Pleasures – Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I’ve been reading inspirational books by Faith Baldwin. Published in the 1960’s, the gentle wisdom, the spirit of the lady, are a balm in these up and down times we are living in. If you ever have a chance to read one of her non-fiction books, please do, you will find your spirit soothed.

“I believe firmly that whatever path a man travels in his journey toward his Creator, he will find upon it the quiet turning asides, the resting places provided for thanksgiving, trust, and sharing.” ~Faith Baldwin, Harvest of Hope

I wish for you in the midst of your Thanksgiving day, and the coming Christmas season, to find times of ‘quiet turning asides,’ and a renewed sense of hope and joy.

Pleasures – Warm Day Walkabout/Emerging Spring

We’ve had an up and down week, snow one day, gorgeous sunshine and a taste of springtime the next. A midday walkabout was just what I needed.

A glance upward revealed a blush of Venetian red maple buds against the blue sky.

In my yard I noticed the wisteria pods have been scavenged for food. Spring can’t come quick enough for the hungry animals.

The daffodils are pushing upward. I love the smooth texture of the spring green in contrast to the brown leaves, mosses, and dried grass textures of winter.

I checked on my winter sown containers. Nothing is sprouting as of yet. It’s time for me to take my permanent marker outdoors again and reinforce the labeling of the contents. I don’t want to try and guess what’s growing inside when it’s time to plant.

As always, the first bloom in my garden is this tiny yellow crocus. Every year, it’s a reliable forerunner of all the glorious flowers to come. Am I excited about this taste of spring? Oh Yes!

Pleasure – Orchid Extravaganza Part I

Each year I visit Longwood Gardens when the Orchid Extravaganza is on display in the conservatory. The Longwood gardeners create a masterpiece of color and form with the orchids grown in their greenhouses.

The conservatory built in 1921, elicits admiration as you turn the bend of the paved path and view it in the distance.

An inviting multitude of paphiopedilum, one of my favorite orchids, greeted us as we entered the side door. Those who plan the displays do a great job creating a balance between flowers, foliage and trees.

The rainbow colors sometimes hold a surprise too…these orchids, in reality are a deep purple, but appear to be a true black on first glance.

If orchids aren’t your flower of choice there are hundreds of additional plants on display. One of my favorites were the African Violets in garden boxes bordering one of the exhibition halls.

We also admired the lilies, filling many of the nooks and crannies of the conservatory in a rainbow of colors. Part II of our recent trip will be posted tomorrow.

Pleasures – A Passion for Stones/Nurturing Thursday

I’m easy to please. I love stones…rocks…pebbles and consider them treasures. If I see one with promise I will pick it up. I once spent a week on Block Island beaches searching for hearts of stone. You can see the resultant video at the bottom of this post. I’ve shared it before, but as is the case with many posts, it is buried way back in the blog archives.

Have you ever attended a craft show and been entranced by a large bowl of polished stones? I love these stones and have bought them in the past always wishing I could polish stones too. Now, thanks to a rock polisher given to me by one of my sons on my 60th birthday, I polish my own. The stones in the photograph were collected from a creek near my home, Atlantic Ocean beaches, the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays, and Cape May’s Diamond Beach.

It took me a few tumbles to figure out how to process the rocks, and every attempt was worth the finished products. They are not without flaws, the prettiest ones are hardest to get smooth as their stripes and mottled appearance means they have different levels of hardness within the stone. The flaws don’t bother me, I’m going to dab them with a bit of polish and consider them finished. Tumbling and polishing stones is one of the ways I nurture myself. My stones seem a perfect fit for the Nurturing Thursday Challenge hosted by Becca at ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea.‘ It’s never too late to start a hobby you’ve always wanted to try to nurture yourself every now and then.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Pleasure – Mother’s Day

My daughter-in-law created this amazing ‘Nanny’ shirt for me for Mother’s Day. Do I need to say I LOVE IT? I’m saving it for a special occasion – a family barbecue. She sells through Etsy, and creates custom orders, and has a wide array of beautiful bows, baby items, jewelry, etc. You can reach the shop through this link – BooBooBean LLC, or through the icon located on the right-hand sidebar of this blog.

Pleasures – You Lift Me Up

“Strive to be first: first to nod, first to smile, first to compliment, and first to forgive.” – Unknown.


In this post I am going to be the first to repeat the wisdom I found in another WordPress blogger’s post. I’ve only read a few blog posts today, but in doing so found my spirits lifted up by what I found there. In Our Lives – His Purposes the author wrote of having her mood lifted by walking and singing, and that struck a companionable chord within me since I love to do the same and find it so often lifts me into a happier frame of mind. I also loved the quote I read in 999 roses in my life, and left a comment that I hoped she would not mind my using the same quote in my post today. God bless you all for the goodness and beauty you bring into my life through your blogs. I wish you the happiest of days. Please…keep on blogging!

Pleasures – Fresh Air

The weather is quite cool now in the evening, windows are shut, the air in the house becomes musty and stale. I love organic/natural solutions for cleaning and adding a touch of scent to the air. This mixture is soft and lovely, and leads me to experiment with other combinations of herbs, pods and citrus skins.

Fill an aromatherapy pot, a small crock pot, or a pot on the stove with water. Add a capful of pure vanilla extract, some fresh lemon peel and snips of rosemary. I used fresh Rosemary, but I think dried would work just as well. Heat to a simmer. This fragrance doesn’t seem to cause anyone, even those with allergies, any breathing or headache problems.

Pleasures – Sea Glass/Beach Glass Part I

Sea Glass

“Glass from inland waterways such as the Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes is known as beach glass. It is similar to sea Glass , but in the absence of wave rigor and oceanic saline, content is typically less weathered.” Wikipedia Sea Glass/Beach Glass


After years of collecting sea glass/beach glass from the Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, I’ve decided to create a project and make use of a few pieces of my collection. Most of my glass would be considered Beach Glass. I have had some spectacular finds on the beaches of the Atlantic, but the bulk of what I have has been collected on bay beaches.

