Thursday, May 26, 2016

Snacks for Church - Very Berry Cream Cheese spread

We helped with snacks for after church last weekend.  I made a couple of cream cheese spreads to go on the bagels that we brought.  (Plain bagels and Thomas Limited Edition Banana Bread Bagels, which were delicious, by the way) The spread I made for the plain bagels also worked for the crackers that someone else had brought - it was a Muffaletta spread with cream cheese, olives, jardiniere and salami - oh, it is so good.  The spread I made for the Banana Bread Bagels was, as I called it "Very Berry Cream Cheese Spread".  Quite frankly, it's really so good, who needs a bagel - just scoop it up like frosting - ha ha...

One of the ladies asked me for the recipe, so here it is -

Very Berry Cream Cheese Spread

1 8 oz. pkg. Philly cream cheese - I used Neufchatel style light cream cheese
1/4 cup softened butter (NOT margarine)
1/4 cup Chobani Mixed Berry Greek yogurt
2 or 3 tablespoons Bonne Maman brand jam - I used Raspberry-Apricot because that was what was open in the fridge - (I like Bonne Maman jams because they are just fruit, and sugar.  No other added ingredients - no artificial colors or additives, no high fructose corn syrup and they are free of preservatives)
1-3 teaspoons sugar (to taste - both the cream cheese and the yogurt make this a little bit tart without it)

Beat the cream cheese and the butter until smooth and fluffy.  Beat in the yogurt, add the jam and mix.  Add the sugar to taste - It is good to let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours so the flavors get all nice and happy. 

Enjoy on bagels or toast, or crackers - or a spoon - (probably if you put a couple of cups of powdered sugar in it would make delicious frosting as well, but I haven't tried that, so only do it if you are adventurous)


Friday, May 20, 2016

Don't ever go away again

My co-worker went on vacation for a week - her dog went to the local doggy spa for a vacation while she was gone, but Marilyn the cat had to stay home. 

This is how Angie found her pets the first night she was home - Marilyn was going to make sure that her pal didn't leave again. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Well, that's a fine turn of events!

 When I was playing at being Shepherdess, (or, when I was Shepherd-Less, as the case may be)  I sneaked these two pictures of our ladies with the baby bumps. 

That's Vanessa, front and center. 
 And Donna is the one "at 12 o'clock" in this picture - (the little blaze face peeking around the feeder is Garnet) 

These were taken the end of March, and I was really hoping that births weren't too imminent - as I have said before, "I don't know nuthin' about birthin no babies"

Well, Vanessa, who we thought would go first, seemed to slow down - apparently she was waiting for her sister Donna to catch up -

which she did -  and yesterday on the hottest day of the year so far (84 degrees! in Bellingham! in April!!) she popped out this cute little guy.

His name is Carson - a sturdy little fellow, and 'fraid of nobody!

Or, his full "proper" name is:

                         "Marietta's Carson"

And then tonight, these two little ones were born - a ram and a ewe -   He hasn't named them yet.  
But, I'll tell you one thing for sure - these two came out HUNGRY!! 

Sometimes lambs weenie around trying to find the milk bar - not these two - they were right on the spigots. 

So all hands (or hooves, as the case may be) are on deck, so I don't have to worry about The Shepherd wandering around in the dark with his oxygen bottle - (shake your head all you want - yesterday he was out mowing someone's lawn - and it made him realize that he still needs a few more weeks of recuperation too.  Pooped him out good.) 

So that's the baby report for 2016.  Two ram lambs and one little ewe.  They will go out front in a couple of days to entertain and delight the neighborhood - life is returning to normal. 


Friday, April 08, 2016

The Essence of Spring -

 There is a particular "fragrance" about spring in the Pacific NW.  It's called Cottonwood.  Sweet, slightly musky, not really a fragrance you would necessarily wear, but it's oh, so enticing. 

More than any other, the smell of cottonwood really signifies spring to me.  And it reminds me of a walk in the woods, ostensibly to look for mushrooms, with a crush from one of my Soc/Anthro classes. 

Ah, spring fever. 

This little hawthorn is over 60 or 70 years old.  It was gifted to The Shepherd by a lady from our church who was dying of cancer.  She said she  knew he would take good care of it. 

And he has. 

