Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I just installed my first door knob. yeah! . . . only 9 more to go.

In the garden . . .

I'm glad I took these pics before it starting raining. If April showers bring May flowers, what do May showers bring?
                                 Snowball Bush full of snowballs

Purple and White Siberian Iris

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Home Makeover Update

Got to see my oldest daughter this weekend celebrating her 25th Birthday! It's always great to see our kids!

Home makeover updates:
Our vintage style deep sink was installed yesterday in our mudroom. It is nice to again have a sink with water. I will post pics as soon as the room is completed. Still need to put on some knobs and build a cabinet over the freezer.
Picked up the final wood trim for the bead board in the toile powder room ~ will post pics when it is finished also. I hope to find some kind of pics or art that I can hang on black toile.

Other news: too rainy to do any gardening; but we did purchase a new patio umbrella from Pottery Barn; which is gorgeous, and I'm going to make some cushion covers for our vintage wrought iron patio set.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Here is the taunting blue jay that runs off the neighborhood cat.
Last night I was excited to see the white bunny in our front yard with a baby bunny. I think it is a female since I've seen a baby bunny with it twice. I put out some lettuce, but she didn't go for it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How to make a berry pie

Tonight's dessert? ~ I asked my husband what he would like for dessert . . . "a berry pie". Checking the freezer; we still had blueberries and a few marion berries. So I made a combination; 2/3 blueberries and 1/3 marion berries. I like making oil pie crusts; I feel it is a healthier option than Crisco. Here's the recipe with a few adjustments and some other pie hints and notes I've found to share.

Oil Crust Pastry for two-crust pie:
2-1/3 cups flour
2/3 cup oil
1 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. cold water
Mix flour with salt and oil until mixed well; add water 1 Tbsp. at a time. Roll out half of dough between 2 pieces of waxed paper; applying water to the counter with a damp cloth will help keep the waxed paper from slipping. When large enough, peel off top paper and place pastry in pie plate paper side up. Peel off paper and ease pastry into plate. Trim off excess and add to other dough for top crust. Repeat with top crust and place on top of fruit or filling in pie plate.

Betty Crocker's tried and true 9" Blueberry Pie
7-8 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (can mix with other berries if desired)
(if using frozen berries; rinse and drain berries if icy to remove extra water; no need to thaw)
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. butter
Mix sugar, flour and cinnamon. Place blueberries in pastry lined pie plate. Pour flour/sugar mixture on top of berries and dot with butter. Cover with top crust, cut slits in top crust, seal and flute. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, if desired.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.
Cover edge of crust with foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil during last 10-15 minutes of baking.

 *Helpful Hint
: The best way to foil the edge to keep it from getting too brown ~ fold a piece of aluminum foil like you are going to make a paper snowflake and then cut out the center (as pictured). Unfold and place on top of pie and put it in the oven. Remove the foil during the last 10-15 minutes of baking. Your crust will be perfect!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Vintage Finds at Starting Grounds Church Rummage Sale

Today is the big rummage sale @ Starting Grounds Church and Coffee House in Battle Ground, Washington. We are raising money to send a construction team to Haiti. I was excited to find some vintage linens and bought 2 cross-stitch tablecloths; but the cross-stitch patterns aren't completely finished. I am hoping to finish the patterns, even though I've never cross-stitched in my life, but it sounds relaxing, and I'm excited to use them.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sunny and Beautiful in Washington

I made a few more bibs for my granddaughter.
They are quick and easy to make and are reversible.
I found some fun fabric with cats and birds . . . hopefully, they're not too pink.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yesterday I had the joy of shopping with my daughter and 9 month old baby granddaughter. How can making a baby laugh be so enjoyable? A girl's day out and a day to be cherished. We had so much fun! I love shopping with my daughters.
Are Blue Jays aggressive? This morning we had a cat visitor, just resting happily in one of our flower beds being taunted by this Blue Jay. It would fly over it, around it, and land within 4 feet of it. The cat just laid there and looked at it, and finally walked away with the Blue Jay following it. I hope it found another peaceful place without the Blue Jay.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Flowers and a bunny

Big white bunny siting! It was too far away for a good pic, but it is white with brown ears, and sometimes it is roaming in our yard. I hope to make it more tame, but I'm not sure how. Should I leave out a pile of carrots? Does anyone have any suggestions?

