Saturday, February 28, 2009

Taylor Dock Walk

With snow here one day and gone the next, it was time to enjoy a walk along Taylor Dock. Looking back up the hill, we turned and headed on down the dock.The view of Taylor Dock looking north to Bellingham. Looking west, out to the ferry terminal and islands.A promise of Spring is seen in these blooms of yellow crocus spotted along the way.
Coffees for the walk back!

"Featured" Project

When I logged into my Cut Out + Keep account, I was surprised to see the pita bread tutorial I had shared on the site had been selected as one of their "featured" projects.
Featured there on the front page of their website, my plate of piping hot pitas, right out of my oven!Cut Out + Keep, an online community for crafty and creative people to make and share step-by-step tutorials, allows members to post their own tutorials and browse through hundreds of other projects with step-by-step instructions. To check it out or join yourself, visit the Cut Out + Keep website.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Winter Holds (End of February Snow)

Only a few days ago, it looked like Spring was just around the corner. I was certainly ready for warmer weather and pushed it by bringing in forsythia branches. Now, inside watching those buds begin to swell on their branches, I also see all those inches of snow piled up once again just outside my window.
Those who predict our local weather say it won't last, that Spring is really just around the corner. Though hopeful, with snow on our heads and toes, somehow that news has yet to bring comfort when out walking.
Meanwhile, we stay inside, slicing our homemade bread. Started the evening before, its flavor is slightly tangy, almost a sourdough, and wonderful toasted.
And Torrie, he napped contently on his trusty mallard.

More pics from our end of February snow.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Nudging Spring!
With my favorite shade of yellow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Wanting fresh pita bread for dinner but tired of buying those over-priced, dried out pitas at the store, I knew it would be easy for me to make my own delicious pitas, and at a fraction of the cost.
Really Rose's Pita Bread Recipe
(makes 8 pitas)
1 teaspoon dry yeast
1-1/4 cups hot water (105 degrees F)
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Small amount of cornmeal
Pizza stone for baking
I sprinkled the yeast over the hot water in a large bowl and stirred until it was completely dissolved. Then added the whole wheat flour and one cup of the unbleached flour and stirred for about one minute to activate the gluten in the flour and created a sponge. I let the sponge rest for about 10 minutes, then sprinkled the salt over the sponge and added the olive oil. I mixed in the salt and oil. I mixed in the remaining cup of unbleached flour until the dough was too stiff for me to stir, then turned it out onto a lightly floured surface and kneaded until it was smooth and elastic.
Once shaped into a ball, I placed the dough into a large, well oiled bowl, turning to coat both sides of the dough with the oil from the bowl.
I covered the bowl with oiled plastic wrap and placed it in a warm spot in my kitchen. The dough had doubled in size in approximately one hour.
I punched down the dough with my fist.
The pizza stone was placed on the oven rack, and the oven preheated to 450 degrees F. Dividing the dough into 8 fairly equal in size small balls, I rolled each of the balls into an approximate 8 to 9 inch circle.
Once the oven was preheated, I sprinkled a small amount of cornmeal on the preheated stone and placed one of the rolled out pita circles in the center of the stone, baking it for 3 minutes.
The pita circles bake fast and puff dramatically, becoming just slightly brown when they were done. I quickly removed each pita from the oven as I baked them one at a time. As they cooled slightly, the aroma was wonderful - moist, warm, wheaty, yeasty and just slightly doughy.
My dinner, one warm pita cut in half and stuffed with my favorite salad mixture, ham slices, a small amount of crumbled sharp cheddar, a little feta cheese and crumbled bacon with huckleberry dressing drizzled over it all.
Absolutely yummy!!!

Stored covered to use within a few days, or wrapped an frozen to use later, these pitas are so very much better than any I have ever purchased at the grocery store.


Nutritional Info:
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 175.8
Total Fat: 1.9 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 146.0 mg
Total Carbs: 34.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.7 g
Protein: 5.2 g

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Black Hat

Would it fit? I knitted this hat and it was absolutely HUGE even though I followed the pattern exactly.
A bit nervous when I started the felting process, I was a little afraid that it would never turn into a hat that would fit me properly. I thought maybe I had wasted my time and wasted my good yarn. But look, it fits! After felting the wool, it fits perfectly!
See how I did it.


Saturday, February 14, 2009


It was Valentine's Day so celebrating with lunch at the Olive Garden with friends Christy, Keith, Ilse, Sally, Fred, Kriss, Jesse, Steve, Maureen, Joyce, Austin, Von, Wally and Tom seemed in order.
There was salad and bread sticks.
Chicken with gnocchi soup.
Raspberry iced tea.
Bowl after bowl of salad.
And a very full table.
Always fun with friends!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Community First! Gardens Project

UPDATE: 08/05/2009
The little Cordata raised-bed garden is fried, toasted, finished, wiped-out, exhausted for the season. The garden spots there are small, like raised flower beds really and a new garden to the community just this year. Initially the beds were filled with too many layers of cardboard and then several inches of soil that has turned out to be rather poor in quality. In spite of all the hard work the neighborhood has put in, as with all new gardening efforts, it will most likely take several more growing seasons for these gardens to become established enough to produce a healthy vegetable crop.
Some of the gardeners put in plant starts purchased from local nurseries or those that they had started at home earlier in the season, and others planted their gardens with seeds. Regardless of how their plants were started, the majority of the little gardens at the Cordata Community Gardens have grown extremely slow with many plants suffering stunted growth and other plants suffer some sort of strange dwarfism.
Built with treated lumber yet billed as an "organic" garden, the soil was ordinary soil from Wal-Mart and not "organic" either. That soil filling our garden beds now may have trace amounts of those wood-preserving chemicals leaching in as well. Does anyone know if those "wood-treating" chemicals can cause slow plant growth and dwarfism? Would you serve dwarfed vegetables harvested from garden beds treated with wood-preserving chemicals to your children?
Vegetable plants growing in those beds, already stressed from just the general conditions at the garden itself, hardly had a chance once the weather turned extremely hot. Add in an extreme algae bloom in the lake that provides the water, first a voluntary and then a mandatory water restriction imposed, it really is no surprise that many of the little Cordata gardens are pretty much finished for the season - already! Many other gardeners there have expressed that they have experienced similar slow growth, stunting and dwarfing results, and for many of us, participation in the Cordata Community Gardens really has been a very disappointing experience.
Meanwhile, even during the extreme summer heat and citywide mandatory water restrictions, my garden at the Happy Valley Community Gardens seems to be thriving. All the gardens there are thriving and gardening efforts there have paid off! Check this link out to see for yourself -
UPDATE 04/15/2009
Turns out, neither the Cordata Community Gardens nor the Cordata Neighborhood Association had ever submitted 501c not-for-profit paperwork, so even though they called themselves a "not-for-profit" organization, they weren't. Thus, the gardens really had not been qualified to accept any of the grants they had already been awarded, and started being told they weren't a "not-for-profit" and turned down for other grants each time they submitted an application elsewhere.
Scurrying around and bickering between the board members and the committee members running the garden, rumors at the garden quickly spread about how the local Boys and Girls Club 501c number ended up being used for the Cordata Community Gardens (because one of the Cordata Neighborhood Association co-presidents is also on the Board for the Boys and Girls Club) so that the gardens would not have to return the WSU Mary Redmond or the City of Bellingham Small and Simply Grants monies they had alread received - and spent. Is that really legal?! I'm kind of curious how that one would play out in an audit!
Not long after those rumors flew around, over half of the neighborhood association board members resigned from their positions on the board. Yet, to this day, they continue to oversee the operations and manage the monies at the gardens. All with good intentions I am sure, but is there something just a little wrong with this picture?
Making the gardening experience at the Cordata Community Gardens even more discouraging, one day while there pulling weeds from in and around my little garden spot, one of the co-presidents of the Cordata Neighborhood Association, Bev, came by the gardens to take her own private tour. She stopped at my garden spot to visit with me as I worked and informed me how the people in charge of this garden had received monies from the Cordata Neighborhood Association and had not paid those monies back yet.
Bev went on to tell me how that money had been a "loan" as "seed" money to get the garden up and running - that it had totally wiped out the bank account for the neighborhood association - and had been intended as a short-term loan just until the gardens could obtain some funding of their own. She said that there would be no more cooperation between the neighborhood association and the committee overseeing the gardens because those overseeing the gardens had declined to pay that "loan" back. After Bev finished "chatting" with me, she went on to tell her story to a few of the other gardeners that just happened to be there working that afternoon too.
Absolutely amazing! All I really wanted to do was to save my family a few precious dollars this year by growing my own fresh, healthy veggies to put on our dinner table during these difficult economic times. I had no clue that I was stepping into a beehive of politics and board members and garden organizers unable to work together more pleasantly!
Anxious for spring, it does seem appropriate to call us "gung-ho". It feels exciting to be able to participate at such a beginning, "dirt-level" in the building of this community garden. Ready to push up our sleeves and grab our shovels and rakes as we head out for sign-up and planning meetings, we really are ready for spring and this wonerful new community project!
First Grant Recipient - (January 2009)

Community First! Gardens enthusiastically announces the selection of the Guide Meridian/Cordata neighborhood as its first grant recipient. As the chosen neighborhood, GM/C will receive up to $5,000.00 for the development of a community garden. For information about the Cordata Community Garden, please contact the steering committee of the Cordata Community Garden at
Mission and Goals

The Community First! Gardens Project (CF!G) supports neighborhoods in creating and maintaining community gardens in which residents can grow their own food.

CF!G Project goals are to help expand access to community gardens, thereby increasing self-sufficiency and local food security with nutritious, fresh produce; to provide opportunities for environmental education and stewardship of land; and to help create neighborhood gathering places that are welcoming to all, while fostering cooperative, community-building relationships within neighborhoods.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Pink Pouch

See how I did it!


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sneak Peak

The sneak peak at the proofs for granddaughter Brittany's graduation photos.

So pretty!
Yes, the backdrop is Colorado . . .

Friday, February 6, 2009

Wearing Red

To show my support for National Wear Red Day and women's heart disease awareness, this red belly dance hip scarf has been added to my wardrobe.Not what one might first think of as a "red dress", it seemed perfect to me. I model my beautiful red hip scarf knowing that it will be a fun addition to my belly dance classes and practice sessions.
National Wear Red Day is a day when Americans nationwide wear red to show their support for women's heart disease awareness. To learn more about women's heart disease awareness efforts, visit the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute on the Internet at -