Old and New

I like to remember the fun of a farmhouse type front porch like my Gram had. Always laughter and fun times ringing out in the early evening after a beautiful summer supper. Gram always had a beautiful garden and she had fresh vegetables from her garden. My aunt was a cook at a private school and she always baked home made pies in the summer from the raspberry patch that they had. Plus she was always baking cookies that she put in a Piggy cookie jar. My younger brother and I could never get a cookie out of that jar without her saying, “I hear that little piggy squeeling”. But we always managed to run off like bandits with scrcumptious home-made cookies.

The minute we got to the farm, we would get into our play clothes and Grandpa would let us ride horses. Actually he would just lead the horses around with us proud as anything on those horses.

Then they had a croquet set that we would set up and have fun playing.

My Grandpa was tall and lanky and wore coveralls. He was always up at 4:00 AM to start chores. He was a kind, gentleman and a hard worker . Whenever they went to town, he wore a 3 piece suit. My 2 older brothers used to stay at the farm for a few weeks in the summer to help with haying. They always got money for working, too. And being teenagers they loved to have money to spend.

I loved how my Gram planted all kinds of flowers around the porch. She was always working in her gardens.

We always liked to visit that place in the summer when my Dad got 2 weeks vacation. We always stayed with our grandparents at least a week. Then we would sometimes stay a week on a lake near there in a rented cottage. I can remember my Mom making corn chowder on a rainy day and my brother and I along with several friends enjoyed the chowder on a screened in porch overlooking the lake with the soft rain falling.

Those really were kinder, gentler times.

I can remember visiting there when my son was about 3 years old. Gram was up working in her garden and came running down to greet us. She adored my little son. She had some corn on the cob from the garden with lunch and she laughed at how my little toddler son asked to have special picks that hold the corncobs on each end. I really miss my grandparents. It brings tears to my eyes sometimes to remember how precious they were.

They had almost 100 acres of farmland. My aunt’s husband sold it to a bunch of hippies. Now the place is more or less very different. But we will always have beautiful memories.

I was talking with the people that own the place now and I suggested that they were a bunch of hippies. They said most people call them rednecks. Whatever. They destroyed the place in my opinion. It will never be the same.

But God bless them. They love the place as much as we always did. I’m sure they love the place as much as my Grandparents did. But it broke my heart to see graffiti on the posts of the porch and junk in the yard. But they are logging the timber and they are college educated I guess and are making money from the rich soil they call black gold.

In their later years, my grandparents rented a piece of the land to a person that used if for gardens and he sold the produce to a place in Nathanial Hall in Boston.

I guess families are a thing of the past. Communes and free living are where it’s at. I will never be comfortable with it. Not ever. I’m just glad that I have memories of different time.

To honor my grandparents, the above is what I would have built. I totally love the style and it reminds me of times gone by. I totally love it. The farmstyle porch and the landscaping.

Martha Stewart’s Seal Harbor kitchen from the Home Depot would be the new touch with the farmstyle kitchen sink being a nod to sweet memories.

A double oven to bake all kinds of home made pies and cookies just to honor Aunt Mavis. Plus be able to have family gatherings like old times with all my precious grandchildren.

A greenhouse to start early plants for all kinds of gardens is a new touch. The above is a greenhouse that my brother built for his house. A greenhouse similar to it would be the perfect new touch.

A kitchen garden that is like a living salad bowl to honor my Gram who loved to garden.

And then Peonies abandonally placed here and there like I remember.

All kinds of old fashioned flowers here and there.

Spring bulbs that are planted in the Fall and they come up every year in the Spring. Daffodils are so sunny and beautiful.

A secret garden for tea. My Gram’s heritage was from England and she loved tea.

Lots of land for gardens galore.

I love embroidered pillowcases and the above remind me of the pillowcases that Gram always had.

The above is the diningroom that is a new version of my Gram’s diningroom. It’s everything she loved.

And that is a start on a way to bring back memories and to honor people that are no longer with us, but who must never be forgotten.

Things that Make Me Smile

Waterfall blue lobelia – No other blue flower can match the intensity of Waterfall Blue lobelia, a perfect floral imitation of water flowing from the pot. Riverdene Gold Mexican Heather gives a lime green color around the container, and Rustic Orange coleus in behind looks good with the heather and the intense blue of the lobelia.

I like the cute ideas people have like the above. So cute how the flowers just spill out of the container.

A beautiful Spring garden is my favorite dream and even the thought of it makes me smile.

I love harbors and sail boats. They always make me smile.

A firepit with a lake view. What’s not to love about that?

I love the above sign that they have on Nantucket Island.

The above view from a living room is from a harbor town in Maine and it’s a townhouse. So beautiful.

A little black dress goes with everything and it’s always in style.

Keeping things simple and smile.

April Days

Yesterday I went for a walk and it seemed so good to have a little decent weather. The above is Mt Ascutney view from my walk.

The above is Easter sunrise service on Mt Tom in Woodstock, VT. So beautiful. You can look down on the whole town of Woodstock from Mt Tom.

I sometimes wish that I had gotten more education. Or at least a different type of education. I mean school was not preparing me for what life was all about. Knowing how to budget money, how to land a good job and the importance of a good income. Also if I wanted to marry and have children, how to raise them. I mean how do you know what it takes to be a good mother. Doesn’t that matter at all? Are you just supposed to know how to hold a family together and the importance of honesty, integrity and giving of yourself. But also being good to yourself so you can be good to others. Also the importance of choosing a good husband. It can make or break your life. No, people do not naturally have that knowledge. They just do not and it’s not fun to be labeled with a divorce and messing up childrens lives as well as your own. Children deserve to be born into a loving environment with parents that are mature and nurturing. And to just be thrown out there in the jungle to make mistakes that could have been avoided with a little guidance, is just not right. When you are young, you think you know it all. Well you don’t.

I saw the above and read what I needed as a blogger to buy on Amazon. Mostly it was about a planner. Then a good camera, a special light if you were a fashion blogger and took selfies, spending money to make money.

The planner that they reccomended was the Bloom daily planner.

The planner had a lot of inspirations and tips that are perfect for a blogger.

Then if you work at home, you are your own boss and the above mug was reccomended.

I like inspirations and if I see ones that I like, like the above, I save them. Mostly I save them on my Inspirations board on my Pinterest.

I like little Binto box type containers and the neat idea above to pack containers with all the fixings for a turkey taco salad. They just mixed a taco mix in ground turkey and fried it up. Then they had containers for Greek yogurt, pico de gallo and shredded cheese plus a slice of lime. Then just some shredded lettuce. Very healthy and also yummy.

The above is the container on Amazon that they used for the fixings for the turkey taco salad. I love them and am going to get some.

The above is the containers that they used for the meal prep. I think it would be fun to have prepped meals in the fridge to have on hand.

The above cow cake was made by Gesine Bullock for Cabot cheese for their 100th Anniversary. Gesine is Sandra Bullock’s sister and she also had her own food network show. She lives in Norwich, Vermont and has a big white colonial house with her hubby, Raymond who she sometimes calls “Raymo”. She also teaches baking at King Arthur Flour and has her own baking school at her house. I love that cake. The skill that it took to make that cake is awesome. She is a self taught baker as well as writing several awesome cookbooks. She also is associated with Cabot cheese and is a lawyer as well.

Gesine made the inside of the cake a buffalo plaid like the label on Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheese. So clever and she used red velvet and chocolate cake and then a chocolate frosting.

When Gesine first went on the food network and the show was filmed from her house in Vermont, I totally enjoyed every single episode. Some day I want to take one of her classes in Norwich. She also has a couple of classes on line on Craftsy which changed their name to Blueprint and I had access to those classes. I really liked her pie baking class and her French pastries class.

I also like the Create channel and P Allen Smith. He has some neat cookbooks and also recipes from the garden. He has some of the most beautiful gardens that I have ever seen. I love the above show that I watched where he put a tomato plant in the middle of a container and then herbs for pizza around the container.

He had rosemary, basil, flat leaf parsley and thyme plants that he put in the container. Then he told how to cut the herbs in a way that would make them grow back more and more.

The above is the pizza that he made using the herbs from the container that he called his Pizza herbs container. What a fun idea.

There are so many fun ideas out there.

Bacon Blue-Cheese Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette

Serving this salad in cucumber rings as pictured will give you major presentation points for a special occasion

Ingredients

2 tablespoons chopped pecans

2 medium cucumbers, peeled

3 cups mixed baby greens

2 cooked thick-cut bacon slices halved

1/3 cup shredded or matchstick carrots

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

How to Make It

Step 1 Place chopped pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan.

