Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Hallows Eve

Today is Halloween or All Hallows Eve as it was called years ago. The little ones will be in costume, knocking on doors asking for all the sweet treats. That's all well and good ,as long as no one gets hurt. So parents, go along with your children and make sure they go to homes they know. Help them crossing the street ,if necessary, and make sure they can see properly out of the masks they wear. If you have older children, perhaps a home party with their friends, is more in order. 
Please, NO tricks, they aren't funny and can cause damage to property or at the very least, work for the home owner. Let's play nice this year.
Till next time.......

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Foster Puppy Sweater

 Just when I think I am done crocheting dog sweaters, I get a call from my youngest daughter. She is fostering a little Chihuahua , who is about 3 lbs and he's cold now that cooler weather has arrived. So this afternoon I crocheted a sweater for him. His name is "Tater". So being a boy dog, I got out the blue yarn and gave it a brown tummy so it would not show the dirt as readily. 
This first photo is the top of it and the second photo is the bottom side of it.
I had a small doggie shirt to measure it by, so it should fit.
Till next time........

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Voting

Our Election is almost here. Do you know your candidates? Have you read about their voting record on the issues that matter to you. Make sure you know your candidates. This is not a test where you pick every other candidate. Whether you vote Democrat or Republican, you need to vote. Don't let your neighbor do it for you. There is always early voting if you cannot or don't want to stand in the long lines. But if you didn't get an early ballot, it's worth standing in line to vote. Take a folding chair if necessary. The point is........you NEED to  vote.
Till next time.........

Rose Quartz

Rose quartz is found in, Germany, Madagascar, India and much rose quartz has been found in a famous site near Custer, South Dakota in the USA. Most of the world's supply of good quality rose quartz comes from Brazil. Most of it is not clear enough for gemstones so it is carved into candle holders, spheres, statues and other home decorations. The color comes from Iron and Titanium impurities.
This is a rose quartz candle holder and the light you see is from a small votive candle inside of it. The second photo shows a rough piece of rose quartz that I have used on my patio as a decoration and now it sits in my living room. Being exposed to the elements, it has faded in color. When I noticed a change in color, I brought it inside.
Till next time........

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Miniature Hollyhocks

 This is the last of the miniature hollyhocks. These hollyhocks grow about two feet tall and are really nice. They reseed themselves and come back each year. I had them in my flower box two years ago and this year a "renegade" plant appeared next to the house and is still blooming. Guess the birds or wind had something to do with planting that one, as I sure didn't plant it. I will save some seeds for next year and see what happens. Guess a little bee decided to stop by and visit, since the flowers would soon be gone.
Till next time........

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Homemade Ice Cream!

Everyone needs a new project now and then to occupy their time. So I bought me a new toy with the idea of making some fruit sorbets and sherbets. But my pantry had the ingredients for ice cream. So today, it is vanilla ice cream, the sorbet will be next. This is the first time I have used it and as you can see, it is churning away nicely. It finished in 30 minutes and it was the consistency of soft serve ice cream. After 2 hours in the freezer the ice cream was perfect. My ice cream mixture made more than the one batch so tried to do a second batch without refreezing the bowl. Take it from me it does NOT work. You must refreeze the bowl after each time. I am satisfied with the new machine and look forward to some fruit sorbets. Yummy!
Till next time.......

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mushrooms, Here and There.....

Every time I go to the lake, I see something new. The seasons change, the grasses and weeds change; even the shoreline rocks and plants change a bit. What is there today, may not be there tomorrow. So each day I go there, is an adventure of nature, with new things to behold. 
On this particular day, I saw this mushroom on the side of a tree. The second photo is a smaller mushroom towards the back of the tree. I wonder how many people go to the lake and never see all the wonders of nature.
I saw two deer on this particular outing but they were too fast for me to get a photo of them. What a wonderful sight to see!  Adoe and fawn in their natural habitat is such a fun experience. Once they crossed the road and got to the edge of the woods, they were in no hurry. The woods kept me from getting a good photo of them. As you can see, I love nature and all it has to offer us. Take the time to go to a park or lake and see what you can find.
Till next time......

Monday, October 18, 2010

October is here.

October is a time for, Hay Rides, Pumpkin Patches, Haunted Houses and Corn Mazes. As a child, I always felt I would get lost in a maze and no one would find me. I never thought getting scared was fun, so that left the Pumpkin Patch and Hay Rides for me. I always enjoyed going to pick out my own special pumpkin from the patch., not too big and not too little, after all, I had to carry it  on Halloween. Hayrides were a significant part of my childhood. We would take a long ride through one of the local parks and then meet back at school for chili and hot chocolate. It wasn't hard to find a farmer willing to take you on a Hayride. It was just part of the season to be enjoyed by the young and old. That time is here again, what will you be doing to celebrate the Autumn season?
Till next time......

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Bit of Color


Fall is upon us and things are turning different shades of brown and tan. But among all the different shades of brown, you see a speck of color here and there. I spotted a bush that was just starting to turn magenta. Won't the bush be gorgeous when it is all this lovely color? The trees aren't as red this year as in past seasons. But perhaps it is still early. A lot of trees have lost their leaves already and there is nothing but bare limbs.I'll keep an eye out and see if more trees turn red.
 Here is another bit of color among the many different grasses and foliage. How can you pass this up when it will soon be gone for the next season and even sooner, most likely covered with snow?


This field was dry weeds and grasses, but in the midst of it was a lovely blue flower. You need to look for these little gems of color or you will pass them by unnoticed. They are worth taking the time to see.



 This is just a seed pod, but even in this, there is beauty. When you are taking a walk, it is hard not to enjoy the many gifts of nature, even in a seed pod. 
I really like going out to enjoy the autumn beauty and see all the little gems of color and preserving them for at least another season. When the snow comes, it will all be white for several months and even the tan grasses will be hidden.
Till next time......

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

English Breakfast Sausage

 I thought you might want to compare an English Inn to our B&B's in America. This is The George Inn, Southwark, London England. I have also pictured a typical "Full English Breakfast" which is quite different from ours. You won't find Baked Beans or Fried Tomatoes or Fried Mushrooms on our breakfast menu. However, it seems quite common in England. I am assuming that dark spot on the left of the plate might be a fried mushroom. The English definitely give a larger portion of meat on their breakfast plates. I looked at many and they all seemed the same. Every plate I saw had ham and sausage on it.  I received a breakfast sausage recipe from a friend "across the pond". It was quite good but of course I had to "make it my own" and change it up just a bit. His family took regular sausage and added grated apple to it. Pork and apple have always gone together in this country so thought I would give it a try and I was pleasantly surprised. It was quite good and I have made it several times. 
In the UK there are believed to be 470 different kinds of sausage. Some made by traditional region recipes and some modern recipes which add fruit such as apple and apricot to the meat. I wonder how many different kinds of sausage we have in the United States. I wonder.......
Till next time......

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

French Toast

French Toast is more than just dunking  dry bread in an egg and milk mixture.  If you add some vanilla and nutmeg you will enjoy a  dish several steps above what you are eating now. The recipe is so simple and will not take you any longer than what you are now making. These are the French Toast slices you would be served in a B&B or a 4 Star restaurant. Don't you deserve to eat this good at home.
I know I do! 
French Toast
2 large or jumbo eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp heavy cream, (1% milk will also work)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp vanilla, to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of salt
4 slices of day old bread (French bread works well)
In a shallow bowl, beat eggs, add the milk, vanilla, nutmeg and salt. Dip each side of the bread in the egg mixture. Cook on a greased hot griddle until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Serve with syrup or butter and sugar. Yield: 2 servings.
Here's another tip, if you add a little vanilla and nutmeg to waffles, you will not be disappointed.
Till next time.......

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hot Chicken Salad Casserole

I enjoyed a delicious lunch with friends the other day. Realizing the entree was not all that complicated; I went home and started to think about the ingredients in it. There are nine ingredients and they are things you would most likely have in  your refrigerator or pantry. There are many recipes on the Internet for this lovely casserole, but the trick is to take it and make it your own. I am sure that's what the Chef did where I ate lunch. So I did the same thing and came out with this delectible casserole. I encourage you all to do the same. Experimenting is what makes cooking fun.
Till next time...... 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Last Flowers of Summer

This morning as I was coming home from exercising I was looking at the last few flowers growing near my home. In a few days they will be wilted, withered and gone for another year.
It seems like just yesterday the flowers were beginning to bud and open. Now the season for them is almost over. How fast the time flies. Fall brings many wonders of it's own and I will be on the lookout for the beauty of Fall.
The lilies are almost gone as well now. Just a few here and there dotting the yard with a bit of color. They are not willing to give up just yet. But capturing them in photography allows me to enjoy them all year. Now when winter arrives and the trees and flowers are bare; I can look at them and know in the Spring they will be back.
Till next time.......

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Time Out For Photography...

One of the last rose blooms of Summer or maybe I should say Fall. I was wearing a sleeveless vest as I went around to catch the last vestiges of summer and it was definitely chilly.
One Black Eyed Susan is hanging on. How pretty is this one little bloom. Frost is getting closer by the hour.
This little bunny has found a safe haven in a quiet little garden on the side of the house. Even the dogs barking in the close proximity don't seem to bother this little one. Today was the perfect time to catch her in her environment. 
Till next time...