"Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong.
The amount of work is the same." ~Francesca Reigler

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wednesday Night Wonderings

It's 9:04pm on a Wednesday night. Today was just an okay day. Felt out of sorts. Nothing bad, just a tad on the "off" side. So I stayed home in my comfy clothes and puttered around the house. I tried to make banana bread, but it just didn't turn out. It was overdone and I only had 2 bananas instead of three to go in it. Into the trash it goes. Wasn't good. It really needs all three or four.

I guess if I accomplished anything, it was washing and drying a load of dishtowels and hot pads (still in the dryer). I also organized a new project in the sewing room. Oh, and I made two new hot pads. My old ones are getting yucky. I bought a whole bunch of fabric with deviled eggs on it. Made them from that. It's a Southern thing. Southerners love their deviled eggs. I need to trim some pretty dish towels, too!

Speaking off eggs, I have a plethora of eggs in the house -- 30-something. Might have to boil a few and make some deviled eggs. I like mine plain and simple. Just mayo, salt, and pepper. Sometimes I put in sweet relish. But that's the fanciest they get.

Our Milkman (because he's a guy) comes on Wednesday. Hubby says he likes the milk and that it's good and fresh. I just had a glass myself and it's good. So we'll continue with Smith Brothers Farms. Hubby wanted me to add some chocolate milk to the order. So that's done. I added some cottage cheese for me. So on Wednesday next week, it will be a dairy Christmas, so to speak. LOL! I think I'm going to try to wean myself (again) from the flavored creamers and just try half and half in my coffee. So that's on the delivery list, too. Do y'all need anything? If only they'd deliver ice cream ... LOL!

Shoot fire, between Amazon and these folks, I really don't need to get out of the house. LOL! I even think that Safeway grocery store delivers to our area. Groovy cool! Maybe they deliver ice cream... LOL!

Oh, I finished my book today. Just in time for hubby to be home. Perfect timing. It was The Twelve by Justin Cronin, Part 2 of The Passage Trilogy. I normally don't go for this genre (kind of a cross between futuristic, sci-fi/outbreak/vampire-ish type fiction), but he really wrote a good a good story and the characters were quite engaging. It's about a government experiment gone horribly wrong. Now I'm left waiting until later this year for the final installment. The first book, The Passage, was quite long. But it did a really good job of setting up the series and kept me engaged with the storyline.

I can't remember the next audio book I just checked out. Some sort of art mystery. It's not my favorite Daniel Silva/Gabriel Allon series. Those are the best. I've even got Hubby hooked on those. But this one is a new series I've never heard of. I love the fact that eBooks are making more and more authors available to us.  I'm still reading the last part of the Divergent Series. I think I've got about 10 or so pages to go. Then I need to read a Vince Flynn novel (Act of Treason) for book club in May. That will give me time to dig into my Jack Reacher book-books (thanks Sandee!). And yes, I will be paying those forward when I'm finished.

So how did it get to be Easter this weekend? Where the heck did time go? Ya know. I gave up french fries for lent. To be honest, I don't miss them. I think I'm onto something...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

God is Alive and Well

The weather forecast for the weekend was sunny and highs in the upper 50s/lower 60s. So seizing the opportunity, we made a quick reservation on the Olympic Peninsula. I discovered a recently renovated hotel in Port Angeles that looks out on a golf course. This was the view from our room. If you look really hard between the trees in the top of the photos, you can see the Olympic Range. The hotel had nice professionally landscaped gardens for the patio rooms below, complete with fountains. At night we could hear the frogs just singing away... and the water sound... so peaceful.

We started our day with a trip west of Port Angeles to Salt Creek Recreation Area. This is a Clallam County facility, complete with a breathtaking view of Tongue Point out into the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. This photo was taken from Outlook #2 at the campground. Yes, a VERY nice campground, I may add.

We then made our way a bit farther and spent the rest of the morning at Crescent Bay. There is a private campground that charges $6/person for day use. We found a driftwood log to relax on, and just recharged our batteries. The smell of the saltwater, sand, driftwood, and kelp just put me into instant battery recharge mode. I just closed my eyes every now and then and took in deep breaths, making an effort to put this place deep into my memory banks.

