Happy Trails

November 15, 2012

The President's Stables

When we visited New York this summer, we paid a visit to the home of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was of course quite lovely, but what I enjoyed most was the stables, which we were allowed to freely roam through on our own. I thought you might enjoy the tour, via the snaps I took with my phone.

Stables:

IMG_1686

I was quite surprised that his ribbon collection and old family photos sit right there on the wall within hands reach.

IMG_1676

The structure and building materials were so classic. I could have sat there and dreamed all day.

IMG_1684

IMG_1679

IMG_1678

IMG_1685

IMG_1682 IMG_1683

This is what I love about old buildings. The beauty in the details and attention to every last surface and fixture. I know I sound old-fashioned, but *sigh*, they just don't build them like they used to...

 

September 12, 2012

Washington D.C.

Our time in Washington D.C. started at the Capitol Building.

IMG_3048

The star inlaid in the floor here marks the spot where Washington D.C. is divided into its four quadrants. It's said that it's good luck to walk over the star.

IMG_3068

The original Supreme Court Chamber can be found here. This room was used from 1810-1860 and it was here that the landmark case which established its authority to interpret the Constitution was heard.

IMG_3072

IMG_3073

IMG_3075

The Rotunda is majestic and houses large paintings depicting the development of the United States.

IMG_3085

IMG_3079

IMG_3084

IMG_3081

Exterior. Grand and inspiring. It's hard to not stand here and feel incredible patriotism, pride, and respect for our country and forefathers. To hear their stories, to stand where they stood, it's something I hope you can experience someday, if you haven't already.

IMG_3097

IMG_3098

We visited Arlington Cemetery and I chose to not take any pictures there, with one exception. For me, it's such a sacred personal place that it's something I wanted only to remember in my mind. My one exception was in the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. In taking pictures of this symbolic ceremony and sharing them here, I am paying tribute to our soldiers.

IMG_3102 IMG_3105
IMG_3109

The Supreme Court building was undergoing annual maintenance, but stood no less grand. There is more marble in this building than any other in the world.

IMG_3118

IMG_3115

Inside the building, there are 2 spiral marble staircases, each self supporting, meaning there is no central support to each staircase. Each step is anchored into the marble wall on one end, and rests on the step below on the other. If one step were to be removed, all of the others would come crashing down, as if a trail of dominoes.

IMG_3110

IMG_3114

The Supreme Court Chamber, where rulings are made based on our country's most important document: The Constitution.

IMG_3112

The Library of Congress:

IMG_3119

IMG_3094

IMG_3095

IMG_3121

IMG_3122

IMG_3123

IMG_3124

The Library of Congress houses more than 32 million cataloged books, the most extensive comic book collection in the world, and more than 5 million maps, among many many more collections. It was here that we learned about Mandatory Deposit, which simply put, mandates that two copies of all works published in the United States be submitted to the Library of Congress. Nearly 10,000 of the 22,000 works submitted to the library each day are retained. Those not retained are distributed to other agencies and libraries.

IMG_3125

And, the White House:

IMG_3134

IMG_3138

We visited many other sites and found this city and its people to be incredibly warm and welcoming. If you ever have the chance to visit, I highly recommend it.

Notes:

We had the pleasure of having a personal guide for our visit. Because of her extensive family history in the area and depth of knowledge as the author of three books relating to Washington D.C., we learned more than we could ever imagine. You can find out more about her here.

Labor Day weekend is a glorious time to visit. The weather is warm and there are no crowds.

 

September 11, 2012

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Well, I was home for the blink of an eye and then gone again, zig-zagging this sweet country we call home.

IMG_3035

One of our stops was Washington D.C., which is just so lovely and wonderful. While there, we got to visit the Capitol Building and got a special tour from our Congresswoman's (Cathy McMorris Rodgers) office. I've always admired the work that Cathy has done for our state, so the tour was a special treat.

IMG_3051

IMG_3061

I consider myself extremely patriotic and being able to set foot in this building gave me goosebumps. In fact, almost every experience in our capitol made me feel that way...

