Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Summer is Here!

Good Morning! I hope everyone is well. It sure feels like Summer is here already here on Long Island Hot temperatures and thunderstorms but cooler nights. I'm not a heat lover but I do enjoy what comes along with Summer~bbq's, flowers, vegetable gardens, beach visits, porch sitting.

So its been pretty busy here. Besides helping to care for a relative who is ill, we also had a Sweet 16 party for Caitlin. Her birthday was March 28th but we wanted to celebrate outside. Glad we got the new patio done. Everything worked out well. 
 We had about 40 people and the weather was perfect. Everyone loved the slushy machine, the candy table and all the games we had. It was a fun day. I mixed up the menu with all different stuff from Sushi, to Italian, to Mexican! A very fun day. Kind of glad its over though because we've been planning it since the Winter and I'm ready to move on LOL 

I spent most of yesterday working in the yard especially in my gardens. I picked some strawberries, broccoli, oregano, parsley, scallions and lots of romaine lettuce. I still want to plant more and it's early enough. Waiting on my tomatoes, cabbage and peppers. They are growing well but I have nothing to pick yet. I need to plant zucchini. Next year I want to make room to plant potatoes. 

One of the things I've been doing is changing up some of the meals for dinner. Something different. I was inspired by so many of the options my kids order when they go out. They order poke bowls or acai bowls. I don't know if they are popular anywhere other than the Northeast but they are super popular here. So its like making a bowl and pretending its compartmented and you have some of several items! A fruit, a grain, a protein, produce, etc.  So tonight on my menu is grileld shrimp from the bbq, butter rice, romaine salad, sliced tomato with hard boiled egg, a slice of cheddar, and sauteed zucchini. and add a fresh fruit! Trust me when you arrange these in neat portions ina circle, it's not only pretty but delicious! I do different dinners all the time. The other night it was grilled chicken, pasta salad, broccoli, hummus with bagel chips, some raw carrots with ranch.  It's a lot of food but in smaller portions. They seem to like eating lighter in the Spring and Summer. 

That's about it for me! I hope everything is wonderful in your life or as good as it can be! 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Getting Spring & Summer Ready


Good Morning! I wanted to get a new post out to you before i head outside to plant more bulbs! We've been working hard here on some projects; the largest being our new larger patio. We had a brick patio we put in back in 1995 but decided the time had come to refresh the backyard with a new patio of pavers. The work began last week moving bushes and redesigning the shape. My husband is doing the job with one of his laborers from our company and they are breezing right through it making a lot of progress. Here are some photos of the  new shape. That's sand covering the new design. Soon the pavers will go in! Very excited. 

So we are transplanting some bushes, buying some new ones. It's going to be very pretty! We go to our favorite wholesale grower for the bulk of our plant and flower purchases. We visited Sunday to choose what we want to get for this Summer,

I could just spend a fortune on flowers! I really could. I love them so much.This grower has an awesome selection and he knows we will be coming so he always throws in something special for me! I'm just laughing though because we have this one pesky rabbit who likes to eat our flowers and he has become my husband's nemesis. This rabbit came last year and ate alot of our New Guinea Impatiens. Once again, he's sitting in my neighbor's driveway just waiting...every day we see him. He's waiting for the flower buffet to begin!! Last year my husband sprayed the flowers with a spray that doesn't harm the animals; it just repels them. Well it smelled like wet dog!!! LOL It repelled us more than the bunnies! We'll try something new this year perhaps a home remedy. I've heard grated Irish Spring soap works!

I hope everyone is getting to enjoy the outdoors . I know some had snow still coming! It's cold here today! but we will back to the 60's and low 70's by next weekend. I have all the bulbs planted. This year I even planted fern bulbs. I never did those before.  I planted red cannas, red & yellow cannas, elephant ears, ferns, and three types of lillies. I also planted onion bulbs in my vegetable garden. When I go to Lancaster this Summer, there is a garden center that sells a huge variety of bulbs. I'm interested in some that bloom for the Fall. 

