Friday, December 24, 2010

This is a beautiful song about what to give..............

Hope as you prepare for your Christmas you have joy in your heart and love for others.

  Here is the choir as they sing very lovely

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fun times during the holidays

Today was the first week-day that school was out for the holidays.

I'd had so much fun doing a craft day with Logan and Natalie (4 and 2 yrs) that I just knew I had to do another.  Armed with 2X4 craft ideas from the ladies in Battleground
I proceeded to plan a fun day of painting, glittering and gluing.  

I had a great time, I think everyone else did too.  We had two neighbor girls, three grand kids and two dogs who had to watch every step. They ranged in age from 3 years old to 11 years old.  Don't be afraid to plan nice crafts with a group of kids.  I noticed everyone helped the littlest and everyone was devoted to finishing these great crafts!

My biggest won't believe this..........Was washing out paint brushes!

 Hows that for a great paint Papa's t-shirts!

We gave our stars some glitter paint 
Mirishana helps Lilly with some sliver sparkle

Can you
believe what happens to a Clorox wipe
after, the youngest, Lilly (3 yrs)
Paints her tree?
It was so nice to have Skylar and Sierra do the clean up!

Joshua is still hard at work! 
We started at 10:30 am and kept crafting until about 5:00pm 
We broke for lunch and to walk one of the dogs!

 Oh Skylar that's a beautiful tree!

Everyone is trying to finish up as the mom's start arriving

   Lilly's mom (#4 kiddo) Helps Lilly decide on a nose shape for frosty the snowman

A big thank-you to Under my Umbrella for the wonderful crafts.  You are great gals and we really enjoyed that you shared your ideas!

Merry Christmas and host something fun
for children who are out of school, you'll love it and so will they!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Have you voted?

We have a Privilege in the U.S.A.

  We Vote.

Tomorrow is Election day.

Here in Snohomish county they have made it harder and harder to vote.

Primaries are now in August during Scout camps and family trips and Fair for me.
Just last year we could drop our ballots off at agood many places, one only a couple of miles from me, now there are only a very few sites.
I used to drop my ballot where a couple of people watched over the box now boxes are outside where no one keeps track of them.
How could it have changed so fast?
Today I filled out my ballot and a friend drove it to one of the drop off boxes.
She was in line for ever so long. 
She said it reminded her of the parking at the mall during Christmas. 

Plan ahead if you will be mailing your ballot putting it in your box tomorrow might be too late if your carrier has a long route.
Put your stamp on that envelope and drive it to the post office tonight.  

The Delany sisters lived to be over 104, & 109 years old, their father born into slavery.
The things they took notice of in history gives me pause.
As you go to vote, pray and..............

Remember Bessie Delany's words " Negroes, more than anyone, need to make sure they vote, to make themselves heard in the system.  We've come a long, long way in a short, short time since slavery days, and there ain't no use in quitting now.  It's true that you can't change the world with your one vote, but if you don't vote, you don't have the right to complain.  And honey, I surely do not want to give up my right to complain, no sir!"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Great healthy pancakes

I started 'walk at home' with Leslie Sansone and have watched the meal video's over and over.
I think I am struck with the quick simplicity of the meals.

They inspire me to keep my food varied and simple. With that in mind I began having a breakfast of whole grain pancakes and cut up fruit. It was the height of the nectarine season and to those I added peaches and blueberries, walnuts etc. I ate twice a week fruit pancake breakfasts.

Here in the northwest we have Snoqualmie Falls lodge pancake mix called NutraRich pancake and waffle mix.

Yes this is the famous 'Twin Peeks' backdrop

This mix is grainy and good BUT it seems to have disappeared from the grocery shelves. I looked all summer long and only found one box. This put a big dent in my healthy, fast pancake mornings.

What to do? While on vacation up in Whistler I came upon a Canadian recipe site and found this very good full grain, fast to make pancake recipe.

My 10 year old grand daughter and I made these pancakes with great success try them and see what you think. I am back to my twice a week fruit and pancake breakfast!

Grainy Good pancakes

Soak 3/4 cup quick oats in 2 cups buttermilk

After 10 minutes add

1 egg

3/4 cup multi grain flour

1/4 cup wheat germ (keep in your fridge)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 tablespoons oil

Stir gently, don't worry about lumps they can stay. Cook on an oiled griddle.

You must cook them until they are fully bubbled before turning, other wise they will stick.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Looking for gardening

This pretty flower grew from seeds given to me by grandchildren.

Here in the Pacific Northwest everyone is planting and eating from their gardens. I have been teaching a big group of brand new dirt diggers so I moved my gardening conversation to a new blog. Please join us but remember we chat about classes and it is about the Northwest garden. Still there is a lot to learn and there are links to all my old blogs about gardening. I have a great garden this year despite the challenges.

Ate my first two cherry tomatoes and they were heavenly.

Monday, June 28, 2010

It's summer at last!

So I've heard you miss me.
However I believe you have all found so many ways to get your questions answered that I think I should find new direction.
It's all a thought process right now, but this blog may need a change.
What will it be?
I'm thinking and I would like your suggestions.
Where should I go with the Grammie blog?


Some ideas I'm tossing around. teaching: art, knitting, weaving, sewing, music, more gardening, herbal craft, story telling......hum more thinking

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

A friend sent me this and I thought all mom's would enjoy the thought. Hope your day lets you know you are the most valued person on earth! I hope you hear from all your loved family members. Happy Mothers' day


Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you've had a baby..... somebody doesn't know that once you're a mother, 'normal' is history.

* * *

Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by

instinct ... somebody never took a three-year-old shopping.

* * *

Somebody said being a mother is boring .....

somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver's permit.


Somebody said if you're a'good' mother,

your child will 'turn out good'.....

somebody thinks a child comes with directions and a guarantee.

* * *

Somebody said you don't need an education to be a

mother.... somebody never helped a fourth grader with his math.

* * *

Somebody said you can't love the second child as

much as you love the first ..... somebody doesn't have two children.

* * *

Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother

is labor and delivery....

somebody never watched her 'baby' get on the bus

for the first day of kindergarten ... or on a plane headed for military 'boot camp.'

* * *

Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her

child gets married....somebody doesn't know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a mother's heartstrings.

* * *

Somebody said a mother's job is done when

her last child leaves home....

somebody never had grandchildren.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The gardening information has moved

The first thing I did with the group is have them make colored cards

Green for plants that go in the garden in Spring Red those heat loving plants that like the summer Orange plants like the cool and have enough time to make fall crops Yellow cards are for plants that have culitvars that will grow during any season The numbers are the length of time it takes them to produce in most parts of the country We however add two weeks to a month to the dates on the cards!

The sun comes out for longer bits of time and the air feels warmer when there aren't breezes. It signals the inter-gardener in me! I want to touch seeds and turn soil and grow things! When I wake at 5 am in the morning (not often!) I hear the birds busy, very busy. They know it's Spring and so do I!

I am working with a group of local ladies, most are brand new to gardening. With this in mind I started a blog just for them with lots of helpful things to get them started. For the last 4 weeks we have been meeting weekly and the class notes are on this blog also.

ONE BIG HEADS UP.......the information is all Northwestern in the planting times etc. All of the information will help anyone but know your own last frost date and adjust my suggestions to your region. If I can help please comment.

From here on out the gardening postings will be here:


Monday, April 19, 2010

Pretty hair for the Girls in the family

Lyndy has been doing the cutest stuff with Natalie's hair and Eden with Penny's so with that in mind I can share some of my collection of pretty hair styles. Yes with 5 girls in the house we had plenty of goes around with the hair thing! My other lucky thing was learning from my sister who was studying to be a beautician and from a lady I was baby sitting for who would practice by teaching me how when she picked up her son! So I've had first rate braid training. he he

Give one of these a try or at least dream of when your little girls hair will be long enough to do one of these! I'll post some more later the garden is calling!

This under braid is good to learn. It makes a nice depth for little girls hair who will look bald if something doesn't stand out. I love making this braid

Thursday, March 11, 2010

whole wheat no-knead, 5 minute a day bread at last!

Do you remember the 5 minute a day bread from last year? I went from kitchen to kitchen teaching a lot of my family how to make it. Everyone loved it! This week I tested the whole wheat version and IT WORKED. Yes we have had three loaves now of really yummy whole wheat bread. There are some issues and I'll explain after I give you the recipe.
5 1/2 Cups whole wheat Flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons granulated yeast
1 Tablespoon kosher salt (to taste, I use half)
1/4 cup Vital wheat Gluten (This is a must!)
4 Cups lukewarm water (you can add a teas dried herbs to this water)
Cornmeal or parchment paper
1 to 2 whole seed mixture for sprinkling on top
flax seed, caraway, raw sunflower, poppy seed, anise. etc
You make this just like the white bread, mix it up, don't knead it. Put it in a bowl and let sit for 2 hours. NEVER punch down this dough. Cover lightly and put in the fridge. You have there 4 loaves of wheat bread.
When it's time to bake do just like you did with the white bread, put in the baking stone and a pan below it with a cup or so of water.
Take out a grapefruit size of dough form on your parchment paper and leave for about an hour.
Just before you put it gently in the oven put some slashes in the top to let it push out.
30 minutes before you are ready to bake turn on the oven to 450.
Gently move dough to oven and bake for 30 minutes.
If you cut this warm it will seem a bit damp, it's not usually under cooked it's just needing to cool a touch. Give it 8 to 10 minutes.
If you have forgotten any of this go to......
Now the only way you can get much of a rise out of wheat (ground wheat grain is sharp and cuts the yeast bubbles, it's also heavy) Is to use that 1/4 cup of Vital wheat Gluten. I got mine at Central Market and I got Bob's Red Mill. It's likely to be a P.C.C or a good natural grocery. I've heard you can order it online also. I have enough for 6 months of bread.
Do try this!

Friday, February 26, 2010

cookies so fast a 2 year old will wait .........

I like to have something up my sleeve for when the grand kids come over. This magically fast cookie was one I used with my own kids when they were little. Now Lilly and I made them yesterday and shared them with the family.

Pudding cookies

preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Makes 2 dozen small

3/4 cup baking mix (I make my own so it's made with oil but Bisquick is fine)
1/4 Cup salad oil
1 egg
1 small package of instant pudding any flavor
(pistachio and lemon are my favorite)
2 tablespoons of sugar

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

Stir until it holds together as a ball
Shape one teaspoon into a ball
place on an ungreased cookie sheet
leaving space for them to spread
Sprinkle if desired with sugar
Bake 8 to 10 minutes
or until the edges are lightly browned

Yes they are green but the photos don't treat them kindly. It's a nice soft green!

Monday, February 22, 2010

If you need a body boost.............try this!

Take note: OK I've added this to my posting. If you only buy one walking video this is it! I got this just this week and today I did all 5 miles. I loved it. It's arranged so nicely. You can do any mile and enjoy 5 different power walks or arrange any grouping of miles. I love the way she starts briskly and before you know it you are at 1/2 miles and the best part in the last half you get to do some really fast blast walking. It really felt like a workout. If you used even one of these miles you'd love how you felt. Because each mile is treated as it's own unit they each start slower than the end of the last mile so it gives me a little brake for the first 1/2 mile and then once again blast the last 1/2 mile. It's perfect. I really like this video. You can get them on the web site or I found mine on
The girls in the family and myself are all working on new healthy lifestyles.

It's only the 2nd month of the year. I surely don't want the year to pass me by on my health goals. Yes it has been warm here in the Northwest but wet is wet no matter how warm and I needed something to boost my calorie burn that was easy to:

1.) decide I wanted to face it each day and make a life long commitment to being activity

2.) start without a fuss ( no drive to a gym or trail, change or load up equipment, open a locker...etc.)

3.) afford, low cost (no money means no gym and very little gas for driving very far so it has to be close)

4.) see my progress so I get excited to do it again

5.) feel my progress as in muscles feel worked but not broken

6.) easy to do and keeps me off the floor (old body, old joints, heavy body don't do up and down well)

So these were my requirements. Bleach boy bought a gym membership for an indoor pool when he was in California and it traveled up here when he returned home. In the two, now three years of swimming three times a week he lost tons of weight. I am not a gym person. I do love it outside and will bike and hike but those don't fit the requirements above.

So here is what I've found is really helping.

I've discovered a wonderful web site for people like me. It's all about being healthy through walking. You can join the walking club and get a couple different streaming walking video's a month all online. It's so easy for me to wake up, turn on my computer and bring up the web site. Before you know it I'm doing at least a mile. Then later before lunch I do a fast paced heart healthy 2 to 4 mile walk.

I'm sure you are picturing a stroll down the path but this is exercise walking and I feel it.

I printed off the online calendar and am checking off my miles but feel free to write it on the wall or chalk board or in a note book. But do write it! As you see the miles click by you get excited that this will help you have a body boost and burn some calories.

As far as Spark people are concerned when I log a 30 min 2 mile walk I burn 266 calories. WOW

This is why if I can I do more than one walk a day I think I will make headway.

Even right before bed a gentle 1 mile walk is fine, I can sleep and I know that the calorie burning is still going on while I do.

Now where can you test this out, because I didn't believe how good this was until in early January when I started walking? See video's above this post

So after you've used the video's above move to the web site and try the faster video or join the club and have some great food ideas and new walking video's each month for a year. I'm sure this will make my year full of boosting energy and calorie BURN.

Go here for the express one mile. It's fast but on a sat when I know bleach boy wants to go do stuff I get a fast burning 1 mile in.

This site also has all the walking video's to buy and the club to join do take a peek.

If you want something really challenging take the 10 day challenge offered on the web site. There is a menu and a walking plan for three walks a day. If you do this it will burn each meal on the menu off! No calories for the whole day that you didn't burn.

I thought about what this would mean?

That's right I'd have to burn those extra pounds all day if I wasn't burning my meals!

Thank you Leslie Sansone


Here is a Spark people article on fitness that will give you some ideas also.

There isn't anything we can't do!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Like fine dinning!

Every time I serve greens from our winter salad box I feel like I'm eating at a fancy restaurant!
Oh how delicate and fresh these greens taste, so tender a bite. I make a nice lemon and olive oil dressing with some herbs and very lightly toss with the greens, add some pine nuts and serve.
You must try a winter salad box next year, you can see mine in the posting below...some where down with the winter stuff. This nightly fine dining will spoil us!


At last Bleach boy has a job.
He started today, back in the industry he knows and loves so well.
It took a while for paper work to sort out so in the last week it was like being pregnant and not wanting to tell until you were really sure.
So today we are sure!
Bleach boy has never seemed so happy as he was today. I wanted to bottle it and sell it!
I know this isn't the end of our struggles but it is an answer to prayer and a gift we won't forget. Besides I like a good challenge.......did I say that? Yikes.....I meant like in weaving or knitting. Deep sigh...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Easy to make Gingersnap cookies

Here is a recipe I've had so long I don't know where it came from. Back in the 70's and 80's my friend and I wrote calories on all our recipes so we could loose our baby weight. This recipe has calories on it so it came from back then.
Bleach boy is missing all his high fat treats but this one only take oil and egg which seems better than butter and eggs! It makes up fast, is crunchy if cooked long, or soft in the middle if cooked less. Remove the cookies as soon as they are holding together. They will cook too much if left on the cookies sheet once you take them out.
Gingersnap cookies:
In a bowl stir all ingredients, roll into a ball ( I like walnut size plus) roll in sugar and space well on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes for crunchy, 12 minutes for soft middles.
3/4 cup oil (go for the lower fat oils)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup of a good dark molasses
Stir the above until mixed well and add list below
2 cups flour
2 teas baking soda
1/2 teas salt
1/2 teas. Cinnamon
2 teas. ginger
1/2 cup of sugar for dipping
If you make 30 cookies (that's smaller than my walnut size dough balls) you have 117 calories per cookie. The whole recipe is 3524 calories approx. so count your cookies and divide)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pumpkin muffins good food when it's cold out

Click to enlarge
Our son came home from Elementary school with this recipe in hand. He just had his birthday a couple of weeks ago and he is now 36 years old so you know how precious his coloring on the recipe is to me. Yes he colored his recipe and now he does art for the Big Movies you go see! This is a tiny class room size recipe. It doubles very easily but if you need a quick treat for a few use this amount. I can smell them baking now! Note: we never get 12 out of this recipe, closer to 9. I guess maybe I like mine larger

Saturday, January 9, 2010

winter gardens do they work?

This is the first winter I have tried to have a northwest garden. It was a test. As you can see by my photos some things have grown. This is my lettuce box. I planted winter varieties in late Oct. They were only about 2 inches high and we had weeks of early deep freeze. We installed a light fixture and a 60 watts bulbs has been running day and night. During the deep freeze the ground froze hard on this box. It is on wheels and the cold hits it from the top, bottom and sides.

My side garden on the ground, next to the south wall of the house and surrounded by bales of straw did not have the ground freeze. BUT even though protected with a cover the plants themselves froze. I found the plants next to the bales of straw did not freeze. Now with that freeze a month past the plants have recouped and the garden looks ok. It Maybe that seedlings did not survive as far as I can tell. I have been cutting chard and pulling beets and they are fine. Mostly this is a sleeping garden, a few squares of garlic waiting for spring.

The garden on legs on the North side of the property was planted with fall garlic. It grew slowly with the freeze and for all I can tell will never produce. This box froze solid as it has no protection beneath from the cold. It was covered but that wasn't enough. We shall see when warmer weather arrives. Update late Jan 2010 Lots of garlic and shallots have peeked up. Guess the freeze didn't do all I thought it had.

What did I plant.

Rudolph broccoli

Winter red kale

winterwunder lettuce

arctic kind butterhead lettuce

Giant winter spinach

Provencal winter mix salad greens

5 kinds of garlic (normal fall planting)

I'm not sure what is growing here but it all looks good and much larger and though frozen solid in the roots two months ago it is now growing fine, but slowly. I think soon we will eat it. The chives have come back nicely and I never loose hope when growing things.

This salad box has wheels and I pushed it against my houses outside wall before the freeze.

Any thing that might help my odds.

Update late Jan 2010 We are eating large really tender excellent greens now!

This is the garden on the north side. We flip the plastic back and forth. It's on legs so it froze first, only garlic still growing here. This garden is on the South wall of our house. I put straw bails along the side opposite the house, I have the thermometer here and by the salad table. This garden is always at least 2 degrees warmer than our back yard. I flip the plastic back and forth by the weather. In summer the high PVC poles and the bean wire will go back on. Oh I can't wait! For now it's left over carrots, some beets, a few plants of rainbow chard, and the herbs.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Just in case you need a laugh

By this time I am usually done with winter. When I was raising the five it came sooner than it does now. This will give you a smile to remind you even snow moms' have problems!