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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Eclipse and Other Dabblings

Hello from the foothills!  
Well, we survived the total solar eclipse and lived to tell the story.  I don't have any eclipse day pics to share (so I inserted this tasty Cherry Galette instead ;), but we did see (or rather not see) the sun disappear for a bit yesterday.  I didn't bother about getting the approved eclipse glasses so on eclipse day Goodman rounded up a couple of welding helmets and some of those old folks glasses they send you home wearing from cataract surgery, and we were set.  Sure, we probably looked like a couple of bobble-head corn nuts standing on the back deck gazing afar in those clunky helmets, but we witnessed the extraordinary event in our own style. ;)  

I've been busy making a few herbal preparations for our home apothecary and to give as gifts.

The recipe for this Polysporin-like ointment is over at Joybilee Farm.

 It's a wonderful anti-microbial salve to have on hand for cuts, bites and scrapes.

Last week we took the grands to Tic-Toc Ice Cream Parlor in Loudon, Tenn. for a mini birthday celebration for the eldest.  The old-fashioned parlor was featured in Southern Living Magazine several years ago.

They serve wonderful homemade ice creams. Their famous Cardiac Arrest has 5 scoops of ice cream and as many toppings plus whipped cream, cherries and nuts.   We all considered the Cardiac Arrest but opted for hot fudge sundaes instead.   After ice cream we browsed a couple of antique thrift stores.  These girls know where to find the good stuff.

A peek at one of the butternut squashes growing on the Hugelkultur mound I made.  (Click if you're really sure you want to know, lol.)

The soil is really rich on that mound and should be productive for several years.

We love Chicken Parmesan but had never made it from scratch until I tried this recipe, and I have to say it was DELICIOUS.

I'll leave you with a pic of this Imperial Moth hanging upside-down on the dog lot fence.  Yeah, it's a mecca of excitement around here...


Hope your summer is the best. :)

Monday, July 3, 2017

June in the Foothills

Hello from the hills of Tennessee!

I've been doing my usual watching-things-grow routine and collecting the harvest.
There are no ripe tomatoes yet, but we have lots of green for fried green tomatoes. These are the Heirloom Beefsteak variety.

Bee-balm.

When we bought our place there were five holly trees posing as bushes in front of the house.  They required a lot of trimming to keep them in check and had outgrown their space so Goodman cut them down then dug out the stumps.

We replaced the holly trees with Peach Drift Roses.   If you're not familiar with them, Drift Roses are used to fill in lateral garden spaces.  There are different colors, but this one is the only variety that has a rose scent.  And what would a rose be without the fragrance?   (Someone else's, not mine ;)

Lavender from some new plants that have deeper color but less scent than a variety I've had for years. I planted the lavender behind the roses.  I have to say it's a relief not having to trim those holly bushes this year. 

I made a few more project bags for needlework projects.  They're great to have on hand for gifts, too.

Goodman loves a good salad and likes to see all the ingredients at a glance.

I hope you have a wonderful Independence Day Celebration.   General Washington and his men crossing the Delaware River in December 1776 - Liberty Blue platter.

Monday, May 29, 2017

All Gave Some, Some Gave All


O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!


One section of the East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery.   Brave soldiers, you're not forgotten...

Sunday, April 30, 2017

When History Gets Rewritten

Hello from the hills!  Our little bluebird friend and his mate aren't nesting in our box, after all.

 I had witnessed them being run off/bullied by a pair of robins so I think that's why they decided to nest elsewhere.

They still use our birdbath, though, so we see them nearly everyday anyway.

Do you like to go on riverboat rides?  We do, and most of my side of the family does, too, so we recently got together and rode the Memphis Queen III as part of a monumental birthday celebration for our oldest brother who lives north of Memphis.  He reached a monumental age, that is. ;)

The tour was billed as a 1 1/2 hour historical tour...  Well, it seems history took a detour once we were on the boat.  We were told that the city of Memphis was founded by someone other than Andrew Jackson, John Overton, James Winchester and a group of investors that did actually get it started.   I had heard that in some places in our country history is being changed according to who is in charge there now, but it was kinda weird hearing it for myself.
A view of Memphis from the riverboat.

I don't like giving a bad review to any tourist attraction, but this time I must because instead of going up or downriver the boat just went around and around in about a one and a half-mile circle while the tour guide put his own spin on the history of Memphis for an hour and a half.  I'm going to give this riverboat ride a D, and that's only because it didn't sink in the Mississippi River while we were on it.  O.o
A view of the Bass Pro Pyramid.

After our trip, Goodman and I were both sick for a while, but it's good to be back in our neck of the woods anyway.  A few years ago I planted a wisteria vine at the base of one of our maple trees, and it finally bloomed this year.  

I'm hoping  it will someday look like this one that we saw in the big city a while back.  Wisteria had completely covered the branches.

Hope you're having a great Spring.

This post is shared at Saturday's Critters.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Blue Spring In the Foothills

 Hello from the foothills where Spring is in full swing.  The seed clusters in this maple tree provided just enough dappled shade to darken the color of our resident Eastern Bluebird.  Love the color.

 He and his mate have been preparing the bluebird box just outside my kitchen window for nesting.  She watched me closely while he waited his turn at the birdbath.

You can leave anytime now, Mr. Robin....

 Finally in...

Is there anything better than a long splash in cool water?

I hope your Spring (or Autumn) is filled with lots of gorgeous color.

Linking with Eileen at: Saturday's Critters


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hello There

Hello from the foothills!
Wow, is this an early spring or what?  Our daffodils have come and gone, and our pear tree is in bloom... just in time for the frost tonight. Ah well, some blooms may not have opened yet.  This is an Eastern Towhee below. 

I've been making our soap for more than twenty years so a lot of my soap molds have cracked and become useless.  I found some zinnia flower molds on Amazon very reasonably priced and snapped them up.  This is a sampling of the different batches I've done.
  
Each color was part of a 4-5 lb. batch.  We're pretty much set on the soap front for quite a while.  


This light orange one smells delicious as I grated orange peel and added it to the soap mixture. Remember Creamsicle ice cream bars?  Oh yeah, that's what this soap reminds me of every time I use it.

You may remember this little guy from my last blog post.  He's part of the knitting pattern String-Along-Toys by Susan B. Anderson.

I got the pattern when it first came out and was on sale for a limited time, but it's $10 (ouch) now. 

Personally, I think that's too much for a pattern you have to knit yourself, but nobody asked me.

I'm obviously enthralled with the critters, though, and I think I'm going to knit up some bunnies using the mouse directions.

What child wouldn't want a set of these?  I sure did. o.O

There was a bit of a snafu among these birds over the feeder after I snapped this photo, but all's well that ends well.   Hope you're enjoying these warmer days. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Ten Years and Counting

 Hello from the foothills!  I've been using my new camera a bit, but oh my, I'm no photographer, not yet anyway.

I hope to enroll in an online photography course soon to remedy my ignorance with the new camera, but in the meantime I'm keeping it on Auto. ;)

Have I ever mentioned that I cook a lot?  You should see my poor stove.  It's black and white and scratched allover, but I really don't mind.   Here's one of Goodman's favorite breakfasts.

I crocheted this sparkly scarf recently from what I thought was acrylic yarn, but after I got in the swing of stitching I began to itch and break out.  It seems only 10% wool will not be tolerable, either, so...

It's hello cotton, linen and acrylic for me.

This little green guy is one of three little cuties from Susan B. Anderson's String Along Toys pattern.  More on them next time.  (He's thinkin' about something...)

To celebrate my tenth blogaversary I'm giving away this skein of fingering weight, kettle dyed Malabrigo Sock yarn.  It's 100% merino wool, 400 yards so there's enough for a fine pair of socks or whatever you'd like to make with it.  In the event the random number generator picks a non-knitting entity...

I'll be happy to substitute a couple of bars of my homemade soap if you like.
All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered.  I'll contact the winner on Friday January 27, 2017.  Have a great week, y'all!
Edited 1/27/17 to add:  Random number generator chose JES.  Congratulations, I've sent you an email.
Thanks to everyone who left a comment on this post.  I always enjoy hearing them.