Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Recipe To Beat The Heat

Three lemons were on the grocery list.  Funny thing is it was much less expensive to buy a whole bag of lemons.  So, a bag of lemons is what came home with me.

The men in my house all like lemonade.  They especially like fresh squeezed lemonade.  So, I lit my lemon scented candle . . .

got out my vintage juicer & began squeezing.
I followed this simple recipe.

Before long those lemons looked like this.

And then they looked like this.

  We've been setting records here with the oppressive heat and humidity.  But the local meteorologists are promising a big change is in store for the rest of the week.  I sure do hope they are right.  Until then, you can find me sipping a cool glass of freshly squeezed lemonade (in the house with the A/C on). 


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Lesson From My Garden

It's been a bit challenging to be in the garden as I wait for my back to heal.  Right now I know that bending and twisting are off limits.  As a gardener, I rarely take a walk around the yard without bending down to pull stray weeds, pick up sticks, deadhead or clip a pretty bouquet. 

Hard to believe that the innocent looking patio stone above could be responsible for the situation I am currently in.  After purchasing the column at the GoodWill, I was on a mission to plant some flowers around it.  Thinking the column would be straighter if it was on the patio stone, I assumed it would be no big deal to lift the stone and carry it across the yard.  Wrong!!  I can tell you it is much heavier than it looks, but I was a woman on a mission.

I was envisioning these pretty Pentas planted around the base and bought a nice big petunia to place on the top of the column. 

A few days after "the incident", we had a big thunderstorm.  I discovered the petunia laying on the ground.  It was a bit beat up and the decorative stake in the center was all bent and twisted.  It looked about the way I felt.

As I sit and wait and try to be patient, it seems that the garden is offering a lesson in this waiting game.

As we watch those tomatoes go from green to red, the anticipation of that first delicious bite begins to build.  Once that first bright red tomato is plucked from the vine and popped into our mouths we know, without a doubt ... it was well worth the wait.

The first bud on the hibiscus is cause for excitement.

I can't help but wonder if the bloom would seem quite as spectacular if we hadn't been waiting so patiently for it's arrival?

As we watch five perfect blue eggs go from this to ...

this, we know that this incredible miracle is well worth the wait.

This will be the second little family to be born in my backyard this season.  When I see the Eastern Bluebirds fly through the sky, I feel like a proud mother.

This afternoon I saw the first butterfly of the season hovering around the butterfly bush.  After three trips outside with the camera, I was ready to give up on getting a picture of this rather elusive butterfly.

When I decided to just sit quietly on the patio and wait, I was rewarded with some photo opportunities.

My mom often used to say "good things come to those who wait."  It seems as though my garden is also trying to tell me that.  I'm thinking it might be a good idea to listen.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

~ Sweet Summer Cherries ~

One of my very favorite things about Summertime is the fresh, sweet cherries. 

This week the Rainier Cherries are on sale at Target.  They are so sweet and delicious.

I think they are so pretty too.  That little tinge of yellow coordinates well in my kitchen ;-).  We girls know that that's an important factor to selecting fruit, don't we?

I think it's also kinda' important for your fruit to coordinate with your dishtowels and pot holders.

I'm not sure, but I think it makes the cherries taste even sweeter. :-)

And, speaking of sweet things ~ your sweet comments on my last post made this "back problem" a bit more tolerable.  Thank you.  I am still hobbling around slowly trying to visit with you. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Time For Thinking

Sometimes when we are forced to slow down ... way down ... we are given a lot of time to think and, in turn, see life from a new perspective.  We have lots more time to notice things we don't see when we're zooming down life's highway.  We are better able to really feel the pain that others might be living with on a daily basis, appreciate the small things and be truly thankful for what we do have. 

Since my last post I have been dealing with sciatic nerve pain in my back.  It has been a challenge to find ways to sit, walk and sleep comfortably.  This morning is the first time I have been able to sit at the computer for any length of time.  I just can't tell you how wonderful it feels.  I've missed you :-).

This past week hasn't exactly been my idea of fun, but I have had a chance to be reminded that sometimes it's the seemingly small things that really matter and while I'd be stretching the truth to say I haven't had moments of feeling sorry for myself, I will say that this experience has made me see some things in a new light.

