Friday, July 31, 2015

Sweet Corn

Fresh sweet corn is the best and it's always something we look forward to this time of year. I don't have enough room to grow my own but there's lots and lots of it available at the Farmers Market. It likes to grow in really hot conditions so I guess there will be good supply in the coming weeks.

It takes a little bit of extra work to get it ready to eat but it's totally worth it.

You could say, right now . . .  corn is king . . .

and the only way to beat a king is to Trump it!

(Talk about having a head of silky hair.)

Long live the Corn King! At least until dinner time.

That was a short but tasty reign, poor Burt's going to need a new scepter!

As these hot days give way to cooler (ok, less hot) nights, we look forward to the evenings.
It hasn't rained for awhile so we can actually sit outside without being devoured by mosquitos!

Of course night is the perfect time for a little spookiness . . .

. . . and we can't forget the madness!

So as the Blue Moon or Green Corn Moon or possibly the Blueberry Moon peeks through the trees,

it's time to relax, enjoy the evening and not think about all that sweet corn we just ate!

So glad you could stop in for a visit. Hope everyone is staying cool!

Thanks to the genius behind #TrumpYourCat for a good laugh and great inspiration!

My two kitties are hard core liberals and refused to participate in anything to do with insane conservative politicians. Burt, on the other hand doesn't follow politics or Twitter, and was unaware of any connection between a certain infamous presidential candidate and his own corn silk hair.
We should probably keep it that way.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Salsa and Chairs

So who's this? Burt Simpson?

Or Psycho Burt Simpson?

Nope, it's just Burt making his special salsa. There's lots of fresh tomatoes to use up and he's been getting into the Halloween spirit ever since he realized it was only 97 days away!
As much as we all love Fall, we are in no rush for summer to be over!


There are still plenty of summer projects to finish up. Burt enjoyed these chairs in their skeletal version but they were impractical for the rest of us. Last month I added padded wood seats and backs but they were still too awful to sit on no matter how much beer we had to drink!

So for my last and I have to say, final attempt to salvage them I decided to try this kitschy macrame technique I somewhat reluctantly borrowed from the late 1990's Florida Retiree culture.   

My late father-in-law spent many winters in Florida and was particularly adept at mastering all sorts of crafts like this macrame technique. One winter he focused on refurbishing folding lawn chairs and the pair he gave us are actually quite comfortable. Unfortunately, I need a blindfold if they're anywhere within my sight so they reside permanently in the upstairs of our garage.

I have to admit I found the whole macrame process to be a long and tedious experience.
On the other hand, Spenser had a great time!

Here's one of the finished chairs with plenty of obvious mistakes. It's no surprise that they're still very uncomfortable, unless you're a cat. Next I'll be trying seat cushions which may or may not fix the comfort issue and at the same time cover up all the blunders. If that fails, they're off to Goodwill.

I should have wrapped them in chicken wire and covered them with moss.

 At least Burt's salsa is ready, looks like it's time to get out the chips!

Thanks for dropping by, hope everyone's having a great weekend!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Paine Garden

Burt has been hunkered down with some summer reading on the early lumber industry in our area, specifically those on tragic events! It turns out our sleepy little town has something of a turbulent past. It is a familiar story, disgruntled workers wanting decent wages, greedy owners only concerned with profits. History always does seem to repeat itself. As is usually the case, things did work out for everyone and long before someone decided to make children's clothing, but that's another story!       

It's a twenty minute walk from my home to The Paine Art Center and Gardens, a Tudor-Revival style mansion set amid trees and flowers on three acres of a former cattle pasture. It was the brain-child of the local lumber baron's son, Nathan Paine and his heiress wife, Jesse. She came from Neenah, the next town up the river and was the daughter of the co-founder of Kimberly-Clark, the makers of Kleenex. Apparently their plan was to build an estate, collect art and antiques from around the world to furnish it and then open it as an arts and cultural center for the city. Construction began in 1927 but stopped in 1932 due to the depression and threats from the laid off Paine Lumber Company employees to blow the mansion up if they ever dared to move in! Eventually, by 1948 tempers had cooled down and it was opened to the public. Jesse Paine served as president of the museum until her death in 1973 at the age of 100. Try not to think about all this the next time you blow your nose!

In spite of it's controversial beginnings it's a beautiful place and we are lucky it's close enough to visit easily. The gardens are always packed with great ideas that anyone can manage on their own. It is hard not to feel a little bit sorry about the Paines never getting a chance to live in their dream house.

I doubt if the current exhibit is exactly what Mr. & Mrs. Paine had in mind for their art gallery. Of course the costumes are fantastic and it was all very entertaining. Unfortunately there was no photography allowed inside but there are a few photos of the exhibit here on their web site.

Meanwhile, back in the gardens here's a pretty mix of grasses and annuals along the path.
My bank sponsors this part of the garden but I try not to hold that against it.

Here's something new! Doesn't it look like it just escaped from a Dr. Seuss garden?
Love it! Anyone know what these tall fuzzy plants are?

On this hot sunny day we took the cool, shady path that leads to the Rose Garden.

If we had walked across the lawn to the Rose Garden instead of following the path through the trees we would've been greeted by the rather French looking shepherd and shepherdess at the entrance. 

Most of the roses are done blooming for now however there were a few scattered here and there.

There's always annual flowers in urns or mixed in with the rose bushes to keep things colorful.

 Lots of busy bees, too!

The centerpiece of the reflecting pool usually gets a different treatment every year. 
I like the weeping tree in the urn and may have to find a place for one in my garden.

The flagstone walk connected the house to a replica of one of the gardens at Hampton Court. It was removed temporarily in order to build a new conservatory and hopefully will be replaced soon. 

Not bad for a cow pasture, wouldn't some sheep look cute grazing on the lawn?
You would have to watch where you step though.

As for Burt, he at stayed at home eagerly devouring more local scandals
and checking out the exhibit brochures with some tea and cake  . . .

 . . . keeping his pinkie up, just in case he runs into Lady Violet!

What are the historical scandals in your town?

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tea Madness

It's time once again for a tea party most mad,
with games to be played, there's much fun to be had!
Please join our festivities, it will make us so glad.

The tea leaves are steeping, there's plenty of cake,
and the brownies are arranged "just so" on a plate.
Cups and saucers piled high, they're teetering and unsteady, 
hope there's not a big crash before it's all ready!

Who's that among the teacups? I see a tail and big ears!
Why it's only the dormouse, he is nothing to fear. 

Our guests have arrived, the game is set to begin.
These contenders look serious, determined to win.

Of course there's no rules, it's Flamingo croquet!
You simply show up and pretend to play,
especially if it happens to be a beautiful day.

A game without rules? Is that really ok?
It's game, set and match, but who wins that way?
We don't know that now, but it will soon become clear
because the winners will be treating the losers to beer!

But first we need refreshments, some brownies and cake
after all its a tea party, make no mistake.
Burt has shocked our poor guests, given them a fright,
but it only takes chocolate to make it all right.

"What's this in the teapot? His Madness exclaimed.
"Just tea! squeaked the dormouse, while making it plain
a hasty escape was obviously his aim! 

"Tea Mr. Burt? Is Earl Grey to your taste? 
"Why thank you Ms. Kristin, that would be great!"
"Though I'm not a consumer of libations refined,    
I think half a cup would do me just fine." 

It appears the poor dormouse has not chosen well
and his bed of sugar cubes will only last for a spell,
what will happen to him next is too hard to tell.

Andy served up the cake, it was chocolate and spice,
favorites of his Madness, he looks happy with his slice!

Now it's time for real madness! It's what makes the day!
Can you imagine a tea party any other way?

Our little party is over, tea is finished, all is done.
Thanks to everyone for joining us, we hope you had fun!

As for those winners, we will give them a cheer
and toast their success with a few rounds of beer!

So happy you stopped by our mad tea party, I'll be dropping in on you soon.

A big thank you to Vanessa at A Fanciful Twist for creating and hosting this wonderful event!