Summer at Cottage Green on the Lake

“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.”  – Sam Keen

“4 the seasons” … Summer Season at Cottage Green on the Lake

On the dock … ‘WELCOME TO THE LAKE’

Welcome to the Lake.png

 

From the back deck …

1backyard.png“Whiskers” (a Great Blue Heron) a long time resident at Cottage Green strolls each morning and evening along our retaining wall and dock.  A few evenings ago Richard and I were sitting outside watching Whiskers as he stood poised, watching intently the water below.  Suddenly, we saw his neck straighten as he nimbly struck at a passing fish.  When he straightened back up, he had a 5-6 inch perch, “shis-ka-bobbed” on his beak … “bon appétit! (:

1 heron.png

My very own “play house” and potting shed under the canopy of trees and near the water …

1 potting shed.png

Backyard … Encore Azaleas are performing their second act, re-blooming and brilliant against a backdrop of ferns.

1azaleaferns.png

A delightful spot to bathe!  A birdbath surrounded by Holly, Dwarf Nandina and a Japanese Maple …

1 Birdbath.png

In the front yard … perfectly named for it’s blooming time and “firecracker red” blooms our ‘Firecracker’ Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstromia) blooms each year in our front yard around the 4th of July. 

flag2.png

Strutting across our driveway is a new resident at Cottage Green … a white crane I named “Sassy Pants!” (:  He visited our front yard one day and decided he likes perching on our front deck and dining on worms he finds between our brick pavers!

gray crane.png

The sideyard … Impatiens on a cherished cement bench my sister stained and painted.

1stone bench.png

I love and cultivate this moss that grows along these brick pavers.

impatien collage.png

 

Lazy summer afternoon’s on the lake …

lake scripture.png

 

Remembering Mr. Keen’s words … I hope you have many “respectable” days during these last days of summer! (:

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

final xoxo

Thank  you for reading my blog today.  To have all my posts delivered directly to your email address, just click on FOLLOW in the post above … or click on my site: Trenda @cottagegreenonthelake.com and follow me on Pinterest.

This week I’m joining Lisa from Feathering My Nest and Chloe Crabtree from Celebrate & Decorate

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 4th of July!!! ~ by Trenda

The 4th of July … America’s biggest, grandest party of the year!  

Around our town … a giant ferris wheel!

ferris wheel.pngMerry-go-round, Fun Slide, Funnel Cakes, Fresh Squeezed Lemonade and Fried Oreos! (:

fun slide.png

And at Cottage Green … tablescapes, favors, treats, and decorations for our 4th of July celebration “from the dawn’s early light” … until “the twilight’s last gleaming!”

night collage.png

A simple tablescape apropos for July 4th on the Lake!  A metal rowboat filled with all “accouterments” needed for lakeside meals and desserts … both “stars” and “stripes” plates in assorted sizes, plastic cutlery, napkins, straws, with miniature flags and sprays of  “bling!” (:

boat tablescape background.pngOutside, the table is covered in a quilted tablecloth and a “God Bless America” centerpiece of fireworks and stars.

final 2.pngRed, White, and Blue baskets await hamburgers, a cluster of red grapes and brownies.  Striped, paper bowls are perfect for individual portions of potato salad and make clean up, easy.  A blue wired basket holds cups, plates, cutlery, and patriotic straws.outdoor table setting.png

Scalloped-edged bandana boxes (I bought mine at Hobby Lobby) are filled with “fun things” for the 4th of July weekend … fans, balloons, bubbles, “USA” and star colored beads, sunglasses, pencils, flag pins, and Chinese yo-yo’s!

favors.png

… and special star headbands for the grand kids!

headbands.png

Fireworks exploding and reflecting over the lake.

fireworks.png

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and just enjoyed being FREE … free to gather in your own home or backyard with family and friends … free to pray over your hot dogs, hamburgers, watermelon, and homemade ice cream … freedom to “hoot” and holler” as you exclaim over beautiful fireworks, in the sky.

