Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Last year we tried our luck with cherry tomatoes on the back deck, up against the house where it was nice and warm, and actually did quite well. We did so well, in fact, that we increased our crop this year with great expectations.

As you can tell, the plants did really really well. This picture is of two potted and two hanging plants, but the potted ones are still about 6' tall. And talk about blooms. We have TONS of blooms.

This is our harvest....: One teeny tiny tomato. One..... One. My cousin asked if we had any bees this year, and after giving it some thought, had to say "no, no, we haven't...."

Maybe next year we'll have bees and better luck... Nancy

Monday, August 30, 2010


Not the woof woof kind.... the good kind.

The white chocolate oh-so-yummy-you-think-you-died-and-went-to-heaven kind.

The foundation for this recipe came from Barefoot Contessa, but I pretty much use whatever is in my pantry

Here's the recipe for White Chocolate Bark:

1/3 cup nuts (walnuts, pecans) (I used dried sunflower seeds today)
16 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup diced apricots
1/4 cup coconut

Preheat oven to 350. Bake nuts for about 8 minutes, then set aside to cool. Once cool, chop into smallish pieces.

Place 3/4 of the chocolate into a glass bowl and microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until melted. Once melted, immediately add the rest, stirring until melted.

Pour chocolate onto parchment paper (on baking dish) and spread into a rectangular form, about 8x10".

Sprinkle with nuts, dried fruit, coconut, whatever. I gently pat it into the melted chocolate to keep it secure.

Set aside for 2 hours, or put into refrigerator for about 20 minutes to harden.

Break into pieces. Keep in fridge or at room temp. Great dessert. Or anytime treat!

Enjoy! Nancy

Saturday, August 28, 2010

flour child

I love cooking with my grandkids. The biggest problem I find is that both Hunter AND Ellis want to help. At the same time. Last time we tried this, they were both on the step stool, one got pushed by the other, and Hunter went falling straight backwards to the hardwood floors. From standing on a step stool, two steps high. The thud was horrible. He cried for 20 minutes. It was more than I could handle.

Now, only one grandchild can help at a time.
Last week Ellis and I made banana pancakes for breakfast. She was standing on the step stool, waiting for directions.

Or so I thought....

It would appear that while I was getting the pan hot on the stove, she was thinking Krustez was pretty good to eat.

By the time I turned back around, here was Ellis, covered in Krustez mix and ready to put another handful into her mouth.

Keep in mind, it was just Krustez at this point. Dry flour. No liquid.

You would have thought one handful would have been enough for this little girl, but she grabbed another handful and stuffed it into her mouth. Just a handful of dry powder....

As the saliva mixed with the flour, we had a gooey, gummy mess. But she didn't seem to mind. She just kept eating Krustez.

Later.... Nancy

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's a nasty job.... but one that needs done.... Hunting for slugs. I have this beautiful beautiful back yard, and the slugs are demolishing it, one leaf at a time, as they nibble away. So yesterday, with bucket of salt in hand, I went on search for the elusive slug. It wasn't hard. They were everywhere--crossing the lawn, napping on stems, eating leaves. All my gardens are lined with large rocks and wood rounds and you can always score if you tip those over. And piles of eggs! Yea, I'm not going to have any slugs next year.... I told Mike that when we get around to cutting all our plants down this Fall, he can do the snipping, and I'll go behind him with the vinegar and squirt the buggers. Have no mercy! Take no prisoners!

Later.... Nancy

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

banana pancakes

There's a song by Jack Johnson... Banana Pancakes. He's singing along and then there's a little snippet where he says eating banana pancakes. Maybe he's making banana pancakes. I don't know. I love to sing and am not afraid to put my own words to songs....

This morning we're having banana pancakes for breakfast. My new most favorite breakfast! I'm sure there's real recipes, but I just smash a banana or two into my Krustez batter and call it good.

You can eat them smeared with peanut butter (like my husband does), with syrup, or just plain. I like to eat them plain, as they're just that good.

Every time I make them, and eat them, makes me think of being in Hawaii....
Later.... Nancy

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

day care fun

I have to admit that when we first started babysitting grandbabies over two years ago, I thought we were crazy. Okay, I still do.... but it's getting a little easier. The babysitting part is getting easier. The days are still really really long. But we're having fun with them. Avery (almost 8 months) has just started crawling and, naturally, she navigates to the opposite side of the room that her toys are on.... And thank goodness for hardwood floors.... I can't even imagine throw up on carpet....

And Hunter and Ellis are just adorable. There's no getting around it. Hunter is the focused one, loves to play with Legos and can put a 60-piece puzzle together as good as Grandpa. Ellis, would prefer to sit and have a conversation. Which we do. Then we laugh. So, yea, it's getting easier in the sense that we can now have conversations with them, reason with them (or sometimes beg with them), play with them, and laugh with them. And laugh we do.

Like today, Ellis (almost 2 years 4 months) was spinning and spinning around, going, "grandpa, I make you dizzy!" But, of course she is! Then, for no good reason, other than she was spinning, she goes, "put your seatbelts on!" Huh? Okay.... Then there was something about Disneyland.... Maybe she's starting to plant the seed....

Yesterday we strung beads and made a necklace. Ellis, in her grown up little voice goes, "This is so BEEEEUTIFUULLLL!" Yes, it was. Her little fingers worked hard to get those beads on the string.

