Thursday, May 26, 2016

Garden Guest: Hummer 2016

 The north side of our front yard is a certified  National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat.  Really!  We have a certificate!  You can do the same by providing food, water, cover and places for wildlife to raise their young.  It is so much fun to see all of the critters that stop by for a visit.  I have a series of posts to show you our Garden Guests.
 
If you would like to see more, please take a look at my Gardening Page
 
 
 
 
These photos were taken by my Handsome Husband!  Great shots, huh?




The lovely visitor is a female Ruby Throated Hummingbird.  Isn't she stunning?
 


 

 They spend their summers in our area, but flit away for the winter.  It's always exciting to see the first hummer each Spring when they return!

And now for a bit of blogging music.  Walker Hayes.  Beautiful.



What's happening in your back yard?

;-)  -Marci

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesdays with a Twist Link Party

Are you ready to party?  

We're your co-hosts.

 


Each co-host will be sharing her own picks for Features. This gives everyone a better chance of being chosen.  Be sure to check all of our blogs!

Choosing features is so very difficult!   I love seeing all the creative posts!  Thank you for joining the party!

My feature this week is...  Drum roll please... 

How I Built My Own Rustic Sink

How to build a kitchen sink base @GrandmasHousDIY



 from Tarah at Grandma's House DIY!  I love it!


If you have been featured we'd love for you to grab a button.

We all love comments!  Please hop around and show some love!

The party starts every Tuesday at 7am EST and will continue until Friday at 11:59pm.  Feel free to stop back any time and "like" your favorites.  Please visit other blogs if you have a moment. 

Share older posts as well as new ones.  No limit on links!
*Pictures should be your own* 
By linking up you give us permission to use these photos
 (with proper link backs) in our features. 
And now for the party!

;-)  -Marci




 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Book Review: Where Lilacs Still Bloom

by Jane Kirkpatrick
 
 
 
 
A Partial Synopsis from Jane Kirkpatrick:  One woman, an impossible dream, and the faith it took to see it through. German immigrant and farm wife Hulda Klager possesses only an eighth-grade education—and a burning desire to create something beautiful. What begins as a hobby to create an easy-peeling apple for her pies becomes Hulda’s driving purpose: a time-consuming interest in plant hybridization that puts her at odds with family and community, as she challenges the early twentieth-century expectations for a simple housewife.
 
My thoughts:  For the most part, this is a lovely book about daily life in a garden.  It's really not very glamorous when you are out there weeding, mulching and watering.  Ask any gardener!  ;-)  The book is based on the life of Hulda Klager, quite an accomplished hybridizer with apples, daffodils and lilacs.  The book brings to light her struggles with family and neighbors which she seems to have met with humility and kindness.  This little read also showcases her achievements.  What a long and remarkable life Hulda led!
 
I swiped a couple of photos from the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens website.
 
 


 
 
You're welcome!  ;-)  It is located in Woodland, Washington.  I would LOVE to see it!
 
Here's a bit of blogging music for you. 
 
Always Stay Humble and Kind.  Tim McGraw.
 
 
 
 
What have you been reading?
 
;-)  -Marci

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Between The Lines Stone Cottage Adventures




Fitness is something I am using to battle my insecurities over my last birthday.  THIS POST talks all about it.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic!

Something else that is helping is an awesome blog series from Katherine's Corner called


 
Between the Lines.
 
It's all about introducing bloggers over the age of 50 that you should be following.  I am so grateful to have squeaked into that category!  Katherine's blog is lovely and I am actually being featured there today!  I hope you'll visit  Katherine's Corner often and meet everyone else!  Many of the featured bloggers have been new to me and I definitely should be following them!

 
Cavanal Killer 8k
 
 
 Participating in the Warrior Dash was CRAZY fun, but it also showed my weakness for running up long sloping hills. 

Last obstacle of Warrior Dash Tulsa 2016


   My amazing friend, Angie, is quite a dedicated runner.  I asked her for help on hills.  She suggested we run the Cavanal Killer 8k in nearby Poteau, Oklahoma.  Yep!  That's 5 miles.  Straight.  Up.  A hill.

Wow!  Isn't Angie helpful?!  ;-)




Let me tell you.  The spectacular view is worth every single step!  You start getting glimpses of it around Mile Marker 3.  No wonder Poteau Chamber of Commerce invites everyone to come!  Cavanal Hill is beautiful!


 
 
Here are some race photos.




 
 A team of fire fighters, as well as police officers, completed the race in full gear.  I am embarrassed to admit I sometimes forget how much training goes into those professions.  What dedication!  Thank you to all service men and women!





Crossing the finish line in 1:19:16.  Out of about 1200 participants, my time was #97!  I went into the race knowing I was not prepared for running 5 miles straight up a hill.  I was hoping for 15 minute miles.  My average was just over 16 minutes.  That works!  What a hill!





Still standing!  Still smiling!



 
'Sending a huge "Thank You" to Miranda from Indiana who was kind enough to share her music with me!  What a great play list!  She and I happened to be going the same pace and had a nice visit as we moved along the steep coarse.  We have lots in common!
 



