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July 2006

My birthday part 2

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Thank you ladies for all the kind words. It means so much to me. I have met the sweetest ladies since starting this blog !!!
 
First let me say it was a lovely day in Port Townsend. Slightly gray and 65. I was in heaven. I took pictures of some of my favorite stores. Summer House  has the funest stuff and Green Eyeshades is one of my my favorite kitchen store (although it can not hold a candle to Sur La Table).
 
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April Fool has a great assortment of both antiques, books and new fun items. They have beautiful jewelry. Petals flower shop is so sunny and charming.
 
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Now my favorite store is Edge to Edge. They are moving in 3 weeks. For those who live in the area their new address is 940 Water Street. I love this store because we have the same taste. She specializes in lots of vintage fabrics from the 20's, 30's, 40's. She has old wool blankets cut in smaller pieces to buy. Lots of trims, linens, buttons. Just plain fun stuff. Hopefully Joan will come see my blog and say hi. 
 
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For lunch we ate at Sweet Laurette (it across my favorite restaurant Wild Coho but they only do dinner). I knew it was a bakery but did not realize they had a café. I had mussels in Dijon cream sauce, my sister had roasted pork sandwich with caramelized apple/onions, my mother had a salad of green apple and blue cheese. It was all wonderful. So was my almond cupcake with raspberry icing !!
 
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Port Townsend is known for all of it's Victorian buildings. I could post hundreds of pictures. But I was drawn to this beautiful garden. As were my mother and sister. It was a fun day for all. Thank you for letting me share it. xoxoxo

My Birthday part 1

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Well, oh my, what a birthday this has been. My dear hubby outdid himself. I did not have to cook or clean the whole weekend. I had lovely breakfast in bed, a pile of yummy magazines to read. He gave me a bottle of chocolate port wine (which is soo yummy). My girls gave me lots of chocolate.
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Chloe gave me this sweet bunny statue. Which I was informed at the time I unwrapping "If I did not love it, she would be glad to take it off my hands". We are sharing it!!
I was basically princess all weekend. But the topper is my hubby surprised me. It is very hard to surprised me. He has only done it once before. He dragged me in the living room, blind folded and gave me my own laptop (I do not have to share it with anyone). He said he was so proud of my blog and all I do and create. He wanted me to have my own computer. Well I cried for 10 minutes before I could even look at. I am busy setting up a shabby chic desk in my living room and will post it later.
 
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My mother bought me several lovely gifts. Such as this glass bell I have drooling over at COCO and the mirrored box, Dagoba hot chocolate and chocolate bar.
 
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My sister went to Anthropologie and bought me that small amazing silver cup and the pink dishtowel in the back. In Port Townsend I got this old print that I am madly in love with and the floral fabric. I took a bunch of pictures in Port Townsend and found out my favorite store is moving down the street into a bigger space. I also found a new place to have yummy lunch. I will write all about that tomorrow. See you then.

A corner of my home

               

         Pink roses

 These candle sticks are one of my favorite thing’s I own. They belonged to my Grandmother Clare, my father’s mother. My grandmother died from a stroke when my father was 16 and grandfather Isador died 6 months later of a broken heart.  I am sad I never meet my grandparents but I have always felt a special bond to my Jewish root and my grandparents. My grandfather owned 3 bakeries in San Francisco, which are long gone now. When he was ten he moved to Germany to apprentice as a baker. Ten, can you imagine?  

I know nothing about these candle sticks except that they were my grandmothers. I would like to think they are a family treasure. Since her entire family (except two people) we killed in the holocaust, I am sure family items were treasured that much more. The candlesticks are always in the center of my dining table. The pitcher is a garage sale find. I ADORE pink luster-ware and so wish I had more of it. The plate is a gift from my mother. I have four of them in different colors. I have been inspired by Jody's wild -flower bouquets. Unfortunately flowers set off my allergies but I discovered if I make small tussy-mussy bouquets they will not set off my allergies. So this is my tussy-mussy of the day! Thank you Jody for the inspiration. I off to Post Townsend for my birthday celebration with my mother and my sister. I will post pictures (wait till I tell you what my hubby got me !!) Have a yummy Saturday !!!