IMG_3047

Today I'm settling in back at home and looking forward to returning to a normal family schedule once again. Tomorrow I'll share more of the images from my trip to our nation's capitol.

September 04, 2012

Lovely is What I See

IMG_2705

Hello from the Hudson Valley and the campus of Vassar College.

IMG_2706

A day where one turn leads to another and suddenly you wish to stop the car and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. A calm and serene summer morning to explore.

IMG_2709

One moment, a building. A tree.

And then, my family in front of me.

How lovely is thee?

IMG_2710

August 13, 2012

The Mountains

IMG_2588

We headed to the mountains in search of some huckleberries and inspiration. The air is cooler here and the silence different than anywhere else.

IMG_2568

IMG_2591

The snap of a twig. A gurgling stream. Hidden paths of dreams.

IMG_2566

IMG_2589

IMG_2583

Sunlight dapples. Huckleberries are found.

IMG_2585

IMG_2562

IMG_2571

IMG_2573 IMG_2574

Inspiration abounds.

IMG_2592

IMG_2582

IMG_2615

August 08, 2012

Where in the World is Serena?

IMG_2538

The summer is flying by and I've been happily pretty much off the grid. Time spent mostly with Colin and the boys, enjoying this fleeting time in their childhood, and a few quick trips with friends.

This weekend found me in San Francisco.

Chinatown is just as wonderful as I remember it.

IMG_2541

IMG_2516 IMG_2517 IMG_2512
IMG_2514 IMG_2513 IMG_2552
IMG_2515

IMG_2518 IMG_2519
IMG_2511

IMG_2546

IMG_2548

IMG_2549

IMG_2543

IMG_2525

IMG_2528

The Ferry Building was full of tasty treats:

IMG_2486

IMG_2492 IMG_2493
IMG_2504

IMG_2488 IMG_2491 IMG_2487
IMG_2495 IMG_2496 IMG_2497
IMG_2498

All in all, a great weekend in the city.

IMG_2505

P.S. You can read more about our weekend on Heather's blog, here.

We also made it to the flea, where we met up with Cathe. You can read about that here and all about Heather's finds here.

 

July 24, 2012

A Weekend to Remember

We've just returned from Portland - a Mother's Day gift trip, just redeemed, from Colin and the boys.

Our destination was Portland's Culinary Workshop where Colin had booked some cooking classes for us.

IMG_2383

IMG_2384

I won't exaggerate and say that Colin loves to cook. In fact, he does not, so the gift was extra special to me.

IMG_2395

I'd never taken a cooking class until this and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The first night, we prepared Vegetarian Vegan Delights and the next, Thai Street Food.

IMG_2386

IMG_2385

IMG_2392

Our chef instructor was Susana Holloway. It's funny how no matter where you go or who you meet, you'll always find others who are living out their dreams. And that's Susana. Time with her was warm, happy, and well spent. A real treat. I think any new knowledge is a gift.

IMG_2387

IMG_2388

IMG_2399

IMG_2402

How many slams in an old screen door? Depends how loud you shut it.

How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it.

How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live 'em.

How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give 'em.

~Shel Silverstein

For more information on Portland's Culinary Workshop, click here.

To follow Portland's Culinary Workshop on Facebook, click here.

Special thanks to Susana and Portland's Culinary Workshop for a fun and memorable weekend.

July 06, 2012

Word From the Country

Hi Friend,

I'm sending word from the country.

Summer is here and it's been so peaceful.

IMG_2311

We've been quietly traveling the backroads of this land that we love. Sometimes the sound of silence is the best sound indeed.

IMG_2309

IMG_2319

I'm thinking of you while I'm about.

IMG_2320

Love,

me

P.S. I've answered your business questions here.

My friend's mom is doing lovely things. You can read about it here.

May 21, 2012

Lilacs

I'd been dreaming of a lilac scented home. There's nothing quite like it really. So I headed out with my picnic basket to fill to the brim.

