Sunday, September 30, 2012

In print....

Are there any of you who subscribe to this magazine?

The October issue.

There is an article inside featuring the place where Country Girl is employed!

As it appears.

They are fortunate to have Country Girl on their staff.  She is quite knowledgeable when planning outdoor adventure activities! 

Thank you for reading.  I love reading your comments.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


October is approaching, and we will soon be setting out the pumpkins!

Spotted at the apple orchard!

These not-quite-so-lovely pumpkins were found in a bin at the apple orchard earlier in the week.  They are labeled as "cheese pumpkins."  Have you ever heard of that variety?  We hadn't.  We were told they are good for pies, so The Husband decided we needed to bring one home with us.  There were bargain-priced - only $1.00!  I'll keep you posted about what happens to it.:-)

Smaller pumpkins.

Other squash/gourds of the season.  

Often, part of the fall tablescape here will feature assorted fall squash/gourds.  We didn't bring any of these home with us, though.   I hope to find some  around here for display.  We have homegrown acorn and butternut squash that will give us a nice touch of fall.

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Glimpses of fall....

As we have been out and about this week, we are seeing some signs of fall around us.

A tree lining the parking lot at church.

We have had a few cold mornings in recent days, so there will be more signs to follow, I'm sure.

A recent trip to the Farmer's Market had this display.

Plants for the season....
And these....

Some herbs in there, too.

The Husband bought a very healthy sage plant.  Ours had given up during the summer, and we really enjoy fresh sage, particularly with Thanksgiving cooking coming up in fewer than two months!

We have had warmer weather today, so the progression toward other signs of fall may be slowed down a bit.  I'm sure there are those of you who are seeing lots of fall colors where you are!

Thank you for reading!  I really enjoy your comments.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Another stop....

On our recent trip to the apple orchard/barn, another stop was made.  What kind of shop would you think this is in front of?

Oops! Missed the handle.:-(

This is an actual pump!  The Husband was able to pump water into the bucket!  There was a wonderful quilt shop just waiting for us to come in!

Quilting is not something I have ever done - nor hoped to do - though there was one time the two grandmothers of a girl in my Girl Scout troop were enlisted to help us with a quilting project.

The squares were made of five strips of fabric stitched together diagonally.  Anyway, I have an appreciation for quilters and quilts. 

There was a display of a bed in the main room of the shop, with more than 30 quilts across it!  The lady there graciously agreed to "turn back" the quilts.  Here are some of the patterns we saw.

We were told the names of the patterns of each one, but the only one I remember would be the "Double Wedding Ring," and there were three or four of those, each one different from the other.  They are all handmade and for sale, with prices ranging up to $2,000!  The pictures really don't do them justice.  They were gorgeous!

To reply to someone's comment from yesterday - yes, yesterday was Johnny Appleseed's birthday.  The apple study in my classroom was centered around a study of Johnny Appleseed, with my favorite book written by Steven Kellogg simply titled "Johnny Appleseed."  One of these days I will have to do a post on children's books.  I have many favorites.:-)

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Apple season....

Many of you have been concentrating on pumpkins for awhile.  When I was teaching, September was always "apple season."  Apples were often used for the students' names on display outside the classroom door, and calendar numerals were written on apple cutouts.  Usually we would have an apple emphasis, making apple sauce and apple pie and enjoying apple cider and other products made with apples.  So, for a long time, the arrival of September meant things like the Fair and studying apples.

Kitchen trimmings.:-)

A recent trip took us to an apple orchard/barn where we were able to purchase a few different varieties.

These are only a few of the baskets that were in the apple barn.

Connected to the apple barn is a restaurant where we enjoyed tasty treats such as apple fritters, apple cider, and apple butter! 

Needless to say, the next few days will be full of cooking activities using apples.:-)  Perhaps there will be some recipes upcoming.  Also, it is time for the next lunch for the adult day care program at our church.  Next Tuesday will be the first Tuesday in October!  How does time pass so quickly?!?  That means another recipe or two as well. 

Thank you for reading.  I truly enjoy your comments.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A thought....

