August Musings…



”Do not compare yourself with others, for you are a unique and wonderful creation. Make your own beautiful footprints in the snow.” –Barbara Kimball







At some point during this last week of August (which by the way has zipped on by)  I was reminded of how rich and full life is.







   a moment of painting…









gathering with friends for a morning chat…eat…and tour of their lovely garden



Preparing a meal with Joe…




 welcoming a stray cat that I have named MacKenzie.





Who by the way is doing well.



There’s a beauty to life that grabs my attention.


One which opens me up to see another perspective… clarity…and reminding me of how things continue to change…grow…and unfold….offering a richness in life.


Hello September!








One afternoon Joe caught Nick Stellino on the cooking channel Nick and suggested we prepare this fabulous pasta. Sure Joe! 

Joe watched the video and modified the recipe to his own liking.




2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

 One medium onion, diced

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes




4 large sprigs fresh basil

1 cup grated parmesan cheese divided

1/2 tablespoons sugar (as needed)

2 tablespoons butter

1 pound quality imported spaghetti




Heat olive over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add tomatoes and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and add basil. Allow basil to steep in tomato sauce for about 15 minutes.



Transfer sauce to a blender. Add a half cup of  parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of sugar and purée until smooth. Taste and add more sugar if needed.



Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil. Add salt and spaghetti and cook until about two minutes before tender. Remove one cup of pasta cooking water before draining.







 Return pomodoro sauce to skillet along with pasta. Toss pasta over sauce over medium heat adding the butter and another 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Stir in some of the pasta cooking water as needed to achieve a smooth consistency. Continue tossing until pasta is completely coated in sauce, about two minutes more.   Season generously with salt and pepper to taste.



Serve immediately with remaining parmesan cheese as a garnish.


Here is a peek of Darjeeling and MacKenzie

Posted in Coastal Living | 8 Comments

Mackenzie The Cat


“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

the Dalai Lama


Hi, how are you today?



I just returned to the cottage from my plein-air painting group



I’m really not an artist like the others…



however I enjoy the opportunity to paint outside and socialize a bit



This week we went to Couquille village by the river.



There are many charming home sites sitting along the river’s edge…perhaps one day I’ll share more about this area or even about the delightful plein-air painting group I participate in.




at the moment I have a very pressing matter that has been creating a three-ring circus around this very sweet cottage.





It all began a few weeks ago as I was standing by one of the hydrangea bushes watering…clipping…and most likely admiring 



I looked down and noticed a very skinny b/w cat…at first I thought it was our cat Darjeeling except she is NOT skinny



I finished up the watering and was heading back inside when that very skinny b/w cat…


beat me to the entrance





mysteriously but not surprisingly…

















 has found a home nest here

(I’ve learned the true meaning of co-existing)



Darjeeling hangs out by the back door while…



the very skinny b/w cat guards the front.



I’m not sure when it was decided that the very skinny b/w cat should be given a name…other than one evening I mentioned to Joe that the very skinny b/w cat has probably had a very difficult life and because of that we should give her a very cute name. We started throwing out suggestions for names and then I said…

“I Know!”







OREO Crunch Parfait

The perfect pairing of strawberries, OREO cookies and whipped topping to make this delightfully simple dessert. Serves 2




1 cup Sliced fresh strawberries about 8 ( I also used a few fresh blueberries)



1/2 cup thawed frozen whipped topping

4 OREO cookies (I used 16 mini’s)


Layer half each of the ingredients in two 8 ounce glasses. (I purchased 2 margarita glasses from the Dollar Tree💋)





Repeat layers.



Refrigerate 15 minutes.



Below are two videos…the first is from when I first decided to feed MacKenzie💕



Posted in Coastal Living | 8 Comments

The Couquille River and A Boat Ride🚢



”Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”

-Henry David Thoreau


Hello, sweet friend…



Come and join me as I take you on a river boat ride.



It won’t take too long…




Put  your feet up



relax as we 🚢 travel through time…



 along the Couquille river



Imagine an area which was once…



landscaped with…











lumber mills









dairy farms















of 80 years ago






a story of days gone by.







(For those times when you want to get a yummy dinner in your tummy and quick)👩‍🍳




1 large sprig basil

4 cloves garlic diced



1 tsp. oregano, dried

2 (28-ounce cans) tomatoes, whole

3 teaspoons tomato paste

one tsp. salt

1 generous pinch red pepper flakes

2 tbsp. oil extra virgin

2 tbsp. butter, unsalted




1. In a large pot, combine oil and garlic






heat over moderately low heat until garlic begins to very gently sizzle.

