Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! 31 YEARS!!! Congrats!

Sorry I don’t have any more recent pictures.

My mom and dad are owners of the beautiful Orchard House Bed & Breakfast.  They found the Orchard House just 3 years ago after a long time search to make their dream come true.  You can read more about their place and their story at www.orchardhousebb.com. I am so proud of you guys!

How does your Garden Grow?

Somehow I missed making a post about my garden project! I was sure I had but it is no where to be found!  My hubby and I celebrated our 7th anniversary today.  Earlier this summer I was thinking about how in our 7 years in our house I had never planted anything in front of the house!  It didn’t have flower beds and I always spent the summer attacking it with a weedwacker.  So back in June I decided I would finally put in a flower bed.  Here is what it looked like on June 3rd.

Eggs and Herbs...where creativity meets the farm

Well I went out and took a picture today and this is how it looks now.

garden gnome

The tall plants are sunflowers! I planted them so late but they are finally starting to form flower buds so it shouldn’t be long now.  The Wisteria plant on the trellis is still surviving! It hasn’t gotten much taller but it has a ton of new growth.  I lost one of my lavender plants! It just shriveled up and died.  The other one looks great though.  I planted two Rosemary plants.  One looks fantastic and the other looks okay but the dogs have dug it up 6 times! If it survives I will be really surprised.  In the second picture you can see some pots. In those I have some various herbs growing.  I plan to add more lavender plants and some flowers next spring.  Since I started it so late I was afraid to plant too much because we were getting into the really hot part of the year.

garden gnome

You may also have noticed the addition of my gnome Roy. My husband calles him “_______ Roy”  The underlined part is him saying Dick under his breath.  Richie wanted to call the gnome Dick and I wouldn’t let him so now he calls him “_____Roy” and gives me an evil grin every time we talk about him.  Now you may be asking yourself why we talk about a gnome. I have no idea. We are strange!  Our dogs do not like Roy and everytime I go outside he is laying down in the dirt!  I am assuming it is the dogs but Roy may just be lazy.  I haven’t decided yet!

Mmmm Pizza {In the Kitchen}

A few years ago my husband and I were on a homemade pizza kick after our trip to Italy and made it everyweek for a month or so.  I bought pre-packaged dough and hated it.  I bought those pre-made “pizza rounds” and they were okay but weren’t the taste we were going for.  I made home-made dough but found the process long and tedious and the results seemed to vary like the wind. The recipe was quite complicated so there were a lot of places you could go wrong.  Eventually we gave up and went back the the pizza joint pizza instead of making our own.

Now, I absolutly love Tommy’s Pizza our favorite pizza place which happens quite possibly to be the best pizza in America!  (Sorry Josh but until I try Sam’s I have to go with Tommy’s!)   I love Tommy and his family and the atmosphere is really neat but everytime I shell out 16 or 17 bucks for a pizza (with the amount of stuff they give you this really is a bargain!) I think, I could be doing this at home!

As I mentioned a few posts back, I really enjoyed the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.  After reading the book I have really changed my thoughts on food. I have a much deeper appreciation for farmers and for the concept of eating Local Food.  Even before reading this book I was trying to buy more products that were made locally but more out of fun than support for the local farmers.  Lately however I have become acutely aware and sometimes astonished about where my food comes from.

So that brings us back to the pizza. I happened onto a farmers market today that had some fresh locally grown organic grape tomatoes. I also picked up some goat cheese. I decided when I came home I was gonna make some pizza.  In the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle there was a super simple recipe for pizza crust that I thought I would try.  Here is the recipe http://www.animalvegetablemiracle.com/Pizza.pdf .  I made two pizzas.  I put tomato sauce and mozzerella on one for my husband.  For the other pizza I roasted the grape tomatoes and some garlic.  I also made carmalized onions and topped it all with the crumbled goat cheese.  It was sooooooo yummy!  Here is a picture if my pizza.

Homemade Pizza

Looking for more of what I have been up to {In the Kitchen}? Click the logo below for more!

Sisterly Tradition

Today is my 29th birthday.  I went to the post office this morning knowing I would get cards from various relatives.  However, there was one item I was truely looking forward to. One item I knew would be there! Somthing that has been waiting for me on my birthday every year for 10 of the last 11 years.

