Saturday, February 26, 2011

Two Favorite Christmas Presents

The insurance man and I have colds. Serious colds. So, it is a good time to rest and read, one of my favorite things to do. For Christmas, my daughter JoAnn picked two books to get me from my wish list. The first was this beautiful book about the children's' book illustrator Tasha Tudor and her gardens at her home in Vermont. I love to read about Tasha, and the photos of her flowers are just gorgeous. Very entertaining.

The second book is a complete history of the Empress Hotel in Victoria, B.C. We stayed at a B & B there in the fall of 2009. The host had this book in our room and I couldn't put it down, although I knew I would barely scratch the surface. I came home hoping to find it again, and JoAnn got me this copy. I have so enjoyed reading it, and looking at all the vintage photos of the hotel and guests at the turn of the 20th century. (I'm only on chapter two!) Architecture, history and vintage photos...right up my alley.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Valentine Dinner

Before the big snow storm hit, there was a lovely Valentine dinner. We did two things that made it special this year. For the second year in a row, we ordered a special dinner from a caterer, called Tate & Tate Catering, that the insurance man knows. This is such a great alternative to going out. We set up a small table for two in front of our fireplace. Here is the menu we chose:
  • Moroccan Chicken Skewers, curry noodle and vegetables with a yogurt dipping sauce for the appetizer.
  • Warm and creamy chicken rice soup
  • Spring greens salad with green goddess dressing
  • A large loaf of homemade wheat bread
  • For me, maple glazed salmon with rice pilaf, and for the insurance man, tri-tip steak with roasted red potatoes, and five! veggies on each plate, including a yellow-orange beet that had me fooled.
  • Two desserts: Heavenly chocolate cake, and apple cobbler with cinnamon whipped topping
  • Huge chocolate dipped strawberries, in both white and milk chocolate.

Doesn't that sound delicious? It was! All of that for two, was only $34. There was a choice of 6 different main dishes. We picked it up and heated it, and supplied a bottle of sparkling cider to go with. We took several hours, doing various things in-between courses, which was so much nicer than a restaurant.

The other thing we did which was lots of fun, was to go through all the Valentines we have given each other through the years. This year marks #40 for us, so we each had quite a stack. Instead of buying another one, we had lots of laughs at all the memories they brought back.

At dessert time, we made a pot of tea, and split each dessert into two and shared. Quite a lovely Valentine evening.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Yesterday, after we were beginning to think Spring had sprung, we woke to a heavy snowfall. We received snow that we are not accustomed to in our area, heavy and very wet...8-10 inches of it. After my first moments of thinking how beautiful it all was, I began to realize that trees and shrubs were breaking under the weight.
I donned my waterproof duds and boots, and headed outside to 'rescue' the trees and plants. (An area of gardening I had not thought of before!) As I worked to bring up and out the branches buried under the snow, I heard ominous loud cracks all around the neighborhood. I discovered one not-so-great reason to live in a forest.

A large branch from a juniper tree broke off, and blocked our driveway. I heard another break and fall on our neighbor's motor home, and another tall tree across the street lost the top half as it broke.

This is the tree the branch broke away from.

It didn't do much harm, just mashed a shrub it fell on. It could have hit our wooden archway, and I'm so glad it didn't.
The insurance man got out a saw, and went to work. Pretty soon we had a big pile of pieces in our front yard. (still do) We had three other branches come down, one on top of our shed roof. It was smaller and doesn't appear to have done any harm. We drove around later in the neighborhood, and there were trees and branches down everywhere. There were 20,000 or so without power for 24 hours around town, but fortunately we were not one of them. The insurance man had no power at his office, and so it was closed for the day. Since he is sick with a cold, it was just as well. It was quite a storm for us.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines' Day :)

Elijah wanted to share some of the goodness in his life: a specially-made blanket by his great-grandma Bethel, and the family "going home outfit" (from the hospital) that I almost forgot to put on him because he was born at home! This little outfit has had some mileage, being worn by myself and my two sisters after our births, as well as all 10 of our combined children.
Happy Valentine's Day to you!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

More Elijah...From His Mom

Isn't that a beautiful blanket for a new baby? :)
He knows just where to find his thumb.
Elijah's second mommy.

Since William just had his 10th birthday, he is almost exactly 10 years older than Elijah.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Crowning a Princess

Every small town in America has it's own special summer festival it seems. In Woodland, Washington it is called 'Planters Days', and happens on the third weekend of June. There is a huge vintage car rally, a parade, various water shows on Horseshoe Lake, a carnival, lots of fast food, vendors and booths with miscellany to sell, and a Planters Day Queen and court to reign over all the mayhem and fun. The three princesses that will vie for the title of Queen were just chosen by a panel of judges. I am proudly posting today, that our granddaughter was chosen as one of these three, and here she is.....Princess Kory (don't most girls want that title once in their life?) To make it all the more special, this is something that Kory has wanted to do, and worked hard for. We couldn't be more proud of her.

Her mom took these photos from the back of the room, so they don't show up as well as they could, but there is definite surprise and pleasure on Kory's face as the tiara was placed on her head.

There will be several more months of hard work before the Queen will be chosen, but either way Kory will have a really fun spring and summer participating in the Planters Days court. We're going to have some fun too, watching it all.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Few More Photos...

Julie has been fighting off an infection by resting in bed more, and hasn't felt up to posting photos of Elijah. So now that I am home, and basically caught up with life again, I will take up the blog by posting a few more photos.Babies are precious any way they come, but they always look so snuggly and cute in newborn clothes and blankets. Eli is an all blue boy!
As babies go, Eli was a whopping baby. But, in Papa's hands he still looks tiny. We can't wait to see what he turns out to look like!

Isn't this just the cutest?