I came upon the idea while fishing this past weekend in Fortescue. Inside the café at Higbee’s Bait and Tackle, where by the way you can get the best coffee ever for just a dollar, I spied a piece of driftwood hanging in the window with strings of sea glass attached. I’ve always wanted to string my sea glass, but was daunted by the thought of prepping it first with wrapped wire. Oh my! The easy way the creator of this mobile/wind chime attached the glass is a priceless idea, but that is part II of my post and hopefully, will be published one day this week.

Pleasure – Apples


September is here…school begins…the bliss of summer ends. Happily, Autumn has its own joys…and apples are tops on my list of seasonal favorites.


I bought a small basket of Gala apples at the local farm market. Galas are one of my favorite apple varieties. I enjoy using them to make a delicious side dish of baked apples. (With whipped cream on top, baked apples can also be a delicious dessert.)


Core and slice the apples thin. No special measurements, slice up as many as you think you will eat in one sitting, or cut a few extra for leftovers.


I like to cook baked apples in glass bakeware. Place apples in baking dish, dot freely with butter, sprinkle top with brown sugar, and add a sprinkling of cinnamon. I sometimes also add a pinch of salt. Bake at 350, covered with foil or a lid for about forty-five minutes. Enjoy!


Pleasures – Tadpoles


If you look closely, you may be able to discern a few large tadpoles nestled in the strands of my pond plant. I’ve always found tadpoles to be interesting, and every year we try to find a few to put into our pond. They are available at local garden centers too. These whoppers will turn into frogs in a month or two. I love to go outdoors on a hot summer afternoon and find them basking in the sun on a piece of water lettuce.

In wet summers you will often small tadpoles in large puddles. I enjoy saving these and nurturing them to their final stage. These tadpoles are not frogs, instead they will develop into Tiny Toads. This is a great project to do with children. Here are a few links that give good information on how to raise small tadpoles to toads.

Tiny Tadpoles Part I
Tiny Tadpoles Part II
Tiny Tadpoles Part III
Tiny Tadpoles Part IV

Pleasures – Fresh Donuts!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fresh.”
“For this week’s photo challenge, share with us a photo that expresses something fresh.”

Block Island Donuts
Block Island Donuts

When I think of fresh I think of Payne’s Killer Donuts on Block Island in Rhode Island. They truly are FRESH and capture that “Melt-in-your-mouth” goodness we all crave.

People & Pleasure – Cellist David Abramsky

A week or two ago, while searching Youtube for music videos to embed as my “Song of the Day”, by luck, or perhaps better said, “By God’s Blessing,” I came across this lovely piece of music by David Abramsky.

I love the sound of the cello, and this song, and the images in the video, capture a sense of reverence that uplifts my spirit. Even better, in searching out a little more about this musician, I came upon his testimony: David Abramsky’s Testimony. Please take a moment to read this account of how Mr. Abramsky turned to Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

David Abramsky’s music is available on CD Baby and

***Just an added note…I purchased the CD, “Clothed in Glory,”  and I am thrilled with the music. “Be Thou My Vision” is one of the songs on the CD.

Pleasures & Planting – Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Catalog


My all-time favorite seed catalog has arrived. There is no mistake that I photographed the catalog on top of pillows and an afghan; this is the perfect entertainment for a cold night. The long, dark evenings of Winter pass quickly when you curl up in a comfy chair and dream of what you will plant come Spring. Baker Street Heirloom Seeds is a 350+ page masterpiece of seed offerings, how-to articles, history and gorgeous photographs. I purchased this version of the catalog. You can also order a 200+ page free version, but it does not have the articles and tips contained in the larger version.

Baker Creek Heirloom Website is definitely the first site you should visit if you order your seeds online. Happy Gardening!

Pleasures – Meyer Lemons Part II

I am planning on growing a Meyer Lemon Tree from the seed. I will place the seeds in a pot with organic potting soil, enclose the pot in plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect, and watch for sprouting. I have read that Meyer Lemon blossoms have a sensational fragrance, and they also will produce lemons while growing in a pot. I MUST give it a try! It sounds like a project my grandsons would enjoy too.

Here are a few photographs I found at Flickr that illustrate the results you can get from growing Meyer Lemon seeds.

Meyer Lemon Baby
Baby Meyer Lemons – Photograph Courtesy of Jenny Levine @ Flickr

Meyer Lemon flower
Meyer Lemon Blossom – Photograph courtesy of 200,000 views @ Flickr

meyer lemon tree in pot
Lemon Tree in Pot – Photograph courtesy of Lauren @ Flickr

Pleasures & Pots and Pans – Meyer Lemons


Finally, after years of reading and hearing about the superiority of Meyer Lemons, I finally spotted a display of the elusive citrus fruit in my local supermarket. Perhaps they have been there before, and I passed right by them, thinking the yellowy-orange fruit were unripe tangerines, but this time the sign over them caught my eye. I snapped up three of the beauties even though they were steeply priced at 1.00 each.

What did I do with them? Well first, being me, I created still life compositions for photographing all over my house.

Lovebirds lemon.jpg

The next thing I did was search out a good recipe to use them in. I found the winner at Tutti Dolci All Sweets Blog: Meyer Lemon Cloud Cookies. I followed the directions as written. The cookies were easy to mix up and bake, and delicious as a lemony cloud…really! The one thing I would change would be to double the recipe. Why make only twenty cookies when forty cookies would be just as easy and almost as quick?

The cookies would most likely be scrumptious using a regular lemon too. Happy Baking!