Friday, June 29, 2012


holy is HOT!
we do not usually run our air conditioner much in the summer, only when a high dessert blister blows in.
well one has been here for two weeks and is showing no signs of departing.
that air conditioner has been running non-stop {almost} for days and days.

i believe my garden is ready to pull up roots and come into the house. 
not much out there is enjoying this heat wave with the exception of the basil.

i cut these down last week end to make pesto, cut them down where only the lowest leaves were left.
i read somewhere on blog land that when cutting basil to cut from the top not the bottom or you would be left with one ugly basil plant pretending to look like a palm tree. those left on bottom leaves would 
be the photosynthesis machine for the entire plant and help it grow fast and strong.
well it worked!
it is time to make more pesto.
do you have a favorite pesto recipe?
if so i would love to try it.
stay calm and stay cool.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


my ironing board cover is always an eye sore.....uuggg.
and since i tend to sew a lot that means i use my ironing board a lot.
well i just could no longer bare to look at that ugly burned, torn covering.
mind you, i made a covering with in the last 18 months, it {the one i just replaced} was a blue check.
i bought a new covering for the ironing board at ikea but of course it did not fit properly, the store bought ones never do unless i want to cough up 30 dollars.....
i'm choking now!

so i ventured into my favorite store located in the "one butt" room known as my fabric storage room.
yes, i can hardly call it a sewing room since i can't fit in there to sew any longer. i envy all those beautiful sewing rooms i see on blogs, organized, everything put it in it's place and the floor vacuumed! 
i have come to believe these pictures are nothing short of a roost, if any sewing room is that clean it means...
which brings me to another short fall of mine,
i don't sew in my sewing room for the above mentioned reason and my sewing room is still a mess.
maybe i need therapy.
i did bring home a book from the library that was titled something to the fact of:
is your mess making you fat
i decided i neither wanted to answer the question nor wanted to read the book,
it went back to the library.
oh yeah, back to the ironing board cover,
i made a new one, this time pink checker!
it is so pretty i decided that the ironing board could stay in the living room.
if i put a lamp on it do you think anyone will notice it is an ironing board?

i also made another pair of pj's from material i found in the " fabric storage room".
yes they are identical as the last pair of pj's i made, however this pair is from the top sheet otherwise known as the "flat sheet".

i even left the lace on one leg.
yes one leg, i thought i had the pattern set up so when i cut out the legs, the lace would be on the front of both legs.
when all said and sewn, i looked at the legs and thought; "how did that happen"?
i'm sure it has something to do with
if x=y and y=z , x must equal..... but as my mother in law would say,
" all you have is a lot of nothing"!
loved that lady...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


my days off work are spent doing house "stuff" some call it housework. now i do not mind the word housework nor do i mind doing housework.
some house chores i prefer over others, like i have never been fond of cleaning the kitchen floor or washing windows.
in the winter i can barely stand to fold clothes from the dryer......
but in the warm months i love love to hang clothes on the line.

something about hanging clothes one by one using pegs that i have had for a couple of decades i find calming, though the best is using pegs that my mother in law used for decades. 
using these pegs is part of my connection to her, i think of betty often while i hang clothes on the line in the early morning.
many would say "this is how you connect to this women, her clothes pegs"?
well yes it is, see betty was a very smart, well read, articulate women who had no "airs".
she was a wife and mom spanning from the mid forties till her death in the late 2000's .
she knew that her job was important and she ran her house like a women who had a PHd in the art of homemaking.

i think it is sad that now so many feel this is not a worthwhile endeavor. 
staying home, staying focused and making a home a home is one of life's hardest jobs.
anyone can live inside of four walls but to make those four walls a welcoming place for your love ones to come home to, well now that is pure art.

so i hang our laundry thinking of how betty made her home a work of art for the people she loved.
she knew that putting clean, sun drenched sheets on her children's beds would help them drift off to sleep a little easier and the guarantee of sweet dreams.
i put sun dried sheets on our beds for the same reason betty did, that feel of slipping into crisp dried sheets that smell of fresh air and sun is better than any pill for sleep can induce.
they really are relaxing and help with a wonderful night of sleep.
try it sometime 
i doubt you will ever want to put your bedding in the dryer again.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


last friday our youngest ,erin, surprised us by popping up to our neck of the woods.
it was late in the afternoon and since traffic would of been a nightmare getting back to her home 60miles away we decided to have a BBQ.

so off we went to the store for some new york strips, fresh corn, chips and the fixings for bean dip.
oh yea and all the yummy things to make some great ice cream sundae's.

the middle child said she was in, right after work and running home to get wendell, {the dog}.

so i pulled a great dinner together while we waited for dad to get home
and watched "the kennedy's ",
eric not being a kennedy fan, it worked out perfect.
we girls love a good soap and no other family fits the bill like the kennedy's.
plus their was a small history lesson to be learned here.

picked up some wonderful flowers{on sale to boot} at the grocery store too :)
i love surprises and impromptu dinners, especially if it involves my favorite people....

