Sunday, July 29, 2012

Blogging Tips

A good blogging buddy, Jane at Cottage of the Crossroads, has a new linky party 

Jane is co-hosting with Ann of  On Sutton Place.

At first, I thought I would not be able to join in.  I am a technically challenged person and still have a hard time with  maneuvering around on my humble blog. 

I knew from Day One that visiting and commenting were two things that I loved best.  Lingering over a cup of coffee after breakfast, I leave the drudgery behind and get lost in Blogland.

I discovered that by leaving comments, people stop by to visit you, too.  And you start a blogging relationship.  And get followers.  

Linky parties are wonderful when you want to get your blog noticed.  I am amazed at the amount of traffic I get after I add my link to my favorite weekly/monthly parties.  I was quite linky-challenged when I first started.  

Don't be afraid to ask for help.  I found my 'Guardian Angel' in Blogland, Brenda of Cozy Little House, while trying to look up blogging help.   I have met many wonderful, kind and helpful ladies in my blog travels.  

My advice would be to join in whenever you can, always leave a comment for the hostess, provide a link back to them on your post and visit other party goers.  

After a while everything just starts to fall into place.

Jane and Ann are also having a giveaway.  So be sure to stop by and leave a comment so you can be entered to win either the pitcher or tote bag.  

Thanks, Jane and Ann, for hosting and having a place where we can all visit and learn new tricks.  


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Think on These Things

When my friend Lily sent me this photo of a moth which was hanging out by her front door, it really struck me in a way I couldn't explain.  She wrote, "Notice anything in particular?"  

I certainly did.  And I was upset enough to fix the photo the way I thought it should be, even though it was just a photo of a moth.

I did a little research about the symbolism behind an upside cross and found this:

One of the most popular Satanist symbols is the upside down cross, the reasoning behind which seems obvious enough.  The inverted cross is the most immediately recognizable symbol of defiance against Christianity.

The inverted cross is actually the personal trademark of Saint Peter, the first Pope, and one of the most revered figures in Catholic lore. When Peter was martyred by crucifixion 
he was said to have requested to be crucified upside down because he didn't feel worthy of dying the same way as Jesus. As a result, many Catholics actually consider the inverted cross to be a more acceptable thing to wear than a regular-right-side-up one.

                           M y
                           O  nly
                           T  hought was
                           H  eaven



Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer Book Reading

Shirley Temple
July 27th is National Curly Hair Day.  Have a good one to all those lucky folks with curly hair, you guys always look younger with curls.


I love cookbooks.  I think I actually love reading a cookbook more than I like to cook.  (eating, well, my cup runneth over  there).  I read a cookbook like a novel. The author is always the hero/heroine to me.

With the Internet and blogging, I have not purchased a cook book in a couple of years.  I actually paired down my collection when I downsized.  I felt this book just had my name on it.

Technically my initials which the nice staff at Susan Branch's blog placed on the package before they shipped it out.

Such a nice lady, Susan Branch.  I purchased the Heart of the Home cookbook back in the '80's.  I sent her a letter and she graciously responded.  I also have Christmas from the Heart of the Home and Vineyard Seasons.  All great.  Tried many of the recipes from all three in my younger, having-someone-to cook- for  days.  Always a big hit.  

What I love the best about Susan's books are her illustrations and quotes.  Seriously, she could do a book just with quotes.

And always gracious, she signed my copy.  I am sure I will be whipping up a dish from this book within the next 58 days.   


I will be joining Sally for Blue Monday.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Where My Head Is At

I know it is the week for "Christmas in July" here in Blogland, but try as I might, I can't get my head into it at all.  Especially when visions like this are all I am thinking about lately. 

I want to go to there!

I am not wishing summer away, no, not at all......

But these are the colors that speak to me, always have.  

I want to make one of these sprays for my banister.  I am over the very fussy, too floofy (is that even a word?), or too plastic-y decor of the past.  I want simple and understated.

I have always loved pumpkins.  I tried planting them with no success, but I always buy a bunch for my home in the fall.  I am so sad to see them go!  Scarecrows, love them too.  I had a huge collection, scaled it down and haven't bought any in several years.  Still love them, they are always so darn cute.

The fall just makes you want to cook and bake and put up pots of soup or chili.  


All photos are from Pinterest, my board on "Autumn", here.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Melon Chillers

This will refresh you

1 lb. cubed honey dew melon, cantaloupe or watermelon
  (pineapple would be wonderful too)
Sparkling Limonata, Orangeada or sparkling soda water

Place one variety of cubed melon at a time in food processor. Pulse until pureed and pour through a strainer (if necessary), pressing on solids.  Chill puree in separate containers up to 48 hours.  May last 2 - 4 days.

