Thursday, March 31, 2011

Skywatch Friday - Anvil Cloud

Spotted last Friday near Wenatchee, Washington.

Shaped Like an Anvil

Even though I am not linking up this week due to time constraints, please go visit Skywatch and see what the team and other Skywatchers are posting for your enjoyment this week. It's fun!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

InSPIREd Sunday - Enumclaw Home

I spotted this beauty leaving Enumclaw after my sister's wedding. The former church appeared to be someone's home. I wish I had gotten a better shot, but hey! It's a drive-by snapshot. I liked the simplicity and clean lines of the spire on this building.

Do you have an inSPIREd shot you'd like to share? Add it below. And feel free to add the logo at the top. :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Weekend Reflections - Mirror, Mirror, On the Door

Here's a different take on a mirrored door. It is the refrigerator door in an Arctic Fox truck camper. I took this when I went to the Seattle RV show many weeks ago.

 Oh my! It looks so spacious in here!

 Time for Weekend Reflections hosted by James at Newtown Area Photo. Click on the logo above to see what others are sharing this week or to join in on the fun.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Skywatch Friday - Perigee Moon

For once the clouds cleared out and gave me a nice view of the super moon last Saturday night.

Perigee (Super) Moon - Cropped SOOC

Rising to Just Above the Clouds


The Skywatch Team of Klaus, Sandy, Sylvia, Fishing Guy and Wren are waiting for you to click on the banner above to begin your Skywatching journey this week.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'm Styling

Amanda at Love Joy Paper passed on the Stylish Blogger Award to me when I was having computer connection issues so it has taken me a couple of days to get this posted.

Now I need to pass it on to two other bloggers and let them know. Whew! What a hard choice to make. There are soooo many blogs I enjoy reading.

JC at Lilacs & Cats who puts a smile on my face with her entertaining cast of furry characters along with her dedication to cat adoptions.

Liz at Bellingham Daily Photo who's photography talent brings me a daily dose of enjoyment with her wide variety of subjects. She's got a keen eye for bringing magic to the mundane.

Thanks, Amanda, for sharing this with me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Made With Love For Love

My sister got married this past Sunday and I was asked to bake the wedding cake. Gulp! OMG, my first wedding cake!

I took Friday off from work so I could do the baking and making of cake filling and fondant. Saturday was cake assembly day.

The cake was supposed to be a four layer, two-tiered concoction. Notice the key word "supposed". Things started off good. The plan was to have the first cake layer topped with  lightly lemon flavored buttercream icing, then another layer of cake with the homemade raspberry filling, another layer of cake with lemon buttercream followed by the last layer of cake. So much for plans.

The first two cake layers stacked nicely. I piped an icing dam around the cake to hold the raspberry filling in and then spread the filling. Looking good. Added another layer of cake and started to put the next layer of lemon buttercream on. Whoa! This layer started slip sliding away and before I knew it, I had raspberry oozing out and down the sides! I needed to remove the last cake layer and figure out what was going wrong. Only in trying to remove the 12" diameter layer, it broke into pieces. Now I've got buttercream and raspberry everywhere! On the cake where it is not supposed to be, on the counter, down the front of my kitchen cabinet, on the about a mess!

I tossed the broken layer into the garbage and made the decision to go with 3 cake layers on each tier. I scraped off the remaining filling and re-piped the icing dam only farther back from the edge of the cake this time. A new layer of filling was added before topping it with the final cake layer. This time everything stayed in place as I put the crumb coat of icing on the top and sides of the tier. Hooray!

I built the top tier and then it was fondant time. I don't work in fondant much primarily because I don't care for the taste of it. However, I found a recipe on Cake Central for a Buttercream Marshmallow Fondant that had great reviews so I decided to give it a go.

I started with the smaller top tier and the fondant rolled out nicely to cover the cake. Then it was on to the bottom tier. Rolled it out and it stuck to my mat. Drats!! Roll number two stuck again. What the heck?? I ditched the mat and dusted my countertop with powdered sugar in preparation for the next attempt. Third time was not the charm. It stuck again!

Now I am getting spun up. It was bad enough to deal with the raspberry fiasco. I don't need the fondant to keep sticking. Solution - internet! I found a suggestion to use corn starch and to make sure to keep lifting the fondant as it is being rolled out. I mixed the corn starch with powdered sugar and presto! No sticking.

Bottom Tier Completed

I stacked and pinned the two layers together since we would have a ninety minute drive Sunday morning to the wedding. I wanted to make sure the top layer stayed on the cake. Then I added the ribbon trim, icing scroll work and the tiny fondant flowers I made the previous weekend. All that needed to be added was the fresh flowers before the reception started.

Ready for Fresh Flowers
The drive down on Sunday morning was a bit nerve wracking, especially due to a couple of tight exit ramps from the freeways that I thought for sure would send the cake tumbling sideways in the trunk. The cake was packed somewhat securely in a custom sized box I made, but you never can tell how it will truly travel a long distance in the car. But it made it to the reception with no damage!

Karen and Jim really liked it and best of all, it tasted wonderful - even the fondant!

Ready for the Reception

I don't think I could be a professional cake decorator though. It's fun, but a lot of hard work, too.

Congratulations, Jim & Karen!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Weekend Reflections - Seattle Sounders

If you are a soccer fan, then perhaps you've heard of our local MLS team, the Seattle Sounders FC (Football Club). The season is just underway so go Sounders!

 Sounders Logo Reflected in Window Across From Qwest Field - Seattle, WA

James at Newtown Area Photo is the host each week for Weekend Reflections. Click on the logo above to see what others are sharing!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Skywatch Friday - Just Another Day in Seattle

Seattle definitely has been living up to it's reputation lately. Rain, rain and yes, more rain. Our days begin and end with dreary gray skies. But all of that rain is what makes Washington the Evergreen State.

