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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

MAYBELLE, a little dog with a BIG PERSONALITY

Whenever Bryan and I arrive in Laredo, Maybelle goes absolutely mad with excitement.  She bounces up and down, twisting and lunging, frantically trying to give us kisses. 
When she settles down, she's quiet as a lamb . . .

until she hears someone coming up to the door and she switches into Watchdog mode!  Grrr!

Maybelle doesn’t think Kepler should have to sleep alone in his big bed.  Is she guarding again or maybe being a good sister?  She gets really sad when he's upset.  

It’s so much fun to watch the two of them. 

They enjoy a lot of the same things.

Maybelle's Birthday Cake!

 Happy Birthday, Maybelle!

Thank you for trying so hard to make me feel better when I broke my foot.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015


There are so many cute kids in our big, big family.    Here are some of the ones I’ve been lucky enough to meet!  It’s a delight to see their pictures on Facebook and read about their adventures.  









Sophia who has just become a big sister!



While our Kepler was enjoying his pasta dinner last night, it occurred to me that this would be a great recipe to share with all his little relatives.  I hope he gets to meet you someday soon!  

While our Kepler was enjoying his pasta dinner last night, it occurred to me that this would be a great recipe to share with all his little relatives.  I hope he gets to meet you someday soon!  


First prepare the fresh pasta.

DOUGH:  makes 1 pound = 4 servings
2 ¼ cups flour
¼ tsp salt
3 eggs
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

·        Lightly beat the eggs in mixing bowl.
·        Sprinkle in salt and dill.  Now, stir in the flour.
·        Knead until smooth (between 3 and 8 minutes).  Dough should not be sticky.
·        Wrap in plastic and let rest 20 minutes before rolling out.

If using a Pasta Machine:

·        Spread out 3 clean tea towels and sprinkle them with flour.
·        Dust the machine with flour.
·        Divide the dough into 6 to 8 portions.  Cover with towel to keep from drying out.
·        Lightly flour the table (working surface).  With a rolling pin, flatten the dough into rectangles thin enough to go through the rollers at the widest setting #1.
·        Dust both sides of one portion of dough with flour.  Run it through the machine. 
·        Fold it in thirds (like an envelope).
·        Run it through the machine at #1 four more times, folding it each time.
·        Set this piece aside and repeat process with all the other pieces.
Now you thin all the pieces:
·        Set the machine at # 2.  If the dough seems sticky, lightly dust a portion with flour.  Run it through.
·        Change machine setting to #3.  Run dough through again. 
·        For spaghetti, fettucine, ravioli, or handkerchiefs, run it through again at #4 and #5.
·        Dust the thinned sheet well with flour and place on tea towel.  Cover with a second tea towel.
·        Repeat with remaining dough pieces.  If you stack the pieces, flour each piece so that it won’t stick to the others.
·        Hand cut into desired-width strips or run through cutting attachment.
·        Toss cut-up pasta well with lots of flour so that they will not stick together.  (My mom did not stint on using lots of flour in this step!)
·        The pasta can wait now while you prepare the sauce.  Keep it covered with a tea towel, but don’t worry about it drying at this point.


1 small onion (4 to 8 ounces)
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ cups chicken stock
½ cup  (5 oz ) tomato paste
¼ tsp pepper

1 can tuna, drained
1 can clams, undrained
Salt to taste

1 lemon
¼ cup whipping cream
Chopped dill for garnish

·        Finely chop the onion and garlic.
·        Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan and sauté onion and garlic over low heat for 5 to 8 minutes, until softened.
·        Set large pot of water on stove to boil with 3 teaspoons salt.  (This is for the pasta.)
·        Stir tomato paste and chicken stock into the saucepan of onions.  Bring to a simmer.
·        Add tuna, clams, and clam juice.
·        Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.  Taste for salt and add as needed.
·        Zest the lemon.
·        Drop pasta noodles into fast-boiling water and cook for 4 minutes.  Take one out and test it to see if it’s done.  Only then, if it’s done, drain the pasta.
·        Just before serving, stir lemon zest and cream into the sauce.

Plate this dinner.   Divide up the pasta on 4 plates.  Ladle on the sauce and garnish with chopped dill. 

(Hint:  to make sure I don’t forget the garnish, I put it on the table beside my plate J)

P. S.  This could be a great recipe to add to your camping cookbooks.  Just use  canned soup stock and omit the cream. 


Thursday, 5 March 2015

A very special BIRTHDAY

A year ago :)

A lot of things have happened since then.



Chihuly Art Gallery in Tacoma, Washington:

                                           Port Townsend, Washington 

White Rock, British Columbia


  November:  watching cars & trucks go by

Grand Turks

And the baby became a little boy who has amassed a lot of experiences,

                                                                 a sense of mischief, 

 quite an impressive will  

and a vocabulary to match.

To other children, he introduces himself as “Kep.”  

In the car, he calls out for us to notice,  “Big car,”  and “Big, big truck.”  

“Book,” is a favorite word.

“Maymelle!” is another.

“Color,” is every other minute.
“Mama,” and “Dada, and Come,” of course, of course, of course.

“Where’s Kepler?” asks Gran Gran.
“Behind you,” answers Kepler.

 Kepler is always on the go.                                   

 Only one cake recipe could possibly do for this occasion – 
                           Great-Granny Foran’s CHOCOLATE CAKE! 
                                           baked in a "Cars" mould  
                                      and decorated by his Mom!

Kepler stared at it with amazement, said, "Car." and insisted on eating the front wheel.

For recipe see:

                                        Happy Birthday to Kepler
                                          and his lucky mom and dad!