down at the marina

We ate dinner down here at the nearby floating restaurant (known as “The Floater”) last weekend. The four of us strolled along the pier and gawked at the boats after wolfing down a wonderful meal. Shrimp, fettucini, steak, pork chops–oh, boy!

The smoke from distant and not-so-distant fires had disappeared, resulting in a welcome sunset over the mountains.

So we took pictures.

The guys!
Two weeks ago! Big difference, don’t you think?

Last night Banjo Man brought home a Pizza Hut “Tastemaker” special, which was a large three-topping pizza for–wait for it–$10!

It was delicious because (a) I didn’t make it myself and (b) because it was delicious.

Tonight we will have what I call a Freezer Pantry Dump Crock Pot Soup: shredded chicken, fresh chili peppers, green enchilada sauce, corn, onions and whatever else I can find to add to the pot. As we are now less than a month away from closing down the house, I am in “empty the freezer and eat everything inside of it” mode.

It’s always a challenge.

Posted in family, food, lake | 2 Comments

odds and ends at the end of august

Excuse me while I put my feet up.

August has been BUSY.  Where did the month go?  I don’t know!  It started with another heat wave, smoke from western fires and worry over our own local fire.  We prayed for rain and didn’t get it until about 9 days ago.

Brother George was here for several weeks and a good time was had by all.

Progress on the outhouse.

Progress on the cabin.

Progress in the garden.

There was a trip to town to the Peach Man with Dancing Mandolin Player.  Breakfast at McDonald’s.   And a visit to the fair to see if DMP won a ribbon for her floral arrangement.  And…she did!

We are still waiting for days of rain.  Fire danger has gone from “Extreme” to “High”.  Temps are in the 70’s, so summer is officially over.  It was 48 this morning at 6:30.  

Oh, and I made applesauce!  I ended up buying a new old “appliance”, which brought back memories of making apple butter with my mother-in-law.  Check it out.

I had borrowed My French Friend Janou’s fancy food strainer complete with sixteen moving parts that were difficult–if not impossible–to assemble.  Clearly my brain and my patience could only operate the above three-piece apparatus.

Have you ever heard of a store called North Forty?  It has everything an Idaho woman needs, including pretty-colored buckets, rubber boots and canning supplies.  

Take a tour:  

I’ll probably be there again next week.




Posted in family, food, friends, lake, shopping | 4 Comments

there are not enough prayers

I planned to catch up on the blog this morning with posts about Elberta peaches and arrowheads and the Funny Grandson, but this is not the morning to do so.

I have been watching the caskets of the fallen service members arrive at Dover Air Force Base and I cannot imagine the pain the families are going through. The news reports this past week have been horrendous and, while I try to comprehend what has been happening, I cannot believe what I have seen.

I will be flying the American flag from the upper deck today.

An American soldier reportedly held onto the US flag as he boarded a plane out of Afghanistan Monday amid the chaotic and deadly evacuation.
Soldier rescuing American flag from the US embassy in Afghanistan. Photo from CNN.

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field of dreams

In case you didn’t see the intro to the White Sox/Yankees game last week…

Now I want to watch the movie again.

Posted in just for fun | 1 Comment

it looks like fog

But it’s not.

It’s smoke. Whether it is coming from the Trestle Creek fire or from the fires in California and British Columbia, no one seems to know for sure.

It could be gone on Monday, if the winds change and the temperature drops. It could be gone in September, when the much-longed-for rains come. Or will we have to wait for winter?

Do you see the blue inflatable tube at the end of the dock? It blew in during Wednesday evening’s wind storm. Will put it at the end of the dock in hopes that the owner will see it and take it home.

No luck so far.

Friends came over for dinner last night, but the rest of the weekend will be very, very quiet. The smoke has that affect, along with being stifling. I think I’ll make another batch of oatmeal cookies today, even though I’m out of raisins. Extra nuts will have to do instead. Or maybe a handful of mini-chocolate chips.

But first? More coffee!

From CNN.
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This is the Summer of Basil. I took this picture three weeks ago, so double it in your mind and then you will have an idea how much basil I am growing.

I wish I knew what I was doing right so I could do it again.

Does that happen to you?

Posted in food, lake | 2 Comments

fires and smoke–it must be august

Photo from the Bonner Daily Bee.

Unfortunately the fires began about a month ago, after multiple lightning strikes. “Dry lightning” is absolutely terrifying.

And rightly so.

