That's drizzle . . . not drivel--

Simply living... in the Pacific Northwest

Monday, August 19, 2013

Friend Makin' Monday

Quick and dirty today---it's Friend Makin' Monday....don't be shy. Copy and paste your responses below!

1.  What was your favorite subject in school?  English literature.

2. Did you attend elementary school and high school in the same town? Yes. So did my Mom and her mother, too. And my daughters did, too....there the chain broke. They've both moved away.

3.  Are you still friends with anyone that you met during school?  No, although through the miracles of Facebook, I can "see" them occasionally. But for the most part, we've all parted ways.

4. What activities were you involved in as a student? I was editor of the yearbook and I participated in sports (softball, volleyball, basketball). 

5. Did you bring your lunch, or did you get it at school?  I brought a sack lunch. And my Dad was a hunter....imagine my humility when I unfolded the waxed paper surrounding an elk or venison sandwich.

6. Did you enjoy shopping for clothing and school supplies?  Well, this is one to think about---I did the old school way of doing it today. Through a Sears or Wards catalog---much like shopping online is done today!

7. Name a song or a band that reminds you of high school.  Anything by Creedence Clearwater Revival.  Bad Moon Rising, Suzie Q, Run Through the Jungle. 

8. Did you like school?  Yes! Most days. 

9. How long have you been out of school?  High School? 41 yr. College? Nine yr.

10.  What did you like most about school?  What did you dislike most about school? I liked goofing off with my girlfriends and PE class. I hated test-taking, especially the ones where you had to fill in the tiny circles page after page. The Iowa Skills tests.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pie Sunday

I've been baking pies on Sunday lately. I used to hate baking pies, with all the hassle of getting that pastry just right. But I have the technique down now. Plus I got myself a new rolling mat printed with concentric circles representing the various sizes of pie plates. That really does help me -- if I roll just past (maybe one inch) the circle, say, 10 in. for a 9-inch plate, it gives me enough "play" for the edges.

I learned, too, that if you have extra pastry hanging over the plate, simply fold it helps the crimp and makes a pretty even-looking edge.

Do you have pie-baking tips? I know some use pie-baking machines (as seen on tv!). Do you? I have to admit, I'm a gadget fool and have been tempted by those.

Now for Friend Making Monday----as seen on All the Weigh

Have You Ever?
 1. Jumped out of an airplane?  No...but I may put it on my bucket list.
2. Lived alone?  Yep.  At the time, I loved it, but eventually, found someone who makes it seem like a sad alternative.
3. Met a celebrity? Only in his mind.
4. Said something to someone that you immediately regret saying? Yes. But I'm smarter now.
5. Had a manicure/pedicure? I've had a mani---but not a pedi. For years I didn't even know they existed!
6.  Gotten a hickey? Yep. From the man who would become my husband.
7. Owned a pet that was not a dog or a cat?  Had a parakeet and two goats at one time. Well, the goats were really brush-eating, non-paid employees.
8. Been outside of your home country?  Yes, upon high school graduation I traveled to Europe and visited 13 countries. I've also been to Mexico and Canada.
9. Kissed your best friend? Yes, see #6.
10. Eaten food that fell on the floor?  Sure...just yesterday I think.
11. Met someone online? Yes, but not what you think. I met a woman from clear across the country who I'd been talking to on a women's health board for years. She's a scream and we had a blast meeting up.
12. Been on TV? No, I don't believe I have.
13. Had braces?  No...when I was a kid only rich kids could get braces, or the kids of dentists. So, I have bottom teeth which resemble a crooked picket fence.
14. Gone skinny dipping?  Yes, but in a pond on my own property.
15. Been to the opera? Yes, it was required for a class. I think I would rather stick a knitting needle in my ear. I love the symphony, but not the opera.
16. Been caught making out by a policeman?  Are you kidding?? My dad was the town cop! That answer would be, "No."
17. Sung in public? Only in a crowd, like at a ballgame or in church.
18. Handed out candy on Halloween? Oh, sure. My parents lived on the main drag of our small town. We got hundreds of kids for Halloween. My mom was sure grouchy that night.  I don't mind doing it, but it seems the past 6-8 years there are fewer and fewer kids t-or-t'ing.
19. Been snowed in? No, I don't let a lot of snow stop me.
20. Fallen in front of other people? Ha! I just did this the other day. Funny how the first thing you do is look around to see if anyone saw you. Before even checking yourself out for blood or injuries.
21. Cheated on a test? NO! Wow, that is not cool. 
22. Regretted saying “I love you” to someone? No, but I think maybe I've regretted not saying it one last time to someone.
23. Finished a meal in a restaurant and realized that you didn’t have your wallet? Oh, yeah, I pull that on my husband all the time on dates I ask him out on.
24. Shot a gun? Yes, many times. My dad was a law enforcement officer and a hunter, and we all learned how to shoot and respect firearms.
25. Heard a song that was written for (or about) you? Yes, one especially for me and my husband. 
Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to come back here and link up in the comments!  Happy Monday, friends!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday again---

