My Top 20 photos from Alsace France (difficult to choose!)

The Alsace wine road travels along a line of the most charming villages I’ve ever seen. Some villages are enclosed by ancient wall fortresses. Each little village is nestled in the foothills of the Vosges Mountains across the large valley from the Alps in Germany. The villages are full of colorful old houses, many with wisteria growing up the sides. Stork nests sit on top of the beautiful ancient churches. Vineyards surround the villages and beautiful castles top the hills. This is someplace I plan to visit and explore often!           IMG_9959                                       

Thankfulness: the faithfulness

Love this

david and the giant

Day sixteen: I’m going to let the words of Matt Redman speak better than I could today (emphasis my own)

Never Once

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You…

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Harvest Day 2 : Corn

Day 2 of Harvesting : Corn! I wasn’t sure if I should just freeze all of the corn fresh or if I should make something and then I realized, the whole family loves my corn chowder recipe! So, I made and froze cream of corn for future corn chowder – when the days turn cold and soup is what’s for dinner!  I used this recipe for the cream style corn, minus the flour (my daughter has Celiac’s disease) and bacon grease.  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/patrick-and-gina-neely/southern-creamed-corn-recipe.html

My Corn Chowder Recipe (I learned how to make this a long time ago when we lived in Maine)

8 Medium size potatoes – diced

2 medium onions -diced

4 tbs butter

4 cups water (or you can use 2 cups water and 2 cups chicken/vegetable broth)

4 cups milk

4 cups cream style corn

Melt butter in skillet, cook onions until transparent, add raw diced potatoes and cover with water/broth. Cook until potatoes are tender. Add milk which has been heated in separate pan. Add 4 cups cream style corn and salt and pepper to taste.

 

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Harvest Time

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, so I would say I was raised a “city” girl. When I was young, I dreamed of what it would be like to live life in the country with animals and gardens and especially a horse. This dream came true a few years ago when we made a big move to Upstate New York to a home with a small piece of land. I have since been learning about the farming “lifestyle” in small ways. One of the things that I noticed is how many phrases we all use that must have come from our farming roots, these phrases make so much more sense when the origin is understood! For example, we are raising hens and during the winter they hate when they can’t go outside in the grass because the ground is snow-covered and they get very cranky because they have to stay in their coop. They are “all cooped up”!  A dream of mine came true when we bought a horse. I took riding lessons when I was younger, and have been taking lessons as an adult. I fell off once and had to “get back in the saddle”. In horse training we use a whip, and if he doesn’t pay attention, I “crack the whip”. Before winter starts, we need to get ready in lots of ways, but especially with “squirreling away” wood pellets for winter heating. This leads me to harvest time or when we are squirreling away for winter. It’s a time when the tomatoes we plant and the corn, pumpkins, zucchini, cucumbers all need harvested and cooked down for canning or freezing. I love this time it feels so productive and to know that the food was grown from seed in your own garden is so rewarding. Since we like it to be organic, we may lose some along the way. We lost some tomatoes this year to blight and maybe some spaghetti squash, but our food is clean and healthy. Today was the beginning of fall cooking; roasted tomatoes, saucing tomatoes, tomatoes cooked down for soup and tomatoes dehydrating. We can’t bottle that wonderful aroma, but we will be tasting the “fruits of our labor” all through the winter. 10678622_10152663693627674_7596557120421716579_n 10672369_10152663693377674_6062259209660173128_n 10639732_10152663693682674_6086813403781896663_n 10628037_10152663693472674_8485435709955237869_n 10624560_10152663693582674_4296620918972498284_n 10610902_10152663465312674_4363565416251203595_n 10593015_10152663693742674_6768438586675939842_n 10522573_10152663693322674_5833825380399301334_n 10394074_10152663693262674_4058603693441126283_n 10678748_10152663693537674_8571395630179155201_n

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Color My World

 

 

 

We all know how time flies, so, before long, this world of mine, of ours, here in Upstate NY, is going to turn to white and grey. If we are honest, and don’t like to ski, those two colors will last longer than we would really like them to. There is something about color, even if there isn’t any sunshine, that just makes my heart sing. It is well studied that colors effect our mood and even our physical reactions. For example, red increases heart rate and blue decreases heart rate. So, for now, until the colors of late summer and fall turn into white and grey, I’m going to soak up all of the color I possibly can. If I can help it, I will never let another year go by without planting a cutting garden. The colors are just spectacular. IMG_2320.JPG

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Teddy Bear Sunflowers

This year I grew a cutting garden. Over 20 years ago when I lived in Maine, there was a small flower stand on the side of the road that wound through the Scarborough marshes. Everytime I passed by and sometimes when I would purposely drive out there, I would buy a boquet of flowers. I loved them. This is what inspired my own cutting garden 20+ years later. In my cutting garden I grew cornflowers of all colors, zinnias, Dahlias, baby’s breath, cosmos and Teddy Bear Sunflowers. The sunflowers are so fuzzy and small.

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Time Flies

I can’t believe that it was January when I last wrote. I guess since most of what I like to post are photos and it was very white for very long, I didn’t have much to post! However, spring has sprung and now summer is on its way and the colors are beautiful, sunsets and green grass and spring flowers, lots of bumble bees and birds singing and spring born animal babies. Life is beautiful and maybe the winter makes us appreciate the color and life that much more! Photos to come!

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Winter Waterfall Beauty and Solitude

If you read my last post, you will see that I said that I was worried when fall ended that I wouldn’t have much to photograph outside in the winter. Not only is it cold, but sometimes it’s just white…. white…. white… and white…. and I LOVE color, so I thought I wouldn’t find much to inspire my outdoor photography.  I have been wrong. Today I left the only footprints at this park that I frequently go to in the summer and fall. I was the ONLY person there, enjoying the quiet stillness found after a newly fallen snow.  The temperature was below zero, but there was no wind and the snowstorm yesterday created a beautiful landscape.  Although this is just around the corner from my house, I have never gone to see the waterfall in winter. Shame on me.  It was gorgeous. Not only was the snow from yesterday beautiful, but so was the ice all over the trees and rocks from the freezing mist of the waterfall. The photos do not do this justice. I think the only way to do that would be to get to the bottom, but the trail is closed off in winter. Also, the clouds were moving in and the sun was going down behind the hills, so the color really started to wash out on the falls/ice. I will go back the next time I see the sun peek out in the morning and if the sun is shining off of the ice, I am determined to capture it!  No, I was not barefoot today, yes I was in blue jeans, and yes, my toes were very cold at the end of my hike, even in my warm boots with wool socks, but it was worth it! I hope you enjoy! Beauty is everywhere!

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