May 31, 2014


 I love to repurpose!

Like many of you, I am focused on dressing up the patio for summer! I adore adding touches of whimsy in the garden areas and creating our outdoor living space, a place of beauty and interest!
I have had this wooden candlestick for so long and have never even used it. I found the color a bit off to me, so my plan had been to eventually paint it another color. I loved the shape and height of it however. So as I was searching through the garage, looking for a few of my shepherd's hooks, I came across this melamine plate I had purchased at The Christmas Tree Store in Maine a few years back. It is for decoration only and not meant for food items. I only paid $2.00 for this, which I considered a real find! Hmmmm, both items had complimentary colors, so I decided to use them together to make a bird feeder for the patio!

I tried to enlist the help of Mae, but she found little interest in the project.
 She was on patrol looking for the bunny to reappear around the patio!

A little super glue should work in securing the plate to the top of the candlestick.

I know she is wondering  if this would be a good place to jump up and sit.....
not a good idea Mae Mo....not a good idea!


After a good afternoon rain, I tried it out in a few places!

A rather romantic feeder I would say......

I love it! Everything old is new again!
Now we need a trip to the nursery for asparagus ferns and petunias!
Happy gardening y'all!

May 30, 2014


A Porch Perfect Summer Salad

This is a revelation from the kitchen. You begin with a bag salad.....Endless Summer by Dole and add the best fresh farm stand vegetables! Where are you off to this summer? A lakeside retreat, the beach, the mountains or just lounging by the pool? How about spending lazy afternoons on the porch swing listening to the sweet sounds of summer! This refreshing and healthy salad will help you bring on the sunshine. It was a brilliant invention I tell you!!

The Divine Miss M gets credit for turning us on to this new salad blend.
The dressing, along with the garnishes make a delightful and light side salad.
I loved kicking it up a notch or two with fresh veggies I had on hand!

Perfect for backyard entertaining!

½ lb. rigatoni pasta or cavatappi
1 T. fresh parsley
2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
¼ t. salt
¼ t. pepper
2 t. Dijon mustard
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup ranch dressing
1 t. vinegar
½ lb. bacon, fried and broken into bits
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 cup sliced fresh zucchini
1 cup sliced fresh cucumber
½ fresh sliced radishes
½ cup fresh sweet peppers, red, orange and yellow
Texas Toast seasoned croutons
1 bag Dole Endless Summer Salad-this comes with it’s own dressing and garnishes, but I reserved these packets for later use.


Cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again and immediately pour the pasta in a mixing bowl. Add fresh parsley, garlic, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to the pasta and blend together. Allow this to sit at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the salad.

 Prepare the bacon, and pat with paper towels to soak up any grease. Crumble into bits. This will be your topping, along with the croutons.

 In a small mixing bowl, mix the mayonnaise, ranch dressing and vinegar. Stir to mix well.

 In a large serving bowl, combine the Endless Summer Salad, fresh veggies, pasta fold gently to combine. Pour the dressing over all and blend. Top with bacon crumbles and croutons!

May 29, 2014


Summer is here! You are gonna thank me for this! How can your thoughts of summer not include a delicious ice cream sundae? This is my secret fudge sauce that I discovered when we lived in Dothan, Alabama! I have made it every summer and believe will never, ever buy jarred hot fudge sauce again....sorry Smuckers! Show your Southern Hospitality by serving up this sweet sensation that makes everyone scream for ice cream!!!


In a small saucepan, stir together ¾ cup sugar and 1/3 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened). Stir in one 5 ounce can of evaporated milk which equals 2/3 cup. Cook and stir over medium heat until it comes to a soft boil. Remove from heat. Now…wait for it…here it comes……oh yeah……
Stir in ¼ cup of chunky peanut butter. Serve warm over vanilla ice cream!

Kittens eating ice cream lol 
 Now, that's a crowd pleaser!

Featured with many great recipes at Foodie Friday!


May 28, 2014


When the news came that we were moving back to Texas from Maine, we did take pause and had to wonder if we were really ready to give up the beauty of Maine for Texas. Of course, there was really no hard decision to be made here, since we had struggled so, living away from our family and friends. The historic homes of Maine represented everything I adore! There are so many neighborhoods in Texas that are mass produced with no character, charm or uniqueness. Were we ready to move back to that sort of neighborhood.? We were totally in love with our colonial style Maine House! Could we embrace the fact that our last home would be just like the one next door with rooftops and privacy fences as far as the eye could see?
There was no need to worry, as our city has plenty of beauty, history and lush landscaping! We recently discovered an area that is incredibly beautiful and traditional! The focus is on architecture, horticulture, sidewalks, parks, and open spaces.
This area is known as a "Traditional Neighborhood Development", that was a concept developed around WWII . The neighborhood includes features such as buildings that are closer to the street, front porches and window boxes.  Narrower streets are lined with a canopy of shade trees and boast a network of sidewalks that beckon people to leave their cars parked and instead, take a stroll. 

