Everyone in the Pacific North West has a story or two to tell about an icon named Yard Birds. It was a very large department store located in South West Washington. You could count on meeting your relatives and friends there whenever you went shopping. You were able to find anything and everything you were looking for and the staff was always helpful.
The story I have to tell is a personal one, when our daughter was young around four or five she loved to go in and out of the clothes racks. We got used to it and until she disappeared for more than a few minutes we never worried about it. Then we get a call over the loud speaker asking us to come upstairs to the customer service desk and pick up our daughter. Of course we are panicked and run to get to her thinking she would be scared and crying, but, no she was sitting in a chair eating a sucker and smiling, feeling just fine.
A couple of weeks later we were back at Yard Birds visiting with some friends, we had both daughters with us a four year old and two year old and the two year old had been safe in a stroller. We get a call over the loud speaker asking us to come up to customer service and pick up our two daughters. We run up the stairs afraid some customer had taken them, or thought our girls were lost, we get up there and we are so thankful the girls are OK, as we see both of them setting in chairs eating suckers. Turns out our older daughter was a little smarter than expected, she convinced our younger daughter she knew where to go to get a sucker and they ran up the stairs and told the receptionist they were lost and could they please have a sucker.
Bear in the Orchard
Looking out the back door I saw apples falling from a tree in the deepest part of the orchard. As I looked I saw a very large black bundle that looked like a bear, I called my husband to go check it out; what he found was a mamma bear and her three cubs. The cubs were up in the tree breaking branches and knocking apples to the ground while the mamma was just eating them as fast as they fell. While I am not afraid of most creatures of the woods, like deer, I kept my distance from the black bear and let my husband take the pictures. He tried hard being quiet as he could and got a few pictures before he got detected.
The mamma must have heard or smelled my husband because she lifted her head, looked around and took off toward the woods, she waited at the edge of the forest for her three cubs to catch up and they disappeared into the woods.
When you want something fast and filling, here is a go too recipe that is a family favorite.
4 medium Tortillas
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, spray your pizza pan with nonstick spray, spread the tortillas with Ricotta cheese, put ham slices over the Ricotta, and add Tomatoes slices, top with cheese.
Put in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes.
What could be easier? Hopefully this will become a family favorite for you too. You can easily substitute any meat or vegetable that you love on this versatile snack.
With the television playing one of his favorite Super hero shows; my grandson was quiet in the living room and I thought he was just enjoying the movie. I was quite unaware that while he cuddled up under a blanket he had a pair of scissors. He not only cut up the bottom of the shirt he was wearing, he also cut up the cape on his brothers super hero toy and part of his favorite blanket.
As I was only babysitting, when , his mom came home and I thought boy is he gonna get it, He ran into his bedroom because he thought he was in for it also. She went in and told him “honey I’m not mad at you, but you need to remember that we only use those scissors for cutting paper at the table okay?” She handled the situation so much better with her son than I did with her …
When she was around three, I gave a hair cut to her older sister and her dad, she did ask if she could have her hair cut too, but she had beautiful long thick hair that hung clear down her back and looked perfect on her so I said no she didn’t need a hair cut.
After I got done cutting my husbands’ hair I went to use the bathroom, however I found the door wouldn’t open, I asked what was going on in there and my youngest daughter told me she was going to the bathroom. I pushed on the door a little and she was standing at the door not letting me in. When I opened the door I found two foot strands of beautiful long blond hair all over the bathroom floor, I of course started crying, what have you done to your beautiful hair, she then told me in a shaky voice “I told you I was going to the bathroom.”
We had to take her to the beauty shop to have her hair fixed and for the longest time she had long hair in the back but, because of how thick her hair was the front of her looked like a puffy ball.
Macaroon Cookie Bars
After Halloween there is always some really great sales on candy. I came across a sale on Mounds bars, I thought wow, Dark chocolate macaroon cookie bars would be a great cookie for the holidays.
I used a Betty Crocker cookie mix, and added some oatmeal, coconut oil(in place of butter), raisins, dried cranberries, pecans, mixed this all together, it was very thick likes cookie dough, I sprayed the pan(9×13)with Pam and put in parchment paper. I put in 30 small mound candies in the pan the covered them with the cookie mix, baked at 375 for 20 minutes and they turned out so good. I am surprised there was enough left for my picture.
Chocolate Macaroon Bars
Chocolate Macaroons perfect with a cup of hot coffee or hot chocolate. It would be easy to make using a chocolate chip cookie recipe also. Just leave out the chocolate chips.
Two of my favorite soups for cold weather are Minestrone and Hearty Potato, I used to love when as kids we would come home from school and my mom would have hot soup waiting on the stove for us. It took the chill of the day away. I am not sure of the recipe she used, so I created these to as close as I could come to her recipe as I could. They are a close resemblance and they taste very good also. I don’t follow a precise recipe, and I always end up with a large pan full and there is always left overs which is good for my husband can take it for lunch.
