Good morning friends! Summer mornings are my favorite times to relax with a great cup of coffee! ( Soon our new deck will be done and I’ll be sitting out there with it, see a future post.) I’ve been using almond milk lately, the trick to optimum flavor is to add a bit extra. I found that lactose free milk still wasn’t agreeing with me as it’s dairy. Along with my cup of java I enjoy a fresh fruit cup of raspberries, blueberries, bananas, golden raisins and almonds. I never would have thought this would fill me up…but it does and not only that it’s fresh and delicious!
Other summer mornings I indulge in my peanut butter oatmeal cup, banana slices and Teddie natural peanut butter or gluten free toast with peanut butter.
While I eat in the still moments of morning, birds calls and chirps can be heard. The bright welcoming sun peeks in the windows…a new day has began! Thank God for this quiet start to a new day!
What is your favorite summer breakfast? Do you enjoy a cup of coffee first thing?
It’s mid July in our neck of the woods, a season of sultry sun and bursts of fresh rain. Amid the hundreds of insects flying and crawling, flowers bloom eagerly as if to say, “ I’m here! Look at me.” A collage of colors surrounds us, ever changing all the time so I don’t blink but capture each moment.
Glowing golden Coreopsis shows it’s face in front of my house. Wispy Catmint sports purple blossoms.
My window boxes are flowing now with deep reds, perky pinks and subtle white Bicopas drape over its edges. Oh how I love them!
Lavender purples plume upward as buzzing bees visit often and enjoy them as much as I do!
This is my east corner of the house, a shady spot where my Astilbe grow as well as spring blooming Lily of the Valley.
I hope your yard is immersed in many colors! Don’t you think they make us happy?
I have sat down three different times to write this post and each time I was almost done and it got erased! It’s frustrating because I was satisfied with it yet now I begin again once more. Hopefully the last time. Has that ever happened to you?
As a young child I didn’t give a hoot about gardens. I remember being around the age of 10 and my dad proudly tried to show me his garden at our Haverhill, NH house. The plot sat in the back of our yard bordering blackberry bushes. Dad tried to put on a tour of all his vegetables and coldly and uninterested I ran away to play. Oh how I regret that with my every being! If I could turn back time I’d listen to soak in the moments as he went through his garden. But I can’t and that’s that.
Now as a mature adult, I’m a gardener like my dad. I guess it all came full circle! It took me half a lifetime to appreciate a gardens peaceful presence and it’s magical qualities. It all started with my paternal grandfather ( actually my maternal grandparents gardened too), progressed to my father and now I continue the tradition. My sister has a vegetable garden too.
Years ago Tom tilled and tended a huge garden for his employer, Mrs. Geneen. He didn’t enjoy it though, for it was his job. I didn’t have anything to do with it until one day I was strolling through the rows of growing green plants. Suddenly an interest sparked within me and from that day on I have tended our gardens. We maintained a garden at the farm for about twenty years and about five here, on our land.
It’s more than a hobby, but as a profound passion of connecting with the earth and growing and nursing vegetables for our family. Digging in the soil of the plot makes me feel alive! It’s calming as I stoop and pull weeds, check the leaves for growth or hoe the narrow rows of dirt. It’s my therapy in life, a special sanctuary to be still or to move among the plants. Sometimes I twist and turn, other times I rest and weed. Whatever I do in the garden, it’s sacred.
As I wrap up this post, I wish to thank my dad for all his gardening advice and for our phone conversations that are focused on gardening. It’s these moments that mean very much to me, times of connections that have strengthened our relationship. Maybe he’ll see this and maybe he won’t and that doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that this hobby has brought us a little closer. I’m grateful for that.
It’s hot and steamy July, a month when one usually doesn’t think of frigid New England winters. Yet soon enough it will be upon us and that’s my husband’s mindset. He knows how frigid and snowy it becomes here and his steadfast winter preparedness drives him to find wood.
Recently Tom bought wood from his friend Mike, cut from his land in our town. He’s been hauling in it, cutting it on the wood splitter and stacking it neatly. So far he has accumulated about three or four cords. We will probably need at least three or four more, enough to last about ten months. We primarily heat our house with our trusty wood stove besides the little kerosene monitor we have in the kitchen.
In the last few summers I enjoy going out and working with Tom. He cuts and I stack, which is an excellent work-out for me. Last summer I spotted a huge black and yellow snake living in the wood pile and since then I’m a bit jumpy and nervous about helping. We have far too many snakes on our property and they creep me out!
When we go on our summer country rides and back dirt roads I appreciate spotting stacked wood piles. It means someone else is planning ahead! It’s amazing to see who still burn wood here. With that said, I’ve heard that many have resorted to burning pellets. It may be convenient and maybe cheaper but you can’t stack bags nor admire their beauty in someone’s yard, right?
