Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Photos in November

Hold onto your hats folks, because I’m posting twice in the space of a week. Believe me, I’m just as surprised as you are, but the fact is that I’ve been taking pictures again lately and wanted to share some of them with you.

It’s the morning before Thanksgiving and our school is closed until Monday for a holiday break. Yesterday was Grandparents’ Day, a lovely tradition we honor at school and it’s always a nice way to spend the day before break. It’s crazy and hectic but so worth it to see the little ones with their grandparents or special friends. We always have an early dismissal so I used the afternoon to get my Thanksgiving food shopping done but realized this morning that I neglected to buy pecans. Now I have to run out again. Typical.

The photos I’m sharing here were all taken within the month of November – one of my favorite months of the year. I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There’s good food, love of family, and no pressure to buy presents. It’s really quite lovely.


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I never rake leaves on this property as you can tell from this photo. The lawn service came a few days after this was taken and they mowed them into nothingness. The wind blows the rest of them away into the woods ~


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This is the hickory tree and its pile of leaves.

I love the hickory tree in the front yard.


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And this guy.

Even though he rubs his neck in fox poop every time I give him a bath.

My friends asked how I knew it was fox poop and not some other poop.

I just know that it is. I caught him rolling in it once and it’s right in the line that the fox travel on the property.

It’s fox poop.


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Blackie is a sweet girl, even sweeter now because she puts up with the new kitty. He seems to adore her and follows her everywhere. When she’s had enough, she lets him know and he’s clever enough to stop.



He is a snuggler and loves to be held and pet.

Blackie . . . not so much.


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Hickory branches in the morning light.


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And border collie in the morning light.

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One of my favorite things (and if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times) is enjoying my coffee on the lawn in the morning. I will wrap myself up if it’s cold, but the feel of the sun on my face is just wonderful. I toss the stick or a frisbee to George and the cats come around for cuddles. And life feels good.


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The setting sun.

* sigh *


I have a number of things slated for today, some of which include making two of what have become my signature Thanksgiving dishes. I am really not a fan of pumpkin pie, but when I found this recipe years ago, I realized how good pumpkin pie can be. This recipe calls for a layer of caramelized apples topped with a layer of pumpkin goodness. I posted the recipe here:

Pumpkin/Apple Pie

I’m also making a glazed sweet potato casserole this year which I’ll let you know whether or not is a hit. This is the recipe that calls for the pecans I so inadvertently forgot. I’m also bringing an autumnal salad that’s got a poppy seed dressing that is so delicious. A relative gave me this recipe:

Festive Tossed Salad

I’d better get a move on and get this day started. To everyone in the States ~ I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow. To everyone else ~ I hope you enjoy your weekend to come. Thanks so much for stopping by to visit. It’s always appreciated.

Until next time ~

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Nothing gold can stay

It’s been over a month since I’ve posted here and all I can say is that all is well, all is quiet, all is calm. Well, it usually is, anyway. And it’s been a beautiful autumn.

I have been doing much and my weekends are full. In fact, in a couple of hours I’ll be off on another quick trip – this time to visit my sister who lives a couple of hours north of here. I’m going to see a local play with her, one in which she’s helped in creating the wardrobe for the actors. I was so looking forward to sleeping in this morning and not getting up until 7:30 or (gasp) even 8. But someone furry woke me at my usual time and after letting him out, I found I could not fall back to sleep.

And so I got up and made some real coffee. I usually use the Keurig machine that my husband bought for me years ago. It’s quick and it’s easy and although it gets the job done of waking me up, the coffee never tastes like something out of this world. But this morning, I had some extra time because the sun wasn’t even up yet ~ and so I brewed freshly ground coffee beans that I keep in the freezer and poured boiling water over them into my husband’s old Melitta coffee pot. And my stars, was it ever delicious.


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And I took it outside and set up a chair in the line of the sun, and in my coat and scarf and fingerless gloves, I watched as the sun rose on my little world here on top of a hill in Maryland. And as I tossed a stick to my furry friend, I felt that all was right with the world.

It’s just an illusion with everything going on in our world today, but watching the sunrise on a beautiful fall day just feels good.


Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

~ Robert Frost

Thank you for continuing to stop by. Until next time ~

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(I spied this little hickory nut hanging on for dear life on the end of the branch and went back inside for the camera while the morning light was still right).

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Am I in heaven here or . . .

Greetings from Maryland on a crisp, chilly October day. As I write this, the clouds have moved in so rather than take my Kindle outside to read a bit, I decided to stay in and actually write a post . . . something that’s been long overdue. Because here’s what I think:

Thank God for this blog.