Add red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until garlic just begins to turn a light gold in color, about three minutes.



Add oregano and continue to cook, stirring, for one minute.

2. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until paste has softened and blended with the oil, about three minutes.



3. Stir in canned tomatoes and their juices, increase heat to medium high, bring to a gentle simmer, then lower heat to maintain. Using an immersion blender, blend tomatoes until sauce is Smooth. (alternatively, blend tomatoes with a standard blender before adding to pot)



4. Add basil and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced slightly and tastes rich, about 30 minutes. Season with salt.

5. Discard basil. Stir in butter, if using, until melted. Use sauce right away, or allow to cool to room temperature, transfer to sealed containers and refrigerate for up to five days or freeze for up to six months.



(I had planned on saving the sauce for later in the week…however it was so good that Joe turned it into a vegetarian meat sauce poured over some pasta silly Joe… and we gobbled it up for dinner that same evening.)





Posted in Coastal Living | 1 Comment

Summertime🍒Teacups🍒 Blueberries🍒 Scones



“If you want to be happy, be.” ~Leo Tolstoy






I’m in the cottage kitchen ready for a cooking date with Joe.





A while back I went blueberry picking 9.9 pounds I’ve been collecting ideas & recipes ever since for all the ways to use them!



I wish they had already been picked when I hosted a spontaneous summer tea…



Speaking of which …



Let me share a few photos of that day



To save time I had ordered the food from a wonderful local deli-bakery.

this usually works best for spontaneity 😉









and chocolate cupcakes.



Teacups were filled with a wonderful rose tea purchased from the Butchart Gardens.






(These scones are great for breakfast, brunch, dessert, and perfect for summertime tea!  You can substitute the blueberries with strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, or cranberries from the Oregon coast!)




2 cups flour

1 Tbs. baking powder

2 Tbs. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

5 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1 cup blueberries ( I used freshly picked…frozen are fine)

1  1/4 cup heavy cream



For the Glaze

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

zest of 1/2 lemon, grated

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted


Preheat oven to 400°. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the batter to coat the pieces with the flour



(I used my fingers 😉)



 Gently mix the blueberries into the flour mixture (should look like coarse crumbs)



Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in 1 cup of heavy cream and carefully fold it until everything is combined. You might need to add a little more cream to make the dough stick better.



Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 x 3 x 1  1/4 inches.





Make diagonal cuts in the dough to form the triangle shape of scones. I cut smaller slices and was able to make eight servings.

 Place the scones on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for easy cleanup.

 Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

 Let cool for a few minutes.

and while you are waiting for the scones to cool…



 In a microwave safe bowl, sift the powdered sugar and mix it with the lemon juice using a whisk. Add the melted butter and lemon zest and mix.



Heat the mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds and whisk to smooth out any lumps.



Drizzle glaze over top of the scones and enjoy!



Recently on one of my longer morning walks I saw the Harbor seals relaxing on the rocks of Elephant Walk. There are a total of nine. One in the water five on large rock, and the others on the far side. (not visible)

Posted in Garden/Tea Time | 6 Comments

Hello, From The Southern Oregon Coast


              Traveling…it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller


Hello, from the Southern Oregon Coast…



August has arrived…



and I’ve been staycationing



however for many August means vacation time



This small out-of-the-way beach town has had its share of visitors



 I’m thinking that many have chosen to vacation here whether for a day…week…or even an  entire summer…





because where else can you go to escape the heat



and crowds…



other than a small-out-of-the-way beach town



Recently as I sat sipping coffee with a friend



watching kids and adults perusing the shop windows



and walking around enjoying the scent of the ocean



mingled with that of fish and chips.



August has arrived here at this small out-of-the-way beach town and this  staycationing Cali-for-gor-ean gal is loving being a part…



taking time to enjoy life.



Earlier in the week I had a craving for salmon and decided to prepare salmon burgers.



I remember preparing these quite often during the summer when I lived in California and for some reason hadn’t prepared them much since I moved here.



I purchased about 1  1/2 pounds  Steelhead salmon 2 large potatoes for steak fries and 2 avocados for a dip that can be used for both spreading…



and dipping



This is one of those meals that really satisfies…

a true staycationer




Happy August!🏖

Posted in Coastal Living | 10 Comments