Step 2 Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally. Let cool 30 minutes or until completely cool.

Step 3 Using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler, cut cucumbers lengthwise into very thin strips just until seeds are visable. Discard cucumber core.

Step 4 Make a ring with the cucumber strips inside a small, see through glass bowl.

Step 5 Fill each cucumber ring evenly with mixed greens, next 3 ingredients, and toasted pecans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle each salad with 1 Tablespoon White Wine Vinaigrette, and serve with remaining vinaigrette.

Step 6 Note: Y-shaped vegetable peelers can be found at most kitchen, home goods and discount store.

White Wine Vinaigrette

Ingredients

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

How to Make It

Whisk together 1/4 cup white wine vinegar and next 3 ingredients until blended. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Whisk in salt and pepper to taste. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 1 week.

Makes 4 servings

Rainy April day

A good morning for heart warming coffee for sure! It has rained all week here and the rivers are all really high and there are flood warnings.

Little kids always love puddles on days like this.

It’s just a good day to stay warm and cozy inside with a nice cup of coffee.

If you people watch, little kids will linger a little ways behind their Mama’s and walk and splash their feet in any puddle they come across.

Today is the perfect day for a nice bowl of hot soup and a Spring type wrap.

On days like this, there is always a kind of fog that is heavy in the air and the ground is covered with dew from all the rainy days in a row. Rural areas are quiet and peaceful.

I like coffee mugs and collect all kinds of them.

I love farmers markets and food co-ops. And what is not to love about an ice cold mug of craft beer. So I guess that I was born in the right state. 🙂

Vera Bradly Pocketbooks

On my blog post yesterday, I forgot to add that the sale on Vera Bradly pocketbooks was at Zulily.com. They have sales on Vera Bradly products like this sale once in a great while. I just love the quality of Vera Bradly products, but the sale is like a short time and includes free shipping.

Wednesday Musings

With Spring here, it’s always nice to have a good raincoat. I love the above trenchcoat that is on sale at Nordstrom for half price. It’s one of 14 items that I read would be good for a French Capsule Wardrobe.

They said to have a quality pocketbook. I love the above Vera Bradly crossbody. It’s good quality and also on sale for the next 2 days at about $30.00 off the original price.

I love the wristlet that matches the pocketbook that is also on sale at Vera Bradly on line. I have a similar one that I got at Vera Bradly that I just about wore out from using so much. It’s perfect to put your cell phone in and car keys when you go for a walk on the walking trails.

A tailored black blazer is a nice investment for the wardrobe. I learned a lot on wardrobe capsules to have a few good classic pieces that you can mix and match from watching a podcast this morning.

King Arthur Flour has a really good recipe for Hot Cross Buns on their website. Fun to make for this time of year.

I also found a recipe that sounded really good for the Instant Pot. It’s a recipe for Rotisserie Chicken using the Instant Pot. You can stuff the cavity with lemon and Rosemary for an option, also. I pinned the recipe on my Instant Pot board on my Pinterest.

Walmart has little lamb cookie cutters. How cute to decorate them like the above idea. You just use royal icing and flood it for the smooth base, and then use regular frosting to decorate with an icing bag.

My Dad always liked Strawberry Rhubarb pie. I like the cute idea above for the lattice top and heart. Before you know it, strawberries and rhubarb will be out and you can use them for a pie.

I also found a recipe for a streusel top Strawberry Rhubarb pie. So good with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream. Yum! I pinned both recipes on my Pie board on my Pinterest.

What a neat idea for an adult Easter Basket. I love the bottles of Red as well as White wine. Then the chocolate Easter Bunny, Easter eggs, gourmet jelly beans and all kinds of fun treats.

I have heard that meditation is supposed to be really good for you. The above is a neat idea for Shower Meditation.

The Pioneer Woman had a nice Crudite idea on her show today. She has the recipe for the dip on her Food Network page.

It was a nice sunny day here today and a little chilly at just barely 60 degrees. But more like Spring weather.

I can’t have a garden right now, but it’s fun to have a little dish garden. I even have a little waterfountain that is like a waterfall.

Indoor plants are always fun to have. I have a lot of African Violets.

I have a corner plant stand that I put white twinkling string lights on. At night when the lights are on, it’s just kind of neat.

Then a few Spring bulbs and it just is kind of cheerful. You have to love plants.

And that’s my thoughts for this Wednesday in April.