Thursday, April 29, 2010

O Is For Ogopogo

O is for the Ogopogo in the Okanagan. 

The Ogopogo is Nessie's Canadian Cousin,  an unidentified and elusive sea creature  living in Okanagan Lake, British Columbia.   There have been documented sightings of a "sea monster" here at this lake since 1872.  
 (This photo was taken by my Dad.  Family photos may not be borrowed or pinned.)

Three little girls climb up onto the Ogopogo statue in Kelowna. That's me in front, on the Ogopogo's snout, with two of my sisters up on his head.  (my 3rd sister had not yet been born.)  

This is the new Ogopogo statue.  (pic from the web)

Canada even put the Ogopogo on a stamp. (pic from the web)

The beautiful, semi-arid Okanagan region is known for it's vineyards, fruit orchards , summer and winter sports and tourism.  A really lovely vacation spot!  
(both of these pics from the web)

It's Alphabe-Thursday at Jenny's and we are celebrating the letter "O". 

(The first picture was taken by my Dad, the rest are from web.)

Monday, April 26, 2010


One of my favorite shrubs!  
The spirea is covered from head to toe in
tiny white flowers!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Farmers Market

One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday is shop at the local Farmers Market.  Here are the sights that greeted me this morning.


Cilantro.  I bought  a couple of plants to grow in pots.   I love making guacamole during the summer.

Honey and soap.

Some of the first veggies of spring.

Pie.  The kids are home this weekend, so I picked up an apple pie to have with dinner.

The rest of the pictures are from visits to outdoor markets in other cities.
We love to visit the markets, no matter where we are.
Childhood toys  ,  Red Rat and Blue Bear accompanied my sister and I to this flower stall in NE.
(My sister may have taken this picture.  I honestly don't remember anymore.)

Bountiful vegetables.

My daughter choosing a handful of zinnias from a market in NE.

One of my nieces and Mr. Garden checking out the produce at a market in MO.  
This was one of the hottest day of the year, and we were melting!

My friend picking out a few delicious treats at a market in WA.

Laurie is hosting Favorite Things Saturday.  Please visit her blog to see all the other wonderful favorite posts!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

N Is For Nanaimo Bars

N is for Nanaimo Bars, a wonderful, triple layered, custard and chocolate cookie.    So yummy!     It is said that a housewife from the town of Nanaimo, British Columbia, submitted this bar cookie for publication in a cookbook.  It turned out to be a hit and put both the treat and the town on the map!

You may have seen these mentioned on TV during the 2010 Winter Olympics.   They are truly a favorite Canadian confection!

This recipe comes from my best friend, who is Canadian.  She makes them every year.  My son loves them!

(picture from the www)


First Layer:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
5 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups graham crackers crumbs
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup walnuts
Mix butter, sugar, egg and cocoa,  Place over boiling water (double boiler) and stir until mixture looks like custard.    Remove from heat;  and add crumbs, coconut and nuts.   Press into buttered 9x9 pan.

Second Layer:
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
Cream butter, custard powder, milk and sugar until smooth.  Spread on graham cracker base.   Chill for about 15 minutes.

Third Layer:
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
Melt chocolate and butter over hot water (double boiler).  Spread over custard layer.

Chill.  Cut into squares.  (Keep refrigerated.)

My Notes:

I use Bird's Custard Powder.  You may substitute vanilla pudding if you can not find custard powder.

You may substitute any of your favorite nuts for the walnuts.

Use a hot knife to cut into squares, to keep the chocolate from cracking.

I have seen several variations on this recipe.  My sister adds 1 teaspoon of mint extract and 2 drops of green food coloring to the middle layer, to make it green at Christmas.

It's Alphabe-Thursday!  Join us over at Jenny's to see all the other N posts!

Other N news.... our naughty Natasha kitty decided to climb a tree in the back yard.  She did not know how to come down.  Mr. Garden had to get out the ladder and go up after her.  She kept climbing higher.  He climbed off the ladder and further up into the tree, while I  had visions of broken legs and backs.   Finally got them both down to safety.  I would have taken a picture, but I was too busy holding the ladder.

And for even more N, see yesterday's post about my niece.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tea Parties With My Niece

It has become a tradition in our family to have a tea party in my parents backyard every summer.   It started a few years ago when my youngest niece said she would like to have a dolly tea.  So every summer we invite the dolls, get out all my Mom's pretty teacups and serving dishes,  dig out the hats, make the food, pick the flowers, and have a fun afternoon for the whole family.   (These photos are from several years worth of backyard teaparties, and many of them were taken by my sisters and mom.)

 (Family photos may not be borrowed or pinned.)
My niece and her dollies.

One of the cats decided to join the party.

 (Family photos may not be borrowed or pinned.)
Helping to make the tea sandwiches.

The table is ready.

 (Family photos may not be borrowed or pinned.)
My 3 sisters and niece at the table.

 (Family photos may not be borrowed or pinned.)
My sweet little niece picked the flowers for the centerpiece.

 (Family photos may not be borrowed or pinned.)
This was  from another year.
My daughter, son, niece and her Mom (my youngest sister).

And yet another year.  Little dollies coming to see if there is anything good to nibble.

Scrumptious goodies ready to serve.

 (Family photos may not be borrowed or pinned.)
Waiting patiently for everything to begin.
Putting all these pictures together in one place made me realize just how much 
she has grown in the past few years. 

Tea made just the way each person likes it.  And one little glass of strawberry milk.

