Jun 30, 2009

To Grandmother's House

I stopped in and saw both my grandmothers a few days ago. My little brother and his wife were visiting from North Carolina so we loaded up and accompanied them over to visit with family. After they left, I stuck around at Grandma F's house. We talked about her paintings, my lack of ability to knit or crochet (anyone want to try teaching me?), quilting, cross stitchery and gardening. She has a beautiful orchid on her front porch that just captivated me. I have always been a tad bit intimidated by them. I hear from a lot of people that they are easier than they seem but I don't seem to mesh well with house plants.

Beautiful Orchid

I am good with house succulents like cacti and aloe. Grandma F. sent me home with some cuttings of this beauty. I would love to know what it is. I know it is some variant off of the Christmas/Easter Cactus. It has the same form and similar but much larger flowers. I would say they are a good 6 inches or more across.

Blooming Cactus

Bloom Up Close

A jaunt up to the front yard resulted in some neat finds. First we discovered some lilies in bloom. Of course, Grandma F. knew they were there but it was a discovery to me!

Lilies in Bloom

Also, we spied a fledgling bird. The photo was hastily taken so it isn't the best. I did soften the background so the little bird is discernible. Grandma F. and I quickly got out of the way as mom and dad were most likely nearby and we did not want to disturb the new flier.


I don't always get around to visiting my Grandma F. as often as I should but I enjoy my time immensely when I do. When I finally got the children loaded up, we left with the promise of coming back later this week so my youngest son can paint with her and I can work on some sewing. I am sure there will be some artsy photos to share soon.


Jun 23, 2009

Our Chicks

At our home, we have a small flock of poultry. We currently have two adult hens, four young ducks and two young chicks. Our chicks are a Rhode Island Red named Amber and a Barred Rock named Checkers. The boys had Amber and Checkers out today and they were being really cute.

Jeremy and Amber (You can see the two older hens behind Jeremy's shoulder).

Allen and Checkers

Allen looking at Checkers

Checkers cuddling with my husband, Dave.


Jun 22, 2009

Happy Midsummer!

Summer finally rolled in and yet it still feels like spring. I am beginning to wonder if it will stop raining so our swamp will turn back into the back yard. Yesterday we spent the day at my father's house. While there, I took some photos of what he has growing. I hope you enjoy these midsummer treats.


Yellow Squash

Asiatic Lily

Peruvian Lily

Cranesbill Geranium (Not sure on this one. Dad said it is a geranium. Looks more in the mallow family to me.)


My Dad's cat, Sunny, being silly.


Jun 19, 2009

Man Eating Plants (Sort Of)

Today has been stormy. We had a tornado watch and a flash flood warning for most of the day. The skies are turning ominous again and I can hear thunder rolling in so it will probably storm all night. So, being that I have no new photos for today, we are going on a field trip into the photos I have stashed on the PC. Today's random photos are from our trip to Frederick Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids: http://www.meijergardens.org They are all from the carnivorous plant house. Watch out! These plants do bite :)

Venus Flytrap



Tropical Pitcher Plants

Trumpet Pitcher Plant

Pitcher Plant

If you never have been to Frederick Meijers, I sure hope I have convinced you to go. They have so much more to see both indoors and outdoors.


Jun 17, 2009

Cheesy Goodness and a Contest

About a month ago, my hubby and I went up to Holland. As any good Michigander knows, Holland is one of those places that makes a perfect day or weekend trip. The highlight of our trip is hitting Nelis' Dutch Village: http://www.dutchvillage.com/ No trip would be complete without Cheese and Fudge. The photos below were taken on the way home, shortly before we devoured this delicious Hickory Smoked Gouda Cheese wheel. And yes, it was almost completely gone in the hour it takes to get home. It is just that good.

Now for the contest portion of this post. I love reading many blogs. If you take a look along the right hand side of your screen, I have a list of the blogs I am reading that are hosted on Blogger. I would like to think I would recommend any of these without any personal gain on my part but in this case I have some selfish reasons.

On Honey & Jam, there is a drawing going on for a neato Microplane Grater/Zester. So if you are one of those folks who must have this gadget, go on over and enter. Not to mention Hannah's blog is just about the best down to earth baking blog on the web. Go see for yourself and try not to drool on the keyboard:




Jun 16, 2009

Random Photo

This is a shot of our neighbor's cat hiding in the milkweed and irises. I was taking photos of my mother in law's roses when I happened to spy him hiding out. If he looks familiar, it is because he is related to my cat, Inky.


Jun 15, 2009

Busy Day

Today we had a busy day. We went rock hunting at the beach; we visited my brother's house and surveyed his garden; we had a cook out at our home with my brother, his son and his dog; we roasted marshmallows on the fire pit; and finally we made some rose scented sugar (instructions below).

Rocks on Lake Michigan

Iris at my brother's house

Gertrude Jekyll Rose

Rose scented sugar

Scented sugar is fairly easy to make. Layer in a jar or glass canister about 2 parts sugar to 1 part edible scented flower petals. Let sit for about one week at room temperature. I give mine a shake every other day or so. I am using a David Austin rose named Gertrude Jekyll in the photo above.

This works for other edible flowers and herbs too. Lavender and geraniums are other yummy choices. For a citrus flavor, try lemon balm, lemon grass or lime basil. Just make sure you use petals and leaves that have not been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals.

The sugar can be used in any recipe that uses normal sugar. I will be using mine for lemonade, iced tea and maybe some sugar cookies. Mmm Mmm Good :)