Neighbors to the west are on a “Ready, Set, Go” alert. Smoke hangs over the lake. We are sleeping with the windows closed. We long for rain, lots of rain, days of rain.

Yesterday morning I spent a few hours reading on the dock, which was the first time in over a week. The smoke wasn’t terrible and temps hadn’t soared back to 90+, so life was good.

Brother-in-law George has arrived!!! Last night the three of us went to a fundaiser at the community center: fried chicken dinner and live music. It was a warm evening, but we were in the shade and sometimes there was a breeze. Quite the local event and so very enjoyable to catch up with old friends.

For his 80th birthday Banjo Man wanted to go out to dinner at the restaurant in town where “Bruce and Beth” were singing. Bruce is the most talented musician in our area and for several years he coached our mountain band into professionalism. We were in awe. And Beth? Well, she and her partner Cinde were a singing duo back in the 70’s. We were devoted fans…46 years ago.

(The restaurant was closed for a private party and the temp was 100 so we stayed home with the AC and two birthday cakes. )

So you can imagine how happy Banjo Man was last night. Three hours of Bruce and Beth! Fried chicken! Friends galore! Brother George!

I’ll leave you with some music from Beth & Cinde this summer morning…

Posted in friends, lake, music, the band | 2 Comments

happy 80th!

Posted in family | 5 Comments

banjo man’s birthday and another heat wave

Banjo Man turns 80 on Saturday.

No one can believe it, especially him. He is very…lively. He loves to get up at 5 AM and head to the Cabin On The Mountain to do important things like build an out house and remove old shingles and haul old lumber to the dump.

It makes him happy.

So…his birthday. He didn’t want a party (for the record, let it be known that I offered). He said he’d like to go to a restaurant in town for a fancy dinner and listen to “Bruce and Beth” play music, which they do every Saturday night.

It’s going to be 99 degrees Saturday. If we ate inside in the glorious air-conditioned dining room, we wouldn’t be able to hear the music. Which was the point. So we decided that we would have a drink on the hot, hot, hot stone patio, hear some tunes and flee into the chilly dining room for dinner.

A plan!

And then I discovered the restaurant was closed for a private event Saturday night.

Banjo Man decided he really didn’t want to go to town after all. But neither of our lakeside restaurants in town are air-conditioned and no matter what, we would still be dealing with a hot evening.  And we’re out of the mood for hot evenings.

I could tell the man was losing interest in the whole birthday party thing, but I was still determined to do something.

And yet…ninety-nine degrees?????  Are you kidding me?  I can’t even grill on the porch in that kind of heat.  The new recipe for marinated shrimp would have to wait.

So we have postponed the celebration.  I will make chicken salad sandwiches from a favorite recipe and we will have potato chips and beer and peaches and cake.  Inside.  With the air-conditioning on.  And the three of us will play cards and take pictures of the sunset.

How does that sound?

Posted in family, lake | 4 Comments

livin’ the good life with the peach man

Peaches and apricots.

This is how I spent my weekend. Result? Seven quarts and seven pints of canned peaches, six pints of apricots and 14 pints of apricot jam.

When I shared this accomplishment with my friend Kathy From Montana, she cried, “You’re working too hard!”

I didn’t get to explain that it wasn’t work at all.

Here’s the thing: I never thought I’d ever have the energy to can fruit or make jam again. I’d resigned myself to the fact that the fun, fruit-preserving part of my life was over.

And yes, my mother-in-law and I always thought it was fun. We got a lot of fruit preserved when she would visit us. We’d make glorious messes and end up with quarts and quarts of apple butter (her specialty).

Okay, so it took me two years to get my energy back after, ugh, cancer.

And when I visit the Peach Man’s tent on Thursday mornings I get a little drunk on all the possibilities stacked there in boxes and I buy too much and I giggle like a mad woman as I drive out of the parking lot.

The other ingredient–beside energy–is the addition of a “steamer canner”, recommended by one of my friends at water aerobics. This kitchen invention is right up there with the microwave and the immersion blender.

A terrible picture of its dial.

Instead of dealing with gallons of hot water and a heavy pan, you only fill the steamer with a few inches of water and let it steam the required amount of canning time after it reaches the spot on the dial that corresponds to your altitude. It happily boils while the jars are steamed.

The only fly in the ointment is obtaining canning jars and metal lids. It’s hit or miss at the grocery stores and I refuse to order the Chinese-made varieties.

Next up? Peach pie filling!

Posted in food, lake, the cancer fight | 2 Comments