Sunday, December 28, 2014

I've been scolded

Apparently there really are people who read this blog.
At least a few who wonder why I haven't posted for a month.  No excuse.

 We've been to at least nine concerts or performances by the local talent and countless dinners with friends.  Well, I could count, but who really cares?  It was a delightful Christmas in Sequim and now time to get ready for yet another celebration of the old year leaving and the new one popping in.  This will be only the second time in 41 years (for Al, only 28 for me) that we aren't involved in New Year's Eve at the restaurant.  
That seems to call for extra champagne, no doubt about it. Is today too early to get started? 

Okay, to make up for my absence (for those who noticed - the rest of you can stop reading now) here is my own personal method for making peppermint bark.  
Go buy the candy canes now when they are really cheap and you can make it all year 'round.  You can also use those round peppermint candies if you get a hankering long about July. 
 They are even louder in the food processor.

 Damn!  I can't get this picture moved to the bottom so here is the finished product.  So my New Year's resolution is to learn how to properly post photos on this frustrating machine.  Other people seem to do it easily.  How stupid am I?  Don't answer that.

 Before we get started, here is my new (to me) little Carmine.  I can park it anywhere, unlike driving that big honkin' truck which I can only park waaaay at the edge of the lot where I don't have to try to maneuver into a space. We had  fun bringing the Christmas tree home.  
Apparently some people didn't have mothers who told them it's not nice to point and laugh.
Some even took pictures.

 Okay, here we go.  Unwrap the candy canes, which is the most difficult part of the whole process.  Pulse in the food processor until the pieces are small.  Notice that I'm using the old dull blade because why would I want to use the brand new sharp blade for this?  Well, why?

Sift it through a colander to get rid of the bitsy pieces and the dust.  It will just turn everything pink.  But don't pitch it -  I've been told that it's really good on ice cream or stirred into hot chocolate.
 I've been told.

Semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips - milk chocolate isn't worth the effort in my world, but you might think differently about that.  Good.  Then we won't have to fight over it.

 Melt it in the microwave, one minute at a time, stirring between zaps until all the chunks are gone.

 Spread it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
 The offset spatula makes it easier to get it to the corners and edges.

 Equal amount of white chips.  Same thing, melt in the microwave, but watch carefully because the white melts faster than the dark.  It if goes over the edge, you'll just have a big ugly lump of cooked white chocolate.  Another trip to the store.  Don't ask how I know this.

 Spread the white stuff over the dark stuff.

 Swirl it around a bit, which will make it all stick nicely together.  Then sprinkle the peppermint pieces on and pat it in a little bit or it will just fall off when you cut it. (Now look at that stubborn picture at the top).  Slap it in the fridge to set for a little bit, then take it out and let it warm for about five minutes so it's easier to cut or break in pieces and get busy cleaning up all the sticky little bits of candy cane that have found their way into the strangest places.   

Happy New Year! 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Rainbows and Icicles and Yellow Roses

 This is what we saw on Thursday from the front porch while Julie, Robert and I were waiting for 
Barney Crocker to prepare our Thanksgiving feast.
 Not often that there is a full end-to-end rainbow.  This looks like the pot of gold might be in the bed of Tom Dually, but, alas, it really is in Dungeness Bay, probably in an abandoned crab pot.  

This is Saturday morning.  Looks like a twangy country western song waiting in the wings.  Something about my love froze on the branch and my heart turned to ice. 
 I'll get back to you on that as soon as my fiddle gets tuned.
 Out here so close to the water we have that sharp icy and snow, but seven miles away in town it was about two inches of fluffy playful snow.  The mountains look gorgeous with their new hats, but the roads are very slippery.  Beware the black ice.  

How lucky I am to have a warm and cozy Packer sideline jacket 
for my trek don the driveway for the morning paper.  Thank you, Nicole. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Tied Up In A Yarn

 It's truly Paradise.  The pot of gold appeared to be right over the pasture down the road. 
Probably disguised as a cow pie. 

 Yes, I know that I haven't been keeping up with the news.  Mostly because there hasn't been much and everyday life isn't as exciting for you to hear about as it is for us to live. 
 Well, unless your life is really, really dull. 
 There are the makings of a Quilt of Valor, which my friend Issie is teaching me to make for a vet.  I have so much to learn about accurate piecing and proper pressing.  It makes me appreciate even more the people who can perfectly match every little seam every time.

I have managed to clean out quite a bit of the yarn stash and get a few things on and off the needles.   They just look like blobs of knitting this way, but trust me - all of these cowls look much better looped around a neck, even a flabby flappy neck, than they do on the ground.  Trust me.  Really.

Yes, we have green grass now.  The brown is gone and the deer are happily munching away. 
  Except for the hunting thing.  They're not so thrilled about that. 
 This one is a deep rich emerald green in real life.  The color gremlins must have been in an impish mood.  Anybody know how to catch them?  Is there a tutorial? 
This is a ribbon yarn.  Fun and fast. 
This one, too. 

