Sunday, December 25, 2016

Wishing You All A Merry Christmas

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and enjoys the Holidays.

We've had quite a bit of snow during the month of December.  Usually the children are hoping for snow on Christmas Eve so Santa has no problems delivering his gifts.  This year we had enough of it that they weren't disappointed.

Friday, October 14, 2016

I've Moved to a Small Senior Apt Facility.

I just want you to know, I love it here.  The view from my windows is of a lovely river with rocks in it and small rapids churning around them.  The trees right now are in their fall colors and divine, in reds, orange, and yellow along the river but the attached photo was taken just before the change.  There's a small dam here as well but its on the far edge so if it ever gave way, I guess our building is safe, being above the water line.
Behind the building, taken thru the screen, its hard to make out the view but its much nicer with eyes instead of a camera.

The 'green' area in the rear of the building where one can relax or walk the dog.  Yes, I was able to keep my Penny since she's under 20" at the shoulder.  And you know corgis, with those short munchkin legs, she fits the criteria.  That makes us both very happy.

This is the area out back in the
green' area, where residents can tend their personal potted plants, as you can see from several pots belonging to other residents.  A landscape firm tends all the rest of the grounds.  Many flowering bushes and huge pots of flowers are stationed out front of the building and 2 gardens of hostas out front as well.  I'm happy there is green around and not just pavements and brick. 

I'll miss the 7 acres I left behind and the dwarf fruit trees but I was desperate for a new home with the house being sold and other family issues there, and lucky me, I found a wonderful new home just in time. 
By the way, my Honey Crisp and Fuji apple trees did marvelously well this year.  Many given away to friends and relatives and of course, I enjoyed my share.  With the first frost coming tonite (30*F) I just finished picking the last of them.   MMMMmmmmm good!

I have my sewing machine set up, now I have to get all my supplies and fabrics and tools from my storage unit so I can get back to sewing.  You'll see more of my quilting projects than plants in future.  I hope to have a couple of potted plants to tend next spring, but that will be my limit, so I'll report on sewing, cooking and other things that may tweak your interest.
Hoping to check in soon with more news and pictures.
Hugs to you all.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Nice To Be Back On Computer

I was without my computer for quite a while, but now its back.
I just wanted you to know I will be trying to stay current.
Be good.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Lovely weather for late spring!

We've had lovely weather here in southwest Maine this spring.  Temps in the 60s to 70sF are the norm this year and evenings down in the 50s so it cools off nicely.
I've been packing up to move.  The original thought is to move to Florida, but there seems to be problems with that at the moment so I don't know where I'll end up.  Might have to stay in Maine another year, but in an apartment, not here.  The house is being sold.
My hummers are back.  They are so adorable.  I love seeing them flitter here and there as they feed.  And we have a nest under the eaves of the garage this year.  Nor sure what bird yet.  A worried mom flies hither and yon when the garage door opens, but too fast for me to catch a good glimpse.  Haven't yet seen any nestlings and its too high up to see any eggs in the nest.
The Peonies and the Iris are in bloom.  The lilacs are pretty much fading away at this point.
Our Daisy, my son's Golden retriever, has been diagnosed with a bad case of Cancer of the spleen.  She's on meds that seem to be keeping her out of pain and in decent shape.  It will be a heartbreak to lose her.  Surgery would only give her a couple more weeks or even days of life, so that's not going to happen.  Why put her thru such trauma when it won't help.  She'll be 12 in early November while my corgi Penny will be 11 only a day difference in their birthdays.
Daisy spends her days with us (me and Penny) when the folks are working daily.  The kids are now grown and both have their own apts with friends, in the big city of Portland.  They are living the young and busy life of teens learning their way thru life but on their days off from work, they spend a good lot of time here with their dog they've had since she was a wee one.  They'll miss her terribly when she's gone.  The vet gave her a week to a couple months.  That's coming up on a month already since they found out just around Mother's Day.
I wish you all a lovely day today now that the rain has stopped and the sun is drying the grass, which I believe has grown 3 inches since the other day.  My son will have to mow it before it turns to hay.


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

Its a gray day here in Maine, but its still Mother's Day.
I cut my hair short (my gift to myself) since I always have done my own hair for the last 15 years.  It looks pretty good.
I'm waiting for my late lunch to be provided by my son.  Whatever it is, it will be welcome.  He never forgets me on Mother's Day.
Wishing you all a fine Mother's Day whether you have human children or furbabies. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

It's April 26th and its SNOWING!!!

