brothers on vacation

They do have a good time together.


Walking up on the land.


They played golf.  Competed in nightly rounds of Canasta.  And went kayaking on calm summer mornings.


Banjo Man is stuck on the beach.

We had dinner with friends from town.



Always a good time.


Relaxing hours on the shore.


The best way to spend an afternoon.

Lunch at the Pie Hut, the purchase of an old wooden milking stool, the cleaning out of the office, numerous trips to the dump and the Pantry, exploring the “treasures” in the lower basement and lots and lots of laughter (much of it centered upon the Funny Grandson).

Good times.




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inside out, again

Taking a break from chronicling the festivities at the lake for a moment, I need to discuss something…well…disturbing.

I am hoping that some of you reading this in the blogosphere will say, “Oh, yeah, I do that all the time, too.”

And that will be no small comfort to me.

Lately I have been putting on my clothes inside out.  Frequently.  As in almost every day.  I don’t know what this means (am I in too big of a hurry?  need brighter light bulbs?  should drink more coffee before getting dressed?), but I hope it isn’t a harbinger of very bad things to come.  It has become such a problem that I have to double check myself every day, at least once (I spend time in and out of bathing suits, shorts and the Cooking Dinner Sundress).

The worst was the swimsuit fiasco of last week.  Thank God I felt the tag and realized what I’d done before the trip down the hill to the water.  In my defense, it is a solid black one piece suit that doesn’t look much different right side out or inside out.

At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Pretty soon I’ll have to put a post-it note on the bathroom mirror:  Are you right-side out today????

(You understand why I am posting no pictures to illustrate this, right?)



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oh, the joy of fishing!

IMG_3722When Uncle Will arrived a few days ago, the Funny Grandson could finally (a) learn to fish, (b) build a campfire, (c) eat s’mores, (d) kayak and (e) jump off the dock.

These were all things his busy (and somewhat tired) father and grandparents kept putting off.   The Funny  Grandson never gets tired, you see, and can go from 7 AM to midnight with boundless energy, good humor and constant conversation.

(Yes, he is very much like Banjo Man).


How to bait a hook.


How to cast a line.



How to wait patiently.

We couldn’t believe he sat still for so long.


Uncle Will, the Austin pit master, looks pretty happy, too.  And this was just Day 1!



No brisket in sight.




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it’s all their fault


Son #1 and the Funny Grandson at the Spokane airport

Yes, it is all their fault that I haven’t had time to write any blog posts for the past couple of weeks.  I’ve barely touched my computer and have basically used my phone to take pictures.  We’re in the woods now and the internet is sloooooooooow,

They arrived at 4 PM.  Their plane was early, which was a good thing for me, because I was so excited about their arrival that I got to the airport an hour early.

Yes, an hour early.  Pathetic, I know, but I had left the lake at 10:30, stopped for gas, hit Kohl’s and the Bear Paw quilting fabric store, wolfed down a sandwich at Jimmy John’s and found myself at the airport at 3:00.

I was ready to party.

We collected the bags and made the short drive to the Hilton Garden Inn, where we would wait for Banjo Man’s plane and spend the night.  The Funny Grandson said he’d never spent a lot of time at a hotel before and was thrilled with the adjoining rooms and the indoor pool.


I remembered to bring the life jacket.

We ate pizza from Pizza Hut and partied at the pool for several hours before FG collapsed into his “very comfy” bed.


While Son #1 and FG were snoring in their beds, I met Banjo Man’s midnight plane and chauffeured him to the Hilton, where our own comfy bed awaited.

The next morning we hit McDonalds for a quick breakfast before heading to the lake.

I thought this sign was hilarious.  You will make other parents upset.

And this one made sense.

We drove without stopping to the lake, mostly because the little guy in the back seat kept jabbering about how he couldn’t wait to jump in the lake.


I have been at his beck and call ever since, with long hours on the beach, making blueberry pancakes for breakfast and hamburgers for dinner.   We’ve been making ice cream and blueberry jam.  And we’ve played hours of a wildlife memory game (I always lose, no surprise there).

He insists on going down to the dock at 8:30 every night to watch the sunset (sometimes only his father has the energy to take him) and has spent countless hours trying to skip rocks.

Life has been busy, in the very best way.  I’ll try to do better in the future!





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montana came to lunch

Yesterday’s lunch had been planned for a month!  That’s what you have to do when five busy women want to get together for an afternoon by the lake.

The weather cooperated, with sun and clouds alternating above our heads.  The shrimp was fabulous.



Shrimp with sweet chili sauce and homemade slaw with a touch of coconut.  Be still my heart.

And the drinks were pretty tasty, too.

IMG_3570We caught up with each other’s lives, with talk of grandchildren and travel and weddings and house remodeling.

It had been quite a year.  No less than three new babies are expected between now and October.

Later in August we’ll do it again, perhaps wearing housedresses over our bathing suits and spending an afternoon on the dock and in the lake and on the porch.

The sun was out this morning and the sky is blue!  It is the first true summer morning I’ve experienced since arriving two weeks ago.  I was up at five, thinking the clock said six.


But there are cakes to bake and a cheese sauce to make and scales to practice on the violin and music to organize, plus time on the treadmill and a shower…which all have to take place before 10:30.

So it’s a good thing I was up early, gazing happily at a cloud-free blue sky and smiling at the mountains!



