Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thankful Thursdays

1. That I have perfect and wonderful grandchildren in my life. Happy, Happy First Birthday to sweet Henry Jefferson Templeton. This is Kyle's youngest. He has such a wonderful Templeton sparkle in his eyes.
Not quite walking yet, but will be any day now.
His birthday party was on a beautiful sunny day when everyone got to enjoy a backyard party.

It's very fun to watch his big brother Carter (who will be celebrating his Third Birthday in September) play with his cousins and friends.

It is very sad for me that I am not able to have more time with these two. A two hour drive may as well be a ten hour drive, in reality.

We got to play together on another day this week and it was great.

2. Two new books suggested to me by Barb, my hairdresser. Had my kindle with me at my appointment (for that under the dryer while color is processing, HIDE THAT GREY!) so I was able to read a sample of each of them, and did indeed order them both up, right on the spot!!
The first is Still Alice, and the second is The Glass Castle.

3. A surprise meeting with an old friend, her daughter who had the child I was present at the birth for and her newest addition. Pure happenstance. One of those things that makes you shake you head and wonder. If I had left the salon a minute earlier or later, I would not have seen them, and gotten reconnected.

4. Finding a couple of new Low Carb Bookbooks, by my favorite LC author - Dana Carpender.
Even while being gone have FUN! with my sister for a few days, I was able to maintain my low carb eating. I did miss my bike riding and will back to that tonight, if I get called off of work, or tomorrow if I don't.

5. My little used in ground sprinkler system!! Nice to be able to hit a button and get the lawn a nice drink of water. Mostly nice that it NEEDS it, finally......

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Kitchen Window Sill

It's often said the heart of the home is in the kitchen. And I think the windowsill is a major part OF the kitchen. For many it is a refrigerator, with the surface area covered with photos, notes, coupons, magnets. My Aunt Mary always had the most covered fridge ever. It was one of those treats when we would visit that I would see what she had added.
When I birthed my first child, I arrived with excitement and anticipation on that first visit to her home and sure enough, the photo I had sent her was proudly displayed.

Her kitchen was very special. It was NEVER tidy, but never seemed messy. Just very busy. Here is my very favorite photo of my Aunt Mary and Uncle Dan. On the back of the April Ann, my Grandfathers boat.

I switched to the stainless appliances when I upgraded my kitchen, so magnets don't work. It really changed the whole flavor in the kitchen. One I hadn't anticipated.
Anyway, back to the windowsill. It was a last minute decision to change the wood to granite when I had the countertops done, and one I have never regretted.
So what is on there? On the right is some fresh mint, pulled from my garden, roots and all, that I pick from to add to salads and iced teas. Kind of silly, since I could walk out to the garden and grab it there, but I keep telling myself that I'm going out there to pull most of the invading bugger OUT of my garden...just haven't done it yet.
I have a small candle with a cute cover on it. Then the pottery piece that collects my quarters that I find in my pockets or purse.
Center stage is my living basil. From Trader Joes. The first time I bought one of these it lasted me months! Sometimes I just put my face right smack into it, inhale and smile. Pick a few leaves and cut them up to throw on ANYTHING! Lately, (in the lcl - low carb life) adding some to fresh cut tomatoes and a teeny sprinkle of white balsamic vinegar is the BEST thing EVER!!
Then I have another little pottery set that nickles, dimes and pennies go into.
And finally I have my precious begonia.

I bought this over a year ago in full bloom. Once it was done, I just kept it on the windowsill, pinched it once in a while and watered and what a GREAT surprise when I spotted some buds on there!

Even though purple is my favorite color, I have to say this apricot is my favorite color of flower.

Isn't that just the most glorious flower?

Oh dear, that bird feeder hanging outside the window is empty once again.
I best go fill it up before they start tapping on the window at me.....

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ethan helps in the kitchen!

I still giggle looking at this photo. I should have made him put a shirt back on! The two jars you see are some sugar free ketchup that we made together today.
For my low carb lifestyle as well as his parents we made this up today. It was easy and fun. He added all the ingredients to the blender and got to use the measuring cups and spoons. When he was rinsing out the tomato paste cans before taking them to the recycle bin, his shirt got wet.

Lynn has been asking me why I save these kinds of jars and lids, and now I can show him! I find myself attracted to jars, and bowls...not sure why. Could be worse, it could be jewelry or shoes!!

Had my annual eval today. And signed up for a couple of 4 hour shifts next week, while the kids are at daycamp. Figured I should keep my working options open a bit longer. Both kids will be in school full time starting late August, and I don't know what I might find to do! So maybe working a bit more is in the cards.

Low carb day 3 is all good. I am trying a few different recipes this time around, and I made baked eggs with cream and cheese today and they were fantastic!! I'm having a "thing" with Gruyere cheese. I actually first discovered this tempting tasty treat when I was low carbing in the past. It wasn't as easily available at the time, but lucky me, Costco has it most the time.

My bike ride tonight was further than yesterdays. That will be my goal, to go at least a bit further each day I am able to ride. I say able since I am going to be away from my bike for a day or two. Anyway, when I came back today my legs were so wobbly! A good thing! I also used my headset today, with some good music, not too loud so I can still hear the occasional car that may come along.

Off to bed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day Two

Of what?, you might ask......
First of all, aren't those radishes so pretty? I've always liked them. And celery.
So it is day 2 of Biking! I brought by beautiful new bike home yesterday and introduced her to you.

And even though it was late, 8:30 pm, I made sure I put on my helmet and went out for a ride. I went a bit further than yesterday. Learning to use my 7 speeds. I did make it up my hill today, so already that is progress!!

It is also Day Two of Living a Low Carb Life. Yes, I know. Been there, done that. In fact I came across a photo of that time long ago that I was eating low carb successfully, trimmer, happier.

This was taken at a retreat. I was in the process of designing this quilt which became a gift for a friend of ours. He still has it and uses it. I am thinking it was just over 9 years ago.

It will be "harder" this time, but only if I consider it to be a diet. I've reread my books, gone over my cook books and done some grocery shopping. Hence the radishes!

Krista and Jeff are eating this way now too, so that is helpful. Nice to have others doing the same, and having them to share fresh veggies with once we've shopped at Costco!

Also Day Two of living WITHOUT FarmTown. So far, so good!
Will keep you up to date.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My New Ride

Isn't she pretty??? I've been contemplating a bike for many, many months. Lynn and I bought some second hand bikes about 7 or 8 years ago at an auction. We actually rode them together only a few times, as his idea of "riding" and mine are totally different. He meanders and I RIDE!
As my size increased over the next several years, the bike became more uncomfortable and less practical. When Ethan was riding his teeny, tiny bike with the training wheels, he wanted me to ride with him. So I was out there in ALL my glory, riding the bike with skinny tires, which seriously needed major air. I was a few yards ahead of him when he announced to me, and the whole neighborhood, in his sweet little 4 year old voice "HEY GEEMA!" I said WHAT? He said "YOUR BUTT IS SO BIG!!!" I said "YOU'RE RIGHT"....and on we went. And we sold the bikes at a garage sale that summer.
I've seen more women of "size" out riding bikes. And I was really attracted to those big handlebars. If they can do it, I can do it, right?
I was very athletic in my youth. I've always liked bike riding. So after a fair amount of research and quandary, I took the plunge and stopped into Jack's Bike Shop in Bellingham while spending time with my sister, who was up here for a visit. I hadn't really intended to buy a bike, but it seemed to just happen. I would have chosen a purple bike, but that wasn't an option....
Adding the basket was fun, and you can't see it, but there is a cool bell on the handle bars too.
So with the kids on their bikes, off we went for a ride today. No yelling came from behind me. That was a relief.
Now the task of really using this bike, and getting some much needed physical exercise.
To get me started, I eliminated my biggest time wasting addiction. FarmTown on Facebook.
That was 5 hours big signs of withdrawal yet.....though here I am, updating my blog!!
Be prepared to hear from me a LOT!
Off for another ride.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Some Family Time...

