About this Blog: Bread making recipes, knit and crochet projects, wood working, gardening, digital imaging, travel, cruise ships, Labrador Retrievers, and more....

About the Header Image: Idlebrook Wendy Darling Evensen "Wendy" one of our four Labrador Retrievers.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Vintage Coffee Mug

Good morning,

This is a fun mug to have. 

The ships listed on the mug are the original Royal Caribbean ships. 
Those ships were sold and left the fleet many years ago.  If placed beside the current Royal Caribbean fleet, they would be extremely tiny!

Yes, we are still drinking coffee from these mugs. 

:),
Lois

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Couch Buddy

Good morning,

It is still chilly enough here to enjoy the fireplace morning and evening. 

I had just carried in buckets of logs and put a few on the fire when I sat down to be sure the fire was burning correctly before I walked into the kitchen.  I sat where there was very little space between the end of the couch and me.  Elsa managed to fit herself into that very little space.  :)

What a sweetheart!

All the best,
Lois

Friday, March 27, 2020

Tulip Magnolia This Week

Good morning,

I took these images over a few days as the gorgeous Tulip Magnolia in front of our home was coming into bloom.
The buds are developing in this image, but not quite open.
The next day there was more progress.
And, this image was taken yesterday.
 Just beautiful!
 This beautiful tree was here when we moved in 41 years ago and it has given us great beauty every year since.

Happy Spring,
Lois

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Chicken Marsala

Good morning,

As I mentioned a few days ago, our daughter, Catherine, is doing our grocery shopping for us during this stay-at-home time.  She came in a few days ago all excited and announced, "I scored some chicken!"

She made this marvelous Chicken Marsala that reminded us the same dish we enjoyed while aboard Royal Caribbean ships.
She made the chicken and the potatoes separately in two crock posts so that she could go to her office for a few hours.  She owns her own building so is able to shelter in place there.  She is postponing client meetings until the social distancing instructions are lifted.   See my "aside" below.
When she came home she made brussel sprouts with bacon.  Oh, so good!
 The chicken breast was served on top of the mashed potatoes.  That chicken breast was so big that the pups each got a nice taste.

 Stay safe, stay well, stay strong!

Lois

An aside:  Catherine and I are members of the American Institute of CPAs.  All members were asked to write to the Treasury Secretary last week asking for the tax filing deadline to be delayed to match the tax payment due date that had already been extended.  The next day, the President extended the filing deadline.  This is very important to CPAs and tax preparers who have to meet with clients during tax season to be able to prepare returns by tax deadlines.  Thanks to the President's order, we can now keep our CPAs and their clients safer from the Corona Virus.  Thank you, Mr. President.  We appreciate your listening to concerns and your leadership in these trying times.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Possum or Opossum?

Good morning,

This is a zoomed image of a possum in the next yard from us.  Our pups made sure to let us (and the entire neighborhood) know she was there early one morning. 
Since she's out in the daytime, she probably has a passel of babies so is looking for food.  After I got these shots she went through an opening in the fence on the right side, then disappeared into a wooded area to the left of the stone benches.  We've seen possums here often during the years.  They eat all kinds of things we don't want around including slugs and ticks so we politely leave them alone.

And, either Possum or Opossum is correct.

:),
Lois

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Hyacinth in the Rain

Good morning,

This pretty little flower has been blooming in our yard every Spring for many years now.  There are more getting ready to bloom, too.

The aroma is fabulous!

We're looking at all the positives!

Stay well, stay safe, stay strong,
Lois

Monday, March 23, 2020

Doggie Yoga

Good morning,

Elsa does her doggie yoga every day.  It's amazing how "long" she is!  She is definitely taller than our other Labs.

She is also developing a darker yellow back.  Our Yellow Lab started out nearly all white.  She is looking more and more like her Great Great Aunt Penny as a young girl.

We hope your "sheltering in place" is continuing to go well.

All the very best,
Lois

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Makin' Bacon Bits

Good morning,

Sometimes we just need a little comic relief. 

My Honey is cutting bacon with scissors for his salad....
With limited foods available at the stores these days we sometimes get a little silly as we put meals together. 

Yes, we wash our kitchen scissors in the dishwasher. 

Since My Honey and I are both in the "at risk" age group during this stay-at-home period, our daughter has been doing the grocery shopping.  The toilet paper situation is pretty darned sad.  Hoarding it just makes no sense.

I understand the food situation, though.  So many people ate out before all of this and now the restaurants are closed.  Much of the restaurant food (it's usually packaged differently) is sitting in warehouses while people who aren't used to cooking for themselves are scouring the grocery stores looking for something they can cook. We will get this straightened out.

The bright side of all of this:  What a great opportunity to spend more time with those you love.  Now if we can all just keep our sense of humor.

Stay safe, stay well, stay strong,

Lois

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Too Much to Take!

Good morning,

Wendy passed out while watching the market this week.  She just couldn't take any more!

Seriously, stay strong, stay safe, stay well,

Lois




Friday, March 20, 2020

Butter Cups in Bloom

Good morning,

It rained all day yesterday and the sweet little buttercups seemed to love it.
A sure sign of Spring is when these pretty yellow flowers cover big patches of our yard.

Happy Spring!

Lois

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Social Distancing

Good morning,

During this time of social distancing, this is an image of the roof of the parking garage at University Hospital this week.  Generally, this garage is filled.

The hospital is scheduling necessary routine appointments far enough apart so that patients don't overlap in the waiting room.

We are extremely happy that we live in an area with excellent medical care.

Stay safe, stay well,

Lois

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Work in Process This Week

Good morning,

I'm very busy with my knitting needles and crochet hooks while we shelter in place during the CoronaVirus.  We're well and plan to stay that way!

