Saturday, July 29, 2017

News From Mark

Susan Kisdinger's husband, Mark, wrote to tell us his wiifm passed away yesterday. He wanted the ladies to know he appreciates all their thoughtfulness in sending cards and letter.

"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed arethe dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."  Revelation 14:13

Thursday, July 27, 2017

European Guest Gets Country Clothes

Our visitor from Germany arrived late yesterday (above) at the local airport.

In the  photo below  he poses in front of one of our grand institutions on his first  excursion in the "New World." He is really curious about this place and we were not sure what would come of it. 

I forgot to take a picture of the shopping basket he loaded with new threads. He was a little hesitant about the plain styles but the prices eventually changed his mind:

Denim jeans, $9.00. We should have raided that section and bought them all. For that price I was wishing I knew more people who needed them!
A blue check shirt was $3.00. I think we should go back and get some more. 100/% cotton. 
Cool summer hat, below, $9.00.
A good use for the old Ford truck: a background prop for the "after" pictures.  You can't see it but he is chewing on a stick of hay. It didn't show up in the picture due to the bright sunlight. His mother said he looked very American.  He isn't sure this look will have much success for him in Germany but these clothes are very functional and conducive to the climate here (the temperature is rising).

Alexander says the clothes are comfortable out here in the sticks.

What do you think, ladies? Did we make a country boy out of him?  

The clothes aren't very slick looking, or stylish as he is accustomed to, but I think they will last a few years and eventually he will come to love them.  As you know, men marry their clothes (til death do they part) and I suspect he will not eagerly part with these. I will get pictures of the other clothing bargains he got, when he wears them. 

Stan is preparing  to take Alexander on a few excursions while he is here. I will be posting more pictures about that on this post. 

July 31: we put him to work and he wasn't unhappy about it. He sent some pictures to his parents of this scene:

Foreign worker stealing our jobs 😊

Sweeping the old CHEVY. (Thanks, ladies. The markings on the old truck are all faded out or gone. Thanks for correcting me. Yes,miss a Chevrolet.

Talking to his Mother in Germany.

Working all Night Long

The haying went on all night long, noise, lights, and all.  The workers didn't leave many of the straw city high-rises or castles for us to view today and the only picture I can show is this one pitiful little stack!

At night it is cooler and the dust is subdued by the dew, hence harvesting by moonlight, so we didn't get to see a daytime show.

 Last year I got to watch some very young people work these new  farm machines. There were lots of teen boys with their fathers, and what a marvellous job they did.

 I wish I could describe how one young man, maybe 18 years old (if even that old) baled, loaded and belted the hay blocks onto a long truck bed, tooted his horn at our family like a "show is over" tune, and carefully eased off the farm road onto the highway.

What a life for young men in their formative years--to be out ALL NIGHT with their parents blessings, working in a machine with conveniences on board--cellphones, music, air conditioning or heat, lights, packed lunches, thermoses full of sweet tea, and lots of commeraderie. 

It seems like it's easier on the women who get to stay home and sleep through the night, but it isn't exactly true.  The noise of all those trucks and tractors interrupt a good nights sleep.

Our cottage:

We have a visitor from Germany, a young man, young enough to be a grandson. We are going to persuade him to wear jeans, plaid shirt, cowboy hat and boots during his visit, so he won't be identified as a city slicker and looked down on 😉, and also so he can return to Germany looking like a country boy.  

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Harvest Show

I got so caught up in watching the latest farm equipment clear a field and make hay, that this is the only photo I got, after it was all done.  The way they made haystacks look like city buildings was interesting, and from afar, they looked like castles.

This is my vinyl wicker, which I quite like, because it can be left outside and even get caught in the water sprinkler with no damage.  

All is well here.

