Monday, December 28, 2009

10 Minute Challenge

Amazing what can be accomplished when one simply makes the commitment to give a certain task attention for a small amount of time each day. I have completed the "Wood Rose" project, a pattern designed by Laura Pierce. Having taken the 10-Minute Challenge on September 21, I forged on when frustrated by trying to match dye formulas (note to self: take even better dye notes!), when I might not have otherwise done so. I was pleasantly surprised to find some yarn for whipping that perfectly matched the background wool.

Now I need to settle on my next project – perhaps one of those UFOs (Un-Finished Objects) I have stashed away in the back room. Heading into a busy time at work, I am tempted to take a break from the challenge, but just like going to the gym, I know it's easier to keep going than to take a break and try to start again!

Imagine what could be accomplished in every area of life if we just gave it a little bit of attention…

Christmas . . .

Well, even though most of the cookies have been consumed, I did take a couple more pictures. These cashew cookies are another standby favorite. The recipe is from a wonderful woman, one of my first mentors – "Cillar". She was a second (or third or once removed or something or other!) cousin to my mother. I always saw her as such a free spirit. She died way too young – in her late 40's perhaps? My first degree was in early childhood education because I so admired the work she did with Head Start as it was beginning in the 60's. She and her three children lived in Iowa City; her husband was a funeral director and as kids we used to love playing in the funeral home. Her daughter Melissa was the maid of honor at my first wedding. One time while visiting her, everyone had somewhere they needed to be and I was left alone at home all evening. Cillar handed me a little book that she thought I might enjoy reading to pass the time. That book was "Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah" by Richard Bach and it resonated deeply within me. Amazing how a cookie can take you down memory lane.
Christmas was very quiet and very enjoyable. Dante went to Medford to visit his mom and friends we usually spend holidays with were out of town. A dear friend came over and we prepared prawns the size the rib eye steaks, homemade pasta with leeks, and salad. It always comes back to food, doesn't it? Sue helped me work on a current quilt project…a perfect way to spend an afternoon.
We've been talking about playing mahjong for years and Christmas Day seemed like the perfect time to learn. Takashi hasn't played in nearly 30 years, claiming we needed to have a special table to do so. About four years ago, we bought the materials to build a table top that would sit on top of a card table so we dug out the materials along with the mahjong set, downloaded some tips on playing from the internet and found a book at the library that explained Japanese rules in English. Takashi has a well-worn book but since it was all in Japanese we weren't trusting him to guide us.

Mah jong is an incredibly complex game and we didn't get far…but we will try again…maybe.
My favorite Christmas activity is always the Christmas Eve Candle Lighting service. There is something magical about the story, the music, and the candles that touches me every year. And it just isn't Christmas until I've heard "O Holy Night".

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Baking

Christmas baking has started early … we're going to a Christmas party/dinner tomorrow and bringing dessert. I haven't made my mom's wonderful "Mrs. Claus's Fudge" in years. Oh my! It's just as wonderful as I remember.
I do make cherry coconut bars every year – at least one double batch. I wonder where mom got this recipe? It is absolutely wonderful…here it is:
Pastry: 1 cup flour    ½ cup butter    3 tsp. confectioner's sugar
Filling: 2 slightly beaten eggs    1 tsp. vanilla    1 cup sugar    ¾ cup chopped nuts
¼ cup flour    ½ cup coconut    ¼ tsp. salt    ½ cup quartered maraschino cherries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, butter, and confectioner's sugar with hands until smooth. Press into 8 inch square pan. Bake 25 minutes.
Mix filling ingredients. Spread over top of baked pastry (no need to cool) Bake 25-30 minutes or until browned.
I always make a double batch and put it in a 13X9 pan.
And no…I'm not sharing ;-)

10 Minute Challenge Update

Continuing my commitment to the 10-Minute Hooking Challenge has been…a challenge. I am grateful that I made the commitment during sabbatical in order to establish the habit before my return to work. While the 10 minutes is now closer to actually being 10 minutes than the 90 minutes it was turning out to be, I still see progress and it keeps me motivated. I must remind myself that much of my inspiration for Sunday talks comes when otherwise engaged in creative pursuits such as hooking, quilting, etc. Why do I always seem to make "work" be difficult?
So here is the current project that I started November 9. It would have been completed over a week ago had I not had to struggle with dyeing more background. After several tries, I got some that was just a tad bit lighter – it worked well in the center of the piece. Today I redyed some a bit darker to use around the edges. I think this will work…hooray!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dyeing Frustration

Here is the progress on my latest 10 Minute challenge rug.

