Friday, September 27, 2013

~All the Autumn's Joys~

Today's Joy:
Goodbye Summer Curtains

Hello, Autumn Curtains!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

~All the Autumn's Joys~

Today's Joy:

The rain took a pause and that means . . .
a quick meander in the garden to visit Autumn blooms.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

~All the Autumn's Joys~

Today's Joy:

Proud parents huddled together in the cold.

Watching our Oldest strut his stuff.

Three cheers for football season!

(pictures courtesy of Denise Leavens- Thanks Mom!)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

~All the Autumn's Joys~

Today's joy:

A rainy afternoon doing dishes in the cheerful light of a mulled cider candle.


Monday, September 23, 2013

~All the Autumn's Joys~

This season's first freshly baked loaf of bread (a la bread machine)

Whole Wheat Autumn Bread

(use whole wheat setting on bread machine)

11oz water
1 1/2  tsp salt
1 1/2 tblsp olive oil
2 tblsp molasses
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup self rising flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp active dry yeast

Measure all ingredients into bread pan in order above. 
Select whole wheat setting with a medium crust.
This bread is very 'wheat' flavored and makes great toast . . . I happen to be enjoying a slice with raspberry jam at this very moment.

Happy Autumn!

Friday, September 20, 2013

~One Week~

Yes, today means it's been a week exactly since I first got this virus and I am STILL not well. The Oldest brought it home and shared it with me after 'not feeling great' two mornings in a row. And then it was gone . . . while ever since I've been ill, then the Husband went down and yesterday the Youngest caught it as well. Not how I was hoping to spend such a beautiful, mostly sunny week but I'm counting on getting it now means I'm all paid up for the year. ;)

I was just well enough today to spend a little time 'Autumn-izing' my blog- something I am SO in the mood to do here in my home, but simply not up to it yet. The header picture is from our annual trip to the pumpkin patch last year. 

And down below is something I've been meaning to share for the last nine months! After more than four years (on and off) I finally finished this western cross stitch I was making for what used to be my boys' cowboy bedroom . . . which they've outgrown and haven't shared for years now. Things take a long time to get done around here. :)

Sorry about the glare . . . it's hanging in my livingroom and there was just no way around the sun light. I found the frame at a second hand store for a couple dollars and I just love it . . . very rustic and exactly what I was picturing.

Well, I'm off to veg with my boys- Little House on the Prairie and popcorn . . . hope you have a healthy and happy weekend!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

~Cozy Sunday~

               Now three peals of thunder and it has begun to rain. Nothing torrential, just those large, heavy drops that make a leaf bounce here and there as if some invisible force has struck it.
Quinn is contentedly curled on our bed upstairs, but Twister has crept away and hidden himself in the basement.

Even though I've been stuck in the house for the last 24 hours with some cold bug, I snuck out to the front porch this morning for a quick snap of our front tree in Autumn array. Some branches bare, others have leaves still summer green and then some carry bunches of garnet to offset it all. It's always the first tree to 'go' and it's changing promises more to come.

I've been spending lots of time resting and drinking tea . . . reading some (Autmn by Susan Branch- one of my favorites) and stretching some (sitting so much just kills my lower back) . . .

and I've started a quilting project . . . my very first. It's a very small project and I'm grateful I decided to start small . . . this quilting-stitch thing is not coming quickly to me. My stitches are crooked and uneven, but I carry on. It's still a cozy way to while away invalid hours. :)

 That and the addition of furry company and a Husband who took care of the crockpot for me hours ago and I am a happy (albeit, sick) camper. 

Happy Sunday!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

~Vintage and Flora~

Last week the weather told us Fall was on the way. 
This week Summer decided to stay around awhile. 
We set a record at 95 degrees just yesterday! And as much as I love the sunshine, now that it's September my heart is yearning for the cool, crisp days of fall.

That being, a few Fall-ish posies have snuck their way into the house . . . they are the remains of a surprise bouquet bought last week by the Husband to celebrate the beginning of the school year. 

I tucked some flora into my little turquoise pitcher (an old gift from my mom) and I love how it nestles next to a new-to-me handpainted teacup (a new gift from my mom).

Isn't it beautiful? I adore the fresh colors and simplicity. It makes me happy every time I go by. It's like a final nod to Summer.

Also from the bouquet, a few strawflowers are drying on the sill, waiting for their turn in the spotlight . . . Autumn wreath festooning perhaps?

And in the livingroom, another little bouquet was made and placed on another new-to-me treasure.

I collect brown and white transferware and this sweet little plate was waiting for me at our local vintage shop last month. And how do I know it was waiting for me . . . ? Well, it's a little chipped (though I don't mind) which it made it affordable to purchase 
and . . .

 It has my name on it, of course.


Friday, September 6, 2013

~September Random and a Recipe~

Ah, September . . . these acorns signify what is yet to come.

Like so many families we have been up to our eye-balls in back-to-school preparations. And unlike so many families, there has been the added trauma adventure of transitioning from homeschooled elementary school to public middle school for my baby. Two years ago it was the Oldest and now I find myself no longer teaching and no longer with a Younger around as well.

The Husband summed it up well when I stepped out of the shower Wednesday morning to find this phone message: "So, are you dancing around the house or balled up in a corner crying your eyes out?" . . . I responded as any sensible woman would with,"both".

 So adjustments are being made but for the most part, 
I. am. ecstatic.
For the first time in 14 years I have the days to myself. I find myself gaping at the amount I can manage to fit into six hours without the countless interruptions of two young males. That 'to-do' list I've had to put off for 14 years? I'm finally pulling it out!

So here are the two middle schoolers on their first day.
 My eighth-grader looking like the cocky almost 14-year old he is . . .

and my sweet sixth grader still untainted from the throes of middle school (though I know that's not gonna last long).

 So, yes, the last couple of weeks have been full, but there have been some moments for the sweet little things that make life so grand. Like scone baking . . .

And playing with my food . . .

Cat adoring . . .

 and admiring sunflowers from a dear friend . . .

 Some painting . . .

And some blackberry jam making.

And speaking of blackberries, I have the promised blackberry cobbler recipe to share!

There it is in all it's glory, cooling on the stove.

And this was taken part-way in . . . another minute and there would have been nothing but crumbs.

Blackberry Cobbler
-from the Mary Engelbreit Sweet Treat Dessert Cookbook-

For biscuit topping you need:

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold, unsalted butter cut into pieces
3/4 heavy cream

For blackberry filling you need:

4 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1/8 tsp ground allspice

1. Preheat oven to 375

2. Make topping: in a large bowl toss together first 4 ingredients- then you fingers to crumble in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (I always use the mixer to do this and it works great- I'm lazy and don't want my hands dirty)

3. Add cream to crumbs, tossing with a fork until soft batter forms. Set aside.

4. Make filling: in a large bowl toss all the filling ingredients together and then spoon into an ungreased 13x9 inch baking pan. Using a large spoon, drop mounds of the biscuit topping on the blackberry filling (don't worry, it will spread as it cooks and cover it all)

5. Bake cobbler for 45 mins. or until the top is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Let it cool before serving, but not too long because it is SO good still warm and all that waiting should be rewarded!