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Jane's Sketchbook

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Well being a good Charlotte Mason homeschool mother I have my own nature  and art sketchbooks. The girls and I go on walks or sit in our yard and draw what we observer. I will confess that this does not come easy to me. But I want my girls to feel natural about drawing what they see. Now mind you I did not say perfect or talented just comfortable about the whole thing. So I figure I need to embrace my sketchbook, if I want Aubern'e and Chloe to. I am always looking for inspiration and I found it in Jane's sketchbook.  Sorry I do not know Jane's last name, she does not say. I like how she take ordinary things, ordinary life and make a small special moment out of it. I hope you are inspired to.

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How to throw a virtual tea party

                     Victorianpicnic2 

Hello I have been asked by several ladies to better explain my  virtual tea-party. I am sorry I really did not explain it in the first place. I am on a small private message board (these are my blessing ladies). On this board Joanne posted an invitation to everyone at 2 she would have a tea party for me. Each person wrote a post with pictures and kind words of what gift they would give me, what food they would bring, what they would wear, ect. Of course I did not actually get any of this but it was the thought that counts. It was so sweet of the ladies and meant everything to me. I was thinking how could you do this if you did not have a message board. You would need a place to posts pictures or links to pictures. People on their blogs could each post. Or send all their thoughts and pictures to one person and that person could post it on their blog.  I hope this better explains.


Summer Corner #7

Landry__summer_concert_1   

I just have to say it is now in the low 80 and high 70. Halleluiah !! I do not take heat well. If it was 72 that would be perfect to me !! Also if you have not seen it, look at Kelli's There's No Place Like Home wonderful back porch. Now that is very inspring !!
One of my happy memories when I was younger was the outdoor concerts we would go to. Maybe it is the cater in me, I am always up for a party !! But it seemed so festive to be surrounded by everyone. All with our picnics, enjoying the music, the surrounding, nature. Of course to being a foodie, there was the food. I loved to look around and see what others had brought. See their set ups. Some it was just plastic cups, some fruit and bread. But others had these elaborate set ups, like something out of a magazine. As I got older I had fun coming up with my own themes and menu. Here in WA by Post Townsend is the Olympic Music Festival.There is this old barn on 55 arches of farmland. Set out in the middle of nowhere. There are farm animals and hiking trails. It is absolutely charming and a favorite. But we have only been able to afford to go a couple of times.
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Now that I am old (and lazy) I do not like hauling all that stuff and food around. (And to be honest I like the privacy of my own home) The candles, flowers, linens, silver. Hey if I am going to picnic I am going to do it right. So I got the idea (which is the idea that started summer corners) why not have an outdoor concert at home. I could drag out my CD player. Go to the library and get some new piece of music my family had not heard. Maybe an opera or musical. Then I can focus on setting the seen in my own yard. Lots and lots of candles, maybe I could even drag out last years Christmas lights and wrap them around a tree. One of my pretty quilts on the grass. A bouquet of fruit like from an Severin Roesen painting. And of course lots of yummy food. Although you do not have to make elaborate food. Presentation is half of it. I would rather have some perfect fruit, veggies, good wedge of cheese and bread. Then a bunch over overdone food. But here is a few fun, simple ideas that could be made ahead of time. Strawberry Buttermilk soup,Rustic Salmon Sandwich,stuffed eggs with goats cheese and dill,Watermelon with fennel salt.
 
Mostly I want my family to have happy memories of all of us sitting under the stars, enjoy the sounds, feeling the love !!
 
