Saturday, December 19, 2009


Decorating the Christmas tree with John and Jason… it’s a cute little tree. Picture to follow soon... John ventured forth today while I was at work, and found a perfect Charlie Brown tree. And it’s a noble fir too. We’re doing a bird theme this year, with some funky things Jason wants to include. :) He’s feeling happy tonight. I love it when he's smiling. It’s a good thing.  

Coming across a box of Jen’s childhood ornaments brought me to tears. I gave both my children an ornament a year, even as adults, something that reflected their interests or an accomplishment in their lives. I wonder what happened to the ornaments I gave her. I think of things like that every so often. They are only things. They won’t bring her back. Why do I attach meaning to them? It’s a mystery.

I just want her to be with us, here in real life here. I know she’s here in spirit. I can feel her. I want more. sigh

And I know all is as it should be. 

 Little secret... I’m wearing my reindeer antlers as I’m typing. Isn’t that the silliest? :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009


The sun beginning it's rise was beautiful this cold crisp morning. There is something special about being up and discovering such vibrant color at the beginning of the day, with a cup of tea to keep you warm.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Presenting the Future

Your ability to see the future that you want for yourself could motivate you to pay attention today to what you are creating in the present moment. You may find yourself focused on what you can do now to achieve your goals. Today would be the perfect opportunity to see whether your choices and actions could help you create the life that you want. You may want to stop wasting your time on activities that do not serve your higher or long-term objectives. This discipline and focus could allow you to prioritize your time so that all that you do can serve the big picture of your life. It may also give you the courage to say no to tasks or activities you don’t want to do but feel obliged to attend to. 

Serve your vision, and you will serve your life purpose. 

Daily Om Horoscope

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Birds at the feeder

I'm sitting here working on a flyer for a project... and watching the birds come to the suet feeder outside the window. In the last half hour here's what I've seen:

My favorite black capped chickadee. I adore chickadees. I had fun watching the parents bring the babies to learn how to feed this summer, and just love seeing them about the yard all year.

A flock of bushtits. They are so cute! They were sitting in the weeping beech tree and one came over to check it out. Flew back and they all came over to crowd around. There were seven on the feeder at once. It's an upside down feeder, designed to keep the starlings away, and there's only one side for them to cling. They come through occasionally, so it's fun when I'm at the window to catch their antics.

Ruby crowned kinglet was here yesterday too. I couldn't figure out what he was without going to the bird book, and John knew by my description. (Isn't he amazing?)

Juncos are all over the yard this time of year, hopping around the deck and planters and right up to the window. I don't see them often at the suet feeder so it was a treat this morning.

Note the pictures are borrowed from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology - All about Birds

Monday, November 9, 2009

Traveling Feet

Seattle Hotel on Art weekend Nov 6. In the background you'll note a picture for my point and shoot journal pages (on the theme of journey) and books I brought to share. Julie and I worked on our pages together, and also met with some of our online art friends during the weekend.

Riding in Motorhome Nov 1 on my camping weekend with John.

Did I mention that one of our photo assignments is to get pictures of your traveling feet?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A bit of recent art

Created for the traveling journal I had during the month of October... theme was the moon.

A couple of Owls created during a collage-a-thon weekend. Background is papers and tissue layered with gel medium, dress pattern over the top, stamped images, acrylic glaze, poster paint pens. It's a fun technique I learned some time ago from my friend Betsey.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Camping again

Spent a couple of days off in the motor home with hubby and a few art supplies. Took walks, took a few pictures, read books... had a marvelous time.

 Walking the nature trail at Birch Bay State Park

 Late afternoon walk at Silver Lake State Park

Monday, October 5, 2009

Contest entry

So there is this contest in the store where I work. Winners will be used for examples for Halloween and Holidays. This is my entry.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I prefer

I prefer:
sunshine to rain
warm weather to chilly weather
wearing one layer rather than two or three
cropped pants to jeans
my fit flops to clogs
light jacket to heavy rain gear
being too warm to being always chilly

I just don't want to deal with the rainy cold this year. Bleh!

Wonder how I can become one of those snow birds? ;)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Autum crocus

Just peeking up their pretty little heads...

Are you tired of zucchini yet?

I'm actually NOT tired of zucchini... it's just hard keeping up every so often. They ripen in spurts. Found another recipe I hadn't made in quite a while, and since my tummy wasn't feeling great yesterday, decided it would be just the thing. And it was.

