Thursday, October 31, 2013

This - n - that

I had forgotten that I'd taken a picture of this yummy cake I made a couple of weeks ago when we had snacks at church.  It's called "Cookies and Cream Snack Cake"  - I found it on a foodie blog that I enjoy called Baked Bree - (if you click on the blog name, it is linked to the recipe for this cake.

She has a lot of recipes that are fun to do with kids and good ones for family dinners too.   

Truthfully, I just used a Betty Crocker Dark Chocolate cake mix - It was just delicious and the frosting? 
Check out the list of ingredients!  :  (go to her website for the directions)
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla
3-4 cups powdered sugar
 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
16 Oreo cookies

You beat the butter and the marshmallow cream up together - how decadent is that and then you start mixing in the powdered sugar.  After you get it all mixed up and creamy, you add the smashed cookies - really - who needs cake - just eat this stuff with a spoon.  The whole desert is very sweet, so I cut it in about 2 inch square pieces - you really can't eat much more than that.

I was going to take it for our Halloween potluck at work, but so many other people were bringing sweets, I decided to organize cooking hotdogs instead.  Using a couple of crock pots and "Bun Buster" hotdogs from a local company called HEMPLERS, one crock pot will include sauerkraut (yum) and the other will be plain - Everyone is pitching in a buck for their "dog" and I've bought the buns. It should be really fun - I think everyone is looking forward to it.    

Fall is finally in full swing - all of our maple trees are just a blaze with color.  this is just coming in the driveway - I love how The Shepherd has arranged the different plants to take center stage at different times of the year.

In fact I spent about an hour wandering around in the yard on Saturday - Gracie will have a Caturday report for you this weekend with pictures of sheep and more from The Shepherd's beautiful fall gardens!

And, finally - a pretty bauble that I thought you'd like to see - It was made by our friend Allen - I showed you some of his beautiful crochet hooks back in April - I traded some more computer work (I designed and printed out some business cards for him) Besides the crochet hooks and buttons, he also makes wooden knitting needles and sweet little drop spindles for spinning.  He doesn't use power tools, everything is carved by hand - he also only uses recycled or locally harvested wood - he had a whole bunch of knitting needles made from lilac bush wood (creamy white with occasional spots in it) 

I think it's too big to really be a usable button, but would make a very nice accent piece on a hat or a shawl, don't you think?

I found a Mardi Gras mask to wear for work tomorrow - I'll probably make it about an hour then push it back up on my forehead to get it out of the way.  Oh well.  Hope your Halloween was howling good!

PS - here is a scarier than scarey thing for Halloween - are you a "Twitter" person?  I'm not much with social media, and frankly, I think most of it is a waste of time - but did you know that if you have a Twitter account, they track everything that you do and everywhere you go on the web?  Yikes!  No thank you! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

One cute little dude

The official royal baby picture
So, don't you think that he's just one of the cutest babies you've ever seen. Look at those chubby little cheeks. (And his mamma and daddy don't look too bad either.)

I really like this young couple, Will and Kate of Cambridge.  He's done his civic duty and spent his time in the Royal Air Force as a pilot, and she is generous with her time and energy - She is so pretty and endearing, I know she must leave a lasting impression on the people she comes in contact with. 

But what I am most intrigued with is the beautiful christening gown that George wore.  It was made in 2008, “the hand made replica of the Royal Christening Robe, made by Angela Kelly, Dressmaker to The Queen.”  The original one was "made of fine Honiton lace and lined with white satin, and was designed in 1841 for the christening of Queen Victoria‘s eldest daughter, Victoria, Princess Royal. Since then, it (the original) has been worn by over 60 royals on their christening day." (Thanks to Google, info on the gown is from an article by Katrina Mitzeliotis on the blog Hollywood Life)

As a "fiber person" - I can spin, crochet, sew a little, darn my socks, but, I think that being able to say that you had made the "Royal's new Christening Gown" would just be the bees knees, don't you?  I am filled with envy.  Nice job Ms. Kelly.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Looking Back Sunday

Looking back, it seems that we used to do a lot of traveling in October - now that The Shepherd has his own business, we haven't had a "fall vacation" in a couple of years - I have been reorganizing "My Pictures" folder and I thought I'd reminisce about some of our past travels and good memories.  

The good news is, I can still take a fall "staycation" because I have lots of personal time left at work.  I need to take almost 40 hours before the end of the year, or I will lose it!  So I took Friday and Monday off for a four day weekend. 
 And, as the old saying goes, there's no place like home - this is our Katsura tree in the front yard.  It has a beautiful array of colors from spring to fall, but I think I like the fall best - It almost glows in the dark and you can see the color from anyplace on the farm. 


 Another tree that The Shepherd and I are fond of is the giant Sequoia.  This one happens to be in Sequoia National Park in California - but at one time, we had a map of all the Sequoia trees in Bellingham and Whatcom County.  Surprisingly, there are quite a few, and it is fun to drive around and see how these giant trees have grown over the past 20 years when we first made our list. 