Today is puzzle day. Well, every day seems to be puzzle day. Now, call me prejudice, but I think it's pretty amazing that Hunter (not even 3 yet) can put together 60-piece puzzles. Just like that. As Ellis will say, as she's jumping up and down while clapping her hands: "Hunter is AMAZING!" Yes, he is.

It's especially fun to see how these little people care for each other, take care of each other, and look out for each other. Yea, they pick on each other, and there's the shoving, pinching, and biting. We won't mention any of the other stuff that goes on here.... but it's part of being Two. But in the end, when they put their arms around each other and each say "I'm sorry.....", it's just about the two nicest words in the dictionary.

Later, Nancy

Monday, August 23, 2010


I've never been one to exercise.... it's shameful, I know.... and it's even harder to admit to people. But it is what it is. I blame my parents! I like to walk and stroll and garden, but I don't "exercise." Until recently. I've gone two whole weeks of walking every day. I'm so proud of myself. Okay, so it's only around the block, but it's a BIG block and it takes about 15 minutes of power walking. But this morning, I was still in bed when my neighbor/friend/walking partner stopped to wait for me. Still in bed! On a babysitting day! Crap.

It DOES upset me. See, I'm one of those people that will find any reason not to do this.... Oh, I don't mind walking, but to do it for exercise.... nahhhh.... and once I find one excuse not to do it, there will be another and another.

So, today, as soon as I'm awake, I'll have to walk around the block on my own. In the rain. By myself... I can't let this beat me. Please please help me stay on track. Send me an email, a comment on my blog, write on my facebook account, anything to keep me on track.

Later.... Nancy

Sunday, August 22, 2010

moving forward

When I retired almost five years ago, I really didn't know what that meant for my husband and I. We had visions of traveling to Maine to eat lobster, to cruise through the Panama Canal, to soak up the sun in Hawaii all the while sipping tropical drinks, and so much more.

We envisioned having adventures of some kind. Possibly even moving South.

So far family has tied up most of our retirement, which is okay, because it's giving us time to figure out what we want in our next chapter.

But the time has come to move forward with plans.... we're not exactly certain what those are yet, but we know they may involve sunshine... maybe some sand.... possibly an extended stay in Hawaii at some point.

Mostly, I want adventures again. I want to throw our daily routine out the window, do nothing at all if the mood suits us.

I want to live in Hawaii for a year's time, then pack up and move to a cabin in the woods, filled with books waiting to be read. I want to wake up in the morning and look out over a stream or small river.

I want to grow a vegetable garden. Visit Farmer's Markets. Ride Amtrak.

I want to experience rain somewhere else. And maybe not be quite so cold, somewhere else.

I want to spend time with family that I have lived away from for 40 years.

Yes, it's time for some adventures. To throw caution to the wind and just go for it. If it doesn't work out, so what? At least we would have tried. So from this day forward, my focus is going to be on the next chapter and what we need to do to get there.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

keep it cozy

With fall just around the corner, I start dreaming of a simpler life.
A quiet life.
A cozy life.

I dream of cozying up in a snug little cabin in the woods...
with a fire burning to keep me toasty warm....
a cup of hot chocolate....
with mini marshmellows floating on top....
and my favorite book waiting.

This is the life I dream of. The simple life.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

north to alaska

Alaska, the Last Frontier. What do you think of when you think of Alaska? Igloos? The song, "North to Alaska!"? Polar Bears? Dog sleds? Snow? Wildlife roaming the streets? Here in Juneau, we don't see a lot of wildlife, but we do see the occasional bear and deer. Bald Eagles are everywhere and always fun to watch.

We went for a drive to the Glacier yesterday, about a five minute drive from our home, and this bear crossed the street ahead of us. Just a small black bear, but still, a BEAR!

We were able to watch it for a bit before the dogs zeroed in on it and started barking.... This is when the bear looked back at us, going, what is THAT noise?! We decided it was best not to cause the bear any grief, and left.

Monday, August 9, 2010


We've always known that "life can be short...." But when it happens to you, it gives the saying a whole new meaning. We recently lost a very valued member of our family to a horrible disease. It happened so quickly. We knew he had a short life to live, but didn't realize the disease would take him over two nights. It's been a month and a half now, and we still think of him daily. He was a strong man. A quiet man. An honorable man.

Never assume your family and friends know how much they mean to you. Tell them. Often. Don't beat around the bush. Just tell them through your actions, your gestures, and your words.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

family picnic 2010

It starts out like this:

He Who Brings Own Apron, Be Chief Grillmaster:

We visit:

We eat:

We visit some more:

We drink:

We have TOO much to drink:

We make pacts:

We listen to Alika:

And watch Ingrid (pronounced “Inya”) Gosney dance Hawaiian:

We dance:

We listen to Alika perform some more:

The result of too much drinking:

The best times are spent at Camp Kalama....

an august garden

Pictures of my new garden. This one was created late last summer and is already doing so well.

My new most favorite berry: Serviceberry. So sweet.

I can't help but love the combination of Dragon's Blood Sedum, grasses, and Hostas.

My new favorite ground cover:

These golden spireas have become one of my favorite shrubs. Their bright, cheery foliage brightens up any dark corner. Behind is the beginning of a hedge of Japanese Maples.

Some Fall colors.... August 8....