99 Days

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My daughter just texted me saying that there’s 99 days left in 2016. That was a wake-up call! There’s still time to do lots of the things I “meant” to do. I’m always so full of good intentions.

I’m happy to realize that I still have plenty of time to finish up the sewing and crochet projects I started, but let fall by the wayside. Still time to get back to the 10,000 steps a day I was doing before the heat of summer got to me. And, the list goes on and on.

Thanks for that text, Amy. Just what I needed to get my act together. Sort of like the bugle that Tammy from The Peanut was talking about recently.

What will you do with the next 99 days? Wishing you all a beautiful weekend.

Susan
XOXO

A Week At The Shore

I’m home! (SIGH) After spending a week at the shore with my daughter and her family, I’m having trouble getting un-beached! I loved every minute of this glorious time, starting from the moment we pulled up to what would be home for the next 7 days.

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We swam, we read, we ate (and ate some more) and we slept. Tough life, huh? I got up every morning, between 6 and 7, and took my coffee out to the deck where I was able to see the early morning sun peeking through the trees or glimpse the water which was across the street at the end of a long driveway. It was so calm and peaceful – the perfect way to start the day. After breakfast, we’d head off to the beach, where we’d float around for hours at a time. And, do the same thing again later in the afternoon – I never tired of feeling the warm sand under my feet or the sun on my body. I enjoyed watching families, from babies to grandparents, sharing the shade of their umbrellas, laughing, appreciating their surroundings.

And, boy, did that fresh sea air give me an appetite! Thick slices of artisan bread made into French toast with fresh fruit for breakfast, lots of ice cream, s’mores in the evening, lobster bisque, fresh from the farm corn on the cob slathered with butter. I’m thinking that lots of fruits, veggies and water better be on my eating agenda this week or I’ll be shopping for the next size up. But, it was vacation, and I don’t regret one single bite of all the goodies!

It was interesting that even though we had a tv, we really had no interest in watching. Instead we reveled in spending time with each other, laughing, playing in the water, sharing meals and each of us enjoying quiet time separately, reading or taking a walk. It was lovely to take a break from the news and all the political nonsense. It gave me pause to think about how I want to spend my time at home – a little less news and more time spent pursuing interests and new adventures.

I hope you’re all making the best of these last few days of summer. There’s still time to enjoy fresh veggies from the farmer’s market, a swim in the pool, lake or ocean, a delicious ice cream cone or a picnic lunch with friends or family. I’m planning on doing all of the above.

Have a wonderful week.

Susan xoxo

The Calming Effects of the Sea

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We’re spending this week at the shore and I’m simply amazed at the calming effect the sun and the water are having on me. It just feels so good to sit on the beach, sort of mesmerized, and watch the tiny waves breaking on the shore or closing my eyes, enjoying the stillness. Floating around in the calm waters of the sound with our noodles as the sun beats down on us, listening to the girls giggling – I feel like I’m in heaven!

I’ll have lots more pictures next week, if I can get the sand out of my camera! Wishing all of you a calm, peaceful, sunny (but, not too hot!) week too.

Susan
XOXO

Hibernating

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Hello, dear friends! Like most of the country, New York has been experiencing extremely high temps, lots of humidity and daily hot weather alerts. My neighborhood looks like a ghost town, people only coming out only to walk their dogs or hop in the car to drive to their destinations.

I’ve all but given up on cooking even though the AC keeps things very comfortable. I’ve been making ice pops in every flavor – yogurt with fresh cherries, orange-mango, coconut-pineapple – so refreshing.
We’re eating lots of fresh fruit and salads and, just to keep things balanced, plenty of ice cream! I’ve been heading over to one of the local farms a couple of times a week for fresh peaches, greens, tomatoes and corn. They had zucchini at 3 for $1.00 this week so I was “forced” to make a couple of loaves of zucchini bread with pineapple, raisons and walnuts. I made my glutton free, sugar free version and it tastes delicious with a little butter or cream cheese. There’s an extra loaf for the freezer. We’re having roasted veggie sandwiches with goat cheese for dinner tonight so I’ll get to use the last of the zucchini.

I’m not really complaining – I’ve had plenty of time for reading, working on the afghan that was supposed to be a Christmas gift for my daughter last year and a little bit of sewing. Notice there’s no mention of house cleaning here – I’m doing the bare minimum in that department – just not in the mood. I’m blaming the weather.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer and coping as best you can with the heat. What have you been doing to keep cool?

Susan
XOXO

Heaven On Earth

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Oh, what a glorious couple of days we had visiting my brother and his wife at the cabin they just had built in the Adirondack mountains, on Lake Sacandaga. They had been planning and dreaming about building this log cabin for several years now and their dream has finally come true.

Of course there was lots of delicious food and drinks, but the best part of all was just being together. The ten of us laughed from morning until night and I swear my sides hurt by the time I went home. The cabin has a 32′ screened in porch where we ate, played games or just sat quietly and read.
They had a jig saw puzzle set up on two boxes with a large board on top (the coffee table hadn’t been delivered yet) and everyone took their turn working on it. There’s a loft upstairs with a huge master bedroom, bath, sitting room and a screened in deck that overlooks beautiful mountain views. The perfect spot for morning coffee and meditating. There are two bedrooms on the main floor and another two on the lower level along with an area they’re making into a family room. I fell in love with this place the minute I stepped through the door!

We had a fire outdoors in the evening and of course we had to make s’mores. I wouldn’t have enjoyed pastries from the french bakery any more than these gooey, chocolatey concoctions we toasted over the open fire. Unfortunately, these won’t be on the menu at home anytime soon. :(

So, we ate, we drank, we laughed, we went out on the boat and swam in the lake – it was the perfect week-end – the stuff beautiful memories are made of.

I hope you all get to make some beautiful memories this summer!

Susan
XOXO

Delicious Living

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The other day, as I drove up the hill to a local farm, taking in the incredible scenery, I was once again struck by how fortunate I am to be surrounded by such beauty and wonderful farms and farmers bringing us the freshest, most delicious produce and dairy products. I feel incredibly blessed.

Another of my favorite places to visit is a tiny french patisserie tucked away behind Main St. That’s where I found the wonderful brioche, croissant and little butter cookies the size of a quarter. Some is enjoyed the day it’s purchased, some of it goes into the freezer, all of it is delicious! Times have certainly changed – gone are the days of soft, white Wonder Bread of childhood. Though, to be perfectly honest, that bread still is perfect for “Thanksgiving sandwiches” as well as tomato and mayo sandwiches.

I don’t know if you’ve ever picked up an issue of Maryjane’s Farm – it’s a sweet magazine filled with
simple, green, healthy, crafty ideas. Anyway, in the most recent issue I found a recipe for a “Dutch Baby.” It’s a delicious, custard-y pancake with ingredients that are just popped in the blender and then baked in a cast iron skillet for 10 minutes. I substituted the regular flour for gluten free and decided I would use less butter than the recipe called for next time (you can see that when I added the batter to the pan, the butter dribbled over onto the top) but topped with a dash of sifted powdered sugar, it was heaven! Half way thru, I decided to add a touch of maple syrup, but, honestly, it wasn’t necessary. It was perfect for breakfast, hot from the oven, but I had visions of it topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, some seasonal fruit and a dollop (or two) of fresh whipped cream. Alas, it was just a vision.

Whether fresh veggies from your garden, or a trip to your local farmer’s market, I hope you are all enjoying the deliciousness of this season too.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Susan
XOXO