Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Kit Kat, Snickers and Andes Toffee, all waiting in a really cute pumpkin bowl. I might get two trick or treaters if my cousin stops by with her darling daughters.
Hope hope hope.
It happens every year, I buy the candy just in case I get a few trick or treaters (few = 2).
That's how it goes when you live on a country road with no neighbors.

Oh happy day, while I was writing this post one of my girlfriends called and she's stopping with her grandkids!

I'm off to get my camera ;)

Wishing you lots of treats and no tricks.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Girl Time


This pic was taken at my friend Debbie's birthday party last year. Today she came to visit me and we've had the best time. We went for lunch, goofed off, did a teensy bit of shopping...ya know....girl stuff.

Now we're home, all cozy on the couch...dinner is almost ready, and I'm teaching Deb how to blog.

Watch out world...another blogger is about to be born!

I love girl-time.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Banishment Ends

I'm bummed.
My quirky little town where I was born and raised has up and joined the real world.
Since 1967 the city has banned alcohol sales on Sunday, in the blink of an eye the powers that be have decided to lift the ban.
I like quirky, and I like different...I liked it when I would tell folks where I grew up and they said "ohhhh...that's where you can't drink!...or dance!" I'd set them straight and tell them that you can dance, or you can drink, you just can't drink AND dance, if you really want to drink and dance you can get a permit, unless it's Sunday and you want a beer with your burger or a bloody mary with your brunch ....then you're outa luck, can't even buy a permit for that.
But as of tomorrow, burgers and beers and bloodies and's all gonna be there for the ordering. If you get groceries on Sunday they won't have the beer aisle blocked off, it always made me smile when I would see the beer blockade.
Now we're just like everybody else.
I don't wanna be like everybody else.
Nobody even asked me if this was ok!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Out of the Ordinary

I'm still hitting the mute button when the political yap yap comes on the tv or radio. I can't stand any of their voices...not even the voices of the ones I plan to vote for.
Last weekend when I went on my little adventure it was a pretty heavy dose of counter culture. It was a barter faire, I didn't bring anything to trade and I didn't purchase was fun just to be there, to observe...and to enjoy the surroundings.
I don't think I'd be willing to trade my property for a truck, and I don't have any pure gold...I wonder if this guy had any takers.
There was a lot of great music at the faire. I stumbled upon this little jam session. Notice how everybody is smiling? I love that about the barter faire.

Freedom of expression is encouraged. I saw this guy with his great hair and million dollar smile...he was happy to pose for a shot. Hmm...I wonder how much product he uses, it was windy and his hair didn't move a bit.

Oh yeah...and you can wear whatever you want. I saw a lot of pretty dresses, some buckskin pants....and a few guys in skirts. I guess I looked pretty square in my jeans, hiking boots and down vest. Gotta remember to shake it up next year.

If you want to sure to bring your teepee. I saw a few RV's too. I've always wanted a teepee. Note to self - research teepees.

I drove my car, but I guess next time I could borrow my sisters horse, these folks came in on horseback....hmmm....guess I'll have to make a decision....teepee or pony.
Life sure is full of choices.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Playing Tag

Jerrie over at a little bit of {This & That} tagged heck...I'll play along, at least until I get to the end. This looks like a fun one, and Jerrie helps me with my blog when I'm teckie-stuck ;)
I'm breaking one rule by not tagging other folks because I'm tag-a-phobic.
You're supposed to answer the questions with one word and then tag seven others, if you'd like to play along just let me know - I'd love to pop on over and read what you have to say...he he one word.

"Where is your cell phone? purse
Where is your significant other? kitchen
Your hair color? mousy
Your mother? playing
Your father? heaven
Your favorite thing? creating
Your dream last night? curious
Your dream/goal? wellness
The room you’re in? living
Your hobby? gardens
Your fear? snakes
Where do you want to be in 6 years? participating
Where were you last night? home
What you’re not? timid
One of your wish-list items? kitchen
Where you grew up? Lynden
The last thing you did? lunch
What are you wearing? jeans
Your TV? off.
Your pet? chewing
Your computer? addictive
Your mood? great
Missing someone? MaryEllen
Your car? Escape
Something you’re not wearing? jewelry
Favorite store? Re-Store
Your summer? wonderful
Love someone? YES!
Your favorite color? green
When is the last time you laughed? lunch
Last time you cried? week?

Jerrie is right! One word answers are hard for those of us who tend to talk-a-lot/blog-a-lot.

I can't watch any more

This photo above is exactly how I feel these days about the political insanity going on around me. I can't watch it any more.

Last weekend I decided it was time to bust out and get away from the constant media assault. I've made up my mind, I don't need to watch any more debates, hear any more of those dreadful TV or radio ads...I'm's become all too creepy on both sides.

So I hopped in the rig and went over the river.

Through the woods.

My directions said to go past the rocks, ah...there they are.

If you see the cute little shack you're on the right track.

All you need to do is walk along the fence-line until
you come to an opening.

Keep hiking in the direction of those flags you see
off in the distance.

And you're guaranteed to find a gathering of joyful people.

The best part of the whole adventure was that I was able to hear these two songbirds.


I love it when I find new music, something different.
Several years ago I heard her and she stopped me in my tracks - now her career is really taking off, it's been great to watch her rise.
Now I've found someone new that I think has real potential.
The Shook Twins have a wonderful gift,
check out their amazing harmonies.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My New Friends

Meet Spike, he's kinda shy.
This is Bucky, he's not shy at all.
They were looking in my kitchen window a couple of days ago. Actually they were taking a nap in the sun right outside my kitchen window and sorry to say...I woke them up.
Hey guys, stick're totally safe here. The gate is locked, the signs are posted...and hunting season is OVER tomorrow. Yayyyy!
Stay low and close to the should be okay.
Mi casa su casa.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Honey!

Today is The Husbands birthday.
Birthdays aren't a big deal to this guy, he lives pretty simply, one of the most content people I've ever met in my life. He's never really wanted to do anything except farm. Back in the days when we were struggling young dairy farmers, we were at a dairy related conference - at the evening dinner banquet I asked the question "If any of you guys won 10 million dollars in a lottery, what would you do with the money?" All of the guys said "I'd build a really cool farm".
I was stunned, nobody said they'd travel, buy a yacht, build a mansion (unless that mansion was for cows)...that's when I knew how much he really loved dairy farming.
He's never had any interest in doing anything else....

When we go to the marina he's never ever looked longingly at one of these.
He has absolutely no interested in being one of those guys who cruises around on one of these.

But a while back when we were at the recycled building materials store, he saw this! I looked at it and said "hey...that would be cool, we could put bolts and plumbing parts and all kinds of odds and ends in all of those little cubbies!"
It had been $29.00...marked down to $19.00...but it was in the half price section - a whopping $9.50!
I wandered away, but he kept looking at the thing - something he rarely does. Then he said it, that thing I've hardly ever hear him say - I could hardly believe my ears...he said
"I've always wanted one of those"....I almost laughed out loud. The guy who never really wants anything was actually looking longingly at an object.
We loaded it up in the truck and took it home of course.
I've spent the last couple of days pressure washing the back section of one of the barns that we're not's going to be a shop.
A place for everything....and everything in it's place.
Ya right.
Oh well...we'll give it a try.
I asked him several times if there was anything special he wanted for his birthday today...of course the answer was "nope". I'll go back out to the barn and work on getting the shop organized.
I'll make a really nice dinner...and then take him out there and show him his new groovy organized organizer.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Autumn Joy

I'm late again for Ruby Tuesday....but I have an excuse! Yesterday it was dismal and rainy so photo ops were pretty grim. Today the sun is shining so I ran out back and got a shot of the Sedum 'Autumn Joy'.
Mary the teach over at Work of the Poet suggested fall foliage for Ruby Tuesday...this is pretty close to ruby, it's definitely fall around here and - the name of the plant is perfect!
To see more great photos check out the other participants at Mary's place.
Wishing you a happy and joyful autumn ;)

Monday, October 13, 2008

I Miss My Hairdresser

The beautiful highlights on this dahlia remind me of how much I miss my hairdresser.
I haven't seen him on over a year, I've spent seven dollars on "hair" since July '07....and I look like it. I bought one of those color touch-up kits at the grocery store about six months ago when I couldn't take the mousy gray/brown any more.
This whole no-visits-to-the-hairdresser thing is intentional...a part of budget cuts around here. We've been cutting back on non-essential really make an effort to live more simply. There are other areas of our life where we've made changes but this is the one thing that I really miss. I like my hairdresser, he's smart, funny, hip, cool, a snappy dresser and just plain fun to be around...when I'm in that chair we talk about everything under the sun....I guess you could say I get a little bit of therapy with my cut & color.
The money that we save by giving up these non-essentials has been going to the local shelter for the homeless. The best thing about looking in the mirror at my stringy mousy gray/brown hair is that it's a constant reminder of how incredibly fortunate we are here at this old farm.
It's amazing how many meals you can buy at a shelter for the cost of a really great cut and color.

