Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winter Here

Quiet rest
Taken last week - this is the most ice we have ever seen on the pond.
This morning the world below was shrouded in cloud or fog, but the sun shone through up here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Decorations

It is so much fun to unwrap all my Christmas decorations! It's like being at my favorite store ever - because I chose all the goods! And they are all so cute/ meaningful/ beautiful.
I love Christmas.
I'll have to take some pictures and post some.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Yummiest Most Requested Brunch Dish

I have no recipe but I will try to tell you what I do -

I use a greased 10x15 pan, but two smaller pans would work just fine. This needs to be made the night before and refrigerated overnight.

Meat Layer:

You can use any breakfast meat for this, sausage, ham or bacon. I use a pound of bacon because I like to use the bacon fat to cook the potatoes and the eggs. And I just love bacon! After cooking I dice it, not too small but so it will still serve easily, and set it aside.

Hash Brown Layer:

I bake several potatoes, usually Yukon Golds because I have them on hand. Then I peel and grate them, or dice in a 1/2" dice. I usually use two cast iron skillets to brown the potatoes in butter and bacon fat in fairly small batches, turning them often until they are crispy and browned throughout. These go into the bottom of the baking pans until a good inch has accumulated.

Egg Layer:

I crack 18 eggs into a large bowl and sprinkle salt and nutmeg onto the top before lightly beating the eggs. These I cook over medium heat in butter and bacon grease, stirring often so the bottoms don't brown and the eggs cook evenly to the soft but not runny stage. The eggs are spread evenly on top of the potatoes.

Assembling the Dish:

On top of the eggs, I spread a cup or more of sour cream. Make sure you use enough to cover the whole dish. Sprinkle the diced bacon on top of the sour cream. Then sprinkle about four thinly sliced green onions over this, and about ten fresh mushrooms, sliced or diced. Finally, spread grated cheddar cheese over the top to cover well.

Cover and refrigerate overnight. Take out in the morning and let sit out for at least 1/2 hour. Bake covered at 350 degrees for an hour, then uncover and bake until bubbling and browned throughout.

Warning - Once you bring this to a brunch, you will never be allowed to arrive without it!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Yummy Sweet Taters

Here's my favorite way to prepare sweet taters -

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cube 2 large sweet potatos, cut into a 2 inch dice. Meanwhile, pick some fresh rosemary needles, and place into about a third cup of olive oil. Microwave the rosemary needles in the oil until they pop and give up their essence to the oil (about 30 - 45 seconds). Place the sweet taters in a large bowl, pour the oil over, sprinkle generously with kosher salt, stir well to coat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper so they don't stick terribly, spread taters on the paper and roast for 20 minutes or until the bottoms are browned. Turn each piece and bake again for about 10 minutes to let another side get all crunchy and fabulous.

The insides are melty tender, the outsides are crunchy deliciousness. These don't last long at our house and whole batches have been known to mysteriously disappear when Priscilla and I get together. I hope you try them and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Time to let you know I am much perki-er, even here on the really real net place. Todd went to the eye doctor today for himself, and my replacement glasses arrived early! What an amazing relief. And yes, I will be buying a backup pair. And a computer pair too.

A couple of visits to the chiro and a massage have reduced the pain in my head significantly. Again, the relief is amazing. So this is what energy feels like!

Must get to small group - maybe a couple or three new ladies tonight. Interesting how the Lord works.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Small Whines

Over on my Facebook page I am very perky and thankful right now, so I can't whine there. However, here I make my own rules and suspect that few people will ever know I blog-whined, and there is a certain freedom in that.

My neck hurts. On the left side of my neck, behind my left ear it is swollen a bit and very tender to the touch. Now the tenderness/throbbing has grown to include the left side of my scalp and the front of my ear as well. I think it is a seriously subluxated top vertebra because the intensity can be affected by my sitting/standing position.

I have two tiny finger cuts, one of which hurts.

I have a low-grade fever.

For two days my tummy has hurt, like I have gas but the pain and bloating won't go away no matter how organic my yogurt or apple cidar vinegar, both of which usually keep my irritable innards behaving reasonably well. Blech. I think it's stress. This is a packed week. So is next week, and - well, until Christmas the pressure is on.

Sprained my ankle a bit yesterday while doing inspections.

(Are you catching the barely sentient vibe here?)

And to top things off, the frame on my frameless glasses broke. Yep. My expensive really hip glasses are super-glued together. Uh-huh. So Todd's wonderful solution may get me through until new glasses are available, but the lenses are slightly tipped, the prescription is changed, and my eyes hurt. Ache. Poor me.

And then I remember how small are my woes. Compared with so many, my selfish whine is pathetic. Still, I'm posting this because it is making me feel better just WHINING. And I think my fever may be gone. Hooray for large doses of Extra Strength Tylenol.

