Posted on

Football’s Many Facets


The 100 yard field marked with hashlines.

The quarterback, center, nose-guards,  safety, half-backs, tackles, tight-ends, linebackers, defensive ends, kicker, punt receiver, . .

The whistle-blowing, flag throwing, arm-waving referees in their zebra stripe shirts.

The plays: pass, run, reverse, hail mary, interception, fumble, sack, blitz,

The crack of helmets hitting shoulder pads and rumble of piles being made.

The fans who stay to watch and cheer for their team through sun, rain, sleet, and snow; sometimes all in one game.

The cheerleaders, marching band, announcers, and vendors.

The offense, defense, special teams, and bench players.

The coaches – head, defensive, offensive, quarterback, . . .

The professional or college stadium saturated with color.

The big-screen for close-ups and re-plays.

The national anthem – just know that I love that part and refuse to comment on recent happenings.

Football game in a packed stadium

Locally, we follow our grandson’s Jr. High team.  The first few weeks were such beautiful weather.

Little league football players on field

Then last week, the family fan section were all huddled under a huge sport umbrella We drank hot chocolate to stay warm in the cold rain.

Fans huddled under a big umbrella at a football game on a cold, rainy day.
This year we purchased new stadium seats.  Can I just say, “They are the best!”   Deep padding, armrests, six different reclining positions, and straps to carry like a backpack.  We call them our bleacher recliners.Best stadium seat ever.

A couple of our other grandsons are playing on a flag football team.  We started out the season enjoying the calm, pleasant evenings . . .

Coach and players at flag football game

in our lawn chairs.  But the last couple of games we have been wrapped in blankets.

Fans at flag football game

In between all of this, of course, the DVR is recording several games to be watched using the fast-forward button on the remote control.  My husband can watch two or three games at once with this magic device.  At first I didn’t realize  he was switching, but when the field started changing color (blue for Boise State) it was obvious I would have to pay closer attention.TV remote control

Local rivalry games are especially fun.  Banners and flags are posted at homes.  Nearby opposing fans  have been known to paint each other’s driveways with their own team’s colors!

College football game viewed on a tv screen.

The strategy, the intensity, the statistics, the traditions all add to the fun.

Football saturates the autumn season and it seems we are never without a game or two to watch.




Please share...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page
Posted on

Add the Warm Colors for Autumn Decor

It’s Autumn!  Time to bring out the warm colors along with the sweaters and jackets.  The trees will soon explode with color and start shedding their leaves.  The air is a bit cooler especially in the early morning.  The school bus has started it’s regular schedule past my house each day.  Summer is over, nature is about to present her grand finale.Coffee table decor with leaded glass containers, fall leaves, and pine cones

I like to scatter pumpkins, pinecones, berries, and Indian corn throughout my decor to echo the outside colors.   There is something so comforting about the red, orange, yellow and gold accents.  Hutch shelves decorated with silver, white, and fall colors.Each year I like to take photos of the mountain covered in Autumn’s quilt of color.  Some years are better than others, but the show is always worth recording.  I also like the slightly musty smell and kicking through the leaves as I walk.

Bright red and orange colors on the mountain

This wreath reminds me of the annual pheasant hunt.  When I was young, my Dad would let me walk with him and Shasta, our Labrador retriever through the fields and along the ditch banks.  When the birds flew up, Dad would raise his shotgun, a bird would fall, and the dog would run to find it.  As the birds were cleaned, Dad would save the tail feathers for me.  I would tie a nail to the quill end.  If I held on to the tip and threw it up into the air, it would come back down with the nail sticking into the grass.  It was pretty easy to entertain me back in those days.Autumn wreath of pheasant feathers

I add a warm, plaid blanket, a knitted sweater pillow, and a few patchwork pillows for texture.  I put a few of my favorite books to the coffee table and roll up a couple of lap quilts in a basket nearby.

Wool plaid throw on couch with autumn pillows

Autumn floral designs are fun, and I use a pumpkin soup tureen to hold fruit.  When the leaves outside have the most color, I pick a few branches, use a hammer to smash the bottoms, and soak them in a mixture of 1 part glycerin to 2 parts water.