                                 Just being happy helps other souls along;
                                       Their burdens may be heavy
                                                and they not strong;
                                       And your own sky will lighten,
                                           If other skies  you brighten
                               By just being happy with a heart full of song.
                                                                         - Ripley D. Saunders

Spread some sunshine today!

I want to thank all of my followers.  I recognize that there are new ones.  I truly enjoy your comments.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

On this day.... 1908, my mother was born.

Very young....

With my grandparents....

A little older....

Still later....

Her handiwork.

My mother was an only child, though she did have a cousin or two around at times.  I tried my hand at embroidery when I was younger.  The one and only project I began is still around, unfinished, in a storage tin, with no hope of being completed.  This towel hangs on display on the washstand.

She was not to have a long life as the other women in her family.  While her mother (my grandmother) lived to be 91, Mother was only 74 years old when she passed away.  Not a day goes by that her presence is not felt, and it has been 29 years.  She had a kind and gentle spirit, one I would like to possess.

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A bit of green....

There have been several comments made about the signs of fall people are seeing, many having to do with leaves changing color.  One of the signs of fall WE have around here is that "bit" of green!

Spinach mustard!

The Husband has been busily planting greens for the fall.  These seeds have come up just fine, as you are able to see.  He has had to replant some of them, and just recently planted some others.

Kale is my personal favorite!  It always has been.  Dad would plant greens for the fall, too, and kale would be one of them.  I am eagerly awaiting the growth of our greens!

Perhaps this is turnips.  We will eat the tops for greens and roast the turnips.  Maybe they will be ready for Thanksgiving!  I'm hoping, anyway.

So - on this first day of Autumn, I have no picture of leaves changing color, but of the new green that is a true sign of Autumn for us.

We have some other green left in the garden from the summer.

Only a very few tomatoes this size remain; however, the stink bugs are having a heyday!:-(  They were all over the top of this tomato when I took the picture, but I don't think they are easily seen here.

The okra has recently taken a strange shape!  Perhaps that's a sign that it is through producing for the season.  We have enjoyed that southern delicacy - fried okra - this season.:-)

There is a bit of orange around today.  Akron comes to play UT in football this evening, so orange is really the color of the day.:-)  Go Vols!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Around the community....

I shared some pictures with you a few weeks ago showing a new fire station that is being built in the community.  It isn't the easiest to get a picture that shows the progress.  Sometimes it isn't possible to stop in traffic for taking pictures.

From the car window.

I'm not sure if it is apparent, but progress IS being made.

Further along the road we frequently use, another project is underway.

Bridge improvement.

Work is underway to improve a bridge over a creek on a busy road.

A new road under construction on the same route.

Returning by the bridge construction.

In the return picture, you are able to see the elevation the road takes as it curves around and down on its path, in place since the beginning of time, I'm sure.:-)

There are other projects that are underway in our area.  Hopefully I will be able to be in a position to show you the new Costco that is under construction, scheduled to open November 1.  It isn't easy to stop in traffic to take a picture.:-)

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

That other bread....

Long before white flour became a target of the "if it's white, don't bite" philosophy, we had actually preferred whole wheat.  There was no separate category for whole wheat bread at the Fair, however, unless it would have been the category in which the Parmesan Dill Batter Bread was entered.  There was, though, a separate category for white bread.

I have had this recipe for many years.  I am not sure of the source, though it is very likely it came from the outside of the Fleishman's Yeast package.  Through the years, I have tried many of those, and have usually been pleased with them. 

On the particular day I was baking this bread, the oven chose to be an "over-achiever!"  You will be able to tell that the crust is more than a shade darker than "golden."  In fact, I actually covered the tops of the loaves with aluminum foil just 15 minutes into the baking!  I was really fearful that the judges would slice into raw bread dough when they tasted the bread!

Just a little brown on top!:-)


2 packages yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
6 cups flour
2 cups milk
1/4 cup oil
1 egg

- Combine yeast, sugar, salt, and 2 cups flour in large mixer bowl.
- Heat milk and oil till very warm (120-130 degrees). 
- Add egg and warm liquid to flour mixture.  Beat 1/2 minute at low speed, 3 minutes at medium speed.  By hand, gradually stir in remaining four cups flour to make dough easy to handle.  Knead on floured surface till smooth and elastic - about one minute.
- Place dough in greased 2 1/2 quart bowl.  Turn dough to grease all sides.  Cover.  Let rise in warm place 45 to 60 minutes.  Punch down and shape into two loaves.  Place in greased pans.  Cover; let rise in warm place 30 to 45 minutes.  Bake in a 400 degree F. oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

There are a few things going on in the community that I will tell about in the next post.

