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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Slipping Into Fall Sideways

Hello from the hills!
We're still having temperatures in the 80s (Fahrenheit) most days, but the mornings are now crisp and delightfully cool.   This photo was in my camera and seemed fall-ish so here it is.

 It was a messy business as that's the way I roll, but I tried making marshmallows for the first time last week.  Think hot cocoa!

Being the infamous procrastinator that I am I waited until the last day possible to make them for a bridal shower.  They are fairly easy to make, though, so I was able to whip up three different kinds in one afternoon...plain, chocolate and coffee flavored.   Coffee flavored ones are the best in my caffeinated opinion.

The best how-to video I found on Youtube is this one, click here.

There was a coffee bar along with the food stations for shower attendees to enjoy.  The marshmallows were a hit as they are soooo much better than the ones in stores.  (Also, there is no high fructose corn syrup so they are not so harmful, just sweet tastiness.)  I didn't get a closeup of them, but they are on the tiered tray in the photo below.
 As always, we had lots of bird residents in spring and summer.

This Carolina Wren made use of my watering can for her nest.

Just right of center in the photo below is a hungry nestling, mouth open wide and waiting for a delicious morsel.

 For those who enjoyed the sheep pic in my last post here's another for you.
Have a lovely week!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Fall in the Foothills, er not quite fall

Hello from the hills!
 Above is a purplish Rose of Sharon tree that came up as a volunteer in a good spot in the back yard so I left it where grew.  Below is the pink Double Rose of Sharon that I started from a cutting a few years ago.

I had to go to the big city a few weeks ago and stopped by to see one of my favorite sites there. The Westmoreland Water Wheel in Knoxville, Tenn. was built in 1923 to supply electricity to the few residents in the immediate area at the time.  It was built in the Tudor Revival Style.

This lovely structure is in the National Register of Historic Places and is still in working order but hasn't supplied electricity to the locals since city services were installed.

Sorry this clip is a bit shaky, but I love watching it to see the wheel going around.

 There's going to be a wedding next month in our extended family, and I was asked to make mints for the reception.  This mint dough tastes just like those marshmallow circus peanuts we ate as children (and adults.)

 The peachy colored roses turned out pretty well.  I made about 200 of them.

And lots of doves...  I just need to get the leaves made as well, Youngest will be making the leaves.  Yay!

 I picked our first mess of turnip greens this morning.  They were superb - bacon drippin's make most anything delectable, I say.

Yeah, not really, but I can appreciate this anyway.  Humor is good. 

In the 24 years we've lived here I'd never seen a Sweet Autumn Clematis on our property until this year.  It must be a good year for them though as we've seen them pop up allover near our house.  It's fragrance is lovely.

I was in need of a new doormat and couldn't resist when I saw this one at the store. Um, yes, I took the tag off when I got it home.  I hope you are having a lovely fall in your neck of the woods.  

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Eclipse and Other Dabblings

Hello from the foothills!  
Well, we survived the total solar eclipse and lived to tell the story.  I don't have any eclipse day pics to share (so I inserted this tasty Cherry Galette instead ;), but we did see (or rather not see) the sun disappear for a bit yesterday.  I didn't bother about getting the approved eclipse glasses so on eclipse day Goodman rounded up a couple of welding helmets and some of those old folks glasses they send you home wearing from cataract surgery, and we were set.  Sure, we probably looked like a couple of bobble-head corn nuts standing on the back deck gazing afar in those clunky helmets, but we witnessed the extraordinary event in our own style. ;)  

I've been busy making a few herbal preparations for our home apothecary and to give as gifts.

The recipe for this Polysporin-like ointment is over at Joybilee Farm.

 It's a wonderful anti-microbial salve to have on hand for cuts, bites and scrapes.

Last week we took the grands to Tic-Toc Ice Cream Parlor in Loudon, Tenn. for a mini birthday celebration for the eldest.  The old-fashioned parlor was featured in Southern Living Magazine several years ago.

They serve wonderful homemade ice creams. Their famous Cardiac Arrest has 5 scoops of ice cream and as many toppings plus whipped cream, cherries and nuts.   We all considered the Cardiac Arrest but opted for hot fudge sundaes instead.   After ice cream we browsed a couple of antique thrift stores.  These girls know where to find the good stuff.

