Friday, March 17, 2017

No Waste Wednesday - #44 Granola - Finally From Scratch

For years, I have been trying to make a tasty granola cereal from scratch.  Finally I found a recipe that works!  It also takes advantage of some local home grown ingredients.

Our little organic store, Nash's Produce, down the road, grows and makes their own rolled oats.  All organic and lots of flavor.  Use 4 cups rolled oats as the first ingredient.

Another local store, Sunny Farms (they stay warm in the winter with a huge wood burning stove--smells so good), carries local fresh maple syrup.  Pour 1/4 cup into the oats.

Next, slivered almonds.  Although not local, Costco has a large bag of organic almonds that are pretty darn good.  One cup of slivered almonds is added to the above.

NOT local or organic, I love coconut flakes in my granola.  I add a cup to the whole concoction.  But if you want to stay true to the organic, I have replaced the coconut with dried berries on occasion.

Stir well and spread out on a cooking sheet with sides.  Place in a preheated oven at 325 F degrees.  Bake for 15 minutes and then stir.  Cook for another 5 minutes.  And you are done.  Beware! It is easy to burn--watch CLOSELY.  It needs to be a golden brown.

This is the best cereal.  Easy to make.  And A LOT cheaper than the boxed cereal.  And it is A LOT tastier.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Lighten Your Load

My Mom recently stayed a couple of days with us along with my Aunt and sister.  We did a little shopping and did a lot of eating and drinking.  I noticed my Mom still carried a huge purse.  For as long as I can remember she has carried a huge purse filled with "stuff" and it is extremely heavy.  She also has serious back issues.

I also have some serious back issues.  Which is why I have been limited in my hiking and golfing the last couple of years.  But, I work at strengthening my core and I ditched the purse.  I am serious--the purse is gone.  Not only does it avoid the back acting up, but I feel so free and unencumbered.  Not to mention the closet space gained from eliminating all those purses.  I still keep two small purses and one large for travel (extra paperwork and stashing the coat).

Some time in the last 60 years the marketing people have convinced women that they need to carry their life on their hip.  And they need a different purse for every occasion and day of the week.  Stop the madness!

All you need is a credit card, a debit card, driver's license, a twenty dollar bill, 2 personal checks and your smart phone.  They make wallets to contain all of this and it fits in your coat pocket or in hot weather, I agree, a small purse. 

So, Mom!, if you are reading this lighten your load and be kind to your back! 

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Dilemna, Emma

Our neighborhood development centered around a golf course is around 700 homes.  It is not a 55+ designated area, but it is predominately retirees.  The earliest "settlers" moved here in the early 1980s and many are now in their 80s and 90s.  So, we are often losing our older friends.  It is depressing and it also reinforces that we are getting to that end point in life sooner than what we think.

So.  We talk about the direction of our daily lives.  We talk about it often. Are we living our lives to the fullest?  We are happy and comfortable, but our daily life has become routine and a little lackluster.  You can tell by the absence of blog posts that there is not really anything exciting going on right now.

Still in our early 60s and healthy.  What should we do? 

There are options to consider.  Maybe they are just fun topics of conversation, maybe they can amount to something. 

(1)  Do the big dream we have had for 40+ years--buy the live aboard boat.  Nordhavn 46 full displacement trawler.  Gain more experience in Puget Sound.  (We have had a 24 foot cabin cruiser before and explored Puget Sound--loved it.)  Maybe head off for the open sea if we feel confident and competent.  The boat can go anywhere only limited by the skill of the operator.
(2) Move overseas.  Portugal.  Cost of living is very reasonable.  The climate in southern and mid-Portugal is ideal.  A good home base to explore the rest of Europe.  New people.  New culture.  Good golf courses.  Good fishing.  Can be stressful, but the rewards would be great and exciting.
(3) Stay put on the Olympic Peninsula.  We love our friends and our new home.  Buy a small boat to fish and explore Puget Sound and on up to Alaska.  Comfortable choice and beautiful location.  Blog worthy?  Maybe.

It is a dilemma, Emma.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017 Off and Running

Our typical winters on the Peninsula are relatively mild compared to the rest of the country.  This winter is not the norm.  Only a dusting of snow one day and gone the next, but it has been cold.  Hanging for weeks with daytime temperatures in the low 30s.  Too cold to get outdoors and we are feeling cabin fever, for sure.  Focusing on indoor projects and finishing up the home projects is our aim until things warm up.

The year of 2016 was the year of fixing up our new home.  The last week of the year we installed a new foyer light and it looks fabulous.  Just a few more updates in 2017 for the home  (1) pull out overgrown shrubs along the driveway (they are huge!), (2) exterior paint for the house, and (3) refinish the back deck and install railing.  Mostly, we are going to indulge in more hiking, art workshops (Me), wood sculpture (Hubby), golf, healthy living and spiffing up this blog a bit. 
Out with the Old - In with the New!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Past

I read a comment on a zero waste website I follow that dealt with their family's approach to gift giving and gift opening.  It reminded me of many a past Christmas I enjoyed growing up.

My family was zero waste and frugal at Christmas long before it was fashionable.  Our Christmas gift opening happened on Christmas Eve.  The Christmas tree went up shortly after Thanksgiving and the wrapped presents started to pile up throughout the month of December. 

During the day leading up to Christmas Eve, both my Dad and Mom would prepare a table full of goodies, spiked punch (we were allowed) and a few "healthy" items for some resemblance to a dinner.  At 6 p.m. (why it had to be 6 on the dot, I have no idea), we would gather around the tree with five children and two adults to open one present at a time.  Everyone would always oh and ah over each one.  The evening lasted well into the night.

The gifts were far from extravagant.  We got all our essential clothing for the upcoming year at Christmas (underwear, pajamas, socks, a pair of pants or skirt, top) and usually one toy.  The one toy was often something my Mom found at a yard sale during the year.  After opening each gift the wrapping paper was carefully folded to be used next year and the bows collected and placed in a bag.

At the end of the evening, each of us picked a place in the living room to stage our newly unwrapped gifts.  During the night Santa would arrive and leave a couple more gifts in our designated area that were unwrapped.  This was an item that was a little more special.  A Barbie doll (Mom made all of Barbie's clothing) at a young age.  Older, it was a knitted scarf or scented lotion.

I know a lot of families rush in to the tree and rip up the wrapping and everyone starts playing with their gifts.  But, I think our approach made a very special evening for our family and helped my parents live within a very challenging budget.  It felt like we got a lot and I am not talking about just the gifts.  Good memories.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Benefits of 62

A few days ago I turned 62.  Not excited to get older, but very excited to be finally be eligible for the National Park and Recreational Area lifetime senior pass (known as the "America the Beautiful - Senior Pass).  What a bargain!  Only $10 and you have access to all U.S. National Parks and Recreation areas and, in some cases, it also includes a 50% discount on camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services.  You read right--Lifetime! 

Only living 14 miles from the Olympic National Park and only two miles from the Dungeness Spit Wildlife Refuge, we visit often.  Previously, we paid $80 for an annual pass.

Interagency Senior Pass
We drove to the visitor center last Sunday and paid $10 cash (must be cash) and showed my driver's license.

This is so great!

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Beginning July 1 and then every other week, we started receiving a box of fresh vegetables and organic food from our local organic farm, Nash's Produce, and I pick up the last box of the season tomorrow.  This is part of their CSA (community supported agriculture) program which you pay for upfront in the early spring.  This type of program has been around for quite a while, but it is the first time for us.

Trying all kinds of vegetables--some were completely unknown to me.  Celery Root--love it.  Chard (several kinds)--love it.  Collard Greens-love it.  Had no idea there were so many different types of cabbage.  Made fresh kraut, made salads, cabbage rolls, cabbage soup.  Had a lot of cabbage over the last few months!  Nash's is well-known for their organic carrots which are sweet and crisp.  I loved the red and golden beets, but the hubby did not.  Well, you can't win them all.

Fresh organic fruit including apricots, pears, and apples.  Newly pressed apple cider--very, very good! Wonderful cilantro, parsley, and onions.  The onions are a close second to the Eastern Washington onion, Walla Walla Sweet.

Nash's also grinds their own organic flour--very good.  Produces organic rolled oats--didn't know there was such a thing--very good.

The kitchen remodel threw a monkey wrench into the whole thing, so had to give away some.  Will try again next summer, for sure.  Support your local farm!  Sign up for your CSA program!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...