Painting above by Paul Landry

Bonjour

Birthday1 

Well hello everyone, I missed you. Really !!! I want to thank each of you for my happy birthday wishes. I am meeting the nicest, most creative, giving ladies. You are the best, Thank you !!!
I wish I had some amazing wonderful vacation news to share. But it has been so hot and miserable. My father even left early because he could not take the heat and he live much warmer area. Nobody has air-conditioners around here. So on those rare times we get heat, we all suffer. My birthday, basically did not happen. But ladies believe me I will have my birthday, even if I have to wait six months, ha. No we are hoping to have it this coming weekend. And I am sure I will have one or two yummy gift to share.
 
But I did have the most wonderful surprise on my Birthday. It was an on-line tea party. All my dear blessing ladies (Hello, you know who you are) threw me the most perfect virtual tea party. There was of course lots of chocolate, fruit pizza, lavender marinated salmon !!!, tea sandwiches, homemade salsa, chocolate cake, grapefruit and pineapple spritzers, sangria (and we were all good), the warm zucchini and olive salad, fruit tarts and more.
 
We all picked out outfits from Anthropology (one of my favorite stores) . The picture above is just a smattering of the yummy gifts bestowed. It was a day full of joy, tears, kind words and love. I am sorry if I missed someone. But know that I am so grateful to each of you. It is all thanks to amazing, dear, sweet Joanne. For she is the one who hosted my tea party and what a giving hostess she is. I can not tell you how much the kind words and thoughts made my day. My year. I hope that I am giving just as much to those around me xoxox
 
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Adieu

Aduie_2 

Hello friends!!
My father is coming for the week for my birthday. So I will be taking a break but will be back next Wednesday. You might see me at your blog but I will be working on some new ideas. Speaking of ideas check out this fun quilted smock made from a men's tee-shirt !!!
 
Also if you have not seen Jenny's at Allsorts new studio  you have to . Oh the envy I have, it is so marvelous !!
 
Have a relaxing weekend, eat something yummy and think of me xoxox
Smockc

Rosemary and Thyme

   Introbg 
OHh I have another movie recommendation, which thrills me because I rarely find movies I like. I got it from Netflix. It is Rosemary and Thyme. It is about to women starting there own garden business and solve mysteries at the same time. It is a who-done-it set in England beautiful garden. It is amazingly beautiful, plus very funny. It reminds me of the tea mystery books I love to read. Except it is gardening. I have only watched the first 2 episodes but love it and nothing objectionable. Which is lovely.
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"Meet Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme, two women who battled back from personal setbacks to make a fresh start in life by starting their own gardening business. However mystery is never far away and Rosemary & Laura’s inquisitive nature never let them rest until they have found the solution. Welcome to the world of Rosemary & Thyme. "

My Weekend

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Well I have a lovely weekend (and no allergies, yeah). On Friday the girls stayed at my mothers and we had a wonderful time alone. Ahh the silence. We went to Port Gamble my favorite Victorian town that is owned by a lumber mill and has not changed since it was first built.

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It is about 2 blocks big, but it is only Victorian buildings. No fast food joints, no banks, no gas stations. It is like time has stood still. I love it!!!!

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Then we went to Kingston and had a delectable lunch of grilled salmon caesar wrap, mussel in coconut-curry broth and a salad with candied garlic, goats cheese and bacon !!!
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I am thrilled my local farmer is finally selling his veggie. I came home with the yummiest kale. Which I mixed with pasta, smoked salmon, lots of garlic and avocado on top. It was love all around the table !!
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And I have to share my rose bush. Now I am not a gardener. I throw things in the ground and pray for the best. I figure only the strong will survive.
I only have 4 rose bushes and they only put out a rose or two. Well this year my Abraham Darby is just blooming away !!!
I was interested in how to candy garlic. Here is a recipe I found.
Candied Garlic
1/2 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons Vermouth
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup fresh, peeled, garlic cloves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Blanch garlic cloves in boiling water about 2 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and place in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking.  Remove cloves from water and drain on layers of paper toweling.