Today we also saved another bird from our wood stove. We have had 3 birds and an owl come down our chimney pipe to our wood stove.

What is blooming now? Columbine, candy tuft, forget-me-nots (which I used to always forget the name of), and bleeding hearts.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day! I am so blessed to be a mom of two beautiful daughters, whom I appreciate so much, and have a husband who always gives me roses.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Today it is sunny and beautiful, and I'm off to work outside. The snowball bush is in full bloom; ready to turn white. I will post pics of it soon, along with our pink bleeding hearts, which are now pretty in pink. We have had an interesting bunny siting . . . a big white bunny with brown ears, which appears to be domestic, but not tame. I will post pics whenever I see him/her again and can get a pic. We also have a few new mole sitings (hills), which my husband has been trying to catch (if that's the right word). Moles are so adorable; I wish they didn't have to be a nuisance and could have their own place to dig until their heart's content, and then they wouldn't have to be destroyed (sorry other animal lovers). Our dirt is nice and tilled, but they also dig up my bulbs and plants :(.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Blogging with a purpose

Yesterday, while having lunch with friends, I came up with a purpose for my blog . . . to help others and be an encouragement; maybe offer little bits of advice that might help someone else with flower gardening, decorating, homemaking, favorite recipes; to relax and enjoy life and our blessings in this fast-paced life we try to live. Hoping I can be an encouragement to you wherever you are in life. As long as the flowers are blooming, I'll add pics of them with names; if you don't have a garden, maybe you can enjoy a cup of coffee and pics of one in the country.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Today I caught the sun shining during a downpour. It was beautiful. Portland weather is so unpredictable. After I took these pics it started hailing.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

We have two daughters

I am currently waiting for the ichat call from my daughter who lives in Yakima. They are 6 month old newlyweds and have just moved into their larger two bedroom apartment. I am going to get a computer tour as soon as they call. I am anxious to see their new place.
My other daughter lives in Portland, with our first baby granddaughter, whom we adore and can't get enough of, but I hear that is common among grandparents. It is all new to us with married daughters, sons-in-law, and a granddaughter . . . but we love it all and cherish each moment spent with any of them. Our new sons are the best!

My first post

Today, I start this blog.
I'm not exactly sure why; but maybe it will become more clear to me as it goes on.
Today it is pouring down rain; and I would really rather be working in my flower gardens.
With 2-1/2 acres, there is much to be done in the gardens. They are beautiful this time of year with lavender and pink ground phlox, white candy tuft and columbine which we transferred here from my great aunt Wilma's flower garden in Wallowa, Oregon, along with pretty lupines which are budding and will be blooming soon, not the wild purple ones (which we have also), but pretty shades of pink and a few yellow. We never know what we have until they are all blooming. My ongoing goal is to have gardens in full bloom all spring and summer. This is the time of year I love working the gardens, weeding and transferring the plants where I want them; not always where the new seedlings fall. I really don't like a plant growing inside of another. It really bugs me, and I must move one of them. Just yesterday our pink tree peony bloomed out; which I must bring inside before the rain destroys them. They are gigantic blooms, 11" across (just measured), with dark purple centers. Just gorgeous! I just hope they don't bother my husband's allergies; that is always a concern when I bring flowers in the house. The lilacs must stay outside and be enjoyed in their natural habitat. If the sun pops out, I will try to dash outside and get a few things done before another rain shower; that is my schedule these days.
p.s. I saw my first hummingbird today!
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