Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Don't count your chickens ETC.

Today is my day for doing some more painting on the hallway. I was ready for a tea break, had some paint left in the tray, so decided to use the paint on the only wall left, which did not have a bunch of stuff that had to be removed before painting. I chose the wall above staircase leading to the basement. Look at the difference in color, I do not usually care for white, but this dark area needed to be lightened and I really like the reflective quality of the white paint.

The paint tray was now empty, the roller wrapped in a plastic grocery bag until I had taken a break, so I made my way out into the kitchen to brew my tea.

As I entered the kitchen and looked out the window, I was surprised to see that it had started to snow. You can barely see the neighbors house.
Here I have been thinking we were done with snow and spring was on the way. Sheesh!

The snow flakes were dinner plate sized, Ok, they were quarter sized, and quite beautiful as they floated gently to the ground.
So much for wishing for spring, as I said,
Don't count your chickens ETC.


By 4pm we had about 2inches of snow.

The bird feeders were empty, so I went out and refilled them.
The birds were sitting in the trees just waiting for me to go back indoors. I am sure as soon as I entered the house they were at the feeders.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Carnival Of Recipes

Bill Austin of Slow Cooker Recipes has been working fast to make sure we all have great new crockpot recipes (my favorite!) to try this week, and the Carnival of the Recipes is now up for your viewing pleasure:

A Wild Ride!

Growing up in Palmerston North New Zealand, I was always very nervous about travelling to Hawkes Bay on the road through the very narrow Manawatu Gorge. There have been accidents involving huge rocks coming down the steep sides of the gorge crushing cars below killing the pasengers. All this was many, many years ago, and it looks as though nothing much has changed in the Gorge.

The Eketahuna Express travels through the Manawatu Gorge on the way to Palmerston North.
WARWICK SMITH/Manawatu Standard

The Maori people named the Manawatu Gorge, Te Apiti (the narrow passage) and the river, Te Au-Rere-a-Te-Tonga (the rushing current of the south).

You can see how narrow the road is

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Oscars

My choice for the best dress. This is a dress I would wear, it is very elegant.

HELEN MIRREN is in a Christian Lacroix gown with Chopard jewels. Husband TAYLOR HACKFORD wears a Spencer Hart tuxedo

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Why God Made Moms

Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is..
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother & not some other mom?
1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?
1. My Mom has always been my Mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did Mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?
Why did your Mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between Moms & dads?
1 . Moms work at work and work at home & dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but Moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your Mom do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your Mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your Mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my Mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Kowloon Chicken

3 to 3-1/2 lbs. chicken pieces
1 tsp. grated gingerroot
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 (4-oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
4 green onions, diagonally sliced
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup soy sauce
cooked rice or noodles

Place chicken in cooker. ( I like to brown mine in a little oil first)
In a small bowl, combine gingerroot, garlic, broth, salt, and pepper. pour over chicken.
Cover and cook on low 41/2 - 5 hours, or until chicken is tender.
Turn control to high. Add mango, water chestnuts, and green onions.
In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in soy sauce; stir into cooking juices. Cover and cook on high 15-20 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Serve over rice or noodles.

My Valentine's gift has arrived!

MrC found this great gift for Valentines day.

I can hardly wait to *flaunt* it.

Click on THIS button to see what it is.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

First Red Hat Outing

Yesterday was my first outing with the ladies of The Red Hat Society. I found this almost new, red hat and purple blouse at our wonderful thrift store. As I visit the malls I will be on the lookout for more new hats and purple outfits.

We enjoyed lunch at China City.

My new friend, Sylvia.
As we got to know each other, we discovered we live about a quarter of a mile from each other. The picture is a little out of focus. The lady who was taking the picture moved the camera as she took the picture.

Goodness, there were many styles of hats, and several of the ladies have added ribbons, flowers and other decorations. What a fun bunch of women. I am looking forward to getting to know them all.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

OK I'm all buckled in, lets go

Perhaps this is McDonald's version of Dairy Queen's, Pup Cup!!

Monday, February 19, 2007

I am in Luv

Saturday afternoon, we went up to the range to get in a little practice before the first match of the season in March. We also had Mac and Wayne along so they could do a little shooting. As much as I enjoy shooting, my whole day was made when I saw this little guy.

This is Gunner, who's owner, Mad gun, is a blogger and shooting friend of ours. This morning when I knew Lou, AKA Mad Gun was going to be at the range, I was hoping he would bring his new Boxer puppy along. As you see, my wish was granted.

Just look at that face, and soulful eyes. Just makes my heart melt.
What's there not to love?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Signs of Spring

I have taken some photos of the spring growth in my garden. Click HERE to see pictures.

Ouch, Ouch, Ouch


1. Your houseplants are alive, and you can't smoke any of them.

2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.

