garlic

Mr. Right and I have this obsession with garlic. We just can’t seem to get enough.

I opened a brand new garlic press as one of my Christmas gifts. It feels good just to hold it. It fits. It is heavy duty and sleek and just begging for a clove to be pressed through. Pressed so intensely that the juice of the clove drips out as well as the “meat”.

One of my favoritest (yes, that is a word) people in the whole world gave it to me. That would be my dear sister in law. On the way to church Christmas eve, Mr. Right and I were listing the names of people in our lives that were really nice & sweet & kind people. Her name was in the top three category. She is the real deal. She is full of a kind gracious spirit. One of those people you wish you could hang out with all the time. Her humor is a delight and she is really sincerely a nice person. One time years ago, we wrote a cook book together. The title was “Chance made us sisters, Hearts made us friends”. I am not a super tear up person, however even typing that makes me smile and get a little blurry eyed. Oh yeah, I was writing about garlic.

Back to garlic, we purchase 4-6 heads a month. We purchase a 1/2 pound container of peeled garlic a month. I use it in everything from a clove daily in our freshly made juice to the broth we give our dog daily. We roast it and smear it on bread. We make soup and use it in sauces and of course Risotto. I caramelize it with mushrooms and onions. I use it generously on our bbq “chicken” garlic pizza, with garlic white sauce, oh yum. I use it in almost all of our appetizer recipes. Okay, what would hummus be without lots and lots of garlic…just plain, just bland, just blah…… Oh my, we
use garlic powder and even garlic salt. We have purchased dehydrated garlic and used that. We (as in the ones who almost never buy gift certificates as gifts) bought a certificate and gave to son number two and sweetie to have dinner in LA at a place called “The Stinking Rose”. Everything garlic! From the alcoholic drinks to the end of the meal in the ice cream.

I guess you could really sum up by saying we are indeed a garlic family. Heck, you know for sure we are having some form or another for our dinner tonight. That pizza is sounding mighty good.

So next year when you are scratching your head as to what to buy someone, just think about my marvelous new Pampered Chef heavy duty garlic press. Think just how much joy you will be spreading?

You gotta know that every time I use that press, I will of course think just how lucky I am to have it and to have the best sister in law in the whole wide world.

I feel bathed in grace because of how fortunate I am to have her in my life.
I am indeed a lucky girl.

$1,794.67

That is the sum total of the amount of coupons that I clipped, printed and redeemed in the year 2010. I do not count the amount that the store says I saved at the bottom of my receipt.

Plain and simple, $1,794.67

To me, I think it is totally worth my approximately 20 minutes a week effort.

YIPPY! I crushed my 2009 record!

I’ve come to realize

I’ve come to realize that (hold on to something) that I don’t care for whipped creme in
my coffee beverages. It sort of makes me gag a little.

However, I love buying and tasting the little 4 ounce shaker containers that you
sprinkle on top of said whipped creme. (The actual wording on the little jar reads,
“shakable topping”. I don’t care for the “word” shakeable.) I buy mine at Cash n Carry
for about $3.00.

light bulb moment: This morning while preparing my daily morning oatmeal,
I grabbed the Toasted Coconut “shakeable” topping and sprinkled away.

Oh yeah! Love this idea.

I am a happy girl this morning.

ps. When I hit spell check the “word” shakeable came up
underlined in bright red. Another thing that made me smile!

I resolve

I have a few days to decide……..

I just love New Year’s Resolutions. I love making them, keeping them, thinking about them.

I love the self imposed “clean slate”.

I am swirling around ideas for 2011

re-do the entire master bedroom (paint to furniture to linens to frames etc)

Practice and continue the practice in making the best ever home made English muffins. This one is a for sure.

For sure I am going to make my new celebration a big sucess….”Socktober”. We are giving all kinds of socks to our kids, grandgirlie, college care packages, military care packages. We are going to donate lots and lots of socks to the poor. I love the idea of setting sock goals and surpassing them.!!!!

My mind is whirling with ideas galore. 🙂

wishes apparently come true

Just now, Christmas eve day at 12:40 pm……

Amongst the baking and roasting and cleaning and wrapping….

Mr. Right and I just stopped and took a break.

Apparently in our neighborhood, wishes do come true. Just now,
a HUGE fire truck drove onto our street. Then the lights started, then
three firemen jumped out.

One little boy in the neighborhood was brought out of his home and started
jumping for joy. Oh my, never saw so many grandparents magically produce
and start using cameras! 🙂

He got to sit in the drivers seat. All smiles, for everyone I mean, neighbors,
grandparents, parents, firemen and yes the lucky boy.

God Bless the Pierce County Fire Department. May all your stops be this
simple and happy this holiday season.

Well done, boys, well done.

Merry Christmas to all of us.

Merriment

Not all of our children will be home for this Christmas.

All of our “children” are healthy and doing well.

We have much to be thankful for.

I am wrapping the last of my gifts and making some
cookie dough to use later.

We have a very blessed and good life.

I have on a crazy fluffy lime green scarf.
It makes me happy.

I am glad that I have Mr. Right to help get through
this time of year. This year is particularly tough.

It is raining here in Washington. I love the rain.

