Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Wisdom

"He who answers before listening-
that is his folly and his shame."
Proverbs 18:13, NIV

Saturday, May 30, 2009

After the Rain

The rain showers lasted for a short time and then the sun peeked out from behind the remnant clouds.
Everything was dripping with raindrops.
The flowers almost seemed joyous with the refreshment.

Even the porch plants were moved out for a quick drink of rain.
After the rain ceased this fern went back to its pedestal by the door.
This morning brought sunshine, blue skies, and a slight breeze-perfect weather for breakfast on the porch.
This morning also brought new blooms and flowers refreshed.

Once the tea pot is empty and my morning blog visits complete I will get to work on gardens and house stuff:)
Have a blessed day dear friends and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us after the rain...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Rain, rain, rain

I love to sit on the front porch during a rain shower.
This rain shower was complete with thunder and lightening.
A few days ago I decided to surprise my husband with this antique desk that he liked at a local consignment shop (our anniversay is next month so this was an early anniversary gift). My dear friend, Christine, went with me to pick it up (thank goodness it fit in the back of her minivan) and then she helped me move it into the house. After getting it in the living room I decorated it and turned on the lamp so hubby would be surprised when he got home from work. A little while later he came home, walked into the living room and then back to the kitchen. We talked for a while and then he went back to the living room and watched TV while I finished fixing supper. Then we sat on the sofa IN FRONT OF the desk and watched TV-and no, he still hasn't noticed it yet. Finally Kramer jumped up on the desk and I fussed at him hoping that perhaps hubby would notice that there was a desk in the corner with a light on that wasn't there before! Nope, he kept watching TV. Finally he turned around to see what Kramer was doing and then he noticed the desk. He'd been home an HOUR before he noticed it! Needless to say he was surprised (once he realized that something was there:) and very happy with the desk. Of course we laughed about the fact that he hadn't noticed it for an hour!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Garden Adventures

The back yard gardens are beginning to bloom. Day lillies in purple and pink.
Another day lilly in burgundy and gold.
The simple beauty of daisies.
My favorite, the yellow rose.
Of course, I like the pink rose too.
Day lilly.
Gardenias send their sweet perfume throughout the back yard.
The first of our passion flower blooms.
I love the beauty of flowers! Thanks for sharing my garden adventure:)

Kramer Chronicles

For those of you who are just arriving to the Parlor, this is Kramer, our soft feral cat that adopted us when he was 3 weeks old. The only siblings he has known are our dogs so he believes himself to be a dog although he occasionally does kitty things which confuses him greatly. Because he believes himself to be a dog he wants to be included in all of the dog activities which includes feeding time (Kramer has his own private dining area for cat food in my bathroom). Our dogs are fed in the kitchen and get broth in their dry dog food (Calvin is a fussy eater and since he gets broth the other two have to have broth as well). Kramer wanted to be a part of the dining routine so he waits with the dogs in the kitchen and is given a small bowl of broth along side his siblings.
Sometimes he doesn't want to partake of his broth in the kitchen so we give it to him in the dining room. For some reason this time he wanted it at the table. this what I ordered?

Kinda tastes like broth...

but then again I think it may not be the flavor I wanted...

Then again, it's actually quite tastey!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Vanilla Cranberry Scones

Here is the recipe for Vanilla Cranberry scones:)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Mix together 3 cups of self-rising flour, ½ cup of sugar, and 1 package of vanilla pudding mix (use it dry). Once dry ingredients are mixed add one stick of butter (I put my stick of butter in the microwave and melt it) and mix until crumbly. Then mix in 1 cup of buttermilk and ½ package of dried cranberries (I use the Ocean Spray dried cranberries). Mix until dough is stiff. Roll dough out on a floured surface about two inches thick. Cut out using small round cookie cutter and place on baking sheet. Bake for 11-14 minutes until scones are firm.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

God Bless those who paid the ultimate price for the freedom and blessings of this country.
Thank you.
A symbol of the freedom of this great country.
I began this beautiful day with breakfast on the front porch. The flag in the above picture was hanging proudly at our neighbor's house across the street reminding me why I was able to enjoy this early morning breakfast and a day off from work.
From there I decided to stroll through the yard photographing all of my husband's hard work. This little cherub hides amongst the Hawthorne bushes.
Around the bushes a ferocious garden gator awaits:)
Lots of Lantanna this year. I love these bold orange, red, and gold Lantanna flowers.
Purple flower plant thing (I'm not the gardener-I'm just the photographer so these are purple flower plants).
More Lantanna, this time in soft pastel colors.
And more Lantanna!
I follow the path further and admire all of dear hubby's hard work.
Hydrangea bushes, elephant ears, and a respite for the feathered visitors.
This is all so enjoyable and then...
I round the corner and YIKES!!!
Looks like there is still some work to be done. I'll post more pictures once he finishes this section of the gardens.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday Wisdom

"Pride only breeds quarrels,
but wisdom is found in those who take advice."

Proverbs 13:10, NIV

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Birthday to a Tea!

A dear friend of mine turned twenty-one this week. In honor of this occasion I threw a tea to celebrate her birthday. (Hmmm...when I was twenty-one she wasn't even born yet-all of a sudden I am feeling a bit old:).
Her mother gave her roses.
The table was set with candles, fresh roses from the garden, and lots of goodies.
The menu included Vanilla Cranberry scones with homemade strawberry preserves, cheese, strawberries, grapes, and olive cream cheese spread with bagel chips. The strawberries were delicious!
Rose scented candles graced the coffee table in the living room (perhaps I should refer to it as a 'tea table' after all this was a tea party-lol)!
More fresh roses.
Guests had a choice of Paris tea blend from Harney & Sons or Apricot Vanilla tea.
Tea cups and white lace.
Happy Birthday Meagan!

It's Satur-tea! Brewing the Perfect Pot of Tea

Here are the directions for brewing the perfect pot of tea:)
Brewing Black Tea (using loose leaf tea)

Temper your tea pot by pouring hot water in it and then pouring it out through the spout.

  1. Put 5 level teaspoons of loose tea leaves into the tea strainer (I use a tea sock)
  2. Place tea strainer into tempered tea pot
  3. Pour boiling water into pot through tea strainer and let steep for 3-5 minutes depending on how strong you like your tea (I usually steep for 4 minutes).
  4. Remove tea strainer with leaves and enjoy your tea!

For Decaf Tea (yes, you can decaf your tea:)

  1. Temper the tea pot
  2. Put 5 level teaspoons of tea leaves into tea strainer
  3. Boil double the amount of water (enough for two pots).
  4. Pour boiling water into tea pot through strainer and let sit for about 30 seconds.
  5. Remove tea strainer with leaves and dump the water from the pot.
  6. Put the strainer with leaves back in the tea pot and pour the remainig hot water into the tea pot through the strainer with tea leaves and steep for 5 minutes.

The caffeine goes out in the first wash:)

Brewing Loose Leaf Green or White Tea

For Green or White teas follow the first set of instructions BUT let the boiling water sit for about 2 minutes before pouring over the tea leaves. Once it has cooled for two minutes pour the hot water into the teapot through the strainer and tea leaves and steep for 3 minutes. Boiling water tends to make green or white tea leaves bitter.

My favorite teas are from Harney & Sons ( They have a wonderful webiste with an incredible selection of teas. My favorites are Vanilla, Paris, Mango, Appricot, Earl Grey Supreme, and Darjeeling.

Happy Brewing!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Saturday Musings-Part 2

Saturday evening we gathered at a friend's home for the end of the year choir party. This family lives on another of the beautiful private island communities nearby.
The homes and yards are to be kept as natural as possible. We were greeted by flowers and trees.
An iron settee provides a shady spot to sit and enjoy nature's splendor.

The house is nestled among various flowering shrubs.
Flowers graced the indoors as well.
The screened porch overlooked the woodsy backyard. I felt like I was camping (in the lap of luxury of course:).
Even the bowl of fruit was natural:).
Sunflowers brought sunny bliss to the living room.
Keys hang awaiting someone to unlock the view.
Shadows dance across the stone hearth.
Outside, sun rays dance through flowers.
A slight hint of pink dapples this cottony white hydrangea bouquet.
A rocker waits patiently for someone to sit a spell.
This rustic settee provides a relaxing spot on the porch.
Blue skies are the perfect backdrop for soft white blooms.
Remnants of a tree make for great natural yard art.
Fruit ripens on the end of a branch.
Rustic shudders.
Perhaps a quiet moment rocking away in the sun's evening rays.
A lantern waits to illuminate the dusk to come.
The dinner was complete with good food, great friends, and a glorious natural backdrop.
***Don't forget to visit the May 11th post to RSVP for the June 6th Blog Tea Party:)***