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Friday, April 30, 2010

Something to think about

are you happy
It all seems so simple, doesn’t it?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spring Tea

It’s finally Spring here in Western Pennsylvania and we welcome it with open arms. (despite the fact that we had a hard frost this morning). Welcome to all lovers of dishes and fellow tablescapers. Today I am joining all of you and our host Susan. Please stop by Between naps on the Porch for a visit to all her friends in blogland.
   Today I am celebrating the fact that we finally have blooms. This is the view outside my kitchen window.
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I wanted to share this glorious rebirth with my good friends…the Coffee Girls. Our group meets every morning after exercising in various restaurants around town. Today I invited them to my house for tea (and coffee). 
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The table is set with green polka dot placemats.

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Each chair is tied with a ribbon and bird nest decoration.
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The centerpiece is an old bird cage and some hurricanes wrapped with ivy. There are coffee beans inside and I’m using my favorite flameless candles which are on a timer. Just set them and they glow for 5 hours, turn off, and then come back on again the next night at the same time.
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Each place is set with a different tea cup. I also have a notepad for the girls.

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These crystal bird place holders are new this year from Pottery Barn. Sorry the picture is blurry.
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Thank you for visiting.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A cold day here in Bradford

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We are having a very cold day here in Bradford. There was ice in pineapple fountain this morning. Don covered his blueberries and my contorta to save it from the frost. Despite the cold Don worked outside. He put up my little fence around the garden and raked and mowed the area inside Sadie’s fence. He is covering the exposed wires for the landscape lighting in this picture. Above that are his four cherry tomato plants. It will be quite a while before we can actually plant them in the ground. The weather should warm up and it is predicted to be eighty degrees by Sunday.

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Pictures of Sean

Here are two new pics of Sean that Jenny put on their website. He is growing up so fast (and I’m missing most of it  :(

Ah, lovely spring!

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I think Spring is the most beautiful season by the picket fence. The weeping cherry is in full bloom and the crabapple promises to follow. The tulips, daffodils, and grape hyacinths lend full color. The gravel path is accented with handmade stepping stones. It’s refreshing to see such a blaze of color after our long winter.

My Sixth picture

There is a game going around the web to post your sixth picture that posted when you started blogging. This is a picture of me on the veranda of the Hostaga when my friends took me out for my retirement in 2002. I started blogging in 2006 so this picture is pre-red for my hair. 1. I love my family. I love to be with the, talk to the, and interact with them.
2. I love the arts, any artistic endeavor or musical selection will tickle my fancy.
3. I loved teaching. I put all my creative effort into being the best teacher I could be.
4. Simple things make me the happiest.
5. I like to keep busy.

Even though that was written four years ago it is true today too.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

not much of a blogger

I’m not much of blogger these days. While I was at Chris I didn’t take many pictures at all. I guess when I get busy, I just forget all about the camera.
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A while ago Chris took out some overgrown shrubs from the front of his house. On Thursday when we took Scott to Hanover to play Pokemon we stopped by a nursery and he got 3 cedar shrubs and two wigelia. On Saturday he and Don  planted them in the front of his house. The tall round iron piece is, of course, mine. I couldn’t resist.

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   We had a fantastic time. I did a little shopping, not much, and didn’t even buy anything for myself. I did buy Chris a waffle maker that flips and we enjoyed waffles with his dad’s maple syrup this morning for breakfast. last evening we went to the movies, Date Night, and ate at Applebees.
  I think it’s rather cold tonight. THe first thing I did when I got home was turn up the heat!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I love Lockwoods! Last Saturday I attended a Garden Symposium in Bradford. My favorite speaker was from Lockwoods Greenhouse in Hamburg, NY about an hour and a half north of us. She brought the most beautiful containers and unusual plants. So when I went shopping in Buffalo yesterday Lockwoods was my first stop. My Garmin got me there without a hitch. I had been there once before and remembered it as being such a nice place. It was amazing! They have so many beautiful things it was hard for me not to spend the whole day there looking. I loaded the back of my car with the most wonderful things.
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This is Streptocarpus Blue Ice which is a ladyslipper. It can be treated as a houseplant but also put outside in the shade during the summer. I loved the delicate flowers. They are actually bluer than it shows in this picture.  The metal bird on a twig I couldn’t resist.

lockwoods 003 The trellis looked amazing when she planted the bottom of it with alyssum and daisies.

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Here is another trellis. I’m not sure which planter I will use it in. Of course Sadie go in the way!

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The top of the bank is starting to look really nice..of course we need to get some more dirt and mulch in now. On the left is a wigelia, a plumcherry (I think), and Sadie is sniffing a coneaster. At each side of the waterfall is a creeping jenny and lemon thyme. I just put the little fence up at the top and really like it.

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I also bought this nice planter. I’m not going to use it with this wire sculpture because it doesn’t fit in it. 

Monday, April 19, 2010


bleuberries 003 bleuberries 002 Every summer Don goes to Duke Center to pick blueberries at his friend Steve’s house. This year he decided it was time that we had our own blueberry patch. He got a few cuttings from Steve’s blueberries, but bought four nice plants from Graham’s Greenhouse. He made a raised planter bed for them where there would be lots of sunshine in the back yard. It might take four years before they actually begin to bear fruit.