All of these are knitted in the very clever seamless Moebius process, with the twist built right in.  I'm sort of addicted to it now and must make more.  I'm going to sashay right out of here and find my way to the yarn shop.  Ssshh.  Don't tell.
But wait, there's more.  Two new ornaments to commemorate the Nicholas and Matthew's first visit to Canada.  The gremlins are back and won't let me rotate this one.  Twist your head way off to the right and say "ooh" a couple of times.  Good stitching, bad photography.  All the $$ I saved by designing and finishing them myself can be used for, you guessed it - yarn! 
 Or a new camera. Or computer lessons.  Or quilting lessons. Or chocolate.  

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Where did she go?

Well, first to Ashland, where we joined Gary and Helen for a few plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  A little bit of culture now and then is important to keep the Miss Holverson influence going.  The current drought left Emigrant Lake so low that the rowing crew had to carry their boats a long way to get a little bit of water.  Too bad the rain can't be more evenly distributed across the country, but then what would the weather people have to talk about?

 One day the bin of stitched needlepoint lugged itself to the table and hollered that it was time to get to gettin' and do something about that.  Since I'm way too cheap to pay big bucks to the finisher, I had to tackle it myself. This is just the top of the pile.  Ssshhh.  Don't tell Al, okay?
 Pillow in progress.

Who knows what these cute little things are?  I had to research all about Hardy Kiwi.  Yes, kiwi.  They look like grapes but taste like kiwi.  It's like biting into a surprise and the freezer is now crammed full of them.  Come on over. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The little balloon that could

I think I can. . 
 I think I can . . .
 I think I can . . . . 
 I did it!

We went to the Prosser (WA) balloon rally over the weekend with Bob and Laurel and somehow managed to get up and dressed at oh-dark-thirty to be there for lift-off of the twenty balloons, which the tricksters told us would happen around 6:30.  Now we know better, much better.  Around 8:00 - well, you know.   I don't often see sunrise so it was worth the lack of sleep and chill of the morning air. But next time we'll bring our chairs and warmer jackets. 
 And hotter coffee/tea.  And chocolate muffins.    

 The alpaca farm with babies.  These guys are two months, four months and six months. 

 Rodonnis kindly shared some of his fleece and now it's in my stash. 
 Of course they had spinners to show us how easy it is, but the spinning class I took - and failed, failed spectacularly - taught me why I pay extra to have somebody else spin it. 
 It's good for the economy, right? 
 Prosser is in Washington wine country, so we had to force ourselves to visit a few wineries.
It's good for the economy, right? 

Since we've settled nicely into Sequim we've been considering downsizing,
 maybe trading Homer for something a bit smaller.  Could this be the perfect solution?   

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Now it's Home!

Today the official Welcome Home act was completed.  Look!  
Too bad the score didn't reflect my shareholder pride and excitement, but, shucks, 
a little thing like losing can never tarnish the Cheesehead love.
 The deer were not quite as enthralled as hoped, but they are so accustomed to all the local team 12 banners around this neck of the woods that maybe they just don't know how to react.
 If only they would munch on the dandelions while we wait for the grass to get green again. 
 Not much of interest to chat about.  Al has been working on a garden cart and building window seat benches for the sun room.  There will be a follow-up report soon. 
 We've been in garden heaven with apples, pears, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.  If only we could grow chocolate bars. 
 I've just been lolling around, like always, waiting for the next meal.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Can he bake a chicken pie, Billy Boy?

 He can grow potatoes in buckets,

 He can bake those same potatoes,

 He can whip up a dynamite chicken pot pie,

 He can gussy up can the ubiquitous Billy bookcases so they look like they were built for the space.

(The empty space will have a TV, just as soon as it finds its way out of the box and hoists itself up on the shelf.  Maybe one of the DIY shows will do it while we aren't looking.)

And he can catch the morning dew on the roses.

Didn't I marry well?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Some Assembly Required

 No shit.  We made a trip to IKEA and came home with five boxes that couldn't possibly become bookcases.  Could they?  

 I have a guy who reads directions!  Well, with IKEA it's more looking at the pictures, but still.
(The bandage is the result of an encounter with a wild coyote dermatologist.)
 All five assembled but now there will be spacers and molding added. 
 I'll be back with an update in a few days.  

 Well.  Al has decided that he's going to garden with wood chips so found tree service guys who are eager to part with the results from their chippers.  The first guy left his loaded trailer and drove away.
 Not bad for 71, eh?
 Should we call this one "The Sweatshirt that Won't Die?"
 The second guy has a bigger truck that just dumped it and he was gone in about four minutes.  Better.  But now it still has to be hauled to the various gardens.  I'll let you know how that goes.  
 The final summer concert in the park featured the Northwest Navy Band.  Sailors!