names of prescription drugs

Welcome to Hometown Perch

Hometown Perch is about celebrating where you live. Whether you’ve moved away and back home again (like us), lived in the same place your entire life, or have settled down and made someplace else your hometown perch for good, there is beauty everywhere. So get out there and love where you live.

Click here to meet your hometown girls.

Hometown Perch Photo Shoot from Stacie Marez on Vimeo.

 

Memory Care in Yakima

Memory Care in Yakima

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post; opinions are 100% mine. I simply want to tell the story of someone very special to me and why I’m excited about a new place in town that my friends (with lots of help) created to care for those with memory loss and their families.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the opening of Fieldstone Memory Care in Yakima. Fieldstone is a project by Cascadia Senior Living and Development, founded by friends Doug Ellison and Justin Younker.  I’ll tell you why I’m excited about having a place like Fieldstone in Yakima.

My family and I were very close to my great-great Aunt Iva. Aunt Iva was my great-grandfather’s sister. She never married or had kids of her own. Her nieces and nephews were her “kids”. She was an amazing woman. I call her the Martha Stewart of her time. She worked for years as the private secretary of Mr. Ted Robertson, former publisher of the Yakima Herald Republic.

Aunt Iva surrounded by her nieces and nephews--a common occurrence at every family gathering.

Aunt Iva surrounded by her nieces and nephews–a common occurrence at every family gathering.

I’ve shared my story before about being the child of a teen mom. My mom was just 15 when she had me. She had my sister at the ripe old age of 18. Being a teen mom with no high school diploma means that your earning potential is limited. We needed help. Luckily we had great family support. Aunt Iva was one of those important players in my life–a member of the village that helped raise me. I still say today that Aunt Iva is the reason my sister and I were dressed appropriately for school. She was my first career-woman role model. She inspired me to get an education and travel.  Those things were important to her.

Aunt Iva owned a sweet little house on Hall Avenue in Yakima. Her favorite color was pink. She had a long dining room table that she decorated and filled with delicious food and she had knobby pink drinking glasses that I can still feel in my hand. She had a window seat full of children’s books. She read to us vigorously. My favorite book was Mickey Mouse and the Mouseketeers Ghost Town Adventure. I asked her to read that book to me over and over and over.

In between stuffing ourselves with her delicious food we spent our time howling like ghosts through her heating vents and playing in the basement with the steep steps and very dangerous appliances. She drove an old Rambler with long, roomy seats, a skinny steering wheel and she wore driving gloves. She was the only person I knew with an automatic garage door opener. I would click it 100 times when we were out and about hoping that I was scaring the neighbors into thinking a ghost was playing with the garage door. Apparently I was obsessed with ghosts.

 

Aunt Iva loved to shop! My mom remembers trips with her to Seattle for school clothes. By the time my sister and I needed school clothes Aunt Iva’s shopping excursions were contained to Yakima. That was fine. We had Bon Marche, Nordstrom, JC Penney, Mervyns and K-Mart. What else did we need? Every year, at the end of the summer, we would go to Aunt Iva’s. She would have the shopping ads splayed out in front of her and we would plan our day. We spent all day going from store-to-store for clothes. We came home with bags full. There were times that we didn’t agree on what I should wear. Like the time I wanted a satin, flower shirt and she wanted me to have a powder blue suit instead. I think she had career-woman dreams for me even at the age of 9.

One day everything changed. I was 11-years-old. Aunt Iva had gotten into a car accident on the way home from my grandmother’s house. Then she was found on her living room floor covered in her own mess. Something was wrong. My mom sat me down and said “Aunt Iva has a disease. It’s called Alzheimer’s. One day she won’t know who we are”.  I didn’t believe my mom. We had always been a part of Aunt Iva’s life and she had always been a part of ours. My 11-year-old brain couldn’t fathom something so awful. But it happened. It happened fairly slowly. She moved in with my grandmother. That didn’t last long. If you know anything about Alzheimer’s patients you know it’s hard to keep them safe. She moved into an independent living facility. That worked for a while, until she started leaving her apartment undressed and confused. She then moved into a nursing home. I don’t remember much about that time. The only thing I do remember is not wanting to visit. She didn’t know me/us. She would get confused and agitated. It was scary so I stopped going. Aunt Iva died when I was in high school. In a nursing home. And I had stopped visiting.

