Step by step

From reports on Rome to winter dance performances, January was truly a jumble of fullness. I’ve been working on vegan recipes to add to our menu so there has been a bit of a scramble in the kitchen too. So far I feel confident in a new chocolate mousse made with coconut milk and deep, dark chocolate. I think the vegan crowd will consider it acceptable. I am now onto more savory options. As much as I eat meat, when I go out to dinner I notice I rarely will choose a meat option unless I trust where the meat is coming from and feel comfortable with how clean the kitchen is that it will be prepared in.  We will only be serving the most amazing meats, and our kitchen will be kept very clean, but I really do feel we need more vegan and vegetarian options. My husband keeps mentioning it as well. So right now that is on my mind, along with OLCC licensing paperwork, the bar top order (more on that next post) and all the little things that fall in-between.



vegan mousse






Even though we are still a good month out, spring has been peeking its bright head around the corner, and as you can see I have a stack of books that would make a bookworm proud. Though my ability to read through it may make them cringe, but hey there is no deadline . . .


Hope everyone is well! Happy February!




September Garden…

For those who are not suckers for garden pictures, you might just skip this post. I happen to be a weak-at-the-knees flower lover, so my self-indulgence merely feels like a hurray for the bounty of still blooming life in my garden.

 Our summer was mostly rainless; a lot of August heat, an over deluge of wildfire smoke and some beautiful days tucked in here and there.
I believe my least favorite months are August and January. Around here, February has the timid hope of spring coming and September has turned the mild corner toward autumn. August and January just bring agghhk. Too much heat or such a daily cold rain that even I look out and dream of a little blue—and let me tell you, blue skies don’t bring me joy the way it does so many others. My perfect weather is a smattering. The best days are grey and blue; charcoal rain in the distance and then a bucket tipped so quickly onto the un-expecting walker that you feel like you got swept right into the whimsical weave of weather in a fairy book.
Either which way, I have relief that the torment of the hottest summer month is over and the following pictures are in my appreciation for the bits of garden that still thrive.
Hope everyone is having a nice September.

Portland, Oregon Gardening

 I have had a wonderful spring and summer gardening. This year I put two feet forward and found that extra ummff to try to make the flower and vegetable gardens I have been dreaming about since childhood. Portland, Oregon is the place to do it, and if I am ever going to succeed, now is the time. So below are a splattering of corners and pockets that have made their mark thus far. Next year I hope these new perennials will be more established and the soil even better to work with:
 snap dragon
 shasta daisy


 French lavender
 shasta daisy
 sugar pumpkin
 Japanese eggplant
 cherry tomato


What did you plant this year?

Flowers and Tomatoes…


Dear Country Mouse,

How is your week going? Did the rain come? I took today off. I still plan to head down and putt around the pie-truck a bit, help get it open, but I mostly plan to have a leisure day at home. Hooray, there are never enough of those.

Did Alena like Annalisa’s work? It really makes me want to get out needle and thread and make some pictures for my wall. Readers, you can still enter to win a print of her work…

The plant nursery near my house says they’ll have tomato plants in by today. I’m so excited to pick some up get them in the soil. The sky is gray and dripping just enough to be perfect for planting.

I just read a very invigorating blog post on Floret Flower’s Farm Journal, totally inspiring for my tiny backyard… and yours? She has such a lovely blog, but this post is so inspiring as it tells about a Toronto based florist, Sarah Nixon who grows her gardens in other peoples yards. Grass roots or what??? I spend so much time trying to figure a plan for my wee yard. Remember when we used to sit in my half-acre expanse and ooo and ahhh over all the space? Well now we both have mini plots to work with. I say it’s a fun challenge.

All right beautiful lady,

Let’s talk soon!

             City Mouse

P.S. Kiss the kids for me!

Noticing that…

Autumn officially arrived today. Not by the calendar’s standard, but the cooler air 
and sudden burnt orange colors showing up everywhere has made it official…  
 It has been happening on and off for the last few weeks, cooler mornings and 
then sharp swings back up to hotter spells….
 I’ve been waiting for the change…
 I can only handle so much heat, and this summer was far more extreme then I had expected…
 I’ll miss the sun flowers…
 And Echinacea, that the people who lived here before us had so thoughtfully planted…
I’ll miss all the flowers…
 But I’m ready for the shift… Are you?

Thank you to everyone who entered my book giveaway! I’m happy to announce Maria Simon won.
                                                                                Cheers to Everyone ~ 

Introducing Hieronymus…

It’s always exciting when someone new arrives for a stay at your home…
 In this case it is a mysterious bird that looks unlike any particular kind we have ever seen here before…
 He has strong legs and a definite presence. He doesn’t appear injured, yet he only 
flits here and there, not ever flying much higher than our roof top…
I could tell immediately his name started with an H, but took a little time 
to be sure that he was clearly a “Hieronymus”.
He has been a bit skittish to the camera, but I hope to get a picture of him up close soon!
                                                                       ~ Marica