I think I can last a few more months, I'd like to buy Christmas dinner for a whole lot of folks.

I read about this challenge somewhere, I can't even remember where...but it's a pretty good one.
I saw Nancy Pelosi on the news tonight...she's talking about sending out another round of stimulus checks, I think it's ridiculous. I don't want to talk politics on this blog but what if....what if all of the people that weren't in desperate need of the next stimulus check...what if they all gave them to their local homeless shelter.
Imagine how many people we could all help.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pumpkin Carving Party

Last night was the last hurrah for the season in the party barn. It was our annual pumkin carving party, we've been hosting it for years...same crowd, same food, same big laughs.
When we started this tradition these guys were just kids, now they're do we get teenagers to show up for a pumpkin carving party on a Saturday night you ask?
We feed 'em! We make all of their favorties...and more! It's a chance to try out new recipes, these guys are foodies in the making so they're great taste-testers.

Dig in guys!
Tami did the happy dance when she found out that mom brought chicken kiev.

Total concentration, artist at work.

This guy has a plan...even printed out his design before the party.

Power tools are a part of the game with this crowd, in fact it makes it a whole lot more fun.

Ta Daaaaa. Nice work gentlemen!
This is one of my favorite evenings of the year. It makes my little heart go pitty-pat when the whole gang shows up. I know they'll grow up and go off to college, but I hope that we can keep the tradition alive. Hey, my dream is that someday they'll come back with their own kids to carve pumpkins with "Auntie Shelly" in the party barn...
A girl can dream can't she?
Next party?
A girly wreath-making party on the day after Thanksgiving.
Hmmm...what am I going to make for the girls to snack on?
Guess it's time to start reading my cookbooks for some good ideas!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Queen of Mean

This is Bergie. This is Bergie posing with the couch cushion she ate. The look says "yeah...I attacked the couch cuz it needed to be showed who's boss around here". I've given her permission to take down Mr. Owl.
Mr Owl has been sitting on a wire in the front yard watching us, we're a little freaked out. Bergie barks a lot at Mr. Owl.
Excuse me Mr. Owl.
Are you the same owl that swooped down on my husband, smacked him in the back of the head and knocked him to the ground? If you're hanging out in the front yard waiting for him to come home from work so you can whack him again...we're watchin' you. Bergie is watchin' you.
Mr. Owl...did you see what Bergie did to the couch?
Have you seen her "mean" look?
She has permission to do to you what she did to the couch...don't go hurtin' again...okay?
Cuz Bergie means business.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Signature Drinks

The Pink B*tch
we called it
The Pretty Pink Lady
When we have a big party I like to make a signature drink. We always offer a special cocktail when we have our annual garden dinner party. For the birthday party last Saturday night we were using pinks, oranges and greens in the color scheme...mostly pink. I thought a pink cocktail would be fun. I've made this one before and served it at a party, it's not too strong, it's refreshing and it's pretty....perfect! I found the original recipe in a cookbook a friend gave me, Serena Food and Stories by Serena Bass. It's one of my very favorite cookbooks, there are some really great recipes and she tells great stories about food, catering and her life.
Serena's version of
The Pink B*tch
1 1/2 ounces Absolut Citron
1/2 ounce raspberry puree
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
Splash of Sprite
Lemon wedge, for garnish
Add all the ingredients to a shaker half filled with ice.
Shake well and strain into a double rocks glass over ice.
My version - to serve a crowd
*The Pretty Pink Lady*
1 1/2 cups Sky Vodka - Lemon
1/2 cup raspberry puree
1/2 ounce Real Lemon Juice
2 or 3 cups Sprite
Lemon slice, for garnish
I made the drinks in batches, sometimes doubling these
ingredients depending on how fast the guests were drinking
them. We set several glasses on a tray, put in a few ice cubes,
filled the glasses and perched a half-lemon slice on the edge
of the glass. I made them pretty weak, it was a mellow crowd
and I was going for a thirst quencher - not a strong martini
style drink. We didn't bother with the martini shaker for
these, just poured them straight out of a pitcher.
*Raspberry Puree
I used frozen whole raspberries.
Thaw raspberries, put in blender and blend on high for a couple of minutes. Strain through cheesecloth to get rid of the seeds. Blend seeded raspberry syrup with equal parts simple syrup.
*Simple Syrup
I heat two cups water with two cups sugar until the water almost boils. Stir until you're sure all of the sugar granules have dissolved. Cool the syrup completely and then add to the berries.
I posted this recipe for Julie, one of Tami's readers...hope you like it Julie!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Party Primping

