Wednesday, February 3, 2016

In the Kitchen

My own kitchen is not currently fit to be photographed--unless you want to see the disaster that it sometimes is. Let's just say we are not House Beautiful ready. We flit in, cook, heat, eat, and clean up (or sometimes don't) and are gone again.

My favorite kitchen is this one:
Cooking pizza at Cousin Camp     

This past weekend, however, I did cook lunch for a group of about sixty in our church kitchen.

My header is the taco soup at a simmer.
 Here are some of the goodies that are served along with...

Beverages of choice

And such is to the day that there was about an inch of soup left in the pot when we went back to our studies.
The recipe:
Brown together:
2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
1 large onion chopped

Add undrained canned vegetables:
2 14½ oz. cans diced tomatoes
1  14½ oz can Mexican style tomatoes
1 4 oz can chopped green chilies
1 15 oz pinto beans
1 15 oz can kidney beans
1 15 oz can black beans
1 15 oz can hominy
1 14½ oz can whole kernel corn
1½ can water
1 1¼ oz package taco seasoning mix
1 ½ oz package ranch dressing 

I also add a can of drained olives and for this group used jalapeño chilies.

Bring to a boil - reduce heat - cover and simmer 30-45 minutes or till lunch.

Serve with sour cream, chopped green onions, grated cheese, and tortilla chips.

This is supposed to be 16-20 servings. That depends on appetites.

Of course, for the large group at the retreat I doubled this recipe and also served a big pot of potato soup

Check out the kitchens of my colleagues in the weekly header challenge. Their links are in my sidebar.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Shadow of the protective railing looking down at Box Canyon.
 I have used these shadow pictures fairly recently, but good things can be repeated.


IIf I had realized that the theme this week would be shadows, I might have saved this one. At that, I will reuse it and use it for the header. It is my best shadow picture--at least the best I could find.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Black and White

I did edit these images from my archives to be totally black and white, but they could almost have been true B&W straight from the camera.

Birds flock against a gray November sky.

 Putting our heads together in Death Valley. Are there three of us or four? There were four of us on the trip.
 Even without the color, the Golden Gate Bridge is golden.
 My header is cropped from this one in November of a different election cycle. I am sure we will be seeing similar sights as this year advances.

The Headbangers are doing Black and White this week. My headbanger friends are lined in my sidebar.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

We are Back--Favorites

Tom suggested we show some favorite photos to start off the year so I decided to go on a month by month review of last year. I had to chose one favorite for each month and that was not easy. I also was trying to choose a photo that I had not posted before, but I do not know if I succeeded in that.

 We got together with our son Jeff and his family and took a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island at the first of the year. Benjie signaled that this was very OK.

 A good clear shot of the moon took the spot for a February favorite.
 In March we popped over to Arizona to visit the girls there and their families. A good look down down into the Grand Canyon was a great shot.
 Coming home from a Quilt Retreat in April I found that you can't rely on the weather in the mountains in the spring. The roads were clear and dry on the trip to the coast a few days earlier.
 In May we went over the mountains again to visit OUR mountain. The water at Rimrock Lake was like a mirror.
 One of the highlights of the Scottish Festival in June was the dance competition. The guys in kilts throwing big heavy objects of one sort or another was also good.
 I always love seeing the cousins of all ages bonding over the chess board at Cousin Camp.
 Another Quilt Retreat--I had to leave early so this August picture was actually taken on the last day of July.
 Our friends Angelica and Martin renewed their marriage vows for their Silver Anniversary in September. They had a grand party. (I could have showed their grand Fourth of July party for July.) So glad to be considered part of the familia.
October's Trunk or Treat was moved indoors because of nasty weather (winds if I remember correctly.) We had planned for the car to be the Ark, but Mr. and Mrs. Noah brought the animals in two by two to pass out goodies.

We took no pictures at all in November as we began to adapt to our new reality because of medical issues. And the December pictures are still in the camera--I may add one from the Christmas pageant later.

What were the favorites my headbanger buddies chose for this week's posting and header? You will find their links at the top fo my sidebar.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Far Far Away

I presented this theme a while back and it was transferred to this week when we decided to take a two week break at the holidays.

