Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Bloat after Thanksgiving

Hello my friends
Many of you have written me privately and wondered where in the world I have been.
This month has whizzed by without my permission! Mercy, I never did like roller coasters and these past few months have certainly felt like a carnival ride!

My oldest son came home for the Thanksgiving Holiday with his gal of the past few years. It was our first time to meet her. Thanksgiving evening, they announced their
engagement. The only ones surprised was them! They were surprised that none of us on the Hill were surprised. I believe that these two are well suited for each other.

I know, I know. I keep telling y'all I am a LOUSY photographer. Hard to take pics when I am busy with everything else. No one else has shared their photos with me yet.

Luscious put the Christmas Tree up and we are still decorating it. All the real food has been consumed and what is left is the sordid stuff that leaves my thighs quivering. Choclate Pie,
Brownies, Sugar Cookies, Pumpkin Cheesecake and oh my goodness - Ableskievers. We only make them at holiday time because they are like potato chips - can't eat just one.

I am working on the uploads for the Humble Arts for December. Will check in tomorrow morning and give everyone the heads up. Here is a sneek peek of what I will be offering:

Monday, November 3, 2008

All Hearts come to HARTS in November

Hello folksies
I am as errant as ever getting this updated. No excuse is really good enough, so, sneek a peek below at what the wonderfully talented artists have been creating for you at The Humble Arts
And while you are at it, if you haven't signed up to receive our monthly newsletter, be sure and sign up! When you do this month you will receive a Holiday Confections Cookbook that we've cooked up just to share with YOU!
See you there.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Remnants of my garden

Seems as if all of a sudden a few of my ertswhile bloomers have decided that they like this
cool fall weather and are sending out a bright little show for me. Above is my pineapple sage, I
wish the picture really showed it's brilliant red. I keep telling y'all I am not the best picture taker

A lone azalea bud

I love the color of this morning glory, tangled all up in the garlic chives. I have
plenty of chive seeds - can you tell??
And the sweetest little cosmos growing out from under this rock. Love this pic.

Now to wait for the rest of the leaves to fall. I have gotten lazy. I merely sweep them off the
walkways and wait for barren trees to signal time to chip them up for mulch.
Have a blessed day.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Where have all the Flowers gone?

I just LOVE this time of year. Leaves are beginning to change their clothes and some are shedding them as well, letting everyone know that there is something magical about this season. The picture above was taken on the way to my daughter's house, just a short 3 minutes from me.
The mornings have been cool - not downright cold - just cool and pleasant. Sweater mornings and quilty nights.
Spring colors remind me of a peacock with the brilliance of the color after a stark winter. Fall is a lady that is breathtaking as well in the subtleness of her beauty. My own backyard is just starting to make the change.
I still have morning glories blooming - the flower stalks are setting their seeds for next year and the sweet annie is drying nicely. The artmesia is also making it's tiny flowers that I love to clip, and in a few short months will decorate my Christmas Tree with. The tansy flowers have turned from brilliant yellow to autumn brown.
I have some mums that have begun to bloom with all the fire of fall.

I really need to take a drive to the Blue Ridge soon. I am certain it is peak right now. Sigh. I love the drive around the winding roads. With the cost of fuel, I may just wander my own back forty and take pictures this year. If I do, you know that I will share them with you.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

October Humble Arts

Hello Folksies
Our brand new edition of The Humble Arts will be unveiled tomorrow on October 1.
We would certainly like to have you drop by and find something special to bring home.

My new offering this month is a wonderfully primitive sampler that has been
matted and framed - ready to decorate your home with Angels.

Monday, September 8, 2008

How to Build a Snowman . . .

Last fall I did a really quick and natural tutorial on how to make a wreath. This morning when the birdies were still sleeping, I woke up with an itch to paint something. I decided to share my morning with you. This is an oober simple project. I have used a piece of wood that I actually found! It was with a few others that appeared to be mistakes but worked great for me! Oops, I guess you know now that I like to dumpster dive occasionally.

How to build a snowman:

First find a piece of wood that would hang nicely on your wall. Here's the one that I am re-purposing:

I sanded it smoothly, blew off the dust and proceeded to paint it black
Because I am always in a hurry to finish a project, I used a blow dryer to complete the drying process. Then I used a white colored pencil to draw some eyes like this:

Next step is the fun part. I used an antique white paint and a scruffy brush. I began to pounce around the perimeter in a circle and around the eyes, leaving them black, like this:
Kind of looks like a mask, doesn't it? You can make the eyes in any shape you like, and if you feel like you want more white than I have shown, go for it. I liked this texture for myself. Next two steps are combined because I forgot to take two photos. Told you I was in a hurry!