I'm joining  Lady Katherine Tea Parlor for Tea Time Tuesday

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Polish Pottery Cheese Ladies

Today I'm joining Laurie for Favorite Things Saturday.

I love Polish Pottery Cheese Ladies.  Aren't they cute?   I love the hands on their hips and their facial expressions!  They are hand painted with little stamps.  Many traditional and contemporary designs exist.

They are called cheese ladies because traditionally they were used to store cheese.   But these days they are used for all sorts of things.   You can keep a whole stack of pancakes warm in a big one.   Or keep fresh baked cookies warm until your kids get home from school.   The smaller ones can be used for a few pats of butter or lemon slices for your tea. Or to hide your scrubby pad on your kitchen sink.

This one looks surprised,  like someone just goosed her rump.

This one looks like she is saying "Don't sass me young lady or you'll be grounded!"  (Not that I know anything about saying things like that.)

The plate underneath is always decorated to match.

You can find cheese ladies and other  beautiful Polish pottery pieces for sale at  Euro Pottery, one of my favorite shops in Leavenworth, KS. 
  (these two photos were from Euro Pottery website)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Blooms, Big Bees & Failing Crochet 101

I went outside yesterday evening to get pictures of the spring blooms in the yard.   This is an Eastern Redbud tree and it is gorgeous.  Unfortunately the bees think so too.  Every time I tried to get closer for a better picture they buzzed my head and let me know they didn't appreciate my presence.   Don't ask me what kind of bees, cuz I don't know.  The kind of bees I run away from.  They were huge! (Not talking sweet little honeybees here.)     

The lilacs are in full bloom and their scent perfumes the air.

Don't look too close... I need to get out there and pull those weeds out of the creeping phlox and spread a new layer of mulch.    In a couple more weeks the spirea will burst out in masses of tiny white flowers.  The roses and russian sage will follow by June.

Sweet little wild violets growing in the shady parts of the yard.

Who's hiding under the lilacs?   Natasha Kitty!

And here is Katerina Kitty stretching out in the grass. 

Spring is perfectly beautiful! 

But apparently my crocheting (that I was so proud of yesterday) is not perfect.  At all.    I made up a practice square of single crochet.   It was hard, but by the 4th or  5th row I was moving right along, thinking I was doing pretty well.  Looks pretty good for a total beginner. (Except for some wonky edges from not figuring out where the first and last chain were. ) 

Patted myself on the back and decided it was time to learn the next stitch.  So I went back to  my instruction books  and to the computer to look at the you-tube instructions....  And.... that was when I realized that I HAD DONE THE ENTIRE SQUARE THE WRONG WAY!!!  I am not bringing my yarn over the crochet hook the right direction.  So this practice square of single crochet is not single crochet at all, but some  made up stitch from my own head.   What????    AGH!!!!!!!   I tried  to start a new piece so I could re-learn how to "yarn over" and I felt like a bumbling idiot with 5 thumbs in the way.  I just can't get it!  I just failed Crochet 101!!  How can this be so hard?    

I think I will let it sit for a day and come back tomorrow and start over.   Or maybe I will go back to quilting, or embroidery, or knitting.  Right now I just want to forget that there is a needlecraft that starts with the letter C.   

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

M is for Mazamas

M is for Mazamas.  
That means Mountain Goat.
And it is a group of Mountaineers.

My father was a member of this group for many years.   He was group leader on the climbs and also took part in many search and rescue parties.

 (Family photos may not be borrowed or pinned.)
 (Dad on the right.)   The group climbed Baker, Ruth and Shuksan on this expedition.   

 (Family photos may not be borrowed or pinned.)

(Daddy on the left.)   Dad and a climbing partner set off  from  Mt. Hood's Timberline Lodge  about midnight on  Friday, to climb up the western face and with plans to return by late Saturday afternoon.    Near the summit they were hit with a  blinding snow storm and had to  dig in right there on the slope and try to survive Saturday night on the mountain.  They had a few snacks, one sleeping bag (mummy bag) and the clothes on their backs.   When my Dad did not return Saturday night my grandparents alerted Mountain Rescue.   But because of the storm no one could go up. Everyone was afraid they were dead.   Sunday morning the rescue teams went up and found the two men just beginning to make their way down the mountain, cold and hungry but alive.  (Thankfully, or I wouldn't exist and wouldn't be telling this tale.)    

Mt. Hood.
(this picture is from the web)

During his Mazama years my father climbed Mt. Hood,  North, Middle and South Sisters,  Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Adams,  Mt. St. Helens,  Mt. Baker,  Mt. Shuksan ,  just about every peak, large or small in the Cascade Mountain Range except Rainier.   He also climbed in Mexico.  

Mt.  Shuksan
(this picture is from the web)

Mt. Adams
(this picture is from the web)

Friday, April 9, 2010


I have finished the embroidered sampler!  Here are the final 4 squares:

Blue glass nesting hen
(Do you collect these hens too?)

(One of my favorite foods.)

Button jar.

Rose- The Fairy  
(Do you have one of these in your yard?)

And here is the whole thing.
Over the past couple of weeks I added to the blocks and borders that I thought were lacking a bit of umph,  and learned 2 more new stitches in the process.   So some of the squares look different than the original pictures I posted.   I may still tweak a thing or two.

Amy, this was so much fun!  Thanks for letting me join the group late!

Yay!  It's Friday!!   We are going out for Mexican food tonight.   And tomorrow my daughter and I are going to a bridal shower.   This is going to be a fun weekend!   Hope y'all have a happy weekend too!