Sunday, January 28, 2007


In the process of trying to figure out why I am sick all the time, and knowing that it is directly related to food, my Doctor has scheduled me to be tested for Celiac (sp?) disease, which is an intolerance(?), allergy(?) to gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley and something else. Until the testing is done and we get results, she wants me to stay away from gluten. I'm finding this very difficult since I don't know what all that entails. Is there a magic list out there that tells you what all has gluten in it? Of course, bread and bakery products are a no-brainer, but I think gluten is hidden in alot of other places that I wouldn't even think to look. Whats a girl who loves to bake and has a bit of a sweet-tooth to do??
I found this gluten-free flour today in our local grocery stores very tiny wheat-free section. I was very excited to bring it home and give it a whirl, since brownies were on todays agenda. I whipped them up, threw them in the oven, then decided to taste the batter. EEH-GADS! This flour is made of garbonzo (again sp?) beans, fava beans, potato starch and tapioca. The batter tasted just like garbonzo beans. I was totally disgusted! But, out of the oven, the bean flavor is gone and they aren't half bad, a little strange after-taste but all in all, a success.
Please, any of you gluten-free's out there, leave me a comment and let me know your success'. What works for you...

(p.s. ~ I just opened my own etsy shop
and I couldn't be prouder! Stop by for a visit)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

First Felted Project...

Here it is!! The lovely Stephanie is modeling a Paula, handstitched with the finest merino wool. This bag rivals any on the runways of Paris today. Well, okay, maybe not, but it would look great slung across the arm of any farmgirl.

I bought the pattern a year ago and finally had time to try my hand at it. Super simple and easy and only about 20 minutes in a washer full of hot water to felt it. It took another 3 days to dry totally, then I finished it off today. Yeah! I'm just tickled to death with it, though I wasn't so sure before it was felted. I thought it was pretty ugly at that point, but ~ baby, look at it now!! WOO-HOO!!

May you all be blessed with wonderul finished projects...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Stinky Boys...

Stinky, sweaty smelly gyms are great places to spend an afternoon. Dustin had his first wrestling meet of the season today, so Riff and I found ourselves once again in a stinky gym yelling and "sideline coaching" beside other parents doing the same.
He had two matches today, winning the first with a score of 25 to 9 and being pinned the second time around. Both were good matches.
Reversals, take downs, cradles and half-nelsons will become our dinner talk for the next couple of months. Riff will coach from above his dinner plate while Dustin listens with half an ear and I glaze over with to many instructions to be able to keep up...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Potholder Swap

Potholder Swap

Join the potholder swap being hosted by the fabulous Monica ! It'll be fun...

A Walk On The Beach...

A walk on the beach is a perfect way to start a Sunday morning. The kids were still sleeping, so we loaded up the dog and headed out to Sunset Beach. The tide was out, the wind was not howling, the rain not soaking us to the skin and not many people were around. We enjoyed a nice leisurly stroll on the sand, enjoying the sound of the surf. Blackie ran and ran, though still seems to be a little lost with out Hannah romping beside him.

Wow! Can you believe the incredible size of this root? To think of the power of the waves to bring this thing up on shore... We thought that it sure would make a nice picnic table, but you'd need a crane to get the darn thing home!

Lots of big piles of seaweed today. It was a very relaxing walk. Wish you could have joined us.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

6 Weird Things About Me Meme....

6 weird things? about me? ya okay, i can probably come up with a few....
I was tagged for this meme by my real life friend Monica AND my blogging buddy Lucy . Pop on over to their sites and find out their weird quirks.

1) I absolutely cannot go to sleep at night with out reading. I may fall asleep with my book on my face after just one sentence, but by jove, I have read something!

2)Speaking of sleeping, I cannot have socks on in bed. If I have socks on I tend to think I'm suffocating. I know ~ I might need therapy for that one!

3)I absolutely, completly believe in ghosts. Nice ones, good ones mind you, who just have not been able to fully leave this world... therapy again??

4)I am 39 years old and do not know what I want to be when I grow up. Suggestions anyone?

5)I don't like chocolate. I'll occasionally eat a candy bar or brownie, but you can keep the chocolate ice cream, puddings and cakes. Yeck!

6)I'm not a very good girly-girl. I get my hair cut maybe twice a year, own two necklaces, never wear earrings or perfume and don't like to dress up. If you stop by my house on the weekend, you will almost always catch me in sweats. My poor husband! I'm sorry, honey ~ I'll try to do better!

