28 September 2008


I do not know if it is the season, or what, but I have been wanting to bake. This is not the usual for me. I can bake and I used to do some home canning. I am quite good at both..... I do not cook. Not unless I absolutely have to. I enjoy baking and I generally bake something 3 or 4 times per year. Always for a special occasion. The other day, as far as I know, there was no special occasion, I just wanted to bake.

I rolled up my sleeves, gathered the equipment and ingredients, cleared a spot on the counter, got out the Ipod and proceeded to make a huge mess while listening to "Cher". I also made quite a good loaf of "Challa Bread". The recipe is from one of my
cookbooks, but I can't remember off the top of my
head which one. If anyone is interested, just leave a comment or email me and I will look it up. The top came out a little darker than I prefer but the family enjoyed it. Even Hubby and he is particular about such things.
One of the quirks that tends to go with lovely old houses, at least to start with, is that they tend to have funny old appliances. The oven here is not old enough to be remotely considered charming. It has become quite temperamental in it's old age. It does work and as my husband is used to catering to it's whims, it will produce the most delightful things for him. Maybe I should practice more often. I probably will.
I quite enjoyed my afternoon. There is a good deal of satisfaction in mixing various ingredients by hand and taking them from mess to what one family member said "Looks like an Artisan bread". The tactile sense of the kneading is therapeutic. My Mother taught me long ago that you can not stay in a bad mood while you are making bread. If you start out in a good mood like I did, it just gets better.

On a completely different note, I had to share some autumn color photos from our area. The first is a vine that has climbed into one of the local evergreens. Now that the leaves have changed color, it looks like a giant decorated Christmas tree. Next down is a photo of some leaves in the process of changing.

We went camping last night. Yes, I know, it is fall and sensible people don't camp out in the fall. We are not crazy, the temperatures were perfect. There were not as many bugs. The sky was awesome last night, we could see so many stars. We took our walk on the road near our campsite. We did not see another human being. This morning when we woke up there was mist all around us. I of course, whipped out my trusty little Fuji and took more photos.
The lovely tree in the field of yellow flowers lives on the road near where we camped. The tree looked amazing. Hubby stopped the van and I took several photos. I had a very hard time deciding which was the best. I finally decided on this one. Can you see why I love this tree? (third tree picture from top)

The marigolds and pumpkin greet us on the
side porch where we go in and out the most. The
colors are just right. I can't believe how well the
flowers are doing this late in the year.

Last, but not least, the cat. My grand kitty was being cute again. I came in to do some homework and who do you think was napping on the computer chair? Spontaneous. She had such a silly look on her face when I woke her up, I couldn't resist yet another photo.
Hope your week was as nice as mine was.
p.s. The kitty on the side bar is a temporary addition, just till halloween, tickle him with your cursor. He is borrowed from

19 September 2008


Another little piece of bliss. I am in a great mood.
Fall is back. We had a lovely little taste of it a few weeks ago, just a hint, then wham, the heat returned. Today it is glorious! I don't know what
the temperature is but it feels great. The leaves are still green and there are flowers blooming beside the road, but change is coming. You can almost taste it in the air.
I like autumn and spring the best. The weather is nice and the temperature is more comfortable, but it is more than that. Fall and spring have an air of expectancy. Looking forward to something that is lovely and watching it unfold just like you dreamed about.
Colors start to change everywhere I look there is a constant feast for the eye. Halloween approaches and the kids (me included) get excited. We decorate
all over with an ever growing collection of vintage Halloween decorations. Sometimes Mother Nature helps a little with strategically placed spider webs. Candy corn makes it's appearance.
In the fall we get to eat more oatmeal. I am not talking about that instant stuff. My hubby makes it from scratch. He adds all sorts of things to it he cooks it in vanilla soy milk with dates, walnuts and Vietnamese Cinnamon. It tastes great and is full of protein. Sticks to the ribs.
We drink more red wine and hubby bakes more. If we are lucky we might even get home made Carmel. Baked squash and baked potatoes reappear. Sometimes I rush things a little. I got out my flannel robe the other day and hubby laughed at me. No, it really isn't cold enough for it yet, but I love the softness of it. I wonder where I put my fuzzy slippers?

Walks are always a joy here, but this time of year they are even better. The weather was perfect today. I did find a few leaves that had changed, it seams early but there they are. There are fewer biting insects and as I mentioned in the last post,
we have a bumper crop of mushrooms. I have never seen so many different kinds.
We have had the chimneys swept. The wood pile needs some attention. This particular pile is waiting to be cut into appropriate lengths, doesn't it look pretty just the way it is though? We currently have three fully functioning fireplaces and one vent less gas fire. The plan is to replace the real fire in the newly redecorated room upstairs with another vent less gas fire. The house was heated with fireplaces when it was built, but it is an awful lot of work to haul the wood upstairs, then haul the ash back down. When we moved in the roof had to be
replaced and the chimneys were unsafe. Most of the
fireplaces were blocked up. When we were having the repairs done, we thought it would be nice to have a real fire upstairs.
Some things you just have to learn as you go along. The fireplace is beautiful and modern gas fireplaces are much nicer than they used to be. They even use them at Biltmore.
I am posting early this week as I have to work this weekend. Hope yours is great.

14 September 2008

Hodge Podge

This weeks art project is another Fairy Scrapbook page for my great nieces. I am quite pleased with how it turned out. I took the mushroom and niece photo then combined them with help from Photoshop Elements 4 and wings from http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/ The frame is a shape tool included with elements.

It has been a very busy week but I do have some photos that I wanted to share.
This lovely specimen of turtlehood is a rescue. My sweet husband keeps extra paper towels in his car for just this sort of occasion. Whenever he spots a turtle in the road, he stops (if safe) and carries it out of harms way. This was a particularly beautiful creature. One of the many reasons I am still crazy about that man.
The bees are in a friends yard back in Utah. They were in an old walnut tree that had died. When he cut the tree down, he discovered the hive. He set the portion of the tree that they were occupying back up and put a cover over it to keep off excess sun, rain etc. Wild hives need to be protected wherever we can.

The tombstone is another art project. A recent trip to the bookstore and Halloween issues of various women's magazines have got me in a Halloween mood. This tombstone is a photo that I took early in the summer. I removed the name, there wasn't a date, and then used my trusty photoshop elements to change the texture and make it look more like a watercolor. I am not sure what I will do with it, but I like it. Sometimes that is all that matters.

Last, but not least, another great culinary treat provided for me by my Sweet Heart. Cherry Scones. He started with a basic recipe while we lived in England and over the years he has perfected it. The flavor and texture are perfect. This was breakfast a couple of Sunday's ago. I am not sure what sort of delights he is planning for this morning, but I hear intriguing sounds coming from the kitchen and the Tea is lovely. (PG Tips)
Have a lovely week.

08 September 2008

Bumper Crop

This has been a busy week. Back to school for me. I am taking two classes online from Lander University. One is a Nursing class and the other is Philosophy. This week, just like every other returning student, I had to fix my schedule (one class was cancelled), visit the financial aid office, then pick up my books and supplies. Once I accomplished all of that, it was time to start studying. Judging from the initial assignments, this is going to be an interesting semester.
Even if it gets hectic, I have promised myself that I am going to keep blogging on schedule and produce at least one artistic item each week.
This week my art project was quick and easy. Bats are lucky in some cultures and I found this lovely piece in New Orleans last spring. I purchased the beads in Ashville last week at Chevron Trading Post & Bead Co. The beads are Unakite.

This weeks title comes from our Bumper Crop of mushrooms. (I was hoping for more mushroom photos to play with!) We got some rain and all of a sudden there are mushrooms everywhere. These are some of the best shots. I have counted at least four kinds. I would not dare attempt to pick and eat. I just want photos to use in art projects for my adorable Great Nieces. They love fairies and mushrooms and fairies go great together.
The last photo is yet another example of the fact that, Mother Nature will win. In this part of the south, if you don't use it, Mother Nature will reclaim it. The photo shows what is left of an old cottage.
I am going for a walk in just a few minutes. I will take my camera. Let me know what you think of my pictures.


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