31 January 2012

Happy 100th Birthday, Auntie Alma

Oh my goodness! I have never had a relative reach 100, but Auntie Alma (Fortune) Seng did it today!
Hoo Hoo!!!
I wanted to go to Seattle for the celebration but I was told nothing was going to happen. Then it came about and it was too late to get an affordable flight out of here. (Honestly, we have the most expensive airport in the world. I'm sure of it.)
Anyway, Aunt Alma is in a home with caring people watching over her. She isn't always aware of her surroundings or the people who drop in to visit her. But then there are days when she is aware and according to Mom, those days are the best!
Today, Mom and Aunt Ruby went and sang happy birthday to Alma. (Sorry, about that, Auntie Alma.... I KNOW what my mom sounds like when she sings.... like me and it isn't a pretty picture.)
But the love was there and that is what counts.

Aunt Alma: A very, very funny woman. Her sense of humor was like none other I have ever known. And yet, she had a "bite" to her too. I remember as a kid that she could cut me to the quick in a heartbeat so I was cautious around her. She was a school teacher in Montana in a one-room school. Yes, they still had those not too awfully long ago. She was very, very strict. Kids today wouldn't survive her.
She was an outdoors person. She told me a funny story about how she went "fishing" with a gun and shot her catch of the day.
She is intelligent.
And to my benefit, she was the most amazing crochet artist I have ever, EVER known. She could crochet circles around the best of the best of the best.

This is a queensize bedspread that she and my mom made. Aunt Alma was losing her eyesight so Mom helped her out with the project. We traded labor and I sewed her some cushions.
I also have a delicate piece she made for all her nieces and nephews. (Who knows where it is at this moment, but I'll find it and post a photo of it once I locate it. Lovely, lovely work!)

Happy 100th, Auntie Alma!!!
Much love,

30 January 2012

Getting my Ducks Straight

(I'm not talking about getting my ducks all in a row, I'm talking about learning the difference between one kind of duck and another.)
We have all sorts of winged friends visiting our little pond. I thought for sure these were wood ducks. I had my trusty camera with me then did some research at this wonderful website: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
What I was looking at were Hooded Mergansers. Sometimes the "hood" is raised and it makes a very dramatic show. Of course, I thought those were even different types of ducks, not realizing the hood can disappear.

I wish they would eat the bullfrogs, but they like young fish instead.

28 January 2012

Scared to Death of a Rock !!!!

I have no idea why I'm wired the way I am, but little tiny things scare me in a BIG way.
Take for instance a gift my girlfriend, Kim,,left for me.

If you reached for a quilt to snuggle under, this little guy wouldn't scare you, would he?

What if you were vaccuuming and there he was?

Or watering your plants?
 Nah, he wouldn't scare you.
Well, I went to feed the horse. (She always greets me with a whinny.)

What a beautiful girl, even at her age.... but I stray from the point I'm trying to make.

 I opened the tack room door and reached for some carrots for Dessi when I saw this BIG GREEN FROG!
Yup. I jumped six feet into the air and screamed bloody murder.
My heart was racing like crazy.
I slowly peeked around the door to see this GIANT frog when I focused on him and discovered he was just a big fat glittery rockish frog.
Not only did I get a good laugh, but I knew Kim had left the gift. I called her once I got to work and she got a good laugh from it.

There is another story behind this little guy. Evidently, a young worker had ordered some of these and they sold out. He decided to order more only he made a mistake and ordered 200 more!  (I think he wanted 20 more.)
Kim told him not to worry, they would all sell and she bought one to prove it to him! At that point, she didn't hesitate to remind me of the time when we worked together for an inventor. We took snowmobile machine accessories orders and shipped them out all over the country. I was new to the job and I had to order the boxes for shipping. I did have the boss sign the order form (I learned to have him initial EVERYTHING I did.) Then one day, a semi truck arrived FILLED with boxes. Yep, I had ordered a warehouse of boxes.
Oooo la la, the boss was mad. I showed him his signature but the only thing that did, was make me feel better.
Needless to say, I never needed to order another box as long as I worked there!

