Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fall has arrived... :D

 
So it's upon us, my favorite time of year beginning, and I can hardly believe the summer season is over. Didn't it just begin? School was out, grandkids hanging out with me, the park, going to the beach, the apple orchard, movies and starting life with a new grandson. Life just keeps flowing like a river, with the changing of the seasons, and time doesn't stop, make the most of every minute. 
One of my granddaughters that I've watched since she was born, just started school this year. Her brother was going into 4th grade, so it wasn't like my son wasn't used to having a child in school. However, it's his baby girl, that was hard for them, it was hard for me. Now they have one at home during the day, the dreaded twos and I'm watching him some during the week, along with a new grandson that just turned seven months. Seems like the two year old was just as little. Seems like the granddaughter was just that little. Seems like my kids were just that little.


All of this has been on my mind this month, because of all the changes. My DIL was so sad, she posted on facebook about her baby girl growing up, but as I read that I looked over and saw my own baby girl, a 19 yo teenager. I messaged my DIL and told her it's just beginning, you have so many years of being her best friend, all the laughter, the talks, the passing on of what you know to her. As she grows and you have even more of a relationship with her, you'll discover so many things about her she can express that you never knew. I still have my older daughter calling me when she gets off work everyday. :) You never stop learning about one another.

I used to be so sad my kids were grown, with just one left at home. One day we had a family get together, I looked out and saw my "kids" playing ball together, my grandkids on the playset and running everywhere. I got that I didn't lose anything. I gained so much more and life became more of an adventure to take in, instead of feeling like you lost something, and it was over.

The two year old turns three this month, the seven month old just got a new tooth. You don't stop being a mother when your kids are grown, you become "Grand" mother. Jump in and live it over, (the fun part is you can enjoy them, and hand them back over at the end of the day.) LOL

So back to Fall, Oh the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice coffee, creamor, candles, and anything pumpkin spice I can get my hands on. The apple desserts, gingerbread, molasses cookies, and filling my kitchen with more baking at this time of year than any, besides Christmas. It's getting a little chilly of the mornings, so we're pulling out sweaters, and I'm starting to make Christmas presents, so far babydoll, barbie clothes, and a cupcake scarf.
I put out some of my fall things, garlands, candles, handmade this and that, then once again thought...Didn't I just do this? :D



So Molly and I hung out enjoying the cooler weather and see what Trixie was up to now. Trixie Belden my favorite book series and it never gets old. I don't know how many times I've read these books over and over. I do more reading and crafts when September starts and that cozy nesting in feeling comes.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Apple Orchard

We went to the apple orchard yesterday, and there's nothing like standing under apple trees and smelling the apples everywhere. It's so beautiful in the mountains. We love going. We also went into Front Royal, and my daughter had to get a photo of one of their blue info booths, that she says looks like an American Dr Who Tardis. :D She says it's a portal, magical, I love young minds. :) Here's some photos...













Here's the post to another visit... http://soundinthemulberrytrees.blogspot.com/2009/09/back-to-shenandoah.html We go every year, sometimes a couple of times, then to Skyline Drive in the Fall. I'll have to take some photos of that part of the mountains. The leaves in October are gorgeous. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

July almost over...

Wooeeee!!! I've had such a busy summer, mainly watching grandbabies and that's a handful, but I love it. One son has three, another a new baby, having so much fun being with them. It will quiet down when school starts and I'll only have two here. Anyway, I've starting working on the Sisterhood Crochet Blanket... http://doyoumindifiknit.typepad.com/do_you_mind_if_i_knit/2009/05/crochetpatterns.html It was so awesome for them to share and I know many have worked it.


I'll be going to the orchard soon, peaches are out, but ready for the apples to come, also. I know once I go I'll be all excited about making jelly and pies. I'm mostly excited, because it's almost August and next will be AUTUMN!!!! I can't wait, my favorite time of year. This summer has flown by. I'm also crocheting Barbie doll clothes. I bought a Barbie with just a bathing suit, because one of my granddaughter's presents will be a box with the Barbie and clothes for Christmas. :D

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day...

We're having a good Father's Day, he got to sleep in, which was his best present. :D He got french toast and bacon for breakfast, which always makes the house smell so good. He wanted to stay home, because it's crowded out there, hot and he gets tired of driving thru the week. So sometimes the best time is just hanging at home.

I made these cupcakes for my daughter who makes cupcakes and I wanted them to look like her's.
I'm going to crochet her some of these above she did for a boy's birthday party. I also took a photo of her kitty, Lilly. She's so cute, loves to hide up in her curtain, on the cedar box, and look out the window. 
Also, my younger daughter is still dressing up her Molly, yesterday it was a Princess Fairygodmother. LOL The little glass tealight holders are the glass slippers. :)

Then she got tired of it and started to take it off...
What I love about the summer is my rose bushes and this one started getting tons of buds. I started grabbing some today to dry. I love to dry them out, put some petals in jars and just hang some of them up. 
Well, have to get back to Father's Day to hang out, watch a movie and daughter will bring over Red Robin take out, can't beat that. :D 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April 30th flooding and storm...


I feel so bad for all those affected by tornadoes, storms and flooding this week. Yesterday our county was really hit hard and I just wanted to say a few things from listening to the scanner and news. Never drive through the water on the road when you can't see if there's a sinkhole or you never know if a rush of water could come in and trap you.

Powerlines were down, so you don't know if live wires are in the water. There were so many swift water rescues just from people driving thru the water, getting stuck and water rushing in around them. They have to leave their vehicles there, and today many vehicles are under water. It doesn't mean since the rain stopped that the flooding won't continue.

Many people's tires were blown out from driving thru the water and not realizing sinkholes are formed, the roads were buckling. The live wires and trees knocked down can cause fires, if you're stuck in your vehicle, not only are you in danger or drowning, but being electrocuted. It's endangered not only you, but those who come to help you out of the water.

I know people were trying to get home and didn't want to turn around to go the long way. It's not worth your life, others lives and the extra time it would take to go the other way. We just started having rain the day before, and yesterday massive amounts and this can all happen so quick. There were so many vehicle accidents, road closures, trees and powerlines down, basement flooding, trees on homes, water rescues, vehicles stuck in water, tires blown, before you know it all this is upon you.

People don't realize the power of water and how fast it can swallow you up and cover your vehicle. Today there's vehicles all over the county that were abandoned, because the people couldn't get them out of the water, rooftops of vehicles are seen and I'm sure as the water recedes they'll find more vehicles underwater. Just be careful and aware of the dangers.



The day before yesterday this stream was a small stream about one fourth the size. Now it's a muddy huge still flowing flood today.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Apple Cider Doughnut Cake

Apple Cider Doughnut Cake

    1 stick plus 1 TBSP salted butter, softened
    1 1/2 c. apple cider
    1/2 c. milk, slightly warmed in microwave
    3/4 c. sugar
    1/2 c. brown sugar
    3 large eggs
    1/4 c. oil
    2 1/2 c. flour
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp cloves
    1 tsp vanilla

    Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly oil the inside of a bundt pan, get in all the creases.
    Place the apple cider in a small pan, bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.  Let cool, Mix with the warmed milk.
    In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
    In a separate bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy. Stir vanilla into the eggs, add into sugar mixture, mix in oil and apple cider/milk mix. Beat all this mixture into the flour mixture for a couple of minutes.
     Pour batter into the bundt pan.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick, I use knife, inserted in center comes out clean. My oven cooks faster, it was 30-35 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes in pan, then invert over a cooling rack and remove from pan.
    Make a powdered sugar and milk glaze and drizzle over the top. ~I made up my powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and milk frosting, heated about 20 to 25 seconds in microwave so I could drizzle over the cake.

Then take a photo and put a flower vase in front to mask you hurriedly drizzled the glaze over the cake, because dinner was ready, and call it a day. :D
BTW, My daughter brought that flower to me from the yard, so sweet, they're never too old to bring Mom a flower from the yard. :)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter...

Happy Easter everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful peaceful day. I actually can't believe it's almost May, weren't we just having snow and a long winter? Anyway, we've taken today and just spent it at home together, having hamburgers and being thankful for all the Lord has given to us.

 I love the different seasons, such beauty in each season, although Fall is my favorite. We just enjoyed the cherry blossoms, now it's strawberries and Farmers Market right around the corner. Flowers are coming out everywhere and Spring is really waking up everything.

I've been in a cleaning mode, in the house and getting ready to start outside now that it's getting warmer. With the nights being colder and you never know what the weather will be lately, I've held off on buying anymore flowers.

 I want to grab some basil and rosemary to plant and chop up in olive oil to spread on bread and cook with, basil and rosemary are my two favorite herbs. I saw them at Lowes and when I passed by I told them I'd be back. :D 

I'm really starting to use this time to take inventory on my craft items, see what little projects I've started in the winter and try to finish up some things. Spring always gets me motivated to rearrange things. lighten up and gets things in order.