While we were there we watched surfers intent on riding waves, and kayakers paddling out into the Bay. Just about ten of us on the beach and in the water. Just plain peaceful. No other words for it. Sorry I didn't get photos of this place, my phone was pinging Canadian cell service and I didn't want to incur international fees. I did pick up a small palm-sized piece of driftwood as a souvenir.

We then pointed the mighty jeep for Hurricane Ridge, part of the Olympic National Park. By the time we were halfway up the two lane road, I knew we were going to a special place. This was taken at at a roadside viewpoint just inside the park.

After several hairpin turns and switchbacks, we made our way up within the snow line. As the full view of the range came into view, my nose got tingly and my eyes watered. Yes, I was about to cry. It was so beautiful... But yet so humbling. It was the same reaction I had the moment I saw the Swiss Alps from Gornegrat.

I have no words to describe it other than humbling. You look out on these glaciers and snow-capped peaks and you can't help but feel overwhelmed... But in a good way. It's like you've been slapped with such beauty and grandeur that you have no other choice but feel so small. Your problems disappear and you can't think of anything other than what's in front of you and who put it there (God).

Yes, this is a major God Spot in my book.

I so wished my parents were with me to see this.  I don't know why I thought of them... Maybe my brain was processing this as heaven? Who knows. But in my eyes, God is alive and well and living in Washington State.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Luck Continues

I stepped out the front door today and saw this. Made me smile. My mom dearly loved her rhodies. So I felt like this was a smile from mom.

The reason why I opened the front door? This. We are trying out local milk delivery. It's good homeone-free local milk. We're starting with delivery every other week -- two half-gallons and a dozen brown eggs. This will eliminate a grocery stop. In the summer I usually shop at Costco for meat, and then the produce stands for sides. Meats, fruits, and veggies are our summer staples. My milkman's name is Austin. He left me a nice little note welcoming me to his service area. Reminds me of when the Sealtest man used to deliver our milk when I was young. We had one of those milk boxes at our back door. Cool! Makes me feel spoiled up here.

My luck continued today. A friend asked me to lunch. When I got there she had a loaf of coconut bread from her favorite Asian bakery for me. It's the closest thing to the nice sue buns I used to get in Nashville. It's almost like rich egg bread with a sweet coconut ribbon. The version here comes as a loaf, also has cinnamon and raisins. The version at home comes in little buns and minus the cinnamon and raisins.

We went to the local Thai joint, D-Thai in Bothell. We split the spring roll appetizer (so good!) and I had the Kow Soy Chicken -- a creamy coconut milk-based curry sauce over egg noodles. I asked thenice lady to make it spicy. It was heavenly! The sauce isn't curry like Indian curry, but curry as a melange of spices and chiles, with essence of salty fish sauce, the sweetness of coconut milk, a hint of lemongrass... Just divine!

We talked and laughed.

Then I hit the gas station where I bought three powerball tickets. I figure it's worth a shot. This will tell you how long it has been since I've played. When did they become $2 each?

Next errand was the local drugstore chain. I needed a passport photo taken. Passport is due for renewal in May. I might need it for a future cruise I may be taking later this year... LOL! I picked up a few things and came home.

My makeup order arrived one day early. I'm so happy because I was dying to open my box and play. It'll be fun playing with my new box of colors. LOL! A lot of these items are multiples of same items. I just want to keep backstock handy. It saves on postage and gas in the long run. Plus it stretches the 50% off discount. It looks like all the new stuff I bought are winners, so that makes me happy.

Life here is so good lately. It scares me. Almost like I don't deserve it. I keep thinking something is gonna bust. But reality says it will, so I will ride this out and appreciate every moment of it. It's a gift.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Double Whammy

Remember when I got the free Starbucks coffee yesterday? Well I was the local fabric/craft store and bought some fabric for a quilt back. Went to pay for it, and the cashier said I had a $15 off loyalty credit available that I could use.

Wow! That's TWO awesomely wonderful things this week!!!! I teasingly told my friends that I'm not usually that lucky... Chances are I'll wake up dead tomorrow. So If you don't see me, my luck ran out!


