Sweet Hodgepodge

Sweet Southern livin Jo has come up with questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge.
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1. Let’s start things off right…Wednesday is National Dessert Day. What are we having? How often do you  make/serve dessert? Store bought or from scratch?
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We can have my signature Creamy Cheesecake, pictured above…
or a family favorite; Peanut Butter/Butterscotch Rice Krispy bars
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or in the cake realm; Another family favorite, Applesauce Spice Cake.
We added a new favorite in 2020, Strawberry Ice Cream Cake.
Lately I only make a dessert when we are having company. I made this Ice Cream Cake yesterday for dessert after our Raclette meal that we introduced to my brother’s family.
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I like scratch desserts but am not opposed to store bought. In fact see question #3 for something I always buy instead of bake.
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2. Slow as molasses, icing on the cake, that’s the way the cookie crumbles, have your cake and eat it too, half-baked idea, that takes the cake…which phrase might be applied to something in your life in recent days? Explain.
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I’m going with icing on the cake. Since my brother’s family (originally from Texas) landed in the Pacific Northwest on their RV journeys around the USA some other members of our family gathered here, too, and we were able to have a mini family reunion of sorts.

My sister Kathy sitting to my left is now our matriarch. Four out of 8 siblings plus two spouses and eleven cousins rounded out the group for a few days of food and fun.

3. Something that’s ‘easy as pie’ for you to do?

Sticking with the pie theme here I’m confessing that making pie is not in my wheelhouse. It is not something easy for me and I choose to avoid it by buying good quality pies in the frozen section of the grocery store and popping them in my oven! So ‘easy as pie’ is not a phrase that pertains to me.

4. Are you someone who likes to ‘sugarcoat’ news you think might not be well received, or are you more of a tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may? Do you like to receive your news the same way you give it?

Please don’t sugar coat it. Get it out now and let me know what’s up! I’m a tell it like it is person. Don’t beat around the bush, either.

5. Something you did recently that made you feel like a ‘smart cookie’?

Driving for over 6 hours by myself from Bothell to Colville with stops at the Home Depot and Costco in Spokane. I was smart to bring a book on CD to listen to. That makes the hours go by quicker for me and keeps me awake. For this trip I listened to “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe read by Michael York, delightful.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

 

Looking forward to our Western Larches (Tamarack) to turn golden.

October is a busy busy month here at Our Country Bungalow. Still ahead is our annual family hunting weekend and this year we are throwing in our first professional family photo shoot. It’s been fun coming up with a clothing theme so we look a bit coordinated. For the majority of the days in October all of our guestrooms are full to the brim.

Fall Colors to White Out!

The Western Larch trees are in their glory.

We had a power outage at 3PM on Monday the 28th of October and I sat in our recliner in front of our family room slider and took the photo above. The wind was really blowing. The power came back on just after 4PM and then we were surprised to see the snow blow in.

The wind died down and the snow stopped falling. Such an interesting day. We’ll see what Tuesday holds.

Western Larch

Larches are different from most conifers because they’re deciduous–they lose their needles each fall. In addition, their needles are arranged differently from those of most conifers; on current-year twigs they’re borne singly, but on older twigs they arise in dense clusters from stout, woody pegs that resemble wooden barrels. Only 10 species of larch occur in the world, mostly in cold parts of the northern hemisphere. Only western larch and subalpine larch grow in the Pacific Northwest. Larches are commonly called tamaracks, especially by people whose roots are in eastern North America.

 

Needles are deciduous. They fall from the tree in winter, turning brilliant yellow before they fall.

Needles are about 1″ long and typically grow in dense clusters (20-40) attached to short woody shoots (called spur shoots).

Needles are soft to the touch–never sharp or spiny. Current-year needles are borne singly on slender pegs.

Small, woody cones (1-2″ long).

The photos above were taken on October 30th on a drive Dear and I took out Addy-Gifford Rd. to Bluecreek Rd. The following photos are from 2012 on our son’s property in Chewelah.

I was happy to find that we have Larches on our new piece of property.

We did not have any random trick or treaters coming to our door last night but we did have our Colville family drop in for some treats and our little Miss Addy was sporting goofy smiles for the evening. What a joy to have these drop in visits!

Happy November to all of you!

 

Put Your Boots On!

It’s time for a trek through Dan’s 6.5 acres!

Head past the old barn…

through the gate…

past the brush…

up the rise…

now down the other side of the rise…

keep going across the brush that the deer and the bears enjoy…

keep going…we’re headed to the creek…

past more beautiful fall colors…

through the evergreens…

along the boundary marked by barbed wire fencing…

to the creek…

Don’t forget to look up and see the distinctive Western Larch.

The largest of the nine larch or tamarack species growing in the Pacific Northwest, the western has pale green foliage, a rather “feathery” graceful arrangement of branches, and an open crown. Brilliant yellow in late fall, the needles drop in November. In fact, this species is one of only two coniferous species that sheds its needles every fall. Its thick bark is reddish-brown in color and features elongated scale plates.”

And speaking of elongated scale plates…

More fencing marking his boundaries with fair warning to those who might pass by…

At the boundary of his property on the old mining road…

We trek back listening to his ideas of what to do with this piece of land…

He describes to us what he has learned about the Western Larch…

I keep exclaiming about the beautiful fall colors that we are enjoying on our trek…

A close up of the Western Larch…

We are shown the evidence of this being a favorite of deer for bedding down at night. I’ll spare you the close up of what they have left behind…

I’ll end this part of our trek at the road and his little stand of “Christmas trees”…

More to come from our time at Dan’s…

We are so thankful to God for his provision for a home and land for our son Dan. We put in lots of hours to organize the shop and house for his comfort. I’ll be sharing more in the future. Our trip over the pass to and from Eastern Washington was good with no snow or significant slow downs.

Dear is back to work today and I’m trying to get back in my groove. Our niece’s family is still without electricity and running water in their high rise in New York City. Continued prayers are going up for the people effected and for all the first responders who are working hard to restore services to everyone without.

I’m also getting ready to hand out treats to the children in the neighborhood who will brave the cold and wet to ring my doorbell!