Tuesday, July 16, 2019

SWEET EXPERIMENTATIONS AND DESTINATIONS...














I thought now 
would be a good time 
to start the drying experimentations -
 now, as the summer bouquets 
start to fade in the vase,
 let's see what will make
 the cut for the fall garland?

  Sunflowers 
are always a great choice and 
look good whether their golden petals 
stay in tact or not.
 
 Zinnias
 might be 
a different story...






Have any of you tried 
to dry zinnias? 
 When first layed 
on the kitchen window sill,
 they looked promising. 
 But, the next morning, not so much. 
 Although, 
after a more thorough examination...





...even though they kind of look 
like shriveled up spiders,
 their color stayed good
 so they might be okay 
for a small filler.





I'm leaving these blooms 
in the vase 
until the water evaporates.
  They are from the same bunch
 as the dried ones and
 are losing their bright colors but
 still look presentable.

  It's all just a matter of
 sweet experimentation.





It is a beautiful
 Sunday morning as I write this and 
we are off on a road trip that,
 hopefully,
 will take us to 
a sweet destination.






A road lined with
 wildflowers on one side...






...and blackberry bushes
 on the other.

We are traveling down Hwy 49,
 an historic road
 that we travel often and
 one of our most happy places. 
 We only will follow it
 a very short way today
 but there will still be 
a lot of beauty 
to take in.





Here
 wildlife intermingles with 
our lives.





There are small hamlets 
along the route 
that were a big part of the
 gold mining communities...





...and one in particular
 where we stopped 
for lunch...






...a tasty tuna salad sandwich
 mixed with apples and cheese 
along side
 fresh garden greens and cucumber slices, 
lightly drizzled with a delicious dressing.

  Because we had the dogs,
 it was too hot to eat in the car,
 probably not unlike 
it might have been underground
 in a gold mine, 
so dining on
 wooden benches on the open porch 
of the little rustic building
 was perfect.
 
I could almost see
 the miners sitting there 
many years ago,
 eating their meager packed lunches,
 dreading the fact
 that they had to go back to work
 under those conditions. 
 A far cry 
from our time spent 
in an air conditioned car.

  There is a lot of turmoil and hardships
 in our country now and,
 I simply cannot forget the fact
 of how lucky I am
 to be able to lead 
the life that I do.






We turn off of Hwy 49 
onto a smaller country road...








...lined with beautiful and
 well maintained orchards.
  All kinds of fruit trees
 are abundant here...






...and,
 even though we have been here before,
 it is always such a treat
 to see it all again,
 knowing what a 
sweet destination it is.






We had come for
 the Perfect Peach Pie but,
 unfortunately,
 they were all out and 
the shop keeper sold us on the idea 
that the nectarine pie
 would be just as good,
 so with pie in hand, 
we got back on
 the road to home.






The Captain agreed with her, 
but nothing can take the place of the
 Perfect Peach Pie 
in my mind
 so even though it was good,
 it was just another 
sweet experimentation for me and 
in a few weeks 
there will have to be 
another journey to
 that sweet destination...





...but, for now,
 for this weary traveler,
 being home and reunited with 
a special friend 
is the sweetest
 of all destinations.



...Judy...






Life and Linda 
has started up a new link party called



 and I will be joining there along with




this week.

  Hope to see you all there.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

SOME LEFTOVER STEW...












Isn't this pathetic? 

 I still have never figured out 
how to take a decent photo of fireworks.

 We didn't plan to go to
 the actual fireworks this year,
 but we did get in the car 
at about 9:15 PM,
 turn the radio up loud 
(so maybe the dogs couldn't hear the booms)
 and drove towards the fairgrounds.

 There are lots of hills 
around where you can see the show and 
just by driving around
 we could see quite a few. 
 The streets were lined with throngs
 of people and
 all seemed to be sticking to the law 
of "no personal fireworks allowed".

 Kai was still afraid and shaking 
but there seems to be no 
talking him out of it 
whether he is home or not. 
 Robin is a totally different story. 
 She is very calm and 
the sounds don't bother her.





Every 4th of July 
our town and Nevada City, 
a small town next to us, 
take turns putting on the
 Independence Day parade.