Unfortunately I ran out of background wool – arrgghh! I have notes and was fairly certain that I knew which formula this was – the piece I had been using was something I dyed when playing around with the "wandering" dye method last Spring. The color is off…too bright. It is simply Cushings "wine" over gray Dorr wool and is quite beautiful but not the same as I've been using. After further digging through notes, I think perhaps that was wrong formula…should be wine over light blue followed by mulberry. Hopefully I can carve out enough time to quickly dye that tomorrow.
As I was hooking this piece, it became evident fairly early on that I would not have enough wool for the background but knowing that I had the formula, I kept hooking. I did hook the background at all different points around the pattern in case whatever I dyed was a tad bit off but as you can see, this is just too different. Back to the dye pots!


Finally took a picture of the entrelac scarf. This is such a fun pattern! I am not much of a knitter but this is do-able even for me – just don't look too closely.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Entrelac Distraction & Thanksgiving

I haven't been posting for a few weeks but I have a multitude of excuses, the first one being – entrelac! I've never been much of a knitter – every scarf seems to turn into a triangle and I never knew how to correct mistakes or go back and make adjustments. About one year ago, my dear (and VERY patient!) friend, Sue Whitmore was actually able to teach me to knit socks. I was hooked! I've made about 7-8 pairs this year. Then this Spring while in our local yarn shop, The Wool Company, (a wonderful shop and the owners are delightful), I saw this very unique scarf using entrelac technique. Entrelac is a knitting technique used to create a textured diamond pattern. While the end result resembles basket-woven strips of knitted fabric, the actual material comprises interconnected squares on two different orientations. Check out a tutorial for this scarf at After many read-throughs and a couple of false starts, I enlisted Sue's help once again. After a couple of afternoons of knitting and ripping out, I think we've finally got it! It's such fun but requires quite a bit of attention in the beginning. I haven't taken a picture yet but will do so soon. Just don't look too closely!
The main reason I have not been posting is that I returned to church – yep, sabbatical time is over. I attended last week for our annual Thanksgiving breakfast and Gratitude service. It's one of my favorites. Whoever wishes to do so is given the opportunity to express their gratitude or share a story. It is a touching and inspirational service. Afterward, we decorated the church for Christmas since tomorrow is the beginning of Advent. Here's my Board President…

Another reason I love Thanksgiving is that it is our wedding anniversary. From my wonderful husband:
  On Thanksgiving 1998, Takashi and I were married on the back patio of my childhood home in St. Charles, IL.  All three of Takashi's kids flew out from OR & CO, my brother and his family came from VA and my sister and her husband came from MN.  Fortunately Linda is Methodist pastor so we were able to be very relaxed about the whole thing.
This Thanksgiving was small in number but huge in food...just 5 of us.  The turkey with apple-cranberry glaze was brined using kosher salt, crab boil spice packet (yes, I use that for pickles too) & coriander and was the best ever. The brining was accomplished with a large plastic bag in the canner using two other water filled bags engineered to allow the bird to be surrounded by the brine.  The menu was rounded out with sausage-chestnut stuffing, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, glazed pecan carrots, pear harvest salad, Bandon cranberries, fruit jello mold, and Parmesan knots.  Then there was dessert - Dutch apple pie, pecan tassies, and pumpkin bread with cream cheese filling. 

Speaking of apples - here's one that was left on the tree - Takashi picked it on Thanksgiving and we had to weigh it - one apple = 1 3/4 pounds!

Here's an uninvited holiday visitor who has been driving Musashi the Wonder Weiner dog crazy!  He sits out on the deck bench and eats apples out of my bucket of apples to be used later...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Another Project

This week I pulled out my sewing machine and some fabric I bought in Japan two trips ago. I decided to make a table runner and placemats. I topstitched around the edges but did not do any quilting on them yet. We used them on the table tonight and I still haven't decided if I want to do some "meandering" quilting on them or not.

The days are flying by and I feel a sense of urgency as the time to return to work draws near. This weekend I cleaned out more kitchen cabinets; we've cleaned out our garage, the backroom of the rental next door, the shed, and on and on it goes. Hmmm, I think Takashi may be happy to have me return to work!