Here are my three someone pointed out to me, as usual the oldest two are supervising, while the youngest does the work!!!

I was excited to finally find a time that I could have all three boys, along with their families together for a few days. We went to Lake Cavanaugh, one of my very favorite places to go with my quilting friends. This is a private home, right on the lake.

We went on July 3rd, which was Lynn's 60th birthday!! Jeff, Krista, Jillian and Ethan came that day. Big surprise for us all was that because so many residents of the lake are only part time, there was a HUGE fireworks display on the night of the 3rd, since many people had to travel home on the 4th to work on the 5th. So it was loud and gorgeous to watch all these fireworks happening around the lake.

It had been a rainy day, but the sun broke through in the afternoon, so Jillian and Ethan did spend some time in the lake. And they all went out for a canoe ride, which I wish I had taken photos of. Jeff was the firebuilder that first night, and battling wet wood, and limited newspaper he was a trouper, and got it going! S'mores were enjoyed by all of us.

The 4th started early with Kyle, Genie, Carter and Henry arriving very early in the day. The weather was perfect and they all had a great time in the sun

Yes, Kyle is one of the whitest men in America and it looks like Carter is going to suffer from the same issue....

I thought this was a great shot, I assure you Kyle was right outside the photo!!

Carter loved his little boat and thanked his Auntie Krista for bringing it for him.

When they weren't in the water, the grands had a great time with tons of brio train set

It's not often these guys get to play together, so the time they had was precious to me.

Todd and Jessica and their two dogs arrived the afternoon of the 4th. They brought dry wood for a fire and Todd set out to build quite the bonfire for our evening time on the beach. I told him it was looking like something he would need a permit for.

Jeff is putting some final touches on it. This is built right on the beach, no pit or anything.

We were all quite stunned when Lynn left the beach, came back in his swim suit, threw a towel in my lap and ran down the dock and leaped into the water!!! Said he could feel the 60 year old placque breaking up in his arteries!!! And no, I didn't have my camera ready for that.

I also wish I had gotten some shots of Cosmo, Jeff's border collie mix dog. I think he had the best time of everyone. It was his first experience in water, and he loved it. I think he would have chased those balls and sticks into the water until labor day....

Another night of loud and colorful fireworks, which unfortunately led to not a good sleeping night for Carter, Henry and therefore Kyle and Genie, so they headed home much earlier than planned, which was sad for all of us. I had hoped to get more photos, and spend more time with them all together. Best laid plans, as they say.

Jillian and Ethan said it was their second best vacation ever (their only other vacation having been a weekend to the Great Wolfe Lodge, go figure!) and they want us to go back again. In fact, Ethan announced he wanted to LIVE there!! I know just how he feels.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A New Project

Thank you to Melissa for the link to a blog of a woman who made a rhubarb infused alcohol. This is my lovely rhubarb patch, courtesy of another friend Bea who actually mailed the roots to me! I've been harvesting and enjoying it for several years now. I'm noticing this year I'm getting A LOT of regrowth so when I saw the idea of setting up my own moonshine business I thought why not!!!

I plucked about 20 stalks, and separated them from their beautiful big leaves. I do get annoyed at times when recipes give directions with a WEIGHT of something rather than measurement. Yes, I do have a digital food scale, just not sure where I stashed it.

This is my bowl with all those stalks chopped up. Next into the food processor for a bit of a whirl.
The directions say that gives more surface area of the fruit to be able to infuse it's yummy goodness into the grain alcohol.

These are the two jars, all filled with fruit and Everclear. Yes, you can get it in Washington State at the Liquor store. It is 151 proof, not 190. Maybe I could have gotten that in Canada, but it wasn't worth the wait at the border!!

Now these two jars will sit happily in my pantry for at least a month. It's going to be great!!