Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Visit to King Estate Winery


Wow, I had the most wonderful time today visiting King Estate Winery.  The photo shows the enormous buildings on top of a large hill. Styled after a French Villa, it is a most beautiful place. There are over 1000 acres, and vineyards covering much of the nearby area.  We had the best lunch, in a dining area with a real wood burning fireplace next to us. We each had a different entree and dessert. So good!!  Then we took a walk around the outdoor areas to enjoy the views, and see the wild turkeys among the vineyards. Next, we took a tour of the winery, and it was impressive. Then, we headed to the tasting room and enjoyed some samples. Of course the wine is excellent. The wine is available at Costco, if any of you want to try some. For more information see King Estate

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cutie

I saw this sweet little cutie pie at a shop last week, and I thought that I would share a photo with you.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Pretty Baby Quilt


I love quilts. The thing is...that it takes so much time to make one. Fabric is a cost that can be expensive.  I was thrilled to see this one at an antique mall last week. I found the quilt to be very pretty, and in excellent condition. The price was very reasonable too. My daughter and her girlfriends are at that age to marry and have babies. I have been thinking that I need to find some baby gifts to have on hand. Well...here we go. This one started my stash.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Artichokes!


Tis the time of year to be planning and planting a few things. I have grown globe artichokes in the past. They are not a sure thing to grow here. I have lost plants from the winter weather.  I am thinking about getting 2 or 3 plants soon. I know that they can handle all the spring freezes. The summer weather is a bit too warm sometimes. The freshly cut and cooked produce is very good.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cleaning out Bird Houses


I decided that since there was a little sun today...I would clean out the birdhouses.  It was quite a job, carrying the ladder and tools around the property.  Most of the 25 birdhouses looked like this one...full of last year's nesting materials, bird poop, insects...etc. I carried a scraper to clean this stuff out, I did not want to touch it with my hands. A good thing too, one birdhouse had about 30 queen yellow jackets hibernating inside (I killed them.) that surprised me when I peaked inside. The strange and funny ones have a wren surprise inside, a male wren will make several stick nests for his mate. She will decide to use one, and rearrange it into a real nest. The others...left with a pile of small sticks filling them up. Funny...really! Did you know that the swallows and other small birds roost in birdhouses when the weather is bad, or just for safety. I sure can agree, the birdhouses had heavy amounts of bird poop on the top of the old nest.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Growing Violas





I like to grow violas, or johnny jump ups as the third picture shows, a fun thing to do.  The look just like Pansies, but they have very small blooms.  They grow easily from seed and self seed from year to year. It is easy to transplant the small starts to different spots. I just moved some into pots and put them in my greenhouse. They will grow well inside the greenhouse with fertilizer and water...I like to use a water soluble fertilizer. In about a month I will put beautifully growing pots of Violas beside the front door. And...by the way, the blooms are edible...I put them in salads.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Rufous Hummingbirds are Back


March 20th, the first Rufous Hummingbird came to my feeder.  They are a few days later than normal. I have been keeping records for several years now, and reported dates to a migration website. This is the first bird that really captured my attention. The year was 1978, a co-worker put up a hummingbird feeder at work. I was entranced...........and I still am entranced by these tiny birds that travel so far. I have been feeding them ever since. I put up a small feeder about March 1st...and wait. There really isn't much for them to eat this early, so feeders are important.  Rufous Hummingbirds are the main species here, although I have seen a few other species on rare occasions.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Our Second Offer on This Home has been accepted!



This pretty home in Newberg, Oregon, USA is now under contract to sell to us. Very excited....the Newlyweds, Nicole and Bryan will be moving into it, in about 90 days. The home is nice, and will make a great home!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Simple - Scrumptious - Step by Step!





Ree's new cookbook arrived in the mail today!! I did a quick look at it, and I think that it is better than her first cookbook. I did a pre-order several weeks ago, because I knew that I would have to get it. I like to get a good price on my luxury items, so I purchase books from Walmart.com, with the online bookstore. The price was about $17.50 including shipping.