More Fun in the Kitchen

We have been enjoying some wonderful meals lately…rediscovering some old favorites and trying some new things. We all enjoy tabletop cooking. We've have been using an ancient butane burner that was getting crankier and bordered on being dangerous. Takashi found a great new burner online for only $20.00. We ended up buying three of them – one for our wonderful neighbor/tenant and two for us so we can more easily accommodate more dinner guests. Time to try some new dishes!

Nabe is "one pot" cooking prepared at the table in a clay pot with water or broth using a variety of ingredients . We've been fans of shabu shabu (swish swish) for years – we usually use beef, cabbage, tofu, mushrooms and a variety of other vegetables which are cooked in the pot and then dipped in ponzu sauce with some grated horseradish. We picked up some halibut down at the fish market and it was wonderful!

Last night we made chestnut rice, a traditional fall dish to go with our Korean tabletop barbecue (we used shrimp, peppers, oyster mushrooms, and shitake for the barbecue). I love chestnuts but roasting and shelling them is not easy!! It was worth it though – here's the rice with chestnuts and shitakes in the rice cooker with a little sake added to the cooking water. Yum!

Takashi also made mochi last night for the first time – pounded it by hand – he is looking online at this very moment for a mocha maker! It was delicious coated with kinako – roasted soybean flour. It disappeared before I could get a photo.

Fun in the Kitchen

Having some extra time has allowed both Takashi and I the opportunity to play in the kitchen and it has been very satisfying. I've rediscovered the joy of making my own pasta – it started with the udon and has continued since then. And canning! Oh I had forgotten how much that feeds my soul. One thing I've never made is pickles. The growing season on the Coast is just not conducive to tomatoes but we had to at least try since we have the deer fence this year. We had a few ripe ones but mostly we had a ton of green tomatoes left. I had a few of the spices used for pickles but not all of them so went to the grocery store to pick up some premixed "pickling spices" – yowzers! – expensive! As I looked at the ingredients, I thought, "Hmmmm, this seems familiar." So I checked out the box of "crab & shrimp boil" – yep, almost identical and a fraction of the cost. What the heck, I decided to try it. I threw in some whole garlic cloves, fennel, onions, and jalapenos. Here's the result:

They looked okay…so I put one jar in the fridge and the rest in the pantry. Last week, we opened up the first jar and were amazed! These pickles are absolutely delicious! All three of us really liked them. Guess what we're planting next year?


This past week I completed the "Perfect Harmony" hooking. This was such a fun project. Glad to have the cording, whipping, and binding done. I may do a bit of embellishment at some later date – maybe some beads for shirt buttons….not sure…will see what transpires!
So it was time to start a new project in order to continue my 10 minute daily commitment. This pushed me up against my primary challenge – initiation! How to start a project so quickly…what to hook…how to color plan…what cut do I use??? Help! These are the times when I really miss having a hooking buddy or two nearby or access to a teacher – it is a tremendous help with motivation and inspiration.

Finally I decided to just pick something and do it – who says I have to continue with the same project, right? And if I don't like it , I can always do some "reverse hooking"! I finally chose a pattern by Laura Pierce – sweet little piece called "Wood Rose". Her patterns are lovely – wonderful high-quality backing. Grabbed some wool I dyed last Spring that really wanted to be background…going with very simple color plan and see what transpires.

Friday, October 30, 2009

10 Minute Challenge Update

I have such good intentions about posting things on this blog…and somehow the days zoom by and it just hasn't happened. Ah well, there are no blog police….are there??

I have been faithful with the 10 minute hooking challenge since starting September 21. A lot has been accomplished over the past month! I've posted "Rufous" – this is a piece I hooked last April in honor of my sweet weiner dog that passed on August 2008. Upon finishing, I couldn't find any yarn that would even remotely match the background for whipping. The background was an "oddball" piece I picked up at Friends by the Sea and I had to stretch just to have enough for the hooking – nothing left over for finishing. And it's an odd blue – rather turquoise in most light. All the yarn in my stash and at our local yarn shop clashed terribly so I rolled up the hooking and tucked it away. This past week I decided to make another trip to the yarn store and this time they had some wool that at least coordinated with the background. So my challenge minutes were mostly spent finishing this mat. It's about 14X14. I did all the dyeing for the fur…

Also got most of the hooking done on "Perfect Harmony" and am posting a closeup photo of one of the girl's hair. This was a fun piece and I hope to get the finishing done on it this next week.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

10 Minute Challenge

Here's this week's progress….once I got started on the border, it went pretty fast. Now I need to redo some of the clothing and give a few kids some hair….almost there!

Homemade Udon

The other day I dragged out my old pasta machine and we made udon. Udon are thick Japanese noodles, usually served in a broth. We love 'yakiudon' – fried noodles with veggies. This time we served our udon in soup with inari and tempura shrimp. Yummy!

I made my own noodles for years and during this sabbatical time it has been very satisfying to return to these activities that feed my soul (and my tummy). Later in the week we made spaghetti with fresh herbs from the garden. Life is good

Apples, Apples, Apples

I grew up with apples…we had a small orchard in our backyard. Apple trees are great climbing trees. My best friend, Mary Grace, and I used to climb up in the tree and discuss the secrets of life when we were in grade school. But these trees…they produce a lot of…well, apples. And you have to do something with those apples. As kids, it was our job to pick up all the apples that had fallen off the tree and put them in buckets…ewwww, those were some stinky apples in hot, humid Illinois. I have two older (much older <ggg>) siblings so they constantly tricked me or threatened me into picking up the most apples.

Mom made the best apple squares – using lard! – and Dutch apple pies and of course, applesauce. One of my favorite memories is from kindergarten when she came to my classroom and helped us all make applesauce. I was so shy in kindergarten that I never spoke a word out loud so it was a memorable day for me to have the reassurance of my "mommy" with me, even if it was just that one day. In fact, I just recently came across the big thank-you letter our teacher/class wrote to mom.

So here I am now in a house that has an apple tree right off the back deck. Every year I make a few Dutch apple pies and then we pick up the rest and pile them up for the deer. This year the tree produced the most beautiful, biggest apples it ever has in over ten years. Being on sabbatical, I decided to return to my "past life" and made applesauce. Ahhh, the smells and tastes of childhood! And yes, there was still a wheelbarrow full of apples left for the deer, with more on the tree.

It is so satisfying to me to pick the fruit or vegetables and then can or freeze them for the long winter nights ahead. I've missed that over these past years I've been in Oregon. This year, I have pureed squash to freeze for making soup later, made pesto, blackberry jam…and now applesauce will go on the shelves. A taste of childhood. A taste of the past. Satisfying indeed.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Primary Colors

Sir Isaac Newton developed the first circular diagram of colors in 1666 and countless scientists and artists have studied color since that time. For some reason, color theory stymies me. Maybe I just have a block about it – sorta like square roots and stuff like that. As soon as I start reading about primary, secondary, tertiary, complementary, analogous --- my eyes glaze over and my head screams, "I just want something pretty!"

A good "color sense" and some rudimentary knowledge of color theory goes far in designing rugs or quilts and especially in dyeing. I remember the first time Leota (the dear woman who taught me how too hook) pulled out a huge poster board with little snippets of color pasted all over in a circle and suggested that I memorize it. Hey, I just wanna make pretty rugs!
This week I wanted to dye some primary colors for the border of "Perfect Harmony" rug. I have lots of eight-value swatches in my stash but seem to be short on larger pieces of basic colors. It's difficult for my head to wrap around the concept that dyeing a piece of yellow wool means I have to pull out not only a yellow dye, but some red and blue dyes as well. April from Red Jack rugs calls yellow, red, and blue the "magic colors". I like that!

Imagine…all the colors in the universe can be created from just these three colors! Every beauteous shade and hue is a result of a unique combination of these magic colors. Each one of us is an individual, shining our light in different ways, beautiful and unique to ourselves. And yet, when it gets right down to it…we are all made up of the same magic qualities. I don't know how you might name the three constituent parts of ourselves – mind, body, spirit? Love, imagination, faith? Doesn't much matter…as Hans Hofmann said, "It is not the form that dictates the color, but the color that brings out the form."