Isn't life full of fun stories?

Do you have any you want to share? Leave a comment!

27 January 2012

Beer Bread

This beer bread is to die for. It was a gift from my friend, Janice. She and her hubby had taken us to McGlinn's restaurant in Wenatchee where they served this bread. The meal itself was unbelievably delicious then came the bread.... I died and went to heaven. No doubt about it.
I am going to try a recipe I found on-line and see how it measures up to McGlinn's. If it is worth sharing, I'll let you know.
Thanks, Jan!

25 January 2012

You Learn Something New ...

Every Day...
Today I learned what Elk Poop looks like.

I didn't even know elk came through the school grounds, but they most certainly do. A 6-year old boy gave me a "tour" today and explained the difference between elk and deer poop.

....just when I thought I knew it all.

20 January 2012

These Hats Need Cats

Dr. Seuss's birthday is coming up and our little elementary school celebrates big time. We take part in Read Across America. Adults dress up in Dr. Seuss costumes and wear crazy colored "Cat in the Hat" hats then we read and have a party.

This year, it is highly possible that this precious school, built in 1936, will be closing its doors. It will be the last Dr. Seuss celebration. With that in mind, one aid decided it would be fun to make 120 hats for the kids to wear to the party and take home with them. (Mind you, this wild-and-crazy-woman does NOT sew!)

Of course, that is where I come into the picture. I bought 4 bolts of felt which is 72" wide!! I drew up the cutting pattern for all the fabric and started cutting. I'm not going to cut it all because volunteers are coming out of the woodworks to help with this fun project.

17 January 2012

Good to the Very Last Drop

I received an expresso maker from DnJ for x-mas. Oh my.... little did they know I would love it so much. I discovered cappuccinos in Italy; one of the very few things I liked about the country.
Oh my, they are lovely.
Since we drink only almond milk, I make mine with that and it goes down so smoothly!

Mmmmm lip-smackin' good!

 la machine

Nothing but pure coffee and foamy milk. Who knows, maybe some day I shall brave an espresso!

16 January 2012

Getting Serious About Europe

All my notes and list of web "favorites" are starting to come together. We are planning a trip to Europe in September and October of this year. What a mind-boggling experience to plan.
Where to go, what to see, where to stay, how to get from Point A to Point B, rent a car or take the trains, how long to spend in each city or village. Whew! A lot to absorb.
My last adventure to France was six years ago and the planning took me two serious years and reams of paper. I think this won't take as much paper but some major hours of research and of course, not two years!
The big thing is that the money has been put aside for this trip and that Jack is willing to go with me this time around. Evidently he hated my being away from him for so long more than he hates the idea of flying in an airplane!
What do you think; can we cover all of this in 6 weeks?
Places I just have to visit:
* = re-visit and share with Jack
Paris, France*
St. Girons, France
Rocamadour, France
Ventimiglia, Italy*
Nimes, France*
Loire Valley, France*
Verdun, France
Liege, Belgium (American WWII Cemetary)
Stonehenge, UK

Places Jack must visit:
Toledo, Spain
San Sabastian, Spain
Venice, Italy
Cote d'Azur, France
Verdun, France
London, UK
Prague, Czechoslovakia
Munich, Germany
Venice, Italy
Barcelona, Spain

Seriously, I wouldn't mind spending our entire time in France but Jack wants to see other countries as well. So we'll be on the road a lot which is so much fun in a foreign country. This trip will be very different because we will be renting or leasing a car. Poor Mom got dragged out in the boonies with me where cars were needed but we were forced to walk. When we knocked on the B&B in the Basque Country, our hosts were totally shocked that we did not have a car. I do believe we were the first visitors to arrive on foot! Hey, we were in great shape when we left France, that's for sure.

