Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Our Skagit Valley In Sunset Magazine

Skagit valley is the mainland for us on Fidalgo Island. This is our pride and the reason for the big tulip festival in April. I drive by this on my way to all of my main shopping in Mt. Vernon. This weekend I caught a glimpse of the purple (early) in the fields and I plan on getting some photos to share. The weather isn't cooperating right now though. This is from and same for the rest of the post... I picked up the magazine yesterday when I saw that I could share this with you. ( good excuse for another mag. )

Here is an article you can check out on gardening in pots. I think we will be doing some of that this year since we had to save the chickens from the eagles and give up our garden.

How about a nice Easter brunch after church if dinner doesn't work?

We will be having dinner at our daughters' home. We have not decided on full menu yet but do know that the ham will be guest of honor. We will also have smoked salmon or turkey breast and asparagus for sure.

Here is a yummy Italian style bread. This looks good but daughter is going to make her delicate dinner rolls that she has perfected.

And here is the cake that Martha Stewart is bringing , just kidding, she's not invited. How pretty is it though. We are having a carrot cake, everyone in my family will be pleased.

I need to run, I have things that I've been putting off that must be done (grumpy face).
Later if weather permits I want to take some pics. from the French magazine but I want it outdoors.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Package From France

Look what was in my mailbox Saturday. Yes, magazines from France. Thank you so much Floss! Looking forward to digging in and sharing some of the pages with you..maybe tomorrow. It was so fun to exchange magazines like this as I would never be able to enjoy the one in French, I think I might be able to find some from England at Barnes and Noble but I'm not totally sure about that. I would love to do this every once in a while so magazines will be reviewed differently before recycle in the future.

Just look at these delicious covers and from what I have already seen the contents are just as lovely. Floss keeps some of her magazines and brings out her favorites seasonally as the cost of a subscription in Europe is quite steep, so I have received quite a treasure. Maybe after Easter we can explore the pages and have a short discussion on styles and colors.
Speaking of Easter I am thinking of the menu and what I might add to change it up a bit. What are you all serving? Are you trying anything new this year? Let me know, it's always fun to share celebration plans.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

City Chickens

Even though it has been a full visit this time, I wanted to take a minute to introduce you to my sisters' chickens. Actually I can't remember all of their names so as to not hurt any feelings we will just call them the girls....Oh and the boy too. They live in Portland Oregon and are very happy being city chickens. The coop was lovingly built mostly by Uncle Bob but their Mommy helped too.
I think that you are only supposed to have a few chickens and no rooster in the city ordnance but rules don't apply to my family. Ha....Ha..just kidding...The story is, the land has been in the family for generations and when my mother was a little girl her chicken house was in about the same place so the chickens and rooster are grandfathered in. No one complains anyway so it hasn't been an issue.
They are waiting for free range time. At the end of the day, a little before sunset and after the mean Airedale dogs are put away in the house they get to peck around in the yard and maybe have a nice dust bath and a worm or two before hitting the hay.

A beautiful bunch of chicks who bring joy to my mother and sister and yummy eggs too.
Thanks girls!
Hope you enjoyed the quick visit. I will be heading back north in the morning and checking in as soon as I can.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Off We Go

We (the dogs and I) are leaving this morning to the other house, so I have packed up my faithful partner the Luce, which holds all of the things that I will not be seen without. This was my grandmothers overnight bag so it holds memories as well as the necessities. The thermos looks like it came from the same era but I'm not sure as I just got it a few weeks ago at Goodwill, another great find with a cork stopper in perfect condition. We will see how hot it keeps my coffee today.
Better get busy so I can get out of here in time to miss the Seattle afternoon traffic (can be a nightmare).... Have a good day and I will check in later.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The International Magazine Swap

By now you probably know my affection for magazines and sharing little bits of them with you. When I first spoke of House Beautiful, Floss from the lovely blog, Troc Broc And Recup left me a comment about how she used to have a subscription to British House Beautiful and has kept all the copies. I offered to send some of my mags to her and so the story begins. Through a few emails we struck a good swap deal and today my two began their journey across land and sea to France. How fun is that? Floss also did a post where she took us on a foot journey to her post office with pics of spots along the way, it was very nice. Not to be a copycat I will take you by car and only a few snaps.......So we will grab the two traveling companions and head on down the highway, into town and right to the P.O.
A beautiful old brick building with all marble interior.

The nicest workers inside, always kind, patient and helpful ( small town bonus). The nice lady let me put it through the slot so I could take a picture of that for you then she had to go to the bin and fish it out for a special spot they must keep packages for customs (anything over a pound ). She was happy to be part of the story I do believe.
Here it is heading down to the waiting hands of the trained government professional who will whisk it off to the safety of the special holding place for customs.