Land of the free

After looking at a display of  flags from all over the world, our 8 year old grand daughter, in her endearing and profound way, said … “Grandma, don’t you think we have the prettiest flag of ALL?”  “I certainly do!”  I quickly agreed.  Then she solemnly said … “Grandma, wouldn’t it be so sad if we ever saw another flag flying over our country,  instead of our flag?”  Oh my, my heart felt sick as I pondered her question and tried to imagine seeing another flag other than our “STARS and STRIPES forever” … being flown over our country!  With a grateful heart, I want to thank all our military and their families, throughout the ages, for the sacrifices they have made and given for our freedom so … “the prettiest flag of ALL” continues to fly over our great nation. “GOD BLESS AMERICA, LAND THAT I LOVE.” ❤

scripture and flag.png

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

img_0452

 

I’m delighted you spent so me time reading my blog today.  To have all my posts delivered directly to your email address, just click on FOLLOW in the post above … or click on my site cottagegreenonthelake.com and follow the prompts.  

 

 

 

Summer Boat Ride … plus Sweet & Salty Trail Mix Recipe

~ Trenda

At the top of our list of “summer chores” is getting our pontoon boat “sea worthy” and all cleaned up for the boating season.  Richard got out the power washer and surprisingly, only found 1 duck egg laying, like a prize on top of our boat cover! (:  After the cushions were sparkling and everything was wiped down, we loaded up the boat and headed “over the bounding main.” Climb aboard, put on your sunglasses and come with us!  We’ve got our Captain, First Mate (our darling grand daughter!) and myself … and we’ve got room for plenty more!  I’ve even packed a summer-y snack!  Let the wind blow through your hair and sweep your worries away for a little while!

 

 First stop … a protected cove where we can enjoy our snacks while “bobbing” gently on the water.  The warmth of the sun and the rocking motion of the boat dissuades any thoughts of worry!

1

Look at my “new” picnic hamper!  I love it and found at one of our favorite antique shops!  I was thrilled when I saw it just waiting on the shelf for me!  I don’t think it’s ever been used!  It’s loaded with picnic style plates, cutlery, and plastic stemware and the bottom of the picnic basket is an insulated, zippered ice chest!

insulated compartment on hamper.png

I just had time to grab some quick “fix-in’s” before heading out to the boat.  A little wicker boat holds seasoned crackers for dipping into a creamy pimiento cheese spread.

picnic hamper.png

 I always love using my favorite wooden “Lake” serving board and it looks perfect for our lakeside picnic with a little oar spreader!

Lake chopping board.png

A miniature creel fishing basket is filled with a Sweet & Salty Trail Mix Snack that is easy to “throw” together and is a great energy snack!  I tucked a tartan colored napkin in our little creel, then filled it with trail mix and added a fun scoop!

Sweet & Salty Trail Mix Snack:

  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup sunflower hearts
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup cheese flavored “Whale” or “Fish” crackers (always a cute addition for lakeside snacks!)
  • 1 cup M&M’s

This recipe makes a big batch so I mix all my ingredients together in a large, air-tight container, to help keep it fresh.

creel.png

Okay, brush the crumbs from your lap, pick the seat you want to “lounge in” and settle back.  We’re taking off for some sight seeing!

leaving picnic site.png

We love the rock jetty in front of this house!  The stone wall creates a private swimming area and the sandy beach beyond is strewn with grass covered umbrellas!

white collage.png

Look at this massive labyrinth; it’s a homeowner’s private boat dock and party area!  If you look to the left and up the slight incline, there is another similar structure that is a playground for some lucky kids! (: 

3

White Adirondack chairs are set out in anticipation of viewing beautiful summer sunsets!

4plus.png

Charming stone boat house and little log cabin!

5.png

Aww … I love his sweet smile and this picture I snapped of our cute Captain! ❤

B.png

And … the darling First Mate with her sunshine-y smile that melts Grandma’s heart!

1stmate.png

The twilight shadows are changing from pinks to deep blues and purple and our flag almost glows in the fading light, as we head home.

flag.png

Another beautiful sunset on the lake.

Back home, the boat is docked and with picnic hamper and wet towels in hand, we disembark … and watch the beautiful twilight curtain descend upon the lake.  Hope you enjoyed our cruise! (:

scripture.png

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

img_0452

I’m delighted you spent some time reading my blog.  To have all my posts delivered directly to your email, click on FOLLOW above or click on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com and follow the prompts. 