3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.

4. 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed.

5. You hear your favorite song in an elevator.

6. You watch the Weather Channel.

7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of "hook up" and " break up."

8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.

9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up."

10. You're the one calling the police because those %&@# kids next door won't turn down the stereo.

11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.

12. You don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.

13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.

14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonald's leftovers.

15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.

16. You take naps.

17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.

18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 AM would severely upset, rather than settle, your stomach.

19. You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.

20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer "pretty good s**t."

21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.

22. "I just can't drink the way I used to" replaces "I'm never going to drink that much again."

23. 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.

24. You drink at home to save money before going to a bar.!

25. When you find out your friend is pregnant you congratulate them instead of asking "Oh s**t! What happened?"


26: You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that doesn't apply to you and can't find one to save your sorry old ass.
Then you forward it to a bunch of old friends 'cause you know they'll enjoy it & do. (ouch!! Truth hurts)

Thanks Linda for the chuckle

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Way Cool!!

Wandering around the yard this morning, camera in hand as usual, I found something worthy of a photo.

This tulip has grown up through the center of a fallen leaf. How often do you see this?

I had my finger on the key to post this, when MrC, who was just about to step outside, called out
" J. come see this" I asked if I would need my camera and he said, yes.
This baby garter snake was right outside the door, making his way across the porch. I took a few pictures, then left him alone so he could go about his business.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Southwestern Egg Rolls with Creamy Enchilada Dipping Sauce

If you are counting calories, follow this recipe. If not, substitute ground beef for chicken, and use regular sour cream, and deep fry the eggrolls in oil.

cooking spray,
1/2 pound uncooked ground chicken breast
* 1 medium shallot(s), finely chopped
* 2 small tomato(es), finely chopped and drained
* 1/2 cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 tsp chili powder, medium-hot, or less to taste
* 1/4 tsp ground cumin
* 1/4 tsp table salt
* 1/4 tsp black pepper
* 10 egg roll wrapper(s) there are 20 in a pack, so I double the recipe.
* 1/3 cup canned enchilada sauce
* 1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
* 1 Tbsp scallion(s), minced (green part only)


* Preheat oven to 400°F.

* Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add chicken and shallot; brown over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to break chicken into small pieces, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato and cook until pulpy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in beans, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper; simmer for 1 minute to blend flavors.
I prefer to let the mixture cool before assembling the rolls.

* Place an egg roll wrapper on a flat work surface with the corners set vertically (pointing up and down like a diamond shape). Arrange 2 slightly rounded tablespoons of filling down the center of wrapper, leaving 1/2 inch at the bottom and top.

* Fold the bottom of the wrapper to the center, over the filling. Gently, but firmly, fold the left side of the wrapper to the center and then fold in the right side. Fold the top of the wrapper down to cover filling and seal any loose ends with water; repeat with remaining ingredients.

* Place filled wrappers on prepared baking sheet; lightly spray surface of wrappers with cooking spray. Bake until wrappers are golden brown, flipping once, about 16 minutes.

Meanwhile, to prepare sauce, combine enchilada sauce, sour cream and scallion in a small bowl; mix well.

I like to use salsa and sour cream for the dipping sauce.

A full life, is a happy life

How satisfying it is, to have many projects which keep me busy. Of course, they are projects of my own choice, nothing which HAS to be done just fun things I want to do.

In a previous post, I mentioned, I have joined the Red Hat Society.
The first meeting will be on Wednesday the 21st, a day I am looking forward with great excitement. I will meeting and getting to know other women from all walks of life, who's goal is to come together in the spirit of friendship, and with the intention of having FUN.

I have also volunteered to be the chairperson, heading a committee, to create a cookbook for our Fishin' Club. This is something I have never attempted before as I have always felt a little uncomfortable in the role of leader, I am really more in my element being a follower.

At first, as I started gathering information, I felt overwhelmed, but as we formed a committee of very talented people from our club, I now understand how wonderful it is to delegate.
The feeling of *biting off more than I can chew* is fading and I know, we, as a committee can put together a cookbook which will be successfull.
The cookbook is being created and sold to raise Funds for our scholarship program.

Now Spring is almost here I am anxious to get out side and get dirt under my nails.
The spring bulbs I planted last fall are all well on their way to blooming, something else I am looking forward to seeing and taking pictures of and posting them on Keewee's garden.
I have already checked out the garden center but it is probably a week or two, too early for the new plants to arrive on the shelves. Do I have spring fever, or what???

MrC and I are more than ready to load up the RV and hit the road for a camping trip. We have been cooped up indoors long enough.

There is more painting to be finished on the inside of our home this year, a raised vegegtable garden to build and many other little projects to accomplish.

A full, happy life indeed.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bring on the Fun

I did it, I am now a a RED HAT member.