IMG_2150

IMG_2153

IMG_2158

IMG_2159

And then, a sprinkle.

Drip. Drop. Drip.

So I wandered back home.

A canning jar and a pretty tin were all I needed.

IMG_2165

A little dream come true.

IMG_2166

April 24, 2012

Spring on the Palouse

Spring has come to the Palouse. The other night, we took a drive to see.

IMG_1474

IMG_1481

IMG_1486

Each year as the crops come in, it feels like a new beginning.

IMG_1508

IMG_1493

With every spring, a fresh start.

IMG_1535

IMG_1615

IMG_1617

IMG_1579

IMG_1584

IMG_1526

IMG_1527

IMG_1560

And that's a beautiful thing, isn't it?

 

April 11, 2012

Forever

My family and I just returned from spring break in Arizona. I love it there. We started out with several days at the Arizona Grand Resort where we played in the water park, relaxed by the pool, and went for occasional hikes.

IMG_1196

Colin get up extra early every morning to go mountain biking on the trails behind the resort. I love how he likes to squeeze every moment out of the day.

We watched the Mariners get ready for their season on a beautiful warm evening in Peoria.

IMG_1395

And then awoke the next day to take in the desert and all its beauty.

IMG_1203 IMG_1205

IMG_1207 IMG_1208

IMG_1209 IMG_1210

IMG_1241 IMG_1250

IMG_1268 IMG_1281

We watched climbers reaching for the sky.

IMG_1248

Then we road-tripped North to see something grand.

IMG_1329

The Grand Canyon.

Something so majestic it makes you catch your breath. Greater than anything you can imagine. I can still close my eyes and feel the air that swirled around me and gave me the feeling of forever.

You can feel forever there.

IMG_1273

November 02, 2011

Hillcrest Orchard Dinner

Last month, while visiting Harry & David, I was treated to dinner at the beautiful Hillcrest Orchard and RoxyAnn Winery. A true orchard to table event.

IMG_9430

IMG_9428

IMG_9438

IMG_9442

Dinner was planned for outdoors, but the weather took a turn for the worse and was unseasonably cold and wet. So, they moved dinner indoors to the barrel room.

IMG_9447

I'll never tire of sunflowers. They're just so beautiful and are great for a summer or autumn table. I love how they added in their pears and local bay leaves for added beauty. My heart aches for bay trees like the ones that grow wild in that area.

IMG_9456

Sometimes the most simple ideas are the best. Case in point: the wine bottle candleholders, made from what they had on hand.

IMG_9481

The menu:

IMG_9483

It was a delicious, cozy, and memorable evening.

IMG_9470

IMG_9473

IMG_9477

IMG_9485

IMG_9458

 

October 19, 2011

Hansen's

In the fall, I'm at Hansen's Orchard at least once a week. Our family goes through a lot of apples.

Here's Derek coming in with a load from the orchard:

IMG_8718

My favorite first apple of the season is Ginger Gold.

IMG_8734

It's the perfect eating apple for me. And I love Jonagold for baking - especially pies.

But mostly, I love the first bite of the season, when it seems like the sky opens and a choir of angels begins to sing. They're so delicious.

IMG_8733

IMG_8741

It's another happy harvest.

IMG_8645

IMG_8644

IMG_8659

You can read more about Hansen's here.

IMG_8674

October 07, 2011

Harry & David - The Royal Riviera

This is the final leg of our Harry & David visit and if you were to ask any employee about their most popular product, they'll most likely answer: The Royal Riviera Pear.

I'm here with a group of food bloggers, who were really great. (I've attached links to their blogs at the bottom of this post).

294758_10150340167779295_342046494294_7858784_516408354_n

Let's go visit the orchards!

IMG_9235

The orchards are spread all around the Rogue valley, tucked in here and there. Their biggest crop is undoubtedly the Royal Riviera, which is a Comice pear.

IMG_9224

Our guide is Matt, who is Harry & David's horticulturist. We all grow attached to Matt as he worries aloud about an impending hail storm that threatens about 40,000 tons of pears waiting to be harvested.