It is a beautiful fall day as I write this!  Hopefully your day is a good one where you are, too.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate  your comments.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why was I there?

In the last post, I shared some pictures of the Rose Walk at Lake Junaluska with you.  These roses are one of the highlights of anyone's visit there during their blooming season.  The walk extends on down along the lake.  I only covered a very small portion of it. 

Now, I will share with you my reason for being there.  I believe I may have mentioned earlier that I had agreed to have my name put in nomination for the Conference UMW office of Secretary of Program Resources.  The election was held at the Annual Meeting/Training this past week-end, so now I am "official."  Although the new officers really do not take over until January, I have been serving as Interim in this position due to health developments with the current elected officer.

As the person concentrating on Program Resources, it is my responsibility to order books from the Reading Program, as well as other resources that are helpful for UMW groups in churches across the Conference.

Newly arrived.

This booklet arrived last week, just the day before I was to head to Lake Junaluska.  There are five categories for the Reading Program - Leadership Development, Social Action, Nurturing for Community, Education for Mission, and Spiritual Growth, with books also included for Youth and Children.  There are new listings each year, and there are four different plans we may choose to follow for our reading during the year.

Some of the choices.

Still others.

The picture of the leaflet doesn't show the titles very clearly.  Are you able to notice there is one written by Debbie Macomber?  I'm sure many will be interested in reading "One Simple Act" which she has written.

New each year.

The Prayer Calendar is new each year.  Inside are listings of those missions that are supported by the UMW, with mentions of birthdays of those who are working for UMW-supported missions.  Scripture references are suggested for each day, and each week features a particular mission endeavor.

I find my involvement with UMW activities to be meaningful and fulfilling.  It is a true blessing to be able to serve my Conference in this way.

Didn't I mention that there were TWO loaves of bread taken to the Fair?  That other loaf will be the subject of the next post.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A little color.... the North Carolina mountains.

On the treetop....

...and peeking from some of the trees.

But....still the beauty of roses.... Lake Junaluska.

My favorite....

....and the reflection of the clouds in the lake!

And - just what was I doing at Lake Junaluska?  That will be covered in the next post!  I hope you will return!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate  your comments.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Parmesan Dill Batter Bread

Our area Fair began on September 7.  Yesterday was the last day.  From all reports, attendance was a little better than usual this year.  That's good to hear!  It has not always been this way.  There were some years when the future of the Fair was a little uncertain.

My sister, who follows this blog, will be able to remember the years our father took us to the Fair.  My favorite was a candy apple!  I also LOVED riding the swings!  In those years, the park where the Fair was held was the site of other events during the year, and I remember being there on the Fourth of July for fireworks.

For the past few years, I have been motivated to enter baked items in the culinary arts division.  There have been a few blue ribbons come home, but that was not the case this year.  I seem to enjoy a challenge with baked goods, so we will see what the outcome will be NEXT year.:-) 

This year, I was only able to participate in the competition on last Sunday.  On that day, I entered two cakes, a pie, and two loaves of bread.  Both loaves of bread placed second in their division.  One of the loaves was for Parmesan Dill Batter Bread.  I am sharing this recipe from the Sunset Cook Book of Breads from 1977!  The price sticker is still on the book - $3.68 from Kmart, a reduction in the other sticker price of $3.95!  The pages have all come loose, but they are still all together!


