Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers…

Memorial Day we had family and friends over and officially christened the barbecue

with the first outdoor grilling of the summer.  YaY!

This is one of our favorite recipes, found here.

These deliciously seasoned turkey burgers are also healthy!


The ground turkey is combined with fresh chopped parsley and mint, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika

and a touch of cayenne.




I serve them in whole grain pocket bread with tzatziki yogurt sauce and hummus.

For a side dish I made a tabouli salad with cracked wheat, fresh chopped parsley, tomato, cucumber, and feta cheese.  A little olive oil and lemon juice is all the “dressing” this needs.


Now onto the not so healthy part of our Memorial Day get together…dessert.

I made Robin’s Easy Strawberry Cake again, but this time I made it into cupcakes

and made a Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting instead of the Strawberry Buttercream in the original recipe.

(8oz. cream cheese and 1 stick butter softened then creamed together. Add 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 cup fresh mashed strawberries, 2 lbs powdered sugar and whip in mixer.)





I’m looking forward to a summer filled with family, friends and backyard grilling!

Still following,


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Monday, May 30, 2011

Beautiful begonia…


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Still following,


Photo details: Nikon D5000

AF-S Nikkor18-55 kit lens

shot details…M 1/60 f5 ISO560

texture Kim Klaussen’s stained linen


Sunday, May 29, 2011

When you can’t quite catch happiness…



I had been looking forward to it all week, the Hubs day off of work.

We had big plans with our visiting grandbabies for a fun day.

The day before, the evening before, everything was great.

That night I had an unsettling dream, unusual for me, and when I woke up on that anticipated day, I just felt off.  I felt off all day.  I felt like I was chasing happy and couldn’t quite catch it.

Tonight, the grandbabies are camped out on the floor in our room, I hear their soft snores as I type.  The Hubs is watching an old MASH re-run,  I’m snuggled in bed photo-editing on the laptop.  Suddenly, happy has caught me.

Happiness is a very capricious thing. I’ve tried to catch it on a beautiful, sunny, vacation day and had it allude me.  I’ve been on my hands and needs scrubbing the kitchen floor and had it catch me. 

I’ve come to realize happy is a very unreliable, unpredictable, undependable emotion.

I think I’ll just quit chasing happy.

Instead I’m running after gratitude, because when I catch it, I also grab hold of contentment and joy.

Oh sure, I’ll still enjoy the moments when happy sneaks up on me,

but it’s just not the prize I’m after anymore.


my continuing gratitude list #1134-#1144

-a great night’s sleep

-a fun outing with all three grandbabies

-homemade spaghetti sauce

-all His benefits (Psalm 103)

-walking around local fitness trail with the Hubs and grandbabies

-cooking with the kids

-being early for an appointment, so having a quiet half-hour in the car with Bible and journal

-an evening at oldest daughter’s, a movie and popcorn, fun watching the three grandkids together

-visiting Mama’s grave, now that her headstone is done, with the grandbabies and leaving flowers

-a trip to Hub’s hometown, visiting his dad’s grave, walking around the lake, sharing his memories with the grandkids

-those who paid the price for our freedom with their lives





Gratefully yours,


Saturday, May 28, 2011



Mama’s headstone was put in this weekend, just in time for Memorial Day.  When we went to pick it out all of the smooth marble headstones looked so impersonal and cold, not like something our Mama would like.  My sister commented, “I just wish we could have a boulder engraved, that’s so much more like Mama.”  We found out that we could, and so we did, designing it ourselves to reflect Mama’s childhood home close to the sea with the lighthouse, and the cross for the beacon reflecting her faith.

Have a blessed Sunday and a wonderful Memorial Day!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Friday’s favs…driftwood signs and driftwood sailboats…

Last week we took the grandbabies that are here visiting to the beach.

Walking by the sea we collected driftwood and sand dollars.

When we got back home, together we made some fun home d├ęcor with the driftwood…


a sign to hang over the pantry door…



…a driftwood sailboat…

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…and then another…

treasures from our special time together.



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Stuff and Nonsense

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Brownies with french vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries…

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Dessert tonight was delicious…

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thanks to my sous chefs.




Cooking with my grandbabies is a wonderful simple pleasure!


Still following,


Project Simple Pleasures2

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pretty in white…

No words, just some pretties…
using Kim Klaussen’s yesteryear texture today.
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Still following,

Summer “beach inspired” mantel..

If you’ve read or followed my blog for any length of time you know that my dream house is a cute little Cape Cod cottage by the sea.  Fortunately, here in Portland we are sandwiched only a bit over an hours drive from the beach to the west, and the mountains to the east. We have the best of both worlds readily available.

My summer mantel is inspired by my love for the sea.


An oil painting done all in shades of beach-y grays and a beach sign hang above the mantel.



A driftwood tea light holder made by my son in law sits centered on the mantel itself.


Sea shells and small bits of driftwood fill an apothecary jar.  A blue sea star gives an unexpected pop of color.

Next to it is a shell topped bottle with a vintage label.

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A basket with a glass hurricane and candle inside sit atop a stack of vintage books, with a wicker ball by its side.


Psalm 146:6

He made heaven and earth,
      the sea, and everything in them.
      He keeps every promise forever.

printed out in French on a vintage looking card is perched in the prongs of a vintage flower frog.



I’m so ready for warm summer days, and hopefully some of them will be spent by the sea!


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The Lettered Cottage