Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Those blackberries....

Happy Wednesday to you!  I hope you are enjoying your week. 

Our weather this week has been extremely mild for this point in July.  In fact, we heard tonight that the low temperature of 59 degrees on Monday morning actually set a new record for low on that date!  Tuesday morning missed setting a record by one degree!  There is more rain predicted, though.

We also heard that Tuesday was actually National Cheesecake Day!  Now, I am a fan of cheesecake!  It would be good if I could come up with a recipe for cheesecake featuring blackberries.:-)  Until then, though, this recipe will have to suffice.

This recipe appeared in our local newspaper sometime ago. 


6 ounces white chocolate
2 1/2 chps flour
12 Tablespoons softened butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
6 eggs
4 cups blackberries
3/4 teaspoon almond extract

- Line a jelly roll pan with foil and butter lightly.  Melt white chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water until smooth.  In a large bowl beat butter until creamy.  Gradually beat in sugar, then beat in eggs one at a time.  Beat in white chocolate and almond extract.
- Sift together flour and salt, then gradually beat into batter.  Fold in pecans, then berries, and spread in prepared pan.
- Bake in 350 oven for 30 minutes.  When done, turn upside down on a clean dish towel and cool.
- Frost with cream cheese icing.
8 ounce package cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 cup chopped pecans
1 box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
- To make icing, combine all ingredients with a mixer until smooth.
- Serves 12.

Ready for the oven!

Just out of the oven!

Removed from pan, with foil removed!

The Husband actually prefers this cake without the frosting.  No surprise there.:-)  We also manage to find more than 12 servings in this cake!:-) 

The Husband was successful in repairing the cultivator!  He put it right in service, too! 

I am still having problems making my visits to your blogs.  Often, if I am able to read your blog, I will have difficulty posting a comment.  I hope to take care of this in the next day or so!  If I don't get around to you, that is why.

Have a great Wednesday!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Want more pink?

A few days ago, I posted a few pictures of pink around the house.  Today, there is even more!:-)

The dining room table.

The china is Strawberry Fair by Johnson Brothers.  The clear glasses are some handed down from my maternal grandmother, while the pink ones were brought home from antiquing.  All I need to do is add the flatware, and we will be able to have lunch!

If you can't make it for lunch, perhaps you will consider coming later for an afternoon snack.  I will put on the kettle for tea, or even serve some pink lemonade!

The tray is ready in the sunroom!

There is this lovely violet that is still gracing us with blooms!

In the spirit, too!

I am amazed that our Christmas poinsettia is still looking this nice.

It looks very healthy!

Particularly since we really don't give it any ultra-special care!  We have never done the planting outside or hiding in a dark place with the poinsettias, yet we had some that stayed fairly healthy all year, then bloomed again in December.

Monday was an absolutely beautiful day here!  We were able to leave our doors open all day, and the A/C didn't come on a single time!  That is most unusual for this time of year around here.  Also, we had a day with NO RAIN!  Have I mentioned that we are already above the average rainfall total for the entire YEAR? 

The Husband received a very special package via Fed Ex today - hopefully the correct part needed to repair the cultivator.  He will find out this morning if it is the right one. 

I encountered a few "glitches" on Monday as I attempted to make my rounds to visit some of you.  I am not sure what the problem was, but I am a bit behind in my usual visits and comments.  I installed some updates, so I hope that has taken care of the problem.

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Monday, July 29, 2013

My week-end....

....began with a party on Friday night.

It was fun from salad.....

I took this as it was a covered dish dinner for the Primetimers at our church.

....through dessert....

Gotta have chocolate!

....and everything else in between!

The program was all about birth order, and it was a lot of fun!

Then, my week-end even ENDED with a party!  Country Man's father had a birthday!

No, he isn't 95!  We had a big laugh from the reversal of the numerals on his "cake," delicious brownies! 

Did YOU have a good week-end?  Do you anticipate a good week?  I hope your Monday is going to be a good one, setting the tone for the rest of the week!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

On this Sunday....

