Saturday, December 26, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas
and a blessed New Year!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Block of the Month

In our little town, a group of women meet monthly at the Grange Hall to quilt. We are a very giving group and always have a charity quilt project going on.

It was decided that it would be fun to participate in a 'block of the month' project. So, each month my friend, Karleen, and I would distribute a pattern for that month. Participants would return home and go through their fabrics, creating a block in that month's design. It was always fun to see the blocks that were completed when they were returned to our next sewing session.

At the end of the year we had enough sets for about twelve quilts. There were even enough spare blocks from February and April for us to make a heart and tulip quilt of only those blocks.

Volunteers took the quilts home to quilt them on their long-arm machines. Others volunteered to stitch on binding. As time went by we had them all done and ready for distribution.

We were so pleased with the results, we decided a photo session would be fun so we would have a memory of the quilts that we had made.

Fun was had by all!

And we all learned that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

With this project done, we are now working on completing a stack of batik charity quilts that are in progress.

Quilt on!

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Love and Tea

I'm sending you love and tea, 
To warm your winter's day. 
Think of me as you pour your cup 
And all the good things we would say. 
If we could be together now 
Instead of miles apart, 
We'd sip our teas and memories, 
The sweet warmth fills the heart.

Author Unknown

Monday, November 30, 2015

Trail Camera

We've probably all seen the security camera photos that are popular on Facebook feeds these days. You know the type. Someone's UPS package is stolen from the front porch and caught on camera. Or vandals pass by in the night and key someone's car. But how much more positive and fun is it to view nature when it thinks it's unobserved!

A beautiful elk passes by in the freshly fallen snow. You know there are more not far away, as they travel as a harem with a dominant bull.

Can you tell what animal this is? It's a night shot, so a bit hard to make out. A coyote passed by the camera multiple times as it circled on a hunt.

Sometimes humans show up on the trail camera too! This is the forest service patrol who is passing by at a brisk pace. It's hunting season, so he is well identified in that bright orange vest!

Our camera also reveals that several hunters passed by, and more than once. Again, the bright safety orange is there so they can be seen. It looks like they are a bit cold!

Mostly we captured deer photos this autumn. This is one of my favorites --- a gentle, quiet deer walks softly through the snow.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Winter's Quiet

The seasons change, both in life and in nature.

 As winter nears, the snow falls and a sense of quiet fills nature's corners.

Like tufts of cotton, puffs of clouds waft through ridges and slopes. 

"Despite all I have seen and experienced, I still get the same simple thrill out of glimpsing a tiny patch of snow in a high mountain gully and feel the same urge to climb towards it."
Edmund Hillary

Winter. The season to "tuck in".

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Aubrey's & Jamie's Party

Once the ceremony was over, wedding guests were invited to enter the beautiful barn and fill seats at tables lined along the attic beams.

Banners and lights created a festive scene!

Pretty hand fans were set at each place, and were very helpful in the heat of the day.

Unsweet tea! It was delicious! There were other cold drinks too, but unsweet tea that allows for the wonderful, full flavor of "tea" just hit the spot!

Chalk painted Mason jars created pretty vases. Twine accented each one. They were filled with fresh flowers of all types.

Sprigs of lavender and twine wrapped flatware were artfully set at each place.

Pretty candles were set along the table, twinkling in the darkness of the barn.

Banners and lights.

Lights and banners.

And cookies of all types! Help yourself! Don't they look pretty in those clear jars?

The wedding cake was elegant and decorated with more fresh flowers. Beside them were jars of pudding, cake, and strawberry parfaits.

Assorted china plates awaited each guest at the buffet table. Delicious and abundant food was set out for all to enjoy. 

Aubrey and Jamie cut the cake and enjoyed cake tasting with everyone circled all around!

Congratulations and best wishes to the happy pair. Thank you for a wonderful time. We enjoyed the party.

Aubrey & Jamie

Summer is the time of weddings, and this summer was no exception. The weddings of friend's children makes for special memories. Aubrey and Jamie were married by a pond in a garden setting in the shadow of a beautiful, old barn. Nearby, blueberry harvest was in full swing! The contrast of pickers and festive western attire created both unity and contrast.