Friday, November 6, 2009

My camera is in Anchorage, but I have thoughts, so I'll share. Michael's last regular season football game is tonight, but it's in Florence and weather is supposed to be torrential rains coming sideways, so Todd and I are staying home. Date night! We are thawing venison backstrap and thinking Redbox. Any movie suggestions? Last Saturday we rewatched The Proposal - I liked it better the first time.

I have been thankful this week for the Harvest Moon. Wow - huge and varied in color. When I first saw it, Todd and I were coming home from inspections and the moon was full and huge and glowed like an irridescent pearl. The next night it was amber colored and hung over the football game.

What a dreadful thing to have happened at Fort Hood. I keep remembering and praying for those involved. I heard from Ryan and he said everyone over there is pretty shook up too.

Nancy Doner stopped by yesterday morning and we met at My Coffee in Roseburg, my absolute fave spot for the good drink. She filled me in on many of my old friends from Sand Lake Baptist, and that was great. She is quite a gal.

When will I have time to paint the apartment? I know the colors already, but need a dedicated three or four days, and those are pretty scarce. I also need a dedicated week for collections in the office. Sigh - I don't like collections. Did you ever just want to duck out of regular life for a while? Yeah. And I still haven't planted my winter planters for the porches.

But in general things are fine with so much to be thankful for! The rain, the blue sky peeking through occasionally, my family, our business, the Lord's great love and mercy, opportunity to serve Him meaningfully. These are treasures.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Or - Maybe Not!

It looks like Priscilla will have other company on her trip north!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Heading for the North Land

After almost five years that she has lived with us, Priscilla is moving back to Alaska. There have been many great things about her living here, and we will miss her often and thoroughly. But she isn't done with Alaska and her family calls from there.

Monday morning we plan to begin the trip. We'll start with a loaded U-Haul and drive it and her car to Tacoma. There the hired day-labor guys will unload the U-Haul onto pallets before the pallets are loaded into a container which will then be loaded onto a barge which will take her things up to Anchorage.

Tuesday morning early, the plan is to drive north as far as we can get - hopefully to Prince George. We want to drive very far per day in warmer, lighter B.C.. Who knows what weather and roads will bring in the Yukon and Alaska? Actually, snow and cold are anticipated for much of the trip.

I expect great beauty. I expect long cold days. I pray for the Lord's covering. Would you pray for us on our trip?

After a couple of recuperation/visiting days in Anchorage, I will board a large jet plane and fly direct to Portland. It will be good to get back home.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Annual Breakfast with Jim

For anyone's information, our brother Jim works as a spiritual mentor (I think that's the politically correct term) with the athletes from a prestigious university located in Palo Alto, CA. Anyway, he travels with the football team and they were up to play the Beav's in Corvallis, but they stayed in Eugene. We usually drive north to share breakfast with him on game day. Since this is Priscilla's last opportunity (as she is moving back to Alaska), off we went.
The sunrise down the valley was worth a photo before we took off.
This is the properly posed version...
...this is the - "Wait! I wasn't ready and was talking" version!
Mr. Camera-shy actually agreed to pose with Jim and me! We had a great time chatting over a nice breakfast before Jim had to move on with his duties.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Big Buck on Hunting Season's First Day!

Todd had just told me that he had never gotten a buck on the first day of hunting season. A few minutes later he said, "There's a huge buck! Everyone stay back from the windows!" (In case you don't know, we live on 14 acres on top of a mountain - our own hunting grounds!) Of course, we all gathered at the windows to see what was going on! It was amazing - this large buck had about four does with him and he was just casually browsing right beside the driveway.
Todd harvested him in exactly the same spot as last year's buck, and Tyler helped skin and clean him out. Freezer meat!
Good eating this winter - way to go, Todd!!!

"Duct Tape" Days for Homecoming

Todd and Michael created this amazing Viking helmet for Michael's senior year homecoming duct tape day.
All that weight training and football practice is paying off!
The Nacho Libre mask even got a duct-tape covering!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bandon Pier

Life jackets are available for children to wear while walking on the pier - use and return. Great idea. Not sure if that bird is a juvenile seagull or another species.
Crab pot watchers.
These folks were tending crab pots farther out.
So here is the first of a pair of seals, just hanging out! They hit the jackpot with salmon bits and bones washed from a fish cleaning sink out on the pier. The seagulls were pretty happy too!
This seal has a healed gash on its back. It certainly hasn't impaired its ability to eat - this dude or dudette was chubby! And amazingly maneuverable in the water. Really fun to watch!

Beach at Bandon Yesterday

Annie had a blast at the beach! She is still sleeping after a few hours yesterday chasing seagulls and running amok.

The huge outcroppings of rocks out on the Bandon beaches may be left over from a very old lava flow. All I know is, they are really cool to look at.
What a nice beach to walk on and a perfect day - 75 degrees, light breeze. Aaah.

Blue- Belly Lizard

Nice one. I wonder what else we miss by only looking at the obvious outward appearance of things and people...