I'm awaiting the release of Amy Clipston's next, and I believe final,  installment of her awesome Amish series "Amish Marketplace." It's called The Jam & Jelly Nook   and comes out May 4th! I havbe loved tis series, which started with The Bake Shop. It's as though it takes place in the Bird in Hand Farmer's Market! The other books in the series are The Coffee Corner and The Farm Stand. Jam & Jelly Nook comes out soon!

Have a wonderful day! Don't forget to hit the follow button!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Happy Tuesday!

Good Morning! What a beautiful sunny day!  I think (but not positive) the cold weather is behind us! I know it will still go down to the high 30's at night but I think my winter coat days are over for this year. I am so looking forward to going outside to plant but first we have alot to do. Before I get ot hat, How was your Easter? Ours was very quiet but enjoyable. We decided to stay close to home and not get together with family right now. We went out early in the morning to the cemetery for my parents as I wanted to put a Spring bouquet. I'm very glad that the cemetery is very good about allowing people to decorate graves as long as it is neat and orderly. So I like to go for the different seasons and I visit my parents and grandparents in the dame cemetery. My Mom's name was added to the plaque next to Dad and I must say it was startling for me to se her name there as it's still a struggle for me to believe she's not here. I miss her terribly. 

Okay, so moving on to happier things! Because we have to~I can't dwell on sad things because it really takes me down and I don't want to feel that way. Sooooo...Look at this chocolate chicken with Easter eggs my neighbor gave me! I am truly blessed with the best neighbors in the world. And I don't just mean for their gifts! They are loving, good people and we care deeply for each other. She knows me soooo well and when sh esaw this chicken she probably thought MARGARET ! And i love her for that thought. 

After the cemetery it was still really early in the morning, but Hicks Nursery in Old Westbury was open early for Easter and Billy and I did some bulb shopping! I prefer to plant perennials and do annuals in pots or as accent plants. And I love bulbs. We got fern bulbs! I got an onion selection bulb packet.  We got our elephant ear bulbs and some blooms in deep reds and blooms in red/yellow 

And we chose that color because my husband has started demo on our backyard brick patio and the deck around my shed. It's time! Between Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene, my patio has lifted from tree roots plus we have it and used it quite a bit since we installed it in 1995. Time to refresh! So here is my husband demolishing the wood deck around my shed. And then it's on to the bricks. we are putting down dark gray pavers with a black border so red flowers will go nicely with our new red patio umbrellas! Red is  my accent color for the backyard on that side now. I'll post photos as he does it. He's such a busy man. He works all day on projects for our construction company and then does this at night! 

Today I will be washing down the interior of the chicken coop. I did all fresh straw all ready but now I want to wash down the walls from the dust and clean all their "decor" and yes, my chickens have decor inside their coop!

Look at my great nephew Patrick! He just turned three months! He is the happiest baby you would ever meet! Smiles endlessly! He's such a cutie. I'm so in love with him!

Last but not least on Good Friday, my Caitlin and Billy's girlfriend Viera and I went for a nice girls breakfast! We went to am adorable family favorite called Mundays! It's in Huntington Village. We had fun. We always end up laughing about something. My two girls I love them so much! Mundays always goes all out decorating too. Caitlin had an awesome avocado, spinach & onion breakfast burrito. My kids love avocados. Vi and I had omelettes and eggs benedict . Delicious!

 So I think I'm caught up.....I hope you have an awesome day!

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Pre Easter!