From the smallest of the guests, you could feel the joy and excitement as you waited for the bridal party to arrive.

Soon, girls dressed in buttercup yellow and brown cowboy boots were escorted through the lawn by handsome dudes in boots and vests. 

And then the beautiful bride, Aubrey, was escorted down the aisle by her loving father. Aubrey was radiant!

Vows were repeated along with laughter, tears, and a sweeping kiss! Congratulations to a lovely and loving bride and groom! Wishing you much happiness and joy in the years ahead!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

One of a Kind Loaf

~ My Favorite ~ One of a Kind Loaf ~ Delicious!
Creating a unique and individualized vegetarian entree loaf is fun and simple with the following recipe. Each time you make it, the recipe will be unique and can use ingredients that you already have in your kitchen or that are available seasonally. This is a heart-healthy, low-calorie, and nutrient dense loaf. Tasty too! To create, simply choose the amount suggested for each ingredient type as shown below:

2 cups of legumes
cooked legumes of any variety such as: lentils, kidney beans, garbanzos, pinto beans, soybeans, or tofu, etc.

1 - 2 cups of grains
whole grain bread crumbs, rolled or quick oats, cooked brown ricr or millet, Grape-Nuts cereal, crushed whole grain cereal flakes, whole grain cracker crumbs, whole grain croutons, etc.
1/2 cup chopped or ground nuts or seeds
almonds, casehews, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, etc.

1 1/2 cups liquid
broth from cooked vegetables, plain soy, nut, or grain milk, tomato juice or sauce, V8, etc.

1 Binder2 Tbsp. soy flour
2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
2 - 3 Tbsp. gluten flour
3 Tbsp. potato flour
3 Tbsp. minute tapioca
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
1/2 cup cooked "cream of wheat"
2 Tbsp. soaked mung beans, blended, etc.

1/2 - 1 teaspoon of one or several Seasonings as desired (I always use at least double this recommendation; be generous with the seasonings!)
cumin, sweet basil, Italian seasoning, oregano, parsley flakes, rosemary, sage, Bill's Best Chicknish, McKay's Chicken-Like Seasoning, celery salt, garlic or onion powder, nutritional yeast flakes, salt, Vegex, Bragg's Liquid Aminos, Marmite

1 or more Vegetables1 onion, chopped
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 - 3 Tbsp. chopped pimiento
3 - 5 stalks celery
2/3 cup shredded carrots
2/3 green beans or peas

Mix all the ingredients you selected together. Press into a sprayed loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes (or more if you prefer a darker loaf). Serve with a light savory or tomato gravy.

Leftover can be sliced and served in sandwiches or mashed for a spread (add olives, pickles, or Veganaise).

*Instead of baking as a casserole loaf, this recipe also makes delicious patties. Use a non-stick skillet with some extra-virgin olive oil and fry until crispy and golden.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tea was Brought

"In a few minutes tea was brought. Very delicate was the china, very old the plate, very thin the bread-and-butter, and very small the lumps of sugar. Sugar was evidently Mrs. Jamieson's favourite economy." 

Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford

Thursday, June 11, 2015

In Tea


In Tea the host is simplicity and the guest elegance.
If all is done in sincerity it is better
than a thousand graces.

Matsudaria Naritada

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Chilled Swiss Cherry Soup

Cherry season is upon us! I'm sharing this refreshing and light chilled soup recipe with you today. The weather has been so warm; I thought this Swiss cherry soup might be quite the ticket for cooling things down. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Chilled Swiss Cherry Soup

3 cups unflitered apple juice
6 thin lemon slices
6 thin orange slices
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup water
2 cups pitted cherries
2 cups sliced peaches

Simmer first 5 ingredients together for 10 minutes in covered saucepan.Meanwhile, dissolve cornstarch in water. Add to saucepan, stirring briskly.Return mixture to a boil and continue to boil 1 minute over medium-high heat or until clear, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add cherries and peaches. Serve chilled.

Serves: 4

*Add the sweet herb, stevia, if you would like a sweeter version of this recipe.

The cherry orchard next door was filled with cherry pickers this morning. They were busy harvesting (and I am sure the orchard owner is praying for "no rain" until harvest is past). Fortunately sunny skies are in the forecast.