Monday, August 31, 2009

The Apples of My Eye! (a splendid finish)

I love my apple trees.
Twenty-two years ago we planted four apple trees. Over the years, I believe we may have only harvested an apple or two each season.

We never really understood why.
Now we know!
They didn't have a 'cultivator!'
About five years ago, we planted an espalier apple tree... Who would have known that this nifty little tree would be such a Casanova!
Since the addition of this tree to the yard, our apple trees have been making apples by the bushel! The last three years have been a boon... we can't keep up with all the peeling!
...and that's a good thing!

This year, the harvest is a little weaker than usual, but still pretty good... Hubby says they need pruning... I know that he's right... just hope it doesn't hurt too much ;o)

* * *
Additional photos added after collecting ground apples today!

Three lil' ones I found... The one I'm holding won
the smallest apple contest ;o)
...Oh! A real beauty...
...No... wait...
I think a squirrel got here first...
This really is the back of the apple above!
They must know the best apples too!
* * *
And then she said: " This one's just right!"

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Friendly Blog Award for YOU

"Aren't daisies the friendliest flower?"
You've Got Mail

The photo of this daisy was taken by my daughter, Amanda. The perspective of the photo makes the daisy an offering to the beholder, as if to say, "Here's a daisy for you!"

So, Here's a daisy for you!

Thank you for being so friendly!

To all who stop by and visit I'd like to offer you this Friendly Blog Photo-Award as a
Thank You from me to you!

Pass it along to thank other friendly bloggers!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

SKY WATCH FRIDAY ~ Blushing Half Moon

I caught the half moon blushing last night!And the clouds were blushing back ;o)
Their faces 'cooled off' after I changed the camera setting to 'auto.'
~ A faint memory now ~

Happy Sky Watching!
Click below to see beautiful sky-watching from all over the world!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Clunkers for People

I spent a good part of last week helping my oldest daughter shop for a "new car."
The dream car she was seeking: a new white Camry with a her old '96.
This year she was tenured at a school downstate. She definitely needs a reliable car to start her fourth year of teaching.
Over the years, we would pray that she would make it through each season without getting stranded... This old '96 Camry used to be mine. Back in 2001, when our daughter opted to commute to the university, we offered her the old car (she saved at least $35,000 by commuting! It was $7k a year to live on campus! Although she put A LOT of miles on this old car, it carried her safely for eight years !

Now it has over 180k and it's still a trooper! It's no clunker to me!
I'm happy to have it back and let it retire in my care. No more downstate traffic or weaving around double tractor-trailers on the thruway.
At one of our area's larger dealerships, we couldn't believe our eyes when we saw "the clunkers" in person. This is just ONE ROW of clunkers.
Their entire side parking lot was filled with them. I have to tell you there were only a few that I'd label "a clunker." The rest could be such a rescue to a family in need.
They still have lots of life in them! Don't you think !?!

...the story of a friend comes to mind...
Several years ago, a dear friend of ours lost his wife to an aneurysm which caused a cerebral hemorrhage. She left behind four girls...the youngest was to begin kindergarten. Can you imagine? The father, a friend Chris and I have known since college days, was devastated and unprepared for such a tragedy... and ended up in debt up to his eyeballs trying to raise his little girls. We all helped in what ways we could.
I'll never forget how he had to keep his clunker mini-van alive for the long haul. It needed to be his chariot of fire....
...and keep running for the Glory of God!
I know ... even today... he would be ecstatic to take one of these clunkers home as his beautiful angels are now all in college!

This man has a special place in God's heart. All of his daughters did beautiful work in school, received scholarships for college and are such lovely young women. Their mother would be so proud of them and absolutely amazed that her husband accomplished such a great labor of love.

I strive to be a good steward of the earth... but ...

I'm still sad that these cars must be destroyed and will not have a more noble finish... sent out on missions to help those without... and keep running for the Glory of God!

In the end, our daughter did not get the car she wanted, but instead found the car she needed.
She bought a used gray Honda Civic with only 20k miles! When she sat in the car to test drive it...a big smile enlivened her tired face... and she said, "This is the car for me."
Amen, and Humbly Grateful!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Linda's Cake with a Peachy Twist

A few weeks ago, Linda @ Linda's Patchwork Quilt sent me the recipe
to her mother's rhubarb cake.

I have made this cake about 6 times now!
Yesterday I tried something different. I substituted peaches for the rhubarb.
It came great...and here it is!
I started with fresh orchard peaches. (about 6-8)
peel and slice into 1/2 inch chuncks (about 2 -3 cups)chop, chop, chop the walnuts (1/2 cup)
In a small bowl sift together:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

In large bowl cream together:
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar*
***(I only use 1 cup for the rhubarb recipe and for muffins just 1/2 cup sugar)***

add one egg
beat one minute

beat in flour mixture alternately with one cup milk
fold in 2 cups cut up rhubarb (1/2 inch slices)and 1/2 cup coursely chopped walnuts.
place in greased 13 x 9 inch pan
12-18 muffin pan (depending on size of muffins)
top with mixture of 1/2 cup sugar + 2 tsp. cinnamon

FOR CAKE: bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees and 5 minutes more at 375
FOR MUFFINS: bake 15- 20 minutes
(I was so late for an 11am service, so - I don't remember exactly ;o)
Oh I'm always late!

***I substituted Smart Balance for the shortening and decreased sugar.***
***Still came soooo good***

They were soooo delicious!!!
I brought a dozen over to my sis and kept the rest...they were gone by this morning!

~Thank you, Linda...and Linda's Mom~
This will be a favorite all year long!
Can't wait to think up more variations...
I tried blueberries... it's nice, but more like a scone consistency.
You really need a juicy fruit like peaches, pears, rhubarb etc.
(I'm freezing all the extra rhubarb I can!)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Beautiful Soul ~ C.S. Lewis

~All is Gift ...... All is Blessing

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sky Watch Friday ~ Fair as the Moon

Who is this that appears like the dawn,

Fair as the moon, bright as the sun,

Majestic as the stars in procession?

Song of Solomon ~ 6

Here in upstate, NY, we are enjoying the last few weeks before school starts again. Here's to beautiful dawns, fair days, sweet evenings, and shining-starry nights.
Enjoy sky visions from around the world:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Some of God's Creatures that Visit My Yard

There's a little one with racing stripes!Lots of rabbits make themselves at home here.
I think it's because there is an abundance of clover. (and no chemicals)Having a little birdie snack after all the sparrows have gone to bed.
A set of triplets meanders through ... I'm sure they'll find the apples that fell.
I took this photo at dusk.
It's another day and the sparrows are lining up for the feeder!
It was a very busy afternoon there!

And...our dog, Misty, enjoys a quieter spot out front.
All the best,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hyde Hall at Glimmerglass State Park

Take a step back in time.To Hyde Hall
~ Glimmerglass, NY ~
From their website:
Hyde Hall represents an extraordinary vision of nineteenth-century Anglo-American culture and the establishment of vast agricultural estates in the early years of the American republic. Built by George Clarke (1768-1835), the house is considered one of the finest examples of the neoclassical country house in the United States.

Enjoy a beautiful online photo tour here. You'll see the period furniture, gorgeous grounds filled with old trees, and, of course, the beautiful Otsego Lake.
Top hat photo and bedroom photo from their website.
All other photos taken by me ~ through the windows on a hike around Hyde Hall a few weeks ago...
August, 2009