Tuesday, September 29, 2015

It was a birthday gift to two of my grand-daughters and a bit of an adventure.  On a Saturday morning, we visited a
country greenhouse that had as one of it's features, the purchasing, creating, and the
helpful instruction of building one's own fairy garden.  The one pictured above, was
on display inside the front door of the greenhouse, along with the one pictured below.

Of course this grandma and her little "side-kicks" were immediately impressed and
intrigued by the colorful and unique displays.

The young lady behind the desk began the instruction process with the two girls.  Her warm,
gracious smile immediately put them at ease.  First off, chose the two bigger and three smaller
plants that you wanted to use.  They pushed the cart, most likely overwhelmed at all the choices
around them.

With her careful and kind advice, the plants were chosen, by each girl.

I was impressed at the thought they put into choosing their own various colored plants.

Then there was the category of choosing three accessory pieces.  Right away, the one chose
the puppy with the butterfly on it's nose, and the other chose a puppy on a little red wagon,
along with wire gazebos and tiny green turtles.

This dear instructor, led them to the big planting area, and proceeded to show them how to add
the dirt, then how to remove each plant, ever so carefully from the pots, and plant them in
their new containers.  Their enthusiasm began to grow, as instructions were given, and
the fun started.

Tiny stones were provided, as was the colorful moss.

I loved seeing their small hands ever so carefully, proceeding with each set of
new instructions.

Plant, then pat down the soil.  Think where you want to place the wire gazebo, and where to
put the walk compiled of tiny white stones.

Their instructor offered the most helpful and most patient type of instruction.  It was a joy to see
how these two girls responded to that type of teaching.

When that step was completed, they placed each completed garden on a cart, where she
supervised the gentle watering of each one, stressing as she did it, the
importance of giving them water and sun when they take them home.  I smiled
as I listened, wondering to myself, if truly they were taking the instructions
to heart.  How long would these plants look this vibrant and healthy?:)
Last fun step, choosing the color of glitter that they wished to sprinkle on their fairy gardens.
With careful movement, the she lightly sprinkled glitter onto the watered plants. 
What a perfect ending to their creation! 

Two completed tiny gardens.  A learning and fun birthday adventure, for two special
granddaughters, and their maw ma, who now wants to come back and build her own fairy
garden for her kitchen.

"What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing."   ~Aristotle

"To look at is one thing;
To see is another.
To understand is a third.
To learn from what you understand is still something else.
But to act on what you learn is what really matters."    ~Unknown

"Education is how kids learn stuff."    ~ A seven year old:)

It was so good to have you stop by today!  I hope each of us continues to learn something
new and helpful each day, and then share what we learn with others.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The year was 1975.  The kitchen was smaller.  The cook was smaller.  There are not
any wicker hanging faux plants now,  nor any plastic dish drainers, but I do clearly
remember how thrilled I was with my first tiny apartment kitchen.  Like then, I still
thoroughly enjoy working in the kitchen. It struck me recently, that I have been working
in my kitchens(since I have had several since l975), for 40 some years.

Recently, I wanted to use the many zucchini that were in my refrigerator.  I did find another
new recipe to try.  It was "pineapple zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting.
You too can find it here;


Apparently, it was first posted by the Pioneer Woman.  She called it " a cake of such
unfathomable deliciousness" that it couldn't be resisted:).  Well, of course I wanted to
try a recipe like that.

I partially shredded the zucchini.  I also added chopped glazed walnuts to the recipe.

I made the sheet cake into small loaves.  They looked so good when they came out of the oven.
Unfortunately, I did not take pictures after I added the frosting.  I did taste it though, and
thought it tasted quite delicious!

When totally cooled, I covered one loaf with plastic and then wrapped it in a new, colorful
tea towel.  It will serve as a small gift that I need now.  The rest of the small loaves will be
wrapped tightly, and go into my freezer for future uses.  I am happy because I don't need to
see the many green zucchini staring at me from my refrigerator shelf now:)

When I am not cooking or baking, I like to dress up my kitchen island for the season.  You all
know that Fall is one of my favorites.  These small touches and the aroma of apple candles
burning, make my kitchen an even happier place for me.  I do kind of miss the tan wicker
plant hanger though:).

And...by my sink, there are still roses from my garden to bring in, and take their
place of honor.  I am not sure how much longer that will go on, but for now,
it is about the most interesting thing going on here, at just a little something for you.
I wish I could offer you a slice of this zucchini pineapple cake.
It is chock full of fresh zucchini and pineapple.  It must be good for you...right?
Thanks for stopping by.  I should say, thanks for remembering that I still have
a blog.  It has been a long time since I posted.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

As we drove along recently, we remarked how absolutely gorgeous the day was!  Blue skies
and billowing white clouds made up the scenery before us.

Then, before we knew it, the dark, ominous clouds started rolling in, covering the brilliant blue

Dark clouds starting filling the sky overhead, creating a drastic change in the scenery around us.

Before we knew what happened, the rains began.  Not just a soft, gentle rain.  No, the skies
opened and heavy, pelting rain appeared.

So much so, that we could barely see through the front windshield, despite the fastest speed of
the car's wipers.  As we drove on, at a slower pace, the rain continued it's rapid and furious

And, then just as quickly as it began, it stopped.

The sun appeared through the clouds once again.  Within 45 minutes time, as I peered out
the front window of the car, the weather had gone full cycle.  I thought to myself how
much like life this happening was.  Our days can be going along, the sun can be shining with the
white clouds billowing above, and before we know what happens, a huge storm appears out
of nowhere, with the torrential rains distorting our view.  And as always happens, it is only a
matter of time before clearing begins.  Sometimes, a matter of a short time, and at other times,
a matter of days, weeks, or perhaps years until we see the sun again. 

My thoughts then took me to September 11th, 14 years ago.  It was a clear, gorgeous
September morning.  I drove home from taking our children to school that day, and
as I placed the bags of newly purchased groceries onto the kitchen counter, I vividly remember walking over to the television, and turning on the "Today" show, to see the news. 
You, as well as I, will recall the rest of the story.  How ominous clouds and darkness suddenly
swept in, filling lives with the storm of a lifetime, for our young adult lives.  I am sure you
remember as clearly as I do, where you were, and the circumstance you found yourself in, as the horrendous "storm" details of 911 started to unfold before our eyes.

Yesterday we remembered it all.  Today, whether you are facing sunshine or storms in your
life, may it encourage you to know, that the storms will pass over.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Four bikes.  Eight friends as the passengers on the bikes, riding over two thousand miles, touring
the New England States.

We traveled on country roads, major highways, dirt lanes, and climbed mountains.

We stopped at old country stores, where we felt like we were stepping back in time
as we walked through the front door.

Where the antique wooden counter was the place that good friends gathered,
to talk and laugh the morning away, oblivious to the fact that we had walked in.

We ate along the docks, and watched the sunset over the marina.

We tasted lobster rolls, and ate freshly caught seafood.

We picnicked on the beach at dinner, and watched the sun set over the water.  We rode on
the bikes with these good looking guys.  We are all empty-nester couples, with adult children
and young grandchildren.

We toured by boat, on an afternoon sight seeing tour, with an energetic 76 year old guide.

Where we learned interesting facts about the lighthouses and coastline homes.

We climbed Mt. Washington on our bikes, and viewed the majestic scenery from 5000 feet
above sea level.

We rested by quiet, peaceful lakes, where we soaked in the "end of summer" sunshine.

In the early morning hours, we relished time to sit and meditate on God's beauty.

We ate at some of America's finest, "down home" diners, where vinyl table coverings
and plastic cups were the norm.  We laughed, talked, and commiserated, as mothers,
and grandmothers. 

We toured the Von Trapp Lodge and relished the beauty of it all.  We read the facts and saw the
pictures of the real Von Trapp family, and left finding ourselves humming "Doe, a deer, a female

And, yes, at times we even splurged on homemade Maine blueberry pie and ice cream:)

We passed many flags, confirming that true patriotism still exists in our beloved America.

As we traveled the final miles, we were so grateful for a safe, fun, and educational trip, in
the Northeastern United States. 

Thank you for stopping by today.


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