Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Yesterday afternoon we had friends over for pumpkin carving.  My family's traditional Halloween chowder was served along with spiced apple cider and Stephanie's scrumptious sweet potato biscuits

Seeds were saved to be toasted later.

To celebrate our beautiful creations we lined them all up along the fireplace mantle as we sat in awe and horror! 

Annette's Halloween Chowder or
Sausage Bean Chowder

1 pound pork sausage
crumple and cook until red color is gone (drain fat)
2 15 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
2 15 ounce cans of red kidney beans
1 medium onion chopped and 1/2 green pepper chopped
2-4 medium potatoes diced
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp of garlic salt
1-3 bay leaf 1 tsp thyme
salt and pepper (usually you do not want to add any more salt it is salty enough with all the other salts added)
Cook slowly on medium low heat for about an hour.  Stirring occasionally.
In my family this recipe debuts for the season during Halloween festivities and retires on New Year's Eve night.  It can be easily doubled and like with any good chowder is even better the longer the ingredients sit together so it makes excellent leftovers. 

Spiced Apple Cider

Your favorite 100% apple juice or cider like R. W. Knudsen Apple
2-3 cinnamon sticks
1-2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 star anise
1/2 orange sliced with rind

Warm over medium low heat.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 29, 2010

It's been awhile.

Wouldn't have this gone perfectly with this post.

Well...  it's been awhile since I've written in this space.  Longer than I had intended.  To be honest I'm a little stumped for words.  Much has gone on since I wrote last.  We painted and reorganized the office to now hold a little sewing studio space as well.  It is so wonderful to have a little dedicated space for my sewing/quilting projects.  I can't believe how quickly some of the room came together and how slowly other parts are taking!  Do you find that happens to you when you've redecorated a room?

My nephew and parents visited for a whirlwind adventure tour of Seattle.  Great fun was had by all!  (Hopefully next week I will be able to share some of his visit with you.)  And then it's just been trying to get back into the swing of life afterwards.  It always seems to take me a week or two after people visit to ... recover, if that's the right word. 

There is so much I want to share with you and many things I want to work on in this blog.  Maybe if I write down what is it I want to share then it will hold me a bit more accountable!  (And hey, I'm due for another list anyways, right?)

To Share:

1. My nephew's visit

2.  Recent baking adventures

3. More creative spaces

4. Tour of our new office/sewing studio (don't hold your breath on this one though because I want it to be just right before photographs are shared.)

5.  Book reviews

6. New music finds

7.  And I still have yet to share about my beautiful vintage flute

Blog Housekeeping:

1. A new title banner

2.  Streamlined side bar.  (It's getting a little crazy over there on the right don't you think?)

Hope you have a spooky and safe Halloween weekend!  We're having friends over tomorrow afternoon for a pumpkin carving party.  I am making my Halloween chowder and serving up some hot apple cider.  Do you have any Halloween traditions?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Radio Silence

Hello you lovely readers!  There is going to be some radio silence this way for a bit as we've been redecorating our office and turning it into a a shared sewing studio and office. (Photos to follow once it's all fully completed.) And even more exciting still our seven year old nephew is coming out to visit!!!!

Here is a little play list to fill the void until I can return.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Number Sixteen: Walking Green Lake

Monday morning I arrived in Green Lake neighborhood too late to take my usual yoga class.  This made for a excellent opportunity to scratch another item of my list of 30 things, walking around Green Lake.

The day was one of those beautiful crisp fall mornings.  There was a chill to the air but the sun was shinning gloriously.  The rays warmed my face while to breezes made my hands a little cold and wishing for some mittens. 

I delighted in listening to little ones giggling on their tricycles, mommies enjoying in companionship pushing their strollers, older women having a lovely chat around the lake, and dogs barking at the water fowl.

Portions of the walk reminded me of my beloved Bear Creek Greenbelt trail in Colorado.  Little bits where I could sneak off the paved route onto a less traveled dirt path providing me with moments of walking meditation.

There were lovely wild flowers grazing along the waters edge

and lily pads too.  (Although I didn't see Mr. Jeremy Fisher there was a fisherman hoping for a catch.)

Beautiful fall leaves delighted my eyes and ears as they crunched underfoot.

There were two wonderful sights I wish I could have captured toward the end of my walk around the lake.  First was one darling little girl with strawberry curls held back with a pink headband.  She rushed out to walk on a dock posted out in the water as her grandpa called her back to wait for him.  Her little hand reached out to his and they walked onto the dock together. 

The second image was this wonderful woman jogging.  She had a huge smile on her face that was contagious.  I literally lit up in a smile from ear to ear as I passed her.  What a gift she gave me that morning! I wonder how many others were effected by her smile or by the one she left on my face?

At the end of my walk I took a rest on this bench and listened to the mallards as the cackled and laughed (at least that what it sounded like to me, a grinning fool).  In the moment I was caught up in listening to the ducks that I hadn't noticed the beauty of the sun rays shinning through the tree branches.  Thank goodness for film (or rather the Hipstamatic iPhone app) to document the beauty for me so that I may appreciate it later!

Friday, October 1, 2010

List Fifteen: things that made my week

(I think I got one week behind so bonus list this week!)

1.  A little table for one at Sunlight Cafe while eating a most delicious nut burger.

2.  Sinking Friendships by Jonsi and this song for urging my body and soul to let loose and dance!

3.  Lovely lunch conversation with a dear friend.


This cutie holding a little gift I sent him for becoming a big brother.

5.  My strong husband for holding me in his arms when all I could do was cry.

6.  Ending the week with gorgeous sunshine!!!

Have a wonderful weekend!  I will be hosting a tea party for some close friends.  What are your plans?

The Bike Walk

Last weekend we were lazing around the house when my husband asked if I'd be up for taking a bike ride.  Sadly, we hadn't been out all summer with our bikes and mine was in need of some new tires.  He graciously worked away to get my bike all prepared for our little field trip.

Down the hill we flew, wind on our faces.  It felt so good to be out in the fresh air.  The two of together enjoying each other's company.  We made it down to the river trail and decided to take a left down the trail since we hadn't explored that way very much.  There were walkers and fellow riders out on the trail.  One family was adorable with a tandem bicycle or rather a three person bike for the little guy and a trailer hitched on the end for the baby.
 We were happy in our bliss until moments after this photo was taken when we realized that his bike had blown a tire. :(  With no repair kit we were forced to turn around only moments after beginning on the river trail.

He rigged up his tire to keep it from flopping around and injuring the rim.  And up the hill we turned to hike back.