That beautiful summer color

Hydrangeas are the last pops of summer color that actually get more beautiful as the days get cooler.

If you are lucky enough to have them in your yard you will agree.

Hydrangeas, a shrub that you can enjoy all summer long into the fall depending on the variety. 
Garden Design explains below just how hydrangeas can fit into your landscaping.


Hydrangeas can play many roles in the garden, from hedges and screens to container plants. They especially shine in borders because they “play so well with others,” says Cheryl Whalen, head gardener at White Flower Farm. “But,” Whalen adds, “hydrangeas are also excellent solo performers,” which is good news for gardeners with small spaces.

White-flowered varieties create the illusion of snowballs in summer.
Mass pink and blue types with similarly-colored garden phlox (Phlox paniculata selections) and lilies for a visual confection of candy colors.
Blue varieties look like sapphires against a gray wall or set alongside a slate patio.
Bigleaf hydrangeas make imposing container plants – feature a pair in large urns.
Panicle hydrangeas can be maintained as good-sized “trees” in large pots.

Remember hydrangeas in containers will need extra watering. Learn how to grow a hydrangea tree.
Oakleaf hydrangeas are the boldest and have the coarsest texture, lending visual strength to shrub borders and woodland plantings.

As you can see there are several varieties to choose from. The photo above shows the variety Pinky Winky which we planted in our front yard. It has done very well in our clay soil and zone 5 ( cold side!)

One nice bonus with hydrangeas you can easily dry them for even longer enjoyment.

Too many colors!
That fabric I loved!

Too many colors!

This post contains affiliate links, I earn on qualifying purchases at no cost to you.

Ok so maybe painting isn’t high up on your list of fun things  to do! Setting aside  a little time and having the right supplies  you will change a  ho hum room into something that you love.

 I’d have to say there is nothing better than a new coat of paint in a room to transform it! For the price of a gallon of paint and a few hours preparing the room anyone can really personalize any room in their house. 

Make sure you have all your supplies handy before you start your project. Old sheets are great for drop cloths In addition to plastic to lay out.

If possible buy the best brush you can afford, it will make all the difference in applying the paint. Painters tape is great to use around doorways and trim to help to keep your paint off those areas.

 Once the walls are painted Scotch makes a great “gentle tape” which you can buy in either purple or pink to apply to you walls when you are ready to paint your trim. You can purchase that tape HERE.

Click on image above to find out more!

We have been using Sherwin Williams paints in the updating of our new home in Virginia.

Our new house was  painted years ago in a flat white throughout, so we knew a little bit of color would definitely make a difference.
After studying the hundreds of colors we narrowed down our search and found colors we loved.

The main living area is open so we wanted a color palette that would blend nicely.
 Sherwin Williams  paints cover well and it’s always easy cleanup.  Their perks  program allows you to qualify for discounts . Their data base records of all your paints purchased the last 10 years! Stay tuned for upcoming posts to showcase the colors we picked!

I hope this post you will inspire to transform your own rooms! 

Extra cash around the Holidays

As the Holidays approach  I wanted to share some great ideas for earning a little extra cash during the Holiday season.

*Local retail stores as well as online stores are always in need of more workers. Check their websites for possible job listings.

*Restaurants begin catering for Holiday Parties & sometimes need extra help.

*If you are experienced in cooking why not offer to cater in house Holiday lunches or lunches at individuals homes. Check with local health department for proper licensing.

*Baking-Why not bake up Holiday cookie trays? I will be expanding on this idea in a future post!

*Sitters- parents of young children could always use a sitter to finish up their shopping or to get that wrapping done!

*Better yet why not offer a gift wrapping service?

* And of course you could always hire out for kids parties if you happen to resemble Santa himself!

Fall Bulbs bring Spring Colors

Credit:better homes & gardens

This post includes  an affiliate link , I earn on qualifying purchases at no cost to you.

Fall not only is a time when raking and cleaning up your flower beds is happening but bulbs can be planted to enjoy in the spring too!

