Jane Can Do Anything

Hi there,

Do you feel better today about your life?

About the world?

About almost everything?

I sure hope so! I am not just being nice when I say that.

My friend Jane called me today.

We talked for over two hours about everything.

So, if the world isn’t right, it’s not because we didn’t do our best!

If only women ruled the world, right?

My Friend Jane

Jane and I live 1200 miles apart. We have not seen each other for almost three years.

We  have been good friends since 1996.

When we call, we pick up the conversation as if we had spoken yesterday.  More likely, our last conversation was months before.

Jane and I are an unlikely pair.

Jane is tall, gorgeous with long, sexy hair.
I am short, OK looking with unruly, curly hair.

Jane sews.
I take even simple sewing repairs to the cleaners.

Jane bakes.
I bake by visiting one of the many fantastic bakeries in Portland.

Jane cooks.
I cook when it is easy or I’m starving.  I do buy cookbooks, dishes, and other fun accessories for my kitchen!

Jane does home repairs.
I call Billy for anything more complicated than changing light bulbs.

Jane decorates. She once rearranged my entire living room while I was sleeping in.
I browze HOUZZ  and Pinterest when I am not sleeping in.

Jane runs a business.
My business runs me.


A little Jane for you

First, a recipe that she just “threw together” one night.  She wrote it down for me.

Jane’s Spaghetti Squash Boats

Preheat oven to 425.

Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds and fiber from each half.

(I poked small holes in the squash, popped the whole thing in the microwave for four minutes. Then I cut it in half and continued with the recipe. Much easier to cut!)

Coat inside of squash with olive oil and lightly salt.

Turn cut side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Bake for 30-40 minutes.

In the meantime, caramelize 1/3 white onion.


4 chopped mushrooms

1/2 red bell pepper

6-8 asparagus spears chopped into 1″ pieces

1/2 c artichoke hearts

Or any veggies of your choice.

When limp, but still bright add:

1 cup spinach

1 handful of chopped walnuts

1 small handful of fresh chopped parsley

1/2 tsp Herbs de Provence.

Cook just until spinach is limp, but still bright.

Add cooked squash which has been removed from shell of squash.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Fill squash shells with mixture and sprinkle with finely grated Parmesan cheese.

Put back into oven until cheese is melted. 2 minutes.

Serve.   (This is easy and delicious.  I have made it twice.)


Tea at Jane’s

Recently, Jane hosted a tea for 62 women.  She served tea sandwiches, scones, chocolate truffles…all home made!  She does not have a staff like the one at Downton Abbey.  The picture below is of the serving pieces that she made.  Yes, she made all of these.  That girl knows how to use a drill!

Serving pieces made by Jane

My Luncheon

I , on the other hand, recently held a luncheon for two women.  I bought a quiche and salad from Zupan’s Market and a mini chocolate caramel cake with sea salt from Farina Bakery*. I served Prosecco. Entertaining is  exhausting!

Chocolate caramel mini cake with sea salt from Farina Bakery.  It was delicious!

Thank you Jane


How lucky I am to have a wonderful friend like you!  The distance and the time apart does not dampen our friendship.  Every visit, whether in person or on the phone, is cause for a celebration.

Twenty one years and counting!

Much Love, L.


*Farina Bakery, http://www.farinabakery.com.    1852 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland, OR. 97214  Tel. 971.279.5939

20 thoughts on “Jane Can Do Anything

  1. OK, first I have about a million questions. How do you get squash out of the shell but it still looks like a nicely shaped boat? You, Lori, must know something about cooking to know you must pierce the spaghetti squash before microwaving, or I guess the whole thing blows up and you must replace the oven. (Sneaky, Lori, she does know how to cook.) That meal looks good enough for company but not 62 company people.

    How did Jane build the beautiful serving trays? How many were there? (I think I count 20.) How many sets of dishes did she use? How many dishes broke during the building process? What did she put on the trays? (She baked everything herself, right? Of course, right, Shari, you idiot, why even ask?) How many houses did it take to place each of the serving trays? Did her neighbors mind her using their homes?

    Where did 62 people park? (Please, oh please do not tell me Jane valet parked everyone herself.)

    Tea – so, Jane did not use a giant electric urn of hot water and let everyone choose their favorite tea bags from the Lipton box, did she? She conducted a tea ceremony for each and every single one of her guests, each served out of individual tea pots, handcrafted by Jane the week before, right? With handcrafted boutique tea leaves grown on the banks of clear running streams, right?

    So much easier for people like me. I have 3 friends. We meet, one friend at a time, once in a blue moon, at The Corner Bakery or Star Bucks, where we each choose and pay for our own rappa-frappa-chappas and squeeze into a tiny table that we’ve just cleaned with napkins. I don’t have 62 acquaintances, forget friendships in such high numbers, so meeting at these local joints works for us. Afterwards I ask if they’d like to buy a box of Girl Scout cookies, for my granddaughter.

    Lori, you are much more beautiful than you realize as well as much more talented. I am not in your league.

    Jane, what can I say about you? You are super woman. I’m not even from your planet.

