Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Walk By The Lake

The other morning my daughter and I decided to take a walk at the nearby lake.  I often take sunset photos here and it's beautiful in spring with the many redbud trees and flowering wild plums.  She didn't have to go to work until noon as she was working late that day, so we had time for a walk and to also look for some morel mushrooms.

Let's drive down one of the points on the lake and see what we can find.

I spent more time with my camera looking at interesting trees and snapping photos than looking for 'shrooms.

Several patches of May Apples (podophyllum peltatump) were seen.  These plants that grow in wooded areas before the trees have leafed out will produce small apples, but I wouldn't eat one.  The seeds of the fruit are poisonous, as are the roots of the plants.

Here's my daughter walking by one of the many wild plums looking for a mushroom.  "Hey, Kim!  I think you need to go deeper into the woods!"  She's afraid of snakes. 

We saw lots of ducks in and out of the water.  I don't have a clue as to what kind of duck this is.  Anyone know?

I wonder if this is the same Blue Heron that visits our pond?  The lake is not far from our house as the crow flies, as they say.

We didn't find even one little bitty mushroom, but we did find it was a perfect morning for a walk by the lake!

Happy Wednesday to you!

Until next time...
xoxo Cheryl

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Questions

Our weekend was gorgeous with warm temperatures and sunshine.  I woke up Sunday morning for the first time in days without my throat feeling like knives stabbing the back of it.  Because I still wasn't really up to par, we had a low-key dinner.  Our kids were here and helped BG get the fruit trees planted Saturday and also put together 2 raised beds for the strawberry plants.  It was a nice day for me to just sit at the patio table and admire the red bud trees which are in full bloom right now.  

I also watched a pair of bluebirds flying to and from the nesting box.  I always have my camera handy, but the birds were too far away to get a really good shot.  We've been lucky to have several bluebirds in our backyard in the nearly 27 years we've lived here.  They always seem to know when I have a camera in hand and won't come close enough for clear picture.  Some day maybe I'll get lucky!

So that was my weekend, now let's have some fun!  

I have come up with a dozen questions for this Monday in order for some of us to get to know each other better.  Just copy and paste the questions and add your answer in your comment, or just list your answers in order of the questions!  These are really easy, but if there's something you don't want to answer, just skip it.  Okay?  I'll give my answers first.  :)  Here we go:

If you had to choose, would it be a black shirt/top or white shirt/top?  black

Blue jeans or capris? 

Iced tea or hot tea? 
iced tea

In your home, do you prefer neutral wall paint or colors? 
neutral, but I do have red in my kitchen
Which is your favorite - Spring or Fall? 
Fall, but Spring is very close to a tie

Would you rather watch a movie at home or go to the theater?
movie at home

Snacks - salty or sweet? salty

For exercise, would you rather walk on a treadmill or ride a stationery bike? 

Do you prefer to read fiction or non-fiction? 

Which would you rather go to on vacation, the mountains or a beach? 
Ozark Mountains near Branson

If you are able, would you rather play tennis or golf? 

Italian food or Mexican? 

Wasn't that fun?  We'll do this again sometime.  Happy Monday to you!

Until next time...
xoxo Cheryl 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Friday's Randoms

First up, a Cardinal...just because.  I wish I could tell them how much I appreciated their cheerful, colorful selves this winter when it was so drab and dreary outside.  I expect they appreciated my keeping their feeder filled with yummy sunflower seeds, too. 

BG went to see his cardiologist Thursday afternoon after having some chest discomfort and shortness of breath throughout the week.  The EKG looked perfect.  Next up is an Echocardiogram in early May.  If that is okay, then an upper GI will be done.  The doc said the problem could possibly be acid reflux.  He also said he could continue working as always.

The Goldfinches are changing back into their summer finery.  The males are especially looking more colorful every day.

I would be remiss if I didn't recognize that today is National Linemen Appreciation Day, especially since my hubby is a rural electric lineman.  That is him on the pole above.  My hat is off to all the linemen who often work in very challenging conditions to make sure that the power stays on. 

The photo above is from last year.  Our redbuds are beginning to bloom and I'm hoping the frost we had night before last didn't hurt them too much.  It won't be long now and I can pick out flowers for the pots on the patio.  Can't wait!       

If I don't see you before Monday, have a wonderful weekend and a blessed and joyful Easter!

Until next time...
xoxo Cheryl

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Favorite and Some News

You've probably heard in the news that meat prices are going up and upI know some of you eat very little meat or none at all.  BG and I both grew up on a farm and there was always meat at every meal.  We both love beef and pork, but we also try to eat a lot of chicken and fish.  Every now and then, I'll cook a meatless meal and today I'll share one of my favorite pasta dishes.  You can add Italian sausage or chicken to it if you must, but it is good without any meat!  

First, you will cook 16 ounces of penne pasta in a pan of lightly salted water until al dente.  