I am taking a little vacation...I will be back soon. Sharon

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Reminders of the Past


I have found that sometimes I see an item that brings back moments, and memories from the past.  You too? I found this odd looking wind chime at a thrift store a while back.  I immediately recalled a planter from this line of clay items.  The year was 1966, and it was Mothers Day. Her three children..I am the middle child, gave their Mom a planter with a funny looking Owl on it.  She had that planter in the window over the sink for many years. This chime is dated 1968, and I am certain that is from the same maker. It came home with me for $2. I plan to hang it on the garden arbor this summer. It was never used.....

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Scatter Joy!

Making an Offer on this Home


The offer to purchase this home will be made this evening. We will find out if the owner is ready to negotiate on the asking price.   Now we are waiting....

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sewing, Stamping and Art


I saw this photo on the web, and it sparked an interest in me to print out some vintage photos on fabric. I also saw an artist stamping on fabric. It is a rainy day here in Oregon, so crafting is on my mind. I think some old lace and buttons will work well with this idea. This will make a fun composition.


Fabric stores (Jo-Ann) sell small packages of sew-in, and iron on Computer Printer Fabric that is for use in printing photos for crafting. This material is dry clean only, so it is good for crafting.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy 100 years to Girl Scouting in the USA


I am proud to say that I was a Girl Scout. I belonged every school year, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, and Seniors. I have my sash with many badges, and pins. I have the songbook pictured above, and some other memorabilia. I know that my membership in Scouting had much influence on creating the adult woman I am. My family moved all the time, Dad was in the Air Force. Scouting was available to me,  at all the locations. I had a stable place with Girl Scouting. I was accepted and encouraged. I learned leadership and spread my wings!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I Love Outdoor Kitchens......These Photos are Great!


I like this kitchen because it has a roof over it, we get a fair amount of rain and this would be best. Don't ya love it!


Totally romantic and oh so pretty.


I like this red and white theme. The sink is right at home...outdoors.


The colors and fun designs on these items are terrific!

So many good ideas, and lovely photos to enjoy.....

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dutch Oven Cooking - March 10th


I made Blueberry Cake for the Cookout. This is from Ree Drummond's Book, she calls the recipe Patsy's Blackberry Cobbler. She featured this recipe with Blackberries on her show. You can find her recipe on Food Network Ree Drummond




Hubby made a BBQ Pork Shoulder, very easy, here is the recipe.


Sear a pork shoulder in the Dutch Oven.  Add 2-3 sliced yellow onions, and about 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce.  Bake in your Dutch Oven at 350 degrees for 3 hours. It comes out tender and juicy.  Yummy!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New Apronology from Stampington




I know that I am a magazine maniac....this one is just out and expensive, it is more like a book. I like to collect old fabrics and laces to combine into pretty aprons. Then I try to sell them, sometimes without much success. However, I know most women don't bother with aprons anymore. We wear easily washed clothing most of the time. So, a special apron is a fashion accessory, like jewelry or a scarf. Farmgirls where aprons to meetings. I like to wear them to Dutch Oven cooking, or working an antique show.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tree Swallows


Some of the Tree Swallows came back today. These small birds migrate from Central America each spring and spend about 6 months here. We have many bird houses around our property, and the houses are usually filled. However, many of the birds do not return now. The use of pesticides outside the USA is killing these birds when they are south. It is sad. We used to have up to 3000 birds come here each fall for migration, it was a sight to behold...all those birds sitting on the overhead lines and flying around. The singing is wonderful. We have found that the swallows love bird feathers for their nests. Hubby collected goose and turkey feathers from hunting, and we have fun putting out feathers for the swallows. They go into a singing frenzy, and dive in to pick up the choice feathers.  They help us so much by eating mosquito's, flies, and other insects.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Update on the Newberg Home

It is late, after 10:30 pm. We just got home, it took us 12 hours to complete the drive, viewings, and having dinner with Bryan and Nicole. We like the house basically. There are some repairs needed...as most do, but not anything major that we see. An inspection will find these things. I did not take any photos


The commute is 15-20 minutes from their work. This can be made on some back roads, and the major traffic problems can be avoided. We are going to make an offer...and see what happens. This home is not a short sale or foreclosure...the owner has it listed with a real estate agent. It is time to get the mortgage pre-approval finalized with the credit union.