Autumn sunflower arrangement

If you go to my SHOP, you can purchase some fun autumn items by clicking on the photos . I have done the searching for you.   the items in my shop are like the links in this post, it won’t cost you anything extra, but I will receive a small commission for advertising.It's time to bring out the autumn decor . . .

Thank you for following my blog and please feel welcome to share.  To receive an email about new posts, sign up above or at the bottom of the Home page.

Please share...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page
Posted on

Strawberry Lemonade in the Shade with a Good Book

Pour a tall glass of strawberry lemonade.  Raise the umbrella for shade.  Pull up a comfy chair, and escape into the pages of a good book.  I have to admit that all winter long I think about being able to sit on my deck and read a book.  Yes, I love to read, but more than that, I love warm air, green grass, a gentle breeze, birds singing, and a few hours to escape into the world between the pages.  Add a tall cold glass of strawberry lemonade and the picture nears perfection.  Strawberry lemonade recipe

The recipe I use is simple.

Squeeze the juice from one lemon.  I use an old-fashioned juicer just like the one my Grandmother used.  But the a modern lemon squeezer works just as good.

Old fashioned lemon squeezer for making lemonade

Thaw three or four frozen strawberries (about 1/4 cup if you have pureed berries).  Smash them with a fork and  add to the glass.  Add 1 teaspoon sugar or 5 drops liquid stevia and stir.  Add 8 oz. cold water, stir again, and finish with ice cubes.   Adjust the sweetness to your taste.

Making it this way, the strawberries seem to float to the top, which makes it easy to drink with a straw.  I can sip away at this concoction for a couple of hours.  It would be nice if this were a daily or even weekly routine, but it seems I only get to it two or three times before the weather turns too cold.

Strawberry lemonade in the shade with recipe

I hope you get to enjoy the rest of your summer doing the things you like most!

The link above is an affiliate link. Purchasing a product through this links provides me with a small commission at no cost to you.


Please share...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page
Posted on

A Fresh Peach Pie Recipe – You Want to Try This!

Recipes and instructions for the yummiest fresh peach pieThere is a restaurant close to my home that serves fresh peach pie.  It isn’t on the menu all the time, just when the peaches are ripe – usually the end of August until the peaches are gone sometime in September.  People drive for miles just for a piece of this pie, sometimes taking a piece “to go” also.  I have put together a recipe that is pretty darn close to the famous pie and we enjoy it at home without the drive.

The very best pies start with an exceptional crust.  This recipe is very basic and in all the experimenting I have done, it produces the flakiest and most tender crust of all.

Basic Pie Crust

Makes 2 single crusts or one double crust

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup cold cold water

Mix the flour and salt together, then cut the shortening in with a pastry cutter.  (You want the pieces to be about the size of peas.)

Sprinkle the water over the flour/shortening mixture and carefully move it together helping  incorporate the moisture.  When it forms a loose ball, you can use your hands to form two balls.  I wrap them with plastic wrap and put them in my fridge for a while to chill before rolling the dough.  (Maybe 15 minutes)  Put one ball at a time onto a floured pastry cloth and gently roll from the center until it fits your pie pan.  Put it in the pan, flute the edges, and poke everywhere with a fork.  Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 10 minutes or until the edges just start turning brown.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Baked, unfilled pie crust

Peach Pie Filling

Mix together:

1 cup sugar

4 Tablespoons corn starch

Stir in:

1 cup pureed peaches

Bring to a boil and stir for one minute


1 Tablespoon butter

1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Let cool

When the  sauce is thickened, add:

4 – 6 cups peeled and sliced peaches  (4 cups for an 8 inch pie crust – 6 cups for a 10 inch pie crust)

Stir to cover sliced peaches with sauce and pour into cooled pie crust.