On my way back home I must go over a few blocks and stop at my very favorite thrift store. The Red Door...There is no other to compare. Not a lot of junk and real good prices. Things go fast.
Back home to get things out and show you before I have to start dinner.
Here's a 1982 book that I can hardly wait to get into to see what might be coming back in style now.
A door stop in perfect condition, what a find. And do you see those ears sticking up?
Well no, they are not thrifted, they followed me from the florist/gift shop in town when I went in to say hi to the owner.

They promised to be good if they could stay. Now how can you say no to those faces?

It has been a good full day but now it's time to say goodnight.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Almost Done

I missed you all so I had to check in. I am still tweaking things on new computer. We had Windows XP and now have Windows 7 so it is all new to me. I wanted to at least give you something pretty to look at so here are more images from House Beautiful. I love globes (maps also) and the room is quite a nice style, a sort of relaxed traditional (my interpretation) that seems lived in yet still a bit refined.

This room is way out of my world but the colors are fun and fresh. The mural and the floor (to ceiling) lamp are great....I had better get back to the job at hand and quit the stalling. See you soon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Short Break

A quick post to let you know I may be away for a few days as I must finally hook up our new computer...who knows how long that will take to get it just right. If all goes well it might be as soon as this evening.

This quiet spot is from Victoria Magazine, another of my favorites. Victoria was out of print but is back with us again. Check it out, I'm sure you will enjoy it as I do. See you soon.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fredericks' Decision

Frederick has seen the error of his smarty pants ways and decided on James Beard for the bread recipe. If you will notice the small pillow at the bottom of the book, the catnip filled pillow...well Frederick has confessed that he had a little too much of a good thing right before I asked him to help me choose and that is why he misbehaved and became so sassy. After I gave him a lecture on taking responsibility for his actions and not blaming it on catnip he apologized and says he is sorry to all of the readers also. It all turned out fine as you can see the bread looks pretty good and the dough hook worked great making fast work of the job. Now off to dig in and see if it's as good as it looks. Let you know tomorrow. Have a nice evening.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Date With A Dough Hook

I had a very big surprise under the Christmas tree this year. I didn't even ask for it or hint or leave advertisements laying around or anything like that. Wanted it, yes but said no way you already have a Kitchen Aid so you don't need the brand new, latest design with the new technology dough hook on it with a big 6 qt. I just dreamed and said maybe someday. Christmas morning and the big present, Mr. B. what a sweetie. When I opened it up and saw it I said, " what are you doing? " I couldn't even believe it and I just kept saying it over and over. Do you know what he said? You aren't going to believe it either....."I had to get it when I saw it because .... it is the same color as the kitchen. " Really! I couldn't argue because it is the same color exactly. So this weekend is the first time with the dough hook, it is suppose to do a really good job so we will see. Not that I will be a great judge of it as I have not made a bunch of bread but with this I will be like a bakery soon.
Now to begin, I am having a hard time deciding on the cookbook to use. I love James Beard but I just got the Farm Journal Baking one yesterday at the thrift store.....which one shall it be? I need help with this so I had better get a second opinion, who is close by?
There is Frederick the cat he will help and he always knows best about all things fine and good. Well buddy what will it be? James or The Farm one? What do you mean you don't know and you will have to get back to me? What kind of an answer it that? ....a cat answer? ok I think Frederick needs to go outside and think about this for awhile, I will decide and share pictures tomorrow. I must go and have a little talk with one smarty pants cat. Have a good evening.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Coastal Living Magazine

More dreamy kitchens. Look at all the storage space...heaven for someone like me who can't seem to part with much, especially from the world of cooking. I would have to keep things pretty much in order though as you can kind of see inside....never mind, this probably wouldn't work for me after all. How about this adorable cotton candy kitchen it almost reminds me of one in a doll house. The retro look is easy to achieve now (with plenty of money) as some appliance manufacturers have new lines with that look.

These kitchens and more can be found at Coastal Living Magazine. I had a hard time picking just two, as there were many more to drool over, so take a look and see what one you want to bake up your next batch of cookies in.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

House Beautiful Magazine

This kitchen would look great in the Little House and I do believe it might even fit. And the wooden bowl needs to be on the table with or without a fresh green salad from the garden. These images are from the magazine that I have known since a child and still have every month to this day. Not many of us can afford or even want an interior decorator but the ideas abound on these pages and many can be used with imagination, careful shopping (thrifting too) and trial and error. Unfortunately, we are losing many of our favorite periodicals as of late but so far my beloved House Beautiful is not one of them. If I had to choose only one (horrid withdrawal) decorating magazine it would have to be this versatile gem. Take a look and see what you think.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Told You So

Our two little friends were right. No snow, rain or clouds. They insisted on going out to the line with me to make sure I could show my appreciation for their wisdom right on the spot....notice the smug looks on the faces? I promised that next time I would have more faith.

