Sunday, March 16, 2014

~Spring Things . . .

. . . in the garden.

. . . and around the kitchen.

Been spring cleaning- inside and out. Unbelievable how much is still to be done. Life is just so full right now- and that's a good thing. Just trying to live in each moment and this month happens to be throwing moments at me from every direction! ;)

I'll be in Seattle with my grandparents for a few days this week- helping out as I can. I know I'm in a season where I just can't post as often as I long to, but I'm here and still so glad you could pop by!

 Wishing you all a lovely week to come!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

~Sneaking Out Into Spring~

Yes- the forsythia really is about to blossom! Early March or not, Spring is sneaking in . . .
We've had much warmer temperatures for the last couple of days, so I took a meander through the garden to investigate . . . I found I was not alone!
I was joined by something white, spotted, fury and completely crazy . . . this one has Spring Fever in a bad way!

The next succession of photos were taken in about 2.7 seconds- he was just freaking out on that chair!

And he was no better as we made our way through the garden. At one point he tripped me and nearly sent me to the ground!

As we went about I mostly found a royal mess- I was sick all last Fall and the annual garden cutting back and cleaning up just never happened. But I did find promising bits of color, too . . .
 Early Spring crocus are dotting little patches of the garden with bright, happy color! 
 Aren't they fabulous? Oh, color- how I have missed you!
 This, on the other hand has not given me a moment's peace to even consider missing it. I got in a whole two shots with the camera before he reappeared, bouncing his way here and there like Tigger in Winnie-the-Pooh. Up a tree- down again- flying over a bush . . .
 and then to the top of the playground. The camera must follow him at all times!
 Despite not having been cleaned up in the Fall, the garden looks like it fared pretty well . . . lots of sticks and fir branches on the ground from wind storms, but beside that, not too bad. 
Though, I did notice this fellow and his trusty frog look worse for wear.
 And some naughty son of mine left his bike lying out in the elements all Winter . . . hopefully it can still be ridden with all that rust! I would say it could be a good lesson learned, but I sincerely doubt that with This One . . . he is rather hell-bent on not learning any lessons. 
He has voiced this often. 
Is Spring sneaking in to your part of the world . . . ?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

~Marching Along~

Goodness- March already upon us! 
Today is my mother's birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom!)- the first of six March birthdays for our family. Yes, March is a busy month around here.

This is her present and I was so pleased with how the wrapping turned out that I thought I'd share it with you. :) 
(oops! There's the timer for the oven- let me dash off a moment! Okay, I'm back- had some baking to take care of- more on that in a bit) 
Isn't the little clip-on birdy cute? I think he makes the gift!

And so, March is here and where did February go? Well . . .
part of it was spent with both boys sick and me fighting off their germs. The Younger missed three days of school in a row . . . and after three days I was missing a bit of my sanity if you know what I mean.

Yup- cute, but oh-so cranky. Though, aren't we all when we're not feeling well?

Below is what is left of another of February's events: a friend's bridal shower. That lovely bouquet is one of the five we had festooning the party. I was lucky enough to get to take this one home with me. Everything turned out so beautifully- from the food and drinks to the decorations and games- if only there had been time to take pictures!

I also got a little crafting in last month- the kind that's just for me (funny how infrequently that happens). Below is the little entry way to our basement right off the kitchen. I set up a little wintry vignette at the beginning of the month . . .

and I made these simple wall hangings from materials I had lying around.

The borders are chalkboard paint which allows me to change the quotes bordering the images . . . though, I haven't changed a thing yet. It was especially fun to find fitting quotes that would fit the parameters of the hanging. The two I settled on are:

"In seed-time learn; in harvest teach; in winter enjoy" 
- William Blake
and . . .
In a way Winter is the real Spring, the time when the inner things happen, the resurgence of nature.
- O'Brian

And speaking of Spring . . . I actually got out in the garden last week! We had a gorgeous sunny day and I took advantage for some cutting back and clearing. You can see one tiny spot of the garden is all ready for Spring . . . and the rest will have to wait as we've had lots of rain and cold cold temperatures since. 'In like a lion' you know.

The most exciting part of visiting the garden had to be the tulips pushing their way through the mud. I planted these last Fall and it looks like they actually made it! I found only one dug up and fallen pray to some pesky squirrel. The rest are getting ready for their April display!

So- you may remember I had to run off to the kitchen at the beginning of this post . . . 

And here is the reason why . . . Lemon Squares!
These particular bits of yumminess come from my childhood days . . . my mother used to have Tupperware and Avon parties and these are what she would make. Lucy Lemon Squares. (the 'Lucy' part comes from them being a part of a 'Peanuts' cookbook) I don't think she could've ever made these often enough.

In my mind these are the cream of the crop when it comes to lemon bars . . . incredible shortbread-like crust, zesty lemon filling that isn't too over-powering and a dusting of powder sugar to make it that much better.

So if you are so inclined as to welcome March with some lemon-y goodness, here is the recipe:

~Lucy Lemon Squares~

1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup powder sugar

Sift flour and sugar into bowl. With fingers mix in butter (I am lazy and just use the mixer and add the butter in little bits until it all comes together)

Spread and flatten dough into greased 8x8 inch pan. 
Bake at 350 for 30 min.

Meanwhile . . . beat together:
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
dash of salt

Pour over baked crust and bake at 350 another 20 mins or so.
Sift powder sugar over top and let it cool- slice into squares and enjoy!