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Yellow Daylilies

We moved into a new house about 8 months ago and weren’t sure what any previous owners may have planted in the yard.

Walking around the property, there was one corner that had a couple bushes but I wasn’t sure what kind they were.

Lo and behold! Yellow daylilies.

A friend of mine has posted pictures of 5 different colored daylilies. I had seen yellow and orange ones but she had one that was salmon colored that was really pretty.

What’s your favorite color of daylily?

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Bee Balm Plant

Pink Bee Balm Plant

Having moved to a new house with a sunny southern exposure, I’ve been on the hunt for plants that will survive full sun.

It’s quite different from the mostly shady acre property where we lived in Minnesota. I’m almost giddy with all the selections I now have.

In Minnesota, we were able to plant bee balm because we had some sun in a corner of our property. Did we attract hummingbirds, bees or butterflies?

We mainly attracted large butterflies and hummingbirds. It was rare when we saw a bee on our mostly shaded lot.

After planting this one bee balm plant, I was surprised that it did so well in its first year.

After being in the ground for about a month, the flowers started withering so I headed online to see if I should “deadhead” them. Deadheading is when you remove the withered flowers so that new buds can grow ~ I usually just use my hands and twist the dead ones off.

Online, this is what I found:

“If you want a bushier plant, pinch off the stem tips as new growth appears in the early spring. In late fall, cut the bee balm down to just a few inches tall. In cold areas, it may die completely to the ground during the winter, but will reappear in the spring.” This was from the “gardening knowhow” website.

Isn’t this one of the prettiest pink bee balms? Next year I’m hoping to plant several of these.

Do you have any bee balm photos you’d like to share?

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Of Coronavirus, Free Masks and Sharing

While I was walking around our neighborhood recently, I had to stop and take a closer look at a tree that had “something” hanging from it.

I was quite surprised when I took a closer look and also read the sign next to the tree.

Tree with Free Face Masks

Free masks? Yes, indeed. The family who lived in this house decided to offer free masks ~ all you had to do was pick it from the tree. They had carefully put each mask in a plastic baggie.

How original and thoughtful! Wouldn’t you say?

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Review of Bow Tie Salad With Tuna

Being home most of the day now, I’ve been looking for easier recipes to make. Call it laziness ~ although, I am looking for NEW recipes to make during this coronavirus pandemic.

Seeing as I had purchased tuna in bulk (shouldn’t we be prepared for food shortages, after all?), I needed tuna recipes.

This recipe was quite easy to make and tasty.

It does require chickpeas. Chickpeas?!!! Yes, this is the first pasta recipe I’ve tried with chickpeas. And it came out quite good.

I did cut back on the dressing though as I thought it would be a little strong and was wise to do that. I also didn’t use cucumbers. Maybe next time … Since I had olive I decided to toss a few in there. So daring I am! Ha!

I decided to use Farfelle pasta for no other reason than it was on sale at the store plus I like the cute bows.

Farfelle Pasta

As I mentioned before, I cut the dressing in half using about 1/8 of the red wine vinegar and olive oil. I also used 1 tablespoon of the Dijon Mustard as I didn’t want it to taste too mustard-y.

Dressing for Bow Tie Salad with Tuna

This recipe was easy and quite good. I served it with toasted garlic bread.

Bow Tie Salad with Tuna

So ~ here’s the link to where you can find the whole recipe. And, enjoy!

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The Hoodwink Quilt

Early summer, my nephew who is in his 30’s, asked if I could make him a quilt.

I was surprised as he rarely shows much emotion about things but he was serious.

So I had him go through some of my quilt books and he picked a pattern called Hoodwink from the Charm School quilt book.

This book has quilt designs that you can make using 5″ squares of fabric. But my goal was to use up scrap fabric that I had. In actuality though, I used scrap fabric and material that I had purchased at JoAnn’s store awhile ago but hadn’t used yet. I just happened to walk by it one day and fell in love with the fabric and thought I could add it to the stash I already had at home.

Material Used for Hoodwink Queen Quilt

It actually worked quite well for what I wanted.

When I asked my nephew what color fabric he wanted he said “I don’t know. Maybe navy blue?” Well, that left me open to use whatever I wanted with blue as my dominant color.

This quilt came together quickly (well, once I had time to work on it). I did have to add material since my nephew has a queen quilt and the design is for a 69″x69″ quilt which is quite smaller.

After I made the blocks, I laid them out on the floor to see how I should lay them out on the final design. It takes me awhile to do this since I like to leave them on the floor for a day or so and come back to look at them from every angle. Since we moved to a smaller home recently, I have very limited space.