You want to squirt out some orange for the nose; Take a round brush and make lines down the middle for the nose . . . . and then ~ pounce some of the orange with a bit of the antique white. Pounce on your pad to blend. then make cheeks - it should look something like this:

Next, dip your brush nib into the antique white and make two dots for eyes. You will also need to pour a wee bit more of the black to make the mouth. It should look like this when you have done it:

Next step - we're almost done ~ pour a bit more of the antique white. Using a fine round brush - I don't know what size - whatever fits your hand good - I am not good at knowing what numbers are which with brushes - I paint by the seat of my britches most of the time - Anyhow, I have painted a saying on the sign. You may want to use your white colored pencil to get the spacing right - Here's mine:

Next step is the funnest step of all - Take a toothbrush and dip it in the antique white paint. Using your finger, splay it around for a snowy effect over the snowman and words.

After it's good and dry, seal with a matte sealer, and put a hanger on the back. Voila! easiest project I have done in a while! Enjoy!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

62 Years

I posted this on my folks anniversary a year ago today. They have made it another year.
I couldn't think of anything else to say about being together 62 years or about my folks except, Mommy And Daddy, you are still my heros.

Wow! Married to the same person, day in, day out, good times, bad times, three kids . . . wow!
My folks met in 1945 and married in 1946. The war was over, Daddy just back from Europe. While in the service to his country, he left a gawky teen and returned a man. He landed on the beaches of Normandy and was involved in many of the European Theater including the Battle of the Bulge. When he returned home to the states, he was stationed in New Jersey waiting to go home. Well sir, he met my Mother through one of her old classmates who was home from WWII and that was all it took. My Dad had seen the picture of my mother (above) in his friends billfold. My Daddy used to kid him, I'm going to take that gal away from you. You can figure out that they met and my Dad kept his word!

They eloped, breaking my Grandmother's heart! But Grandma came around to really love my Daddy and was proud to call him her son. That generation seemed to be in a hurry for more than marriage. I think that they were in a hurry to make up for the years lost to the war.

There is something about this particular generation that fascinates us today. They grew up in the depression, rallied around the flag against the Axis of terror, fought the Cold War, and spoiled their children T-totally rotten! Well, I can't say my folks spoiled me; I am a middle child after all! But like the rest of their peers, they envisioned a better life for their children than what they had.
I remember when we got our first TV. wow, I got to watch the Mickey Mouse Club and Sky King and Ramar of the Jungle! See, there I go rambling; this isn't about ME, it is about my folks!

My folks have always had an extraordinary love in my eyes. Daddy has always been the quintessential Southern Gentleman, never forgetting his good manners. He has always given my Mom flowers, candy and jewelry throughout their years together. He still opens the car door for her and pulls out her chair. Whenever a lady enters the room, he stands up. My Mom has spent her life being devoted to this man she choose for her husband. Their backgrounds couldn't have been more different!

My Mom was born and raised in Staten Island, New York,in a house built in the 1780's! She was born into an old family rich in the heritage of this nation.
My Daddy was born and raised in Spray, NC, dirt poor, always hungry, looking for a good time or to get into a scrapping! Can you imagine my Mother's thoughts as she moved into her new residence where there was NO electric, No indoor plumbing, and where she had to go outside and catch her own chicken dinner?! Well, youth will do anything for love . . . then and now!

They survived, their love has flourished, they raised their own family, took care of their own parents as they aged. Their backgrounds may have been so very separate but they were both raised to work hard, their word was their bond, and above all, they honored their parents. They have passed this onto my siblings and myself. I am so thankful to have had these two marvels as my parents. I tell them all the time that even if they weren't my parents I would enjoy their company. I like them as much as I love them.
Happy anniversary, folks. I wish we could all have another 62 years together!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's Snowing over at The Humble Arts!

Come on over to The Humble Arts and take a peek.
My personal offerings are:
Mr and Mrs. Santa Claws

And a winter time mailbox to hold your goodies

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A little of this and a little of that . . .

Hello Folksies
I have been absent quite a bit lately ~ lots of things to do and oh, so little
precious time.
I have finally finished up the last of the apples - some are sliced and in the
freezer for pies and fried apples; the rest has been made up into a heavenly
apple butter. The scent eminating from my kitchen has been scrumptious.

So far August has not been as hot as it normally is. I salute Mother Nature for this. Some of the old heads around here are getting rather boastful of their weather predicting skills. They are feverishly watching the squirrels, the woolly caterpillar, counting acorns, watching the black walnut trees and counting the foggy mornings. All of these and more are said to be predictors of the coming winter weather. This is most fascinating folklore. When I was growing up I was taught signs ~ cows lying in the field was a sign of rain coming, leaves that show their underside is another sign of rain ~ I tell you, we keep an eye on those cows since we are still in a moderate drought. LOL.