Okay, who else wants to play? Consider yourself tagged!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


feelin' a little crabby today...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Drivin' South...

I've re-added the pictures though they don't match the text now. Use your imagination...

My latest fortune cookie said: "Driving south will bring you much happiness". Who could pass up a challenge like that. It was time to drive south!

Saturday morning was the day. We were up and off to take a drive, have some breakfast and do a little antique store "looking" in honor of my mom. It was a relaxingly wonderful day that she would have loved. We still have plenty of snow hanging around here on the coast, so the drive was really pretty through what is usually our coastal rainforest, but instead is an enchanted winter world. There are still some very icy spots between Cannon Beach and Nehalem that are not seeing the sun through the trees.

This is from the top of the bluff on Highway 101 looking down into Manzanita. The snow on the beach and the coastal range is just incredibly beautiful. Quite a few people were walking on the beach on this chilly day. How often do you get to walk in the snow on the beach? Quite a novelty, it is.

We planned our day so that we would be able to have a late mid-morning breakfast at Wanda's Cafe' in Nehalem. Wanda's is one of our favorite places to stop. It is located in a little house decorated so very cute with old vintange toasters, radios, mixers, etc. Just a small little place that has wondeful breakfasts, lunches, and bakery items. I had the smoked salmon omelette served with cottage potatoes and a warm biscuit with homemade blackberry jam. MMMM.....

Here is Riff drinking his caramel cappacino while waiting for his green chile' omelette. The coffee was wondeful. The eats were to die for. The conversation was delightful. Out the window we watched as the local tow-truck took care of an SUV who had hit the icy patch coming down the steep hill into town and had ended up upside down. Nobody was hurt, thank heavens, but it sure was the talk of the town.

After breakfast we wandered around in Nehalems wonderful antique shop. We found several very reasonably priced wardrobes and sideboards that would look great in our new house. We may have to go back! From Nehalem we headed south to Wheeler. This little tiny town of 350 people has an incredibly huge antique store. We could (and did) wander around in there for hours. Wheeler also has a wonderful quilting store with beautiful fabrics. I went in, wandered around, but I have so many projects going, that I actually refrained and didn't purchase a thing. Good restraint, don't you think?!

This is on the way back to Cannon Beach. Just thought this picture turned out beautiful.

We decided we were hungry again, so pulled into the Warren House Pub in Cannon Beach. This is a brew pub that we have wanted to go to, but had never quite made it. They have a gazillion beers on tab, so I indulged in their hard cider, which was wonderful, and Riff had something amber. I was very excited to see Manhattan Clam Chowder on the menu ~ Yeah! Some chowder that I can actually eat, no dairy in that! Riff ordered the Oyster Burger and we had a great late lunch while watching the last quarter of some silly football game...

We wound our way up 101 to home, stopped at the video store, chose "Memoirs of a Geisha", "Goal!" and "The Libertine". Home to our jammies, plugged in "Memoirs" and settled down to a great movie while waiting for midnight when it was time to pick Dustin up from his snowboarding trip to Mount Hood. It was a long, wonderful day. Felt like a little mini-vacation. We need to indulge this way more often.

May you all be blessed with some time alone and away...
(hmm... Can't seem to see my pictures now. They were here, now they're not.)

Friday, January 12, 2007

On the Coast of Somewhere Beautiful...

"Sometimes when the sun goes down
Shadows fall across this little town
And I close my eyes and drift away
To another place another time...
On the coast of somewhere beautiful
Just runnin' with my heart..."
~Kenny Chesney
The following pictures are NOT what you expect to see when you think about our beautiful coast, but what a wonderful surprise it was. We went to bed with a few snowflakes drifting from our cloudy skies and woke up to this enchanted world of white. I went out to take pictures of our wonderland before work and as I was going back into the house, I noticed the red English Daisy blooming in my planter box. Two beautiful gifts in one day. Who could ask for more?

This last picture is my mailbox goodness from the potholders and recipe swap that I participated in. These came to me from my Chef Sheela, another Oregonian. Thank you Sheela. They match my kitchen perfectly! I'm also excited to make her Sloppy BBQ Chicken Pizza. I'll let you know how it comes out.

May you be blessed with somewhere beautiful...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Heart Sachet...

This little heart sachet was inspired by the hearts on Kriston Nicholas' Wedding Blanket in her Colorful Stitchery book. It was really fun and simple to make, taking no time at all. I added a bag of lavender tea to the stuffing to make it smell heavenly. I'm so pleased with it that I may make a couple more!
Pop on over to Kristen's site for her stitch-a-long to see all the beautiful projects that others are making. And while you're at it, join us ~ it'll be fun!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


"Rise and shine in the early morning,
Shine your light on everyone.
Makes no difference who you are,
Stand right up and have your say.