It’s a nice 50 degree day outside with sunshine. It’s beginning to look a lot more like spring. More daffodils, tulips and grape hyacinths are blooming and filling in around the picket fence garden.
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Today is laundry and cleaning day at the Karrasch’s.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Outside in April

It’s hard to believe that it’s April. We are about 3 weeks ahead of schedule for our spring weather. It’s been sunny and warm and the buds are out. We are even getting small leaves on the bushes. Today Don planted my Contorta tree. It is a small tree with twisted branches.
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Today I took Sadie to the vet for her year checkup. She usually loves to go to the vet and has no problem but today it must have been the wailing dog in the back that made her nervous. She was trembling when the vet examined her. She had her shots and a checkup and is in really good health. She came home and immediately took another swim in the pond.
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My daffodils and grape hyacinths are up and the tulips won’t be far behind.
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Don is fixing my lion fountain. Over the winter some water got in the basin and cracked it. He used a fiberglass kit and repaired it as good as new. Have I said how much I appreciate him and how lucky I am to have such a handy husband? I can’t say it enough.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Weekend fun

What a fun weekend. A sudden snow hit Bradford Friday afternoon. Don had to put away some of the lawn chairs. Notice Sadie in her sweater.
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On Saturday we went to Erie. I am a dish-aholic and when I saw these plates at TJ Maxx I couldn’t resist.
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Saturday, April 10, 2010


So you have to drive a hundred miles for lunch?  Who cares? Today we went to the Olive Garden in Erie for lunch and the trip was worth it. I started off with their Zuppa Toscano…


1 1/2  cups  Sausage links, spicy; about 12 links

3/4  cup  Diced onions

6  slices  Bacon

1 1/4  teaspoons  Minced garlic

2  tablespoons  Chicken stock

1  quart  Water

2  medium  Potatoes, cut in half and then into 1/4 slices

2  cups  Kale, cut in half and then sliced

1/3  cup  Heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place sausage links onto a sheet pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until done; cut into half lengthwise, then cut at an angle into 1/2 inch slices. Place onions and bacon in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until onions are almost clear. Add garlic and cook an additional 1 minute. Add chicken base, water and potatoes, simmer 15 minutes. Add sausage, kale and cream. Simmer 4 minutes and serve

Off course there were breadsticks. My main course was from their new menu..grilled steak fonduta. Small bits of tender steak on a bed of pasta with multiple cheeses, grilled balsamic onions and tomatoes. Like I said..Yummo!  Oh, and did I mention dessert? Don and I split a molten lava cake bathed in vanilla sauce and surrounded by fresh strawberries.

There was also a little shopping involved. I checked out TJ Max and bought some capris at Macy’s. It was hard leaving Sadie all day, but she was wonderful!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Blame it on….

Was it because it was such a lovely day?
Was it because I couldn’t take my eyes off my yellow blooming forsythia?
Was it because of Susan’s Tablescape Thursday which kept me at the computer all day?
I don’t know…but today I did NOTHING!

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Was it because I looked at my Weeping Cherry tree which I was sure had died last year and saw some buds?

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Or was it just the daffodils?
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Wednesday, April 07, 2010


I need to buy me a boy! He doesn’t have to be handsome, just strong. Here is the reason why:

Do you see this huge weed? Today I tried to pull all the weeds that are growing in the bank behind my pond while they are small and not too hard to pull.  Too late! Those pesky weeds are all over and their roots go to China. It was not an easy task. I’d work a while, rest a while, work a while..well, you get the picture. But this big, stubborn awful looking weed with no name got the best of me. I’ve never been a great gardener. I love flowers and plants, just hate to care for them. I love the looks of English gardens full of flowering blooms but it doesn’t seem to be something that I will have at my house. Every year I attend a Garden Symposium hoping that their words of wisdom will translate into beautiful landscape around my house. Ok…I can learn what to do, but nothing is going to make me want to do it. Especially the weeding and caring. I need a gardener!
Oh, here is another reason why I need a gardener…
While I was weeding, Sadie stole my knee pad and chewed it to pieces. Hey, I can see you laughing and shaking your head!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

bye-bye bunny

Easter was so early this year that I feel it isn’t time to take down the eggs and bunnies just yet. Things are crazy here in Bradford. Our weather this week is better than any day last summer. I’ve enjoyed the HOT weather and took Sadie for a walk on the UPB trail. She followed up with a dip in our pond even though the water is still cold.
     Yesterday I had a YAG laser procedure in St. Mary’s from Dr. Lu. This is a follow up to my cataract surgery last year. It only took a brief time to have the extra cells burned off the capsule in my eye and now I’m not looking through a curtain of fog. However, I still do not have normal vision in my bad eye. Things are clear, but they are distorted. Lines aren’t exactly straight so I depend on my good eye for most all of my vision. My eye is still dilated from yesterday and I called to see if this was normal. If it is still that way in the morning I need to see Dr. Lu again. Hmmm.
  I didn’t take any photos today so here is one from my clip art. It reminds me of my trip to Provence. We flew into Nice and traveled by car along the roadway to Monaco. The scenery was magnificent.
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Sunday, April 04, 2010

A happy Easter

What a beautiful, happy weekend. Chris, Alex and Scott came up and we had a great time. It’s always nice having family around. Saturday night we celebrated Chris’ 40th birthday (really not till the 21st) with a party. The Lashers came over and we had a big lasagna dinner. Charlotte made Chris his favorite cake, chocolate meltaway. After dinner we played cards and marbles. It was nice enough to have a table outside until the rain started. We had two unbelievable days in the eighties. Sadie especially enjoys Chris. Right now she is sitting in his lap while he goes through our old forty-fives. He bought Scott a unit that had a record player in it and we’ve been listening to the old songs. Sadie will be so sorry to see Chris go. He has played ball with her, taken her for a long walk to the top of the hill behind our house, and down to the creek to swim. He needs to come more often. LOL!
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