When I was in the 8 to 11-year-old range I wanted a dollhouse in the worst way. So much so that I would get on my bicycle and pedal up to the dollhouse store that was up on Edmonds way - the one that almost outlasted time and...modernity.
I would collect whatever coins and money I could find laying around the house hoping to purchase something little - miniature - to keep for a future dollhouse that I dreamed about owning. Sometimes I would only have enough money to buy miniature food, a pot for cooking, or a newspaper. All real life-looking miniatures that I would tuck them away for future.
When I was feeling very creative I would wrap little blocks of wood with paper to make it look like presents were under my miniature Christmas tree or create books, coloring each page, or take shoe boxes and turn them into rooms, decorating the walls with craft paper to create my own dolly house and use my random assortment of miniatures.
The beautiful miniature dollhouse I wanted in the window of this store was way out of my price range by several hundred dollars, completely finished ready to play. It was adorable. I would stare at it - wishing and dreaming...
Our neighbor, Bob, was a builder. He called me Beaver..probably back then I very much looked like a tomboy and I reminded him of Leave it to Beaver - that's my guess. Maybe my family will know why he called me that.
Anyway, Bob would let me come over to his wood shop in his garage. I would tell him about the dollhouse I dreamed about owning but could not afford it.
Bob came up with a design and built me a beautiful, larger than-life-dollhouse - a mansion. It took him a long time to build this house for me but he did it.
Time has marched on and I had grown up. My paper route that I had is how I paid off my doll house. I remember him letting me make payments. I can't remember how much I paid but I know it felt like a huge amount.
I never did have the money to finish the dollhouse that Bob built for me. I tucked away my doll house treasures and carried that big, unfinished wood structure from the time we got married until the time we moved into our current home, where I sold it at a garage sale.
I found little plastic furniture for this dollhouse I picked up at a thrift store last month. It did not take Marina long to figure out what to do with the furniture. I quietly watched from afar at her moving the furniture from room to room, giving the people hugs and rocking them, before she moved them to another room in this house.
It was the most precious thing I think I've seen all year. Being a mother to six sons, it has been an entirely experience seeing our three dollies grow up before our eyes - the precious, tender side of a one-year-old girl is also a beautiful thing.
40 years later I get to play miniatures and a dollhouse with our grand dollies.
When I first received a message about a Harry Potter themed cooking class for a birthday several months ago, two things came to mind.
1. This past fall I had been thinking about literature/movie themed cooking inspired classes. To me it was confirmation that I needed to make it happen with some future classes.
2. I was in a panic.... I had never seen a Harry Potter movie in MY life. I knew very little about it except it was magic, and a kid with round glasses. I scoured thrift stores looking for the movies, for at least one to watch, any props I could use to decorate with without spending a fortune, I picked up the Harry Potter cookbook from the library- flipped through it, reading bits and pieces as the weeks went by.
Such a fun theme, great kids, amazing parent helpers and a birthday with memories to last a life time from spending time in the kitchen with her friends and family.
There are no doubt many great joys in this life we all get to live... but getting three granddaughters is pretty darn awesome. I mean three boys would have been amazing as well... But seriously, I still feel like I'm living a pinch me life! Now if and when there are more grand babies, it sure would be nice to throw some boys in the mix.
We waited 30 years for this!
If I had my way, I'd make sunshine stay until the end of October. Sunny, crisp, fall days. Leaves floating through the air and spider webs everywhere. The changing of the seasons is a wonderful thing.
But for now? Let's enjoy the lazy, last days of summer! Which aren't lazy by any means by the way. Where did those lazy days go from years gone past? I'm not even sure it was in my generation.... or perhaps it's just in the south?
In our little orchard, the apples are starting to fall off the trees, one or two every couple of days are on the ground below, that once hung on the branches so low.
I had a leftover round of pie crust, waiting to be used. Turned out it was just enough to make this cute little apple tart. 🍏🍎
What's your favorite apple to eat and to bake with?
Giant berry, oh how I love you.
Your branches that hold you hang heavy with fruit and nourish my dry mouth while I'm out mowing the lawn or working in the garden. Every time I walk by your bushes I pick a handful and savor the sweet summer flavor.
You are beautiful, magnificent and amazing. Sweet, juicy, aromatic, shiny ,& the darkest purple, and oh so showy.
You are berry delicious!
Sunday, brunch day.
Too bad nobody drove by our house this morning, you could have come in and eaten with us..
I miss feeding all of our boys. Oh the memories and piles of food we went through. I want a do-over with them all again.
Buttermilk waffles, fried eggs, pan fried potatoes with red pepper, garden onions, & herbs. Chunks of #kerrygoldbutter on the waffles, and for old times sake, Mrs. Butterworth.
With the next few weeks of unknown in the food world, I'm getting my cravings and belly-love taken care of before takeoff.
Thursday was Chinese food, Friday was Mediterranean - The Greek fries from Gyro Stop are uh-mazing in my humble opinion. (I love their garlic sauce they smother their crispy-hot-well-seasoned fries with).
Tonight?... Pasta tossed with fresh, whole-milk mozzarella, spicy Italian sausage, roasted tomatoes, a splash of cream and gobs of fresh basil. I forgot to mention the 12 cloves of roasted, smooshed garlic.
Jack be nimble, my golly! My belly feels like it's already growing over my pants waistline and I have not even left our State.
Oh!!!! Be proud of me, pretty please. For those that know me well, I barely can plan a day out right in front of me. However, I actually picked out dates for cooking classes starting in September and October for the kids. Shocking, I know. I actually planned ahead and surprisingly it feels really good.
So for all you planners that like to get your calendars penciled in months in advance, the potential "save the dates" are under the kids in the kitchen page.
I feel as if I am finally coming up for air after a very long swim across the pool, catching my breath and feeling almost normal again. Whatever almost normal is for me. I guess that would be back to mowing the lawn, tending the garden, and all the other things that have not been done since last Thursday.
The past several weeks have been a whirlwind of family and friends, revolving doors of people at our home, what feels like a million grocery store trips, & lots of prayers. After we hosted the wedding festivities for Noah and Lauren, I was bored, haha, can you imagine me bored? (I think I need to paint my kitchen right now between weddings because I have nothing else to do).. so I did.
Have I ever mentioned to you that I don't sit very long? More than likely too many loads of laundry to count on three sets of hands, planning and executing the logistics of entertaining and hosting an outdoor wedding, and then preparing for hosting a rehearsal dinner for 30 at an Airbnb we've never been to... and attending a wedding on the other side of the mountains.
It's no wonder I forgot my clothes and packed weird things. Here are a few photos for you to enjoy our weekend away. Family,, a beautiful bride, cousins, friends, cute babies, babies in water, people eating food..( Walmart pizzas for rehearsal dinner) gasp... I did get several compliments on how delicious the pizza was and they could not believe it was from Walmart, haha.
Add some extra fresh veggies and a pile of fresh mozzarella cheese along with fresh basil and you have created magic from a box. I did not take many photos...So these are a random collection that is starting to surface from different guests at the wedding.
Our weekend of celebrating graduations and a special wedding on the other side of the mountains started yesterday. Tom and I packed up our car with everything but the kitchen sink.. not a single spot left for any extra people, full to the brim with stuff.
We were reminiscing about how we used to go camping over to Lake Chelan sometimes, 10 days at a time with our six boys. I can't even imagine, and barely can remember that we actually took on that responsibility! Seriously, the amount of stuff that Tom and I have in this car without any kids... Then thinking back to packing our suburban to the gills, piled high with kids and all their treasures.
Last night I opened my suitcase only to find three bras, two pairs of socks, two curling irons ( which I never use and for some reason thought I might need them this week) one pair of shorts two swimsuits, cowboy boots, a pair of sweatpants & t-shirt and nothing else. Remember, our car was loaded to the gills with food... Packing clothes was not the first priority apparently and food is always the most important. When you go on road trips, are you like us and digging into the snack bag 1 mile down the road or already wanting to stop at a drive-thru?
I did remember my dress for the wedding so there is that.. 😊 but Tom forgot his clothes for the wedding. I almost took a picture of my suitcase and it's contents... Tom and I were laughing so hard at what we found in my suitcase, I honestly do not even think I was thinking with a clear mind while packing... I've never been a great packer for vacation but this trip I have sunk to a new level of bad packing.
If you're reading this and you know bad guys that like to go in people's homes while they are away, please let them know our house is being cared for by house sitters- real live people and their German Shepherd.
If you're going on vacation anytime soon, start packing now, and really think about what you put in your suitcase, a checklist would be very helpful especially if you're over the age of 49.