Close up photo of peach pie filling

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Fresh peach filling in baked pie crust

Add a dollop of sweetened whipped cream before serving.  Dollop of whipped cream on fresh peach pie

Here  is another great peach recipe:

Peach Salsa 

1 tomato, seeded and chopped

2 peaches, peeled, and chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped fine

1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper (optional), chopped

1 small jalapeno pepper, chopped

Juice of one lime

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

Mix all ingredients together and serve with crispy tortilla chips

Peaches, red peppers, cilantro, red onion made into salsa

My family loves peaches  so I put at least one bushel into quart jars for the winter.

Quart bottles of sliced peaches

Also, I freeze some with a special recipe I got from a good friend.

Laura’s Recipe for Frozen peaches

1 large can frozen orange juice

3 cans water

4 cups sugar

Mix and pour over 40 – 50  peeled and sliced peaches.

Place in pint sized freezer bags.

 For a special dessert, I take a bag out and place it on a plate on the counter to thaw while I am making dinner.  By the time we are finished eating, it is perfect to spoon over a scoops of vanilla ice cream.  Top with a few sliced almonds if you like them.

Would love to have you comment with your favorite recipes using peaches!

The links above are affiliate links. Purchasing a product through one of these links provides me with a small commission at no cost to you.

Please share...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page
Posted on

Wonders of the Sky in Summer

This morning I got to witness the solar eclipse.  At my location, the totality only lasted 58 seconds, but the short time was filled with so many happenings.  The temperature dropped  as it approached and people were putting on coats.  Shadows took on the shape of the crescent sun.  The street lights came on and I could see stars.  When all the light disappeared while looking through my special glasses, I was able to take them off and see the most beautiful ring around the moon.  The moon looked like a hole in the dark sky with a ring of bright colors escaping from all directions.  It was absolutely stunning and I really didn’t want it to end.  One of the things that impressed me was how fast the darkness disappeared with the first ray of sunlight that emerged.  The glasses went right back on because of the intensity and it started to warm up again.  Solar eclipse of the sun

When I looked through my summer photos, it was interesting to find a bunch of solar memories.  The morning sun rising over the mountains across the valley from my home.

Sun rising over mountain range and wheat field

Another morning I caught it streaming through the trees.

Sunrise through the trees

Sometimes it lights the clouds before making an appearance.

Orange and gold stripes across a beautiful sunrise

Everyday is a different show and always worth the price of rising early.

Orange, lavender,peach, and blue clouds

This photo is an Atlantic sunrise.

Atlantic sunrise

Can’t ignore the sunsets either.  Notice the bird flying just over the red sun, which was caused by smoke in the air.

Sun setting in a smokey sky

I loved this sunset over the Pacific and the way the light reflects on the water.

Sunset reflected in receding wave on beach

Lake Powell with red rocks and a pale pink sunset.

Sunrise clouds over red rocks

Driving directly west into the setting sun was challenging.

Sunset over the road

Colored clouds signal the sun is starting it’s decent here.

Peachy clouds in a blue sky

Between the sun rising and setting, the clouds put on a show of their own.  Whether light and wispy,

Whispy clouds from the horizon

or huge and backlit by the sun.

Backlit puffy clouds in blue sky

Can you see Mickey Mouse here?

Mickey Mouse shaped cloud

Does this look like a dragon or a seahorse?

Dragon shaped cloud

These are arranged in columns and rows gathering like an army.

Lots of clouds grouped together

Still dry, but waiting to drop their weight in big drops.

Approaching storm clouds

This photo shows a thunderstorm coming over the mountain.  The wind picked up and lightening and thunder followed.

Heavy, dark clouds with rain

The summer sky is an ever-changing canvas and I love each composition. My favorite, though, will always be the 58 seconds of looking at a sunray-ringed moon in a darkened midday sky.

Where did you watch the eclipse?

Photos of the sky in summer


Please share...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page
Posted on

25 Best Books to Wrap Up Your Summer Reading

Recommended books are the best books because someone you know loved them enough to tell you about them.  Here is my “share” list.   Some of them have been made into movies . . . I will say it again, “The books are better!”   You can click on any image for reviews and purchasing availability.  Please leave a comment at the end of this post to tell me how many of these you have read, and which titles you would add.


Please share...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page
Posted on

Corn, Tomatoes, and Cucumbers From the Garden

Eating From the Garden

If you love garden produce like I do, you plant seeds and  watch the tiny sprouts emerge from the dirt.  You water, fertilize and weed.  Admit it, you pick the first pea pod to eat before it is fully plump.  You monitor the progress from blossoms to red ripe tomatoes, strawberries, apples, and squash.  You stand in the rows or by the grow boxes and eat a handful of beans and pull up a carrot just to see how big it is getting.

Square garden grow box

Summer Picnic Buffet

Garden produce presented on summer buffet table

I appreciate the roadside fruit stands and farmer’s markets that expand my garden options,  especially when it comes time to freeze, dry, or bottle.  One year with family and friends, we brought a pickup truck full of corn to my backyard.  Some people shucked the cobs, some cut the kernels off, some did the blanching process by using big roasting pans on Camp Chef Cooking Stoves, and others filled the freezer bags.  We did hundreds of bags and divided them between four families.

Un-shucked corn on the cob

The first red tomatoes go into BLT sandwiches made on thin slices of homemade bread that has been lightly toasted.   We also like them sliced, topped with  mozzarella slices and chopped fresh basil,  then broiled for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese.

Tomatoes by the bushel

Tacos and salsa are especially yummy with tomatoes that have ripened on the vines.  We cut them up to eat with an omelet, and slice them thin to put on pizza.

Using a Victorio Strainer is the easiest way to turn a box of tomatoes into several bottles of juice.  I use these for soup and spaghetti sauce.

Homemade tomato juice in bottles

I bottle  half-pints of chili sauce.  This isn’t a salsa recipe, it is more sweet, and it replaces the fresh tomatoes after the first freeze in tacos, and as a side to eggs and a steak.

Chili sauce ingredients simmering in a large pan

Chili Sauce Recipe

18 large tomatoes

7 large onions, chopped

7 apples peeled, cored, and chopped

7 green bell peppers, chopped

3 cups sugar

1/4 cup salt

1 cup vinegar

1 teaspoon cloves

3 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

Combine all ingredients and boil until the onions are tender.

With the mix of spices added to the other ingredients, my house smells heavenly while it is simmering on the stove.  I process the bottles in an Aluminum Steam Canner to seal the lids and let the finished bottles sit on the kitchen counter a bit longer than necessary because I love seeing so much garden grown food in the bottles and  ready to enjoy the rest of the year.

Chili sauce in half-pint bottle

Chili sauce bottles from one recipe

This is the book that my mother used to do her canning.  She gave it to me and I refer to it every year.  The best recipe inside is  Expert’s Sweet Pickles on page 269.  It takes 14 days to make, but it is totally worth it!

Sweet Pickles

Recipe book for preserving garden produce

You start with really small pickling cucumbers.  Wash them good and remove the blossoms.

Small pickling cucumbers being cleaned

I put them in a  Stoneware Pickling Crock and then cover them with boiling salt water.

Cucumbers soaking in salt water in pickle crock

 I stir them everyday for seven days to discourage a film from accumulating on top.  On day eight, I dump them into a sink, rinse them with fresh water and put them back in the crock with boiling alum water.  Days nine and ten, you pour off the water and replace it with a new boiling  alum solution.

Day eleven starts the magic . . . you drain them into a sink, and cut them into  half  to three-quarter inch chunks, and put them back into the crock.  You make a syrup with sugar, vinegar, celery seeds, and oils of cinnamon and cloves.  This is poured off of the cucumbers each of the remaining days, brought to a boil, and returned to the crock.  After day 14 the pickles are ready to be bottled and processed to seal the lids.

Bright green sweet pickles in pint jar

These pickles appear in a relish dish at every family dinner, and chopped they make a great addition to a sandwich.

Here is a special pin for your pinterest boards:  Long pin for garden blog post

Please comment with your favorite way to eat garden grown corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers  – I’m always looking for new recipes!

Some of the links above are affiliate links. Purchasing a product through one of these link
s provides me with a small commission at no cost to you.