They just keep coming. Every week, don't they? Ugh.

I really could have used another day like yesterday. So lovely. Terry and I went for a long drive to the rural northern part of our county. It's been years since we've been up there, especially him. It was his first time back since he lived there during high school in the 70's. Few things have changed. Some better roads, more large mini-mansions here and there. But many of the old landmarks remain. It was comforting and relaxing. We picnicked at a park we used to visit as kids. There were families splashing about in the river and inner-tubing down from upriver. The temps were perfect--not chilly, not hot. A slight breeze. And NO mosquitoes!

Today is FMM time again. You know the drill. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: NW Drizzle so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!
My Community
1. Where were you born? Did you grow up there? I was born right here in the city I live in now. I could say I haven't grown up yet, but rather than that cheekiness, I'll say I grew up in a small town--not unlike Mayberry--16 miles north from here, in the 50's & 60's, a simpler time.
2. Tell us about your favorite spot in your city.  Officers is a street lined with large, old oaks and maples which grow in front of, and shade, a dozen or so houses from early Vancouver. These buildings housed officers from Fort Vancouver during the 1880's.

3. Do you volunteer for any organizations? If so, will you tell us about it? I have many times in the past, but none currently. The most recent volunteer gig was as a gardener at a botanical garden. I was responsible for  my own plot and had total say in what was there, as long as it was native.
4. Tell us about your favorite local restaurant. Tough one. I don't eat out that much, but most any restaurant which is locally owned and has a healthy menu is a favorite.
5. Has your city ever experienced tragedy?  If so, how did it recover? There have been losses of children in the news which are always tragic. Victims of abuse, mental illness or depravity. As we are in the Portland media market, we here in my community all grieve the missing boy known as Kyron Horman, who has been missing for 3 years.  It seems there will be no recovery until we at least can know what happened to him. 
6. Share at least one unique thing about your neighborhood. I love to say, "It's Vancouver (not B.C.), Washington (not D.C.)
7. If you could do one small thing to change your community, what would you do? Actually, I'm pretty happy with how it is....there are always political kerfuffles going on, but I don't like to get into that. There are plenty of coffee shops, so....
8. The Powerball is currently up to 400 million dollars. Would you move to a different place if you won? I would NOT move, except maybe to a better house. And then I would buy a couple smaller homes or cabins for vacations---one mountain, one beach, one desert. 
Your turn.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Weekly Highlight

This is what my life has come 'round to:

My weekly trip to the Vancouver Farmers' Market is the highlight of my entire week.

Smell that kettle corn, that fresh giant basil, the gyros, and of course the coffee.

Marvel at the richly-colored patchworks of fresh vegetables on display.

Drool over handmade jewelry.

I enjoy talking to the vendors and seeing what's new. There might be something I haven't tried before, and sometimes the farmers vendors will make a recipe suggestion to encourage me to buy something different. Cherries were so beautiful this spring, and I bought Lapin cherries simply to eat out of hand. But one of the vendors had a recipe for cherry chutney, so I tried that. Wow! Was it awesome on pork tenderloin. Actually, it was pretty good simply on a cracker!

Are you a Farmers' Market fan? PBS Food writer Lauren Jones offers tips for shopping at farmers' markets on their blog. At the same site you can find out what kind of farmers' market shopper you are. (Humbly I report I am considered an "expert.")

