Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tea Time Thursday.........

..........The early morning cooler air this week presented a good excuse to move outside and set up for tea in the garden.

I gathered up a few things and carried them outside in this basket.

The little tablecloth that I found at Goodwill a week or so ago fits perfectly on the table that sits in my front foyer. The color and print of the cloth is not something that would have caught my eye  except very recently I saw one on another blog with the same fabric and colors and remembered how pretty it looked for fall. I decided for $2.99 I could surely get my money's worth by finding some way to use it.

I chose (from my china cabinet) this Johnson Brothers plate, cup and saucer.  I think the pattern and colors are great for fall and works good with the larger print cloth and this dark red tea pot. I really would love to find more pieces of this china.. I don't know what the pattern name is. Along with the company name are the words - Windsor Ware.
A pretty silky, nice shade of green, napkin also looks good with the other items. I recently bought this striped ribbon for another purpose and decided a bit of it here on the napkin holding the wire pumpkin is a good touch.
The McCormick tea pot was purchased at a garage sale years ago. It was made by the old McCormick spice company out of Baltimore, Maryland.

I "borrowed" the acorns from a display in the dining room. They work well in the little cream bottle, another item from the past.
I sprinkled a few paper leaves that I make from paper back book pages three years ago when book page crafts seemed to be the "thing".

A sprig of Clerodendron from the yard is all that is needed in the cream bottle for a nice small centerpiece.

After posting this I ran across this picture on Pinterest - someone using the same tablecloth fabric and showing an outdoor tea set-up. 

So, in a few minutes a nice tea is ready to be enjoyed in the very best time of the day - just after sunrise. Our most enjoyable season of the year is about to start and I look forward to spending a lot of it outside. Sure wish you could join me here.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Just a peep at Autumn.........

We have a few weeks to go until it is officially Autumn but, it seems like the time flies between fall and when the Christmas activity starts. Because of that, I like to get an early start on presenting fall - pretending it is cooler and time to start thinking about hot drinks, wearing slightly different clothes and especially decorating and fall blogging. Besides, my daughter gave scarce spare time, working to make my new banner and I am anxious for all to see!

The pictures today will be just tiny glimpses, hopefully enough to get you to check in often to see the whole picture.

I will admit I have already done most of the fall decorating.  I was happy to see the wool pumpkin when it came out of the box. It was new last year and is now one of my favorite autumn things.

Yes, I already have some fall candles burning.

I have some new linens for the table and the table is partially set. I will be telling more about table things when the total look is revealed.

I really like the fall season, even though our temperature and outdoor look doesn't change much.  The colors of fall just cannot be out performed! I am using less orange  (you wouldn't  know by this post) since I bought the red sofa and loveseat two years ago. But, orange is such a prominent part of fall and some of it needs to remain.


Can you tell I have a new cloth pumpkin!!! A polka dot one! It may take first place away from the wool one.


Yes, Autumn is underway here at my little place.
Pumpkins, Bonfires, falling leaves, Plaid blankets, Hay rides, Corn mazes, Cider, Candy corn, Bittersweet, Cool breezes, Sweaters, Hot Chocolate, Football, Apple crisp, Indian corn, smores, geese formations, toasted marshmallows.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My Sister's Pretty Flowers

I spent almost two weeks at my sister's house in east Tennessee this summer and took several pictures around her yard. When I got ready to do a post, I discovered I had mistakenly deleted them off of the camera without having them in a folder. Then I made another unexpected trip back up there this month and took just a few more.

These plants are all near her patio. This is a tropical plant and I am having trouble remembering its botanical name. I  had a white one of these for several years and really liked it but it succumbed to some kind of adversary.

It is a climber and has gone a long way up this trellis. Now, I wish I had pinched off that spent blossom before I snapped the picture.

She has lot's of showy red geraniums across the front of the house.  This picture doesn't really do them justice.

This is an oriental lily, which again, its name is escaping me!

Ah, a pretty Clematis. Thank heavens I can remember one name!  This had several nice blossoms until I got ready to take pictures.

She is enjoying her garden book just below all these flowers, and she has company down there.....
including this little feisty girl.  She is too busy to read. I love her!

I might be wrong but I think this is a petunia - million bells? Not totally sure.

Mamie got this in Florida many years ago while visiting with me.  I bought a similar one at the same time. It has been pictured in a few of my garden posts.

Purple oxalis, in a basket on the patio. I also have some of this which we both got from a cousin we were visiting in the mountains of North Carolina. That was yearrrrs ago! Mamie has several other plants and flowers that she takes care of but they weren't blooming much while I was there on the second trip. What a blessing it is for her to be well enough at age (93) to be tending to and enjoying her flowers.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back in School...Yay!

The first day of school!  No, not for me and it has been many years since I have sent a child off to school on the first day of the new school year.  So, why is it that I still like the first day/week of school!!!  It has always been a special time for me.  Not because I didn't like having my kids at home through the summer. And, the neighborhood children don't bother me through the summer. Could it be that it is the beginning of a new season? Possibly. I know part of it use to be getting new school things.  I always loved tablets, pencils, crayons, etc., especially crayons. And, I still do. It was all I could do not to purchase one of those really neat lunch bags I saw the other day.  I remember all those years ago, when I could have a few new things for the beginning of school, then buying for my three children and then the grandchildren. When my first two grandchildren moved away to another state, I remember shopping for new school things and mailing them to them. 
So, here I am thinking of Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and my favorite - recess! School in my county started last week and I was happy to notice that the school bus comes down my street this year. They travel, of course, according to where the pick-up needs to be and for a few years didn't come my way. At least I will get to see the big yellow bus go by!