Sunday, July 23, 2017


(Photo by UK tea room from Pinterest)

The scone recipe I have had the most success with is from the Anne of Green Gables Cookbook, and you can see the recipe here:

I use only the most natural organic ingredients including the unbleached flour, pink salt or real-salt,
and I use the lightest tasting olive oil. Organic cream can be substituted for the oil and milk. The recipe works well for non dairy and you can use water instead of milk.  It is adaptable to adding sultanas, walnuts, dried cranberries, dried apricot bits and many other things.

I make this recipe into a scone recipe and do not cut out and assemble them the way it is shown in the recipe.  I simply make the biscuits like any ordinary biscuit and put the cold jam and cream on the tea table to be used according to personal preference.

The way the biscuits are assembled and cooked in the original recipe is a lot of trouble and the baked jam is not as good as fresh jams and cream, but every cook has to find out what works best and what they prefer.

It has been suggested that I make a video about these scones, and I shall certainly think about it seriously. Meanwhile, there are good techniques you can find on YouTube videos about making scones. 

I wanted to mention that in the US and Canada, home cooks do not generally use self-rising flour. Because we use flour for so many different things that require no baking powder, we find it more convenient to use all purpose flour, and many of us are using the unbromated, unbleached lighter flour--not brown flour.  Also with self-rising flour comes ingredients from the baking powder that you may not want, including aluminum.

As for leavening or baking powder, we prefer not to have the aluminum so we buy the non-aluminum baking powder. I make my own using arrowroot, cream of tarter and baking soda. You can find a recipe for homemade, natural baking powder on the web. The natural baking powder reduces the tin taste that often occurs in baking powder biscuits.  Be sure to read the label on your baking powder can. 

Tea and scones is something that can be done in your own yard in summer or in your warm cozy kitchen in colder weather.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Letter From Mark

For those who have been sending cards and letters to Susan Kissinger in hospice:

"Hi, my name is Mark, Susan's husband.I have been taking care of Susan for a few months.  Susan has terminal cancer.  On behalf of Susan, I want to thank everyone for your kind thoughts and cards.  I share each one with Susan."

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Sale

(This is a Pinterest picture from a British tea room)

Hello Ladies,

It's tea time here, and I have been up early hanging out laundry so I'm ready for cream scones and raspberry tea.  By the way, organic ingredients make much better, if not perfect scones. Your body is worth the extra care and cost of the best ingredients.

When the (waterproof) wicker settees with metal frames appeared in Walmart earlier this year, they were $50 each.  Today they were $19.00 and just two remaining, so I hastened to make a purchase.

I asked for help loading it in my car, and two young employees obliged. I asked them if they would stay by my car while I returned inside the store to get some chords to secure the trunk.

The men assured me the furniture would be safe without having guards, because, "Ma'am, I don't think anyone really wants it bad enough to go to the trouble of getting  it out of the car."

The other man said: "Besides, Ma'am,  anyone who steals it would have to lug it around, and you could spot the person a mile away carrying a stolen wicker settee."

They say "Ma'am" and "Sir" around here a lot, and especially at our Walmarts.

Not being accustomed to carrying large items that have to be tied down, it took me three trips back into the store to finally get the right sized chords:

The 24-inch length anchored the trunk lid well enough. It never moved at all the entire drive home, so I guess I figured out a new skill. We now have a new supply of bungee chords in the trunk. Every size.

While driving home, I laughed out loud at the Walmart employees and their description of someone awkwardly fleeing with the furniture after trying to get it out of the trunk. It was firmly wedged in there and never made a rattle all the way home.

It's always so satisfying to make a dollar stretch and still have something that looks rich, on the lawn. Besides all that I got a free story...although it is kind of what we call a "groaner."  By the way, there were several of the brown settees left, for the low price. 

Although these are all-weather outdoor things, they actually will crack if left in direct ice, snow, and heavy rain.  It is best to have covers for them if left outside in winter. Last year I brought my waterproof table and chairs in the house and used them.  

I always like taking pictures of the view from both sides of the window.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Travel Pictures

(This picture is from Pinterest, for those of you who do not have access to that place, and it illustrates my theme of creating a travel tea for the weary car traveler, and especially the driver. More on that, at the end.)