Sylvia @ Sylvia From Over the Hill and I spent some time together last Saturday checking out various parks and sights around Seattle. Mother Nature tried to dampen our spirits and fun, but we thumbed our noses at her and had a good time traipsing around the city. I can't wait until we have a nice dry and sunny day so we can visit some of these wonderful places again.

Raining in Seattle - View from Queen Anne

MV Kaleetan as seen from West Seattle

Its that time of the week where we go Skywatching around the world. Click on the banner above to start your journey. Thanks to the Skywatch team of Klaus, Wren, Sandy, Fishing Guy and Sylvia.

I will try to visit more blogs this week but my sister is getting married this weekend and there is a lot of wedding activity going on at my place. I'm the cake baker!! OMG!! What have I gotten myself into? Stay tuned for pictures.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

 Prunus Subhirtella 'Rosea' (Cherry Blossom)

The Prunus Subhirtella tree is native to Japan. My thoughts and prayers are with those whose lives have been and will continue to be impacted by the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

World Bird Wednesday - Cormorant

Double Crested Cormorant - Everett, Washington

Each week, Springman at the Pine River Review hosts World Bird Wednesday. Come birding with us by clicking on the logo above.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Barn Charm - Hidden Treasure

A few weeks ago, I went driving down a dead end road, more out of curiosity than anything. I crested the hill and there she was. All in her empty glory. At least I think the barn was empty. There didn't appear to be any signs of recent use although the paint didn't look too weathered. I was simply charmed by this big red beauty.

View from the Hilltop

Silo Side

Tricia at the Bluff Area Daily is our host each week for Barn Charm. Click on the logo above to see other great barns shared through this meme.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bent But Not Broken

You get tragedy where the tree, instead of bending, breaks.  ~Ludwig Wittgenstein

 Tree in Discovery Park Arboretum - Seattle, WA

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to. ~John Ed Pearce 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weekend Reflections - Geese on the Lake

I believe we have a resident pair of Canada Geese on our lake. When I was down on our dock, what I assume is the male got out of the lake and kept a watchful eye on me. I'll keep a watchful eye on them for a string of little goslings following behind them as Spring comes on. I've spotted them several times in the matted area of reeds on the right side of the photo so perhaps that will be the nesting site. The site is across a small finger of water so they are safe from our dogs.

Canada Geese Pair

James at Newtown Area Photo is the host each week of Weekend Reflections. Click on the logo above to see more reflections shared from around the world, or to share yours.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Skywatch Friday - A B&W Study of Sunday Lake

Sunday Lake - April 2009

It's that time of the week where we go SkyWatching around the world. Click on the banner above to start your journey. Klaus and the rest of the SkyWatch team - Wren, Sandy, Sylvia and Fishing Guy are waiting for you!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Red-Winged Blackbirds

These birds are always entertaining to watch down by our lake.

Red-Winged Blackbirds

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

World Bird Wednesday - Steller's Jay

The other week when it snowed, one of the visitors to our backyard feeder was this Steller's Jay. You always know they are there without even seeing them as they are quite vocal. Of course they are bullies. What jay isn't?

The Pacific form of the Steller's Jay doesn't have the white eye shadow like the Rocky Mountain ones. I do like the blue streaks on the face. These birds are very common in our area.

Adult Pacific Form Steller's Jay- February 2011

From May 2009

Springman at the Pine River Review is our host each week for World Bird Wednesday. This has become one of my favorite memes as I learn more and more about the feathered creatures inhabiting our earth.  Click on the logo above and see what others are sharing this week.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Barn Charm - It's a Green One!

I spotted this barn after breakfast on Saturday so I made a special trip back to take a few pictures. From the front, it had a nice paint job, but I couldn't get a good angle on it with the camera. On the way back by, you can see where the barn used to be red and the paint brush didn't make it this far around. It's got a nice cupola, though.

Green in Silvana, Washington

Tricia @ Bluff Area Daily is the host each week of Barn Charm. Click on the logo above to view other great barns or to be a participant.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

inSPIREd Sunday - Little White Church on the Hill

The Little White Church on the Hill is located in Silvana, Washington. It is on the Washington State Register of Historic Places. The church was completed in 1890.

Little White Church on the Hill - Silvana, Washington

Hope you find something today that inspires you!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Weekend Reflections - Sunday Lake in Snow

It may look pretty, but enough of the white stuff! This was last week. I am so glad to see it melting away this week.

Sunday Lake in Snow

James @ Newtown Area Photo is our host each week for Weekend Reflections. Click on the logo above to see what others are sharing. Thanks, James!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Skywatch Friday - Nehalem Bay Sunrise

Wow! What a surprise to find out I am today's guest host on Skywatch Friday. Wouldn't you know, it came when I've neglected my blog for an entire week! I think all of the snow last week and over the weekend threw me into a funk where I just wanted to nestle in my warm house and not take many pictures. I did do some bird watching, making sure my little feathered friends had lots of food in the feeder.

So now it's time to get back in the swing of things. And please accept my apologies for not visiting your blog last week.

The awesome Skywatch Team led by Klaus along with Sylvia, Wren, Sandy and Fishing Guy bring us the Skywatch meme each week. Click on the banner below to go see other skies from around the world.

Today's shot is from our trip to Oregon in late December/early January. On our final day, we awoke to a beautiful sunrise. Cold, but spectacular. Ahhh, the memories. :)

Nehalem Bay - Manzanita, Oregon