Friday, November 26, 2010

Plant Yourself!

Give me a Fanny Garden!
Plant yourself down for a cruise through the pictures of my going west to see my precious son, Kelly, home for two weeks on leave from Afghanistan. I was blessed to be invited to spend time with him and his family.
He greeted me at the door in very non-military attire...bib overalls and a big smile, as he was happy to see me too! Marcus has REALLY missed his daddy and spent a lot of the time very close, if not on Kelly.
Marcus made his very own dinner...a jelly sandwich, and wanted NO help making it!!! There was a small dab of jelly spread thinly on one piece of bread with another piece of bread smashed to it. He later asked for more jelly. We love eating together, he and I.

My great-grandson Cameron was at the house too, with his mother, Mandi (my oldest grandchild). Brianna had made a breakfast with Kelly of scrambled eggs and French toast with strawberries and whipped cream. Cameron and Marcus are fast friends!

Here is the darling Brianna who rustled up the delightful breakfast. She had requested cooking b'fast with Kelly, and Alana had requested making spaghetti for dinner with him. We were well fed, believe me!

Clowning for the camera, Marcus isn't setting a very good example for Cameron, but Cam was watching his Mama, fortunately.

I stayed at the Comfort Inn with an indoor heated pool so that there would be plenty of room for the others at Kelly's house. We all went swimming together, another request of an activity the girls wanted to do with their dad while he was home. We swam Saturday morning before lunch and in the evening after dinner. Cameron and I are snuggling up to get warm and dry.

If I'd been in this picture it could have shown 4 generations.
After church with Kelly and his family I drove to meet my sister Margy at Borders Books in Vancouver for a couple hours before attending to Kimber's family.
Dante is now a year old!
He is still small and darling with some blond curls, mellow personality, and ready smile.

He KNOWS who his Grammy is!

He doesn't walk yet, but does stand alone when absorbed in some activity, forgetting that he's standing by himself.

Toys from Isabella's babyhood are brought out of storage for Dante's pleasure...and Isabella's

It was tough getting back home before Thanksgiving. The weather was not conducive for travel. So, I did it in spurts. First I left Kimber's later than I'd anticipated Tuesday morning. I stopped by Stacie's for a much-welcomed and encouraging visit with her and Margaret.
Stacie's hubby had taken the 5 older ones to the beach for 4 days to give her a mini-vacation. Lily (20 months) was the only one at home with Stacie, so our visit was nearly uninterrupted.
I had to wait out the storm one more night, so Kelly's invited me to camp on his couch Tuesday before braving the tough driving conditions on Wednesday. Marcus had found one red mitten which he loved wearing just after getting up on the morning of my leave-taking.

I could not believe the stark reality of winter's descent upon us.
I took this along the Columbia between The Dalles and Walla Walla as I drove.
I just pointed the camera at the river and landscape. My little all-wheel drive Subaru with new studded tires all around did just fine. It was a long journey home, many hours of concentrated driving, and I'm glad I made the trek to see my kidlettes and theirs.
I have been richly blessed!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


You see my delighted self holding one of the ten Galeux d'Eysines ( pronounced, gallo day seen) French Heirloom squashes. I bought one of these a couple years ago at the Farmers' Market and loved the flavor and texture. So, this year I bought plenty of the seeds. They don't grow where we live because they need plenty of heat and many more days than we get on the prairie. Several of my favorite gardeners agreed to grow one or two hills and return one squash to me. My DH and I just weighed them for a whopping total of 147 pounds!!This is the description from the catalog:
"(C. maxima) Possibly our most beautiful heirloom squash. This flattened, round, 10-15 lb fruit has gorgeous, slamon/peach-colored skin covered with large warts! The sweet orange flesh is used in France for soups and also can be baked. This is one of the best tasting squash I have tried; the flesh is so smooth, flavorful and deep orange; it's fantastic!"
Well, that's exactly what I thought when I first tasted it, so I'll be making LOTS of soup later on this winter. They ranged in weight from 6 lbs to 22 lbs.
Thanks to: Connie, Ellie, Tanner, Leah, and Kim for growing these beauties!
Next I will post my favorite squash soup recipe. Stay tuned.