Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Just thinking . . . . .

Nothing is worth more than this day.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Garden this week- late July 2014

Getting very Colorful

Hops has started to Blossom - need to post a closeup

Still lots of Bee balm- got the Hedge trimmed this week.

Tomatos are doing well, getting ripe and tall!
Fun visitor!

Flowering Kale that the Cabbage worm - did not get!

IT is fun to look back and see how much the garden has changed over the weeks. I don't think I would notice it as much if I was not keeping photos of it this year. We got 4-6 inches of rain yesterday - so every thing is rain sodden and somethings need staking.  Lots of bugs and spiders are showing up in the garden now.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Book Chatterings at Chestnut Hill


                 I picked this book up by chance at the local Library for $1.00  the cover was attractive and I liked the name and description  Embroidered Ground by Page Dickey.  I really had no idea what it would be like.  I was not to far into it and realized that I had indeed read her first book and still owned it, Duck Hill Journal.  Page Dickey lives in "UpstateNY"  meaning in this case outside of NYC and many years back established her garden Duck Hill as she calls it. The first book Chronicles that time frame.
              This second  book delightfully written in small readable chapters of 2-4 pages  looks at the the aging of the garden or shall we say the maturing. There is wonderful wisdom about many things - from plants to light to watering to change- lots of change and how to relate to it both in the garden and in life.  I have had gardens here at Chestnut Hill for 26 years now- some have come and gone, some remain, others are still in my dreams. There were many things I learned and that I could relate to or implement because of reading this book.  If you really love gardens and outdoors then I think you would like this book.  I do not think you have to read the first book first as they can hold up independently.

" In earliest Spring, when the air is still chill and the garden beds around the house  are damp and slow to wake, this patch of woodland is alive with small happenings that thrill us.  The witch Hazels are studded with yellow, and snowdrops flower beneath them and all along the paths, mostly the ordinary . . ."  Pg 17

"We don't use paths enough in American gardens.  Of course we all have a path from the garage, or parking area, to the kitchen door, and usually a more formal but less used path to the front door.  But we don't take advantage of paths sufficiently in our gardens or along the perimeters of our properties to suggest a journey , an adventure" pg.37

" My bouquets are, in essence, a reflection of my garden, a mixture of branches, leaves, flowers, and fruits in a style that is structured  and yet loose, relaxed and a little wild.  Making them is one of my favorite occupations.  When I put together a bouquet for our house, I think in a similar fashion as I might when plotting a garden."  pg. 179

Friday, July 25, 2014

Making a Fritatta - for my kids . . . .on Friday!

So for my out of town kiddo that wants to cook . . . here is a simple thing you can do - that most always turns out great. Vary what you put in it. If you do not have cast iron then use a casserole and just bake it from the start. Good luck and enjoy!
Cast Iron works best because it can safely go in the oven too, saute up whatever veggies you want to put in it.

This is like 6 eggs but the amount can vary on how many people are eating it. I did not use any milk but you can.  I did use some salt and generous pepper. Pour the egg over the filling. ( could add cheese here)  Besides veggies and meat you can put in rice or other as well. Pretty much any thing goes. Heat it on the stovetop until the edges set.

Put into the oven 400 degrees for 10-20 minutes until you can see that the whole thing is set.

Cut, serve and enjoy!!! Two will never be the same most likely.  Leftover Fritatta - is also good warmed up .

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday's look at 12 years ago. .  .some things have changed a lot and some have not changed at all.  We are still carving Pumpkins at Halloween, but Blonde hair is darker and we are much taller! Grew 6 inches this past year alone. This little one is now taller than mom.  Wow time sure does fly.  These were good times they were.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Falls and Gorges - Ithaca, NY

Micro Ecosystems all along the rock/slate walls in the gorges

Green and Wet and dripping

Pretty View- a couple was married on the Bridge while we were in this section.

Robert Tremain St. Park - above are all there as well.

Repairing wall on lower part of Gorge- Robert Tremain St. Park

Lots' of Green!