Speaking of big, yellow buses, I couldn't resist buying one of these bus boxes when I saw it.

It made me smile. And, so do these yellow pencils. I hurriedly grabbed them to purchase right before leaving for the airport on a trip. I needed an already sharpened pencil to use for working crossword puzzles. Have you ever tried to find a sharpened pencil to buy? Good luck! I was so excited when I finally spotted these that I failed to notice until later that they were the big, fat, first grade pencils. Probably made the people in my row on the plane pause to wonder.

And, how can you be in the first week of school without at least one big red apple!  Yes, the only reason I bought the apple! One of the many great things that speak of fall - apples. I guess you see where this is going.......fall is just around the corner and I am getting geared up to do some fall decorating. I made a new fall wreath for the front door and bought a cloth pumpkin after telling myself not to spend any money on fall stuff since I already have so much. So, very soon the front entrance to the house and inside will get an autumn look. In the meantime, best wishes to all those little children who will or have just started school and to the mommies that see them off  every morning.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Creatures in My Garden........

In the last few days I have been having fun watching interesting, pretty and some not so pretty creatures in my yard.

In times past I have chased Zebra Longwings around trying to get a picture and could never get them to be still long enough. They are very flighty! It is a very long and narrow butterfly.

The Longwing happens to be Florida's State butterfly.
It was feeding on a wildflower in the back yard while mosquitoes were feeding on me. I had to stand still for a long time to get more than one picture. I know I was making it nervous. It wouldn't stay long and would come back, fly very close to me and then take another chance and land on the flower for a few more sips.

The dragonflies have a different personality - calm and still. I can get very close and even walk around for different angles and it will stay right there.This one was not the prettiest I have ever seen. They always choose a pinnacle for their resting place.
The dragonfly wings are very transparent as shown here with the green leaves showing through. They have an iridescent shine which can be seen according to how the light is hitting them.

Speaking of light.....this is the same one and my first picture. I had the camera setting wrong but I love this picture, too.  Now on to the next.....

......a Gulf Fritillary. It is feeding on a penta in the front yard.

I don't see this kind as often as several others.
This old guy looks like he doesn't have a care in the world sitting here on this strange-looking seed pod (or whatever it is) right in the middle of a big cardboard palm. He has a different color and look from most lizards that hang around in my yard. He seems to have lost the end of his tail.

Chameleons are plentiful here. They don't bother me, in the least, and I don't bother them. They never purposely get on you. In fact, in all the years of living here, only one time did one jump on my leg and it got off faster than it got on!
This one has a still different look. I don't recall ever seeing one with a red head. The bright green ones are not plentiful like they once were, at least not around here. I see one occasionally.
Now, here is a critter I don't like to see! I usually just see the signs of where one has been in the garden during the night. They dig and leave many mounds of sand.  Their tail leaves a line in the freshly dug sand, a positive clue as to what is tearing up the yard! He was yanking up the sweet potato vine with a fury, which made me furious! He is about two feet long, not counting the tail.
O.K. this is enough wild critters for one post and I will say goodbye with this:
With one addition, SCRAM, Armadillo, or I might  killo! 

Saturday, August 10, 2013


.......Collard greens, in fact.  I went out early this morning and pulled a few weeds and did a little trimming, etc. I am thinking of removing almost everything from the raised beds and starting over with new plants.  One of our best growing seasons is just around the corner. Since the beginning of these beds several years ago they have never been restarted, completely. But, after noticing some good looking collard leaves, I decided to cook one more pot full.

Thinking I might have a few readers that like to eat cooked greens but have never cooked your own,  I decided to give you some details.
This looks like quite a few but after they are cooked it will be just a small bowlful.

After the leaves are washed, you need to remove the thick spine from the middle.  One by one, using the tip of the knife, cut along each side of the stem, leaving the pointed end intact.
In order to make them easier to cook and tender enough to eat, I cut the leaves in chiffonade style pieces. I find it easy to make a stack of about four leaves and
fold the stack in half and then cut narrow strips, cutting across the leaves, not long ways. Not sure why the dark green counter top and my knife look purple! The other colors are natural. 

So, we end up with this nice big pile of neatly cut strips which didn't take long, really.
Put them in a big pot with plenty of water to allow for a long cooking time.  Add salt to taste.  Please don't try to eat cooked greens without any salt! Not tasty! And, if you are not too much of a health nut you might want to add a little butter, bacon drippings or even olive oil. I simmer mine for at least an hour and sometimes longer in order for them not to be tough. 

Here they are, plated up.  There is enough for about three more servings this size. You can see I made some cornbread, too.  I would rather have pinto beans but don't have that kind. But wait, I forgot the vinegar.
I don't like to eat any cooked greens without a few drops of vinegar.
Isn't this the cutest little crystal pitcher you have ever seen!  I forget where I found it but I think it was in an antique store.  It is only two and a fourth inches tall.
Excuse me while I dig in.
Thank you for stopping by!