Place the sugar in a small heavy skillet and add 2 tablespoons of the vermouth. Place the pan over medium heat.  Cook until the mixture turns a golden color tipping the pan and swirling the mixture to insure even cooking. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, swirling the pan to incorporate the liquid. Add the garlic and cook until well coated and the garlic is soft but still retains it's shape
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Sandpiper

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Sandpiper
By Celia Thaxter (1872)

Across the narrow beach we flit,
  One little sandpiper and I,
And fast I gather, bit by bit,
  The scattered driftwood bleached and dry.
The wild waves reach their hands for it,
  The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit,--
  One little sandpiper and I.

Above our heads the sullen clouds
  Scud black and swift across the sky;
Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds
  Stand out the white lighthouses high.
Almost as far as eye can reach
  I see the close-reefed vessels fly,
As fast we flit along the beach,--
  One little sandpiper and I.

I watch him as he skims along,
  Uttering his sweet and mournful cry.
He starts not at my fitful song,
  Nor flash of fluttering drapery.
He has no thought of any wrong;
  He scans me with a fearless eye:
Staunch friends are we, well tried and strong,
  The little sandpiper and I.

Comrade, where wilt thou be tonight,
  When the loosed storm breaks furiously?
My driftwood fire will burn so bright!
  To what warm shelter canst thou fly?
I do not fear for thee, though wroth
  The tempest rushes through the sky:
For are we not God's children both,
  Thou, little sandpiper, and I?


Summer Corner #6

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Well I am battling allergies. So this summer corner, I am going to post some of you dear ladies ideas. First look at this charming front porch at Joanne's home. She enjoys sitting here  with a cup of tea and watch the birds as they fly from tree to tree. I can just picture sitting there with you dear Joanne. Think of me next time !!!

                         

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Next is Joanne's living room and the dresser that she 'dress up' according to the seasons.  There is a Summer English Home magazine, some potpourri and a candle called  Country Linen, by Yankee Candle, both smelling so summery!  There is also a 'British' picture from a friend, that shows two Victorian women walking along a garden picket fence. I just love this. I-spy-with-my-little-eye a beautiful cake stand with crystals hanging from it and I love the tea print !! What a beautiful sideboard by the way. 

It is all so summery and British. Thank you for being willing to share these with us xoxox

                         Teresa_pond 

Dear Teresa was kind of enough let me share this picture of her pond when I asked. Even thought this photo was taken in the spring, I can picture myself sitting there with a  glass of lemonade. This is a wonderful summer corner Teresa and I am sure the ladies are inspired. Thank you for letting me post it xoxox

                               Summermindy 

Mindy at Peaceful Corner shared her charming dinning room all done up for summer. I love the seashells with the potpourri and candle, very pretty. Also loved the scrapbook paper you use for your china cabinet. It is so Victorian. I love that look. I need to go get some new paper for my china cabinet. Thank you for the inspiration. 

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Tracy at Seaside Enchantment has the cutest seashore corner in her home. I love the lighthouse and your boats. Very summery !!!!!

Tracy also has a wonderful post about how to celebrate summer.

PS. Rebecca I have not forgotten about you. I will be writing a post with your great ideas probably (If I can get my act together) next week. 

All Passions Spent

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I am sooooo excited. One of my favorite movies is finally on DVD. It is a BBC version of Vita Sackville-West "All Passions Spent". Dame Wendy Hiller plays 85-year-old Lady Slane. It is set in post-Victorian England.  Lady Slane is a new widow trying to free herself from society’s expectations upon the death of her politically prominent husband. She purchases and renovates a cottage in the Hampstead countryside. Unfortunately to the shock of her children. It is about finding herself. That seasons in one life were you do not have husband or young children to please. But mostly what I love is her time in her new (old) cottage. It is very English and charming. Nothing objectionable at all. It is light but with a deep message at the same time.

By the way netflix has it.


An afternoon nosh

Amryllis

If you are looking for a yummy afternoon nosh, this is wonderful. You will noticed when you cook the lime filling you turn the heat down. This is so impotant with eggy, custard things. You want low and slowy to get that creamy texture. By the way I have this Susan Riospainting in my living room. Actually it is my mothers but she is letting me borrow it for a while. Thank you mother.

