Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Fern Hill Cemetery, Anacortes, WA

Men who proudly fought for all of us.

Bless their hearts.

Taps. It always chokes me up.

The salute. . . To all who have given for our freedom, we are forever grateful. Thank you.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Flood Patrol

"Mom, Dad, help.... we are drowning out here, can you give us a hand?"

"What do you think we are, ducks?"

"I don't even know how to dog paddle.

"Here comes Dad, he will save us."

"Thanks for coming Dad, the girls were starting to flip out, you saved the day."

"That should take care of it buddy, you can tell the girls they can relax now."
"Honey, help I am drowning out here.

"That should take care of it, you can relax now."

Mr B. , He knows how to make all the chicks happy.
Hope your weekend is a dry one.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


We have introduced kiwi to the mix at the Little House. If all goes well they (husband and wife) will grow, be happy and produce prolifically on the gazebo. We gave the grapes plenty of opportunity to do the same but they dawdled too long. We left them in the ground next to the kiwi for spite. (maybe they will get jealous and finally grow.).....That is the male plant above.

Here is the female plant. The instructions said to keep them from strong wind but we are pretending that doesn't mean Straight of Juan de Fuca wind. Ha.

This is what I have to tackle today at the other house. There is an Italian plum tree there somewhere.

And I am pretty sure we have an Asian pear tree amongst those blackberry vines. This is what you get in the Northwest in the spring if you turn your back for too long.....I am off to tackle the jungle, send help if you don't hear from me.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Beautiful Monday

This beautiful photo is from the blog, greige, and if you are not familiar with it you are missing out on an always interesting and unique experience. I encourage you to take a moment and check it out.
I am heading south this morning to yard work that is calling to me from the other house. I fear that a machete will be in order to even get through the back gate. The forecast says that I will be turning the hot water heater on with one hand and pulling out the mower with the other if I want to mow without my raincoat.
A reminder that the recipe contest will be coming to an end May 31st and the winner will be announced Wednesday June 2nd.
I'm off now but will keep in touch via laptop. Have a beautiful Monday.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

7 TH Entry and Mr. B. The Gardener

The seventh entry is over at The Kitchen Calls, so head on over and find out all the delicious details. Enjoy!

Mr. B. has started working on the raised beds that we had to take out of the old garden for the chickens. He chose three tomato plants for the first bed, Early Girl, Sweet Million and Sun Gold. They have not taken off yet as we can't seem to get any even temperatures and later today and tonight we will be having very high wind (more like winter winds) so will have to see how that turns out.

Now I am going to tell a story on Mr. B., do you see that half of our dwarf apple tree is gone? Well I wonder how that could of happened. A mistake in pruning I hear you ask. No that is not it. Disease perhaps? Not that either.

There is something you should know about our Mr. B. , he is a tidy sort and likes to make sure no limbs and trimming debris are left laying around and so everything is neatly piled up with plenty of pesky cardboard and paper on to . . . .

. . . . . . . The burn pit. . . . It really is far enough away for the tree to be safe but not when the pile was a bit too large and the wind suddenly picks up and next thing you know the tree is on fire, yes the poor little tree. What did I do? Well I didn't know anything about it until I saw my sweet man 'pruning the tree' trying to get rid of the blackened evidence and then finally the confession.
Yes he has learned his lesson and the tree still produces so all's well that ends well. Can you ever trust boys with fire?
I will leave you with that little story and wish you a nice day.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sixth Recipe Entry

How about this for the main meal? Kat of Princess And The Pea created this hearty dinner menu from scratch and out of her own cute little head. Head over to The Kitchen Calls for details . Please join in the fun and enter any of your favorites. This is not a competition of cooking skills so don't feel intimidated, it really is about all of us sharing. Here's the info.
Happy C & B. ::

I had to share this sweet birdhouse with you. It looks like a child may have decorated the side with a little window with a window box.