Zucchini and Brown Rice Soup

1 lb zucchini (about 2 medium)
½ lb spinach or chard (1 bunch)
6-8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
½ long grain brown rice
1 ½ cups sliced onions
3 Tbsp butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Wash, trim and grate the zucchini.
Wash the spinach leaves, dry and cut into thin strips. (I used chard and removed tough stems)
Bring the broth to a boil, stir in the rice, lower heat, cover and cook slowly until the rice is just tender, about 40 minutes.
In large sauté pan, cook onions in butter until wilted and golden.
Stir in zucchini and cook, stirring, 4-5 minutes. There will be moisture left in the pan.
Mix in the spinach and cook until barely wilted. Set aside.
When rice is cooked, stir in the zucchini mixture, heat through, and season with salt and pepper.
The soup will be fairly thick. Thin with additional broth if you wish. Makes about 2 quarts.

For a heartier soup, add cooked chopped chicken.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Jen's recipe

I was digging through the recipe box (which I've had for 37 years, by the way) looking for a recipe for Zucchini bread. Decided that's one way to use up some of the bounty. Anyway, found a recipe for Spicy Zucchini Bread in Jen's handwriting... *insert happy tears here*

I've wondered where her recipe box ended up. It occurred to me once long after they cleared her apartment without me (long story) and I never did find out. Never did ask, actually. Telling myself to remember all the times we cooked and baked together is what is real and is what matters. Recipes in her handwriting are not necessary for me to remember.

So I have this great recipe (which I'd also written into our extended family cookbook created 20+ years ago) and am off to make bread while Jen is smiling at me. Thanks, Jen.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Traveling Journal

I sent this on it's way to 9 other artists yesterday. First stop Scotland. My theme is "In the Garden" and this was made using paper napkins in the background, and for the flower images. Tedious cutting out of flowers, but I love how it turned out.

I'm excited to see what the other artists will do on this theme. And I get to play in their journals too. :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

We still have blooms

The garden is starting to wane... however, we still have blooms. And tomatoes and cucumbers and zucchini.

At Silver Lake

Early Saturday morning before anyone else was up, hubby spotted otters near the dock, although I never saw more than the bubbles. The water on the lake was smooth with a slight mist above it. The sun hadn't come up over black mountain quite yet... it was lovely.

The family reunion was a fairly quiet one this year, only three "east-siders" came, and a sprinkling of us west-siders. I spent a lot of the time reading with with my three year old grand niece and visiting with my neices and sister. Played card games with Jason (I lost as usual). BBQ'ed salmon and hot dogs, made lovely salads, and had lots of snacks. Enjoyed family history and women of the family books put together by my sister-in-law. Defended ourselves against the yellow jackets nesting under the picnic bench through out the weekend. Took a couple of short walks.

Sister rented a canoe for the afternoon, so I went out with John and Jason Saturday afternoon... that's me doing all the work. ;)

We rented two paddle boats Sunday and paddled ourselves all over the lake. John fished Sunday with grand-niece and her new fishing pole. We even trolled while in the paddle boat, and played pirates...

It was a lovely weekend, with good people. My kind of family reunion.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Getting ready

We're spending the day getting the motor home and all our stuff ready for our upcoming family reunion this weekend... held at Silver Lake Park.

We're staying in the lodge and my two of my nieces and grandniece are staying in our motor home in the campsite we reserved. We originally reserved the lodge for our older generation... however none of them could make it this far. Which is totally understandable, although a bit disappointing for those of us who love visiting with them. What is not as understandable are all the "younger" east-siders who can't make it because it's too far. Hmmm... we all go over there, so it must not be as far from our direction. *wink*

Those of us who ARE are coming are all fun peoples and upbeat and we're going to have a grand time in a beautiful park... more on that when we return.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Our first harvest of slicer tomatoes about 5 minutes ago!
*insert big grin here*

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Another way to use Zucchini

We tried this recipe tonight, and it's good! And it's another way to use all those zucchini that ripen at once. We had it with sliced tomatoes and multigrain baguette slices topped with grated Parmesan cheese and broiled for a few minutes to melt.

Zucchini Linguini with Chicken
Serves 4

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 in pieces (we used organic)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp minced shallot
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth or water
3 green zucchini, julienned
3 yellow zucchini, julienned (we used all green)
1/4 cup julienned fresh basil
2 1/2 ounces goat cheese

1. Heat oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper (we omitted salt) and saute until cooked. Then transfer to a bowl and set aside. Drain all but 1 Tbsp of oil from the pan.
2. Add the butter and shallot to the pan and saute until soft, then add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the chicken broth and zucchini and saute for 3-4 minutes just until soft. Remove from heat.
3. Return he chicken to the pan, add the basil and stir to combine. Divide among plates and top with the goat cheese. Serve immediately.

Note: I forgot to pick up shallots and goat cheese, so used minced onion and feta. I sauteed the chicken using olive oil spray rather than 2 Tbsp oil, and it worked fine. I may reduce or omit the chicken broth next time, the zucchini has a lot of liquid as it cooks. I'm sure this would work with Tofu instead of chicken.

261 calories; 25g protein; 7 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 15g fat.
Recipe from Mariel Hemingway in AARP magazine.

Did I mention that I love zucchini? :D

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Good Day!

Had a wonderful day today! Started out by delivering all the birthday messages to Jason. For the record, I don't believe I'm old enough to have a son his age! :)

Did some shopping at the Farmers Market; visited the Art Festival downtown and "bumped into" my niece Megan and grand niece Mina, and watched Mina create a lovely multicolored salmon.

Went to the Harry Potter movie with Jason and John; was forced (it was all Jason's idea) to eat popcorn. Then we all met Megan and Mina for pizza and cupcakes and singing Happy Birthday to Jason. It was such a lovely evening. An overall good day.

*Happy sigh*

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Through the Gate

Sometimes it feels like I always want to go through the gate. A little excited to see what's just out of sight while a little apprehensive about what I might encounter.

Read a quote recently, and can't remember where...
"Life begins at the end of your Comfort Zone."

To get there you have to go through the gate.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I want my girl

Sometimes it hurts so much I can hardly bear it. Even after more than a year. How do people survive? Why do we hide our grief?
I want my girl. I want to give her a hug. I want to sit around in our jammies and drink tea and chat. I want to go shopping and find fun lunch places. I want to share the books we've just read. I want to hear how her day went.
I want my girl.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

90 degrees in the shade

This is not our normal weather... but the tomatoes sure are loving it. And the cucumbers and the zucchini, and we actually have some green peppers setting on. :)

I'm loving sipping iced tea in the shade on the deck.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Zuchinni for dinner

Zucchini with Pasta

6-8 small zucchini, shredded or julienned
2 Tbsp butter (the real stuff) or olive oil
1 tsp garlic
fresh ground pepper
2 cups uncooked organic whole wheat rotelli
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Start the water boiling for pasta.
Saute garlic in butter for 30 seconds, add zuchinni and cook until barely tender, stirring to coat with butter.
Cook the pasta al dente, drain and toss with the sauteed zucchini and half (or more) of the Parmesan. Season with pepper and serve with the remaining Parmesan.

This is one of our favorite summer recipes. It's easy and quick and is especially good with fresh-from-the-garden zucchini. :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Creating Peace

Your tranquility can surprise you today, as you may be coping with a great many challenges at this point in your life. You may instinctively be using your home as a sanctuary where you can recover from worldly stresses, even if you have never before regarded your personal spaces as a refuge. The feelings of peace that spread through you as you rest and relax in a room special to you or your garden can be the perfect antidote to the tension you carry with you during much of your outer world existence. To make these spaces even more inviting and serene today, take a few moments to beautify them before settling in.

From my inbox today... after a morning out in the garden.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New Paint

We finished painting the living room today, complete with nice accent wall. The colors are lovely! Very calm and soothing. Continued work on the flooring is next. We may be done before September...

And for the record, we have eaten tomatoes from our garden three nights in a row! Yay for sunshine, warm weather and Tumbler tomatoes.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

On the Boardwalk

Had a lovely afternoon with my hubby. He realized that crabbing season opened yesterday, so decided we need to go crabbing this afternoon. Just came in and said, let's go. So off we went to Taylor dock at Boulevard Park. It's a lovely boardwalk trail along the shore. I had fun watching the silly gulls who were just sure we were going to give them the bait, and were not at all shy about it. It was wonderfully warm with a light breeze to keep it from getting too hot.
A fire boat stopped just a bit out from where we were sitting, and practiced it's spraying. Fun to watch. There were a lot of sailboats out in the bay, and the people watching was great! It's a well used boardwalk/trail, folks of all ages and types, bicycles and walkers and runners in groups, by themselves, with dogs. One couple had their ferret on a leash. Made us smile. Almost as much as the two girls who gave us the Spock peace sign going and coming back from Woods Coffee with their iced mochas. What a riot.
My managers daughter and her adorable family walked by; they were out treasure hunting and then going to the beach. I got to see their sweet new baby in person. What a doll, just a cute as his older brother.
We had fun with some new to the area folks who were totally mystified with the crab ring... they stayed and watched for awhile. And a couple of kids who really wanted to wait, but mommy had to be somewhere and had to pry them away.
The crabs were not cooperative, so we came home with just a bit of eel grass on the crab ring... no crabs today.

