Thursday, February 22, 2018

A mid-winter trip across the country

After driving over 6500 miles in the past month, to a lot of the country, I have to say that we didn't experience the "crumbling infrastructure" of the country.  It appears to us that there is a LOT of road and bridge building all across the country.  My unofficial truck count is way up and things seem to be booming everywhere.

First stop, visiting my family in Los Angeles area.  Pretty area with lots of sunshine and an interesting little farm in the middle of the asphalt jungle.
Enjoyed a great visit with my sister and niece and family.
On to Georgia, where we enjoyed views every day from the house.

Sunrise in the morning. Wheel line over the peanut field outlined against the morning sun coming up. 
(East view)
  • Sunsets and lake views from the front of the house.

(West view)
We enjoyed watching the bass fishermen boiling up and down the lake on Saturdays for tournaments.  It sure felt like Spring!

Lots of blooms and warm sunny days made me anxious to get home and get the garden planted.  It was warming up nicely in Washington when we left in the middle of January, and I usually plant peas in February.
Then we took a trip to Florida and visited our good friends Patti and Fran where it felt like summer.  I was really ready to get home!
OK I get it - it's still winter.  Too many years without snow has left us expecting early springs every year.  The sun is shining, and it's beautiful, but it doesn't look like I'll be planting peas yet.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Back in the South

Every time we come back, we realize how much we love our Georgia property.  
Bright sunny days make 65 degrees seem just about perfect.
We had to shed our sweaters for our walk around the cotton and peanut fields.
Love watching the views on beautiful Lake Eufaula - boats, birds, and fishermen.
The view from my easy chair is nearly as good as the one from the patio.
Sadly, the time has come for us to part with this property.  The trip across the country takes five days of driving, and we are just getting too old for it.  We are hoping to find a buyer who will love it as much as we have, and who will take over our place in this neighborhood of great people.  For details, please check out our blog:

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Maggies Cookies, Chapter Two

I suppose I could take the time to figure out Blogger and how to place pictures, but after trying ALL of the menu links, it wasn't obvious, so I'm taking the lazy way. The recipe for the dough is in the last post.  Once the dough has been refrigerated, the fun part begins:
Dredge a large cutting board with powdered sugar and roll the dough multiple times until it is flat and less than 1/16th inch thick.  The more you roll powdered sugar into the dough, the flakier your cookies will be.
I use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into squares.  Then put about a teaspoonful of pineapple preserves and about a teaspoonful of chopped walnuts on each square.  (Note:  Pineapple preserves are hard to find so I make my own using 2 cans of crushed pineapple and 4 cups of sugar and one package of pectin - I make it ahead so it's ready when I make the cookies).

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
To be clear, these are NOT diet cookies, and not easy to make, but they are well worth the effort in my opinion.  I thought I had better share this recipe while I still can so the tradition can continue. 
Link to a short story about my recent spa experience.

Maggie's Cookies

 Every family has traditions.  Sixty-five years ago, a beautiful lady where we bought chickens and eggs, gave my Mom a cookie at Christmas when she made her weekly chicken trip.  The cookie was so good, that my Mom asked for the recipe, and the kind lady shared.  So Maggie's Cookies have become a family tradition.  Not a great great grandmother kind of thing, but a special tradition and a favorite Christmas cookie for my family.
To start, in a medium size mixing bowl, place 3 cups of flour, one tablespoon of dry yeast (original recipe calls for a yeast cake, but those are nearly impossible to find these days) and a pound of butter.
Work as for pie dough, until butter is in pea-size or smaller bits.
Crack 3 eggs into a measuring cup, and add enough milk to fill to the one cup line.  Add that to the flour mix, and mix well.


Cover and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.  (Can be stored in the fridge for several days).  Dough is ready -I'm going to have to do a new post for the actual cookie making as I can't seem to get Blogger to put the pictures in the right place - to be continued!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

All Better!

Look at that beautiful blue sky!  A rarity in December, we lucked out and were able to complete our roof repair while the sun was shining!
Having great supply people, and a wonderful contractor, took most of the anxiety out of the job.  Good weather really was a blessing! The day after they buttoned it all up, it started pouring rain again!
We had frost every morning, and I asked Keith, our roofer, "Which is worse, rain or frost?"  He said "Definitely rain! Especially on a metal roof!"

We still have a tiny bit of painting to do where the eave on the office broke. Repair is done and cleanup complete. So we start our new year with a new roof, and a new attitude - looking forward to good things in 2018!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Wind Storm at our House in the Forest

When we built our house two years ago, we debated taking out more trees.  I posed the question on Facebook about whether we should take out enough trees to make a good solar site for our south facing roof, and the tree huggers came out of the woodwork.  Partly because of that reaction from the general public, we left more trees than was prudent.  Last night we paid the price for that decision!
When we returned through a ferocious wind storm last night from an evening of playing cards with friends in Mt Vernon, we were happy when our motion sensor light came on and we knew we had power.  Then we noticed the tree that had fallen on the house.
As soon as it got light this morning, I went out and took pictures, and it didn't look much better in the light of day, but at least it hadn't leaked overnight.
The tree broke when it hit the house, and the top landed on the back side of the house.  At least it missed all three of our skylights!
A friend recommended Chad White, Evolution Tree Experts LLC,  (425 754-4196) and they were able to get out today to deal with the tree.  Chad arrived with a crew of five men, the sharpest chainsaws I have ever seen, a bucket truck, a chipper, and a powerful blower.  We can highly recommend this company!  They did a super job of getting all the branches, the tree itself, and all the debris removed without further harming the roof.  They even put a tarp over the four puncture holes that we discovered when the tree and debris were removed.
We ended up with a pile of firewood and a pile of woodchips that I will use to mulch my flower beds.
We have the Wayne Perrigoue, our builder, coming out in the morning to assess the structural and roof damage, so hopefully, it will soon be "like it never happened".

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Nurse Logs on My Morning Walk

When I went out on my walk today, I started to notice all the nurse logs and stumps and just how beautiful they are.
It makes me wonder what this area looked like to the original explorers who saw these massive trees before they became nurse stumps.
A long time ago I read that when Lewis and Clark saw the huge trees in the Pacific Northwest they assumed that the soil was very rich.  As you can see from the roots on this tree, they can cling to nearly anything and thrive.
As the stump rots, all kinds of little nooks and crannies are created to make habitat for little wild critters.
Eventually, the old tree is completely gone, and only the above ground roots show that it ever existed.
All the nurse logs, are also great for providing fun places for children to explore, play hide-n-seek,  and build forts.