Little Feathered Friends

Well now, look who showed up this morning. These two are telling me that indeed it is spring and never mind the forecast for snow today so go ahead and hang those clothes out...Really? I have taken their word for it but am keeping a close eye on the sky anyway. :: I just adore Easter time and all the decorations. I just remembered a stash of rabbits I have and hope I didn't take it down to the other house..I am going to go see if I can find it. Be back later.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy Monday

I do love Mondays.....The start of a new week, a fresh start. Mondays are always hopeful for me, I will catch up on things left undone at the end of last week....well maybe not all of them but with this outlook some of The List will be checked off. It is all about the way we look at things in life that make the difference in being able to move forward or stay very stuck in the past. We can do better this week, make a decision to see things with a different eye, close the door on last week and make some wonderful things happen for ourselves and those we love.
As you can see I am making some changes on the blog..not quite sure how it will end up yet but it will be fun to go through the process. We got a new computer and so I need to get that all hooked up some time in the next few days...not really looking forward to it as those of you who have done it know why. ( I'd better change my attitude about that! )
On Saturday afternoon we walked the dogs at the beach and there was this big clump of daffodils in the middle of dead, thorny brush as if it had been tended by a loving hand......that is the thought I will start this week with...that is the same Loving Hand that tends to us. Have a blessed day everyone!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cow Cow Friends

These two cows are our next field neighbors. I thought you might like to get a look at them as they are different than the usual. They are very quiet and do little mooing. Sometimes when the chickens are out (now under our supervision) they sneak under the fence for a visit but not a very good idea as that is where one of their sisters were taken by the hungry eagle.....never a dull moment.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Gazebo Dreams

Last winter in one of several wind storms we lost the canvas cover to our gazebo. No problem I thought, I'll just order a replacement...that did not happen as the shape, size and quality that we need would be more than the price of the entire original package. What now? I have plans for the whole area and we had very little use from it in the 2 years of ownership. Could I sew a new one? I laughed at that thought as my list of projects will take a lifetime as it is. Only solution....a grape arbor, yes that would be beautiful and provide shade and produce. We put one plant at each corner and we were sure it would cover the structure in one season as in our other house the grapes need to be pruned very aggressively or they go up the side of the house to the chimney up to the peak of the roof. As you can see by the pics. they didn't even grow and we had one we needed to replace. I will not give up though and if need be will did huge holes fill with mass quantities of the best soil money can buy and enjoy the shade of those grapes this summer!!!!!! ( I won't actually be doing the digging ). Can you just picture it? How beautiful will it be covered with vines and grapes just happily dangling down. A little bistro table in one corner and a wicker settee, cushions with vintage fabric and when it gets chilly in the evening a small fire in the little chimney and sitting next to my honey....I doesn't get much better than that.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mr. Rooster

A quick post this morning to introduce you to Mr. R. who takes all of his responsibilities very seriously...(especially making new chicks) He is quick to round the girls up and get them to cover when any large birds of question are approaching. He is also a very good provider as he alerts the girls to any tasty morsels of the worm or bug persuasions....we are hoping that some of the girls will want to sit on the eggs so we can have baby chicks in spring. Will keep you updated on this.
I will be baking this morning for Mr. B. to take to work again and after that I am going to get my treadle sewing machine up and running. I will post a pic. later.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Is It a Biscuit? Or a Biscuit?

Saturdays 15 bean soup actually happened on Sunday. After my post I ran out of the house (eager to get to the all important thrifting) and forgot to put the beans on for a quick soak. I chose to use Barefoot Contessa, Back To Basics cookbook Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits. You can find the recipe at They turned out perfect and look almost exactly like the picture. Delicious with good cheddar flavor. I will leave the salt off of the top next time, though, as I felt it made it a bit salty but I used kosher salt and she called for sea salt, probably the real coarse kind . Mr B. said it is a keeper so we will be having it again.
Something interesting happened after my post about making the biscuits. Floss from troc,broc and recup left a comment and asked if our biscuit was their scone (she's British living in France). I told Mr. B. about the question and he said maybe the comment that Kat Princess and the Pea( who won the dottie angel prize and is also British ) left about sharing a recipe for biscuits and then saying something about a good chocolate cookie recipe, meant that cookies are our biscuits. At this point my brain decided that this could become very confusing and required further investigation. This is what I have so far.....the British call cookies, biscuits and cookies. Our biscuits might be what they call scones but we have separate recipes for scones and biscuits. Then if you really think about it many of our scones really are very similar to our biscuits. Let's really confuse everyone by saying the picture of my biscuits do look like scones when they are cut like this. Maybe our British friends can shed more light on the matter but this is the best I can do for now....I may check in later. Have a great Monday.