Retirement

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I guess I did everything too young, including retirement.  I started first grade in school when I was 5 as my birthday came just right.  So I was 16 when I was a senior in high school.  I got married at 17 which was way too young.  And I retired early because I just up and quit my job as I just got sick of them.  Big mistake.  Everyone knows that you have to change your attitude and if you have a job, hang on to it.

So now I have time to take care of my plants.  I love how my African violets just seem to be doing really well and I’ve never seen them keep blooming like they do.  I like my little bluebird planter and I had time to find that cute little planter.  Yup, plenty of time and no money.  After bills, the little retirement money I have is pretty slim.  Looking for a part time job, and really need to find one.

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I like the above pillow.  It’s important to be happy for good health.  Whatever happens I try to make the best of it.

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The trend now is to put stuff in mason jars.  I like the idea of a picnic in a jar.

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The little touches like using stamp letters on the wooden spoon and the colored string and wasabi tape from the craft store make it cute.

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My kids gave me an ipad and I like to look up recipes and use the ipad with music playing in the background when I make the recipe.  I love the ipad holder for the kitchen that I found on Etsy and  I like Tricia Yearwoods taco pizza recipe.  At work they used to have pizza on the last Friday of the month and one of the pizza’s was a taco pizza.  Soooo good.  Would love to try to recreate that pizza.

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Because I have all the time in the world, it would be fun to try and make a summer berry pie.

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To make flakey, buttery crust, you need to keep the dough cold and what helps is like a marble or granite board to roll out the crust on.  I bought one like the above photo once and I took it out of the box when I got home and it was broken right in half.  So back to the store it went and I didn’t feel like taking a chance on another one.  Did I ever mention that if it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.  Of course I bought the board at a discount store and the price was like 1/4 of what Sur la table charges.  And I should have known I couldn’t get something nice like that without paying all outdoors.  And you can make a good pie without one, just making sure to chill the dough.

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I love Burdick’s Chocolate in Walpole, NH.  I have a calendar from Burdicks and the above is the picture on their calendar for June.  I like that little bee made out of chocolate.  So cute.  You wouldn’t believe how good their chocolate is.  They also have a store and cafe on Harvard Square in Boston and on Martha’s Vineyard.  They were originally from New York and I’m glad to be able to enjoy their wonderful creations since they came to Walpole.

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I like the above idea for a flower garden for a small space.  The circle idea looks really nice to me..

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I also like the idea of a garden gate, an arch with roses and a cottage garden on the side.

You know, if you plan your life right, retirement years can be the very best years.  First of all and most important is a good education starting when you are young.  Then choose the right mate.  Then find a job that you like and work hard and save and invest your money.

I did everything wrong and still enjoy my retirement.  Go figure.  🙂  But I certainly would not let my kids go through what I did.  They both did things right and I am so proud of them.

 

 

 

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Tuesday last week of June

Dream place

I could be happy with a lawn like the above with a greenhouse, fence with an arch and a raised kitchen garden.  I love the flowers along the fence and the flowers around the greenhouse.  I like the birdbath and lawn chair.

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I saw a recipe for a Margarita popsicle that has tequila in it.  I pinned the link to the recipe on my popsicle pinterest board.  Sounds like a fun popsicle for summer.

July

I guess white skinny jeans are in this summer.  I like the T-shirt in the above to wear on July 4th.  The shoes in that color look good with the white jeans and they match the color of the rim around the neck of the T-shirt.

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I like the Alex and Ani bangle bracelets that they have at Nordstrom.  The above bracelet is the sand dollar charm.

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I also like the Stella & Dot Wanderer necklace.

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The necklace looks really neat with a white gauze blouse and a denim skirt.  That idea is from my favorite fashion blogger.  I like that blue pocketbook, also.

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I like tablescapes and thought that the above tablescape was neat for July 4th.  I like the white candle in a red lantern in the center of the the table and the blue glasses.  The red napkins with the red-white-blue napkin rings is doable.  I would have the white plate and maybe a red salad plate.  I like those windows.

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I like the farmstands that are along country roads.  I like the above style.

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I found a recipe for maple-bacon donuts that I pinned on my donut pinterest board.  Wouldn’t that be fun to make for a special treat for like on a Sunday morning.

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The French Canadian, maple glazed crullers sound good, also.

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Then the chocolate glazed for 4th of July.  I pinned that recipe on my donuts board on Pinterest.

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What a neat idea of Maple Peanut butter pie.  I pinned that recipe on my pie board on Pinterest.

