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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Squash Soup

Weeks, months fly by.  The calendar pages almost flip over by themselves.  Gorgeous autumn here... mild, sunny, gentle days.  The colors are normally at their peak mid-October and here it is Halloween and still much green left and the most beautiful scenery every where.  We are raking.  We are carving pumpkins.  I am enjoying the soups of the season.  I made creamy squash soup the other day. Split pea soup will be Sunday's soup tomorrow.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Seed Harvest

What a beautiful Sunday it has been... sunny, dry, mild.  It is beginning to feel a bit like fall, however, with a few gold and orange leaves on the maple trees.  Today turned out to be a perfect day for harvesting morning glory seeds.  My pot of sprouted plants grew to cover a trellis right up to the roof of the house.  I expect I'll be searching for mature seeds for a few weeks.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Summer Garden Minestrone

It was a pleasure today snipping fresh herbs from the garden. I made a pot of minestrone using
not only parsley, thyme and basil, but added a nice zucchini and a couple tomatoes.  Oh, and a sprig of mint for my iced tea.  We are all enjoying these nice days as the maple trees are showing hints of red and gold.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Salad Greens - at last!

At long last my pot of lettuce is ready to eat. It sits on a bench on the deck where Bunny can not reach.  It made a tasty salad for lunch yesterday along with a fresh blueberry muffin.

However, leaves on my tomato plants were being stripped.  It took a couple of days of searching but
I found the culprit.  Tomatoes are beginning to ripen, but it will be a while.  Gardening is a challenge, but so worth the effort!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Cherry Pie in my Future

Today was a perfect dry, cool summer day... high sparse clouds... and the tart cherries are ripe for the picking.  Pick them I did. In a little over an hour of relaxed meandering through the trees, I have about eleven pounds of cherries.  They are pitted now and half are frozen in quart bags.  The rest will wait until tomorrow to become pies most likely.  I pit by hand one at a time so the cherry stays round, plump and juicy.  Years ago the tart pie cherries were called "sours."  Marketing experts thought "tart" sounded better.

A note on the Wascally Wabbit in my garden.... he has eaten the third planting of lettuce almost entirely... it's time I planted more for him.  My own lettuce is now growing nicely in a large pot on a raised deck seat.  Keeping my fingers crossed little Bunny doesn't climb.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Bunnies Eat Marigolds??

Who would believe the bunnies not only ate the new growth on the first planting of lettuce, the second lettuce planting, the nasturtiums and... yes, those nice marigolds I bought at the market
a week ago?  I also planted 4 zucchini plants and 3 sweet pepper plants in the middle of the mess... no photos yet as it look quite dismal.

Today's trip to Market was fruitful (pun intended): gorgeous strawberries, beets with those delicious edible greens attached, sweet snap peas and more spinach. A wee pot of rosemary, too. Nibble away, sweet bunnies.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Farmers Market Saturday

The second plantings of lettuce and swiss chard are up in my little garden for the bunnies.  A visit to the Farmers Market this morning resulted in salad for me, too!  The first spinach and arugula are here for the season, first strawberries, too, but the last of the asparagus until next year.  I bought a few marigolds to hopefully deter those hungry rabbits.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Toddler Tablecloth Sundresses

Charming little dresses from vintage tablecloths... I'm loving making these.  Here are some 2-3T and a 5-6T dresses (almost finished) specially made for a sweet summer shop in Northport, MI.  The vintage fabrics are such nice quality. Several more dresses are waiting in line beside my sewing machine. I'll use vintage buttons on these, too.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

No Bunnies Allowed

My petite slightly raised garden bed is ... was... happily producing lettuce, swiss chard, peas and radishes until the adorable baby bunny emerged from beneath my neighbor's front porch.  First night he/she ate three rows of swiss chard.  So I googled rabbit repellent and sprayed what remained of the potential harvest with a mix of dish soap, hot sauce and water.  Next morning the peas were decimated.  I'll continue with the spray for a couple of weeks and see what happens.  The replanted swiss chard should be up by then and we can start over.... or not.  There's a lot to be said for visiting the Farmers' Market each Saturday.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Double Wedding Ring Quilts & Rhubarb

