home on Sunday with Derek in tow. They are tired, sunburnt, beat-up, bruised and happy to be home. Riff confessed that they (him, Britt and Jared-not the others), floated a stretch of river know as "Staircase" at much to high of a level. (Class 4+ to 5) The guides had pulled off of it a week earlier because the levels had risen to much and they had actually lost a couple of people. They had a great week and everyone came home intact. Of course, they are already planning next years trip. Grande Ronde sound good?
Another exceptionally warm day for the Oregon Coast. After unpacking the suburban and starting the mountains of "camping" laundry, we loaded up and headed to the beach. It was Dereks first time, so he was very excited about the whole thing and entranced by the sand shrimp. 85 degrees at the house when we left, but only about 65 on the beach with a chilly breeze blowing. Seems to happen that way if we wait until the afternoon to go. We decided not to fight the wind, so went to Coffinbury Lake for our barbeque. I had made "Firecracker Burgers" to grill. Salsa mixed in with the burger, then wrapped around a cheese-filled jalapeno popper. After grilling you top the toasted bun with guacamole, lettuce, tomato and onion. Very good!! The dogs had a good swim in the lake, then a mighty shake standing right next to me. Why do they do that? I think they find it funny. Hannah always seems to be grinning after she drenches someone.
May you be blessed with warm days and grilled burgers....

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My friend, the deer....

The beautiful, golden time of twilight has descended. My peaceful evening yard is full of fluttering white moths bouncing from leaf to leaf like so many tiny specks of light. From across the street, a white-tail doe smells my roses. She carefully makes her way across the slick pavement, unaware that Boots, our black kitten, has fancied himself a lion and is stalking her every move. He crouches, his long tail twitching, every muscle ready for the big spring that will bring this great creature down and end her delicate life. She notices him at last, turns to look, and the mighty lion is once again a silly black kitten. I watch, unseen, from behind the curtain.

The doe continues into the yard, glides slowly up the hill by the cherry tree, and lowers her soft nose into the bright pink wild roses that grace the hillside. I step out onto the front porch and speak softly to her. "Hello", I say, "Could you please leave the roses? I'm sure that we could find you something else just as delightful to eat." She regards me with those big brown eyes, her soul reflected in them. I can see that she is not hungry. She is wanting a little something sweet with the same conviction that a small girl of three wants a strawberry ice cream cone. We stand quietly, looking into each others eyes. Who will win this battle of the wills? She is not comfortable enough to nibble her dessert with me standing so close, yet neither is she willing to back away and leave those delicious treats sitting upon their prickly stems. I take a few steps closer and she bounds away, into the neighbors yard, her white tail up, surrendering to my stronger will.

Back on the porch, I watch for some time, standing gaurd over my roses. The doe is sniffing around, looking for something, anything, to eat. Ah, a yellow birdfeeder, swinging gently in the evening breeze. She tentatively reaches out her long pink tongue. A taste of seed later and you can see a look of pure pleasure in her eyes as she chews. I feel somewhat sure that my roses are safe, at least for now, so I tuck myself into my little blue cottage for the night.

Morning has come. I stretch and pad softly to the window, on the look out for the birds that partake of their breakfast feast at my front yard bird cafe'. As I pull back the curtains, I notice that my little feathered friends are not around this morning. A closer look reveals that, alas, not only is my neighbors feeder empty, but mine is empty as well. There appear to be large teeth marks on the roof of my little cedar-sided feeder. Seems my beautiful visitor had quite the little feast.

I will sit this evening, waiting quietly in the gloaming. Should my friend reappear, we shall have another chat...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Happy Fathers Day...

Yesterday was Fathers Day, but the Father who lives at our house was missing. He and Dustin are in Idaho floating the Salmon River (and a few other rivers that I can't remember right now). They picked up my nephew, Jordan, on their way and met Riff's friend Britt and his son, Jared, in camp. Britt also picked up Dustins friend, Derek, from Cody and brought him out. Riff has called several times to rub in the fact that Shilo and I are at home slaving away. It sounds like they are having a wonderful time. The weather is cooperating with 80 degree days and cool, mountain nights. I wish that we could be there, too. Oh, well....
I consoled myself with the purchse of several new plants for my back flower beds. Some purple coneflower, daylilies, iceland poppies, and sweet potato vines have joined the menagarie growing back there. I was surveying the new plantings and congratulating myself on a job well done when the phone rang. A friend of ours was calling to see if their big dog, Oscar, could come over for the weekend as they were going out of town. I assured him that, of course, that would be fine, I'd love to have him. Immediately upon hanging up the phone, I realized that my new plants and all of my hard work, time and MONEY spent on these new beds were in imminent danger. I have had a hard enough time keeping our dogs out of them without adding another, very large, rambunctious marmaduke to the mix. The first place Oscar headed was right into the thick of things. I scolded him and he came away as if to say that he was just smelling the beautiful flowers. I am still cringing and afraid to look... I think my dog sitting days are over. My heart can't handle the stress.
Shilo and I went to the movies last night. A perk of her new job is that she gets in free and can bring a guest as often as she wants. Fun for me! We went to "The Lake House" with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. A must see for any of you who are romantic at heart. It was a make you feel good, laugh out loud, keep you guessing, magical film. I wanted to sit and watch it again once it was over. It is for those of us who like to believe that there is a little bit of magic in this world. For those of us who know that life is not flat and one dimensional. That there are other realms and many possiblities out there. Why not?
May you be blessed with many rivers to run and just a bit of magic in your life....

