Tuesday, October 2

Maggots on a Pile of Poo

The kids and I are doing extra schoolwork over the next couple of days because Daddy gets to come home from his new job to visit this week! But, marathon days can be tough, so we took a break this afternoon and came up with a ghoulishly simple Fall treat. Oh, who am I kidding?! These are good any time of year! Actually, they would be better in the Summer since you don't have to bake them, which means they are perfect for our strangely warm Fall weather here in the NW. And, they are perfect for little people who love to help in the kitchen. My son really enjoyed crushing the pretzels while I mixed the other ingredients on the stove.

Now, you are probably wondering about the title of this post. Well, my oldest was trying to help me come up with something Halloweenish, but we just couldn't get past how much they looked like piles of poo. And, with the coconut...well...

 After a few minutes, though, we came up  with something that didn't sound quite so unappetizing, since these are anything but!

~Black Cat Scat~
        Makes 30 cookies.
    1/2 C Peanut Butter
    1 tsp Pure Vanilla
   1/4 C Raw Sugar
   2 Tbsp. Agave syrup or Honey
     1/2 C Dark Chocolate Chips
   1/2 C Non-dairy Milk
  2 C Mini pretzels, crushed
   1/4 C unsweetened coconut
          + additional for garnish

Directions: Lay out a large piece of wax or parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, heat peanut butter, vanilla, sugar, syrup and chocolate chips on med/low heat. Once smooth, stir in milk and coconut. Remove from heat, add pretzels and mix everything together until pretzels are well coated.
Spoon onto wax paper with a tablespoon, sprinkle with coconut and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.

Thursday, September 20

Summer 2012: A Photo Journey

While my blog has lain dormant over the last few months, I, on the other hand, have not. Life has been so extraordinarily busy, vibrant and blessed, that I just haven't had time to share all of the goodness. My hope is that you haven't noticed, because your summer has been just as full, with no time to spend sitting in front of a computer.
 As we settle back into somewhat of a routine, however, I thought I would begin the season with a look back. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed the experiences.

Our garden, full of zucchini, tomatoes, bush beans, peppers, carrots, lettuce, spring mix, scallions and kale was definitely worth the work. We really enjoyed eating so much goodness that we grew ourselves and it was a great family effort.

In June, we hiked a bit, enjoyed the Gorge and I traveled to Central Oregon for a great weekend with my sisters. We celebrated my youngest sister's 21st birthday and went stand-up paddle boarding together on the Deschutes River.
On a walk with my kids, I took this photo: A view of the mighty Columbia. 
Yoga on an island in the Columbia - photo courtesy of my husband.

SUPing on the Deschutes River
In July, my husband's sister and her family came for a visit from Nebraska. We were able to see both of our nephews for a time, including the newest addition, whom we have never met. Then, at the end of the month, my youngest sister got married in South Carolina. It was my second visit to the South. We visited Charleston, where we shopped at the slave market, took a bazillion pictures of the local architecture and marvelled at the lack of Starbucks'!
Charleston, South Carolina
My Mom snapped this shot of me during a rare moment when I was not photographing something, as we walked down Rainbow Row. By this point, the wind had already snatched my hat twice!
On this trip, we also visited Isle of Palms and I was able to experience swimming in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in my life.
The beach at Isle of Palms.

We went to antique shops, Cypress Gardens, Magnolia Plantation and explored as much as we could during our short visit.

Flowers blooming at Magnolia Plantation.
Most of the plantation was not in bloom this time of year.
Back home, I enjoyed the beauty of the West Coast and spent more time hiking with the kids.

A spectacular view from our hike on the Horsetail Falls trail.
In August, I was able to spend almost a week back up in Washington with the kids,
hanging out with friends and enjoying the beautiful weather. I worked out at an MMA gym for the first time and took FULL advantage of the hotel's pool and spa. The kids had a blast!
Trail running shenanigans.
And, with the arrival of September, comes the beginning of school and routine. But, first, we had a wonderful vow renewal/reception for my other sister and her husband, which included mine and my husband's first dance! We spent Labor Day hiking at Timberline, on Mt. Hood, and enjoying the sun at Trillium Lake. We also canned organic peaches and traveled, once again, to Central Oregon.
For over a year, we have applied for jobs, traveled to Bend for interviews and last week, our prayers and hard work paid off. It will soon be time to leave the beautiful Columbia River Gorge and start a new life in the wide open High Desert.

Mt. Hood


Cove Palisades, Central Oregon