Golden Beauty

Our Neighbor’s Yard – Mars, PA – November 4, 2018

Golden Beauty.

Most all the trees are bare with
their leaves now carpeting the ground.

Except this golden beauty
who decides each Autumn to make a statement.

It’s a standout amidst the others
in their stripped bare dormant state.

It’s like the late bloomer
who was awkward as a child

But is now the greatest beauty
as its come into its own.

It’s like the last crop
of buttery golden sweet corn

that bursts with the most intense flavor
as if it knows it will be the taste that lingers until the next season comes.

It’s like the brightest sunshine
lighting up the Autumn day

that knows the days are growing shorter,
so it must glow brilliantly while it can.

It’s like the golden rings
worn by the elderly couple

that represent the long-lasting commitment
through richer and poorer, sickness and health, good times and bad.

Thank you golden beauty
for reminding me once more

that hanging on or being last
is sometimes worth the wait.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

The Dog Days of Autumn – A Charlie Guest Post

Charlie relaxing in the Dog Days of Autumn – October, 2018 – Mars, PA

The Dog Days of Autumn – A Charlie Guest Post.

Who says dogs like summer best?
I say hold your horses…
The dog days of summer
are for the birds!

Maybe it is the elephant in the room,
or maybe you consider me pig-headed,
but I’m going to let the cat out of the bag
and tell you Fall is the cat’s meow!

It just makes me mad as a hornet
and really gets my goat
when folks don’t realize the lion’s share of enjoyment
weasels out in the crisp breeze of Autumn.

Are you like a fish out of water when the leaves start to turn?
I promise Autumn is not a one trick pony.
You’ve got to believe me – I wouldn’t hurt a fly
Fish or cut bait, and enjoy the beauty.

So when summer’s gone to the dogs
and I get ants in my pants,
I watch like a hawk
for the smoldering heat and humidity to quit cold turkey

And I head out on a wild goose chase
and let sleeping dogs lie
for the red herring is truly
the Dog Days of Autumn!

Woofs & Wags,
Charlie

Charlie is an adopted dog with brown eyes and a white-tipped tail who brings joy and laughter to his family and friends.  Charlie is a gifted writer, raving food critic, cat, chipmunk, and donut lover, and exceptionally photogenic model.  Some of his best friends are Mike the UPS Man, Cliff the Mailman, and ANYONE who delivers pizza to the house.   If you would like to read more guest posts by Charlie, simply type “Charlie” into the Search box at the top right hand corner of this link: thecreativelifeinbetween.com.   If you would enjoy a companion like Charlie, please consider pet adoption.

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies.

It’s that time of year…

Time for baking things with pumpkin and spice and everything nice!

Though I almost always have my “almost-famous” chocolate chip cookies in the freezer,
these cookies just suit this time of year so perfectly.

Our gang loved them!  Hope you will too.

Here is the recipe as I very slightly adapted from the beautiful blog:  A Family Feast:

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • Dash salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar in the Raw Turbinado Cane Sugar

Directions:

Cream butter, sugar, and molasses with electric mixer 3-4 minutes until fluffy.  Add egg, followed by pumpkin, beating until mixed.

Slowly add in salt, baking powder and flour on low speed just until incorporated.

Divide dough into four logs, approximately 8 inches long.  Wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Pour Turbinado cane sugar into a shallow dish or pie plate.

Unwrap one log of dough at a time.

Roll log into sugar to coat.

Cut log into quarters.  Then cut each quarter into thirds.

Put cookie slices in sugar, coating both sides.

Place sugared cookie slices on baking stone or cookie sheet, and bake for approximately 12 minutes.

Remove from oven, and allow cookies to cool on baking stones/cookie sheets for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling racks to cool completely. 

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

A Krautfest Rhyme

 


A Krautfest Rhyme.

Once upon a time
in a neighborhood by a lake,

a group of friends gathered.
There was saurkraut to make.

500 pounds of cabbage
was cleaned and quartered and chopped.

Then young and old, expert and new,
sliced it down – they couldn’t be stopped.

Once sliced it went
to the station to be weighed.

Salt was added.
It’s how you make homemade.

Into crocks and buckets
it went to be pound.

It starts the fermentation
and keeps it safe and sound.

No krautfest could ever
be quite complete

without hugs and laughs and games
and plenty of treats to eat.

There was a tub of apples
waiting for kids to bob.

While others were pressed into juice,
which many found to be a fun job.

After working and eating and drinking
away the day,

evening arrived,
and instruments were brought out to play.

Singing with friends,
(only some truly in tune)

is surely the best way
to end a krautfest afternoon.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Thanks so much and mostest
to our amazing hosts and hostesses.

Love you Joyce and Rob and Nikole and Michael
for continuing the annual krautfest cycle!

If you would like to see previous years’ Krautfests, feel free to click HERE and HERE and HERE.  