Because the pears are so delicate, they're packed in shallow crates, stacked atop one another to create a pallet-sized load for transport by the tractors. I'm happy to see that like my orchards at home, there are lots of grasses and growth beneath the trees, indicating healthy soil. The more sterile looking the orchard, the more likely they're using lots of chemicals.

 

IMG_9220

Our next stop is one of the organic orchards. I'm taken aback by the ashen appearance of the leaves and learn they've been sprayed with an organic substance that pests don't like. 

IMG_9219

Luckily, the hail storm doesn't materialize and we head back to the fruit processing facility, to watch the pears being processed.

IMG_9341

The complex is enormous.

IMG_9351

We're passing through during a shift change.

IMG_9350

These sorting work stations are so incredibly cute and vintagey.

IMG_9347

The next shift begins. The fruit starts coming down the line in the baskets seen on the conveyor belt. Each and every pear is photographed 30 times, searching for blemishes. The blemished pears are sent in the other direction, on the juicing line. The pears that pass the photo test make their way to the worker's sorting stations, where they inspect each one for imperfections. The pears that make their way to the numbered bins are just overflow and once the employee catches up, they'll slowly make their way through sorting those pieces of fruit.

IMG_9419

The good ones are boxed and the others go to juice.

IMG_9377

This next area we pass through serves as the various Towers of Treats packing area:

IMG_9371 IMG_9370
IMG_9389 IMG_9390

We watch as each tower is wrapped together, by hand, with a fabric bow. Each wrapper has their own wrapping station. We talk to the ladies who are wrapping and tying the bows and learn that some use a newer sort of station, while others who have been with the company longer, prefer the vintage style.

IMG_9382

After the towers are wrapped up, they move down the conveyor to the person who boxes them up.

He makes the shipping box, grabs a tower, places it inside the box, and places it back on the conveyor. All in a matter of seconds:

IMG_9392 IMG_9393
IMG_9394 IMG_9395

Next up, we're on to gift baskets where a similar process takes place, also completed by hand. I even take a stab at packing one.

IMG_9357 IMG_9364

But the real fun begins when we start sampling. Cheese - cracker - gingerbread petit four - cheese - cracker with red pepper relish - chocolate truffle. This is my ideal situation. Salty then sweet. Salty then sweet. I could do this all day. Oh ... then we do.

Well, I'm stuffed to the brim. Next up is a beautiful farm dinner. I'll tell you all about it soon.

Click on the links below to visit the blogs of my new friends by clicking on their links below:

Reluctant Entertainer

Go Gingham

Lick My Spoon

Dana Treat

Eat The Love

Time Out Mom

Baking Bites

Delilah from Cool Mom Picks

Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

You can visit Harry & David's website here.

Photo Credit: First image of group courtesy of Sandy Coughlin.

October 06, 2011

Harry & David - Behind The Scenes

Today we're touring through the Harry & David candy kitchens and packing facilities. I'm amongst the first group of visitors ever invited for such a behind the scenes look at their operations, and yes, I will speak for the others and say that we feel like we've been invited into a real-life version of Willy Wonka's factory. Come along with me, we have the golden ticket!

When the doors to the kitchens open and that first puff of wind hits you, it's almost like a visible onslaught of a buttery, sugary, crispy popcorn whirlwind of delight - the air so sweet and thick you can almost see it.

This is the Moose Munch room where it's all prepared and packaged. Moose Munch is a combination of caramel corn, cashews, almonds, and chocolate.

IMG_9249

I've always wondered how Moose Munch is so perfectly spherical and learned that they use two varieties of popcorn - Butterfly and Mushroom - to achieve their desired mix. And I was really surprised to learn what high quality ingredients go into their products. Real butter, the highest quality chocolate, and so on.

The popcorn is popped and brought up on what I'm going to call a ferris wheel. (It's really not, but hey, since I have the golden ticket, I'm going to call it what I want).

