Sunday, September 30, 2007

And the winner is.....

Into the basket went 20 names for the fall themed giveaway.
Yngwie reached in and selected........

amy- lifes small treasures!!!!!!!

Thanks to everyone for signing up! Amy, I hope you enjoy your prize!

Have a wonderful Sabbath.


Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday Show and Tell & A Give Away!

Each Friday Kelli i host Show and Tell. Wonderful things can be found so head on over and join in.

Today is honor of my 100th post (how on earth did I find that much to talk about?) I am giving away an Autumn themed gift!

A wonderful apple cook book, a quilted fabric pumpkin, some scarecrows, and lots of other things. If you would like to sign up for the give away, just say so in your comments! I will draw the name of Sunday.

Now for my Show and Tell. One of the many reason that I love fall is the second blooming of my roses. The nights are getting cooler and the roses love it!

I wish everyone a wonderful and blessed week-end!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom

Today would have been my mothers 67th Birthday.
My mother passed away in 1977 after a hard battle with Leukemia. She was only 37 years old.

The last year of her life was spent in the University of Virginia medical center. Back then, they did not have the ability to do chemotherapy in our area hospitals. If was so hard having our mother 4 hours away. I was 16 years year old and my sister was 11.

They say "time heals all wounds". I say it doesn't heal them. It just dulls them.

I still miss her every day.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Its Apple Butter Season!

Every year about this time, my thoughts return to when I was growing up and the family across the road from me always made apple butter.

I loved apple butter time. The night before many of the ladies in our neighborhood would head over to the Patsell's house to cut and peel the apples. The men would sit out on the porch while Mr. Patsell peeled the apples with an old cast iron apple peeler. Then the dishpans of apples would be brought into the house for the women to cut up. Let me tell you, if you have never cut up bushels of apples you can't imagine what your hands look like the next day! They are brown, like an apple gets when it's cut and left out.

Us kids would play "Ghost in the Graveyard" a sort of cross between "Tag" and"Hide and Seek", or sit out in the yard and tell ghost stories, then dare each other to walk to the barn at night! Or sometimes we would climb the apple tree (yes in the dark) and just sit and talk.

The next day was really fun. Even before I woke up Mr. Patsell had made the fire and set the huge copper kettle out. A penny was always place in the bottom of the kettle before the apples and sugar were added. I have no idea why? By the time I got over there the apple butter was well under way. The ladies of the neighborhood would be in the kitchen washing and sterilizing canning jars and fixing lunch. Outside, we would beg to stir the kettle with the huge wooden stirrer. We would always sing a song Aunt Carrie taught us. "Once around the pot, twice through the middle, If you hit the rim, you have to kiss the kettle". Us kids always added "while its hot!) to the end of the song. I can clearly remember Aunt Carrie standing over the kettle, dipper in hand to scoop out any leaves or ash that would go into the pot.

Everyone took turns stirring the apple butter all day long and we ate lunch in shifts, with the women eating last and sitting around talking. then Mr. Patsell would call for a small plate, he would dip out the apple butter and check for consistancy and taste. We would watch anxiously while he tasted. Then he would make the decision whether to cook it longer or call for the jars.

We were so glad when the call for the jars came! That meant that our first taste of the apple butter was soon! Once all the apple butter was poured into the jars, Mr. Patsell would dip out a little and put it in a bowl and hand it to us. We would either eat it with a spoon right on the spot or run in the house and get some bread to eat it on. Nothing ever tasted as good as that hot apple butter.

I really miss those days. Many years later I watched as the applebutter kettle was auctioned off, after Mr. and Mrs. Patsell had died. An antique dealer bought it for $250.00. Yes, I cried.

Now days I still make apple butter, but on a much smaller scale. This is the recipe I got from my Aunt Nadene. It's quick and very good. Not as good as the applebutter from my childhood, but very close.

Aunt Nadene's Quick Apple Butter
8 cups applesauce
5 cups sugar
1/2 cup cinnamon red hots
1/2 cup vinegar.
5 teaspoons cinnamon powder
2-3 drops of Oil of Cloves

Bring applesauce, sugar, red hots, vingegar, and cinnamon powder to a boil in a large pot, (use a large pot because this mixture "pops" really bad). Boil for 15 minutes or until red hots dissolve. Add Oil of Cloves and boil for another 5 minutes. Fill hot, sterilized jars (I use pint) with mixture. Seal and turn upside down to cool. Serve with hot homemade biscuits on a cold winter day! Yum!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Some Fall Decor

Even with our record high temps this week, I decided to go ahead and put out some of my fall decorations.
This crock is one of my favorites and I use it all year round, just changing out the silk flowers as the seasons change. It always sits on the island in our kitchen.

I ordered this for my husband for Christmas from L.L. Bean one year. The house on the front is ours! (the smudge over the house is our last name, smudged for privacy!)