An even bigger "Thank You" to my amazing friend, Angie, who totally delivered on my request for help with hill work!  Wow!  She takes helping very seriously!  ;-)  LOL!

If you can make it to the Cavanal Killer 8k, GO!  It is sponsored by the Poteau Chamber of Commerce.  The event is very well organized with lots of aid stations.  They also have really sweet volunteers.

There were several motivational posters along the route which is really nice when you are slogging straight up the World's Highest Hill.  My favorite said,
 
"It's a hill.  Get over it!"


Here's something I learned from this race that you might find interesting.  Mountains are 2,000 feet and above.  Hills are 1,999 feet and below.  With Cavanal Hill being 1,999 feet, that makes it the World's Highest Hill.  Cool, huh?
 
;-)  -Marci


Remember to visit Katherine's Corner and meet these lovely bloggers!






TUESDAYS WITH A TWIST LINK PARTY

Are you ready to party?  Me, too!  We're your co-hosts.

 


Each co-host will be sharing her own picks for Features. This gives everyone a better chance of being chosen.  Be sure to check all of our blogs!

Choosing features is so very difficult!   I love seeing all the creative posts!  Thank you for joining the party!

My feature this week is...  Drum roll please...


Watermelon Feta Walnut Salad


This simple summer salad is full of flavor and ready in under 10 minutes. Watermelon feta walnut salad with balsamic tahini dressing is the perfect gluten free, vegetarian meal. | www.pancakewarriors.com

 from Sam at Pancake Warriors!  How pretty!


If you have been featured we'd love for you to grab a button.

We all love comments!  Please hop around and show some love!

The party starts every Tuesday at 7am EST and will continue until Friday at 11:59pm.  Feel free to stop back any time and "like" your favorites.  Please visit other blogs if you have a moment. 

Share older posts as well as new ones.  No limit on links!
*Pictures should be your own* 
By linking up you give us permission to use these photos
 (with proper link backs) in our features. 
And now for the party!

;-)  -Marci









Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pet Photo Challenge

You might remember I accepted a Nature Photo Challenge from Mary at The Boondocks Blog on Facebook.  My nominees were absolutely showing off when they posted their pictures!  Here's the rundown if you enjoy photography.

Nature Photo Challenge Posts

Mine
Mary
Beverly
  Maggie
Travis
Robert 
 
That was so much fun, I began a Pet Photo Challenge on Facebook.  I committed to posting at least one pet photo (past or present) each day for 7 days and nominated a friend each day to do the same.  It was so sweet to see everyone's favorite pet pix!

Here are the ones I posted with a few explanations. 
 

This guy is Handsome Jac,


with our gorgeous daughter,

 
and adorable grandson.
 
 
He was such a good boy.
 
 
We lost Jac to old age a couple of years ago, but still miss him.  Can you tell his favorite ride was the rock crawler? 

 
This cutie is our neighbor's granddaughter holding Beatrix.
 
 
Baby Beatrix
 
  
Beatrix, old enough to lay eggs.
 


This little sweetheart is our granddaughter, Lydia, with Abigail begging for her attention.


They have so much fun together!
 

Our grandson is holding Kati while winking.  ;-)




Napping buddies.

 
Kati likes to sunbathe!  ;-)



Here's me with Ivan who is a total snuggle-bug.

 
 I'm so glad we have couches!

If you haven't already posted Pet Photos or Nature Photos, please know you are welcome to join the fun!  Just let me know so I can smile along with you!
 
 ;-)  -Marci

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Cast Iron Apple Pie Recipe

Mmmmm...  You're gonna love this one! 
 
It's a recipe from my sweet friend, Christal.  (I only changed a couple of things.)  She bakes this recipe using a cast iron skillet, but warned sometimes it bubbles over.  My skillet isn't very big, so I chose my #10 Dutch Oven, but did not use the lid.  Whatever size skillet or Dutch oven you prefer, lining it with foil will quicken cleaning time.
 
 
 
 
1 Stick Butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 Apples, coarsely chopped
2 Pie Crusts
1 Can Apple Pie Filling, 21 ounces
1 Cup Pecans
About 2 Tablespoons of Cinnamon Sugar
 
 


In the cast iron item of your choice ;-) melt butter on stove top.  Add brown sugar and coarsely chopped apples.  Cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.  With a slotted spoon, scoop out the apples, but leave the buttery caramel goodness.




Place one pie crust into the bottom of your skillet.  Let it swim in all that yummy butter and cover it with the apple pie filling.


 
 
Add pecans and sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar.
 
 


Layer the chopped apples next.


 
 
Cover with the second pie crust, cut vents, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar.  Bake at 400 for 30 minutes until crust is golden brown.
 



Christal serves her pies with vanilla ice cream.  We had ours all by itself.  Then we took a nap.  ;-)

This is one scrumptious apple pie!  I hope you enjoy this recipe!

What have you been baking?

;-)  -Marci