IMG_9253 IMG_9254

The popcorn goes into that big vat to the left, where it patiently waits for the sugars and butter to reach the perfect caramelization - at which point it's magically drizzled over the popcorn and mixed to perfection. Charlie explains that the mixture is slowly cooled and stirred to prevent clumping.

IMG_9255

The nuts and chocolate popcorn are mixed in last

IMG_9261

and then it's all bagged and labeled by hand, and packed into boxes that await. I love that they employ workers even though it would be more cost effective to have it done by machine.

IMG_9259

Next door is the tumbling room where they shine up the Bing Cherry Chocolates. Fun Fact: 40,000 pounds of chocolate arrive at a time in the kitchens.

IMG_9262

I keep noticing the workers here smile a lot. In fact, I'm beginning to think that if they could just bottle up their whirlwind of delight - yes even just that smell, it would create world peace. Everyone. Would. Just. Be. So. Happy.

Down the hall, we're stopped in our tracks by a gazillion foot long cinnamon roll:

IMG_9271

IMG_9269

The dough is prepared and then flattened by hand to place in the roller:

IMG_9286

It's rolled out and then rolled up on the rollers for the next station:

IMG_9276

The next station takes the rolled up dough, unrolls it, covers it with butter, followed by spices and sugars, rolls it up again, slices it, and then places it in the pans:

IMG_9290 IMG_9292
IMG_9294 IMG_9295

IMG_9296

IMG_9283

A Cinnamon Swirl is born.

We continue on through cakes, baklava, truffles, and

IMG_9264 IMG_9265
IMG_9266 IMG_9245

cheesecake and I secretly wish for just one of the carts filled with springform pans. I LOVE cheesecake.

IMG_9300

IMG_9285

Tomorrow we'll make our way to the Royal Riviera orchards and the fruit packing facility.

Sweet dreams.

October 05, 2011

Hello From Oregon!

When my parents decided to park the gypsy wagon and settle down in one spot, we made our home in Northern California, not far from the Oregon border. My parents fell in love with the small town of Ashland, Oregon, and we'd spend lots of time there. It took an hour to get there and on the way, we'd always drive by Harry & David. They had the most amazing fruit and treats. One year I saved my money and surprised my mom with a cheesecake for her birthday from their amazing bakery mail order. 

Years later, when I moved to the northenmost village in Alaska, fresh fruit was hard to come by, so I'd treat myself to the best that Harry & David had to offer by mail. It was like enjoying a treat from an old friend.

Recently, the folks at Harry & David invited me for a visit to their headquarters for a behind-the-scenes tour of their the orchards and facilities. And how could I say no to an old friend?

I arrived into Medford, Oregon yesterday for my big visit and I thought you'd enjoy getting to see behind the scenes, along with me. So over the next few days, I'll be taking you along.

Today, let's start in the Candy Kitchen Product Development and Testing Lab with Charlie, who has been creating chocolates and treats at the factory for many years.

IMG_9336

Charlie is responsible for taking a new recipe that has been developed and trying to bring it to life on a large scale - one that needs to be produced again and again in large quantities for mail order and sale in their stores. A recipe concept may be amazing as one, but can be a challenge to create for the market.

Miniature versions of the ovens and equipment used in the factory are used to test the recipes in the kitchen.

IMG_9321 IMG_9323

Right now, they're testing for spring.

IMG_9314 IMG_9316

IMG_9315 IMG_9332

IMG_9322

One of Charlie's favorite creations is Moose Munch. Tomorrow I'll show you around the factory where it and many many more treats are made.

October 02, 2011

The Party Table

I was having a party but my table needed some harvest splendor. Ho hum.

IMG_9193

So I went out and found some

IMG_9200

and brought that splendor in and washed it all up.

IMG_9175

IMG_9174

Then I began to pretty up the table.

IMG_9194

But it wasn't quite enough so I added some more.

IMG_9195

And then I decided to just get carried away

IMG_9196

because the harvest comes but once a year.

IMG_9202

P.S. Just in case you wondered where warts come from...

IMG_9187

hee hee.