Sometimes you just need to go do something totally unplanned and enjoy yourself. I need to do more of it. It's good for the soul.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I want to go away!

Right now I REALLY miss the ability to go away in our little motor home for a week at a time if we want to. And I want to. I am feeling stressed with life in general right now, and want to be somewhere else for a while. Somewhere I can center myself. A quiet peaceful place far away from high maintenance people and an out of whack workplace.

This is a good option...

More from the Garden

Look! Almost ripe tomatoes! We love these Tumbler tomatoes. They are prolific and really good. Bigger than a cherry and better flavor we think. Any day now we'll be in fresh tomato heaven!

 And our day lilys are starting to bloom. I love the darker color of this one...

Being in the garden helps me relieve the stress of the day...

Monday, July 6, 2009

What You Want

This arrived in my inbox a few moments ago...

July 6, 2009
What You Want
Aries Daily Horoscope

You could feel like taking on the world today. It might seem to you that you are ready to handle more responsibility in your life. Even if you feel confident about taking on more, you may want to think today about what more responsibility may mean for you. You might consider what you truly want from life and whether or not doing extra will help you obtain your goals. Perhaps you can reflect upon where you are now and the changes you would like to make. Think about how adding new obligations would fit into your life and assess if this would challenge you or make you feel overwhelmed. If you envision yourself being inundated, you could ponder how you could effect positive change in your life as it is right now. You may find that thinking about the outcomes of your initiative might help you gain better focus.

Reflecting upon what we truly want allows us to find healthier ways for achieving our goals. Our confidence and ambition sometimes lead us to feel that we can take on anything we need to in order to become successful in our lives. Thinking about the direction this will take us in gives us time to understand where we should really put our energy. This directs our attention to the things that are important to us and will allow for our success. Assessing where you want to go in life today will let you focus your talent on being successful in a way that will be meaningful for you


It's all around... all of the time. It's just a bit overwhelming today.

My friend Cheryl moving away highlighted last week. She came and played at the Scrap Paper doll class last Sunday. I miss her already. I am so glad I can keep up on her new blog. I sent her on her way with a little travel angel. It is made of pieces of map from her route between here and there. It kept her safe; she has arrived and is starting her new job today.

We're in the process of 1) painting 2) tearing up carpeting and 3) replacing with pergo flooring in the hall, living room, dining room... (okay...mostly my sweet hubby... but I DID pick the paint). It will be so lovely, and the house is in turmoil and I don't have a peaceful spot to hide.

There is my art room, of course, however it has been in turmoil for a while. Haha! It is giving me the incentive to finally finish the re-organizing. It's half done. There are boxes in here of Jen's things, and a couple of old "important paper" boxes in the closet to be gone through and shredded. Not to mention finding places for all those freakin' art supplies I keep buying. (Shhh... don't tell!)

I just want to get in the motor home and go camping somewhere quiet and peaceful and do art when I'm not going for walks like we did a couple of weeks ago. This was the view from the window where I sat doing art... while John was fishing in the rain.

It doesn't appear that we'll be able to camp again for a while....


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Zucchini are coming!

Our best zucchini crop since I moved from Lewiston Idaho 14 years ago, produced four (4) zucchini. Okay maybe five. Really!
This may be the year of the bumper crop, where friends and neighbors run when they see us coming. :D yay!

Summer Solstice

The fairies talked to me this summer solstice weekend, and I made a lot of fairy ATCs for my art groups solstice party, and for the All-Types-of-Art-a-thon on Here are few that I created:

The first two use pictures of my garden as background, the second two use vintage sheet music and paper napkins. The images are by Cicely Mary Barker. Fairies make me happy.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Camping Adventures

We decided to take our little motorhome out for a couple of days camping this week during my time off, and went to Birch Bay State Park. Not far away. Sunshine! Warmth! Gorgeous sunsets. Fullish moon. And low tides for mid-day clamming. We hadn't been clamming since I can't remember when. I forgot to get my shell fish license, so we could only get John's limit... 40 clams is enough to steam and eat with a buttery wine broth. And we did.

