Thursday, July 25, 2013

The windowless kitchen...

I know that in the past I've bemoaned the fact that my tiny kitchen is...

"windowless"

But today I'm going to concentrate on the things I love, because there a lot worse things in life than a kitchen with no view :)

These photos were actually taken a few years ago, but nothing has changed in the kitchen except for my ever growing collection of Mary planters and busts, and a few more things on the fridge :)
In the photo above, I had but one Mary bust on the shelf above my sink.

Fast forward a couple of years and you'll see that my collection is grown considerably. These were all found during various thrifting excursions.

Having grown up in a Catholic home... 

...and having attended parochial schools...

I find the presence of these vintage Mary busts and planters to be quite comforting.

To the right of the sink area is my little Lefton parakeet and Mr. J's 'tea and coffee' dog treat tins.

This corner is truly in honor of my Nana, who loved her "Pete" parakeets and her "Midgie" cats. I have the fondest memories of going to her house for Sunday dinners when I was a kid back in the '50's.

An old, tarnished silver water pitcher serves as my kitchen utensil caddy.

To the left of the caddy is my hydrangea screen...

... that hides the outlet where I charge my camera, phone, etc.

Of course I had to share my favorite stove-top pot, used to make the sugar water for my many Humm Zinger hummingbird feeders.

And a snippet of some of the 'fridge' decor. Just look at my two babies when they truly were babies! They're now in their mid to late twenties, so you know that those cute little mugs have been attached to our fridge(s) for a long time!

*** Warning ***
Those who do not want to see cats on kitchen counters, please stop reading now!


Baby has been feeling very "blog" neglected lately. I have been focusing on my 'pet' chipmunks and my Sammy Squirrels and my hummingbirds since the beginning of summer, and someone's little nose is out of joint.

Baby isn't really allowed up on the counters, but she clearly wanted to get my attention when I had my camera out...

Although she kept punishing me by closing her eyes, looking down, or looking away when I tried to take her picture.

I promised her that I would start writing more about her on the blog if she would look into the camera and give me one good shot before getting shooed off the counter. She complied. Needless to say, you will be reading more about our poor 'blog neglected' Baby in the future.

I'm joining Claudia at Mockingbird Hill Cottage for Favorite Thing Saturday and
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday.

Have a great week everyone!

Donna




Impatiens, my "go-to" flower

Impatiens is the flower of choice in the planters and window boxes of this brown-thumbed gardener.

They ask for nothing but water.

They need no pruning...

... no fertilizer...

... no dead heading.

They cheerfully greet each new day...

...with an abundance...

... of colorful blossoms.

Sweet impatiens...

... you will forever be my flower of choice...

I'm so happy that you are thriving.

You were hard to find at the garden centers this year...

Hopefully the disease you were prone to...

... will be a thing of the past by next summer.

I can't even imagine a summer...

 .. without you.

The high temps and high humidity have fled New England for a spell, leaving us with gloriously beautiful weather! If the temperatures stayed like this, I'd love to have summer year 'round!

I'm joining Tracie's Cottage Garden Party at Fishtail Cottage this week.
Have a great week, everyone!
Donna

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hosta, Sweet Hosta....

The Hostas we planted several years ago by the backyard shed are in bloom right now.

The ones a little further over, in front of the tree house, have not started blooming yet.

I'm not sure if it has more to do with the fact that they are a different variety of Hosta, or whether it's because it's a tad shadier over by the tree house.

I never even think to sit over in this part of the yard when I go out in the evenings to unwind and enjoy the little critters and birds.

I really should because I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find the hummingbirds visiting these blooms on a regular basis.

We've had glorious weather today in New England. Our high humidity & high temps have broken.

(watercolor filter)
A blissful day by anyone's standards!

Wishing you all have a lovely week!!

Donna

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Salads

We've been eating a LOT of salads this summer; especially in this high humidity, high temp weather.

I make mine with lots of fresh fruit - grapes, blueberries or blackberries, strawberries, but the base is romaine and baby spinach. I also like to add fresh basil from our potted plant on the deck, tomatoes, baby carrots, avocado, feta cheese and some pecan or walnut pieces. I sometimes will also add a can of black beans or kidney beans, or occasionally leftover turkey or chicken.

Hubby likes Bleu Cheese or French dressing on his salads, but I'm hooked on the Good Seasons Garlic & Herb or Basil Vinaigrette salad dressings, so that's what I use on mine. Yummmmy!

I just wish someone sold just the white plastic caps for the cruets. A couple of mine have split over the years, and since I have several of the glass cruets already, I really don't want to buy the whole set. If anyone knows where one can buy just the caps, please let me know!!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Donna

The backyard is humming with activity...


 The Lucifer Crocosmia is in full bloom right now and the hummingbird activity in the backyard has been non-stop...
We definitely have some new little visitors in addition to our regulars.

A friend stopped over the other day and we both took our cameras out back to see what we could capture. Some of these videos were taken that day.

I also went out this evening to see if I could capture any more to share. The following are some short snippets of male and female ruby throat hummers visiting the lucifer crocosmia and honeysuckle. I wish I could make these movies larger without them getting 'fuzzy.'

video
One hummer was feeding when another arrived, and the chase was on!

video
After visiting the crocosmia, this little guy visited the fuchsias that hang from the tent over the patio where I was sitting.

video
I was on the swing set deck patio next to the honeysuckle when I watched this little female start at the honeysuckle and then zip on over to the crocosmia.


video
I hope you are all enjoying your summer.

video
It's been brutally hot here in New England. I'm filling my more popular bird baths two, and sometimes three times a day to keep up with everyone's drinking and bathing.

video
Hoping for a break in this high temp, high humidity weather soon!

This week I'm joining Claudia, Mockingbird Hill Cottage for A Favorite Thing Saturday,
Cindy, My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday,

Stay cool, everyone!

Donna


Monday, July 15, 2013

The Butterfly Bush and Lucifer Crocosmia...

... are both in bloom right now.

I love the combination of purple and red.

Our butterfly bushes don't get nearly as thick and full as others I've seen (probably due to our "on the shady side" back yard); but nevertheless, what we do get is oh-so-beautiful!

(colored pencil filter)
There's also a white butterfly bush that sits behind the birdhouse. It's in an even shadier spot which is probably why it normally takes longer to start blooming.

The blooms on the butterfly bush are a beautiful purple with orange-red centers.

Hopefully I'll have the camera ready when the butterflies visit. This photo was taken last week before the lucifer crocosmia (to the left of the butterfly bush) came into bloom.

But they are in full bloom now, much to the hummingbirds' delight! I'm definitely going to try to get some photos/movies of my little friends at the crocosmia before their short bloom time comes to an end!

I hope you're all enjoying this fast-moving summer. I can't believe it's already the middle of July!

Have a great week, everyone!

Donna