Friday, August 26, 2011

Mmm mmm Good!

 I got to spend a whole day with Miss Puddin Toes  
 One of the fun things we did was bake a cake
Do you remember when chocolate was this guilt free?

Chocolate zucchini cake to be exact...this one is from my mom's recipe box.  It is still a family favorite!

 Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/2 c butter
1/2 c oil
1 3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c sour milk (you can add 1 tsp. of vinegar to milk)
2 1/2 c flour
1/3 c coco powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. of salt
2 c of shredded zucchini
1/2 bag of chocolate chips

Cream butter, oil, sugar, add eggs, milk & vanilla, blend in the rest of the ingredients.  Stir in zucchini and  2/3 of the chips in the batter, sprinkle the rest on top.  Bake 325 for 45 minutes or so.

This cake should be very moist and chocolatey mmmm.  The little bits of spice turns this one up a notch for me.  

It is amazing how doing such a simple thing with a four year old turns into such a special moment.  She helped me every step of the way, pouring in every ingredient and remarking on every scent.  My first grandchild is going to pre-school next week, and I am a little sad...oh how very silly of me  ;)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Perfect Summer Morning...for me =)

 A recently started Farmers Market on Friday mornings, smack dab in the middle of our little town.  After weeks of company, travel, and a few rest days.  I head out for a sunny summer morning at the market.
I started my day with my favorite iced latte...dbl. tall with one packet of raw sugar and a petite vanilla scone in front of one of my favorite shops.

Let's take a peek in the door way.  Now I am ready to spend my wad. 
Josh's veggie stand in Stillwater, Minnesota...if you happen to live there stop by and say hi from his Mom ;)

 I love shopping locally for all my fresh veggies and fruits.  Helping to support and sustain the local farmers.  My son is now farming himself this summer in Stillwater, Minnesota.  It is a long way from home and I think he misses his North Cascade mountains.

I got a batch of these last week and Miss P.T. and I made three kinds of strawberry jam...mmm
She was an amazing little helper...

We made freezer strawberry jam, cooked strawberry and peach jam, and a new one for me...stir only strawberry jam.
We are sporting all kinds of venders these days.  French Pastry girl
All sorts of veggies and flowers
these Donut Peaches are new for me

Several bread vendors, french cheese, local honey, even some meat guys

 There are crafters, and lavender ladies... even a guy from Nairobi comes and sells these incredible baskets, mine is on order.  I will show you when it is done =}
winemakers and grape seed oil guys right next door
Goat's milk is getting a little crazy around here!
Hope you all are enjoying your summer!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The French Room

 Dada...The French Room is done!  

This was my left over room.  When we moved into this home over 4 years ago, I was not sure what this
room was going to be.  In the original plans it was the dining room.  I closed off the walkway from the kitchen and put in a pantry instead.  I was pretty sure I would not need a formal dining room again.  I made the kitchen large and open to the great room and was trying to down size on every level.

So we put in some glass pocket french doors and thought perhaps a study, art studio, or a sitting room. All those idea's ran through our mind.  Maybe I would even miss a formal dinning room after all...

 It was too much at the time of construction to deal with it.  I put the whole function of this room on the back burner.  The only problem was I never figured it out.  So it became the left over room.  Left over with out design, purpose or function.  It was full of mostly my left over furniture.
 Some of you may remember this scene from our Thanksgiving over flow.  My sister was staying in here and she dubbed it "The French Room."  Notice my old burgundy wing back chair...ughh and a garden bench LOL!

The black secretarial was my first furniture purchase for the house.  My plan was to place it in the great room.  It didn't fit!!!! So it was put in the "left over room".

 I purchased the black book case, and my dad made the desk which was in the loft for Dan's study.  Then we had two summers of hip surgeries and well the desk came down stairs and the brown leather chair was purchased, TV placed on the bookcase and Dan settled in during his recovery.  The stairs were now out of the question for him.
 It bothered me because it was my last room to have completed and it was the first room people saw, and I frankly didn't know what I was going to do with it and didn't have any desire to figure it out.  So it sat.
My inspiration chair!
It sat and sat, until three weeks ago when I walked in to Real Deals with a friend from out of town (check out my sis's link)  I had no intention of purchasing a thing.  Then I saw this chair the second I walked through the door.   I knew immediately this was ment for my house and my left over room.