Please share...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page
Posted on

Traditional Small Town Parade


I grew up in a small town and participated in this tradition.  The parade was judged and there were different divisions:  walking, bicycles, floats, horses, and pony carts.  As a child  I anticipated and planned for weeks.  Should I wear a costume and walk the three block distance, or decorate my bike with crepe paper woven between the spokes and made into paper streamers?  Maybe I would harness  “Joe Petit Chief” (the pony) to the two-wheeled cart and throw candy to the spectators.  (The people who came to watch the parade were just the parents and grandparents of all the kids, but we still felt important.)

Who Can Gather the Most Candy?

Decades later, I live in a different small town, but still enjoy the annual parade down Main street.  Families gather in their traditional spots along the route, and the children watch for the procession to start.  They bring empty grocery bags to collect the candy and even small toys that are thrown to the crowd.

The Color Guard Presenting Our Nations’s Flag

Color guard presenting the flag and leading the parade.

We all stand as “The Stars and Stripes” pass by and put our hands over our hearts to show the love and respect we have for this great country we live in.

Antique car with dignitaries in parade

We wave at the dignitaries who ride in antique cars.  The Grand Marshall and/or Mistress is picked from the town’s distinguished senior crowd.

Old car with flags in parade

The Mayor is honored, and in an election year we usually see a good number of candidates running for office.  Once, several years ago, my sons were going to walk the parade route selling helium-filled balloons.  Their money-making scheme was foiled, however, when they realized that they were following a political party float that was giving balloons away for free.

Live Music and Marching Formations

Band members marching in the parade

Several members of the local high-school band play for us as they march past.

There are dancers . ..

Hand cart covered wagon pulled by pioneers in parade

people pulling hand carts . . .

Child leading a sheep on a leash in parade

and there might even be a lamb on a leash!

Varied Vehicles

Kids with flags dressed in red white and blue in parade

   A pick-up truck pulling a snowmobile trailer with flag waving children sitting on straw bales.

Patriotic motorcycle rider in parade

Next is a mini motocross rider in red, white, and blue.

Buckboard wagon pulled by a pinto horse in parade

An old  buckboard wagon pulled by two pinto horses makes a few creaking noises.

This is the smallest car we have seen in our parade.

The restored red tractor is all cleaned up for the show.

Lawn mower pulling wagon in parade

Even some of the lawn mowers get to participate pulling wagons with kids throwing popsicles from a cooler.

The horses are washed and brushed to a shine.

The cruiser bicycle group weaves in and out passing each other.

A neighboring town sends their local royalty to ride on a beautiful float.

Bringing Up the Rear 

Old fire truck squirting water on the parade crowd

We all run for cover, or just stay put to enjoy the spray from the fire department’s water truck at the parade’s end.

The candy bags are bulging with taffy and tootsie rolls, and the kids have lots of plastic beads around their necks.  We linger to visit with friends and neighbors before heading to the town square for more activities.

It’s not the Rose Parade, or Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but it is a treasured tradition.  One of those special days celebrated with friends and relatives year after year.

Please save the pin below to your summer fun board and share on Facebook.  Comment to let me know what is in your community’s parade.

Please share...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page
Posted on

Having a Perfect Day at the Beach

Everyone has their favorite beach, whether it belongs to a lake, ocean front, river, stream or reservoir.  We like to arrive early to claim our small section of sand, then walk both directions to see what we can discover.

scenic coastline view
Nothing like a deserted stretch of beach first thing in the morning.
starfish moving along the sand
We watched a starfish leave his unique trail along the sand.
Tiny crab next to a beached jellyfish on the sand
Notice the tiny crab nestled beside this beached jellyfish.
sandpipers in the shallow water
These small birds are finding treasures too!
Blue jellyfish stranded on the sand
Colorful remains?

After exploring, it is time to get down to some serious play.  

