Monday, July 30, 2012

Bee at work

My husband took this picture of a hard working bee in our pumpkin patch. This hard worker was so coated with pollen it couldn't fly! Lots of pollen means lots of honey. I'm not sure whose bee this is because the hive behind our house is empty---it was a weak hive from the get-go and they decided to leave after they couldn't defend themselves from a wax moth. But the 4 hives we have on our farm about a quarter mile up the road is thriving-THRIVING!!! So this could be one of ours or a new beekeepers on our street. Either way, she is very welcome!

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Tomatoes are falling off the vine and I will not let one red beauty go to waste! I found a wonderful canned pasta sauce recipe online and it made 7 beautiful quarts. And this is still July! By the end of summer I hope to have a pantry full of canned sauce and salsa. We are so blessed with our garden this year since we changed over to raised beds. It is very satisfying to wander out and pick the makings for dinner. Next year-cukes and green beans will be added. And pickles and dill! Possibly an eggplant or two!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day off

Took a well earned day off and spent the morning at Greenfield Village in Dearborn Michigan! We wandered through historical buildings-some dating back to 17th century America and England. I used to find the revolutionary era of America to be a romantic time when I was little-I think it was because the woman could wear long dresses and my favorite childhood book was Johnny Tremain. That thought came to a screeching halt the first time I visited this house on a field trip. The lady of the house was washing dishes and there were lots of flies buzzing around and it dawned on me---no running water, electricity or screens! The "family" in each historical house prepared and ate an authentic period dinner. This family was eating homemade bread, "gratitude" pudding, beef pie and pickled vegetables and berry cobbler. The Georgia sharecropper family in the second picture , however, was frying a pork chop and bacon and had peach cobbler in the oven----and it smelled delicious.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I found this little treasure at the grocery store today! The grocery store! When I was a young teen, my Mom would take me to the department store's cosmetic counter to buy it. Yardley English lavender soap. The smell is exquisite and reminds me so much of being younger. I loved all the Yardley products including Lipsmacker lip gloss! Those were the days of the Beatles and Twiggy and we were in love with anything and everything from England. My friends and I could spend an hour at the cosmetic counter sampling Yardley products. So when I saw this today, I turned around and took a whiff of the box---and same smell, same soap. They had the Yardley oatmeal soap too but that will be next week's treat. The box says its been made in London since 1770 so I guess it is appropriate for this week-with the Olympics starting soon!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer Bounty

This is what we work hard for all Spring. We changed things up because our old garden had poor spoil---according to the U of Mass soil testing lab. And that explains why our plants never produced for the last few years. This year we built raised beds closer to our house and they are a huge time saver---easy to weed and water. And bumper crops of tomatoes, peppers, radishes, lettuce, zucchini and Brussels sprouts. I've been busy this weekend making and freezing stuffed peppers and cubing and shredding zucchini for the freezer. Oh-and canning peppers! Nothing will go to waste and come the hectic holiday season, there will be some ready meals and ingredients in the pantry and freezer!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Finally I have had success with sunflowers. I think my problem in the past was trying to start them from seed and the rabbits loved the tender stems. This one is a beauty too and the inner geometric pattern is even more fascinating. The bees love them too!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Stitch Markers

I am in love with these stitch markers! I use them all the time in various knitting projects. In the past I've used paper clips, tied scraps of yarn, o-rings from the toolbox and safety pins. But no more. I enjoy watching them in contrast to my yarn and those paper clips are a thing of the past!!!! I am going to start a stitch marker collection!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Zucchini season

I went out of town with beautiful tender Zucchini on the vine and returned to zucchini everywhere! I think they even have their name on my mortgage! But not one will go to waste--I am determined! For dinner it will be zucchini boats and zucchini cake. In the freezer is shredded and cubed packages and in packages for my friends without gardens----zucchini! No zucchini is left on the vine---for a few days anyway!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Everytime I come to Chicago I am amazed!! By everything!! And this time I saw something new---the Jelly Bean in Millenium park. And it is so easy to take a group picture yourself-without having to ask someone to take the picture!

Friday, July 6, 2012


Instagram is my new hobby. One smartphone-one free app-one picture and the possibilities are endless with the fun pictures you can take.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy 5th of July

What a wonderful holiday! We laughed a lot, ate a lot, drank a lot(ouch) and had fun! So much fun that we never made it to our downtown fireworks and instead sat on the deck and watched about 10 displays around the perimeter of our soy bean field behind our house! The chocolate covered strawberries made by our niece was the icing on the cake!!! B

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Sunday.

Personally, I would rather enjoy the heat with the windows open but there are other members of my family who disagree. So I am sitting on the deck with my morning coffee, knitting and my dog at my feet. What a beautiful Ohio morning but there are parts of Ohio that have been ravaged by a storm that passed through 2 days ago. Hopefully their lives will be restored to normal soon. Oops-the door opened and the dog is headed back into the air conditioning.