Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"Happy Holidays"

"Holiday Time"

I have been busy decorating the house and baking for the holiday. I have also done a bit of shopping.

The Martin has been enjoying the winter wonderland that has been popping up in the house.

"Rats you found me!"

"OK, I'll pose for you now. I'm so cute,don't know why you call me Brat"
"I sure am glad this isn't real snow." ..................."Now stop following me, I know I should not be up here. I can't wait for the Chrismas tree to come."

We don't have the tree yet, I think it will be very exciting as Martin

(AKA Brat) loves to climb so stay tuned will be, most likely bringing you pictures of him in the tree.
Have a great day


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Garden

Yesterday I spent the day out in the yard with my son and husband; we had a very productive day. We worked on a project that has needed to get done for the past two years. Due to some medical problems last summer the project got put on hold and we have been so busy this summer not had any time to work on it. Your are now asking what this project is, well we needed to finish off the retaining wall around the sand that was brought in a couple years ago to build up our patio we finished half of it by building a rock wall to hold the sand in place and covering the sand with pavers but then we ran out of summer so it was left to finish last year but I was laided up all summer so it was left again. To now to yesterday, no Monday night we were able to get some dirt from some friends so several tons of dirt got dumped on the lawn. So now to Wednesday morning up (not too early) and oh, Son was hungry and since he isn't home to often now I made us a nice breakfast. So well feed we headed out to the garden and stated moving dirt and rocks to build up one side of the patio. We used rail road ties on the others side and due to the slope of the yard did not have to retain the back side of the patio. The project was moving right along when,
Oh no,

we dug into the drainage pipe that drains the rain gutters so had to stop the momentum to fix that. But we got back on track and the walls went up and the dirt was moved. The dirt was leveled out this morning; well almost still have lots of leveling left to do and need to sow grass seed on the new dirt. It will sure be nice to have a level yard to mow, the rest of the dirt was pushed into the dip were we cut down some trees. So stay tune for more updates


Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Taste of Summer

Went out to the garden today and found we finally have a few larger tomatoes and an eggplant. We have been eating a few cherry tomatoes which are good but you just wait for the big ones to turn red. This summer has not been so great for the garden, to cool so it has set everything back a few weeks. The peppers really are hating it don't thinks we will get many. We also has some problems with a wood chuck, who kept getting in. He ate the cabbages, beans zucchini, and lettuce so I replanted them and they are coming along slowly.

I didn't think to get a picture of the eggplant before cutting it and breading it for eggplant parmesan. So here is the eggplant breaded and ready to fry can't wait. There are a two more within a couple of days of harvesting.

My herb are also doing well they have liked it this year, I made pesto Wednesday and still have lots of basil to use so will make up some more next week.

Hope your gardens are starting to produce.
There sure is nothing like having grown your own food.
Have a great Day!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009


July has been very cool this year. My flowers are loving it but we could use a little rain right now. This is a picture of the flower bed that was put in a couple years ago, it survived a year of neglect, you can see were I extended it this year, next year I will have to split some of the flowers as some of them are overtaking.

I have planted some mint next to the foundation of the house to hopefully it with take over since right now all that seems to grew there is creeping charley. You can see the nice patch of it growing already, I just love having the fresh mint on hand.

Here is the veggie garden, this was taken a couple weeks ago the tomatoes are taking over now, we have eaten a few cherry ones. The lager ones are taking their time. The peppers have been hating to cool weather and are not doing well, hopefully it will get a bit warmer and we will get some rain soon.

Well, hope you are having a great summer.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sunny Day

Well, school is just about done. I have 3 more days working there, but tomorrow I start my new job. I am going to be the baker for a new restaurant opening in Story City. I am getting very excited, can't wait to be creative again. The only draw back is that I will now have to change my sleeping habits, change for a night owl to a morning glory?
The Cafe is call the Old Opera Cafe http://www.theoldoperacafe.com/ the cafe is open for coffee right now and will be open for meals on the 1st of June.
Right now I am sitting our on my patio enjoying the sunny warm morning what a wonderful day.
Hoping your day is as great

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sunny Saturday

What a beautiful SUNNY Saturday.
Got up this morning made a pot of coffee, started a batch of bread, and cleaned out the deep freeze. I then got a call from my daughter to see if we were going to have coffee, "pick up a couple of donuts and come on over the coffees made." When she got here we took our coffee out to the patio to enjoy the sunshine. We then spent some time in the hot tub, as we where sitting there I saw a garter snake craw up the terrace (on the other side of the patio). When we got out he was still there eating a toad. I got a couple of good pictures it you don't want to see them don't look at the bottom of this blog.
I have been eating rhubarb and asparagus.

The spinach that I planted a couple of weeks ago is up, hopefully the rabbits won't get to it first.

Hope you are all having as nice as day as I am.


Now if you don't like snakes don't look any futher











Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I know it has been a bit since I have posted Life has gotten very busy lately. I am going to be starting a new job sometime is the next couple of weeks. I will be working at the Old Opera Cafe http://www.theoldoperacafe.com/ I am very excited to start on this new adventure.