I can hardly believe it, its snowing and quite hard, too.  So far about 4" of the white stuff and pretty and fluffy and thick and great for snowballs.
The birds were crowding and fighting at the covered feeder.  I guess all their lunch places are covered in snow so they can't eat their usual wild fare in the woods.
I just came indoors from sweeping a path to the feeders to clear them off and refill them.
I've seen juncos, purple martins and chickadees in abundance today.  Love to watch them.   Its still snowing so I may have to go out again and clear off the tray feeder that is exposed to the elements. I've done my usual 'chickadee...dee....dee' call and they are back again to feed.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Computer still no back.

I'm using someone else's computer.  They were kind to let me use it for this weekend, but since its not mine, I can't post pictures.

I was out in the garden cleaning up debris, pulling old plants and stems, cutting back the old stuff in the asparagus bed and pruning the fruit trees and rose bushes.
That's kept me busy so far with still more to do in that area tomorrow.

Hope you all are having some good days.  We're sunny and in the high 50s and low 60s for a few days.

Monday, April 4, 2016

My Computer is on the Fritz.

My computer is not working right now.  I had to borrow a friend's laptop to come here.
When its fixed, I'll be back with some pictures.

.......Of our first robin this year.

.......Of some American gold finches, both a male in full color and the pretty but drab females.

Today we had snow again.  I know spring is here, but there are days when it seems to be hiding pretty well. 

Have a great day.  See you soon.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Baby Boy Cake!

My DDIL loves to make and decorate cakes.  Well, a friend is having a baby shower so she came up with this one.....
This is the edible cake that goes with the Diaper Cake I posted earlier.  I love the colors since my favorite is Turquoise.  I also love the little baby boy with his bottom up in the air.  Adorable.
Congratulations dear, you did a great job.

Snowdrops are Blossoming!

When I see my Snowdrops perking up, I know spring can't be very far behind. 
Today, its sunny and in the 60sF here in southern Maine.  I'm lovin' it.  As I walked thru my gardens today to take stock, I see they sure need some clearing out of winter debris.
.....But by my kitchen door I was greeted by:
These Snowdrops are the very first flowers I see every season.
Their pretty white heads are bobbing in the sunshine today.  Fighting thru last year's bed of fallen leaves, they look pretty darn good today.
On a different note, here's a Diaper Cake my DDIL made for a friend.  Yes, its made all with diapers.  And yes, she made another cake for eating for the baby shower.  I just thought this 'cake' was cute and wanted to share.
I hope everyone is able to get out today and enjoy the bright sunshine.  We all need to get our Vitamin D today while we can.  I hear rain is coming in next week for a few days.  If we're lucky, we'll mist most of it.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Foggy and Warm Today.

What weird weather we are having.  It reached 55*F today.
Usually February is our worst month for snow blizzards.  Last year we had over 80 inches of snow thru the winter.  This year, practically nil.
And Feb was just a dusting here and there and from what I see of the weather charts, not much snow left for the rest of this month.
I'm not complaining folks, I'm just declaring myself mystified and happy.

Last nite I made some spaghetti and meatballs for me and the family.  I haven't made them for awhile so they were pleasant.

Nothing exciting happening in my life right now.  Hope all is well with all my friends out there.  Have a Happy Day!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Buckeys, A.K.A. Peanut Butter Balls

