Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Father's Day




We decided to go out to eat for Father's Day this year.  Trying to get a reservation was difficult.  I should have known to make a reservation much earlier.  Looking for a place that the children and the fathers would enjoy was important.  When I called The Melting Pot and was able to get a reservation, I knew this was the place.  If you are not familiar, it is a fondue restaurant  that offers melted pots of cheese, broths for cooking meats and melted chocolate for dipping fruits and other goodies.  The grands loved it!  The Dads enjoyed it as well. 







There are many blessings in life.  One of those blessings is the love of a father and his children.





 I always think of my own Daddy on Father's Day and remember a hard working, loving father. He taught me many things.  My Daddy has been in heaven for 12 years now, but his love continues to surround me every day.  My Daddy was a pipe smoker.  I often get a whiff of his pipe and know that he is near.




 Thank you God for all the loving fathers of the world. ♥








  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Little Projects



When Grayden made our new mantel for the living room we realized we needed to do something about the fireplace screen.




  It is probably as old as our home of 44 years.  It was the best we could afford at the time and has served us well.  The brass on the front had begun to wear off.  I know brass is not as popular as it was back then, but honestly I still have a lot of brass in our home.  The pendulum is swinging back to its favor and and I'm glad.  We have brass lamps and a lot of brass fixtures in our home.  We're not ones to keep up with current trends.




Grayden also cut the screen down so it fit the opening better.  As you can see in the first photo, the screen is too tall.  After he finished that I painted the screen black.




It took several coats of spray satin black paint to cover.
  We left the brass on the feet and the andirons.  I like the contrast. 




 Of course I had to wash the screen before I painted it---It's kind of shocking how dirty it was!  I don't know about you, but I've never taken it outside to wash!  Vacuuming it occasionally is all it got. 

"Housework can kill you if done correctly."
Erma Bombeck

Little projects accomplished make me happy.  How about you?  Do you have any little projects brewing?





Sunday, June 11, 2017

Strawberries



Strawberry season is coming to a close in our area.  We love these juicy little gems and look forward to them every year.  Local strawberries are the best, but the strawberries from California have been delicious this year as well.  We used to go pick these beauties.  I made jams and jellies and of course, strawberry shortcake.  I even tried growing them, but to no avail in our shady garden.  Strawberries love the sun.

Grayden tells me when he was eight years old, his Mother allowed him to sell strawberries from their garden to local neighbors.  He used the profits to attend church camp.  My sweetie has always been an enterprising fellow.  It all began early when he sold strawberries.  He remembers selling them for 35 cents for a heaping quart.  Along with church funding, he needed to make 6 dollars to allow him to go to camp.

I had a quart of strawberries in the refrigerator that were calling for a different dessert.  I've seen Strawberry Fool referred to in many magazines and online sites.  A Fool is an English dessert that has pureed fruit folded into a custard or whipped cream.  Of course, you could use yogurt or sour cream in place of the whipping cream.  The way I made it today was so simple.  It's hardly a recipe.  It consists of strawberries and whipped cream.  What could be better than that?


Strawberry Fool

Macerate with 2 tablespoons of sugar 1 quart of strawberries for one hour. You can adjust the sugar to your taste.
Then mash the berries with a potato masher or large fork.




Whip 1 pint of whipping cream along with 2 tablespoons of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.




Gently fold strawberries into whipped cream.  Place mixture into glasses and top with a strawberry and a sprig of mint.  Chill in the refrigerator.

  





This was a super easy and delightful way to enjoy strawberries.


The full Strawberry Moon was rising so lovely in the eastern sky last evening.   I do hope you were able to get a look at it.  If not, check it out tonight. ♥
















Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Trees




Last weekend we had one of those storms that come occasionally.  You know the kind that comes in rounds.  The wind was quite brisk and the thunder boomed.  Visibility was poor.  The front ditch was full to the brim.  Thankfully we had just returned home from Williamsburg.  This is the kind of storm you really don't want to be driving through.  The storm came out of nowhere.  Darkness came and the rain continued.  We all were thankful we were back home safe and sound.




I've mentioned I have shady gardens because of large oaks and other trees on our property.  We love all of our trees.  I remember when we bought our property the best thing about it to me was all the beautiful trees.  I remember when the lot was readied for our home they had to remove trees for the house to be built.  My young self cried when I pulled into our driveway to discover many trees had been removed.  Of course they had to be taken down.  Silly me.  Over the years more trees have had to be removed.  We had pines that were not strong that had to be taken down.  I remember our sweet gum trees with a love hate relationship.  If you know the sweet gum balls that fall from this tree you know the pain of picking them up or trying to bribe your children to do it for you.  Trees are important to our environment and each tree we have removed has been a difficult decision for us.  They are monuments as far as I'm concerned.  We no longer have sweet gum trees on our lot as they have been removed.  So much for monuments.



Trees

I think that I shall never see  
A poem lovely as a tree.  

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest  
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast; 

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray; 

A tree that may in summer wear  
A nest of robins in her hair; 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain.  

Poems are made by fools like me,  
But only God can make a tree.

Joyce Kilmer






Do you look out your windows first thing in the morning?  I always do.  What a surprise greeted me on Saturday morning.  A huge limb had fallen between a large oak and our brick planter!  I can't tell you how lucky we feel about this near miss to our planter, much less our home and it didn't even break the clothesline as it fell to the ground.  





After breakfast the guys went out back and proceeded to move the huge limb.  Under the limb was a big dent in the ground.  I'm so thankful no one was under this oak limb! 





We know it's time to have the tree surgeon come and take a really good look at our trees to determine if more limbs need to be removed.




Old stumps can add visual interest and pedestals for pots.  A few have been left , but most have been removed.  We have had over 7 inches of rain this month.  We know this has added to the vulnerability of our trees and their limbs.











Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Samuel's Birthday



Samuel's parent's came for a visit to celebrate his birthday.  Whenever our daughter comes for a visit we like to go to places that she and her husband enjoy.  All of us enjoy Colonial Williamsburg so we decided one of the days they were here we would drive down to one of our favorites.




After having a wonderful lunch at the Old Chickahominy House we decided to take a stroll down the Duke of Gloucester Street.  This was the first long walk I have taken since having a flare up of arthritis in my knee.  I mentioned to Noel, Peter, and Samuel to just go ahead as fast as they want and Grayden and I took our time enjoying the gardens.




As many times as I have visited Colonial Williamsburg, I have never encountered a pig on the Duke of Gloucester Street!




His owner was letting him eat the grass.  He seemed perfectly happy with visitors petting him. 




We passed Bruton Parish Church on our way down the street to view a favorite garden.




It was a warm, but beautiful afternoon.  There were many tourists enjoying themselves.




Passing by this boxwood garden reminds me of how lovely and formal this garden looks.




At this garden you can buy plants and flowers and books and all the items you need for your colonial garden.










All the bee skeps in this garden look lovely as well as help the bees have a home to pollinate the flowers and nearby vegetables.




It was tempting that day to want to take a carriage ride.


Johnny Jump Ups



Walking along we found a nice shady spot to wait for our family to return and join us.




Soon they too wanted to take a break in the shade.




Samuel and Peter hold themselves the same and I always get a kick out of seeing that!




On Monday we celebrated Samuel's birthday with dinner out and cake and ice cream.  Then his parents had to fly back home.




Peter decorated his cake.  Do you know the symbol on his cake and his t-shirt? 









Monday, May 15, 2017

Flowers

  

It's no secret that I love flowers.  Our children gifted me a lovely arrangement for Mother's Day.  One from each of them.  Also Grayden had gifted me roses a couple days before Mother's Day.  It's nice to have so many lovely flowers gracing our home. 






I'm so thankful to have little or no pain in my knee now.  The flareup of arthritis in my knee sure did leave me worried.  I'm trying to be careful and not do any kneeling in my garden.



"The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives." Gertrude Jekyll



Here are a few flowers that are blooming now.  Our abundance of rain has made my garden happy.  It's so important that our water table is not low before our usual dry, hot summer begins.  



Can you guess what these flowers are?  They are foxglove.


Red Knockout Rose



Native Columbine



Pinkie Climbing Rose



Pinkie Climbing Rose



Nellie Moser Cematis



Pansy



Rudbeckia



Sarah Bernhardt Peony Bud



Jackmani Clematis





This is not a flower but a host for wasp on an oak tree.  It is also considered a gall and some folks go to great lengths to remove them.  Our oaks are much too large and the few that we get we just let them be. Soon they will look like a golf ball as the gall progresses.





Our eldest grand's birthday is soon so his parents are flying in for a few days.  It is always nice to have them visit.  I can hardly believe that Samuel will be 22 years old.  How in the world can that be?  Time is passing faster than these fast moving clouds.