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it seemed like a good idea at the time

IMG_3557The Funny Grandson delights in discovering how things are made.  After two years of successful jam-making, he asked me if I knew how to make shredded wheat (I discovered later on that it was his favorite cereal and his parents frequently ran out of it, much to his frustration).

What better solution than to have Grandma whip up a batch whenever she visits?

(For the record, I don’t know how to make shredded wheat, but I’d bet someone on Pinterest knows).

So what does this have to do with ice cream, you ask?  Well, I had the brilliant idea of making our own ice cream this summer, something I was sure would delight the FG no end.  So I read a zillion reviews and, after drooling over the $400 Cuisinart with its own compressor, decided to go with the popular $29.99 Hamilton Beach 4-qt electric ice cream maker.

I had it shipped to the lake a couple of weeks ago so it would arrive when I did.  I bought lots of cream and a gallon of milk and a bag of ice and–eventually– rock salt (it took trips to FOUR stores to find rock salt!) and special plastic containers just the right size to store ice cream in the freezer.  On Thursday I was ready to practice, having not made ice cream in about 40 years.  But after I opened up the box I discovered the canister was badly dented.  It would have to go back to Amazon.

Dancing Mandolin Player offered her Cuisinart, a snazzy looking little machine that makes 1.5 quarts of ice cream while sitting prettily on the kitchen counter.  It needs no rock salt or ice; you freeze the “bowl” overnight, pour in the ingredients and let it do its thing for 20 minutes.

Sounds like a plan!  I put the bowl in the freezer and planned to make ice cream the next day.  I would test a vanilla recipe and chop frozen peaches to add to it.  Oh, the excitement!

Then Son #1 called to say hello and in the midst of the conversation asked if I would have almond milk here at the lake for the FG’s visit next week.  They are staying away from dairy products to see if that helps FG’s sensitive stomach.

I feel his pain.  I don’t drink milk either.  And I much prefer the “dairy custard soft ice cream” to the real scooped-from-the-tub ice cream if I’m going to treat myself to a cone.

I have read–okay, a long time ago–that heating milk changes the “lactose” factor somehow.  I wonder if that would help in the future ice cream making process.

I’ll plan to make some fruit sorbets, too.  And will google ideas for almond milk ice cream (it should be possible, right?).  And then there’s frozen yogurt to experiment with.

So today I’m heading back to town.  The Hamilton Beach machine will be shipped back, the rock salt will be returned and I will stock up on almond milk and strawberries (for that sorbet).

Grandma Has A New Plan.





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happy father’s day

1973 Ben and Grandpa001

My father with his first grandchild, 1973.

I had the very best father anyone could have had.

I was so lucky.

Happy Father’s Day to all of you fathers out there.  May your sons and daughters appreciate everything you’ve done for them and may your day be filled with love.


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Can you spot the geese?  There were about twenty adults and babies on the beach yesterday afternoon.  I can’t imagine what they were finding to eat, but they seemed to enjoy the pit stop before plopping back into the lake

I bought this for Son #1 at the Pantry yesterday.


Nothing says “your mother loves you” more than a giant cookie.

It rained really hard this morning.  Yesterday I made a crock pot full of Texas beans and baked two lemonade cakes.  If this lousy weather continues, I’m going to run out of freezer space!



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purple soup and the pie hut

I must be back in Idaho if I am having lunch at the Pie Hut.

Be still my heart.


Today’s special: sweet potato soup.

So why is sweet potato soup purple, you ask?  I have no idea.  Are there purple sweet potatoes in this world?  I know there are gold ones.

Ah, something to google…

The white topping is coconut milk and lime.  Lovely, isn’t it?

I also indulged with half a turkey sandwich and—oh, bliss!—a slice of lemon meringue pie.

Pie!!!  Pie!!!  Pie!!!


When not cooking or sitting in the Pie Hut looking at pie, I am slowly cleaning up the beach.  There is lots of firewood for this summer’s campfires.  The Funny Grandson has asked if we can have s’mores again (the kid doesn’t forget anything) and because I am Grandma I said, “Of course.”

The ingredients are sitting on a counter in the mud room.  The s’mores and I are waiting for a campfire and the guys who will sit around it and tell me that my marshmallows are on fire (I like them that way).

Ah, summer…

We are supposed to have nice sunny weather on Sunday and from that day on…so I say, bring on the sun!  I’m ready to party.


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anne with an “e”


I watched all seven episodes of season 1 on Netflix this week.  What a wonderful production!  I cannot recommend it enough.   I don’t know how long we’ll have to wait for season 2, but I hope it won’t be a year.   Banjo Man is equally as entranced.

I never read the “Anne of Green Gables” books and now I think I will.

The sun came out yesterday, so I moved some chairs down to the beach and spent a couple of hours soaking up the sunshine.  It might hit 70 today, which is even better.  Hurray!

When not reading by the lake or unpacking, I’m cooking.  Yesterday was this:

IMG_3536I also made 13 quarts of lasagna sauce, so guess what I’ll be assembling this morning.  Son #1 loves lasagna and I will have it here waiting for him when he arrives in two weeks.

Must.  Feed.  Boys.

Also on today’s agenda is a trip to the dump, an errand at the hardware store (batteries!) and a search for my tomato stakes (where oh where did Banjo Man store them?) so I can act like a gardener.

There are also several guitars to tune, along with unpacking music books.

I’d better get busy.


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