7.30.2013

Joy

I posted this on Instagram yesterday:




You know that moment when you are TOTALLY serious, but 
you add the line about laughing so that
people won't think you have absolutely lost your marbles?
Can you tell August is about to rear its ugly head?
Yep.
I love my job.
(Keep repeating that over and over in my head)
This is my 22nd year teaching Math and Science
to 6th graders.


 

But I wish upon a wish that I could stay home.
I know, so do a lot of moms.
My kids are 9 and 14.
I have already wished away the days when 
I could stay home to nurture their every move.


But that doesn't stop me from wanting to be a stay
at home mom. Those of you who read my blog often, know that I have 
dreamed of this for MANY years.

I would love to have a chance to live my dreams.
To write. To photograph. To create.




I would love to explore every gluten free 
meal I could to make my daughter feel somewhat 
normal...to create a warm and welcoming environment....to have time to BE with my kids,
to explore with them, to play with them...instead of working all day and coming home to laundry and dishes....rinse....repeat.......




I would love to continue to develop my Etsy shop...a little at a 
time....a little each day....earning enough to 
buy the groceries...or new shoes for the kids....


Big dreams I know.
Maybe a bit selfish.
I know.

But I know you all listen so well,
and I can tell you, and you will nod and understand.

This morning I was alone.
Lots of sleepy heads.
I opened the windows early, and let the light stream in
on the wings of the mid-summer breeze.

My FAVORITE time of day.
Cicadas buzzing their constant tune.
Birds celebrating the dew on the leaves.
A soft breeze that lightly
strokes your arm
with a promise of 
maybe...and hope.....

Stormy is at my feet...
she feels so much better.

I hope you will enjoy my photo essay.
An exploration on early morning light.
My kind of joy.

Enjoy the day.

7.28.2013

Saturday Afternoon in the Garden

Today was a picture perfect day.
High 70s, a breeze, dry air.
My favorite weather.


The garden is FINALLY filling in
after the quirkiest growing season
I have encountered.



The zinnias have
started to flower.
You will see an endless stream of zinnia
photographs for the rest
of the season, as they are my favorite to photograph.



The hummingbirds will soon return to their petals.



Nodding Onion, a perennial, delicately sways
on the afternoon winds...
A crown of fairytale flowers meant only to be
worn by the resident garden fairy....



The sedum has filled in nicely.



The hydrangeas are spilling over the fence.
A favorite hiding spot for a multitude of birds.


The Maple offers shade on my journey back to the house...
and always a swing or two!


The Hosta flowers are opening.


I love this violet tipped flower on the 
variegated leaf Hosta.


The Hibiscus flowers are
the prettiest I have seen on our topiary trees.
They are QUITE early...tradition usually tells us fall
is on its way when they bloom here.
Hopefully not true! (yet)



The Limelight Hydrangea is a MONSTER!
I pruned it heavily after the hurricane winds last fall,
only to have it grow a foot in all directions
this spring.
It may need a trim, as it is partially blocking our entrance to the sunporch.
(and will soon be covered with an assortment of pollinators)


Its branches stretch towards the door...


And at last I have our first harvest.
Green Beans!

Happy Sunday!


7.20.2013

A Refreshing Summer Dessert

Key Lime Pie
(made Gluten-Free)

Need a refreshing summer dessert?
I tried this last week and loved it!
We convert whatever we can to gluten-free due to
our daughter's Celiac Disease.
In this case, the only thing I changed was the graham cracker used for the crust.

I found these little Key Limes
at Whole Foods.
I'd NEVER tried Key Lime Pie, so I thought it was time
I give it a whirl.


I searched around
for the perfect recipe.
At the same time, I was treated to a bit of history:

Key Lime Pie originated in Key West, Florida by the local residents referred to as "Conchs". The original version was made before the days of refrigeration. There were no cattle in the area so the only milk available was canned milk originally brought in by ship, later by train. This is why the recipe uses canned milk and not fresh. Also, the traditional key lime pie would not be cooked. The acid from the lime juice would set and thicken the egg yolks.
 I would most definitely cook the eggs.


After looking over MANY recipes, I settled on
this one from Joe's Stone Crab in
Miami Beach, Florida.


I used gluten-free graham style crackers
from Kinnikinnik.


I also used a square Pyrex so that I could cut them into squares.



