Friday, August 30, 2013

F is for Fantasy Football-Fun for Friends, Fans, and First-timers


Football season is here and so is fantasy football. Today I asked my oldest son, Bill, to share a little about fantasy football.



Just recently a group of my church friends had our annual Fantasy Football Draft. For those of you unfamiliar with Fantasy Football, the simplest way to explain it is like this: each person has a team and drafts NFL players for their team, and how those players perform on a week to week basis determines how well your team does. In recent years our league has gotten to the point where most of us gather, set up laptops, and draft our teams in the same room and make an evening out of it with pizza, desserts, and other goodies.

Each year our league has some turnover which is a good and bad thing. While there are a few of us who have participated every year, some have moved back home. This does allow for newbies to be invited in and gives a new form of fellowship with out fellow church goers. Some of us are pretty competitive, some are there just because they like football, and sometimes, they are there just to hang out. But whatever the motivation, it is a great way to connect with people and make the NFL season even more exciting.





Do you play? Do you enjoy college football or NFL?

I enjoy college football and like to cheer for the Georgia Bulldogs. I've already got my reservation in for Athens this fall.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Evening in Wilmore

Wilmore is a great place to live. Our little town has Asbury University, a small Christian college, and Asbury Theological Seminary. The two are not related. There's also Wesley Village, a retirement community where a lot of great people have retired.
We even have a Veteran's center where men and women who fought for our freedom now live.

When Christian values have become highly unpopular, Wilmore is still a place where you can take an evening walk and find friends praying together on a street corner.

Neighbors know each other and stop to talk on their evening walks. Children ride bicycles, act out a light sabre fight, or play sports.

Cars slow for the kids to get out of the way. On a walk through the neighborhood you might run into an older adult or young child. And if you're really lucky, you might see a princess.




This little princess always makes me smile.

Wilmore is not perfect, but it is a group of people trying to live and get along with their neighbors. If you're ever close by I'd love for you to stop by and go for an evening stroll with me. I'll share veggies or flowers from my garden. I'll show you the water tower with the lighted cross. I'll take you to a good spot to see an amazing sunset.






And if we're lucky, I'll introduce you to a princess or two.






Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Staining the Deck

The time came to stain the deck. We got an estimate close to one thousand dollars and decided that didn't fit the 2013 budget.

So Tim and Scott took a couple of days off and tackled the project themselves.

I'm so proud of them. It looks great.



We love to spend time on our deck. The only "person" who enjoys the deck better than us is our dog, Heinz. And when Chloe visits she enjoys it too.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Rock My Walk

Tonight Tim and I took the dogs for a walk close to sunset.



On our walk we saw people playing tennis and a girls soccer game. In the distance we heard Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker. In case you haven't heard this song, it's very catchy.

On an empty practice field, five college guys were practicing soccer. We walked by as Darius hit the refrain and all the guys on the field began singing too. The song makes me smile, but hearing those boys tonight really made me smile.

I hope you all have songs that make you smile this summer. We've got about one month of summer left. Let's enjoy it!

Friday, August 16, 2013

D is for Daisy



You probably know I love daisies and this year I've had some double daisies. I wanted to share this with you.

Have a great week!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Valerie Comer

Today Valerie is joining us on the back porch. Valerie has a new book out this month. Raspberries and Vinegar.

She's doing a blog tour promoting her book and agreed to stop by and share with us today. I've asked her to focus on her dog and her lifestyle on a farm.

Tonight I asked my son to ask me to roll the compost and it was so disgusting we both about gagged. It's not always easy or popular, but we're trying to do our little bit.

Now, here's Valerie...




Once upon a time we adopted a puppy. He was a black Lab and (supposedly) Border collie cross, and he bumbled into a whole lot of trouble…and onto the pages of the novel I'd just started developing.
Our neighbors have two Border collies. It's pure poetry watching these dogs round up the cows, sheep, or even pigs, and move them to a different pasture. I dreamed that some day Brody would be just as graceful as the dogs next door. Hoped that his Border collie roots might shine through, because we, too, live on a farm and it would be useful to have a little help when the cows get out. (Not that they ever do.) (You don't believe that, do you?)

When Brody tipped the scales at about 110 pounds, the only parts of him that looked like they might have collie roots were his white chest and a couple of white paws. He doesn't have the sense God gave to herd dogs, nearly always going for the head of the animals rather than their heels and instinctively charging them at the wrong moment.