My garden has pretty much played out it's summer harvest. We are trying to get the fall crops in and I am not so sure I can do much there this year. I do love my cabbage, broccoli and other greens that are fall crops.

This is a snap of a few of the broccolie growing last year. It was a glorious crop - due to the fact that we kept straw mulch and toted buckets of water to them last year. I am not sure I am up to toting buckets of water out there this year. Sigh. I really would love to get a well sunk and put in a good little irrigation system. Of course, I would like a lot of things and my Daddy has always maintained that if you spit in one hand and wish with the other, look real good at what you have.

A friend pointed out this ebay auction; I read it and felt alternately giggly and sad. Thought I would share it with my little corner of blogland.

Hoping that you have a great day, I am back to clean up my kitchen.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

What a week!

Hello Friends
It has been a hot hot hot week here. Betcha it was the same where you live.
And here it is August 1! I am just so not believing that it is August already!
The above picture show is from the August edition of The Humble Arts We opened it up this morning.
I wanted to post this sooner but that is what I have to chat with you about. But first this commercial break -

We have two new faces at The Humble Arts this month - My Prim Sistas & Sherry's Cabin. You can find a link to their blogs on the right under my HARTS links. Please give their pages on the website a good look. They are very talented and we are all quite enamored with them already. Also, we have another Featured Artist this month - please don't forget to read about Joyce of Everydaysies - she is one of the most talented hand stitchers I have ever met.

Now back to the program.

I have been blocked out of my blog for a few days. Folks could read it, post a comment, but, I couldn't update it as I had hoped to. You see, I had a hold put on my blog because someone reported me for being a spammer. I am still not quite sure what I was s'posed to be spamming folks with. But it has something to do with linkages and this post is already full of them. I had to request that Blogger folks take a personal look at my blog to make sure that I was not breaking any of their rules.
Because of this frustration, I am tempted not to do any more awards. I think I am going to make this my personal rule. I will continue to be delighted with awards - everyone likes to get them. But I will not post the links to the sites on my blog. I will put them either in my column and then write each recipient and have them pick up the award but no more links for a while. Makes me a bit nervous to have some big dogs reading my page, looking for typos, poorly written essays of my day, etc. Kind of like Net Nazis.
Now, to the person who reported me, Shame on You. Life is far too short and sweet for me to hold a grudge. If you don't like what you see here, you can visit somewhere else. It is as simple as a click of the mouse.

Here is a pic of my personal offering at The Humble Arts this month. It was a lot of fun to create!

Blessings to all.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Paying forward

For all my buddies out there who have bestowed this neat award on me, I have to say a belated thank you kindly. It also comes in this variety:
I am going to try to list y'all in the proper way. I always seem to have trouble with blogger getting this right - so here goes.

Donna of Cottage Days, a sister at heart for always
Karin, my special Peanut, of Countryfolk Keepsakes
Betty, my sweet and fun friend of She Sews Pretty
Tammy of Remembering the Good Old Days a fellow Tar Heel and lover of all old prim things!

And I know that there were a few others, I think. My only excuse is picking, canning, being married to Luscious who is enough to distract any sane woman, and mostly because I keep forgetting to do this.

Now I know that it is proper breeding to smile and say thank you. So close your eyes and imagine a possum grinning. That's me. Now open your eyes and thank the good Lord that particular nightmare is over.

Sincerely, I am always tickled when folks read my blog, comment on it and oh, the sweet friendships I have made in the past year. I believe most sincerely that we meet for different reasons at different places, stages and seasons in our lives. It is never by chance, it is by design. We are all somebody's special someone in each day. If you happen to look at the links, you can see who all my special someone's are. I don't list links for popularity or for any other reason than these folks have touched my life with laughter, inspiration, friendship and motivation.

I am supposed to list a few other folks to receive this award. I am going to list them here and hope that you will visit them. They are each one different and a gift to me.

Karen of Farm Girl Ga. Style
We are kindred spirits in our pioneer hearts and love of the Lord

Kady of StoneyHill Cabin
A friend for more seasons than I remember. This will be a clutter for her blog, LOL. sorry Kady. Couldn't resist.

Sandy of Sandy's Space What you see is what you get with her. Honest, simple and just good folks. Hi Sandy! Surprise!

and last but not the least at all is:

My new friend across the Pond,of Jelly Bean Angel I cannot keep her to myself. I know you shall fall in love with her.

Okay, there you have it.
Please get to know these gals if you haven't already. They have enriched my life and I know everyone can use a sprinkling of happy each day.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Blondie's Blue Ribbon Blueberry Muffins

Are you tired of me talking about my garden yet? It has been so hot the past few days that I have been lazy. I haven't canned much but instead have done the lazy gals job of picking and freezing the blueberries. Freezing blueberries is easy. Just pick, put in a freezer safe ziplock and put in the freezer. I generally freeze mine in the snack size bags. That size seems to hold a smidge over 1 cup of blueberries. Just the right size for most recipes.

I make a lot of different things with the blueberries but what I am most asked for is my Blueberry Muffin recipe.

Blondie's Blue Ribbon Blueberry Muffins

It's true; I won a blue ribbon umpteen years ago at the County Fair with this recipe. It is easy, and yummy!

6 tbsp butter
2/3 c. sugar
1 egg

Beat above until fluffy; then add:

1 tbsp baking powder
1 ¾ c. A/P flour
¾ tsp salt
½ c. milk
1 tsp lemon extract
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup blueberries

scoop into greased muffin tins

Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minute

Monday, July 21, 2008

Another Giveaway!

But not me this time - I will be having another one this fall - however ~ ~ ~ ~
a dear and precious sister is having a giveaway on her blog. A great chance to win
a book by Mary Emmerling! Wowza! Go and check out Karen at Farm Girl in Ga This is what you
will be registering to win.

Tell Karen that Blondie sent ya!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer Fruits

I am not a lover of summer. Anyone who knows me well knows this. The only thing that makes summer's heat tolerable to me is the garden. I know when I get to heaven, there will be no humidity, no flies, mosquitoes, hot flashes and perspiration. But until then, I will be wringing wet. We recently purchased a small room size a/c unit for the house. That will compliment the other on its last legs window unit. This house was built before anyone considered central air a necessity.
Okay, that vent is out of the way. Let's talk fun stuff - like flowers, fruits and veggies.
I haven't always been able to have a veggie garden. I didn't always want to have one. My granny always said that blood will tell. I reckon its in my DNA because I can think of no other reason besides the great flavor of fresh home grown than it is in my blood. Each year I plan a better garden. Sometimes it turns out that way, other times, it is just fair to mid'lin.

All the produce - the fruits of our labor are coming in. Some are more bountiful than others. This time of year the blueberries shine brightest. Since we are still in a moderate drought, they are not as large as they have normally been. gosh, folks, I am just THRILLED that we have blueberries this year. Last year with NO RAIN for months that was measurable, we didn't even get a pint of blueberries. They resembled wizened shriveled raisins. I was ashamed to leave them for the birds!
But this year ~ Woo Hoo! We're back in business. Luscious and I started picking blueberries Friday night. The branches are so full they are touching the ground. No Joke!

This picture is just of one of the blueberry bushes. There is much joy in being able to share our fruits and veggies with friends and kin. The blackberries I wrote of the other week are still coming in and we have frozen what we want for the next year while giving away all the surplus. We will do the same with the blueberries. I have standing orders for them each year and generally get a friend or two to come help me pick now that the kids are grown and gone.

Last week I went to a friends home and picked plums. I have several pint jars of plum jam put away for the winter. It is sooooo sweet with just a thin film over buttered toast from homemade bread.

Now although I despise of the heat, humidity, vampire mosquitos and those particularly nasty teensy little no-see-um type of varmits, I find it a delicious dichoetemy and rather ironic that I will sweat like a hawg in the kitchen canning, blanching and freezing.
When I was a child, I would sit in the garden and delight myself by eating a tomato right there in the dirt. Lawdy! Nothing finer than a big fat German Johnson all for me! As I grew older and more real work was required of me, I had to not only snap beans, but had to learn how to scald the skin on the tomatoes, and fill the jars without spilling and wasting the precious cargo. I have to admit to that I had a few years of hating this task. I thought my family was odd ~ what was wrong with canned good from the grocers or at least freezers veggies. Isn't that what God created freezers for? Once I was on my own, I discovered the difference. Canned and frozen green beans had no real flavor.
I am thankful each year for my family and their love of this land. How I miss both of my grannies, their wisdom and their culinary skills. I can understand the pride they took in their pantry. When I grow up, I want to be just like them. I couldn't always say that.

Monday, July 7, 2008

She began her life quite innocently as a gourd - I am not very good at taking photos in progress. Most of the time because I am too lazy to wash off my hands to pick up the camera. Working with clay can be messy business. Here are a few shots of her before she was lovely . . .

The last shot is her getting "cured" in my oven. Pay no attention to how dirty it is. LOL. I don't. Actually, after that picture, I was so aghast, that I cleaned it. Yeah, right.

click here to see it on ebay.
She is a winsome, toothsome beauty. She would love to sit on your porch this fall! Be sure and share the link with everyone. I really, really want her to fly outta here!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Humble Arts preview . . .

The Humble Arts has been posted for the month of July. Come on over and take a peek!