Saturday, July 28, 2018

Fresh From the Garden....A Closer Look

I have been living vicariously through all the beautiful garden posts and blog parties all summer, not participating in any of them as yet. I have shown bits and pieces of my garden but not the full picture.


My garden is not growing well!

We had a terrible drought that left our lawn brown and crunchy and the only thing growing now is the crab grass.

The flowers have been pretty crabby too.

But then my perspective changed when I scrolled through Jann's Up Close and Personal with July Blooms post over at Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson. She and some other lovely ladies are hosting a Garden Party that you can link up to.

Inspired to finally do a garden post I grabbed my camera and went outside to take some fresh pictures, up close. I managed to find some that are doing just fine.

One plant that did not fail me is my favorite orange Daylily. I tried to buy more at several garden stores but was told they are too common to sell. I was tempted to dig some up on the side of the road where they grow in abundance, but decided I like my freedom more ;-)

My fairy garden in a bird bath is doing just fine, being in and out of the shade most of the day.

The Impatiens seem to like their spot in this old rusty floral vase.

I mix in a lot of different decorative things in my garden and these wooden mushrooms are my newest edition. I got them at a great garden shop in Port Hope, Canada. They will never fade!

I had to have this heavy plaster swan when I saw her at an estate sale. The pink Impatiens love riding on her back.

I did have red Impatiens in this bicycle basket but the squirrels stole one of them so I just let the Sweet Potato vine take over.

New to me is this Umbrella plant that I fell in love with and had to add to my garden this year.

More Impatiens amongst the Hostas….

My middle garden is over run with Black Eyed Susan's right now, which is fine with me. I decided to grow a pot of Spearmint this year and it is getting huge. The cute white elephant water can is a yard sale find.

I got tired of the ground cover that is choking out my Bee Balm and other flowers at the far end of this garden. With my granddaughter Cassidy's help, we pulled a lot of it out. I decided to take my chances and plant some Perennials now instead of waiting till Fall. This Coneflower is not in the ground yet but will go on this end along with yellow Coreopsis and Lavender.

I never thought these Lilies would bloom but they all are and they are huge.

The garden doesn't look so bad when you get up close to the flowers. Editing the pictures helps a lot!

Thanks Jann for the inspiration!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these fun blog parties:

Garden Party
Anything Goes Pink Saturday
Home Sweet Home
Over the Moon Link Party
Gardens Galore

Monday, July 16, 2018

Fresh Tomato Garlic Pasta

My sister moved to the Tampa Florida area 22 years ago and one of the first gifts she sent me was this great cookbook.

Ya gotta love Junior League cookbooks!

I found one of my most favorite dishes to eat in it.

In the Summer when the tomatoes are fresh and local, this recipe comes to mind. Think Caprese salad meets chunky pasta….yum!

It is the perfect meal to make when you want something fast and easy, light and fresh without too much stove time.

You do have to remember to make the sauce early in the day to give it time to blend.

I like to use this pasta that I found at Walmart. The sauce collects in all the twists and turns.

Fresh Tomato Garlic Pasta

Prep Time: 10 minutes            Cook Time: 10 minutes

4 large ripe tomatoes, diced

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large sprig fresh parsley, chopped

½ cup chopped fresh basil

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

6 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed

1 pound pasta of choice

Grated Parmesan cheese

Night before, or early in the day:

In a large bowl combine all ingredients except pasta and Parmesan; 
stir well. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but not more than
a day. Stir once or twice while in the fridge.

When ready to serve:

Prepare pasta. Coat with sauce and serve hot or cold with

Parmesan cheese.


P.S. I like it best cold!


I am linking up with these great blog parties:
Cooking & Crafting with J & J
Wonderful Wednesday
Full Plate Thursday
Share Your Cup
Home Sweet Home
Best of the Weekend
Anything Goes Pink Saturday

Saturday, July 7, 2018

My Trip to Canada....for the 4th of July!

It sounds a little un-American, doesn't it? Going to another country during the celebration of the independence of my country?

Well, we did it to see the great all American past time.....a baseball game! The New York Mets vs. The Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto.

But first.....

We spent the night before and the day on the 3rd sightseeing around the city. We took the City Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off bus so that we could check out different areas of the city. A boat tour on the lake was included so we did that also.

It was a hot and humid day without a cloud in the sky so we got crispy fried being on the water and the bus but the sights were worth it.

On the boat we had a clear view of the famous CN Tower....

To the left of us was a small airport where planes were taking off and landing while we were on the water. This next set of pictures will give you an idea of how close we were to it as a plane descended to land.

And yes, it was loud!

We had lunch at a waterfront restaurant. Mine was a 12 vegetable salad with tofu....yum!

The other boat tour option was an old Pirate looking ship.  We will have to try that one next time.

When we got to the stadium the roof was closed and it was pleasant inside. We soon learned that they were opening the roof for the game. It ended up being the perfect evening for a baseball game. This was the view from our seats, across from home plate.

There were actually people up there on the CN Tower, on the round part in orange jump suits with tethers, walking around it!

The Mets lost after being ahead up till the 6th inning :-( It is a fun atmosphere though, being in a professional ball park. We didn't indulge in the food too much after our big lunch, but that is usually part of the fun!

We left Toronto on the 4th to drive to Brockville for a concert, The McCartney Years, a tribute to Paul McCartney and Wings.

On the way we stopped in Port Hope, a very sweet Victorian town with lots of restaurants and shops. Just outside of Port Hope was the most amazing store called Primitive Designs.

It was chock full of rusty, chippy garden stuff, garden pots, funky clothing, jewelry, antiques, wood carvings, furniture and household treasures, and the most amazing hand made robots.

Somebody actually made these all by hand out of metal parts. There was an overwhelming amount of stuff to look at.

I bought these three wood mushrooms for the wild part of my garden.

The concert was at the The Brockville Arts Centre, that features a lot of tribute type concerts and movies. My husband wants to go back to see Daydream Believers, a tribute concert to The Monkees.

We were thrilled when we realized that the bridge to the USA was only a half hour from Brockville and more importantly, that Clayton, New York was another 10-15 minutes away! As a kid I went to the 1,000 Islands every summer to stay at my grandfathers' 10 Acres in Clayton. It is a row of cottages of relatives and friends of my grandparents, right on the St. Lawrence River.

We had to stop and walk the town which is right on the St. Lawrence. Wow, has it changed a lot in 50 years!! The town was cute with lots of shops but I only wanted to hang out by the river.

My husband is on the computer as I type this looking for a cottage to rent for later this Summer in Clayton. Happy Dance!!

If you go to Toronto:

I highly recommend the sightseeing bus tour to hop on and off 14 different areas of the city. The harbor area is nice with vendors and restaurants. We did not get to stop at the Distillery part of the city but heard it is a nice place to visit.

If you go to Canada:

You need a Passcard which allows you to drive over the border of Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean by land or sea. Not by air.

Exchange your money to Canadian at the border and then back to American on the way home. The exchange rate was 25% while we were there but we paid 13% tax on everything we bought. Hmmmm, is that a tax just for foreigners to make up for the exchange rate?! I will have to look into that one.

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these fun blog parties:

Dishing It & Digging It
Over The Moon Linky Party
Share Your Cup
Thoughtful Thursday Link Party
Anything Goes Pink Saturday

Sunday, July 1, 2018

June One Day at a Time

Happy July!

Now and then I like to do a one day at a time picture post. It is fun to find an interesting or fun photo to take and post for every day.


June 1

Today it is dark and dreary. June, are you there? The bright spot of the day is when my granddaughter Cassidy and I went out to dinner and shopping. I found this cute bunny at TJ Maxx and it was on sale!

June 2

Today was my day with granddaughter Chloe. She wanted to go to the Public Market in Rochester. She was looking forward to rummaging through the two sections of boxes and boxes of toys there, and then there is the donut guy. The toys are mostly junky and the donuts are always fabulous. Fresh and hot out of the fryer....glazed or apple cider.

The toy she got broke after a few minutes and it was a surprise and a little creepy when the eyes lit up!

June 3

I always go to this June flea market early because there are usually treasures galore at great prices. Not this year :-( I did find this cute owl cookie jar for a 'just because' gift for my daughter.....the owl collector.

June 4

I finally got my fairy garden put together....this year in a birdbath. It was filled with succulents from last year so I just added a few more as trees and bushes and cleared a place for the house and garden.

June 5

My husband's boss captured these sweet little foxes outside their office building. I want one as a pet....or two!

June 6

After my son and I went out for wings for lunch we wanted ice cream. Giffords is the best ice cream but not many ice cream shops carry it. So we trekked out to Bloomfield to get some. It was a chilly 60 degrees so we ate it in the truck with the heat on! Blueberry for me and S'more's for him.

Guess what the name of the ice cream shop is? Shivers!

June 7

Today I posted my front door makeover on my blog. I had been wanting to paint it Aqua for awhile. I also made a new "wreath" out of a cute sunhat I found.

June 8

I found this vintage dresser drawer at a yard sale and decided to plant it with one of my favorite Geraniums. I found the variety that likes part shade and the Sweet Potato Vine adds a little more green to this shady area on my front stoop. Grow flowers, grow!

June 9

Today I went shopping and thrifting with my sister for the whole day. After 5 hours we were delirious and started missing turns and had to backtrack. Good thing though because we stopped at a few great gift shops and a barn sale. Here are my found treasures.

June 10

This is the 11th year that we have walked in the one and a half mile JDRF walk, which stands for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. My oldest granddaughter Cassidy was diagnosed with the disease at age 2. There are great advancements made every year to manage the disease but we are waiting for a cure. She is the tallest.

June 11

Mondays are the day that I spend with my husband. We usually work around the yard or house or go out to breakfast. Today we went to a wonderful bakery in a nearby town for breakfast and then walked it off at the Erie Canal. The historic canal runs all along several towns in our area. There just happened to be a barge going under the bridge...perfect!

June 12

Today I spent the day with my Mom Jane on her deck eating lunch and playing a card game. It was gorgeous weather. Her beautiful purple (her favorite color) Clematis were nearby.

June 13

This fabulous Aqua truck caught my eye in a parking lot where I was shopping. It would look fabulous parked out front of my house with my Aqua porch in the background. Oh look! It's for sale!

June 14

Today is Flag Day and in honor of that my granddaughter Chloe's Elementary School had a walking parade around town. Since the school is the next street over, they walk by my house. She is up front with her teacher in the leopard pants and red shirt.

June 15

After 22 years living here we finally bought an outdoor table, chairs and umbrella to enjoy meals outside in the summer. Aqua of course! Now we have to remember to go out there and use it!

June 16

My town of Palmyra decorates Main Street each Spring with a basket of flowers on the light posts, a flag and a banner advertising local businesses. This year our community theatre, Impact Theatre, was given the chance to buy a banner to display. It went up in the perfect spot. The old building behind it is the Park and Clubs Rooms, where Impact got it's start 17 years ago.

June 17th

Father's Day.....we went to a live production of Little Shop of Horrors at Bristol Theatre in Naples, NY and then to dinner at Casa di Pasta in Canandaigua. Two beautiful areas to hang out in for the day. Canandaigua Lake is one of five Finger Lakes in Upstate NY and it has the city of Canandaigua on the top tip of it and Naples on the bottom.

Canandaigua Lake from the Canandaigua side...

And the end of the lake at the Naples side....

June 18

The heat is oppressive and nearing triple digits here today which is unusual for Upstate NY.  Believe it or not this looks really good to me right now....

June 19

I found these great flag banners at Aldi's for $2.99 each. I am thrilled that I didn't have to make them (which was the plan) and that I could just hang them up for a bit of patriotic whimsy on my side porch. Gotta love Aldi!

June 20

Under the old willow tree in the front of the old library house.....

June 21

It's the first day of summer! Yay! The village I live in has historic buildings throughout it and a row of museums on Market Street. Today I was there for a yard sale and the Phelps General Store museum was all decked out for summer with orchard baskets filled with vegetables. So nostalgic.......

June 22

Yesterday at the yard sale on Market Street I found a vintage bundt pan with the best design all over it. It was just what I had been looking for to make a garden flower. Last year I bought a bunch of old, chippy porch spindles. I glued them together and wah-la! A garden flower...… available here .

June 23

I have been looking for  a set of stepping stones for my side garden for a spot that is kinda bare after I cut the holly bush out. They are hard to find and very expensive. Lillian Vernon doesn't even carry them anymore....that's where I got my daisy stepping stones years ago that I still love.

I was so excited to find these today at a local garden store, and they were 50% off. They are huge and very heavy. My granddaughter Cassidy (who is 13 and very helpful) and I carried these cement stones from the street to my garden. They are sand dollars.

June 24

Today my husband and I had a booth at the Rochester Public Market Garage Sale. Aside from the 650 + items in my Etsy shop I have a ton of other stuff in my basement and various other places in my house from booths I have had. Then there is the miscellaneous stuff that just won't sell or I just don't want anymore. A van full. Off we went to get there by 7 a.m. this morning.

Considering that it was a cold, drizzly rainy day, I did pretty good with sales. The best part is that two booths down from me was the manager of a large thrift store in the city. She took all my leftovers as a donation for her store!

June 25

I found this fabulous chippy footboard on the side of the road today. I am not sure where it will go in the garden but I want to make a "flower bed" with it. My zinnia's need to grow faster!!

June 26

The Spirea is blooming. I love the touch of pink....

June 27

These are my only two finds at the public market garage sale Sunday. I was too busy shivering in the rain to walk around to the other booths! The vintage wood chest of drawers is available in my Etsy shop here and the vintage Harry and David basket is available here.

June 28

I love the way the setting sun in the west reflects back on my garden.....

June 29

Playing Gin on the side porch with Cassidy on this 86 degree day.....

June 30

I will end this month of photos with one that I thought had a most unusual sign in front of a house on Lake Road in Ontario, New York.

Hee Haw!!

Thanks for scrolling through the past 30 days with me!


I am linking up with these blog parties:

Keep In Touch
Share Your Cup
Home Sweet Home
Best of the Weekend