Country Living

Coconut Chicken Curry

Coconut Chicken Curry

  I’ve been pouring through my recipe binders, cookbooks and, of course, the internet, looking for some new recipes. One of the reasons I used to stick to my tried-and-true recipes was because I hated the thought of all that work to turn out a […]

Burgers with Olive Oil Steak Fries

Burgers with Olive Oil Steak Fries

  My feet are frozen.  Why?  Because I’ve been walking around in wet tennies, in an unheated house, with no socks on. Yesterday I bought a packet of heirloom Bibb lettuce called “Tennis Ball.”  Wouldn’t it be a fun job to develop a variety of […]

Peach Balsamic Chicken

Peach Balsamic Chicken

  A couple of years ago, the girls came with us to pick peaches at this gorgeous peach orchard out in the country.  Just the spectacular view of the Oregon Coast Range was enough to make the trip worthwhile. The owners would rope off the […]

Finding the Courage to Say Goodbye

Finding the Courage to Say Goodbye

  Today should be one of the happiest days of my adult life.  It is Bill’s last day of having to commute to Portland. From here on out, he’ll only be working locally.  His work schedule will be shaved in half and we’ll actually get […]

Living Life On A Whim

Living Life On A Whim

  Bill and I bought our property in the Oregon wine country 10 ½ years ago.  We still talk sometimes about why we would do such an impetuous thing, on a whim. We’ve come to the conclusion that the “sudden” decision to move to the […]

Figgy Balsamic Glaze for Chicken

Figgy Balsamic Glaze for Chicken

  This “recipe” tonight is brought to you, courtesy of the Food Angel that sits on one of my shoulders.  Swear to God, if the nuns and my mother hadn’t instilled in me such a huge Super Ego, I would weigh 400 pounds.  So, thanks, […]

Balsamic and Orange Chicken

Balsamic and Orange Chicken

  I am having some animal angst lately.  My darling Bo is 13 and isn’t doing very well.  The doctor thinks it’s the arthritis in his knees.  I’ve got him on anti-inflammatories and pain meds, and they seem to be helping. Molly, our 8 year […]

Three Herb Chicken and Mushrooms

Three Herb Chicken and Mushrooms

  I just got home from schlepping some groceries.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, except for two things.  One, my sciatica (on both sides – ouch!) is horrible today; and two, there was a gal not that far from me […]

Mentally Preparing for Healthy

Mentally Preparing for Healthy

  My daughter gave me a FitBit for Christmas and I’m pretty darned tickled. I’ve had this blog for about 3 months so far and I wonder what all that sitting and typing has done to the size of my rear end.  Thankfully, I can’t […]

No Bake, Make Ahead Chocolate Peppermint Torte

No Bake, Make Ahead Chocolate Peppermint Torte

  This is the nicest dessert for your Christmas or Christmas Eve Dinner.  You can make it a few days ahead of time, wrap it lightly with foil (non-stick foil is best — not plastic wrap, which would stick to it), and store in the […]

Hey!  It’s Still Better Than McDonalds!

Hey! It’s Still Better Than McDonalds!

  We were invited to the neighbor’s Open House tonight.  I spent about an hour getting ready, trying to cram myself into my “good jeans,” that fit really well, 10 pounds ago.  It took an hour because, as someone once said (Nora Ephron?) it takes […]

Chickens in the Country

Chickens in the Country

  Yesterday was one of those days.  I woke up late and groggy, having spent several middle-of-the-night hours up, in back pain and unable to sleep. I had a cup of coffee, which helped.  The weather was beautiful, cold, clear and sunny, which helped, too.  […]

When Dealing with Lemons

When Dealing with Lemons

  I had my teeth cleaned today and, believe it or not, I had a blast. I can only imagine what you’re thinking: Wow, this old gal has really lost her marbles. Don’t get me wrong.  I had a cleaning scheduled for today and then […]

A Freezer Martha Would be Proud Of

A Freezer Martha Would be Proud Of

  I’m just kidding.  If Martha ever found something so messy and disorganized in her garage fridge, she’d pass out in a dead faint.  And later, she’d fire her entire kitchen staff. I spent about an hour this past weekend, freezing my rear end off […]

If You Want to Make God Laugh, Tell Her Your Plans

If You Want to Make God Laugh, Tell Her Your Plans

  I was thinking about a recent post, in which I was bemoaning the fact that so many of our kids live on the other side of the planet. Then I thought, what in my past life has ever lead me to believe that God, […]

The Insomnia Post

The Insomnia Post

  This is an Insomnia Post.  No doubt my husband, who is gently snoring upstairs in our loft (along with Bo and Molly, the dogs, and Leo, the kitty), will wake up because of my absence, come downstairs and demand to know what the hell […]

Fast and Easy Chicken Marsala

Fast and Easy Chicken Marsala

  As far as I’m concerned, there is no such thing as too many recipes for dinners that only take a few minutes to throw together, especially during the holidays. I made a rare, “last minute” shopping trip for a dozen items today.  It’s only […]

Two Brunch Make Aheads – Sweet Apple Hand-Pies and Bacon

Two Brunch Make Aheads – Sweet Apple Hand-Pies and Bacon

  I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I think, during a really exciting year, we’d have maybe a temperature range of somewhere around 30°. I was enamored with the notion of living where there were seasons.  Look at the beautiful snow they […]

Too-Tired-to-Care Turkey Pot Pie

Too-Tired-to-Care Turkey Pot Pie

  I never quite made my Goal-of-the-Day, which was to get a shower before Bill got home.  My blog and Thanksgiving prep were keeping me chained to the kitchen. I went so far as to lay out real clothes in the bathroom, complete with 2 […]

Easy Step by Step French Bread Rolls

Easy Step by Step French Bread Rolls

  My phone gave up the ghost 11 days, 6 hours and 23 minutes ago.  But who’s counting? When your phone is broken and you live in an empty nest which is 8 miles from your small town, with only the company of two labs […]

Fool Proof Pie Crust Tips for the Pastry Impaired

Fool Proof Pie Crust Tips for the Pastry Impaired

  This photo comes from my breakfast table.  When my granddaughter was about 3 or so, she was sitting there, munching away and quietly contemplating this weirdly dressed couple.  After a few minutes, she turned to us and said, “Whoz deez guys?”  It cracks us […]

Pork Loin or Tenderloin Scaloppine

Pork Loin or Tenderloin Scaloppine

  I don’t know about you, but the two weeks before a holiday are a pretty crazy time of year for me.  There’s the menu planning, the grocery shopping (I order online and Bill picks up, which ROCKS), the list double-checking, making sure the guest […]

Presto Pesto Pasta for the Freezing to Death

Presto Pesto Pasta for the Freezing to Death

  It looks like we may not eat tonight. Ok, on second thought, maybe we will, but only because my darling husband has been killing himself all day, working on “the farm” (this is really a joke because all we have is a veggie garden, […]

On Being Prepared

On Being Prepared

  I spend a lot of time complaining about this weird house of ours.  Right now, for instance, I am sitting here, typing away, and impatiently waiting to be able to feel my fingers. Yesterday, I was on my bike upstairs, in the freezing back […]

French Lentil Soup with Sausage

French Lentil Soup with Sausage

  The temperatures overnight took a nose dive, and it’s time to break out the knock-off Uggs.  They are goofy-looking, especially on me, but I really don’t care.  They’re the type that go up to my mid-calf.  So cozy and warm. Our house is big […]

Pennies From Heaven

Pennies From Heaven

  You’re going to think I’m a major nutcase, but you wouldn’t be the first one.  I haven’t even told most of my kids about my theories on the afterlife.  They don’t need more evidence of my insanity. My ex-husband passed away 10 years ago, […]

Always Celebrate Halloween

Always Celebrate Halloween

  Regarding Halloween, I am a LOVER.  I love Halloween, I love the idea of the Day of the Dead, ghosts and witches, and I think it’s just plain fun! Today is Halloween, one of my very favorite holidays, ever.  I think it has something […]

Churkey Noodle Vegetable Soup

Churkey Noodle Vegetable Soup

  Thanks to a childhood of enforced Catholicism, I have a highly developed Super-Ego. Thanks to hard work, diligence and maturity, I have managed, much of the time, to tell my Super-Ego where to go.  And it ain’t Heaven. Cat hair on the couch?  Dust […]

Split Pea Soup with Ham and Skillet Cornbread

Split Pea Soup with Ham and Skillet Cornbread

  Fall has definitely gotten me into a soup frame of mind.  I love one pot meals that I can throw together early in the day, and then clean up and high-tail it out of the kitchen.  Some days, I enjoy spending hours and hours […]

Chicken, Wild Rice and Vegetable Sunday Soup

Chicken, Wild Rice and Vegetable Sunday Soup

  The weather here in the Willamette Valley in Oregon has been absolutely, drop-dead gorgeous this Fall.  Some years, the rains will start in Early September and continue through June.  Gray, soggy skies get old, really fast.  Often, as soon as the leaves change color, […]

The Mixed Bag Garden

The Mixed Bag Garden

  The garden this year was a mixed bag.  I had a variety of 9 tomato plants, all started from seed back in March.  I’ve got a nice, warm craft area upstairs in a loft with shop lights.  When my plants outgrow their 4 inch […]


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