Just Between Us



“Pain is inevitable suffering is optional”~Dalai Lama

Just between us…

It’s great to be home.





 as much as I loved my whirlwind trip to California😎 California



I sooooo longed returning…



to my sweet little cottage. by the sea



With Spring in the air along with…



daylight saving time…



all these projects had  been calling out to me…





👩‍🌾There is always work to do in the garden…🌺🌼🌸🌷



Oh and remember that hutch I wondered if I should paint white?



well…(I painted it!)



and it still needs just one last coat.😉



I had been excited about trying another fun new cooking recipe with Joe…



All that being said…ironically shortly after my return home…



I mysteriously pulled a muscle in my leg which again ironically kept me from doing any of those things until it healed. Which meant doing very little…

(okay to be really honest and just between us)

almost nothing…

other than…



take it easy.





Taking it easy.

Like I said…

( just between us)

It sure is great to be  home.😉




Unfortunately all I contributed to this week’s recipe was the taste testing part…which btw was pretty darn easy and quite yummy! (Thanks Joe!) 👨‍🍳 I highly suggest this simple recipe for Saint Paddy’s Day especially if you want to be Irish for a moment or two.


4 – 4 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 tablespoons butter

One cup currants or raisins (Joe used cranberries)

1 large egg slightly beaten

1 3/4 cups buttermilk




 Preheat oven to  425°. Whisk together four cups of flour, the  sugar, salt, and baking soda into a large mixing bowl.



Work the butter into the flour, add currants or raisins. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.



Add beaten egg and buttermilk to well and mix with spoon until dough is too stiff  to stir. Dust hands with a little flour then gently knead dough  just long enough to form a rough ball. If  dough is too sticky to work with add a little more flour. (Do not over knead) Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and shape into a round loaf.



Dough will be a little sticky and quite shaggy. (sort of like biscuit dough) You want to work with it just so that the flour is just moistened and the dough just barely comes together. If you over~knead, the bread will end up tough.



Transfer dough to a large slightly greased cast-iron skillet or a baking sheet (it will flatten out of bit in the pan or on the baking sheet) Using the serrated knive score top of dough about an inch and a half deep in an “X”shape. The purpose of the scoring is to help heat get into the center of the dough while it cooks.  Transfer to oven and bake until bread is golden and bottom sounds hollow when tapped, about 35~45 minutes. Remove pan or sheet  from oven, let bread sit in the pan or on the sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool briefly. Serve bread warm, at room temperature, or sliced and toasted.



Of  course I think it is best when eaten warm and just baked.👩‍🍳👨‍🍳

Posted in Our Cottage | 10 Comments

California Girllfriends


“It’s astonishing how short a time it takes for very wonderful things to happen”

💞Frances Burnette





I hadn’t planned this trip to Southern California.😎



However after a surprise call one afternoon on a land line phone that rarely rings…and never used. (an unlisted number)

I knew I had to go.💕



 Considering the trip began late February…



and ended in early March…



it felt like a there and back again kind-a-trip.









I have to to tell you that today more than ever I know (without a doubt) that if something is meant to happen it will.



I’m still bewildered exactly how what I thought I had decided against occurred in spite of myself.



Yes…an unexpected call that afternoon in mid February had me packing my bags and heading out for California…😎



turning into a wonderful visit with dear…



and new friends.



 A magical reminder that we might think we have figured things out



deciding how things should go…



However what I was humbly reminded of that afternoon is that there are amazing moments in life orchestrated without us…and if something is meant to be…



it will🌴



Okay…now that I’m home….I must go and straighten up my sweet cottage…


and get ready for the arrival of Spring!💐







Posted in Coastal Living | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Nantucket, Fairy Tales, and Dreams


”If you want your children to be intelligent read them fairy tales. If you want your children to be more intelligent read them more fairy tales.” ~Albert Einstein 




Hello! I’m currently in California & decided to re-edit a post from when I visited Nantucket right after moving to the Oregon Coast in 2015. It’s personally one of my favorites & somehow this recent trip to California made me think of it. I’ll be sharing about my California trip in next week’s post.😘


I’ve been thinking about Fairy Tales lately. No doubt it has everything to do with my recent visit to the beautiful, dreamy, fairy tale like island of Nantucket. I’ve been meaning to share some of the magic with you. Come, and join me for a little stroll…






I remember as a young girl I always wanted to go to Nantucket.