 

Hello June! … Delicious BBQ Beans & DIY Place Cards for Father’s Day

~ Trenda

Hello June!  We’ve been looking forward to seeing you! (:

hello June!.png

“Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer …” It’s time to slow down, kick back, and relax!

 WONDERFUL SUMMER!  ~ by Trenda

“It’s the beginning of another …

Snow-cone dripping,

bare foot skipping, 

iced tea sipping,

front porch sitting, 

flip flop plopping,

baseball watching,

mattress floating,

snorkel snorting,

pink nose glowing, 

green grass mowing,

warm breeze blowing,

hot dog munching,

cricket chirping,

sparkler waving,

firework gazing,

sunset blazing …

 wonderful summer!” 

final Wonderful Summer! .png

The days of June are marked off the calendar with the “procession” of different celebrations and “happenings.”  Flag Day – June 14th … Father’s Day – June 18th … and the longest day of the year, Summer Solstice – June 21st.  Keep the “red, white, and blue” decorations handy and get out those summer recipes and “Father’s Favorites!”  Two of our favorite’s here at Cottage Green are … my recipe for Delicious BBQ Beans and Sand Pail Ice Cream

bbq beans cover

We love the smoky flavor of these “Delicious BBQ Beans” and the enhanced layer of flavor that the bell pepper adds!  I also love that the beans are cooking in the crock pot while I’m away or I’m busy preparing other dishes.

BBQ beans.JPG

Now, for some elegant DIY place cards that are easy to make that will add an “air” of sophistication to your “Father’s Day” table.  If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know I love “dressing” the table!  One of the easiest ways to make your table festive and make every guest feel important is by adding place cards to your tablescape.  I made these simple, but elegant place cards for a graduation party and they are perfect and serving “double-duty” … for our Father’s Day celebration!

welcome fatehr's day placecards.png

Here are supplies needed to make these place cards:

supplies.png

I bought my miniature decorative tassels in the “Notions” section at Hobby Lobby (where the fabrics/buttons/ribbons are located).  I also bought my place cards and my clear stamp pads at Hobby Lobby, in the stationery section.

place cards.png Instructions:

  1. Punch a hole in upper left-hand corner of each place card, making sure you punch the hole through the front and back of the place card.
  2. Insert the opposite end of the tassel through the punched hole in the front of the card (insert, front to back) so that the tassel is in the front of the place card.
  3. Bring the looped end of cord over the top of the place card and insert (thread) the tassel through the corded opening and pull gently to secure the “tassel in place.  Make sure the knot is not taut, so the tassel drapes loosely down the front of the place card. * (see photo below)
  4. Stamp the front of each place card with a filigree frame of your choice from your selection of clear stamp pads.  Make sure you allow enough time for the ink to dry before handling.
  5. After ink has thoroughly dried, write each person’s name centered in the stamped frame.

*Close-up photo of #3 instructions:closeup tying

I love the elegant and “man-ly” look of these place cards and can’t wait to show you how they look “gracing” our Father’s Day tablescape!

closeup placecards.png

Now hang up your hammock, get out the ice cream maker, and drape your patio in party lights and “Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer … you’ll wish that summer could always be here.” ~ Nat King Cole

scripture.png

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

cottage-green

I’m delighted that you read my blog today!  Please click on FOLLOW in the post above or on my site cottagegreenonthelake.com to have all posts delivered directly to your email address.

 

St. Patrick’s Day … “Wearing of the Green” Lakeside Lunch

written by Trenda

 

Today was a delightful spring day with the sun intermittently shining and sparkling off the lake or hiding behind dark clouds.  The warm breeze pleaded with us to come outside and tempted us with bird song, gentle peals from our wind chimes, and distant rumbles of thunder.  We happily acquiesced and I made lunch for us to enjoy out on the deck.

