Monday, September 15, 2014


We arrived home last evening.  The words on the card said, "Welcome Home"! 
The flowers and the freshly baked muffins, were an extra special sight, and were placed there
by our daughter and granddaughter.  We had been gone a long time.  In fact, it was the first time
we had been away from home for as many days, and we were happy to be back.


Flowers and muffins were the best way to welcome this girl home:)


We had our motorcycles hauled across the country in this carrier.
We took planes to the beautiful state of Colorado.
There were eight of us.  Four bikes with two passengers each.
My husband had planned the route we would be taking, each day for eight days.  Miles and
miles of country, mountainous, canyon lined, and remote roads, were on our agenda. 


We were blessed with gorgeous weather for the most part.  But, we came equipped to travel
in all kinds of weather.


We rode in the sun filled days...


...when one could see for miles and miles, no matter what direction you looked.


And,  yes, we traveled in cold, rainy weather one morning.  Over the wet, mountainous roads we
went.  I am not going to tell you that this part of the journey was just as much fun as the days ahead.  However, this is where rain suits come in handy.:)  And, yes, they did keep us dry.


We rode through breathtaking sunsets, when the world seemed to stand still and you found yourself
wishing that it would.


We rode together...four bikes with four very good, skilled, and careful riders, and four passengers.





We took lots of breaks.  Time to take pictures, stretch our legs, and drink lots of water.

 
We loved spending time together, and it seemed like we never ran out of things to
talk about. Two of the couples were on adventures like this before.  For my sister-in-law and I, it was our first time for a trip like this.

Personally, I have been a passenger on the back of a bike for many years of my life, but never
partook in a trip for more than two days at a time.  A week in CO was in the making for quite
a while before we actually did it.  It was a very special time, in every way for the eight of us.

The next week, we spent visiting family in Denver and at the Guest Ranch.


This particular evening, we stood silently, watching as the setting sun, lit up the western sky.  It was impossible to truly capture it's awesomeness.

I will share a few highlights in the next few posts, if you want to stop back.

It seems like a long time since I've been in blog land.  I have catching up to do, but I also have responsibilities and commitments that are demanding my attention right now.

Thank you so much for stopping back, especially after such a long break on my part.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


During the task of cleaning and organizing my refrigerator today,  I pulled out a pack of Pillsbury Crescent rolls.  I had been happy to find this in the grocery store, because it is the "seamless dough sheet" type.  And, since I had the two "little guys" in my care today, they helped me make some "strawberry cream cheese" creations.
 

I like that they are always up for anything I ask them to help with, in the kitchen.  They ask
questions as we work together.  And, the number one question ....... " can we try one when they
come out of the oven?" 

Personally, I like the seamless dough for my recipes.  It makes it easier than the dough
that is already divided into separate crescents.


Fresh from the oven, "strawberry cream cheese" Danish, drizzled with a bit of icing.


More of the red roses to add the needed color.  Actually, I wished that I would have had a
red strawberry half to place on top of each roll.


My happy, hard working helpers, who would have eaten every one of the Danish, if the
"baking police" would not have been in the kitchen with them:)


Labor Day weekend is almost here.  So quickly it has appeared.  Summer 2014 will soon
be only a memory for all of us.  For some, the summer has held special memories.  For others,
not so.  Some of you are facing huge hurts and difficulties in your lives and the lives of
your families.  On the news front, the world seems to be changing rapidly.   But, there is
still beauty to be found in God's creation.  Beauty that fills one with wonder, and with
thankfulness.  This collage I put together for you, as a gift from me, to direct your focus,
and to lift your spirits today.  You stop by "just a little something for you", you comment,
or you send emails.  Thank you!  I pray that you are blessed by beauty and wonder this
weekend.

I am taking a blogging break for a few weeks.  I will be back, and look forward to catching
up with all of you.  At that time, I hope to share a few highlights of my time away.

Happy Labor Day weekend!

Monday, August 25, 2014


The old glass pitcher and small juice glasses provide a centerpiece for my kitchen table.  I picked
some flowers from the garden, and was happy with the simple way they dressed up the table.


This past weekend, we celebrated one special little two year old's birthday.  The new barn and
farm animals we gave him were a hit.


Since it rained on our planned picnic, all the children gathered on our daughter and son-in-law's
kitchen floor.  Younger ones eager to share with the older ones, in some cases:)


Since he lives in the city, we brought the farm to him, via the packaged wooden
red barn, and plastic farm animals.
 

And of course, it came in many pieces! Guess who got to put it all together?
Thank goodness for our son-in-law's expertise in this area.  I love seeing the
anticipation on the faces those waiting.



We do not farm the land personally, but we sure are grateful for those who do.  We will do our
part to promote farming in America.

Thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

 
I am sharing a few things that I like today.  First of all, the roses I brought in from
the garden. 