The first one is the Minestrone:
It takes carrots, cabbage,celery,diced tomatoes,beans and pasta. for spice, a little onion flake, garlic, salt,pepper,chili powder,the seasoning is to taste. I prefer a little spicier and my husband likes mild, so I make it mild and add hot sauce to my own.
The next one is hearty Potato
It takes potato, onion, celery,kale,chicken flavor,I add milk or cream to flour,corn starch,and water to thicken the soup. The seasoning is the chicken bouillon, pepper and celery seed.
Years ago when my son was around seven or eight my husband was out in the front yard building a fence. My son decided to go out and help my husband work on the fence. My husband wanting to get the fence level of course, was measuring the boards so he would get a perfect cut, when my son asked him why he had to measure the wood before he cut it. My husband understanding the importance of these life lessons explained the importance to him to get everything to fit right you had to measure the wood. My son took off and my husband thought he had just went off to play.
A couple of hours later my son came back to find his dad and took him to the back yard. My son proudly showed his dad a fort he had built and said ” See dad, you don’t need to measure the wood, you can build stuff just with a hammer nail and wood and it turns out fine” He had taken wood pieces of all sizes and nailed them to a tree branch and made a fort. My husband couldn’t help but chuckle but, not wanting to say anything to hurt his feeling he told my son what a great job he had done, and he guessed you could build stuff without measuring .
My husband had a very hard time telling me that story later that night, he was laughing, but he was very proud of the way our son had thought out how he was going to build his fort and he carried it through by himself at such a young age.
Yes, my husband still measures his projects and he still builds things, and no,my son doesn’t build much these days,he is more into projects done by computer, but when he does, I’m betting he chooses to measure things these days.
Every child has fallen down and gotten hurt; I hope you can relate to this little story that happened when my youngest daughter was around one. At the age when learning to walk is a challenge, she was walking around the living room and fell she started to cry, but to make her get up and continue walking I told her to come to mommy so I could kiss the boo-boo and make it go away.
She got up and came over to me, she was still crying some, but, the funny part was my oldest daughter who was around three and a half came running over and excitedly said with all sincerity “Don’t kiss it yet mommy I want to see it before it goes away”.
It is amazing the total faith our children have in us at that age, they look to us for love and guidance to shape and direct their lives so they grow becoming warm loving adults.
When we give our children good foundations they pay it forward to their children. When a child feels loved they return love. It is little children who teach us every day how to love.
We experience love as parents and grandparents, my heart burst with love joy and happiness because of the love from the children in my life.
Oh, The weather out side is frightful…
Its early morning time to get breakfast for my husband so he can get off to work, our two dogs follow him when he steps out to warm up the car as they always do; Pepper the small black dog only stays out a couple of seconds and decided he needed inside where it was warm. This was quite unusual for him because, he is the one who stays outside with Steve while he starts the car, but not today, he is too smart for that. He doesn’t want to freeze his tail off.
Zephyr ever the loyal best friend did stay out till Steve came in but it was not more that ten minutes. They are both inside now sleeping on their rugs enjoying the warmth of the heater.
Please allow your pets in a warm environment whether in the garage or enclosed porch if they are not allowed inside your house, they are your pets because you care about them, care enough to keep them out of the cold. You wouldn’t let your child or grandchild to stay out in the elements so please do not let a pet you love stay out too long in the cold freezing weather.
Zepher and Pepper
Zephyr and Pepper are happy and warm inside by the heater away from the cold and your pets will be happy and make you happy too if you allow them to be inside where it is warm.
I may not live in a big beautiful house or drive the latest model car, but I have family that loves me and I have a friend that I know I can count on in times of trouble, I can truly say I am at a place in my life that I no longer yearn for the things that my neighbor has, as long as I have a roof over my head and my tummy is full my focus is on what I can do for my family and friends to make their lives better. I am Thankful for the life I have been given. Each day I strive to improve myself. No one is perfect, no one can claim they to know everything; As long as I strive to learn something new each day my journey of life is full and happy.
This world is so full of turmoil, everywhere you look someone is in need; not enough love, not enough money, not enough food. No ones life is perfect, no one has every thing they need in this life. If you are grateful for the things you do have you will always receive more. If you don’t show gratitude for what you have, having more won’t improve your situation in life. We are living in a time when so many people are under the impression they’re entitled to every thing. In life if we only look for our own comforts, and not share with others we live a lonely existence .
You never hear from people who give food to the hungry that they had to go without food or if someone rises to the occasion to help someone in need it always comes back to them.
I choose being thankful for the life I have been given; having an attitude of gratitude, freely giving unto others I know giving makes your richer and more blessed than receiving.