A couple of weeks ago I decided I would like to join in, have fun and make some new friends. Yesterday I received a call inviting me to join one of the groups in our area. I am so looking forward to our first get together.

We are the women in the red & pink hats. We are the mothers, grandmothers, and daughters of society. Little girls grow up, but they're never too old to play dress-up and have tea parties.

The standard answer to the question, "What do you do?" is... Nothing.

Our main responsibility is to have fun! We see this group as an opportunity for those who have shouldered various responsibilities at home and in the community their whole lives, to say goodbye to burdensome responsibilities and obligations for a little while. This is the place to have fun and enjoy yourself. The refrain of the popular Red Hat Society theme song by Mike Harline puts it rather bluntly: "All my life, I've done for you. Now it's my turn to do for me."

We feel like we have all been so dutiful and so "busy" for so long that we deserve a break. The Red Hat Society calls itself a "dis-organization," and we are proud of our lack of rules and by-laws. We are all helping to develop an enormous nurturing network or women over 50 (and under), by joining red-gloved hands and spreading the joy and companionship we are finding within and among the chapters. We have also discovered a "mission" of sorts: to gain higher visibility for women in our age group and to reshape the way we are viewed by today's culture. We are all familiar with groups of the past, which stridently sought to achieve their agendas. Well, we are decidedly UN-strident, but we hope to advance our agenda with good humor and laughter. If we do not join together under the banner of The Red Hat Society, but rather remain isolated, in unconnected groups, that will not happen. Therefore, we are working to build a dis-organization within which we can all connect and eventually take over the world!


Monday, February 12, 2007

Valentine's Carnival

Christine over at Morning coffee & Afternoon Tea is hosting this weeks Carnival of recipes. This is what she has for you.

This week for your gustatory pleasure we have a bevy of treats guaranteed to make your heart go pitter pat, whether you Love to cook, or Love to eat, or both!

Go on over and check out all the yummy treats

Sunday, February 11, 2007

This is my chair!

Rocket seems to favor this chair.

I have seen Rocket jump up on the chair just about the time a visitor is about to be seated.
One day rocket is going to be sat upon.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Recipe: Pavlova

Valentine's Day is coming up.

Here is a special dessert for your sweetheart.


4 egg whites, at room temperature
pinch of salt or cream of tartar
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. vinegar

Turn on the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare the tin or tray for baking, using baking paper, or butter greaseproof paper and run under the cold tap. Shake off excess water and place in tin or on the tray ready for baking. Beat the egg whites to a foam, then add the salt or cream of tartar. Continue to beat to a stiff foam--when the peaks curl over. Gradually add the 3/4 c. sugar while beating all the time. Continue to beat until the peaks stand up--the stiff stage.

Mix the 1/4 c. sugar and cornstarch and quickly beat this into the meringue. Beat the vanilla and vinegar into the meringue until just mixed. Pile high on the prepared paper. Place in the oven to cook, and turn the oven down to 120 degrees or the lowest temperature you can set your oven.

Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, then turn off oven. Leave for 30 minutes, then take out. While still warm, peel off paper and place on serving dish. When cold, top with whipped cream and fresh fruit or berries. Serve chilled

Friday, February 09, 2007

Girl's Day Out

There was no time for blogging this morning. My friend Joyce and I had planned on being at a yard sale bright and early this morning.

We arrived at St. Hubert's church to find the parking lot almost full. We wandered around looking for bargains. I found a couple of books and Joyce found a few things of interest. We then headed north to Oak Harbor for shopping and lunch.

I just love primroses and could not resist buying more.The colors are so bright and cheery at this time of year. I think these three will do very nicely right by the front door.

Seems I am getting quite a collection of wind chimes. I am particular when it comes to the tone of the chimes. Some metal chimes are not very tuneful ( is that a word?) anyhow, this little snail chime has a pleasant sound indeed.

For the last couple of years, I have been meaning to buy stepping stones to put in the garden, so I would be more careful where I was stepping. Several of my plants have been flattened underfoot.These three I found at a dollar store. Yah! I love a bargain.

I hope no one can hear me sing.

The inscriptions on the stepping stones are fantastic. We should live our lives just how they suggest.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

ANGELS: as children see them

thanks to some insightful children, now we all know...