Today I am sharing some of the photos taken by a budding photographer who was riding in my car on our family reunion trip to The Mt. Hood area and through the small towns. We were avoiding the Portland freeways and driving the old highways and what a pleasure it was.

I also want to tell you who are having trouble shaking the summer coughing that may be due to so much farm dust and grass seed, that we have discovered Ricola Dual Action cherry cough drops (and other flavors in dual action) are very effective, especially at night.  You can have a good sleep without all that coughing. $1.88 at Walmart if you can get them. They are often sold out!

After posting this, I learned the best place to store these cough drops before and after opening the package is in the crisper drawer (for vegetables and fruit) of the refrigerator.  It prevents them getting sticky (when the wax paper wrappers stick) due to the frequent change of temperature in the house. 

I am including another Pinterest picture that I didn't put on the previous post, in keeping with my title of travel tea:

Also, some Pinterest car picnics and tea time pictures.

This isn't very tote-able, below but nice photo.
I hope to post. Little more on the subject of tea time travel, so look for more here or a new post.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Pictures of Contentment at Home

(Above picture is from Pinterest)

Hello Everyone,

Something ought to be done about the ignorant adults who  sneeze in your face in a public or private settings.  Even children know better!  I got a summer cough that Is only now subsiding but have been going ahead with my garden and house. Someone walked past me in a grocery store and that was that. There must be something each person who has been sneezed on can do or say to correct this national health threat.  I have been unable to talk much on phone or use Skype because of this cough so it put me quite out of tea with friends for awhile and no making videos til this subsides.

On to better news.

Before I got this cough, a friend came to visit and oh, how I loved just having her and her grown children making the normal noise of a home with talking, laughing, music, footsteps on the wood floor, food preparation, helping with things, fixing things, napping in chairs, reading and talking about everything interesting .  We were so content at home I forgot to take them several places I had planned.

My friend gave me a big bag of herbal tea made from calendula, uva ursi, juniper berry and other things. The picture above is just the way I make a cup of tea from the huge bag of fragrant herbs. By the way the tea makes me feel great.

My own photos here show some progress in the decorative gardens:

When the lawn gets greener I will post a whole picture of the house, after I get the porch swept and cleaned up.  Outdoor work is like having another house to take care of! 

For those of you who do not have access to Pinterest, I have collected these pictures of the way people are using their own yards for "outings" and hospitality, even for just themselves.

You may remember my sheet tents a few years ago, and how the trolls where mocking them to derision. Well it wasn't long before there were similar things all over the web, and Pinterest had plenty of glamorous back yard sheet tents!  This one is from Pinterest but I do plan to make my own sheet tent area again soon!

The following pictures are from Pinterest.

This one is interesting because those waterfall type rain chains.... this,  below, which I have seen in garden shops, are quite expensive. 
If you do a rain chain search, you can see some quite elaborate versions that look like little umbrellas and my how lovely it would be to have one outside the bedroom window or living room window. Some are over $70!  These stacked teacups make a nice waterfall with no drilling or chains or work at all. I used to take all my beat up useless tea cups to donate at thrift shops but now I will keep them and make a stack of my own in the garden.

This is an animated gif from Pinterest but when I went back to the site I could not find the link. Maybe you can find it and watch the rain fall in the cups.

I will tell you one more story. It will never become a novel or a movie but it is free to you, and will give you something nice to think on today.

My friend from England who came to tea when I had a tea room, introduced me to her husband who was a gardener, caterer and worked at other things.

"I got tired of meeting the charmer and the social climber,  or the man who wanted to make a million dollars, and was thrilled with someone who cared about the home and the house. 

"On his days off work, what does he like to do? Mow the lawn, fix things--always looking around for something to repair, improve, paint or re-do.

" On weekends he takes the family on a car trip just for a few hours, somewhere for scenery. 

" Some people don't think that is very interesting but it is very comforting to me knowing he will be there for us and make the house a safe place to live in. For me, it can't get more loving or interesting than this!"