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I saw the above cute idea for snacks for kids.  It’s just a clothespin that was painted, little eyes put on and  a pipe cleaner.  A sandwich bag has grapes on one side and fishies on the other side and then pinned in the middle with the clothespin.

And that’s my thoughts for today.

 

 

Monday in June

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July 4th is coming up and I like the above pie that was a first prize winner at a pie contest at Shelburne Museum in Burlington.  It’s got raspberries and blueberries in it and the stars are made out of white chocolate.  The recipe was in Yankee Magazine and I pinned the recipe link to my Pie board on my Pinterest.  I read the article about the lady that made the pie.  She’s an older lady and she picked each berry in it, using only the plumpest and best berries.  Then the crust recipe has Crisco and butter because she said it makes the pie crust just right.

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I also like the above idea for mini Cherry pies that would be perfect to bring for a picnic.

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The Pie ladies that have a pie stand in Underhill, Vermont are not about to give out any of their recipes.  When I asked for two recipes, they said in so many words that they were both professional chefs that actually taught in Culinary schools and their recipes could not be duplicated by a home cook.  Well, I found a recipe for Chocolate Cream pie that I bet would be able to be made at home and also was a recipe from a Chef in Vermont.  I pinned the recipe on my pie board on Pinterest.

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The whipped cream swirl is easy enough to do with the large star attachment to a pastry bag and that’s basically how they decorate their pies.  I also found a coconut cream pie recipe on line that didn’t sound too difficult to me and I pinned a bunch of pie recipes that I am going to try.  Also one of the pie ladies used to teach at Healthy Living and I found several pie crust and the Maple Cream pie that is probably her recipe on that web site.

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I think that Farmers Markets are the most fun ever to visit.  Not everything is growing in gardens yet, but they also have green houses that they use.  I just love this time of year.

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I love the above Veggie tray idea.  They used Greek yogurt combined with a dip mix to  put inside the purple cabbage.  At the Vermont Country store they have all kinds of those dip mixes. I like the Chardonay and also the Dill mix.  I think the above used a Spinach-artichoke mix with the Greek yogurt.

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I like Farmers Market recipes.  I made up a whole board of Farmers Market recipes on my Pinterest.

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I have that very same mug as the one above and I have a really neat juice machine that makes awesome green smoothies as does my blender.  I like all the ideas of Dr. Joel Fuhrman and I have been trying to eat healthy.  Lots of salads and veggies.

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I like having strawberries and blueberries on my oatmeal this morning.  I also mixed in golden milled flaxseed, wheat germ and chia seeds.  And then a cup of my favorite Starbucks coffee.  My favorite start to the day.

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And I really like the idea of putting the berries in an air tight canning jar.  The jar is frosty from the refrigerator, but it keeps the berries fresh for as long as I need.

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I think that the above dress would be nice to have for summer.  I like the sandals and pocketbook, also.

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I also like the above dress and both dresses are from L L Bean.

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I think that the length is good and the fit is flattering and the dress would also be cool for summer.  And the price isn’t too bad.

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I really like the style of my favorite fashion blogger.  The Gladiator sandals are from Nordstrom and the label is Rebecca Minkoff.  and today if you use the Rebecca Minkoff code rmsummer50 you can get 50% off on them.  I guess today is the last day for the code.

I like that pocketbook, which is a Tory Burch and the code extra30 gets 30% off on that.  It’s way too expensive for me, but I think that it is really stylish and so cute.

I ordered that T-shirt from the Loft on line and it was marked down to only $15.00 which is a steal and you don’t need any codes.  If you go to Jo-Lynn Shane’s blog, she has all kinds of style tips.

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I really like the idea that she has of the bracelet that is a holder for a fitbit.  So cool.

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She likes the above Stella Dot necklace as it is close to the one she is wearing in the photo.  It’s Mother of Pearl and I just like how you can wear them all together or separate.  She says the long necklace alone alongates the neckline to make you look slimmer and is good to wear with a T-shirt that isn’t a V-neck.

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Because I watch so many cook shows, I noticed that some of the Chefs  use wooden bowls for their salads.  I’ve seen them rub garlic in the bottom of the wooden bowl and then put the dressing in the bottom of the bowl and toss the salad just before serving so the lettuce doesn’t get soggy and also has really good flavor.  And the wooden bowls are not expensive at Crate and Barrel.

And that’s my interests for this Monday morning, the last week in June.