For some reason the thought of summer coming and apple cider donuts at the apple orchard made me start craving them, so I found this great recipe. I'll let you know how they turn out this week.

 Apple Cider Donuts

Ingredients

1 Cup Apple Cider
3 + 1/2 Cups Flour plus more for work surface
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
4 Tablespoons room temp unsalted Butter
1 Cup granulated Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Milk
Oil for frying

Topping

1 Cup Granulated Sugar
3/4 Tablespoon Cinnamon

In a saucepan over medium to low heat slowly reduce apple cider to about 1/4 cup.  Takes about 20 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Set aside.

In a mixer cream the sugar and butter until smooth.  Add eggs one at a time.

on low-speed add the apple cider and the milk and mix until combined.

Add the flour mixture and combine until a dough forms.

Line 2 baking sheet with parchment paper and coat generously with flour.

Turn the dough out on to one of the sheets and flatten out with your hands until 1/2 inch thick.  Add more flour if dough is sticky.

Transfer baking sheet to freezer to firm up for about 20 minutes.

Remove tray from freezer and cut out donuts using a 3 inch donut cutter (I use a biscuit cutter and find something to make the donut holes)

Transfer to second baking sheet and put in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.  You can reroll and recut leftover dough.

Heat oil to 350 degree.

Remove cut donuts from fridge and working 2 or 3 at a time carefully place in hot oil.  They only take a couple of minutes per side.

Remove when golden brown and put on paper towels.  (if dough starts getting flimsy return to fridge, it’s easier to fry up when they are cool)

While donuts are still warm coat them in the cinnamon sugar topping.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bread making...

So as I really want to get good at baking bread I've found some pointers I'm going to use. I'm going to use King Arthur bread flour and I'm putting the full amount of flour needed, but from what I'm gathering looking at others making it, it's suppose to be a little sticky, but not stick to you. You have flour on your hands, but I think what many of us do is just keep adding flour till it's not sticky, at all. For bread makers out there, is this correct? I believe it's making my bread heavier and not as soft. I mean it's okay for everyday use, but what I want is to make bread like what we buy at the apple orchard. Anyone who bakes wonderful bread, help us out, please. :D
They said this bread is a vanilla french bread and it's so soft, my DH loves it and I want to make him some like it....when I find out how they make it so soft. LOL

Anyway, I found a wonderful site it's http://barnhousenews.blogspot.com/ this is one of the strongest families. It will make you appreciate every second you have with your family. It will show you how as a family you can endure more than you ever imagined and the importance of teaching your children everything in life you can, so they can endure thru the unimaginable and help you through it. I have no doubt the reason they're so strong and just keep going is how their parents raised them and the obvious love they've been brought up in. I'm sure there's times they don't feel strong and just keep going no matter what, but I'm inspired by them and it will make you think, make you appreciate and tell you that you can make it even when you don't think you can.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Snow again...

Snowing in Virginia again while the trees are budding, tulips are coming up and birds are singing more ready for Spring. Oh yes it is, so I've gotten my laundry finished, made some more bread and made a cup of Oolong Tea. It's beautiful, however for the farmers out there, not sure it's such a great thing for early planting already in the ground.

I really wanted a little garden this year, but you know it is what it is and you do what you can do. In the meantime I'll support our local farms and farmers market this year and going to get everything I can grown organic.I'm very concerned what is in our foods we buy in the store, since it's not real food and so filled with chemicals and preservatives.

I need a good project to work on now that winter is pretty much over, I'll look into my patterns for spring or summer patterns. Besides scouring the internet for patterns, freepatterns.com has alot of good ones for crocheting, knitting and sewing. There's some good Barbie patterns there and this year I'm going to work on the dresses, buy a simple Barbie and giving my girls each one as a present.

I remember when I was a kid Mom was always crocheting us Barbie doll clothes and making us clothes. She also worked on "at the time" projects.
Beddolls of all kinds were very popular. Funny how many things you remember from your childhood. All Mom's craftiness gave me my crafty spirit for a lifetime and my daughters have it in different directions, even though they're not crocheters, that's okay.

We also had parakeets and fish, I've always had parakeets. I also remember other fads at that time in our house, crocheted poodle bottle covers, a dunking bird that predicted the weather, an angel candle carousel, the infamous who's in the doghouse plaque.



I loved those things, I need to get my own. We had and I have crocheted covers for toilet paper, tissue boxes and there's a commercial where Nana's crocheting covers for everything...that was our house. LOL I know alot of you remember some of these things and are smiling now. :)