If we had a place like Fieldstone, we could have continued to visit even though she didn’t know us. We could have had lunch with Aunt Iva in a 1950’s inspired café. We could have watched an old-time movie with her in the theater. The funny thing about her disease–even when Aunt Iva no longer knew us, she remembered her childhood kitten Smoky. Surely, she would have remembered bits and pieces of a classic movie. Instead of driving her to her hair lady every week for years, my mom could have sat and visited with her while she got her hair done at the on-site salon. Instead of being afraid of the sights, sounds and smells of a nursing home, we could have sat at a table together to do puzzles or crafts. And when she got scared or agitated, we would take comfort in knowing that she’s being cared for in a spa room with aromatherapy. She would have loved that. We would have loved that.

Fieldstone

What a blessing to have such a wonderful home for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, where families and friends can also feel at “home” with their loved ones. If you want to see Fieldstone for yourself, stop by to say hi and take a tour. It’s a beautiful place! 4120 Englewood Avenue, Yakima.

 

 

 

 

 

A visual feast

A visual feast

Several evenings over the last few weeks, I have sat out on my patio basking in the early evening sunshine, my high-heel worn feet resting naked over the sides of my chair, staring at, drooling over, reading The Forest Feast Cookbook.

The Forest Feast is one of my favorite blogs so when I noticed that author, cook, artist, crazy-amazing person, Erin Gleeson, had created a cookbook, I made a beeline for inklings bookshop.  I like to call this the Mother’s Day gift I bought for myself.  It is perfect and so beautiful I want to rip the pages out and tack them up around my house.

Not only is the book achingly lovely, it is also practical (Robin Wright + Erma Bombeck).  Gleeson makes a point of explaining why her recipes are simple:  she doesn’t have a lot of time, she likes to entertain, she’s not a trained chef . . . Hmm, this is right up my ally :).  But here is the part I am not even close to mastering:  Gleeson creates visual feasts from food.  You don’t know whether you want to eat the dish or coat it with decoupage glue and place it on your mantel.  Vibrant color, beautiful shapes, a variety of textures – immaculate in a perfectly imperfect kind of way.

Did I mention that all the recipes are vegetarian?  And since I happen to live in the verdant Yakima Valley, there are no end of fruits and vegetables to buy fresh.  Speaking of which, the Farmer’s Market is moving into its fifth week and the brand new market, Local Yokel, has made its debut next to Northtown on Front Street.  It’s time to stock up and start getting creative.  I already have my “must make” recipes marked with little yellow post-its.  Now for the fun part.

And a fun side note:  Gleeson includes equally tantalizing cocktail recipes to keep you company while you make amazing creations out of vegetables.  A few on my list:  Cucumber spritzer, lemon-basil mojito & rosemary gin fizz.

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Happy almost summer!

 

Note:  photo courtesy of The Forest Feast Cookbook

 

 

Front Porch Mini-Makeover

Front Porch Mini-Makeover

I spotted this photo with these gorgeous red doors (Benjamin Moore Red Rock) and knew immediately that I wanted warm red doors in our house.

red doors

I headed to Benjamin Moore to check out paint strips. Our space doesn’t have as much natural light as the inspiration photo so I went with a shade lighter–Benjamin Moore Hot Apple Spice. It’s very similar to a Sherwin Williams color that we used in our Seattle house. If you have a Sherwin Williams nearby check out Fireweed.

After painting the front door I didn’t love it. I decided to live with it for a while. It wasn’t until I painted the storm/screen door that I finally loved the transformation.

Our front porch went from this:
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front porch 1 hometownperch.com

to this:
Painted door hometownperch.com

Painted door after hometownperch.com

The next step will be to paint house numbers on the door. Something like this:
Numbered door 2

or this:
Numbered door

Porch Light: The Home Depot Zinc Wall Lantern

Day Hike with Kids: Cowiche Canyon

Day Hike with Kids: Cowiche Canyon

We are so fortunate to have easy access to day hiking spots in Yakima. We hit the trail the other day with the kids in tow. Believe it or not, it was our first official hike as a family. I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit that since we have so many great options within just a short drive.

