Raclette for Six…


We were inspired to buy our own Raclette grill after being introduced to this meal idea at Bev and Harv’s for our Mennonite Girls Can Cook Christmas party.


On Friday night we had some friends over who also happen to be our former worship leader and the real estate agent who we bought this old house from. Before we sat down to eat we gave them a tour of this old house to see all the improvements made since we bought the house with Stephanie’s help back in 1999.


A table of six is an easy table to set. I was able to use one of my random sets of silverware that I only have six place settings of.


Boiled potatoes, cheese, and bread are the main ingredients along with meat for a Raclette and then pickles and other pickled sides. The skies the limit or what you can fit on your table is the limit of other fun things to eat cold or to grill. We chose rib-eye steak, red peppers, mushrooms, onions, endive, beets, and baby corn. We also a made a nice garlic, chive and butter mix, a little goes a long way.

I had a major photo fail and didn’t take a photo of us cooking at the table or a photo of our special guests but here is one from last Christmas of Aaron, Stephanie, and two of their daughters and one of their nieces.


It was a very fun and relaxed time cooking our food at the table.

On this last Sunday before Christmas Dear and I were at church at 6:45 a.m.! We volunteered to help make donuts for the early service which starts at 8:00 a.m. Since Dear can’t sleep past 4:00 it wasn’t a struggle for us to get to church so early. The doughnut production line worked well with mixing, pouring, frying, and frosting and sprinkling and then out to the lobby to serve the people arriving. I manned a mixer and Dear was at the hot stove flipping doughnuts! There were many who thought they were the best doughnuts they’ve ever had. Fresh is good!

I’m all done wrapping the gifts for under the tree. We drew names this year for our immediate family so the wrapping was a lot easier. I even wrapped the birthday gifts for Katie since her birthday is December 27th. When you have December and January birthdays I’ve found that you need to get those gifts before Christmas or the selections are pretty dismal in January.

How are things going at your house?

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage on their site. All my photos that I stored and uploaded from that site are now big ugly black and grey boxes with a message to pay big bucks to get them restored to my blog. It will take me a long time to restore thousands of posts.

Some Painless Therapy…

Dear and I have decided to “cut our losses” and give up on the bathroom renovation being made right by the company we hired. It is better for our peace of mind to give it up and let Dear fix things that need to be done better. After several tries to get them to do things right we’ve decided no more. When you see the photos of the bathroom you will wonder what we are complaining about because you will see the beautiful cosmetic fixes. Unfortunately we had to live with the process and it will take some time for me to bond with the beauty of it all. When Dear finishes the painting and the rest of the window parts come in I promise to show you the before and after. Until then here is a sneaky photo of some wall art that is going to go up that I bought at Hobby Lobby today.

shop therapy 011Yes, a little shopping therapy was in order for today so I made stops at Hobby Lobby, Goodwill, and Trader Joe’s. Hobby Lobby had a 50% off sale going for all their wall art so I bought that metal piece to mount on one of the walls of the bathroom. A tree branch with birds.

shop therapy 009Their fall decor was on sale for 40% off so I bought these Place Cards that I’ll enjoy using at Thanksgiving.

shop therapy 008These Le Creuset ramekins were in the collector section of Goodwill marked at $14.95 for all 6. Because Wednesday is Senior discount day I got 20% off and paid $12.50 for all 6. I saw them at Williams Sonoma for $13.00 each. Now I’ll need to come up with a fun recipe to use them for. If you click on these smaller photos you can see them in their larger format. Speaking of Senior Discount day the employee at Goodwill who came on the sound system to remind us what discounts were available on Wednesday said “If you are 62 or Better you get 20% off” I love that and when I went to the register I told them I was better!!

We had a very nice evening on Tuesday celebrating Dear at a restaurant in Bellevue called Lot #3. They had the most interesting names for their drinks. I had a Left Turn at Albuquerque.


After dinner we took a couple family shots outside the restaurant.



