Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Hello my friends!  It's the day after our big family dinner and we're relaxing in our easy chairs and watching "Wall-E" on TV.  I have a feeling of well-being and happiness -- and thankfulness for our home, family and so many other things.  Yesterday we began the day with coffee and an English muffin, then I set the table.  Dayle had gotten up early and made the bread, vegetable and sage dressing and the turkey was roasting in the oven making the house smell wonderful.  

This is our second year of having our turkey dishes and I just love them.  And at the grand old age of 65 years I finally got some some sterling silver flatware after wishing for some for a long time.  The crystal goblets we'd given to Dayle's parents for Christmas and when his siblings went through their home after they'd moved into assisted living, we found the goblets in the basement in their original box.. never used.  But we use them!

Funny story - I was reading one of my blogs - Red Gate Farm - a few years ago and Chris had found a plate in a thrift store and used it in her decor.  I fell in love with it and started looking for some and found a set on eBay.  So, I thank Chris for our dishes.  :-)

Dayle put butter and herbs under the skin, rosemary, thyme and sage.  It makes for a less attractive roast turkey, but it sure does taste good!  We had a 22 lb. bird, a gift from Kristi's mother, wasn't that nice of her?

I had hoped to set up a tripod so I could be in the photo, but in the spirit of having the food while it was HOT.. I snapped this with my iPhone.  All photos in the post were done with my iPhone 6S - both batteries for my Lumix camera were dead.  :-)  Good planning.. not!

One quick snap of the rest of the menu before we dug in.  Dressing, mashed potatoes whipped with half-and-half, home-made cranberry sauce made with fresh cranberries and orange marmalade, candied yams from scratch with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, pecans and mini-marshmallows on top, corn casserole made with whole corn, creamed corn, cornbread mix, egg and sour cream, green bean casserole with French fried onions on top and scissor rolls and butter.  Someone asked what "scissor rolls" are - they are just a long loaf of bread, but snipped on the sides so they look like individual rolls when pulled apart.  We had sparkling cider of apple and berry/apple blend.  Folks, everything was delicious and it was a feast of feasts!  The kids were all very appreciative - Caleb said he could eat the whole bowl of cranberry sauce - he helped grandpa make it the day before.

Num num num.  :-)

We all ate to our heart's content and then retired to the family room to visit.  I started to clear the table and Kristi shooed us all out of the dining room and said she'd clear the table, put away the food and load the dishwasher!  What a good DIL!  Then she made whipped cream from scratch and served us her homemade pumpkin pie - with homemade crust, too!  And it was delicious!

My sister texted me night before last and asked me if I'd seen the moon.  So, I went out and snapped this image of it.  Having the sky clear for a moon shot is pretty neat this time of year.  

And so.. I want to say thanks for my family and friends.. and you my dear readers for visiting and for the sweet comments you leave for me.    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)  

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Simba's Cozy Corner

Our little farm kitty that we've adopted is doing better each day with the food that our DIL Kristi gives him many times a day!  We had a naming contest here on my blog and I asked Kristi to pick the name and she chose Simba.  So, that is what we call him.  I was worried that he would get cold in this windy weather so I found a "kitty igloo" bed for him on Amazon.  It arrived yesterday.  Kristi put it in the chair where he's been sleeping and we were so happy when he leaped right into the new bed.  I asked Kristi to try and get a photo of him in the bed to show you.. and asked if she'd get a photo of the bed.. and that I'd give her 5 gold stars if she managed to get a shot of Simba IN the bed.  :-)

She had to stand way back and act casual and quiet so as not to scare him away.  He had a snack.. curled up in the sun by the door into the craft studio... 

.. then he jumped right up into his cozy new bed and enjoyed the warmth of the sunshine.  :-)  When Kristi came in she told me she'd earned 10 gold stars!  Maybe even 20!  I think she did.. what do you think?

This was the shot she got last night with her phone as he got used to his new nest.  Isn't he cute?  Kinda looks like a photo bomber.  :-)

I've been enjoying seeing the Christmas cactus in bloom on many of my blog friend's posts.. this is my "zygote" pot.  I had 4 small plants but they all needed re-potted, so I decided to go big and bought this large pot and planted them all in it.  It's looking good and growing, but not one bud can be seen.  It may be putting all it's energy into growing roots and branches.  We'll see.  It's got a lovely place in the bay window behind our easy chairs in the den with light all day.  One of the plants in the pot is one I rescued from my mother's room before she passed away.  I cherish it.

I converted Kristi's swan image into a watercolor using the Waterlogue app.  It think it tuned out kind of pretty.

We went shopping for the supplies to make our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday.  I picked out the most beautiful yams for from scratch candied yams and Russet potatoes for the mashed potatoes.  Dayle picked out the onions, celery and parsley for his homemade stuffing.  The 22 lb. turkey is ready in the fridge for morning.  He got fresh sage and rosemary to put with butter under the skin for roasting.  We got green beans and French fried onions for the green bean casserole and corn and sour cream for the corn casserole.  And 2 dozen scissor rolls.  I'll make the side dishes and gravy, Dayle does the turkey and dressing.  