Hoodwink Quilt Blocks

After putting the top together, including the sashing, I thought I could do the quilting myself so purchased the backing along with Quilters Dream Cotton batting to get ready. For this project, I decided to use the Request which is the lightest batting that Quilters Dream Cotton has. This was my first time using it. It’s a lighter batting and so the quilt can be used year round.

Here’s a picture of the quilt on the table after I had pieced the top together.

Unfortunately, after I spent the time preparing it by pinning it together and started to quilt it, I noticed that it was puffing up in the back. I had to rip out the sewing I had completed.

Since we have a laminate floor, it was very difficult to pin the quilt without damaging the floor with the safety pins so, although I had done a good job, it was not good enough.

I would up taking the quilt to a local long arm quilter to have it completed.

One thing I did was wash the fabric before cutting it so I could have a crinkly look which I really like and that the quilt in the book shows.

But after looking at the picture above and the finished product, I’m not sure if that was the right decision as I think the crinkly look takes away from the beautiful blocks. It still looks beautiful though!

Tell me what you think by comparing the picture above (well it’s not quilted yet so you’ll have to use your imagination) and the pictures below.

Hoodwink Quilt
The Back of the Hoodwink Quilt

So ~ what do you think?

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Burmese Chicken Soup Review

For those of you who get the Costco Connection magazine, you’ll find in the January edition a recipe for Burmese Chicken Soup.

And I have to say, it is scrumptious!

The recipe is easy to make although you probably have to make a grocery run as most people don’t have some of the basic recipe ingredients in their cupboard.

What I especially liked is that it uses boneless and skinless chicken thighs which makes for a tender meat. And the spices ~ whoa!

The use of sweet potatoes with chicken in a coconut and chicken broth had not occurred to me before. The pairing was very good and we served it with garlic naan bread.

Here’s what the pot of soup looks like when it’s finished:

If you haven’t guessed by now, I give this recipe five stars. That’s five out of five. To see the recipe, click here.

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Amaryllis & Patience

Patience. I purchased this amaryllis in early December and thought it was dead as it was not growing. But I watered it once a week and, although I was ready to give up, my mother said “wait.” Then it started getting “leggy” and a bulb started to grow. It’s a beauty now. Just goes to show everything has its own journey even if it seems slow to us.

There are so many lessons I learn from God in nature.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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A Quick & Scrumptious Dinner

Sometimes I feel lazy and want a quick and easy recipe to make for dinner. Enter the website Cooking Light. I’ve made other recipes from this website before and most of the recipes are quite good ~ just like this one was.

The recipe I made was Pasta with Charred Broccoli , Feta and Lemon.

I didn’t char the broccoli as much as their picture shows but the recipe came out pretty good just the same.

Pasta with Charred Broccoli, Feta and Lemon

So ~ here’s the link for the recipe in case you’re looking for something quite good to make.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Have you ever wondered what to do when a new neighbor moves into your neighborhood?

We recently moved to Illinois and our neighborhood has walking trails nearby so we would go walking but the people would not be responsive to our “hellos.” I was getting quite discouraged that we wouldn’t make any friends.

One day while I was napping, my husband heard a knock on the door and I heard him calling “Norma, Norma.” So I got up and went to the front door where he was at. Standing outside was a young couple with a child in their arms.

“We want to welcome you to our neighborhood,” she said. Then she extended her hand and gave us a tin and a bag. We thanked her and stood at the door talking for a few minutes. After they left, I set the tin and bag on the kitchen counter and opened it up.

Homemade chocolate chip cookies, cleaning supplies and a candle ~ what a nice surprise!

They also put their contact information inside in case we had any questions about the neighborhood.

During Halloween, this same couple knocked on our door with her 2 year old and some friends. Later she texted me and apologized for not having time to talk. No worries I assured her. Maybe we could meet up for coffee or something, I told her.

Then, I received a surprise invitation to dinner at their house. We accepted and had a pleasant chicken dinner.

Now it’s Christmas and I had planned on taking over a gift for their little girl along with cookies but … another knock on the door. They had brought us some homemade popcorn for the holidays.

How nice!

Now, this is a nice way to say “welcome to the neighborhood.”

Have you ever done anything like this before? It seems like nowadays people are so caught up with social media that they don’t have time for one-on-one relationships.

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Of Glimpses and Visions

New Mexico Organ Mountains

C.S. Lewis wrote: “A glimpse is not a vision. But to a man on a mountain road by night, a glimpse of the next three feet of road may matter more than a vision of the horizon.”

It’s all about perspective, isn’t it? Visions are good to have but sometimes we focus so much on them that we are paralyzed with taking the step right in front of us.

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