Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Broken AC and it's 104 degrees outside!

Hi Y'all!  Paula here~

Monday, July 4th we arrived home from a long weekend trip to Arkansas to visit our parents.  The minute we walked in the house, we realized that we had an air conditioner not working.  Whew, was it hot!

The unit that was out was the one in the public areas of the house.  Until it's repaired, we are living in the bedrooms, taxing the working AC and waiting for a new fan motor to arrive.  We are so very grateful for a working unit and that we have a cool place to be. 

Hope all of you are doing well.  We are behind on writing and reading.  This summer we've been absent a lot. That makes us feel like something is missing from our lives!  Hoping to be back with it and y'all later in the week.

Our hands are itching to shop - maybe at a few estate sales or an indoor flea market to find some treasures.  You know what?  I just don't want to venture outside much when the temps are three digits.  I'm a gotta-be-cool kind of girl. When I sweat, I don't glisten like Southern ladies do, I just drip sweat! 

Hope all of you had a wonderful 4th with family and friends.  Noble loved the fireworks that we got and shot off at my parent's home.  Little towns allow such things and it was such fun to be able to do that!  I think that the five adults had as much fun as the three year old!  We had a few "big" ones that even went sort of high in the sky like those in the photo above!   We love this holiday to celebrate our country's birthday. 

What have you been up to?  Working on projects or working to stay cool?  Or is it even hot in your area?  I read a blog just a bit ago and the writer mentioned that on Monday while celebrating, no jackets were needed after the sun went down.  I can't even imagine!  We definitely do not need jackets!  =)

God Bless America!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Individual Summer Cobblers in Jars

Hi Y'all - this is Paula!

Summer berries have arrived!  They are yummy, juicy and delicious.  What better way to enjoy them than in a cobbler? 

This idea is not my own.  A few weeks ago I discovered StoneGable.  Yvonne is good at everything - cooking, tablescapes, gardening and home and decor.  You name it and the Lady of StoneGable can do it!  Pie in a Jar from StoneGable  Click on the link and see Yvonne's recipe and instructions.  She is meticulous with instructions and I love that!

When I saw Yvonne's post on the jar pies, I knew I had to try it.  They were yummy.  The only size jars that our Wal-Mart had were a tad larger than the ones that Yvonne used.  I also used the rolled, prepared pie crust.  In my larger jars, I used two boxes of crust with a tad left over.  In some jars I even mixed the fruit.  Those were tasty too.  You never knew what to expect.  They were easy and delicious and I can't wait to make more.

These were made ahead for Memorial Day.  I just put the lids on the jars and stored them in the fridge until Memorial Day.  After breakfast I put them on the counter so that they wouldn't go in the oven cold.  The only complaint was that there was no room in the jar for the ice cream!  Men!!!  =)  That complaint was easily taken care of - the ice cream just went on the serving plate.  Easy fix!

Jars after adding pie dough.  So easy - just press it down all around.
Cherries, sugared and flowered.  Also added a bit of orange zest and a dash of vanilla.

Blueberries, sugared and flowered.  With orange zest & vanilla.
Strawberries, sugared and flowered.  More orange zest and vanilla.

Pies after egg white wash.
Pies after sugar dusting, ready to bake or store in fridge before baking.
Yvonne had this neat little star cut-out, but I had to improvise.
Adding lids to cobbler in a jar! 
Oh no!  Guess what?  We were so eager to eat the cobblers that we forgot to take an after baking photo!  I must admit, mine did not rise up as high as Yvonne's in the jars, but that did not affect the taste at all.  We had a difficult decision deciding which flavor to sample and some of us sampled several.  We loved them!  Thanks Yvonne, for the idea and for sharing the how to on StoneGable.  Visit StoneGable & Yvonne

Y'all take care and please leave a comment!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer, Vacation & This & That


We Love Summer!
We Love The Beach - any beach will do!
We love being in and around water - almost any water will do!

Look at that face!  YaYa's in love!  (Added by Paula!)
This is Noble's new summer haircut!  Easy.  We like that.

This photo was taken last year on vacation - see that smile on Noble's face? 
He loves to play in water.  Pool, beach, hose - he doesn't care, just as long as he can get wet!

We have been MIA because we've been in the pool everyday teaching
Noble how to swim & fine tuning the potty training....
because we're going here for....


(Magic Kingdom)

(Hollywood Studios)

(Typhoon Lagoon)

We're trying to explain to Noble that he will get to see
Mickey, trains, dinosaurs, fireworks and so many other things. 
We cannot wait to see the look on his sweet
little face when he sees the parks for the first time! 
We know that it's going to be hot, so we are spending extra time
outside in our 100 degree temps to acclimate ourselves to the heat. 


Here are a few pictures of the garden.

Geraniums - the first time ever that geraniums have survived this long for us!  We're excited!