But seriously. I love these small blessings. Like the surprise box in the mail last week from a friend. Made me smile. "Hey, I'm thinking of you..."

I have lunch plans for tomorrow. I can't wait! I haven't spent a lot of time with my one friend in a long while. She's been busy with other stuff. I'm secretly hoping for lunch at the local tea room. We'll see...

Gotta scoot. I downloaded some magazines from the library and I need to catch up... Country Living, and older quilt magazine, and cooking magazine. I might check the other library to see if they have a new Grit or Mother Earth News, or Redbook issue out yet.

Hope your week will be as lucky as my last two days have been!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday Madness

Today is brought to you by sunshine! It was a gorgeous, glorious day. Thank you God for the sunshine! This gal sure needed it!

I started off my day with a cup of coffee from Starbucks. Over the weekend I bought some cheapo coffee to tie us over and it was just garbage. So I went out for a fancy macchiato. Got to the pay part of the drive-thru and the lady said it was on them becuase we had to wait so long. Yay! Personally, I didn't think I waited any longer than I would if I went inside, but I said a HUGE thank you and went on my merry way.  HUGE blessing!

I stopped at a park for a short bit to call back a friend (I don't phone and drive). Had my sunroof and windows open and enjoyed the sunshine as I sipped and chatted. Then one of the local shelter dog-walkers strolled by with Charlie, one of their cute little shelter residents.  You know me. I got out of the car to meet her. She's a very shy little girl, which explains her sad photo. I just wish they'd post a happier picture of her. She would be a good match for us in that she's extremely low key. The drawback is when the grandkids would come. I don't think she'd do well with the kids. They would make her nervous and she looks somewhat delicate. She would be perfect for an older couple with no grandkids.

Next up on the task list was Costco. I wanted to stock up on some staples, get some emergency pantry supplies (Canned goods -- I do that bit by bit), got some chicken, and stuff for dinners this week. Lots of meetings and stuff on tap.

I happened to stroll the electronics aisle and bought me a pair of noise-canceling earphones. I love them! When I was finally home after all my errands, I ran the dishes, turned on the headphones, and listened to my book. The background noise of the dishwasher was almost non-existent! Now I know what to take for my noisy sewing days so I don't go into overload. And this brand was half the price of the Bose ones hubby got. Yay me!

I also bought a big jar of coconut oil. I've been hearing a lot of things about using this. First the beauty aspects and then using it in cooking. I figured I didn't have much to lose. So we'll see how this goes.

After Costco I hit Fred Meyer -- it's owned by Kroger and is kinda like a wally world. I heard they sold decent clothes. I don't spend a lot on clothes. No need to. I don't usually shop there, but I wanted to see if they carried my jeans. I came out with a pair of my favorite jeans and a hat -- both on sale. Also scored some blue willow soup bowls on sale. Perfect for everyday use.

Oh, and I also got a hot flash, too. LOL! I hate it when those happen in public! And lately they've been awful!

That's about it in my world. Many of y'all are settling down for bed. I'm still up making cookies. LOL! The joys of living in the West. Hahahahaahaha!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Weekend Fun

We got a late start on our weekend as my butt has been dragging the last few days. Especially this morning. I got out of bed at 9am. Granted, I was up until about 2am (rarity for me), but I just couldn't sleep for some odd reason.

Hubby and I both had cabin fever (despite the rainy day), so we piled into his truck and headed out. First stop was Cabela's. He came out empty-handed.

When I was on my trip to Port Gamble this past week, I told hubby about the BBQ joint there, Mike's Four Star BBQ. I told him how good it was. He then decided to take the ferry across the sound and make this our destination.

Lo and behold, a glorious rack of meaty, juicy smoked ribs were waiting for us. Also sides of cole slaw and baked beans. I'm usually kinda blah on most BBQ joint sides, but Mike and his lady Stephanie make some awesome slaw and beans. I'm a mayonnaise-loving girl. And their slaw is vinegar-based. So for me to totally flip over a vinegar slaw means it has to be extra good. It's sweet and tangy, with an itty bitty kick of something -- total mouth party for sure! And the beans are rich and flavorful. Not sure, but I think I detected a slight hint of either curry or cumin in the beans. Whatever it was, it made my tastebuds want more (I'm not a huge baked bean eater).

