Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Quick & Easy Knitting Project & the Farm Peacock

Little thoughtful gifts from the heart remind your friends how much you love them. After one of my cross-country moves, I was pregnant and exhausted as my toddler and I unpacked boxes. I came close to tears when I found that my friend and old neighbor had tucked one of her hand-knitted dishcloths into the top of a box filled with pots and pans. I felt the warmth and comfort of her hug across the miles.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Easy Cherry Salad Recipe & Playing with Color

Color-Enhanced Photo "Going Down the Drain"
I was fooling around with a rather colorless photo I took of water draining down the overflow pipe in our farm pond, and really like this effect, which you can see in this version of the photo. Check below the Cherry Salad recipe to see the original, and let me know what you think.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Not-Green Pea & Potato Soup & Pea Sprout Update

Not-Green Pea & Potato Soup with Buttermilk
Not-Green Pea & Potato Soup with Buttermilk
If the words "pea soup" conjure up visions of Linda Blair's head swinging crazily on her shoulders, take heart. The fresh or frozen sweet English peas in this soup float in a flavorful broth thickened with mashed russet potatoes. The comfort-food flavors of potatoes and peas are brightened by the tang of whole milk buttermilk, and the entire thing comes together in about 25 minutes. Combine that with the healthy nutrition content, and I think it's a real winner. I hope you will, too.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tote Bags & Happy Girl Friends

Happiness is Girlfriends!
 I just got back from a long weekend in Atlanta with some of my girlfriends (including my mother-in-law, who is the "E" in this photo). We went to the Southeastern Flower Show, lunch at a tea room, shopping at Collector's Corner, and enjoyed The Leader of the Pack at the Strand Theater in Marietta. We all stayed at my mother-in-law's house in Peachtree City, and it was like one big slumber party with great shopping, dining, and lots of laughter and girl talk. I made our shopping bags as a surprise, and everyone was thrilled and surprised to get one with their own initial embellished on the front. It made me very happy to see all the smiles!

I think you might like to know how to make these bags

Monday, March 7, 2011

And My Heart Soars

Eel River, California, USA

And My Heart Soars

The beauty of the trees, 
the softness of the air,the fragrance of the grass, speaks to me. 
The summit of the mountain, the thunder of the sky,
the rhythm of the sea, speaks to me. 
The faintness of the stars, the freshness of the morning,
the dew drop on the flower, speaks to me. 
The strength of fire, the taste of salmon,
the trail of the sun, and the life that never goes away,They speak to me. 
And my heart soars.

~Chief Dan George (1899-1991)

With love, from me to you...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Clam Chowda & Bar Harbor Buoy Bell

Bar Harbor Buoy Wind Chime
It was a very windy day today. We have three wind chimes hanging from the big oak tree that grows up through the back deck. The first one hung was a gift from my husband to me, and is melodious and my favorite. Its sound is like the old kind of church bells. The second one (in chronological order of acquisition) is a heavy, hand-made chime that was ringing merrily when we happened upon it in the desert southwest. It takes a tremendous wind to move it to chime here in South Carolina. We begin to worry when our "desert" wind chime begins to rock 'n roll. The third is one that we brought back with us from a driving tour of New England two years ago, and was crafted to sound just like the buoy bell out in the middle of the harbor at Bar Harbor, Maine.

Happy memories are often triggered by sound, and little did we realize when we bought the buoy bell wind chime during our visit to Bar Harbor that it would bring us so much daily joy. It rang merrily today. I sat on the deck this evening and closed my eyes. I listened to the buoy bell clanging, now with the wind instead of the waves, but I could still taste the chowda.....

"A New England clam chowder, made as it should be, is a dish to preach about, to chant praises and sing hymns and burn incense before. To fight for. The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought for--or on--clam chowder; part of it at least, I am sure it was. It is as American as the Stars and Stripes, as patriotic as the national Anthem. It is 'Yankee Doodle in a kettle.'" ~Joseph C. Lincoln (1870-1944)

The best chowder we had was at a small fisherman's co-op and was made by the fishermen's wives. Of course, they didn't have an exact recipe, but had a "method," and I'll share it with you here just as they shared it with me there on the pier, on a sunny, breezy day in New England.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sun-Kissed Forsythia

Forsythia Blossoms
Late this afternoon the sun kissed the early blooming forsythia bush in my front yard for just a moment. It was a special and very private moment of joy to watch the shrub glow brightly, and I grabbed my camera and raced into the yard