Above is a six month size sweater.  This one is a top down design that I plan to decorate with a pocket or applique to make a darling baby gift.  I'm still letting my creative brain think about how I'll decorate it as I knit.  :)
This is a warm browns Lacy Ladders stitch hat on the needles.  I'll also make a matching cowl.  The set is super soft and comfortable to wear.  I just finished one of these sets in off white that is listed in the shop here.  I sold out of these sets this past winter so am working to restock.
This is a crochet shawl that is so much fun!  The colors remind me of a sunset at sea as the deep colors change and move while the sun sinks into the ocean.  This is a thinner yarn in a lacy stitch so it takes some extra time to make. Just gorgeous!  I have a similar shawl in blues and greens that is finished and in the shop here.
Flowers are blooming and growing in a box "garden" in my craft studio, too.  These lovely winter white "flowers" will grace a field of green large afghan blanket.  Similar afghan blankets in many beautiful colors are in the shop now.

 So, that's it for this week.  Every day or so I think of something else I just HAVE to get on the needles or hooks so put yarn and tools into project bags to get them started.  It's fun to be able to grab one and let my mind work on a new design.  Then, when I want to concentrate on a conversation with family or watch a TV program, I can work on established projects.

Retirement is good.  We are so blessed we are able to be with those we love and do the things we love to do.

What are you making, baking, growing this week?

All the best,
Lois

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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Leprechaun Food for St. Patrick's Day

Good morning,

What's in that crock pot?  Corned Beef and Veggies!  Those good things stayed in there for about five and a half hours.
The last hour I added the cabbage.
This was the very best Corned Beef we've had in a long, long time.
The cabbage was perfect and
the potatoes, celery, and onions were so very tasty.  I would normally have carrots in there, too, but missed those at the grocery this week.

We will have to have this again soon. 

Are you making Corned Beef and Cabbage for St. Pat's Day?

Lois

Monday, March 16, 2020

Spring Bouquet

Good morning,

We have lovely daffodil bouquets springing out of the ground all over our property.
I remember planting these so many years ago.
These bouquets continue to bring happiness year after year.

So very pretty!

All the best,
Lois

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sunday Dinner and Family Time

Good morning,

Do you remember Sunday Family Dinners?  I sure do.

We always had a wonderful dinner on Sunday evening when I was a kid.  We were all there and we all had plenty of news to share. 

Now that many of us are sheltering in place during the Covid-19 emergency, perhaps more families will spend more time together.  We are not ill and haven't been exposed to the illness as far as we know, but we are sheltering in place.  We are staying positive, spending the time doing things we love doing together, and looking forward to the time when this terrible illness has been contained and conquered.  We have tremendous confidence in our President's response and health care system.

All the very best,
Lois

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Good morning,

This has been a favorite of my kids since they were small.  I hadn't made this for years until about two weeks ago.  It was so good that I just made it again.

Here's my super simple way to make this:

melt one stick of butter in a 13"x9" baking pan
add 3/4 cup brown sugar to the pan, mix with melted butter, and spread it evenly
place pineapple rings in the pan and add cherries
Make a yellow cake mix per directions
Carefully spread the cake batter on top of the pineapple arrangement
Bake per cake mix directions.  You'll probably have to add five to ten minutes.  Test with a tooth pick.  When the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is finished.
Let the cake cool completely before inverting onto a serving plate.  I use a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil as a pretty way to display/serve.

Enjoy!

Lois

Friday, March 13, 2020

Contortionist Elsa

Good morning,

Our little Elsa has the strangest sleeping position.
We call her our little peanut because of the strange way she sleeps. 

She snores, too.  Well, all four of the dogs snore.  It's symphonic at night in our house. 

;),
Lois

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Splitting and Stacking

Good morning,

Wendy was supervising,
...My Honey was splitting...
...I was stacking...
...and we still have plenty more work to do on the next pretty day.

:),
Lois

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

There's a Shortage!

There are some things that just shouldn't be recycled and this is one of them.

Yes, I realized it's the paper that's recycled - surely from other sources - but it's the concept....






Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Need Help Mom?

Good morning,

As I was texting a friend and answering her questions yesterday, Elsa kept asking if I needed any help typing on that little keyboard on my phone.
 Elsa:  I'll be glad to climb up there on your lap and hold that phone for you...
 I'm always so happy to help...
I am a very good helper.  Pleeeeeeze let me help!

Elsa is wonderful.

;),
Lois

Monday, March 9, 2020

Chicken and Potatoes Casserole

Good morning,

Do you ever go to the kitchen and look around to see what you might put together to have for dinner that evening?  I'm sure you have come up with some tasty meals by doing exactly that.

This time I made a casserole because My Honey said he would like to have one.  Here's what I found in the kitchen to make it:

1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup
1 soup can of milk
2 cups of white wine
8 small red potatoes cut into bite sized pieces
3/4 cup diced carrots
1 large can premium white chicken breast meat
1 large onion diced
pepper to taste
No salt added - there is plenty in that condensed soup already

2 T dried parsley (I would have used fresh if I had it.)

I put all the liquid items in the large glass baking dish and stirred them together gently with a whisk to make the sauce.  Then I added the other items and turned them gently in the sauce to be sure they were all well coated.

Bake at 350 F for one hour and enjoy.

We made two meals out of this. 

Enjoy,
Lois

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Even More Crocus

Good morning,

We are having big temperature swings now, which is normal at this time of the year.

The crocus have finally come out in force after doing short test blooms for the past three or four weeks.

Tomorrow the temperature will be in the 60's again! I hope it will be as lovely where you are.

Lois