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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abundance

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

waiting for raindrops

As I sit here looking out the dining room windows all I can see are clouds.

Or maybe it’s smoke. There’s a whiff of that in the air.

We are waiting for some rain, forecast by the weather app on my I-phone, which should arrive in the next hour or two.

And how we would love some rain! Real rain, though. Not the scattered sprinkling stuff that does nothing but get our hopes up.

Today is my father’s birthday. He would have been 96. And I’m not sure he would have loved that so much unless he had been in great health and even greater spirits. He filled his world with laughter and fun, and any reduction of those activities and pleasures would have been very, very painful. Still, we all miss him terribly. His ever-present happiness was so contagious.

I tried a new recipe last night, but it was definitely not blog-worthy: Brined Chicken Breasts with Crispy Sage. The guys loved it, but I thought it was a bit salty. I love crispy sage leaves–and I have a mega-sized sage plant this summer–but the recipe was too much work for the end result. And yet the chicken was tender and juicy, so there was that.

Banjo Man and Will can enjoy the leftovers tonight because I am going out to dinner with Wednesday night dinner group, even though there are only three of us available. “Company Season” is upon us here at the lake and many of us are busy entertaining those family members and friends who couldn’t be here last summer.

I wanted to share Nancy’s moon photo with you. She took it a couple of nights before she left. Her phone, the I-phone 12, has an incredible camera.

Happy Summer, everyone. Enjoy it while it is here!

Posted in family, food, lake | 2 Comments

it’s always hard to leave the lake, part two

This is the smile of someone enjoying her vacation!

Daughter Nancy’s 17-day vacation also had to come to an end.  She didn’t sob as the FG had, but I suspect she shed a few tears on the way to the airport.

A good time was had by all.

Who knew she could down tequila shots like a Texan?

And beat Champion Bob at Corn Hole?

Socializing with the Idaho ladies…

Lunches in town…

 I think she’ll be back next year.

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edits for today’s post, hard to leave the lake

I had a lot of trouble writing and posting today’s blog post and somehow (!!!!) the post was published and was only about 1/3 there. So when you received an email with the post in it, you didn’t have much of it.

And it sure wouldn’t have made sense.

It’s corrected on the wordpress site now. I don’t know why the “good” post didn’t save to the website.

It’s a mystery.

I need more coffee.

I’m sorry for the trouble!

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