28 June 2010

Ice cream stop #2

After spending the early afternoon at an art show, in what had to be 1000 degree heat and 98% humidity, we knew ice cream was a necessity.

Like breathing...

Well, ok the A/C was heaven and did help with the breathing, but really it was all about the ice cream.

We went to Mitchell's Homemade.

One of my adorable nieces, BabyBelle was very interested in the train they have suspended around the shop. It chugs along and occasionally stops for a rest.

But then she saw this...and really wanted to join in.

We had a variety of items, here the rootbeer float and mint brownie ice cream.

It was a success!

Hope you had a nice weekend too.


24 June 2010

My brother-in-law would not be impressed.

My BIL and his family own a landscape/hardscape design company. They complete large corporate projects as well as create fantastic yards/drives/patios for larger private homes. He has degrees in it and mad skills.

I do not.

So I have decided I now have an English Garden.

That helps me to explain why I have an assortment of flower types, colors, and locations, but no design plan.

I started last year when my mother and I ripped out these hideous bushes along my front walk that really had no business being planted there. They were put in by the original builders, so you can imagine the lack of interest there.

Once we took care of the bushes, I planted smaller Boxwoods and then seeds. The orange yellow and white daisies grew from those seeds. And when I say planted, what I mean is dug a long trough, filled it with MiracleGro potting soil, randomly sprinkled in seeds, and waited to see what popped. BTW, after the second year of daisies, you really need to start dividing them or you will lose your house in the garden.

As you may have noticed, my colors do not really match. In fact, they don't really even go, as they say in fashion. Here was the plan. The daisies went in first, along with a peach lily (which has not yet bloomed this year). In the back of the house, by the patio desperately seeking plants, I put in hostas and mint. The intent was to then add the petunias (purple) around these. Except, I didn't have nearly that much ground space.


So now I have 2 shades of purple along with all the other colors in the front. So there ya go, my English garden!

One last note, this is the mint. I have killed mint before. I do not know how or why, because otherwise I have a pretty good track record with greenery. In fact, inside the house I have a plant a friend of mine bought me in 1995. Yet, here is my sad, starting to yellow mint. Maybe I'm not suppose to let it flower? But the little flowers are so fun.

I'll have to Google that.

Thanks for reading, maybe next year my BIL will give me some pointers.


22 June 2010

Celebrating Summer One ice cream treat at a time!

Because it's summer, and because I LOVE dairy (cheese, milk, yogurt, butter and of course ICE CREAM), I'm going on a tour of Summer Ice Cream Hangouts.

Perhaps to be followed with a fall borrowing my co-workers P90X, but I digress...

Almost every town has a favorite. You know, that place where all the families run into each other, the little league teams go to celebrate a win or get over a loss. That comfort spot that means summer is coming, even though the first day they are open it might still be 50 degrees outside.

We'll get to mine over the weekend.

In the meantime, I started at Rita's.

They have assorted flavors of custard and frozen ice...and you can combine them in one cup!

Unfortunately, the one closest to my house does not have picnic tables. I cannot understand this. I mean, I know you eat it fast, because no matter what you order it's already melting when they hand it to you, but more than a bench or two would be just grand.

So I had to improvise on where to put the Gelati to get a shot. This particular combo is dark cherry ice with vanilla custard.

SOOO Yummy.

And melty, so I had to set it down, get a shot, put the camera in the car and then start eating. Of course, I still ended up wearing a bit. But it's summer so that's ok (and I always carry a Tide Pen - good investment.)

Several friends have made suggestions and are willing to come along for the tour. That's the kind of good friends I have, always willing to be team players!


21 June 2010

Grace and Elegance

The Wilds has a lot of unique animals I've never seen and sometimes heard of before. However, one of my favorites was this zebra that came running by our safari bus.

He's turning to head back to the others, having been out socializing with the neighbors and visitors.

Goodbye!! Have a nice afternoon now.


19 June 2010

Postmodern Quilting

A part of me has to believe this was done with machines. How could the circles be so perfect otherwise?

I was fascinated by this one, stood there staring for a while.

This 3D model was especially unique. It made me think of outer space.

This one came closest to what I think of when I think quilt. But even this one has multiple layers of color, meaning, and texture. There is a pattern, but it's twisted in it's ear a bit.

Loved the organic feel, use of color and flow of texture.


And then there was this one.

It was composed of intricate quilted strips, piled seemingly effortlessly, and divided.

Very intriguing.

And a good example of what happens when the photographer (me) is focused on the art and not all the stuff in the background. This could have been a really good shot, from the other side! But I was so engrossed in the idea of this quilt art, that I failed to notice sun from the door coming in, the other things on the walls, and the lack of composition of the shot.

Oh well, maybe next time!

I hope you enjoyed the field trip!


17 June 2010

Who knew you could quilt that?

The Quilted Surface IV is currently on display at the art museum at a Ohio Wesleyan University. Upon walking into the quiet building, I was surprised to find such unique quilts. These are not your heirloom squares and stitches, these are amazing art which happen to include quilting techniques. The one above, made by Ms. Tipple, used the stitching to compliment the coloring and provide the appearance of texture in the fabric. In reality, the textures were entirely different, provided by the products and paint used in the construction. Oh, and the flowers on the hat jumped off the page. (If you click on the photo it should zoom in and you can see the texture).

It was amazing.

This one is made from industrial type materials, and had a spectacular sheen to it, that followed you as you toured the room. I hope you can see some of it in the photos.

I would absolutely hang this in my home or office (you know, if I had one of those offices with a lovely lobby, coffee bar, and receptionist...but I dream.) The exactness of the detail on this was impressive.

This one was just beautiful to look at. The fabric and texture was perfect, the composition and colors were grand, and the title Disordered Spring (by Katherine Allen of Fl) seemed to be a good fit.

Take those in for a while, more tomorrow or the weekend!


15 June 2010

A Day in the Life...

Do you think wild animals have the same kind of lazy summer afternoons we love?

Hey! What are ya doin' over there?

I was trying to take a nap.

Looks like we're not getting any rain today.

And on a completely separate note, this was a photo I uploaded to The Pioneer Woman's contest of the week - insects! Some of them are really good. I will have to ponder taking more bug photos in the future.

Happy Day!


14 June 2010

A (virtual) trip to South Africa

To celebrate the World Cup in South Africa, (sorry, no great football photos) we will visit with our Giraffe friends! Here they are, walking down the side of the road, looking for some new friends.

This guy wanted to see us up close and personal, except there was a double fence, so this is as close as we could get.

Here is the beautiful family just strolling by. One stopped to snack on the bushes and then re-joined the group. After walking by us, they went to play with the horses in the next field.

In the distance you can see Sue and Nancy headed down to the lake with the hoards of fish. I have some closer shots of them (yes, I do take pictures of people too), but since I didn't mention I was adding them here, we'll go for the distance shot.

Here is the lake with the observation deck where you can feed the fish and start a frenzy!

The walk back to the trail and bus is uphill, but the ladies did it in fine fashion. Hope you enjoyed our too-tall friends!


12 June 2010

Return to the Rose Garden

A saw the movie Letters to Juliet. It isn't a Hallmark movie, or even a Disney movie, although it certainly could be. And it should definitely be sponsored by Kleenex!

I haven't made it to Verona, Italy yet, so I do not have any of those photos for you. But keeping in the spirit of eternal love and Shakespeare, here are some lovely roses.

This garden smells as good as it looks. There are hundreds of varieties, colors, and shapes.

Admittedly, not a great photo, but I wanted to show you the multicolored blooms all from the same bush.

By far, one of my favorite shots. This and the peach close up at the beginning are on the way to becoming greeting cards. A fantastic way for me to combine my hobbies. I imagine it will find it's way to a frame as well. Heaven knows my office could use some color!

The rows feel like they go on forever. I like how the colors just blend into the distance.

I really enjoy the group roses. I realize that these are not available as commonly, especially in retail outlets, but the whole handful of happiness just adds something to the garden!

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet". - (Act II, Scene II Romeo and Juliet).

09 June 2010

Delicious recipe failure.

While wandering through one of the farmer's markets, I came upon the lovely rhubarb table. We weren't a rhubarb family growing up. It wasn't that we were against it, just that our gardens had so many other things, we didn't grow rhubarb. We had a patch of strawberries by the patio (yum), grapes in the back yard, and a veggie garden along the sunny side of the house.

So when I saw these I felt inspired to attempt to replicate a delicious strawberry rhubarb crisp a friend of mine had brought to work. I printed out the recipe, came home, started pulling everything out of the fridge to prep, and realized I lacked a major ingredient, strawberries.


Ok, plan B, rhubarb crisp.

I found another recipe and adjusted a few things.

Apparently my ratio of oats, sugar, butter, spices, etc. to rhubarb was a bit off. So about half way through the cooking time, when it became evident it wasn't going to be a crisp, I stirred it all up.

And got this.

It is a fantastic oatmeal! It has rhubarb, nuts, spices, sugar, and butter. What is not to love?!

It wasn't a complete loss, but I will attempt the original recipe again, when I remember to buy the strawberries and rhubarb at the same time.

Happy Baking!


07 June 2010

Is that what I think it is?

So you're driving down the highway, singing along to your favorite music (mine is Lady Antebellum right now) and you look out and think you must be dreaming...

Because the other option is you just saw a gigantic basket sitting on the side of the road, and I mean huge.

Nope, no dreaming (which is probably a good thing because you are driving after all). This is the Longaberger office building. Really, people work here everyday. How fun is that??

Here is an up close version, in case you are one of those folks where seeing is believing.

The company also has tours and workshops where you can make your own basket, because while their others are lovely, making your own is sooo much better.

Back to your drive down the highway...