The year I got it for him he was having major cravings for filberts. I filled this crock with filberts. He had mentioned to his brother how much he loved filberts, and his brother got him 5 pounds of filberts for Christmas! We ended up with 10 pounds of filberts! LOL!

Have a wonderful day


Monday, September 24, 2007

It's Fall! Or is it?

Yesterday was the first day of fall according to the calendar. You know, fall with it's cool temperatures, foggy morning air, crisp evenings. Well apparently someone forgot to tell Mother Nature because yesterday it was 92 degrees and humid! It is 70 degrees this morning with an expected high of 87 today.
Saturday morning I planted some giant allium and some daffodils like these:
I can hardly wait till spring so that I can see them bloom. It takes a great faith to plant an ugly bulb in the ground and know that in the spring it will produce such a beautiful bloom!

Yesterday, we decided to go out of the lake for the afternoon. Yngwie and his friend "tubed" almost the entire time we were boating.

They learned that it is almost impossible to stand on a tube when it is in motion and that it is quite possible to make one fly!
Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Show and Tell

Kelli at hosts Show and Tell on Fridays. Click over there and join the fun!

Today my show and tell is about my flow blue collection. It started when my great aunts cousin (whatever kin that makes me to her, I don't know) gave me a few pieces when I was in my early 20's. I was hooked. Over the years we have collected several pieces, though now they are becoming too expensive to buy :(.

Flow Blue dinnerware is called that because the cobalt blue in the paint leeches into the white porcelain, all the way through to the back of the piece.
This is the plate that started it all. I really love how the blue seeps into the white on this piece.
These two pieces are very blue (though this photo makes them appear "bluer" than they really are). I use the pitcher mostly for flower arrangments as it has a small chip on the spout.
This isn't a very good photo of this plate, but this is my very favorite because it belonged to my great grandmother. I have 6 plates, the creamer and sugar, a covered vegetable dish and a gravy boat. My grandmother gave me this set of dishes about 20 years ago. I actually use them on very special occasions.

This is a shot inside my corner cabinet that shows the vegetable dish, sugar and creamer and gravy boat. (gravy boat, that's just a weird combination of words, don't you think?)

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!



Thursday, September 20, 2007

Recipe Thursday!

Pumpkin Swirl Bread


1 cup Land O Lakes Sour Cream
1/4 c. sugar
4 ozs. cream cheese, softened
1 egg

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teas. baking soda
2 tea. ground cinnamon
1 tea. ground ginger
1 tea. ground nutmeg
1/2 tea. salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup Land o Lakes butter, melted
1/3 c. water
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
4 eggs

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour 2 (9x5) loaf pans. Set aside.

Combine all filling ingredients in small bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Set aside.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl, set aside.

Combine 2 cups of sugar, melted butter, water, pumpkin and 4 eggs in a large bowl. Beat at low speed, scrapping bowl oftem, until smooth. Continue beating, gradually adding flour mixture and scrapping bowl often, until well blended.

Spoon 1/4 (about 2 cups) pumpkin batter into each prepared loaf pan. Carefully spread half of filling mixture over batter in each pan. Top each evenly with remaining pumpkin batter. Carefully spread pumpkin batter to edge of pans.

Bake for 65-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minute; remove from pans. Cool completely.
This was soooo good! Great for a fall morning treat with a cup of spiced apple cider!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Memories Monday

Revee at is hosting Memories Monday. Pop in over there and take a peek!

This somewhat grainy photo of my family was taken at my Grandmothers house on Christmas morning in 1969. I am the one standing holding the big walker doll.

I remember this Christmas because this was the year that we went to my grandparents house instead of them coming to our house. See the little Charlie Brown tree in the background. My Grandfather had cut it the day before and since Grandma had given my parents all their ornaments, Grandma cut up Christmas cards and punched holes in them and put them on the tree.

But this memory isn't about the tree or Christmas, it's about the doll.

Her name was Lori Walker and I absolutely loved her! She went with me everywhere. She could wear childrens clothing and I would go to the Goodwill or rummage sales and get her "new" outfits.

One day I decided she needed a new hair style. So I washed her hair and then I did something that would change her appearance forever, I rolled it up with curlers and stuck her under the hair dryer. She had nylon hair, guess what happened? It burned up! It was a frizzled mess! I was so upset!

I worked and worked with her hair to try and get it looking better, after much styling, I had her hair looking a little better. My dad worked 2nd shift so he wasn't home during the day when I was, so I left Lori sitting on the kitchen table with a note attached to her asking my Dad how he liked her new hairstyle, still apprehensive about the "frizzled" look. The next morning when I got up, he had put a grocery bag over her head!

I cried and cried about her hair, but there was nothing that could be done.

I still have Lori Walker, she now resides in my attic, without the paper bag.



Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Show and Tell

Kelli at hosts Show and Tell each Friday. So go on over and join the fun!
This weeks show and tell is actually quite shameful! Last night while I was looking around for my fall decorations, I found this pop-up haunted house.

When I was in the 2nd grade ( 1969), my teacher Mrs. Udell told us she had a special prize and showed us this haunted house. I knew from the minute I laid eyes on this haunted house, I had to have it. No matter what it took! To win the haunted house, Mrs. Udell told us to put our heads down on our desks and close our eyes while she hid several construction paper pumpkins.
Well you probably have guessed by now that I cheated. I just squinted my eyes and watched her hide all the pumpkins! When she told everyone GO! I ran right to all the hiding places and found the most pumpkins, so I got the haunted house!
The sad part of this is that I felt no remorse! I HAD TO HAVE THAT HAUNTED HOUSE!

38 years later, everytime I get this haunted house out for Halloween, I remember how I won it and feel just a little guilty. But not much!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week-end.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Garlic Cheddar Muffins

I found the recipe for these muffins in this months issue of Southern Lady magazine. If you have never seen this magazine, try to find it because it is beautiful. Lots of decorating ideas, tea times ideas, and recipes.

Everyone in my family gave these muffins a thumbs up!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. chopped fresh chives
1 1/2 tea. minced garlic
2 cups baking mix
1 cup extra sharp grated cheddar cheese
1/4 tea. garlic powder
1/4 tea. black pepper
1 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with olive oil. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add chives and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes; remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine baking mix, cheese, garlic powder, and pepper. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk and butter mixture. Add buttermilk mixture to baking mix mixture, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Let batter set for 5 minutes.
Evenly spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown (mine only took 20 minutes). Cool in pan 5 minutes before removing.

These would be really yummy served with a bowl of chili or soup.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Finally some rain!

We are finally getting some much needed rain today. Not alot, but every little bit helps.
Speaking of helping, the deer "helped" my hyacynth bean vine turn into sort of a topiary! There are not so many of the leaves left near the bottom and all the blooms and pods are at the top, I guess they can't reach that far.
When I was growing up, my grandmother always called this the "Thomas Jefferson" bean vine. She said that was what they were always called when her mother grew them. I haven't done any research on this plant. Maybe Thomas Jefferson brought the seeds to America from one of his trips out of the country.

By the way, the seed that I use to plant my TJ bean vine has been passed on from at least my great grandmother to me. Each year I save seeds from my plant for the next. I would hate to be the one to forget to save the seed! Not after 4 generations!
Hope everyone is having a great day!

Monday, September 10, 2007

End of Summer Fun

We are trying to get in as much lake fun as possible as summer winds down and the cool days of fall begin. Yesterday evening we took the boat out so Yngwie and his friends could get in a little more wakeboarding before it got to cool. We also drove the boat down to "The Cliffs". The cliffs have been an attraction since I was a young girl. You climb up the rocks then jump! There used to be a rope swing, but it isn't there anymore. I used to jump until I was sore.

Speaking of days getting cool, here is the pumpkin swap I sent to my swap partner on a holiday message board I am a member of. I made the pumpkin tote bag, the bracelet, and the pocket treat bag.

I absolutely love the hot cocoa mix. It has the "Peanuts" characters on it and when you pour hot water into it, it turns orange! I really love Halloween. I know many people who do not celebrate because it is supposedly a Pagan holiday, but I celebrate it just for the fun of dressing up and getting candy!

Hope everyone has a great week!



Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It's about that season!

It seems after Labor Day I really get in the mood for the crisp, cool mornings of Autumn.
I got these apples at the farmers market in the city last Saturday. I love walking through there and seeing all the wonderful produce. Apples, blackberries, squash, all things that remind me that fall will be here soon.

There is something magical about waking up on a cool fall morning, with the morning fog still on the ground, and the smell of woodsmoke that fills the air. This is my favorite time for morning walks to the lake, watching the geese gathering and planning their trip south. I love the fall wildflowers in the woods near our house, looking splendid in the warm fall sun.

I am sewing a tote to send to a swap partner on a Christmas message board that I belong too. It has fall pumpkins and is trimmed with a contrasting green. I will get a pic up as soon as I am finished.

Stephanie over at tagged me to blog some random bits about me using my middle name. It's Sue so it is easy.

S- Stubborn. Yep I can be, especially when it comes to doing something that I feel is immoral or unethical. This can be extremely trying in the business world.

u- Unicycle- I have always wanted to learn to ride one of these but it scares me to death. Maybe one day!

e- Entertaining. I love to entertain. I love the whole planning, cooking, decorating process. I make up events just to entertain. By the way, Monday, Sept 10th is National Hot Dog Day! Perfect for a party!

Hope everyone has a great week!



Saturday, September 01, 2007

Crazy Cat

Here is the "crazy cat" I made from the instructions from a great magazine I found at the bookstore the other day. The magazine is called Create and Decorate. I have fallen in love with that magazine. It is packed full of projects to paint, sew, scrapbook, etc. very little advertising and full size pattern pullouts.
The cat is made from muslin and then painted orange to give it that "primitive look". I've got another one cut out that I will paint black and will use them as part of my Halloween decorations. He was very easy and fun to make.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.