Monday, September 28, 2015

Our Wedding Anniversary

Hello, Dear Friends, 
I hope you had a lovely weekend! 

My Ramblin' Man and I celebrated 
our 43rd wedding anniversary! 

Here we are all those years ago, 
looking bright-eyed and innocent.

Well, maybe I looked innocent! 

Ramblin' Man always had a little gleam
in his eye! 

One of the reasons why I fell in love with
him was his fun-loving nature. 

And his beautiful, sincere, blue eyes. 

He always brings me roses. 

We exchange heartfelt cards. 
And tell each other all the reasons
why we love each other. 

It's nice to be reminded <3

We celebrated with a favorite treat....
Chinese take-out
and then watched a movie. 


We had never seen it. 
(It was a long movie and hard to follow,
but the scenery and clothes were wonderful.)

My Dear Mother and Father's 
wedding anniversary was also in September. 
They were married 58 years
and are now together in eternity. 

Here are my Grandparents, 
Beatrice Euphemie and John Leo
on their wedding day. 

They survived the Great Depression, 
WW11, and raised 8 children. 

My paternal Grandparents, Edith and Daniel,
 also experienced the same, raising
8 children during the depression. 
Sadly, I don't have a photo of their wedding day. 
My Grandfather died when I was an infant, 
at only 50 years old. 

Through these examples, we have 
learned what it takes to keep an enduring marriage. 

It's not always easy, 
but I have the perfect recipe! 

Recipe for a Happy Marriage

Take 2 heaping cups of patience, 
1 heartful of love,
2 handsful of generosity,
a dash of laughter,
1 headful of understanding.

Sprinkle generously with kindness,

add plenty of faith and mix well. 

Spread over a period of a lifetime
and serve with love <3


Today I am linking with:
The Enchanting Rose - Roses of Inspiration

Won't you join the fun?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Moving into Fall

Hello, Dear Friends! 

We are now entered into 
another beautiful season - Autumn! 

With the days growing shorter
and the nights getting colder, 
I have been busy with some 
major projects that have taken
most of my time. 

The biggest project has been 
staining the deck. 

This is a yearly job, as the sun, 
wind and rain take its toll. 

You can see the wear and tear.....

Then Ramblin' Man had to replace
any boards showing signs of rot
or weakness. This year he replaced
about a dozen. 

With pets always under foot, 
we devised a temporary fence
using these rigid panels held
together with zip ties as barriers. 

I caught some raindrops clinging
to this one.......

Always an audience.....:)

Maggie and Ling Ling. 

Finally, after two weeks of 
work (dodging a few raindrops in between)
everything is back in place. 

I can't tell you how achy and sore I am! 
Mostly my shoulders and back. 

My knees were protected by using
a soft garden kneeling pad. 

The umbrellas are put away for the winter now. 

The planters are all put back into place. 

My sis-in-law made the 'hydrangea' plaque <3

This hydrangea blooms white....

Then the blossoms age. 
Aren't they pretty? 

This hydrangea and the white one
were gifts at Mother's Day. 

The red begonias will bloom
until frost - hopefully until November. 

My dirty angels stand watch. 

I can see this vignette from my bedroom :)

I've replaced a summer hanging basket
with pansies. They smell heavenly! 

Kai looks on. 


I've replaced my salad garden in the galvanized tubs
with flowers. 

This is how they looked in July. 

The petunias and sweet peas 
are now fizzling out, 
but the purple alyssum 
is enjoying the cooler weather. 

I will replace the petunias and sweet peas with pansies 
and cabbage, under-planted with bulbs this week. 

My little potting bench will soon be 
put to use once again to pot up 
spring bulbs. 

I planted scotch moss in the vintage 
tool caddy and enamel cup. 

The truth! 

A little friend. 

The bird cage from my kitchen door.
Whitey Bear takes a break:) 

I planted creeping Jenny and was surprised
when it bloomed! 

It is still blooming....

I will replace it with ivy for winter. 

I never made a fairy garden this year, 
but the fairies settled in to this 
strawberry plant that I potted 
in a vintage enamel chamber pot! 

I hung this sign :)

Shhhhh! She is very shy.....

She has gathered some marbles
that my children left behind
many years ago. 

She's made herself at home...

And added her own potted garden :)

Soon summer's flowers will be just a memory. 

So for a few more precious weeks, 
I will savor every bloom. 

The days will grow shorter. 

And we'll make peace with the moon. 


Monday, September 21, 2015

Blackberry Squares

This time of year we have an
abundance of blackberries,
so I wanted to share with you
one of my favorite treats.

I am always looking for ways to
use up the bounty and this recipe
is perfect, as it makes a large
batch and freezes very well.

We have several kinds of blackberries
here in Washington State, including
Himalayan blackberry with its
long and invasive canes (up to 30 ft!),
and my preference, the Evergreen blackberry
that is equally large, with vicious thorns,
but which has firmer and sweeter fruit.

I have 'tamed' these along a wire fence
and I always walk around with purple
lips and stained fingers at this time of year!

This recipe was given
to my Mother by a neighbor
who was Pennsylvania Dutch.

It is the most forgiving and easy pastry
to work with and doesn't even
need chilling to hold together.

I used King Arthur All-Purpose Flour,
as it is superior for pastry dough,
in my opinion.

It costs a little more, but it
is worth every penny for the
delicious flavor and flakiness
of the pastry.

My vintage rolling pin is perfect for
rolling out large sheets, as it is
wider than a regular rolling pin.

Use ample amounts of flour when
rolling, and a flat spatula to
loosen up the pastry from the
board when done rolling.

This recipe will just fit a 12x17 pan,
but you can use a smaller one
to ensure a good fit.

While preparing the pastry,
let the blackberry mixture sit
in the pan unheated for 15 minutes
to allow the tapioca
to soften and gel.

You can use frozen berries, but let these
thaw overnight in the refrigerator
or at room temperature for a couple of hours.
Or you can thaw in the microwave :)

Cook on medium heat until bubbling
and thickened with frequent stirring.

Continue boiling for 2-3 minutes.

After cooling to room temperature,
spread evenly onto bottom crust
in jelly roll pan.

Always lick the spoon! :)

Cover with pastry and trim to fit.
No need to seal the edges, just
press edges gently all around.

Use the trimmings to patch any open areas :)

Use a knife to make steam vents
to prevent bubbling over.

Bake in center of oven.

Glaze while hot.

Cool completely before cutting
into squares.

I challenge you to eat just one.

A reward for a busy morning.

A perfect treat on a cool fall day!

Sweet and tart with melt in your mouth
glazed pastry.

Happy Fall, Dear Friends!


Here is the recipe:

Blackberry Squares


2 cups solid vegetable shortening
(I used Crisco)
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
5 cups flour

Combine shortening, flour and salt using pastry blender.
Add milk to form large ball.
Roll 1/2 dough to fit a jelly roll pan.

4 cups blackberries
2 tbsp minute tapioca
1 cup sugar

Mix together in medium sized saucepan.
Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
Cook filling over medium heat
until bubbling, stirring frequently.
Boil 2-3 minutes until thickened.
Let cool.
Pour over pastry in jelly roll pan,
distributing evenly.

Cover with 2nd half of pastry,
rolled to fit.
Gently pinch edges and cut vent slits
over all.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes
until bubbling and crust is golden.

(While hot)

1 cup confectioner's sugar
mixed with
3 tbsp milk

Drizzle over all.

Cool completely before cutting into squares.

You can substitute 2 large cans crushed pineapple
(20 oz) instead of blackberries if you like.

These freeze beautifully.
My method is to place in a single layer
on a paper plate and slip into a gallon
sized zip-lock freezer bag.
Once frozen they can be stacked neatly.



Today I am linking with:

Julie's Lifestyle - Cooking and Crafting with J&J
The Enchanting Rose - Roses of Inspiration

Cooking and Crafting with J & J Link Up

Won't you join the fun? 
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