Thursday, April 23, 2015

Damage Control



These tea cups were sent home with John after a recent visit to his sister. She has been saving them for her niece, John's daughter. She's passing the torch so to speak and I have now wrapped them nicely and packed them away in a sturdy box lest any harm come to them. They are Crownford fine bone china made in England. They will mean a lot to John's daughter because these tea cups once belonged to her grandmother. They are very pretty and look so springy. 


~*~*~*~



The best news outside, beside the greening lawn, is that all plants are up! Rhubarb here. I am looking forward to trying *those scones* that Lovella shared at MGCC recently. It'll be awhile yet.





This is the forsythia thicket. As you can tell, this has become so unruly that after it blooms (I am doubtful that there'll actually be any blooms), we'll be taking this down to four inches from the ground. If there's to be any hope of blooms in future years, it must be done. Yesterday, as I tried to rake leaves, I had myself an Absalom moment by getting caught in the branches by my hair. I had such a time freeing myself and had visions of being there when John came home. Phew! Good thing no enemies were around.


This is our winter stream running through the ravine. It dries up in summer, but for now provides wonderful peepers noises through the night and lovely flowing water sounds through the day, and probably lots of mosquitoes to boot.


Yesterday, I made *Terri's cookies.* Hmmm...frosting was great! I didn't have amaretto flavoring so flavored mine cherry. John liked them 
a lot — I don't have too many left.


Today, I made *Martha Ellen's Coconut Pie...* I followed directions to a tee. 


Not. =/ 
I think that my pie plate was not the right size. Guess it's oven cleaning for me this afternoon.(It has since gone down to a normal look and I am having trouble saving it for supper's dessert.)


 Outside it's fences and paths...inside a scorched oven... Do you ever get the sense that all of life is damage control?


A happy day and weekend to you!

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Best Blueberry Muffins, Et Cetera

Thoughts are spiraling the drain today. I have so little for you. Perhaps you have something for me!

What I do have is a recipe recommendation: blueberry muffins. Betsy said that they'd be the new go-to recipe and she wasn't just a kidding! I'm kicking my former recipe to the curb. Just sayin.' (If you're pinning, please do so directly from Estelle's.) 


Yes, so moist, so good, you will loVe them!


This morning John served me coffee as he so often does and I took my first sip and said, "This coffee tastes just like coffee butts." John looked at me funny and repeated, "coffee butts?" I affirmed. Ten minutes later I asked, "Did I say 'coffee butts'? I meant cigarette butts." John just smiled and nodded, butt it worried me. A lot. Because just last evening after we had finished watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, John asked me what channel we would be watching next and I said in a most patronizing way, "Now, John, you know that we always watch Jeopardy after Wheel of Fortune." He shook his head and gave me an odd look. Again, ten minutes later, I realized what I had said and that I had, of course, already watched Jeopardy. I remember watching it very well. The champion had not answered correctly. The correct question had been Instagram. Don't ask me what the answer had been! I'm hoping that all of this is just a temporary blip on an overloaded mind. Have you done anything odd lately?

Here, have a muffin and some cigarette butt coffee and tell me all about it!



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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hi

Lorrie and I have a method to use when I comment at her place. I start with a simple "Hi" thereby establishing my footprint in hopes that my computer will not skitz off in another direction as it is wont to do, especially there. Course if you find me saying "hi" you'll know that I am having trouble at your place as well. Today, I'm having trouble at my own.

 
It's another hodge podge day here, though not the real Hodge Podge. Blogging  twice a week doesn't work on all levels. One of the levels it does not work on is having a concise post about one or two things. 


This is for BJ who is confused about French Horns. Okay. Now that I have found French Creme Horns in the Bakery section at Wal*Mart, I see that there's no "French" on them. BJ is a delightful hostess who shares a lot of wonderful tips and beautiful food with us. Sometimes she needs a little something~something to fill out her table and I suggested these. BJ was intrigued. I messed it all up by tossing "French" in there.



Anyway, when we gals in Maine need a little something~something to look pretty and help fill out the party table, we might use this trick. Slice the French  vanilla creme horns at the handy-dandy sections and use maraschino cherries to garnish, plate on something vintage and lovely (those pretty paper plates are fine), and Bob's your uncle!




~French?~





Yesterday, I made a Madeira Cake. It was very easy to do and pleasant to eat. It reminded me ever so slightly of a lemon loaf because it is flavored with lemon; technically, it's a British sponge cake. The glaze was made the usual way with the addition of a small bit of melted butter and lemon juice and confectioner's sugar.  Hmmm... I'll pop *the cake recipe* in here soon as I can find it. John took the plate to his Bible study yesterday and so I know that it received many thumbs up.






 On our day out, we found ourselves at the flea market as we used to do often. I think I have been highly influenced by Diane because I came home with not only four red-checkered napkins, but also a vintage dolly blanket. It was only $1 and very dirty. It washed up beautifully and I feel good about rescuing someone's hard work. It's handstitched. The vintage, turns out, is only 1991 made by a Kathleen from Norway, Maine. (there was a handstitched tag on the bottom of the backing.)



 ~Front~



 ~Back~



That about does it except to say that I have been having such fun tucking one of the tea cup coasters in greeting cards and sending them off. It's like the old lady way of sending a piece of gum...just a little something~something to say hi and hope that you are doing well. Stephanie has had an influence on me, too!




Showing more progress here...a bare lawn! Naked in all its glory!





Amen!


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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Another Ho-Hum

What a difference five days, warmer temps, and rain make. 

I left you in winter and today can prove that spring arrived in the interim. I can prove it like a Northern Gal does. No forsythia, no daffodils, no tulips nor such things. What I can show are dwindling snowbanks, robins, and thermometers.

 ~above 70°F~

I can also show that the town has been abuzz with activity. The sound of chainsaws and leaf blowers are in the land. Alas, this means that another well loved tree has been felled in the neighborhood. We will lose at least two more before the end of summer. It seems that the chickens have come home to roost and that the Ice Storm of '98 is having the final say nearly two decades later.


















The side lawn has been loaded with rain-dancing robins. They do love to fake out the worms and have themselves a meal. This robin was closest to my window and, for a while, he seemed to enjoy posing, until he didn't.

~getting testy~

I have been happily puttering in the sewing room trying anything new that might teach me a better way of accomplishing something. These are some of my latest efforts.


A little who knows what on my wall made from gifted scraps and an embroidered dresser scarf that my mother made years and years ago. It's an odd and highly eclectic mess. I wish that I had had enough of the darker green fabric because it has an "oriental" vibe with butterflies, dragonflies and waterlilies. I learned two things: 1) fabrics need to be more cohesive 2) one can not use the best binding method with very small projects.

~wonky~

Then I saw a unique pattern on You Tube that I wanted to try. (Link to pattern at Missouri Quilt Company) Anyway, when I went to the scrap material, I found that my mother had already sewn four strips together. I love things like that. These are the colors she chose, the fabrics she selected, except for the border material.



Here it is on the table with forsythia branches being forced. They're stubborn! Oh, by the way, if you have forsythia, I found *the neatest article* on pruning it. Mine did not bloom last year so this means that I pruned the bushes incorrectly.

John and I are off for the morning. We don't get out much these days so I am looking forward to this errand-running time.

A fine spring (or fall) day to you! 


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DB