It represented that perfect place.




A place where life was as it should be.




Quaint cottages with white picket fences.




Beautiful gardens




and cobblestone streets.




Sort of like all those Fairy Tales we read as young children.




When the fairy tale seed was planted.




Stories that pointed out right from wrong, and that good always prevailed.




Stories of hope, inspiration



magical dreams.




And, who really knows how or when those dreams really began.




I’m a serious pushover for happy endings.




I love watching old movies, living in old houses, decorating with used old chipped furniture, visiting English gardens, having tea parties. fairy tales




And,  quite honestly I think these stories can be motivators for seeking real truth, happiness, and love in life.




Now into my adult lady~hood  and having traveled to this beautiful island and back again.




I’ve most certainly made a deeper peace with that young girl within.




Of course I loved Nantucket, and am glad I finally had the opportunity to visit. However somehow I returned with the satisfaction in knowing that the best Fairy Tale of all is living the life I have. Our real life. The one that is right before us at any given moment. The one that has a magic all of its own.



And,  of course even it’s own fairy dusty moments to dream upon.

Here’s a little glimpse of downtown Nantucket

And a fun bike ride through the back roads of Nantucket…

And here’s a recipe for Harvest Pumpkin Cupcakes

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 cup oil

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 (18 ounce) box yellow cake mix

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2.  Place paper baking cups in 24 muffin cups. Combine pumpkin, eggs, oil, cinnamon and baking soda in bowl and mix well.
  3.  Add cake mix, 1/4 cup water and beat for 1 minute on low speed. Increase speed to high and beat for 2 minutes. Fold in walnuts.
  4.  Fill muffin cups two-thirds full and bake for 19-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Cool for 10 minutes in pan; remove from pan and cool completely before frosting. Yields 24 cupcakes.


1 (16 ounce) container ready-to- serve buttercream frosting

1 (2 ounce) bottle yellow, brown and orange sprinkles

  1. Spread frosting in swirling motion over cupcakes and top with sprinkles.
  2.  If you like, use 1 (2 ounce) bottle sugar-cinnamon gems instead of sprinkles. The cinnamon gems really complement the pumpkin in the cupcakes. Enjoy!



Posted in Coastal Living, Our Cottage | 7 Comments

Chasing Spring


“Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen”~Sukhraj Dhillon







I hope you are well.



I don’t know about you…

however this time of year it’s inevitable for me to catch the Spring bug.

 always have 

(it’s highly contagious)



For me it’s exciting to see things coming up again



plants that you have had for a while…





it’s like seeing an old friend…you rejoice!






depending just how hard the bug has hit it’s not uncommon (for me) to make several visits to the nursery to cure this Spring fever (of mine)



This year I caught the bug a little earlier and more than usual.


a teeny tiny bit more…



As a matter of fact (just between you and I) there have been several trips 🚗 to the local nursery to take care of this ailment 🌼🌺🌸 best medicine ever! 



I began to feel much much better…



happy as a clam! (a little coastal pun)



that was until good old Mother Nature returned with one of her powerful visits…leaving me with the reminder…

(there’s a time and season for everything)


no rushing this gal



a wonderful lesson




happiness is a state of mind…🌺

🌼Spring will be here soon…

All in good time.🌸

 Everything here gives me satisfaction. My home, my animals, my garden, of course my fabulous husband Joe…

and yes…

even good old Mother Nature.😉



I’m wondering if you’re thinking what I’m thinking…

(okay…just one quick run to the nursery)🚗🌸🌼🌺




That being said how’s about a fabulous yummy soup recipe perfect for a cold wintery like day. (just in case you find yourself fighting the same bug)

after all it is contagious.





