Postcards from Chelan: Road Trip Day 2

Today we awoke to sunshine and the sound of squirrels chattering. It was a bit chilly, but I was still out with the camera catching some photo images in the early morning light. We then drove up the west side of Lake Chelan and enjoyed views of the Cascade Mountains Lake Chelan is a remnant of the Ice Ages. Scoured out of the mountains by glaciers, it is one of the deepest lake in the region, more than 1500 feet deep in at least one place. It is 55 miles long, but quite narrow. We also located places that JEJ remembered from his childhood living in Chelan. He pointed out the Chelan Butte above as he explained how he broke his ankle. He and a friend were trying to get to a groundhog and had to move a big rock. He tripped on some sagebrush and broke his ankle. Just seeing the butte brought it all back. Of course we viewed this from the parking lot of the new WalMart that wasn't there back in the day.
The last part of our road trip today was on the north shore to Manson. The road was lined with orchards and vineyards. We could tell in a few months all this area would be fragrant with fruit blossoms and the grape vines would be growing their leaves back. After taking the dogs for a long run along the lake we were ready for a quiet evening. It was a good day.

Snow,Wind, Lake Chelan, and Wireless

We had quite a day on the first leg of the road trip! We traveled first over Sherman Pass and found the roads to still be snowy and icy. Shelby and Annie were keeping a close eye on JEJ as he cleaned the snow and ice off the truck.As soon as we headed west toward Tonasket the landscape changed. There was snow on some mountains, but the rest of the drive was sunny with some wind. When we arrived at Lake Chelan State Park I was able to snap a few pictures before I had to charge the batteries. When I went to download pictures on the computer I discovered we had access to wireless at a campground fifteen miles north of the town of Chelan. Too early in the season to get water to our tent trailer, but we have wireless.You have to pay a small fee, but it is hard to imagine resting on a bench taking in a breathtaking view as the sky reflects on Lake Chelan and be able to connect with anyone in the world. Stay tuned for more adventures from our road trip.

All Our Tubs and Baskets Are Packed... We're Ready to Go

We are not leaving on a jet plane, but in a pickup with a tent trailer attached. We are off to tour campgrounds in the area of Washington state around Lake Chelan.

I think if we get stranded in the snow we have enough rations to get us through two or three weeks. I never understood the concept of traveling light!

Stay tuned for Spring Break travel updates. ...I do have a list of WIFI hotspots!

Snow Creates A Change In Plans

Our spring break plans changed this morning when we awoke to find five inches of snow.

Not only did we have the snow, but the area along the border of Oregon and Washington also had bad weather alerts. We stayed home.
Once again it looks like all these items around the yard are wearing little snowy hats.
For once I was already to go. The truck and tent trailer were organized and ready to depart this morning. BOOOOOO HOOOOOO!
Now tomorrow we are heading to Lake Chelan which is closer and more in the central part of the state. JEJ lived in this area years ago and hasn't been back for awhile so now I have a whole new plan and look forward to spending time on the Columbia River closer to home.

We will be camping on the left side of this lake tomorrow night..... I hope!!!

The Friday Five Meme

Five things on my to-do list:
1. Go through check list before our departure to the Columbia Gorge tomorrow.
2. Back up all my pictures on my computer.
3. Plan spring cleaning.
4. Propagate cuttings for summer planting.
5. Secure the house.

Five Snacks I enjoy:
1. banana at morning break
2. roasted almonds
3. cheese
4. dark chocolate
5. popcorn

Five Things I Would Do If I Became a Billionaire:
1. Pay off my house.
2. Build a bigger library in Kettle Falls.
3. Help with the college educations of my nieces and nephew.
4. Hire a person to clean my house.
5. Put in a sprinkler system on my property and landscape more areas.

Five Blogs I like to visit:
1. Twaddle Everyday Rubbish for laughs and tears.
2. Carver's Site for beautiful photos.
3. Colors of the Garden to get a glimpse of country life in upstate New York
4. My Knitting and Other Stuff to continue to see how alike we are!
5. Loose Leaf Notes to read incredible writing.

Five of my bad habits:
1. I don't drink enough water.
2. Sometimes I drink too much caffeine.
3. I get obsessed with stuff and can't move on.
4. Forgetting to take vitamins and supplements.
5. Procratinating stuff I don't want to do.

Feel free to do this Meme any day of the week. TGIF!