There are such a wide variety of flower bulbs that you could  easily find at least one to plant. Click on image  To shop for some favorite bulbs to plant.

The right soil is  a must in addition  to the depth that the bulbs are planted. By reading up on all the choices you will learn the best ones to grow in your area as well as those that are deer resistance if that is a problem.

Here are some great tips from  The Farmers Almanac ;

“Bulbs are one of the best ways to have a colorful spring garden, but when it comes to fall bulb planting, there are a few things you’ll need to know. Try out these tips this fall, and you should have lots of beautiful blooms next spring!

1. The Right Way to Plant Fall Bulbs

As you are planting bulbs, there are a few things to remember. First, make sure that you choose a spot with at least 6 hours of sunlight. For early bloomers, like daffodils, you can plant in a spot that gets sun before the trees have leaves in the spring. By the time trees start shading your bulb bed, early blooming bulbs should be almost finished for the year. Bulbs also like soil that is rich with organic matter or compost, and they love well-drained soil. Soggy soil or overwatering will cause them to rot. Finally, when you are ready to plant, the general rule of thumb is to plant a bulb three times as deep as the bulb is tall, making sure the pointy part is facing upwards.

2. Prepare the Bulb Bed Well

You don’t want to simply dig a hole and plant the bulb. For the best growth, make sure that you prepare a bed ahead of planting. This means that you’ll need to remove weeds and loosen the soil. It is also a good idea to add compost for nutrients or sand for drainage before you plant.

3. Buy at the Right Time

This is a tough one because nowadays, many stores are selling their fall bulbs in July or August, because they want gardening supplies out of the way in time to set up holiday displays. This means that you’ll either need to store your bulbs carefully for a month or three, or you’ll need to order online or by mail at planting time so that you have fresh, healthy bulbs. If you are stuck buying your bulbs early, then make sure they are firm and plump, with no mold or rot. Leave them in the bag that you purchased them in, and then place that bag in a paper lunch bag so that you can store the bulbs in the fridge without making a mess.

4. Plant at the Right Time

It differs from one climate zone to the next, but no matter where you live, there are a few ways to judge whether or not it is the right time to plant your fall bulbs. In general, try to plant when nightly temperatures are around 40 or 50 degrees, or about six weeks before you expect the ground to freeze.

Most spring bulbs need a chilly period to bloom, so if you live in an area where the ground doesn’t freeze (zones 8 to 11), then you’ll need to chill them. Leave the bulbs in the bags you bought them in, and simply place them in your refrigerator for six to 10 weeks before planting. Make sure that you don’t store bulbs with fruits, since the gasses that fruit gives off can make your bulbs go bad.

5. Plant the Right Bulbs

Not all bulbs should be planted in the fall. Dahlias and gladiolus should be planted in the spring, for instance, while daffodils and tulips do well when planted in late summer or early autumn. Here is the rule of thumb: If you are planting a bulb that blooms in the spring, plant it in the fall. For bulbs that bloom early summer or later, plant them in the spring.

6. Wait for Spring to Fertilize

Once you have the bulbs in the ground, they’ll stay dormant for the remainder of the fall and winter, so you won’t need to bother with fertilizing.

Wait until you start to see the first shoots of spring, because that is an indicator that the roots are growing and ready for nutrients. Make sure that you don’t fertilize after the bulbs start to flower because this will inhibit bulb growth.

If you haven’t tried bulbs in your garden, you definitely should. With daffodils, hyacinths, tulips and other early spring bloomers, bulb beds will give you beautiful color long before the rest of your garden starts to grow.

So it sounds like  a little work in the fall of the year will certainly reward you with a splash of color after a long winter.

Apple Season

Credit USDA

As fall approaches in most parts of the country apple season begins.

As many of you know the varieties are endless depending on what you are looking for. Apples make a great snack and are easy to add to that lunch box.