September 26, 2011

The Fair - Part 2

A real favorite of mine at the fair are the exhibits. I love that the simple acts of everday living are celebrated here. Like gardening, canning, baking, etc.

These are some of my favorites from the fair this year, and I think no words are necessary here. This is a celebration of the beauty in the everyday.

IMG_8813

IMG_8825

IMG_8840

IMG_8833

IMG_8830

IMG_8824

IMG_8862

IMG_8865

IMG_8866

Congratulations to all who participated. I think you're all winners.

 

September 22, 2011

The Fair - Part 1

IMG_8795

We went to the Spokane County Fair last weekend. I forgot how much fun the whizzz and whirrr of the midway can be.

IMG_8771

IMG_8753

IMG_8756

IMG_8759

IMG_8760

IMG_8784

IMG_8780

IMG_8778

A real MUST-DO: Step 1: Eat a deep fried Twinkie

IMG_8925

- or -

deep fried Reese's

IMG_8935 IMG_8936  IMG_8940

and then take a ride on the Cliff Hanger.

IMG_8892

IMG_8900

IMG_9109

 

September 20, 2011

Smiths and Peaches

IMG_8682

Peaches are still going strong here. The growing season has been out of whack due to a late spring, but it's sort of like getting to have an extended birthday for me, as I love picking almost more than anything.

IMG_8695

Today I went down the road to Smiths. Their Red Havens are GINORMOUS this year.

IMG_8696

IMG_8699

IMG_8707

IMG_8700

If there's one thing you should know it's that you should listen to your farmer. Ask questions, because a farmer has so much wisdom to impart.

IMG_8706

The first thing Mr. Smith asks when you arrive is what type of peach you're looking for. There are so many varieties. And if you don't know your varieties, just explain what you like and the farmer will give you the best recommendation. Smiths orchard grows only freestone peach varieties, meaning the fruit just pulls right away from the pit, rather than sticking to it, which makes the peaches really nice and easy to process if you're canning, freezing, or making pies.

Mr. Smith is partial to Suncrest peaches. :)

IMG_8686

One thing I've learned over the years is that a farmer who cares about their crop won't send you out on a wild goose chase through the orchard for unripened fruit or barren trees. But to make sure, just ask what's ripe and if it's good picking. Good picking means you'll have a lot of ripe fruit to pick from, rather than a scant few sprinkled amongst many picked over trees.

IMG_8712

Turns out the ginormous peaches are over 1 pound each! (And they're sweet, juicy, and taste like a piece of heaven).

Here are some tips from Smiths (just another thing a great farmer will do, is tell you how to care for their product):

IMG_8714

One way for us to enjoy peaches through the winter is with Peach Pie. So when I'm done picking, I come home and make lots of filling. I mix up each batch and place each pie filling in it's own freezer bag. I then place the freezer bag in a pie pan and place it in the freezer to freeze in that shape. Once the filling is frozen, I take it out of the pan and store the fillings in stacks in the freezer. When I want to make a pie, all I have to do is unwrap a filling, plunk it into the crust, and bake. (You can bake the filling frozen or thawed). If baking frozen, it will just take a while longer and you'll need to cover the crust with foil once it's browned, so it doesn't burn as the pie continues to bake.

IMG_9134

IMG_9142

IMG_8713

Special thanks to Smiths Hilltop Orchard, which is #2 on the Greenbluff Growers map. (The numbers represent the orchard's spot on the map, not popularity).

You can find more information on Smiths here.

My Peach Pie recipe can be found here.

IMG_8683

P.S. I have no affiliation with Smiths. I just happen to love their farm.

September 12, 2011

The Farmers Market

The Sandpoint Farmers Market was beautiful this weekend - full of autumn beauty.

IMG_8504

IMG_8503

IMG_8500

IMG_8496

I ran into Jennifer, selling her wonderful soaps.

IMG_8508

IMG_8506

Did you know that vegetables are fruits that are darker in color are the most nutritious?

