Wednesday, November 13, 2013

We've Come a Long Way, Baby

These are actual print ads from previous decades. I wonder how much we will look back on what is commonplace to us now and smack our heads in  shock.

I highlight a few with some mild gender stereotypes. Snort.

Oh, my. I learned to drive on my mom's Subaru. I'm glad I had not seen this ad. Of course, I wouldn't have understood all the innuendo at 15.
That $%*# won't make that mistake twice, apparently.
Not sure if the implication is that the catsup lid is easy to open or easy to figure out which direction to unscrew the lid. Either way....
I want to order that book. It sounds entertaining. Of course, "Do you still beat your wife?" is one of those question either a simple "yes" or a simple "no" will get you into trouble.
Appliances always make every woman happy.  Actually...that looks pretty spiffy...but I don't think I have EVER clasped my hands with glee.
Well. This add just sounds like a collection of bad pick-up lines. I quote: "Have you a perceptive eye, a mind like a calculator, a bend for men who did bikini panties, a passion for Fibber McGee, a cool head for business and an obsession for snakeskin backgammon boards?" did they KNOW about my secret passion for dead snake game boards and jersey nylon dresses!?
No comment needed.
I have NEVER EVER "thrived" on cooking, cleaning and dusting.
Just sayin'.
He will, if you are soft and smell good.
This last one is my favorite. I'm pretty sure she also tasted his food and will need permission to rise.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Some Thoughts on Exes


It's hard to make it to your 40s, or even 30s, without having some sort of an ex. Whether an ex-spouse or an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, those feelings we have when the relationship ends are often painful and all-too-long-lasting.

Here's what I want to say to you, my friends.

Get Over It.


I'm not talking about the fresh break-up. It takes time to heal. I'm talking about the years-later-you-are-still-trash-talking-your-ex-and-thinking-of-ways-to-hurt-him kind of Get Over It.

I am talking to some of my friends, who are carrying around pain and anger, sometimes rightfully so, but who are allowing that hatred to infiltrate their lives. 

It will kill your soul.

I'm not foolish enough to think that everyone will be able to truly forgive their former love for perceived and actual wrongs. What I am saying is that you thinking about Him and how He did you wrong, how He spent all your money, how He treated you badly, how He moved on, and how you still want to run Him over with your car if you see Him, is doing no one any good. He doesn't care that you are ticked off. It isn't ruining His life. It's ruining yours.

I've been there. If I wanted to I could give a list of things my ex did that would curl your hair. But it's not worth my energy.  This weekend I am spending time with a whole bunch of people who last saw me when I was married. They knew my ex. There will be questions. That's fine. I will give them the truth, but abbreviated. Because I have moved on. I have Gotten Over It. And God has healed that pain.

Did it change me and leave scars? Of course. Did your break-up create long-term havoc and distress in your life? Of course it did. I'm not unsympathetic. You may not have wanted the divorce or you may have been the instigator.  Either way, it happened. You aren't responsible for punishing Him. Now is the time to move onward and upward.
Isaiah 43:18-19
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.” (NIV)

I wish I could guarantee that the people who need to read this would see it. There are many in my life who are so busy hanging on to their ex that their present and future is being wasted. Some are my friends, some are not.

Trust me when I say, your hatred does not hurt your former spouse, but it will kill you inside.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

More Salmon

I am so glad that Joe gets to clean all the fish.  I did offer to learn, but we have come up with a good processing system that involves him fileting and me vacuum sealing and cleaning up. So I have dodged that bullet.
 Here he is just starting on my bigger coho (silver) from today. It was the largest one of the four in the boat (as I have mentioned to Joe about 642 times) and had over 4.5 pounds just in filets.
  I have become totally addicted to salmon fishing. Just the process of casting, reeling in, and being out on the river is so wonderful. When I am out there, I always think that I would be satisfied to just be sitting there...even if we aren't catching anything.
But then the fish hits the hook. And my heart races. And as Joe told me today...I get a crazy grin that doesn't go away until the fish is in the boat and unhooked. Then I can relax a little again. Until the next "fish on".
Isn't it a good sign when the filets hang over the side of my largest ironstone platter?  And this isn't even a huge fish. We weighed the meat we harvested today and we put more than 14 pounds in the freezer.
We also put up 2.5 pounds of eggs. We have a lot to do with them so we can use them for bait. Apparently there is a whole process that we need to put them through before we use it. I guess I will learn about that later.  I think the eggs are actually quite pretty just as they are.
Also this week I started some sauerkraut. It's sitting in a crock on the counter fermenting. We shall see how it comes out. I'm pretty excited about it, having never made it before.  More on that later.  But only if it turns out!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

An Art Mystery

...mostly solved. At least to my satisfaction.

Our family has owned a lovely watercolor painting since the 1950s. It has been hanging somewhere in my home since adulthood and I have always loved it.

Here is the mystery. We have always referred to it as a Nome (Alaska) street scene, but have had only vague memories and recollections for verifications, as everyone from the generation that purchased it has passed away.

Multiple internet searches and even a call to the Nome Chamber of Commerce a couple of years ago yielded no information on the artist, clearly signed "Z Green".

It was a dead end, until yesterday.

One more random internet wander...and I found this postcard.

Now it may be a coincidence that the two little ones are wearing the same color jackets, but there is no denying the placement of the boardwalk and the telephone poles.
I suppose my next adventure will be to attempt to locate an actual copy of this postcard to attach to the back of the painting.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How to Grill Salmon

A few people have asked me recently how we like to grill our fish. It's probably one of my favorite meals, and very easy to prepare.

First, I prefer a charcoal grill. I know, I know, it's not nearly as easy as lighting the propane, but for pure flavor, it's how I really enjoy it.

Create a makeshift aluminum pan from heavy-duty foil. I am far too thrifty to buy one every time, and the skin will stick to the pan bottom, so for pure ease of clean-up, this is the way to go.

Lay the fish, skin side down, in the pan.

Silver salmon spread with homemade spiced peach preserves.

Season (here are a few ideas):
  • spread with butter, sprinkle Johnny's seasoning, drizzle with honey
  • apricot or peach preserves
  • mix mayo, Dijon mustard, capers, salt and pepper, and fresh parmesan
Add about 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the pan to keep the fish lovely and moist

Grill for approximately 15 minutes. Check for doneness easily with a fork. When fish "flakes"'s ready to enjoy.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Salmon and Squash

When God created the salmon, I'm almost certain he had this one in mind. Tonight we ate the little Silver (Coho) that I caught this weekend. We ate the WHOLE THING. Because, with a little butter, Johnny's seasoning, honey, and the grill, it was amazing.

Joe wants to make sure I give credit where it is due. He tied the line and fileted the fish. But I caught it. So it's mine. And I deserve most of the credit. Right?

And I made acorn squash for the first time. I think it must be the easiest side dish ever.  Not the best picture, but I couldn't resist showing it off.

Acorn Squash:

Cut it in half, scoop the seeds, and bake face down in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes to soften.

Place one half in a small casserole or baking dish and fill the cavity with some butter and brown sugar. The put the other half on (like a lid) and put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes.

And you're done.

Why haven't I made that before? And it was cheap. 59 cents. Nothing is 59 cents anymore!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Zucchini Bread

Here's my recipe for the moistest and most flavorful zucchini bread ever. I have adapted this one a few times, and today's was just about perfect.

Oven @ 350
Grease two 9x5 bread pans (or four small pans for gifts!)

Very fitting.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


I found two of these ironstone dishes at an antique store in Snohomish.  I thought it was a nice combination of my enjoyment of the solidity and heaviness of the ironstone and Joe's love of the outdoors.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Nature Sightings

Yesterday late afternoon, while we were fishing on the Stillaguamish River, there were two kingfishers chasing each other up and down the south side of the bank. I love those little birds, their big heads and short bodies are so distinctive in the air, and had a good opportunity to really listen to their calls. Flirts!

An osprey spent a few minutes circling above us. I am going to assume that he had better luck getting fish than we did.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


This little girl has really filled a spot in our hearts. She is an avid sock-hunter, laser light chaser, cat tree climber, and all around independent kitty.  We loves her.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The "Fruits" of our Labors

Here is the final product from our day on the river. Good start for the freezer and pantry stock up....