Farmers' markets are good for the community. It's a happy place. If you haven't tried one yet, do.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ten Things

Ten Things That Make Me Happy

(I really AM so easy to please!)

This post is part of Kenlie's Friend Makin' Monday at All The Weigh. Please add your answers to my blog, then visit Kenlie's and post there, too! 

1.  Seeing a Northern Flicker.

2. Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (ain't gonna lie)

3. When I teach something new to Hunter that he was convinced he couldn't do.

4. Going to my hometown in early October. It's the most beautiful time to be there.

5. Sewing something without making a zillion mistakes requiring lots of ripping and pulling.

6. Sitting by a fire with my main squeeze---talking quietly, laughing.

7. Putting a meal together with little effort--from things I have on-hand or leftover---to great acclaim!

8. My little space heater beneath my desk.

9. When my cat rubs her chin against my chin. 

10. Picking and using vegetables from my own garden, and making my own yogurt.

Now it's your turn---I'd love to see your answers!!


I want to write about something that happened this morning, and it will be an exercise to see if I can adequately articulate what it was.

My new husband and I are still discovering our pattern of living together. Maybe just through the honeymoon phase, but still finding ways about us which are "new."

Lately we have been reading more. I should say I have been reading more. I've been more of a get up in the morning, check-the-email/Facebook/Google News Reader-type of reader for the past few years. I'm ashamed to admit it's been a few years since I've read more than a couple entire books. I think the last one I read was on my Kindle, an autobiography by R.A. Dickey (if you don't know who he is, I might write about him sometime).

At any rate, this morning I was up early, got the coffee going, and picked up a book I've probably read at least a dozen times, "Walking Across Egypt," by Clyde Edgerton. I had checked it out from the library because I thought hubs would enjoy it. It's the kind of genre we both like a great deal: home style good folks with kind hearts getting themselves into pickles. They are a nice switch from suspense thrillers, his other favorite.

He got up when he heard the coffee pot doing its death throe thing and, after pouring a cup for himself, kissed me good morning then turned to the kitchen table to continue the book he was reading, a novel by Garrison Keillor.

We sipped our coffee and read, I on the couch, he at the kitchen table. For the next hour, one of us would chuckle at something read, and the other-- hearing the laugh-- would smile. Two cups of coffee later, we set the books aside and each got ready for work.

Reading  separately, we still shared an intimate morning of humor together. Later we will end our day telling the stories we read that helped to make the start of our day special.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cruisin' the Gut with my Main Man

An event Hunter and I look forward to and plan every summer is the annual Cruisin' the Gut in downtown Vancouver. Thousands of people converge downtown to look at cars, socialize and wake nostalgic about the good ol' days, reminiscing about first dates and first cars. According to The Columbian, there were more than 1,000 classic cars drawn to this event.

Hunter cannot get enough of them. He loves Ford Mustangs. He loves Corvettes. And now, he loves mini Coopers, or any car from Britain. Why? Because their steering wheels are on the right side. Ironic, eh? Here's a boy who doesn't even get irony. It's way beyond his "getting." He sees things differently, pretty much black-and-white. Things should always be how they've always been.

But lately, I've been noticing changes in my young grandson. In two days he will be eleven. Sure enough, that's an age when you SHOULD be seeing some changes. But Hunter's always been shy about his opinions, at least shy enough that he worries if his differs from yours. But lately, he has been voicing more opinions and displeasures, and not really caring as much about whether you agree or not.

So this really struck me....he was not only cool with the fact that the steering wheel was on the right side, but intrigued! Even more so when I explained they also drive on the left in Britain. (I'm certain he went right home and looked up a video on YouTube just to witness that..)

Back to the Cruise In-- this was a 2-1/2 hour walking excursion, from 29th St. down to Sixth and back. There's no "part way" with him and this car show. We had to see them all. I'm so glad we've found something like this to do together, because he likes the cars, and I like the vibe and the memories. Maybe he likes the vibe, too. He has developed a kind of strut, walking a few steps ahead of me where he used to just hang right next to me, even holding my hand up until this year.

But there is a limit, even where he's concerned. About 13th St. on the way back to 29th, he slowed enough to say, "Granny, my feet are sore-ing."

