August 23, 2008

Blueberry Picking.... Plum Picking..... ALMOST time for Apple Picking!

This year, I've made blueberry jam and froze bags of blueberries for pies, pancakes & muffins!! It still isn't as many as we use to pick, but I'm not complaining! I think blueberries are the best of God's creations in the fruit department! YUMMY! (Not only yummy, but VERY healthy too!) Thanks Mom for sharing your bounty!Years ago when I worked at Plymouth State College (now PSUniversity), a co-worker 'Joyce' would make plum jelly. I had NEVER heard of making jelly from plums, but when I tried some... OH MY WORD WAS IT DELICIOUS! It has been 20 years since I've worked there and FINALLY we have plums (fresh grown) enough to make some myself!! Pete helped his aunt (thank you) pick her plums.... I think this has been the most I've ever seen come from that tree! WOW!!
My first attempt I made plum jam (using the juice, flesh & skins) and my next attempt will be to make jelly (ONLY the juices)! I will be cooking down the plums today..... straining out the juice today & tomorrow and then making the jellies on Monday! These are little 4 oz. jars... they stand 2 1/4 inches tall!!
The weather we've been having is my all time favorite..... chilly mornings & evening and a sunny day with a slight breeze!! It just doesn't get any better then this!! BUT... it sure makes one want to go find an apple tree! I'm not too sure what is going on, but usually I'm not in apple picking mood until mid to late September! (I HOPE THIS DOES NOT MEAN AN EARLY WINTER!)


August 20, 2008

Today is our special day, 25 years of 'wedded bliss'.
Tonight we are going out for a scenic dinner cruise on the
Mt. Washington!

August 13, 2008

Find Good EVEN in a Recession! "OR" And You Guys Call ME Pollyanna!! :)

This article is awesome!! I just had to share it after reading it this morning.... You guys think I'm a Pollyanna who sees life through rose-colored glasses!! Well, I think this author tops me.... and I love it! :)

"Finding Good Even in a Recession"
It's pretty hard to find anything good about gasoline prices hovering at an all-time high in the U.S., but I know that my grandmother would find something positive to point out. That's just the way she was. She could always find a rainbow no matter how dark the storm.I thought about her recently when I read about professors Michael Morrisey, Ph.D. of the University of Alabama and David Grabowski, Ph.D. of Harvard Medical School. They studied traffic fatalities from 1985 to 2006 when the price of gas hit $2.50 a gallon. They've found that for every 10 percent increase in gas prices, there's been a 2.3 percent decline in auto-related deaths. Now that gas prices have pierced the $4-a-gallon mark, they expect to see a drop of about 1,000 deaths per month. In those terms, it's pretty difficult to loathe the high cost of gas. Well, maybe not loathe it quite as much. There's also another good thing about rising gas costs. People are shifting where they want to live and shop so they stay closer to work and home. That means that some blighted areas close to inner cities are getting revitalized, all because of the high cost of gas.By staying closer to home, shoppers are helping out the smaller local stores that struggle to survive. That's what is happening in Thomasville, Alabama, a town that was slowly dying and now is seeing a major resurgence. In fact, the once-sleepy town is experiencing traffic jams on its main street from shoppers who can no longer afford the gas to drive many miles away to a big, fancy mall.If it's any further consolation for the poor economy, Americans are racking up debt at a slower pace these days because it's getting increasingly difficult to acquire new credit.We're also eating out less which, I can only assume, means we're cooking at home more. Could it be that this slowing economy might actually be good for families by bringing them back to the dinner table?There are a few economists who argue that a recession could make us healthier. When times are economically tough, they say, we take better care of ourselves, are more likely to look after others and, surprisingly, we become less anxious. Edward Glaeser, economics professor at Harvard, says that a recession becomes a time of possibility, despite the inevitable human suffering that accompanies it. I don't know all the ways the slumping housing market, high gas prices and soaring food prices are affecting you specifically. I do know this: in every difficult situation, there is always a bright spot, be it ever so tiny. If we look deeply enough, we will find something for which to give thanks. Even in a recession.

Other articles by Mary Hunt that you may find useful:
"How to Prepare for a Recession"
Copyright © 2008 Mary Hunt.

August 9, 2008

Reba Concert.... Can You Say WOW! :)

It isn't easy to take good pictures at a concert (especially on a cellphone camera) because of all the lights, but I tried!! Here are two pictures of Reba... taken last night at a concert in Gilford (Meadowbrook Farm)!!Cindy and I were recipients of a HUGE blessing!! SADLY, friends of ours were not able to go to the concert because of illness. The blessing is that they gave us the tickets to go in their place! The cool part is Cindy and I were looking at the billboard advertisement this past February and thought it would be an awesome concert to go to!! Neither of us followed through with ordering tickets back then and then the only tickets available were WAY back in the grassy seats (bring a lawchair & binoculars) so it was just put out of our minds. Her music is wonderful, her voice is amazing and she has such a sweet stage personality! We had a blast only 31 rows from the stage!! THANKS FOR THE TICKETS!! YOU ARE A BLESSING TO ALL OF US!! AND... WE ARE AAALLLL SOOO THANKFUL THAT YOU ARE FEELING A BIT BETTER! WE'LL KEEP ON PRAYING! :)

August 4, 2008

Bread Pudding

10 slices stale bread, cut into cubes
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups hot milk
pinch ground nutmeg

Heat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, combine bread cubes, melted butter, raisins and cinnamon. Mix well, and transfer to a 2-quart baking dish. In the same bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in sugar, vanilla and salt until sugar is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the hot milk. Pour egg mixture over bread cubes, sprinkle with nutmeg and set aside to soak for five minutes. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remember the smell of bread pudding baking? Can you taste this special treat from your childhood!?! I can't wait to try it again! I know it has lots of eggs, I plan to cut one out and use low fat milk, that should help!! :) ENJOY!