Cherish the Moments

Cherish the Moments.

Crispness in the air.
Leaves turning colors and falling.
Front porch sitting.

Taking time to breathe.
And relax.
And snuggle.

Neighbor dog visits.
Grandbabies giggle.
Swinging the heaviness of the day away.

Cherish the moments.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

After two very heavy-hearted days being riveted to the hearing of Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford and Brett Kavanaugh, a late Friday afternoon on the front porch swinging with one grandbaby while hubby held the other was just what was needed.  The air turned crisp, Charlie rolled in the grass, the neighbor’s dog visited.  And for just a moment….. the world was perfect.  Cherish the moments!

Pumpkin it up around the House

Pumpkin it up around the House.

The heat wave finally broke yesterday around here, and it is beginning to feel like Fall!

This year I added a few new pumpkins to my collection in the form of pillows with my watercolor artwork on.

I decided to add a few of my art pieces to a McKinneyX2Designs Society6 shop to see how it would turn out.  I’m pretty thrilled with the quality of the pillows and pouches I ordered.

Besides that are some of my collection through the years, including signs and rustic pumpkins made by my DIL for our McKinneyX2 Etsy Shop and on display at Berry Vine Gifts in Bradford Woods (which by the way is holding a Fall Festival this weekend where I will be working this afternoon!)

I have pumpkins at the front door…

and at the back door.

There are pumpkins here..

and there…

and everywhere!

I’m hoping to add a few more to my collection today at the Fall Festival,

because I still have some pumpkin-less spaces!

If you would like to see more of my art on pillows and pouches and cups and mugs and notebooks and iPhone cases, and even furniture, check it out here:  Mx2 Society6.   There’s even a great Fall sale going on.  We also have some super new stuff added to our ETSY shop so you can Pumpkin it up around the house!

Happy Fall Y’All!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Painting Pumpkins

Abstract Pumpkin Watercolor 11×14

Painting Pumpkins.

Lest you think I just skipped over Autumn and Pumpkin time to Christmas from my last post, know I have pumpkin on the brain!

Last weekend, when I found some time to spend in my art studio, I painted the below painting first….

I thought it was “Mehhh…”

Pumpkins & Sunflower Watercolor 11×14

Then I let loose and painted the first one.

Simple….
but powerful
and satisfying.

This is my favorite way to paint.

Let loose!
Express yourself…
in bold, but simple ways.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Roasted Carrot Soup

Roasted Carrot Soup.

One day last week I woke up with a sore throat.

And even though the temps lately have been in the 80-90 degrees F range, there is a feeling of Autumn in the air.

In the mood for soup, I decided to create a roasted carrot soup with some vegies I had in the fridge.

It turned out SOOOO good!

I mean – how can you go wrong with roasted vegetables that include onion and garlic and fresh rosemary pureed into a creamy, warm, soothing soup?

You could add some greek yogurt or cream to make it even creamier, but I loved the freshness and healthiness of this soup that tastes like it is loaded with calories, but instead is low-calorie and loaded with flavor!

Hope you will give it a try.  I loved how it turned out!

Roasted Carrot Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. bag organic short cut carrots
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, cut into chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, chunked
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary, minced
  • Maldon Sea Salt Flakes * (which I purchase through Amazon)
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Croutons for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Layer first 8 ingredients in a large stoneware bar pan or shallow roasting pan.  Drizzle liberally with olive oil, and toss to coat.  Roast 30-40 minutes.

Transfer roasted vegetables to a pot.  Add chicken broth.  Blend with Immersion Blender or in food processor or blender until creamy.  (I love using an immersion blender as it is quick, efficient, and easy to clean up.)

Ladle into bowls, and top with croutons if desired.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*I have become such a huge fan of Maldon Sea Salt!  I’ve always been a salt lover, but these soft, flaky sea salt crystals have a clean salt flavor without the bitter after taste that table salts I’ve always used in the past leave.  It truly provides a freshness that enhances the flavor of food.  I so highly recommend it!  It not only tastes wonderful,  but it is also beautiful to season with.  AND, as a watercolor artist, I love it to use to create textures in my artwork!  I keep mine in a cute little bamboo salt box on the kitchen counter next to the stovetop for ease of grabbing pinches of for cooking.  Bravo Maldon!!  (and this is not a paid promotion in any way, shape, or form – I just seriously love this stuff!)

First Snow

First Snow - 11/19/17 - Mars, PA

First Snow – 11/19/17 – Mars, PA

First Snow.

There’s just something
about the first snow of the season…

That first snow that sticks to the ground and trees –
even if just a briefly passing dusting.

Especially when it happens on
a late Sunday afternoon.

And when it appears suddenly –
as if it wanted to be a special surprise.

And when you are settling in by a warm, crackling fire
in comfy home sweet home.

Cherish the Moments.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi