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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Scared of the Dentist but Lemon Cake and Coffee to the Rescue!

 Meanwhile, back at the farm, life was continuing on at its usual pace.  Daughter has been packing, de-junking, sorting, and moving many of her belongings to the apartment they will live in after the wedding, a 2 plus hour trip away.  I am trying very hard not to accept any more junk er, valuable stuff to add to my own confusion.  Most of the wedding details are coming together now, enabling us to at least stop for a deep breath occasionally.  And even try to get the dishes done....or not.

 Wonder of wonders, Spring appears to be at least considering starting up here in SW Washington!  The skies refuse to clear completely, but we have had a few glimpses of...is it called sunshine?...and the rains have lessened up enough that we probably won't kill each other after all!  I mow the garden when I mow the yard, just to keep the jungle under control, but the bulk of this year's produce may be produced somewhere else.

We celebrated a subdued Mother's Day.  My kids were awesome, of course, but I started the day out missing my Mom and couldn't quite put it out of my thoughts for the day.

We also celebrated my son's birthday...complete with balloons, confetti, noisemakers and hats.  He's 31, by the way.  His request was Esther's Orange Marmalade Cake from the Mitford Series of books by Jan Karon!  If you make one, you'll keep making them, I warn you!


 I am a complete dental coward.  I wake up in a panic all the preceding days of a looming appointment.  In need of a tooth extraction, I bravely made an appointment and drove in to the office (45 minutes of anticipatory anxiety), fidgeted in the waiting room and finally got in to my...consultation.  My blood pressure was up and I was a nervous wreck and THAT was just the consultation!  I have now had the procedure done and am home recuperating, albeit I make a poor patient as I am in no wise 'patient' as I wait to get back to normal.

 The last time I had a general anasthetic I was 21 years old.  Decades have passed since that time and I'm pretty sure I got over it quicker back then.  Wednesday was my tooth-pulling and as of today (Saturday), my limbs still feel like lead and I'm decidedly cranky.  I'm pretty sure it's mostly due to the fact that I really figured mowing the lawn on my riding mower would make me better faster and when I got out there, it had a flat tire.  Normally I am a very sweet and pleasant gal, but I confess to having a small fit, stomping into the house and slamming the door.  I tiptoed out later to see that my dear husband has removed the offending tire and taken it into town with him.  Hopefully he won't be afraid to come back.

Mushy food is the theme this week and today's
special is Chicken Pot Pie!  Yes, even if I have to be propped up in the kitchen, we still eat
homemade food.  If I were totally honest,
I would have to say that today I probably would
have eaten store-bought, if the darn store
weren't so far away.  A 40 minute trip in,
major hike through Walmart and a 40 minute
trip back sounds as difficult to me today as
contemplating the Boston Marathon!

On the bright side....hmmm.  Just a minute.  No, just kidding!  There is always a bright side and I'm thrilled that dental technology is what it is.  Nothing like when I was a kid.

My computer has been my companion whilst recuperating, so I have new recipes to try.  This Lemon Cake was divine (and soft!).  We put Lemon Curd in between layers and a light glaze on top.

Recipe found here:
http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com
 I did wander around and take some pictures of the mess place and there is much to do.  Warmer temperatures and plenty of rain have made everything grow like the rain forest, so no danger of boredom!  We're still milking three goats and raising a bottle calf, so I made the trek to the barn this morning.  I felt pretty good until I was washing up the milking machine and it seemed heavier than usual.  Actually, the house was farther from the barn than it was last week, too.
A few of the rabbits are having litters and the chickies are totally feathered out so I'll take pictures of animals next time.

Well, Chicken Pot Pie is almost ready so I'm off to gum it down, lol, and then sit on the porch swing and watch the grass grow for a bit!  WAIT!  I need COFFEE! That's the problem!  I missed a whole day of coffee back on Wednesday and you just don't get over these things that fast.  Huh.  Well, glad I've got it now, so I'm off (so to speak...)!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Skillet Burger Meal and Deteriorating Brain Cells

My brain cells are dying off at an alarming rate.  Does this happen to everyone who has a daughter getting married?  And, more importantly, will they come back (brain cells, not the daughter)???

In between all the 9,764,321 little details involved in getting ready for this special event, life has the nerve to continue happening!

I had naively believed that, why of COURSE I can handle a vendor space at our large Country Chicks Spring event.....
 And I DID.  I nearly did myself in trying to get everything accomplished.  Cute chickens, friendly foxes, rascally rabbits....I sewed, stuffed, painted, cut, wired.  And we went.  And we conquered.  And our vocabulary continues to shrink.  Soon I will be so tired as to be reduced to monosyllabic grunts.

The hubby figured a clamming trip was just the thing!  We could 'get away' and 'enjoy the beach'.  Fancy words for....let's get up before daylight and drive for an hour and a half and hike a mile to the beach, then dig like crazy for cold, wet clams!  Last dig of the season, so off we went.
 He forgot his toothbrush.   And his seizure meds.  I got stung by a hornet.  I remembered the meds for him.  The toothbrush was another matter.

Three morning clam digs and 90 harvested razor clams later, we were all 'rested up' and came home.  Can you say laundry, dishes, housework, animal chores, lawns to mow?  When does the 'rest' begin?

Did you know that you can make a really delicious meal in one skillet if you really don't want to do any dishes?
 I put a couple of lovely lean hamburger patties in and while they began to brown, I added chopped onion, then a sliced red potato...a few brussels sprouts and a handful of fresh green beans.  A little salt & pepper, lid on until veggies were tender and VOILA! a gourmet dinner in a skillet!  Quick, easy and oh, so delicious.



The people at the beach were a bit on the strange side.  This fella wouldn't even speak to us.
 His gal just gave me a funny look, but neither one objected to my taking their pictures.  They're quite photogenic - no doubt people ask them all the time!
 Francis goes on every camping trip with me, but she thought perhaps we should slow down just a bit.  She was also pouting because she was wearing a polka-dot dress that she hated.

A couple days after we got back (today) we had a group wedding-invitation-making gathering.  Six adults, five kids and we made a big dent in the work, but haven't finished yet (of course).

People no more than headed out than our beautiful sunny (80*) day turned absolutely black & stormy!  Hail the size of quarters, thunder & lightning....and one HUGE strike!
 Even inside the house it made our ears ring and scared me BIG TIME!  Still don't know what got hit, but the house, outbuildings and vehicles appear to be fine, so we stayed inside.  The storm seems to have passed over now, so I'm thinking a trip to the barn to check on the animals is in order.
Looking out the window at the peak of the storm I noticed that I'd left my truck window down.  Ugh...Did I mention my brain cells are rapidly deteriorating?  While getting ready for today's card-making gathering, I announce that I should put an apron on to preserve my clean clothes and then marched with purpose to the refrigerator and peered inside.  "We don't keep the aprons in here anymore," I proclaimed to the room at large.  And then I retrieved my apron from the pantry.

This is just after trying to make breakfast a day or so ago and, being unable to locate the pan spray for the pancake griddle, I say, "I need the....spray...paint!  No.  SPRAY paint.  Spray PAINT.  Hmmm.  Spray?  Paint?"

"STOP SAYING THAT!" says my alarmed younger daughter.  "Oh, I found it!" says I.  The...PAN SPRAY.

On that note, I shall stop this post.  And maybe go lay down for a bit, lol.  May the fouth be with you.  And your brain cells, too!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Our New Best Friend at the Tokeland Hotel

 For some reason, we have become middle-aged in recent years.  I distinctly vaguely remember that we used to be, well, younger.  Hmmph.  Well, no matter.  We are who we are, even if we aren't who we were.  Though we're who we were still on the inside.  If you know what I mean.  (Did I mention I've been a bit stressed again?)

Dave & I had a grand small adventure the other day.  We've recently purchased a camper van for the express reason of making life on the road easier for me.



I basically suffer from agoraphobia/panic
disorder and find travel to be difficult and
a self-contained home-away-from-home
to drive relieves a bit of stress for me.

Anyhow, I digress.  This 'new' to us camper van has not been without its...shall we say 'kinks' to be worked out?  (The kids have threatened to ground us if we call for help again!)