Lime Bars

SHORTBREAD

2 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
2 TBLS. powder sugar
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, cold and cubed
2 egg yokes

FILLING

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup flour
6 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
zest of 2 limes
6 TBLS. powder sugar for dusting

For crust:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with nonstick spray. Blend flour, sugar and salt in processor to combine. Cut in butter, using on/off turns, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolks and blend until moist clumps form. Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake until just beginning to turn golden brown around edges, about 10 minutes. Remove crust from oven; reduce temperature to 325°F.

For filling:

Whisk eggs and sugar in large bowl to blend. Whisk flour and baking powder in medium bowl to blend. Add flour mixture to egg mixture, whisking to blend. Whisk in lime juice and peel. Immediately pour lime filling over hot crust; bake until filling is set, about 45 -50 minutes. Till just golden and center somewhat firm.

agua fresca

Ingredients

4 cups coarsely chopped seedless watermelon flesh
Juice of 1 medium fresh lime
1 cup crushed ice or 1 1/4 cups ice cubes
1 Tbs. superfine sugar (or to taste)
Orange slices and mint sprigs for garnish

Purée the melon in a blender. Add the lime juice, ice, and sugar and blend until smooth. Pour into tall glasses and garnish with the orange slices and mint


Things I Love

   Adoree_1 

Happythings I like this blog and loved her Mama Backpack Tutorial !!

I LOVE chocolate. The darker the better. My all time fav is Dagoba chocolate bar with Lavender and dried blueberries. Ahhhhh heaven !!! 

They have some wonderful recipes on their site. But my other favorite thing is red wine (especially with chocolate) I thought this list of pairing of chocolate with food and wine was very interesting.

I adore this cooking blog Cream Puffs In Venice. Just this Strawberry Tiramisù alone, makes me melt !!!!! 

Lastly I love Tongue In Cheek. Cory has an an amazing eye. But I had not seen her Pandora's Box. How fun is that. Very Inspirational !!!


Pillowcase Bag

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Another purse out of an odd thing. I had this wonderful satin pillowcase. I loved it was looking for something special to use it for. I am highly addicted to purses and have a lot of them. I saw a bag I liked and thought I could copy it. I am happy with it, except I would say it is a bit wide. But I took the extra fabric and made another tote-bag out of that. I used a stripped ribbon belt, leftover from some pants that did not fit Chloe anymore. I just sewed it on, with belt loops and all.  The width seem to work better with the tote. It was fun to play with. If you are looking for a really simple idea. Here is a easy pillowcase bag (and were I first got the idea). If it does not come up. Look under April fashion section.
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A Childhood In Brittany

           Britny_2 

A good friend got this book at the local used book store A Childhood In Brittany by Anne Douglas Sedgwick. It looked really good, so I was thrilled to find it on-line. Now I have not read the whole book but bits and parts. I am enjoying it. Of course anything set in France over a hundred years ago, would thrill me. I love to read about how people lived, their customs, what they wore, how they thought, what they ate !! So check it out yourself and see what you think. Here is a small excerpt.

Quimper is an old town, and the hôtels of the noblesse, all situated in the same quarter and on a steep street, were of blackened, crumbling stone. From porte-cochères one entered the courtyards, and the gardens behind stretched far into the country.

In the courtyard of our hôtel was a stone staircase, with elaborate carvings, like those of the Breton churches, leading to the upper stories, but for use there were inner staircases. My mother's boudoir, the petit salon, the grand salon, the salle-à-manger, and the billiard-room were on the ground floor and gave out upon the garden.

The high walls that ran along the street and surrounded the garden were concealed by plantations of trees, so that one seemed to look out into the country. Flower beds were under the salon-windows, and there were long borders of wild strawberries that had been transplanted from the woods, as my mother was very fond of them. Fruit-trees grew against the walls, and beyond the groves and flower beds and winding gravel paths was an orchard, with apricot-, pear-, and apple-trees, and the clear little river Odel, with its washing-stones, where the laundry-maids beat the household linen in the cold, running water.

It was pleasant to hear the clap-clap-clap on a hot summer day. Is it known that the pretty pied water-wagtail is called la lavandière from its love of water and its manner of beating up and down its tail as our washerwomen wield their wooden beaters?

Beyond the river were the woods where I often rode with my father, and beyond the woods distant ranges of mountains. I looked out at all this from my nursery-windows, with their frame of climbing-roses and heliotrope. Near my window was a great lime-tree of the variety known as American. The vanilla-like scent of its flowers was almost overpowering, and all this fragrance gave my mother a headache, and she had to have her room moved away from the garden to another part of the house. How clearly I see this room of my mother's, with its high, canopied four-poster bed and the pale-gray paper on the walls covered with yellow fleurs-de-lis!

The wall-paper in my father's room was one of the prettiest I have ever seen, black, all bespangled with bright butterflies. Of the grand salon I remember most clearly the high marble mantelpiece, upheld by hounds sitting on their haunches. On this mantelpiece was a huge boule clock, two tall candelabra of Venetian glass, and two figures in vieux Saxe of a marquis and a marquise that filled us with delight. On each side of the fireplace were two Louis XV court chairs–chairs, that is, with only one arm, to admit of the display of the great hoop-skirts of the period. I remember, too, our special delight in the foot-stools, which were of mahogany, shaped rather like gondolas and cushioned in velvet; for we could sit inside them and make them rock up and down.

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Summer Corner #5

                              Conner_1 

Well ladies, I have had several naps and have recovered from the sangria, (sorry, slip of the tongue) I meant to say 4th of July :- o
It was all wonderful. I have a confection to make I never made anything on my 4th July menu. We were last minute invited to a friends boat to watch the fireworks. He is moored right on Liberty Bay. Right across from the barge setting off the fireworks. You have to lean back and look up to see them. Plus the reflections in the water is amazing. So I will have to make my yummy menu one day soon. I heard from several of you ladies that the black bean-roasted corn salsa is a hit. If you are lucky enough to live near a Trader Joes, they sell bags of frozen roasted corn. It is wonderful,very smoky. But a little goes a long ways. I mix it with regular corn. 

One of the wonderful treats of going on a trip if the wonderful place you stay in. It is fun to be in a new and pretty environment. It just helps to make it all feel that more like a luxury. Now that I have the inside of of my home looking like the summer cottage I dream of, I started looking to my yard. I decide to look at it like a house. Just like how my house has rooms, I though I could make rooms outside. I started with a gazebo, we put up a couple of years ago. This is our dinning room. It have a canvas roof (in the winter, we take that down and cover it in twinkle light). It adds a wonderful architectural feature to our yard. Plus with all the rain we get, it is nice to have a cover area in the yard.

               Conner1 

I wanted to jazz it up a bit. As you can see I have lots of green but not many flowers. So I picked bright colorful Tracy Porter fab. I only bought a yard. Cut a strip to go down the center of the table. Got these wonderful bright flowers for $3.00. Added some candles and it is very relaxing.

                                                                              Conner2

The gazebo came with a planter. But instead of using it for a planter I use it as a buffet table. I made a top (cut ply-wood) and stapled more fabric and glued fun pom-poms. I put the plastic table-ware we use inside the planter. As well as candles, light stick, napkins, ect.
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The next area is our living room. This is were have our fire pit and sit in the new relaxing Adirondack chairs. Don't you just LOVE the color !! It is nice to just sit a watch the flames. Like an outdoor fireplace. We can also grill here. We do hope someday to build an outdoor kitchen !!
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We have our laundry room. I am want to do a bit more here. Make it prettier. I was hoping to get this done before I posted this but oh well. I will pull out a small table with a pretty cloth to fold laundry on.
On the other side of the yard is the play-room.  Slip-in-slide, badminton net, tire swing, ect. Hopeful soon we will also have an outdoor shower.  I even plan on hanging a small shelf and a mirror. Of course this is only for the summer, but make one feel like your house has doubled. We are lucky to have a fairly large yard. But even if it is small can you create several corners, just like inside your house. If you have any pictures of your outside rooms. I would love to see them.
Mary sent these wonderful pictures of flowers blooming around her yard !! I hope she is having relaxing time at the beach xoxox
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Lavender Day