While apples are commonly eaten out of hand, many types of apples are great for cooking, too. One traditional pairing is apples with pork. The fruit’s sweetness complements the meat’s savoriness, resulting in classic dishes such as pork chops with apple sauce and sausage and apple stuffing.

Some, like the Red or the Golden Delicious, are tried-and-true favorites in the United States; others, such as Cameo and Fuji, are relative newcomers to the apple scene.

The fruit has been evolving for over 150 years with approximately 735  different varieties; now fewer than 50 are mass-grown.

Because of renewed interest in older—and sometimes regional—varieties, “heirloom” apples such as Northern Spy, Gravenstein, Canadian Strawberry, and Newtown Pippin can be found at farmers’ markets or local orchards.

As the temperatures cool down and the fall leaves begin to change you will get a chance to go to a local orchard.  Many local produce stands sell a variety of this popular fruit.

Just be ready to try to try to decide on what your favorite one might be!

Good Morning Floyd

When my husband and I decided on this house I have to admit the view was one of the best things about the house.

Floyd County Virginia is a small area in Southwest Virginia.It is about an hour and a half from the North Carolina State Line.

We had been scouring the area for about 2.5 years and finally found this place.

The town of Floyd is a must see while traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Main Street has a hardware store that has beautifully decorated windows to go along with the seasons! A chocolate shop is near by with the most amazing chocolates you can buy!

Floyd Country store is just around the corner and is famous for it’s live music on Saturday nights! Daily specials are offered at the lunch counter in addition to ice cream and a variety of delicious desserts.

Stop in & browse the art studios.Live music is almost always an attraction on the weekends near the park. If you are hungry there are many choices to enjoy a meal.

If sewing or quilting is your thing an old school house was transformed into 3 floors of fabrics and notions. The seamstress will not be disappointed with a stop here.

One of the biggest wineries in Virginia is located just 6 miles outside of Floyd. Chatteu Morissette offers tours of their winery as well as a restaurant & music under a tent every Sunday in the summer!

So as you can see there are many reasons to turn off the Blue Ridge Parkway when you see that sign for Floyd!

That Sweet Taste of Summer

What better way to say summer  than with fresh picked blueberries!

According to Wikipedia:

Blueberries are perennial flowering plants with blue– or purple–colored berries. They are classified in the sectionCyanococcus within the genus Vaccinium. Vaccinium also includes cranberries, bilberries, huckleberries and Madeira blueberries.[1] Commercial “blueberries” – including both wild (‘lowbush’) and cultivated (‘highbush’) blueberries – are all native to North America. The highbush blueberry varieties were introduced into Europe during the 1930s.[2]

Vaccinium corymbosum
Scientific classificatione
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Vaccinium
Section: Vaccinium sect. Cyanococcus
See text

Blueberries showing various stages of maturation. IG = Immature Green, GP = Green Pink, BP = Blue Pink, and R = Ripe.

Blueberries are usually prostrate shrubs that can vary in size from 10 centimeters (3.9 in) to 4 meters (13 ft) in height. In commercial production of blueberries, the species with small, pea–size berries growing on low–level bushes are known as “lowbush blueberries” (synonymous with “wild”), while the species with larger berries growing on taller cultivated bushes are known as “highbush blueberries”.

Blueberries can be enjoyed year round with easy steps to freezing.

To prepare for freezing  rinse the berries off and pat dry.  Lay  them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

Remove from freezer and gently remove them from sheet ( I actually use a spatula for this step) and place them in quart or gallon storage bags, which ever you prefer!

You will be amazed that frozen this way there is no worry about them sticking together in clumps. Now you will have blueberries to enjoy on cereal  or even in  that smoothie in the morning!

* Hint this is a great way to freeze strawberries as well!.

That fabric I loved!

Ever  order fabric online based on the design and color?

I came across a fabric I loved and ordered online.

.The material arrived and as much as I loved it I knew as soon as I saw it the design was way too big for basic chair seats. A solid green leather look material was bought for the chair seats instead.

I recently came across the material I had stashed away for another project someday while I was packing for our pending move.

I really hoped I could use it somewhere in the redo of the house we had bought.

With an open floor plan the fabric with all it’s colors will be perfect for The palette I wanted to use.

Home Ec.  was  offered when  I was in high school and to this day so glad I signed up for that 45 minute class! I certainly haven’t tackled huge projects but have been able to make the occasional Halloween costume and basic curtains.

Everyone should  maybe give sewing basic projects a try! Youtube has made it so easy to learn anything you want!

Some sewing stores even offer how to classes that might be offered in your area.  Online you can find directions as well as how to’s for a curtain project.

As you can see from the photo I used my Cricut mat and cutter. The Cricut machine and products are a great addition to your tools for crafting.

Stay tuned for a post on just how I paid for my Cricut with my first project!

Here is the link to learn how to make curtains:

Peach Custard Pie

This post includes affiliate links, I earn on qualifying purchases at no cost to you.

 One  of my most favorite pies of the late summer.  

Every Saturday at Farmer’s Market this pie was a sell  out! A new pie baker should even give this one a try. It will not disappoint!

I use my Kitchen Aid Mixer for almost all my baking.You can easily double a recipe with the deep bowl. The classic is what I have baked with for the last 25 years!

Certainly a great kitchen stable or a great gift for that new baker! Click on the mixer below & learn  about the best mixer here!

Give this delicious recipe a try!

Peach Custard Pie

Delicious single crust pie with a baked custard topping
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins


  • mixer


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1.5 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 tsp vailla extract
  • 6-8 whole peaches


Mixing ingredients

  • Mix sugar and eggs together until well blended. Add flour and melted butter until mixed through. Add vanilla at this time, mix in.
  • Slice peaches and lay in prepared pie crust in glass pie plate or tin pie pan. Once peaches fill bottom of pie crust pour above mixture over entire pie being sure that all areas are covered. Once mixture covers and before pie goes in oven I do sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon but this is totally optional!
  • Bake pie in preheated 350 degree oven for approx. 45-50 minutes. To be sure the pie is baked through I always shake the pie plate slightly, you just want a little movement (jiggle)
  • Remove hot pie from oven and let cool slightly.
  • Slice up and serve up with a dab of vanilla ice cream.
  • Enjoy!

The recipe explains how to make the filling.

Store bought pie crust is fine or make you own with this recipe. My grandmother gave me her recipe. I later learned it was from  a cooking class she had signed up for as a newlywed!

The classic Crisco crust is made with:

2 cups white flour

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup of Crisco

5 Tablespoons of cold water

Mix the above ingredients in a large bowl. Once we’ll blended divid dough in half.

Roll out each half into circle with rolling pin. Wax paper or a rolling sheet can be used.

Be sure to sprinkle with flour. How ever too much flour can dry out your crust. Use small amounts.

Lay “ pie circle” on rolling pin and place in baking dish.

Once the filling is poured in you can crimp the edges. Use a fork or even between 2 fingers. Finish up with baking for  proper time.

Courage to Start

The time has come when I have decided to begin the blogging journey with my recent retirement and move to Virginia. We have lived in our present home for 30 plus years and has been the perfect place to raise our 3 children but as everyone knows things change, children grow up and move away and you look at things through different eyes! The reason for the move from PA to Virginia is to be closer to our children and grandchildren. I don’t have to tell any of you how fast the time seems to go, especially as we get older. My hope in writing this blog will have you follow along on our journey as we fix up the retirement home we found! Of course it wouldn’t be my journey unless I add favorite recipes, baking & a mix of decorating tips and ideas!

The title of this blog sums up how I feel as we approach the fall season with so many of you possibly facing new job starts, new school years for you or your children and maybe even retirement!

I have included this great quote  from Walt Disney that pretty much sums up this very first blog post of mine!

Thanks for reading,