  This year was our turn and 
even though we didn't actually attend,
 we could sit on the front porch and 
hear the marching bands playing.

  It really was a beautiful day and
 sitting and rocking 
seemed to be just the 
right way to spend it...









...we were able to have 
our own little fireworks celebration
 right here in our own front garden.

 The zinnias are blooming so prettily and 
the bright colors are bursting out
 with a tribute of their own
 to the rockets red glare.





I think I mentioned 
that my hydrangeas did not do well this year,
 but a couple 
out of the seven bushes we have
 proved me wrong..





The purple one, above, 
is usually more blue than purple 
but it is still bright and pretty and 
the pink one always has
 good size blooms
 on sturdy stems.





We have more blooms
 on the butterfly bush this year 
than ever before, and 
the Captain's trimming 
didn't hurt it
 one bit...







...and I am just now beginning 
to see butterflies
 coming around.





I finally got
 a pretty good photo of "Big Gulp". 
 His head is so red and
 with the green stripe down his back, 
he looks very elegant in person.
  We have been noticing 
a "Little Gulp"
 coming around also. 
 He is much smaller 
but still has the same
 bright colors.





We took our first trip 
to the Farmer's Market this past weekend. 
 We stocked up on some 
wonderful fruit
 that was sweet and juicy and,
 of course,
home grown tomatoes and
 pretty flowers...






...which fit right in
 with the patriotic colors 
just like they 
belonged there.





Now the hard part happens. 
 Taking down and putting away
 all the decorations. 
 They were enjoyed 
while they were here 
but now the time has come for
 just plain old back to normal 
until it is time 
to concoct
 another stew.





Hope you had a wonderful 
4th of July.


...Judy...





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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

LIBERTY COTTAGE...












The Cottage stew 
is reaching its boiling point.
  The meat and potatoes 
are well cooked and 
it is time to turn up the heat.
  A tomato here and 
a red pepper there,
 along with a good stir, and
 before too long 
it will turn into
 Liberty Cottage.





Just like Walmart 
we have our own
 little greeter...





...he welcomes you
 with a wave of his flag and 
a sweet smile 
as he directs you 
through the entry...





...and ushers you 
into the parlor...





...where pinwheels and sparklers 
adorn the mantle...




...then it is on to 
the sitting room 
where a different array of pillows
 line the couch and 
pretty flowers on the wagon 
say sit deep and 
stay awhile.





A few flags 
are just enough to say 
Liberty Cottage is serious
 about her intentions.





The table was set 
when the stew was barely started and 
when the time was right and
 the spices were added, 
she morphed into
 a flavorful setting.











The kitchen has had enough
 of the heat and 
is ready for something cooler. 
 She has been dreaming of 
a watermelon salad and 
that's exactly what 
she got.











Once Liberty Cottage
 has put on her gay colors with pride and 
lights the path for all mankind, 
in the words of a 70's icon, 
Gloria Gaynor,
 She Will Survive.


I hope you enjoyed Liberty Cottage, 
but before you go, 
did you notice that I mentioned
 a couple of weeks ago 
that something was missing? 
 Well, 
now it isn't and 
if you can stay with me a little longer,
 I will tell you
 that story:






We had a rough winter, 
lots of rain and snow. 
 That meant a lot of 
little and big feet 
tracked over the carpet and
 it was in dire need of cleaning. 
 It looked pretty good 
after vacuuming to the naked eye,
 but if you lifted the corner 
of the area rug --
 whoa!






I had ordered a new area rug
 that was the same size as the old one. 
 The only difference
 that I didn't allow for was 
that the new rug is an oval shape
 so didn't cover where the corners were.
  We had the carpet cleaned,
 along with the sofa,
 and long story short...






I have been wanting 
a new accent rug for awhile now. 
 I tried the one 
that is in the library (above) 
thinking it would add a little color and 
it did -
 a very little color,
 so that idea went nowhere. 
 Then I saw the perfect rug on Wayfair.
  Not only did I love the color!
 Duh!
 but it also adds a bit of country 
back into the scheme, 
which I love. 
 As time goes on,
 I may be adding more country - 
it's always an option. 
 So here is the
 missing link:









Liberty Cottage 
is happy now and 
bids you all a safe and
 Happy 4th of July.


...Judy...
















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