11 June 2010

Friday's Gift

My sweet, most lovable Farmer Boy brought me home a gift this afternoon
It's -
not something he likes, but something he knows I love
red with a bit of green, yellow and white on it
really good for me but isn't dark chocolate
(sorry but I just have to mention the 'c' word once a day)
something that has a really delightful fragrance
not something I wear
a thing that comes in a BIG box and reminds me that late spring really is here!
So what is it?

Well a flat of fresh, juicy, PNW strawberries of course:)
My Farmer Boy has GREAT taste in picking out gifts, doesn't he?
Blessings from 'strawberry heaven',

10 June 2010

Note to Readers: My Bloglist

Have decided to add a limited (7) bloglist to AOTM:CLM. Please understand there are so MANY more wonderful blogs I could list! In addition to the bloglist, I will continue to periodically make posts of a great website or blog I have found or been following for awhile. You can find these under the label: Favorite +/or Interesting Websites/Blogs.
I am in constant awe of the number of very gifted and knowledgeable bloggers in cyberspace these days and it is a blessing to see the world through their eyes--truly we are a community even though we live miles apart or in another nation!
As always, I hope that you find this blog a place of peace, joy and blessings for that is the main purpose for its being here.

Photo: close up of the center of a poppy (Oriental: variety 'Allegro')

09 June 2010

Changes in the Kitchen: New Foods

Having grown up eating International and gourmet foods, plus regular American style food, you would think that because of my advanced years (LOL) I would have tried at least a bite of every food available...but you'd be wrong. We just have so much availability to foods our grandparents never dreamed of trying.


Here are a few of the new foods I've tried in the last few years
Baby kiwi---run don't walk if you ever get a chance to buy these babies. If you want to see how they look when they are still on the kiwi vine see here for my tour of a real PNW kiwi farm. We only grow the fuzzy kind in our garden so this trip was lots of fun!)

Gold kiwi (like these even better then regular fuzzy kiwi and I really like them!)

Gooseberries (worth trying; normally cooked with sugar into a dessert. I like them raw and without sugar but I like tart things)
Quinoa (had heard about this before but hadn't tried it till Patty--morningramble-posted a dish she made with quinoa which made me really curious about it. Soon thereafter I got a chance to try a kale and quinoa salad--spicy and yummy--I'm now in love with it and wanting to try it at home)

Sungold tomatoes (candy for the mouth and stomach. You can eat lots of these and not feel guilty about it)

Gold raspberries (even better then red raspberries and I really, really like them. In the photo above they are not ripe yet. This is the variety Anne)

Couscous (yummy. could eat this once a week)

Greek pita (the ones I buy are whole wheat, thicker and chewier then regular pitas)

Greek yogurt (think I may have tried this on a souvlaki 'gyros' pita before, but had never eaten JUST the yogurt till awhile back. Now I am SO in love with it! Has more calcium, more protein and fewer calories then the yogurt I used to get--which I still love BTW) UPDATE 6/10 eve: found out that the calcium, calories are variable depending on which Greek yogurt you're eating; the one I had today was almost exactly the same as the regular, fruit yogurt I eat).

Shaved parmesan cheese (as a child we used the dried grated kind; quite a long time ago I switched to shredded parmesan, but I like this even better)

Chicken and vegetable consomme (the ones I get are from Israel and are SO much better then the dried bouillon cubes I bought for years)


Soon to try:
Kasha (just because I am curious after trying the quinoa)

Lemongrass (having loved Thai food forever I want to try using this at home)

Edible flowers (just because they're pretty and I like pretty)

Ginger (I love marinated ginger and using ginger in recipes, but have never tried the fresh ginger I see at stores)

Chervil (never got a chance to try this last year; it survived the winter so will try it this year)


So what new foods or recipes would you like to try this year?

I am always open to trying new foods--well most of them; I'm not quite as brave as my oldest son. I don't dare tell you what he's tried; it's too ...yucky!

