Filed under Everything else

Endings and Beginnings

  This blog has been silent for more than a year and a half. Shortly after the last post the love of my life was diagnosed with an especially rare and nasty form of cancer, and he died a few months later. For obvious reasons my life’s focus changed in that time, and since then … Continue reading

Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, Decisions

These days I’m finding myself, all too often, staring at the computer and wondering what to do next. There is no lack of “things to do,” only the will or ability to decide which one to tackle first. And yes, I do mean tackle – that’s the feeling – that there are many things that … Continue reading

Sampling Success

Sampling Success

For the past few weeks I’ve been engrossed with warps and heddles and reeds and wefts. Finally, after decades of more or less yearning, I have been learning to weave! I thought I had a sense of what was involved, but in making the very simplest of pieces I’ve learned how very much I don’t … Continue reading

Now Comes the Hard Part

Now Comes the Hard Part

Years ago my sister gave me a Sesame Street Christmas record album – yes, a real vinyl platter that you play on a turntable – and I still enjoy it. My favorite song on the album is “Keep Christmas With You (All Through The Year),” an idea that would do our world good if we … Continue reading

Taking Time to Breathe and Smile

Taking Time to Breathe and Smile

These last weeks of the year always seem to be a headlong dash to the finish line. Goodies to bake, house to clean and decorate, meals to plan, gifts to find/wrap/deliver or ship, and then one last whoop as the year ends. Whew! Instead of the joy and celebration that this time “should” bring, I … Continue reading

Nature’s Winter Gift

Nature’s Winter Gift

After more than a year here in Oregon there are still pleasant surprises from Mama Nature. It is December 9, just short of the winter solstice, and gray is the predominant sky color. But tucked between a shed and a fence, in company with trash bins, over arched by several trees, and getting little sunshine … Continue reading

Sweet and Sour

Sweet and Sour

The surprises keep coming. The Sweet – actual, edible cherries from our own tree! Based on what we saw in the grocery store, I think these are Rainier cherries. They certainly are sweet, and except that it takes a VERY long pole to get them down, they are accessible. Yum! The Sour – we planned … Continue reading

When Calla Lilies Attack

When Calla Lilies Attack

Seeing all the wonders of the garden this spring has been delightful, and one of the best surprises was the elegant calla lilies. There are two large and impressive groups of them along with several smaller offshoots that now dominate the front planting area. But yesterday I noticed a new and somewhat disturbing development. Scouts. … Continue reading

Made it! I think….

Made it! I think….

Today’s baking is done and – I think – successfully. The cranberry coffee cake? Just fine. Nice cake, good texture, not too sweet, with the cranberries for a bit of tart to offset the sweetness of the  brown sugar and cinnamon topping. Of course we had to test it – can’t run the risk of … Continue reading

Bake Time

Bake Time

It’s bake time tomorrow – making some goodies for an early morning seminar on Wednesday. The cranberry coffee cake I’ve made many times so I know it will be good. The challenge will be to duplicate those famously decadent Berger Cookies of Baltimore. Half cookie, half fudge, and totally addictive. With King Arthur’s help I’m … Continue reading

More garden gifts

More garden gifts

The garden here continues to give us beautiful surprises. For months I wondered what the clumps of large, rumpled-edge leaves out front would be. For the answer, think Katherine Hepburn: “The calla lilies are in bloom.” These exotic-looking flowers seem to have lost their way from some tropical home, but I’m glad they are here … Continue reading

Is it just me, or…

Is it just me, or…

…is technology turning some of us into whining little brats? This tirade was triggered by an item in today’s Shelf Awareness, a daily newsletter of publishing and bookselling news. This one small paragraph announces a new iPhone app called ShelfLook described this way by the iTunes store: “Do you hate turning your neck sideways to … Continue reading

The Northern Rain Forest

The Northern Rain Forest

Last weekend we felt it was finally safe to visit Mt. Hood and get a closer look at this dormant volcano that always surprises me. You’re driving along and, bam! there’s a white peak sticking up on the horizon. Turn a corner in downtown Portland and there it is. It’s many miles away, but on … Continue reading

Another nice garden surprise

Another nice garden surprise

One of the delights of being in a new place is seeing what comes up in the garden. Some plants are familiar, like the regal irises that are about to burst into bloom out front. But in the back there have been surprises like the gigantic fern nestled beneath the noble fir – clearly that … Continue reading

The Baking Itch

Do you ever get the itch to just “make something?” In my case, if that “something” is not jewelry, it is most likely a baked thing. Tomorrow I get a shipment from King Arthur (the baker’s store in Vermont – wonderful place!) that will include some espresso powder and silicone pie crust edge protectors. I … Continue reading