Remember the Alamo - 2006

In 2006, it was before the housing bubble burst and our local Building Industry Association had lots of money.  I was on the Membership committee and that year the National Membership Conference was in San Antonio.  Our whole committee went - we had a blast, and actually learned quite a bit - we set records for membership growth in the next few years. 

Mission San Xavier - 2007

Before The Shepherd's mom passed away in the mid 90's Tucson was where we went on vacation - we hadn't been back for about 10 years so we started out there when we went to the Grand Canyon in 2007 - The Shepherd was able to go to some of his favorite old haunts and see old friends.

2009 - My new wheel

I can't believe that I've had my "new" spinning wheel for four years already - lots of time spend happily spinning.  Right now I'm working on a very light weight yarn of CVM/Romedale wool - the wool is easy to spin - I'm not a fan of fingering/sport weight yarn - it takes too long to fill up a bobbin, then you have to to it again in order to get your second ply.  Give me a good worsted weight any day. 

I made applesauce and banana bread yesterday - tomorrow I want to go to Joanne Fabrics to get some yarn to make baby afghans with -

I also need to call my health insurance company and get the bills sorted out from when I was in the hospital.  as Winnie the Poo was fond of saying, "Oh Bother"

I will also try to get some outside pictures of the kitties tomorrow - since it is dark when I get home now.  Hope you all have a good week.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A yummy lunch

My friend Maria had a birthday a couple of weeks ago and I invited her out to lunch - any place she wanted - she chose Cafe Akroteri, our local Greek Restaurant.

We generally only see each other a couple or three times a year, and then with a big group of people, so it was a treat to have it be just the two of us. 

Cafe Akroteri has long been a favorite of mine, but The Shepherd doesn't care for Greek food, and they are a little slow to go there for lunch during the week.  So we went out on a Saturday when we could spend the extra time.  . 

Sorry I didn't get a picture of the combo appetizer plate before we decimated it... ha ha - it was delicious.  I love feta cheese, and there were huge chunks of it, along with tasty kalamata olives, dolmathes, spanakopita and tiropita.  Plus pita bread and tzatziki - and I got extra pita bread to eat with my calamari (which comes with a little Greek Salad)  How could you ask for more.  Oh, yum...

(I think my spanakopita is better than theirs, but their tiropita was delicious.)

Well, actually, we could have asked for quicker service - I think it took about 45 minutes before we got our food, and they were not busy - and maybe a waiter who knew what was in the tzatziki sauce...(of course I know what's in tzatziki sauce, but I overheard another diner ask our waiter, and truly, he did not know - "yogurt and something", he said..).

How could somebody work in a Greek restaurant and not know what was in tzakziki???  Maybe I expect too much...

We also shared a piece of baklava for dessert, but it disappeared before I could get my camera out. 

We had a great time, and declared that we needed to get together more often - isn't that how it always goes?


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Happy Birthday to Our Babies

Gracie - August 2011

Since George and Gracie were born "in a barn" on an undetermined day, only known as "sometime in October 2010", I decided that their birthday would be the lucky day of 10-10-10 -

So today would be their Third birthday! 

Gracie -  October 2013

They have matured to be very handsome cats -

Gracie is the apple of The Shepherd's eye.

George  -  August 2011

We sometimes call George "Stilts" - he has very long legs - but he is finally growing into them. 
George - Ocober 2013

They are a never ending source of amusement and affection. 

Our lives would be empty without them. 

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Easy like Sunday - -

 Just a few things I've been meaning to show you -
The bounty from the garden went to our choir potluck - I like to steam my corn - it doesn't end up so watery that way - and you can get a few more ears in the pan if you are just steaming them.

It was the best corn ever this year - especially after The Shepherd built a fence around the corn patch to keep the raccoons out!

This is our weeping giganticum -  It is now missing it's whole left arm and streamers hanging down.  That part of the tree split and landed on the house (luckily no damage to the house) during the windstorm two weeks ago.

I'm missing summer - so are the kittehs - one of George's favorite spots to sleep was on the hood of the car after it was all nice and heated up.  Funny cat, that George. 

I had a small patch of sunflowers growing in the back yard - I always meant to cut some and take them into work - but, #1 - I am always running late in the a.m. & #2 - sadly, there really is no room on my desk for a vase - I miss that. 

It was very exciting to be featured on MOUSEBREATH last week - That Jan and her Feline Funny Farmers - what a busy lady - she does a lot to get cat bloggers to get to know each other - 

The aforementioned corn patch - with the annual pumpkin patch in front   We still have much of the pumpkin that i froze last fall left in the freezer - it was just too hot to bake from May - October this year. 

My little sphinx girl - Gracie and George will be three years old next week (Tues. 10th) - it is incredible the amount of joy they bring us.

We've been blessed here in the Pacific NW this summer - idyllic sunny days and nights where the warm breezes wash over you like a tropical ocean wave.

The cats have begun to demand extra food - are they storing up for a long cold winter?  I hope not.  

Have a good week.