A little bit of this and a little bit of that. Daily Ramblings, recipes, photos and whatever else I like to share along the way.

Eek!.... flying insect...



Insects and I do not get along, at all.
I noticed this little fellow late last week on our driveway, not even two days before he/she was humming all around my arm.
My first thought was to pull away but hearing those wings buzzing and then seeing it was enough to stop me cold in my tracks.
Talk about being scared out of my mind.
yikes!
I can sleep a little better at night now.

30 Days....

In exactly thirty days I will be sitting in a hospital bed recovering from surgery.
*gulp*
It is not something I really want done but have to have, there is no option.
So, the time has come to get all my ducks in a row and make sure everything is lined up just so.
When the right time comes, I will share with you what I am having done but today is not that time.
Just sort of on my mind and a bit freaked out.

Apple Picking Time Again!!!




Ahh... I love the time of year when we can go pick apples.
mmmm... apples



We got up early and headed north to Skytop Orchard in North Carolina.

The dew was still on apples and grass, the sun was out bright and the apples were just waiting to be picked.


We grabbed our baskets and headed off into the orchard.



There were no crowds and it was simply wonderful to be surrounded by silence. Sure every so often a rooster would crow but it was so relaxing to be outdoors picking apples.



The trees are simply loaded with apples!
We ended up picking Ginger Crisps and Gala apples this trip, we will be going back at the end of September to gather up some more before the apple season is gone for us.

Apples already picked just waiting to be taken home.


SkyTop Orchard is in Zirconia, NC (near Hendersonville, NC).

Grapefruit Lilly Soap



Yes, my soap did turn out the way I had planned.
I dusted the tops with a white mica just for something different. :)
I used one of my favorite fragrance oils Grapefruit Lilly from Bramble Berry, it is such a beautiful scent.
This was my first time using in a cold process bar and the fragrance soaped like a dream.
This success was a welcomed bright spot in my busy, hectic week.



Relaxation...

The past week has been quite stressful getting the hang of the online school year.
It was bumpy there is no doubt about it, getting lessons straight, finding the answers, making sure both kiddos were in their online lessons at the proper time, and me not going into melt down zone.
We were all happy when the weekend arrived and we could let out a deep sigh that the first week was over.
They did have their first tests and some quizzes, can you believe it?
This week is off to a smooth start (knocking on wood) and looking forward to seeing how the rest of the days will go.
We finished right on time so it was the perfect time to pull out some soap supplies and make a batch.
Relaxation time!
(I've been itching for quite a few weeks to make a loaf and this felt so good today.)
I made a pretty white bar that was scented with Brambleberry's Grapefruit Lilly. I absolutely love this fragrance; it is such a wonderful mix of the two scents.
If all goes well, I will share with you the results tomorrow.

Shh.....I have a secret

I made the double layer chocolate cake tonight but with one tiny little twist, I used a white whole wheat flour mix.
Nobody noticed the difference and to be honest with you it tasted just the same.
Now should I tell them or keep it quiet?


Peach Pie - Recipe



We had a few peaches left in the house and well, they were just calling to be made into a pie.
I had never made one before so I looked in some of my recipe books but nothing seemed to grab my attention. I found this recipe over at Taste of Home and it looked like a winner so I gave it a try.
I'm not very good at making a lattice pie crust but figured I could give it a whirl. As you can see from the picture it was *cough*acceptable*cough* This is one skill that I shall have to keep working on. My dough was way too soft and kept breaking as I was pulling it up to place on the pie. grr! Not to mention I have no clue as to what I did with my pie dishes. (You see I packed quite a few things up early last year because we were thinking about moving.) I ripped through the boxes (yes, they are still packed) and I had no luck in finding them. So, in the end I decided to use my tart pan, a bit bigger but it did the job. (A mental note was made to make sure I find or buy a new pie pan before apple pie season rolls around.)

The pie was quite easy to make and had a wonderful flavor. I am not a big pie fan but I have to say that this one was quite enjoyable. Great with a touch of vanilla ice cream or whipped topping when served.

Peach Pie Recipe
by Country Woman from Taste of Home website.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 1/2 cups sliced peeled peaches
pastry for double crust (9 inches)
3 Tbl cornstarch
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp butter

Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, combine sugars; add peaches and toss gently.
  2. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
  3. Line a 9 inch pie plate with bottom pastry; trim even with edge. Set aside.
  4. Drain peaches, reserving juice.
  5. In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt; gradually strin in reserved juice.
  6. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  7. Remove from the heat; stir in lemon juice and butter.
  8. Gently fold in peaches.
  9. Pour into crust.
  10. Roll out remaining pastry; make a lattice crust.
  11. Trim, seal and flute edges.
  12. Cover edges loosely with foil.
  13. Bake 450 for 25 minutes.
  14. Remove foil.
  15. Reduce temperature to 350; bake 20-25 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.
  16. Cool on a wire rack.
Yields 6-8 servings



Coach D's Hot Wings - Recipe

Mmmm...hot wings

Blue cheese or ranch dressing

napkins and wet wipes to clean up afterwards

Dh, Spencer and I just love hot wings.
We have finally found a recipe that has a tiny bit of sweet with a nice kick of hot!

This recipe was given to us by Spencer's soccer coach this spring. He (coach) made wings for the end of the year party and they were out of this world so of course we had to ask for the recipe.


This is the magic hot sauce to use in when making the wings.


What the sauce looks like once all the ingredients are added.


Hot Wings Recipe

3/4 cup honey
1 cup Tapatio Salsa Picate
1 tbl red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic powder


  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Microwave for 10 minutes-just enough to make sure the honey mixes in completely.
  • Cook wings on grill.
  • Once the wings are totally cooked, place in the hot sauce and enjoy!

Spicy good!


Hendersonville NC Pictures - Day Trip


This past weekend we wanted to go somewhere but still stay a bit "close" to home.


We decided on Hendersonville, NC, it is such a quaint, friendly, and lively town and one of our favorite places to visit.


It has unfortunately been a few months since we have been there, time sure does fly.
It was a beautiful sunny day, and it was just so nice to be away from it all.

We noticed all these wonderful fun apple statues around the town in addition to the bears.

Many of the bears were located in front of or near the businesses they reflected.

How fun and they were a great conversation piece when we saw all of them.
(I did not take pictures of all the statues.)

There are many apple orchards around this area (which I can't wait to go apple picking in a few weeks) which as you can see really influences the area.

(This apple was my favorite, it was all sparkly.

Nate wanted to go into the Mineral & Lapidary Museum (no admission fee but donations accepted), which is where we saw a head of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Spencer was amazed at just how big the teeth where.


We then wandered into a few of the many antique stores before we decided that it was time for some lunch.


We found a pizza place outside of downtown and sat down to a slice.

A wonderful family outing and would highly recommend a visit if you are ever in the western part of North Carolina.


Beautiful iron gate in front of a house on main street.


Beautiful lights outside a door on one of the side streets.


Excellent local art work displayed on the street in a flower garden.

Internet... not at night.

Sunday night I completed my work around the house and sit down to blog.
Except....
No internet connection and I have no idea when it came back on.
Alrighty, I figured that I would blog Monday after the boys have done their first day of school.
Get everyone settled for the night, get on the computer and bam! internet goes down.
No hope in site of it coming back so I call it a day.
Apparently there is a business that is taking up too much bandwidth at night (dh called this morning) and they are working on it.
I sure really hope so because it is putting a crimp into my blogging time.
*crosses fingers* with some luck I will finally be able to post about our Sunday trip tonight.
That is what has been keeping me off of the internet and away from you.

Teaser Picture

!! This post was done Saturday night-I thought I posted it but it appears I hit save only. So, even though it is late it is better than never.!!

Just a little teaser picture, we took a day trip today and I have to admit that I am pretty tired.
I was up super early (not one to sleep in), and then spent the day on a lovely day trip with the family. *grin*
Heading off to catch some zzz's and I promise that I will post my pictures and fill you in on my busy day.
Good Night.

Easter was when?!?

Nope, no need to check your vision this is a chocolate bunny left from Easter.
We have two of them and neither have been touched!
Can you believe it?

Rice Cooker Heaven...




This is my newest toy and I love it!
We had a different steamer to make rice and veggies and that died apparently after the last time I used it but never found out until I went to make rice in it.
Put the water in, rice, turn on the timer and zip-nothing happened.
(I am not able to make perfect rice in a pot on the stove like my mom.
No matter how hard I try it turns into a big messy glob. Not a pretty site by any imagination.)

So, we were in the market for a nice new rice cooker and we found one.
We zipped into Costco for some items and this Aroma Rice Cooker on the shelf looking at me.
The cooker was an excellent price and looked like a really nice one.
How could I resist?
I have to say the last eight times we have made rice they have all turned out perfect.
I'm such a happy camper and the family is enjoying rice again.


Helpful Tip #3....

You might want to make sure that you get around in the AM before you start anything.
Why?
Well, you never know when the UPS driver will show up with an item that requires you to sign for it even though you have your signature on file.
Not that my hair was every which way, still in my pj's and not in the mood to be friendly.
(my teeth were at least brushed)
Nope, not me...

Soy Tea Lights...


I have wanted to make tea lights for quite some time but never seemed to have the time.
Yesterday however I was able to squirrel away some time to attempt making them.
I used my regular soy wax (CB135), tiny tea light cups, and wicks that were recommended for tea lights.
It seems like everything went according to plan, now I have to sit and wait a week before I can give them a burn.
(The longer a soy candle sits the better the fragrance becomes and we all want a higher scented fragrance.)
Anywho.. I used one type of wick with Grammy's Strawberry Jam and a different wick with Blueberry Muffin.
I also know that the same wick will not always work properly with other fragrances so more testing will be involved. I have at least attempted to make my first soy tea lights and with some finger crossing they will burn evenly and properly.
I will keep you posted.
Oh! I and I even remembered to put the wick number on the bottom of the tea cups so that I can remember which one was which. (I was using my noggin yesterday!)


The remaining wax that I had I made into tarts and let me tell you everything I made smells so mouthwateringly good.


What happened?

Yes, that is part of the question I asked myself today.
The full question was, " What happened to my son?"

I was busy hustling around cleaning up the house and changing sheets.
The next thing I knew Nate had started to pull items off his floor and put them away.
Then I was asked to please leave while he did his magic.
A-l-r-i-g-h-t
Forty five minutes later, I was asked to go inspect his room.
Whoa! nothing was left on the floor, items were all dusted down, his bed made neatly and all clothes were put away.
I was totally speechless.
Not sure how long it will last but I will take it.

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