Hope you all have a wonderful day the sun is shining on us today, the grass is getting greener by the minute what a great day.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Spring is just around the corner. It is almost 70 degrees and sunny today what a wonderful day. Now it is time to get the rake out and clear away the winter’s clutter.
My poor garden was much neglected last year. I had surgery in March that had some complications that were not resolved till August; it took several mo
nths to get back on my feet. So the garden was left on its own all last summer. I did get some flowers that came up on their own and had a couple of tomato a plant in the vegetable garden but that was all that got done.

One of the last things that did get finished last fall was they pile of wood we had got cut, split, loaded and taken to my parent’s home. The wood was from the trees that we cut the first year we lived in our house (we have lived here 5 ½ years) so it was time to get rid of it before it just rotted away. We had a nice warm fall day to cut it up but the day after was the first snow of the year and so the cleanup was left for the spring. Also my husband is a bit of a junk collector and the pile of wood hid it so now that needs to be sorted and put in a new hiding place.

Some of my goals this summer are to plant the rest of the north flowerbed, rebuild the terraces at the front of the house. I also want to work on getting the rest of the patio finished, I have to build a stone wall to hold the sand in place then find some black dirt to fill about 8”-12” deep. I plan to put a new herb bed in this area of the patio, it is closer to the kitchen then the bed I have right now.

These poor flamingos are hidden by the dry overgrown grass. This is where the patio need to be finished see the large rocks they need to be moved so I can start building the stone wall.

Stay tunned for the Spring clean up and the renewal of the garden.
Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day

Friday, February 27, 2009



I found a mouse in my house. I think he may be harmless.

This little mouse showed up in my house today. He is really cute and fun for my cat to play with. Our local welder really has an artistic hand. When the weather get better I will take a few pictures of his garden and show all the neat things he has made.

I am off to a class this weekend taught my Cindy Valentine. http://www.cindyvalentine.com/
She is a wonderful designer I am looking forward to a fun weekend spent with my stitching friends.
Have a good weekend!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mmmmmmm BREAD

I was shopping at Sam’s Club before Christmas and was browsing the book section. A book on bread called Beautiful Breads by Margaux Sky http://margauxskyfood.blogspot.com/ caught my eye. I am always on the lookout for a new bread idea this book had several intriguing looking breads, so in the cart it went (it was even on sale). When I got home I had a look through it and put it away so I could concentrate on Christmas baking. Christmas came and went we returned our Son to Chicago and things got back to normal.
The book was sitting there calling me. So I went to see if I had all the ingredients for the bread and I did. Out came the mixer and the bread was soon under way. Not only did I make the Peanut Butter-Chocolate Fudge Bread
but also the Horseradish Parmesan Bread, I substituted Assiago cheese for the parmesan because that is what I had on hand.
The smell of these breads baking was just wonderful and it was well worth all the trouble of making these breads.
We had one loaf of the horseradish-assiago for an appetizer and part of the second loaf with supper. We had the Chocolate Peanut butter for desert. The next day I used what was left of the Horseradish-Assiago for prime rib sandwiches with sautéed onions and peppers. We did not eat all of the peanut butter bread what was left was made into bread pudding which was to die for. There is one more recipe that I really want to try it is grape jelly bread so stay tuned it is not too far off in the future.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Well there is only a few minutes left of my birthday. I was a good day, a very busy day. I made lunch for a group that was meeting at the church, chicken noodle soup ( home made noodles), home made bread and assorted cookies, I also worked my kitchen job at school. My husband took me out for supper with some good friends at a local bar that makes the best pizza around.
So it was a fulfilling day.

This is what I got from my husband

Isn't he cute, he was made by a good friend and local welder and he doesn't get fur on anything but he is a little bit heavy and cold.

My daughter got me a ice cream cookbook and a sushi cookbook they should keep my busy checking out new recipes.

You all have a good evening and keep warm


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Romantic Valentine Dinner ?

Valentine’s night we decided not to go out this year, thought about getting a couple of good steaks but decided against that. There was a small pan of unbaked lasagna in the freezer that was made at Christmas time so out it came. There was also a bit of roman lettuce left in the fridge, I made a garlic dressing, (if you both eat it, it is ok) and a bit of assiago cheese for the top. And a good bottle of wine from a local winery Eagle City Winery http://eaglecitywinery.com/pages/ The lasagna came out of the freezer and we went to sit in the hot tub and enjoy the last of the afternoon sun. When we came in the lasagna went into the oven and I sat and helped Todd set up his Facebook account. The salad was made just as the Lasagna was finishing baking. We got our salads, OH we need something a bit romantic is there a candle to light? Luckily there is on in the candle holder Todd made me for Mother’s Day, matches? I remembered there is a lighter in the kitchen that is used to light the stove when it is being temperamental.
So the scene was set candle, wine, and good food. We then sat down with our meal Cops. That is what old married folk do sometimes for a Romantic evening.