If you're like me, you love taking a drive on a Sunday afternoon to look at homes. This was something Mother and I enjoyed for years and you just never know what you will discover and fall in love with! Enjoy the tour!


It's the  new, modern house you may want,
but  also the charming, "historic" home you have always dreamed of!"

May 27, 2014


We are so looking forward to a summer visit from The Divine Miss M and grandson Luke! School will be over in just a few days and it's time to get the suitcases out, swimsuits packed and head for Texas! Maine Grandma has a few treats up her sleeve to entertain in style! Breakfast in the garden is certainly on the list. The first cup of coffee with the birds chirping and the sun rising is a beautiful way to start the morning! This divine breakfast casserole can be prepared the day before and then just popped in the oven the next morning! Perhaps this may convince them to stay a little longer!

Farmer's Breakfast Casserole
Photo: Friend or follow me for more awesome posts

Farmer's Casserole

3 cups frozen hash browns
3/4 cup shredded monterey jack pepper cheese
1 cup cubed cooked ham
1/4 cup green onion, well chopped
4 well beaten eggs
1 (12 ounce) cans evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Grease 2 quart rectangular baking dish.
Arrange potatoes evenly on bottom of baking dish.
Sprinkle with cheese, ham, onions.
Combine milk and eggs and seasonings.
Pour over potatoes and cheese.
Refrigerate over night.
Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes until set. 


3 cups frozen O’Brien hash brown potatoes
3/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 cup cooked ham, diced
1/4 cup chopped green onions
4 eggs, beaten
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2 quart baking dish.
Arrange hash brown potatoes evenly in the bottom of the prepared dish. Sprinkle with pepper jack cheese, ham, and green onions.
In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, evaporated milk, pepper, and salt. Pour the egg mixture over the potato mixture in the dish. The dish may be covered and refrigerated at this point for several hours or overnight.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes (or 55 to 60 minutes if made ahead and chilled) in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast."
~Author Unknown

May 26, 2014


Schools out for the Summer!

The last day of school finally arrived! I believe the teachers were ready and
so were the children!
What two wonderful and dedicated teachers they are...
Mrs. Powers and Mrs. Meanie!
It was a great, successful year!

In a few weeks, we will be hosting a visit from the Divine Miss M and our grandson Luke! Swimming and having sleep overs with cousins, lunches on the patio, baking cookies with Grandma....plans are underway for a summer visit!

We had a marvelous cookout at Nick and Cat's! We were able to eat amazingly good food, visit with the grandchildren, meet the newest member of the family (story below) and enjoy a good afternoon rain!

I made a beautiful vegetable and fruit tray with an easy breezy ranch dip. Just mix one pint of sour cream, with one package of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix! It's light and fresh tasting! You could substitute plan Greek Yogurt for the sour cream!

We made little Memorial day spirit bags filled with a mix of buttered popcorn and butter toffee popcorn and peanuts. We had a history discussion with the grandchildren on the meaning of memorial day! I am amazed at what is NOT taught in school these days!

Wonder what the topic of discussion was between Greg, Abbie and Morgan?

The darling was speaking to all the dogs in the outback!
They love this green space. We love seeing them run, play Frisbee and
 just enjoy the sunshine!

This is our darling Mox! Mox lived down the road from Miss Elizabeth. His owners were moving from the country closer into town and told Miss Elizabeth, she could have him since they were not planning on taking him! WHAT???? What is wrong with people that they give up their beloved pets so easily? Well, they left alright and there was this poor dog...abandoned. It took Elizabeth about a week and half to coax him to leave his empty house and come stay with her. He was still waiting for his family to return for him. How incredibly sad was this? Well, long story short, he was adopted by Nick and Cat! He is coming around, but is a bit timid. He is an absolutely gorgeous German Shepherd, a gentle soul and wants to be loved. I instantly fell in love with him. Franz is also rather happy to have a four-legged companion. He is being given lots and lots of love and with time, I think he is going to forget any abuse he suffered and will live a long and happy life. We love you Mox!!!

Franz and Bo 

Our beautiful Mox!
He tilts his head to the side at a rather strange angle. My theory is that his irresponsible original owners crated him for a very long time and he was unable to raise his head properly. He is a gentle soul and I am so very thankful that this beautiful dog is now loved and cared for. I hope the people who abandoned him answer for their cruelty.

Before the rains came....

Time to eat! Hot dogs grilled to perfection, sprinkled with Lemon Pepper...
it's a family tradition!

Burgers! I think Nick grills up the best burgers ever!!! He has secrets that I am going to try to get him to write down....I know he uses fresh bread crumbs, but it must be the seasoning that makes them so fabulous!

We had a beautiful afternoon rain!
 Texas is already experiencing severe drought, so the rain showers were welcomed!
That does not stop the boys from launching water balloons!
It was a fantastic Memorial Day celebration!
We ended the meal with Cherry Pineapple crisp and ice cream....a perfect ending!