Wednesday, August 23, 2017

10 End-of-Summer Meal Ideas

August gives us a chance to savor the very best of summer. Seasonal produce is vibrant and abundant, calling out from gardens and roadside stands. Soon enough, we'll be knee deep in cinnamon and root vegetables, but until then, we can enjoy recipes that will take us into September.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Field Notes from the Total Solar Eclipse

The total solar eclipse ventured into my neck of the woods on August 21st, putting my hilltop in the path of totality--a 70-mile wide band stretching from Oregon to South Carolina. The last event of this kind passed over the United States in 1918, and it won't happen again on this hilltop for a long, long time. According to Space.com"The mean frequency for a total eclipse of the sun for any given point on the Earth's surface is once in 375 years." 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Late Summer Pasta

Mid-August is heat lightning and crickets, blazing sunsets, county fairs and tent revivals, iced tea in tall frosty glasses. The long, humid days cry out for a simple meal. No side dishes or dessert, just a huge bowl of angel hair pasta. Scented with basil and tossed lightly in Bandy's tomato sauce, this dish is packed with flavor: roasted heirloom tomatoes, pancetta, a dusting of Parmesan and garlic-shallot breadcrumbs. Can I have an Amen?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Mid-August Garden Walk

It's 78 degrees this morning, the ideal time to walk around the yard and take notes. First, we'll stop by the pond and feed the baby koi. This spot feels private and peaceful. Each side is bordered by Burning Bushes, with little glimpses of trees in the background.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

When I wasn't looking, mid-August arrived, bringing torrential night-time rains, humid mornings, and blazing sunlight. And yet, I see signs that summer is winding down. Days are shorter, and the afternoon light is gilded. Flowers are starting to look a little weary.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Late Summer Nesting

“Be faithful to your own taste, because nothing you really like is ever out of style.
-- Billy Baldwin

But haven't you ever bought something you liked and later, you had second thoughts? Maybe, for various reasons, you weren't able to return the item. Heaven knows, this has happened to me. Yet for the most part, I have really liked things I've bought over the years, and just looking at them evokes happy memories. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

On this hot August afternoon, Foodie Friday and Everything Else welcomes you to sit down and relax. Let's get you something cool and frosty to drink, along with (calorie free) nibbles. The last few weeks have been busy--lots of cooking, dog tending, and house fluffing. One adds girth, the others bring joy. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Taste of Summer on the Porch


Rain was on the way, so I took advantage of a breezy, sunny moment to eat on the porch. It's soothing and quiet out there, a place to regroup and reflect. A Medrol Dosepak left me feeling like a land whale, so I'm trying to prepare meals that offer at least a few health benefits (I remove seeds from my portions). And since summer will be over in a flash, I want to take advantage of seasonal food.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Rooms That Make You Go Hmmm

The other day, a fit of decorating wildness came over me, and before I knew it, I'd decided to shake up the sunroom. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Dog Days

"Our perfect companions never have less than four feet."
-- Colette 
Our Scottie puppy, Jasper, is 4 months old. Though we bought him a few summer outfits, Jasper thinks they're horrible--he's all boy. He loves Kong toys (the Yorkies wouldn't spit on them) and a giant stuffed turtle, which he thinks is a fat, fuzzy green puppy. He can fetch a ball like a pro baseball player. No, I'm not bragging one bit. 😄

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

I'm delighted to see you this week at Foodie Friday and Everything Else. Come on inside and get out of the August heat. Speaking of August, can you believe that summer is winding down? How are you spending the month--weeding, canning, getting ready for autumn?

Garden Mysteries and Little Wonderous Things

 
"My idea of gardening is to discover something wild in my wood and weed around it with the utmost care until it has a chance to grow and spread."
-- Margaret Bourke-White, American photographer

In early May, I planted annuals in beds and pots, and some of them are lush, spilling to the ground. Others are struggling in the heat. To my surprise, last year's annuals have reseeded here and there--and in unusual places.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Around the House

Come November, we will have lived on the hilltop two years, and I still have so much to do, mainly because I decorate in the turtle style. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Lessons Learned from the 31-Day Joy Challenge

"I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it's being conscience of living."
-- Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Without having a solid plan or expectations, I began the 31-day challenge on July first. I only knew that I had to write what was on my mind. I didn't want to preach or sell anything. I just hoped I could do my best and that my posts reached the right destinations. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Beginner's Guide to Joyful Living -- Day 31

During the 31-Day Challenge, I found myself questioning the definition of joy. The word is used as a synonym for happiness and contentment, but are they interchangeable? And what about other words that are stirred in--hope, grace, mercy, and gratitude? Are they just words?

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Beginner's Guide to Joyful Living -- Day 30

During my 31-Day challenge, I wrote about the quest for joy and the roadblocks that prevent us from developing a resilient foundation. Sometimes I think I wrote more about the roadblocks, but it was a necessary part of the journey. My goal was to face my fears, to stop dousing my writing with vanilla flavoring, and to be as honest as possible. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Beginner's Guide to Joyful Living -- Day 29

Through the ages, talented women have been squeezed into narrow pigeonholes. We were expected to be wives and mothers, and our avocations were supposed to enhance our primary role. When I was a girl, guidance counselors advised me to "not spread myself too thin." Meaning, I should choose a career that allowed a long summer vacation, one that coincided with my childrens' holiday. Most importantly, I should choose  a profession that I could set on a shelf, to retrieve at a later time. "Be a teacher or a nurse," my mother said, "so you'll have something to fall back on if your husband dies."