Our son Dan is off hunting in the wilderness so he couldn’t join us.

Tomorrow is the 13th anniversary of 9/11, I’m praying that God protects us against evil…but that prayer is nothing new at this old house!



There’s a restaurant in the Seattle area that is a kind of icon that reminds you of bygone days when people would dress up to go out to eat and service was top notch. We had never been to Canlis before. We might have been a little intimidated but no more…

Josh and Laura invited us to join them in the Canlis Lounge to break the intimidation and celebrate a late Mother’s Day/Father’s Day meal together.

P1050409One of the views from the restaurant. Remember the fact that I was a little intimidated to start so my photo taking suffered because of that. I did not get one photo of Laura and I on the other side of the table.

P1050406Father and Son with Father starting or re-visiting a style statement from years gone by.

P1050407The Bolo or String Tie. Do you remember these? Dear has 3 of them that were his fathers.

P1050398A shot of Josh with the piano player behind him. The soft live piano music was a very nice addition. I just noticed that nice shiny table top that picked up a reflection of Josh.

P1050399We ordered small bites along with the Canlis Salad. The Canlis Salad has been on the menu since opening night of the restaurant in 1950. The recipe was taught to Peter Canlis by his Lebanese mother. Oops, forgot to take a photo of the salad.


P1050403I did get a photo of myself in the ladies room so you can see I was wearing pearls and I did wear a dress instead of my usual jeans. Fabulous expression on my face. Looks like I was holding my breath hoping no one walked through the door and caught me!

P1050404We had to order this dish to top off the night.  Canlis Souffle ~ Grand Marnier, Orange zest and creme anglaise. Please allow 30 minutes for this dessert. We were happy to allow the time and enjoyed it very much.

There is a story that we keep retelling about this night at Canlis. Josh drove us up to the door and the valet team let us out of the car and drove the car away with no tickets, no names exchanged. They just said, “Have a nice evening”. We stepped into the restaurant and walked to the host/hostess area and said “We don’t have reservations but we would like to eat in the lounge”. No names exchanged. We were guided to the lounge where we chose our seats and enjoyed our time together. Josh paid the bill at the end of our time and we walked up the stairs and out the front door of the restaurant and Josh’s car magically appeared at the door as soon as we exited the restaurant. We did not have a seconds wait for our car. I looked at the Valet and said “How did you do that?” He looked at me and smiled. They are not giving out their secrets but we had fun speculating on how that little bit of magic happened on the way home. The next time we go to Canlis I’ll take a photo of that famous salad!


Gatherning the Moments ~ June

Looking back at June and all that took place around this old house and beyond.

I’m joining Cheryl at Thinking About Home for Gathering the Moments.


Trees came down, firewood cut, patio covers went up, peonies bloomed and were enjoyed, hydrangeas just started to color.

2014-06-29 Nate's wedding3Main floor bathroom renovations began with the gutting process, removing everything to the studs and car deck, adding a new window, adding recessed lights and a fan/heater, replacing the ceiling dry wall.

2014-06-25 The Girls1Visitors came from the South and visitors came from the North. Tours commenced. The Market, Kerry Park, the Troll, Ballard Locks, Ste Michelle Winery, Whidbey Island, Queen Mary Tea Room, and University Village just to name a few destinations visited.

2014-06-29 Nate's wedding4Celebrations in June included a retirement, combined Mother’s Day/Father’s Day dinner, and a wedding in the Portland area.

USA WC -winery1World Cup fever began and continues!

10409158_10204426113958769_2066162454929421190_nIt’s been a while since I shared a photo of my dear old Pop on my blog. Most every week my sister Lana and niece Melissa join him for dinner at his apartment. This last week my niece Debbee and sister Kathy joined in the fun, too. They are getting real good at taking these selfies. My pop still has his ups and downs with his loneliness but he can still move around well and gets out to his church services and a Bible Study weekly. I appreciate seeing the weekly photos on Facebook since I live so far away…

I have to say that June just flew by this year. July holds many new adventures for us. We are looking forward to a trip to England to celebrate our 40 years of marriage, and when we get back the Bathroom renovation will be completed. What are you looking forward to in July?

Early Celebrations…

Both of our sons were born in January. We celebrated our oldest son Josh’s birthday early this past Friday. After our trip with Josh and Laura to England in September we’ve been carrying a British theme through our celebrations. We met for dinner at The Three Lions Pub and then came home for cake and presents.

Josh 002

2014-01-11 Josh

Josh 001We had a good time celebrating Josh. He has added so much joy to our lives and we thank God for him.

Joshua’s actual birthday is on the 19th. He will be at Lakeside Bible Camp directing Junior High Winter camp.

Today we are sending off packages and cards across the world and country. Our Dan’s birthday is on the 16th and we won’t be able to celebrate face to face this year. We’re sending another care package to Afghanistan. We are so thankful for the U.S.A.’s  APO/FPO post office service that allows us to ship packages for such a reasonable rate. We pay a little over $14.00 for a Large Flate Rate Box! Our favorite little almost 6 year old in Texas will be getting a package in the mail soon, too.

We have been promised some dry days…maybe we’ll even have some sun breaks! I’m excited. What are you looking forward to this week?

Birthday Celebrations!

Our DIL’s birthday is today and we got together this past Sunday to celebrate. We thought it would be fun to re-visit our most excellent England experience and headed to a British Restaurant in Redmond Washington for brunch/lunch. Neville’s is located in a trio of store fronts joined together in a strip mall in Redmond, Washington. There’s Nevile’s and then the British Pantry and the 3 Lions Pub. We had fun shopping in the British pantry after we had our meal.





Laura's B-day Neville's-001

We are so thankful to God for Laura and her all she adds to our family. Happy Birthday dear Laura. May God bless you dearly in your new year!

I’m happy to report on this Tuesday that our Christmas letter is done and copied off. I picked up our photo collage from Costco to pop in our Christmas cards along with the letter. That’s a load off. Now to address all the envelopes and stuff them. Tomorrow Katie and I head to Abbotsford, Canada to attend and participate in the Old Fashioned Cookie demonstration class that the Mennonite Girls are teaching at Lepp Farm Market. Fun times! Hope we don’t encounter snow. On Thursday Dear and I are headed to Semiahmoo Resort to celebrate for 2 nights. I’ll tell you what we are celebrating on Friday!


The Calm Before…

…the Fireworks! Was it just me or did you feel like the fireworks were more plentiful and louder this year ? Here’s what our calm and quiet fourth looked like at this old house…


It’s good to keep the celebrations going all year long.



Fourth of July Decorations4

Fourth of July Decorations5Got Flags?

Fourth of July Decorations3After a few days of hot hot weather here in the Seattle area the fourth was overcast and cool. We were hoping that the sun would break through the clouds before our 4:00 P.M. party time and it did.

Fourth of July Decorations2

Fourth of July Decorations1It makes decorating so much more fun if you enjoy it with friends and family.

Fourth FestivitiesFourth of July 2013 we had the traditional eight to celebrate.

Fourth Festivities1The signature drink for 2013 was shaken up by Dear and enjoyed. Steve and Lana brought a new red for the wine drinkers to enjoy.

Fourth Festivities2Dear smoked pork for pulled pork sandwiches and our guests all brought sides to share.

Fourth Festivities3My contribution was a trifle with strawberries and blueberries. We really do love our red, white, and blue!

Fourth Nikon 001IMGP0610

How did you celebrate the “Fourth” this year or do you have some summer celebrations you are looking forward to?

And for the record…I was in bed when the fireworks were in full force loudness.

Valentine Day Table

An early Happy Valentine’s Day to all who visit here!

We are celebrating the arrival of Katie tonight and our son Josh and DIL Laura are joining us around the table set for Valentine’s Day.

Dessert will be a Red Velvet cake.

Our dinner tonight is going to be Rib Eye Steaks, Roasted Vegetables, and a Cucumber Tomato Salad. I hope to remember to get a photo of all of us around the table. I’ll edit my post tomorrow to add the photo if it gets taken! Here’s the update…

On Valentine’s day our Small Group is having a potluck meal together. We have joked that the big pot of chili I’m making for that event is ideal for Valentine’s Day because it could give everyone Heartburn. Are you making a special meal on Valentine’s Day or do you go out?

I’m linking up to Kathleen Cuisine for her Let’s Dish weekly event. Here’s a Valentine’s Day bar scape from our condo years.

Semper Fi!

On Sunday after a great church service (the goat is gone!), we headed to Palisade Restaurant in Seattle to celebrate Andrew’s promotion to Corporal.

You might think that coming off our second Christmas on Friday and Saturday with great food and fun we’d take a day off from eating. Silly thoughts those would be. We enjoyed another great get-together around food with all our kids and my nephew Caleb (from California) with his girlfriend Marie (from Washington).

Katie and Andrew…our new Marine Corp. Corporal!

Our son Dan with daughter Katie and Son-in-law Andrew.


Our nephew Caleb with his girlfriend Marie and our son Josh and daughter-in-law, Laura.

We have 3 more days with Katie and Andrew visiting with us. Our son Dan will be heading back over the mountains tomorrow. We’ve had a wonderful time together despite some sicknesses going around. I have more shots to share from Palisade after our meal at the Marina with the Space Needle in the background. Tomorrow is another day. I’m so thankful that Dear has the next two days off so he can recuperate from a head cold that was shared at work. I’m hoping that it stops with Dear and isn’t shared with me…

Hope you are all well and ready to usher in the New Year!

Over the River…

…and across the line, to a Mennonite Girls Can Cook Christmas party we go!

We crossed the U.S./Canadian border at Sumas and the border agents didn’t confiscate my Smirntopf or my Antispasto platter so all was good. We arrived to Judy and Elmer’s home all decked out beautifully for Christmas.

Not all the girls could be there that night. Our eastern Canadian girls, Betty and Charlotte, got together in Manitoba for their own party this night.

We took care of some serious business first before we set out all the dishes of food. Judy put together a fun getting to know you game where we had to connect each of the guests to an obscure fact or experience that guest had in their life. It was not easy but before too very long Kathy was the first to  figure it all out. Having a sea lion visit visit him in his backyard, falling into a manure pit, kayaking the Cayes and jungles of Belize, assisting drunken hitchhikers, were just a few of the interesting experiences. We were sworn to secrecy for one of the experiences we heard about! Next was the White Elephant exchange where we behaved quite civilly except when it came to the basket of fresh eggs!

The guys headed upstairs to play the popular Canadian game called Crokinole while we girls warmed up and set out the dishes we brought to share.

Oh My!…

I wonder if there will be enough food!? We were chuckling about the fact that food abundance is never an issue when you invite the girls to bring a dish!

Judy created that cute Christmas tree cheese platter. I’m sure a duplicate will appear somewhere at another blogdom Christmas party!

So…do you think we’ll have enough? Don’t forget we still haven’t put out the desserts!!

We let our husbands go first and they enjoyed what they saw and dug in heartily.

The “Girls” got to sit around the table set perfectly for the 8 of us.

After our fill of the savories it was on to dessert, oh my!

Judy made this beautiful punch for us to enjoy and Lovella made some homemade Egg Nog.

Her recipe was on the MGCC blog yesterday if you’d like to try making your own nog!

We ended our time around the table exchanging gifts to one another. Such generous and sweet reminders of our love and friendship.

Another wonderful Celebration to tuck away in our hearts. Thank you Judy and Elmer for a beautiful evening and thank you girls for all your love and prayers and friendship and celebrations!!