Thursday, June 28, 2012

Creative mooning

Here's a few creative photos of the moon - and a few of the sun.

Aren't they fun?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cooking Thursday

Sandra, from Diary of a SAHM is hosting Cooking Thursday again. Stop over and check out the recipes everyone is sharing!

I'm sharing Bob's favorite pie. I make it often for him, but it's also requested for family holiday dinners. It always turns out and is one of the easiest pies I make!

Cherry Pie

Pastry for 2 crust pie
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 cans (16 ounces) pitted red, tart cherries, drained
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
sugar to sprinkle over top

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place one crust into 9 inch pie plate.
Mix together sugar and flour. Stir in drained cherries. Turn into pastry lined pie plate.
Sprinkle almond extract over top and cover with other crust.
Cut slits into top crust and brush top with water. Sprinkle sugar over top crust.
Cover edge with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning.
Bake for 30 minutes, remove foil, then bake another 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

(A small moth setting on the other side of our glass entry door)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Morning Drive

I love early mornings when there is a little mist hovering over the ground. It makes the whole countryside look so beautiful! I was driving to work a few mornings ago on a day like that, and I took a few pictures to share my morning drive with you.

Just down the road from my house - a beautiful start to the day!

Fields shrouded in mist

Looking ahead, down the gravel road.

The sun - shining through the mist!

The sun lends a golden glow to the mist in the fields.

And as I near my destination, I pass this corn field, where an old tractor is running an irrigation pump, watering the dry fields.

On days like this, I would like to keep driving and enjoying this beauty, but my work awaits. Still - it's such a great way to start the day!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Flowers everywhere...

There are more flowers blooming in our yard. Here's the latest:

The climbing roses are in a sad state this year. We had such a warm spell early in the year that got everything started, then we were hit with many hard freezes. It really affected the fruit in our state. In our yard it showed up on these roses that usually cover a trellis, but this year we only have a few roses to look at.

This is a view of the new bed Bob put in last year. It's growing like crazy!

This is the first of the ornamental lilies to open. I really like seeing this bright splash of color when I look into the back yard out my kitchen window.

The first blooms on the phlox. Soon there will be a mass of pink flowers in this area.

This is a crazy coneflower. For some reason half of it stayed green.

Isn't this an unusual plant? It's called a sea holly and it really is this bright blue color!

This is Monarda. We have large grouping of them and they are about to open up!

We have a huge oak leaf hydrangea in our front yard. It's loaded with these white flowers, that stay on until winter. It's one of my favorite bushes.

This little turtle lives under the hydrangea. He's a friendly little guy!
Thanks for looking at more flower pics!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mr Toad

The other day Bob came home from work and told me to get my camera and come outside. He led me to our flagpole and told me to look.
When I first looked, all I saw were the wood chips that are spread around the plants, but then I saw this toad.

He blends in quite nicely with the wood chips, don't you think?

I don't know much about toads, but this one buried itself down into the dirt, even further than this. He stayed there for several days, and I wondered if he was sick or dying. But then, he hopped away and hasn't returned.
I know toads are good to have around because they eat bugs - hopefully he took care of a few while he was here!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cooking Thursday

It's recipe time again! Stop over at Sandra's place to see what other people are sharing.
I have a recipe that I originally got from Allison of Feeding my Temple. She shares recipes that are good tasting and good for you! This Chicken Parmesan made us hungry, just smelling it as it cooked and the flavor didn't disappoint! It can be served over pasta or plain with a side dish.

Skinny Chicken Parmesan

3 - 8 ounce chicken breast, cut in half horizontally, which leaves you with 6 pieces of chicken
3/4 cup season Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup reduced fat, shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup of your favorite spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line large baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
Combine breadcrumbs, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and Parmesan Cheese in a bowl. Melt the butter in another bowl.
Lightly brush each piece of chicken with butter, then dip into breadcrumb mixture.
Place on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and turn over. Bake another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon sauce over each piece. Sprinkle mozzarella over sauce and place back into over for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Makes 6 servings at 225 calories each.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Combat flag

I'm a little late in sharing this!
This is a flag that Andy brought back with him from Afghanistan. He gave it to Bob when he came home on leave. It's a flag that was flown from an Apache helicopter (which is what Andy works on) during a combat mission.

It also came with this certificate of authenticity.
It's a special memento of his time there.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June Flowers

One of the great things about flower gardens is that they never stay the same. When one thing stops blooming, something else starts up! Also - this time of year, you can get good deals at the local greenhouses and Bob is always ready to add to his gardens!

Here's 2 flowers we just bought - Icelandic poppies and Honeysuckles.

This is an oak leaf hydrangea, that grows near our front porch. It starts blooming now and these flowers stay on through Fall.

Tiger lilies, Stella d'Oro lilies, buttercups and one we don't know the name of.

Bob put this flower bed in last year and we can't believe how it's grown in one year. There's a lot of white coneflowers that are about to open and we can't wait to see it!

Here's one of the coneflowers that's already open.

This lavender is in the same bed. It's one of my favorites. Not only is it delicate and pretty, but that scent is heavenly!

This is Cranesbill geranium. It's a hardy variety that comes back every year.

Thanks for putting up with more flower pictures!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mole Busters

This week when I was at work, I glanced out the window and saw something unusual in the parking lot. I went to the front to look out, and then got my camera and went outside to take these pictures.
This is a lawn care truck with a most unusual thing on its roof!

Pretty cute for a mole, right? I bet this gets attention when it's driving down the highway!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cooking Thursday

Every Thursday my friend Sandra hosts Cooking Thursday. She always has something yummy to share, and so do her readers. Stop over and check it out!
My recipe for today is Frosted Banana Bars. The frosting is cream cheese frosting and it's a good way to use up bananas - how can you go wrong?

Frosted Banana Bars

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
3-4 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Add salt, baking soda and flour to creamed mixture, then stir in bananas.
Spread into greased 15 x 10 x 1 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Cool.

For frosting - in large bowl beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually beat in enough powdered sugar to reach the right consistency and frost cooled bars.
Store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Not so Wordless Wednesday

This is an old entry to a gravel pit near our house. I have to laugh when I walk by and see the no trespassing sign, because there is a tree growing in front of the gate. It doesn't look like it would be at all easy to trespass!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dad's School

Sometimes when we have free time, Heather and I like to do what we call "adventuring". This involves driving in the country, usually on dirt roads, and trying to go places we haven't been before. When I was young, my Dad used to take us on Sunday drives that were similar in nature. I hated it then, but now I enjoy it!
On this day we were near the area I grew up in and I was showing Heather places I remembered from my childhood.
When we drove by this "barn" I knew she would be thrilled to hear that in its former life, it was a one room schoolhouse, and that my Dad went to school here.
Dad is one of 10 kids, and they all attended school here. He is 81 years old, so this building has been around for awhile. It's had a few additions put off the sides of it, the front door was removed and a sliding door put on and it hasn't been painted for some time. However - you can see the old design.

I love these old windows.

There is a piece added on to the left side of the building that holds another thing from the past. I would have liked to walk up and check this out, but I was good and stayed on the road. It looks like a neat old car though!

It was a fun adventure!