Sunday, June 29, 2008

National Waco Club and Malabar Farms

We've been chasing WACO airplanes in Mansfield Ohio and counting sheep on Malabar Farm. Dan wanted to go to the National Waco Club reunion at Wynkoop Airport in Mt Vernon Ohio. He is trying to find the original WACO owned by Del Gross, a co-founder of Gross Automotive. Although that particular aircraft wasn't there, we saw other beautiful vintage planes. The next day we went to Malabar Farms---the home of Pulitzer Prize winning author Louis Bromfield. These grounds had an elegant house and gardens AND a working farm and barnyards. And an interesting sidenote----Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were married here. We had a great, relaxing weekend----hope yours was just as great.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Shade Garden.

Several years ago I started putting shade loving plants under this tree as a "temporary parking place". Then I started tweaking things a little and moving plants around-still with the intention of transplanting someday. This year, however, those little plants have grown up and really look great in my Shade Garden. Last nite we had downpours most of the evening and in the early morning light, the leaves looked irridescent with the moisture on them. I love these Hostas---I love all Hostas!Who knew there could be so many Hostas to choose from. In the 11:00 spot in the picture are a clump of Lillies of the Valley that my mom gave me from her yard many years ago. In the 3:00 spot are Astilbe--I am tying to mass these in a clump. I have 2 white flowering which will soon be moving to a new home to make room for more red ones. And remember-----read the sign and SMILE!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Homegrown Strawberries!!

What a nice dilemna! Everyday a new locally grown fruit or vegetable to eat. These lucious berries are almost too pretty to eat. But homegrown berries have made a nice trade-off. In exchange for being more perishable than those fruits that are made to export---these beauties are soft and full of sweetness. And they HAVE to be used within the day so-----they have been baked into a beautiful Strawberry Cobbler. This was my Aunt Mimi's recipe. She didn't cook often, so when she raved about this recipe--I knew it was a keeper. So I will share it with you! This recipe is about as easy as it gets. Mix it in one bowl and all you need to do is add whipped cream or ice cream to the top. You can use any fruit but strawberries are my favorite.
Strawberry Cobbler

4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 cups fresh fruit-sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter in an 8-inch square or 9-inch round pan in oven. When butter has melted, remove pan from oven.
Whisk flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, baking powder and salt in small bowl. Add milk; whisk to form a smooth batter. Pour batter into pan, then scatter fruit over batter. Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tb. of sugar.
Bake 40-50 mins till golden and batter is set.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

It's Blueberry Time

It's Blueberry Time and we are taking advantage of it. Everything from Blueberry pancakes for breakfast to Blueberry Cobbler for dinner. And as an added bonus---blueberries are considered the most perfect food as far as healthful qualities. And check out the maple syrup container I found at a little antique store!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Photography Day at TBG

Today was Photography Day at Toledo Botanical Gardens. It offered an opportunity to wander TBG along with equipment and professionals from Castle Photo in Toledo. We were able to try different lenses etc and take seminars in composition etc. I loved the Macro lens and also found out that there is a whole world of settings on my point and shoot that I wasn't utilizing! And it was so calming and peaceful in that beautiful setting. I have been there for the annual Festival of the Arts, but it is so crowded on that day you cannot appreciate the beautiful gardens. We did find some humor in our pictures. The large peonies are actually glass and were made on site at the glass blowing studio. The pink allium were stunning----until one of the students in the class confessed that she is a member of the Garden and they after they finished blooming, they were spray painted pink!! We all laughed at that. The birdhouse was for sale and I was ready to buy it for our flower bed until I saw the sign that warned to be careful of the nesting chicadees. How sweet was that!It was a good day in the Garden and we found out in July and August, they host a Thursday evening Jazz concert. Bring chairs and a picnic supper and enjoy great music. Someone in our group, who worked at the Garden winked and told us they don't check what is brought in the picnic baskets----so we will be enjoying wine with our meal too!!

Friday, June 20, 2008


Wow--it has been a LONG week! But it is finally Friday. Dan and I found the Greatest New Item today at the grocery store. Individual size servings of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream(actually they have a variety of flavors, but I can never say no to Cherry Garcia). And----it comes with it's own little spoon under the lid(because you never know when you will need Cherry Garcia and you need it NOW). Dan has had his sling on so long now that he has named his excercise ball "Wilson"(a la Tom Hanks in Cast Away) and yes there was some alcohol involved in that idea!. So---we hope your weekend is starting in an enjoyable way, because you deserve it! And Diane Anderson, if you are reading this-----are you coming home for the 4th of July? We would LOVE to see you-----and the party is at your Mom's

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Garden is starting to come into glorious bloom. All that is needed is for the Endless Summer Hydrangeas and the Black Eyed Susans, but we will have to be patient. The Jackmanii Clematis is thick with purple beauties---on both sides of the trellis. And the OakLeaf Hydrangea that we planted last year has come into bloom for the first time. Behind it is Russian Sage which will have wispy purple blooms soon enough. And of course, the one armed gardner is busy at work on the weeds.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Goodnite Irene

I experienced a "moment" today that I will remember the rest of my life. I rode my bike to the Rehab facility to see my Mom and since I happened to have my Ipod with me from the bike ride---and because she was restless and was trying to trick me into putting her to bed before dinner---I placed my earbuds into her ears and played "Goodnite Irene" for her. When she was younger and we would be at family get togethers or weddings, whenever she left the party, people would sing "Goodnite Irene" to her. I watched her today, swaying to the music and all of a sudden she broke out in song--much to the delight of those around her. Thank goodness I had my camera! Push the Play button above and you can share this special moment