I squeezed the heck out of these
awkwardly tiny limes.
I didn't get anywhere near the amount of lime juice mentioned in the recipe, 
but I added what I had and
didn't adjust the liquid.

(You can buy key lime juice as well: Nellie and Joe's 
Famous Key West Lime Juice has been recommended to me)

I read that REAL Key Lime Pie should not be green, 
and should be like a custard, rather than a pudding.
Success!


A dollop of homemade whipped cream 
made this first time dessert a success!

(NOTE: time consuming! Allow yourself plenty of time to make this dessert)
Happy Saturday!
We are off to a wedding.


Stormy Update:

She has been perkier and has even brought us her toys now and again.
Fingers crossed!

7.19.2013

Friday in the garden.


I finally picked some lavender and visited the garden.
It's been a tough, emotional week.
Stormy seems a bit perkier today. 
A wee bit, but we will take what we can get!

Enjoy a few garden images.
We are sweltering today in Massachusetts.
It's 92 degrees right now, with high humidity.
Next week promises seasonal temps, which I look forward to.



7.17.2013

DIY Botanical

I have wanted to try framing ferns for a while now.
We have several beautiful varieties.
My favorites are the wild ferns
that made an appearance 10 years or so ago after we dug
the foundation for our kitchen/family room.
I imagine they are very old varieties....perhaps
brought here by the first inhabitant of our home back 
in 1830...Prince Snow. 


I selected several large fern fronds
and lay them between parchment
in a few large, heavy books.
I stacked several books on top, and let them press for 3 days or so.



They pressed beautifully!


I found the larger frond to be less delicate,
and easier to work with.


I picked up an inexpensive 11 x 14 frame at the craft store.


I decided to get fancy and Mod Podge it onto a sheet
of vintage sheet music (Jeanne Oliver inspired).

It came out "OK".
Not my favorite.
But I had more fronds
(so don't forget to press a bunch)!



I laid a large frond
on the piece of natural corrugated cardboard
that came in the frame.
Hmmmm.....I like this better! 
Now I see the fern!
No glue, no Mod Podge.




Just a simple piece of nature captured behind glass.
I LOVE the idea that next summer I can take a fresh frond...
or a batch of wildflowers, and
make another simple creation.
I also love that I will be able to enjoy a snippet of summer
all winter long.










7.14.2013

Getaway

 I have been digging through
closets and under couches....not fun.
But necessary.
I am SO tired of living in chaos.
I have been given the gift of a summer at home.
I can do this!
But it does become a little overwhelming.


So that's when I head on a getaway.
A local getaway that is.
I grab the camera and take a walk.
A walk to the garden.
The cat bird ALWAYS follows me.
A little gray friend with a cry like a baby.
What's not to love?


There's a robin that
always keeps me company in the garden too.
She lands on the posts...perhaps thinking this natural fence is a cozy
refuge from her crazy nest.
We have common ground.


What do you think of my onions?
Don't laugh. They are not blades of grass!
I planted these onions inside....30 or so...from little tiny seeds when
there was still snow on the ground.
I will be happy with fall onions.
So very happy.



There is growth...slow but it's there!
Beans and corn....little tomatoes...slow cucumbers.
The zinnias in the foreground are growing like crazy!
Planting zinnias from seed is an easy, effortless way
to add color to the garden.


The herbs are bursting...
cilantro, bronze fennel, oregano, basil,
parsley, sage, tarragon.....
I will be doing a post on using them in flower arranging....stay tuned.



 This phlox looks soooo pretty against the fence.


Cute baby cat bird.


The lavender is looking windswept after
being covered in snow for most of the winter.
It's still pickable!
Tomorrow we are promised sun after a week of rain.
I will pick all I can.


Ripening raspberries make me (and the birds) happy.


Garlic....hanging to dry. 
Cute little cloves.
A snowy winter and TOO wet spring
just didn't allow for large garlic head formation.
But that's ok. It will still be flavorful!

 

This hydrangea blossom
is a foot across....


Balloon flowers contrast so nicely with the 
green foliage.


This echinacea (purple coneflower)
came back tall and strong.


Couldn't leave this out.
C has been reading on the porch.
What a cozy, peaceful place!
Good job C.


And please keep our pup in your thoughts and prayers.
She has been suffering and we are not sure what is wrong.
She spent last night at the emergency vet 30 minutes away.
She is the sweetest dog.




Happy Sunday.


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