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Friday, November 8, 2013

A Bit of This and That

I hope everyone is enjoying the start of their weekend.  This morning on our walk the air was very brisk and it was breezy making the temperature seem colder than it really was. A heavier hooded sweatshirt was needed and a pair of capri's instead of the usual shorts.

I took some photos of various things that have been keeping me busy over the last few days and thought I'd share them with you and a bit of history in between.

Painted clay pots.

Here are three clay pots that I painted, one for me, one for husband and one for my neighbor.  I wanted to do something different so I painted them in pretty bright colors.

As you know, this time of year the flowers are "slim pickin's" but they did have some violets which smelled divine.  So, I potted two of the three pots with them (keeping in mind that one was going to my neighbor).

Husband has not decided what he wants in his pot yet...waiting for spring I guess.  I think he would like some type of cactus but I guess I'll just have to wait to see what he decides.  :-)
Somebody hid a pecan!
As I was checking my plants out back, I noticed this pecan hidden under one of the leaves.  No doubt a squirrel hid it there for later.  I left it so that he could come back to find it when he was ready.  I check everyday to see if it is still there.

My fern garden
Some of you may remember when I planted this in June with leafy fronds given to me by my neighbor.  The Asparagus ferns and Gardenia's we purchased. This morning while having our coffee out on the back patio, I noticed the sun filtering through onto my ferns and it was so pretty I had to snap a pic.

Decorated Pine cones
Last Sunday husband and I spent a couple of hours painting and preparing pine cones.  I painted and used German glass glitter on some, some were sprayed with adhesive and sprinkled with the silver glitter to give them a sugary effect.  FYI: most of my pinecones were fully opened and dry but some I prepared for decorating by placing in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes to dry out the sap and get rid of any pests that could be inside them.  I used my essence of Lavender oil and a dropper to scent them and placed them in a zip lock bag for 30 days.  I'll then tie them in pairs of twos, add a sprig of holly and some ivory twine for hanging.  It is a tedious job painting them but I enjoyed it.

It seems to me that this time of year nature gives us a bountiful of wonderful gifts.  Pinecones, moss from the trees, acorns and it is when we (husband and I) take our morning and afternoon walks that I take the time to notice everything that nature has to offer.

 For the past three weeks when husband and I take our walks, we walk down a street that has a cul-de-sac.  Just as we round the corner, coming to the end of it we start to smell the sweet scent of Jasmine and as we get closer to this house the scent keeps getting stronger until we are standing in front of it.  The smell is overpowering at this point and I have started to just stand there for a minute or so to try to figure out where it is coming from. There are no plants or flowers anywhere around and the rear of the house overlooks St. Andrews Bay.  It is on this same street that I have twice found a dove feather right in my path...I even picked one of them up. Yesterday,  also on this street, I found a small leaf with three smaller perfectly rounded seeds sitting inside the leaf that was shaped like a very tiny boat.  I am quite puzzled by all of this.  Some days we only smell it in the morning and not in the afternoon and other times we have smelled it in the afternoon but not in the morning. And then there are days when we smell it both in the a.m. and p.m. This house is empty and the lady who owned it passed away about two years ago and it has been up for sale all this time. The lady had a son and a daughter who are at odds about selling it...the son wants to and the daughter doesn't.  So, every time someone makes an offer on it, it isn't accepted by the daughter.  I am trying to figure out what God and nature is trying to tell me.  I have at other times in my life smelled fragrances i.e. roses, gardenias,  frankincense and myrrh when there was nothing floral anywhere around me at home but never outside in front of the same house for three weeks.  It has given me pause... I've been praying to God for an answer to why this is happening.  But, until I get an answer, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with knowing that I will continue to smell this heavenly scent and be grateful for it.  :-)

Monday, November 4, 2013


Hi everyone,

Last night I decided to make some bruschetta.  I have tried this recipe several times and each time I've added something extra to enhance the taste of these.  I thought I'd share it with you.  It is deLish!

Here is a photo of what I used:

1/2 loaf French Baguette bread (small) sliced 1/2" (I was able to get about 22 slices)
(3) Roma Tomatoes sliced -  22 slices  1/2" or less
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese 22 1/2" slices or less
Fresh Basil sliced ribbon style
Salt & Pepper
Garlic (I used minced garlic in olive oil)

First you slice about 1/2 loaf of a small baguette.  I got about 22 1/2" slices from it.  It pretty much fills up the cookie sheet.

Baguette sliced
I brushed each slice with a bit of olive oil, sprinkled Fleur de Sel salt and cracked pepper on each slice.

In a preheated oven of 450 degrees F, I put the sliced bread into the oven for 5 minutes until nice and toasty brown.  After removing, I placed a thin layer of minced garlic, followed by a slice of tomato and again added a sprinkle of fleur de sel and cracked pepper to each slice.  Then I added a slice of mozzarella  on top of each toasted tomato sliced bread and again sprinkled salt and pepper.  I topped each slice with a garnish of ribboned basil and a quick brush of olive oil and back into the oven for another 5 minutes.

Brushing the sliced baguette with olive oil, salt and pepper

Toasted baguette with olive oil, salt and pepper
Sliced baguette with tomato slices and salt and pepper.
Sliced baguette with added mozzarella cheese

Fresh basil, salt and pepper added to mozzarella, tomato, baguette slice

Voila!  Bruchetta
You can use fresh diced Roma tomatoes instead of whole slices and you can slice the mozzarella to have a thicker slice or you can slice it thinner.  Whatever your preference is.  I prefer a thicker slice of mozzarella.

Any way you cut it these are wonderful!  
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