Took a walk on the nature trail, wandered the beach, looking under rocks for creatures. Sat under the variety of trees at the campsite... cedar, douglas fir, big leaf maple, alder, vine maple. With lots of shrubs... salmon berry, snow berry, nine bark...
Did you know that when you sit in the growing twilight, you are better able to see the faces in the bark of the trees. We wished we had more time to just sit and be.

So our little motorhome decided to help out. It wouldn't start when we were ready to go. Tried to jump start it... no luck. The starter went out, so AAA towing came and rescued us, and brought us back to town to our favorite RV place. Our trip ended with taking the bus home with a small bag of necessities (makeup bag, face stuff, books we're reading...necessities!)

Hubby joked that he plans only the funnest adventures for us. Which he does. Laughing through the whole thing was good for us both.

And when we were home, we discovered all the things we needed that were still in the motorhome... bread, tomatoes for salad, the remainder of the fresh fruit, vitamins, pajamas, my half bottle of wine...

I love to go camping. It's always an adventure, one way or the other. ;)

ATC Contest Winner!

So I entered the monthy ATC contest on the theme was napkins. I just love creating with napkins! And my entry won! Woohoo!

Here's the ATC:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Beeswax & Napkins

The weekend of May 1 -3 I hosted a collage-a-thon on Had the best time creating with my paper napkins and beeswax. Tulips and blue bird were from our tulip festival trip.
It makes me so happy...


April 30

We took a trip to Skagit Valley for the tulip festival on April 30. Thought it was appropriate since we did when Jen was here for her birthday in 2005...

It was a beautiful sunny day, much different than that rainy day in 2005 . We wandered among the tulips and did the touristy picture taking, getting dusty and warm. It was so bright the pictures didn't turn out as well as we hoped...

Stopped at Skagit Gardens and had a nice lunch, and wandered through Christensens nursery too. We bought a few plants, and I found some pretty paper napkins to use in my art...

It was a good day.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Inner peace

I just read this article on Inner Peace in Ode Magazine and thought it worth sharing. Isn't it interesting how things appear when you need to hear them?

And I loved this graphic from the magazine... dancing in light.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April 11

How I spent Jen's birthday:
Slept in until 8:00 (she would have probably slept longer)
Sat around in my jammies drinking tea until 11:00, harassing Jason and Calvin as needed.
Went down to the Farmers Market to assist hubby who was tending the NWF Community Habitat Certification booth... (which was right next to our soap lady)
At said Farmers Market, purchased soap and new lotion bar in one of my favorite scents, Morning Sun from Good Natured Earthling; bought Tea from new vendor, Sip-T, Misfit Bliss and Wicked Thicket (OMG, it's awesome tea, Jen!); and bought a big pot of catnip for Calvin.
Left John at Market and went to the two downtown used book stores, and found The Art of Happiness for our book group.
Found book to read at downtown library
After market closed, went with John to Chuckanut Brewery for a bite and brew (loved their Kolsch and the yam fries)
Came home and attempted to do some art, but muse deserted me, so vegged with said library book the rest of the evening, still harassing Jason and Calvin as needed.

Happy Birthday Jen. I miss you.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Artfest Part One

What an amazing weekend I had at Artfest! I did the long way around to Port Townsend, and drove up from Olympia with Julie on Wednesday. We puttered around Port Townsend a bit, had lunch at Siren's and finally got registered and to House 15. Such fun visiting with our housemates and exchanging our house trades. And then going over to the cafeteria and doing the trading madness.

Day One class was Karen Michael, Earth Friendly Paint Making. She showed us how to make our own water color paints using non-toxic elements. You need the binder, pigment and preservative… plus a bit of water.Binders were methyl cellulose, gum Arabic and milk paint mixed with pigments and an essential oil (cloves, lavender…) as a preservative. She gave us a recipe for gesso, which I’ll try very soon since I’m almost out. And for a couple of glues.
My favorite as we were painting was the milk paint, I really liked the colors and how it flowed. They dried not quite the same color though. Interesting. I also really like the Gum Arabic, and when it dries in your palette (as with the metyl cellulose) it becomes a “cake” you can use again by re-wetting.

Karen has a book coming out in June, Green Guide for Artists, which I’m pre-ordering on Amazon. She is an excellent, laid back instructor… and very talented. I'll be taking more of her classes.

Here's some of the playing I did with the paints I mixed. These both need more work, this is as as far as I got during class. The collage bits were attached with methyl cellulose as glue.

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