Monday, June 25, 2012


weekends always seem to fly by way to quickly.
i just want to cry on sunday evening " no it can't be over yet, i still have things to get done".

but i have never known time to slow down yet for me . 
i did however get some time on the back porch, { early in the morning  before the temperature rose to 101degrees}, to do a little knitting. i am making this scarf using Madeline Tosh lace "prairie" yarn. 
it was lovely on the porch, with a hot cup of coffee and cool air all around me.

but by evening this is what the sky looked like from the porch.

the high park fire just exploded again.

what with the heat and all, i'm amazed that the fireman can work in these horrid conditions.
they certainly are the heroes in this community.
i wish they would put their pictures on tv one at a time so people know
what REAL heroes look like.

this is what the house looked like at about 8pm last night.
the sky is throwing up some amazing color with all the smoke clouds moving across the big blue.

how was your weekend?
finish any projects?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Oh my stars has it been hot this week and DRY.
I have had to water everyday after work!
By the time I get home after work everything and I mean everything is limp and knocking on deaths door.
I have never had to water this much. I think the fire up here is causing the air to be dryer than normal plus all the ash is playing havoc on these plants. The plants in the pots are doing a little better which has been a surprise for me.
We have been enjoying lettuce and it is soo good and sweet all by itself, no need for topping such as carrots, tomatoes, nuts, etc.
If I can keep my 10 tomato plants alive through the summer I will be rolling in tomato heaven.
One of this life's pleasure for me is to eat home grown tomatoes.
They are so sweet and juicy, nothing like any tomato bought in the store. I almost refuse to buy tomatoes from any store even the so called "vine ripe" tomatoes.
The only thing fairing well in the garden is  my welded Lady Bug. Is she not cute:)
What's in your garden?

Friday, June 22, 2012


my mother always wanted to start dinner with desert. she felt why save the best for last, why not start with what we are all waiting for to begin with.
she never did, at least not with all 12 of us at the table together.
i bet though she often had desert first for lunch after we were all in school and she had some hours to herself.
she did not care for doing the same thing day in and day out,
she preferred to mix things up a bit.

if she were alive today i would sit down and have desert first at every meal with her for a week.
just her, mary ellen { mom } and i.

no, we did not eat this cake first on father's day, though it did cross my mind.
it wasn't my day so i did not even suggest the idea.

recipe is from the BEE HIVE in salt lake city called
brigham young cake.
i must say, it always gets good reviews.
chocolate cake, real whipping cream center
and chocolate frosting.
it is cool and refreshing in the summer and the perfect ending to a great meal accompanied with a strong cup of coffee. 

caitlin was the only child able to come for dinner on  dad's day.

[ honey it is your your eyes... ]
and of course all the dogs were here.

sadie even felt the need to help eric clean up his mustache :)
makes me smile to see wendell lovingly look at caitlin,
they make such a nice pair.
and then their is sam thinking " lady just take the picture".

we did have a meal that was out of this world !
slow cooked ribs
homemade beans { thank you down to earth }
and the sweetest home grown lettuce.

yum yum

cute blue dot vintage glasses with homemade orange 
all in all it was a wonderful slow father's day 
we missed our two children that weren't there, but as always they were in our thoughts and prayers.

Friday, June 15, 2012


yesterday i had the privilege of going to a friend's home whom we refer to at work as "martha"
brenda [ real name ] is the OR's famous baker.
she has a chocolate chip cookie recipe that is too die for.
brenda has also become the fabulous cupcake maker,
and she agreed to have the " in's and outs"of making beautiful cupcakes.
with hand outs to boot.

the above cupcakes are chocolate coconut with a cream cheese coconut frosting..........yum!
and aren't they beautiful!
we all had the chance to decorate, to learn the tricks  to making beautiful cupcakes.

Katie getting instructions on how to properly cut vanilla beans.

so what makes great treats?
good ingredients
a sense of humor
the best teacher
who knows her baking stuff
some healthy food for the endurance baking takes....
and of course ellen dirck's st. louis whiskey sours help.
[ only a small amount of the sours will do or no guarantee on the end product of your baking goods ]

what i loved most about making these cupcakes:  
i baked with people i rarely am around socially and it was so nice to talk and learn about them and their lives.
i have always wanted to learn from brenda, she is a fantastic baker
everything that was presented yesterday was information that can be used whenever that special treat is needed.
i love passing along knowledge i have about doing things from "scratch"
and all my knowledge came from someone passing it on to me.
so lets share this info before it is gone.
maybe brenda can help me with my leaning tower cake issue:)

Thursday, June 14, 2012


being self reliant has soo many different meanings for many different people.

 i have always been an admirer of self reliant people.
people who grew a large portion of their food, raised some animals not only for companionship but for food also.
being self reliant means also to be able to make many of our daily needs, like bedding , clothing, furniture and our homes.
for many it means staying out of debt and living with in their means.

today i'm talking about growing some of my house hold food needs.

when i had  young children, eric and i had a large garden that when even halved by the swing and sand box play area was plenty big for our eating needs and enjoyment.
having been raised in the city i knew tomatoes were from a garden but i never realized how much food could be produced in a modest backyard.
i must admit my lure to raise a portion of my house hold food has waxed and wane through the years
for a host of reasons.
i believe we all live in the season that we happen to be in and now with my children grown i seem to have more time to concentrate on the things that are important to me.
things that i no longer have to shelf due to more urgent daily family needs.
being more self reliant is moving closer to the top.

i am no longer interested or need to acquire things.
sure i spend money and shop in grocery stores,
yarn stores, fabric stores etc. 
but lets say my purchases are more thought out.
i no longer shop to shop or  to just look,
with the exception of estate, thrift and good will stores. 
again, even here i think though my purchases.

in other words i have never believed in retail therapy but now i find it almost offensive.
i also must confess i am a fair weather gardener.
i do not enjoy being cooked in the mid-day sun.
so my time in the garden is either early morning or before dark on my days off from the hospital.
also my husband does the majority of heavy labor in the yard, he is so good with the" honey do" things and patient!

i am going to start to record more of my " self reliance"
here on the blog. 
would love to hear what you are doing and what it means to you to be more self reliant.
it could be as simple as only using library books to as extreme as never having cash leave your hands for a purchase.
let me know... 


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