...except for the fish in the bowl. Joe is going to eat that now. I haven't tried the canned, but we brined the fish for the smoker for about 18 hours in salt and brown sugar. Oh. My. Goodness. It's delicious. I learned a few things along the way, like that because pink salmon is pretty oily, after you brine, you should drain the fish on a towel for a couple of hours. If I had done this I wouldn't have been up at 0100 pulling this off the smoker and processing it in the bags.
I'm really looking forward to canning a few more things this fall. Apples are next! I haven't done this in years and needed the encouragement to get my hands back in it. So thanks to Joe's cousin Craig for canning the salmon with me.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Being Outside

I love to be in the woods. By the lake. On the river. At the beach. Fishing. Hiking. Camping. Sitting in a lawn chair.

One of the reasons I fell in love with Joe was not just his passion for the outdoors, but his ability to share that joy with others. The child-like glee he exhibits when he gets a fish on the line. The crazy out-of-breath-with-excitement phone message he left me when he got his huge buck a couple of years ago.

Today, we fished from his cousin's boat in the Snohomish River. We all got our salmon limits (12 in the boat). But here's what else we saw...

Quite a few blue herons. Such graceful beauty.

One of the herons had a decent sized fish, which was quickly snatched from him by a bald eagle. The eagle sat on the edge of the river and ate it up, while the heron watched from a sand bar. Its probably my imagination, but I think he looked very dejected. It was a good fish.

The stand-out prize of the day goes to a young 2-3 point buck whom we watched as he finished his swim across the river. I actually caught sight of his antlers and didn't immediately register what I was seeing. As he came to the river's edge, he scrambled out and, after picking his way around a bit, headed almost straight up into the brush. That was a sight.

Everywhere I have lived has had it's own unique beauty. The Pacific Northwest really stands out on days like today.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Chihuly: a Photo Retrospective (doesn't that sound posh?)

My first encounter with the glass work of Dale Chihuly was at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha. There I was able to see close-up the amazing artistry of what was then a newly installed piece.

Here are my photos from that day.

Small piece in the gift shop. Alas, I do not have $8000 to spend.

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a wonderful time in Seattle with some of my very lady-like friends. On a gorgeous Saturday, we hit the Seattle Center and the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit. Not cheap at $19, but worth every penny.

This "bowl" is about 2 feet tall. Note the layers of glass and the 3-D effect.

I had seen the chandelier style of his art, but was struck by the different glass work that Chihuly has done.

Loved the crab. He's about 6 inches tall. Quite a departure from the bright colors I am used to from Chihuly.

My favorite exhibit. The colors and the artistry literally made me speechless.

It was fun to people watch at the exhibit. They were all doing the same thing I was. As I entered one room, I was struck by the immensity, the beauty, the intricacy, and the artistic vision that creates such wonders. At one point, I looked at a friend and told her I wanted to sing "Pure Imagination" from the Willy Wonka. 

One of the many colored "chandeliers" hanging from the ceilings.

Then, I would turn my head, get a glimpse into the next room, and gasp. Every room did this to me. 

A closer look.

Large, probably 2 1/2 feet across, bowl. Stunning colors.

A glimpse at the Needle through the floral chandelier.

Rock candy.

I'm not sure that I want to know what these little black suckers are escaping from under this log into the purple forest.

Hold your breath
Make a wish
Count to three

Come with me
And you'll be
In a world of
Pure imagination
Take a look
And you'll see
Into your imagination

We'll begin
With a spin
Traveling in
The world of my creation
What we'll see
Will defy

If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Wanta change the world?
There's nothing
To it

There is no
Life I know
To compare with
Pure imagination
Living there
You'll be free
If you truly wish to be

If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Wanta change the world?
There's nothing
To it

There is no
Life I know
To compare with
Pure imagination
Living there
You'll be free
If you truly
Wish to be

More gift shop goodies.

If anyone is looking for birthday gift ideas, I think this one only ran $6500.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Apartment Therapy Style Cure: Day One

I am participating in Apartment Therapy's month of Style Cure. Essentially, this means I am gutting a room and making it not just full of hand-me-downs and a catch-all, but re-making it to represent me. The room I am tackling (an appropriate word since I will need a linebacker's muscles to do this) is what is supposed to be my guest/reading room. What it is currently is a repository for all the stuff that doesn't have a home elsewhere. I will post a picture this weekend, much to my shame, just to keep me honest.

The first task of the "cure" was a self-interview. Sort-of an introspective what-kind-of-crazy-nut-are-you? style-wise quiz. Because what I discovered is that I like a bit of everything. How I answered this was listing the first things or persons that came into my mind. Hardly scientific, but odd.

1. List your favorites in each category

Actor: Sean Connery. Loved him in Darby O'Gill (when he had amazing hair) and in Hunt for Red October (in which he didn't). Oh, that voice.
Actress: Melissa McCarthy. Chubby and hilarious? You're my girl.
Artist: Dale Chihuly. Just saw more of his work in Seattle. Inspiring. And Fredrick Childe Hassam. I've enjoyed him since seeing his work at the Joslyn in Omaha. The grays and greens are just lovely.
Writers: Harper Lee, JK Rowling, CS Lewis
Music: No preference. It changes daily.
Restaurant: I love good food and good service. Honestly, I don't have a favorite.
Automobile: 1972 Jeep CJ5 or a 1970s Jaguar
Movies/TV: Princess Bride, Law and Order, Dr Who, or anything by Joss Whedon
Clothing: pencil skirts, tank tops, big earrings
Furniture pieces: mid-century dressers, IKEA, vintage dinnerware

2. Choose three words to describe your personal style
Vintage, outdoorsy, eclectic

3. Think back over the homes you've lived in, both as a child and as an adult. Which rooms would you choose as your favorites and how would you describe them.

Childhood: The livingroom I had in high school. High ceilings, wood paneled walls, rock fireplace, cozy and inviting.
Adulthood: My last kitchen. Modern appliances and vintage dinnerware and bright colors.

4. Who do you consider a role model?

My friend Erin. You know who you are. 
What three adjectives describe the qualities that you most admire in this person?
Loving, generous, godly

5. Every home has areas that are "just right". Which three spots or things in your home do you feel are beautiful and feel proud of, right now, as is:

This stinks, as the only spot I love right now is my black and white photo wall.

6. A month from now, at the end of the Style Cure, how would you like your friends to describe your home?

Welcoming, a good mix of masculine and feminine, tidy, and personal

What has this taught me? I think I am bi-polar. Or perhaps this mix of likes is normal. Probably. Either way, my goal is to transform my reading room into a place that I want to spend time, to curl up with a book, and a place that when friends come to spend the night, they recognize my influence and taste.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Go Have an Adventure!

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”

~ William G.T. Shedd ~

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ah...the Deep Thought for the Day

Not Wrong

Here's what I learned from last night's women's study:

When both parties are well-intentioned, because of the way men and women see things differently, they both can be right, because they are approaching the issue from different angles and perspectives.

The illustration that was used really hit home for me.

A home designer goes to a couples' home for a consultation. He wants granite counter tops, wood floors, and porcelain sinks. She wants Corian counters, tile floors, and acrylic sinks. Neither is wrong, but their preferences are based on expectations, things they have seen in the past, and sometimes, deep-seated desires.

The designer has a tough job. He has to take each persons needs/wants and merge them with the others to make both happy and satisfied.

We don't get a designer. Darn it. But we do have the tools available to merge our needs and wants so that both are met.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Word of the Year for 2013

This year I do not want to make resolutions at which I inevitibly fail, or at the very least, fall short.
This year I want to make changes in my lifestyle.
My word for the year is: CREATE
Things I want to CREATE:
  • deeper friendships with a select group of ladies.
  • a peaceful refuge for my man.
  • an organized and useful space for my artistic endeavors and projects.
  • all of my Christmas gifts.
  • a repetoire of recipes for both of our dietary needs.

The world is but a canvas to the imagination.
~Henry David Thoreau

How to Not Be Depressed

According to today's news reports, the third Monday of January is statistically the most depressing day of the year. Well, how lovely. Apparently a group of psychologists came up with this a few years ago  and have decided that poor weather (unless you live in the southern hemisphere), incoming credit card bills from overexpenditures at Christmas (unless you pay cash), and failed New Year's resolutions all contribute to this sad and pathetic day.

I wish I had known this earlier. I could have really milked it.

It made me think back to a list that was posted in the church library years ago. One of the keys to fighting depression?  Go out and do something nice for somebody else. I think I will.

Disclairmer: Lest anyone think I am mocking people with depression, I am not. This is fuzzy science at its best, based solely on conjecture and without numbers backing it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Oh, The Shame

Well, hello!  As about half a dozen people have pointed out to me in the past week, I am a horrifically inconsistent blogger. I do have a lot of ideas to write about, as well as some new projects that I have been working on (and actually completed) to post pictures of.

With that in mind, I will attempt to keep the following rules in mind as I forge ahead: