Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The colors of autumn - indigo

Hi Friends, 

I've been doing a couple of photo challenges this month.  One on Instagram (with just my phone) and this one here featuring the colors of autumn - a different color each week of October (gold, orange, indigo, and crimson.)  For this one I've been using my new "big" camera. 
I think photo challenges are fun, and it helps me see things I might ordinarily miss. 
Indigo (are you blue? or are you purple?) is a harder color to find in the fall, but I did manage to find a few shades thanks to my hydrangeas.  

Linking with Kristy and Lisa 

What's your favorite color of autumn?

Stay warm and cuddle up!  :-)

~ Carol

Monday, October 17, 2016

Salmon Chowder

Hi and Happy Monday!

Did you hear that a huge storm was forecast for the PNW this past weekend? The likes they haven't seen in a decade. They were sayin' "hurricane force winds" along the coast! 50-60 mph winds inland! And lots of heavy rain!  They warned of downed trees and widespread power outages, and flooding!  YIKES!

So we filled our 5 gallon water cooler, we got all the laundry done, cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed the floor - not because our house has to be clean when there is a storm (ha),  but in case we lost power, and in case it stayed out for several days.

I decided that such blustery weather demanded a delicious soup for supper. Don't you think so?  I made Salmon Chowder from The Auto Immune Paleo BookIt was outstanding and I just knew you'd want the recipe! 
We adapted the recipe a little so I'm sharing my version.   :-) 

2 Tbsp. cooking fat 
1 large onion, chopped
6 carrots, chopped 
4 ribs celery, chopped 
2 large cloves garlic, minced
8 cups homemade chicken broth*
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. thyme
1-1/2 tsp. salt
3 cans (6 oz. each) salmon, drained
1 can full fat coconut milk

In a soup pot, heat the cooking fat (I used olive oil) and add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are soft and slightly browned.  Add chicken broth, vinegar, thyme and salt to the pot and bring to a boil.  Cover and turn down to a bare simmer, and cook for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup briefly, leaving some veggies chunky.  Add the salmon and the coconut milk and heat through, but don't boil. 

Serve with crusty French bread.

So - the skies were gray and stormy. And it was blustery with large, brown maple leaves littering the sky.  And it was rainy, but the storm didn't match the forecasters' expectations, but let me tell you... this soup exceeded ours!  So good!  All the kids (even 5 year old Mary) asked for seconds!)  

* for my homemade chicken broth go here

If you are wanting a new soup to try this fall... this is it!  
If you try it, let me know what you think, okay?

~ Carol  

Linking with Strangers and Pilgrims, Life of Faith, and I Should be Mopping the Floor.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The colors of autumn -pumpkin

I went on a drive today to play with my new toy.  I'm joining the autumn colors photography challenge.  This week's theme is: the colors of autumn - pumpkin

This one is a cheat because I took it with my phone, but I couldn't resist this pile of pumpkins in front of the grocery store. 

Lots of yellow, orange, crimson and brown going on in the Pacific Northwest.  How about you?  

~ Carol

Life Lately

Life lately has been full and busy and good.
We have established a pretty smooth routine for school.  Sometimes schedules look good on paper, but the reality is people move at different paces, and sometimes the unexpected happens, and best laid plans don't work well.   But, so far so good, though.  
We have art planned for Mondays ("Monday Funday") We are all loving that.

The signs and colors of fall are everywhere.    

We have several large maple trees on our property which means lots and lots and lots of leaves.  The kids love making huge leaf piles to jump in.

I was inspired by artwork that I saw at a friend's home.  She bought hers on Etsy,  but I couldn't find it there so I made my own version. 
A piece of scrapbook paper I had on hand, an anchor that I die-cut at the local craft store, and some borrowed chalk-ink pens.   Voila, and at a fraction of the cost. 

Big news.  I just turned 50!  Just writing that is weird.  I don't feel fifty /mostly ;-) /  
I am mindful of the gift that God has given me fifty years of life filled with so much blessing.
But it is a little sobering too because there is a greater sense of responsibility.  I am considered an "older woman" in the church.  I am to teach the younger women by encouragement and example.  (not that that isn't true of any age)  Theoretically, younger women would see me as  wise, and see in my life an example worth following, and one that they would be drawn to as a source for good counsel.   I guess I feel more than ever, that others might be watching me.
I hope I am the best stained-glass window (others looking at me might see my frailties and imperfections, but with the Light of Christ - He makes it beautiful.)

Because it was a monumental birthday and because my father's birthday is one week after mine, family flew in to celebrate both birthdays.  Why did I not get a shot of everyone together?  But I did get one of all the cousins
/ Matthew, Sarah, Caleb, Hannah, Roger, Daniel
Mary Anne, Abigail, and Ellie /

My brother even played a very impressive "Happy Birthday" for us on his harmonica.   
It was a very short visit, but I am thankful for the time we were able to be together. 

 This was Hannah's gift to her grandpa, who adores apple pie.  A single serve pie all for himself.

I admire this girl so much.  She is so inventive and creative.  She comes up with perfect gift ideas that cost little to no money.  She works within her means.  That is a skill that will serve her well all her life. I also admire her willingness to make something - like pie - even though she can't have it herself.  
Which brings me to the topic of her health.  You can read more about it on her blog, where she has tried to be rather candid about it. We would covet your prayers for healing and wisdom for the treatment course, but we have a big praise in that tests seem to indicate nothing serious.  While that may sound rather innocuous to some, we are thankful that we can be confident it is restricted to an inflamed gut.  
It is so hard to watch your child suffer with constant pain.  In spite of all her best efforts of eating safe foods, and avoiding offending ones, she has not improved, and at times, we've felt she's gotten worse, so to know that we are on the right track is a huge comfort.  I know this trial has been difficult and discouraging for her, but I also that God knows what He is doing.  He is allowing this because this trial will accomplish His will for her.  Do I know what that is?  No.  But I know this is true and that I can trust Him, who loves my daughter more than I ever could.

This is my latest drink obsession.  A chai tea with steamed coconut milk.  It's the perfect sweet-spicy flavors for fall. 

Eric gave me this for my birthday.

It's fantastic!  A huge upgrade from my D40.  So I hope to carve out time to take some pictures and get intimately familiar with this new favorite.   

Time is whizzing by - we have an upcoming fun trip to the zoo with friends, then a quick trip to Colorado to help my brother move, and then it will be November!  What?  

How is your life lately?  I'd love to hear from you.    


Linking with 

Random-osity and Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth