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I feel just like Betty Crocker this morning! I have tomatoes roasting/drying in the oven on cookie sheets. I have one pan on the stove, in which is simmering my very own pears for preserves. (Or maybe pear compote if it doesn’t set correctly). And a second large pan is simmering one of T’s favorite meals: german sausage, green beans, onion, and new potatoes. I’m way too busy to blog, so as Miss Kitty was tagged by Creekhiker, and still owes Holly a post, I’ll let Miss Kitty take it from here.

                     8 Things You Don’t Know About Me, by Miss Kitty

1. The two legged people I live with think that I love them. (Do not tell them, but if it wasn’t for the food, the petting, and getting them to open the entrance/exit into the warm place with food, I wouldn’t care about them one way or another.)  DSCN5879

2. If I have to use a litter box, I will only use one end of it. Ever.

3. I will NOT eat out of my bowl if the bottom of the bowl is visable. (Even if there is plenty of food on the sides.)

4. I am a very smart feline and excellent trainer. (Note that it did not take me long at all, to train the two legged people to know the differences between meows for food, treats, or exercising the entrance/exit options.)

5. I am also an excellent subject to train….I never enter the room the two legged people sleep in. (I will sit in the door and call them if I need them.)

6. I will not sleep outdoors in the winter, nor will I sleep indoors in the summer.

7. I absolutely refuse to be ‘walked’ on a leash. (I will endure a ‘drag’ to a warm, sunny spot where I will nap in nature.) DSCN8187

8. I come from a long line of royalty. Note the Ashanti stool I nap on when inside, and the fact that I will eat only the front half of mice. (The tail half is to be left near the door for the two legged people to step on.) Img2744

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m a little busy too. I’m always behind in my ZZZZZZZs. Meow.

Home from Coulee.

We’re home from our Coulee Corridor trip. We had a great time. My sister, Caryl, went with us, and my sister, Jean, came down from Twisp to stay with us. Four adults made for a pretty full motor home. As kids, we were used to being packed one on top of the other, so we do pretty well in small spaces. I think it may be a little harder on T, but he’s a good sport when it comes to ‘family’.

This is Steamboat Rock State Park, where we stayed. Can you see our motor home over there in the trees?
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And this is our site at the park, and our view. Lovely, isn’t it?
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This little guy came to visit us every day. I felt sorry for him – as he only has one ‘foot’ – so I kept feeding him, even though you aren’t supposed to. However, the camp host told me that she was feeding him, too! When we’d watch him fly off, it didn’t appear that he had any trouble with balance. I do wonder what happened to him.
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Steamboat Rock is on Banks Lake, which is a 31 mile long reservoir, filled by the Bureau of Reclamation in the 1950s to provide irrigation water to the Columbia Basin.  We love the beauty and history of the Grand Coulee area.

The Grand Coulee Dam dwarfs the Great Pyramids of Egypt and generates more power than a million locamotives. It is an engineering wonder, and also the country’s largest hydroelectric project. You can tour the dam, watch the laser light show at night, and even go inside to see the largest hydro-electric units in the nation. They have a great visitor’s center with all the area information you could want.

Here we are standing in front of the Dry Falls at the Interpretive Center. Dry Falls is truely awesome.
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Ten to fifteen million years ago, volcanic eruptions began to occur and many layers of lava flowed over the basin forming the Columbia Plateau. Approximately two million years ago, the Ice Ages began. During the last Ice Age, approximately 10,000 years ago, an ice dam holding the waters of Lake Missoula (Montana) broke and massive floods swept from Montana to the ocean. The water and ice, moving at speeds of up to 65 miles an hour had a rate of flow that was 10 times the combined flow of all the rivers in the world! Doesn’t that blow your mind? The floods carved out more than 50 cubic miles of earth, creating new landforms, and carrying most of it far out into the Pacific Ocean. This forever changed the face of the Northwest (Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon). Scientists estimate the flood waters were 400 feet at this point where it eroded the canyon. However, with the massive amount of water moving, it would have hardly looked like the water dipped at all, as it went over the falls. Dry Falls is 3.5 miles wide. In comparison, Niagara Falls is one mile wide with a 165 foot drop. It’s mind-boggling.

This is Northrup Canyon – there are so many beautiful roads in the area.
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We also spent a little time at the casino – where we donated some funds – and spent a lot of time just visiting. And Caryl turned me onto my newest obsession:
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I never had any interest in trying Sudoku, but Caryl had a book and started showing me what she was doing. I watched her for awhile, then when she put her book down, I ripped a page out of it and did the puzzles on each side. And I was hooked. We had to go to town so I could buy my OWN book, and I’ve hardly put it down since. It is WAY addictive. Bought one yesterday to keep in the car.