It appears to have been around for quite some time and as I shot this there looks to be some 'interior decorating' going on...we will keep an eye on it and perhaps get a sneak look at little beaks in the future.
Have a nice Tuesday.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mother's Day & Birthday Gift

Mr. B. is the best! Look what I got for Mother's Day and Birthday. The Nikon D 40 that I believed wasn't available anymore but my honey found it. If anyone is looking, you can still get it at Best Buy online....This is a quick post to show off my new camera and remind you that the Recipe Contest is still going on over at The Kitchen Calls.
These are true, native blackberries. They are very small and so, so sweet. You can never find a large amount so a little taste is all you usually get.

The rooster and one of the girls.

Jack and Maggie imitating the cows.

Finally it is Frederick checking out the catnip plants we got for him, I think he approves.
Just a few of my first photos with my new camera. Have a very nice Monday.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fifth Recipe Entry And New Blog

The Best Carrot Cake In The Whole Wide World

This is the day we start cooking at our new food blog. The entry today will have the honor of christening The Kitchen Calls, so let's head on over and find out about this delicious looking carrot cake sent in by The Madhouse.

I will continue to post the entries here and will direct over to the new blog for details.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fourth Recipe Entry

Apricot And Prune Teabread

BE-RO Very Easy Fruit Cake (be-ro flour recipe book)

Our recipe today comes once again from Britain. Angela, from her blog Tracing Rainbows, sent us two yummy looking bread recipes. Mr. B. is a big fan of fruitcake so I have been on the hunt for years to find 'the one' and this just may be it. I, on the other hand love prunes in cake and so there is no doubt in my mind that the teabread will also be a hit.

Starting with the next entry, I will be posting the full recipe over on The Kitchen Calls blog so eventually all food related subjects will be there and we will be all moved in. But for now here is Angela's entry. Thank you Angela.

Apricot And Prune Teabread (serves 12 - allegedly!)

10 oz. plain flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
3 oz. butter
4 oz. ready to eat prunes, stoned and chopped
3 oz. soft brown sugar
4 oz. dried apricots, chopped
7 fl. oz. fresh milk
1 egg, beaten

1. Place the flour, baking powder and mixed spice in a bowl. Rub butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2. Stir in the prunes, sugar and apricots. Add the milk and the egg, mix well.
3. Turn into a greased 2 lb. loaf tin and bake at 180 degrees C for 1 hour until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
(Adapted from the British Dairy Cookbook)

BE-RO Very Easy Fruit Cake (be-ro flour recipe book)

12 oz. mixed dried fruit
4 oz. caster sugar
4 oz. butter or margarine
1/4 pint water
1 egg
8 oz. self raising flour
1. Heat oven to 150 degrees C. Grease a 1lb. loaf tin, or 7" round cake tin.
2. Place fruit, sugar, margarine and water in a pan, simmer slowly with the lid on for 20 minutes.
3. Allow to cool, then add beaten egg and stir in the flour.
4. Pour into prepared tin and bake for about 1 1/2 hours.

Happy C & B (cooking and baking)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Third Recipe Entry

Very Traditional British Spotted Dick
What a treat we have today. Floss, from the lovely blog, Troc, Broc, and Recup has sent in this very British recipe for her #1 son. He recently prepared the pudding and here is the photo to prove it. Good job son #1 and thank you for the entry....we are proud to have a nice young man cooking with us.
Thank you Floss for being such a good Mum and sharing this with all of us.
This recipe has come with both measurements so we can all understand and make it if we like..I am working on a conversion chart and will have it on the new food blog in the near future as we will need it to share our recipes back and forth across the pond.
Very Traditional British Spotted Dick A pudding for 4-6 people
225g/half pound of self-raising flour
quarter teaspoon salt
75g/3oz/shredded suet (you can buy vegetarian, or even substitute butter or margarine)
75g/3oz sugar
100175g/ 6oz currants (but we used raisins)
150ml/quarter pint milk (or milk and water mixed)
caster sugar for dusting
In a bowl, sieve the flour and salt together and stir in the sugar, suet and currants. Mix to a soft consistency with the liquid. Shape on a flowered board into a roll. Have ready a large saucepan of boiling water and a floured cloth. Wrap the suet pastry in a well-greased piece of greaseproof* paper, then in the cloth, tying both the ends with string but leaving enough room for the pudding to expand during cooking.
Lower the pudding into the boiling water and allow to simmer gently for one and a half hours - top up with more boiling water if necessary, but do not let the water go off the simmer.
Unwrap carefully and serve in slices with a sprinkling of sugar and a white sauce or vanilla custard.
* greaseproof paper = wax paper