On a warm Saturday we headed to the Cowiche Canyon Uplands Trail with friends. When we reached the parking lot we were treated to a panoramic view of our beautiful city.
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The trailhead is a short drive from just about anywhere in Yakima. To get there follow the directions below.

  • Heading West on Summitview Avenue turn right onto N 66th Ave Go 0.5 miles
  • Turn left onto Englewood Ave Go 0.9 miles
  • Turn right onto N 80th Ave Go 0.2 miles
  • Turn left onto Scenic Dr Go 0.5 miles
  • The trailhead is on your right

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Hiking with kids is a fun way to get the heart rate up and build muscle strength. Just remember to wear plenty of sunscreen and pack enough water to stay hydrated.
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Be ready to take in the beautiful flora along the way.
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Be prepared for a little wildlife too. It was a good thing some adults were walking in front of the kids. They were able to signal them to stop and let this bull snake continue on his merry way.
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On a clear day you will be treated to uninterrupted views of Mt. Adams in all her glory.

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The terrain on The Cowiche Canyon trail is varied. It is flat and easy in places and more rugged and challenging in others. Wear supportive shoes. If you need extra support, take along a walking stick.
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Halfway along the trail you will see the sign below.
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Enjoy the views along the way. If you are like me and have a bit of a fear of heights, there are just a couple of spots that might make you hesitate for a moment. But, the trail is scenic and lovely.
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The kids, of course, were fearless. What else would you expect?
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Take your time to hydrate and enjoy the sights. Be careful about kids saying they will carry their own backpacks. Chances are you will end up carrying yours and theirs. Can we say “I told you so” now?
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Waiting for you at the end of the trail is the quaint and homey The Tasting Room with excellent wines from Wilridge Winery, Harlequin Wine Cellars and Naches Heights Vineyard.

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After lounging at the winery for a bit we hit the trail again taking a moment here and there to enjoy the treasures along the way.
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We hiked a little under 4 miles in total–to the winery and back. At the end of the hike I felt great! I always wondered how hikes were considered “exercise”. Now I know. My calves were so sore the next day. What a fun way to get a workout.

Do you have a favorite family hiking spot? I would love to hear about it.

Body Spring Cleaning

Body Spring Cleaning

We eat pretty healthy around here. My brother nicknamed me Organica. My teenage nephew laments the contents of my pantry when he visits–”All you have is healthy stuff!” My friend recently brought some kid’s drinks for an event and jokingly said “I checked the ingredients and I think they’re pretty good. There’s just a tiny bit of MSG in there.” Everyone got a good laugh.

If what I buy isn’t a whole food (fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy) I check the label.  And I don’t just look for calories and fat content. In fact, I rarely look at those. What I do look for is sodium and sugar content and the list of ingredients. If there are too many ingredients and I don’t know exactly what they are, it’s not going in the cart. Contrary to what my brother believes, I don’t buy all organic. I buy organic when I can–when it’s affordable and when it makes the biggest difference. Check out the info graphic below for more details on when it makes sense to buy organic:

image via Environmental Working Group

image via Environmental Working Group

 

Consider the popcorn labels below. It’s easy to grab a box from the aisle. But it takes just a moment to compare the two labels to notice that the product on the left has artificial and chemical ingredients. You probably know all or most of the ingredients in the product on the right. It’s the better choice even if the sources weren’t organic. Try doing this with corn chips. It’s pretty easy to find chips that contain simply corn, oil and salt.

Popcorn Labels

In spite of the tricks mentioned above, we still have some cleaning up to do in terms of food and fitness. I have a lot of cleaning up to do in terms of fitness but that’s another post for another day. We, like so many families, are really busy during the week. If we don’t plan ahead for meals we find ourselves eating out too often which is the number one way to consume too many calories, too much sodium and other junk. And, it’s really tough on our monthly budget. If we don’t grab something on the go we might snack during the day without eating a filling lunch and then come home and eat everything in the house. That’s just about as unhealthy as eating out. Really clean nutrition is the key to meeting fitness goals. You can work out all you want but if your diet is poor or sub-par, your results will be limited.