And now I have to get outside and get my yard and gardens cleaned back up – so I can catch up on my blogs!

I saw these beautiful, big, white blooms beside a house where I stopped at a garage sale last year. The woman who was having the sale did not know what kind of plant it was, but she said that it “spread like crazy” and that she couldn’t kill it. I asked if I could take one of the seed pods from the plant. She not only told me to help myself, she said that if the seeds didn’t grow, I could come back and dig up some plants in the spring. I was able to identify them as Angel Trumpets by going through my garden books. Don’t you just love that name?

I started the seeds inside, and transplanted them when they were a couple inches tall. It has taken them all summer to get to this height, and to finally bloom.

This first picture is of the blossom just before it opens.
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And this one is of the fully opened blossom.Img4593

Img4652 And this final photo is of the whole plant – which began as three plants – planted too close together. Obviously. I just love them! The blossom only lasts a few days – but then another is open.

 As for us ‘blowing’ -we’re out of here again! We loaded the motor home last night and are leaving today to spend four days at a state park which is a couple hundred miles Northwest of us. We stay there on the lake for a few days every summer. My sister, Caryl, is going to come with us, and my sister, Jean, who lives about 200 miles from there, will come down. It’ll be fun to spend some more time together. When we leave to go South for the winter, it’ll be a long time before I see them again. I’ll be back with pictures! 

Hello, September!

Where did August go? The time really wasn’t flying by, though, as we waited for our computer to be repaired. When we left it with Mr. Repairman he told us “you’ll have it back in two to five business days”. Well, let me tell you, he counts a little differently than we do. It’s been a total of ten days – and they were long days. You know how it goes – if you don’t have it – of course, you absolutely, positively NEED it NOW. (After all, we have banking to do, and things to research, and people to ‘touch’.) Not to mention that I am so far behind on blogs that I’ll have to sit here for three days to catch up! We have a desktop Gateway, but somehow lost the power cord for it in the house cleanup done when we came back this last spring, so it wasn’t operable either. We did order a new power cord from Gateway – which arrived the same day our laptop was repaired!

Our Toshiba laptop is a great machine- but it quit reading and writing CDs. I was so afraid of losing a years worth of pictures before I could get them downloaded. And the power cord would sometimes stop working and use up the laptop batteries. What a surprise – three years later – we were still under warranty and the repairs didn’t cost a thing. Well, except for the cost of the external hard drive we purchased so that all our pictures, documents, etc. could be downloaded and then reloaded after our laptop was restored. We lost a lot of software that has to be reloaded now – and that is such a pain.

After our little touch of autumn in the air, the weather turned lovely again, and I’ve been enjoying the yards and garden. I love to ‘piddle’ (as T calls it) with my yard and gardens. Sometimes when I’m out there, I’m not even working – except in my mind, where I have reworked some of my flower beds, decided where to move plants, etc., and now all that’s left is to decide whether I’ll do the actual work this fall, or wait until next spring. Guess I’ll see how the weather is and play it by ear.

I’m still loving my peas – eating them every day. I don’t remember ever having them this late in the season before. Am anxiously awaiting my very own spaghetti squash now. I’ve still got green peppers, onions and beans. AND lots and lots of tomatoes! After thinking my tomatoes would NEVER get red, and envying everyone who was posting pictures of red tomatoes – now there are so many ripe tomatoes every day that I am giving them away like crazy. Yesterday I decided I’d make my own ‘stewed tomatoes’ and freeze them. I chopped up about a dozen tomatoes, three of my green peppers, and some of the onions. I threw in garlic salt, salt and pepper, and Italian spices, and boiled it all. It looked so good and I just wanted to eat it – so I took the juice off of it and threw in some cut up chicken I had cooked. I chopped up a bunch of left over angel hair pasta I had cooked the night before for T’s spaghetti, and threw it in. I sprinkled it all with parmasan cheese, and it was DELICIOUS. And I have left overs and will eat it again tomorrow – I’m happy.

We took my son, his wife, and the four grandbabies to the museum down town to see “A T. Rex Named Sue”, as the exhibit was only here for the summer and is now on its way to Alaska. “Sue” is the most complete , best preserved, T. rex fossil ever found. It’s pretty amazing. Besides the life size cast, there were many interactives. And even a small room where the little ones could dress up in T. rex costumes. I don’t know who enjoyed it most – the kids, or Terry.
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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.

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.