Ralph Waldo Emerson has these words:

     "Guard well your spare moments.  They are like uncut diamonds. 

               Discard them and their value will never be known.  Improve them,

                      and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life."

The Mission Focus for today, as listed in the UMW Prayer Calendar for 2013, is the Wesley Education Center for Children and Families, Cincinnati, Ohio.

I wish you a blessed Sunday.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A recent evening....

On a recent evening, The Husband and I went out for a walk along the street.  As we headed out, this is what greeted us in the southern sky.

When we looked to the west, this is what we saw.

Sunny in one direction, but ominous clouds in the other.

Along the walk, we saw these.

A neighbor across the street has planted these at the end of her driveway. 

We were able to complete our walk without being interrupted by any stormy conditions or rain.  In fact, we had three days in a row this week with no rain!  Amazing!

The week-end is here.  I hope you have some good plans.   Our forecast - chance of rain!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Good for the imagination....

It all started with a simple birthday gift that Patrick gave to Omri - an Indian that he wasn't able to play with because he had no cowboys.  Well, Omri had no cowboys, either, but he did have a cupboard that was soon proven to have some magical powers.:-)  Or - Omri had an outstanding imagination.:-)

Do you know an older reader?

When I was teaching third-grade, I read the first book in this series - "The Indian in the Cupboard."  What was so neat about reading this book to the class is that several of the students - mainly boys - became interested in reading the other books in the series! 

Lynne Reid Banks from London, England is the author of these books.  She wrote others as well.  "The Fairy Rebel" is one that was appealing to girls.

These books are actually above the third-grade reading level, so an older reader would be able to appreciate them more readily.  In fact, I would like to read them again!:-)

Friday has arrived.  Do you have some exciting week-end plans?  About the greatest excitement around here is that we have had two entire days with no rain!:-)

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blueberry time....

Happy Thursday to you!  Have things been going well for you this week?

As I have mentioned before on this blog, we have been having excessive amounts of rain this year.  The lack of sunshine that goes along with the excess rainfall has undoubtedly affected our blueberries.  They have not been doing as well as in past years.  Yesterday, I went blueberry picking and was surprised to gather three quarts!

There are a few more that I hope to pick this morning. 

Some of these berries found their way to these:

Blueberry Yogurt Muffins!

I have featured this recipe on the blog earlier - last July 13, in fact.  If you would like to have the recipe, at the very top left corner in the search bar, just enter the name of the muffins, click enter, and the post for July 13, 2012 will appear!  It sounds magical, doesn't it?:-)  I know there will be other ways we will enjoy these blueberries! 

I want to wish a great welcome to George Alexander Louis!  That is a long name for a little baby!

A blogging friend, Beth, who sometimes comments on the blog, had surgery on Tuesday for cancer.  I'd like to ask that you remember her in your thoughts and prayers for her treatment and recovery.

Have a great day!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

On display....

Happy Wednesday to everyone!  How has your week been thus far? 

Several weeks ago, I featured some art work that we have on our walls here at the house.  In this post, I want to feature some things by Country Girl, and even share something with you that Little Munchkin did.

Country Girl has been interested in art for many years, and she was an art major in college.  Her artistic ability is shown in various ways, and today's post will show only a small portion of this.



Her home for 10 years.

One of my favorites.

For the first semester of her senior year in college, Country Girl was able to be in West Yorkshire at the Breton School of Art.  The last picture is one that came from that experience.  It is one of my favorites.  Along with her art, she has also done some wedding photography in the past.  These days, she is so busy where she now works that there is very little time for extra endeavors.


A "copy" of the original.

Little Munchkin especially like combing Shadow's fur when she visited.  She drew the top picture on one week-end here at our house, and the bottom picture one week-end when we were visiting at her house.

