Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Greetings!


This sight of this egg greeted me Easter morning.  It was delivered not by a bunny but by a duck! Squeak to be exact.

We had a wonderful Easter Sunday worshiping and celebrating our risen Lord Jesus Christ, and I hope you did, too!  

One of my favorite quotes from my Advent/Lent devotional (a wonderful MUST READ of a book) goes something like this....Jesus drank a cup of wrath without mercy so that I could drink a cup of mercy without wrath.  

Isn't that good? Ever since I read this it has crossed my mind several times daily and cannot help but be filled with gratitude for what Jesus did for me.
 


Coconut Fudge Pie  and Lemon Chess Pie


Mike and I have been doing a no sugar or wheat, low glycemic diet of sorts for the past two weeks.  Easter Sunday was our first cheat.  We kept it pretty simple with roasted pork and potatoes, deviled eggs, salad and fruit and the best part was enjoying these two pies I made.  I'm still feeling a little funny from eating them, I guess all that sugar, but boy was the one on the left especially good.

I can't believe I am saying this because I love all things lemony but the lemon chess was way too lemon saturated for me.  I soaked the sugar in thinly sliced lemons for several hours.  Whoa!  It will make your toes curl.  Maybe it would be good cut in half?  But man oh man was that coconut fudge good.  The fudge part is homemade pudding.  Mmmm-mmmm. And we toasted coconut to sprinkle on top but it is not pictured because we sprinkled by the slice so it wouldn't get soggy.  

Coconut.  It is like the wonder food these days, isn't it?  

Rosie




And lastly I wanted you to meet Rosemary. I'm calling her Rosie for short, though her disposition is anything but.  She has decided to nest under my rosemary bush right next to the walkway that leads to our porch and front door.  Whenever we go by she hisses, jumps around all startled-like and then gives us the evil eyes like you see pictured above.  

Bless her heart.  

Ducks are not very smart.  

My flowerbed is plenty big to accommodate her without her being so close to the path.  I'm not sure what she was thinking.  Plus, she is going to be difficult to photograph once those ducklings start hatching.  Oh well.  She has 12 nice little eggs up under her feathery self and by my calculations we will have ducklings by mid May. 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Sightings and Stitching


Last week was a busy one, but in the midst of the hubbub it was fun to find this mallard nest tucked away under the rosemary. I checked it again today and the egg count is up to eleven now and mama is lurking in unexpected places. She is a wild duck, not like Mimi who was nesting in my bushes last year, so when she sees us she flaps wildly and will take off flying. This is very startling if you are not expecting it.

Today I saw my first hummingbird! Well, actually, I think Mike and I got buzzed by one while out walking earlier this week which is what reminded me to put my feeders up. 







Easter is on my mind I wanted some kind of decoration and since I can't find a lamb like Cheryl's,  and trust me, I've looked high and low, I settled for this little guy.  He was spotted at the drug store calling my name.  

"Leslieeeee."  

His fuzzy little self nesting in my tea cup makes me happy every time I spot him.....even though he is not a lamb. Or a duck for that matter.


 
To relax I have been working on this cross stitch of  woodland creatures.  I don't have plans for it yet. Stitching it was all about the process and puzzle of it.  Other than being a good ocular exercise for my aging eyes it facilitates both very deep thinking and not think much at all, intermittently. I can't decide what my favorite part is...the deer, the bunnies, the mushrooms, the rabbit????  I can't pick.

Summer break officially started on Monday.  Well, not for my children. They will be schooling until the cows come home. But for me, I am on break with intermittent directing of my two youngest.  
Life is good.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March Reading


 

The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by


I Know This Much Is True by


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Flowers of Blue

The highway & train tracks outside of my neighborhood.


 On the way out of my neighborhood there is a large empty lot known as Bluebonnet Hill. It is called that by those of us who live around here because every spring it is covered in these beautiful blooms. 




Did you notice the unusual leaves?


 So far the hill is only covered in green but close to the highway in the drainage easement I spotted this small smattering of bluebonnets. 


