Thursday, May 31, 2012

More Red, White & Blue

This year I hung the buntings from the windows instead of the porch railing.  they are more visible from inside but from the outside, they don't show much at all. 

I love, love, love decorating for 
Memorial Day and the Fourth of July!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's Almost Time!

The PEONIES are coming!

The Peonies are coming!

The PeOnies are coming!

Soon, I will ask them to pose for some new pics for you. 

Think they'll come through for me? 

A little info on cutting them to enjoy inside the house.

Taken from:  Reader's Digest 1001 Tips & Tricks For Your Garden

"For displaying peonies indoors, select buds that are just opening.  The striking blooms will unfold in a few days.  And cut the stems with only a few leaves.  The plants need to foliage to produce food for the following year."  

A few more peony tips:
1.  If you need to move peonies, transplant in EARLY FALL.
2.  They like to stay put so choose location carefully.  A sunny to partially shaded spot protected from wind.
3.  Plant in autumn when the little red buds on the crown are visible.
4.  Use a green screen for support so that the plant will not snap in the wind.
5.  Support peonies (ours are all either cozied up in front of a shed or in front of a picket fence. they do not stand well alone. 
6.  You can add additional support by giving them a string fence, setting this up early before the buds break.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Remembering The Sacrifice For Freedom

Today is a special day of quiet contemplation in each heart of Americans for the gift we've been given at a great cost to many.  

Not only to those who honor this gift is freedom given, it is also granted to those who don't appreciate the sacrifices and those who will only kick their country and apologize for it instead of treasure it.  

I hope that you've had a chance to stop in at a cemetery and say a quiet thank you in your heart to a soldier buried there for years as time sweeps across his resting place and freedom blows the flag placed there to honor him this day.  

We are so very fortunate to know this gift that billions in the world long for and don't know and may never know.  

We have what they want.  Do we use it for good?  Do we honor the memory of those who bought it with their blood?

Are we doing the diligent thing and watching over the freedom won at such a great cost so that we can pass it on to future generations?

I hope that it can be said that we were willing to put it on the line and make sure that our soldiers who have given some and the some who have given all will not have done so in vain.

That is what we of this generation will be judged for:  our willingness to fight for the preservation of our freedoms here at home.

Are you up to to the task?

Thank you to every one who has served this noble country.  I appreciate your sacrifice and inconvenience as well as that of those who loved you, to make sure we can peacefully lay down our heads on our pillows at night in peace.

And now...a word or two from the greatest President in my time...  

The first President I was able to vote for and did so gladly...

Wise words.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

To Grill: Potato Packets aka Hobo Pies

This weekend, in addition to celebrating freedom by remembering those who have served our country, is also considered the "official start of summer"...and summer means grilling season, for many.   
A lot of us use our grills all year through and have our favorite go-to recipes, and this is one of mine.

It's versatile, and this can be made with any vegetable you have around the house that's suitable for cooking and eating--and when I do this it's called a Potato Packet because it's always a basic with potatoes as the main ingredient.  

It's also versatile for the reason that it can be a complete meal if you had some ground chuck to the packet, it cooks in with the veggies and the burger gives the flavor to the meal; and that's when it's called a Hobo Pie...

My basic recipe is with carrots, potatoes, and onion.  When I have them, we use in season goodies from the garden like zucchini and summer squash and have also used broccoli and any other number of good things that taste wonderful roasted.

Potato Packets or Hobo Pies

You will need: 

Fresh zucchini or summer squash                 
Butter pats, about a Tablespoon for each packet
Foil for grill
Morton's "Nature's Seasons" or similar seasoning
*Ground chuck, if desired, for a full meal in one packet

Clean and slice your vegetables and slice them to get ready to go.  I slice the potatoes into slices an inch or less, same with carrots.  The onion is used mainly for flavoring and is best in a larger chunk.  Or, if you like, rings if you want to eat them rather than only use them for flavor.

Your foil should be just under the size of a cookie sheet because you will need room to wrap and fold over the ends and top of the packet to hold in the heat to roast your veggies, yet not have the leaking that can cause grill fires.  

Spray Pam on a sheet of foil.  Pile a single serving amount of each of the kinds of veggies, starting with the potatoes on the bottom.  On top of your little mound of goodies, place the butter and then the onion(s).  

***If you are using ground chuck, do not use the butter: instead place the ground chuck, in little chunks on the top of the stack, the steam will cook it, and the amount of fat in the ground chuck eliminates the need for the butter on your pile.

Season the whole pile with Morton's Nature's Seasoning or your own favorite.

Fold up the top, and then each end to seal the packet.

Place on the top shelf of the grill on medium heat for at least twenty minutes, perhaps more depending on the size of your packet and the thickness of your veggies.  You can test one packet with a fork, but don't poke through the bottom of the packet!

I usually place these on the grill before the meat if the meat is a twenty-minute or less job.  

 Four packets, all ready to go.  If there are leftovers, they are WONDERFUL!  

This savory seasoning is the perfect compliment to the veggies and with enough flavor infused so that the potatoes don't come out bland and tasteless.