I only know the names of two angels. Hark and Harold.
Gregory, 5

Everybody's got it all wrong. Angels don't wear halos anymore. I forget why, but scientists are working on it.
Olive, 9

It's not easy to become an angel! First, you die. Then you go to heaven, then there's still the flight training to go through. And then you got to agree to wear those angel clothes.
Matthew, 9

Angels work for God and watch over kids when God has to go do something else.
Mitchell, 7

My guardian angel helps me with math, but he's not much good for
Henry, 8

Angels don't eat, but they drink milk from holy cows.
Jack, 6

Angels talk all the way while they're flying you up to heaven. The basic message is where you went wrong before you got dead.
Daniel, 9

When an angel gets mad, he takes a deep breath and counts to ten. And when he lets out his breath, somewhere there's a tornado.
Regan, 10

Angels have a lot to do and they keep very busy. If you lose a tooth, an angel comes in through your window and leaves money under your pillow. Then when it gets cold, angels go north for the winter.
Sara, 6

Angels live in cloud houses made by God and his son, who's a very good carpenter.
Jared , 8

All angels are girls because they gotta wear dresses and boys didn't go for it.
Antonia, 9

My angel is my grandma who died last year. She got a big head start on helping me while she was still down here on earth.
Caitlyn, 9

Some of the angels are in charge of helping heal sick animals and pets. And if they don't make the animals get better, they help the kid get over it.
Vicki, 8

What I don't get about angels is why, when someone is in love, they shoot arrows at them. Sarah, 7

Thank you Joyce, this is very cute.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Where is the sunshine?

It is another foggy day here on Whidbey Island. I would have taken a picture for you, but all you would see is a wall of damp cold fog.
My cold is still hanging on, though not so severe that I could not go to work yesterday.
We did not have any clients at the spa, so I went about the business of catching up on paperwork and all the small chores which needed to be done.
At the end of the day, after I had locked the spa doors, I spent quite some time in the steamroom, soaking up the warmth and breathing in the aromas from a face cloth soaked in an immune boost spray. I felt soooo good afterwards, I think I will take advantage of the steam again today.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Football FINALLY makes sense..........

A guy took his blonde girlfriend to
her first football game. They had great seats right behind their team's
bench. After the game, he asked her how she liked the experience.

"Oh, I really liked it," she replied, "especially the tight pants and all
the big muscles, but I just couldn't understand why they were killing each
other over 25 cents."

Dumbfounded, her date asked, "What do you mean?"

"Well, they flipped a coin, one team got it and then for the rest of the
game, all they kept screaming was: 'Get the quarterback! Get the
quarterback!' I'm like...Helloooooo? It's only 25 cents!!!!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Cough, sneeze!!

Yes, I have a cold and am feeling somewhat puny today.
I very rarely get sick, so when I do, I am not a very good patient.
MrC is making sure I get some rest.
I have a good book I am reading, so I think it is time to make tea with honey. and curl up on the couch and read for a while.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Chicken Mole

This is a rich delicious traditional Mexican
dish I was first introduced to, many
years ago.
My friend's husband was born and raised in Mexico, where he trained as a chef.
He would quite often prepare authentic Mexican dishes and bring them to us to enjoy for our lunch break at work.
I must say the Mole is my favorite.

Chicken Mole

6 chicken breasts
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup raisins
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 slices pimento pepper, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 grated orange, rind of
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder (or to taste)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup light rum
1/4 cup slivered almonds

1. In casserole, heat oil and cook garlic for a few moments to flavour oil; add chicken and brown.
2. Remove chicken.
3. In remaining fat, cook onion, green pepper, pimento, and tomato over gentle heat for 10 minutes.
4. To onion mixture, add chili powder, blending well.
5. Add broth, almonds, raisins, seasonings, and rind; simmer, covered, 30 minutes longer.
6. Add chocolate, stirring until melted.
7. Replace chicken, spooning sauce over.
8. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until chicken is tender.
9. Warm rum, ignite it, and pour over contents of casserole; allow to stand for a few minutes.

graphic from

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Senior Striders Outing

It has been several weeks since I have joined the Senior Striders for one of their Thursday morning walks. Today I did not have anything else I had to do, the day was sunny and fairly warm for this time of year, so off I went to enjoy a nice walk and the company of new friends.

Today we decided to walk the trails around Greenbank Farm. There is a nice cafe where you can enjoy the best homemade soup, or maybe a piece of homemade loganberry pie may tempt you, and there is also a wine shop. During the summer months you can buy from the farmer's market held every sunday.

Besides the old farm equipment, there is a pond to the right, where ducks and geese were swimming and enjoying the sun.

As you start up one of the trails across the pasture land, you can look west towards the Olympic mountains.

Then from the same spot, turn around, and you are looking out at the north tip of Camano Island, and the Cascades in the far distance.

Helen, Stan, Virginia, Susie, Velma, Jeanne.

After walking the pasture trail, we entered a forested area. With all the rainfall we get here, the moss grows extremely well.

A nice little clearing.

We all enjoyed our walk across the pasture trail, through the wooded area, across more pasture trail and back to the parking lot where we started. Every week we explore new trails, and once in a while, revisit trails we have already walked, so new people who have joined our group can enjoy the beauty of this beautiful island we live on.