We drove to see lights last night. With hot cocoa and
a warm latte. Life is good right now.

I am thankful.

Church tomorrow night will be calm.

not a huge Christmas fan

Who knew? Who knew that by sticking my nose in and jumping in with both feet, not only could I/we help someone……we could start to heal ourselves?

Not being a huge fan of the Christmas season, this caught me off guard.

Oh sure, there are things I love, love, love about the season….

I love that moment of rustle and energy and sound put forth when I along with
a concert hall full of people move to stand for Handel’s Hallelujah chorus.

I love that first smell of evergreens in a spotlessly clean church once the
hanging of the greens is completed.

I love the look of a dark evergreen fresh tree hung only with white Chrismons.

I love the silly requests to Santa, ” I want pants.” funny, just funny

I love to catch a glimpse of a car load of family headed home with a fresh cut
Christmas tree tied on backwards on top of their car.

I will admit to LOVING rug lug Jewish cookies this time of year.

I love using woven loom red, white and green pot holders, handmade just for me this season. It makes me feel special and thought of.

After this weekend of giving…………it sort of caught us off guard.
Things looked prettier, more sparkly, if you will. This season seemed a bit brighter.

Hey Virginia, the Christmas spirit is alive and well. I just needed to be beaned on the head with a club to remember.

I must say if feels pretty nice.

the Christmas photo

So this year, we planned on having our photograph done by the beach.
With beach grass softly blowing in the gentle wind, maybe a weathered staircase
to lean against and the gentle lapping of the waves with just a touch of
white bubbling towards to the shoreline. Outfits chosen, vacation planned,
good attitudes, good hair that chosen day……………

Mother nature decided for us.

Wild tumultuous wind mixed with pelting rain and
huge powerful waves crashing actually pounding the shore
with amazing amounts of sound greeted us each and every day.

Now, you know we love the storms. Hey, we chase them just
to watch.

So, after arriving home, we unpacked the car, walked through
our water soaked yard and posed for said Christmas picture.

The dog, just wouldn’t let it go. She had to be in the picture.
We did so many takes, we both got the giggles.

So, we gave up. We chose the picture that we were both
smiling. Yup, the dog is in the picture. We quit trying for
the “perfect” shot.

We sent them to be printed last night at 8 pm. Picked them up,
taped them in the cards and mailed them this morning.

It is what it is……………life indeed moves on.

Last meal

Great news….. huge relief

Being only 48, I have discovered what I wish for my last meal on earth. Okay, don’t get weird, I could die at 49 or 94…just a big relief off of my shoulders. The decision has been made.

Newport, Oregon

Local Ocean Seafood

Roasted Garlic with Fresh Dungeness Crab Soup

(did I mention the butter and cheese and cream?)

I loved the bowl and the plate. I loved the waitress. I loved the restaurant. I loved watching the chefs. I loved the smells. I loved watching the French speaking family with three messy little boys next to us. I loved my garnish of lacy fennel. I loved the garage door wall (for the summer). I loved that Mr. Right LOVED his meal. We voted the food the best non-vegetarian restaurant we have ever experienced. I loved the big tip Mr. Right left. Heck, I even love typing about the place.

By listening to our children’s suggestion, just by dining there, we were bathed in Grace.

v a c a t i o n

While going over the map and locating several places we are headed out to find, a funny thought popped into my noggin. I have been saying over and over, gosh Mr. Right needs/could use a vacation. It has been long over due. He is working way too much and way too much stress has crept into his professional life. Then it struck me………….I could use/need a vacation too! I usually don’t feel like I need a break. I have a pretty good life. I can create days where I don’t work as much as other days….then I thought maybe it is just what I could use.

So for today, I will bake some delicious Scottish shortbread. I will wrap it in a special tin and then wrap it up as a birthday gift for Mr. Right. Seems to be a yearly tradition as far as birthday gifts go. I will bake some blueberry oatmeal bars to take on our trip.

I will pack my suitcase. I will have a manicure and pedicure. I will lay out some great outfits and colorful warm scarves to take along.

Time to buy some new Christmas music for the car trip. Maybe Trans Siberian Orchestra is just the ticket?!

We found a Dutch Brothers coffee shop and four quilt shops around our hotel. The beach is outside our patio door.

So today, I will fuss and tidy and do all the regular Friday chores. I will bake and pack/plan an over the top, delicious, decadent cooler full of treats and goodness.

Sweet Liberty will get a buff and puff and we will pack her biffy. Somehow sleeping 19 hours a day is exhausting and she needs the fresh air of the ocean and the soothing sounds of the water to relax her.

Our family is headed out to explore new territory (read that as quilt shops and coffee joints). We will expand our minds by taking a brewery tour one day. However, I am thinking that the evening will be filled with the fireplace crackling, the wine glasses will be put into use and we will be prunes every single evening for spending too much time in the spa and pool.

Sometimes giving yourself the grace to enjoy the quiet, down times…the vacation times is just what the soul needs.

See you on the other side of birthday celebration…winter vacation…2010.

ps. I am buying five bleached star fish to hang from my dinning room light fixture.
Yes, I hope to find them at a tacky beach souvenir shop with an uneven wooden floor
selling fudge and salt water taffy that I never buy.