Blessings, Aimee

The Word on Wednesday

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32 KJV

08 June 2010

Just Because

All of us are surrounded by immense beauty.
Sometimes it is easy to spot and other times it isn't.
In my own garden travels, I have often missed seeing certain parts of a flower or plant's development because of my focus on the 'main event'.

Sometimes, I have missed some thing of beauty because I haven't looked up enough,
or far enough down.
And sometimes I have missed it because I just wasn't looking closely enough for it.

But THIS time,
and a lot more lately,
I saw what God had sent to our garden and I was even able to get a photo of it.
Thank you, Lord!
What beauty have you seen today in your garden?
photo: dragonfly

What am I?

A ha! Found something today I had not seen before so ....yea, another what am I?

Hints of the day:
I follow one of Aimee's favorite blooms, but technically my blooms aren't called blooms.
The blooms that technically aren't blooms appeared on this blog this spring.
I develop on a tree.
Do you know what I am?

Trip to the Past: the Fort Gardens+

Done with your rest in the land of heirloom roses yet?
OK, I know it's hard to leave but we need to get moving if I am to keep my promise to Farmer Boy, so let's hop in the car and drive to our next destination--the fort part of Ft Vancouver.
Actually, it's a recreation of the Hudson Bay Company fort, but it's still pretty neat and I am sure every little boy would love to have one of these in their backyard!
(BTW-speaking of boys, I just found out that my dad when he was in Jr. high or so built his very own tree fort! You know kids just sometimes have this preconceived notion of what their parents were like before they were parents; now that I am getting older I find it is often wrong!)
Ok, we're here at the fort area now. It's located south of the Officer's Row and Barracks area and easily reached by a short drive or not too long walk (it's closer to the Columbia River). There is also an air museum, but we won't have time to stop there today--maybe next time! In fact, if I am ever lucky enough to come back here, we can tour both the fort and the air museum.

Ah! The garden---total surprise to me and my best friend;

we loved, loved, LOVED it!

It is of good size and filled with ...

currants, grapes and other fruit. The PNW is a great place to grow fruit and known for its orchards, strawberries, caneberries -- and other yummies!

flowers of many kinds

and non flowering plants too
paths to follow (I loved the paths that separated the different beds; the only thing I'd do different is to use brick or something more natural--that is for my place)

arbors of various kinds and a sundial.
OK, I admit I am now wanting a sundial--
so cool and better then digging my cell phone out every time I want to know the time outdoors!

areas to sit awhile and reflect--or just rest and chat with a friend

herbs---hum, I like this idea

A beautiful place to just be.

Speaking of being---how are you all today?
Oh Oh! I left out a photo of the veggies and neat pole tipees (or teepees or tepees) for pole beans and probably other things. Well maybe that will be another post -- soon.

A Trip to the Past: Gardens

Last I left you, we were looking at some incredible historic homes and I was attempting to pick one to live in (OK, only in my dreams as I LOVE the country way too much to move to the big city!)
Shall we now leave the homes, wondrous as they are, for just a few moments? I so want to see some nature and this place has lots of it! Let's start with a view from the parade ground area...
Not too bad, huh? Nice view of the Columbia, green trees, mountains (hills) of NW Oregon across the river and the green grass of the parade ground. BTW--for non PNW'ers...did you know Washington state is known as the Evergreen State? Yep, it's true and there's a reason...

After a not too long walk we come to another area of the site and lookee here--a local resident!!
Yep, we found this little guy just hanging around and he was nice enough to let me catch a semi-OK photo of him, despite the fact that he would have preferred for me to go away. An FYI on Aimee--she loves squirrels and only her eagle-eyed Farmer Boy seems to be able to see them at their place, so it was nice to see this one close up :)

We will leave him alone now and move on to the area across the street and some flowers!
Hydrangeas...love these babies!
Have you ever tried to dry them?