Our travel is very limited at the moment. But in the past I have had the opportunity to travel to some distant places that are not on the usual tourist routes. In fact, when we visited Russia, we were asked by many in Moscow and St. Petersburg just why we were going or had gone to Siberia.

This is the farthest east I have traveled--on that trip to Siberia. The picture shows Lake Baikal--the largest fresh water lake in the world. It is said to contain something like 20% of the world's fresh water. I give that figure from memory, and it has been eighteen years since we traveled there.

Legend has it that bathing in the waters of Lake Baikal adds twenty years to your lifespan. We each waded for a measly five years added.
Two years after our trip to Siberia, I traveled with a group to India. This is as far west as I have been from my home. We visited the Periyear Tiger Preserve and National Park. We did not see any tigers, but we did see elephants, and this wondrous waterfall near the border between the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
As you can see from the map below, our travels east were farther east than my travels west, so I have technically gone all the way around the world.
The photographic subject that I have taken that was farthest far away is probably the same as most photographers.
How far did the other headbangers travel for their far far away shots to start the new year this week. You can find them in my sidebar links.
By the way, my header shot is none of these, but how do you get far far away?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The past week's sky

The weatherman predicts four to seven inches of snow in the Valley tomorrow.
With three to four feet in the passes.

We have to go to the Cancer Center, but otherwise? I think we will stay home.
The past week's skies is the theme for the headbangers this week. Christine, Lew, Mac, and Tom will have other skies. Their links are in my sidebar.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Getting Ready for Christmas

Advent Wreath?  check

Lights?  check

Tree? check

Wishlist?  check

Cards? check

Giving Tree? check

Christmas Pageant?  oh, dear!

First practice for this year's Christmas Pageant is Friday afternoon. We will see how many shepherds and angels there will be this year.

I combined two pictures from last year to make the header.

See how the other headbanger members are getting ready for Christmas--their links are on my sidebar.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


This is Mt. Stewart, white covered with snow--the peak seen through a peek in the white fog as we traveled to Seattle at New Year's.  How white can you get? We had a dusting of white yesterday. What am I saying? We had delayed school openings and school closures around the Northwest because of it. Love the snow.

The cropped and sharpened image is my white header.

Wonder what the others will have posted. Do you suppose we might find more snow by following the links to their blogs in my sidebar?

We will celebrate Thanksgiving here quietly as we did not travel to Arizona this year and our son has been without power since last week's windstorm. Not sure if they are powered up yet. They may barbecue their turkey.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


We have all manner of having fun, as fun fun fun is the theme for our header challenge this week.

We've always had fun in the snow--though last winter there was not enough in our neck of the woods for snowshoeing, and our energy levels were not allowing much in that way of things.

The midway at the fair provides a lot of fun, here one sort of ferris wheel...
 ...but for big fun try the London Eye.
 Fiddling with your pictures is a lot of fun. I did not tell him what I was doing when I told him exactly where to stand.
 But it took several tries for my hubby or daughter to get my Chihuly hairdo just right.
 A long car ride leads to these cousins having fun at the rest area.
 I've chosen these kids having fun at Vacation Bible School for my header. The image fits just right with minimal editing.

Our header challenge happens every Wednesday--or thereabouts. Check out the others through their links on my sidebar near the top.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Then and Now

My post has three then pictures from two different kinds of then, all related to my now picture, which is not now now but recent now.

Here is the now.

...taken this summer on one of our few camping trips. It was a wet one. We travel comfortably with our Little Guy Trailer. We are snug and dry in the "bedroom" and love to cook outdoors either under the trailer's hatch  or at the campsite firepit.
Now some thens about "trailer" travel and camping.
Conestoga wagons at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.

Inside the wagon at Emigrant Springs State Park (Oregon).

Far less comfortable I am sure. But it got them there.
And a "then" from our camping days before the Little Guy:
We did really have a tent, but sometimes crowding into the tent with several brothers, sisters, and/or cousins leaves one relishing the fresh air.
Join us each Wednesday. We would love to have another challenger or two.
The current headbangers are linked in my sidebar.