So.. Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate.. and for those who don't, you might want to give a thought to taking a few moments tomorrow to give thanks for all that you have.  I'll post some photos of the day on Friday.

((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Swans, Scarves and Simba

A few weeks ago when we drove to Multnomah Falls for the Annual Meeting - I was pleased to see that the Tundra Swans had returned to Mirror Lake which lies between Crown Point where Vista House resides and Rooster Rock State Park.  I had been wanting to go back to take a few photos and yesterday asked Kristi if she'd like to come and bring her camera which has a further zoom than mine.  So, off we went.  The best place to get the images is on the side of the freeway!  It wasn't very bright so the images are a bit fuzzy.. but it was fun to capture a few photos to show you.  The swans make the Canada Geese look small and the duck in front make the geese look big.  :-)

The birds were on the other side of the lake.. the wind was blowing and it was only 38 deg. F!  Tundra Swans dine on plant material, slugs, snails, insects and crayfish, and typically weigh from 10 to 18 pounds, averaging about 53 inches in length.  They mate for life and travel in family groups in roundtrip migrations of up to 3,725 miles.

Some of the swans had grayish heads and I wonder if those are the ones that were born in their Arctic Tundra nesting grounds this past summer?

I think these swans were trying to warm up a bit.. :-)

I just think they are so beautiful.

Kristi and the boys went to visit her sister on Saturday and they all went to a craft fair.  Hayden came home with a crocheted Viking hat.. I love it!

And Caleb came home with a Superman hat!

I've been working on my Hitchhiker Scarf.. and you kind of have to keep track of the rows - I thought I'd show you this neat pattern marker that I got at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival last summer.  It's made out of plastic strips with fabric glued over it and little magnets.  It sure helps keep track!

Here I am in my easy chair, dog on my lap next to my lap pillow with my pattern and my scarf.. a pleasant pastime by the fire.  

I'm really having fun with my blog friends that are joining in on the "Knit-a-long" -- Dorothy in Australia is doing a purple one and now Meredith at "Mereknits" blog has jumped on board!  Look at the gorgeous red scarf that she is working on!  She's fast!  

Here's the progress I made over the weekend.

I snuck into the craft studio and caught Simba napping on the rattan chair - he sure does like the feather pillow!  I ordered a cozy cat igloo out of furry fabric from Amazon on Saturday.. it should be here in a few days.  Now to see if he'll like it.  I'll show you when it arrives.

Taci, Gracie and I met for lunch last week and Gracie gave me the cutest bag of buttons!  And she also made a darling little heart ornament from Helen Philipps book that I recently bought.  Thanks, Gracie!

I'm off to swim today with Gracie.  I will be busy on Wednesday getting ready for Thanksgiving and then the big day!  Lot's of cleaning and cooking and table setting will be going on around the old farmhouse.  Shall I take some photos?  Who me?  Ya think?  LOL!  Have a wonderful week, my friends!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Persuasion and Hitchhiking

In my last post I was waging a battle with myself whether to be good and go swimming or be bad and stay home by the fire knitting, playing Scrabble and Words With Friends and watching TV.  But then my blog friend Claire said in a comment that she was betting that I'd go swimming.  Then the capper was my swim partner Gracie called and said, why don't we meet for lunch first?  OK.. ok.. alright.. 

So, Gracie and I met at Elmer's Restaurant (near the pool) for a healthy Dungeness crab salad.  NUMMERS!  And then we went and swam and we swam right over that dam.  Boop boop ditem datem whatem choo! :-)

I'll be showing you how I'm coming on my Hitchhiker scarf as I go along.. my friends, it is s...l...o...w going.  The yarn is thinnnnnnn... but it's growing slowly but surely.  

The name of this pattern calls to me.. did I ever tell you about the time my friend decided we should pack a backpack and hitchhike to San Francisco to see Haight-Ashbury?  And we did?  Luckily all the people who gave us a ride turned out to be good people and interesting to boot.  We did that between working on staff to put on two rock festivals in Seattle.  :-)  Click HERE to read about that time.. who performed in the festivals.. such as The Doors!

My blog friend from Australia.. Dorothy.. is knitting with us.. look at this gorgeous color of purple!  And wow.. her stitches are SO even and nice!  

And my sister Denise is doing well on hers.. isn't this pretty?  

I want to share a few photos that Kristi got of our feral cat Simba.  She used her phone camera so these aren't real clear photos, but doesn't he look healthier now?  She got him some kitty treats and is trying to get him to trust her by tossing them to him.. closer and closer.. 