I’ve recently been inspired by Megan of Honey We’re Healthy and a colleague who is in amazing shape! I mean Ah-mazing! Both women have prioritized working out and very clean eating. Their results speak for themselves. They inspired me to clean it up around here.

I made the two-week rotating menu below and we follow it pretty well. We might make Tuesday’s dinner on a Monday depending on what ingredients we have on hand. But overall, it’s been helpful for our family to map out our meals in advance. We have all noticed a difference in the way we feel and Dylan has seen improved results from his workouts. Me, on the other hand. I need to get with the (fitness) program. More to come on that.

What kind of spring cleaning have you done lately? Do you have a workout program you just love? Let me know. I need all the inspiration and motivation I can get.

SUNDAY

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

6:00 Hash browns & Eggs 

9:00 Fresh Fruit

12:00 Tuna Salad

3:00 Cheese cubes & Fruit

6:00 Grilled Shrimp Tacos

6:00 Protein Pancake 

9:00 Almonds & Raisins

12:00 Thai Chicken Salad

3:00 Celery with Nut Butter (pb, almond)

6:00 Light Fettuccine Alfredo

6:00 Protein Smoothie 

9:00 Hummus & Carrots

12:00 Chick Pea Salad

3:00 Homemade Granola Bar

6:00 Tortilla Soup

6:00 Veggie Omelet 

9:00 Apples & Almond Butter

12:00 Quinoa Caprese Salad

3:00 Rice cakes, Tzatziki, peppers

6:00 Chicken Marsala, Brown Rice

6:00 Hash browns & Eggs 

9:00 Fresh Fruit

12:00 Tuna Salad

3:00 Cheese cubes & fruit

6:00 Taco Turkey Casserole

6:00 Protein Pancake 

9:00 Almonds & Raisins

12:00 Greek Pasta Salad with Chicken

3:00 Celery with Nut Butter (pb, almond)

6:00 Soup, Salad & Roll

6:00 Protein Smoothie 

9:00 Hummus & Carrots

12:00 Spinach Salad

3:00 Homemade Granola Bar

6:00 Tomato & Wine Braised Chicken, Rice

6:00 Veggie Omelet 

9:00 Apples & Almond Butter

12:00 Bagel w/Cream Cheese & Smoked Salmon

3:00 Rice cakes, Tzatziki, peppers

6:00 Cobb Salad w/Choice of Protein

 

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

6:00 Breakfast Egg Sandwich

9:00 Greek Yogurt with Granola

12:00 Tex Mex

3:00 Homemade Trail Mix

6:00 Chop Salad w/Choice of Protein

6:00 Oatmeal

9:00 String cheese & Fresh Fruit

12:00 Tex Mex

3:00 Almonds & Dried Cranberries

6:00 Build-your-own-pizza

6:00 Apple Puff Pancake

9:00 Free choice

12:00 Free choice

3:00 Free choice

6:00 Garden Burger

6:00 Breakfast Egg Sandwich

9:00 Greek Yogurt with Granola

12:00 Pear & Gorgonzola Salad

3:00 Homemade Trail Mix

6:00 Turkey Chili

6:00 Oatmeal

9:00 String cheese & Fresh Fruit

12:00 Turkey Chili

3:00 Almonds & Dried Fruit

6:00 Build-your-own-pizza

6:00 Apple Puff Pancake

9:00 Free choice

12:00 Free choice

3:00 Free choice

6:00 Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs

An interview with Adam Jones

An interview with Adam Jones

The other day I was lying on the couch drinking decaf coffee and thinking random thoughts when this one popped into my head:  Wouldn’t it be fun to ask Adam a bunch of questions about books?  Adam Jones has been the manager at inklings bookshop for several years.  And he also happens to be my beloved cousin, friend and fellow bibliophile.  He is smart, kind, and full of brilliant, witty observation.  I’m pretty sure this is an impartial point of view, and am absolutely convinced that if I didn’t know him from . . . well, Adam (I can’t believe I just wrote that), I would quickly come to this same conclusion.