And now rugosa roses and some heirloom ones...
I mean really, really old ones (not the bushes themselves, of course, but the variety of rose)
I love white roses...I loved, loved, loved the fragrance of the roses!!!
Lots of these -- rugosa roses.
They grew them as a hedge there and they were beautiful!
Now this is strikingly beautiful! I love roses that are variegated--ones that look like God took a paintbrush and handpainted each petal! Beautiful! This variety, I believe, dated from 1850 or so; the one next to it from the 1700's.
This bench invites you to sit awhile and experience the garden--the birds that are calling, fresh air and the wonderful fragrance of the rose garden!
We'll take a moment to drink it all into our inner being, make a pleasant memory and then we'll move on to the next garden. Enjoy and I'll be back...

Photos: all taken at Ft Vancouver Historic Site this year.

A Trip to the Past

OK. I will confess something right now.
If you haven't already realized, I LOVE history, travel and photography.
But because of the recent winter-in-spring weather we have had here in the PNW, I haven't traveled as much as I normally do.
So when I hear a faint rumour that the NW might get some partly sunny/partly cloudy weather,
my first thought is...
not how much work I should be doing
where can my best friend and I go?
Because fun and exploration is meant to be shared!
Oh I also think
we'd better go because tomorrow we will probably get rain--again:)
Need I say my Farmer Boy is the most understanding and patient man that I know
(of course I did tell him we would get back early enough to get some work done and we did; early starts are vital here).
And off we went...
Now as part of my love of history,
I LOVE historical buildings
and I really, really LOVE historical homes.
(Have I told you I've lived in several older homes?)
Hence I LOVE places like Port Townsend and Ft Worden (Olympic Peninsula),
Port Gamble (Kitsap Peninsula), Astoria (north Oregon coast), Jacksonville (southern Oregon) and all points between where I can find a decent amount of wooden gingerbread trim, covered porches,
ornate windows and railings.
Well I could go on forever but we decided on Ft Vancouver since I had not
been there in a long, long, long time.
After an enjoyable drive, with only one stop for food, we finally arrived..
Fort Vancouver National Site!

Two choices,
which way should we go?

Having been to Ft Worden I know Officer's Row
is the way to go for the detail
my heart loves:)
(although we found good architectural detail elsewhere plus some BIG surprises!)

Passing the parade ground and barracks

(will get to the latter later).

Have I ever told you I love gazebos too?
So where do you think I headed first?
The pretty houses would have to wait
for a few minutes at least:)
OK, having had my gazebo quota satisfied for this month
we headed towards the nearest home...
this one

OK, another confession.

I am a turret/tower loving gal.
I'm not sure if it was the result of all those childhood fairy tales
or perhaps all those Disney movies about princesses in castles,
but I LOVE them!
(another confession here...
my best friend, who was helping remodel and care for a Victorian home one time years ago,
helped me make my Aimee sleeping in a tower dream come true.
Of course it wasn't on a princess bed--hum, I guess that would be a Queen bed...
But I did have a mattress on the wood floor at least
and the tower all to myself!!!!)
OK, back to the trip...
sorry but at night I get SO silly.

Now I would be quite happy here too
no tower but a BIG covered porch
and a big covered balcony
and some very great flags!
Maybe not,
more square footage equates to more time cleaning.
I'll just keep looking...

Hum, a round turret/tower...
reminds me of my special-all-by-myself-night playing princess.
But you know it looks pretty big too though.
But I do LOVE the ornamental detail...
So many homes, so little time...
What about this one?

A home with a "widow's" walk---pretty!
If I didn't mind heights so much, you'd find me walking up there.
And next to a heirloom rose garden (oh, YOU should be wishing right now I could somehow post the beautiful fragrance of these babies...heavenly!). Some of these rose varieties date back as far as the 1700's! I LOVE heirloom plants--we have several heirloom apples at home.
Eek! Home. That reminds me it is 0312 in the AM, and that most patient and understanding Farmer Boy of mine will be expecting me to clean, cook and garden tomorrow (today) so tour over for tonight:)
To come:
more home detail,
the barracks,
the squirrel and bee,
a historic garden and the fort that makes this Ft Vancouver,
an interesting meeting,
more roses
(hopefully) more fun!
Blessings all!
PS: Oh and I did keep my promise to my Farmer Boy, didn't I honey?
Well except for the grocery shopping:(
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