“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It Goes On.”
Robert Frost

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Is There Anything More Beautiful...

                                                             at this time of year other than a tomato?

I think not.

My Homegrown Tomatoes
We have been feasting on tomatoes the past couple of weeks. Eagerly waiting for them to get completely ripe before we pick them. This has definitely been a test of our patience!

First we started with the BLT sandwiches and then the tomatoes went  into basic lettuce salads. Of course we both love the caprese salads, so we had to have those. Then it was back to more BLTs. After I thought we better cut back on all the pork, I also made a pineapple-tomato salsa that was excellent on some grilled salmon. Eating them plain with just salt and pepper is great but I wanted to add a few new recipe ideas to my cookbook folder.

Hunting through Pinterest for fresh tomato recipes, I came across the one below. It was still very refreshing and the grilled onions gave it a unique and interesting flavor. I will be making this again soon. I changed the recipe slightly for my own taste and ingredients on hand, if you would like the link to the original recipe, click on the picture below.

Fresh Tomato Salad with Grilled Onions
A summer side dish with grilled onions adapted from a recipe by chef Rob Rainford.
6 servings

1 red or yellow onion, sliced into 1" rings
2 tbsp canola or grape-seed oil
salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
6 medium homegrown tomatoes

1/4 cup grape-seed oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Step 1: Two hours before grilling, whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl and add onion rings, tossing to coat. Marinate at room temperature.

Step 2: Fire up your charcoal or preheat your gas grill. Grilling temperature should be around 325°F to 350°F. Prep the grill for cooking over direct heat.

Step 3: Core the tomatoes and cut them lengthwise into quarters. You want large, chunky pieces for this rustic grilled salad.

Step 4: Remove the onion rings from the vinaigrette, reserving the vinaigrette. Brush the onion rings lightly with a little oil and season them with salt and black pepper.

Step 5: Place the onion rings on the grill and cook until lightly charred, 6-10 minutes per side on medium-high heat.

Step 6: Remove onion rings from the grill and set aside to cool slightly. Whisk the vinaigrette until nice and thick.

Step 7: To assemble the salad, combine the tomatoes, cooled onion rings and vinaigrette in a bowl and you're done. Serve this salad buffet-style or in individual salad bowls.

For more check out my pinboard....

Have you tried any new fresh tomato recipes this season?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I Would Ride With You Upon the Wind

This is for all of my bloggy friends who love 'Fairy Tales'. Sometimes you just want to go to that place in your daydreams, if only for a few minutes. Join me please, as we step into the world of fairies and love and fairy tale love...

Illustration by Milo Winter (1886-1956)

OK, they say butterfly, but I say fairy!

 Aoede's First Single 'Fairy Tale Love' from her April 2012 CD: 'Skeletons of the Muse'

A Trip to Fairy Land

Autumn Fairy by M.T. Ross

Fairy bread

A Fairy Voyage

Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the disheveled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.

                                                                               ~William Butler Yeats, "The Land of Heart's Desire," 1894

Have a great week all!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Blue and Yellow - You Complete Me

Blues and yellows are a favorite color combination of mine. I went in search of more examples on my favorite site, Pinterest. A few are mine and a few are borrowed from some fellow bloggers. We are having a bit of rain and clouds today and these colors always improve my outlook. I hope you enjoy them also.

Delphiniums in my Shawnee Pottery Vase

The blue just explodes out of the vase.


Source: plowingthroughlife.blogspot.ca                     

odd-eyed cutie


Not sure if this eye color is real or not, but they look really cool!



I love this, using food for a color scheme! 

I used a soft butter color as the color for our house once. People would stop and ask what color number and brand the paint was!

rebecca's patchwork and minky

Love this combination of colors and fabrics!

Many people think complementary colors are so called because they look nice together. Complementary colors are often combined to produce a pleasing effect. That's what I always thought until I started doing a little bit more reading up on color wheels. Actually they're called complementary because they complete the color spectrum.


I came across a very interesting site called The Muser Physics & Physiology of Color.

Here's what was said about how this all works....

The blue we use as an additive primary color contains light from one-third of the spectrum. Yellow contains the light from the remaining two-thirds of the spectrum (red+green). When blue and yellow light are added together, they produce white light. So one pair of complementary colors is blue and yellow. Another pair is green and magenta. Another is red and cyan. (source)

Now I always just knew that these colors worked together and I knew that I loved the combination.  Perhaps it's because our brains are happy when the color spectrum is complete. Kind of gives a new meaning to "You Complete Me" doesn't it?