1 Bay leaf

4 Carrot(s)

4 stalks Celery

4 cloves Garlic

2 cup Lentils

2 whole sprigs Thyme

1 Yellow onion

2 qt. Vegetable broth

1 tsp salt & pepper ( or to taste)

3 tbsp Olive oil

1 tbsp Cumin






  1. Set a large, dry dutch oven over medium heat and drop in Garlic cloves with their peels still on. Let them toast for a few minutes on each side, until the skins are browned and fragrant. Set aside.



2. Roughly chop the onion, carrots, and celery. Add the olive oil to the dutch oven and saute until browned and tender. Peel and smash up the garlic and add it back to the pot, along with the lentils and cumin. Cook for a few seconds, until the lentils are nicely coated in oil.



Empty the broth into the pot and add the Bay Leaf and whole sprigs of Thyme. Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the Bay Leaf and Thyme.



3.  Season with Salt and Pepper and serve piping hot.  This soup is fabulous on it’s own…however Joe suggested that we add vegetarian Italian sausage.

And so we did…which made it fabulous x2.

Thanks Joe!






Posted in Coastal Living | 2 Comments

Eat, Pray, Love & Peter Rabbit


It is impossible to live pleasurably without living wisely, well, and justly, and impossible to live wisely, well, and justly without living pleasurably.” ~Epicurus


Hello, I hope you are doing well. It’s late Thursday evening and I’ve just returned from out of town where Joe and I enjoyed a belated celebratory Valentine’s Day. I’m now scrambling to finish writing this week’s post so I can meet my publishing deadline.😉





what a week!



Let me try to explain…



I suppose it all  began when Joe and I went to the movies and saw Peter Rabbit.



A delightful movie experience on many levels. There were quite a few children in the theatre and I experienced a deep joy hearing their heartfilled laughter.



 The movie’s scenery was beautiful and now thinking about it I must one day visit Sydney Australia where it had been filmed. I left the theatre feeling so good.



I began thinking of Easter.

which just happens to fall on April Fools Day this year.



Ok, Let’s face it… this week was all about eating.

Case in point..this past Tuesday wasn’t just any Tuesday it was Fat Tuesday (if you’re Christian.) a.k.a. Mardi Gras (if you’re in Louisiana.) a.k.a. Paczki Day (if you’re Polish)

I’m not Polish…



However I do LOVE rich doughnut like pastries.



 following Fat Tuesday on Wednesday marked the beginning of the Lenten season. For me Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting.



This year Ash Wednesday fell on Valentine’s Day.

By now you must know that…

any day that celebrates love with hearts, flowers, & yummy chocolate

you can count me in!



All I can say is that I’m really grateful that I was born with the  event planner gene, since this week’s logistics of making sure I did what I was suppose to and not what I wasn’t took a bit of planning.





As you might have guessed (exhausting as it was) …I rolled up my sleeves, sorting and figuring things out as best “I” could

said a little prayer…took a leap of faith


jumped right in!🎉 (with joy)

Most likely I need to thank Peter Rabbit or perhaps the memory of the children’s laughter that afternoon as Mr. McGreger tried to outsmart his predicament.


Joe said that his favorite part of this week’s recipe was that with the combination of cajon seasoning, plump shrimp flavors of vegetables it created a fabulous eating experience. (Pretty impressive Joe😉) Of  course my favorite thing about this recipe was that it’s the perfect nosh for any fun gathering!



Cajun Shrimp Dip


4 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 large bell pepper, seeded and diced small (I used green….should have used red)

2 ribs celery, diced small

6 green onions, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1 1/2 lbs. large shrimp, cooked and chopped

8 oz. cream cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Toasted baguette slices, for serving (Joe made his own from rolls we had)




Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper and celery to the pan and saute until begins to soften, about 6 minutes. Stir in the green onion, garlic, and Cajun seasoning. Cook 1 minute more, just until fragrant. Stir in the shrimp, cream cheese, and Parmesan. Stir over low heat until the cream cheese is melted and everything is evenly mixed. Spoon the mixture into a baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is browned an bubbling.



Serve warm with toasted baguette slices.



Posted in Coastal Living | 8 Comments