Travel Plans for Spring Break

A picture of the Columbia Gorge between Washington and Idaho.

Tomorrow I only attend school until lunchtime and then it will be spring break. We have been planning a trip for weeks. We are taking a driving/camping trip south through Washington state to the Columbia River and then spend time on the Columbia Gorge. For me the planning is as enjoyable as the actual trip. I love reading up about places to tour, restaurants to try, and campgrounds to explore. There is still much to be done, but the time is getting closer.

Since we had snow again yesterday I am hoping to see anything green! I also look forward to experimenting with my digital camera, resting and relaxing, catching up on some reading, and meeting up with my brother RP for a visit. The dogs know the time is drawing near for a trip and of course they will be going. Shelby is resting up for the big car trip.

Annie is keeping an eye on the tent trailer so it doesn't take off without her.

I am off to check more to-do lists before bed.

Homemade With Love and a Keeper from the Recipe Box

My mom sent me this cookbook for Easter. I love community cookbooks that include recipes I love from people I know. The Kellogg Ladies of Elks put this collection together. As I thumbed through I found the following recipes:

Super Potatoes from my Bluebird and Camp Fire leader Beth Williams

Huckleberry Crumb Cake from Mary Lennon

Chicken Breasts Eden Isle from my former English teacher and drama coach M. R. Faraca

Thousand Island Dressing from Charlotte DeAndre and Inez Muir

Russian Dressing from Jeanie Brennan

Zucchini Casserole from another checker at IGA Bernice Zittel

and Ham-Mandarin Salad from my mother's childhood friend (that ended up in Kellogg also) Jody Robinson

I decided to share Marjean Jarvey's Pretzel Salad. This is a favorite recipe around my area for wedding receptions, church functions, and school potlucks. It must be popular in Kellogg also.

Pretzel Salad

1 1/2 cup crushed pretzels
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 med. size Cool Whip
1 large pkg. strawberry jello
2 pkg. frozen strawberries

Cream butter and sugar. Add crushed pretzels. Press into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 6 minutes. Cool. Mix together cream cheese, sugar, and Cool Whip; spread on top of cooled pretzel crust. Dissolve jello in 2 cups of boiling water, add partially thawed berries and refrigerate until jello is thickened, but not solid. Pour over cream cheese mixture and refrigerate.

As I move through the cookbook I will post other keepers from the recipe box.

Let Evening Come

Let Evening Come

by Jane Kenyon
Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.
Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.
Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.
Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.
To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.
Let it come, as it will, and don't
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.

Spring Project #1: Extreme Deck Makeover

When the previous owners of our house did an addition on the deck the wood wasn't treated and the boards were put close together. After twelve years of hot sun, rain, snow, and cold that part of the deck was a wreck. We knew we had to do something and after much debate decided to just take that part of the deck off. That meant moving the railing and relocating a few plants, but it was a good decision.
Taking that part off left room for me to create a new garden that will get lots of sunshine.
JEJ moved the railing then hauled off the posts to use for another project. Here is the extreme deck makeover. I appreciate all the hard work JEJ put into this project.It is smaller, the rotten steps and boards have been removed, and the railings are readjusted. Some of the wood that was still good was recycled into raised beds and a border. I have already planned the new cut flower garden to be seeded into the beds in front of the two railings.
Kit was a bit concerned when his favorite sitting spot was down, but now that the railing is back up and attached he is one happy cat!

Weekend Snapshots: Spring Is Fickle!

It was warm and sunny on Saturday. JEJ and I enjoyed the sunshine, we worked in the yard, and I was able to finally catch the rabbits for a picture. They loved sunning themselves in the afternoon warmth.

These two rabbits are not Easter Bunnies. They are Rose Rabbits. Let me explain. When I was attempting to amend my soil... I mean sand ... when I moved to this house I read that rabbit droppings were an excellent cold fertilizer that can be added immediately to plants. Roses love rabbit fertilizer. We enjoy our two rabbits, but they are also workers. They produce the food that makes our roses (and other plants) grow. We have two males so we don't have to be concerned about a population explosion. Sherman and Barnaby (named for creeks close to us) have been loyal providers and have outlived our expectations and continue to give us fertilizer year after year. If we can figure out how to discourage Annie from sampling the rabbit droppings we will have a perfect system!

After a day of yard work and garden tours it was amazing to be able to sit at the table outside and have it warm enough to enjoy the evening sunshine while eating dinner.
What a difference this morning. Easter Sunday dawned with huge snowflakes falling. Celebrating Easter with a feast outside was not going to happen. I am glad the tablecloth is waterproof and I picked up the cushions before I went to church.

I know... don't fool with Mother Nature.... but come on.... this is getting old!

To find other Weekend Snapshots go here.

Sunshine Cake: A Keeper from the Recipe Box

A few years ago my friend GS baked this cake for a church potluck. It was a big hit and everyone asked her for the recipe. I made it again last week for a school potluck and the same thing happened. I whipped up The Sunshine Cake yesterday for our Easter Dinner. This is one of those cakes that tastes better after it sits in the refrigerator for awhile. As you can see- we decided not to wait until Easter. I wanted a good picture and before we gave some to our neighbor it needed a taste test. Right?It is very easy to make, tastes wonderful, and lasts in the frig.

Sunshine Cake

1 yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1 stick butter or ½ cup oil
11 oz. can mandarin oranges with juice ( you can cut up the oranges if desired)
Beat 3 minutes.
Bake at 350 in 9x13 pan for 30 min
Bundt pan for 45-50 min

1 8 oz. container of Whip Topping
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
2o oz. can crushed pineapple, drained ( save liquid)
Mix together. Slowly add juice from pineapple until you get right spreading consistency.
Put on cake when cool. Refrigerate.

I had extra mandarin oranges and added them to the icing also.

Happy Easter!

" What keeps our faith cheerful is the extreme persistence of gentleness and humor. Gentleness is everywhere in daily life, a sign that faith rules through ordinary things: through cooking and small talk, through storytelling, sharing love, fishing, tending animals and sweet corn and flowers, through sports, music, and books, raising kids--all the places where the gravy soaks in and grace shines through. Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people. Lacking any other purpose in life, it would be good enough to live for their sake. "
Garrison Keillor

WSU on to The Sweet Sixteen

DENVER - MARCH 22: Kyle Weaver #25 of the Washington State Cougars is fouled by Zach Hillesland #33 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish after stealing the ball during the second round game of the East Regional as part of 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Pepsi Center on March 22, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Final Score: Washington State 61, Notre Dame 41
WSU has represented our Inland Empire well on and off the court. Go Cougs!

Photo Hunt: Metal

Now we have another thing to love at our favorite espresso stand on our Highway 395 route. The owner at Dad's Espresso in Chewelah did this artistic creation with barrels and metal figures.

He placed it on an old wagon in front of the stand close to the highway. The woman serving our lattes explained it is illuminated at night to show off the metal figures. We are looking forward to a view of it in the dark. For other photo hunters go here.

" I Just Don't Get It"

Here is my list for Sunday Scribblings this week:

"I just don't get it...
when snow piles up and makes driving dangerous on March 21st,
why is takes so long to level out sleeping patterns after the time change,
why people with the ways and means don't have a single book in their house,
why some teachers don't give second chances to students,
when our cats disappear and then return. Where do they go?"

"I just don't get it...
why weeds can survive a cold, cold winter and still be there under the snow,
and yet some of the hardiest roses look ready for dead.
why whiteflies never seem to die,
and how dog and cat hair can multiply after it is shed off and placed on my black jacket."

"I just don't get it...
why the day I am running late I always get behind the mail lady that drives 30 mph,
and more deer, turkeys, quail, and dogs are visible on both sides of the road,
and my key won't work in the door entering the building,
and I discover there was also a meeting I was to attend fifteen minutes ago."

" I really just don't get it....
when wireless connections won't jive with the laptop,
and the security letters you type in for a comment don't work,
Blogger won't let you load pictures,
and pictures I am sure I have downloaded cannot be found!"

"I just don't get it...
when a person can't find something of beauty each day,
when we hear more negative news than positive,
and that all people don't count their blessings one by one!"
To find other Sunday Scribblings go here.

March Madness: Snow, Cougs, Zags

March Madness began when I looked out the window as I awoke this morning. The first day of spring greeted us with snow. I can only hope these daffodils are hardy. I have to say they do stand out more in white surroundings.
My angel's pages on her book were covered with wet snow also this first day of spring.
March Madness was in full swing by the time I sat and watched the WSU Cougars play. Kyle Weaver contributed 14 points as they beat Winthrop 73-40.The Madness of March will continue tomorrow as I peek at the Gonzaga scores between class periods in the morning. I hope Austin Daye can put lots of baskets in like the one above.