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Thursday, October 10, 2019

What Will Survive the Deep Freeze?

I saw this little lady bug yesterday as I was soaking up the sun.  It was 85 F and it was just beautiful.

Then, around 5 pm, a huge wind storm struck with 50 mph winds swirling everything from its base.

I saved many of my potted annuals.  I wish these beautiful impatiens could hang on the pot rack all year!!
More impatiens, a potted hydrangea and the potted sweet potato vine, which isn't very happy.

And then there was snow. The upper picture is my Catalpa Tree, a gift from my mom.  I love these trees because they smell like honeysuckle for a few weeks in late spring.  Freezing rain fell before the snow.  I went out to check on the tree and touched one of the leaves.  It fell to the ground, frozen.  It's going to be a long winter before I find out if this tree will make it.

Well, enough complaining.  The sun is out and, as is normal in Colorado, it will be warmer and the snow will be gone by the weekend.

Ciao for now!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

More Autumn and then...........

With some success I have grown pumpkins this year.  All of a sudden, they appear with a surprise, then there are more hiding under their large leaves.  I planted them late, so they are not as large as I'd like them, but they will do.

Spaghetti squash, which I don't love to eat, but like pumpkins, are fun to grow.
This sweet potato is my favorite summer miracle.  It actually started growing inside because it sat on my kitchen counter for so long.  Then I placed it outside with my other plants for the rest of the summer.  I cut about 2/3 of the potato off and placed it in a pot to grow........hopefully.  The last few days have been HOT, but with freezing temps at night.  So I brought it inside.  The vine has weakened, but I have my fingers crossed.

I am not usually a fan of autumn.  I have gotten sick practically every year of my life at this time of year, with asthma and bronchitis.  I've often missed Halloween trick or treating, but I have fond memories of the few I was able to take part in.  But, this year is different because I am enjoying the changes; the cooler weather, and even the shorter days!!  Hmmmm.....


And because I've been enjoying fall so much, I have been learning how to paint pumpkins, courtesy of Emma Lefebvre (@emjlefebvre, Instagram).  She is the most amazing water color instructor! (Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj3EO1Bhcdg&t=608s)
I need a bit more practice, but I'm having fun.  Emma does loose watercolors, whereas I've been trained in botanical water color painting, which is very, very precise.  

A winter storm is headed this way this Thursday.  The high on Thursday may only be 30 F with a low of 13 F.  So I've covered as much as possible and brought annual pots in, as well as wrapped my new Catalpa tree, in the hopes that this very early freeze won't kill everything.

I haven't been knitting or crocheting much, as I've been so enjoying fall painting.  I tried my hand at Tunisian crochet, but my pieces keep coming out crooked!  Must research that.

Ciao for now!! 😍

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Autumn

School has started and it's so busy.  In my free time I have been painting.  Today, courtesy of arty_pea on Instagram, I painted an autumn leaf branch.  arty_pea made it look so easy.  My photos are taken with my iPhone, so not the greatest photo quality.

I started the day on the back porch with my lovely flowers, which I wish would last forever.  They make me so happy.

Ah yes, and coffee, of course.  Then it got hot, up to 85 today, but there have been teases of fall.  Which reminds me, I need to go turn off the sprinkler!!  Bye for now.  More to come soon!!

Friday, August 9, 2019

Painting and Garden Goodies

This summer I have just been obsessed with botanical painting.  It's a peaceful break from my barking dogs and other demands like cleaning, grocery shopping, worrying, etc.  I even got brave enough to enter my paintings into the Boulder County Fair, in which I received an honorable mention ribbon for an artichoke painting.

Sorry, not the greatest picture.  I was shocked and elated to get any recognition at all.  It just made my day and encouraged me to keep refining my skills.

I am also just loving my porch flowers.  It's taken all day to get this post done because of server problems somewhere out there.





Below is my tiny veggie garden.  Zucchini, pumpkins, sugar snap peas and purple string beans!!  A lot in a small plot.




Here is one grape vine.  There is another on the other pole on the porch.  It's been a very strange spring and summer here in Colorado.  Spring was cold and rainy!!  That never happens.  Summer has been mostly hot with more rain than usual.  When it's hot, like in the 90s or 100s, I have to water the plants twice a day.



Well, that's a lot of pictures!!!  More soon!  Bye for now.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Obsessed with Homemade Bread!!


This is such a simple bread recipe.  I've been making it a lot because I love the aroma of home made bread.  I got it from a friend last week. 

Here's the recipe:

Preheat the oven to 450 F
3 cups of white flour (preferably organic)
1 1/2 cups of water
2 teaspoons of salt, or 3 for more taste
1 yeast packet or 1 1/2 teaspoons of yeast

Use a fork to mix the ingredients.  This recipe calls for using a dutch oven, but I don't have one, so I let the bread rise overnight or for at least 3-4 hours in a glass bowl.

Then grease a glass bread pan with spray canola oil.  Transfer the bread from the bowl to the pan and shape it so it lays evenly.

Place in the oven for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a knife comes clean after poking.

If you have a dutch oven:

  • Line the dutch oven with parchment paper
  • For rising, cover the dutch oven with a lid
  • Remove the dough from the dutch oven and put the dutch oven in at 450 F by itself for 20 minutes
  • Remove the dutch oven and place the bread inside with the parchment paper lining and cover and put back into the oven at 450 for 20 minutes.


I have not tried this method, so I cannot attest to it.  As soon as I do, I'll let you know!!

Happy Baking!!

Caio for now!