Yesterday was a full day!  I want to give a special shout-out to LH, one with whom I had lunch on Tuesday, and who follows this blog daily!  Thank you!:-)

We think, after today, we will have two days without rain!  At least that is the prediction.  We'll just have to wait and see.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A new baby....

The news reports tell all about the arrival of a new baby, a special new baby, third in line to the British throne!  I have been interested in hearing about this arrival, and I suspect many of you may have been, too!

There is someone missing at this time.

The Grandmother.

We send happy wishes to Will and Kate, the new parents, and expect they, too, miss the presence of Will's mother on this happy occasion.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The week-end....

Well, actually it was most of last week!:-)  The date for our annual Conference United Methodist Women Mission Education Event finally arrived, and preparations for being out of town for that, plus preparations for fulfilling my responsibility as Conference Secretary of Program Resources have kept me rather busy for several days.

It was good that the event was held in the general area where Munchomom, Machoman, and the Munchkins live, so we made a "detour" by there where I dropped off The Husband - with his golf clubs - and headed on to the site of our event.

There were three mission studies for participants to choose one for the three days.

The Study books.

The course on Poverty was a repeat from last year.  The studies on the Roma and The Call were new for this year. 

There was a Children's Study as well.

Three children attended the class, too.

It is my responsibility to reconcile the unsold books from the book order (which I placed six weeks ago) with the number of books sold.  The books were shipped to the church where the event was held, but the unsold ones came home with me! 

So, I have packed up the cartons and will be returning five partially-filled boxes, having sold a portion of those which were ordered.  Books from the Reading Program were displayed for purchase as well as copies of the study books for those who needed them. 

As I was ready to return home, I once more took that "detour" to go pick up The Husband (and his golf clubs).:-) 

City Girl has also been in the area, and it has been good to see her.

Oh, did  you wonder about rain?  Well, we had rain on the way to Munchomom's, there was rain the second night we were at MEE, there was rain here during Saturday night, then again on Sunday afternoon there was MORE rain!  I'm sure we are at the yearly average rainfall totals, and we are just at the mid-point in the year!

Today?  Well, I will need to see about taking the unsold books to be returned.  There will probably be some laundry.  Blogging activity?  Hopefully I will be back on a regular routine before too long.

I send along wishes for a good week to you!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Another favorite....

If you have been following this blog very long, you know that I have a "strong liking" of good children's books.  I have mentioned some of my favorite authors of children's books, and today there is another I want to mention.

I'm sure many of you have heard of Beverly Cleary.  Among the books she has written are those with Ramona Quimby as the subject, as well as books about Henry (a boy) and Ribsy (a dog).  Did you know about these which she also wrote?

Also "Mouse and the Motorcycle" is part of this group!  Boy Munchkin is reading it.:-)

The movie always gives an added dimension.:-)

Also, this one -

More appealing to an older reader.

I believe Beverly Cleary's books would be good for any child's library.

Has this been a good week for you?  Can you believe that we actually had a few days in a row with no rain?!? 

I hope you are looking forward to a good week-end.  It is upon  us!  Keep cool while you are relaxing!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Time for some pink....

With the first half of July already a memory (how did it pass so quickly), it seems as though it will be no time until August, a good time to bring out some pink.:-)

The Pink Ribbon Beanie Baby Bear!

The Longaberger "Hope" series basket.

Another Pink Ribbon Bear!

Sitting atop the bookshelf!

Of course, these are always lovely to have around....

On the dining room table.

Brightening the kitchen!
I wish you a good Thursday!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

We beat the birds.... these....
So....we had to bake one of these.....

A Blackberry Pie!

If there are those of you who want to know the recipe for this pie, just let me know, and I will post it another day.  I may have even posted it before, but cannot be sure.

We have also been enjoying our tomato harvest.

These were the first!

There have been others since these, though none of them have been very large.  It may be due to all the rain we have had, with not enough sun for growth.  I will say this.  We really enjoyed this first flavor on a BLT!:-)

I hope you will have a good Wednesday!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The week-end....

