July 31, 2013

my funny facebook status

Hi! I thought I'd share with you, my most recent facebook status. It's pretty humorous, and I thought you could use a laugh.

"ok, another funny garden story...at my expense!! picked 9 zucchini and put them in a big mixing bowl just inside of the garden, next to the wire electric fence. picked about 8 cucumbers...time to go inside, as my nephew Lucas keeps running away behind the house where I can't see him and it's lunch time anyway. I put Lucas in the house, run outside to plug in the electric fence, start heading back towards the house when I glance over to see the bowl of zucchini....oh, I think to myself, I better get that instead of leaving them lay in the hot sun. I am aware the fence is on....I carefully stretch and reach over the fence, bend down and pick up the bowl, clearing the fence with ease. Wait, a huge ant crawls over the zucchini, I stop to flick it off so I don't take it in the house with me. Now, I am distracted. The ant crawls under the zucchini, I look for it for one second, oh well, forget it. I pick up the bowl but forget to keep my arms extended out away from the electric wire. BA HAHAHAHA!! I catch the fence on the fatty, soft skinned, sensitive part, of the upper arm, on the under side. I have no clue what has happened to me until it is over lightening quick! I screamed, out loud, kinda like a "YOWWWWWL" sound...pretty loud! The jolt of electricity went down my arm out my finger tips...and completely down my body and out my right foot and toes!! Did I mention I was barefoot???!!! Much worse! If I had rubber flip flops or tennis shoes, I may not have been shocked or may have been mild! Of course, I truly did think it was pretty funny and I laughed out loud! Also, I laughed out loud so my neighbors would think I meant to do that! hahaha! or so they would think I thought that was just plain old fun! Oh yes, anything to avoid embarrassement! I just love getting shocked up and down half of my body on a Wednesday afternoon! Once again....circus act! LOL"

Oh my, I seem to always have a gardening story for my facebook friends! Hope you enjoyed it!

mini date night

The hubs and I went out for a little dinner last night. I've been wanting to try to get out a little more, and I came up with a brilliant idea of how I can achieve this. Go LOCAL, spend little TIME, spend little MONEY. I tend to forget all of the great little restaurants tucked here and there, in our neighboring towns. I'm on a mission to try these paces, some of them, for the first time. It's a great way to get in some "alone time", a mini date, with my hubby. Here's the thing: when I get the itch to have date night with my hubby, I tend to agonize over details like: where, when, cost, and fun factor. I set my expectations too high. Date night for us is pretty rare and so I guess that's why I try to make it special. So, instead of making date night a rare occasion, I've decided to make it semi frequent, close to home, and 2 hour increments....give or take. I've also decided to take advantage of the little "gems" in our neighboring towns. There may not be a lot in each little town around here, but each little town does have a precious few. The few that have stood the test of time because they are "mom and pop" places with good eats! So, our first mini date last night went great! I loved it. It was sweet, nice and to the point. We were gone about an hour and a half and it was just right and enjoyable. I'm liking this!

July 29, 2013

Beer Battered Fried Zucchini

{{Zucchini}}  What can I say about it? It's easy to grow, and it's usually, always, a bountiful producer!! Not to mention....zucchini is just one of those versatile vegetables you can do a lot with.  You can make bread, cookies, lasagna, salad.....bread it, batter it, fry it.....you name it. One of my favorite "go to" meals for zucchini is breaded and lightly fried, with a sprinkling of salt and pepper {{Yum!}} The other day, I was about to pull out the 'ol bread crumbs, when I realized.....I was out of bread crumbs. Well, what's a girl to do? I could make some bread crumbs, yes, that 's true. But I didn't feel like it, and the oil was already heating on the stove  Think..think!  Oh! I know! How about some beer batter! Total yum!

Here's a quick and easy beer batter recipe that I just love. It always turns out so light and crispy!  ****In a bowl, beat 2 eggs, add 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup beer, 1 cup flour, some salt and pepper to taste, mix well****Dredge thin slices of zucchini in flour, dunk into beer batter, fry in heated oil in skillet. Lightly brown on both sides. Remove from oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cool. Eat! Close eyes, smile and say yum!

PS  **I like to dip my beer battered zucchini in Caesar salad dressing...just your basic, off the shelf, bottled dressing.

July 26, 2013

flop or artsy?

I love this photo of daisies from my kitchen window. I played around with editing...having fun, trying new things. I really like the way this looks. It's funky and artsy....at least, that's what I think. Anyhow....I posted this pic on Facebook last year and ..................nothing! You could hear crickets! So, either....no one "got it" which is quite possible..........or it is really ugly! hahaha! What do you think? I think it's artsy.

July 24, 2013

a day in the garden

I spent hours stringing up tomatoes today. I'll be back at it bright and early tomorrow morning. I have really been enjoying my time in the garden this summer. Therapeutic!

July 23, 2013

Hand Embroidery Show and Tell

Hand embroidery. I love it! I make pieces....and then I kinda just keep 'em hanging around. I don't know what to do with them. But, I think I am going to start framing them in these wooden hoops and hang them on a wall....just a nice little collection all hanging together. I'm not sure which room in the house though. Maybe in the upstairs hallway. 

All  the way....across the sky! It's so bright and vivid! It's full on! What does it mean?! What does it mean?! Remember the popular YouTube video Double Rainbow?  One of my all time favorite videos! That was the inspiration behind this piece. I wanted to embroider a rainbow....just one rainbow...hence "full on single rainbow."

Last year's summer vacation...Cape Cod. A truly nostalgic, beautiful, wonderful, salty dog place! I love it there! I wish I could move there. Twas my inspiration for this piece. 

Sweet little birthday owl...I copied this from a book of iron on transfer designs for embroidery, painting or crafting. Why did I pick this design? Because it's an owl...and I like owls...and he's got a birthday hat on...and I like birthday parties. LOL! Seriously though, I love this big book of transfers. It is from my childhood! I traced so many patterns from it! My mom held onto it for all these years and recently gave it back to me. She keeps everything!! I'm so glad she kept this! This is the book.

Only a homemade birthday cake will do

Hi there! I wanted to share my latest baking adventure with you. My mother in law turned 90 this past week, and I volunteered to make the cakes. It took me all day to bake 2 cakes and make 2 kinds of frosting. It was a long day...but it was fun! I'm a baker at heart, so what can I say? For this first cake, I used this recipe for "Classic Vanilla Butter Birthday Cake" from Sweetapolita and it turned out great!  I decided to go with a flags/bunting type of decoration for her main cake. I think buntings are just so adorable on cakes, and I've been wanting to make one. My mother in law got a kick out of the flags as well, and was excited to put them on display in her China closet where she keeps such memorabilia. I made my bunting with scrapbook paper, bakery twine and a dowel rod.
And.......onto the chocolate cake! Once again, I used a recipe from Sweetapolita. For the cake part, I used this recipe called "Chocolate Celebration Cake". For the frosting, I used this recipe: Nutella Cloud Frosting. I loved the flavor and texture of this cake...so dense and such a deep chocolate flavor. The key ingredients are dark cocoa powder, dark chocolate and strong coffee! So delicious!!

I've baked many birthday cakes in my time....for my kids, my hubby, my parents, my co-workers, friends, extended family. It is my personal belief that everyone deserves a homemade birthday cake for their birthday!

Do you enjoy baking birthday cakes for your family and friends?

July 15, 2013

How to find a local swimming hole in your neck of the woods

swimming hole
definition: a place, as in a stream or creek, where there is water deep enough to use for swimming.

My son and  I spent  Sunday afternoon at one of our local swimming holes. Swimming out in nature is so refreshing and exhilarating!  It's been said that cold water swimming is good for you. I can tell you from personal experience, I feel absolutely fantastic during and after swimming in cold, fresh water... no chemicals, just plenty of fresh air and sunshine!  Do you have a  local swimming hole you love to swim at? 

1)  ask the locals,  especially people who've grown up in your area

2) the internet, http://www.swimmingholes.org/ scroll down to the map....in the bottom left hand corner there is  a box that says "move map to:"....simply type in your county and state and it will bring up the known swimming holes in the area...hover over each spot marked for more information on each spot.

*As always, use caution and common sense when swimming in nature. Beware of shallow spots and hidden bolders beneath the water...so don't go diving without first checking out if it's safe!! 

Don't forget to pack a picnic basket full of snacks or sandwiches and plenty of cold  drinks.  We get mighty hungry and thirsty swimming in cold water and climbing around on rocks.

July 12, 2013

I am back!!

Oh my goodness....I'm back! I'm so happy to be back! I took a long break from blogging...and I am ready to get back at it.  I just wanted  to stop in and make a quick post tonight to say HI! ... and I'm looking forward to reuniting with all of you out there in blog land! I'm leaving you with a photo of my garden. I am so proud of  it!! 

This is just ONE part of the entire garden. We are  hosting a community garden at our house for a few of our friends that don't  have a good space to garden at their home. There are 4 of us all together. Here's a shot of the whole thing. We each have our own space and maintain our own gardens.

 It's been fun chatting with our garden buddies and comparing notes!