When I plan a party I get so preoccupied with the cleaning, setting up tables + chairs and making food that I tend to push aside the decor aspect of a party. For that we have that girl is all about the primping. We found these letters at the craft store, she brought some ribbon and we hung them in an open window by the entrance to the barn.

I had set up these pots with moss and the lighted twigs, the night before the party Tami said "they need something!"...I grabbed a pink feather boa that I had picked up for the birthday girl to wear...I threw it on the tree and ta daaa....a feather tree! Lucky for us I had two pink feather boas, we had these trees flanking the dessert table.

Okay, so the party was in the barn...the lighting is poor. Tami brought over this cute little lamp from her own cute is that? She set up these little vases too, hey...the girl can get crazy with the cute.

Tami's hubby Fred was in charge of the bar, he set up the beers on a shelf behind the bar so our guests would be able to see what we had to offer....are we uptown or what?

Here's a shot of the buffet table, that's my cute hubby in the background sneaking in the door before the party started. Birthday girls sister Colleen brought the fruit tray...isn't it gorgeous? Nothing like a colorful buffet table to make things look more appetizing, that's what I always say.

Here's a better shot. I painted some old planters hot pink and we filled them with candles. Instead of putting candles on a cake we put fifty candles on the buffet table - no...we didn't make the birthday girl blow them out. I took this shot right before the party started, lest you think nobody showed up because of all of those empty chairs in the background. Honest..we had a good crowd.

See? Lotsa people in the party barn...and the glow of fifty candles - whew...we didn't burn the barn down, I was a teensy bit worried.

Here's a shot of the party barn chalkboard. I made it several years ago out of an old board and some chalkboard paint. It's great, every time we have a big party I like to write a greeting on it. Last year we had a family reunion in the party barn....I wrote a welcome note to all the cousins.

My favorite candelabra. I took this shot the morning after the party.

Next on the agenda? The annual pumpkin carving party in the barn! It's a much smaller gathering....hmm...I should paint those planters orange don't you think?
For more party photos, check out the post below...I have a guest photographer!

More Party Primping

So I had my party primping post ready to publish...and I found a photo CD in my mailbox. Not the e-mail mailbox but the snail-mail mailbox. It was from The Snapsisters! namely Jodi, Jodi is Tami's (my co-party-planner) sister. Jodi stopped by the farm late Saturday afternoon while we were working on a few of the final details of the party, and she had her camera! Jodi is a pro, she takes photos for a living so I was thrilled to see her walk in the door of the party barn. I've posted my pictures and now I'm going to post the pics that Jodi took...dang that girl made the party barn look cool.Here's Jodi's daughter Hana Jo, she made the frosting for all of the party cupcakes...this kid knows her way around a KitchenAid mixer, she's a whiz with frosting and tips...thanks Hana!

Tami made these tags for the buffet table, I didn't get a picture of them...I'm so glad that Jodi did.

I didn't get a photo of this bouquet either...oh Jodi, you've made me so happy.

Or these little white vases on the table buy the door....isn't this a beautiful shot?

And this one? With those twinkling lights in the background...wowza.

Oh, be still my, and twinkle lights reflected in the mirror. So cool.

These K's that Tami made for Karen the birthday girl, I love the colors.

This is too's making me want to buy one of those groovy cameras with all those snazzy lenses, hmmm.....then I'd have to take lessons from Jodi on how to use it ;)

One of those yummy cupcakes I talked about earlier, I'm calling this food-photo-art.

Looks like we're ready to party doesn't it?

Thanks Jodi!

If you're looking for a great photographer who is also a lot of fun,
you need to check out the snapsisters!