A Mish Mash of Life

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Roasting a chicken at 9:30 AM in 90 degree weather…why not?

I’ve been addicted to these three seasonings lately.

We do have central air conditioning, but with several days in a row of very hot weather, even the air conditioner let’s out a sigh of relief when I am able to shut it down and open the windows after dark. I can’t complain about the weather, other than I don’t like having the house closed up during the day. I love the sun and love the heat. The dogs have been rather lazy though and I’ve had to coax them outside to get some sun and fresh air. Seems they’ve become a little spoiled in the cool house.

The reason I’m roasting a chicken at breakfast is because upon returning home from our camping trip, I realized that we have a freezer full of organic meat. What’s wrong with that you ask? Well, if our house sells quickly (God willing!) we won’t be able to take it with us because only a minimal amount will fit in our trailer freezer as we trek across the country from Washington to New Hampshire. And as I’m sure you know, organic meat is not cheap. My poor husband is only home for two dinners a week lately if that, so if the house sells “quickly” the math doesn’t add up if I keep making myself toast for dinner while he’s gone. So I decided yesterday that I would roast a chicken so I could have roast chicken and vegetables for lunch and then use the remainder of the chicken for “other” dishes throughout the week while he’s gone. And of course, maybe a little special snack or two for the pups. Then I’ll have to force myself to make a proper dinner instead of toast or crackers and goat cheese at least a few times a week so I can whittle down our freezer meats and fish .

So as I mentioned, we are selling our house…we haven’t had any bites yet. A lot of people have looked at it on various websites, but no offers have come in and no one has been by to look at it! The Realtor assures us it’s because of the wonky weekends around the 4th of July holiday with people traveling and such. He assured us that because we priced it reasonably it will sell within 60 days. It’s only been 13 days, so maybe I’m being a little hyper… I’d like to believe him but my inner, anxiety ridden, worrier mechanism that I try to beat down and keep at a low murmur, thinks differently. We’ll see. I would really rather not move across the country in the middle of the winter.

I’m trying of course to see this entire thing as the huge blessing that it is. The move is exciting, buying a new home is exciting, seeing and experiencing new things is very exciting. But the details and keeping the house spotless at all times, and the thinking, thinking, thinking, and not knowing…that part is highly annoying! So this morning, I’m throwing caution to the wind. I sit here still in my pajamas with raccoon circles under my eyes because I was too lazy to remove my mascara last night after a Home Owner’s Association meeting from hell, my feet are up on the stool next to me while I type, and my house is not spotless. See how rebellious I am? (ha) If I have to clean at the speed of lightning and rush out of here like my hair is on fire with dogs and cat in tow so someone can look at our house, then so be it. Today, I’m doing what I want to do. Which so far hasn’t amounted to a whole heck of a lot!

I mentioned up above that we recently returned from a camping trip. It was amazingly relaxing. My husband and I both knew we needed it, but I don’t think we knew how much we really needed it. We were in bed by 10:00 every night, slept in until 7:00 every morning. I usually hop out of bed around 4:30 or 5:00 each morning, so I guess I needed those extra few hours! The sleep was blissful. The rest was blissful. The scenery was gorgeous, the bird and the water sounds were like salve to my soul. I only made it home with one mosquito bite. Life is good.

And the sun and heat. Oh. My. Goodness. We’ve endured a long, wet, winter and spring and waited a long time for the sun to finally show itself.

We were able to sit in the evenings in front of our trailer and watch Osprey hunt in the water, watch swarms of birds fly around feasting on the evening bugs, and were even able on a couple of occasions to get a good look at a Bald Eagle. On our last morning, just up from the end of our trailer a mama deer trusted us enough to allow us a look at her new fawn. It was adorable. Bouncing around and enjoying the morning. My camera had broken the day before…so no pictures of mama and baby. More about that later.

Of course for us, food is a big part of camping. I didn’t take pictures of everything and didn’t write down recipes for my food or my mother in law’s, but this will give you an idea of what we were enjoying.

These are Cecelia’s pickled onions from thekitchensgarden. I used rice vinegar, peppercorns, thyme, rosemary, and garlic cloves to season mine. And by the way, I love her blog. I look forward to it every morning and it’s the first one I look for out of about 30 that I follow. Take a look through some of her posts and read her About Me section, and you’ll soon understand why I look forward to it every day.

This is a typical macaroni salad, except mine is made with gluten-free pasta and olive oil mayo. Make sure you make extra dressing if you’re not going to serve it immediately. Then, stir in the reserved dressing right before serving.

