The nights are drawing in fast, darkness falling around 7pm each evening.
I love to light candles on the porch, and sit and enjoy the cool night air.
My latest craft project has been the creation of these Mason Jar lights. You can purchase the lid-lights at most craft stores, or online, mine were left over from my granddaughter's wedding decorations.
The lids fit a regular Mason Jar opening, and charges the solar battery throughout the day.
The jars can be filled with glass beads or decorations, and when darkness falls they add charm and coziness to your outdoor space.
Hang them on fence posts or walkways if you need path-light ideas.
I've been thumbing through wallpaper patterns, in the hopes of re-wallpapering the guest bathroom.
Book upon book of gorgeous prints, a person could get lost in flipping through the pages.
I keep returning to a design by Waverly (one of my most favorite manufacturers), Emma's garden, a timeless and pretty design, with a traditional English flair.
What do you think ?
When the leaves are beginning to change, and the temperatures start to fall, my thoughts turn to comfort food.
My favorite soup is homemade mushroom soup, earthy-goodness, silky smooth and comforting on cool Autumn nights.
Serve with a crusty loaf of French bread, light a candle or two and enjoy.
Cream of Mushroom Soup.
1 med. onion
3/4 lb. mushrooms
3 Tbsp. flour.
1 clove of garlic ( very finely chopped )
1 tbsp. fresh thyme chopped or 1 tsp. dried
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
dash of nutmeg
1 Knorr Swiss vegetable cube
3 cups of chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 large bay leaf
fresh ground pepper to taste.
fresh parsley or chives for garnish
butter and add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook until onion is transparent at medium.
mushrooms and continue to cook for about 5 min.
Add the flour and the vegetable
cube and stir in. Immediately add the chicken broth and water, incorporating
Add bay leaf and pepper, cover and bring to a boil.
Add Worcestershire sauce , thyme and dash of nutmeg.
Turn heat down
immediately and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove bay leaf and add cream.
top with fresh croutons or crackers.
Garnish with parsley or chives.
Autumn is fast approaching, and for the past few days we've already noticed a
change in the weather.
Cool mist-filled mornings, and even cooler,
The trees are beginning their changing of color, yellows,
oranges and reds.
Pumpkins are now decorating porches and gardens.
songbirds busily returning to their winter homes.
Season of mists and mellow
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and
With fruit the vines that round the
Summer days are noticeably shorter. There is a cooler rush to the evening air.
Down on main street the shopkeepers are displaying their Autumn flowers, and the feel of changing seasons is afoot.
The Summer's Gold Lantana blooms heartily, as if it knows that Summer's loveliest smile, is fleeting.
"September days have the warmth of summer in their briefer hours,
But in their lengthening evenings a prophetic breath of autumn.
The cricket chirps in the noontide, making the most of what remains of his brief life.
The bumblebee is busy among the clover blossoms of the aftermath,
And their shrill and dreamy hum hold the outdoor world above the voices of the song birds,
Now silent or departed."-
"Don't let yourself get so busy that you miss those little but important extras in life ~ the beauty of a day... the smile of a friend... the serenity of a quiet moment alone. For it is often life's smallest pleasures and gentlest joys that make the biggest and most lasting difference."
Why is it that small things we remember growing up, seems to have such an influence on our taste, as adults ?
My grandma Ciss used a tea kettle on her stove to boil water.
It was a sturdy kettle made from chrome-plated copper, and built with a raised element at the bottom in order to conduct the heat more efficiently from her gas stove.
When the water was at boiling level, it whistled, to let you know it was ready.
It lasted a lifetime, or so it seemed to me.
As soon as I set up housekeeping, I always wished for one of those kettles.
I shopped specialty catalogues endlessly, until one day, I came across the very same kettle, in the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Collection. "Imported from England" caught my eye.
My choice was the one made from solid copper, lined with tin, without the element, and more suitable for use with an electric stove top.
It was shipped with a lifetime warranty, and a lovely little keepsake card, telling how it was handcrafted, and the name of the original craftsman, whose talent it took to create it.
It gets used everyday, reminding me of all the times my grandma served pots of tea to family and friends alike.
The local "bobbies" (policemen), walking the neighborhood beat, were a staple around her kitchen table.
I can hear them now, shouting through the front door letterbox......."Put'the kettle on Ciss".
Buckets full, with the odd peeking of the sun in between, enticing you into the garden with the hope of getting those much needed chores done.
Just in time for the beginning of the annual County fair, it always seems so.
Three days of continuous rain, for which we are grateful, even if her timing is a bit off.
A break in the heat
away from the front
no thunder, no lightning,
just rain, warm rain
falling near dusk
falling on eager ground
turning toward the clouds
cooling, soothing rain
splashing in sudden puddles
catching in open screens
that certain smell
of summer rain