             

          Lavender2_2 

     

On Saturday, we had our lavender day we have once a year. I am addicted to lavender, so I always look forward to going to the lavender fields. Sequim is becoming the big lavender grower in our area. It is called the banana belt and lavender does quite well there. Considering we are in the northwest. My favorite farm is Purple Haze. If you love lavender, there is nothing like standing in this giant purple field. It is amazing, plus the smell. I truly feel my stress melt, when I smell lavender. I also love Purple Haze because they have lavender lemonade and lavender ice cream.

                                        

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They have several kinds, lavender custard (my fav.), lemon lavender, mint lavender, white chocolate lavender (Aubern'e fav) and lemon lavender sorbet. We went early and went to a u-pick farm We picked 26 pounds of strawberries. Which I am mostly freezing for future use. Then hot, we headed over to Purple Haze and sat under the willow tree and had ice cream. It was quite dreamy. I would say, now I have to wait another year to get my lavender fix. But I think we are going back in week or two to pick raspberries. So yeah !!

After another sangria incident (the ladies of the historical society LOVED the sangria at the Merryville festivities) I hesitate to post a lavender margarita recipe !!

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Lavender Margaritas

1 cup tequila
1/2 cup blue curacao or other orange-flavored liqueur
1 cup canned coconut milk
1/3 cup lime juice
2 cups frozen raspberries
2 cups frozen blueberries
1 t. organic lavender buds
3-4 ice cubes

In a blender, combine the tequila, curacao, coconut milk and lime juice. Cover, turn to high speed, and gradually add berries, lavender, and ice. Whirl until smooth and slushy. Pour into glasses. You can rub glass rims with lime and dip the rim in lavender sugar or lavender salt below. Add a lavender sprig for garnish!

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Lavender Salt Dry Rub

Can rub into beef steaks, chicken or wonderful on salmon steaks. Also make a ymyy rim of the margaritas above.

Store unused rub in a tightly sealed jar in a cool, dark place. It keeps well for 3 months, then is start to loose that lavender flavor .

Makes 1/2 cup

1 TBLS. dried lavender buds

1/2 cup coarse sea salt

Finely chop lavenderin a spice grinder and mix with salt.                

     Img_0686                              

I can brag as a mom. Chloe is really getting into taking photos with the digital camera. She took the beautiful picture of the willow and the one of the pink lavender.


4th of July in Merryville

                       Jubilee3

Oh dear readers come one, come all. The jubilee is just starting. There is nothing like the celebration in Merryville .
If you are quick you can still get a wonderful seat to see the parade. The band is been practicing so hard and sound wonderful. There is lots of yummy food and later in the afternoon, maybe you can take a dip. So hurry and do not miss out on the festivities. Tell Dear Mrs. Stagg's you are my friend. Because all are always welcomed in Merryville !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy 4TH

             Freedom1 
 
Happy 4th of July. I hope is it a day full of love and appreciation. I know not all you ladies who come to my blog are Americans. But we all have the precious gift of freedom. I always try to remember that on the 4th. To be grateful for what I have and to pray for those who are not as fortunate as me. So even if you are not celebrating the Forth, remember your gift of freedom. And those who do not have that gift.

Things I Love

 
Summer2_3
I just wanted to say thank-you to all who come to my blog. It is such a joy for me to write this blog and it is thrilling to think that anyone would want to come and hear my ramblings. There are sooo many wonderful blogs out there, more then anyone can read. So I am so blessed that you would chose my blog as one you would take time out of your day to read. I do hope you are inspired to play !! xoxoxoxo Thank you all again.
 
