Saturday, February 28, 2015


I've been practicing taking photos with my new camera.  Practice makes perfect--right?  Well maybe not perfect, but better.  I realized that there is a theme going on with a lot of items around our home.  There are birds everywhere.  I love birds--we feed them and they give us so much joy in return.  Our feeders are right outside our windows and there is usually someone visiting them.  

This is a swan pitcher that belonged to my Mama.  I remember this being in one of the corner cabinets in our dining room when I was growing up.  I believe it belonged to her grandmother.  It has been repaired as the tell tale glue implies.

This small plate was another item that was my Mama's.  It always resided on our coffee table and most of the time had cigarette butts in it.  Both of my parents smoked.  My Mama smoked cigarettes.  Her Mama worked for Liggett Meyers and the factory gave free cigarettes to all of its employees.  My Nanny didn't smoke, but all of her children did.  Free cigarettes--Can you imagine bringing them home to your children?  I'm sure that is how a lot of folks became addicted to them.  My Daddy was a pipe smoker.  Sometimes I smell his pipe tobacco--really I do and so does my Sister.  I feel strongly that smoking shortened my parents lives.

My Mama and Daddy loved to go to auctions.  I believe they bought this plate at an auction.

This is a lamp in our bedroom.  It is rose medallion.  Notice the birds on the side.

This is a vase that my sister gave me.  There is pair of them--a woman and a man.  She is holding bird that has a broken wing.  I had not noticed this until I started photographing it.

A Ginger Jar from my parents.

I bought this little wrought iron bird at an antique shop.

I don't remember where this cutie came from, but he loves our living room.

I have roosters in our kitchen.  When we painted, a couple of years ago, I removed quite a few of them.  This was a gift from our son, so he stays on the counter.  He's watching over these little chicks.

I think it's time to turn the lights out on this subject.

Have a great weekend, friends. ♥

Thursday, February 26, 2015


There are many things in life that come along to cause us to pause.  Our son's and grandson's 14 year old dog passed away yesterday.  Henry had not been doing well for the past few months.  We laugh and say that Henry was Grady's first son. Henry is older than his children.   Our son and grandsons are so sad today. Alex and Miles have always had Henry in their lives.  It's one of those things that happens in life that you want your children and grandchildren to be protected from. I can't protect them today.  It's the circle of life.

Grady and Henry

Henry was one of the sweetest, smartest dogs we've ever been with.  We will miss you Henry. You have been a wonderful companion to our son and grandsons.

I'll leave you with a most interesting sunset from last week.  It looked like the sun was on fire.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Weekend Fun

We were able to have all three grandsons in our home this weekend.  The weather was quite snowy, icy and then rainy.  We didn't mind.  We always have fun together.

All of the guys decided to go outside for an old fashioned snowball battle.  What energy these kids have. Their Bear (grandfather) joined in the fun while their Boo (grandmother) stayed inside and took photos!  Hey, someone had to do it.

Returning inside close to the fire, and peeling off wet snowy clothes, a request for hot chocolate was made. Boo always says yes to hot chocolate in the winter!  Yes, I'm one of those grandmothers!

After hot chocolate we played Blockhead with the youngest.  He loves this game!

I have to say all around it was a perfect weekend with the grands!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

French Toast and Stewed Apples

We love having french toast for breakfast on weekends or holidays.  There seems to be more time to make a breakfast then.  With our grandson living with us, I know I tend to make food that I know he enjoys.  My husband is happy about that.  So on Valentine's Day I decided to make french toast and stewed apples. I'm using my Johnson Brothers Hearts and Flowers for February.  I've had these dishes forever and are one of my favorite patterns.

Last week we took a quick trip to the mountains to get a change of scenery.  It helps with the winter doldrums to take little trips if possible. While in the mountains we went to Sperryville to buy some apples.  In the fall we bought the most delicious Pink Lady apples.  The apple season is over, but we were hoping to find some apples at the little places along the way.  Even though we were unable to buy Pink Ladies we were able to buy some York apples.  Yes, they were a little past their prime--but we bought a half bushel of apples for 5 dollars.  I figured we could eat apples as our main fruit for a while.

I make our bread with a simple recipe:

This recipe makes 4 loaves of bread.
Grease 4 loaf pans
In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer put:
5 1/2 cups of warm water
3 T yeast
8 cups of all purpose flour--I use King Arthur Flour
3 cups of whole wheat flour
2 T salt
3 T sugar
Mix all together ---this will be a very wet sticky dough.  It's okay!  Divide dough into the 4 loaf pans.  Let rise until up to top of loaf pans.  This normally takes about an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake bread for 35 minutes.  This is a dense bread and makes great toast or french toast.  Grilled cheese is great on this bread also.  I put the extra bread in the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge when needed.

Stewed apples are so easy to make:
Just peel and slice apples into chunks.  Put into sauce pan and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.  For five apples I only add 1 teaspoon of sugar.  Add 1-2 tablespoons of water and cover your pan and let simmer til done.  They cook very quickly and are delicious.

The things we do for our grandchildren!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sunday Afternoon

Grayden and I went to a lecture and movie about the Rappahannock River that winds through our city.  The program was held on the banks of the river at Belmont the former home of Gari Melchers.  A National Historic Landmark, Gari Melchers' Home and Studio is one of just 30 of America's most significant artists' spaces included in the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Artists' Homes and Studios consortium.

It was a freezing windy afternoon. Don't let the sunny skies fool you. When we left home it was 17 degrees.  Thank goodness the sun was shining and the sky was a beautiful azure blue.  The lecture was held in a warm pavilion behind Mr. Melchers' studio.

Gari Melchers and his wife Corinne lived at Belmont.  They wanted to have a home in a rural area that would allow Gari Melchers to pursue his art in his later years.  He was not a starving artist and did quite well for himself.  They bought 27 acres on the banks of the Rappahannock River.  If you want to know more about Gari Melchers  check out  He was a proponent of naturalism and his art work is beautiful.

Mr Melchers was born in Detroit.  He was the son of a wood carver and Paris trained sculptor.  His father sent him abroad at seventeen, but he actually did not reach Paris for three years.  He pursued academic German painting in Dusseldorf, where he was especially fond of the Impressionists, especially Monet.  In Paris he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts un Lefebvre and Boulanger.

Belmont is a beautiful property and is quite lovely all seasons of the year.

Rappahannock River  


Estate Map

Friday, February 13, 2015


Do you love scones as much as I do?  I have been making them for many years now.  The first time I ever had them was in a little tearoom in our town.  It was run by an English woman and she served them with clotted cream that was unbelievably delicious!  My daughter and I used to go there.  I don't serve my scones with clotted cream--  we eat them plain.  The great thing about scones is you can make them rather quickly and add whatever suites your fancy.  I asked my husband a stupid question the other day before making scones.  He is a chocoholic and I knew full well which he would choose.  I asked him if he wanted raisin or chocolate chip scones.  You can guess which one he chose.

Here is the recipe that I love to make for Scones:

Makes 16 Scones

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, diced
1 cup cold whipping cream--if you don't have or want to use cream you may use whole milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a baking sheet and set aside

Handling ingredients as little as possible, in a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Blend in butter with pastry blender until crumbly.  Add cream, stirring just until dough sticks together. If you wish, add 1 cup of dried fruit or, if you are like Grayden, you'll want to add 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Turn onto a floured board.  Knead 4 or 5 times gently.  Divide dough in half and pat each into a 6 inch circle.  Cut across (pizza style) each to make 8 triangles. Place on baking sheet.  Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Enjoy.

Make some scones for those you love.

Happy Valentine's Day! ♥

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Making Stock

Do you make stock?  It's the most simple thing you can do to make the most wonderful soups, stews, and sauces.  I prefer to make chicken stock.  If you are vegetarian you can make stock from vegetable peelings.  Today I'd like to show you an easy way to make chicken stock.

There are all sorts of "official" ways of making stock.  I am not a chef, but I'll show you a very easy way to make chicken stock in a crock pot that my daughter taught me how to do. I used to make this stock on top of the stove--but when she told me about using the crock pot it's much easier.

Last week I made roast chicken for our family.

After we enjoyed the roasted chicken for one meal, I removed the remaining chicken from the bones.  I made a chicken pot pie with that meat.  A chicken can give our family many meals.  Be sure to save all the bones from your chicken. Now you are ready to make stock.  It's so easy, it's hardly a recipe.

Put into a crock pot:

All of your bones from your chicken
2-3 washed carrots
1 stalk of washed celery
1 whole onion with skin on that has been washed
1 bay leaf
10- 15 whole peppercorns
Your can also add fresh herbs if you have them, such as parsley, sage, rosemary or thyme.
If you don't have fresh herbs your stock will still be wonderful.
Cover with water and cook overnight on low.  Your home will smell wonderful when you wake up in the morning.

Turn off your crock pot and let cool for an hour or so. Then strain the stock through a colander or sieve into a large bowl.  I always let that cool and put stock into 1 quart containers and then cool completely and then into the freezer. When you are ready to use just pop into microwave to thaw. You can then use them in any recipe you wish.  You can make soup very quickly with this stock. Homemade is so much better than store bought stock! 

Sunday, February 8, 2015


Do you have a nickname?  Some of you may know that my nickname is Boo.  My grandchildren call me Boo.  It's a funny one for sure, as a lot of nicknames are.  My Daddy called me Boo from my earliest memories.  Why in the world would someone be called Boo?  I thought my whole life it was because it didn't take much for me to boo-hoo. That is true--I've always been sensitive, sometimes to a fault.  It's the way God made me.  I feel with my whole heart. I've been told it shows I'm alive and it's a good thing.

Me and My Mama and Daddy

What comes first the nickname or the perception of the nickname?  Was I sensitive because of a silly name?  I don't think so or maybe I do.

Many years later, Daddy spent a lot of time in our home when he was ill with pancreatic cancer.  It was a very difficult time for me, but at the same time it gave me many hours to spend with my Daddy.  We were able to talk about a lot of things.

Daddy getting his photo taken on a horse as was popular back then.

One day we were talking about how in the world he came up with my nickname of Boo.  I was Mama and Daddy's firstborn, and he thought I was beautiful.  He said I was his beautiful-Boo!  WHAT??  I was so surprised to hear this.  I just assumed all those years my name had come from my sensitivity.  How wrong I was!  Why had I not asked about this before?  Why wasn't I told this?  Who knows?  My Daddy was one of the few people who used to call me Boo.  I do like his reason better than mine.