It all started July 25th 1996! I opened the card my sister gave me for my 18th birthday and found this…

Sisterly Tradition

On the inside of the card was this message…

Sisterly Tradition

So…I did! I saved the card for 22 Months and gave it back to her on her 18th birthday.  We have been passing it back and forth since then.  As of this morning the card looks like this…

Sisterly Tradition

Sisterly Tradition

The life of this card has not been without some interesting moments.  My sisters birthday is in May and mine is in July.  When Amanda gets the card she only has to hang onto it for just under 2 months.  I on the other hand am responsible for the safety of the card for the remaining 10 months of the year.  I always put the card in a special place for safekeeping.  The only problem is one year I forgot where that palce was!  In May of 2004 my sisters birthday was quickly approaching.  I suddenly realized I could not remember the location of the card. I searched and searched but could NOT find it.  I tore the house apart from top to bottom.  I just couldn’t find it. So on my sisters 24th birthday I had to inform my sister that I had lost the card.  She was a little dissapointed but was a great sport about the whole thing.  I still felt horrible.  Well I eventually forgot about the card until my birthday rolled around and I had a renwed sense of urgency to find this card.  This time I began looking in all the places I though I would NEVER hide the card.  After a few days of searching, just 2 days before my birthday, I found the card!!!! I was SOOOOOOOOOO happy! It was in a box of old photos in the guest bedroom of my house! Why on earth did I put it there?  I quickly filled out the card and popped it in the mail to my sis as a belated card. I couldn’t break the cycle.  She then returned it to me and I was then in charge of keeping it safe once more.

Each year when the card is returned to me I do several things to keep it safe. First I scan the card with all of the new signatures.  Then I make color photocopies of the card that I place in my Bank lock box “just in case”!  I then palce the card into a plastic bag and put it in the SAME secret location every year.  Hopefully Amanda and I will continue this tradition for many years to come!

As Seen on HGTV

Well the crew from HGTV’s That’s Clever came out today and filmed me for thier show!  It was really cool.  They got here just after 8 am and set up my “studio”.  My studio is actually our guest bedroom.  We took the bed out so they could film.  It will have to go back in but it sure was fun to have a “studio” for the week.  One of the girls, Kate, came in and set up all of my stuff.  She gathered some of my artwork from around the house, some of my jewelry and other fabric crafts as well as my supplies and arranged them so it looked really cool.  Lowel, the lighting and sound guy, set up big lights in the room and wired me with a mic.  “Jag”(Christine) was in charge of all of the closeup shots and Richard was the main camera guy.  After they got everything set up we went outside to shoot the intro.  First they filmed me introducing myself.  My intro line was “I like really big animals”.  Next they filmed me with my dog Thunder.  He is an English Mastiff and weighs about 175 pounds.  I said “This is my dog Thunder.  Here is a treat.” and I gave him a treat.  We tried to play frisbee but he wasn’t interested.  Next we went over to the horses and I said “These are  my horses Traveler, Baby and Buckshot and here is a treat for each of them”.  Next I said “And this is my husband Richie. Here is a treat for you.” and I stuck a cookie in his mouth!  It was funny!  I then introduced the project and we went back inside to show me making it.  Since I did two projects we spent several hours going through all of the steps and filming it.   The most important thing was to make sure I looked into the camera but that was surprisingly easy to do.  They gave me ideas of things to say but most of my “lines” were kind of up to me.  I had to resay things a few times when I got tongue tied but overall it went really well.  They even had a big monitor set up and  I was able to watch a few of the parts.  The whole experience was really really cool.  Now I just have to wait for them to edit and give me an air date for the episode.  We filmed for about 5 hours total. It will be really interesting to see how they edit it all down to a few minutes.  Anyway that was my experiance.  Here are some pictures of how they dolled up my studio.

Happy 4th of July!

I love the 4th of July! I enjoy getting together with friends and family. I love homemeade icecream. I LOVE fireworks.  But the true meaning of July 4th is to celebrate our independece as a nation.  On July 4th, 1776 the Declaration of Independence was formaly adopted by the Continental Congress.  Interestingly, not a single signiture was added to the Declaration on the 4th.  Most of the fifty-six signatures were added by August however, one signer, Thomas McKean, did not sign it until 1781!

On July 4, 1777 Philadelphia declared the holiday of Independence Day and celebrated the day with fireworks, bonefires and bells.  Independence Day was not officially declared by Congress as a legal fedral holiday until 1941.

I have two things to share with you today.

First I have a link to the entire text of the Declaration of Independence.


Next I have a link to a sight where you can create your own firework show and it even has sounds!  The show opens in a new browser and doesn’t actually load to your computer.  You may not be able to view this with dial up!


Enjoy, have fun and be safe!

DONT DRINK AND DRIVE! Get a designated driver.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

This book is AMAZING and a MUST READ for anyone who eats!  I think that would be most of us.  The Kingsolver family decides to eat local-only food when they move across the country to Virginia.  This book has an amazing assortment of cute stories, garden and farming lore, scientific information, history of food, southern charm and on and on.  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is very well written.  Anecdotes and recipes added by Barbara’s daughter Camille are refreshing and helpful.  Factual excerpts provided by her husband Steven are shocking and eye opening.

I HIGHLY recommended this book!