 

 

 

Vermont Pies and Summer fun

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Maple Pecan Crunch Pie

DOUGH

1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small bits
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
4 tablespoons ice water
TOPPING
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small bits
FILLING
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¾ cups pecans, lightly toasted

INSTRUCTIONS
To Make the Dough:
Combine the flour, salt, butter and shortening in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix until it looks crumbly and the butter is pea-size. Add the ice water and mix briefly until the dough just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured table and knead briefly. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic and chill dough 1 hour.

To Make the Topping:
Combine the oats, sugars, cinnamon and salt in a stand mixer. Mix well with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and process on low speed until the mixture clumps up. Remove from the mixer to a bowl and rub dough between your fingers until crumbly. Cover and chill well.

To Make the Filling:
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

To Assemble:
Preheat oven to 375o. Roll out the chilled dough into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured table.Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Finish the edges by turning under and fluting with a fork or pinching with your fingertips. Wrap in plastic and place crust in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Add the cooled nuts to the crust. Add filling. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes. Add topping. Make sure to rotate pie (for even cooking) and bake for another 40 minutes, or until the center is just set and the topping is golden brown.

Recipe courtesy of Poorhouse Pies.

I can’t believe that I found the above recipe.  Especially their pie dough recipe.  I think those people are probably the best pie makers this side of the Mississippi.  And I’m not too sure that the other side of the Mississippi also.

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They were featured on PBS and the pies just look scrumptious.  They have a self serve on the honor system in Underhill, VT.  Too far from where I live and I can’t believe I found one of their recipes that will be fun to try.  They have a refrigerator in their pie stand that they keep the pies in.

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Their key lime pie looks really good.  That crust looks like a graham cracker crust.

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The Summer Berry Pie looks scrumptious.  It’s like a work of art with yummy ingredients.

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Then their Banana Cream pie and Mocha Cream pie are just heavenly looking.

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They make all kinds of pies.  I gather from the PBS pie show that they call themselves “Poorhouse Pies” because one of them lost her job and to keep out of the poorhouse, started a pie business.

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And they have a gift for making creative and really good pies.

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The Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cheese Cake Pie sounds like a must try pie.  I wish they gave out recipes, but I feel lucky to have found one of their recipes.

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Then on some Sundays like before a holiday, they make home made donuts.  Not just any donuts, people start lining up for the donuts at 7:00 in the morning for them and most of the time they are all gone by 9:00 or so.

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They make really creative donuts that are made with perfection.

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I mean I don’t indulge in sweets hardly ever, but to try one of these creations is an exception.

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I think it would almost be like visiting a Pastry shop in France, only Vermont style.

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On Valentines Day, they made Whoopie Pies for a chocolate treat.

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King Arthur Flour has a sugar cookie mix and had a cute July 4th cookie idea.

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Then I saw in the paper that an art teacher that retired gave a class to teach you how to paint the above sunflower painting.  And there is a cafe where you can sip on a glass of wine and have cheese and crackers while you take the class.  Very creative idea and sounds like a lot of fun.

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I like little farm stands that are along the road.  Not only are they cute, but they have really fresh garden veggies and usually farm fresh eggs and sometimes baked goods.

 

 

 

 

 

Market Day

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Local strawberries are at the farm stands now.  It’s a better deal if you pick your own and lots of people pick huge flats of them.

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I love all the fresh veggies that were picked from the gardens just this morning at Pete’s farm stand..  I love the radishes for salads.

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I got some summer squash.

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Also some beets so I can make a roasted beet salad with arugula.  I also use the beet greens that are really good sauteed.

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They had farm fresh eggs and home made bread that looked good.

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They had some pretty hanging plants.

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I saw a recipe for Strawberry Chiffon pie that I pinned on my Pinterest Pies board.  That would be yummy to make with the strawberries.

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I made a veggie stirfry when I got home.  It had summer squash, zuchinni, asparagus, mushrooms and onions in it.  I also made brown and red rice with quinoa and flaxseed to go with it.

I also stopped at a food warehouse and got Starbucks coffee for only $4.99 a pkg.  Saved about $4.00 on that for what it would cost at the grocery store.  I also got a pkg of the brown and red rice with quinoa and flaxseeds for only $1.45.  So I saved quite a bit on that also.

Very fun afternoon.

 

 

June 22, 2016

 

 

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Last night there was a full moon that they call the “Strawberry Moon”.  There very seldom is a full moon on solstice which is the longest days of summer and when strawberries are ripe for picking.

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I saw this photo in my facebook feed this morning.  One of my facebook friends owns this rooster that likes to wake everyone up in the early morning.

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Another facebook friend has lavender on her property.  I would love to have some lavender.

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She said that she harvested it yesterday.

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And now her house smells like lavender.  Wow, how nice.  What a beautiful idea.