Paddling the kayak
Paddling a kayak in the shallow waves.
Playing with buckets under the umbrella
Sand, water, buckets, shovels, and friends.
Towels flying as the girls run on the beach
Chasing birds and drying towels at the same time.
Girls resting on paddle board on the beach
Taking a break to watch the action in the water.
red kite with long tail
Watching a kite dance in the breeze.
A free-form sand castle on the beach
Leaving our temporary mark with a spired castle.

Tired, sun-kissed, and happy as the sun moves low in the sky

shadows across the sand
Long shadows as we say goodbye until another day.

Best Ever Beach Packing List

*Beach Blanket

*Dollar Store shower curtain for under beach blanket or to line an impromptu wading pool

*Beach Chairs

*Umbrella and/or Shade Tent

*Life Jackets

*Kayak, skim board, paddle board, inflatable tubes with hand pump

*Mesh bag with toys:  bucket, shovel, bubbles, squirt guns, frisbee, ball, kite

*Cooler for lunch and water bottles

*Paper plates, cups, and towels – Plastic spoons and forks

*Large plastic coated beach bag

*Light-weight beach towels – rolled

*Garbage bags – one for garbage and one for wet towels at the day’s end

*Zip lock bags for shells and other treasures







*Insert for bag with pockets and rings to clip keys, etc.

*Lip balm


*Small mirror

*Eye drops

*First Aid Kit


*Wet wipes

*Hand sanitizer


*Sun screen

*Insect repellant

*Baby powder to remove sand from hands, arms, and legs


For a fun treat, we like to make sun-baked, foil wrapped s’mores.  Just put small marshmallows on top of half a graham cracker, sprinkle with chocolate chips, top with the other half of the cracker and then wrap in a single layer of tin foil.  Leave in the sun until the chocolate and marshmallows are melted which totally depends on how hot the weather is.  No fire needed!

We freeze juice packets and then cut open the tops to eat with a spoon like a slushy.

Pin this post to find the list when you need it.

Please share...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page
Posted on

Cherry Freezer Jam From Tree to Bottle

A Loaded Cherry Tree

My favorite cherry recipe is frozen jam.  It is sweet and tart at the same time, and a brilliant red color.  When the tree looks like this photo, with lots of fruit on every branch, I drag the tall ladder into the yard and start picking.

Ripe red cherries on tree branches against a blue sky.

It only takes about 3 pounds to make a batch of jam – about the amount pictured below.

Ripe red cherries in a bowl

The Secret to Making it Easy

Removing the pits was always a messy and tedious job until I tracked down this handy cherry pitter.  You simply load them into the slanted dispenser.  One at a time they fall into the slot and when you push down on the handle it pushes the pit out of the cherry and into a receptacle underneath.  As the handle pops back up the cherry is ejected into the waiting dish.  You would think that it would be time-consuming to pit 3 pounds of cherries, but it only takes a couple of minutes.

The best way to remove the pits from cherries is to use a special machine.

Next, I chop the pitted cherries in my food processor by just pulsing it.  You don’t want to liquidate them, leave them chunky.

Cherries being chopped for jam in a food processor

Measure 3 cups of fruit and put it in a small saucepan.  Add 1/2 cup lemon juice and stir.  Then stir in one box of MCP Pectin.  I like to sprinkle about 1/4 of the box at a time, stirring after each addition so there aren’t any lumps left.  You will want this to sit on the counter for 30 minutes, but stir it often.

MCP Pectin is my preferred method for making jam.

Meanwhile, measure 4 1/2 cups granulated sugar into a bowl.  When the pectin has been in the fruit for the full half hour, slowly stir in the sugar.  I warm the mixture just slightly over a low flame to help the sugar crystals dissolve.  Then you can fill the jars.  Let them sit on the counter again for a couple of hours before you store them in the freezer.   The recipe makes just short of 4 pints.

Cherry freezer jam

Try spreading this on a a slice of homemade bread.  At my house, we use an electric knife to cut bread right out of the oven, spread with real butter and a spoonful of jam which seeps down into the texture of the bread.  Don’t you want to try some?

Click the book cover to learn more . . .


Disclosure:  The links above are affiliate links.  Purchasing a product through one of these links provides me with a commission at no cost to you.

Please share...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page