Speed Scrabble (yes, we're still playing it!)

Maybe you can tell who isn't focused on winning the game?
Ah, now the expectant mother smells sustenance!
Don't let Michelle's sweet look fool you. She's killer at Speed Scrabble!

Feeds the birds, a LOT more than tuppence a bag!

Can you see how many gold finches are on the sock feeder? We started with about 6 pairs and wound up with more than 40 birds. They brought their kids!
If you enlarge the picture you will be able to see finches bathing in and drinking from the basin there. We haven't counted the kinds of birds that have used it, but off hand they include the finches, spotted towhees, robins, a screech owl, blue jays, chickadees and hummingbirds. That's all I can think of right now. My brain is fuzzy...
Four types of feeders are busy a lot. It makes us happy!

Boys Will be Boys

Comedy and Tragedy
They're so much fun!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's hard to blog again, and i believe that this time the issue is busy-ness. At all times, I am aware of several duties/errands/demands that I could/should tend to, and since blogging is for my benefit and pleasure, it tends to be pushed aside for "later". Besides, the days are eaten up with multiple activities, nothing very interesting or blog-worthy.

Or they are very blog-worthy but I forget to take pictures, such as our very nice visit from Laura and Nik this week. Nik taught us speed-Scrabble, which rapidly ratcheted up the list of very fun and fast games we enjoy, even competing for top position with penny dominoes. No pictures. Maybe Laura will have pity and share some on her blog soon.

Now I need to stop this fun activity to be responsible yet again.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Excellent Quote

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it." ~~~~ Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


What's that? You don't believe me?
There you go.

Lunch with James and Karyn

The cousins enjoyed each other's company. I thought about making a short joke here, James, but decided against it, not having much room to comment.
We had such a great time with James and Karyn today. Like I said on Facebook, it was really hard to let them go.
It's seriously hard to get a picture of James when he's not commenting on the situation - hmmm, reminds me of my dad! There are so many pictures of Dad with his mouth open or pursed, taken as he was cracking wise. Funny guys, both of them.

We talked and laughed and talked some more. Well, we also ate. I hope they come again soon. We love having guests stop by - please do so if you're in the area!

Random Shots From the Last Week

These really were just in the camera from this past week so I thought I would share.
I love this view down the valley.
Todd and I did inspections at the coast last week and stopped for a few minutes to look at the lighthouse in Bandon.
Just when we thought we couldn't find a smaller frog, along came this one. (Todd found it and displays it for you here.) Many frogs live in our window boxes, as does this one.
How fun to cut flowers from the yard for today's lunch centerpiece! Aren't they lovely?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

As if that weren't enough family...!

On our way home we stopped at John and Ann's house a couple of times. Jim and Linda were in town - it just was that kind of weekend! It was great to see Dan and Angela - I keep up with them through her wonderful blog at . It will make you laugh!
They are wonderful parents to Jake and Tyler, who I have watched online for years, so it was really nice to meet them. There's a whole lotta somebody home here! What fun guys.
What a treat to be with Jim and Linda. They are treasures.
We had a wonderful time with John and Ann et al. They serve a mean warm chocolate chip cookie, and a delicious breakfast the next morning.
I'm really sorry I didn't get a picture of Ann! Missed somehow. But it was pretty cool to have the four of us sibs together. After being with Dave the day before it was like - Hey, Don and Mary Lou! Where you at?! We wished you were with us. We seriously should all get together.
Well, that's it for posts about our trip to further north in the Northwest last weekend. It was a great family fix, that's for sure!

Dinner in Kirkland

So Saturday night we decided to combine dinner with the ferry ride Pris and I were craving. You see, I absolutely love riding the Washington State ferries. It's a thing from my childhood, and it makes me feel all happy inside. Whenever I go to Washington I try to ride the ferry at least once. It's really inexpensive to walk on and it's a round-trip fare. Here is another ferry on the water at the same time.
We parked by the ferry terminal in Edmonds and walked on to the grande boat. It's only a fifteen or twenty minute ride across to Kirkland. This was taken through the window - hence the reflection.
Isn't the water pretty? It reminds me of shiny blue, very active, jello.
On the Kirkland side we saw this charming community, complete with lots of sailboats. We walked up a small hill from the dock, chose from several nice restaurants, ate a great dinner, walked back down the hill and completed the trip back. Now that's what I call the complete dinner experience!

Sunday Lunch With Dave's Fam

(Sorry I cut off Nika's head) The younger kids were quite tired of posing, and very cute!
David with Annaliese, his youngest. (I hope I spelled her name right)
Miles and Nika - I was SO bummed it turned out blurry! Nika is a lovely young woman. It was great to catch up with Miles after many years.

Leslie is so much fun to be with. We laughed a lot!
Grandma and Grandpa with six beautiful grandchildren at the waterfront in Kirkland.