Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy Canada Day!

A day early...but 
Happy Canada Day 
on Thursday, July 1st 
to all of my friends and family to the north! 
Have a great day, eh!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Berries

Summer's benefits are many, but one of my very favorite things is fresh summer berries.  We have a wild blackberry bush growing in our yard {picking berries instantly reminds me of my childhood summers...running barefoot in the grass, chasing fireflies, and picking wild berries}.

 Right now we're well stocked: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries!  

I used some of the blueberries this weekend to make delicious  
Blueberry Buckle  :)

 : Ingredients :
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened

: Directions :

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease one 8x8 inch pan.
  2. Cream together 3/4 cup sugar, shortening, and egg.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir into sugar mixture, alternating with milk. Stir in blueberries. Pour into greased 8x8 inch pan.
  4. To make topping: Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, cinnamon, and butter. Sprinkle over cake batter.
  5. Bake at 375 degree F (190 degrees C) for 25-30 minutes.     

    Such a yummy, old-fashioned treat when blueberries are ripe and in season!
    Perfect for picnics, backyard gatherings and anytime snacking!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

A pond to think by

During the hazy, hot months of the summer season, there's something so calming & soothing about the sound of running water. Whether it's the sound from a sprinkler, fountain, waterfall, or the roaring of ocean waves, the sound of water instantly refreshes.  

We have a birdbath fountain just outside our front door that the birds love to splash in.  The added benefit of the fountain is that it helps to keep the water somewhat purified and fresh. 

We also have a little garden pond that we put in several years ago with a fountain that I just love. For families of little ones {like me} I always caution about ponds or standing water that could prove to be a danger.  Even a few inches of water can be enough to drown a little one. 

But if you have the room, think about putting in a pond or fountain, so you, too, can enjoy the sight and sound of trickling water all season long :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

We All Scream for Ice Cream!

Does your neighborhood still have ice cream trucks?  Even though as a child I was always a little leary of the ice cream truck driver (and even MORESO as an adult!) I think it's pretty awesome that a flash from my childhood is still around for my own to enjoy!

There's still something thrilling about hearing that bell or music in the distance, knowing that an icy treat is on its way!  

Sure, it's cheaper to buy them from the grocery store (or make your own), but it's all about the experience(It's like going to Starbucks - you know you're overpaying for that cup of coffee, but you're paying the extra $$ for the experience of a Starbucks!)

There's the thrill of waiting your turn, unsure of what to pick!  All of the different temptations! It's overwhelming as a kid!  It's one of the few times you get to exercise your ability to buy something for yourself!  It all feels so grown-up and liberating!

And then you get to run home and enjoy your treat! 

A simple joy of summertime :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Doggie Bank

Many years ago, when my husband and I were only dating, I spotted a darling, wooden Scottie dog bank in an antique store that caught my eye.  It was cute and unique, all at the same time.  At the time, I had three West Highland White Terriers (I'm a lover of the breed).  I showed it to my husband, and his response was..."I can make you one of those."  

I'd forgotten all about it when several months later, he gave it to me as a surprise!  It looked exactly like the Scotty one (only crafted like a Westie instead!)  It was the very first project that he ever did for me.

Super cute!

And a view of the back:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Parades

Yes, Memorial Day has become the {unofficial} start to summer, but I wasn't about to let the holiday pass without paying tribute to the fallen men and women that have sacrificed their tomorrows so that we might have today.

I wanted my son to begin to understand the meaning of this important holiday, above and beyond the many BBQs we attended over the weekend, playing badminton, volleyball, and swimming. So we took him to his first parade ~ and caught a second on the way back home.

I wasn't sure if he would be patient and enjoy it, but little kids never cease to amaze me...they understand so much more than we give them credit.  He clapped and waved, and loved every minute of it.

It warmed my heart to see so many people come out and line the streets to applaud the veterans as they proudly marched by us. I adore these "small town America" traditions, and I so enjoy being able to share them with my child...

to pass along the values that we, in this country, hold so near and dear - and to begin to expose him to our nation's history.

I want him to appreciate the sacrifice and dedication of not only our heroic armed forces, but also of the men and women that protect us here at home...our police officers, firefighters, E.M.S and ambulance drivers.

And I also want him to take pride in his community. As citizens we have a responsibility to uphold the values of our Forefathers and to work together to make this great nation the wonderful place that it is.

We were fortunate to have beautiful weather through the weekend, right up until the afternoon on Memorial Day {just long enough to get our own BBQ out of the way} before the heavy storms came and brought downpours for the remainder of the evening.

I hope you and your family enjoyed the festivities over the holiday weekend!  
Now let the summer season {unofficially} begin!