Monday, May 10, 2010

Second Recipe Entry

Ottolenghi Semolina and Raspberry Tart

Here is our second entry, thank you Maisey's Attic. This is from Ottolenghi, a restaurant in various locations in the UK. and I found the recipe on a wonderful blog, Gourmet Worrier, where Nanette has done a marvelous job introducing us to this gem. Both of these will be added to the reading list over on my new food blog The Kitchen Calls (don't get too excited as it is still in the infant stages).

Thanks again Maisey's Attic for your entry.

Please be thinking about your entry as it needs to be in no later than May 31st and the winner will be anounced on Wednesday, June 2nd.

Happy Cooking!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

First Recipe Entry

Thanks Kami, for helping us get our serving of vegetable right along with our chocolate. I must confess that I have had this several times and it is as good as it looks. As you can see Kami found this favorite recipe at , and you can use this link to check it out.

Now that my daughter has contributed I will need to have a drawing for the winner since I might be a bit partial.

Please do not be nervous about any recipe that you share, as this is all for fun and being together in the kitchen. You do not have to send it by email if you got it on the web like Kami did then just give it to me in your comment and I will go there and do the rest ( no link necessary). If you do email I will not give your address out nor will I keep it, so not to worry there. This should be a happy experience for you so if you have another suggestion then let me know.

I would love to have you leave a comment if you try any of the recipes...Happy cooking.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Recipe Contest Details

The Prize will be Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Ina Garten has six cookbooks of which I own all. Our daughter also owns the six and I have started our sweet daughter in law on the series. Some of you know that my cookbook collection is getting close to being its own bookstore. With that said, if I had to choose just one (don't even take me there) cookbook, the title would have to have Barefoot Contessa in it and because I love you all like my own I need one of you to have it. Sooooo, let's get started.
Since I finished that last sentence I have been busy adding an email to my blog and starting a brand new blog with you all in mind....Do I feel excitement in the air? Yes in deedy do.... the blog will be all about food, every aspect of food. How could I not of thought of this before..this is me, I am in my element when I have my apron on and my knife or spoon in hand. There is no end to the wonderful foodie stuff we can do, like have a recipe contest....
We will need at least 25 contributors to make it interesting so spread the word. Everyone is welcome.
Leave a short comment with the name of your recipe. Then...
Email your recipe, picture too if you want, to then I will feature it on my blog. You may use any recipe you like but if it belongs to someone else please give credit. This should also be one you have actually made or have enjoyed from someone you know.
If the new blog is up and running correctly I will direct you to the recipe over there.
Deadline is May 31st and winner will be announced June 2nd.
Have Fun.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Recipe Contest Ideas

Lemon Cake

Let's have a recipe contest. I woke up this morning and decided to finally really do something and not just think about it and you can help. All of this month we can share recipes and at the end of May a winner will be chosen ( I will decide how later ) and a new cookbook will show up at the lucky ones door. We all can even help decide which book by giving suggestions and comments on. I think this will be loads of fun for us all. Quite a few of us have gone through or are going through some trials and I think it is time for a little fun. I need to work out details like how do you send your entries? Do I need to start another blog or is there some other way? Please leave comments about all of this and then lets get started.....To get us in the mood Here is Barefoot Contessa's Lemon Cake recipe. She is really my go to gal when I want a foolproof recipe. Remember, please leave a comment with your ideas and thoughts so we can 'get cooking' .

Sunday, May 2, 2010


As I was leaving the hospital this afternoon for the last time, I stopped and really looked at how beautiful this statue is of the Mother and Child. Here are some photos I took to share with you.

Mom is home this evening and resting comfortably. It has been a long week but it is behind us now and we look forward to much stronger and healthier days ahead......Off to bed for me now......I will rest well tonight.