1 large can (13 oz.) evaporated milk
3 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons butter, cut in pieces
2 teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons instant minced onion
3 teaspoons dill seed
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
2 eggs

- In a pan, combine milk, sugar, butter, salt, instant minced onion, dill seed, and cheese.  Heat, stirring, to about 110 degrees (butter and cheese need not melt completely).
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the 1/4 cup water.  Add milk mixture; beat in 1 1/2 cups of the flour.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups more flour until batter is smooth.  With a spoon, beat in remaining 3/4 cup flour.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 45 minutes).
- Stir batter down and spoon into a generously greased 10-inch tube pan or two 4 1/2 by 8 1/2-inch loaf pans.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled (about 45 minutes).
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 55 minutes (45 minutes for loaf pans) or until bread sounds hollow when tapped.  Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes; then turn out onto rack to cool completely.  Makes 1 large or 2 small loaves. it is!

I was surprised, when I went to pick up the ribbon, that the bread had been kept.  Often things from early in the Fair have been tossed, as other competitions have taken place, to make room for other winners.  I was glad it had remained, however, because I had failed to take a picture on the day of competition.

Many of you have been mentioning, on your blogs, the coming of Fall.  The next post will be about some different signs I have seen.

Thank you so much for reading.  I really enjoy your comments.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

As promised....

The pictures are definitely not the best.  Hopefully they will show you of another project that has been keeping The Husband busy.

Sweet potatoes...

....and more! 

These are not the only ones The Husband dug in the garden.  We have already eaten some of them, and there is another basket of smaller ones.  I was having difficulty with the lighting taking these pictures, so I decided not to try for another one.:-)  As you are able to see, they are rather large.  Some of you probably do very tasty things with sweet potatoes when you prepare them, but our favorite way is just to simply bake them, sometimes in wedges, and eat them just like that!  It's almost like eating candy!:-)

I have no picture of another of The Husband's projects.  He has planted some fall crops, and some of the greens are already coming up!  Last week, he tilled the soil again where the seeds had not grown, and he has planted a second time.  That is not unusual.  Often, some of the seeds for greens do not come up, for some reason.  We are fond of fall crops and are hoping for success with their growth so we will be able to include them on our Thanksgiving table. 

I believe I mentioned earlier that I won a couple of second place ribbons for breads at the Fair.  It must be about time for a recipe, and that will come in the next post.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


It seems that it doesn't really take much for me to begin some sort of collection.:-)  Perhaps that is the same with some of you.

I have mentioned previously that I have a liking of strawberry-themed items in the kitchen.  Also, I believe I've mentioned that I enjoy browsing through antique stores.  Several different such shopping trips were required through the years for me to "build" this collection.


Are you able to see that there are strawberries decorating the outside of these items?  That is the first - and only - reason I was drawn to them.  It was a "learning moment" when someone at one of the shops mentioned McCoy Pottery!  Now, I had no knowledge that McCoy Pottery is desired by some collectors.  I was just interested in the strawberry trimming them!  Only two of the pieces are marked with the McCoy engraving - the pitcher in the middle and the small teapot on the right.  I'm sure the other pieces are reproductions, but that is no bother to me.  We have enjoyed using these pieces through the years, and I'm sure a cookie jar - or two - will be placed in a more accessible location on occasion.:-)  We often use the pitcher as well.

It was really good of The Husband to take time in his gardening schedule to help take care of these recent projects.  He has had some other things underway recently, and that will be the subject of the next post.

Thank you so much for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Another project....

It seems that, once one project is accomplished around the house, another one calls.:-)  At least, that is what happened here recently. 

Can you see what is underway?

Two-tone wall?

Yes!  We have painted the living room!  The original color was the off-white, and we have now painted the walls taupe!  It appears that it is pink that we are painting, but that wasn't the case.

Needs a bit of centering.

 This is the project complete.  We actually relocated a couple of pieces of furniture, so it really looked like we were moving for a couple of days!  Also, there is nothing like a picture to show just what needs to be better positioned!  The picture has been moved higher, and the oil lamps - one from The Husband's home when he was younger, and the other from my home when I was younger (Sister, do you recognize it?) - have been moved to a better position on top of the pie safe.  Also, I'm sorry the paint color doesn't show up well here.  It has really made a huge difference!

Incidentally, the pie safe is a piece from my grandmother's home.  I remember it very well when I was younger, and I'm sure my sister does, too.

You may have noticed a bit of a "collection" on one of the shelves featured in a previous post.  I'll deal with that in the next post.

Thank you so much for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.