Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Color Of Spring

~water pencil in Photoscape~

The flowering redbuds and lilacs will soon 
be just a memory until next year.
It's hard to say goodbye to such beauty and they
have been exceptionally beautiful this spring. 

We are fortunate to have several lilacs and redbuds 
in our yard.  Some of our redbuds were planted
by Mother Nature.  The redbud growing in the row of lilacs is
a volunteer as is the larger redbud in the background 
in the photo above.

We dug most of our redbuds down by the creek when
they were very small.  The lilacs were planted from
shoots we dug from around the base of the main
plant.  One of our lilacs was given to us by a friend and
a couple of them were brought here years ago
from our former home.

I adore the pastel colors of spring such as the pinks, lavenders,
yellows and greens.  It's hard to choose a favorite spring color.
I love them all.  Do you have a favorite?

Until next time...
xoxo  Cheryl

Monday, April 28, 2014

I'm A Cheap Date


I guess you could call me a cheap date.  Hubby and I picked up some fast food Saturday evening and headed to the lake to eat it.  We sat for quite a long time visiting and watching the various birds and gazing at the water.  The sun was playing peek-a-boo behind the clouds with the rays streaming down every now and then.  It was a beautiful evening.  But all good things must come to an end, as they say, and it was time to head back to the house. 

On our way back, I was driving across the dam of the lake and admiring the red bud trees that are still in bloom when I squealed and almost slammed on the brakes.  I asked BG to quickly hand me my camera bag that I always carry with me.  I zoomed in and asked "do you see what I see"?


I zoomed in as far as I could, and there he/she was!!


I had already spotted what I thought were a few Bald Eagles flying high over the lake when we eating.  I was super excited to spot the nest and although it wasn't close enough to get a real clear shot and the skies were darkening, you can see the Baldie in the nest!

The sighting and snapping all happened in a matter of minutes and while BG admires Bald Eagles, too, he just doesn't quite get my excitement at seeing them.  I reminded him that while it takes bling and such to please some women, isn't he lucky that it's the simple things like bird sightings that make me happy??  He just laughed.  :)

It was the perfect ending to our cheap date.  The outing didn't cost much, but the rewards of finding a Bald Eagle nest complete with the eagle sitting in it were priceless!

Edited to add:  We were under a tornado watch the biggest part of the day, but we're safe as I write this.  We had rain and a bit of hail, otherwise all is well.  Hope all our blogging friends in the path of the storms are safe/stay safe, too.

Happy Monday to you!

Until next time...
xoxo Cheryl

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Randoms

The Redbud trees are gorgeous this year.

It rained yesterday and the only thing I got done was 3 loads of laundry until time for dinner.  In other words, I was lazy.  Very lazy.   Don't you think that we all just need to be lazy every now and then?  I do.     

I love snapping Goldfinches because they sit fairly still!

The new Skechers that I mentioned buying in this post are the most comfortable shoes I've had in recent years.  I love them!  I've done a lot of walking in them the past few days when shopping and for a walk at the lake.

American Coots

One reason I love blogging is that I learn something new nearly every day!  The latest I've learned is...that not everything that looks like a duck and floats on the water is a duck.  I found out from blogging friends Theresa and Ruth that the name of the waterbird in my last post was called an American Coot.  I had to look it up and found out that the Coot is a common sight in nearly any open water across the continent, and it is a closer relative of the Sandhill Crane than it is a Mallard or Teal.  It doesn't have webbed feet, either.  I also learned that the oldest known Coot lived to be at least 22 years old. 

Just because I love to snap these big birds, too.
Forecasters are predicting a massive tornado outbreak this weekend for several states including mine, MO.  This means I won't be getting much sleep and I'm very glad that we have a basement, if the siren sounds.  I hope those of you who live in the red zone for this weekend have a shelter if needed, too!  Stay safe! 

On one of those busy days in which I'm glad I wore the Skechers, I went shopping for garden plants, flowers for the pots, and some new capris.  I stopped by the flea market and spotted the small table above.  It says on the tag that it is cherry and it appears to be in good shape other than needing painting.  I could use an extra little table and the price is right.  At the time, I didn't want to put it in my car because I thought I'd need the room for garden plants and flowers, but I think I'll go back and hope it's still there. 

Happy Friday to you!

Until next time...
xoxo Cheryl

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Walk By The Lake

The other morning my daughter and I decided to take a walk at the nearby lake.  I often take sunset photos here and it's beautiful in spring with the many redbud trees and flowering wild plums.  She didn't have to go to work until noon as she was working late that day, so we had time for a walk and to also look for some morel mushrooms.

Let's drive down one of the points on the lake and see what we can find.

I spent more time with my camera looking at interesting trees and snapping photos than looking for 'shrooms.

