Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Shilo's Snowman...

Shilo, her boyfriend David, and their friend Carlos built this gigantic snowman in the old cemetary today. Isn't he cute?! Shilo took these pictures with her cell phone. They turned out pretty darn good, I thought...

May you be blessed with happy snowmen...


This is my neighbors pretty little house. I love the Christmas tree shining through the window.
We have a skiff of snow...school is canceled! How crazy is that, I ask you?! Yes, it's Astoria, yes, we have some dangerous hills (okay alot of dangerous hills!). To someone who grew up and lived in snow country for alot of years, it just seems insane to close the schools for the amount of snow that is covering our ground. Very funny, very silly and the kids are tickled to death. No snow days for me. Its off to work I go.
May you all be blessed with a freedom-giving snow day....

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Over the River and Through the Woods...

Over the river and through the woods
To Grandmothers house we go.
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh
Through the white and blowing snow...OH!

It wasn't to Grandmothers house that we went, but to my sister, Susans. We all gathered for a Thanksgiving feast; cousins, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, grandmas, grandpas, cats, dogs, chickens, ducks.... We got a bit carried away with the baking this year, as always. I do believe that there was at least one pie for each person in attendance and about a dozen dinner rolls apiece. We had a wonderful time visiting and laughing. Just exactly what thanksgiving is all about.
I can't take being with my sisters and brothers very often. I come away sleep deprived and with a belly ache from laughing so much. My brother, Todd, always tries to keep us up to the wee hours. Usually I resist, but this time he won so sleep did not come for Susan, Todd and I until about 3:30 AM. How any body else in the house slept with us up cackling like a bunch of chickens, I don't know. The roosters crowed mighty early the next morning. I decided if I was awake than Todd was going to be too. I pounced on him using the old tickling tactic, but the only response was a one-eyed "stop it" in a fairly whiney voice. His little 2 1/2 year old daughter, Shelby, thought that jumping on Daddy looked like great fun, but, alas, little Shelby received poor results also.

My sisters Susan, Gidge, (the crazy one with the closed eyes is ME!), and Stacey. We can't forget Roxy the dog. At least she had her eyes open!

My neice, Dawn, turned 12 today. We celebrated her birthday on Thursday, since we were all together. Happy Happy Birthday, Dawn! It was so good to see you!

I'm home now and getting ready for some much deserved sleep...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Wonderful Smells...

Happy weekend before Thanksgiving! Wonderful smells are starting to come out of my kitchen in preparation for the Thanksgiving feast. I'm sure your kitchens are smelling just as divine. I thought I would share with you one of my favorite treats this time of year ~ Cranberry Chutney ~

Cranberry Chutney
1 cup Water
1 cup Sugar
12 oz. fresh or frozen Cranberries
1/2 cup Vinegar
1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 cup peeled, diced Apples
1/4 tsp. each Allspice, Ginger, Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Cloves

Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add remaining ingrediants; return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until apples are tender. Pour into a medium glass mixing bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on sauce. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend. Best if served at room temperature. Makes 2 1/2 cups.


Raggedy Ann and Andy Pop-up Book

It Came! It came! Take a look at some of the pop-ups in this book. I think little Shelby is going to love it. I might need one for myself...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Crafting Day...

Yesterday I gave my family advance notice that I would be in my craft room all day today and any interuptions would not be tolerated! LOL! It was a good try but doesn't work very well in our tiny little 1918 uninsulated cottage. Boy is this a noisy house! I added to the noise by putting my Lynryd Skynrd Christmas CD in and playing it as loud as I could stand it. I love Christmas music so it is a must when I'm working on gifts. These very simple easy mittens about kicked my butt this morning. I have crocheted mittens before, but never sewn any and MAN I just couldn't seem to wrap my pea brain around the thumb gussett. I sewed, ripped out, ranted, raved, took a pudding break, then sewed again before figuring out that I had done it right the first time. GRRR! Anyway, I think they turned out cute after all. These two pairs will be winging their way to Lynne for her From Hearts To Hands program. If you haven't checked it out, run on over there. It is a really great program she has put together.

You may remember my little Raggedy Ann from an earlier post. She is a Christmas gift for my adorable 2 1/2 year old neice, Shelby. I thought that Raggedy Ann needed a bag to ride around in, so here it is. I have a book on the way from Barnes and Nobles to go inside the bag. It is a pop-up book called "Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy and the Camel With the Wrinkled Knees", or something along that line.

Here is Ann poking her little head out of her pocket. I'm really pleased with the way this one turned out. I'm especially pleased that I ended up having a really productive day. I'm off to work on another one of those silly head hugger hats now. No time for idle hands...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Just Another Day In Paradise...

Phil Vassar played at the Liberty Theatre here in Astoria last night. What an awesome concert! Phil is known as "The Piano Man of Country Music" and has by all rights earned that title. He, along with one lone band member, Jeff Smith on the guitar, played an acoustical concert with Phil on the piano all night. Now and then he did a stint on the harmonica. Wonderful stuff I tell ya! He has written most, if not all, of his own songs and has written alot of hits for other artists as well. Four of us girls from work received free tickets from two of the real estate agents we work with who were big sponsers of the show. What fun we had. We started with wine at the office, headed over to the Schooner for appetizers and another glass of wine before standing in line in the rain waiting for our seats. Of course we didn't stay in our seats long! To much dancing and jiving to be done. Darcy wrangled around and ended up with a VIP pass to the after show party, the little shit. We had better get some good details Monday morning I tell ya!

I have been meaning to post this picture of Shilo's first vehicle. She is so proud of herself! She bought this 1991 Ford Ranger for only $800! She spotted it one evening on her way home from work, made Riff leave his football game in progress to go check it out in the dark. It belonged to a retired couple here in town that just didn't have any use for it any longer. It's very clean and really in good shape. Books for almost $2000.00. She really did well for herself. She wanted a little truck so is most tickled...

May you be blessed with good music and fine friends...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mittens and Books...

I was zooming around in bloggityville with my mouse last night, clicking here and clicking there when I happened to click upon Lynne . What a fun site she has. She is putting together a program called "From Heart to Hands" to collect mittens for children in a terrible and scary neighborhood in New York. Run over to Lynne's site and check it out. You don't necessarily have to make the mittens to send her, you can buy some if you are short on time or talent. What a good thing this is. It would be great to do something locally like this also. I would have added her wonderful button, but alas, my skills that direction are very limited. I will figure out that button grabbing technique some day, I swear!
The next click of my mouse sent me to Overdue Books, where a reading challenge is taking place. You are not to BUY anymore books, but read 5 from your "already have" stash between Novemeber 1st and January 30th. I'm participating and I'm going to seriously try to NOT let myself down! So here goes with my list:
1. Dance of the Gods- by Nora Roberts (this one is already in progress, so thought I would add 6 to my list)
2. Anne's House of Dreams - by L.M. Montgomery - Book #5 in the Anne of Green Gables Series
3. Dark the Night, Wild the Sea - by Robert McAfee Brown
4. The Time Traveler's Wife - by Audrey Niffenegger
5. The Christmas Blessing - by Donna VanLiere (always need a Christmas story this time of year)
6. Homestead-A Memoir - by Jane Kirkpatrick

Come on, join in! It'll be fun...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


It's been a little stormy here in the Pacific North-WET for several days now. We have been experiencing above average rainfall with over 4 inches falling from our sky's in the last 24 hours. This is the view yesterday morning from my office window. The Necanicum River is a tidal river, but nevertheless, this is still just a bit high. Here in Astoria we are safe and sound in our little blue cottage on the hill...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Happy Birthday, Knuckelhead...

Knuckelhead Kevin turned 20 on Friday the 3rd of November. He came over on Saturday and had asked for elk steak and carrot cake for his birthday dinner. Not to difficult to handle. I did a terrible picture taking job with his dinner and gifts, so this dark one is all we get.
Hard to believe that all of our snot-nosed kids are growing up so fast. At this time next year he should be Chef Kevin as he will be done with his Culinary schooling. Seems like just yesterday that he was getting his braces on and talking about his first car. Now he talks about his first professional sautee' pan and set of knives. How times change and so quickly!
Happy birthday, Knuckelhead...

Rainy Days

"Hanging around,
Nothing to do but frown,
Rainy Days and Mondaays always get me down..."
-The Carpenters

I love this song but it is so not true. I really like rainy days, gives me an excuse to get in the kitchen and cook something yummy, curl up in my favorite chair with a good book and a cup of tea, and then, when I'm feeling ambitious, to move on to my latest crafting project. I'm a very good Pacific Northwester, I love these days.

Riff and I went downtown this morning to check out the newest coffee shop. We saw that it was full so, without alot of hesitation, headed over to the Columia Cafe' for a delightful breakfast prepared by Chef Uriah. MMMM....Go there! Buy a jar of his garlic jelly. I'm hooked on the stuff!

After breakfast, we took a drive around a couple of neighborhoods looking at for sale signs. We are trying to decide if we want to sell our tiny cozy cottage for something bigger of if we want to hang onto it for a couple more years. We found a few homes of interest, so called an agent when we got home who agreed to show us two that are empty and didn't need scheduled appointments. The first one was incredible! I could definately see us living there, unfortunately our bank accounts CANNOT see us living there. (sad face). The second one was one that we had looked at on the internet, the pictures looked great so we were really excited to see the inside. (sad face again) I was very disappointed in the condition of the house. It needed alot of work, which we are not opposed to doing, but not for that price. You pay that much money for a house, you should be able to bring your furniture through the door and sit down for a nap - NOT strip and sand floors, remodel bathrooms, etc.... Oh well, we'll keep looking.

I asked Dustin if he wanted to help me make cookies today. He really likes to cook but at 14 thinks that he has nothing left to learn so I just stood back, supervising, and let him go after it. Good thing I was paying attention, as he stated "Wow, thats alot of vanilla!" He thought it said 1 cup instead of 1 teaspoon. Crazy kid.

Cutting out the cookies
The final product

May you all be blessed with a rainy day now and again...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Head Hugger Hat Craziness...

A few weeks ago, I took a class to learn to knit hats. This was my first "real" knitting project and it turned out to be very simple. I have since gone a little crazy, put all other projects aside, and have just started on my 4th head hugger hat. This is one that I finished last night for Dustin. Love the color! He should stand out on the slopes this year with that on his head.
My next project is a scarf pattern called "Rabbit Proof Fence". It is a very pretty scarf made from alpaca yarn. You drop a stitch here and there (following the pattern, of course), which gives it a really pretty lacey affect. I'll post a picture of it when I'm done.
I informed my boss today that this working thing is really interfering with my knitting time. She hooted and hollered over that all day.
It's rainy and stormy, just how we like it here in the Pacific Northwest. I'm off to sit outside in the hot tub now. Wish you all could join me...

Friday, November 03, 2006

If You're Going Through Hell...

"If you're going through hell
Keep on going
Don't slow down
If you're scared, don't show it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there..."
-Rodney Atkins

Ryan called last night. He is out of Iraq and back in Germany!! Yeah! He had just gotten in a few hours before he called. He's tired and extremely glad to be back. His troop has "debriefing" today and then back to business as usual. I know Ryan and Natascha are ecstatic to be back together after this very long year.
What a relief for all of us to have one of them out of there. Sam should be leaving in a month's time and headed back to Texas.
Keep those prayers coming to get all of our troops home safely....