Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A GIFT THAT KEPT ON GIVING...












Tami and Tim 
always give such great gifts and
 what they picked out
 for our anniversary last week 
was no exception.

 On Tuesday afternoon,
 just after I had put out my blog post,
 a box appeared,
 as if by magic,
 on our front porch.  
(You've got to love Amazon too!) 
There were six of these 
beautiful solar lacy globes inside. 
 We took them out
 to the screened porch and
 put them together, and 
as we were walking back through 
the darkened bedroom 
we saw this...





Such beautiful 
shapes and lights 
being thrown around the room. 
 We were excited 
to place them out
 to absorb more sunlight and 
could hardly wait 
until it got dark.






When night came, 
they looked so pretty 
lined up along the front walkway.  
When it was time for bed
 we debated whether to leave them 
outside all night 
as we have had other pretties stolen 
from the yard in the past. 
 We decided
 to turn them off and 
put them up 
on the porch.






At a little after 3:00 AM 
I was awakened by the smoke detectors
 that always let off a beep 
when the power goes off.
  
Sure enough,
 we were a part of the 
"Great PG&E Shut-off" 
in case of bad weather. 
 Our power was off 
for approximately sixty-two hours - 
and not a sign of bad weather 
anywhere around us.  
Most businesses were out and 
are up in arms 
because of the money they lost 
for no apparent reason.





I'm just guessing
 a better plan will be made
 for the next time, and 
we are told,
 there will be
 a next time.





Anyway, 
in came the pretty lanterns and,
 at least, 
we had some illumination until bedtime.
  A beautiful and thoughtful gift
 that came at a time 
when it was most needed.

Thank you, Tami and Tim, 
they are so pretty 
and much appreciated.












Once the power came back on,
 I was in the mood for 
some light decorating and 
put together a small table setting 
of thanks and gratefulness.





I did get one more Santa done. 
 I think he is quite
 the pretty fellow.









"My kingdom 
for a spot of sun"

No matter how uncomfortable!





Now, 
I need to catch up on 
the news of the days, 
my favorite TV shows and 
all of you.

 Whoever said 
that you never miss things 
until you don't have them, 
knew what they 
were talking about.





You have been 
looking at some of the 
simple beauty that is fall
 around our garden.






May there be light and 
an abundance of 
greatfulness for everyone.


...Judy...






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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

HOW DO YOU KNOW IT'S OCTOBER?...












You know it's October when..
simple grocery store blooms 
are the prettiest 
they have ever been.






You know when..
a trip to Tuesday Morning 
gives you big ideas for
Thanksgiving and Christmas.






You know when..
a bowl of hot soup 
is the best 
you've ever tasted 
(recipe to follow).






You know when..
you watch (blurry) squirrels 
bouncing walnuts 
off of the 
neighbor's tin roof.










I never thought I would be able to say this but, this particular Santa, I drew and painted all the details myself. I did trace around the figure but the details are all my own free hand!


You know when..
you have painted 
the last of the Santa's 
(maybe) and...





...one more 
for the autumn kitchen.








You definitely know when..
you let the dogs out, 
for the last time of the day, and 
the scent of
wood smoke 
is all around you.






 You also know it is October when...

The leaves are changing.

You are humming Christmas songs.

Hallmark Christmas movies are about to start.

When you are pulling Christmas decorating magazines out of the cupboards... 







...and pumpkins
 aren't the only ones 
wearing sweaters.





Another reason
 we know it is October
 because today is our wedding anniversary. 

 Can you imagine 
those two young country bumpkins (above)
 are 59 years older today? 

 Happy Anniversary 
to my very dear best friend,
 The Captain.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Recipe for
Chunky Potato Soup:
You really need to try this soup.
  It is so yummy and 
certainly hits the spot 
on a cool autumn evening. 
 The potatoes cook up so smoothly,
 leaving small chunks for texture. 
 Reheat without adding 
any additional liquid.



2 cups water
2 chicken bouillion cubes
3 cups cubed, peeled potatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups milk, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped chives


1.  In a 3-quart saucepan, 
over medium heat, combine water, 
bouillion cubes, potatoes, onion, celery,
 salt and pepper. 
 Bring to a boil. 
 Reduce heat, 
cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes
 or until potatoes are tender.

2.  Add 1-3/4 cups milk. 
 Combine flour with remaining milk, 
stir to form a smooth paste, 
add to soup, stirring constantly. 
 Bring to a boil,
 boil and stir for 2 minutes 
or until thickened and bubbly.

3.  Add a small amount of 
hot liquid to sour cream, 
stir to mix.  
Gradually add to soup,
 stirring constantly,
 heat through but do not boil.

4.  Add parsley and chives 
just before serving. 
 Yield 4-6 servings.





Be sure to add the parsley and chives. 
 They give it a really fresh taste.
 I don't know where I got this recipe,
 maybe even from one of you, 
but no matter.  
It is so good.

I am almost finished reading
 The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.

I have to say that 
I am really enjoying it.

 It almost has an element of 
The Secret Garden to it, 
but that story was for our childhood,
 this story is for those of us 
who have grown up 
but still like to go back and 
visit once in awhile.


Enjoy the wonderful autumn days.



...Judy...







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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

AND ONE MORE THING...












Fall has come
 to the 
forgotten garden.

This was my first thought 
of how I wanted to start off this post.

  As I will tell you a little later, 
the Secret Garden was not done right
 by us this summer. 
 It reminds me of a 
forgotten garden, 
therefore, 
that is what I am 
calling it in my mind.

 As I googled 
"poems about forgotten gardens",
 I came across this book by Kate Morton 
called The Forgotten Garden. 
 It says I will discover
 the truth behind a prominent family 
with the help of 
a book of dark fairy tales and
 a secret garden...
need I say more?  
It had me hooked 
at fairy tales, dark or not, 
so I will add The Forgotten Garden 
to my library, 
along with a few others 
that I see she has written such as: 
 The Lake House, The Distant Hours, The Clockmaker's Daughter, The Secret Keeper and The House at Riverton, 
all fascinating and appealing titles. 
 Let me know
 if you have read 
any of her books.





The first thing 
I did this morning, 
after waking up to gray skies
 feeling like rain, 
was to go out to the garden and 
pick all the zinnias 
that were still blooming.
  
I thought 
they had reached their peak awhile ago 
but they just keep 
blooming on.  
The Captain measured one plant
 to be sixty inches tall! 
 I was able to cut 
long stems that fit perfectly 
in a pretty pitcher.





I placed them 
in front of the kitchen blackboard
 where they add a lot of 
glorious fall color.





While I was making the bed, 
I glanced out into the Secret Garden and
 it looked so forlorn.  
The hydrangea bush, 
although big and green, 
didn't bloom at all and
 we didn't get any 
other flowers planted. 

 Now that the leaves are falling,
 it just looks so neglected and sad and 
as that morning rain was now falling,
 I knew just what 
it needed...





...borrowing those pretty zinnias 
would add a bit of happiness
 for just a little while, 
something the little garden, 
which gives so generously to 
the squirrels and the humming birds,
 richly deserves.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




There stands a very large 
Sequoia redwood tree
 beside our driveway.

 Just let me say that
 I love trees in general, 
especially this time of year 
as the leaves turn color and begin to fall,
 but I hate this particular tree 
with all my being!  
During stormy weather, 
I don't sleep well when the wind blows 
as our kitchen and master bedroom 
are up close and personal 
with this monster.





This is one view 
from the driveway...






...and another view 
that shows the nasty sharp needles 
that fall and get drug into the 
car and the house, 
up your pant legs and
 wound up in dog tails and
 the way the roots are 
raising our driveway.

 Now, keep in mind, 
this is God's Country 
and everyone loves the trees 
that make it so, 
so why don't the city officials 
hire locals to trim the large trees
 from around all the power wires?

 Hire persons 
who love these trees and 
know what to do about them?  
But they don't! 
They hire outsiders 
that move in with their big machines, 
who don't give a damn about 
the mess they make, 
they just stop at the bank 
on their way out of town
 after leaving our view 
to be this...





Devastating and disgusting, 
our taxes at work...
enough said!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





Last week 
I told you I had something else 
coming into the kitchen and
 here they are...





I know 
black and white buffalo checks 
are really in right now and 
I see so many beautiful rooms using them, 
but I am not following a trend.
  In fact, 
I don't think it is a trend, 
as you might have noticed
 the black and white checks on
 the little "cherry" shelf over the stove. 
 I said it had hung out
 by the back door for about twenty years 
 and I had used it
 in our home in Santa Cruz
 a few years before that.  
I bought it because 
I was drawn to the black and white checks 
so, as you can see, 
that could be a little more 
than just a trend.






~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





Another new Santa. 
 One of the pattern books 
showed only the Santa head shots and 
since the faces are one of the
 most fun aspects for me to paint,
 I thought I'd give them
 a try.





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Oh, yeah, and 
just one more thing:


Just when you think 
you might have seen too many pumpkins,
 there is always room 
for one more...






As much as I am on Pinterest 
I have never seen this idea before
 so maybe you haven't either. 
 It is very simple to make and
 you may or may not have 
the outer covering on hand,
 but you surely will have access to 
the form of this pumpkin.  
If not, 
you might be in trouble...





Yep,
 just a plain, ordinary 
roll of 
toilet paper.

Take the roll and unwind it a bit 
then re-wind around the roll,
 leaving the paper a bit loose and 
fluffed up. 
 (If you do like me 
you will need to unwind and rewind
 a few times
 to get it just right).  
You will know when you do. 

 Set the fluffed roll 
in the middle of an 18 inch 
piece of flannel or whatever. 
 I tried it with a cloth napkin 
but it seems to look 
softer and better using flannel.

 Bring each edge of fabric up and
 stuff in hole of the TP roll, 
arranging folds until 
it pleases you...





...stick whatever you use 
for a stem into the hole and 
add ribbon if you want and
 there you have 
one more pumpkin that you
 didn't know you needed and 
after it's all said and done, 
take it apart and 
what's left is something
 that you will 
always need.


...Judy...






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