peak of the daylily season

We have been enjoying the daylily blooms for the past month or so. This week they are at peak bloom. We have more than 400 varieties in the garden. It is a sea of color.

front yard

‘Chicago Blackout’

'Chicago Blackout'

front yard

‘Egyptian Ibis’

'Egyptian Ibis'

front yard

‘South Seas’

'South Seas'

front yard

‘Allen Wild’

'Allen Wilde'

front yard

‘Picture Pretty’

'Picture Pretty'

FYI, for those in the local area, we are planning to have a plant sale on Wednesday, July 1, from 10:00 – 2:00. All proceeds will, as always, go to the mission fund of our church. We hope to see a good turnout! You are always welcome to stop by at any time and stroll through the front yard. Please enjoy the flowers!

~~Rhonda

four little kittens

About three months ago, Youngest Daughter found a stray cat and brought her home. She named her Riley and took her to the vet for a check up. The vet said she was about six or seven months old and underweight (four pounds), but overall in good health. She didn’t have a chip.

Three weeks ago, on May 17, Riley had kittens! We couldn’t believe it. She was so thin when we got her. We could feel each bone. She gained weight and we thought she was just getting better. Calculating back from birth, she must have been only three days pregnant when we found her.

Alex, the dark tabby, was baby number one. One of Middle Daughter’s friends asked to adopt this kitten. Hence the current name, which I am sure will change when Alex the kitty goes home with Alex the adoptive dad. Benny (one of the orange and white ones) was next. The third kitten was the black and white one named Clark. And the last, but not least, was the fluffiest one with the white neck band, named Winston.

Riley's kittens

When the grands arrived a few days later, Snow White made a sign for the nursery box.

Riley's kittens

So small, so cute!

image

Riley is very good about sharing her babies. Initially, we were careful not to push it, but now she is quite happy to have anyone around petting on the kittens. With the exception of our cat Zilli. Poor Zilli. She has no interest in the kittens, but Riley won’t abide her presence in any room Riley may be in with her. Riley goes into offensive mode and Zilli retreats as quickly as she can. Currently, she has taken up residence in our bedroom, staying as far away from Riley as she can.

Zilli

Ski, on the other hand, is part of the family. Riley is fine with him checking out the kittens, playing with them, and sticking around as long as he likes.

Ski is part of the family. Mama Riley doesn't mind his presence at all.

Ski says hi to the kittens.

They are as cute as they can be and we have had a wonderful time watching them grow. Now that they can bumble around the floor, they are quite entertaining. Alex, the first to try anything at all, was the first one out of the nursery box. As you can see, we had to put painters’ tape on all the drawers. Riley kept opening them, looking for a new place to put the kittens.

Riley's kittens

Riley's kittens

It didn’t take him long to tumble back into the box, though.

Riley's kittens

Mama says “welcome back!”

Riley's kittens

And after play time, it’s always nap time!

image

We are keeping Clark (black and white) and Winston (orange with a white band around his neck). The other two have homes waiting for them.

kittens

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ june 22, 2015

We are nearing peak bloom time in the daylily beds. They are beautiful this year with many plants displaying larger than normal blossoms.

‘Tallyman’

'Tallyman'

‘Raspberry Candy’

'Raspberry Candy'

It’s too bad the weather is so hot and humid. Otherwise, I’d be outdoors much more to enjoy all the color. I know much of the west part of the country is suffering from drought. But here, in our corner, we have had rain almost every day for more than a week. The lawn is waterlogged, but I think the daylilies have found the extra water to their liking.

DH picks spent blossoms from ‘Christmas Ribbons.’

DH removing spent blossoms from the 'Christmas Ribbons' daylilies.

Here’s the menu for the week.

Monday
Fridge Food

Tuesday
Balsamic Quick-Braised Pork Chops
Rice
Sautéed Summer Squash
Corn on the Cob

Wednesday
Homemade Pizza

Thursday
Celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary today!
I am not sure what we will do for supper. Maybe we’ll have Middle Daughter bring us some large shrimp from the big city.

Friday
Chicken and Tortellini Casserole
Garden Salad

Saturday
Ham or Turkey Sandwiches
Sweet and Sour Cucumber Slices

Sunday
Grilled Chicken Tacos with Avocado Salsa
Homemade Tortilla Chips

You’ll find more menu and recipe ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

The kittens are thriving. They wear themselves out playing and chasing each other around. Then they have to take a long nap.

image

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ june 15, 2015

Where has the week (and a half!) gone?! Seems like yesterday that I put up the last post. It’s past Monday, but I’m going to post my menu plan anyway. Need to get back into the habit!

Monday
Fridge Food

Tuesday
Rice and Eggs
Bacon
Toast
Sometimes it’s nice to have breakfast for supper.

Wednesday

chicken salad sandwich

Chicken Salad Sandwiches on
Homemade Buns

I left the nuts and grapes out of the chicken salad and added diced sweet pickles. A nice change, though I love the original, too. And I added some minced fresh basil and fresh parsley.

Thursday / Our older son and his family are coming over for supper, as they can’t be here on Father’s Day. So this meal bears a similarity to Sunday’s meal. Some of DH’s favorites.

Pork Chops
Mashed Potatoes
Corn on the Cob
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Garden Salad
Grapes
Homemade Rolls

Friday

oh, yum

Homemade Pizza

Saturday
Fridge Food

Sunday / Happy Father’s Day!

Marinated Pork Tenderloin
Mashed Potatoes
Creamy Mushroom Bake
Green Beans
Garden Salad
Peach Pie
Homemade Peach Ice Cream / We start with Ben and Jerry’s Sweet Cream Base #2 and add 1 quart of home-canned peaches that have been drained and then blended in the food processor till peach slices are 1/4″ or smaller.

peach pie for Father's Day

The daylilies and the hostas look great. We have had a lot of rain this spring and that has made a difference in the flowers. I will post more about those later, but here’s a tiny sneak peak…

‘Monterrey Jack’ is one of my favorite daylilies. The shade of yellow is perfect.

'Monterrey Jack'

The hostas are beginning to bloom. ‘Blue Cadet,’ near the back door, has settled in and the clump is growing a bit larger each year.

Hosta 'Blue Cadet'

More pictures coming soon. We also have kitten pictures to share. If you would like to see more menu and recipe ideas check out Menu Plan Monday.

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ june 8, 2015

Hello, all. Thanks to those who have said hello and asked how I was doing. I hope I’m back up to par and able to keep up the blog again. I’ve missed posting, but haven’t had the energy or will to work at it. But things are looking up and here I am. I’ll start with the menu for the week. It’s the one post that usually keeps me going, but I’ve even neglected it lately.

Monday
Homemade Pizza with hamburger and mushroom

Tuesday
Spicy Shredded Pork Sandwiches
Veggies and Dip

I follow the pork recipe’s ingredient list, but I don’t blend them. I put the roast in the crock pot and throw everything in on top. I know it’s not the same as roasting it, so it’s different than the meat the original recipe would produce, but it’s still delicious! And easier.

Wednesday
Chicken Tortellini Soup

Thursday
Tacoritos
Toppings / Sour Cream / Lettuce / Tomatoes
Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips

Friday
Ham and Turkey Sandwiches
Grapes

Saturday
Fridge Food

Sunday
Crunchy Baked Pork Chops
Mashed Potatoes
Creamy Mushroom Bake
Green Beans
Salad

You’ll find more menu and recipe ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

We’ve been enjoying new kittens at our house. More about them soon.

Riley's kittens

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ march 30, 2015

I am way behind on posting. Here it is Wednesday already! The day is so pretty out, that I am sitting in the swing in the backyard, doing some computer work.

image

I’ll do a quick menu for the week, then will spend some time doing another post. Spring is in our yard and I would love to share some pictures with you. But first the menu…

Monday
Scrambled Eggs
Ham
Bagels

We were able to get five dozen of our niece’s lovely homegrown chicken eggs last weekend. We had them for supper on Sunday and Monday, and for breakfast every day. So good!

empty shells

Tuesday
Carry-Out Pizza

No one felt like cooking…

Wednesday
Grilled Pork Steaks
Grilled Veggies

DH is grilling enough to have three or four meals on hand.

image

Thursday
Hamburgers
Homemade Buns
Sauteed Mushrooms
Roasted Asparagus
Green Salad

Friday
Grilled Chicken with BBQ Sauce
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots
Garden Salad

Saturday
Chicken Tortellini Soup
Rosemary Crackers

Chicken Tortellini Soup

Sunday / Happy Easter!
Marinated Pork Tenderloin
Steamed Broccoli/Cauliflower/Carrots
Garden Salad

Easter Egg Hunt
Birthday cake for grand-daughter
Ice Cream

important stuff

You’ll find more menu and recipe ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

~~Rhonda

life with grands

The twins came to see us a week ago. Their older sister stayed home to have some one on one time with Mom. Our daughter-in-law brought the girls over Friday evening. We shared a pot of coffee before she left and caught up on what’s happening at their house. Our DIL’s department at work is undergoing a huge remodel right now and she is ready for that to be done! I can’t blame her.

