Thursday, August 31, 2006

Remember the Coal Thing I Bought at the Farmer's Market?

Can you find it?

Yes, it became the perfect holder for that big begonia on the table. I love it!

The big canna (called Tropicana) has finally begun to bloom.

This particular view shows a lot of orange. I hope it's not too harsh for all those eyes that are used to light pink and light purple. :)

Here's a better (and less orange) view of the canna

The deck is looking very nice right now even though the large hanging plants refuse to rebloom. I swept off the scattered plant debris after work today and washed off the glass tables. Once I threw the quilts and pillows on, it was looking pretty good for the 1st of September. I should get another good month out of it.

It felt so nice sitting out there in the late afternoon sun. Now that the sun has set, it's pretty cool and I had to put a jacket on. I am going to check the weather channel to see if it's going to rain tonight. If it is, I will have to go out and bring them all back in.

I hope everyone is enjoying their last few hours of August.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Tonight I Made My Favorite Comfort Food

Macaroni and Cheese.

I like my mac & cheese on the dry side.

You don't see puddles of cheese sauce here.

But don't think the dish is lacking in cheese. Oh, no....there's plenty of cheese in this casserole.

Underneath the crunchy crust of Italian-seasoned bread crumbs & real butter, you will find creamy milk-softened pasta shells covered in sharp Cheddar cheese.

Believe me when I say each time I raised the pasta-filled fork to my mouth I experienced a moment of pure pleasure.

Now I am off to do a few sit ups (if I can still lift my upper body!).

How Did Jamie Lee Curtis Get My Green Acres Gown?

Just look at my profile picture.
It's almost the exact same!

I got quite a kick out of that...even called DH in to concur with my observation.

"Just look at this," I said, pointing to the cover picture.

“Hmmmm”, mumbled DH.
He is a man of few words and does not recognize the significance of what Jamie Lee Curtis has on.

"It's the same as my Green Acres gown.”

“Your what?”

Oh, for gawd sakes, he’s already forgotten. I explain (again) why I call it the Green Acres gown and point to my profile picture. ( In case you are new or missed that post, I call it that because it reminds me of something Lisa would have worn while she did her household chores on Green Acres, just as I wear it all the time while doing my deck chores).

“See, doesn’t this look exactly the same? Don’t you find it amazing that Jamie Lee Curtis is wearing the same gown I’ve had for the past 30 years?”

“Oh… Yea.” and he trots off to his little office/room to read his Wall Street Journal.

It just did not seem to excite him nearly as much as it did me.

Ever since Ms. Curtis posed for MORE in 2002 in an article entitled, “True Thighs”, where she exposed her real body –flaws and all, she has been receiving admiration from the women of America.

She says she does Pilates, yoga, she exercises, eats carefully and still she does not have a perfect bod. Well, maybe she does not have the perfect Hollywood body, but at 47 years old, I think Ms. Curtis looks great!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What the Garden Looks Like Today

Whoops....make that yesterday...........I'm a little late in posting this one..........

The Sedum Autumn Joy is just starting to color. It's already abuzz with bees of all kinds.

I let the coleus flower because it's the end of the season and it doesn't have much longer to live.

And look at this -- another butterfly bush, but a darker purple color.

I've had it for a few years, but it has not bloomed for the past two. (It's actually the same age as the big one near the deck). Last year I moved it here and it seems to like this neighborhood much better. But it can't live here any longer. Now that I've put in the walking path, it will get way too big. I hate to uproot it just when it has started blooming. I think I'll wait until spring to decide what to do with it.

I still have a lot of BE Susans in bloom. Most of the phlox is finished and I am awaiting the New England Asters.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I've Been Busy Planting this New Bed

Isn't it beautiful?

No, it's not really mine.
A girl can dream, can't she?

I was surfing and found it here:

The gardens are located at Bressingham in Norfolk, England.

I was trying to find a list of plant material, but I didn't see one. Does anybody know what the shrubs in the background are? The ones that look like they are on fire?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Sunday Drive

MMMMMM. For brunch today I had one of the sandwiches Dianne was talking about in her comment below...turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, mayo on a hoagie roll. It was delish...even better than the turkey dinner last night.

I had planned to make turkey noodle soup today, but around 11:00 a.m. DH wanted to take a ride. I was working on my quilt.

He didn't have to ask me twice. It took me about 15 minutes to touch up my hair and off we went for the day. For dinner we just had a soup and salad bar at a restaurant. So there was NO COOKING for me today.

On our journey we passed this tree

Yes, it FULL of shoes. I don't know what the point is...just a bunch of shoes thrown in a tree by the road. I should have brought some of those I threw away...Darn! Next time I am cleaning out shoes, I will have to remember this tree and save a pair to throw up there.

On the way home we go through a town that calls itself the elk capital of the world. This town is about an hour away from where I live, but I have never seen a wild Elk when driving through.

There is one man who has a big herd fenced in on his property. We drove by there and sure enough, we saw some BIG ones.

They are magnificent animals. I really hope I never see one run in front of my car while driving! On occasion we do hear of someone hitting an elk. You would be lucky to live through one of those collisions.

We found a little ice cream store called "Lickety Split". Isn't that the cutest name for an ice cream store? We stopped to get a cone to eat in the car.

We decided on a waffle cone. It's been years since we've had one of those. I chose Maple Nut ice cream. It was a favorite of mine when I was a kid. DH chose orange pineapple.

We both enjoyed every lick.

All in all we had a wonderful Sunday.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Cooking All Day is Really Pretty Overrated

At least when you're only cooking for two people.
It's just too much time and effort.

The turkey looks pretty good.
But why do I really care how nicely browned the skin is?
We don't even eat the skin!

(click on it so you can see how mouth-watering it looks...come on, somebody, click on it....I want somebody besides DH and I to enjoy this labor-intensive meal!)

I used my old, old potato masher today.

Does anyone remember having one like this? How old is it? I am sure the pink/gray color probably gives away the age. I just don't happen to know what era that was.

It's still raining. It's been raining almost nonstop for nearly 27 hours.

I did get the floors scrubbed early this morning. I always like to do whatever I think needs to be done the most, first. So at 6:00 a.m. I scrubbed the floors.

I also did about 3 hours of quilting while watching taped HGTV shows. It's amazing how much I can get done if I can't work outside!

Now I have to go do all the kitchen clean up.
Yup, just too darn much work for two people to eat.

Friday, August 25, 2006

I'm in Love

with these Creme Saver Butter Toffee & Creme hard candies.

They are the perfect combination of real cream and rich butter toffee lightly swirled for a simply divine hard candy experience.

YUM! The most creamy dreamy 20 calories I've eaten in a long time.

It's a cool rainy day here today. It's the first all-day rain I remember since May. It's only 58 degrees and it's going to rain all day tomorrow, too.

I'm actually looking forward to the poor weather weekend.

Tomorrow I am cooking a full turkey dinner - almost like Thanksgiving -mashed potatoes, dressing, etc. I have a 14 lb. turkey that's been in the freezer for months. A cool rainy day will be the perfect time to cook it.

I also have a lot of cleaning chores to catch up on and I might just work a bit on my quilt.

It looks like it will be a full weekend with no gardening chores.

What's everyone else planning to do this weekend?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Season is Winding Down

I am getting pretty tired of watering the deck plants every day. They are going downhill and it's not much fun watering them when they look like this yellowing Elephant's Ear. I keep cutting off the yellowed leaves, but two days later there's another one.

I haven't walked the other gardens in a week. I know there's nothing new blooming. It was so much more interesting last month when I'd get home from work and rush out to see what had changed.

I am not all that upset about it.

All these plants are a lot of work and by October I am ready to chuck them all on the compost pile and settle in to inside activities.

I have not set the dining room table once this summer because I have a quilt-in-progress lying on top of it. I need to spend some time getting the quilting finished on that so I can put it away. It shouldn't take me more than about 12 hours of work since it's about half done now.

I have a lot of winter projects ready. That helps to welcome the change of season.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Old Sled Has Peaked

Here it is when I planted it in late May

And here it is about 10 minutes ago.

I think this is about as good as it's going to get this year. It doesn't make me all giddy with excitement, but it's not bad. It has marigolds, calendulas, spikey blue salvia, 'whirlwind blue' scaevola, a small elephant's ear and one yellow zinnia (the only seed that survived). I really would have liked it if the red zinnias I planted had survived.

The morning glories reseeded themselves from last year and were a surprise when they appeared in July. I like them softening the frontal view.

All in all, I think the planting was a design success, due as much to the morning glory surprise as to my planning. I have a good combination of tall spikey, fat round, big leaves, small leaves, and just enough draping over the side to soften, yet not hide the sled.

This is last year's sled full of brightly-colored zinnias.
There was no design thought to this at all. I just stuck a bunch of purchased zinnias in. I did not even know what color they would be. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed it last year. The hummingbirds liked it, too. This year they don't come around the sled at all.

Moral of the story:
A container does not have to be expertly designed to be enjoyable.

Butterflies Everywhere!

I hope you can see all the butterflies on this bush. They are on almost every flower. It's the most I've ever seen at one time.

Here is a new black one. Pretty, but I don't know what it is.

UPdate: Thanks to Maria in Finland I now know that this is a Mourning Cloak. Isn't that a fitting name? I love it when I find out the name of new one. Maria, thank you, again for taking the time to comment.

This is Raggedy Wings. He's been around for the past week. DH saved his life last night.

For some reason he flew straight into a bucket of water. PLOP! Right into the water. Then he just layed on the top like he couldn't move. DH grabbed him and put him on the deck railing so his wings could dry out. They dried and he flew away.
I had just read on the net that when their wings look like this it means they are old. Maybe he was near death and was trying to commit suicide? It was very weird how he flew right into that bucket of water.

By the way, did you know the average life span of a butterfly is just 2 weeks to one month? Hardly seems worth all the trouble they go through to be born!

Cute face.

Butterflies in Flight

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Did a Speckle Explode or What?

This is the Picasso which has little tiny orange speckles. Hmmmm, what happened to these last two petals? LOL. Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 21, 2006

Just Hanging Around

  Posted by Picasa

Watch Out, Baby. I'm Coming in for a Landing!

  Posted by Picasa

What's With Men and Their Change?

They all seem to save it.

DH puts pennies in this coffee can.

He has a big glass jar for silver.

Do the men in your life save their loose change?

Family Picnic

Every year we have a little family picnic with DH's family. We go to a very small little town about 30 miles away.
We pass this quaint little church way out in the sticks.

When we went by yesterday, they were having their own little church picnic.

I cropped that out to protect their privacy.

Isn't it just the cutest little church?

So different from the big conglomerates of today.

Here's the little spot where we cook and eat.

We had perfect weather yesterday for an enjoyable afternoon with the inlaws.

I am very lucky in that I have wonderful inlaws (NO, none of them read this so I am not just saying that :) )

Sunday, August 20, 2006

After Years of Trying

I FINALLY got a good picture of a hummer!
This feisty little lady was actually fighting with a Monarch and a Hummingbird Moth. Posted by Picasa

This is a hummingbird moth

It's often confused with a hummingbird, hence the name.

Frontal View

The Shoe Clean Up Begins

It rained last night, so it's too wet to do anything outside. I decided to start the shoe clean up.

Whoa! Look at these spikes!
I don't think I can still wear those skinny heels, but (just in case) they stay. You never know when I might need that exact shade of blue. I've been known to suffer through the day in uncomfortable shoes if they just make the outfit and I know it's a day that I won't have to walk much.

How about these animal print high heels? I love them. I haven't worn them lately because I got too fat for the red dress with animal print trim that they matched...(it wasn't gaudy...just a bit of animal trim). I even have a matching animal print purse. I can't bear to part with them yet, so they stay, too. They are actually quite comfortable with the thicker heel.

It's so hard to get rid of any!
But in the end it took me less than an hour and I ended up tossing these 7 pairs. That's about 10%....not bad... It really hurt to part with those gold colored ones. They are a perfect, and I mean perfect match to a silky gold blouse I have. I used to pair them up with that and a black skirt, black hose and black blazer. It's too bad they were so worn. I'm going to miss those shoes.......they were even comfy.

A couple of you asked me if I had purses to match all the shoes.
The answer is no.
I used to change my purse every day to match whatever I wore to work. I don't do that any more. Every now and then I switch, but I usually just carry a black purse now since I wear a lot of black pants. In fact I bought three pant suits three weeks ago that I need to hem today. At 5'1" I have to hem everything.

I only started wearing pants about two years ago. I used to wear a dress every day. Now I hardly ever wear a dress, hence the shoe boots to wear with pants are increasing as the heels disappear.

It's a sign of aging.

Look What I Found When Cleaning the Shoe Closet

These backless Nikes.
I didn't even know I had them.
I don't keep casual shoes in this closet. Somehow these must have gotten thrown in and I forgot about them.

I love backless shoes for casual wear, so I was happy to find these. We have a family picnic later this afternoon with DH's family. I may wear these. Posted by Picasa

Any Butterfly Experts Among Us?

I am wondering if this is a male and a female of the same species. I think they are black swallowtail butterflies. I would guess the one with white to be the male as it's a more flashy butterfly.

Update: I've been searching the net and now believe that the white-striped butterfly is a White Admiral(Limenitis arthemis arthemis). It's so difficult trying to identify these as so many look so alike.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I've Been to the Farmer's Market

Our local Farmer's Market had a flea market day today.

It's only 9:00 a.m. and I am already back home. The early bird gets the treasures, so I was there at 8 a.m. when it started.

I have two of those large wagon wheels in my garden. I was curious to see the price. They were asking $50 each.

Aren't these tomatoes beautiful? I bought some of the orange ones. I have already forgotten what the vendor told me the name of them was. They are very sweet.

Here's my haul.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that I am a magazine junkie. See that box? It's full of magazines - 40 of them. I can now sit in the glider on the deck and read away the afternoon.

Look at those beautiful hard cover vegetable books - just $1 each. Of course, I don't grow vegetables, but who can resist $1 each? LOL.

I bought a little bouquet of fresh sunflowers - $2. I have the floral foam soaking now and will make an arrangement when I post this.

That silver metal thing will be used as a planter (you knew that, didn't you?) - $2.

That little toy thing is a "Twinkie" icon. I collect food advertising icons. Why? Just because it's a thrill to find a new one.

Yellow string beans and red onions round out the purchases. Not a bad haul for a Saturday morning and I spent less than a $20 bill.

Update 9:41 a.m.
Here's the little sunflower bouquet. The yellow statice(that was included) works nicely as filler. All this for two bucks! A few years ago I ordered a sunflower bouquet for my boss and had to pay $4.00 per stem. They considered sunflowers a premium flower.
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