Several patches of May Apples (podophyllum peltatump) were seen.  These plants that grow in wooded areas before the trees have leafed out will produce small apples, but I wouldn't eat one.  The seeds of the fruit are poisonous, as are the roots of the plants.

Here's my daughter walking by one of the many wild plums looking for a mushroom.  "Hey, Kim!  I think you need to go deeper into the woods!"  She's afraid of snakes. 

We saw lots of ducks in and out of the water.  I don't have a clue as to what kind of duck this is.  Anyone know?

I wonder if this is the same Blue Heron that visits our pond?  The lake is not far from our house as the crow flies, as they say.

We didn't find even one little bitty mushroom, but we did find it was a perfect morning for a walk by the lake!

Happy Wednesday to you!

Until next time...
xoxo Cheryl

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Questions

Our weekend was gorgeous with warm temperatures and sunshine.  I woke up Sunday morning for the first time in days without my throat feeling like knives stabbing the back of it.  Because I still wasn't really up to par, we had a low-key dinner.  Our kids were here and helped BG get the fruit trees planted Saturday and also put together 2 raised beds for the strawberry plants.  It was a nice day for me to just sit at the patio table and admire the red bud trees which are in full bloom right now.  

I also watched a pair of bluebirds flying to and from the nesting box.  I always have my camera handy, but the birds were too far away to get a really good shot.  We've been lucky to have several bluebirds in our backyard in the nearly 27 years we've lived here.  They always seem to know when I have a camera in hand and won't come close enough for clear picture.  Some day maybe I'll get lucky!

So that was my weekend, now let's have some fun!  

I have come up with a dozen questions for this Monday in order for some of us to get to know each other better.  Just copy and paste the questions and add your answer in your comment, or just list your answers in order of the questions!  These are really easy, but if there's something you don't want to answer, just skip it.  Okay?  I'll give my answers first.  :)  Here we go:

If you had to choose, would it be a black shirt/top or white shirt/top?  black

Blue jeans or capris? 

Iced tea or hot tea? 
iced tea

In your home, do you prefer neutral wall paint or colors? 
neutral, but I do have red in my kitchen
Which is your favorite - Spring or Fall? 
Fall, but Spring is very close to a tie

Would you rather watch a movie at home or go to the theater?
movie at home

Snacks - salty or sweet? salty

For exercise, would you rather walk on a treadmill or ride a stationery bike? 

Do you prefer to read fiction or non-fiction? 

Which would you rather go to on vacation, the mountains or a beach? 
Ozark Mountains near Branson

If you are able, would you rather play tennis or golf? 

Italian food or Mexican? 

Wasn't that fun?  We'll do this again sometime.  Happy Monday to you!

Until next time...
xoxo Cheryl 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Friday's Randoms

First up, a Cardinal...just because.  I wish I could tell them how much I appreciated their cheerful, colorful selves this winter when it was so drab and dreary outside.  I expect they appreciated my keeping their feeder filled with yummy sunflower seeds, too. 

BG went to see his cardiologist Thursday afternoon after having some chest discomfort and shortness of breath throughout the week.  The EKG looked perfect.  Next up is an Echocardiogram in early May.  If that is okay, then an upper GI will be done.  The doc said the problem could possibly be acid reflux.  He also said he could continue working as always.

The Goldfinches are changing back into their summer finery.  The males are especially looking more colorful every day.

I would be remiss if I didn't recognize that today is National Linemen Appreciation Day, especially since my hubby is a rural electric lineman.  That is him on the pole above.  My hat is off to all the linemen who often work in very challenging conditions to make sure that the power stays on. 

The photo above is from last year.  Our redbuds are beginning to bloom and I'm hoping the frost we had night before last didn't hurt them too much.  It won't be long now and I can pick out flowers for the pots on the patio.  Can't wait!       

If I don't see you before Monday, have a wonderful weekend and a blessed and joyful Easter!

Until next time...
xoxo Cheryl

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Favorite and Some News

You've probably heard in the news that meat prices are going up and upI know some of you eat very little meat or none at all.  BG and I both grew up on a farm and there was always meat at every meal.  We both love beef and pork, but we also try to eat a lot of chicken and fish.  Every now and then, I'll cook a meatless meal and today I'll share one of my favorite pasta dishes.  You can add Italian sausage or chicken to it if you must, but it is good without any meat!  

First, you will cook 16 ounces of penne pasta in a pan of lightly salted water until al dente.  


While the pasta is cooking, peel and mince 3 or 4 cloves of garlic  and cook in 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat for a minute or two.  

Add to the skillet two 14 ounce cans of diced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.  Cook until thickened 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the drained pasta to the tomato mixture.  Pour 1/2 of the pasta into a 9X13 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Next, top the pasta with 1/2 of an 8 ounce package of shredded mozzarella and 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese and repeat layers.  

Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Enjoy!

Silly me forgot to take a picture of the dish with the cheese on top.  I must have been in a hurry to dig in!  I love this recipe.  What is your favorite pasta dish or meatless recipe?

In other news...

After just bragging (I should have known better) about not getting a cold or flu all winter long, guess who woke up at 4 am with her throat so sore she could barely swallow?  Then, at 2:30 today (Wednesday) BG came home with some chest discomfort.  We called his cardiologist and he has an appointment Thursday afternoon.  Hopefully, it won't be anything too serious, but it's better to be safe than sorry, as they say.  I'll let you know how it goes.  Happy Thursday to you! 

Until next time...
xoxo Cheryl

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April Note Cards

My theme is spring flowers for this month's Note Cards hosted by Vee at A Haven for Vee.

And the box top...

I had fun with these and can't wait to see what the other participates in the party have for us this month!  Be sure to drop by Vee's to see many pretty Note Cards.

Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time...
xoxo Cheryl

Monday, April 14, 2014

Put A Little Spring In Your Step

Hello Spring and hello blog friends!  It's great to be back after a little blog break.  I hope everyone is doing good!

I am so happy to see green grass and flowers blooming.  The redbuds in my yard are beginning to unfold.  We've had some beautiful, warm spring days.  But!....after a very warm day, in which I even turned on the a/c because my kitchen was a little too warm for this hot-blooded mama, we now have a chilly day with the heat turned back on and I see some snow showers out my window and we are under a freeze warning for tonight!  What can I say...this is Missouri. 

So, what has been going on here at Pond Hollow?  Where?  Yes, I finally gave our home and the Back Six a name.  It was fairly easy, after all.  Several years ago, we had a hollow (pronounced "holler" around these parts) cleaned out and dammed up and a pond was born.  That pond is gazed upon many times throughout the day when I'm in the kitchen or outside sitting on the patio in warm weather.  I like to name things, so there you go.  Now, on to what's been happening.....not all that much, really.


We love strawberries and the other day while shopping at Lowe's, BG (the Big Guy) and I decided to buy lumber for a raised bed and a few strawberry plants so we could grow our own.  We keep adding to our list of projects, but this is one in which we'll have to get done as soon as the weather cooperates.

I've done some rearranging in my kitchen cabinets.  I have the dishes I use most often now in one spot.  There are a few more cabinets full of dishes, which I love and would have many more if I had the room.  Now, I need to get a certain storage closet cleaned out.  I've been putting that one off as long as I can, possibly because I can't make myself get rid of stuff.  Does anyone else have that problem?

Here's a keeping it real moment, because even though life is good, there will always be a mess in some form or another to deal with from time to time.

I heard a loud crash the other day, so I hurried into the kitchen to see what happened.  I really do try to keep a clean house in spite of, or because of, having 4 cats living with us.  So you can imagine I wasn't at all happy about what I found.  Potting soil everywhere.

One of the little rascals decided to leap up onto the top of the refrigerator and knock off one of my plants.  I love plants and have to keep most of them up high away from the furbabies, but they will find a way to get to them if they can.  It took me an hour to clean up the mess, but I got clean drip pans on my stove out of the deal.  They were needing a cleaning!  

So what happened to the cat/s?  Oh, they went scurrying off downstairs as soon as they heard the crash.  I shut the door on them and made them stay there the rest of the day.

Now for a real spring in your step....

I was shopping in Kohl's recently and saw these comfy looking shoes.  I tried them on and fell in love!  They are so lightweight and make me feel like I'm walking on air.  I'm not getting paid to say any of this, but they are so terrific that I went back and bought another pair for "everyday".  They aren't cheap, but well worth the price in my opinion, and I like that I can just slip them on and not have to fool with shoe laces.  

I have a lot of blog reading and catching up to do after my break.  I'll be doing some of that tonight, as I need to run to the store yet today if the snow showers ever taper off.  I can't believe what I'm seeing out my kitchen window right now!  We will definitely have to cover our fruit trees tonight.  I'm glad that I waited on buying the flowers that I wanted badly looked at when BG and I were browsing around the garden center.  Happy Monday to you!

Until next time...
xoxo Cheryl

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy April ~ Break Time

My plate is full at the moment so I'm taking a little spring break.

You may see me doing a little work on my blog and I may peek into a few blogs for some light reading from time to time, but I'll not be commenting or posting.  I have got to get some things done that I started to do a few weeks ago.  I may be gone 5 or 10 days or 5 or 10 minutes, but I doubt it is the latter considering how slow I am!

Have fun on this April Fool's Day and I'll see you later!

Until next time...  

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