IMG_8502

IMG_8497

I love finding new ways to enjoy the harvest. Tomorrow I'll tell you about one of my favorite ways to prepare swiss chard.

July 18, 2011

Farm Dinner

IMG_7877

Last week, Colin and I had the opportunity to participate in one of the most memorable dinners ever.

IMG_7854

IMG_7857

The dinner was arranged and conducted by Outstanding in the Field, a tiny company, founded by a chef, whose brother is a pioneering organic grower. His vision was to create a roving restaurant without walls, where guests can enjoy a meal with the farmers, growers, and culinary artisans who grow and work the ingredients, oftentimes in the setting the food is grown.

Our setting was Monteillet Fromagerie

IMG_7871

where we were greeted with local wines and small bites near their farmstead cheese shop and tasting room.

IMG_7859

IMG_7886

IMG_7887

IMG_7888

IMG_7894

IMG_7895

Then we were off to meet the goats during milking, learn about the cheesemaking operation,

IMG_7910 IMG_7914 IMG_7916

and to tour Nourish Gardens, nestled amongst Monteillet Fromagerie's 32 acre farmstead, where I was inspired by the clover paths, grown to add nitrogen to the soil, and learned about biodynamic horticulture and agriculture.

IMG_7880

IMG_7897

IMG_7865

The biodynamic grower and keeper of the gardens:

IMG_7955

And then it was time to grab a plate and let the feast commence.

IMG_7867

IMG_7878

IMG_7920

IMG_7900

IMG_7924

IMG_7925

IMG_7939

IMG_7942

IMG_7949

IMG_7950

IMG_7981

The founder:

IMG_7983

The breadmaker:

IMG_7951

IMG_7987

IMG_7973

IMG_7995

The winemakers (Rulo):

IMG_7959

The winemaker (Flying Trout):

IMG_7963

IMG_7992

 

IMG_7998

IMG_8003

The chef (second from right) and crew:

IMG_8017

IMG_8023

March 08, 2011

A Quick Trip to Italy

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

February 15, 2011

Waking Green Bluff

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

December 23, 2010

Greetings From Small Town U.S.A.!

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

December 09, 2010

Christmastime in the City

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

December 08, 2010

Chelsea Market

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

December 07, 2010

New York. Hooray!

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

November 02, 2010

Fresh Hazelnuts

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

September 27, 2010

Plum Morning

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

September 17, 2010

Junk Bonanza Scores

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

August 16, 2010

The Way Home

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

August 12, 2010

Whisked Away

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

July 21, 2010

Cherry Season

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

March 17, 2010

Wrong Turn

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

March 12, 2010

The Farm

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

March 11, 2010

Pine City or Bust!

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

February 24, 2010

Bonjour!

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

December 28, 2009

Powder

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

November 13, 2009

Good Morning, Market

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

November 11, 2009

Home Away From Home

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

September 15, 2009

Apple Picking

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

August 11, 2009

No Garnets, No Glory

Summer 044

Last week, we awoke to a rare cool and drizzly summer day.  We'd been itching to visit Garnet Creek, about two and a half hours away in our neighboring state of Idaho.  It's the only place besides India where you can find Star Garnets.  So Bongo, Lukie and I decided it was finally time.  And by golly, no garnets, no glory we decided.  And we hit the open road.  Twisting our way into Idaho and through St. Maries, which I love.  Being the daughter of a logger, I can't help but feel welcome there!

6a010534adb750970b0120a539c41b970c

And through the woods we went

Summer 013

And after a little hike, we arrived.  Turns out, a little rain makes a whole lotta mess at Garnet Creek!

Summer 015
 
 
Summer 030

We slipped and slopped about and made a big huge mess.  But what a time we had!

Summer 020

Summer 039

And at the end of the day, Lukie and Bongo both had bags of newfound treasures.  And we couldn't have asked for anything more.

