Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread

If you have some too ripe bananas around, try this delicious twist on the traditional banana bread.

3/4 cup butter softened
1- 8oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups self rising flour
3-4 medium sized mashed bananas
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 tea. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter and cream cheese until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time beating until just blended. Gradually add the flour to the mixture, beating at low speed until just blended. Stir in bananas, nuts and vanilla. Spoon batter into two greased and floured 8x4 loaf pans. Bake for 50-60 minutes. (if it starts getting too brown, put some aluminum foil over the top. Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.

Makes 2 loaves.

Take a walk through the gardens!

I'm back!!!!! We have been so busy! And, blogger wasn't liking me. It kept putting a date of June 9th on my post I tried to publish Friday and of course it went way down on the blog, so I deleted it. So here it is again.

My marigolds are looking so pretty. I love marigolds. They always do great and will last the entire summer as long as you deadhead them.

These black hollyhocks are really pretty, but they are like mint, if you will let them, they will take over. I had forgotten that I had planted this mauve colored lilly so it was a surprise when it bloomed!

The plant on the left is a new one for this year. It is a perennial called "Love in a Mist". I think it is a very fitting name. Purple cone flowers are one of my favorites.

I am a little disappointed with my dahlias. They are a very pretty color, but no where near as large a bloom as advertised. Since my favorite color is purple, I love the bloom of this deep purple butterfly bush.

The deep pink of the dianthus is so pretty and the pink glads are one of my favorites as well.

Nikko Blue hydrangeas are such a impressive large bloom! Here is the little walkway beside the pool house. I added some geraniums and verbenas in pots for this area.

Now let's walk over to the vegetable garden and see what is growing in there.

Cucumbers are my very favorite. I plant lots of these! The yellow summer squash is very prolific as well. I have frozen several quarts of this variety called "Butter stick".
But this is my grand prize! A red tomato before the 4th of July! I actually picked it this morning and it is residing in my macaroni salad as we speak! So how is your garden growing?




Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Blog Break!

Due to being extremely busy at work and at home, I will be taking a break for a few days!



Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cherries, Cherries, and More Cherries!

This years cherry crop has been outstanding thanks to my sweet cat Midnight! She keeps the birds away so they can't steal my cherries before I can pick them.
Dear husband picked this bowl and another like it full night before last and I made these cherry preserves, his favorite.

Last night I picked 3 buckets full! I plan to make a couple of pies tonight and freeze the rest. There is still probably another two buckets full on the tree that needs to ripen just a little more.

Do y'all have any good cherry recipes to share?



Monday, June 09, 2008

Hot, Hot, Hot!

We are sweltering here in SW Virginia this week! Yesterday our house thermometer hit 100 degrees! We should start cooling down to 86 degrees on Wednesday. Cool being the relative word here.
Saturday day I decided to go to a church yard sale I had seen advertised in the paper. I love church yard sales, they are the best! I got there just as the doors opened and it was fantastic! They were very organized with all the toys in one area, books in another, kitchen ware, vases, holidays, you name it! I bought some really fun stuff!
I love these Santa face mugs! The eye that is open is holographic, it blinks when you move the cup, and look at that cute doughnut cutter. Doughnuts are on my list of things to make this week! The mugs were .50 for all 4 and the doughnut cutter was .25

I got two boxes of these pear shaped gold glass ornaments from the 1950's. They were .50 for both boxes The three Barbies I got for my friends daughter were .50 each. In the background there is an adorable snowman .25 and that aqua blue little dish says "Cameo" on the bottom was .25 as well.

This sweet flower arrangement in a willow basket for .50 It looks perfect in my bedroom.
This was my favorite! Look at the faces on these carolers! I got all four for .50!
I should have washed this before photographing it, but I'm lazy like that! This is a hand blown glass vase with a cobalt blue edge. Perfect for my cobalt blue and white kitchen! Price .25!
This vase is not crooked, my photo is! This pretty green vase has no markings on the bottom but it is such a pretty shape that for .25 I couldn't resist.
Isn't she pretty and quaint? I don't think she is very old, but I loved her face and her handmade dress and bonnet and for 3.00 she came home with me.
This was the most interesting thing I bought. It is some kind of pear shaped pewter spoon. Maybe a fruit spoon? Anyway, it was some stones inlaid in the handle and there is some damage to the handle. But the conversation I had with one of the sale workers was this.
Me: Do you know what this is?
Worker: No I have no idea.
Me: Neither do I, how much is it?
Worker: I don't know, how about free
Me: Sounds like a bargain.
So yes, I bought something that I have no idea what is.
I also bought three cookbooks, $1.00 each, a book of Victorian stickers for .25 and an electric guitar for $10.00. Which I forgot to photograph. Yngwie and friends had fun playing the guitar Saturday night and proclaimed it to be awesome!
Hope everyone has a great day!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Weekend Fun

Last night my beautiful and intelligent niece Bec graduated from high school! I just can't hardly believe it! It seems like just yesterday she climbed on that bus leaving for the first day of kindergarden. She is the in right corner with the bubbles. At the reception following the graduation, guests blew bubbles at the grads as they came into the reception area! There in the middle is she and I being silly!

My flowers are in full bloom! I love this time of year! Except that it is 98 degrees here today. The heat is expected for the next week. We are breaking records every day. Thank goodness for the pool, the lake, and the air conditioner!