Yeah, man, mine too.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The other day, I was in my garden just gazing at my green bean vines, noticing how beautiful they looked with all their differing shades of green, glinting in the sun with just-appearing blossoms....and I found myself choked with tears. The feeling washing over me was "this is how I'm supposed to live...this is contentment. This is how I always wanted to live. This, right now."

I only wish I'd found it sooner. My husband plays a huge, huge, part in this sense of contentment as he fully buys in to the notion of simplicity and doing for ourselves. We share core values associated with our style of living and that makes such a difference.

I intend to bottle away the aforementioned feeling--kind of a "happy place" moment--- to be uncorked on one of those drizzly days this winter when I feel sluggish and without purpose. Hopefully I can pour that feeling out and remember the throat lump and the misty-eyed revelation triggered by those verdant veggies that summer day.

What about you, dear reader? Have you ever had such a moment? Do you try and recall them in those later down times? Does it work for you?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Foodie Question--FMM

Thanks to Kenlie for hosting!
I guess for most of us who are trying to lose weight or maintain a weight, we're interested in food. I'm not sure I'm a certified "foodie," but I may be close. I've become more interested in making my own dishes, my own yogurt especially, eschewing pre-packaged products as much as possible. 
In the spirit of Friend Makin' Mondays, let's explore fun thoughts on food!
Foodie Questions
1. Do you make grocery lists?  I do, but I usually find out afterward they were incomplete.
2.  Do you have a routine when shopping in your favorite grocery store?  Produce first, refrigerated and frozen last. Avoid the chips/cookies section like the plague resides there.
3.  What is your favorite seasoning?  Chili pepper for corn-on-the-cob. I'm pretty much a salt & pepper girl.
4.  What is the healthiest food in your fridge right now?  My vanilla nonfat yogurt I made myself!
5.  What is the most unhealthy food in your fridge now?  Full fat mint butter.
6. What is the most exotic produce you’ve ever had? Dragonfruit. Look it looks like dragon spawn, truly. And for the $8 I paid for it on a lark, it really wasn't worth it....evil.
7. Tell us about your favorite local restaurant.  There are several, but right now I'm loving Sabor Mexicano. The food is so fresh, the street tacos are small, just right for dinner and don't come with a bunch of other extraneous fatty Mexican goodness. The service is friendly and very fast, too.
8.  What kind of pasta do you prefer (regular, whole wheat, etc.?)  I don’t eat a lot of pasta, but I if I do, I usually get not whole grain, but a blend. Not a fan of WW texture. You?
9. If you could make one food calorie-free for an entire week, which food would you choose?  Oh! Oh! Chocolate chocolate chunk cookies! Please!!
10.  If you had to choose would you rather give up french fries or chocolate?  The fries---I've pretty much given them up already, and don't miss them....but chaawww-co-laaatttte...(drool).
Now it's your turn---how would you answer these questions?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Friend Makin' Monday
Linking from Kenlie's All The Weigh blog....check it out. Especially if, like me, you like weight loss support.
1.  Are you a planner, or do you prefer to see where the moment takes you?  I'm not averse to spontaneity, and I like to make plans. They just usually don't pan out, so I make room in my life for Plan B's.
2.  How often do you blog?  Not often enough. In my mind I blog a lot. It's just finding time and space to do it. I am still finding my voice and my focus.
3.  Do you color your hair?  Nope. Used to, but decided I just wasn't fooling anyone. And it's a hassle I can do without. I like my grays more and more as time goes on.
4. If you had to choose between running or riding a bike, which one would you choose?  I do bike.  I have for several years since I bought my sweet li'l yellow ride. I don't run unless I'm saving a child's life.
5.  Have you ever traveled outside of your home country?  Yes, when I was just out of high school I traveled to 12 European countries in eight weeks. I've also taken a trip to Guadalajara with my sister. 
6.  Do you like weddings?  I guess....I've had several. Ha!!
7.  What is your favorite guilty pleasure on TV?  I watch almost nothing but sports, but occasionally catch myself flipping around and stopping on shows featuring mediums reading people in the audience. I'm still on the fence about them.
8.  Are you good at math?  I used to hate math, or at the very least feel begrudging about it. But then in college I took three (only one was required; I became enthralled) courses of statistics. Yeah, I know.
9.  What is the last movie you watched?  I can't would have been further back than yesterday.
10.  Share five adjectives that your friends would use to describe you.  Smart, smart-alecky, caring, funny, flaky.
Bonus:  Did you celebrate Independence Day?  If so, what did you do? We went to a car cruise-in, a benefit for veterans' services here locally. Ate some semi-bad food there. Went home and prepared a killer barbecue for family. Then watched grandchildren light off fireworks and watched our skyline for the neighbors' light show. Went to bed at 10 to the sound of M-80's.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Should You Ever Stop Striving for More? (and just be happy where you are...)

A great question popped up on a LinkedIn group I read and follow:

Should you ever stop striving for more and just be happy where you are?

The conversation drew responses like wildfire. Many of the respondents are young working women at the beginning or middle of careers.  A great portion of these responses the young women indicate with enthusiasm they have no intention of losing their stride, ever looking for something more. Many say they are always looking for a way to improve their lot, move up and better their position.

There are some --both the young and some older women-- who answered from a little different angle; they feel happy where they are, but only because they continue to learn something on a regular basis. They have otherwise reached a career impasse.

A very few answered from the other side of the spectrum. They do not necessarily link their happy state with their ability to be upwardly mobile. Indeed, in this economy, some need to find their happiness in a static place, "bloom where you're planted," so to speak.

Finding happiness ("more?") only in an upward motion could be an effort in futility (bang head here) depending on where you live, what field you are in, and your age, among other factors.

As a woman getting up there past middle age, I am becoming aware I will likely not fulfill the dream I once had using the skill set I acquired through my education. But it doesn't stop me from trying new things---like this blog--- or pursuing other outlets which bring me happiness. I'm discovering my job does not define me at this point in my life. I've been there and done that. But what does define me is how I express myself, and what I do with my life outside of my job. Those things bring me happiness now. "More" might be learning a new skill or passing on a skill to someone else. "More" might mean branching out and doing something out of my comfort zone.

So....I guess in one sense, I can say that although I feel I've settled in my job, I have not stopped striving for happiness, if that's what "more" means.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Man, it's been a While! How do you celebrate?

Wow, I need to get my blog groove back on! Kenlie, over at All the Weigh (Friend Makin' Monday), has inspired me to get my writing act back together. Here is a short post just to get my blood coursing again:

How Do You Celebrate?
1. When is your birthday?  October 9

2.  Do you like to celebrate it or do you prefer to keep it quiet?  I love my birthday. I usually try to take the day off and do something special, sometimes alone, sometimes with someone special. As it is usually gorgeous Indian Summer, I typically visit a nice garden or outdoor place where I can just enjoy being a year older and wiser. [cough]

3. Have you ever had a surprise party?  No! And I do not want one----ever.

4. What sign are you?  Does it represent you well?  I am a Libra poster child. Indecisive, flaky, artsy-fartsy in theory, but not in the actual follow-through.

5.  Do you tell the truth about your age?  Yep, if you have the nerve to ask me, I'll tell ya.

6.  Share your best birthday memory.  At my age, I'm lucky if I remember last year's. It was very nice---my wonderful SO (hate that....I'm going to start using "novio") and I traveled to a resort town with a Bavarian theme. We drank beer, ate sausage and enjoyed the scenery from a hot tub.

7.  Share a few items that could be on your birthday wishlist.  A deep tissue massage, a day to myself to do nothing (I guess I could give myself permission to do that anytime), a gift certificate to an art class.

8.  What is your favorite kind of cake?  Any cake without the word "cheese" in it.  I know, I know. But it's the ONE confection I do not like. Gimme a break. I love chocolate cake with vanilla frosting.

9.  If you could be anywhere on your next birthday, where would you be?  Hey, I'd take an all-expense paid trip to any Mediterranean island---I'm not picky.

10.  Do you make a wish when you blow out the candles?  Until it's proven folly, I always will. do YOU celebrate? Does it just happen upon you, or do you plan it? Answer the questions above, then come back and post here!