Combine one cup chilled melon puree to two cups soda/soda water and serve over ice.

Kitschy straw totally optional; pretend "snowy" mountains in background, also optional but may be psychologically helpful

With drink in hand, I will be partying at these places


Recipe adapted from Gingercreek Cooking School (no link or website available)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy Birdy To You!


My Kiwi turned 17 years young today!  Seventeen years, wow, where did it all go?  Believe it or not, my little two-ounce feathered baby has been through the trenches with me.  


I will make Kiwi a special treat

Some fruit will be included.  Kiwi's favorite food group, after her beloved seeds

What big eyes you have!  White part is actually a skin patch

Kiwi is rather camera shy, so I try not to stress her out; otherwise my house looks like a scene out of the Hitchcock thriller, you know the one (no, not Psycho!) with me playing the Tippi Hedren part.

It is a nice home that has a pet

Has been my dear pet since she was 8 weeks old.  Happy Birthday, Kiwi!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Benvenuto! (Welcome!)

Welcome to my virtual dinner, held in honor of tonight's theme at Let's Dish, hosted by Kathleen of Cuisine Kathleen.  All you need to bring is....your appetite.  Virtual, of course!

Kathleen suggested a destination theme for a tablescape.  I decided to go with Italy

I purchased these place mats from a very talented seamstress, Millie, mom to Ahrisha at Joyously Living Life blog.  I just love them.

This is an American rooster, but he makes me think of his Tuscan cousins.  These plates will hold our antipasto of prosciutto and melon or maybe freshly made mozzarella and roasted peppers. 

There will be pasta served at this dinner.  The set includes six bowls and a huge serving bowl.  They are by Pamela Gladding for Certified International.  

Stemless wine glasses from Pier I, about four years ago.  In addition to Italy, glasses represent wine from Spain, France and Napa Valley.   

This candle smells exactly like a fresh-picked tomato from the vine.  Made by Milkhouse Candles.

Pasta in great colors presented in a clear vase or cylinder  makes a nice centerpiece.  The pasta shells, conchiglie , are from Home Goods.

moppine (dish cloth), can help with hot plates and cleaning up those saucy spills.  

This dipping bowl will be filled with extra-virgin olive oil and seasoned with  herbs and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Green checkered napkins from Home Goods.  

Would you like a white wine spritzer?  Pinot Grigio from Venezia and a lemon sparkling water from Italy.  Perhaps with a twist?

My centerpiece is from my fruit and veggie bins.  

I will have a recipe using something from this bowl later this week.  

This artichoke will hold freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.  It was made by my mother when we did weekly ceramics.

The paint, when fired, gave this finish which is really close to the shades in a fresh artichoke.  

Thirty-three years ago!

Apologies for the glare, it was sunny, then cloudy, then overcast, and my lighting is terrible.  This is the huge serving bowl.  I once had three pounds of spaghetti in it with a couple dozen meat balls and there was still room.  

Now a word or two about dishes that is not fun, washing them!  

First, these tablets for the dishwasher smell so great, and they leave it sweet smelling for a while, Mediterranean Lavender by Cascade.  I only seem to find it in Wal-Mart.

Sometimes I enjoy washing dishes by hand, especially in the summer.  With this dish soap, it is downright spa like.  Basil Lemon dish soap, and in hand soap, too.  Both purchased at Home Goods.  

I hope you enjoyed my virtual dinner.  I would love to entertain each of my followers and blogging friends. 

Stop by Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish and Between Naps On the Porch for Tablescape Thursday for really beautiful tables. Thanks to Kathleen and Susan for hosting each week.  

Pasta bowl set, Wegman's in NJ, 5 yrs ago
Stemless wine glasses, Pier I, 4 yrs ago
Flatware, CTS
Water glasses, Libby, many years ago
Pedestal bowl centerpiece, Home Goods two yrs ago
Dish towels, Stein Mart, several years ago
Napkins, pasta, dish soaps all Home Goods and purchased with a gift card I won from The Tablescaper.  A few other goodies will be in future posts and I can still shop some more!  Thank you, Alma


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Vee's Monthly Note Card Party

This is the fifth Monthly Note Card Party hosted by the lovely Vee at A Haven for Vee.  This month I am featuring photos taken at the 1825 Inn in Palmyra, Pennsylvania.  Innkeeper Will McQueen will treat you like family.

The charming front porch where you can sit a spell, take your shoes off

A walk through a pretty arch way into the back garden

One is nearer to God in a garden, I do believe that

My favorite water element

These photos bring back fond memories.

Please stop by Vee's and see other inspiring photos that would make lovely note cards or framed prints.


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