Good Morning! Happy day before Easter! It's 35 degrees today but the temperature will be 60 tomorrow for Easter! I am so excited to start planting. We've been back and forth to some of our favorite nurseries and Home Depot & Lowes...just looking! I know it's to early for us here i the northeast but I still love looking! My husband is starting demolition on our patio. It was a brick patio that is till very nice but due to several storms over the years and loss of many trees, the roots had lifted  bricks and ...well, it's time for a change anyway! we are awaiting our delivery of pavers and my husband will lay them. Right now its just demo, which I think men truly enjoy! LOL  

So my sweet Caitlin is now "officially" sweet! She turned 16 on March 28th! I have been blessed with two wonderful children. Never a problem, thank goodness. We celebrated on her day with a family dinner to a Japanese restaurant she loves in Huntington Village. Dragon rolls & Tokyo rolls of Sushi! Terriyaki steak and shrimp and Miso soup. Just some of the food we enjoyed.  It was delicious. Her party will be in June when the weather is nice and we can be outside! Not a huge party but a nice size family/friends party. We need to celebrate our Caitlin. 

Just doing a lot of little things around the house. I repainted some things, washed out flower pots and put out a few Spring/Summer decorations. I got these plastic vegetable signs from Dollar Tree. You've probably seen them. They are white plastic mini signs and with a sharpie marker you can write what vegetable it is.  I have such fun in Dollar Tree. Here's a cute photo of  one of my very friendly squirrels helping himself to a jar of peanuts I accidentally left outside after feeding them.

He was happily helping himself! So cute. 

We did our annual Easter egg coloring night with my neighbor the other night. 22 years and counting! Their kids and my kids best buddies. It s a nice tradition. But this year I didn't get any photos !They color lots of eggs and laugh and laugh. It's a joy just hearing them  

I wish you a Happy Easter! I will be back again soon!


Monday, March 22, 2021

Spring Weather


Good Morning! What a beautiful Monday! It's still cold but it will be warming up later today. I love these days leading up to flower shopping. I feel like we emerge from hibernation and start to get our property ready for planting. The chicken coop got a good cleaning, our new fence is up and we are preparing for our new patio with paving stones. I'm very excited. We have almost completed everything we've wanted to do! I hope the weather cooperates!

I've been doing a few little projects~nothing big. I found these wood flowers in Dollar Tree and they totally reminded me of the wood flowers very popular in Lancaster right now so I painted some of these! I also did some decoupaging and a couple of retouches of some outside decorations I had that needed paint touch ups.  

I am really surprised at how Dollar Tree has expanded their craft section! It's amazing. Not only wood projects to paint, but yarn, paint, all kind of things. Granted things are on a smaller scale but then again it is a DOLLAR store!

What's everyone doing for Easter? I have to buy hyacinths! It's what Easter smells like to me! and tulips and daffodils! I still make my kids Easter baskets too! I need to get a few more things. I don't put just candy in and I have to admit that as they get older being creative is a challenge but I always come up with ideas besides gift cards...

So I don't think I will be adding to my chickens this year. All of them are getting along so nicely I would hate to upset the bunch with a newbie UNLESS I find a rescue. Then I will. As we work in our yard, the chickens chatter at us constantly! It's so funny.  

Well, I just wanted to check in and say hi! Let me know what you're up to!

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Is it Winter? Is it Spring?

Good Morning! Another beautiful day! A little chillier than yesterday but it certainly feels like Spring is in the air! So will it stay...they say no...they say we have probably turned the corner on Winter but...well, it feels like Spring today so I am going with that! And when the sun is out, the chickens feel like the one in the above photo! They were loving the sunshine yesterday. Giving themselves dirt baths and just languishing in every ray they could find! They are very entertaining.  I did my deep clean of the coop on Sunday. That's when I take every blade of straw out, wash the interior walls, sweep it out completely and add completely new straw. Even though every day I do  poop pick up, its still nice to get in there and put all the new good smelling straw and hay in! I do this in the Spring and Fall. My chickens are healthy, happy and free of pests. And the girls are starting to lay their eggs again so that' s awesome. 

I had to get this mug after i had bought a yellow one that says "Peep Peep"; how cute is this? 

I have a giant pine tree on my property that drops a ton of pine cones. Look at this cute craft to use them! I will definitely be picking them up from my lawn and using them! I love when I can use things I find on my property.

If you've gone to Lancaster County along Rte 340 in Intercourse, then you know this sign! Its my favorite! This time of year more and more stands are opening up! So exciting. I love Winter for the beauty and the coziness of it but I love the Spring and Summer for the farm stands and markets!

My husband is buying a smoker and we are designating an area in our yard for the bbq and smoker and a small backyard kitchen. We've been planning it for a while. Just a simple area. We are so excited for it and I've been looking up alot of info about smoking. I never knew you could even smoke desserts! We pretty much settled on the Pit Boss upright smoker because we don't need the combo with the bbq. Who knew you could do so much with it? I just thought it was meat and jerky! 

Well that's about it for me today! Time to get some laundry done and feed the chickens. Then I'm going to start my Sunday sauce..which I didn't get to do Sunday. I made braciole for it and I want to get that going for dinner tonight. If you don't know what braciole is it's a thin cut steak (very thin) like flank steak pounded very thin and rolled up with a delicious filling. I do bread crumbs, lots of garlic and locatelli cheese! Then you close it up with either a toothpick or string and brown it in olive oil and more garlic, which is the base for your sauce! After it's nice and browned, start making your tomato sauce! and the meat will cook nicely in the sauce over some time.. Not too long as the meat is thin so it cooks fast.  I've been cooking early and I enjoy the longer evening! 

Have a great day!

Monday, March 1, 2021

Welcome March!

 Good Morning Friends~ I love Winter! But I have to admit that when March comes, I can't help thinking about Spring. There are so many things I enjoy about the Spring season. 

But before I go on about my Spring plans, I have been working around the house and straightening up some of my favorite things around here including this tree. My kitchen tree with little utensils, cake molds, plates, and little things like rolling pins and wooden pies! Well, I took it all apart and added fresh lights and just added/removed some things! I just ordered some new ornaments from Debi Sightler of Debi's Wood Treasures in South Carolina for a 4th of July tree!!! I'm so excited! They should be here tomorrow and I have a new tree just waiting for them! The wooden ornaments are adorable and say things like "1776" and "Old Glory" and there are flags, etc. I'm going to keep it in the foyer for Memorial Day through end of August when I start to Fall Decorate. Then it will be moved tot he parlor. I don't usually take my trees apart. Plus since I have a lot of Americana in my house, it goes with the decor. 

So I don't know if I ever mentioned it but I'd like to introduce you to my Grand Kitty, Tito! My son and his girlfriend adopted Tito eight months ago. He's a Bengal kitten and he LOVES his Grandma and Grandpa :)  He is named after the NY Islanders player Anthony Beauvillier whose nickname is Tito. He's such a cutie. I can certainly see myself being that crazy cat lady someday. Just wait...I'll probably be blogging about being a cat lady someday!

So....SPRING!!!!! Some Spring plans I have are the flower and garden show at the big nursery we have visited all our lives, called Hicks in Old Westbury, NY. We look forward to it so much for some planting combinations. It's a fun morning and I always take lots of photos.

 My other guilty pleasure is all the "chick Days" events. We have a total of seven places we visit to see the chicks, buy some new things for the coop, see the vendors of chicken products and just feel like a real live FARMER :)    I'm always on the fence about getting more chickens as my group gets along so well and I hate to disrupt the tranquility BUT adding new ones over the years has worked out. I think I prefer rescues over chicks but my husband always falls for the baby chicks and says "the coop is plenty big for all of them." but then he teases that it's me wanting all the chickens!!LOL Seriously it is so much fun...well it is to me! I know some people may not think looking at chickens is a dream day but I do! and Spring is also when we start the prep for our gardens. My vegetable garden has expanded quite a bit. I do a large amount of lettuces and I do a about 6 other veggies. When it comes to flowers, we visit several favorite nurseries. It's great that we can buy some wholesale too as business owners and we keep our plant shopping local. Except if we go to PA then I like to buy plants from the Amish stands. I know we have a couple trips to PA in mind so we'll see. Its just a fun time of year. 

Well, I hope you are planning for Spring as well! All the seasons offer us something fun and interesting, don't you think?