So, back to my story, I emailed Adam some questions and then we met up for coffee to visit and do a mini photo shoot.  Here’s what Adam had to say about book clubs, hot reads for 2014, some of his favorite authors and why indie bookstores have a prominent place in the heart of any community lucky enough to have one.

To start, can you give a little background on yourself?

I started working at Inklings during summer breaks while I was in college.  At that time, the co-owner of the store just happened to be my cousin, Mandi!  After I graduated, and after a few false starts, I was back in Yakima at the exact time Inklings needed a new manager.  That was over ten years ago!  Since then, I’ve been the general manager of the store.  I’ve also picked up a couple other roles along the way, which is how it works in a small business.  My favorite “task” is buying the sidelines for the store.

Though I’m not a Yakima native, I’ve made my home here since 2003.  I live by Franklin Park with my crazy dog and my partner, Greg.

If you could have dinner with any literary figure who would it be and why?  What would you eat and drink?

This is the hardest question to answer.  I want to do a crazy long list, but I have to pare it down, so here’s the short list: Nancy Mitford, Muriel Spark, Margaret Atwood and Marguerite Duras.

I would be terrified of both Marguerite Duras and Muriel Spark, so I’ll scratch them off the list.  And I don’t know if I have a suit nice enough to meet Nancy Mitford in, so that brings the answer to…Margaret Atwood

She’s such a hoot!  Let me insert – If you don’t follow her on Twitter, get on that right away!  She’s sharp as a tack, even in less than 140 characters.  I also know that she’s very generous with her time and attention with her fans, so though I would be flipping out a bit, I think I could handle the meeting!  She is also Margaret E. Atwood, so you would be bound to leave the conversation with your head spinning with ideas and notions.

I think she would love our Valley – she’s so knowledgeable about history, and ecology, and I think it would be a treat to show her around.  Ideally, she’d visit in the summer so I can take her to the Bale Breaker tasting room while Imogene’s is serving dinner there.  She strikes me as the kind of person who would enjoy a pint of something cold, and this way I wouldn’t have to spend my time worrying about feeding her!  Because I would have so many questions. Eventually, I would want to ask her about her novel “Life Before Man.”  That book fascinated me when I finally read it last summer, probably because it’s plot is so tightly focused on just the time of life I find myself in (though, as I am neither a moony paleontologist nor a depressive woodworker, I do not relate to the exact plot points).  As it has such autobiographical elements I wouldn’t want to be rude with my questions, but I do wonder what she thinks of it, thirty-odd years after it was published.

What are your tips for a successful book club?

I don’t currently belong to a book club, so I feel a little bit like a cheat answering this!  I’ll do my best, based on my observations:

I think sometimes we worry too much about the fun, but honestly, your group WILL be fun!  Getting together with friends over wine and some nibbles, while talking about books?  You’ll have a great time!

Instead of worrying about that, ask yourself what the aim of your club is, and how to structure your time together to meet that goal.  If you want to talk about books with a little bit of seriousness, lay a few ground rules.

From what I’ve gathered, the key points to enriching exchanges over books are: chose your books carefully, and do a little research.

Have criteria for what you read, whatever it is.  Are you going to read through the classics?  Will you only read books that have been reviewed in the New Yorker?  Something like this can help to assure that a book is worth your while and will generate good conversation.  If you don’t have this nailed down, and you let everyone pick a book (which is only fair), your group might end up reading “Goosebumps” – or something worse!  If that’s the case, the conversation is pretty much derailed before it even starts.

Secondly, if you want to learn something from the group, it will take a little bit of work.  You don’t have to write a doctoral dissertation, but do a little bit of research.  I know of groups that ask someone to do a presentation on the author, or about the themes or style of the book, before the general discussion.  I always thought that would be fun, and give the group a solid jumping-off point for conversation.  And there’s lots of resources available now that are designed for just this sort of thing, so you don’t personally have to slog through the Library of Congress to gather this info!  If you want the conversation to go farther than just “I liked it/I didn’t like it,” give your group the tools to do so.

What books are on your  nightstand right now?

I just started “The People in the Trees” by Hanya Yanagihara, and I’m halfway through “Empress Dowager Cixi” by Jung Chang.  Incidentally, these are both fairly new books that had not appeared on my radar at all until I was in Seattle and picked them on a trip to the University bookstore.  One was a staff pick (regrettably I can’t remember the staff person’s name), and the other was nicely displayed in the Asian history section.  So you see, even booksellers need help finding the perfect read sometimes!

