Capturing Spring…

It has become such a short season here.

A short blip between winter cold and summer heat.

And it is invaded on both ends by unseasonable frosts and

heat waves – I find I must seek it out whilst it is

here to be found.



Hydrangea Blossoms- (I cheated and bought these at a greenhouse!)


007Lovely pale pink hyacinth…


Cowslips ( primrose) growing at the side of my front walk.


Dandelions littering the yard with bright yellow.


A very healthy clump of chives in my vegetable bed.


Coral bells lifting her stalk- promising a future silent chorus.


Daffodils still in nightdresses – getting ready for their unveiling, soon!


Virginia bluebells…

021 in a woodsy location-always one of the opening acts!


Flowering Quince- not much good for fruit- but lovely early flowers.


And of course the lovely violet, humble and sweet, growing amongst the grasses.


Lamb’s ears- so soft and fuzzy… Smile


And a Japanese plum- the leaves are a soft red- the flowers will be almost white.

Spring in NE Ohio- Here for only a short time- so I’m trying not to miss the show!

Pumpkin puree

I love pumpkin.

Love the beauty of shape, color and form.


Although not all pumpkins look like Cinderella’s coach-


001-some look like her step sisters. 

These pumpkins were both given to me- the small one above was thin skinned and didn’t

have much flesh.  It may have been good for carving- but not much else.

But the queen pumpkin at the top was a gift from my friend, Jane , who grew these

lovely heirloom pumpkins and gave me one.

I was tempted to keep it over Thanksgiving and use it for a table decoration-


but after taking a few pictures I moved on to other ideas.


And I got out the knife.


It was hard to cut- and so huge I could only fit one quarter of it in my roasting pan at a time.



It took me all afternoon- but I got it all roasted- and scraped into a bowl.


Then I got out my immersion blender and got to work.


After about 10 minutes I ended up with this beautiful puree.


Which amounted to about 16+ cups of pumpkin puree.

I froze most of it for future use- but today I’m making a pumpkin pie and maybe some pumpkin

bread- because I have home made puree and I intend to celebrate with it!



Here’s my pumpkin pie!  OH my – it smells so good and looks so custardy!

Aloha Bear bread

The picture currently up on the header is of a bread bear I made in

Oahu for Thanksgiving a couple of years ago.


After I took this picture, I gutted him and filled the cavities with a spinach dip-


and we ate him up as an appetizer before our Thanksgiving meal.

We had so many leis around the beach cottage ( with all the arrivals for the holidays) that

I thought we should make one up for the bread, as well.


This picture on the header was one of several I tried to choose from to represent my blog.

blue birds and giveaways 007

I was thinking of putting up some pictures of decorated cut out cookies-

Gingerbread ponies,apples, and gulls 001DSC01468

But the bread bears won out- because I love to make these bears!

Halloween bread bears 011Halloween bread bears 012

And I love to make and eat bread!


And because wherever I am- there will be home made bread!

Although I may figure out how to actually change the header picture myself-

and then I will put up different – seasonal pictures.

I am better at baking bread than doing technical stuff, though- so don’t hold your breath!

Gardening– or maybe just the garden contained.

I do not have good soil- I’ve been putting in bags of peat and loads

of manure for years now and I STILL don’t have good soil.  I should

have dug up the entire garden and filled it with compost and peat

and top soil- but we (as in my husband) decided that would be overkill

and so we have a heavy clay soil that is dominant and patches of peat

enhanced heavy clay soil.  It is not good for growing.

So most of the time I put plants in containers.


Containers are good for flowers- especially geraniums.

And they are pretty good for lettuce…




Last week… it is growing pretty well- I thinned it out some

yesterday and made a great fresh lettuce salad for dinner.


And tomatoes seem to do pretty well in containers, too.

This tomato shows a weeks growth- and the other plants

are putting on buds and small little tomatoes.



The peppers are doing all right in the containers, too.


Even the cheddar cauliflower is growing in its pot.


Which is very good, since the rabbits have eaten all the leaves

off of the ones I planted in the ground.

I think I am more of a container-pot gardener than a bounteous

bed gardener.  Maybe  I just don’t have green fingers- but with

the pots doing so well- I’m blaming the soil.



So- How does your garden grow?

Up close and personal





Have you ever noticed how things get blown out of shape when you mess with them too much?

I tend to keep going at a project or a subject until someone says- “enough!”.

I’ve always been a fan of the Oscar Wilde quote, “Nothing succeeds like excess.”

There always seems to be one more morsel, one more tweak, one more item that will make the

package, product, gift, dish –whatever- complete.

But I’m starting to grow more fond of simplicity.  Of stepping back and taking a look at the big

picture instead of going in for a closer shot at the detail.

My oldest son and his wife let me do a lot of the detail in their wedding (almost 13 years ago- May 22)

I helped decorate the wedding cake, made favors, arranged the flowers and the bridal bouquets, made

bread and soup and salad for the reception,catered the rehearsal dinner, helped make the invitations-

I participated in a foot washing ceremony at the wedding and well- I could go on- but you get the idea.