Forgive the picture quality, it was through a closed window. See what visited us the other morning? We were having our coffee in the living room and spotted a couple of does in our side yard. They’re so graceful and fun to watch this time of year! I feel beyond blessed to live with these beauties!
A few weeks ago I turned fifty and I really have no problem with it! People I chat with about it almost compare it to going up a tedious hill and how it’s the start of the aging process. Sure, I guess I am closer to retirement now within 15 years and perhaps I’ll start seeing physical and mental changes. But maybe I won’t! Maybe I’ll continue to feel great physically and keep learning about myself and be stronger than I ever have been! That’s all I can strive for, to climb that mountain easily and smile because I conquered it!
Months ago I decided that I wanted us to go on a milestone trip marking the big 50. So we traveled to Las Vegas and had quite an adventure! Next Tom will turn 60 next July and he’s thinking of where he wants us to go to. I also wished to have a little get together with some family members, friends and co-workers to celebrate. It was a great party with my music coming from Dylan’s speakers, good food such as meatballs, a vegetable tray, quinoa salad from my friend Anita, guacamole and tortilla chips, macaroni and pasta salads.
I feel blessed to be as healthy as I am, happily married to a wonderful man who is my friend and a mom to two amazing sons who have conquered the world with hard work and humility. Even though my age is half a century, I still feel like a 22 year- old but with an aged mind and a whole lot of life experience that has brought me wisdom. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. All the stupid mistakes I’ve made have seasoned me and have propelled me to learn and grow.
I’m in the Fifty club now and it’s entirely okay! I look forward to coming years as I age. Hopefully I can remain healthy and happy!
Thanks to my cousin Holly for bringing these yummy gems to our cousin reunion. I’m sharing her idea with you…they’re so easy and delicious!
Two or three packages cream horns
Cut up cream horns in 1- 1 1/2 inch medallions. Each one should have cream filling in it. Add a strawberry slice and a blueberry on top. It’s that easy but a delicious treat that I HAD to INDULGE in a few. It’s sweet with the filling but fresh and fruity too!
Last year I made a blueberry pie to celebrate the Fourth of July. It wasn’t the prettiest I’ve made but I remember that Tom loved it and that’s what matters to me! How about attempting this beauty? Simply cut stars in the crust, revealing a deep pool of blue fruit! I’m going to bake this and will share later! Wish me luck!
What scrumptious holiday desserts are you making this year? We will be having my blueberry pie.
Tom and I aren’t doing much tomorrow, on the 4th of July…fishing, a cook- out for us two and fireworks later. Maybe someday again we will have big plans for the day but the last few years it’s quiet and that’s okay with us!
Happy Fourth of July my friends! Despite the negative media stories, I still love this land and our rich history! God Bless America.🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
My sister and I rode South today to our cousin Lisa’s beautiful home in Ashland, New Hampshire for a cousin’s reunion. The day was steamy and sunny, perfect for sitting on the screened porch. We all caught up over iced tea and lemonade, appetizers such as Artichoke dip and tortillas, a delicious Quinoa salad my sister made ( made with quinoa, feta cheese, avodaco, tomatoes), a beautiful cheese and cracker tray with Fontina and Pepper Jack, Michelle’s chocolate peanut butter cups, my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and Holly’s cream horn medallions( recipe to follow on my next post).
We didn’t have all the cousins there as many live far away. The cousins who could come caught up with our stories, ones of our family and careers, getting older and the dread of finding white and gray hairs and about nostalgic memories at Grammy and Grampa Doyle’s house. We reminisced of Grampa or Poppy (as my cousin Mary calls him) would lay on the couch and grab us children and begin the tickle war. He would stick his tongue out and laugh with such glee. My Grammy had a grinder business ( sub sandwiches for those of you who have never heard of the term) in her house and I remember once or twice seeing her make them. There were races sledding down the hill when you couldn’t stop and banging hard on the out of tune piano on the porch. We all have fond memories of those days on the hill in West Fairlee, Vermont.
My Uncle Mel brought boxes of pictures for us to look at and encouraged us to keep a few if we wished. It was fun thumbing through our dad’s photos and his family growing up. In the photo above my dad is the tallest boy on the right. I didn’t recognize him at first but we decided it truly was him. It does my heart good to see these precious moments captured and I’m thankful Uncle Mel brought them.
So it turned out to be a fun successful day celebrating cousins. Many of us have been busy raising families and haven’t always connected. Even so, we have our childhood memories and our blood lineage to connect us. Perhaps we will have this event again and maybe even more Doyle cousins will attend. It’s something special to look forward to and maybe when all of us have grandchildren they will come too!