What are the new books for 2014 that you can’t wait to get your hands on?

I’m very excited for Helen Oyeyemi’s new book “Boy, Snow, Bird.”  Her book “Mr. Fox” was such a gem, and the new book is getting a lot of press, which I hope translates into more people reading her.

The amazing, demented Patricia Lockwood is publishing her first book of poetry with a major publisher in May.  She’s previously published with small presses and online, but the new book is with Penguin, and called “Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals.”  I can’t remember the last time I saw someone doing something so fresh and, frankly, shocking, with poetry.  It’s incredibly fun to watch.

And Roz Chast is releasing her first book of non-fiction, a graphic novel autobiography titled “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?”  I read it in advance, and while it’s not a long book, it is nowhere near slight.  It’s heartbreaking and hilarious.

Two cookbooks (I’m an addict) that have caught my eye in catalogs and previews so far:

- “A Mouthful of Stars” by Kim Sunee (who wrote the gorgeous “Trail of Crumbs”)

- “Forest Feast: Simple Vegetarian Recipes from My Cabin in the Woods” by Erin Gleeson – hands down, the most beautiful cookbook I’ve seen in ages!

Honestly, it’s going to be a big year for books.  Superstars that are releasing new titles this year include Emma Donoghue, Michael Lewis, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Michael Cunningham, for starters.  It’s gonna be a bumper crop!

If you could live inside one book, which would you choose?

This is tough, because many of the books I love depict a world I would rather not live in!

I think I’ll go back to childhood for this one:  I remember reading Astrid Lindgren’s “Ronia: The Robber’s Daughter,” and wanting to run away to the enchanted forest in that book and live with wild and crazy robbers!  In reality, I was such a quiet, timid kid, who never broke any rules.  I think what I wanted was to be as brave and bold as Ronia and Birk, and to laugh at danger like they did (I seem to remember that they liked to say that phrase a lot?).  That’s never really happened, so I’ll revive that wish!

I also remember very clearly wanting more than anything to get into Willy Wonka’s factory, and finding it utterly unfair that I couldn’t.

What does it mean for Yakima to have a indie bookstore like inklings in its midst?

We love books here, and I mean that sincerely.  Our entire staff reads and reviews books; we love to talk about them, and share them with our customers.  I love it when a co-worker tells me how they just put their favorite book in someone’s hand, and convinced them to give it a try.  We get so excited about it!  Other times, you’ll find one of our staff having a long talk with a customer, sharing their mutual love for a book, or their disagreements!  That relationship is about a shared passion, and it’s a genuine one. 

From the beginning, the idea for Inklings was to be a “place set aside for books and their friends,” and I think on the community level, we matter exactly because our goal has always been bigger than just to sell books.  We want to be a gathering place for our community, and to be engaged with our community.  It’s part of the reason we’re so confident in the face of online retailers and big box stores.  We enrich our community’s experience with events, from the serious to the silly.  We help young readers find that first book, that key that will open up their world to the possibilities of reading.  We’re involved with local schools, providing books for their libraries, and holding fundraisers for them.  And on a most basic level, we’re open every day of the week, with big, comfy chairs for you to read in!  I love looking up from my work, and realizing we’ve had the same customer browsing our store for hours.  It’s that sense of place, and that relationship with our reading friends that is so key; I don’t think any algorithm will ever be able to duplicate it.

Healthy, Homemade Granola Bars

Healthy, Homemade Granola Bars

I got the recipe below from a friend of a friend and it has sat in my binder for the past three years. I decided it was time to give it a try and I’m glad I did. They are so tasty!These are the perfect, protein-packed snack for your little athlete. They’re also great for lunches or that mid-day snack when you start to crave sugar.

The recipe can be customized any way you like to adjust for preferences or food allergies. The options are endless. As long as you follow the simple steps of preparing your chosen dry ingredients, wet ingredients (a.k.a. the glue that holds it all together), and dried fruit, you’re sure to have a winning combination. If you come up with something great, let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

I didn’t have crushed peanuts so I added 1/2 cup of peanut butter to the wet ingredients. Because of that my bars turned out a little softer. But they were still delicious!

