Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday in Maryland

Humid Maryland morning.  Summer is here today...

While cleaning out the neglected garden yesterday we found
a yellow jacket nest in the ground, another little brown snake,
a bunch of big black spiders. hundreds of preying mantis
and miles of vinca vine.
Lesson-Do not leave a garden too long on its own
as you may grow some things you would rather not have.
Hoping to get 3 pretty pink knockout rose bushes in this space,
this evening, after the heat of the day.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lazy Daisy Days

First of my daisies to bloom this year.
Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer.

Monday, June 23, 2014

On the Porch

 Now that Summer is here, I find porch sitting a wonderful place for
some thinking alone and gathering together with family and friends. 

Follow the rules and enjoy your time on the porch.

photo via

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Easy Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

Today we celebrated our great-nephew Braden's Birthday Number 2.
Knowing our grandson has a gluten allergy, the Birthday Boy's Mother,
our darling niece Jamie, did all that she could to be sure he didn't feel left out.
There were plenty of choices for the kids, including GF cupcakes.
She asked that I make my gluten free version of Macaroni and Cheese.  


I start with Barilla GF macaroni...I've tried different brands of pasta which are gluten free,
and like Barilla best of any I have used.   For this big party batch, I used two
12 ounce boxes and cooked the macaroni according to the directions on the box.


I used one 8 ounce package of cream cheese, one 32 ounce package of Velveeta
and 6 tbsp of butter.  Cut each into into chunks, put together into a bowl
and soften, but not melt the microwave.
Drain and rinse the pasta and put it back into the pot and onto the stove. 
Add the soften cheeses and butter to the cooked pasta and over a low flame,
stir to melt the cheese mixture over the pasta. I add milk to the mixture as I stir. I don't measure the milk...(I know, not great directions for a recipe)  but I just keep adding and stirring until the pasta is coated and the
consistency is creamy.  Dylan  loves mac and cheese and with this, he doesn't need to be told that it's one more thing he can't have.

And the Birthday Birthday Boy...He enjoyed  his cake the best.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Girl and Her Toys...

When we set up for the craft show in Ocean City several weeks ago,
the booth directly across from us was a dog rescue organization. 
For a donation, you received a goodie bag of dog toys.
I ended up with 2 of these bags...
one for Lucy and one for granddog Dre. 

 I've been giving Lucy a new toy every couple of days...a variety of
colored tennis balls, a frisbee and assorted stuffed toys. 

 Her favorites are the the stuffed animals...
she loves to pull out the fluff.

 And when she's completely exhausted,
she makes sure no one else can play with them while she snoozes

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Use It Up...Wear It Out

 This is the house where I grew up, just inside the city line of Baltimore, MD.
Lovely old place with 5 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms with claw foot tubs. 
The kitchen had a wonderful pantry, which had at one time been a back stairway.
The basement was a scary place at night
as you had to go down the stairs in the dark and reach for a string at the bottom,
and pull it to turn on a light. Right in the middle of the basement was a
large, round furnace that had once been fueled by coal,
but had been converted to gas before my
parents purchased the house in the early 1950's. 


 And in the dining room was a large register cover, over top of that old furnace,
which was the only place where heat came into the house. 
There was a smaller register in the ceiling, above the one in dining room,
which allowed heat to get to the second floor. 
Yes, it was cold in those upstairs bedrooms and one used the bathroom on
the upper floor very quickly on those very cold days.

 This smiley faced child is me, in the dining room, on my 3rd birthday.  To the right of the table is where the grate was in the floor.  My brother, sister and I would get out of bed on cold, winter mornings and run to stand on the register to keep warm.  We also found that if we had been playing in the snow and hats and mittens got wet, we could toss the on the grate and they would sizzle when they hit the hot metal.

 Our dalmatian, Penny, would lay on it, as hot as it was, and would always have to be
rescued when the name tag on her collar would get stuck in the grate. 

Years later, after I was married and out of the house,
my parents had a new heating system put in...and every room actually had heat.
The old grate was taken out and wood flooring installed to fill in the hole in the floor.
My Father attached the register cover to an old Singer sewing machine base
and made a table out of it. 
When they moved to Ocean Pines, near Ocean City they took the table with them.
When my Mom moved back to Baltimore, after my Dad passed,
she brought it back with her. Last summer, she moved into a smaller apartment
and didn't have room for this unique now sits on my patio.


Lou thinks we should clean off the rust and spray it black....
I think we should leave it as is.  No matter what we decide, every time 
I stroll pass it on the way to the shop, I see a little bit of my childhood.