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I would love to have a garden with rainbow carrots.  You can buy the heirloom seeds in the seed catalogs.  I buy the rainbow carrots when I can find them in the Food Co-op or Farmers Markets.  Sooo good in soups.

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I read that Malbec Reserva won an award for the best tasting wine in the world.  The really neat thing about this is that it’s sold at Walmart and it’s only $6.00.

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I saw some awesome recipes on a blog that had all kinds of ideas.  I loved the antipasto kabobs idea.  Looks really yummy to me.

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Then a Summer Vegetable Gratin looks really good.  I pinned the recipe on my Veggie recipes Pinterest board.

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When I was a kid, one of the first things I learned how to make in a cooking class that we had to take in school was apple muffins.  I remember that they were one of my favorites and I was surprised at how good they tasted.  I found a recipe similar to those apple muffins that had half white whole wheat flour and half unbleached all purpose flour.  Then the streusel  on top was just brown sugar sprinkled like a topping before they went in the oven.  I found the recipe on King Arthur Flour website.

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Barefoot Contessa is always saying on her show how she had a catering business on Long Island and one day someone was looking for some scones and she named off all the scones that they had and then some.  So they wanted the cheddar dill scones and she came up with a recipe for them because she had to.  They look good to me and I pinned the recipe on my Barefoot Contessa recipe board.

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My Dad always had a beautiful garden and he used to plant Nasturtiums on outside rows of the garden.  I didn’t know that they protected the garden from pests.  They make a garden look pretty, too.

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I think that whiskey barrels look awesome for use as a planter.  It’s like having a whole flower garden in a planter.

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I like the looks of an old pail for a planter.  So cute.

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I love double petunias and the above color is gorgeous.  I used to have petunias in my window boxes and they would bloom all summer and way into the Fall.

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They have some beautiful colors.  I used to mix pink petunias with white petunias on two side ends of the window box.  We had a dark stain on our house the flowers just popped.  I really enjoyed those window boxes.

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I saw the above idea for a planter for the porch.  I love it.

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I like the above colors for a planter, also.

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And then pansies in a strawberry planter look really nice.

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I’d like the above in the tile floor entrance way of a house.  I like the color of it.  I have a friend that designs and builds kitchens and he made one sort of like the above one for one of his customers just as a little extra something, something for her.  He also did an extra bay window for another customer.  And no he didn’t charge extra.  And that is a few reasons why he usually broke just about even on his kitchens with little or next to no profit.

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I love the above bag to take to farmers markets like the French do.  And then the Nantucket lighthouse basket for holding eggs.  I have one like both of those baskets that I bought years ago at Basketville in Putney, VT.

It’s all different now, but sometimes when my son was little we used to go out to breakfast on Saturday mornings and go down old Route 5 towards Brattleboro.  We would have breakfast at a restaurant that was shaped like an actual Igloo and that’s what they called it.  The Igloo.  My son loved it and they had the best omelettes ever there.  Then we would go on down the road and stop at Basketville.  Fun times.

I love this time of year.

 

 

Summer

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I like the above outfit for this time of year.  It especially looks nice if you have a nice tan.

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I like the above outfit, also.  I have that top and it’s one of my favorites.  I got mine at L L Bean and it’s called a sailor top.  It looks very French to me.

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The berries are in season again.  I think the above is called a Summer Berry Galette.

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Then there’s a Strawberry Rhubarb pie.  I think it looks fancy when you criss cross the strips of pie dough for the top crust.

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I really like heirloom tomatoes and the above is a recipe using cauliflower for the crust for a Margharitta  Pizza.  I like the fresh basil.  The cauliflower crust takes the carbs out of pizza.

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I like the above dress for summer.  So cute with the wedge heel sandals.

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I wish that I had an ice cream maker, I’d make some Raspberry Limoncello ice cream.  Sounds really yummy.

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Then, how about coconut, salted caramel and chocolate popsicles.

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Everyone seems to be wearing white skinny jeans.  And even more popular is holes in the jeans to make them look slightly worn ragged.

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Strawberries are in season now and everyone is making strawberry shortcake.

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I don’t have a garden and I think that it would be fun to grow herbs, lettuce and a few things.  Some people know how to grow stuff indoors.

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I think it’s a nest idea to plant a garden in wine boxes, also.

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I like the above flower pot with flowers spilling out.

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People have such neat ideas.

Tonight is a full moon and they call it a “Strawberry Moon” because it is strawberry harvesting time and a full moon.  The last time that there was a full moon on what they call a “solstice” on the first days of summer was almost 70 years ago in 1948.