Categories
family fruit outside quick bread

apple orchard morning

11 cider pumpkin spice bread

10 fall quiche cider orchard snacks on counter

9 cider shopping cart lodge magic

8 donuts at stuckey

7.5 cider slushie stuckey

7 stuckey farm honey bees

6 stuckey store popcorn jugs

5 running orchard rows

4 freckled apples

3 tree top

2.5 stuckey apple on branch little white flower

2 jump off wagon to pick apples

1 growing memories at stuckey

running orchard rows
hay wagon toward the harvest
autumn fruit is here

hot apple cider
spicy pumpkin loaf baking
autumn treats are here

quilt on top of bed
grey clouds blanket sky blue sky
autumn air is here

Categories
family inside outside

kindergarten cannot wait

kindergarten chalk drawing

bead crown

bread and jam for frances

bread and jam for k

grasshopper perched on black eyed susank smile front step

picking red raspberries and purple bowl

shuck corn front step silkskindergarten hands up 2
Tomorrow is a big day for my niece (and her family); it’s the first day of Kindergarten! Earlier today we did things the almost-kindergartener likes to do: make bead crowns, read books, eat bread and jam, play library, shuck corn, pick raspberries, chase butterflies, and draw on the sidewalk.  This little wonder has more heart and energy than she knows what to do with, and I am proud to be her aunt.  She cannot wait for school, and we cannot wait to see what is in her future.

Categories
birthday family

9 alive!

9 soccer ball cupcakes 9 soccer ball cupcakes blow out candle 9 soccer ball cupcakes leftLast weekend I was privileged to join a special group of kids to celebrate my nephew’s ninth birthday, Italian soccer style. My sister put together a delicious pasta bar and festive cupcakes to match the theme. The evening ended with backyard soccer and ice cream cones! I became an aunt the morning he was born, and my heart has been growing bigger every day since. I wish so many things for him, including a life that continues to be filled with love and laughter.

Categories
family outside

the spirit of the schoolhouse

1 collins schoolhouse teacher desk

2 collins schoolhouse weathervane

3 collins schoolhouse bookshelf magic windows

4 collins schoolhouse weathervane

5 collins schoolhouse bell tower

7 collins schoolhouse wood stove

8 collins schoolhouse chimney soot

9 marbles and bell in mirror

10 collins schoolhouse numbers blackboard
On a Sunday afternoon visit to a rural one room schoolhouse, on the opposite end of the county from where my great-grandmother taught a century ago, I thought about how we learn, where we learn, and why we learn. I also thought about how fortunate I was/still am to be surrounded by a family of public educators. That legacy of a lifelong love of learning is not something I take lightly.

Categories
family snack

deviled eggs mom’s way

1 deviled eggs on romaine in tupperware a deviled egg yolk ingredients boiled yolks ready for filling on romaine c recipe for deviled eggs deviled egg filling two teaspoons deviled eggs mom's way

Deviled eggs: one tasty dish that I associate with the return of Spring.  I first remember eating them at my grandma’s house for Easter dinner, then as part of the potlucks during Memorial Day and Fourth of July cook-outs.  It never occurred to me why my deviled eggs never tasted like those that I remembered eating at family gatherings.  I had been following, what I thought were, fairly standard deviled egg recipes; they all included some sort of mustard.  It turns out that the deviled eggs I grew up to love only had three ingredients — eggs, sugar and “salad dressing” (a sprinkling of smoked paprika was my addition).  I learned this fact when I made deviled eggs with my mom this past Easter, her way.  She turned to her recipe box and pulled out an index card describing her mom’s recipe.  We laughed at the spelling of the title, and she told me, “I typed this recipe card the day before I left for college.”  Slightly sweet and simply egg-creamy.  Now I look back at these photos and think of the promise of Spring and the comforts of home.

A helpful resource: 5 Secrets to Perfectly Hard-Boiled Eggs – thank you, Design Mom.

Categories
family outside travel

buds in nyc

a cloud sculpture central park a magnolia central park south blossoms west fifty seven (six)A few weeks ago I was in Manhattan for a quick research trip with my mom (though all researchers know that there is no such thing as quick research).  It was snowing when we flew into the city at midnight, and despite cool temperatures, there were signs of spring throughout the city.  These photos were taken nearby Central Park South.  Sculpture by Olaf Breuning.

Categories
beverage family holiday inside

happy golden days of yore

1 k steamy mug hot cocoa 2 k mallow baldwin piano light

Categories
candy cookie craft family holiday

prefab gingerbread castle made fab

candy plate decorating gingerbread castle cinderella candy castle coach cinderella mice candy castle roof gumdrop snowman alienI’ll admit that I was not thrilled with the idea that my niece chose a prefab Cinderella castle kit from the store for our annual gingerbread session this year.  She loves to bake and is now old enough to see the project through from scratch.  I was looking forward to designing our own charming chalet or creative candy cottage a la Hansel and Gretel.  In the end, the gingerbread castle we put together from the kit still allowed for unique touches.  My favorite parts are the mice dancing on the roof and the alien-looking snowmen with the blue eyes (all from the brain of the sweet five-year-old).  I need to remember that these activities are, above all, about togetherness and that the outcome will inevitably be as unique and fabulous as the individuals involved.

Categories
birthday cake family friends inside outside

where did summer go?

an I spy spool barbecue beets bday cupcakes bratwurst kale pepper foil dinner charcoal grill apple tree gutter coconut curry custard pie jello salad fire pit brats grandma coconut birthday little mermaid sea cake overgrown gazebo pumpkin custard pumpkin granola yogurt queen anne's lace apple background tea bags reflect stove blue tea bowlsIt happened again: lots of living and not much blogging.  This summer has been adventurous and at times, delicious.  I am grateful for the milestones we celebrated and the simple moments we savored.  When I look at these photos I remember unexpected treats from this past season; wishing all of you those reminders of the good times.  I sense a reflective autumn coming on.

Categories
birthday family ice cream outside

time’s a cranking

1 cozywalls time hand cranking ice cream grandma 2 rock salt for hand crank ice cream at grandma's 4 grandma hand crank ice cream 6 taste of homemade vanilla ice cream 7 melting vanilla ice cream from hand crank with spoon 8 cranking ice cream then and now 9 homemade ice cream with saltine in bowl

Together with my sister and her kids, we hand-cranked a batch of vanilla ice cream with our grandma/great-grandma on the cement outside of her front yard.  We were celebrating her 85th birthday… the same way we did when my sister and I were kids.