Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday, Monday

FOR TODAY, September 24, 2012

Outside my overcast and dreary.  Rain is expected in the next couple of days.  We desperately need it.

I am thinking...that September is my favorite month and it's almost over.

I am thankful...for Facebook, as odd as that sounds.  It's so nice to keep in touch with family, especially my nieces:)

In the kitchen...a recipe for Scallops and Sweet Potatoes, from Glorious One Pot Meals is on the menu for tonight.

I am creating...a slip cover for a chair in the guest room.  Wish me luck.

I am try to find someone to re-cut a mirror to fit a sweet round frame that I have.

I am reading...The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Muhsin Hamid

I am looking forward to...the season premiere of Modern Family this week.

Around the house... Just finished vacuuming and cleaning the kitchen.  Son #1 is doing laundry, Son #2 just waking up (from graveyard shift), Hubs is making lunch:)

I am God's plans are always so different from our own. (Same as last week, but I need reminding of this)

A favorite quote for today... "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." ~~Annie Dillard

One of my favorite things...Bath & Bodywork's Japanese Cherry Blossom lotion.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  I'm attending the Women of Faith conference in Denver this Friday!

A picture for you...a flower shop in Sausalito.

I'm linking up with The Simple Woman's Daybook.  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Favorite Thing Saturday #4

I'm linking up with Claudia this morning for A Favorite Thing Saturday.  I love this idea of sharing our favorite things.  Claudia started this meme about a month ago, but this is my first time.  I enjoy hearing the stories behind people's treasures and I hope you'll enjoy mine as well.

This is my tea set from when I was a child.  It belonged to my mom and I remember the day she gave it to me to play with when I was about 7 years old. I was thrilled to be given a gift so beautiful and delicate, and it wasn't even my birthday or Christmas!  It had been given to Mom as a child but she never got to play with it because her mother was afraid she might break a piece.  By the time Grandma gave it to Mom, Mom was much too old to play with tea sets.  She told me to enjoy playing with it and not keep it on a shelf. I remember having tea parties underneath a tree in our backyard.  Sure enough, a piece or two was broken, but I had so much fun along the way.  One of the pieces that broke was the teapot, but I found another on Etsy not too long ago and it's a pretty good match, don't you think?

Share one of your favorite things by stopping by at Mockingbird Hill Cottage.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Favorite moments

I'm linking up with Susanne's Friday Fave Five!  Still relishing memories of the trip to California with Dan and my mother-in-law earlier this week.

1.  We got to help with some 'Backyard Wine Making'!  Everything from harvesting grapes, to crushing and pressing, and -- best of all -- sampling product;)  Here is Dan's sister Carol and her partner Sonia at the crushing and stemming machine.

2.  Sonia never ceases to amaze us with the fun stuff she comes up with for us to do.  One night we went to a brewery and got to try our hand at being artists -- Cocktails and Canvas was the theme.  It was a blast!

We all came home with finished paintings . . .

3.  Our day in Saulsalito was one of my favorites.  We had lunch at a restaurant called le Garage -- an old garage turned into a wonderful French cafe.  The food was delicious and the view was spectacular.  Here's a photo of Dan, his mom Sheila, and Carol.

4. We took the ferry from Saulsalito to San Francisco.  It was chilly and breezy and so much fun!

5.  A little more Backyard Wine Making, pressing the crushed grapes. . .

Carol with some of their finished product!

A glimpse of Carol and Sonia's back yard in Sacramento . . .

. . . including the vineyard.

Such a great time, making memories with some of my favorite people.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stinson Beach

Dan and I just returned from a trip to Sacramento to see his sister.  We took a drive to the beach one day.  It's been a good year, getting to both the east and west coast!  More pictures to come. . .

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A rainy day

Today has been the rainy day that we've all been anticipating with great longing.  It has been wonderful for the lawn and the garden. . . not so much for the dogs' paws and the kitchen floor.  When the dogs go out, before they come in again I must take them one at a time and wipe down paws.  They are all so patient, even George whose long toe nails tend to pick up every bit of mud he can find.

Ooey, gooey frosting
I had the house to myself today and got so much done.  Cleaned out three closets, made cinnamon rolls, took a cat nap, and received a nice, long letter in the mail.  I curled up in a comfy chair and read it while sipping a cup of coffee.

We'll be sure to have more hot days, but this little reprieve has been so nice.

 Lilly, waiting her turn to have her paws wiped.
 Yes, I realize she probably already wiped them on the chair cushion.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday, Monday

FOR TODAY, September 10, 2012

Outside my window...The street I live on is lively with kids walking to school, neighbors chatting and occasionally a car passing by.  The air is cool and the tree outside my window is beginning to turn color.  I love September.

I am thinking...about my long time friend who is celebrating a birthday today.  I think I'll surprise her with a phone call. . . we haven't acknowledged each other's birthdays in years, but I always think of her on this day.

I am thankful...that my husband has found a job that allows him to be home most of the time.  That  my days allow me to start out slowly with a second cup of coffee, time to write, and time to take in the beauty of the morning.

In the plan for the week includes Shrimp Scampi, Thai Peanut Pork in the crockpot, and lasagna rolls (I'll make a bunch and freeze some).

I am out clothes with Crocs.  Very attractive.

I am creating...a guest bedroom.  Painting furniture borrowed from other rooms in the house, dug through my box of linens for curtains and bedding, and framing some favorite photos. 

I am the dentist today:(

I am reading...The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I am looking forward to...a trip to see my sister-in-law this weekend.

Around the house...good grief, we are moving furniture again.  #1 Son is moving in with us for a month.  We cleared out a big area in the basement for his 'stuff'.

I am God's plans are always so different from our own.

A favorite quote for today...
"I merely took the energy it took to pout, and wrote some blues." 
Duke Ellington

One of my favorite things...writing letters.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  prepare for my trip. Finish the guest room.  Paint some other pieces while I'm at it.

A peek into my day...
when out of ideas, just put in a picture of the dogs...heaven knows, I have enough of them (pictures and dogs).  George will be staying with us for a month, too.  My yard will never look the same with a Springer Spaniel and a greyhound.  Abby (our sweet shepherd mix) looks at me as if to say, "Really?? Are ya nuts?"

I am linking up with The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New, improved pasta salad

Just when I thought I had found every variation of pasta salad in existence, I came across a fabulous new recipe.  I made it for a crowd that gathered at our house on Labor Day, and it was a hit.  The recipe is a variation of Pasta Salad Vinaigrette in a cookbook by the Assistance League of Santa Barbara.

Let me say that the main reason I'm reluctant to post a lot of recipes is that my pictures never  turn out that great.  And it's nice to have a photo to go along with the recipe, don't you agree?

So, just keepin' it real here.  .  .this is a photo of the not-quite-finished salad, because I forgot to take a picture when it was done. 

Here's my prep area, yep, I'm a messy cook.

Most importantly, here's the recipe. . . the only ingredient I had to buy, that I normally wouldn't have on hand, is the tarragon vinegar.  It was only a couple dollars though, and gave the salad a nice flavor.

8 ounces bow-tie pasta
Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
2 carrots, grated
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
11 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup diagonally cut snow peas
Red grape tomatoes (optional, but adds a nice color)
1/2 cup (or more) grated Parmesan cheese 

Cook the pasta according to the package directions; rinse and drain. Add the Vinaigrette, toss and coat.  Let cool.  Add the carrots, parsley, mushrooms and snow peas.  Add the cheese and toss.  Chill and serve.

1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup half & half
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Combine the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, egg and cream in a bowl and beat well.  Add salt and pepper, mustard and sugar and mix well.

Bon Appetit!