Thursday, December 25, 2014

A "must have" for your tree

If you are like Retired Mountain Man, you must have one of these as an ornament on the Christmas Tree.  Ever since he captured a photo of Bigfoot on his game camera, he has become a Sasquatch fan.  Thanks to David and Julie for supporting his fascination with the Big Guy.

It has reminded me of the Bigfoot Board Game that Jamie and David used to have when they were kids.   We had it for years. They don't make board games like they used to.

Retroist Blog

There was also a TV series in the 80's called Harry and the Hendersons.  It was kind of goofy but we loved it.

Be careful when you are out there in the woods.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

It's snowing! Yay!

Jingle Bells., jingle bells, jingle all the way!  Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh!   Oh what fun it is ride on my sled down the hill on Old Cougar Road.  

The last line was not very lyrical, but we may have sledding on New Year's Eve.  

Ho, Ho, Ho!   Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

For medicinal purpose only...

...a little something to help us out at the end of the day, Connie's Plum Slivovitz, which is a plum schnapps or brandy.  I spent a couple of days filtering the liqueur and when I was finished I had two gallons of boozy plums.   I couldn't just throw them on the compost pile.  I decided that they would be good in a cake or bread.

The result:  Connie's Boozy Plum Bread

Yes, it is yummy. 

And for medicinal purpose only:  Connie's Plum Liqueur or Plum Slivovitz.  The Slivovitz has aged with cinnamon sticks in the liqueur.  Either one of them is very good for relief of your aches and pains at the end of the day.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Our Christmas Gift

Santa brought us our wish - our good friends and neighbors, Ann and Neil, flew home from Rochester today.   We are so happy to see them.   This is the best Christmas ever!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2014


When you have to drive 75 miles to see a root canal specialist for a consultation you know that your pocketbook is in a lot of trouble.  Especially when you use the bathroom and it looks like something from House Beautiful.

Contemporary Bathroom by Brooklyn Architects & Building Designers Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture

Of course there wasn't a shower, but the rest of it was really nice.  The sink was a very beautiful round bowl and the faucet was one of those that you need to figure out how it might work to get water out of it to rinse your hands.  Let's see, do I pull, push, lift up, push a button, say the word "rinse" .........?   When I was young, my parents never told me anything about the fact that I should seriously consider marrying a dentist.....

How did the consultation go, you might ask?  Unfortunately, I found out that I will need surgery to repair the old root canal that is failing.  In addition to that, the dentist discovered that the nerves in the adjacent tooth are also dying and it will need a root canal.  The surgical procedure scheduled for Jan. 19th looms in my future.....Ouch!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

To bake or not to bake? That is the question.

My Christmas presents from Retired Mountain Man arrived early.   A new Gibson acoustic guitar and a new apron.  They are both beautiful gifts.

Maybe you can help me answer the question.  Should I bake Christmas cookies or play the guitar?

 I am going to have a glass of my 2014 white wine while I ponder the question.  I used the wine thief to siphon some out of the carboy to test it for the first time yesterday.  It is starting to taste good and is already clearing.  The two red wines are still quite cloudy and more acidic.  It always takes more time for the red wine.

As for Christmas morning, I plan to serenade Retired Mountain Man with my rendition of "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer".  It's Karma you know.  The gift that keeps on coming back to you.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

I have been looking...

....for our Christmas tree.  I've walked up and down the mountainside trying to find the perfect one.   It's an easy hike this year because there's no snow.  After an hour of hiking around looking for one I have decided that maybe my tree should have a Hawaiian or tropical theme this year especially since we are experiencing what's known as the Pineapple Express in the weather world.  For those of us in the Pacific Northwest that means, rain.  Rain and more rain.

What do you think of just getting a palm tree and adding some lights?

I can buy one at Walmart, Target or JC Penny..... How easy is that?  It would take up less room and be easy to set up and take down.  I could bake a ham for Christmas dinner with pineapple slices on it.  I think I might have a pink flamingo somewhere.  You know, one of those yard decorations.

Our New Year's Eve Party could look like this.  It's time to "break out of the box" people.

Mele Kalikimaka!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Give a man a camera....

....that would be his first camera, at age 5 and see what he takes photos of.  It was so much fun to watch him giggle as he took the photos.  I only had to show him how to review his photos once.   Yes, kids learn all that tech stuff so quickly.

his feet

of course, his belly button

his airplane

and of course, his first selfies...

He loved the upside down photo....

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Warning! This is a good reason for not cleaning your oven before you bake the pies and the turkey for Thanksgiving.

It has nothing to do with the fact that I will bake pies and they will automatically overrun into the bottom of my clean oven.  Nope.

It seemed like such a simple task.  All I had to do was wipe out the ash put the rack back in the oven, but somehow with a very small move, I broke a blood vessel in my index finger.  It is now swollen and doesn't really move quite right.