I went to a great yard sale today in the city in a beautiful old church and got some fantastic buys! You know, things I couldn't possibly live without! I haven't taken any photos of them yet, but I will get them up sometime this week.

Hope everyone stays cool!



Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday Show and Tell

When I was little I spent a lot of time with my Great Aunt Clara and Great Uncle Roy. They only lived about 2 miles from my house, so I was able to ride my bike down to their house very often. One of my favorite things to do at their house other than play with my paper dolls was to play dress up. My favorite thing to dress up in was this dress.
This dress belonged to my great, great aunt Tess. I'm not to sure how old this dress is, but Tess died in 1924. It looks like the late 1800's. This was the best dress in the world to play like you were Laura Ingalls. Of course the dress was huge on me when I was little but I didn't care. I also had an old pocketbook that was my Aunt Claras that I would carry when I dressed up. I didn't really appreciate the work in this old dress then. Look at the gingham strips that were inserted into the bottom and sleeves:
The dress buttoned up the front with hook and eye closures. What a pain it was to hook all these up!

And the back had a slight train to it.

As I grew older the dress was put away. Until our church decided to have old fashioned days. I immediately thought of this dress. Aunt Clara still had it! I wore this for several years for old fashioned day and so did my cousin. Some where along the way it got a tear in the fabric near the left underarm, so we would just pin a small bouquet of flowers there. When Aunt Clara and Uncle Roy went into the assisted living facility, she told me to take the dress. As I pulled it out last night I noticed it is beginning to dry rot. Especially along the bottom where it has drug the ground for so long. I'm not sure how to preserve this or even if it is worth preserving. Perhaps our local historical museum would want it. I may give them a call.

For more Show and Tell head on over to

In other news, we are melting here is SW Virginia! Oh my stars! For the next week our temperatures will soar into the mid and upper 90's! Our average temperature for June is high 70's to mid 80's. This is more like August weather. I hope this isn't a preview to what this summer will be like. Uhhhh.

And I also finished March's block of the month last night! Whoo Hoo! Only 3 more to go and I will be caught up!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


Thursday, June 05, 2008

A Confession, Sorta

I am not a person who procrastinates. If I have a job to do, I get it done as soon as possible or it will drive me crazy thinking about it. I also have very little patience with people who put things off until the last minute.

That being said, I decided at the beginning of the year to do the quilt block of the month at Debbie Mumm's website. I mean anyone can do 1 quilt block a month, come on that should be really easy. 30 days to do one block.

So here is my January block: Here is my February block:Here is my March block:

Hmmmm. That doesn't look finished does it? Let's check out the April and May blocks:

Hmm. I don't see anything do you?

As you can see (or not) I am now 4 months behind!!!! How did this happen???? I know. When it starts getting warmer outside, I have a problem staying indoors. But, really I should have enough time at night to work on these a little, shouldn't I? So this is going to be my pet project for the next week. I am determined to get caught up on this. Hopefully by December I will have all my blocks ready to make the small quilt that I plan to use for a wall hanging. Hopefully this year!



Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wild Weird Weather!

Good Grief! What an evening! I live in a valley surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Tornados have never been of much concern in this area as they can ususally never get over the mountains. At least that is what I have always been told.

However, yesterday evening one apparently formed in the valley! As soon as I saw the warning on TV, I ran outside to see. I never did see an actual funnel, but the clouds were dark and were rotating. Soon after the warning we had tremenduous lightning and very heavy rains, but not alot of wind. I started looking for her:

But fortunately she never flew by!

The tornado briefly touched down in the city, but never touched down in our area, even though we were in the warning area. Thank God, no one was injured. There was some property damage, but that can be replaced.
I have always been somewhat of a weather Geek! It's the first thing I check when I get up in the morning. Not just on the news, I have to go outside and physically look for myself. I apparently get this weird fetish honestly.

My great uncle Pete, was totally fascinated with the weather. So much so that he wrote down the temperature and weather conditions every single day into a spiral bound note book. He did this from the time he was a young man until he had to move ito an assisted care home at the age of 86. There were volumes of these spiral bound notebooks in the house. I would have loved to have them but unfortunately his son and daughter did not think they were worthy of keeping and threw them away. I asked about them, but it was too late. They were gone. He also kept gardening notes in them, along with other information he felt was pertinent. Like "Today someone shot President Kennedy". I remember seeing that in there once when I was glancing through them. I feel like someone threw away part of history. But, then again I am a pack rat and I doubt anyone other than me would have even thought of keeping them.

So today it is sunny and hot! 86 degrees right now at 1:00 p.m. And tomorrow it will be even hotter! A prediction of 95 degrees! Weird weather! Those are temperatures that we normally get in August not June.

Hope everyone is keeping cool!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Walk through my Garden

Would you like to take a walk through my garden with me? Many of my flowers are beginning to bloom.
Well, we all knew it would happen sooner or later. Farmer McGregor grabbed Peter Rabbits blue jacket with brass buttons as he was trying to catch him in the garden. But Peter is still there, can you find him?
There he is! Hiding behind the pepper plant!
The roses are still blooming. They usually bloom in the spring and then again in the fall.
And these daisies have been just gorgeous this year. They are in need of dividing, they are so thick.
And look what is beginning to ripen! By next week if I can get to them before the birds, we will be having homemade cherry preserves!
Last but certainly not least, I found a visitor living in my garden! If we walk very softly maybe you can see him before he wakes up and runs away.
Hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend.