Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summer Holiday to New England

I know it has been awhile since I last posted on here. Bad blogger I am. Well in all honesty, I have been so very busy this summer that the blog took a backseat. Between work and work and work... well, you get the picture.
As you can gather, I was very happy to take a vacation! We visited Massachusetts and Connecticut. My brother lives in Mass., and we all thought a fun place to take a family vacation. Along with Mr H and myself, my sister and brother in law and my generous father met up with my brother and brother in law in Worcester, Massachusetts. My brother planned the whole trip and we had so much fun.

After arriving in Woostah, ( Worcester ) we visited my brother's church. He is the Cantor and my brother in law is an Associate Pastor. Their church is so beautiful! 

I loved the huge pipes of the organ. My brother plays beautifully and honestly I tear up every time I hear him play, so during the entire church service, I was choked up not only by the sermon, but by my brother's nimble and talented fingers on the humongous organ he plays. 

Did you know I grew up in a bowling family? My grandfather co-owned our local bowling lanes and in the 1970's I learned to bowl. My parents were awesome bowlers as well as my grandfather. 
Anyway, the bowling alleys were torn down in the 1980's after my grandfather retired and my family never bowled together as a whole. This was the first time we went bowling as a family. Crazy. We had such a great time! My younger brother and sister are shown hugging. It definitely was a family bonding day. One I will never forget.

We left Woostah' and headed for Boston for three days. My brother booked us on the Duck Tour. I recommend this to anyone visiting Boston. 

Our tour guide was so much fun! She was awesome! The Duck Tour consists of riding throughout Boston, taking in and learning about the history. 

Next thing you know, we were heading into the water! So awesome! Check out Duck Tours for your next vacation to Boston. You won't regret it. 

We stayed at the Boston Sheraton . What a view from our suite. In the photo, you can see the Prudential Center where we ate dinner at The Top Of The Hub. You can look out all over Boston from the very top! 

Where we stayed inside the Sheraton, the view from the club lounge was breathtaking. I loved the old architecture and watching the sailboats on the water. 
My sister and I enjoyed some bonding time together by getting french manicures at the salon in the hotel. 
Shopping was great as well. The hotel is attached to a huge shopping mall and let me tell you that I brought home some great purchases of makeup, lotions and jewelry. Why not, you only live once. 

Of course you have to stop at 84 Beacon St while in Boston..... Where everybody knows your name...

Cheers! I had to stop there just for the fun of it. 

I bellied up to the bar for a glass of cola. ( Do ya love my purse and sunglasses? - We now sell them at the Home and Garden Center where I work ) 

The original bar from the tv set. Just to note, the bar itself, when you walk down the steps, like on the tv show, does not look like the tv show inside. The bar in the above photo is actually upstairs, next to the gift shop. Fun nonetheless. 

Boston Commons and the flower garden is across the street from the Cheers Bar and I took this photo because I love the children's storybook called Make Way For Ducklings. 
We were so lucky to have such beautiful, non humid, weather our first couple of days. 
Sadly, by Wednesday, it was raining and blustery and our ferry trip to Salem was cancelled. 
So what did I do? Went shopping in the mall at our hotel. Why not. 

Oh and just to note, it was my first time EVER to ride the subway. Interesting at that. 

Thursday was our day to check out of Boston and head to Mystic, Connecticut.

We went to the Mystic Seaport for our first adventure. I loved touring the Charles Morgan whaling ship. 

Because of my love of pirates, I just pretended I was on a pirate ship and may or may not have used pirate talk on occasion. 

Love those ropes! 

Going down below, those steps were steep! You needed to be steady to take those steps. 

Loved the wheel. Imagined myself commandeering that ship and standing at the wheel looking for some pirates.... well, maybe Johnny Depp as Capt Jack.... but I digress....

I took this photo because I love that bird cage! That is vintage at it's best. 

Some more random photos. These baskets caught my eye. 

Loving the wrought iron fencing. 

My love of old jars made me swoon. 

After touring the seaport, Mr H and I headed off on our own adventure.... downtown Mystic. It just so happened it was their sidewalk sales days that weekend. How lucky for me. Meanwhile, Mr H sat on the park benches by the water and also watched the drawbridge go up and down. 

You can tell we were tourists as who gets excited over the drawbridge going up and down! 

Our last night of vacation we headed over to Essex, Conn., to take the dinner train ride.

The train ride was 2 1/2 hours long. The food was fantastic. We ordered the prime rib meal and I must say, it was very good. Although my favorite was the dessert - chocolate cake. (smile) 

My sister and I on the train. 

Reflecting back on the whole family vacation it was one of togetherness, bonding, laughter and memories. 
We missed mom terribly, but know that she would have been happy that we have continued on with our family vacations. As a matter of fact, I know she smiling on us. 

I thank my father for making it all possible
I thank my brother for planning our itinerary and making all of the reservations
I thank my sister for treating me to a manicure
I thank Mr H for his patience while I shopped and just mosied around at my own pace
I thank God for the gorgeous weather 
Now it is back to work. 
This is the beginning of my busy time of year with fall and the holidays right around the corner. My posts may be few and far between during this time. 
Now off to go visit my sweet little granddaughter.  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Tuna Pasta Salad - My Way!

