Dancing Mandolin Player has always been very generous with the fruit produced by her many pear, apple and plum trees.

Aren’t these beautiful?

I made two pear tarts and I also dried slivers of pears, a treat I used to put in the boys’ lunch boxes.

On Sunday I used the last of the pears to create a pear-walnut-gargonzola salad.

Here’s the link to the recipe:

It seemed decadent to have a huge bowl of pears to play with, because I love pears almost as much as I love peaches.

The guys have taken plums up to the cabin for snacking. I wish I had time to can some, but the days are going by way too fast and I have all I can do to clean out freezers and refrigerators and closets and drawers and cupboards.

The rain has stopped and the sun is going to shine for the rest of the week, which will make packing up easier as the kayaks and chairs go back into storage and my little garden of pots will be readied for winter.

Will ate the last pepper in his eggs Monday morning, but I will grown more next summer now that I know I can.

The canning jars have been put away for another year and the canner will be loaned to a friend for her salsa-making next week.

Jars of peaches and apricots line the cupboards, applesauce is in the freezer and jam is ready for gift-giving.

I love this time of year.


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oktoberfest, 2021

Banjo Man loves to volunteer to serve food at Oktoberfest.

Saturday was the most rain we’d had in one day since January 12. At least, that was what the Spokane weatherman said on his broadcast Saturday night.

We needed it. Desperately. But it certainly put a damper on the annual Memorial Community Center fundraiser, Oktoberfest. Still, we sold 100 bratwurst dinners (and oh, was that a tasty meal!) and who knows how many hot dog dinners.

The dining area looked beautiful, with gorgeous flowers, gourds and blue-diamond table runners. Tents and heaters aided sales of beer and wine and covered the DJ and his equipment. There was music, along with lots of conversations between neighbors who hadn’t seen each other in a while.

But did we need rain? Yes, we did. More than one glass of beer toasted the end of the drought and the end of the fire danger.

And no one went hungry.

Posted in food, friends, lake | 1 Comment

don’t ask why i bought this friday

I will try to explain.

It was marked “$9.99” at the animal shelter thrift store. There was a sticker on the cover that said, “Tested”.

It was also unusual and shiny and pretty and I wanted to play with it.

This machine was also so heavy I couldn’t pick it up, so a hefty young man offered to carry it to the register for me and put it in a cart. I was then able to slide it from the cart to the back of the Highlander.

Where it remains three days later because for some unknown reason the men in my life are not interested in my new vintage machine. Go figure.

And why  it would be in a portable storage case I do not know, because there is no way this machine would ever be called “portable”.  I took it apart in the back of the car so I could examine underneath and takes some measurements.

Thanks to the internet I was able to research what kind of machine this is. “Made in Japan”, it was called a “Super Zigzag” DOM-B and is pure steel. After World War II, we sent US sewing machines to Japan so they could manufacture their own versions and build their economy. Which they did, often turning out machines that were actually better than the American machines. This is one of their “badged” versions. See the “Classic” label to the left of the biggest knob? Similar labels were put on the machines as Gimbels and Ford and all sorts of companies wanted their own label.

They are not highly collectible like vintage Singers and Whites and Brothers, but this is certainly worth more that $10.

I’ve been watching a Youtube video on how to mount a vintage machine in a vintage “drop down” sewing machine table. There’s lots of measuring involved and it is going to be a fun challenge to find just the right-sized table with the right hardware. Of course before that happens I intend to plug it in and see if it works.

Will and I are going to town Wednesday for our annual summer shopping trip to town.  We will eat lunch at the Pie Hut, hit a couple of vintage/antique stores and prowl through the stores downtown (hopefully finding great Christmas gifts).  Will likes to stop by Evans Brothers for some thank you gifts to Texas friends and I will check Walmart to see if my favorite mock turtlenecks are in stock yet.

I will bring a tape measure and check out every vintage sewing cabinet I see.  Just in case.


Posted in family, food, lake, quilting, secondhand stuff, shopping | 4 Comments

signs of the times

Please be kind to those who showed up.

You’d think people would naturally be polite, especially in these times, but I guess not. I keep hearing horror stories about customers being mean to wait staff in local restaurants.

Here’s one sent by my sister-in-law in Kansas:

Fine vehicles and undertaking? This business covered it all.

Here is what I put on the oven last Thursday afternoon. And the guys did not turn the ovens on in time. (sigh)

Today is a rainy Saturday and everyone is very, very pleased about the rain. Fire danger has been lowered to “moderate” and, by the end of the weekend, could go lower.

Will is hoping to have a driftwood campfire on the beach before he leaves for Texas next week. I think the odds are good.

I am packing and cleaning and getting ready to head East with Banjo Man on the 29th. He is up at the cabin every day as he and Will finish up five months of construction and remodeling. Vada has been on site this past week and has engineered the installation of metal siding.

Banjo Man is thrilled. All the guys are.

Tonight is the annual Oktoberfest celebration at the Community Center. Banjo Man will be serving coleslaw, his favorite volunteer position. Wielding a serving spoon grants him the opportunity to meet and greet every single person at the event.

And that is a good thing.

Nebraska is playing Oklahoma right now. I can’t watch.

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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.
Posted in lake | 1 Comment


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