I am sure we will have to cut some places off of this list, but we shall see.

14 January 2012

Hanging Long-Johns in Long-Johns

Seriously, it has been cold here lately. No rain. No snow. Just cold and some days cold and fog.
I've been doing yard duty in 22° weather. Needless to say, I wear long-johns to work!
Jack wears his every day as well since his shop is not heated. Well, he has a wood burning stove inside but it merely heats up one small area. Mostly, it's for him to thaw out now and then as he is working.

Imagine my joy when the sunshine was pouring into the house today! I figured it would be just the ticket to hang some laundry outside instead of next to the fire.
I had to giggle as I was hanging these to dry because there I was hanging long-johns as I was wearing long-johns. Even if I have to bring them in frozen, they will somewhat dry out. I remember Mom used to hang clothes outside and they would be frozen stiff when she brought them in.

08 January 2012

Lying Low

I thought if I did't post anything for awhile, I'd quit doing stupid things. Ummmmm, nope, 'didn't work for me!

Here is my used-to-be-nice KitchenAid toaster.
What happened to melt the top, you ask?
Well, you see, Jack has a habit of putting day-old bread on the top of the toaster and then setting the toaster on to toast. He had some garlic bread he was re-heating in this manner and it had been loaded with butter so I told him not to let the butter melt into the toaster. I suggested he put tin foil over the top first. Dumb. I never dreamed he would wrap the entire top with tinfoil so the heat didn't get out and the toaster melted.
Gross plastic smell in the whole house for hours afterwards.
Just plain stupidity.
Guess we need a toaster oven.

05 January 2012

Maybe I Should've Sued Instead of Married

Back in 1969 when I ran the red light that brought Officer Jack into my life with red lights flashing and his violation ticket book in hand, I was smitten. Unlike the woman in this article: MoneyHungryBroad,
I didn't see dollar signs when he wrote me the ticket, I saw stars. Then I sat by my telephone for 12½ hours before he called me. (I just KNEW he would call!) My response when he asked me out was not, "Talk to my attorney" but rather, "What took you so long?!"

42 years later, he claims that although I may have paid for the ticket;he has been paying ever since. (Cute, but oh so NOT true!)

Why are people so eager to sue one another these days? We don't even have an attorney and I hope we never do.
I'm just thankful that our story turned out to be quite a happy one.

04 January 2012

I Left My Brain in 2011

I swear, today is 1/4/2012 and every single day this year, I have managed to do something incredibly stupid! So, why not share with you, my blogger-type friends?

Yesterday afternoon, I locked my cat, Hook, in the basement bathroom by accident. I was merely shutting him safely away from the raccoons but he slipped into the bathroom when I got his food and fresh water. So he was in there all night long.

(Close your eyes if your stomach is sensitive to grossness.) He has had diarrhea since he got his shot of antibiotics. So the poor guy had no place to go except in the waste basket. It was so lightweight that it tipped over on him. He then must have dragged the bag out of the basket and went on the bag... for the most part.

So this morning, I went to open the cat door for him to go out but I couldn't find him. He meowed until I found him. Meanwhile, I had opened the door to the rec room.....uh huh... carpeted, pool table, etc....

So this afternoon when I went down to lock him in ... I heard him crying from the rec room! Luckily, he did not have any accident. Whew!

The poor cat must hate me by now. I left him for 10 days then got home and took him to the vet to have surgery then locked him in the basement for 24 hours. If he runs away from home, I won't be surprised but I will certainly be sad.

Maybe tomorrow I can screw something else up!

Have a good evening. I'm off to play "Cribbage" with hubby. He has been cleaning my clock lately and I feel it is time for some revenge.

02 January 2012

When Does a Good Deed Call in the Sheriff?