I can still find my way by the seat of my pants!  I found an estate sale yesterday 2 hrs. from home with only vague directions.  No signs were up until a teeny 10" low-to-the-ground sign at the street name.  It was oh, so worth it!  I found these two lovely hand-pieced antique double wedding ring quilt tops with the most beautiful feed sack fabrics!  And the last half hour of searching for the sale took me through horse country, Amish country... simply beautiful sights.  An additional bonus was the fresh rhubarb at the honor-system roadside stand.  Perhaps a pie will be baked today!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Nostalgia of Tablecloths

Not only are the brightly printed tablecloths of the era around the 1950s full of memory for those of us who grew up back then.... the quality of the fabrics is superior.  Consequently I am drawn to these for my sewing and creating.  Here are pics of a few of the items I make from these old pretties... and I've included a photo of my tablecloth collection.  Most are cutters... otherwise I could not possibly cut into them.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Having downsized from a nearly acre yard which I'd been planting and landscaping for almost twenty years... to a little 50 ft. wide city lot with established border gardens, I am finding surprises this spring.  I knew there were some day lilies but that's about all I was aware of.  So spring is a delight here as one thing after another pops up along the driveway or against the south side of the house.  And I am not overwhelmed by the work of raking and hauling branches and can spend a few moments looking for new sprouts.  For the first time in all these years there are tulips in my yard.  It's the first time there hasn't been a herd of hungry deer seeking them out.  Oh, how the deer love tulips! Here I also have white primroses... they are beautiful.  What a delightful surprise!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Radishes, Peas and Swiss Chard, Oh, My!

Such an off again, on again spring we have had.  Sixty degrees, twenty degrees, back and forth and everything in between.  But at long last I bought seeds for early planting. Thought I'd prop the packets up yesterday and begin thinking about planting in earnest, but alas we got 2" of snow so far this morning, so will not get over-anxious.  Patience!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Best Easter Baskets Yet

My granddaughters ages 4 and almost 7 visited a few days ago and of course we played with
spring and Easter crafts.  We love hard boiled eggs made into sandwiches or deviled eggs so
of course we colored eggs.
But I wanted to try something different in the nest/basket department.  I noticed Rice Krispie nests
on line, so we did it!  Molded over upside down bowls while freshly mixed and still hot, the trick is in being patient and letting the "nests" cool and harden.  They are cute AND tasty.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Adult Bullying ... or.... Fire and Ice

There is so much important conversation today about childhood bullying, it has occurred to me
that of course adult bullying is prevalent as well.... and in very subtle ways.  It took some soul-searching on my part to discover what I was allowing and the realization that I needed to confront and set some firmer boundaries.

Over time I have severed ties to the blatant bullies in my life, but noticed recently that a long-time friend fits the subtle bully category.  Once the behaviors (specifically exclusion and ridicule) were identified and admitted for what they are, I needed to make a choice and cut back on time spent trying to maintain a relationship with this person.  Once addressed, it feels great to let that one go.  Anyone else experience this?

And for a little seasonal drama, here's my vernal equinox fire
photo from last year as I ceremoniously burned the Christmas
tree.  And the ice at the downspout a week ago... love this image...
running freely one day and frozen solid the next.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Ides of March

Thanks to William Shakespeare we know Julius Caesar was warned by the soothsayer to "Beware
the Ides of March" which became the date of Caesar's
death.  My dad studied French in high school way back when studying French was not necessarily in vogue... but he loved it.  He shared all the French language he could remember with me.  The same with William Shakespeare.  My dad quoted so many lengthy parts from so many of Shakespeare's plays... and with much drama!  I will always remembering him reciting "Beware the Ides of March......." and on and on.  Wouldn't you know he passed away on this day... the Ides of March... nearly twenty years ago.

Friday, March 11, 2016

A Little Detour

Funny how plans are laid, my lists are written out for the next few weeks, then .... wham!....
I get sick with chills, runny nose, the works!  A week and a half later I have "pink eye"
and acute hearing loss due to the congestion.  I catch the bugs my little granddaughters have.
The girls bounce back quickly.  Me... not so much!  I have gotten some good sewing done this
week, however, between naps..... zzzzzzzzz!