When I am feeling down, which thankfully is not all that often, I can go back and read about happier times. It’s also a resource for photo storage. What I mean is that I’m one of those people who detests filing. And my photos are filed by month and year. This has been working for me, especially since I have this blog – because when I forget when I took that one certain photo that I’m searching for, I can run a search on my blog and voila – the date of the post shows up and when I hover over the photo, I now have the image number. Unfortunately, all too often it’s a photo that was lost in the Great Hard Drive Crash of 2011 – what I call what happened when I lost 85% of the photos I’d taken since 2006.

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When that happened, I was pretty upset but was going through a difficult time with my husband’s illness which overshadowed the photo issue. Besides, I had some key pictures saved on what I thought was a cloud with a company that I will not mention (because it’s not their fault). Unfortunately, last month all of these key photos were lost – deleted – from said company. Why? Because I didn’t purchase something from them in the time frame stated on their policy.

I actually cried when I found out. My husband’s cardinal – the female cardinal in snow – that he took and I edited and sold so many copies of – was gone. I contacted my gallery and told them I didn’t think I could do this anymore (to which they said that they hoped I would change my mind). I closed down my etsy site (because all of my photos for sale were on said company’s website and were now gone). The company told me to simply upload them all again. But I couldn’t . . . because they were lost in the crash.


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Or so I thought.


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I found the cardinal this weekend. I remembered that I’d e-mailed it years ago to a publication for cancer patients. The full resolution size was in my gmail account! And my bluebird . . . and my mourning dove . . . and my hawks . . . all found because of the blog and my filing system by dates. I still don’t have all of them but that just means I need to start taking pictures again.


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These were all taken over the weekend using my iPhone 6 and edited with Photoshop for the most part. It was beautiful this morning and most of yesterday and I took George for a ride in the car to run errands, taking the long way through beautiful countryside.

I saw a starling murmuration (see example at end of post) and slowed down to watch, noticing that several other cars had done the same. It was like watching a graceful ballet with thousands of little birds all synchronized in flight and it was absolutely stunning.


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I took this one coming up the driveway this morning after a trip to a grocery store a few towns over.


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One thing I love on a weekend morning: If the sun it out, no matter how cold it is, I like having my coffee outside. I will wrap myself up in a blanket and wear a coat, hat, and gloves if I need to – but it’s really nice just listening to the birds and watching them go from tree to tree. The distinct sound of a pileated woodpecker, geese flying overhead, nuts falling from the trees and squirrels scampering about.


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Hello, my friend.

For supper I’m making a roast pork loin and some butternut squash soup which I plan on packing for lunches this week. I’m making an apple crisp for dessert and will probably take some to work tomorrow. If I leave it here, I may end up eating the whole thing.

And life is good.

Hope you are, as well. Thanks so much for stopping by to visit.

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A Starling Murmuration

Post heading is from Hold On by Sarah McLachlan.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Hello it’s me

It’s been a decent weekend and today’s weather has been fairly glorious. I woke to chilly temperatures, enough to warrant a light jacket while enjoying my coffee outside on the patio. I took my time waking up, knowing that come tomorrow, it’s back to work and a busy week ahead.


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I found some wild morning glories growing in some weeds on the property and snapped this with my macro lens and my trusty Nikon.


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And I baked an apple pie. I never thought of myself as an actual cook but there are some things that I make that don’t require me reading a recipe. This pie is one of them. And hot damn, it is delicious. Recipe here:

{favorite apple pie}


And because it felt so much like fall today, I roasted a chicken.


image courtesy taste love and nourish

This is a fabulous and easy recipe. I made a separate dish of roasted vegetables using tiny little yellow potatoes, onions, and carrots. And I made gravy for the first time in my life. I am in my late 50’s and I’ve never made gravy before. It was excellent and I can’t believe how easy it was. Jeez Louize. Here’s the recipe:

{Roasted Herbs de Provence Chicken}


Ok, now. Everybody who knows me in real life (and maybe even here on this blog) knows that I’m an Outlander fan. I love the books, the Starz show on TV, and I’m missing it dreadfully. I can’t believe I have to wait until early spring 2016 for the next season to begin. A friend took pity on me, recommending a historical drama on PBS that she thought might be up my alley.

And oh my gosh . . . it is. It’s no Outlander, and Ross Poldark is no Jamie Fraser but he’s a good man and this is a beautifully filmed production. The title character returns to England after nearly dying while fighting against the American rebels during the Revolutionary War. He finds his home in shambles and the woman he loves engaged to another. As he begins to rebuild his life, facing almost insurmountable obstacles, he finds love where he least expects it.

The scenery is exquisite and it’s filmed against the rugged and beautiful backdrop of Cornwall’s coastline. Highly recommend this series, although I’m only on season 1, episode 4. I’ve been watching it here: {Poldark}



And lastly, I have a new favorite drink. It’s called a Moscow Mule.

Pour a little vodka over ice, then splash on some ginger beer and top with a squirt of lime.

Delicious ~


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