.....was another busy one!  I'm sure you have noticed that I give myself the privilege of beginning my week-end on Friday.:-)  For this post, I will even tack on Monday to give it FOUR days!:-)

Friday afternoon found me on the road for a drive of about one hour and forty-five minutes as I was due to attend a Conference United Methodist Women Executive Committee meeting.  There are three of these meetings during the year, attended by 30 plus women who hold various offices in the UMW across the Conference.  The time is filled with various committee meetings before the Executive Committee begins their meeting.  That means it was an overnight stay, and it was dinner time before I returned home on Saturday afternoon.

City Girl came through later on Saturday, spending the night before she headed off for her ultimate destination for the next few days.

Sadly, we attended yet another memorial service for someone we had known for 40 years.  This seems to be happening far too often.:-(

As I noted in the last post, July 14 was Bastille Day.

From my "files," I have this copy of Victoria from a few years ago.  Lovely "French Charm" is featured within the magazine covers!

Those who have been affected by the train derailment in France over the week-end are in my thoughts.

Adding that extra day to the week-end gives me opportunity to mention that six-month dental appointment on Monday afternoon!:-)

Oh!  I mustn't forget to mention the 1/2 inch of rain we received on Sunday afternoon!:-)

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bastille Day....

"What?" you say.  "Is that today?"  No.  Bastille Day was actually yesterday - July 14.  This is the date in France that corresponds to Independence Day.  On that day in 1789 the people of Paris attacked the Bastille and captured it.  I mention this as there is an interest of things French among some of our family.  I chose French as my foreign language, and City Girl and Munchomom did as well.  Munchomom has traveled to France a couple of times. 

Thanks to Julia Child, I found this recipe for Tarte Tatin, appropriate for celebrating.

This recipe comes from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking."


4 pounds firm cooking apples (Golden Delicious)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon (opotional)
2 Tablespoons softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons melted butter

- Peel, core, and slice the apples about 1/8 inch thick.  Toss in a bowl with the sugar and cinnamon.
- Butter, heavily, a baking dish 9 to 10 inches in diameter and 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep.  Sprinkle half the sugar in the bottom of the dish and arrange a third of the apples over it.  Sprinkle with a third of the melted butter.  Repeat with a layer of half the remaining apples and butter, then a final layer of apples and butter.  Sprinkle the rest of the sugar over the apples.

2/3 cup flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons chilled butter
1 1/2 Tablespoons chilled vegetable shortning
2 1/2 to 3 Tablespoons cold water

- Place the flour in a mixing bowl; mix in the sugar and salt.   Cut in the chilled butter and shortening until small pea-like pieces remain.  Add cold water gradually. 
- Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 1/8 inch.  Cut it into a circle the size of the top of the baking dish.  Place it over the apples, allowing its edges to fall against the inside edge of the dish.  Cut 4 or 5 holes about 1/8 inch long in the top of the pastry to allow cooking steam to escape.
- Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 45 to 60 minutes. Tart is done when you tilt the dish and see that a thick rown syrup exudes from the apples between the crust and the edge of the dish.
- Immediately unmold the tart onto serving dish.  Keep warm until serving time.  8 servings.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

For Sunday....

I like these words by Roy Disney.

                           "It's not hard to make decisions

                                        when you know what your values are."

Be sure to give yourself time to feed your spirit today.


The Mission Focus as listed in the UMW Prayer Calendar for 2013 for today is the Friendly Center in Toledo, Ohio.

I send wishes to you for a blessed Sunday.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

While it was raining....

Happy Saturday to you!  Do you have some good plans for the day?

While it was raining, of course we were inside looking out.

This is what we saw!

This is a corner of the garden.  We really should consider putting in a swimming pool.:-)

During a break in the rain, I ventured out to walk about.

The Japanese Beetles had found the roses!:-(

The corn is growing, but it isn't "knee-high."

The apple tree is turning yellow.:-(

Red pears will be good!
I send wishes for a good week-end!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.