While the pasta is cooking, peel and mince 3 or 4 cloves of garlic  and cook in 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat for a minute or two.  

Add to the skillet two 14 ounce cans of diced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.  Cook until thickened 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the drained pasta to the tomato mixture.  Pour 1/2 of the pasta into a 9X13 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Next, top the pasta with 1/2 of an 8 ounce package of shredded mozzarella and 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese and repeat layers.  

Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Enjoy!

Silly me forgot to take a picture of the dish with the cheese on top.  I must have been in a hurry to dig in!  I love this recipe.  What is your favorite pasta dish or meatless recipe?

In other news...

After just bragging (I should have known better) about not getting a cold or flu all winter long, guess who woke up at 4 am with her throat so sore she could barely swallow?  Then, at 2:30 today (Wednesday) BG came home with some chest discomfort.  We called his cardiologist and he has an appointment Thursday afternoon.  Hopefully, it won't be anything too serious, but it's better to be safe than sorry, as they say.  I'll let you know how it goes.  Happy Thursday to you! 

Until next time...
xoxo Cheryl

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April Note Cards

My theme is spring flowers for this month's Note Cards hosted by Vee at A Haven for Vee.

And the box top...

I had fun with these and can't wait to see what the other participates in the party have for us this month!  Be sure to drop by Vee's to see many pretty Note Cards.

Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time...
xoxo Cheryl

Monday, April 14, 2014

Put A Little Spring In Your Step

Hello Spring and hello blog friends!  It's great to be back after a little blog break.  I hope everyone is doing good!

I am so happy to see green grass and flowers blooming.  The redbuds in my yard are beginning to unfold.  We've had some beautiful, warm spring days.  But!....after a very warm day, in which I even turned on the a/c because my kitchen was a little too warm for this hot-blooded mama, we now have a chilly day with the heat turned back on and I see some snow showers out my window and we are under a freeze warning for tonight!  What can I say...this is Missouri. 

So, what has been going on here at Pond Hollow?  Where?  Yes, I finally gave our home and the Back Six a name.  It was fairly easy, after all.  Several years ago, we had a hollow (pronounced "holler" around these parts) cleaned out and dammed up and a pond was born.  That pond is gazed upon many times throughout the day when I'm in the kitchen or outside sitting on the patio in warm weather.  I like to name things, so there you go.  Now, on to what's been happening.....not all that much, really.


We love strawberries and the other day while shopping at Lowe's, BG (the Big Guy) and I decided to buy lumber for a raised bed and a few strawberry plants so we could grow our own.  We keep adding to our list of projects, but this is one in which we'll have to get done as soon as the weather cooperates.

I've done some rearranging in my kitchen cabinets.  I have the dishes I use most often now in one spot.  There are a few more cabinets full of dishes, which I love and would have many more if I had the room.  Now, I need to get a certain storage closet cleaned out.  I've been putting that one off as long as I can, possibly because I can't make myself get rid of stuff.  Does anyone else have that problem?

Here's a keeping it real moment, because even though life is good, there will always be a mess in some form or another to deal with from time to time.

I heard a loud crash the other day, so I hurried into the kitchen to see what happened.  I really do try to keep a clean house in spite of, or because of, having 4 cats living with us.  So you can imagine I wasn't at all happy about what I found.  Potting soil everywhere.

One of the little rascals decided to leap up onto the top of the refrigerator and knock off one of my plants.  I love plants and have to keep most of them up high away from the furbabies, but they will find a way to get to them if they can.  It took me an hour to clean up the mess, but I got clean drip pans on my stove out of the deal.  They were needing a cleaning!  

So what happened to the cat/s?  Oh, they went scurrying off downstairs as soon as they heard the crash.  I shut the door on them and made them stay there the rest of the day.

Now for a real spring in your step....

I was shopping in Kohl's recently and saw these comfy looking shoes.  I tried them on and fell in love!  They are so lightweight and make me feel like I'm walking on air.  I'm not getting paid to say any of this, but they are so terrific that I went back and bought another pair for "everyday".  They aren't cheap, but well worth the price in my opinion, and I like that I can just slip them on and not have to fool with shoe laces.  

I have a lot of blog reading and catching up to do after my break.  I'll be doing some of that tonight, as I need to run to the store yet today if the snow showers ever taper off.  I can't believe what I'm seeing out my kitchen window right now!  We will definitely have to cover our fruit trees tonight.  I'm glad that I waited on buying the flowers that I wanted badly looked at when BG and I were browsing around the garden center.  Happy Monday to you!

Until next time...
xoxo Cheryl

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy April ~ Break Time

My plate is full at the moment so I'm taking a little spring break.

You may see me doing a little work on my blog and I may peek into a few blogs for some light reading from time to time, but I'll not be commenting or posting.  I have got to get some things done that I started to do a few weeks ago.  I may be gone 5 or 10 days or 5 or 10 minutes, but I doubt it is the latter considering how slow I am!

Have fun on this April Fool's Day and I'll see you later!

Until next time...  

comments off

Monday, March 31, 2014

Of Strawberries, Flowers, and Birds

Strawberries.  Luscious, red strawberries by themselves, or sliced with a little sugar.  I love them and I'll eat them any way you want to serve them.  I've been finding them at a good price lately. 

When we lived in the country, and our children were very young, we had a nice-sized strawberry patch.  I remember one day I went outside to check on our daughter, who was probably 6 at the time, and found her in the middle of the strawberries.  I asked her what she was doing walking on the strawberry plants and didn't we tell her not to do that?  She replied, with her hands behind her back, that she was only looking and about that time I saw something red fall to the ground behind her.  I had to smother a laugh, because I would have picked one or two to pop into my mouth myself!  

We are thinking of planting a few strawberries this year.  I saw an interesting way of planting them using pallets.  If you grow strawberries, do you plant yours in a raised bed, garden or some kind of planter?

We had a really nice weekend.  BG (the hubby) and I did a little shopping Saturday and I spotted some beautiful purple Hyacinths at Home Depot.  One of them just jumped into my cart and begged me to take it home.  Oh, the scent wafting through the house is wonderful!  

It warmed up to a very nice 70+ degrees yesterday.  I see the Stella d'Oros and Salvia are coming up along with the Peonies and other flowers.  I'm hoping the Coneflowers survived the winter.  We have 2 garden plots.  One of them is still very wet and it will be a while before it can be readied for spring planting.  Did I mention that we had a thunderstorm and hail a few days ago?  Yes, it's spring!  

I keep the finch feeder filled all year long, but the other feeders will be taken down as soon as I know wintry weather is over for sure.  The Goldfinches are beginning to get their color back. 

Yesterday, I realized while refilling the feeders that I haven't seen the Dark-eyed Juncos lately.  I suppose they've headed back up north for the summer.  I've spotted at least one pair of Bluebirds and believe they've begun nesting in one of the boxes we have up for them. 

What are your plans for this last day of March?  Where did this month go?  I can hardly believe tomorrow is April 1.  Look out for those April Fool's jokes!  

Until next time...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Random 5 Friday

1.  Callie has turned into a real lap kitty.  She's happiest when she is on my lap and gets really huffy if I won't let her stay.  Stormy likes to be on my lap quite often, too, and it is fun to see her face when she jumps up on the arm of the recliner only to discover Callie has gotten there first.

2.  As you can imagine, it's a little hard to hold a laptop and work when you have a furbaby in the way.  Speaking of laptops, mine is being contrary.  I could get it booted up yesterday, but I couldn't click on anything.  I'll be taking it in for a checkup today. 

3.  I still have what I call my foster furbabies.  I keep hoping someone will want them and I won't have to take them somewhere.  It's hard to think of them sitting in a little kennel waiting for someone to adopt them.

4.  Double your pleasure, double your that commercial!  My hope is that they will get to stay together.  Sox and TJ are pretty much inseparable and what I call Double Trouble.  They are into everything!  I have to put them downstairs numerous times a day and just shut the door.  They can't get into quite as much trouble down there and they like to sit in the deep window sill and look outside.  

5.  I don't normally use slipcovers because I've never found one that looked good or fit nicely until now.  I'd begun to notice a few scratch marks on my relatively new sofa.  Can't have that.  So, I took a chance after looking at several and ordered this one from SureFit.  The only thing that I could complain about is that the color isn't quite the cream color that they show online, but it will still do nicely with the other colors in this room.

Linking to Random 5 Friday at Nancy's A Rural Journal.

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What do you think about....

Selfies.  Love 'em or hate 'em?  Or maybe somewhere in between?

It seems like many are taking photos of themselves, including celebrities and even the president.  

I have taken one or two, but that's it and that was for the blog and the other time was just for fun.  Here is a link to the post where I included a selfie that I took while I was shopping and it was at the end of a very long day.  (Not the best time to take a selfie, by the way.)

Now here's what the world has been waiting for....The Farmer's Daughter's advice for selfie takers:  

-Please don't take photos of yourself at a funeral.  Not cool.

-If you snap a shot of yourself in a bathroom mirror, please crop out the unpleasant accessories.  (I have to say it's rather hard to crop out the dark circles under ones eyes.)

-No duck faces please.

-Watch the nostrils.  We don't need to see your boogers.

-Ask yourself how many selfies have you shared this week?  You don't want people to think you are a narcissist.  

-Make sure you haven't just eaten broccoli before cheesing for your selfie.

-And last but not least (see photo above):  don't leave your camera unattended.  You never know what will turn up when you transfer your photos to a computer.

Until next time...