Some cart liners and some clothes pin bags:

Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day!

Although we've had some unusually mild days in the 50s, today is briskly winter again.
Happily the days are getting longer.  The sunrise this morning was so colorful... am posting
a photo.... and also one of daffodils popping up through the snow.  Hope this gives you as
much hope as it gives me.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Too early for spring, yet....

One mild day the first of February I was exploring along the back fence.  Although the forsythia shrub is a little rangy, nearly all the branches had stubby brown potential buds.  I decided I could use a challenge, cut a couple branches and brought them indoors to force.  I cut the stem ends off under warm water every other day for three days and soon there were hints of green.  In just two weeks I had the most beautiful yellow flowers and a week later the blossoms are continuing to hold on.   I brought a few small pots of geraniums indoors in October, snipped them back severely, and they, too, are giving me promise of warm days to come.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Varieties of Pies

Who is old enough to remember the first pizza party when pizza came in a do it yourself kit by
Appian Way?  I was in high school and it was such a big deal.  And pizza was called "Pizza Pie."
Last night I made a pizza thoroughly from scratch for the first time in years and it was delicious.
The crust needs practice, but it was edible.

And all so easy!  My daughter-in-law suggested adding a couple tablespoons of wheat gluten
to the crust and drizzling olive oil into the mix as it was being kneaded in my mixer.  I made this
vegetarian to meat lovers all-in-one.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunshine and Sand

Off to the beach for us on the first sunny day in a couple of weeks!  That was yesterday.  Today is glum and dark but no snow for us.  We know how fortunate we are compared to the rest of the country right now during unpredictable weather.  I appreciate the pristine waters of the
Great Lakes, especially pure in our northern region.  Here are some shots of the sand dunes at the Sleeping Bear National Lake Shore and the large islands off shore which are extremely visible on such a clear day.  More gratitude here!!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Roadside Snow Scenes

A three-session knitting class just ended for me today.  Each visit to the teacher's house out in the county has been such a pretty drive and this roadside view always makes me slow down.  Today I remembered my camera and stopped for a photo... or two or three... on my way home.  There is so
much color in this....  I love it.

Monday, January 18, 2016


Love this little 1940s wood sled with red metal runners... just like we kids used to go sledding on.
It's so pretty with greens and lights by my front door... I think I'll leave it there until the snow melts.
Speaking of snow, we have received 12" - 15" of the fluffy white stuff in the past 36 hrs with more
on the way tonight.  Beautiful!  And it brings the neighbors together!

Friday, January 8, 2016

G is for Gratitude

Brief little posting of one of the reasons I am grateful ~ time spent with youngest granddaughter
today.  Simply observing her at play brings joy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Outside the Box

Do you think or act outside the box?  Your box? Presumed supposed boxes?  Routinely or only when you have to?  Creatively by choice?

Was just reading a blog post by Pale Rook, a doll  maker.... the idea jumped at me that my life right now is outside my comfort zone and I MUST think outside the box to adapt and tackle the steep learning curve of taking over the household and be a caregiver in the "autumn" of my life to my husband with dementia and I don't like it.  But "back when" as a newly divorced woman of 38 with two elementary school kids, I was faced with a similar learning situation... sooo, I didn't like it then, but did it then, can do it now! It's life.

Gratitude is big in my thinking as I have the ability to do this and it is a normal problem of life... many of us are facing this challenge nowadays in various forms.  It's not a survival type of third world problem which even more people are facing.

Here are my little granddaughters who always think outside their boxes.  They see only opportunities.
Delightfully refreshing to be with little ones.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

January 5

Respect is my word of the day.  It seems to have surfaced in conversation... part of love, before love, because of love, instead of love.  Took hubby to dentist and went on for groceries, library, brought him home, went for a haircut and he's asleep in his chair still.  Even the dogs aren't barking today.
Here they are one late fall day after a ride and a walk.  Faithful old pooches!