These are the words that greeted me many many mornings of my childhood before I even opened my eyes. They were delivered in my mom's silly singsongy voice from beside my bed each and every day. I have no idea where this song comes from or who the artist was, but it runs through my mind quite often.

Today would have been my Mom's 63rd birthday, but instead she remains a young 54 for all time in our thoughts. I picture her today, surrounded by family, making a joke as she blows out her candles. Smiling her crooked smile for the camera, a little self-concious to be the center of attention.

I am from a family of 6 brothers and sisters. We are blessed beyond measure to have the mother that we have. Family always came first for her and she loved us unconditionally.
Today I wish to be 8 again. To go to school with my friends, out to recess to play, and then back home to be greeted by homemade cookies. And the best part...Mom is waiting. Oh, if we could turn back time for just a day, to revisit our childhood once again. There are so many things I want to talk to her about, so many life questions that we never covered. I will sometimes hear something on the radio and, for a split second, think that I need to tell Mom that. Or something in a store will catch my eye. I'll pick it up thinking that it would make a great gift for Mom.
Oh my gosh, how we all miss you! We know that you're there, still with us, watching our kids grow, sharing our joys and sorrows.

This weekend I will celebrtate my Mom's life by doing something that she loved. I will take a long drive, stopping in any antique stores that catch my eye, having lunch in some off-the-beaten-path cafe. Happy birthday to you, my beaufiful mother....

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Winter Classics Challenge...

The next reading challenge is to read 5 classics in January and February. This may be a little much for me, but I'm going to give it a shot! This challenge comes from
A Reader's Journal and has the cutest little snowman button that I can't figure out how to get onto my site. One of these days I WILL figure out that button thing. I swear!!
Here is my list:
1) Persuasion ~ Jane Austin
2) Wuthering Heights ~ Emily Bronte
3) The Adventures of Tom Sawyer ~ Mark Twain
4) Anne's House of Dream's ~ L.M. Montgomery
5) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

May you all be blessed with good reads....

From the Stacks Winter Challenge....

I have finished my 5 books for the From the Stacks challenge. Yeah! Following are my reviews, though I'm definately not a reviewer. I just like to read.. When selecting a new book, I have many times turned to the first page and read the first paragraph to see if I'm drawn in right from the start, so that is how I have chosen to start my reviews.

'It is clear beyond doubt that the arrival of the MacBrayne steamer is the great social event on the island of Erinsay. Anyone not otherwise engaged will be there, just to check on who has purchased anything on the mainland, from sheep-dip to a new carburetor for an old tractor, and to check the size of other parcels that will be delivered next day in person by Callum the Post.'
Dark the Night, Wild the Sea by Robert McAfee Brown

This is a short story (only 167 pages) by a first time novelist. Jamie Stuart, the main character, is an architect in Glasgow who puts work and success above the love of Annie, his long-time girlfriend. Jamie suddenly finds himself alone, is forced to take a much needed vacation and finds himself on the Island of Erinsay in Scotland. The island is a close-knit community of locals who still strongly believe in Scottish lore. It is said that when Duncan MacDuff, a local old-timer" plays the pipes on certain friday nights and if you are standing on the right knoll, then time and place can sometimes be reversed. Jamie hears the pipes playing and decides to test this legend for himself. He suddenly finds himself in the Erinsay of 150 years ago and must make an identity for himself. He finds and falls in love with Maragh McPherson, only to lose her again. A story of love beyond time.
I have a fascination with the Scottish Isle's and legends and folklore of the people there, so really enjoyed this book. Because it is so short would make a great "road trip" book. Was a fun read.