I realized that I did not share my other secret to strawberry shortcake. It is in the strawberries. An hour or two before I serve them I mix the berries with a couple of spoonfuls of sugar and 2 TBLS of rose water. You do not want to have a strong rose taste, so do not use to much. It should be a back note. But I find that the rose water enhances the strawberries. I also adore strawberries with lavender !! So if you bought that bottle of rose water, now you have another use for it. It would also be good in the sangria or lemonade.
 
I thought these patriotic irons for shirts would be a fun thing to do for the 4th. I hope to get some white tees this weekend.
 
Sangria. I ADORE sangria. Maybe because it is pink and fruity. The same has been said about me. Then there was the sangria incident but us CM ladies will not speak about that ;- )
 
I usually just take a bunch of ripe fruit cover it with rose wine (although you can use white or a light red or yumm champagne) and let it sit a day, but  not ifyou are using champange. It is better to let it sit and let the fruit juices macerate. You can eat the fruit too but be careful. It packs a punch.
Here are several recipes, recipes 2, recipes 3 !!!!
 
Sangria
1 small, seedless watermelon
2 cups raspberries
2 cups strawberries
1 cup blueberries
mint leaves
super fine sugar to taste
1 vanilla bean
1 orange sliced a bottle of rose wine
1. Rinse the berries. Cut the strawberries in half or quarters depending on their size. Place on towels to dry.

2. Squeeze the orange. Cut the mint leaves.

3. In a bowl, gently mix the fruit with the wine, orange juice, sugar, and the chopped mint.

4. Cut the vanilla bean in half, lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds. Scrape the seeds into the wine/berry mixture.

5. Cut a small slice off the bottom of the watermelon, so that it will stand upright. Cut the watermelon in two.

6. From one half of the watermelon, scoop out the flesh, cutting it into small pieces. Add some of the pieces to the wine/berry mixture. Reserve the rest for another use
 
Lastly I have a new computer scrapbook. As you can see for the picture above I am having fun playing with it. Center image is from allposters
Ca09 

4th July Menu

                           4th
 
Hello we have our big 4th of July thing on the third. I am making red, white and blue menu. I know it is hokey, but fun. I love theme food. What is every one else having??? Here is our menu.
 
Appetizer
red corn chips, with melted Monterey jack cheese over it and black bean and corn salsa
 
Dinner
red, white and blue slaw (red and white cabbage with a blue cheese dressing)
grilled red, white and blue potatoes with garlic butter
grilled steak with watermelon salsa
 
Dessert buttermilk panna cotta layered with blueberry sauce and sliced strawberries.
 
Black Bean and Corn Salsa
1 cup corn (roasted is great but cooked frozen or fresh off the cob too)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
chopped jalapeno peppers to taste
1 tomatoes chopped
1/4 cup, chopped cilantro
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBLS. olive oil
juice and zest of one lime
salt and pepper to taste
 
combine in non-reactive mixing bowl and serve
 
Watermelon Salsa
3 cups cubed watermelon
1 cup jicama, peeled and cut into strips
2 tomatoes cubed
2 green onions sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
3 TBLS. chopped cilantro
juice of one lime
3 TBLS. olive oil
3 TBLS. tequila (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
 
Mix all in a non-reactive bowl. Refrigerate and hour or so for flavors to meld.
 
Panna Cotta
2 tsp. gelatin powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup half and half
1/3 cup sugar 1 vanilla bean
Lightly oil 6 5-oz ramekins.
Soften gelatin in 2 Tbsp cold water.
 
Place buttermilk and creams into a medium saucepan. Slice vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds into cream. Add whole bean to cream for additional flavor. Bring cream to a simmer, whisking occasionally, and remove vanilla bean pod. Stir in gelatin. Pour into ramekins and chill for 4 hours.
 
To plate panna cotta, immerse ramekins in hot water for 30 seconds to loosen edges (do not submerge). Run a butter knife or palette knife around edge of ramekin and invert onto plate