    (Thank you, Lori, for sharing your friendship – no wonder it’s lasted 21 years: Special People Sharing.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Too bad we don’t live closer. We could be awesome friends meeting at the Starbucks or …. My friend at the gym told me how to bake the squash in the microwave. Scoop out as much of the seeds as possible before baking. Baking them face down (see Jane’s recipe), softens the insides and then with a fork rake out the insides. It looks like spaghetti. The squash outside is pretty strong so it retains its shape even after it has been zapped in the microwave and baked in the oven. The squash recipe feeds 2-4.
      The tea was another deal. Jane is amazing as she plans and works on things for days or longer. She lives on a farm and so parking is no problem. Each of the serving pieces was the center piece piled high with treats. I am sure she broke some.
      Hey, don’t kid me…I know you are amazing! Thanks for your kind words and sense of humor. Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jane sounds like an amazing woman, but there must be something special about you too, for someone like her to stay friends with you for so long. It would be interesting to hear a post like this one written by Jane about you. You might be surprised at all the praise you’d get for all the things that Jane is NOT so good at.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Jane is one of my role models of many women who do useful, creative things with their lives…such as you writing books! I am so impressed. Jane did respond to my post. It was nice to hear her thoughts about me…we can all benefit from respond positive feedback! Happy Monday from Portland.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jane sounds like an amazing friend! I don’t know whether to be impressed or exhausted at what she accomplishes. I guess I’m a little bit you and a little bit Jane… maybe more you. I love the idea of cooking and entertaining much more than the actual doing. Very nice tribute to your friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you…she is so nice on top of everything that even when I falter in comparison I don’t really mind. I am more of a dreamer and she is a doer! Have a great day!


    1. Being able to pick up where we left off is a benefit. I have two ex-friends who would put so much pressure on me to stay in touch. They both live in Portland and I see them at least 1-2 times per month. Chatting on the phone or having long lunches on a frequent basis does not fit into my schedule. So, I have had to let them go. I felt bad about it for a short while but felt relieved in the long run. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. I hope you have a wonderful week. Lori

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind comments. I feel as though I have made some friends (like you) through blogging and it is a joy to catch up with their lives. I don’t read or comment as often as I would like thanks to my schedule. Someday! Have a great week.


  4. I love this! I love special friendships that only women can have. My best friend and I have been friends since our parents introduced us 37 years ago! I’m so blessed we’ve remained close, and even if life makes us go a few weeks without talking, we pick up like we talked yesterday. We met last week at Starbucks and were laughing so hard at times that people kept looking. BTW, I think I’m a mix of Jane and you….I do LOVE her serving pieces. It’s got me thinking….:)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. One of you wrote that Lori was probably selling herself short and you would be right. Lori has many talents. I love her intelligence, her ability to search out and find amazing specialty stores and eateries. She is well read and an excellent conversationalist. She has lived and worked around the world and brings those experiences to her everyday life. She is kind and loving beyond measure. She cares for so many friends family, and neighbors. She was a loving wife and such a great example to emulate while her husband was alive. I miss her not living in my town any longer. She dressed me for years while working in the fashion industry. My talents are not so great,I’m just not afraid to try things and I thank my parents for instilling that characteristic in me.
    The tiered trays were made out of paper plates, which allowed us to disassemble them and reuse the stems. I’m getting ready to reuse them for another tea this month with some beautiful paper plates with hydrangeas on them. and I plan to use some of them for Christmas cookie gifts during the holidays with some wonderful pointsettia paper plates I found recently.
    One thing you should know is Lori gives me way too much credit. I did serve 60 plus women, but not unassisted. I had many wonderful women whom I call friends who spent many hours helping to make food, set tables, gather place settings and most importantly clean-up! I live on a farm so parking is not a problem for us and no I did act as valet.
    I love Lori so much and love that even though the miles have separated us for many years, we still pick up right where we left off whether on the phone or in person. Special friends like her are a gift to be cherished and I cherish her, admire her,and wish I possessed so many of her giftings. ~Jane

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you Lori. Jane sounds amazing. She would exhaust me I’m afraid. My friend of 40+ years who rings occasionally brings the same instant ‘connection’ but she like me, has become much more senior and more sedate, but fiercely mentally active. We both also have husbands of long years of matrimony and this brings unique and shared challenges as our husbands are very, very, different types of men. Love the sharing of your life, Lori. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Undoubtedly…One of my friends who came to lunch had been sick the week before. When I served her a glass of prosecco she said, “Oh, it feels so good to be able to drink again!”. We laughed because this comment, taken out of context, sounded funny…It could have raised some eyebrows. Thank you for reading and voting! Have a great week.


  8. Oh my….I have a wonderful friend named Jane, who lives on the East Coast, NY and me out in the west….we see each other once or twice a year if we are lucky…..we are as different as rain and sunshine…LOL what a lovey post and tribute to your friend, however I have to agree with Jane, you sell your self short, what she doesn’t have, you do and visa versa, I am 100% sure that’s what makes your friendship so special…..exactly what mine has….what one lacks the other has……heres to friendship!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lori, this was a wonderful testament to your friend and your love for one another is clear. I enjoyed what you wrote and felt the emotions expressed in her heartfelt reply. ❤
    You two are fabulous friends.
    I left a town in 1986, since then I visit my friend, Nancy, I met in 1980, halfway there 2x a year.
    We used to meet at Bob Evans. One snowy day we drove up to a chain across a driveway, she from an hour south, me from an hour north. It was closed!
    Another strange year, we had met at an alternative place for years (Frisch's) and it was spring. It was closed!
    For the past ten years, we have met at a TeeJayes Country Place, gift bags and books exchanged plus two hours of together time. Guess what? She just moved hours away to a warm location. Guess we will be calling or texting more, visiting less. I call "dibs" on their guest room some day in the future. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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