'It's Christmas Eve, and the lake in front of me is frozen hard. Snow surrounds the edge, crunching beneath my feet. The sun is beginning to sink, and the trees, heavy with snow, cast long shadows over the paved path that runs along the shore. Several runners make their way around the perimeter, careful not to bump into the occasional walker on the inside of the path. I stand for a few moments in that familiar spot, beneath the giant oak tree, looking out over the smooth surface. As I'd driven through the icy streets on my way to the park, past familiar shops and sights, I'd noticed few changes in the three years since I'd been gone. I take a deep breath and exhale, leaving faint clouds in the winter air. I have work to do. I open the tailgate of my truck and grab the legs of the heavy wooden bench that I'd loaded earlier.'
The Christmas Blessing by Donna VanLiere

To me, Christmas isn't Christmas without a new Christmas book on my nightstand. This is a sequel to Donna VanLieres "The Christmas Shoes" and is just as wonderful. We revisit Nathan Andrews now as a young medical student who is struggling with his choice of profession and with the Cardialogist who Nathan has found himself working under in his current rotation at the hospital. He meets several people who make him take a deep look at himself and his choices. Meghan is a young woman born with a hole in her heart but who has overcome great odds to be a champion cross-country runner. Charlie is a young cardiologist patient, a good friend of Meghans and wise beyond his years.
This is a must read, not only for Christmas, but at any time.

Clare: It's hard being left behind. I wait for Henry, not knowing where he is, wondering if he's okay. It's hard to be the one who stays.
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffengegger

Hmmm.... What to say? A strange book, but an easy read. Very far-fetched and unbelievable in many ways. This first paragraph really sums up what the book is about. Waiting. Clare has spent her entire life waiting for Henry. Clare has known Henry since she was 6, but Henry doesn't meet Clare until he is 33. Henry tells Clare that in the future they are married, so Clare spends all of her teenage years and early adulthood waiting to meet Henry. When she finally does, she has to convince Henry that she knows him. Then she waits on him the rest of her live,as he disappears at random on his time traveling adventures.
I don't want to give the impression that I didn't enjoy this book, because I did. Pick it up and read it. Tell me what you think....

Like Steppingstones along a meandering stream, dirty puddles of water dotted the dusty road. Nothing more than a trail, really, the remote old road cut a wagon-width path through rolling acres of Oregon wheat fields. Barbed cheatgrass and weeds growing between the tire tracks scratched against the bottom of the almost-new Datsun station wagon.
The Homestead - Jane Kirkpatrick

Jane Kirkpatrick is one of my favorite authors. Jane and her husband live here in Oregon and I had the pleasure of listening to her talk and personally meeting her last spring at Fort Clastsop. She generally writes Historical fiction based on the lives of real women. Very good books. I am close to having her entire collection.

This particular book is her memoir, written about the land on which her and her husband, Jerry, buildt their home. Their homestead is located in a very remote river canyon 50 miles south of The Dalles, down a very treacherous "driveway", impassable during the rainy season. In the first few chapters of this book, Jane mentions my hometown of Elgin and a good family friend of ours is mentioned several l times, so this book is near and dear to my heart. Jane writes about the hardships of first deciding to leave civilization, jobs and friends, the terrors of learning to pilot their own plane and the injuries they sustained in a crash, the fear of that winding washed-out road, the joy of seeing clear, clean water gushing out of their much needed reservoir and so many other joys and fears. This is a must read for anyone who has or is thinking about going back to the land. Pick up any of Janes books, you will love them!

Dance of the Gods - Nora Roberts

I have sent this book off to my sister, Stacey, so do not have the first paragraph to "read" to you. This is the second in Nora's "Circle" trilogy. I really enjoy most of Nora's books. They are easy reads, but not so typical as some other mass marketers. This trilogy is about a cirle of six who meet up past time and space to save the world from the vampire queen. We experience magic, mayhem and darkness in the quest to save the worlds. I didn't enjoy this trilogy as much as I have some of her past ones, but that could have just been my mindset at the time. Stacey, tell me what you think once you read them....

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

What's New Pussycat??

New Years Eve I was peacefully sitting in my chair crocheting a potholder, when Riff walked into the room and announced he was taking Blackie for a walk. My legs were getting a bit stiff, so I said, "Wait for me. I'll come whitcha!" I carefully placed my crocheting in the chair that I had just vacated and, without a second thought, marched out the door.

It was a bittersweet walk, being the first one that I had participated in since Hannah, our 11 year old "puppy", had passed away on December 23rd. It was sad and felt weird to not have her romping through the puddles and generally making enough noise for a herd of buffalo. I kept looking behind me and wanting to call out "Hannah-Bean, come on!" She's romping in doggy-heaven now and I'm sure that my Mama's taking great care of her.

Anyway, we wandered back home and I popped open the front door to this funny site. Boots had decided that HE wanted to crochet but had instead tangled himself up in that silly ball of yarn. He is a very dignified and distinguished gentleman and was quite embarrased to be caught in such a predicament. He must have quickly overcome his embarrasment though, as I caught him in the same antics just last night.

"Whats New Pussycat? Whoa-oh!"
~Tom Jones