Friday, February 28, 2014

Wonderful rain ~

We are finally having rain! Wonderful, wonderful rain. And it is supposed to continue through the weekend.

There is a drought throughout the state, in Southern California less than one inch of rain has fallen this year. Although this storm will, excuse the pun, be a drop in the bucket, it is a beginning.

So...even though my roof is leaking I am very happy.

Back garden in the rain

Now if things would just warm up a little for all the people suffering the extremely cold temperatures in other states it would be nice.

Thank you for visiting

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

French Breakfast Puffs ~ in all of it's splendid isolation is the last French Breakfast Puff.

I made a fresh batch the other morning and the rest are all gone, far too yummy to be hanging around for very long ~ these are really addictive. (Actually I didn't eat them all, I have a little restraint, some I gave away; I shared the calories so to speak.)

What makes this recipe so appealing is not only the deliciousness of the puffs but the ease of which they are made and the ingredients, which everyone usually has in their pantry. 

Because I can't share a freshly baked one with you I decided to give you the recipe, one of those 'old-timey' ones that has held up over time. It is from the Betty Crocker Cookbook, remember her? Mine is tattered and falling apart but I still use some of the recipes, including this one.

~ French Breakfast Puffs ~

Mix together thoroughly...
1/3 C soft shortning
1/2 C sugar
1 egg

Sift together...
1 1/2 Cups sifted flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Stir in alternately with...
1/2 C milk

Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake in 350 degree oven 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
Immediately roll in...
6 tbsps melted butter ( if using salted butter eliminate salt in batter)
then in a mixture of 1/2 C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon.

 Then sit down and enjoy!

These are quick and easy for a special morning treat, rather like a cake doughnut...of course you can also eat them at other times of the day, like I said they are rather addictive.

Bon app├ętit
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Thursday, February 20, 2014

A very nice day ~

I had a very nice day today. I got up and went walking, came home and ate breakfast then went to the gym...

when I came home I noticed that the first of the Tete-a-tete daffodils were blooming in the driveway. Last fall I removed all of the plants here and put in gravel and rocks, with a few staggered planting  pockets containing herbs and these bulbs...all to cut down on watering and maintenance, so far it is working out well.

My other surprise of the morning was a delivery waiting on the door step, my new David Austin roses! Gravel in the driveway so I can have some new roses...seems like a good trade off to me. I ordered three Alnwick roses, a very pretty pink rose that is supposed to perform well in warmer climates and an Abraham Darby, a wonderful apricot rose, to replace one I was forced to takeout a few years ago.

And you might ask, "What was Miss Twiggley doing?". Well after her morning play time and breakfast she spent the rest of the morning doing what she and most cats do best, getting their beauty sleep. When she is curled up asleep like this she looks like nothing more then a puff of multicolored fur.

And...tonight I have Zumba! All in all a very nice day.

Thank you for visiting, I hope you had a nice day too.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Succulent Window box ~

Here comes the morning sun, lighting up the window box on the deck. 

I love window boxes but this one has been a bit of a problem, not much seems to want to grow here. Out of default I decided to try a variety of succulents.

And, they have done wonderfully. I don't think there is anything else in the plant world that you can have so much fun with as succulents. Their versatility is amazing and in light of the serious drought we are facing succulents are perfect for water-saving plantings.

It is almost impossible to put them together and have the grouping look bad. I added this little bird and a decorative plate to bring out the color in the foliage and blooms.

I am particularly pleased with the pink, bell-like  blooms, I have quite a few of these throughout the garden, I am embarrassed to admit I don't know it's name but I am sure it is a very common sort because it grows and spreads abundantly.

I like it with the little pink plate. After it finishes blooming I might put something else here, maybe a little birdhouse.

For me this is hard to beat...pretty, interesting to look at, takes very little water and best of all it thrives with almost no care!

Thank you for visiting I hope you have a care-free day!

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Vintage Valentines ~

Every year I try to think of a good way to display my collection of vintage valentines, this year I decided to put them where I spend a lot of time, Voila! The kitchen. 

Here they are, on the window shelf under my favorite Valentine's Day wreath. I love this little birdhouse, wish I could find another one, I just might have to make one next year.

I used some flower frogs to help them stand and although Miss Twiggley has "visited" them a few times she hasn't done any damage. This is one of her favorite places to sit and watch the birds through the window,  flitting through the orange tree outside.

I have really enjoyed this and like all holiday decor I hate to think of taking it down, but Easter is just around the corner ~ hooray!

Wishing you a wonderful, romantic, happy, and sweet, Valentine's Day

Thank you for visiting

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Pruning Roses ~

Sometimes it is hard to prune back roses when they look as lovely as this. These are from the beautiful David Austin rose, Tamara that I spent the morning pruning.

But it has to be done and in a couple of months the bushes should be full of new growth and lots of buds. Then, if I am lucky, the cycle will repeat; gardens are full of wonders. 

Unfortunately we are suffering a serious drought and I am very concerned how the garden will fare through the summer months this year. I am already planning for watering restrictions and trying to find ways to cut back, which means more gravel and mulch areas and less grass.

Thank you for visiting, I hope that you are having a very rosy day!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Valentine Topiary Wreath ~

Last year I made a little Valentine's Day wreath for this window in my entry hall, I really liked it but I used natural materials that were quite fragile and between that and Miss Twiggley batting it around...well, need I say more. She likes to sit in this window and observe the birds flitting by outside, playing with a dangling thing that easily moves is just part of the fun.

This year I decided to put one together that might be a little bit more durable. Once again I used a wire coat hanger for the base. I found the little red heart at Michaels; it was exactly right.

All it took was forming the hanger into a heart and twisting an ivy garland around it, then suspending the heart in the middle ~ Super-duper easy! 

And so Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you the Valentine's Day topiary wreath for 2014. 

This one is definitely Miss Twiggley proof. (At least I think so)

Along with this heart go my wishes to Kim at Musing from Kim for a fast and quick recovery. She and her lovely family are such amazing people.

Thank you for visiting, have a happy day!

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Bringing in a bit of Spring ~

Last spring when I was gathering flowers for drying I had a pretty good idea of what I would be doing with them, top of the list was an arrangement for the little french credenza in my living room. This spot seems to call for a large, lavish, bouquet, I have tried other things but nothing else works as well. 

So...the majority of my stash of dried flowers ended up here.

I kept a few things back for a couple smaller bouquets that I will put together later but meanwhile I am enjoying the little bit of Spring that this brings to the living room.

Dried flowers are really quite wonderful and so easy to do, these were all dried by hanging them up side down out of bright  light...I use a closet in my guest room but a basement, garage or attic would be fine.

Looking at these makes me realize the Spring really isn't that far away and until then I can savor a bit of it's bounty. The flowers will last for months and months and some I can even use again next year.

Drying flowers ~ a easy and fun thing to do!

Thank you for visiting, I hope your day is full of beauty.

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