Mr H loves for me to make him tuna pasta salad every summer. Every time I make it, I make it a little different. It just depends on my mood of the day and how much energy I put into it. I never measure anything!!
This I must say had to be, by far, my favorite and his, with this batch. 
The ingredients I always use are
Albacore tuna
1 box of pasta shells ( medium )
Hellman's Mayo
McCormick's Pasta Supreme
onion and celery chopped

This time I added a few more things. I actually made a sauce with the mayo.
Like I said, I don't measure so.... 
 I cook the pasta shells. I do what my mother taught me. I boil the water, pour in the pasta shells, turn off the heat, cover and set the timer for 20 minutes. Drain and run cold water over the shells to cool. Let drain in colander over cooking pot. While all of that is happening, I make the sauce part of the pasta salad. 
I scoop about 1 cup of mayo into the large mixing bowl. 

Add - apple cider vinegar - approx 1 T, 2T sugar, A huge squirt of dijon mustard, 2T Salad Supreme
Mix all together in bowl. 
I then take my chopped onions and celery and mix that in. I say that is a personal preference on how much you want in there. I buy mine already chopped and I am pretty sure it is only about a 1/2 C of each that I put in there. Mix some more..

I got to thinking.... I have this garden filled with herbs... add some of them! 
So I went out and clipped some sage, garlic chives and even a little bit of fennel. I also passed by my little tiny tim tomatoes where there were about 8 of them red, ripe and ready to be picked, so I picked them as well. 

I sliced the little tomatoes in quarters and threw them in the sauce mix. I then chopped up very finely the herbs that I gathered. Mix all of them in the sauce. 
Time to add the albacore tuna. 1 large can.
When that is all mixed, I dump the pasta shells in the mix and coat them well with my wooden spoon. 
Chill for about 2 hours and EAT! 

Now if you are an inexperienced cook, this recipe may confuse you. Or if you need to have exact measurements, this recipe may confuse you. This recipe is for those that like to experiment and just throw in what makes you happy at the time. That is how I cook. 
I know Martha Stewart would not approve of how I wrote this recipe, but she is organized in her cooking and has her people that help her to perfect her recipes. I do not. 

So I apologize if you cannot follow my recipe. My thoughts to you are, experiment! Make it your own. Add your own special herbs from your garden. Throw in some tomatoes or even some roasted peppers! You may even throw in some bacon! I will say that I hesitated adding the fennel. I am glad I did. It is just a hint, and I mean of hint of that taste that makes you think... what is that I taste? 

I have an extra can of albacore tuna as Mr H bought two cans - they were on sale. I am going to make tuna salad for sandwiches today and I am definitely going to go back out to the garden and clip some more herbs and add them to the tuna salad. 
Have a great day! 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

An Ice Cream Social

Anna Mae, from My Homespun Holiday, hosted an Ice Cream Social at her home last evening. 
As always, when going to Anna Mae's, it is always relaxing sitting by her lovely gardens. 

Surrounded by floral beauty, she set up lace covered tables along her cottage gardens, which in fact felt more like an old fashioned garden party, with ice cream as the main course. 

Loving the use of enamelware pans to hold the bananas. Lace lace and more lace everywhere. If you look closely at the top of the photo, you can see an old ice chest. Inside the ice chest was of course the obvious, ice... as well as sodas, teas and good old root beer! 

Baskets and vases filled with flowers from her gardens graced every table, every setting and no matter which way you turned your head, you saw beauty abound.

The best part, besides the food and flowers and the setting, was being among friends. For their privacy, I did not photograph them for the post. It was a very comfortable atmosphere and conversations flowed easy. It was just a peaceful, relaxing social occasion. 

Anna Mae didn't forget anything! Toppings galore to satisfy everyone. 

Yum, is that chocolate ice cream? My favorite. 

Hershey's Chocolate and hot fudge with strawberries and crushed nuts... all adorned my banana split! 

Also some cookies and of course cherries to top my banana split! 

A good time was had by all. 
Thank you Anna Mae for a lovely evening! 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Garden In Springtime

I love springtime. I love the colors of springtime. White tulips. They add a bit shabbiness to the sun room. 

Pink and black tulips. My garden has a variety of pinks, blacks and whites. They will soon be finished blooming, but that is okay as there are more flowers sprouting through. We are entering my most favorite time of year. 

I had the urge to start cleaning out the sun room. There is so much work to be done. This cabinet was the one Anna Mae gave to me. I still have to put my French ephemera on yet. I need to find some waterslides so I can complete the look I am going after. 

The herbs are planted, the coleus and of course I need to have some red geraniums. 

I moved my home made potting bench outdoors. It will get a lot of use. There is still more clean up to be done, but it is a start. 

For Christmas, Anna Mae gave me this beautiful lantern. I love how the flowers reflect off the mirrored glass., It looks so lovely hanging in the garden. 

My lupine is started to bud. I planted it in an old rocker without a seat. I want to see the lupine grow up through the chair. I can't wait to see the results.

I have no idea what these plants are growing in the garden, but I will let them grow to find out. The dirty little white birdhouse was a find Mr H found for me while out yard saling... is that even a word? 

A view of one part of the garden. The chair on the right has pink yarrow growing inside and the other, like I said has the lupine. There is a rose bush in the back that I need to feed! Anna Mae found some good stuff where we work, so I need to purchase some. 

There is a lot more growing in the garden and perhaps next week I will take you on another tour at one of the flower beds. Like I said, still a lot of work to be done, but lucky for me, it is work I enjoy. So I guess it is not really work. I want to get it finished before I mulch as mulching is the last thing I really do to set it up for summer. 

I hope you are enjoying your springtime. I know I am! 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Time Flies.....

It was brought to my attention that I have not written on this blog since March. I can't believe tomorrow is May 1st! May Day! Time does fly.
Life has been happening here at MHFTH. 
To be honest though, the weather has me a bit on the down side. It just can't seem to warm up around here. After this past winter, I have been waiting for flip flop weather. I will say though, I must count my blessings that I do not live where all the tornado devastation and destruction has passed through. My heart goes out to all those affected. 
Besides the weather fact, there has been a lot happening around here lately. My job has been busy keeping me on my toes, which is a good thing. Some days I come home from work and just don't have the frame of mind to blog. As I type this blog, I am thinking about work. I have so many ideas in my head that I must write down, draw up, research etc. I do love my job. 
Also keeping me busy was my son was deployed to an undisclosed location. For purposes of safety, I will not say where or when he left, but I will say that I did travel to see him off. That was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me. As a citizen of the USA, he makes me proud. As a mother, it worries me to tears. He has less than a year left to serve his country and when his time is through, he will return home to his fiance and get their wedding planned. That will also keep me busy as well. So, this mom does not sleep too well at nights, and tries to keep busy to keep her mind off of all of it. 
This past weekend was my granddaughters 3rd birthday party. She is growing so fast. Before I know it, she will be starting school! By that time, I suspect that my younger son will be becoming a parent as well. He does want a family and I think that will happen sooner than later. So, I have so much to look forward to. 

Melody and my sister. Melody has on her new bike helmet ( she is sitting on her new bike ) an of course she must wear her bead necklace and fairy wings. You know you have to accessorize while riding bicycle. Fashion first! 

Other reasons that have kept me away from my blog is my desire to focus on my fairy gardening as well. 
There is also the fact that AHL hockey was in season, but my team, the Hershey Bears, did not make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2005. That was sad. Their parent team, the Washington Capitals did not make it as well and there were shake ups in the GM and coaching positions. Thank the good Lord for that. 
So these are my excuses for not blogging regularly. 
As the weather does improve, the blog will start to bloom along with my garden and I can't wait to share some fun things that I will be doing. Oh, and Ladies Craft Night will soon be back in action ( We usually take a break over the winter season and since this winter was so nasty, it was a longer break ) 
It does feel good to be back on the blog though! 
Now I must get back to my research and notes for work. I have so many ideas running through my head, I need to write them all down. 
Hope you had a wonderful Easter!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Mudsale 2014

This year at the mudsale, it truly lived up to it's name. Anna Mae and I ventured up the hill to check out what possibilities there were today to bid on during the auctions. 
As much as we would have liked, these little piggies would have been fun to bid on, but we have no place for them. (smile)

Anna Mae quickly made friends with the little shetland pony being housed in one of the stalls. She looked to be expecting! (The pony, not Anna Mae... haha)

Me? I wanted to take this trio home, but Mr H probably would not have liked this very much. 

Over a sea of mud, the Amish men were gathered, at which I believe, to be to get their instructions for the various auctions that would be happening. 

Yes, Anna Mae and I trekked through the mud... what a mess! We were spoiled the past several years not having any mud. After this years heavy snow, it really made things quite messy. Well, that is why they are called mudsales.

It looks like they scooped up a pile of mud here. Thankfully they put down some wood chips on the worst parts. 

Pictured above is one of the many wagons loaded with box lots to go up for bid. This year, Anna Mae and i did not really see too much that we wanted on these wagons. It was not worth the wait for each one as we wanted to go sit in the antique tent. We found some things we wanted to bid on in there, so that is where we ended up. It is also where I stopped taking pictures. 
I did photograph what I purchased. 
An old and I mean OLD photo album. Some of the photos are dated on the back around 1875. 
Here are some of the photos

The album is leather bound. It is quite worn, but I love it nonetheless.

I love the clasp on the side. I did not photograph the other side, but it says ALBUM on it. ( On the binding ) 

Some of the photos....

There were also loose photos inside. 

I love that some of the photos have names on them. It gives me a notion to look up some of these names on someplace like Ancestry dot com. 

There were also a lot of photos on tin. As you can see some of the pages are a bit ripped, but it adds to it's charm. 

I can't wait to do research on this family. It would be fun to learn the history of the strangers in this album. I have been fascinated lately on the  mid 1800 to late 1800's history .. 

Well, now that this mudsale is history, that means spring is on the way..... woohoo!