Frontier Soups - Connecticut Cottage Chicken Noodle Soup



This is approved by my family and I recommend it to you.

I found this dry soup mix at Safeway, on the clearance rack. Marked down 50%, to $3.50.  I made it up the next day, all I need was some cooked chicken.  Wow, it is outstanding! I highly recommend getting some for your pantry. It is a fast, filling, and delicious meal. I went right back to the store and bought all they had left. If you have a Safeway near you, look for it. I think that it is just being put on the clearance rack at this time.

Link to website - www.frontiersoups.com

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Home in Newberg Oregon





We are driving 3 hours tomorrow to look at this home. It looks really nice online, and we are hoping that it will be good.  Rentals and apartments in the Portland Oregon area are sky high, with only a 2% vacancy. Nicole and Bryan are living in a nice apartment, but the rent keeps going up, up, up.


The idea here is...purchasing a home with our credit. Then, they live in it and make the payments, etc. This will be less than the rent they are paying. Sometime in the future, they will get a loan and purchase from us. The theory is that we will help the kids now, when the need is greatest.


This home is fairly new, and we think that it will be a good investment property. It backs to a greenbelt with a small creek, on the city growth boundary. It would be a long time before the city might look into going outside the current boundary. That fact appeals, that there are no homes beyond.

Monday, March 5, 2012

March/April 2012 Hobby Farm Home


I subscribe to this magazine, the contents are usually appealing to me. I have dropped my subscription to Hobby Farm, as there is not much content. This issue has a great article about outdoor kitchens, called Cooking Alfresco. I have long thought that a small roofed structure would be nice.  I would set it up with outdoor stuff, put the gas grill under it, and the charcoal cooking area. I would be able to do some canning outdoors to avoid heating the house. Maybe even a solar oven if the fancy strikes me. I would put out some vintage wares to decorate!
Check out the website Hobby Farm Home scroll down the left side to this magazine. They also publish other farm related magazines that may interest you. It is more economical to subscribe than to purchase off a rack.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Good Decision


Peace be with you, as it is with me.  I did enjoy the Ducks Unlimited Event this evening.  I am very happy that I am doing well, and am at peace with my decision to quit. It is the best thing for me....

Friday, March 2, 2012

March 3, 2012 Dinner and Art Auction for Ducks Unlimited

 
Ducks Unlimited is an international conservation organization, founded to preserve, restore and improve habitat for ducks and all other wetland creatures. This year is the 75th Anniversary of the founding. This organization has crept into our lives for sometime now.  I was the Secretary/Treasurer for the local chapter for 16 long...........................years. Last year the were so many screw ups by the guys, that it was my last. I quit!! No more!!!! It was an absolute nightmare for me. It is a worthy cause and all..but, they need to pay someone to do my volunteer job.  The Chairman was been unable to find someone willing to do the job, therefore he decided to do it. He has found out that the easy job, as he believes....is not easy at all. I gave him all the stuff, and told him not to lose it....he did. Not my problem any more. I still quit, forever more.


Hubby has been the prize coordinator for less time, abour 12 years. He is now quitting after tomorrow's event. The group is going to disband, a small group that has been overworking the volunteers. It is time to stop. It has been a huge burden for us.  I hope the people that come to the event have money to spend....buying everything. I have been worried the last few years that we won't sell the stuff, because of the economy.


I am actually handling the caterer. It is so easy. I found a great caterer last year. I had been looking at what I was planning for last summer's wedding. Food that is incredibly good.  For years we had the worst caterer, bad, bad food. I was embarrassed to sell dinner tickets for it. Some years the food was inedible.....and nothing was ever done about it. Bad memories for me. 


All in all, I am happy about how it is turning out. This group should have quit several years ago. A long time coming....


I feel free from the incredible burden of this group. I am pursuing what is in my heart.