Homemade high protein granola bars

Homemade Granola Bars

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • ¾ cup wheat germ
  • ¾ cup non-salted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup crushed peanuts

Wet Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt

 

  •  8 ounces dried fruit of your choice and/or coconut

Instructions

Mix and toast dry ingredients in the oven at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes stirring at 4 minutes. At the same time, mix the wet ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes.

In a large bowl mix dry ingredients, wet ingredients and dried fruit. Place mixture in a wax paper lined 13×9 inch pan. Top mixture with wax paper and push down flat until you have an even mixture. Let sit over night to set. Cut into 16 bars in the morning.

Weekend Therapy

Weekend Therapy

What a perfect weekend–a Saturday curled up by the fire, the whole family whittling the day away reading, watching movies, Pinteresting, napping and feasting (Doug made an amazing roast).  The most relaxing, lovely day I’ve had in a while.  And then waking up to winter (finally), reveling in the 10+ inches of snow that fell throughout Saturday afternoon and into the evening. While Doug was off helping neighbors and family shovel snow, Sophie and I added coats and boots to our already stylish attire of robe and jammies, grabbed our cameras and headed out to explore.

We laughed and shivered and studied and listened–the world looking and sounding so different.  Sophie uncovered her trampoline and I captured her jumping through the snow.

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Then we shook the snow from our boots, tore off our wet socks and walked barefoot into the kitchen to make hot cocoa.  We sat by the fire and talked.  And then back to the kitchen to make chocolate chip pancakes covered in warm berries.

And that is why now, Sunday evening, I feel human again (rejuvenated), ready to take on the week.  And that is why I love weekends.

 

Custom Console Table

Custom Console Table

You may remember me complaining about our worn out, too small, very uncomfortable couch in my House Anniversary post. We bit the bullet this summer and finally ordered the Henry Sectional from West Elm. After going back and forth between two colors I decided on Performance Velvet in Otter. I love it! The fabric is so soft. It’s a microfiber which means it’s easy to care for but it has a longer nap so it feels more like velvet.

The sectional takes up the entire corner leaving no room for side tables. I ordered the sectional with one shorter side to leave room for a console table. I knew finding a console table long enough would be a challenge and possibly very expensive. We looked at several options before deciding that Dylan could build one that is the right size and for the right price.

I told Dylan the dimensions I wanted and the basic look and he nailed it! The finished table measures 18 inches wide and 8 feet long. I painted it Galveston Gray by Benjamin Moore. It’s a paint color I am also using in our kitchen remodel.

console table 1

console table 2

console table 3

painted console table

I love how it turned out. The best part is that, after packing them around for over 20 years, we finally have a place to display our fathers’ flags and that makes me a happy girl.
custom sofa table 2

custom sofa table

sofa table 2

Living Room Before

Living Room Before

Living Room After

Living Room After

Yakima River Canyon Cattle Drive

Yakima River Canyon Cattle Drive

I had some work to do in Ellensburg on Saturday and Kendall rode along. We decided to take the Yakima River Canyon Road on the way home hoping to see the  bighorn sheep for ourselves. We didn’t see any sheep but we were treated to an animal experience of another kind.

As I headed into the canyon a road sign warned of traffic delays. I hesitated for a moment and considered getting on the main freeway. But, I decided to take a risk and stay on our route.  Halfway into the canyon we saw this heading toward us:

Yakima River Canyon Cattle Drive 1

Kendall and I were so excited! We pulled over to the side of the road, grabbed my camera, started snapping photos and otherwise tried to stay out of the way.

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Half of the herd had passed when Kendall spotted someone making her way along the side of the road.

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And then came the second half of the herd. We loved this beautiful girl–white outlined in black.
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The annual cattle drive has been an Eaton family and friends tradition for years. Although it wasn’t on our agenda for that chilly, foggy Saturday, Kendall and I were thrilled that we accidentally bumped into these folks.

Next time we will find a spot way off the road to park, sit back and watch everyone amble by so that this doesn’t happen again:

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