~ My Creation Weeks 4/5 ~

I know, I missed week 4!  Well, I didn’t really miss it, I just didn’t get it posted.  The last two weeks have been a blur of Fall activities.  Here’s a visit to the farm where we bought our winter supply of hay for our four-legged babies.  They had a great Fall display and lots of pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn and all different types of winter squash for sale.pumpkin patch

creation week 4/5

creation week 4/5

creation week 4/5

creation week 4/5

creation week 4/5


pumpkin patch

Fall brings on that “nesting” feeling for me.  I want to move back inside, crochet by the fire and make Fall foods.

blueberry banana bread

blueberry banana bread

Blueberry banana bread

pumpkin bread

pumpkin breadPumpkin bread

I bought a new loaf pan that makes 4 mini loaves of bread.  It works great, but I’m still adjusting my recipes for the right amount of batter.  First time not quite enough, the second time a little to much.  My boys don’t seem to mind eating the mistakes.

Pasta Fagioli

Pasta Fagioli soup w/ “rustic” meatballs…haha!

This soup turned out so good, (I was wishing my brother hadn’t been a duck and headed to Florida already, he would have really liked this one).  One of these days I’ll start putting my soup recipes to pen and paper!

Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek  soup 

Here is a similar Potato Leek Soup recipe to what I made (I made a really large pot so I don’t have exact amounts for mine).

The Beekeeper has been busy taking the honey boxes off the beehives and getting the bees ready for winter.  We have about half of the honey extracted, looks like a good honey year for us.

pure raw honey

Catskill Mountain Honey

And then there was the grape harvest….just when I thought I was done making jams and jelly!  I forgot about the grapes.

grape jelly

I did get a new scarf crocheted and a little doodling in between the fall chores.

Tunisian crochet scarf

creation week 4/5

creation week 4/5

creation week 4/5

creation week 4/5

Time to get started on the next week!

P.S. Here are the bread recipes:

Blueberry Banana Bread

1 cup blueberries

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup margarine (I use butter)

2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup mashed banana

Toss the washed and drained blueberries with 2 tablespoons of the flour.  Sift the flour, baking powder, soda and salt together.  Set aside.  Cream the butter and gradually beat in the sugar until fluffy.  Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the mashed banana, stir in the blueberries.  Bake in a greased loaf pan in a 350 oven for 50 to 60 minutes (this is different of course if you are using a mini loaf pan like I did).  Makes 1 loaf

This recipe is from a great cookbook  I use a lot, The Country Inn and Bed & Breakfast Cookbook.

Ruthie’s Pumpkin Bread 

3 cups sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 eggs

1 cup oil

Mix well.


1 cup pumpkin

2/3 cup water

Blend in:

3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

Bake in 3 greased and floured coffee cans (you need the kind without a lip), filled 1/2 full, at 350 for 1 hour.  This can also be done in a loaf pan.

This was my Mom’s recipe.  I’m not sure where it originated from, but pumpkin bread in a coffee can reminds me of my childhood…happy memory!

~ What I Learned in September ~

Today I’m linking up with Emily Freeman at Chatting at the Sky to share what I learned in September.

art journal page

1. Art Journaling – I’ve had many journals that I’ve written in… I’ve doodled… I’ve made “art”, but never thought to combine them all together.  Now, I have seen nature journals, and people’s sketchbooks that they write notes in, but the idea of an art journal was new to me,  and I must admit fascinating!  I stumbled upon them on a couple of blogs like here and here, and I wanted to know more.  I told my sister, sister-in-law and niece one day that I was going to strongly resist the urge to start a new thing.  What a joke!  They know me better than that.  Within a couple of weeks I had immersed myself in blogs about art journaling, ordered twice from amazon, been to Hobby Lobby and found two classes to take here.  I’m gone…lovin’ this “new to me” thing. You can find me in “The Inspiration Room” with mod podge on my fingers.

2. What gesso is – This was an art journaling discovery.  Found this stuff that artists use to prepare their canvases or paper. It makes a rough surface, comes in clear, white and black.  Very fun stuff!

3. How many wonderful pens and markers are out there –  Also part of the above discovery.  Wow, how do you choose?

4. And last on this subject…I somehow learned of this sweet girl and her blog –  I’m not sure how I came to her spot in the blogosphere, but I just love these little videos of her calendar pages.  Check it out here.

5. How to make apple butter –  I had never made this and our apple trees are loaded this year, so time to learn something new.  I searched on Pinterest for apple butter recipes (there were many), read through some and gave it a whirl.  My Dad was my guinea pig, so to speak, and trust me he will tell you if it isn’t right.  The first batch was too thin.  You have to cook this for a long time, so go with the slow cooker recipes.  Here  is one to start with.

6. How to build a website – This one is an adult continuing education learning curve.  I need to move my blog to a self-hosted website, so I have begun this process.  I think the learning is definitely going to continue well into October and maybe November, so this will be on my list again next month.  I have the hosting, I’m on WordPress.org, I have framework, a new theme, and now to decorate it to my liking and transfer over from WordPress.com (keep me in your prayers)!

~ Peach and Plum Jam ~

We only have one peach tree and one plum tree, and they are both young, but they are producers!  The Beekeeper had to prop their limbs up to keep them from breaking under the weight of all the fruit. That always reminds me of  Aaron and Hur holding Moses’ arms up during battle ( Exodus 17:12 ).   I know, really one has nothing to do with the other, but still those propping sticks always bring that bible story to my mind.  Anyway the point of all this was, we had a lot of peaches and plums this year, and they were delicious!  So we ate some, we sold some on our little farm cart out in front of our house and I made jam. Here’s a look…peachespeach jampeach jamplumsplum jamplum jampeach and plum jam

…just like that!


~ Here are the recipes ~


1 quart chopped peaches (peeled, pitted/cored)

7 1/2 cups sugar  (mine came out a little too sweet for me…next time less sugar)

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 pouch liquid pectin

Combine fruit, sugar, lemon juice in a saucepot.  Bring  to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Stir in liquid pectin. Return to a  boil.  Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, skim off foam. Ladle into hot  jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Add lids and process for 10 minutes in water bath.


2 quarts chopped plums (pitted, but not peeled)

8 cups sugar (you may want more, mine came out a little tart, but I like it that way)

1 tablespoon butter (cuts downs on foam)

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 package of pectin

Combine plums, sugar, butter, lemon juice in a saucepot.  Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.  I used my hand blender just a little at this point.  Add pectin, return to boil, boil 1 minute.  Ladle into hot jars, add lids. Process 10 minutes in water bath.

*my plum jam was silky smooth and a little thinner than the peach.  I was really happy with it, but if you like it set up more cut back on the amount of plums per batch.

Happy Canning!

~ The Beauty of This Place ~

I’m blessed to live in a very beautiful area, which I truly enjoy taking in.  Two weeks ago while riding between jobs with my husband, this was the scene we came across….I just wanted to share the beauty.The east branch of the Delaware Riverthe east branch of the Delaware Riverthe east branch of the Delaware Riverthe east branch of the Delaware River

Find the beauty in your place and enjoy your weekend!

~ Let’s Go To The Fair ~

The Beehive Shoppe took to the road.  We were asked if we would like to set up a free display at the Delaware County Fair, to promote local small business….we decided to go for it.  So here are a few shots ……

Fair Booth

Fair Booth 1

We are one of six 5×9 spots.  That turned out to be a challenge to fit a store into.

Fair Booth

Can you see why?

Fair Booth

Fair Booth

Fair Booth

Fair Booth 6

Fair Booth

But we accomplished it!

Now we have 200 honey sticks to hand out on Children’s Day…..see you at the Fair!

~ Let There Be Light ~

Getting the right lighting for pictures can be a challenge, especially inside.  Our  house tends to be a little dark, so I don’t take too many inside shots.  That really has begun to be a problem having a blog to post on now.  And winter in New York can be very long!  I need more than outdoor “snow” shots from December to May.  I was talking to my sister-in-law (fellow blogger) about this, and she came across a blog with some help with photo lighting. Check it out HERE.  So we showed this to the Beekeeper and he made a list and worked his magic.

photo lightphoto light

The first shot is with what natural light I had in my kitchen (notice the shadow).  The second is with my new photo lights.

vintage camera/vintage jewerly

Here’s a close up shot.

photo lights

This is what the shot looked like with the lights in place.

photo lights

And these are the lights that my hubby/handiest man that I know/”The Beekeeper” made for me.  He made them a little bit sturdier than the original one in the above post, ’cause that’s the kind of guy he is and I wanted to be able to move them around a lot without concern.  Thank you to Bob and Carlene for a great idea.

P.S.  The little vintage camera is the latest addition to my “pop out” camera collection, see the others HERE.

P.P.S.  And the bracelet made with vintage brooches, I made to wear to a family wedding HERE.

~ Bee Removal ~

As promised in my “~  Catchin’ Up ~ ” post….here is the bee removal post.

Bee removal

The Beekeeper uncovers the hive.  At this point we aren’t sure how big.

Bee removal

Bee removal

So he vacuums and removes some comb.

Bee removal

And begins tying the comb into frames.

Bee removal

and places them into the hive box.

Bee removal

Bee removal

Then to cut into the next section of the house….

Bee removal Bee removal Bee removal

lots more comb and lots more bees!

Bee removal

A little smoke…

Bee removal

some more vacuuming.

Bee removal

Time for a lesson…

Bee removal Bee removal

more tying in comb.