Secondly, the sauce I made tonight for dinner.  I mixed equal parts of honey (see last post),
and Dijon mustard.  Stirred together until smooth.
I cut up chicken breasts into pieces and sautéed them in olive oil, until lightly browned.
Then added the above sauce and let them cook on low for 40 minutes, in a covered pan, until tender.

 
I cooked a pack of this rice in the microwave oven, for 90 seconds.
I placed the rice on the plate, added the chicken breast pieces, and then
poured some extra hot sauce over the chicken and the rice.
 

 A quick, simple, and delicious dinner.  We both liked the combination of honey and Dijon mustard.


For dessert, I mixed equal parts of the honey and peanut butter together.
I cut up a banana, and then in another little dish, I placed some "coconut, cashew
crunch" from a past post.  This truly is one of my husband's favorite combinations for
a dessert or snack.  He dips banana pieces into honey/peanut butter mixture, then into
cashew crunch.

 
 This coffee drink on ice is now my husband's favorite coffee drink.  I enjoy it too!


 Now, quite hesitantly, I am going to show you my oven door.  I do have a self cleaning
oven, but for some reason, it never gets the glass door clean.  I have tried various cleaning
products but was never satisfied.  Recently, I visited a blog where the
writer had the same problem as I did.  She found the perfect solution, and now I too,
am a believer in her method.


Jessica, on www.decoradventures.com/2014/02/how-to-clean-oven-door-naturally.html
says she found the solution when she read the book, "Salt, Lemons, Vinegar, and Baking
Soda" by Shea Zukowski.

I made the paste of baking soda and a bit of water, and placed it all over my door.  I let
it set for just a bit, then scrubbed it with damp paper towels.  Guess what?  It came off.
So easily and so thoroughly.

 
Here is my newly cleaned glass oven door.  I am so happy!  Now, I won't have to
make sure the oven light is off, when my mother comes for dinner:)
 

Last, but not least, the beautiful bouquet of white hydrangeas that my
daughter picked for me. 
 
So, there you have it.  Just a very little something just for you, this
evening.

Monday, August 18, 2014



A new hobby has been developing for some of us.  Our son-in-law and family
have become "Bee Keepers".  I must admit, I did not know much about bee keeping, but
I am discovering that it is a most interesting adventure.  Here is one of my grandson's,
with his dad's supervision, holding a tray of bees.  This picture makes me smile.


The bee keeper stops by and together they are examining the many trays of bees.
I am thankful for the valuable lessons that these young children are learning, through
it all.



Look what we were given last evening.  A jar of golden, raw honey.  It was a gift from
our son-in-law and daughter, and it came from their own bee hives.


Here the chopped up honey comb is placed on a wire mesh tray.


Below it, in the same big, metal pot, is the collected honey.  A beautiful, rich looking gold
honey.  The honey can be collected two or three times a year.  He could have collected more,
but he wanted to be sure he left more than enough for the bees, because it is their food supply
for the winter.


Our granddaughter took a canning jar and filled it by opening the spout, carefully holding
it with her little hands.  She took the job quite seriously.


What a special gift to us!  She was proud of her bees and delighted to share the
treasure with us.  It tasted exceptionally good to both of us, especially on warm,
wheat toast for breakfast. 

I want to share a web site that I found recently, on the benefits of raw honey. 
Just in case you are interested too, you can find some valuable information here;
http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/honey-and-lemon.html



Last evening, we celebrated our son-in-law's birthday, with a great tasting taco bar dinner. 
The dessert was angel food cake, vanilla pudding, whipped cream, and lots of fresh peaches.
What fun to celebrate this special guy!




On the way home, we were blessed with a gorgeous sunset. 

Thank you for stopping by.  Do you have any uses for raw honey that have worked well for
you?  I must tell you, we have found on different occasions, that 1 teaspoon of
raw honey did help with easing our grandchildren's times of excessive coughing.  We
were pleasantly surprised with the results.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

 

My Saturday morning in the kitchen.  Why was I in the kitchen on a perfectly beautiful, sunny
weekend day?  Because my neighbor and my friend, each gifted me with zucchinis from their
gardens, and I knew I could not keep those big  guys in the refrigerator forever:).  Every time
I opened the refrigerator, there they were, staring at me, begging to be used for something special.

In the last few weeks, I had perused the internet, and found two good looking recipes that
I saved, thinking I would purchase some zucchini and try the recipes.  Maybe you do that too,
but then, even better, I was gifted with zucchinis, and did not have to purchase them.

The first recipe I saved, was "Lemon Zucchini Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frost"  by
Doreen Fish.  You too, can find this really good recipe here;

www.justapinch.com/search/recipes?k=lemon+zucchini+cake+with+lemon+crea



You will need a lemon cake mix and instant vanilla pudding.  I never partnered zucchini with
these two products.  What a delicious combination! 




One recipe made six little bundt cakes for me.  I will wrap them and freeze them until
I need them.  The frosting is simple to make and adds the best taste to the little cakes.  I
wished that I had some lemon curls and a tea leaf to add the pizazz that is a part of my
baking:)

If you like the taste of lemon, I am sure you will enjoy this recipe.  The zucchini makes
it so light and so moist.  Thank you Doreen, for sharing this keeper recipe with us. Here is
what she says about this recipe;  "I love lemon and zucchini...and together...delicious!!!
Easy, fast and nutritious...somewhat!...LOL"  Now, I agree with her, and this recipe
will go right into my recipe file.


The next recipe I tried, was "Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread", courtesy of Paula Deen.
It was rated every bit as scrumptious as the lemon recipe by my husband.  Seriously,
he said, "he could not choose which bread tasted the best."
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped pecans (I used chopped walnuts)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips(I used white chocolate chips)
1 tablespoon orange zest

Directions;

Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.  Grease (2) 9x5-inch loaf pans(I used smaller loaf pans and
muffin tins).

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and baking soda.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and fluffy.  Add sugar, and continue beating until well
blended.  Stir in oil, vanilla, zucchini, pecans, chocolate chips, and orange zest.  Stir in sifted
ingredients.  Pour into prepared loaf or muffin pans.

Bake 50 minutes(I baked the smaller loaves and muffins for 25 mins.), or until skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Remove
loaves from the pans and cool.  Chill before slicing.  Serve with whipped cream.


Thank you Paula for sharing your recipe with us, too.  She advises serving this bread with
a dollop of whipped cream:)  I like that idea!

I used up all three zucchinis, with these two recipes, and now I can open my refrigerator
without being troubled.


As for me, I lit my tiny coffee candle, cut a small slice of chocolate chip bread, along with
my big mug of hot coffee.  Happy me!

In our part of the country, we have had one of the perfect growing seasons this summer. 
I am so thankful for that gift from God!

Thanks for stopping by.  I do hope you take a few moments to stop and relax this
weekend.  After all, we all need a break or two, just to enjoy the fruits of our labors...right?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

 
 
My grandma had a garden.  Well, actually she had gardens...flower gardens and
produce gardens.  She lived simply and was frugal in her summer work.  Summer was
hard for her, and work was what she did.  Summers were not for relaxing, or vacationing,
or visiting with others on the side porch.  No, she worked.  She grew the produce, tended
her gardens, kept the weeds at bay, and picked the ready fruits and vegetables whenever
they were ripe.  But, at that point, her job was not over.  No, she canned the tomatoes,
the pickles, the applesauce, and the peaches.  She cut and froze the corn. 
Along with growing, tending, putting away food for the winter, she had a
roadside stand at the end of the long, stone driveway.  She filled boxes of
strawberries, lima beans, green beans, and sugar peas to be sold.
She had neatly made signs, with the pricing on them.
Many a summer morning or afternoon hours, I would sit on the chair by the
wooden table, and sell her wares for her.  I clearly remember it all.
I remember the metal silver box where I was told to keep the money.
I remember running in the lane to get more needed nickels and dimes
to give as change to the customers.
 
For many summers of my early years, you would find me, along with
my mother, sisters and brothers, on my grandparent's working farm.
Interestingly enough, I never remember my grandma or my mother ever
complaining about all they had to do. 
 
So you see, this is probably the reason I so enjoy stopping at the
abundant roadsides stands, that still grace the countryside in my
part of the world.  I find solace when I visit them.  I know
what hard work is required to make them profitable, and
for a few moments, it transports me back in time.
 
For me, the lessons of the garden from my grandmother,
produce far more than just what meets the eye, and what
I can share with you on this blog.  She shared great wisdom
and a positive attitude, in her love for her God and her family.
 
Today, I share the above collage with you.  I took the pictures in my
visit to some local roadside stands recently.
I do hope you find beauty, wonder, and delight in it all, as I do.
 

Down the road from one of the stands is a gravel pull off area.  I stopped the car by the creek,
and could not resist taking these pictures.  I found tranquility here.  I found beauty that no
man could create or copy.  I discovered peaceful rippling water, and lush green foliage.


 "Life isn't a matter of milestones but of moments."    ~Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy



"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it."
~George Moore

Perhaps this poem, reflects the memories you hold in your heart, from
childhood summers, with a different slant to it, than my grandma's summers.  I read it's
words, and wanted to share it with you.

Summer Shade

"It could have been just yesterday
The way the memories are remade
That I claimed the canvas hammock
Hanging in the summer shade.

In Grandma's wide backyard
With fruit ripening on the trees
I was young but had my dreams
And could do just as I pleased.

On days with clouds I'd see images
Or gaze dreamily at the blue
Pushing myself back and forth
I could linger the whole day through.

And might have done just that
If it weren't for the fresh lemonade
Topped with just a sprig of mint
Served at a table in the shade.

It could have been just yesterday
But many a year has gone
But when I think of summer...
These memories linger on."
~Copied from the book, "Simple Country Pleasures".




Fresh lemonade with a sprig of mint, just for you today.

Thank you so much for stopping by.



LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails