Wednesday, July 31, 2013

See You Soon

Before the end-of-summer rush begins, I am taking a short break from blogging; I will be back next week.
Jan Zoetelief Tromp

Hope you enjoy the weather during this lovely time of year!

Friday, July 19, 2013


The weather this past week has been absolutely oppressive for me!  I know many people choose to live places much hotter than here, but personally, I have never done well with extremes!  That's why we live in the Pastoral Midwest; we have winters, with snow, that don't last half the year, and we generally have pleasant summers that are warm enough to make a popsicle melt, but not fry an egg on the sidewalk.  Mother Earth has obviously turned on central heating and is living it up! 

Due to our lack of air conditioning I've been trying to stay cool by the fans.  I tried to do some light reading, but really couldn't concentrate!  The heat isn't conducive to motivation or brain power. 

I soon abandoned the reading completely, turning my focus solely to the fan.

I then decided that perhaps I would try swimming in the pool, although I enjoy the lake very much, I am abashed to admit that I have always viewed the pool with trepidation.... It turns out it really isn't my thing!

As a last resort, I tried a cool rag for my forehead...

I really couldn't get comfortable...

At all!  

By this time I had exhausted all of my ideas and was miserably at my wit's end, when suddenly I remembered I had a voucher for a complimentary HAIRCUT buried in my handbag!  

I made an emergency appointment.  Why hadn't I thought of it before?  I've been walking around in a thick, fur coat! I told them to cut it very short because of the heat!  It isn't a masterpiece, but what can you expect from a complimentary haircut?  I'm so much cooler!

To complete my heat revelation, I created a recipe for 

fruit popsicles! 
(Recipe below)


Now You See It, Now You Don't

- - - - - - - - - Popsicles - - - - - - - - -

4 oz. cubed strawberries (by volume not weight)
4 oz. cubed peaches (by volume not weight)
7 fl. oz. juice (we used mango lemonade)
popsicle molds or paper cups with popsicle sticks

* Place juice and half of fruit in blender and blend until    

* Stir in the rest of cubed fruit.

* Pour into molds or cups (it makes approximately 4) and freeze.     
  If using cups and sticks, let mixture freeze partially before 
  inserting sticks. 

* Let popsicles freeze completely, then run molds under medium-  
  hot water until they can be easily removed.

* Enjoy!

Friday, July 12, 2013


Aren't sunflowers spectacular!  They aren't exquisitely beautiful or delicate, but there is something about them that draws me in.  Their vivid color and unique personality light up my garden; when walking through the farmer's market I am inevitably drawn to the stands selling sunflowers.

Every year many of my sunflowers reseed themselves, and every year I add a few new plants, so I have an interesting mix of varieties.   

believe some of them get a little mixed up!

The bees especially like the sunflowers this year!

I enjoy being in my garden so much!  It is like a jungle this year with all the rain we've been getting!!  I love sitting or weeding in the garden, it gets so quiet I can hear the buzzing of the bees, and often goldfinches come to visit and eat the sunflower seeds.  It's just so tranquil and serene!   

My designer made this sunflower hair-clip for me, it goes perfectly with the garden, I almost blend in!  

Many artists have been inspired to paint sunflowers.   
Here are some that have inspired me.

Claude Monet

"I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers."
- Claude Monet

Richard Leblanc

Naturally, I love fields of sunflowers too!  These two paintings capture the almost surreal quality of sunflower fields.  The bright golden yellows are complemented perfectly by the warm, Mediterranean landscape hues.  

Richard Leblanc

Georgia O'Keefe

Gustav Klimt

Although it doesn't, I like to imagine that my garden looks something like this....

Gustav Klimt

Lowell Herrero

Two Sunflowers Move in the Yellow Room -- William Blake

"Ah, William, we're weary of weather, "
said the sunflowers, shining with dew.
"Our traveling habits have tired us.
Can you give us a room with a view?"

They arranged themselves at the window
and counted the steps of the sun,
and they both took root in the carpet
where the topaz tortoises run.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Want to go to the Lake?!  

Throughout my life, my favorite place to go in the summer has been the lake.  It's such a beautiful, peaceful place, and not far down the road. Each time we go I get so excited, I feel like a puppy again!

"A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature.  It is the earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature."
-Henry David Thoreau 

I just love to canoe!

There are many interesting things to look at in the lake.  
We've seen some very large catfish and carp; I'm glad I wasn't swimming with them!  


When I was younger, I loved to swim back and forth between the shore and the boat.  Now I am beginning to appreciate the solace of gliding across the lake's glassy surface and feeling the gentle breeze.    

I really don't know who took this photo!  But after a long canoe ride, one must use the ladies' room.

Though I don't swim as much as I used to, I still enjoy some vigorous wading now and then!

DUCK!! Oh, I'm sorry for that rather embarrassing outburst!  More embarrassing yet is that it was only a decoy duck.... 

Another lovely afternoon at the lake!  It never truly feels like summer until we have enjoyed a day at the lake!  We left at just the right time; on the way home it started to pour!