Five simple things


The Bean and I had quite a scare in the Smart Car last weekend. We were turning left off a two-lane highway and directly behind us was a large truck hauling old tires. The size of his truck must have blocked us from cars coming up behind him and while we went to finish our left turn another car came up on the large truck to pass him thinking he was either stopped, or going too slow. As I went to turn the steering wheel to the left to turn and hit the gas, the car passing him came up on us at a high rate of speed. I took my foot off the gas pedal and the car went whizzing by us. It gave us both enough of a scare that we just looked at each other with our mouths open. Lucky for us nothing happened, but it could have been worse. We are glad it wasn't, but I did learn to look back to the left one last time before making a left turn. This week I also celebrated my birthday on August 28. 41 years old and still feeling like I'm in my 20s physically and mentally. I am embracing aging and definitely felt the love this birthday. My family in the south really does make me feel special on days like this. My mom sent her normal card and I had phone calls all day wishing me a happy birthday, but my mom went an extra step and sent me, through overnight delivery, her homemade chicken and dumplings, homemade cornbread, and homemade cinnamon rolls. The Mr., The Bean, and I were literally blown away by what she did. I've been wanting her homemade food for quite awhile now, especially the chicken and dumplings, and this was the best gift ever! You haven't had real dumplings until you've had my mom's dumplings. (But I'm a little biased.)

Here are five simple things that made this week good.

1. This covered bridge...

Just another one of Oregon's beautiful historic covered bridges.

2. These smoky skies...

I thought about editing this photo and fixing a few flaws with it, but I decided not to in the aspect that it truly does capture how smoky it's been here in the Valley this season. Pink sun during the day, pink sunset in the evening, and a smoky haze that just sits and hovers. Hopefully the wind will pick up soon and help filter the air sooner than later.

3. These southern biscuits...

I've been really enjoying my cast iron cookware lately. This cast iron skillet above has been my go to this past two weeks and I've used it to cook everything from a roast in the oven to biscuits and gravy on the burner. You can get the same cast iron cookware that we own at Lodge Cast Iron.

4. This stainless steel cup...

Adding to our collection of stainless steel we added this stainless steel drinking cup from Klean Kanteen. We all have drank at least something from it so far and really like it. You can get these cups here.

5. This homemade brew...

We are on a kick and enjoying it a lot. We've created some new and exciting flavors like blueberry ale-and have also named our brews. (Deer Beers-Straight from the Thicket) -The Bean really likes the names and we are hoping to get better with our brew and possibly put it on tap soon.

For the curious, here is the book that got us started.

A few more things:

• Thanks to the Obama administration, there's still a microbead ban.

Do you products contain microbeads of plastic? (If they do, stop using them, or find out if the company has changed their ingredients.)

Need some new DIY ideas?

A fully biodegradable cat litter box. 

• Give Carbonara a shot this coming week.

A wonderful blog for curious minds.

• Getting ready for Day of the Dead. 

Vintage library cards.

Wild foods of the Pacific Northwest.

Hello POP Shop.

One last thing: Thanks Google for always making my birthday something special and less like an average day on the internet.

Have a nice weekend!

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