Happy New Year, everyone!  I realize the New Year is about seven weeks old, but I am just getting back into the swing of things since my knee replacement in mid-December.  This is my second knee replacement.  My left knee was replaced twelve years ago.  I vowed that I would not wait so long to have my right knee replaced.  But I did.  Too many things kept coming up and my procrastination was in full force.  And, ironically, when the time came, it almost didn’t happen.Read More »

The Last Beautiful Bouquet

I was hoping that freezing temperatures would hold off until November 1.  I don’t know why, but to me it makes more sense to end the growing season on November 1 instead of mid-October.  But such is life and seasons in the mid-west.  And with frost last week and a freeze warning for tonight, it is time to say good-bye and thank you to the beautiful flowers.

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What an incredibly busy summer this has been!!  Ella and I finally made some time last weekend to do some baking.  And we came up with some very delicious chocolate cupcakes.  Since we both love cupcakes, we have decided that we are going to focus on making all sorts of delicious varieties of cupcakes.  And what better way to start than with chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting.

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 Is it spring or summer?  The temperatures outside would say we are in the middle of a blazing, hot summer.  The calendar, however, says that it is still spring.  It is hard to imagine that just two months ago in mid-April we were still getting snow.  Not the case now!!

Ella and I have had so much going on that we have fallen behind on our big baking adventure.  But look what I have!!  Yes!!!  Flowers!!!

The grandkids are all busy with Church confirmation camp, Vacation Bible School, mission trips, and lots of swimming.  I have been busy with these beauties!

Due to the extreme heat and humidity, I have been out tending the flowers early in the morning.  Like 5:00 a.m.!  This is the beautiful sight that greeted me this morning.

Good morning, Sun!  It looks like another gorgeous day.

After a slow start, these beauties are ready.  It is time for the flower cart!!

Rain is in the forecast for the next couple of days.  We could certainly use a good inch.

My plan is to have the flower cart out this weekend.  I will have updates on Facebook.

The sunflowers and marigolds are not ready yet.  We will also be planting pumpkins (5 varieties this year including some white pumpkins) and squash.  Until then, we will just have to love these amazing Zinnias!!

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope to see you at the flower cart this weekend!

Until next time,


More Baking Fun

This grandgirl is such a sweetheart!  Look how serious she is about getting these cookies on the baking sheet!  Last weekend Ella and I made chocolate chip cookies with a bit of a twist.  Instead of using butter, we used Crisco.  The difference was very noticeable and I must say we really like the taste of the cookies.

She is so cute!  And I love her shirt “NO I WILL NOT DO YOUR HOMEWORK”.  I will need to find out more about that from her!!!

The end results and the recipe:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup Crisco

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ¾ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a mixing bowl, combine Crisco, both sugars, eggs and vanilla.  Beat until very smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add flour mixture to sugar mixture in three increments.  Beat very well between additions and scrape the bowl frequently.

Add chocolate chips and mix on lowest speed just until they are combined with the dough.

Drop 2-inch scoops of dough onto a large cookie shtte.

Bake for 12-15 minutes.  When done, cookies will be light on top but slightly brown around the edges and the bottom.

Cool cookies on a section of newspaper to adsorb excess oil.  Store in an air-tight container or Ziploc bag.

One of my Mother’s Day presents, along with a pedicure, nail polish, and a bottle of wine!!!!  I love it!!  So proud to be a FarmHer.  Lots of flowers have been planted and they are looking very good.  Can’t wait for those blooms.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Until next time,




Ella and I did not do any baking this weekend.  Ten inches of heavy, wet snow with east winds gusting to 40 miles per hour altered a lot of plans this weekend.  By the time it quit snowing on Saturday evening and the wind continued throughout the night and into Sunday morning, it left a 2 – 3 foot drift of snow up against our garage door (which faces east and received the full force of the snow and wind for almost 24 hours).  And that drift was as hard as rock.  We were not getting any vehicles out of the garage for a while!  Add to that the 4 – 5 foot drift that was a bit further out from the garage door.

About 3:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, there were two trucks with plows working on the driveway.  They were able to remove most of the snow from the garage door and the approach.  But the driveway itself, which runs north to south, continued to drift in due to the sustained strong easterly winds.

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Yummy Cupcakes

After a brief break from our big baking adventure (the girls have been very busy the past couple of weekends), Ella and I are back in the kitchen.  This weekend we made cupcakes.  I found a recipe from Robyn on her add a pinch blog for The Best White Cake Recipe.  We decided to try the recipe but make cupcakes instead of cake. And are we glad we did!  The cupcakes are amazing.  Ella and I both agree that this is the best white cupcake recipe ever!!

Best Ever White Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

½ cup vegetable shortening

3 cups granulated sugar

5 eggs, room temperature

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup whole milk, room temperature

½ cup buttermilk, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extractRead More »


Ella and I had a very busy weekend baking lots of cookies for our annual cookie sale at Church.  We made peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and of course my favorite, sugar cookies.  The recipes are available on the blog.  Check under cookies.

I was so busy that I did not take any pictures this time around, but have plenty of pictures of previous times when we made them!

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