After she left, it was close to bedtime. DH put the girls in their jams, distributed snacks, read stories and prayed with them. They were pretty good about settling down. Saturday morning, though, Rose Red woke up sick. Poor thing! She had a fever and threw up several times during the day. She spent most of the day asleep.

image

Snow White took a walk uptown with our Youngest Daughter to get sandwiches for lunch. It was a beautiful day to be outside. On the way home, they found coal by the railroad tracks. Snow White was SO excited!

image

We spent quite a bit of time online watching videos of coal mining and rock and crysal formations. Snow White is very interested in anything to do with science.

At 10:00 that night, Rose Red woke up and said she felt a lot better. And, of course, after sleeping all day she wasn’t tired. DH started a movie for her and he fell asleep while she watched. When he woke up at 1:00, she was asleep again.

Both girls seemed to feel fine Sunday morning. We kept them home from church just in case. After church, DH took them home. They had a school program at 2:00, so DH stayed for that before coming home.

The program was “Health and Fitness.” As you can see, Rose Red was not really into the topic at that particular time. Still not feeling 100%.

health and fitness

Snow White, on the other hand, was ready to go!

health and fitness

It’s always fun to watch how the girls react to life, to learning something new, to the way they find intense interest in what has become to us mundane. It helps me better appreciate the every day.

~~Rhonda

proof of spring

Yesterday DH went out into the yard armed with my camera and took some pictures of spring. It’s really here. Thank you, God, for springtime.

For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. Song of Solomon 2:11-12 ESV

Winter is past, though the rain may not be over, and I am happier than you can imagine.

The daffodils are getting taller every day. Some of the patches have buds showing already.

spring...finally

spring...finally

The ‘Von Sion’ daffodil is a very old variety, dating back to 1620. Ours came from DH’s family farm and are usually the first daffodil to bloom in our garden.

spring...finally

The tulip leaves are shooting up. No sign of buds yet, though.

spring...finally

Happy enjoyed walking the yard with DH as he took the pictures.

spring...finally

The maple tree buds are bursting.

spring...finally

The dogwood blossoms survived the winter and are just waiting for the right time to bloom. The trees are loaded with blossoms and should be beautiful this year.

spring...finally

I am always surprised how quickly the lilacs begin to bud and green. They seem like delicate flowers, but the buds will begin to show soon.

spring...finally

The robins are surely happy the snow is gone and the days are warming up.

spring...finally

Right now, the crocus are the show of the garden.

spring...finally

spring...finally

spring...finally

spring...finally

spring...finally

Even if we have more snow in the next month or so, winter has lost its power.

~~Rhonda

in our yard this morning

…with daffodils coming up behind them…

Yay, spring!

The Crocuses

They heard the South wind sighing
A murmur of the rain;
And they knew that Earth was longing
To see them all again.

While the snow-drops still were sleeping
Beneath the silent sod;
They felt their new life pulsing
Within the dark, cold clod.

Not a daffodil nor daisy
Had dared to raise its head;
Not a fairhaired dandelion
Peeped timid from its bed;

Though a tremor of the winter
Did shivering through them run;
Yet they lifted up their foreheads
To greet the vernal sun.

And the sunbeams gave them welcome.
As did the morning air
And scattered o’er their simple robes
Rich tints of beauty rare.

Soon a host of lovely flowers
From vales and woodland burst;
But in all that fair procession
The crocuses were first.

First to weave for Earth a chaplet
To crown her dear old head;
And to beautify the pathway
Where winter still did tread.

And their loved and white haired mother
Smiled sweetly ‘neath the touch,
When she knew her faithful children
Were loving her so much.

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
African-American abolitionist, poet and author, 1825-1911

menu plan monday ~ march 9, 2015

Spring has finally decided to join the party. I know there may be a little snow hiding in the woods on north facing hills. But it won’t last much longer. We’re getting crocus reports from nearby friends and family. Eldest Daughter sent this picture yesterday.

Eliza's crocus

Ours are probably not out yet because today is cloudy and rainy. Crocus prefer a sunny day. Don’t we all? The maple buds are swelling and the birds are beginning tentative spring songs. I am one happy girl! January and February are the hardest months of the year for me.

Middle Daughter is home on spring break and we may tackle cleaning out some of the craft room drawers and cupboards. Other than that, no big plans. :)

Here’s the menu for the week.

Monday
Pizza

Tuesday
Chicken and Dumpling Soup

Wednesday
Braised Short Ribs
Sautéed mushrooms
Garden Salad
Cheddar Bay Biscuits Scroll down the post for the recipe.

Thursday
Cheesy Baked Shells and Broccoli
Garden Salad

Friday
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
I’ll use Gouda cheese instead of Velveeta!
Cornbread

Saturday
Fridge Food

Sunday
Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin
Crash Hot Potatoes
Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Green Salad

You’ll find more menu and recipe ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

Update: When DH came home, he found this in the back yard.

image

Spring has come to the garden!

~~Rhonda