I don't work at the salt mine on Friday.  It "used to be" my day off - Today we had Dr's appointments and hair appointments  - got groceries and took the wool over to our friends house for the Wonderful Woollies Wool sale that is happening tomorrow.  It is our 5th year of participating in this sale - of course I'll take pictures.  

Someone I know is pretty pooped out tonight.  Hopefully he'll take it easy tomorrow.

I hope you've enjoyed this little tour through The Shepherd's bonsai garden.

I have to finish getting things ready to take along tomorrow - we have a pot luck lunch for the people who are "selling" - I think there are about 10 farms involved.  I'm taking a chopped salad with chicken & sunflower seeds, plus some banana bread that I just baked up.  I finally found THE quintessential banana bread recipe - on Pinterest of course.  I'll get you the recipe here in the next week or so. 

Til then - have a great weekend! 


Saturday, April 02, 2016

It's Caturday!

 Hi Effurrybody!

George here, just lubbin the spring sun on ma belleh.

And the gravel on my back - sort of like a massage...

Sort of, but sometimes it puts my furs out of order, and we wouldn't want that to happen.  

Mummy says to tell you that The Shepherd is getting a little bit better every day.  He's out working in the greenhouse this afternoon, planting seeds to transplant into the gardens.

We hope YOU are having a good Caturday and a great weekend. 


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Looking back Sunday -

Happy Easter -

We went to church today - much to everyone's delight - The Shepherd is very active in our church - he is the Choir Director, The Grounds Keeper, on the Board of Directors and has been involved in many committees important to the church, like the last two Ministerial Search committees - so people there were feeling, I think, a little vulnerable perhaps? I think any time someone you are close to give you a worry of "what if this were to happen to me" -   But, things went well and some of the choir members had even "modified" a version of an old Methodist hymn, "Low in the Grave he Lay" - with some significant changes in the words - gave everyone a chuckle - especially The Shepherd.    

Since we don't have any lambs yet (but there are some pretty good baby bumps on Donna & Vanessa out there)  I thought I'd bring you memories of years past -

I don't know who this little cutie is. Born March 27, 2009.  Generally these ones with the dark bodies and white heads turn grey. 

Here it is a couple of months later - that grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. 

This fine fellow was Wicket - he was born in March of 2010.  
 Some of our "Farm Fresh Eggs" -

A couple at church brought a dozen of their farm eggs to church this morning.  Our Sunday School kids put together gift bags that go up to the hospital for the nurses to give to children who are visiting and need something to do, - the bags have crayons, stickers, other fun things in them.  The idea of the eggs was to "auction" them off to raise money for the Hospital Gift Bag project - Lets just say that someone is going to be eating a pretty expensive omelet tomorrow morning and they raised enough to fill 10 more gift bags.

It's time to get all of his bonsai plants out of the greenhouse!  One of his friends is coming over to help him on Tuesday. Yeah Kurt! 

 This picture always reminds me of "home" - ie, where I grew up over in Eastern Washington.  We had literally thousands of these plants, "Grape Hyacinths" lining the garden paths.  My little clump grows every year, but it's going to be a while before they line our garden paths. They are, however, one of my favorite spring flowers. 

I hope you enjoyed this look back with me.  Can you believe April is only 4 days away?  I could say, "what happened to March"  but I know that 3 weeks of it was spent with The Shepherd being sick - with 10 of those days in the hospital.  Whew - I hope that doesn't happen again. 

Happy Spring to you all! 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Lookin' good here

 I haven't quite gotten the hang of taking pictures with my camera yet - they always look cloudy - maybe I have fingerprints all over my lens... ha ha - I took this picture of our front garden the other day.  Since then, the "glory of the snow" has doubled and it's all OVER the place! 

But it is pretty and springy, so who cares. 

Pesky stuff is everywhere!
The Shepherd continues to improve - he had a shower tonight - and it went well - the one he took at the hospital was a fiasco - he wasn't ready to be off the oxygen yet, and he panicked - this time it went much better and he felt bolstered by the improvement of not needing the oxygen, so that was good too.  Plus, I think it was just time for a shower, ya know...

I have to work tomorrow (normally have Fridays off, but one of my co-workers is taking off the weekend for a trip to see family for Easter.  Nice for her as she has been working hard, and nice for me, because I get some extra hours.  Always good. 

The sheep chores come early - gotta go.