Now  I knew I had something.  The following week I was in Real Deals yet again with another friend from out of town and stumbled upon the little white chair that would be the perfect fit to complete my study/sitting room off my front hallway.  I was so excited when I got this piece home.  Later that night when my company left  I was up till 2:00 am rearranging, removing furniture, stealing things from other places in my home and came up with "The French Room."  I am extremely excited to be done. I think it is my favorite room in the house now.   I love how it all fell together with out all the hassel of a plan or the dreading ordeal of furniture shopping.
(yes I left one doily on the chair by accident when photographing)
The finishing touches were to plop three Elizabeth Goudge books in a random wire basket on my antique table from Regis, Idaho.  (Another Story)    I am pretty excited to be done!!!

Real Deals contributions: two chairs, pillow, candelabra, lace panel, large bejeweled candle, wall clock, and all the doodads on top of the secretarial.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Three Hour Drive

 Back to my first road trip of the summer...we left off here in West Seattle.  We are now on our way home.  A three + hour drive to the other side of the state.  What I wanted some of you to see was how different the west side of the state is compared to the east side where I reside.
 We are crossing over the Puget Sound from West Seattle heading east.  On the left as we are looking north you can see the harbor/port area with a distant view of down town Seattle.

This view is looking south toward Boeing and the airport, definitely the industrial end of the city.
 We are now on I-90 heading out of Seattle east toward home.  This area if full of evergreens everywhere you look.
 ...perhaps due to all the rain they get =)  The weather patterns are rain, and yet more rain.  To be in Seattle on a sunny day is indeed a treat.  We are maybe 30 minutes out of the city when this rain hit.
 Fifteen minutes later the rain is passed and we are getting a glimpse of the mountains we are heading over.
 1 hour and about 30 minutes later we are now at the top of the mountain pass Snowqualmie. On the right you can see the ski runs.
  As soon as we top the Cascades mountain range you can see a little peek of the sunshine to come in the  far distance =)
 We definitely know when we start to head down the other side of the pass.  The sun is shinning. We are now entering the central part of the state.
 Good by evergreens and rain!

 Hello lovely clouds and blue skies

 As we head over this ridge of hills/mountains without trees we are about 1 hour and 1/2 from home.
 If you look very closely in the middle of the horizon you can see one of our volcanic mountain peeks Mt. Adams.
 Heading into the Yakima Valley we see what irrigation has done for this largely arid region.
 Thanks to rivers like the Yakima and the Columbia irrigating this land has made it come alive.
 Oh yes, we are back in wine country!
 As you can see we are now 30 or so minutes from home.
 Notice (how can you not) the left side where the Yakima River and irrigation reign supreme water on the right side!

 Coming up to our exit!

Ah yes, home sweet home.  Maybe now it is understood why I love my garden so much!  I do need a bit of an oasis sanctuary in the middle of the desert.

I was thinking of Sara, Barbara, Vee and Melissa particularly when I was shooting this set of photos due to their various comments about my local terrain.    This is why it looks so different where I live =)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Woops...New Road Trip

view from my sister's house in Montana
I have been soooo busy cleaning, cooking and decorating around here!  Family from New Hampshire flew in last Thursday.

 We had a day for jet lag and then drove over to Montana...oh yeah like a little hop skip and a jump =/   In Montana we gathered at my sister's place with yet more family from Florida.  This was as close as we get to family reunions.
 Glacier National Park another hop skip and a jump LOL!

Logan's Pass
 Men heading off for serious hike up glacier

Women stayed at the bottom of the snowfield and enjoyed the scenery ...we were all wearing sandals =)
 Glacier Lilies
Morning boat ride on Lake McDonald

Cousins from Florida, New Hampshire, Montana, and Washington
I have a ton of photos from this trip.  The scenery was just amazing every where we looked.  This park deserves a week to begin to investigate it all.  I must go back for a third trip someday.  Truly a beautiful spot on the planet. 

We stayed at the Belton Chalet.  The first lodge built before they even started the park.  It was so charming and I was so exhausted I didn't even think to take a picture.  Check out the website if you want. Click Here  The food was amazing too!

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