I've been making peanut butter balls for years.  Sometimes they are bigger and sometimes they are smaller.  Today I used my new Oneida Trigger Cookie Scoop.  Its the small one, only one inch.  It makes very uniform candies which I like immensely. 
The mixture is only 3 ingredients, so very easy.  I'll add the recipe at the end.
Here's a close-up of the scoop.  I didn't have to flour or grease the scoop to do this.  Just pull it thru the mixture and pick up a portion.
I lined a small cookie sheet with waxed paper.  Then rolled the balls between the palms of my hands.  If they started to get sticky, I just ran my hands under the faucet to wash off the residue and continued.
I put a bowl over hot water to melt the chocolate but before I add the chocolate, I put about a 1- to 2-inch square of Gulf Wax in the bowl to melt first.  This gives the candy a nice glossy finish.
I put 3 or 4 balls at a time in the bowl and use two forks to turn them in the chocolate, then lift them to put back on the waxed paper.
They have to go back into the refrigerator to harden.  You can keep them fresh in the fridge for a couple weeks and if you want to keep them longer, you can freeze them.
Today I got 65 one-inch buckeyes from the recipe, all uniform.
3/4 Cup, (1 1/2 sticks) Butter or margarine, softened
One 18-oz jar Creamy Peanut Butter
1 Lb Confectioner's (Powdered) Sugar
1 piece of Gulf Wax, if you want but its not necessary
12 oz bag of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bits
Cook's Note: The original recipe calls for 12 oz. peanut butter, but I like my candy to taste richly, so I use the 18-oz jar. Its also easier than trying to get every last bit of p.b. out of the smaller jar to get the full 12 oz.
In a large bowl, I cream the softened butter and the peanut better together first, then I add the Confectioner's Sugar and mix it together well with a wooden spoon.
When all the mixture is incorporated I use a small scoop to form the balls.  You can use your hands (which I did for years and it works well), but for uniformity, I found the Oneida cookie scoop ideal. 
Form the mixture into firm balls between your palms.
Place on a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper.
Place them in the refrigerator to chill at least a half hour.
Use a double boiler or place a bowl over a pan of hot water, the pan not touching the water.  Heat the water on the stove.
First place the Gulf Wax  in the bowl if you are using it.  Let it melt.
Add the Chocolate Bits to the bowl and stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
Leave the pan and the bowl on the heat, but turn it down very low.  You just want to keep the chocolate from hardening up again.
Dip your balls in the chocolate, using 2 forks to control the balls.  If they aren't covered completely, it doesn't matter. That's where the term 'buckeyes' originated.  The uncovered bits of the ball look like the light bouncing off the eye of a wild buck.
Place balls back on the waxed paper, not touching,  and put the dipped candies back in the refrigerator to chill and harden.
You can eat them whenever they are firm enough to hold.  Place them ina plastic bags to keep in the fridge to keep fresh for weeks.  Or you can put them in freezer bags and freeze for much later.
These are a hit in my family, especially at Christmas Time.  But they are so tasty and enjoyable year round.  When I make them, I have to remember to give them out to family close by or they'd never forgive me.
Happy Cooking!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Downy Woodpecker visits.

Today was bright and sunny, but terribly cold.  It still didn't stop this adorable Downy Woodpecker from feeding from the suet cake even in the 7*F cold this afternoon.  We're into a deep freeze right now but hope to see warmer temps later this week.  Tonite is another cold one dropping to around 9 below once again.
Note to my viewers:  If you click on the picture, it will make it larger.
Here's one view of the lovely bird showing his red head.
Another view.
This is a side view.
And this one shows his markings best.  Its nice to see him visiting once again.  It made for a sweet Valentine's Day for me.
For the rest of my friends, this is for you....

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Covering My Bird Feeder.

I have a flat tray feeder which gets covered in snow and wet with rain as the weather changes.  I always have to clean out the old stuff and add new seeds because of this.
A few years back I covered my hummer feeders with inverted plastic plant pot trays to keep off the rain which diluted the sugar-water as it filled the little holes.  They worked fine so that light-bulb moment happened again.
I hurried out to buy a pot tray to try.
By putting a tiny hole in the top center, I slipped it over the hanging hook.  This is the largest one I could find at the store and I think it will work pretty well.
It keeps the snow and rain from covering this tray now.  The little red peanut butter jar cap in the feeder I fill with bird gravel and grit (from the pet store) so they have something to use to 'chew' their food.  When the ground is covered with snow, they can't find grit easily which they need for 'chewing' at meal times. 
And I got a surprise myself last night. 
One view of the vase of flowers I got from my kids for Valentine's Day.
Another view to see more of the pretty flowers included.  I have to admit they were a complete surprise.  I'm thrilled and the smile on my face goes from ear to ear.  Thank you kids.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

We're having a bit of snow today.  So far I measured 4 plus inches with more falling.  My little corgi is enjoying running around in the fluffy white stuff.
The trees look like they are frosted.
The flower bed is coated and the Monarda from fall are looking like blossoms of white snow on their tall stems.
The bird feeders are covered once again with snow.  I have been out there once brushing off the snow for the birds, but I see they are covered again.
My little darling, my corgi Penny, is loving every minute of it.  As long as she can dash thru the snow she loves it.  With her double coat she isn't bothered by the cold or the snow.  The snow just sits on top of her fur so she's safe in snow.  Her only problem is getting lost in it when it gets too deep because she has such short legs.  That's why her buddy, my son's Golden Retriever Daisy, is such a great pal.  She always breaks trail for my gal and the two blonds enjoy their ventures outdoors together.
Today is a nice day to stay inside so I made homemade pizza and sent some upstairs to share.  We all love homemade pizza.
Yesterday I went to my friend's house to show her how to use her Johnny Apple Peeler which she ordered.  She loves making her own applesauce and this kitchen gadget makes short work of the process.
I hope you are all safe and secure during this snow.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Oven Cooked Hard Boiled Eggs

Funny calling these hard-boiled when they are actually baked.