Buttermilk Falls St. Park

Buttermilk Falls St. Park
               So about 10 days ago, my 2 oldest and I ventured out for the Family Reunion - this is my husbands side of the family but he is never home to attend.   ( Proud of my older kids for attending - not high on their list and few peers there but oh so important) It is usually held in  around either Watkins Glen, NY- south end of Seneca Lake or Ithaca NY - south end of Cayuga Lake  We were at a new State park this year and it was in the Upper part- 3miles up! In and around the Fingerlakes are many Gorge Parks carved out by Glaciers years ago. They make wonderful places to hike on a  hot summers day.  Many of these parks also have natural swimming holes that are wonderful as well- water is clear cold and refreshing.  I think the whole Fingerlakes area is a Hidden Gem. 
               It was a very rainy day and actually ended with a Tornado warning and one that touched down about 25 miles away.  It has been an active weather summer for sure.
        We enjoyed the fellowship of family, good food a Chinese Auction and a short hike in the Gorge. We stopped at Buttermilk Falls  State Park on the way home and then at Purity Ice Cream.  I had yummy Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Ice Cream, my daughter had Goose Tracks and my son a Soy Mint Chocolate Chip  ( Lactose free) This place makes the best Ice Cream, one of our favorites is Mocha Chip, buy a quart and eat it in the parking lot good!!!

   Summer . . . Family . . . .Road-trips.....Picnics . . . .Ice Cream . . . .Rainstorms . . .Summer

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Garden- late last week . . . .mid July 2014

Hops looking out in the early morning light

The first - oh so sweet cherry Tomatoes!

Coming soon . . .

Love this bright magenta Cosmos

These Hostas dominate more of my garden than I would like, but right now they are lovely.

These petunias - just say summer!
Well here are some close ups of what is happening in the garden in Mid- July.  There is lots of color in the garden. We are close to the point where I start to see nature shift towards fall, hate to say it but in early August there is this ever so subtle shift of change. It starts off slow and then as time marches on- it speeds up .  We are so loving dinner out on the front lawn every night. Last night it was really still.  It is fascinating to watch the cars go by- last night was a night - that every one driving by turned to look . . . some nights no one notices us eating together.  The kids called us iconic - a family actually eating together- hamburgers fresh corn , watermelon . . . I suppose they may be right but I sure hope not.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Look what the Cat dragged in . . . .

You know cats are just such interesting and independent creatures. This is Maggie- arriving in the early AM after a night out- covered in stick tights and a hair tie- heavens knows where she picked that up.  A little combing got all the stick tight out and had her looking smart in no time flat.  I just really had to wonder as to what she was up to that had her looking like this. Maggie has grown into a full bodied lady.  She must weigh a solid 15 pounds- but wears it well. She spends her days in the thick of it in the kitchen - either on a chair or right on the floor amidst us all. She does go in and out of the house- but stays close by when outside.  She is very vocal about getting her food and never passes up an opportunity to do so. Hence her solid figure. We are glad Maggie has joined us and she keeps us guessing as to what she has been up to.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fingerlakes Summer

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
Henry James
             Stopped here on the way home after dropping off my youngest for National Youth leadership training at a local BS Camp.  It is an overlook of one of the Finger lakes that is spectacular in every season.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday . . . .

Cape Cod, 4th of July very hot day probably like 2001 or 2002

                             Sitting by the edge of the road waiting for the Parade.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer Storm 7-8-14

Hard to see the pick up stix of trees here. The biggest one is resting on a Maple Tree and the butt end is about 1-2 feet from the house.

Before Backyard

After Backyard


Clean up

Twisted right off
top Twisted right off

Pile by road of clean up

We need to hire a bucket truck to come take top off
          The morning after . . . is much calmer, the hour after was as well. The yard still smells like Christmas.  We are safe and the house is safe and we have power- life is good!  The Norway spruce out back are about 60 feet tall - not really sure but amazingly tall trees that have been here a very long time. We lost the tops in three of them.  a Tulip and Maple tree  both took a beating but saved the trees from crashing into our home. 
                A strong storm front was crossing the area yesterday about 4:30 and our town took a beating with downed trees and Power outages. Many roads were quickly closed and impassable. This morning our power is restored and yes there is more clean up to do but nothing like what we faced last evening. We were blessed to have neighbors come help us with the clean up as well as our 2 older kids.  ( younger one is at camp)  working together and steadily we had it all cleaned up in 2-3 hours. The Power of nature continues to leave us in awe.  The winds and rain that came in sheets yesterday was totally amazing.
                We humans in our capacity to help, care and provide assistance are equally amazing. We have been here for 26 years and have had many power outages . . .each one has its own unique story to go with it. Sourdough bread and Pepperoni bread will be part of this story as I had just baked both and was able to feed our helpful neighbors and hungry family. We were blessed yesterday and we are thankful for limited damage and helpful friends and family.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Just Thinking . . . .

When walking, you see things that you miss in a motor car or on the train. You give your mind space to ponder.
Tom Hodgkinson

This is some of the summer fun already . . .taking apart motors, making dirt bikes go fast, making something out of nothing, questioning- "Can we do it?"  Trying out hypothesis, sitting and tinkering, eating Taco Bell, drinking Mountain Dew, contemplating life.