She put the cushion off my rattan chair under another chair for a place for him to get in out of the wind and rain.  I think we need to get him his very own cozy bed and put the cushion back on the chair.  :-)

I'm off soon to swim again.. and a fun other thing.. more later.  I'm back in the saddle again.. out where a friend is a friend.. whoopi-ty-aye-yay! ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Windstorm, Knitting and a New Book

Hello my fine friends!  I hope all is well in your world.  We are okay, but we weathered a terrible wind and rain storm yesterday!  Gusts up to 60 mph hit our farmhouse.. and the power went out for 3 hours.  We had rain pelting against the windows and branches hitting the roof.  Dayle started the generator and kept the pellet stove going to keep us warm.  I got a few more rows of knitting done in the storm.  I confirmed to myself why I don't knit a lot.. LOL.. as I goofed up on one row and had to "unknit" it and of course when I did get back on track I can SEE that row as it's not right.. but there is NO way I'm starting this sucker over.  :-)  I hauled my knitting and camera back to our bedroom to get my photo on our bright colored duvet cover.. which picks up the colors in my yarn.  I'm excited as several people mentioned in the comments on my last post that they'd like to join in and knit the Hitchhiker shawlette with my sister and I.  How FUN!  Unfortunately, my sister cannot make dinner for you if you join in the KAL.  :-)

I just went out to see how many leaves were left on the trees after the windstorm and look at the Pin Oak.. not many left!

The leaves are now on our deck.  :-)

And 3/4s of the pretty red Maple leaves are also blown away.  I'm glad I got my photo of them before the storm!

I'm reading a new book.. by the same author as my last one, "Martin Marten", by Brian Doyle.  My sister suggested it - it's about an Oregon guy who set out to sail the Pacific Ocean on a little fishing boat he'd rigged with some sails.  I'm not far into it, but again, I will recommend it now as it's a very interesting read.  And I love the ocean and I love sailing.  Click HERE to find out more.

I am lecturing myself trying to talk myself into going swimming today.  Who will win the argument?  Homebythefire me or Youshoulddothisforyourheart me?  I'm not sure yet.  Who will win this epic war of good and evil?  I'll let you know in a few days.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Thoughts and Other Things

I want to take a few moments and send my deepest sympathy to France and the families of the victims of the tragic killings there last friday.  I also want to include my thoughts of support for the other places around the world that have had these mass murders.  As you know, we suffered greatly here in America on 9/11.  I wish I knew how to combat this way of thinking.  I light this candle for those innocent people who are lost around the world and hope that someday, somehow these things will cease to happen.

My sister and I are working on a Hitchhiker shawlette/scarf.. she is way ahead of me, that is hers on the left and mine on the right.  I started out using my new circular needles and must say that it drove me CRAZY having that long cable in the way and flipping this way and that.. and the needles were shiny silver and I couldn't see the stitches for all the reflective shininess.  So, I grabbed my vintage tortoise shell needles of the same size and I liked working on these MUCH better.  I may have to move over to the circulars at some point, but.. not yet.  My blog friend Dorothy from Australia asked to join in on the Hitchhiker "knit-a-long" so anyone else who wants to do it with us is welcome!!

Since my sister and I are working on this together, she invited us over for dinner so we could knit together.  She made meatloaf, green beans with bacon, cheesy potato bake and this amazing butternut squash puree.  NUMMERS!

Each fall my 2 Japanese maples turn a brilliant red and if you don't look quick, the leaves are gone fast.  So, I grabbed my camera to record the moment.  This is the bigger maple next to the creek.

Can you see the waterfalls and creek running through next to the gazebo on the deck?  There is a Blue Fountain Bamboo on the right and the Hydrangea on the left.  The tree branches coming up on the left are a Corkscrew Willow - my daughter took a bouquet home from my Dad's funeral and called me to say the curly branches in it were rooting!  This tree comes from my Dad and my daughter.

The leaves are a gorgeous crimson red.

This is the small Japanese Lace-leaf Maple.  It's only 2.5 feet tall!

The moss on the shed roof is happy now that it's raining.

Standing on the deck looking towards the west - the Walnut leaves are turning yellow and brown and the Pin Oak leaves are deep red.  The green you see there is my Black Bamboo grove.

Looking to the left the huge Chestnut tree is turning yellow and brown.  The leaves are dropping fast now as it's raining and blustery.

The garage roof is sporting some thick green moss.

The pond is full of oak leaves.. must do some skimming. 

My sister gifted me with a beautiful woven scarf that she brought from Rome on her recent trip to Italy.  Isn't it gorgeous?

And this neat little heart from Croatia, also from her trip.  It's made of leather!

So, now I have a Croat's Warm Heart!  I have it hanging on a knob of my TV cabinet, but it will take a place of honor on our Christmas tree.  Denise knows how much I love hearts.  :-)  Thanks, Sis!

My son hung my framed artwork for me.. I thought you might like to see how it looks.  This is the wall directly to the left of my "nest".. or easy chair.  You can see the tops of my jar of knitting needles.  :-)

My two paintings from my New Orleans trip last April are now hung to the left of the TV cabinet.  I am sure enjoying having these on the wall.  You can see the scarecrow I made years ago.  He comes out each Autumn.

Kristi was sewing the other day and looked out the French doors and spied Simba watching her sew.  Cute, huh?

We are finally recovering from our colds.. I might start swimming again on Wednesday.  :-)  But a few more days knitting by the fire are in order, I think.  At least that's what my inner doctor suggests.  What are you up to today?  ((hugs)), Teresa :-)