Friday, March 21, 2014

Here a Heron, There A Heron

A few weeks ago I shared a post about how there was a heron at the pond minding its on business when this heron swooped into the pond like a flying maniac catching a catfish dinner in a very impressive display.  Usually these birds stalk around the perimeter of the pond quietly fishing.  Not so this heron,  It spotted its prey from a great distance.  When all this was going on the first heron flew off.  I wasn't sure where it went, but was so fascinated watching heron #2's antics that I didn't think much of it.   

After enjoying the dinner of catfish and pond water this bird stood on the bank as pictured above.  Then it would fluff up its feathers and walk over to my neighbors fence a good bit away from the pond.  It took me a few minutes to figure out what was going on.



Do you see where the first heron ended up?  Everyone has a big old bird like this perched on their fence, right?  Oh, this made me LAUGH. 
 


And do you see the fluffiness of the feathers of the grounded heron?  I think its showing off.  Do you think the one on the ground is male and the female is on the fence?





Here is a zoomed in photo of the fence heron. 




As exciting as all this was my daughter needed to go to work so we piled into the car grabbing the camera on the way.   



On the way out of the neighborhood this is the photo I snapped. Do you think she is watching me or the silly dancing heron on the ground?  Or maybe she has an eye on both of us?




Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Kitchen Projects


Last week was our Spring Break. Mike took the week off, and we ended up spending a lot of time together while the kids were off doing their various activities.  We enjoyed a few meals out and accomplishing a few projects. It was strange, really, to spend so much time together without our children, but I guess it is our new normal.

The first project was our kitchen island.  The goal was to make it a little bigger so that we could pull up some barstools and serve more food off of it without spending a whole lot of money. 

Here is a photo of our kitchen during our inspection before we moved in a few years ago to give you an idea what the old island looked like. It is on the left.

June 2011

And here is the new butcher block top Mike installed last week: 


March 2014

We have enjoyed the extra space it provides.  It is funny what a difference it makes.   In the picture it is still a little shiny from an oil treatment it is getting every so often.

The other kitchen island project was to the silverware drawer.  The plastic silverware holder I had in this drawer was inefficient and always a mess.  I spied this idea on Pinterest. Once Mike saw it he whipped this up:


New dividers lift out for easy cleaning and shelf liner placement.

I am enjoying this so much.  As you can see I have a hodge podge of silverware and this makes such efficient use of the space.

Something else I did that has totally changed the atmosphere of my kitchen (but no picture yet) is to put a lamp in the corner on a little table close to the kitchen table.  I have sat at the table every morning all winter long with my Bible and various reading (I eat there sometimes, too) and the lamp light is so much more welcoming on a dim morning than the overhead light.  And in the evening it really warms the space up, too.  So...a lamp in the kitchen.  Who would have thought it would make such a difference?

 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Simple Joys


* The gurgling of the coffee pot, what a wonderful sound first thing in the morning or in the afternoon.

* Spring Break. What a GREAT idea!  And Daylight Savings Time, too! Marrying the two means I stay up late and sleep in late.  Next week's regular schedule might prove to be painful. 

* Do you know about Lumina the Bible study tool at Bible.org?  This is extremely helpful and combines many tools in one nice place.  You will love this if you enjoy studying your Bible with a few helps.  Check it out.

* Emails from my 83 year old mom, especially the funny parts. There are almost always funny parts.



* Retro Night at the new movie theater watching The Princess Bride on the big screen. Super fun!

* Enjoying the benefits of being a couple with big kids. We are not empty-nesters, but Mike and I are enjoying more time than ever together alone.  We've enjoyed a breakfast date, lunch date, early in the day movie date and just sitting around an empty house talking and looking out the window.  It feels so strange...wonderfully strange.



My pictures are not this good. Look at that beak!


* Spotting a new duck at the pond.  He arrived with his mate and they swam in a very tight circle with heads in the water for HOURS.  And I do mean HOURS.  I am not exaggerating.  I found out they are Northern Shovelers.


* Getting some projects done around the house including a new island top, a new faucet to replace the disgusting old one and some landscape bricks around my little front flower bed.




* Number 14 in one of my very favorite series of books. I enjoyed this book like I would a piece of cake and coffee or sitting watching ducks waddle and noodle around.  

* Skin glue.  This finger accident was the final straw.  Our dangerously sharp Pampered Chef mandolin has been removed from our house and my presence forever.