Backyard

Hello to The Finches

I am so excited to have found a spot in our home to view the Finches.  I arranged a café style table with a few chairs in front of the big window.  No matter what the temp is outside, we can view the Finches and even take pictures of them.

The spot to meet The Finches

Our room design feels like you are outside; however, you are inside where it is nice and cozy.  So no matter if  it is raining (that’s all it did during the month of April), snowing or windy, we have a spot to appreciate the simple things in life.

I want to share these pics with  you.  Nature is so amazing and to enjoy all of it is  a gift.  So I invite you into our room, to have breakfast with the Finches.  Hello to The Finches!!

8 Below Burrrrrr

It’s so cold here in the Northeast. When I woke up, the temps were hovering around 8-10 below. The winds are hollowing making it feel like 35 below.

As I grow older, the cold weather just seems to get in my way. What’s important is to push the annoyance aside and keep things flowing. So with that thought, let it be cold outside and I’ll make it warm and fun inside. Need to look for good energy and appreciate the moment.

So I dragged the outside small round table in and dried it off. Then thought about lunch – well my stomach reminded me it’s lunch time.

I looked at what I had in freezer and frig and made a special lunch today for my hubby and myself.

Here are some pics.  We actually had a good time eating at the small table and felt we had escaped the burrrrrr cold today.

Plum tomatoes

Lean bread made yesterday in pizza oven

Sliced and toasted bread with olive oil, basil and oregano

Chopped plum tomatoes, a sprinkle of Parm cheese and a dash of parsley

Added mozzarella cheese for hubby

Hot wings (frozen then baked in air fryer)

Honey barbecue wings (frozen then baked in air fryer)

Cheers!!!! I hope you can make your environment a happy place even if it is only for a while before life takes over.

Ice Meets Heat

Well we had a day of snow and ice here in Northeast U.S.A.  My driveway was packed with the white stuff layered with 2 inches of ice.

It’s 11:00 am, Sunday, so do I start to shovel the driveway or do I attempt to bake bread outside in my pizza oven?

Well, most people would probably stay inside and concentrate on some chores that need attention.

One of my friends just texted me and indicated he was shoveling his driveway.  However, looking out my window,

I can not even see outside.  So  I decided to avoid the driveway for the moment.  Maybe the sun will come out and take care of this mess.

So I was thinking let’s have ice meet heat and create bread instead of shoveling.  I can always shovel later. Plus bread making is fun.

I had prepared the dough the night before and placed it in the refrigerator.  I removed the dough from the refrigerator.  Got my hands oily and divided the dough  in 2 loaves.

I let the dough proof on the counter for about an hour.  I tried to score the dough; however, my knife was not sharp enough.

I was anxious to see if the pizza oven would get hot enough (550 degrees) in this cold weather.

I baked each loaf 15 minutes, rotated the dish and baked another 10 minutes until golden brown.  Then I cooled on racks.

The ice melted very fast around the oven.  So I was wishing that the ice would melt that fast in the driveway. However, at 8 degrees nothing is melting.

I made 2 crispy loaves.  Plus, it was fun going outside in a storm and having some fun.

I think storing the bread in a paper sack is the way to go.  So I brought some from Amazon.  If there is a better way to store the bread, please let me know.  I have so much to learn and I would love to hear your advice.

So I hear my phone ding (the fairy sound) which indicates a text message from my BFF. She asked if I needed help with snow?  I’ve learned that it’s ok to ask —once in a while.

She came over with her Bad Boy Truck and plowed my driveway.  I am so grateful!

Grateful that my BFF can melt the ice by plowing though it.

Grateful that my BFF husband cleared all the snow around my garage.

Grateful that I was able to bake 2 great loaves of bread on this chilly day.

Grateful that we are safe at home.

Grateful that I can share this ice meets heat experience.

Cheers!

My Zen Garden

This is a post that was a draft for over 2 years old. hello everyone.  This past spring, I was thinking about developing plans to build a zen veggie garden.  I plan to use an area that I didnot want my dogs to evade for their own safety and a place I could call my own.

So I drafted the zen garden layout on paper.  Slowly began working with the soil and concentrated on adding loose stone path.

Late May

then I realized the space was too small to grow my veggies plus introduce some unique landscaping features.  So I expanded the area.  I’m using 4ft vinyl fencing for the front border for now. So it’s not difficult in moving around.  In the future, would like to invest in a black iron fencing.

the area is bigger and I added the veggies and a few low to the ground bushes. Everything is growing well.

Late June

However, the area is still not big enough so going to expand it a bit more.  done.  Now the area houses a outside free standing fireplace. A few benches, slate tick coffee table and a few pagodas (made from what I had to use).

Mid July

Now the zen garden size appears perfect. However, come fall I will continue to design the last part I added.  Need a stone path and I want to add more fruit trees.

Here are some pics.  The garden is evolving just like I am.  My vision became has a low-budget.  I have more fun using and reusing what ever I can find and building upon that. Love my zen and veggie garden.image

The entrance gate to my Zen garden.  To the  left is a small hill bordered by old stockade fence.  The area has with newly planted trees and flowering shrubs.  I

 

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The Flight

I originally posted this on my other blog which is retiring. My hope, is for you to enjoy these pics.

The Summer of 2017 – I took moments to capture the beauty of butterflies in Cosmos’ backyard.  I became so excited every time a butterfly was spotted.

I am not sure what captures my attention with these delicate species.  Maybe their impressive colors, their wing patterns and variations, discovery or simply their flight pattern.  When I see a butterfly, a sense of peace settles upon me and my inner child comes alive.  Even Cosmo, my backyard Gate Keeper, spots butterflies.

Cosmo, checking out a Yellow Swallow Tail Butterfly which landed on a hosta plant blossom.

Cosmo discovering a butterfly

Cosmos’ backyard 

As with any backyard, it takes time and imagination to create and keep up.  When you traverse through Cosmos’ backyard, you will come upon vibrant colors and lots of discoveries.

The backyard is home to hydrangeas bushes, butterfly bushes, hosta, lilies, honeysuckles,  annual and perennial flowers, hobbit size pond, bulb plants, a veggie garden, bird grape barber, hobbit greenhouse and so much more. 

Casa Blanca Hybrid Lily Bulb

 

Possibly a coenonymphine?
Swallowtail feeding off Butterfly Bush blossom

Monarch Butterfly

Trumpet Vine

 Hybrid Lily

Coneflowers Full Sun blooms late summer into Fall Hot Papaya in the front and mixed Hot Summer

 

I hope you enjoyed these pictures while enjoying the beauty of butterflies.  Cosmos’ backyard is in the Northeast Region of the U.S.A.

Cheers to new discoveries and the adventures it will bring!