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Happy Birthday, Moon...

"Bear waited and watched while the moon slowly crept up through the branches..."
-Frank Asch in "Happy Birthday, Moon"

Looking out the front window, the full moon beckoned to me. Listening closely, I could hear it whispering "come out and play." I quickly turned to Riff and asked if he would like to go for a walk with me. After a moment of surprise and confusion, (it was after 10 o'clock and he had settled in with a beer and a bag of potato chips), he agreed to accompany me. It was such a beautiful night. The air was filled with the scent of many flowers mingling together to sweeten our scenses. The moon shed its golden light on everything and made the world seem magical.
We walked up the hill behind the house until we came out at the top of Lexington Avenue. From there we had an incredible view of the lights of town and the Columbia River. A few ships were out, their lights casting a glow upon the water. We wound our way back down the hill, past beautiful Victorian homes with gardens in bloom and their people tucked snuggly inside. Back at home, we settled into our chairs by the rhododendrun bushes, our cracked magical ball solar light seemed to be playing "copy cat" with the moon. When it was time to go in, I looked up and softly whispered, "Thank you, and goodnight".

May you be blessed with the glow of the moon...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Dreamland Express...

I caught a ride on the Dreamland Express last night,
I was sailing on an ocean of blue,
Right there by my side, much to my surprise, was you...

I said, come on over here baby, let me look in your eyes,
Let me see the very heart of you,
And I couldn't believe it, to concieve that my dream would come true...

You said, Let me be the end of your rainbow,
Let me be the stars up above,
Let me be the one that you long for, darling,
Let me be the one that you love...
-John Denver

Four years ago today this song was playing as our wedding party marched, tripped and sauntered up the aisle. Outside, snow was falling and INSIDE our family and friends were decked out in their winter coats. We had rented the old dance hall at Wallowa Lake for the joyous occasion. Casey, the manager of the lodge and the gondola, had graciously chopped us some firewood when the flakes begin to fall. In our wedding video there is a loud popping sound. The first time we watched, we couldn't decide what that noise was, but figured out that it is the logs cracking in the fire. What a fun day that was. I think we must watch the video again tonight.

May you all be blessed with love and crackeling fires...

Friday, June 02, 2006

Sunshine on my shoulder...

Sunshine on my shoulder looks so lovely,
Sunshine almost always makes me high...
-John Denver

Sunshine this afternoon after several days of rain. Yeah!! I have a large black and yellow bumblebee buzzing around the window, thinking that he would really like to be outside now. I suppose that I would prefer him to be out there also...

I need to tell everyone that Kevin, Mr. "I hate school", is really enjoying culinary school and recieved a 96% on a test recently. He also finished a course last week with a 105%! Kudos to Chef Kevin (o:

I went to physical therapy with Shilo this morning to learn how to "push on her butt". She finds this amuzing, so if she can keep from laughing to much, hopefully we can make some progress with her muscles. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, I will tell you Shilo's sad story. She has had some health complaints recently(and some not so recent), so we took her in for a complete physical about two weeks ago. Turns out the back pain she has been complaining about for quite some time is the result of mild scoliosis (spelling?), but probably compounded by several falls down the stairs a year ago. (We had taken her to a different doctor a year ago for these same falls and after x-rays, we were told that there was nothing wrong with her! Our new doctor didn't even need x-rays-he knew right away that there was a fairly large problem going on.) Her hip joints are locked up all cattiewampas instead of sitting in their sockets and moving with her and being flexible like they should be. This has caused her muscles from her butt down to her knees to be extremely tight, or "hot" as the therapist says, and weak. There is absolutely NO give in her muscles, which is why she keeps injuring herself in PE and soccer and just...walking around. THUS, the migraines that are on her list of complaints, caused from the messed up bones and muscles. The good news is that with the right exercises and physical therapy 3 times a week for awhile, she can be fixed. She will have to keep up the stretches and such forever or she will go right back to where she is now.
She has also had some breathing issues during PE and just walking home. Last year when she had mono, the doctor at the hospital mentioned that we may want to get her checked for asthma, as he thought he could hear some wheezing. Our doctor thought that there was a possiblity that she may have "exercise induced asthma", but after having her checked out with the respritory dude, she actually has real asthma. The good news here, I guess, is that it is not a bad case of asthma.
She is very concerned that she won't be able to play soccer again this year. Hopefully, they will have her all fixed up before summers out. A voluntary practice starts next week, but maybe she will be able to practice in a month or so. Poor kid!!

May you all be blessed with bumblebee's, good food, and strong butt muscles...