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Archive for August, 2007

I still have not figured out what this ‘mystery’ plant is. I do not even know where I got it. All I do know is that it is taking up a lot of room in the front of a bed – and if it doesn’t show me something pretty impressive, pretty soon – it will be relocated. At a good 2-1/2 feet high, and wide – it’s covering a lot of prime real estate.

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Below is a picture of one of the blossoms on the plant- it is beginning to open. So to what little I do know about this plant, you can add: I know it has pink petals.

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Does anyone have any ideas?

As for the HIATUS: our Toshiba needs to visit the computer doctor. It will no longer read or write our CD’s, and we’re fearful of losing all the pictures we’ve taken over the last year. I’ll be back in a few days. I hope.

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I’ve been Cookin’ here!

I’ve been pretty busy the last week or so. T’s brother came from El Paso to visit – for the first time in years and years and years. I had to get the yards, gardens, and house all spiffied up before he got here, of course. And then I cooked. Yeah, me.

My girlfriend and I went to one of the orchards last week, where we picked  fresh peaches. Ummmmm, so sweet, they melt in your mouth. (We got a lesson on how to pick, and how to carry peaches.) The woman who owns the orchard,  gave me a box of plums when we left – gave them to me! – because she didn’t have time to put them up. I came home and baked a peach crisp. Then got up the next morning and while T took his brother sight seeing, I made plum jelly.
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Years ago, I bought a ricer at a garage sale, just to make plum jelly, because I’m so lazy I don’t want to take the pits out of the plums. And I LOVE using the ricer. I washed and stemmed the plums, then boiled them 6 or 7 minutes, and poured them in the ricer. (Actually, I boiled three large pans of them.)  With the ricer, all the good juice comes right through, and the seeds and any pulp that didn’t cook down, stays right in the ricer. It was kind of fun making this jelly. Not that I’d want to do it for a living.

I still have rhubarb – and decided I wanted to make something with it- so dug this recipe out of my recipe box. I don’t know where I got it; I don’t think I’ve ever made it before this; but I know I will definitely make it again. (T won’t even TASTE it – does NOT like rhubarb. His loss.)
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Usually I don’t like making anything that has multiple steps to it. I’m your basic lazy cook. (My idea of baking is a recipe I have which is called “Dump Cake”. You ‘dump’ all the ingredients into the pan that you will bake it in, and stir it a little with one of the lids from the cans you’ve dumped in the pan. Oh yeah, that’s my kind of cookin’.)  The three step squares  looked easy, even though they had THREE steps – so I decided I was up to washing multiple bowls. Here’s the recipe in case you just need ONE more recipe for rhubarb!
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Yummy Rhubarb Bars 

Crust:  1 cup flour, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, 6 tablespoons butter

Filling: 1/4 cup flour, 1-1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 eggs, 3 cups diced rhubarb

Topping: 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/3 cup butter

Mix crust and press into bottom of 9 inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees or until light brown.

Mix filling ingredients and pour over partially baked crust.

Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle over filling.

Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until light golden brown.

(Yeah, yeah. I know. That rhubarb is sliced, not diced. And that pan is a rectangle, not a square. Just stop being so picky!)

While T’s brother was here, we picked our very own corn for dinner one night. And had our very own sliced tomatoes, and my very own squash casserole – that no one but me would eat! Oh well, more for me.
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We had a great visit. When T’s brother left, I went to my sister’s house, where I’ve spent the last three days helping her with a garage sale, and loading what was left. T and I took some things from her house to my son’s today, and then took a load to the dump. (One dump run won’t do it. The woman has way MORE stuff than will fit in her new condo!)

And now I am just TIRED. I’m going to curl up with my blankie, and my Sunday paper, and a cup of coffee – and not do another thing tonight. I’ll be visiting blogs and catching up – tomorrow.

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We are now the proud owners of a 20 foot, collapsible flag pole.  T installed a sleeve for the pole, in the front of our home, and puts our flag up each morning, and takes it down each evening.

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A local contractor originally put this very flag pole up, in the yard of the home that he built for his family. When both the contractor and his widow passed away, the contractor’s son sold their home to my sister, Caryl. Now Caryl is moving to a condo, and has given the flag pole to T. He is so grateful. He said that he has always coveted it.

You see, the contractor that first installed the flag pole at his home, was a Wake Island civilian survivor. He was working on Wake Island with 1, 146 other civilian contractors  in 1941, when the island was attacked. The civilians volunteered to fight side by side with the Marines, and were captured as POWs with the marines, and held until their liberation in 1945. Seventy civilians lost their lives at Wake Island, and twelve others were wounded during the battle. I understand the Wake Island civilian survivors are the only civilians that we ever given military benefits.

T comes from a family who had members who served in the armed forces. He also lost his younger brother in Viet Nam. And his son served in the Marines. Anything to do with the military, is very dear to T’s heart. Having this flag, that belonged to a Wake Island survivor, touches him deeply. And that touches me deeply.

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Do you know what this is?

This is a photo of my sedum, Autumn Joy, which shows it is beginning to get it’s color! 

I have one of these in the side yard, one in the front yard, and one in the secret garden. And all three of them are doing the same darned thing!

 Do you know what this means?

It means that autumn is on it’s way! I do not want it. I love my Autumn Joy, they are beautiful when they are in color, and left in the garden all winter, they add a nice accent. But, I am just not ready to see them begin to color.

I was going to say that this is my only plant that I DON’T anxiously await the blooming of – but that isn’t true. I also have an autumn clematis (purchased without knowing it was an autumn variety) and several mum plants, which herald the same change in season, by their blooms.

Actually, it isn’t just the color in my autumn bloomers that tells me a season change is on the way. After nearly six weeks of high 80s and low 90s, it has cooled off here on the hill. The last two mornings have been just a little nippy. And the last two evenings, I’ve put a flannel shirt on over my tank top when I went outside.

Oh, my. What’s a gardener girl to do? Keep gardening, I guess. After all, it isn’t here yet. And it was still in the high 70s today. And expected to get warmer again. (Relax, Jackie). And we always have some really hot weather in September – I’ll get more summer! But not enough. Never enough. 

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Alison (with one el) is passing along a meme, so I’ll play. But then that’s more than enough about ME and mine – and I’ll get back to the garden!

Eight Things You Don’t Know About Me

1. I couldn’t carry a tune if I had a bucket to put it in. Yet, I love to sing. And I’m not shy about it. I will sing anywhere, in front of anyone. Much to the dismay of my family members.

2. I am anal about colors matching. Whether it’s my clothes, or things in my home. T caught me yesterday, transferring facial tissue from a new box to an old one, because the new box did not match the colors in our bathroom. (The exception to this is my garden – where I love a riot of colors).

3. I do not care to watch sports. Any. At all. Not even ones being played by children. Boring. In situations where I must attend a sports event, I take a book. I read at car races, horse races, ball games, hockey games, you name it.

4. I have a sweet tooth. My diet consists of 67% sugar. I used to eat LOTS of chocolate, but since the onset of gallbladder problems several years ago, (which having my gall bladder removed did NOT cure) I’ve had to cut out all fat. Now I eat most ANY candy I can find that doesn’t have fat or nuts in it.

5. I do not find slapstick funny. I find it all even more boring than sports.

6. I cannot go to bed at night without reading for awhile first. No matter how late it is or how tired I am. If I don’t take time to read, I feel like there was no “me” time in my day.

7. I am nearsighted in one eye, and farsighted in the other. I have to wear one contact lens if I want to be able to see any distance. I don’t wear it because if I do, I have to then put on glasses to be able to read anything or see close things clearly. And that all drives me crazy. I never can find a pair of glasses, and usually don’t have any in a store when I’m trying to read a label – and I’m sure NOT going to wear glasses around my neck! – so I just do without glasses and contacts and function in a little dimmer world.

8. I’m still afraid of the dark. Well, actually, what I am afraid of is what might come out of the dark.

I’m not much on tagging people (still smacks of picking teams in grade school) so just feel free to play if you have the time or inclination.

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Then…and now.

My blogger buddy, Dave, has posted ‘then and now’ photos – click here to see Dave’s photos from 1972, and today.

Dave said that the ball was in my court, and I told him I’d get some pictures posted soon. Well, this was easy…since it seems to be the ‘summer of the sisters’, we already had this old picture on the computer (not many are and I don’t have a scanner).

Here is a picture of my three sisters and me, taken June of 1980.  From left to right: Jean, Jackie, Caryl, Charlene(Quilldancer)     

                                                 THEN
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And another picture of my three sisters and me, taken July of 2007.  From left to right: Caryl, Jackie, Jean, Charlene                                    

                                                        NOW
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Now how about you? Do you want to  share your ‘then and now’?

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What a great trip. My sister (Caryl) and I took I-90 West to I-5 and then into Anacortes, Washington. There we drove aboard a ferry and went to visit our sister (Charlene) at Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands, and meet her beau, Charlie. I was so excited to be visiting the islands – I’d never been – and living in the Northwest, of course you hear alot of people talk about the San Juan Islands. I know now, why they do. It is just breath-taking country. Here’s the ferry with Mt. Baker in the background.

 

Charlene and Charlie live, temporarily, in staff housing on the UofW Biology Preserve. OC has a PhD in Biology and is there teaching a seven week course to graduate  students. (Believe me, anything you want to know about marine life, or the life on marine life – he’s your man.)  We had a wonderful time while we were there, drove around the island, walked to the point at sunset to listen to Charlie play his trumpet, and just visited. I took this picture of a ferry coming into Friday Harbor while we were at the point. And took this picture as we were driving around, learning a little about the island. Charlene and Charlie had an extra bedroom for Caryl and me to stay in, so we were fortunate enough to spend a couple of days in the ‘wilds’. The biology preserve is a bit primative, unpaved roads/paths to the housing, and is home to many small animals… we saw black tail deer, racoons, and many birds. Charlie’s friend, Paul, who also teaches, is a bird lover.  When I mentioned that I saw some birds which looked like Juncos, only smaller, Paul said they were Juncos – and led me to this sight where mama was taking care of her babies under a rock. Paul had watched her build her nest, tend her eggs, and was now watching the little ones being fed. When Caryl and I left Anacortes, we decided to drive highway 20 over the North Cascade Mountains, and stop at our sister Jean’s house in Twisp, Washington. More beautiful country! I always feel blessed to live in the Northwest.

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