Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Chewy Lemon Cookies

A huge thank-you to Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose for this recipe.  We loved them, and will definitely be making them again.  Soon.  I might just try using a lemon cake mix next time to see how that tastes.

I think I'll head back over to Stephanie's and browse more of her recipes.  The rhubarb turnovers  look fantastic and my rhubarb patch is looking so fresh right now.

I hope you are all having a great week!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Out of the Box

While browsing a few of my favourite blogs yesterday, I found a recipe that I was eager to try at The Enchanting Rose.  These chewy lemon cookies looked divine and I suddenly had a craving.  I headed to the pantry sure to find a white cake mix, but only came up with chocolate.  I'm sure I could have made a very similar cookie from scratch, but I have never tried using a cake mix before, so I whipped up the chocolate one in exactly the same way, (sans la extroit de lemon) and I was so very not disappointed.  Fresh out of the oven - incroyable! Cooled down - formidable. And frozen on the next day - delicieux.
Why all the french you ask?  Doesn't a foreign language make it sound better?  That, and I really should try to use a little of a language that I studied for no less than 8 years.
I encourage you to give these a try, except maybe if you are a French cook or a purist, and anything out of a box offends you. 
I picked up the ingredients for the chewy lemon cookies today, (recipe in the link above) and will give them a try very soon.  I'll let you know what I think.

Monday, May 9, 2016

The First of the Flowers

I had a lovely weekend spent with family.  We had a BBQ on Friday to celebrate my Mother-in-law's 72nd birthday.  I put together a cute, little cake that fit the season so well.  Although she figured out that our get together was in honor of her special day, we managed to surprise her with the company of her two daughters.  Mom was so surprised, she had quite the giggle and we enjoyed a long evening of chit-chat. 


Then we were invited to her home on Sunday for a turkey dinner.  Now, this is all very unusual and a very big deal in this farming family.  Not once, since I've lived here in the past 5 years have we been able to get together on these 2 days.  The men have always been in the field putting in the crops. All of us are happy when the seeding begins, and even happier when it's done, so celebrations are put on hold, and then forgotten.

While there, I sneaked out to her garden for awhile to take a few photos. I haven't started any early bulbs in my gardens yet. But my Mother-in-law's well established beds are bursting with blooms.

Who doesn't love a cute little daffodil?  Mom gave me a generous bouquet for Mother's Day in a pretty blue canning jar.
I've planted these in my bed, and have yet to see them bloom, but they are all over the place in Mom's garden.

I just love how much variety the tulip family has to offer.  There were only a couple blooming on Sunday, but I'll
have to revisit soon to  enjoy all of the others that were just budding on Sunday.
This is my favourite. It is so delicate in it's coloring.  Isn't she lovely?

Saturday, May 7, 2016

A Long Overdue Visit

The visit was overdue as is this post, but with the weather being as gorgeous as it is, who has time to be indoors?  I truly wish I could get my Wifi to work outside.  Last Friday, I headed about 6 hours west to spend time with a special friend.  The weather was wonderful, and so I headed out to the backyard with my camera, and as promised came home with plenty of photos.  In all my years of visiting her home, I have never gone around and taken photos of the place,  a place I've come to consider a home away from home.  I am so glad I took the time to do this, as it is a source of comfort for me.  An escape from my everyday where I can go to recharge and get a change of perspective when I need it.

Rarely have I visited and left without enjoying a glass of Merlot beside a campfire.  The best conversations happen here, and for a time, the world and it's problems seem to be manageable. 

I love my friend's style in the garden and have modeled my own yard after hers. Subtle, natural, creative, and thrifty is how this place is done, and I feel right at home here.

Meet Louise, a 16 year old, green-eyed beauty.  She is a talker and whenever she has something to say, she'll have you sympathizing with her in a heartbeat.  She has an incredibly beautiful sister, Thelma, who I've avoided including photos of because she is looking very frail these days, and I just couldn't do that to her.  You see, Thelma is a Princess and is very particular about appearances. I'm sure she would never forgive me. Besides, this was the first visit in 15 years that she allowed me to pet her, and that was a special moment.

It would not be a complete visit without a stop by the neighbor's place.  There is a wonderful assortment of pets to enjoy, and with exception of one of the geese, they are all so very friendly. The horse's name is Floyd and he is a joy to be around, although he wasn't very cooperative with the camera.

There are 2 goats, both the friendliest of beasts. There are also geese, cats, dogs, pigeons, fish, hamsters, budgies, a parakeet, a chinchilla, and I may be forgetting someone.  Yep, very close to being enough critters for a petting zoo!

The only reason I was able to get close to this little guy is that he is a baby. I just love their cooing and find it very soothing.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

More Spring

There still isn't a ton of yard work to be done, so I just keep walking around, enjoying the milder temperatures and searching for the latest developments of Spring.

I'm taking a little road trip west this week end to see a good friend, and I've heard things have progressed a little further over her way, so I won't forget to take my camera.  Also, her neighbors have a fantastic selection of pets.  Maybe they'll let me spend time taking their portraits to share here.  I always have such a wonderful time when I visit, so I'm really looking forward to Friday!

Here are a few photos I took this morning. 

Pussy willows starting to bloom.

Lilac buds.

Moss.  I love moss.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Signs of Spring

I was out for a stroll this morning looking for signs of Spring.  You wouldn't notice them at a glance. You have to get up close and even dig a little to unearth the details that promise that change of season.

This first photo almost looks like something you would see on a coral reef, but it is how the sem false spirea shows signs of life early.  It is definitely the early bird of the shrubs.

Although I have seen a few ladybugs here and there, we actually dug this little guy out of his fallen leaf bed. He happily provided us with a portrait before he asked us to tuck him back in, which we gladly did of course.

If you put a penny over top of the larger one, and a dime on the small one, they would both be completely hidden!  They are 2 tiny, adorable weeds growing on the west side of our shop among the gravel and moss.  When you look up close, it looks like I put together a little succulent garden.  If I'm correct, and I'll keep a close eye on them, these weeds are an invasive type that have to get pulled before they go to seed, or they will quickly take over the gravel pad.  But for now, anything green is a welcome sight. 

This is not a sign of Spring, but rather a memory of the season.  What is left of a lilac blossom, my favorite scent, a fragrance that I'm certain is a gift straight from Heaven. 

It has been too long since I've joined in with Mosaic Monday at Judith's Lavender Cottage.  So here is a little fun with the lady bug!  Thank-you for hosting Judith!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

8th Teacup and Mug Exchange Reveal

It was so much fun to put a parcel together and then wait in anticipation for my own to arrive.  Chel at "Sweetbriar Dreams" sent me the loveliest of gifts.  I don't think I've met a more cheerful teacup.  On the bottom, the maker, "Pip," has a slogan that reads, "Happy products for happy people."  Isn't that sweet?  There were several types of tea, and some very yummy chocolates, and yes I know they are yummy, because they are gone!  The pretty, little heart is hanging at the front of my own clothes closet, and has been scented with lavender.  I haven't tried the Earl Grey massage bar yet, but the scent of it is heavenly.
Thank-you for putting so much thought into this lovely package Chel.  I am so glad to have met you through Stephanie's teacup exchange, and I look forward to visiting your beautiful blog often.

I cannot thank Stephanie at "The Enchanting Rose" enough for hosting this event.