Yes, THAT good.

The folks there are so friendly! Hubby gave it a huge thumbs up... Major thumbs and all nine sticky fingers up! Now if I can convince them to make corn light bread and collard greens, I'd be ecstatic.

After lunch we explored the Port Ludlow and Port Hadlock areas. We discovered a gem of a state park on an island off Port Hadlock, Fort Flagler State Park. It was a former military facility facing the Admiralty Inlet. Fort Flagler was a military installation from about 1890-1953. In 1955 it was purchased by the Washington State Parks system. Many of the historic features remain.

We discovered they have rental houses (a few of the historical buildings) that we can rent for a nominal fee. Actually, it's quite reasonable! And several are right on the Puget Sound, where we can watch boats ride by.

Of course, the dates we chose to rent were taken, but we now know where we can spend a couple lazy days off season.

We headed back home after that, as it was now past 5pm (again, we had a late start).

Oh and after that we may have booked an Alaskan cruise for later this year. Went the total "el cheapo" route (no frills interior cabin/anytime dining). The cruise is out of Seattle, so there are no surprise charges. All we need to do is find a friend to drop us off and pick us up from the cruise terminal. Easy peasy. We are Princess line virgins, so we booked through Cosctco travel to get some onboard credits to go toward our experience. That appeared to be the best deal for us. I'm excited. Seeing Alaska is a bucket list item for me. Hubby wants to go back and see it from the water. So it's a win-win for both of us.

I'm headed out to do some sewing with a friend today. A classroom at the library was booked for a class and most students won't be showing up, so I'm taking advantage of the free wifi, sewing with friends, and free space. (Big tables, too!).  I need to take a border off that I previously attached and change it with something prettier. Then all I have to do is make the backing, add the batting and I can start quilting this. I'm so excited to get another UFO (UnFinished Object) done.

Gotta scoot. Need to gather my sewing supplies. Make it an awesome day, Y'all!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Day Of Rest -- Well, Sort Of

Today is a day of rest. I am dawg-tired. It's been a busy week. I had my usual Tuesday sew with the ladies at Ben Franklin. We are pooling resources to create a quilt for some newlyweds in our lives. It's going to be cute. I can't wait.

I've been working on a new project. I've got 1/4 of of a certain component done. I just need to put the petal to the metal and get more done. This will go together fairly easily. I'm excited about this project.

Yesterday was a marathon day. Sun up found me boarding a ferry for the Olympic/Kitsap Peninsula for a quilting class. One I've been waiting to take for over a year. You can read about my class here.  I can say that I got a lot out of it, both from a technique perspective as well as inspiration. The teacher was Gwen Marston, who is a pioneer of liberated quilting. She was a hoot and an awesome instructor. 

My head was swimming by the time I got back to our side of the Sound. Then I was off to the quilt guild meeting to do my thing. I arrived late, had to get up on stage to speak (flubbed a bit, but I already pre-cursed it with the fact my brain was already mush), and then joined my friends after the meeting for dinner at a local mexican joint. 

I hit that bed running. While I slept in until 8:00, I'm still tired. I'm sure tonight will be an early night. 

Yesterday I discovered a great BBQ joint in Port Gamble. Now I have two dining destinations in Port Gamble. Mike's Four Star BBQ has good stuff. I had a pulled pork plate. For me, the true test for BBQ is to taste the meat without the sauce. Reason being that the sauce hides a lot of sins. The meat was tender, flavorful to begin with. The sauce (yummy) added another level of flavor. Not being a huge beans fan, I liked their beans. That says a lot if I eat the beans. I'm a huge fan of Mike's cole slaw. Huge. It was a vinegar-based slaw. For this mayonnaise-loving girl, loving a vinegar-based slaw is uneard of. The cole slaw was sweet, tangy and had a wee bit of kick. Good BBQ is one thing I miss about TN. I'm excited that I can now get my fix on a regular basis. It's seriously good! Gues I don't need to head east to TN anymore... LOL!

Still listening to The Passage on audio. Loving this book. It's long, but I'm hanging in there. 

Have a great weekend, Y'all! I know I will!