A peek at one of the butternut squashes growing on the Hugelkultur mound I made.  (Click if you're really sure you want to know, lol.)

The soil is really rich on that mound and should be productive for several years.

We love Chicken Parmesan but had never made it from scratch until I tried this recipe, and I have to say it was DELICIOUS.

I'll leave you with a pic of this Imperial Moth hanging upside-down on the dog lot fence.  Yeah, it's a mecca of excitement around here...

Hope your summer is the best. :)

Monday, July 3, 2017

June in the Foothills

Hello from the hills of Tennessee!

I've been doing my usual watching-things-grow routine and collecting the harvest.
There are no ripe tomatoes yet, but we have lots of green for fried green tomatoes. These are the Heirloom Beefsteak variety.


When we bought our place there were five holly trees posing as bushes in front of the house.  They required a lot of trimming to keep them in check and had outgrown their space so Goodman cut them down then dug out the stumps.

We replaced the holly trees with Peach Drift Roses.   If you're not familiar with them, Drift Roses are used to fill in lateral garden spaces.  There are different colors, but this one is the only variety that has a rose scent.  And what would a rose be without the fragrance?   (Someone else's, not mine ;)

Lavender from some new plants that have deeper color but less scent than a variety I've had for years. I planted the lavender behind the roses.  I have to say it's a relief not having to trim those holly bushes this year. 

I made a few more project bags for needlework projects.  They're great to have on hand for gifts, too.

Goodman loves a good salad and likes to see all the ingredients at a glance.

I hope you have a wonderful Independence Day Celebration.   General Washington and his men crossing the Delaware River in December 1776 - Liberty Blue platter.

Monday, May 29, 2017

All Gave Some, Some Gave All

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

One section of the East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery.   Brave soldiers, you're not forgotten...

Sunday, April 30, 2017

When History Gets Rewritten

Hello from the hills!  Our little bluebird friend and his mate aren't nesting in our box, after all.

 I had witnessed them being run off/bullied by a pair of robins so I think that's why they decided to nest elsewhere.

They still use our birdbath, though, so we see them nearly everyday anyway.

Do you like to go on riverboat rides?  We do, and most of my side of the family does, too, so we recently got together and rode the Memphis Queen III as part of a monumental birthday celebration for our oldest brother who lives north of Memphis.  He reached a monumental age, that is. ;)

The tour was billed as a 1 1/2 hour historical tour...  Well, it seems history took a detour once we were on the boat.  We were told that the city of Memphis was founded by someone other than Andrew Jackson, John Overton, James Winchester and a group of investors that did actually get it started.   I had heard that in some places in our country history is being changed according to who is in charge there now, but it was kinda weird hearing it for myself.
A view of Memphis from the riverboat.

I don't like giving a bad review to any tourist attraction, but this time I must because instead of going up or downriver the boat just went around and around in about a one and a half-mile circle while the tour guide put his own spin on the history of Memphis for an hour and a half.  I'm going to give this riverboat ride a D, and that's only because it didn't sink in the Mississippi River while we were on it.  O.o
A view of the Bass Pro Pyramid.

After our trip, Goodman and I were both sick for a while, but it's good to be back in our neck of the woods anyway.  A few years ago I planted a wisteria vine at the base of one of our maple trees, and it finally bloomed this year.  

I'm hoping  it will someday look like this one that we saw in the big city a while back.  Wisteria had completely covered the branches.

Hope you're having a great Spring.

This post is shared at Saturday's Critters.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Blue Spring In the Foothills

 Hello from the foothills where Spring is in full swing.  The seed clusters in this maple tree provided just enough dappled shade to darken the color of our resident Eastern Bluebird.  Love the color.

 He and his mate have been preparing the bluebird box just outside my kitchen window for nesting.  She watched me closely while he waited his turn at the birdbath.

You can leave anytime now, Mr. Robin....

 Finally in...

Is there anything better than a long splash in cool water?

I hope your Spring (or Autumn) is filled with lots of gorgeous color.

Linking with Eileen at: Saturday's Critters