Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Here in northern California
 we have had so much rain. 
 Creeks and rivers are overflowing,
 hillsides are sliding and 
dams are been pushed to their limits.

we have not experienced any 
of those problems
 but have seen our share of 
high winds and 
torrential downpours.

 has been so dry 
for such a long time, 
this will insure that
 our summer gardens
 will thrive 
once again.

Sandwiched in between storms,
 we had one day
 where the sunshine was strong and bright
 and our hopes that a soft spring 
was not too 
far ahead...

...I took my camera 
and followed the trail of
 some small pockets 
that were featured
in that spot light...

Whenever the sun comes out,
 I get sparks of energy 
that are missing
 during the winter months.

 Rather than taking 
to the outdoors 
and taking advantage
 of the beautiful weather,as most do,
I tend
 to want to 
clean inside...

...I am sure 
I'm not the only one 
that wishes, 
from time to time, 
that I had not given into 
the trend of stainless steel appliances.

  The constant wiping of fingerprints
 seems to be an all time occurrence.

  I can't even imagine 
having small children
 with busy little hands!

I have tried 
baby oil, soap and water,
 products made specifically 
for this problem 
and other than being worn out
 from trying to control all 
the streaks and smudges,
 none have been that successful.

 Until I found this...

Contains no ozone depleting substances
Made in the USA

...this works so well, 
it makes me want to use it! 

 One spray, a soft towel and magic happens! 

 No more sore muscles,
 just softly wipe and all is 
bright and shining again.

  I am not kidding here!  
You should give it a try.

 I'm not being paid to say this, 
but if I was,
 the company would sure get 
their monies worth!

 I love it that much.

All that energy I saved,
 I put into a meal that 
Sarah from Hyacinths For The Soul 
featured on her blog last week.

 It sounded so easy, healthy and good 
and it was all of those things.

  Chicken Milanese with 
baby arugula and tomato salad,
 and sweet potoato corn meal muffins.

  The whole meal was good but, 
in my mind, 
the stars of the show 
were those muffins:


2 T. vegetable oil, plus more for tins

1 large sweet potato - peeled and cut into large chunks.  (I used a yam because I like the taste better than sweet potatoes)

2 large eggs - slightly beaten

1 1/4 cup milk

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1 T. baking powder

1 t. salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. nutmeg

Heat oven to 450

Lightly brush muffin tins with oil
Place potato in saucepan with cold water - bring to boil- reduce heat and simmer until tender

Drain potato - return to pot, mash until smooth

Measure out 1/2 cup of potato - put in large bowl - discard rest of potato (Or like I did, add butter, s&p and eat!!)

Add egg, oil and milk to mashed potato and stir to combine

Sift flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in separate large bowl

Add potato mixture and mix until just combined - do not over mix

Pour batter into tins and bake until puffed and golden - about 20 minutes

Let cool five minutes, turn out and cool completely.

For a change, I think, raisins and walnuts would make a tasty addition.

They were especially great
 with a cup of tea.

 Thank you, Sarah.

On such a beautiful day
 how could you not 
yearn for more?

Everything is better 
served up 
with a side of

The old rooster 
has seen his shadow.

Hopes for spring 
cannot be far behind.


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  1. I'm so grateful every time I read that a blogger I 'know' has been spared the really bad weather and subsequent flooding etc that California has suffered. Your garden will be so glad for the moisture and I am sure you are happy to know that reservoirs are full. Those muffins sound very, very good!!

  2. What a pretty and very thoughtful post Judy. We have been in drought here in the NE for awhile now but recently it has been accompanied by some unseasonably warm weather though which is kind of nice for February. Love all of your beautiful pics. And yes I use that same product on my stainless steelas well...it is the BEST! Wishing you a wonderful Tuesday and fabulous week! XO Barbara

  3. Lovely post Judy. I am so glad that I do not have stainless steel appliances, just plain old white ones.

    Photos are great, so many pretty items.

    Yes, we have had lots of rain and storms, but no damage at my house in Fullerton. Hopefully we will have great gardens this year. I was looking at a post from 2 years ago of my garden and what a difference. Last summer was the worse ever.
    Today i was out in the garden looking at my flowers and plants and noticed that my Mr Lincoln as died, no new growth, but will leave it for a while and see if it will start growing, but I don't think so.

    Have a great rest of the week.


  4. Judy, your post brought sunshine and warmth to my chilly winter day. Every single photo and word was filled with charm and homespun love. Thank you for sharing. Oh, and I'm going to write down that stainless steel cleaner and see if I can find it. I'm happy that spring weather is starting to show up in your neck of the woods . . . we are a bit behind you, but I'm dreaming of Spring :)
    Keep Smiling!
    Connie :)

  5. I have been reading about all that rain California has been having. It's awful. So glad you are not in the midst of it. I don't know what has happened to our winter, didn't have much of one. Still could come though.
    Cornmeal muffins my favorite and these look and sound so good. Will have to try.
    I to like to clean inside when the sun is shining. A spark of energy like you say when the sun shines. I purchased the same cleaner for stainless as you have and it works so good. Don't have to clean it as often either. I only have the dishwasher in stainless, but will be replacing the stove and fridge sooner than we thought. I noticed your Noahs ark and animals and love it. I need to get one to display. Looks homemade and strong wood. Love all of your pretty things you have shared today.
    Happy week ahead to you

  6. Judy, I loved just walking thru your home with you and enjoying the sunshine. Don't you truly love when a product works as it is advertised, I sure do. Your dinner looked very good and healthy. I really liked all the photos. Blessings stay safe. xoxo, Susie
    p.s. praying for your state

  7. So beautiful pictures with a delicious recipe.. love your post.. and yeh, we are getting too much rain in northern California now, though we wanted it very badly, but already many places are inundated... XOXO

  8. Have I ever told you how much I enjoy your posts Judy? Well not, I am now. I love your posts. Your cottage and the garden out front is just so dreamy and you have such a talent in photography. Just lovely! We need a good rain here in Missouri, or even snow would be great. Your meal looks delicious! I think I'll have to try those muffins. The Ark is perfect for this post, so cute!

  9. Judy,
    Hello!! I am so glad to hear that you are not affected by all the tragic events that are going on over in your part of the world.....
    I love all your photos...so charming!! I am so glad that I stayed with white appliances and did not go with stainless steel......I just didn't think it would fit in with my Country Victorian theme in the Kitchen. Stay dry and stay safe!!

  10. Looks like you truly brought the sunshine inside. I'm ready to do some Spring cleaning myself. I've found you don'thave the buy the Stainless steel stuff. Furniture polish works just as well. Truly! Therefore, you spend less money.

  11. Oh Judy, I have been reading about the weather, the water and the evacuations. I am so glad that you have been spared, but it's sad and scary for all involved. Sunshine does make everything look a little happier, doesn't it. Looking on the bright side...when it rears its head!! :) Your place always looks lovely though, rain or shine.

  12. Glad you are not too effected by all the rain out there in California. The weather all over this country this winter has been so different. We hit 70 here today in Chicago. I had the sliding door open in February. It is mind blowing the temps. We are usually close to zero for a temp at this time of year. Crazy but I will take this crazy. We are suppose to get some snow again this weekend and temps will fall some. Still has been an easy winter. Love the days when the sun is out too. Just makes you feel good. Glad you saw some sunshine.

  13. Yes just one day of sunshine can sure energize us! I"m the same way. One of these days when the sun shines through my windows, I KNOW I'll have to break down and wash them! That's the first thing I usually do come spring and a warm day. I love how you took photos inside of each sunny spot! I hope we all continue to have some more sunny days! Hugs.. Marilyn

  14. I'm glad you were able to enjoy a little sunshine and have not had any damage from the high winds and heavy rain. I will have to try that stainless steel cleaner,like you I have yet to find anything that works really well.

  15. Hi Judy, So glad you are not too overwhelmed by all the rain. We have not had much of a winter here and the temps have been all over the place and mostly warm.
    Your home has caught the sunshine so well and there is beauty at every turn of your home!! Beautiful photos and always wonderfully written post!!
    Have a great weekend ahead. xoxo

  16. Rain, ick! We gt a ton of here too and we were ecstatic when we finally saw the sun! So glad you were able to survive it too and get in some wonderful shots.

  17. Judy, I know the rain is welcome after years of drought, but seems Mother Nature has a strange way of transitioning. Texas experienced the same a few years ago. Years and years of drought. Our major lake was so dry that it was nothing but a shallow river bed in many places. Then the rains came, and continued. Terrible loss of lives and property. Suddenly our lakes were full once again, but at a price no one wanted to pay. I'm happy to know that you are safe, and all of us continue to be concerned for those of you in California.
    Thank you for the special mention. The recipe came from Monique @ La Table deNana and my "chef" found the cornbread recipe online. I agree, both are keepers. We made the cornbread again without the nutmeg and cinnamon. I liked it even better.
    Have a great day!

  18. Oh the pretties in your house - it is just so very sweet. I love how you followed the sun around. And what a delicious dinner. I'm so glad you are safe fro the devastation of the rains and floods, so many things happening to so many people. We've had several snowstorms in a row - and the snow stayed for a long time. Don missed four days of going to the office, fortunately he can work from home on those days. The snow is gone now and we even had sunshine today - but cold cold cold - and below freezing predicted for overnight. I'm going back now to enjoy your lovely house again and all the sunshine. I too love to tidy up and rearrange things on a sunny day. Let's hope for spring very soon.


Your comments are so special to me...Judy