We did pretty well this trip and managed to get home without too much difficulty....
We drove to the beach via Grayland, Tokeland and on to our destination...Westport Washington and the home of Bennett's Fish Shack where they serve THE MOST DELICIOUS fish and chips in the world.  (My world, at least!)  Oh. Man. It. Was. SO GOOD!  I mean, just look at it!
(Be sure to click on the picture and make it bigger so you can really smell see it!)
I could eat it again right now, even though it's 8:30pm and I had dinner at 6, not to mention they're only open on weekends.... We're talking fresh halibut and beer-battered cod here. Tartar sauce, french fries.  (Great.  I just talked myself into a snack before bedtime!)
 We stopped at Wash-Away Beach (where the State Highway and many acres of land & homes have been devoured by the ocean) and sat on the rocks to enjoy the evening sun for a bit.

Then we thought of coffee and dessert!  (Yes, food rules our lives.)   On our way toward home, we remembered the historic Tokeland Hotel.  Alas, it was CLOSED when we arrived, but the proprietress was outside and when we explained that we were looking for coffee & dessert, she invited us in anyhow!

Katherine served us warm Marionberry Cobbler with ice cream for Dave and whipped cream for me.
She had hot coffee out in a minute and I asked if she wouldn't consider sitting down and having dessert with us!  "Don't mind if I do!", said she.
We chatted like old friends over our tasty repast, discussed my daughter's upcoming wedding and Katherine's recent loss of her husband and how hard it was to keep up the old hotel alone.

She enjoyed hearing about the wedding plans and suggested that since she was our new best friend, we should invite her...which we did!

As we left her vintage establishment and stopped to pay our bill, she refused our payment, saying it was her 'random act of kindness' for the day!

What a wonderful finale to our day out!  There are still lovely people out there, for sure.

In case you wonder if our camper van gave us any struggles on this trip....yes it did!  When we were about 10 or 12 miles still from home, it sputtered and died (it's done this before, I'm afraid).  Now, we live OUT.  I'm talking, rural and lonely two lane road with no shoulders and very sharp corners!  We panicked, calmed ourselves, called home to warn them that we might need assistance.  PRAYED it would start again...and it did!  We limped into our big town (pop. 775) and made it to the gas station to add more gas.  You see, it sat with old gas in it too long and when it got low (quarter tank) it started sputtering.  We have now fixed that, but I'm afraid we'll have to sneak out next time we plan an adventure!  Wonder if Bennett's Fish Shack is open nights.........

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Overwhelming Ides of March

When you aren't overwhelmed....are you just, well, whelmed?  I think I could use a little bit of underwhelmedness for awhile!

It's been a long winter here in good ole Washington.  First, we had a fair bit of snow.

And then it rained.  It snowed some more.  Did I mention that it snowed?  And then rained?
 There was an extra cold spot in front of the dishwasher that I mentioned several times to my hubby.  He finally crawled under the house, only to find that it was a mess!  A leak that apparently happened long ago and now enough house was rotted that it required new floor joists and removal of the cabinet, which meant all new countertops.  The kitchen was out of commission for quite a bit, but I do enjoy the new countertops and new cast iron sink I got out of the deal!
 Then it snowed some more.  Did I also mention that here in the Pacific Northwest we do not get a lot of snow?  Usually.

Zen the Shetland Sheep thought it was just fine.  We thought it made chores a bit chilly.

The goats insisted on kidding and the kids added up.  More chilly chores.

I bought a milking machine and finally convinced myself to learn how to use it in self defense.
 As if tearing the kitchen apart and doing gazillions of chores in the snow were not enough, we also got another kitten.  What possessed us to do that?  Well, Mr. Ripley, the first kitten, is aloof and unfriendly and dear youngest daughter badly wanted a cuddly companion.  So, Theo has joined the insanity family and now there are two CRAZED AND MANIACAL young cats AND an opinionated chihuahua in my house.  They spend most of their waking hours tearing around the house and sharpening their claws on my furniture.  Can you say.......CAT and DOG HAIR IS EVERYWHERE???  Oh.  my.  word.
Just to be sure that my nerves don't settle down, my oldest daughter has become ENGAGED.  This is a very happy occasion, do not get me wrong, but it is also fraught with....things.  Things on the calendar, things to plan, things to remember, things to do.....So many THINGS!  She is thrilled.  Her intended is a wonderful  like-minded Christan young man.  We are thrilled.  At least I think we will be when we get over the shock of it all, lol.

I think I missed my long winter's nap.  Wonder if it's too late?