Okra, Squash, Lettuce, Petunias
The squash has blooms, but so far no baby squash. 
The petunias were moved closer to encourage those little
pollinating insects to drop by and stay a while.
At the top left corner...I'm in love with this old screen door.  It has fading pink paint.
Roses & Hydrangeas along the side of our house & a rogue beach ball.

Tomatoes, Beans, Corn, Radishes, & Carrotts
Some little critters are chewing the leaves off of the radishes.  Grrrrr.
The tomato plant leaves are turning yellow, and we don't know why. 

Furniture Painting
We've also been painting some our own furniture pieces and we are almost
ready to share our before & afters. They've been on the "to-do" list forever.
The leftover furniture from Round Top is making it out the door by way of Craig's List.  We like that!
Once the leftovers are sold, we will shop, redo and paint again - that will be fun! 

What About You?
Please leave us a comment and let us know what you've been doing. 
We're also behind on reading blogs, but we're trying to get caught up!
Y'all have been busy!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sickness at our House

Hi Y'all , this is Paula~

Hope you are all doing well.  We are passing around a virus at our house.  Yuck!  We seem to be taking turns and I'm ready for my turn to be over. 

Cartoon of a Sick Little Girl with a Thermometer in Her Mouth clipart

Veggies are growing so fast. We've had rain and that has helped. Today we had sunshine and I can see the green beans peeking over the top of the blue buckets from the patio door.  Go beans!

Hope that all of you have had a good week. Let us know what you've been up to.

What projects have your worked on?  Our to-do list is so long!  Hoping to feel better so that we can get back to work and make some space in the garage. 

Today is our 38th anniversary.  Rick sent me a gorgeous flower arrangement and he and Jennifer prepared the best steak dinner.  It was yummy!  Never too sick to eat!  =)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Growing Garden - The Veggies

Hi Y'all - Paula's back...=)

Our veggies are growing fast!  We are having storms and rain today, so the veggies will probably shoot up overnight.  Rain water is so great.  Jennifer and I are considering getting a rain barrel.  Do any of y'all have one?  And if so, do you like it?  Is it easy to use?  Is it worth the effort and money?

Container gardening for veggies is something that I have tried before.  One year my squash  bloomed, but never produced any squash.  Last year we had 3 tomato plants in Topsy-Turvys and we only had one tomato.  The Topsy Turvy itself whitered in the heat and began to disintigrate.  Not worth the effort. 

Why do I keep trying?  I'm not sure.  We just want to eat healthy home grown veggies, even if it's just one "mess" of veggies!  This year I'm hoping will be different.  Don't know why - just hoping.  Corn in a container?!?  Well, we'll see how that goes!  If it doesn't work, I'll replant that container with something else and only the cost of the seed packet will be lost.  Noble is calling it popcorn!  Makes me laugh.  Maybe we'll entice the proper bugs in our yard to aid in pollination of blooms and such.   

Here are photos. Some plants will need to be thinned out and moved as they come up and begin growing. 

This basil actually came up from being planted last Summer. 
Cannot believe that it survived our cold, snowy Winter in a container!
Planted with the basil is cilantro.  It has not come up yet.  Still waiting.

Scallions.  I've never grown these before! 
Hoping they appear before long or I may not grow them now!

Little tiny spinach is peeking through the soil.

Sweet Peppers!  These will be chopped and frozen if not used fresh.

Squash - yellow & zucchini.  I'm guessing that some of these plants won't survive. 
If they all make it, a larger container will be needed!

We love green beans!  Hoping we get lots!  

The okra is for Jennier.  If okra likes hot temps, this should be the place for it!

Radishes - we really do know how to spell it!  =)
Looks like some thinning will be required. 
The seeds weren't all dumperd in one spot, but it looks that way! 
The other half of this container has carrots.

Tomato plants. 
One plant already had three little tomatoes on it when it was planted. 
I am a smart girl!
Do y'all pinch off the lower leaves of your tomato plants?
A photo of the platform that I built and the blue containers from Dollar General!
You can get a sense of the size of our yard, although the pool area looks a little skewed.
To the right of the pool is a small patio area and that't it!
The containers have tomatoes, radishes, carrots, green beans and sweet corn.

We'll see how everything grows.  Containers on concrete are difficult because they must be watered every day.  I'm trying to think of an inexpensive way to have some kind of irrigation system that could get water to each pot.  Any ideas?  Would love to hear them!

Had planned to paint furniture today, but we are having storms.  Need to sand and I hate to do that in a closed garage.  Such a mess!  Maybe later on this afternoon or tomorrow.  Won't complain about the rain.  Our areas needs it. 

Do you plant veggies?  What is your best growing one?  What's your favorite?  Do any of you container garden?  Do you have any tips or suggestions? 

