Back In The Kitchen ~ August 23, 2017

Sometimes I go through a period of time when I'm not in the mood to be in the kitchen much, outside of the necessity to make our meals for the day. But as the fruit trees bend under the weight of all their produce, and hints of Autumn are in the air, I'm getting the itch to do a bit more these days. 

So I got out my Magnolia Journal magazine, and followed the directions for their Apple Butter recipe. 
As is common for me, I never quite follow everything exactly as I should. So, while this recipe is for the slow cooker, I cooked it down in a sauce pan right on my stove. Can you imagine how wonderful the house smelled with apples, cinnamon and cloves stewing in the pot?? Mmmm.... I thought for sure Autumn had arrived! I really enjoyed it's sweet, clove infused taste. 

Next, I moved on to a recipe using peaches. I gathered a bucket of our own peaches from our small tree, and set to work on making a peach jam. I just used the recipe straight from the Sure-Jell box. 
Oh. My. Goodness! The smell as they were bubbling away in the jam syrup brought me right back to the days of when I used to feed my babies jarred peaches! Isn't it amazing how some smells just resonate with you?? ☺The jam turned out perfectly, and tastes absolutely delightful on toast and those delicious Town House crackers! I think it's been years since I've made any type of jam..... But, look at how lovely it is in the jars now!

My last extra little something I spent time on in the kitchen was a tasty, green bean salad made with fresh beans given to me by my neighbor that were grown in his garden. I cut the ends off, steamed them gently, then added some oil, vinegar and seasoning.... Ooooh, they were fresh and tender! A little remained for me to nibble on the next day, and they were even better having set over night.
I'll have to remember that if there's a next time that my neighbor brings me over some beans.......

I hope this post finds you enjoying some things you've finally gotten around to doing again, or maybe just simply enjoying the continuation of some really nice summer weather! It won't be long before our next season is upon us....

Take care, my friends. Wishing you well in your part of the world! 
~ ♥ ~

Hints Of Autumn?? ~ August 5, 2017

This morning I awoke to glimpses of the sunrise just below the tree tops, and our room felt much cooler than it has in recent days. Yesterday's rains are responsible for this significant cool down, but I don't mind it terribly, so long as we have sunshine. The breeze is certainly significant today, though.

Once I head out of the bedroom into the rest of the house, the first thing I do is open the curtains and open every window. This is what I love most about mornings during our warm weather months..... airing out the entire house every day, hearing the leaves rustle on the trees around us and watching each beautiful bird flit here and there as they come in search of breakfast. But I know many people prefer the quiet solitude of the indoors, even so much as to not open a single curtain! Which are you ~ a window opener or quiet solitude kind of person? 

I've done a change up in my bathroom. I'm not sure how long it will last, but I know for now I really like it. I removed all the soft, fuzzy, debris catching throw rugs and simply laid down color coordinated towels that match my decor. (Well, at least they do on most days!) I just get so tired of the battle with trying to keep those rugs clean because their shaggy pile tends to hold things, even in spite of using the vacuum cleaner on them. Surprisingly, the towels make it so much easier to keep the bathroom floor clean! Especially since it's our only bathroom, therefore it gets a lot of use. How nice it is every couple of days to simply shake off the towels, throw them in the wash and lay out a new set of towels to step out on after our showers and while standing at the sink. If I like it well enough, I think I just might buy some appropriate colored towels that are used specifically for that purpose. I know I certainly don't dread keeping after the bathroom floor now! ☺

The Baltimore Orioles have started migrating. I'm glad at least I know what is going on with them now. Since I wasn't very familiar with them, I couldn't figure out why they were no longer coming to the feeders last year about this time. This year I decided to do a little reading up on them, and discovered that they have a very short breeding time here in Eastern North America! They arrive between April and May, and leave as early as mid to the end of July for their wintering grounds in Florida, the Caribbean and Central America. You could have blown me over with.... a feather!! Ha! I would have never guessed that. I almost wonder why it's even worth their long trip up north, but I'm so glad they do come as they're such a pretty bird. It certainly makes me appreciate the much longer stay of the delicate Hummingbird. Last year I saw a Hummingbird as late as the 3rd week in September!

Hard to believe it's not even 9 o'clock, and here we are with dusk falling upon us. I think we just might have an early Autumn if it stays as cool as is predicted for our month of August. My son mentioned this morning that, as much as he loves the things associated with Autumn, he really hates to think that Summer is passing quickly by! I know just how he feels..... How about you?
~ ♥ ~

Dog Days Of Summer ~ August 3, 2017

I trust this post finds you well and everything right in your world, my friends! Summer is in full swing, with all its beauty that I enjoy so much ~ lovely flowers, sweet birds, bright sunshine and tropical temperatures of late. However, we continue to have our fair share of rain. As a matter of fact, another thunderstorm is rolling through as I write this post, which I did not expect any rain today really! It's in the forecast for the next couple of days, though, so when I awoke this morning, it was on my mind to get the lawn mowed today. And with this afternoon's storms, it's a good thing I got to it earlier than I usually do. If it were let go any longer, I'd have rakings to tend to, and I always try to avoid that! With our very large yard, that becomes a big chore. Maybe that's why so many people these days just hire a mowing company to come in and take care of their lawn. Do you mow your own lawn or have the professionals do it? Right now I prefer to handle the job myself!

While mowing, I love watching the Swallows swoop down. When they first started doing this, I thought it may have been because they actually were trying to follow me and play while I mowed...... But that was not the case at all! Upon further assessment, I realized it was because the mower stirs up tons of bugs that are hiding in the grass, causing them to take flight for safety. THEY are what the Swallows are after ~ and what a sight it is to see these graceful beauties swooping down to catch a quick snack.

Romeo recently had 2 small cysts removed, and an unanticipated teeth cleaning, but I'm glad
he's in tip top shape now. During his pre-op assessment, the vet determined it would be best to clean his teeth while under anesthesia, since they've never been professionally cleaned in all his 8 years. He's coming on the age where he'd start to have problems with infection from abscesses and teeth falling out from rot. Since I certainly don't want that, I opted for the cleaning now. The poor little boy was seriously high when he came home due to the pain killer they'd given him! We were thankful to see him return to his old self within a few days. He just got a bath and nice groom at the salon, so he's looking very handsome, and reminds us of a little lamb. It's hard not to spoil him when he looks so darn cute and cuddly!

Last week we had our road chip sealed. Have you ever had that done to your road? While the process went smoothly and quickly, its after effects aren't so great. With all this rain, it helps to keep the dust down, but that noise...... ooooh! Nothing can help that but time! We, and all our neighbors, slept so poorly the first night or two from it. Since we don't live in a small neighborhood or on a side street, rather on a semi-primary, kind of part country road that seems pretty popular, we have traffic all night long. Not heavy, but still, it's traffic. And sometimes it even sounded like cars were pulling into the driveway. I guess we have at least another week before the sweeper will come down the road to remove the excess "gravel". Then they'll spray the lines on the road. It'll be nice when that time comes!

Well, I'm so glad I had the chance to visit with you, and share some of what's been going on in my world. As I always say, I truly miss my visits with you and not posting for long periods. Come nicer weather, I do so much more outdoors and I generally don't really sit down til mid evening. (And here we are with darkness falling much sooner than before!) Then I have the problem of needing toothpicks to keep my eyes open!! ~ Lol! But I'll do my best, and until the next post, take care my friends! 

 ~ ♥ ~