Anyway….here's what the dye pot yielded last week (along with the two pics above)…

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

10 Minute Challenge - Week 2

Here is progress after the second week of participating in the 10 Minute challenge. I am just squeaking by with wool for the sky - I have some much darker and lighter values remaining. I am realizing that I tend to use mostly middle values in my hooking. I've noticed that the #3-5 values always get used up first and I have lots of 1, 2, 7, 8 and some 6 leftover (a swatch is generally dyed with 8 values of a specific color formula). Yesterday was spent dyeing primary colors for the border...more about that later!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Notan - Light & Dark

One of the online rug hooking groups to which I belong has a section called "Creation & Expansion". This group is moderated by an incredibly talented and generous "hooker", Wanda Kerr in Canada. (Here is her blog:

Wanda comes up with some great exercises. Recently she introduced us to a concept called "Notan". From Nōtan (濃淡) is a Japanese design concept involving the play and placement of light and dark next to the other in art and imagery. This use of light and dark translates shape and form into flat shapes on a two-dimensional surface. Nōtan is traditionally presented in paint, ink, or cut paper, but it is relevant to a host of modern day image-making techniques, such as lithography in printmaking, and rotoscoping in animation.

Here is my first try - this is cut from a 6X6 piece of black paper...all I can see when I look at it is a woman dancing, dressed as a gift box!

Next I did just a couple of little things which I think would be great in a hooked rug border...wonderful reminder to look for the light/dark in my rugs and other projects.

As I worked on this process, my brain grappled with the idea of positive/negative space and the play of light against dark. Sometimes as I was cutting, it was hard to remember what I was looking at - is this a black part? Or is it the edge of a white space?

Reminds me of life...sometimes I get so focused on the "dark" parts that seem to have so much more weight and form than the white spaces. Troubling situations, stresses, circumstances are all that I can see. But if I train my eye to see the "negative space" - the white/light parts - as well, I realize there is always peace at the center, a calm that underlies all that is happening on my palette of life. This blank page is mine to create the shapes I wish to see manifest in my life and in the world. It has been said that the imagination is the scissors of the mind - let me cut those shapes wisely, ever remembering the peace that is the foundation of my heart, mind, and soul.

10 Minute Challenge - Week One

Wow! Amazing what can be accomplished with the commitment to spend 10 minutes each day hooking. This exercise has really reinforced the fact that my major obstacle is initiation - once begun, a project grabs my attention and away we go.

Here is the progress on "World of Harmony" after one week...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Musings on Foot Cream & Consciousness

As I was rubbing some of the wonderful emu oil/shea butter foot cream that I made last week, into my feet this morning, it occurred to me that the properties of various oils used in making bath & body products are similar to the properties of the thoughts that are used in making up our consciousness.

Some oils are carrier oils - emu oil is like this, penetrating deep into the layers of skin and taking with it the healing properties of other oils with which it is combined. Rubbing some tea tree oil on your skin is good, but if you want it to really penetrate, emu oil will help "carry" it's healing properties deeper. Affirmations (essential oils) are great - they remind us of Truth with a capital "T". They point us in a positive direction. But unless they penetrate deep into our hearts, minds, and souls, their effect is somewhat superficial and not lasting. Consistently and persistently coming from a place of love rather than from fear acts like emu oil. Love carries positive affirmations deep into our consciousness, helping to heal and transform us.

Other oils are protectants - shea butter is particularly helpful for damaged skin, helping to restore elasticity. Prayer and meditation act as a protectant from the negativity and limited thinking we encounter in the media and in the world around us. It keeps our mind open and flexible - elastic.

So here's what I learned from my foot cream - remain centered in love, transform through positive affirmation and protect your sweet spirit with prayer & meditation.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

10-Minute Challenge

I started the 10-minute rug hooking challenge on expected, 10 minutes most often turns into 45. Here is a picture of current rug at beginning of the challenge.

Unfortunately it became obvious last night that I would not have enough wool to complete the sky. Thus followed a frantic search for my notes from when I first dyed this wool - fortunately I was able to find them and I hit the dye pots today. I have been told for years to keep detailed notes whenever dyeing. I've not often done so, but this time I guess I listened. Whew! So many factors enter into the process - water temperature, placement and timing of adding various dyes, how frequently and vigorously the pot is stirred - but I think I got some usable "sky" wool. There are a couple of darker values that can be worked in....original "sky" is on the left - today's dyeing is on the right. Yippee! Tomorrow, it's back to hooking...10 more minutes.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ten-Minute Rug Hooking Challenge

Initiation - getting started on a project -any project! - has always been one of my greatest challenges. Once begun, I enjoy just about whatever I find myself's that first push to get started that trips me up.