PicCollage[3561]Luncheon Menu … Chicken Salad Cucumber Bites, Crisp Parmesan & Cheddar Crostini, Tomato & Cucumber Salad, Chicken Salad, Spiced Iced Tea, and Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate Chip & Mint Frosting  … Yum! (:


To make my Tomato & Cucumber Salad I used a seedless English cucumber.  English cucumbers are also known as “seedless” cucumbers and they are longer than the regular garden variety cucumber.  Their flavor is milder, the peel is thinner, and they have smaller, less noticeable seeds than their American cousin (;  After  peeling my English cucumber,  I used my favorite kitchen tool from The Pampered Chef which slices cucumber effortlessly into rounds with decorative ridges.  I then de-seeded and chopped up a tomato, added sliced red onion, salt and pepper to taste, and Marzetti Classsic Ranch Dressing.  I didn’t measure any of the ingredients; I just adjusted the amounts of each ingredient to “our liking” or as a dear uncle would say … “By guess and by golly.” (;

One item I always keep on hand is Italian whole wheat bread loaves.  I buy a package of 12 inch loaves in the Bakery Department and then re-wrap each loaf individually in foil and place them in our freezer.  I love having these available to pop in the oven to “dress up” a simple meal and they are delicious with soups or to munch on with any salad. To make my recipe for Parmesan & Cheddar Crostini, I take a loaf from the freezer, unwrap it, place it on a chopping board and immediately begin slicing it with a serrated bread knife, “on the diagonal” into thin slices, while it is still frozen.  TIP:  Slicing bread while it is still frozen makes it easy to slice into precise, even pieces that are not misshapen, which happens when slicing “soft” bread.  I only cut as many slices as I think we’ll want from the loaf, then I re-wrap it and place it back in freezer.

  1. Slice bread and place on a baking sheet lined with foil
  2. Brush each piece lightly with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, being careful to cover entire surface.
  3. Sprinkle each slice evenly and lightly with garlic salt and pepper
  4. Add grated Parmesan cheese (enough to cover entire surface and “flavor” bread, but not so much that it “oozes” over the bread, when melted)
  5. Then, add a smaller amount of Cheddar cheese on top for additional flavor “depth” and color.
  6. Sprinkle each slice with a dusting of paprika
  7. Cook in a pre-heated, 325 degree oven until cheese has melted and edges of bread are a deep golden brown.

Parmesan & Cheddar Crostini with Chicken Salad Cucumber Bites

Now, for my delicious and super easy dessert … Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate Chip & Mint Frosting!  Make a batch of your favorite brownie recipe from scratch or use a boxed mix, if you prefer.  Tip:  You will probably have to double your homemade brownie recipe – or use 2 boxes of brownie mix – to fill a 13″x 9″ baking dish.  Make brownies according to directions.  Place in oven.  When brownies are done, take them out of the oven and immediately pour a 12 oz. bag of Nestle’s morsels – or other candy morsels – over the brownies.  (I used chocolate chip and mint morsels)  After candy has “rested”and softened on warm brownies, use an off-set spatula to spread candy smoothly over the brownies.  Let cool completely and slice with a sharp knife.

clover morsels

The candy hardens into a smooth, perfect glaze with no mixing or additional recipe required for frosting! (:

clover borde

Fitz and Floyd Autumn Harvest Grapes & Leaves Pitcher with matching creamer and sugar bowl …

ffpitcher.png “Stressed spelled backwards is desserts.  Coincidence?  I think not!” (:  Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate Chip & Mint Frosting look especially festive when presented in shamrock cupcake liners and under a domed spring green pedestal plate.

clover jadelite.png

Desserts under a dome … Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate Chip & Mint Frosting

domed brownies

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Hope your day is colored “in green” and has moments tinged with “shenanigan’s and malarkey!” (;

Irish blessing

 “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”  Psalms 34:8

Taste and see ...

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

img_0452

Thank you for spending some time reading my blog!  Please click on the box marked FOLLOW to have each new post I write delivered directly to your e-mail address.

Lakeside Picnic and Recipe for Stuffed Pepper Soup …

by Trenda  

I already have “spring fever!”  I “caught it” from the birds who have been “twittering and flitting about” hunting for the perfect place to raise their little families! (:  Friday and Saturday were “zip-a-dee-do-dah” days with spring-like temperature’s … “My oh, my, what a wonderful day” … and  taking our cue from the birds, we took advantage of our warm day with …”Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way” and worked outside and enjoyed a picnic by the lake.

img_0442

Welcome to our lakeside picnic!  Everything always tastes better when dining al fresco (: and our lunch of Turkey & Swiss Wraps with roasted red peppers, Red Delicious Apples and spiced tea, was no exception!