By then, his alter-ego—a purebred pup named Domino—had become a full-fledged major character in a romance novel that bore his name in its working title: Domino's Game. Although he was certainly a scamp that continued to get in scrape after scrape, Domino became the dog I'd expected Brody would become.

Domino was born of the last litter raised by a farm family who bred Border collies for sale. Without his presence in the story, I'm not sure how I'd have gotten a somewhat snobbish and very opinionated local-food advocate to fall for the junk-food-loving reluctant farmer next door. But when both characters love the same puppy, they already have a start on a relationship, however tenuous.

As time went on, the story's title changed to Raspberries and Vinegar: A Farm Fresh Romance. It released on August first from Choose NOW Publishing:

Sweet like Raspberries. Tart like Vinegar

Josephine Shaw: complex, yet single-minded. A tiny woman with big ideas and, some would say, a mouth to match. But what does she really know about sustainable living as it relates to the real world? After all, she and her two friends are new to farming.

Zachary Nemesek is back only until his dad recovers enough to work his own land again. When Zach discovers three helpless females have taken up residence at the old farm next door, he expects trouble. But a mouse invasion proves Jo has everything under control. Is there anything she can't handle? And surely there's something sweet beneath all that tart.

On the heels of Raspberries and Vinegar are the other two books in the series. Wild Mint Tea comes out in March 2014, and Sweetened with Honey closes the series in December 2014.

These Farm Lit stories release in an era where consumers are starting to pay attention to where their food comes. Farmers' markets are springing up all over the country along with organic box programs and vegetable gardens. Many trapped in urban high-rises grow herbs on their windowsills and seek out grass-fed beef.

My husband and I have lived on the farm for more than half of our thirty-plus years together. We raise much of our own meat, keep bees, and grow a large garden from which we freeze, dehydrate, and can a lot of food for winter. Hazelnut and walnut trees keep us supplied with nuts, and our raspberry and strawberry beds are prolific. We're grateful to live where we can purchase locally grown organic grains and a vast array of fruits and vegetables we don't grow ourselves.

We've chosen this lifestyle for two reasons. One, we care what we put in our bodies and wish to be as healthy as possible. Two, we care deeply about our three young granddaughters and are concerned about the world their generation will inherit. For now, we'll do everything we can to help supply real food for their growing bodies: organic food, seasonal food, and local food.

Our dog Brody is five years old now. He, too, loves those little girls and is patient when they hug him and sit on him. He's also happy to clean up the floor around their chairs at mealtime! Even overgrown not-Border-collie puppies appreciate real food.





Friday, August 9, 2013

C is for Cookie



I've joined the A to Z blog hop and this week is the letter C.

Over the weekend I tried a gluten free Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Recipe I'd like to share with you.

Here's the original recipe:

4 Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

1 Cup of Creamy Peanut Butter (I actually used crunchy peanut butter because that's what I had at home.)
1 Cup of Granulated Sugar
2 Large Eggs
2 Cups of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350
Combine peanut butter, sugar and eggs until fully blended. Gently mix in the chocolate chips.
Drop heaping tablespoons of cookie dough onto a non stick baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Makes about 16 cookies.

These cookies are so good even Scott ate more than one.




Sunday, August 4, 2013

Take me out to the Cincinnati Reds ballgame


My brother and his wife invited Tim and me to go see a Reds game Friday night. As the day drew near I decided I wanted to eat a bratwurst at the stadium. There's nothing like one at the ballpark. There were nicer food options but this is what I had my heart set on.





It was a beautiful summer evening. A breeze kept the humidity down. Traffic was pretty good driving into the city. We found a good place to park. And I got my brat. And, it just keeps getting better, I didn't spill any mustard on my clothes.

The Reds never really got into the game. They lost 13-3 but afterwards we saw the best fireworks show we'd ever seen. It was spectacular.

I'd like to encourage you to head out to a ballpark to see a game before the summer is over. Even if you're not into baseball there are a lot of fun sights and fun food to eat.



Friday, August 2, 2013

Summer fun

For many reasons we're not taking a summer vacation. My favorite place to be in the summer is Holden Beach, NC. (Actually in my opinion everything's better at the beach no matter what time of year.) There's nothing like hitting the beach in the hot sun. It's a great time to play bocce, kadima, or sit back and read a book. And when you get hot, there's a big ocean to cool you off. You can grab a boogie board and hit the waves.

I decided to console myself by going through some pictures from past beach trips. Do you have a favorite beach?


You always meet interesting people fishing off the pier.





This picture just invites me to have a seat and relax.





Nothing says fun to me more than a boat.

I hope you are having a great summer wherever you are.