Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of our friends and family members
who follow our blog! 

May 2014 be a year of health, wealth and happiness
to each and everyone of you!  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mother Nature's Silhouette

There are certain months that we marvel at this sight.  It is the
sight of the Maple tree's reflection onto the snow cast by the
full moon.  Sometimes this happens during the summer months too!
But it is so evident with a light coating of snow.
The Mulberry tree casts a wispy shadow upon the white blanket of snow.
Look out your window and see if Mother Nature's silhouettes
are evident in your yard!  If so, take notice and be
grateful for such a marvelous sight!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Mother Nature's Bliss!

Mr. Fur sits looking at the weather station and outside trying to determine
what to do on this "not yet" winter's day!  For a little guy like Mr. Fur
there is already lots of snow with winter abounding at every turn. 
He gets restless but finds sleeping during the day and playing with
his many toys at night helps to pass the winter time!

Moments ago, my sister called me to say, "Look out the window at the moon
rising over the icy pond"!  And...there it was rising in all of its glory!  There
are things we take for granted...the sun rising and setting and the same for the moon.
But, if you just stop for a minute and think of how miraculous this is.  It is beyond
words or explanation.  The full moon is tomorrow, December 17th.  Perhaps the
pending snowstorm will prevent us from seeing the December Moon at its fullest so, take
a look tonight.  Take it all in...it won't happen again until next month!  Aren't we lucky?
This lovely occurrence  Mother Nature puts forth happens time after time, month after month! 
And...sometimes twice in one month!  The second full moon in a month is called a "Blue Moon"!
Check your 2014 calendars to see if and when the Blue Moons will occur.

Worcester's Gem on One of The Seven Hills!

Recently, I was at an event at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts.
There, I sold my cookbook and other items to the students of The College of the Holy Cross
along with faculty and the college community.
Holy Cross truly is a GEM on one of the "7" Hills of Worcester.  Picture perfect landscaping
with building made of brick nestled into the many different levels of hills.
The City of Worcester is in the background.  On this clear day, it is
evident there is beauty in academia right in our very own backyard!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A NY Birthday Celebration with Mr. Fur!

Here's a picture of the "blue velvet" cake I made for my husband and
sister who share birthdays 1 week apart.
The marshmallow butter cream frosting and cake were yummy!
Pictures of NYC were cut out of playbills and other magazines,
taped to various size skewers and placed on the cake in a random fashion.

Here's a close-up of the NY themed places.

Oops...What happened to Mr. Fur's eyes?  He is getting into the
party spirit by sitting on the boxes, playing with the ribbons and
finding a nice lap or two.

The party is over, the guests are gone and it's time to clean up...
or in Mr. Fur's case, catch a catnap!

Mmmm...I wonder if he's dreaming of the "blue velvet cake"?
Birthdays are fun but exhausting!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The U. S. S. New York

The USS New York, Battle Ship docked at Pier 88 on the West Side of Manhattan.
While we're sleeping soundly in our beds at night or perhaps shopping
along with countless other activities that go on in our daily lives, the men and women
of our military are working 24/7 to protect us. 
Our VIP tour was led by a 2013 graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy. 
Ladies and Gentlemen...we have so much to be thankful for and certainly
proud of.  These men and women are trained and each have their own level
of expertise.  God Bless them and keep them safe!

Steel from the World Trade Center is what makes up the bow of this
ship.  Very impressive!

Reminders of 911 are evident throughout this ship starting with the
gangway and continuing on in all areas.

Table and chair covers have the words "Never Forget"
printed on them. 

A place is set for soldiers missing in action.  This was very
moving to see.

Pictures and memorabilia of 911 are found
everywhere on this special battleship.

A piece of steel from the World Trade Center is preserved
in a special way.  Another reminder of 9/11 that will live on
in our hearts and minds.  We shall never forget!

While up on the bridge, you could see all of Manhattan. 
The bridge itself, was overwhelming!  This whole experience
made you so proud to be an American!

When ships are commissioned, they are given silver for special
occasions.  This ship being named New York had a special
advantage as people and companies were most generous with their
donations especially, Tiffany!

U. S. S. New York

Broadway is a long hall on board the ship.  It is a meeting
place for the soldiers on board.  "I'll meet you on Broadway."

Steel and crumbled matter make up for this memorial
of 911 found in a seating area aboard the ship.

A Bit Of New York Is Good For The Soul!

Radio City Music Hall...Gathering before the
Christmas Spectacular...featuring the Rockettes!
Christmas Shopping at Brooks Brothers.  Preppy kids for the holidays!
Below, the Ladies Department...fur, suede and cashmere...what could top that?

Santa...PLEASE, PLEASE...this coat is for me! 

Grand Central Terminal, NYC is beautiful from any angle.

Lunch at the original Palm was a delicious experience!
Below, you can see the walls are painted with

Do you know any of these people!  Look one of them could be
you...only kidding.  These faces are all on the walls of the Palm
837 Second Avenue, NY, NY 
This is the location for the ORIGINAL "PALM".

How about a balloon dog for your front lawn?  This one
will be auctioned off at Christies.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

From Mowing to Mulching...With a View!

Don't feel sorry for me choosing to mow the lawn all summer long
and now as the months change mulching is the chore of the day. 

I'm surrounded by nature and a beautiful view!  Reflections
of colorful leaves in the water make for a dimensional still life...
Mother Nature's painting right at hand!

At the water's edge, I see fish jumping, turtles sunning themselves,
chipmunks running here and there and of course the leaves crunch,
crunch under my feet. 

The colorful ferns, the tall stately white pine add to my
picturesque view. 
Are you feeling sorry for me...Don't, I'm loving every minute
mingling with nature. 

I mow and mulch and think of how lucky I am to be in such
beautiful surroundings.  Really, really I do!

Mother Nature's stage is set...I'm a stagehand and part of an
appreciative audience!
Are you aware of your surroundings? 
I'm sure there's beauty everywhere you look!  Just open your eyes!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Turing the Page on September...October Looms!

October is the time for crunching leaves underfoot.  Raking until
your arms are tired then...if you are a child, jumping into the pile
until the leave flutter up into the sky and come down again. 
Time to pick the best pumpkins.  Remember not to grab it by the stem!
The final harvest is here.  Eggplant, peppers and squash take center
stage now. 

If you're like me, it's hard to put the gardens to bed.  Some plants
continue to bloom despite cooler temperatures during the day.  But
the days are just not long enough for their fruits to fully realize
their potential.  Mother Nature has a plan!  Her plan is embedded
in our minds and hearts just as it has done for so many years.  A repeat
performance, YES!  Nothing really new to report.  Just the same
vibrant colors, reflections of leaves in the pond, crispy, crunching
and munching all taking place simultaneously like a symphony
directed by Professor Wind. 

Time to take in the beauty of this colorful time.  As the sun sets
on another month, look towards bright October for some solace.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Johnny Appleseed Breakfast!

Follow the recipe on the Quaker Oats container.  Add a peeled
and diced apple along with the oats and lots of cinnamon!!
It's a breakfast fit for a KING or better yet, Johnny Appleseed!  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Turkey Meatloaf...a new twist!

Ready for the oven...just brush
Howard's Hot Pepper Relish
Over the top!

This is a great product!  For a different twist...
spoon over a block of cream cheese for a nice
spread with crackers!  It will be gone in minutes!
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped marinated sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • Vegetable Cooking Spray
  • Howard's Hot Pepper Relish or something similar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with non-stick aluminum foil.  Spray with cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, eggs, milk,
feta, salt and pepper.  Add the turkey and gently stir to combine.  Do not overwork the mixture.
Carefully, shape the mixture into small ovals.  Less than 1/2 cup of mixture each.  Makes between 8 and 10 mini ovals. 
If you prefer, you may pack the mixture into a prepared loaf pan and bake until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F on an instant thermometer, about 50 - 60 minutes. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

As the Season Changes...So do the household settings!

As you must know by now...I spend a great deal of time in the kitchen.
A couple years ago, I started decorating the windowsill. 
Wooden, wax and glass apples are placed upon vintage doilies
and crocheted pot holders. 
Beyond is the porch with its black and white awning, outside
and my garden room!
I call it..."A room with a view!"

Mom's favorite candy dish is filled with candy corn colored
M & M candies!  Yummy!

Grandma's china in the "Poppy" pattern is on display
on a newly painted yellow wicker tray.  I've started to
paint some of the many, many white wicker trays other colors.
It is fun and easy with a can of spray paint!

Here's another newly painted yellow wicker tray. 
Black-eyed Susans have found their way on the porch table topped
 with one of Mom's vintage 54" squares!

My friend, Lou gave me this old school chair!
How many coats of paint does it have?
Who knows!  Thought I'd use it to hold some
zinnias and hydrangeas on the back porch.

More wicker given to me by a neighbor many years ago.
Each year it gets coated with a clear coat of spray
paint.  It preserves it through the spring, summer and fall
months of the year when it's on the Farmer's porch!
How do you like the tomato and zucchini harvest! 
Ready, set, cook!!!