I loved helping- and these were all areas of strength in my abilities.  But at one point, Willow said- “stop”.

And it was good- it was a relief.  I love my daughter in law- she is a loving, talented, wonderful woman-

and I appreciate her boundaries and her understanding of my nature.  I think back to that “stop.” a lot.

It is a blessing- to have someone say enough- no more- this is done.

And so, after a week or cleaning, digging, planting, polishing , refurbishing, fixing and scrubbing it is nice

to say done.  My husband and I spent an entire week getting the house in  Chincoteague  ready for

guests this season.  We literally worked all week just on the house and grounds.  We never even got to the

beach- did not go into any of the local shops- did not stop until we left on Sunday morning.

I went up onto the 3rd floor deck to take some pictures the morning we left.  I try to take lots of pictures

of what we are doing to send to my niece in Australia.  It is her house- and I like to keep her up to date on

the changes.  So as I looked at these pictures this morning I realized how close to the subject, how very focused

we had become on our tasks for the week.  Like the bee on the lavender in that first picture.  All we could see

was the job in front of us- and then the next job and then the next.

We got a lot done.

And finally, our time ran out, we needed to come home.

But my husband was not done.  He still had plans- details to finish up- ideas to fix one more area-

and I found myself in the position to say, ENOUGH!

He wanted to paint one more ceiling, change one more handle.put up one more towel rack.

But we had done enough.

And he didn’t say it, but I think he was relieved.





And quite frankly, so was I!

Faces and fish (totally unrelated.)

Have you ever had one of those days when everything seems somehow related

to everything else?  Where this event leads into the next one, a seemingly random

phone call summons up a visit with someone obscure and yet it all manages to

seem familiar, like there is theme music in the background of your life?

I seem to vaguely remember such days, but lately, my days are so random.

This happens, that happens, this person shows up, I make bread.

So, yesterday, without any theme music, without any fanfare,  a happy little

string of events occurred and amazingly, I had a camera at hand.

Nothing big, you understand, just heartwarming.

It all started with the cupcakes.

015Apple filled spice cakes.

017…with yellow butter cream icing.

I made them for Cynthia and Frank and Jordan.

Because, you know, they LIKE cupcakes.

But I ended up with 24- and cupcakes go stale quickly.

So we boxed them up and took some to-



She was surprised…


and delighted!

While we were there, we saw this boy…


happily playing in a pile of dirt.


His shirt says “I PLAY DIRTY!”

(He didn’t know about the cupcakes.  SHH! It was supposed to be

a secret!)

He was just so happy to have us stop over.  He thought we might like to

play in the dirt and mud with him.


Oh yes, there was mud.  The train needed a mud hole to fall into.

But when we politely refused, he tried another tack-


and got on his bike.


“Do you want to watch me ride my bike?”

And we did – for a while.

So- the cupcakes made for a happy afternoon.


They were very good, by the way, I filled them with apple pie filling.

The Fish?


I found a whole bag of ribbon origami fish at a thrift store.


They tickled my fancy – so I bought them!


I’m leaving for two weeks tomorrow.

Friday is the deadline for the gingerbread house

Saturday is the competition.

I haven’t put the house together yet.

I am afraid it will fall apart.

Afraid it will break in places I can’t repair.

Afraid that it will not meet up to my expectations.

I haven’t been this bad at finishing a project since I was in school.

AND I have a cold.

I’m going to try to finish up the house tomorrow night and early Friday morning.

And I will take pictures and post them.


do I have to say it?

I’m disappointed in myself.

Sad smile


Summer Garden


NOT mine.

My garden looks very new.  And slightly uncertain.

I took too long to plant- spent too little time caring for it.

And although my containers are looking rather nice, the garden

itself is not up for public display, yet.

But Saturday, I went to Ally’s garden and took a little tour.


The garlic is looking fine!  She made some scape pesto last week

– although she hasn’t shared the recipe- I hear it was VERY good.


Here we are admiring the bean tower- there are tiny little velvet beans



The basil and nasturtiums are so happy!


And the thyme was blooming!


It was toe tappingingly tempting!!


And the lavender was lush with blooms.



So I picked some and made some lavender wands.

I think Allyson has better dirt than I do.

The secret to a good garden- timing and dirt.

Spring view


I have been so incapacitated with this sciatica.

It just won’t go away and it flairs up and catches me when I’m not expecting it.

So I’m taking advantage of the quiet moments when it is biding its time,

planning an attack.

I went out and  took some pictures the other day.

AND made it to a greenhouse-(Quailcrest, outside of Wooster).

For me- Spring means greenhouses as well as new growth.

I love the smells, the humidity inside the structure, the

drippy atmosphere, THE DIRT!!!

So – without further ado, here is MY springview.


lily of the valley, trillium, bloodroot, and wild geranium.




Virginia blue bells


ajuga, or bugleweed


flowering quince


a yardfull of violets-

012just waiting to be picked!

And greenhouse- GLorious greenhouse!


I bought herbs and lavender- I just can’t wait to get it into the ground!


Today it is raining- but hopefully not ALL day!

Isn’t Spring grand?