Preheat your oven at 350-degrees F.
Place an egg in each round of a muffin tin.  You can make one or a dozen as you need.
You don't have to grease them or use cake liners, just set them in the muffin round.
Bake at 350*F for 30 mins.
Plunge the muffin tin under cold running water to cool down the eggs.
Then I lifted the eggs when they weren't as hot and put them in a bowl under the cold running water to continue cooling down the eggs.  It was easier for me to handle by transferring them.
Sorry the photo isn't clearer.  These centers are beautifully hard-cooked but the glare of the overhead lights spoiled my shot.  Anyway, they are perfectly cooked on the inside.  No more wondering if you've boiled them enough in the water on the stove. 
If you have the time, this is a good way to get perfect hard-boiled eggs, by baking them.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I Love my Johnny Apple Peeler by Victorio

I bought this apple peeler mainly to peel potatoes.
I like to see how things work which makes it easier for me to handle them.  This is one of the videos on youtube which was clear as to its usage.
I have trouble with my thumbs these days so peeling anything, especially potatoes in the numbers I need them for mashed potatoes and for potato pancakes, has been a trial.
I bought this apple peeler because I knew it could be used for potatoes as well.
I highly recommend this for peeling.  Its made this chore much easier and faster for me.
I found that lopping off the small narrower ends of the potatoes to fit on the prongs evenly, works best.  Also taking your time and turning the handle slowly so the cutter can do its thing without bouncing about.
This is a kitchen gadget I plan to use often.
Have a Good Day!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Yikes! We got 8" of Snow!

I really wasn't expecting this.  When I checked my weather site last Friday, there was no snow in site, just some rain.  Well, we got the rain but after one day of sunshine, we were hit yesterday with 8" of the white stuff.
My little dog had to lunge thru the snow to go out for a minute.  Luckily her big golden retriever cousin broke trail for her last nite for their evening outdoors visit. 

This morning I refilled the feeders and had to bring in the bird waterer to dump the frozen ice cakes and refill with warm water. 

Now I have to go out and fill one of the troughs with some grit/gravel so the birds can 'eat' their seeds.   The poor things have a difficult time here in Maine during the winters. 

I watched a cooking show, The Kitchen, yesterday and they showed other uses for the good old waffle iron.  I was amazed but then thought about it and wondered why it wasn't thought about sooner. 
How about using those leftover mashed potatoes.  Mix in a beaten egg, or maybe some sour cream and a few chives or green onions and drop four ice cream scoops into the quadrants to cook.  Looked tasty and was from the smiles on the guests' faces.
Then there are the womelettes.  Just mix up your favorite omelet mixture and pour onto the waffle iron. 
Have a nice apple hanging around?  Slice it about a quarter inch thick or more into rounds, sprinkle on some cinnamon, put 4 rounds on the waffler iron and cook.  Mmmmm,  another tasty treat.
And those packaged cinnamon rolls.  Place one on each of the 4 quadrants, lower the top and cook.  Put the topping in a small dish, add a bit of milk and powdered sugar and stir then place on the heating waffle iron lid to warm.  When the rolls are done, top with the warmed topping.  Mmmmmm another good one.
If one thinks of it, there are probably many other things one can make on their waffle iron so it doesn't just sit on the shelf waiting to make only waffles.  It can become a very useful kitchen tool these days.
                                      Have a Nice Day!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Its mighty cold here in Maine.

We're starting off the month with cold days.  This week our daytime temps will be in the teens but it'll warm up a bit the end of the week just before the snow is expected.
Good thing all my favorite TV shows return this month.  It makes having to stay home and indoors a much happier place.
I received my apple peeler which I will try for the first time when I buy some russet potatoes this week.  I'll post my results then. 
I'm sure it'll be nice having that chore so much easier and faster.

Nothing exciting happening here in cold country.  The dogs go out quickly for their nature calls and come right back indoors.  They aren't in any hurry to spend time outdoors. 

I keep the feeders full for the birds since the seeds freeze during the night and they need fresh warm seed they can eat.

I made a big pot of turkey rice soup with the last of my turkey yesterday.  I love hot soups in the winter and this was very good.  Shared with my family.  I also made homemade hamburg/pepperoni pizza which went down well.  Today I have to return books to the library and run a local errand or two. 
I hope everyone is snug in their homes and finding some way to enjoy their short days of winter.