There will be limited keyboard playing at our practice session today.

On the positive front, the stairway light has been replaced thanks to David and Retired Mountain Man.  All you need is your metal tool box on the stairway step to stand on (if you are tall, as in David) and some of those Q-tip skills.   See blog from 2012 regarding guys with skills, and the movie Six Days and Seven Nights.

Finally, I sliced the last ripe tomato from my garden for 2014.

 There were so many tomatoes and I loved sharing them with everyone and was sooo happy to do that, but when your are down to your last one, and you know you are faced with store bought, hard as a rock, not ripe tomatoes for the next six months........the last one is to be savored and cherished.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The next problem to solve.....

......would be our light fixture in the stairway to the basement.  It's very dark to walk down without a light and the it's not just the light bulb but the fixture itself that has to be removed and replaced with a new one.   The the big question is, how are we going to be able to reach it to replace it?

The basement is probably one of the most important places in the house.  It's where my guest room is, the second bathroom, the root cellar where I store all of my canned goods, our wine cellar, the furnace/wood room and the place where I have have my indoor lights so that I can start all of my veggies and flowers for the garden.

It's the spot where Retired Mountain Man, also known as the Dahlia King, works on dividing his dahlias, labeling them all and putting them in Styrofoam containers with perlite to store for the winter.  We store them in the root cellar area of the basement.

Yes, these tubers turn into this in the summer.   Dahlias are floral perfection.


April Dawn, my favorite.

(I am avoiding the problem for as long as I can)

I also have my begonia bulbs drying to get ready for storage and soon I will start some lettuce under my lights.

(What was I talking about at the beginning of this blog?)

It's also the place where Ann and I always make our Christmas wreathes and bouquets.  We haul in boughs with our sleds and stack them on top of the firewood.  Then we spend several days creating our wreaths to decorate and give as gifts.

I searched for photos of all the Christmas Wreathes we make and I couldn't find any.  I know I have some, but these will have to do.  I made these from dried flowers from my garden and some of the flowers I dried from David and Julie's wedding.  The red wreathe is Melissa's and the blue one is Julie's.

Last but not least, the basement is also the music room.  I can't begin to say how many hours of fun we have spent playing music every Sunday in our "studio".

(Oh yes, the next problem.....)

So, how do we reach that light fixture without someone falling down the basement stairs?  
It's dark down there.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Yes, I said I would do it....

It's only been 14 months since I took all the things off of the wall in my upstairs bathroom and said that I was going to paint it.  It definitely needed to be done.

I have no excuse except that I hate painting, house painting that is.  I like to paint with watercolors.  That is fun.

I couldn't paint it because it was the holidays, because it was winter, because I was busy with band practice, because it was spring, because it was summer, I was still busy with band practice......

I finally have everything taped and ready to go for the paint.  It is noon.

Retired Mountain Man has been very worried ever since I came home with the paint from Home Depot.  It has upset his routine and he has had to use the downstairs bathroom all day.

His misery will soon be over as coat # 1 has finally been applied.  It is 3:30 p.m.  I only had to make one trip to Clark Fork for more supplies.

Fortunately for Retired Mountain Man, I do not wish to have the latest trend in kitchens and baths, such as stainless steel appliances and marble or granite countertops, etc.  As you can see it looks pretty much the same.  I am not into colors on the walls.  I like white or soft white.  I like white appliances, white countertops and white walls.

Keep it simple.

I plan to start coat # 2 at 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I've reached the end!

I am finally finished.  Done!  Kaput!   It's over!  I don't want to do anymore of it.

The 2014 canning, freezing and preserving season is over.  

The tally:  

7 jars of Pear Maraschino Jam
9 jars of Chai Spicy Plum Jam with Hazelnuts
9 jars of Chai Spicy Plum Jam with Pecans
12 pints of grape jelly
8  jars of white grape jelly
7 jars of huckleberry jelly
3 gallons of plum liqueur
2 gallons of Slivovitz  (plum brandy)
8 quarts of dill pickles
16 jars of hot peppers
52 pints of salsa
6 quarts of dilly beans
12 pints of freezer broccoli
6 pints of cauliflower
15 pints of sweet corn
6 pints of beets
1 gallon of jalapeno peppers
1 gallon bag of ancho peppers
2 gallon bags of green bell peppers
2 quarts of roasted tomatoes
4 containers of tomato soup base
15 pounds of carrots in the crisper
37 onions hung up in the root cellar
5 pounds of shallots stored in the pantry
2 dryers of Oyster Mushrooms

And last but not least, the wine is started and fermenting in the vats.  


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

2014 will turn out to be a great wine.

The red wine in the vat with the wine yeasties working away.  Our 2014 wine is on its way.

Thank you grape arbor.