If using butter for the flavor, your stack will look like this.  This stack is ready to seal up and cook.

This is exactly the beauty I am going for in placing my potatoes at the bottom of the stack.  

My whole family loves this entree in the summer with their grilled chicken, fish or beef.  I hope that you enjoy it, too, and feel free to leave your way of making Hobo Pies or Potato Packets and your variations used....we all love to hear other versions of what is called by the same name!

Enjoy grilling and bring on summer!  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Newsy News...

Last week Lem had an appointment back at the University of Michigan Hospital with his neurologist for a follow-up appointment.  He was given a clean bill of health, and was told the pathology came back negative, the tumor was benign, as expected.  

It was a big relief to hear, even though we were told it was most likely benign at the time they removed it.  There is always that little thought at the back of your mind...

The neurologist pulled the MRI pictures up on his computer and showed us that big bad boy...and said that it was quite a large tumor for its type.  We are so thankful that the optometrist found it and sent Lem to a specialist right away.  The doc said his vision should continue to improve, he's seen a big difference already.  The problem the tumor caused is that it pressed on the optic nerves.

He left the hospital after surgery with five or six medications, and is now down to one, which is a thyroid med he will most likely always have to take.  But all other levels they were watching in his blood are normal again!

We felt like we were walking on air when we left and are blessed to have a new beginning.  

Thanks be to God for his grace and his goodness to us, and thanks to all who prayed, it is very appreciated.  Very.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Granny's Quilt at Sunset

Granny's quilt at sunset.

A quilt is a lasting gift.

This one was from my husband's little granny or "momo" as he called her.

It's a simple nine-patch, all scrappy, just like I like 'em.

This has been ours for around twenty years now.  It has gone on many trips with us, after first serving as my son's bedspread for years.  It has seen the Smoky Mountains, the beaches at the Gulf of Mexico as well as the shores of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan...

Tonight I had no idea there'd been an eclipse, and I didn't spot it.  But this picture of beauty didn't get past me.  I called out to my husband on the way out the door with my camera, and told him to come take a look at how nice his granny's quilt looked against the sunset sky. 

This brought up a most pleasant conversation about the good memories he had of her, especially of her cooking and making his most favorite things in her little kitchen.

I must be sure to make some quilts to pass on to my babies and theirs.  

They last, just like the memories do...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Your Favorite Whatchamacallit?

We all have little things hidden around the house that we use every day, that make our lives easier in different ways.

And they can cost a couple bucks and pay for themselves over and over.

Hidden inside this little old jelly jar I got for a quarter at a garage sale, is my little whatchamcallit, or whozzit, or thingamajig, or whatever you want to say.

(What is it you call a gadget?)

This is my little gem: a scrubber that you pour dish detergent under the lid and it dispenses itself for the scrubber brush below, and it's great for wiping down the dishes before putting them into the dishwasher.'s handy for scrubbing the sink every night.   It was maybe three dollars and I love it!

What's your favorite little gadget that you can't live without?

June Bug's Journal

Well hello there!  It's me, JuneBug!  I haven't seen you in awhile!

It's evening here and the farmhouse, and my "day" is just getting started.

I'm quite the hunter.  

You name it, I'll hunt it.

And, I have quite the attitude.  

It's been almost three years since I came to live here.  I like it.  

Nighttime is the best time and I come into the garage in the mornings and sleep all day.  The warmer it is in the garage, the better I like it.


This is my "game face" and I'm after mama.  I have to go up to her and act tough when she wants to pick me up.  That way, she knows I'm THE BOSS.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Magic in the Ordinary: Weeds

And...just a few moments later...the light took on a magic glow, making it worth waiting for.  

I saw this through the lens...

Beauty, is indeed, where you find it.

And part of the beauty is in the process of finding.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

It's Alright, Momma!

Happy Mother's Day to all you mommas out there! 

And I know if you're like me...

You know that sometimes motherhood can be kicked around, lately even for political gain, with those words  I know many stay-at-home moms have heard from time to time:  "She hasn't worked a DAY in her life...!"  

I know many of you laughed when you heard THAT one, while you were multi-tasking and folding another load of laundry, shuffling down the hall to see why junior was awake again, and making a list of things to do tomorrow before finally heading to bed late at night, right?  

Don't ever let anyone tell you that it's a small and insignificant job, because we all know there's nothing small about raising the next generation of American citizens.  

It's a big job to raise good Americans.

And no, you don't have to stay home to do it.  

But many times we choose to do so.

At times sacrificing a comfortable living to do so.

And there's nothing wrong with choosing the family over anything the outside world can offer a gal.  

There's lots to gain. 

Because at one time in history someone wise once said:

"The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."  

And it's true.  Let it be your hand.

There's is nothing at all wrong, and in fact there is much that is ALL right with choosing family over a career.

And so much can seem more important, more necessary.

But in the bigger picture, we all know, that childhood is such a small segment of time in the lives of our children.

It goes way, way, way too fast.

And then, as fast as you can say BINGO! you find that one day, as much as you loved motherhood, grandmotherhood is even more wonderful!