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The four of us are having a family photo contest and the first week went so well, I thought I would share our pictures. Each week(starting with Dan), one of us selects a word that the rest of us use to take a picture that we submit to a website that Adam put together. Then, we each judge the pictures(not our own) based on composition, theme and adherence to subject.
This past week's word was Chevron.Matt is starting the contest this week. Dan stayed strictly to topic with his Chevron shaped sign. Adam took creative license and titled his pic Chev-Run. I titled my picture I(Heart) (Peace Sign). Adam came in first, mine 2nd and Dan's 3rd. It is an ongoing contest and at the end of a time frame, we will award a "traveling" trophy. So far-So Fun! This weeks word(chosen by myself) is Green.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

You can't keep a Good Man Down

Dan is doing amazingly well. So good in fact, that tonite he was out spraying weeds---one handed of course. Oh, and that pain pump that worked so well 2 days ago? Yesterday, he swatted at a bee and swatted the pain pump out of his arm.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Get Well Dan

This is in response to all the good wishes for Dan's speedy recovery. Doesn't he look great for having shoulder surgery this afternoon! He had a few hours of feeling poorly and now he is back to his old self. We will see what tomorrow brings! The arm will be immobilized for 2 weeks and the little ball is a pain pump with an anesthesia agent that will drip directly to the surgical site for 2 days. I think he looks pretty darn good and he wants everyone to know he appreciates all their good wishes and prayers. Oh and Matt----this isn't a HIPPA violation---he gave my permission to post this info.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Forgotten Pioneer Flower Beds

One of my favorite scenes is to see a field of perennials growing with no house or structure around. Maybe a forgotten clump of daffodils or tulips sprouting by themselves. Around here in Northwest Ohio, it is common to see these old fashioned flowers called Phlox. This was a popular flower during the last part of the 1800's and early 1900's. These aren't wildflowers and they were probably planted by some long ago farmwoman. If you look closely, you will often see a crumbling foundation or fruit orchards nearby. It is like archeology but instead of digging for buried treasure, it is right there staring us in the face. This beautiful field of Phlox, just keeps getting bigger and more beautiful every year. The house and/or farm are long gone, but these beauties thrive. Who was the farm woman who planted these? Was she a young bride setting up housekeeping? Did she ever imagine that her flowers would always be so appreciated? Are her descendants still in the area and do they pass this field and not have a clue that it is their heritage? But more important---how many people drive by and are so busy they never notice the beauty right under their noses.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Horrible Week-Good Mojito!!!!

Nothing like a good Mojito on a Saturday nite to make a horrible week a little bit better. I just had to post this picture of Dan. He is finishing up odd chores before he is out of commision after shoulder surgery next Tuesday. After he put this little wind sock on our birdhouse, he was so proud of himself and thought he was king of the world!

So---since you aren't here next to us drinking a Mojito with us, I am going to post my recipe to make your week better too. It is strictly for medicinal purposes only. Oh--and Ella Fitzgerald on the CD player while sitting outside helps a lot too. Michele's Mojitos--the Real Thing

  • 10 fresh mint leaves

  • 1/2 lime-cut into 4 wedges

  • 2 TBL white sugar or to taste(if you have super fine sugar, that would dissolve faster)

  • 1 cup ice cubes(I crushed in blender

  • 1-1/2 fl oz white rum

  • 1/2 cup club soda(we use Peligrino Mineral water)

Place mint leaves and 1 lime wedge in sturdy glass. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime to release mint oils and lime juice(I don't have a muddler and used fork tines--but Dan is online right now ordering muddler.) Add 2 more lime wedges and the sugar and muddle again to release lime juice. Do NOT strain. Fill glass almost to the top with ice. Pour rum over the ice and fill glas with club soda or water. Stir and garnish with lime wedge or mint.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Life Begins in the Garden

How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence. ~Benjamin Disraeli

As you know, my mom has been hospitalized and it is so difficult to see her ill. Today after coming home from seeing her I took a long overdue walk in the garden and was rewarded by some unexpected sights. The periwinkle clematis was planted 2 years ago and is spectacular at last. I have narrowed my favorite perennials down to a short list of must haves and Clematis is at the top. I have several varieties in different parts of the yard. My mom always had a beautiful one too. The zucchini has blossoms and vegetables will soon follow. In another month, if you stop over, we will be begging you to take some home. And I have a new recipe I want to try--zucchini fritters. Stop over and we can have them with a nice hot tea. I noticed that Dan planted some Hens and Chicks in his old pair of hiking boots. He had these boots before we were married and I was so impressed with them. He bought me a matching pair for our first anniversary. Modern technology has made these heavy boots obsolete but I still have mine and still love them. Finally, our baby is growing. The Salsa tomatoes we planted from seed are shooting up. Again, stop in next month and we can have fresh Salsa along with our Zucchini fritters!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

New Meaning to Empty Nesters

If you have read my previous posts, we have been watching and guarding a duck nest of 11 eggs right off our front porch. We roped off the sidewalk and let the weeds grow so as not to disturb. We admired the tender persistance of Mother Duck--often at the sacrifice of herself. We counted the days and after 29 days, we watched for signs of ducklings. But the unthinkable happened. On the evening of the 29th day, while we were asleep--a raccoon broke open half the eggs and let a massacre of broken eggs scattered around the front flower bed. Mama duck abandoned the remaining eggs and we finally had to discard them. It was so disappointing.
I haven't blogged for awhile. My Mom has been ill. She developed blood clots in her lungs and has been hospitalized--so I have been visiting as much as possible. The highlight of my day today was an email I received from our niece, Diane Anderson who noticed the absence of my blog!! Thank you Diane for the nice note!!