April DeConick of Red Jack Rugs ( is a fellow blogger and rug hooker. She came up with a great idea to inspire hookers to keep focused and working - work on your rugs 10 minutes a day, six days a week (excluding holidays) for at least six months. Brilliant! Work" includes anything rug-related: designing, drawing, laying out, dyeing, hooking, binding, even shopping for materials.

Okay, it's time to get serious about getting into gear. I'm taking the challenge and I'm starting today! It may take me 10 minutes to gather my materials and get ready to hook - does that count? I know once I get started, I will very likely work for more than 10 minutes...okay, I'm off to begin the fun!

Still in the kitchen

Still putzing around the kitchen... This time I've been "cooking up" some creams. Several years ago, with the help of LOTS of websites and online groups, I came up with something called "No More Owies" - it's a cream filled with wonderful oils and MSM that works like tiger balm without the smell or stickiness. I also came up with a hand and foot cream featuring bulgarian lavendar essential oil and tea tree oil. Both have emu oil as one of the main ingredients. Emu oil has amazing healing properties and penetrates deep into the tissue, thus acting as a carrier oil for other goodies, like MSM (a great anti-inflammatory). I also emu oil to make my own soap. I use shea butter in most everything I make as it is a great protectant.

At one time I had the idea I could sell these types of products and make a little extra money. Very quickly I realized that doing so takes all the fun out of the process so now I just make things for myself and a few friends. I enjoy the freedom of experimenting and playing around with different recipes and techniques.

Making lotions, creams, and soaps is just such a magical process. Who says oil and water don't mix? I love the way things change color and consistency, the effect of different temperatures, properties of different oils and all the little tricks that go into creating these wonderful things. And most of feet are very happy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Getting into the Kitchen

Just as it can be a challenge to "get it into gear" in the work setting, the same is true when taking a time away from work. I've found myself at loose ends, worried this precious time will slip by too quickly and I won't have accomplished anything (hmmmm, that's not the point of time off!), or that I won't use the time wisely in engaging in my favorite activities (you know, those things I always have LOTS of plans for, especially when I'm at my busiest). This is a lesson in relaxing into being, taking cues from Spirit, and doing whatever catches my fancy at the moment.

Cooking (or just putzing around in the kitchen) is one of my favorite ways to relax. I love the colors and how they change with heat, the aromas, the sizzle in the pan and the pure magic that takes place in the kitchen. And yes, of course, I love to eat!

We've been trying some new things lately (aren't we always?) - we harvested our shiso and and made shiso juice using my mother-in-law's recipe. The first challenge was to have Takashi translate it from Japanese and the second was to convert grams into ounces and then use the postal scale to measure ingredients. Shiso juice is a refreshing summertime drink - a concentrate is made by boiling the leaves and then adding sugar and citric acid. We've always had red shiso juice in Japan so we were curious to see what would happen with our green shiso. Yep...there's that magic I'm talking about! It turned out a beautiful shade of crimson, diluted with ice and water we have lovely and delious pink juice.

Next on the list of "we gotta try" was takoyaki or "octopus balls" (yeah, I know what you're thinking). This delicious street vendor food is like a crispy, yummy, gooey dumpling filled with octopus, ginger and other goodies. On our way home from Silverton last weekend, we stopped at the wonderful Asian grocery in Eugene - Sunrise Market, where we uncovered a takoyaki pan. After some searching in the backroom for the handle, we headed home and Sunday was takoyaki day.

After watching a number of youtube videos on how to make takoyaki, we headed for the kitchen. We had been forewarned that the first few batches might stick. They were right. So we have photos of them cooking, but not the finished product. Rest assured, the taste was not affected.

This week was also time to harvest basil and make pesto to freeze for use over the winter months. Basil can be finicky in our coastal climate but we bought quite a few plants this year and should be set for the winter.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Blessing of the Bogs

Yep, I'm on sabbatical but I couldn't miss the 10th annual blessing of the cranberry bogs to kick off Bandon's Cranberry Festival. It was an incredible morning on the coast - sunny and warm. Not sure if it stayed that way or not as Takashi and I immediately headed up to Silverton so I could perform a wedding in the nearly 100 degree heat. I am SO happy to live in beautiful Bandon-by-the-Sea.

Anyway, I was happy to join three of my favorite people - "RevMum", Father Andrew and Pastor Les - as we blessed the harvest at the bogs on Randolph & 101. KCBY TV showed up along with the Cranberry Princesses & Prince.