Bee removal Bee removal Bee removal

Queen cells

Bee removal

drone cells.

Bee removal

This is where the bees go when vacuumed.

Bee removal

A successful removal. There were so many bees ( four cages ),  that we decided to divide them into two hives ( they already had lots of queen cells to make a second queen from).

Bee removalBee removal

Both hives are doing great!

~ Time To “Jam” It Up ~

Berry season is upon us, so I started with strawberries.

strawberry jam

strawberry jam strawberry jam strawberry jam strawberry jam

Then moved on to currants ( these I actually had in the freezer, mine are just starting to ripen now, so I’ll be picking those soon).

currant jellycurrant jelly currant jelly

I have to cook these some first and then strain through a berry bag to get the juice.

currant jelly

I do end up with a lot of scraps for my compost pile.

currant jelly

Then back in the pot to cook with the sugar and pectin.

currant jelly currant jellycurrant jelly

Strawberry jam and currant jelly….time to get the store stocked back up!

~ A Stroll Through My Garden ~

clematiscoleushydrangeaAchilleaclematisAstilbeSweet WilliamHostaIrisPansyIris budIrisCoralBells/Blue Spruce

Annabelle Hydrangea

Elderberrygarden shots

Now to recap…first we have one of my three Clematis’, then coleus which is planted in a  mixed pot on my deck, a blue Hydrangea, Achillea (I call this Yarrow), another Chematis, Astilbe, Sweet William, one of my many Hosta (not sure but maybe September Sun), I think this next one is in the Iris family (I have three colors, I’ve had them for years so I can’t remember the name), then  pansy, an Iris bud and the same Iris open, Coral Bells and Blue Spruce, Stella de Oro Daylily, AnnaBelle Hydrangea, and Elderberry.  Whew….that made me have to think!  Hope I got them right, or at least close.  I’ll do some more another day.   I have a separate Hosta garden that I try to hide from the deer (Not always with great success, sadly!).  If you’re a Hosta lover like me, check out this great book my sister gave me after I did some gardening at her house for my niece’s graduation party, The Color Encyclopedia of Hostas.
 Happy gardening!

~ Catchin’ Up ~

WOW!  I can’t believe I let so much time go by since my last post….never again! (I hope!) A lot has been going on.  I’ll back-pedal a little.  Our sister did come to Florida (see last post), our brother went to Germany with their oldest son for the Nurburgring  race, so that left us 3 girls (or We Three Graces) on our own. We ate out, we went to the beach (of course at Pass-A-Grille), we had mimosas on the dock and we talked girl/mom stuff.  It was great…much needed “sister time”.

sisterssister feet

Then it was time to come home…

Spice Orange Mini Cooper

which wasn’t too difficult since we were all heading back to NY, and because the Beekeeper and I were patiently awaiting the arrival of our little “Brit”.  We call her Spice Girl (because she’s spice orange, not at all a reflection of our musical taste, just thought I’d make that clear)  and you can’t help but smile when you drive her.  I’m sure you’ll be seeing her in future posts.

My little girls

My youngest daughter and her little family came to NY for a visit.  This meant that I finally got my two granddaughters together.  I’ve realized how difficult it is to get 2 babies looking and smiling at the same time, but you get it …they’re both the most beautiful little girls ever!    At least through Nana’s eyes. Lots of holding and kisses, and a big family dinner.garlic 2013Blueberriescurrantsstrawberriesnew plants

Then it was time for gardening, which is still going on.  We’ve had quite a bit of rain this spring, so it isn’t going fast.

Mini Movie Night

Now that we have our Mini Cooper we’ve found ourselves part of a fun group.

The Minis

Can you find “Spice Girl”?

Spice Girl

Yep, there she is!!!  Little cutie!

My Car &  My Guy

And there’s the Beekeeper on the “big screen”.

It was a fun night.  The best part was after they fed us all barbecue at the dealership, we caravaned over some hilly back roads to the drive in.  Picture dozens of Minis lined up and racing over the countryside at sunset….FUN!
the Major's InnThe Major's Inn

Then a family wedding on the hubby’s side at an old country inn.The Major's Inn the Major's Inn Us

Here we are..Woo Hoo!


And lastly, the Country Living Fair has finely come to NY!


And we went, and I loved it!


It was just like the pictures in the magazine, only more fun.


We shopped….


and wandered…


and ate

CLFairand brought home a few treasures.

We  met a great couple from the area that just happened to have honeybees living in the back of their house.  So we ended up going back a few days later for a bee removal.  But I’ll save that for another post.

The Hudson RiverThey did point us in the direction of Walkway Over the Hudson, which we did.  Here are a few pictures…

The Hudson RiverThe Hudson RiverThe Hudson RiverCrave

… they also suggested this restaurant, which we also did. Great day, and long ride back home…but we drove Spice Girl so that was fun too!