Friday, August 10, 2012

Guy and the Bumblebee

My local small bumblebees are my favorite bees.  They are fuzzy and cute, for an insect anyway, and are more docile than regular bees.  If you followed my blog last year you may remember me posting about them here and here.  The bees arrived this spring and have been busy visiting all my flowers and plants, but I am not sure where they are actually living.  I have not been able to trace them back to their hive.  I am just happy they found a new home after last year’s upheaval.  I have never been stung by one ... ever. 
Cute fuzzy Bumblebee on left, regular honeybee on right.

As you know Little Guy Noir has been growing quickly and had figured out that the Big Cats were going outside.  Not wanting to be left out, he had been trying all sorts of escape methods to join them.  I finally caved in and brought out the cat harness we had purchased for Dot when we first got her.  It was too small and we eventually had to order another larger size for her online in the chubby cat section.

Dot with new harness. FYI harness is called Come With Me Kitty Harness + Bungee Leash.

Anyway after a lot of wriggling and squirming by Guy not me, well actually there was some squirming by me, I finally got the harness on him.  Guy loves going out and has gotten used to the harness and behaves pretty well.  

Guy Noir a day before the incident!

On about his third trip out, he started batting something about and I thought it was a leaf or a bit of bark.  Then I noticed Guy stopped abruptly and ran about a foot away, looking back with fear in his eyes.  I then noticed a small bumblebee come staggering out of the grass and after a moment gathered its strength and flew away.  Then Little Guy started licking his right foot and I knew he had been stung.  Bumblebees do not have barbs on their stingers like honeybees, so they actually can sting multiple times.  They also do not die or leave their stinger in their victim. Luckily this bee only stung in self defense when he was being mashed by a paw and then left to go about his business with no ill will.

After Guy was back in the house, I consulted my cat care books and they suggested putting ice on the sting or soaking in water and baking soda.  I opted for the ice pack and Guy sat on my lap with the ice pack for about ten minutes.  I didn't get any pictures of his foot, but it did swell up some, otherwise he seemed alright.  By the next day the swelling was almost gone and by the third day you would never know he had been stung. 

Guy a few days after the sting, all well now.

When we went outside the next day he saw another bee and actually made a move on it.  I could almost see the little wheels whirling in his head as he remembered, "bee….. foot…   hurt!"  He decided to leave the bee alone.  Another lesson learned!

Doing what cats do best.

I don't ever remember any of my other cats ever being stung before. Even though Guy had this unfortunate accident, I do not blame the bee. It was trying to protect itself as is natures way.
I Still See Beautiful When I See A Bee.

Today I am joining the See Beautiful Blog Hop

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Learning About Cute Animals....

Remember when you were a little kid and they would have story time at the school or library.  Do you remember that the books sometimes were huge and they had large illustrations to get your attention? As you progressed in school, the illustrations got smaller and there were less of them.  One day you picked up a book and there were no illustrations at all.  What a shame!

This fantastic book proves that by combining nature, science and art you can provide an exciting teaching opportunity for everyone, even adults!  The book I am featuring today is by the author and artist Margaret Waring Buck. The book is titled Animals Through the Year, published by Rand McNally, 1941.

Margaret Waring Buck was born in New York in 1905, she lived most of her life in Mystic, Connecticut, until her death in 1997.  She was an illustrator and naturalist who produced several self-illustrated books about animals life in the wild. Her books included both black and white drawings and stunning colored images depicting animals amongst their native settings.


Her art shows a somewhat "humanized" version of animals interacting with each other.  I happen to adore this type of art and love how she portrays the fox mother above.  Do I see a bit of a smile on her face? The baby fox (kits) are patiently and cutely waiting for their dinner. Buck was careful about the details in her art and depicted the plants, insects and animals in their appropriate settings. 

She supplied informative but uncomplicated text just right for a young naturalist beginning to learn about the subject.  The background information for this particular book was gleaned from the Chicago Academy of Sciences and from exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

"Animals know about the Seasons---
The seasons of the year are just as important to animals as they are to us.  Animals know that winter will be  followed by spring.  They know that in summer there is plenty of food.  When autumn comes, they know that winter is on the way and they know what they must do to get ready for it.  Animals Through The Year will tell you how twenty of the most common animals of North America live during the four seasons......" 
                                               Margaret Waring Buck

This wonderful book is available at CraveCute on Etsy.