A few observations I've made:

  • A good night's sleep will never be taken for granted.
  • Normal days are the best days and also will never be taken for granted.
  • The bird chorus begins at 5:20 a.m. outside my bedroom window.  It was perhaps the most beautiful music ever after long and mostly sleepless nights.
  • The people I know in real life and blogland who live with pain and/or illness on a daily basis have been in my thoughts more than ever.  I know that my little ordeal is nothing in comparison to what so many face. 
  • My husband's loving support has been a real blessing and will also not be taken for granted.
  • Who knew a trip to the DQ could be the highlight of the week?
  • And, finally, when gardening, I will never, ever pick up an unbelievably heavy patio stone and haul it across the yard again. . . no matter how badly I want it moved.

At this point I'm cautiously optimistic that I'm on the mend.  I have gotten behind in blog reading and hope to slowly start getting around to coming by to see what's new with all of you.

Thanks for listening to my tales of woe. 
Hope you are having a great Sunday.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Simple Summer Ideas

Are you headed to the beach this summer?
Do you have pictures from past beach trips just waiting to be framed?
If you answered yes to either of these questions, then I have a simple, but cute idea for those beachy pictures.

The idea for this project was found inside this book.  I found it brand new at the thrift shop last week and can see many cute and simple ideas I want to try. 

The hardest part of this project is selecting your favorite beachy photo.  I had to dig back in the archives to find this one of my boys and some of their cousins. 
In addition to your photo you will need a clear cylindrical shaped vase or glass, sand and seashells.
Dump some sand into the vase, stick your photo in the sand, and sprinkle seashells around the bottom of photo.

How's that for easy?

Here's another quick idea.

I like to keep a pitcher, vase or canning jar filled with mint in the kitchen during the summer months.  It looks and smells so refreshing on those hot days.

It's nice to keep some in the center of the dinner table to be used as a natural after dinner mint.  Very refreshing without any sugar or calories :-).

Sometimes I put little individual pitchers at each place setting.  If my guests want to add a sprig to their iced tea or ice water, all they have to do is break off a piece.

I know you will probably find this hard to believe, but every now and then I add a few flowers to my mint.  By the way, I was relieved to hear that so many of you don't mind my excessive flower postings because I'm not sure I can go too long without showing flowers.  :) :).

Just a few simple Summer ideas for you.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Happiness is a Hydrangea (or two) in the Home

As I sat sipping my coffee this morning, thoughts of my next blog post were running through my mind.  I have been thinking that maybe it's time to post on something other than flowers and my garden.  As I was mulling this over, I somehow migrated to the backyard with clippers and camera in hand.

Knowing that it won't be much longer that my Nikko Blue Hydrangeas will be in bloom, I thought I'd better cut a few more bouquets while the cutting is still good.

Earlier in the week I discovered this pitcher and bowl set which I thought was perfect for my kitchen.

Of course a few hydrangeas could kick the perfection factor up a notch, don't you think?  :-)

I couldn't resist pairing them up with this toile tablerunner.

It should be a cheery centerpiece in my blue and yellow kitchen.  I hope you don't mind me sharing my hydrangea happiness with you once again.  I'm outnumbered by men in my house and they just don't get as excited by these things as I do, if you know what I mean ;-). 

Now, I promise my next post won't involve my flowers or my garden.  But before I go I'll show you a couple more flowers I took pictures of ...

Easter in June

I always buy an Easter Lily to have inside at Eastertime.  Since moving to North Carolina 11 years ago I have been planting them outside when the danger of frost is past.

This was a garden tip I read about in our local paper and I'm so glad I tried it because it works  ~ really well.

Last, but not least, one of my very favorite things about living in the south ~ the sweet and elegant magnolia.

From my happy home, that is now filled with hydrangeas, I wish you a most beautiful weekend.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Minding My Peas

Last summer we installed a small raised bed to grow vegetables in.  It's been fun planting different seeds and plants.  As with most things, there were success stories and not so successful stories.  Early this spring I planted some peas from seed.  This was a first for me.

Recenty I had the pleasure of harvesting my crop.  I'm calling this a Success Story with a capital S.