Hope all of you are having a good day!  Let us know what you are doing!

Mary Mary, Quite Contrary...

Hi Y'all - It's Paula!

How does our garden grow?  So far, so good!

Almost everything is planted, some from seeds and some from plants.

My habit is to gather seeds from flowers as they begin to fade during the summer, so I have about three bags of Zinnia seeds and one bag of sunflower seeds that need containers or an empty inch or two in a flower bed.

Since yard space is hard to come by, every kind of container that I could lay my hands on was used this summer for planting, and I do mean every kind!  Even those big buckets that cat litter comes in were scrubbed, drainage holes were drilled, dirt was added, and seeds were planted!  Porcelain dish pans, a huge galvanized tub and two galvanized buckets were put to work.  These items were taken with us to Round Top, didn't sell and they were just sitting in the garage, begging to be used.  So used they were!

These are our patio flowers.  Some people plant flowers in one color to unify their beds and pots.  Me?  I plant what I love, no matter what color! 

What do you do?

Vintage Iron Hanger filled with Moss Rose & Begonias. 
Moss Rose is sometimes a Perennial for me.
Begonias are Annuals.

Carnations.  These smell heavenly! 
Considered by some to be a humble, lowly flower, but
when growing they contribute the most wonderful aroma to the garden. 

Cosmos.  New to me this year.  Do you grow these flowers?
 Gerbera Daisy - this one is hot pink. 
Some call these Gerber Daisies, but they are Gerberas to me!
One of our absolute favorites!
Perennial for me.

 Zinnias. Mixed colors.
Love Zinnias for cutting.
Perennials for me.

Flower new to me.  Can't remember the name.  It's raining.  Will look tomorrow.  Sorry!  =)  

Purple Petunias.  Usually have no luck with Petunias but I can't quit trying!
These need to be pruned, but it hurts my heart to do it, even though I
know the plant will benefit and be more beautiful in the end.  =) 
Do you think God ever feels that way when He is pruning us?  Can't help but wonder. 

White Petunias.
Petunias are annuals for me. 
Would love to have some heirlooms that come up year after year.
My parents have some and they are gorgeous! 
Not sure how to harvest Petunia seeds.  Anyone know?

Mixed five varieties of seeds in one container. 
We'll see what happens!
Annuals for me.

The Pool Bed - that's what we call this one.
The big vine is Jasmine and it smells wonderful in early Spring.  It just doesn't last very long.
Day Lillies.  Perennials.
The big bush plant that's hanging over the wall bed is a wonderful Hibiscus. 
The blooms on this plant are about 10 inches across and they are dark pink. 
It will bloom all summer.  It is cut back in the Fall and out it pops in the Spring. 
It's wonderful.  Wish it was fragrant!

Noble is sick.  Just woke up and wants me to hold him.  That request is never turned down!  His fever is up, bless his little heart.  If there are typos or errors, forgive me.  YaYa is on snuggle duty!

Will post veggie photos Monday.

Hope all of you had a great weekend and had the opportunity to do something you love!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Low Calorie "Crepe" Recipe

Hi Y'all!  It's Paula~

We've never shared a recipe before, but I just have to share this one with you since it's berry season. 

Several years ago I participated in Oprah's Boot Camp and a fellow camper in the Boot Camp chat room shared this recipe.  It's so good and easy and perfect with summer berries of any kind.  Hope that you try and enjoy it!

Ricotta Cheese
Cooking spray
Low-fat, sugar free canned Whipped Cream

To make crepes:
1 egg or egg white mixed well with a fork (sometimes I use 2 eggs if they are small)
1 or 2 T. of Ricotta cheese, whipped with fork into egg mixture until smooth
1/2 t. cinnamon.  Season to your taste.  You may prefer less cinnamon- or maybe more.
1 t. vanilla
Sugar or sugar substitute to taste.  Truvia is our sugar substitute and it doesn't take much.
Stir with fork until all ingredients are well mixed

Plus -

Berries or fruit of your choosing. My favorite are strawberries and blueberries. I put sugar substitute on them, so that they are juicy. MMMMM.


Heat non-stick skillet on medium heat.
Spray with cooking spray (we use the butter flavor) when skillet is hot. 
Pour half of the egg mixture into hot skillet.
When top begins to bubble, flip the crepe to cook on the other side.
Cook until golden.

Plate first crepe. 

Cook second crepe.
While 2nd crepe cooks, put berries on the 1st crepe.
(I don't bother to roll these, I just treat them like pancakes - but you could roll them if you wanted.)
When cooked, plate second crepe.  Add more fruit and a squirt or two of whipped cream on top.

These are so good.  I've had them for breakfast, lunch and supper! 

Hope you you like them too!


This crepe didn't come out of the skillet in one piece, but that doesn't bother us!