Summer 045

August 10, 2009

Farm Country Sale

6a010534adb750970b0120a4dfb8a9970b

There was an estate sale in the heart of farm country this weekend.  The sale was run by one of my favorite estate sale companies, Monarch.  I really appreciate the descriptions they give in their advertisements because I know they're always accurate.  They described this sale as a "digger", which means there will be a TON of things to "dig" for.  My neighbor Michelle loves their sales as much as me, so we decided to go together.  We also met up with her friend and business partner, Faith, and her daughter.  We ran into the Junebug girls there too.
6a010534adb750970b0120a4dfbf28970b

6a010534adb750970b0120a536bb97970c

6a010534adb750970b0120a536bc94970c

6a010534adb750970b0120a4dfc465970b

6a010534adb750970b0120a536be15970c

The house, barn, outbuilding, chicken coop, and tents were jammed full.  Everything was for sale.  The advertisement described thousands of yards of fabric, which was perfect for me, especially because we're working on a shoot at the end of the month and can always use a good assortment.  (Plus, I've never met a fabric I didn't like).  After a few hours, our trucks were jammed full.  We stopped for lunch on the way home and I couldn't resist snapping a picture of the trucks with their loads.

6a010534adb750970b0120a4dfc92d970b

August 05, 2009

Wildrose Prairie

Last night, we all headed out to Wildrose Prairie to volunteer at a bike race.
Race 028

Race 029

If you're going to race, the prairie is where it's at!
Race 019

You've heard lots about my prairie that I love.  And we are so lucky to live in an area where prairies are found almost everywhere you go.  Life on the prairie is good!

June 22, 2009

A Trip to the Berry Farm

IMG_5929

One of our favorite summer traditions are multiple trips to the berry farms located just minutes from our home.  My children really love picking out
their berry flat carrier and hopping on the tractor for the ride to the
field.

IMG_5935
IMG_5930

There are always contests they dream up to see who can pick the most or
eat the most and everyone leaves with red, strawberry scented fingers
and red-ringed lips.

IMG_5944

Tips for the trip:

We try to pick in the early morning to avoid the mid-day heat and to avoid "baking" the berries as they sit in the flats.

The boys always end up with strawberry stains on their clothing, but they are easily removed when I pre-treat them before washing with ERA detergent.

Berries3

Grow your own Patch:

Strawberries are really
easy to care for and with some basic care at the end of the season, you
can enjoy strawberries fresh from your own garden.

  • In the fall, mow or clip down your strawberry plants to avoid pesky bug infestations.
  • Cover completely with straw for protection against harsh weather.  (Avoid using hay as it encourages weed growth).
  • In
    the spring, uncover the plants and move the straw to surround each
    one.  The straw will act as a natural weed barrier and will keep the
    area mud-free for your knees at picking time.

February 05, 2009

Honeymooning

Cs
Colin and I are off for a few days to someplace warm.  I always call these getaways a honeymoon, because it still feels that way, even after all these years.  I love this man.

November 03, 2008

Twix = Twouble

About 150 miles into our 280 mile trip to Seattle, we realized that trick-or-treating right before a roadtrip is a really bad idea. Especially if too many Twix are consumed.  And I do have to admit that for a split second, I did cry just a little on the inside when I had to sacrifice a Cath Kidston pillow to catch the vomit produced by the Twix overload. And then a second Cath Kidston pillow. And then a Farm Chicks tote. Poor Micah. Poor us. Poor car.

After a good night's sleep and recovery from the vomit incident, we headed out for a family baseball game at Green Lake, visits to Pike Place, the baseball card shop (where the boys have purchased so much that we're on a first-name basis), the comic book shop, and lunch at our favorite bagel shop.

The main event for our little roadtrip was a skateboarding extravaganza at Key Arena.  Boy stuff. Their little eyes are still as big as raccoons after meeting these guys.

Micah

Back home, I'm happy to report that the pillows and bag have been thoroughly soaked and have made a full recovery as well. And Micah?  He's Twix free and has vowed to never eat another as long as he lives. We all like that plan very much.



Learn about my show!

About Me

My Books

Email Serena



Follow Serena on Pinterest

Follow Serena on Twitter





Spread the love!