We both enjoyed this evening because of the bad night we had for our anniversary. We went out to a restaurant and had poor service, mediocre food, just a bad night.
We ended the evening with Todd’s valentines present Coffee Ice Cream. I had made it Friday before he got home so he had no idea. I had put it in the freezer with his card thinking he would get some ice to put in a drink but he had a beer instead. He was surprised when I got it out and set it by him. We both had a bowl. I stopped at one serving but that was hard to do as it was really good. Todd did have a bit more, it was sure worth the effort to make it and the recipe will be one I make again. The recipe for this ice cream came from Simply Recipes

This does show that
Love does come from the Heart.

Hope you all had a very
“Happy Valentine’s Day”

Monday, February 9, 2009

A bit about me

Let me tell you a bit about me, I was born in Iowa moved around a bit as a child went to 5 different schools. I married a man from a neighboring town. We have been married happily for 26 years. He was in the Air Force for a bit over twenty years. We lived in Colorado, Okinawa Japan, England and Idaho before we moved back to Iowa. It is good to be near family after be away from them for so many years. We have two children a boy and girl both were born in Okinawa, they also when to English schools when we lived there.
I think we are now through with moving, we are leaving that up to our children. Our daughter lived in Idaho for a few years after we left then she moved to Iowa. Our son is now in the Navy we are hoping he will be stationed at some places we still want to visit.
I work in a school kitchen, part time but would like to do something a bit more challenging will see what the future holds. I love to do all kinds of crafts especial needle work and bobbin lace. I also make cards as you see in the last posting.
Well, that is all for now

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tea Bag Folding

I love to make handmade cards all thought I am terrible at sending them. I started to make card in England when I was invited by my best friend Jackie to a Woman’s Institute meeting and we were introduced to teabag folding and quilling. I also was introduced to Stitch-a-Line cards.

I already did some origami folding when we lived in Okinawa so moving to teabag folding was not a big stretch. Teabag folding was started in Holland by Tiny van der Plas
http://www.tinyvanderplas.com/startuk.htm she used the papers that tea bags came in to fold a medallion to add to a card. Now you are able to get the “tea bags” from many sited on the internet you can order pre printed sheet or print your own.
There are many ways to fold and combine papers so that one teabag will give you many interesting medallions.

Bye for now

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Thoughts of Summer

Boy is it cold here. Thought some pictures of summer flowers might warm me up. I was unable to do much with my flowers and garden this past summer due to some heath problems.

What I really missed was the fresh produce from the garden. Most of the flowers grew on their own this year with out tender love and care. I am hoping they survive this winter and give their best again this summer. I was able to have a few tomato plants it was nice to have fresh tomatos for BLT's. I am really hoping to have a nice veggie garden this summer. I found a really wonderful zucchini call Gadzukes it has a star like appearance when you cut them.

They don’t go mushy when fried as they are not a watery as other zucchini. I used them to make bread and butter pickles and a pickle relish. You can get the seeds from Cooks Garden http://www.cooksgarden.com/.

I hope you are keeping warm and have a nice day

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ultimate Brownies

Ohh, I made the most awesome brownies today to take to a Super Bowl Party. They are from the “Hershey’s Best Loved Recipes” cookbook. I have made several recipes from this book it is a good book to have around when you get that chocolate craving. You will need a glass of milk to drink when you eat these brownies.

Here is the recipe:
Ultimate Chocolate Brownies
¾ c. cocoa
½ tsp. baking soda
2/3 c. butter, melted and divided
½ c. boiling water
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 c. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt
1 c. chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease 13x9x2 inch baking pan
Stir together cocoa and baking soda in large bowl, stir in 1/3 c. butter. Add boiling water; stir until mixture thickens. Stir in sugar, eggs and remaining 1/3 c. butter stir until smooth.
Add flour, vanilla and salt; blend completely.
Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake 35-40min. until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan.
Cool and frost with chocolate butter cream icing.

Cocoa Butter Cream Icing
6 Tbsp. softened butter
2 2/3 powdered sugar
½ c. cocoa
4 – 6 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat butter in bowl add powdered sugar, cocoa and vanilla alternately with milk, beat till you have a spreading consistency.

There is a bit of story about this batch of brownies. Sometimes my head isn’t attached. I add a cup of water to the cocoa and had to double the batch but my daughter will be here later to help eat the second pan.

Have a great day and I hope your team wins the game .


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

wouldn't you know just start this blog and my computer craps out...... Trying to save pict and files not lots of fun will learn now to back everything up.
Hope your day is going better then mine.
Bye for now

Friday, January 23, 2009

My first Blog

Hi, well I have taken the plunge. I am not a good writer but thought having a blog would be a fun thing to do. I love to do all kinds of crafts and needlework and thought this would be a good way to share what I have been up to. I also love cooking and baking. I guess I will post this and see what happens. Hope you enjoy what I have to share