After our picnic we were “energized” … we sat a little while longer, enjoying the sunshine and the day then we were ready to get back to work.  By late afternoon the wind started picking up and the water started getting choppy.

Dark blue-gray clouds began rolling in … 


And we began to hear rumbles of thunder, as we hurried to finish our work …

1.png

We finished … just in time with thunder distinctively warning us to get inside, as the first raindrops began to fall!

2.png

3.png

Later … feeling cozy and clean and hearing the gusty wind and the sound of the waves crashing against our retaining wall, our “gift” of a spring day in January was over and our stormy night seemed the perfect time for some homemade soup … Stuffed Pepper Soup.

picsoup.png

 Stuffed Pepper Soup Recipe …

recipe final.pngLater, as I drifted off to sleep, the last lines of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “Under A Spreading Chestnut Tree” came to mind.

“… Each morning sees some task begin,

Each evening sees it close;

Something attempted, something done,

Has earned a night’s repose.”

verse.png

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

fish.png

I would love to read any comments or questions you may have!

 

 

Scarecrow Themed Tablescape – perfect for autumn get-together’s … plus DIY paper favor cones

collage.png

by Trenda

This fun scarecrow-themed table sets the playful mood for any of your autumn get-together’s, wiener roasts, or autumn evenings spent around the bonfire, toasting s’mores!  While I set my “scarecrow table” the scarecrow’s song from “The Wizard of Oz” kept going through my mind!  The scarecrow’s lament (sigh!) was that his head was stuffed with straw.   If  he only had a brain, he stated  “Oh, I — could tell you why –the ocean meets the shore.  I could tell you things I’d never thought before — and then I’d sit — and think some more!” (: 

tscape2.png

Keeping with the theme of the scarecrow and his “patched” clothes, I covered my table with a “patchwork” quilt that a dear neighbor made and gave to me, set the table with cheerful Fiestaware, and tucked cutlery into a bright basket make of straw (:    Look at these cute paper favor cones!  They are so easy to make and … simply using different paper and trimmings, can be used for so many different occasions!

cones2.png

To  make these favor cones, I chose stock paper in bright harvest colors (I bought mine in a packet at Hobby Lobby) Roll the colored sheet of paper to form a cone and glue the edge down with white craft glue. I used a hole puncher to punch 1 hole on either side of the glued edge and knotted different colors of raffia to trim my colorful paper cones (line favor cones with parchment paper and fill with candied popcorn or pumpkin flavored Chex mix! (click here for pumpkin-spice Chex mix recipe)   The raffia replicates the look of the straw stuffing of the scarecrows, but it is actually a product of the native Raffia Palm Trees, from the tropical areas of Africa!

cones.png

Generous sized napkins with frayed edges (like the tattered clothes of the scarecrow!) are slipped into my DIY mini-grapevine napkin rings (click here for DIY autumn napkin rings) and have a charming little scarecrow adornment, tucked among the layers of napkin.  Remember the cute DIY autumn drink markers we learned how to make?  See where I have clipped them around the base of each stemmed glass to add some seasonal flair to my autumn setting.  (Click here for DIY Autumn Leaf Drink Markers)

plates.png

The centerpiece is just a collection of different sized scarecrows gathered together to  ward off any unwanted “critters” that might want to attend the party! (;

lakeview.png

If the weather cooperates, our tabletop of scarecrows will be presiding over a wiener roast and a tray full of these individualized s’more packets!  (Click here for printable S’more labels)

s'mores.png

As I finish this post, I’m still humming the scarecrow’s song from “The Wizard of Oz” and I have to smile as I remember his last words … “with the thoughts I’d be thinkin’ I’d become another Lincoln, if I only had a brain …” (:

Hope You Have A … ”  by Trenda

 wonderful weekend!

Autumn Poem by Trenda .png

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

scripture scarecrow.png

Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you and I am truly delighted, reading what you have to say.   Please leave any questions you may have or comments, below.  Don’t be dismayed if you don’t see your comment “appear” right away.  Word Press checks everything I receive for SPAM and all have to be approved, before posting.