These are organic, gluten-free and dairy free, handmade sausages from one of our local specialty stores. I was not impressed. But then again, when the butcher assured me they were gluten-free and dairy free and I asked for two of the chicken and jalapeno sausages he said, “Now those have jalapeno, is that gluten?” Yikes. I wanted to snort and roll my eyes, but I didn’t. I asked kindly if I could look at their ingredient list.

This is a cherry pie, of course. I wasn’t extremely impressed with it either. I haven’t made a pie in a very long time and it seems I’ve gotten a bit rusty. Looks like I will have to bake a nice pie once a week until I can get it right and get my mojo back. I didn’t hear anyone argue with that logic.

This is a Namaste brownie. It’s by far the best allergen free brownie mix I’ve tried. And I have tried a few! You can freeze them and they are just as delicious as when they are fresh.

This is one of my favorite summer cocktails. Meyer’s Dark Rum, Knudsen’s all natural Tangerine Spritzer, the juice of 1/2 Clementine, and the juice of 1/2 Lemon. I call it the Yummy Rummy.

This is my homemade creamy sheep’s milk cheese salad dressing. When you can’t eat dairy, a creamy salad dressing on your greens is heavenly every once in a while. It’s just sheep’s milk cheese, olive oil mayo, rice vinegar, ground pepper, and any seasoning you like. This time I used the Bragg’s seasoning I pictured above and dill.

I also made another dressing/spread that I called creamy pesto. It was just a few spoonfuls of homemade pesto, olive oil mayo, and lemon juice. It was incredible both as a salad dressing and a spread. Unfortunately I was so intent on eating it, I didn’t get a photo.

This is my mother in law’s meat spaghetti sauce on top of gluten-free noodles. Her sauce is wonderful. Rich and flavorful and making me wish I had some right now! I wasn’t lying when I said I hadn’t accomplished much today. It’s now 6:30 PM and I am just adding photos to the post. I did manage to get out of my jammies and remove the raccoon look though. I also did some laundry, and squeezed in a little nap. It was a heavenly day…

This is just one of many delicious lunches we enjoyed. A BLT with avocado, red onion, and creamy pesto spread.  The salad has a mixture of the creamy dressing and homemade thousand island dressing I made. You can Google the thousand island, it’s so easy! That’s my favorite gluten-free beer.

We took Chloe camping with us for the first time. It will be a good precursor for the trip back east. It wasn’t as weird or as difficult as I thought it was going to be.

Evidently, this particular cigar has received the highest rating ever for a cigar. I know absolutely nothing about cigars, but my husband assures me this is true information. And no, that is not my hairy arm! This is just one of many cigars my husband was able to enjoy on his much-needed vacation.

Here he is, kicked back and enjoying an evening of chatting with his parents. I can’t quite believe we will be married 21 years on the 25th of July. Time goes by so quickly! I am truly blessed and thankful that he is mine.

Every morning I woke up to this out of our bedroom door, which we left open every night so we could hear nature and see the moon and stars. Wonder what the view is like from up there?

The only bummer of our trip was that my camera broke right when we headed into Lake Chelan (about 60 miles from where we were camping in Winthrop, WA) on our third day. I’m sure you’ve noticed that some of my pictures above are not exactly up to par. Something was wrong with my shutter and as I was getting my camera ready and experimenting, I was only able to get these two shots right as we got out of the car. And then it wouldn’t work. (Enter sad violin music here…)

After this last photo, the camera completely seized up. Certainly makes you appreciate the finer things in life. The little pocket Kodak is not quite the same experience.

Lake Chelan is absolutely gorgeous. The water is deep blue and you can see right through it to the light-colored sand below. It’s a 50 mile long, glacier fed lake. Just gorgeous. I could have taken so many wonderful pictures for you! But such is life. I guess it’s a good reminder that we probably depend on these gadgets instead of memory far too much. So for now, I will have to live with our little pocket Kodak until my camera is repaired.

We toured around the town for a bit, ate lunch, and then went wine tasting at a few of the local wineries. If I couldn’t take pictures…then my next agenda was to sample a lot of wine and do some stocking up of west coast wines before we make the big move. And stock up, I did. From Tsillan Winery, Lake Chelan Winery, and one of my all time favorites, Lost River Winery. I hope I make friends quickly in our new home, my husband doesn’t drink. If not, my posts might take on a new look if I have to drink all this on my own!

Well, the day has sped by and it is now 6:41 PM. I think I’ll head out into the yard and mill around. It has dropped from 94 to 93 so it doesn’t look like we are going to get much of a reprieve from the heat until later tonight. I’m tired of the house being shut up tight, so I’ll open it up and just be thankful that summer is finally here.

I hope you all had a lovely and relaxing Independence Day!