Monday, March 31, 2008

Spring Fever

Forty eight hours ago I was looking at this...and I was a little cranky. I said it was Mother Nature's way of telling me to get back in the house and catch up on laundry, dusting..and all of the other stuff that was making my house creepy. I listened...and I got busy.And today I was rewarded with this....ohhh myyy...the Pieris as a backdrop to this delightful just doesn't get a whole lot better.

Unless of course you wander over to the sun back-lighting the Helebores...goodness!

Check out this resilient blossom, I thought for sure the snow had ruined some of the daffs. If you look closely you can see the tiny white dots around the rim of the trumpet, there is a whole grouping of this variety of daffodil but this was the only one I noticed with this detail.

Rain, sleet, snow, didn't phase them... yet another lesson for me.

This critter was pretty sluggish today, I got really close and it didn't move a bit.

But this critter, oh my...she can see the green grass in the pasture, and she wants o-u-t of the! Sorry missy, it's too muddy and we need to wait for the grass to grow a bit more.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Best Veggie Dip Ever

Yes my friends...I said best ever. I've had this recipe for almost thirty years and I've tried lots of others, this one is by far...the winnnaaaa!
I got the recipe from one of my high school girlfriends way back in the olden days, she got it from her mom, who got it from one of her friends....hey...that's what happens with the good ones...everyone clamors for them.
It is with a heavy heart and a fair amount of sadness that I post this, the last of my wicked least for a good long while.
Why, you ask? Cuz I'm gettin' too darned fat, it's time to face the music. I won't be whisking any roux, brulee-ing any cremes, there will be no rolling of dough or browning of butter. What I'm hoping for is the zipping of jeans without crossing of eyes or holding of's that sad.
I was IMing this morning with my cousin who lives back east, she's more like a sister than a cousin. She's been eating really healthy for the last two months and feels like a million bucks. I remember when she started this new healthy way of eating...she even encouraged me to join her....I was having a delightful time here floating down the lovely river of DeNial. We've done this whole healthy eating thing together in the past with great success. Now she's successing the heck out of me and I'm sitting here in my too-tight dungarees...waaaaa! She feels fabulous....and I feel fat-ulous.
Before I launch myself into the land of steamed broccoli, poached chicken and black coffee (yes...after 15 years of lattes and capuccinos I....gasssspppp...will be drinking my coffee black) I leave you with of my favorite wicked indulgences. Go ahead and eat your veggies..enjoy!


2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon Lawry's salt
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon Accent
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 drops Tabasco

Mix all ingredients together and chill for two hours before serving with fresh raw veggies

I made this by request for Easter Sunday brunch at moms...we call it "our" dip, even though we didn't have a darn thing to do with creating this recipe.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Rescued Ruffles

in the kitchen window
a rescued ruffled trumpet daffodil
a snowy patio
on the day I hoped to plant

From lovely to lousy

This was the view from the front yard on Monday...absolutely lovely...the promise of spring...the vibrant greens....pops of color here and there.
This is the same view this's been spitting snow for a few days. Phooey. Is this Mother Nature's way of telling me to get back in the house and tidy things up? Whattteverrrr!

This plant is not going to be one bit happy.

The daffodils are daffy-pops, I think they're going to be toast. The weight of the snow is knocking them down making for a very sad farmer girl. Oh well, at least I took a lot of pics before they went horizontal.

But this little girl thinks that this is the most fun, eat snow, roll, run, spin, eat snow, run, eat snow, repeat, go to couch and take nap.
Forecast? More snow tomorrow, guess I better get out the vacuum and windex so MN can get back into the swing of spring.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Baby Luv

I got to hold this beautiful baby today. She is the first grandchild of one of my girlfriends from high school. There are four of us from the class of '77 that have made a really good effort to stay in touch. We don't get together often and sometimes too much time passes but we almost always have a summer "meeting" at the beach and we've been going out for our Christmas dinner and gift exchange for almost 30 years.
I don't have children so I get to be "Auntie" to all of their kids and today the first grandchild was cuddled and fussed over, it was so much fun. Time passes too quickly among dear friends and before I knew it two hours had gone by.

It was so much fun to shop for a gift for this little one, I fell in love with this embroidered sweater and was hard to choose something...there is so much cute stuff. I bought her a "church dolly" too, this one reminded me of a little Dutch girl...and since the baby has a bit of Dutch blood (as do I) it was the one for me. I was so happy to hear that this was her first dolly! Auntie Shelly bought her first dolly....awwwww.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Chick Music

I'm so excited! I just got tickets to go see Jann Arden at Beniroya Hall in Seattle. I guess I shouldn't call it chick music because I think that The Husband is as crazy about Jann as I am. The woman is a songbird, she's smart, she's funny...wait...she's not just funny, the woman is hilarious, like I said ...I am soooo excited.

If you want to go to her site, check out her journal...before I ever thought of blogging I was a regular visitor to Janns Journal, not only is she a talented musician...her journal is a great read.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


It all started with a new lap-top, followed by better internet service, which let to reading blogs, and then writing a blog, which made the purchase of a digital camera an absolute must-have for this gardener/blogger. Now? I need a scanner! I have boxes and boxes of photos. I love seeing old photos on the blogs that I read. Does anyone out there have a scanner that they love...or hate? I need shopping tips...can ya help me pick one out?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sparkling Sedum

Sometimes a plant will grab my attention with a blossom, sometimes it's foliage..but yesterday when I was out for my walk, this sedum stopped me in my tracks because the raindrops tucked into the leaves were sparkling like diamonds.... Tiffany's in the garden....who knew.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Out for a walk...

Took a little break from tax preparation today and went for a walk around the farm. From a distance I couldn't figure out what the heck this was, what is that white thing on top of that fence post? Funny...the day after Easter there is an egg shell on top of a fence post...a scavenger must have dug it out of the compost and left it up made me smile.
Spring feathers, absolutely goregous in the sun.

I'm having so much fun capturing images with the digital camera...why did I wait so long to get one of these things?

Happy little violet in the middle of a big pile of weeds....tomorrow tomorrow.

Ohhhh myyyy's ready to burst, it's going to be so very pretty.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Jingle Bells vs. Lucifer

This is my poor Rhododendron 'Jingle Bells'.
Dear 'Jingle Bells' has a huge dead spot where the Crocosmia 'Lucifer' leaned against it. I guess I planted them too close together, my bad! Some plants do fine together, but 'Lucifer' certainly hurt 'Jingle Bells'....who knew that 'Lucifer' leaning on 'Jingle Bells' would do so much damage.

My dear sister Roz and I tend to speak in metaphors, it makes some people crazy but it works for us. Many of our conversations include the phrase "it's like when...", and then we ramble on and on...with a whole lot of "yeahhh...exactlyyy!!" Yesterday I was talking to her about some of life's little challenges. We had a really good visit after which she said "I think you should blog about it". I told her I wasn't really comfortable talking about something that is so personal...she said "I think you can figure it out". Today when I was looking at the damage that 'Lucifer' had done to 'Jingle Bells' I had my answer. I planted 'Lucifer' and 'Jingle Bells' next to each other because they're in the same color family and they compliment each other, I had no idea that 'Lucifer' was doing so much damage to 'Jingle Bells' by just leaning on her a little bit (okay...a lot!). Gardens are full of life lessons for me. Sometimes when I'm rattled the best thing for me to do is to go outside and play in the dirt...I've done this ever since I was a little kid, it's calming for me to touch soil and plant's my "grounding" wire. Plants as teachers...who knew. 'Lucifer' and 'Jingle Bells' were growing fine next to each other, they seemed to thrive in that soil, that light....but when one leaned on the did so much damage that the growth pattern will be permanently a not-so-good way.

Plants are like people, sometimes we can peacefully co-exist. But sometimes....even though they compliment one another, there is too much leaning....and the end result is a big gap where brutal pruning needs to be done to get rid of the damage....oh...that sounds so harsh...but life is harsh sometimes.

This post has been sitting in my "draft" column for a while, I didn't know how to link it all together. Over the weekend I stumbled upon this over at Hidden in France, I think it's the "Ahh Haaa!" that I was looking for. It's left-brain / right-brain 101, check it out....I think you'll be glad you did.

I love her summary at the end of her talk, my favorite is "I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemispheres, the more peace we will project into the world and the more peaceful our plantet will be" Jill Bolte Taylor

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter to All

Tomorrow we're off to early church with my family and then to mom's for our traditional Easter brunch. I'm sure there will be great food and lots of laughs....oh yeah...and Easter candy! We still have an Easter egg hunt for the kids...even though they're too old for it, they won't let us stop doing it. Anndddd...wahoooeeee...Easter candy for the still gives us Easter baskets ...I'm 48 and I loooove it..... I'm shameless when it comes to Easter candy.

Wishing you all a blessed Easter.

Aunt Selma's Crab Melts

I'm a recipe collector...and a foodie from way back. My memories of family gatherings include a mental picture of all of the good things that the women in my extended family would bring to the table. I treasure the recipes collected from my elders. Grandma's Butter Cookies, oh my. When the cousins get together we always talk about sitting in Grandma's breakfast nook after church on Sunday, eating ice cream with Gram's Butter Cookies and her Homemade Chocolate Sauce. Auntie Boots Cheesy Bread is wicked good and her Caper Dip is always a winner, she always had the whole family for a salmon dinner at their beach house...I have that menu committed to memory. If I had all of Aunt Janet's recipes for all of the good stuff that woman bakes I would be as big as a house. Aunt Selma has passed away, every time I make her Crab Melts I think of her...she was a great Auntie, funny and sassy...always a big hug for "the girls". We had Aunt Selma's Crab Melts for lunch on Sunday...oh yeah...this is the stuff memories are made of.


1 cup flaked crab meat
1/4 cup diced celery
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Mix and spread on English muffins or *Triscuits, place in oven on broil and bake until cheese melts and bubbles.

* I toast the English muffins before I spread the crab mixture on them...then place under the
broiler. The *Triscuits are great to serve at cocktail hour, I don't always broil them....I often serve them cold.

Toasted muffins, topped with plenty of crab mixture and ready for the broiler.

Hot out of the oven....lunch is ready!

Shakin' it up. The Husband likes his Crab Melts melted, I like them this way...ohhh gooodness. Toast the muffin, top with crab mixture and a few slices of avocado on top. Sometimes I'll add a lettuce leaf and a thin slice of tomato....okay...I'm officially hungry now.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Spring in My Step

Let's get this party started! Happy first day of spring for yesterday!

Check out this link I got from my friend Keith.

Click on your mouse and drag it around...presto...flower power....woohoooo!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

No power, no water, no worries

Fourteen hours of driving (round trip), $150 bucks worth of gas, three days, two nights...and the meeting that was the whole reason for the trip....cancelled at the last minute. Arghhhh!!! It was a little trip I didn't want to take, but I made myself go because I felt it was important to attend. When I got to my destination it was a little overcast and there wasn't a whole lot of daylight left, I lit a fire and settled in for the night.
This is the view I woke up to the next morning, ohhhh myyyy. Who cares about cancelled meetings, who cares about all of the things I'm supposed to be getting done at the farm.
Who cares about the fact that I have to meet with my tax accountant on Tuesday and I'm not even close to being ready. Yeah....who cares...all of that stuff doesn't matter when a farm girl can drink her morning coffee while looking at this. It's cold and rainy back at the farm and the farm girl sat in the sun, drank her coffee and listened to....nothing.

Well...not exactly nothing. These golden eagles were surfing the wind currents over the rocks, at one point one of them flew overhead and I could hear the sound that golden eagle wings make...that was pretty darn cool.
Bambi was having a family reunion up on the hill, lousy photo but there's a whole lotta deer in them thar hills.

I stayed an extra night. I unplugged. I puttered. I pumped water with a solar panel. I put a pot of water on the wood stove to heat it up for dishes. I let puppy play off her leash because the road is far enough away that I don't have to worry....and this time of the year there is hardly any traffic.
Sometimes it takes a cancelled meeting to get me to stop and the the whoosh of eagle wings and the sound that deer hooves make in the dark on a chilly moonlit night

Monday, March 17, 2008

Road Trips and Cool Bloggers

I have a little list of blogs I like to check out regularly. This morning I woke up really early (puppy was whining) and decided it wasn't worth going back to bed. Nothing was working to wake me up..not even a triple-espresso. Then I read this blog, her post this morning woke me a good way. I always love what she writes... it's frank, honest, witty, smart..and a teensy bit sarcastic which always works for me.
The best part is...she fired me up. Today I have to leave on a little road trip, I wasn't looking forward to it...14 +/- hours of driving through rain and maybe some snow. Something about her post tripped my attitude switch, her blog has a way of doing that for me....I love it.

So....I'm outa here.
I gotta go pack, load up...and hit the road. Of course I'm taking my camera, hope to get some bloggable pics for later on this week....maybe even some interesting tales to tell.
As Dianne says...
Be kind out there.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Eagle Eyes Everywhere

It was chilly and rainy late this afternoon. I was in the house and I couldn't figure out why the cars that were going by kept slowing wayyy down as they passed the driveway...some of them were stopping in the road for a bit before they moved on. I went to the window to see if something was in the road and that was when I noticed there were several eagles in and under the trees out there. I grabbed my camera and shot some photos but the quality isn't very good. I'm posting them anyway because it's not every day that I can get five eagles in a least not in my front yard!
Fly-by over the roof of the house....woohooooo!!!!

I've marked on the photo where they are in the trees. Starting top left...I call him "Big #1"..original huh? then there is "Two"..."Three and Four" are sharing a branch at the bottom of the photo and "Five" is way over on the right. Hey...I have stuff to do tonight, I don't have time to think up real Eagle names.

A better look at "Big #1"...this guy was huuuuge...the branch was swaying from his weight.

Two & Three....they were arguing a little earlier, flapping wings and the like...I guess they settled their differences and figured out who could have the best spot on the branch, maybe it was sibling rivalry - they look alike...doncha think?

Here's "Five"....checking out the scene below.

Here she is checking out what's shakin' at the that flag upside-down again?

Saturday, March 15, 2008


I wasn't going to blog today, I just wasn't feelin' it and I decided not to push it. Things change...I came home from the grocery store and there was a van in the driveway that I didn't recognize. The Husband called to me from the barn to tell me who it was, it was one of my gardening buddies, Pete. About a month ago Pete stopped by to ask if he could have a division off of an unusually tall grass that I have. Most gardeners love's who we are and what we do. I told him he was welcome to a division but he was going to have a challenge on his hands, we've divided this grass once before and it was not an easy task. Pete has tried to find this grass at retail outlets since he first saw it in my yard and hasn't been successful. I bought this Miscanthus giganteus ( Giant Chinese silver grass ) five or six years ago from my friend Mary. When I brought it to the counter Mary said "that's going to be a really huge grass...are you sure?" I love grasses , I aced my grasses classes (he he) when I was studying horticulture. I'm very fond of the way they provide movement in the garden. My garden is large enough that it can handle a ten foot tall grass, and that's what this giant does...wooo also "clacks" in the late summer, it makes a gentle clicking sound that I really like when the wind blows. A few years ago my friend Robin was here for a visit and she went crazy over this grass, she absolutely had to know the name of it. Robin is a garden designer and she used to be the garden design goddess here, now she has her own business. Anywhoooo, us garden designers and garden/plant lovers go crazy if there is a plant that we are not familiar with and the gardener can't give us the name. Robin spent that evening with her nose in my reference books searching for the name of the giant grass that had caught her fancy. I told her I was pretty sure it was a Miscanthus but I just wasn't sure of the hard is it to remember that the giant grass is called giganteus, huh? forward five or six years, my friend Pete wanted to know the you think I could remember giganteus this time? Nope! I'm blaming it on's such a bummer not to be able to remember's either that or I call things the wrong name. Ohhh well...moving on.
Pete brought a friend over to help with the digging., she had very cute and colorful rubber boots that I was going to get a photo of....dang....forgot that too!

Here's Pete digging and digging (sorry, the blogger-dog won't let me type now unless I type in italic...grrrrr). Then they started washing the soil off the root ball. Gardeners are some of the most determined people I know. The "I must have that plant-itis" infects us and we can't shake it until we get our paws on the horticultural object of our desire, for was this grass.

It was such a muddy mess, and very slow going. I put puppy on a leash and went out there in my boots to visit...didn't grab a shovel 'cuz I didn't want to get in the way....lolol. I told Pete I was going to blog this and he's thinking he's going to be famous...I had to tell him I have about five or six readers...sorry're going to have to find fame another way.

I wonder if he'll still be my friend when he finds out I posted the butt shot. Sorry dude, this was the best shot of the root ball and unfortunately your butt is there too. Pete did alllll the work, but hey....I shared my plant! Pete went home with several good sections and I have some here that I need to plant in other places where I've been wanting to put this grass. I also have a GIANT hole where the old grass used to be...PETE!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Foliage Friday

Flowers, I love 'em. But really... they're just the sprinkles on the frosting on the cake that makes up my garden. Now foliage...ohhhh...fabulous foliage! Gimme foliage in planes, spikes and straps....frizzy, fussy fabulous foliage....palmate, pinnate and ovate. I've given so much attention to spring blossoms here I thought it might be nice to nod hello to some of my favorite spring "greens"...that aren't necessarily green.





Mondo Grass

SR 20 North Cascades Recon 010

SR 20 North Cascades Recon 010
Originally uploaded by wsdot

Guess I'll have to pine for this view just a bit longer...projected Hwy opening date...

May 1, :-( sad face. Oh well...there's always

the looong way around.