ANSWER:  When Sandee is the one doing the good deed, that's when!
I went to the school today to finish a job I was working on in the staff room. I had started peeling off ancient wallpaper borders. I had checked out a security pass card to use to shut off the alarm system after entering the building.
So picture this: I enter the building to find the hallway dark. I saw the red light of the alarm system and pulled out my security card and waved it in front of the red light. Then I went about my business. I unloaded my ladder and supplies and was laying paper out waiting for my BFF, Eileen to arrive and help me with the project.
I thought I heard her car outside so I opened the door to the parking lot only to find the Sheriff standing by his car with his hand on his holster/gun. OMG! I knew I'd done something wrong.
I smiled and walked out to him. He gave me the 3rd-degree (whatever that may be....but I felt like I was sitting in a stark room with a bare lightbulb overhead and sweat rolling down my forehead!)
I gave him my name and told him I worked at the school but was actually retired so officially I was volunteering. He asked if the (ONLY) vehicle in the parking lot was mine and I said yes. He then ran the license and up I came!
I told him to call the principal because he still was not convinced that I belonged there.
He spoke with her and asked if she knew me. She laughed and said yes, I was one of the "good guys"!
He was so serious it was crazy. He scolded her and told her to make sure I had a security pass to get in the next time.
Then Eileen arrived and I discovered that I had swiped the back of my ID card instead of the security pass card! DUH! Both are the same size plastic cards and in the dark, I grabbed the wrong one.

We got some good mileage out of that and were done with the job in no time. I swear, I have no clue what I would EVER do without Eileen in my life. (I do think though that her motive for hanging around me is for comic-relief.)

01 January 2012

How NOT To Blow Out Candles

I had these great candles that I had never used along with a lovely candle holder. We had company for a New Year's dinner last night and I figured it would be the perfect time to light these candles... kinda fancy things up a bit. Nice, huh?

After visiting Kari, I got these ideas for hors d'oeuvres:

Filling Tostitos brand scoops with finely chopped carrots, broccoli and chicken was a hit. Kari used a little mayo in hers with a dill seasoning which has garlic and other herbs in it. I found some in our natural foods section and I used grapeseed mayo. Very easy and tasty.
I got out my fondu pot and made a 4-cheese sauce for crackers or veggies or whatever.
I made what is called "boozy olives" where I soaked green olives in gin then served them. I don't like gin but everyone else who came to dinner does and they enjoyed them.
I found a great recipe for garlic shrimp.
Jack made corn fritters and he made the main dish which was Wild Mushroom and Chicken Stroganoff over pasta. Mmmmm. I made a spinach, feta and cranberry salad.

One friend brought some appetizers as well so we ate a plateful BEFORE the main meal!
What the heck, it was the last dinner in 2011, we can all walk it off in 2012, right? Luckily, the meal was simple and no one became overstuffed.
The other friend made a German Chocolate Pie for dessert. Sounds good, doesn't it? Well, we never got the chance to find out because as she entered the house, she stumbled and dropped the pie which was in a glass pie plate. Smashed to smitherines! Luckily, she was okay.
We were all actually thankful we didn't have dessert or we would have been uncomfortable.
I then made Irish Coffee and someone brought champagne to toast in the New Year.
A fun evening of eating, visiting and playing games with friends. Good times to say the least.

I decided it was time to blow out the candles and I did with gusto. Poof! All out.

This morning I was saying to Jack how nice it was that the candles didn't melt and make a mess. He walked over to them and said, "Well, they DID melt and make a mess!"
I hopped up to see what he was talking about and found wax all over the wood cabinet top and splattered up the wall.
I couldn't believe that candles would splatter...then it dawned on me: When I blew the candles out, the melted wax that puddled near the quick had gone flying out! So I was the one who made the mess.
Next time, I'll pinch those flames out instead of blow on them. (Geeze)

The wax came out okay but the color stained the wood and the wall. Red is my favorite color, but not like this! I have to do some research and see how I can get it out.

Well, Blogging World..... Happy New Year!