Pink Lemonade Pineapple Punch Recipe made for Outdoor Tablescape and Garden Drink Station

In my last post Outdoor Tablescape and Garden Drink Station I wrote that I’d made a big container of “punch … for our hot summer afternoon.” Since then, I’ve had requests asking what punch recipe I used. So … today I am sharing the recipe for Pink Lemonade Pineapple Punch! I first saw this recipe on “The Frugal Girl’s” and made a few changes. Now, it’s one of my favorite punch recipe’s! It’s so easy to make and really is just a matter of pouring and stirring all the ingredients together.

Pink Lemonade Pineapple Punch – Ingredients:

  • 64 oz Cranberry Juice 100% juice (not Cranberry Juice Cocktail)
  • 46 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 12 oz can frozen pink lemonade concentrate (thawed)
  • 2 liters Ginger Ale
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

Pink Lemonade Pineapple Punch – Instructions:

  1. Chill all ingredients, except sugar before making
  2. In a punch bowl or other large beverage container add Cranberry Juice, Pineapple Juice, thawed concentrated pink lemonade, and Ginger Ale
  3. Add sugar to juice and lemonade mixture
  4. Stir together until sugar is dissolved
  5. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve

This recipe makes a lot of punch (approximately 18 – 2 cup servings) and even a week after being made, tastes delicious when kept in the refrigerator. The combination of fruit juices and lemonade are so refreshing whether we’re working in the yard or playing on the lake.

I’ve felt indulgent every time I’ve drawn up 2 glasses of punch for us.

Remember in last week’s post this picture of my miniature birdbath? I wrote, “If you look carefully you can see the last line from the song “His Eye Is On the Sparrow” inscribed around the edge of the birdbath, “And I Know He Watches Me.

Well … this little darling slammed into our window yesterday and landed in an unconscious heap, right below the window where I sit and write my blog! ):

At first we could see her heart beating very rapidly, then it got slower and slower. When her body began to twitch, Richard quietly told me, “you might not want to look any longer, she isn’t going to make it.” (.: I was dismayed and had already been praying, so I continued, knowing the Bible tells us that the Lord is aware of every sparrow that falls. At least 20 minutes went by and the baby cardinal still lay their unconscious, but Richard could still see her heart beating very slowly. All of a sudden and startlingly, the little birdie’s head popped up! We were thrilled, but since she made no further movements we were still concerned. Another 15 minutes went by when unexpectedly she spread her baby wings and flitted her tiny tail (which were hardly big enough for accurate navigation) and flew off! Our little fluff-ball blessing of the day and a beautiful reminder of this scripture, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid: you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31 Like my little birdbath says, “His eye is on the sparrow (and the baby cardinal!) and I know He watches me.”

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Look for all those benefit’s and fluff-ball blessings God gives us each day! Try the punch … serving punch any day, makes you feel like your having a party! (:

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

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Outdoor Tablescape and Garden Drink Station

Yesterday, while I had on my “rose-colored glasses” I saw this charming spot winking and beckoning from the shade of our Oak Tree. The secluded corner and the panorama view of the lake kept enticing me until I was inspired to set up a drink station for the big pitcher of lemonade and pineapple punch I’d made for our hot summer afternoon.

One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.

Iris Murdock

This little drink oasis looks so refreshing and is aesthetically pleasing “amid and amongst” the surrounding landscape. It makes me smile just looking at it.

Doesn’t this make you want to grab a punch cup and put it under the spigot? It’s just what I had envisioned in my “mind’s eye.” (:

This little desk once set in our son’s bedroom. When I gaze back at remembered times, I can still see him bending over his desk drawing pictures, gluing airplane models, or working on homework. ❤ I could never bear to part with it, and now it’s keeps me company inside my greenhouse. It was so convenient to open the greenhouse door, pull it out and transform it into an impromptu beverage cart!

I love the juxtaposition of the chunky little desk setting against the cedar fence background mixed with the crystal and delicate lace. The lace and ferns soften the look of the cement bird bath and angel statuary.

Beautiful visual textures … the smooth clay of the terracotta planter, feathery wispy ferns, the grooved lines of the punch cups and crystal biscuit barrel, and the woven lines of the lace.

This miniature birdbath nestled between the Plumosa and Asparagus Ferns usually sits under our Japanese Maple Tree. If you look carefully you can see the last line from the song “His Eye Is On the Sparrow” inscribed around the edge of the birdbath, “And I Know He Watches Me.”

A terracotta duck planter filled with Creeping Jenny sits below a desk drawer that has a bit of lace and an Angel Wing Begonia tucked inside.

The whole time I was arranging this garden drink station, the melody of Ricky Nelson’s song, “Garden Party” was wafting through my mind. I had so much fun putting this all together and the punch seemed to taste even better in it’s garden party setting! I can tell we’re going to be using this little spot for all kinds of al fresco enjoyment … serving hot apple cider in the autumn … pumpkin latte’s in winter(click here for recipe) … even holding a tureen full of soup for cozy afternoon’s spent around the bonfire! (click here for Stuffed Pepper Soup recipe) (click here for Tuscan Tomato Soup recipe) … and (click here for Easy Potato Soup recipe)

"I went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends
A chance to share old memories and play our songs again ..." 
 ~ Garden Party by Ricky Nelson 

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“For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” Isaiah 61:11

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

Thank you for reading my blog. 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

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Summer Days at the Lake and Recipe for Smashed and Loaded Skillet Potatoes

Summer days at the lake served with lemonade and a side of Tiger Lilies.

Today the sound of locusts chattering from tree to tree took me back to sweet, remembered days of … screen doors slapping shut and nipping at the back of my heels … sitting and playing jacks on cement porches that felt cool against my short clad legs … lovely, rackety sounds that came from our bicycle tires after we clothes-pinned playing cards to the spokes of our wheels … taking turns drinking warm, musty water out of the hose … and days of playing “Red Light, Green Light” “Freeze Tag” and “Mother May I” until the lightening bugs came out.

Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.

Henry James

Summer days at the lake served with lemonade …

… and a side of Tiger Lilies.

Breakfast enjoyed on the deck is hearty and befitting lake days and outdoor appetite’s. Look, the first Smoothie (Blueberry & Banana) our grand daughter made without Grandma’s help. (:

Darling, dimpled, smoothie-maker takes her turn on the Gladiator.

Two of Grandma’s heart throbs. ❤

This picture makes my heart brim as I look at these sweet faces … one jubilant, the other, a little timid, but a great sport! ❤

A beautiful early-rising full moon over the evening lake.

A parting gift from the setting sun.

The loveliest moonlit path led us home.

Such stuff as dreams are made on …

William Shakespeare

************************

Now, the recipe I’m sharing with you today is “Smashed & Loaded Skillet Potatoes. If you cook your potatoes in a cast iron skillet, you can prepare it alongside whatever is cooking on the grill … or toss a quick salad and stuff your potatoes full of all kinds of goodness and this side dish transforms into a delicious and hearty meal.

However, before we begin on the recipe for Smashed and Loaded Skillet Potatoes, I want to share another cooking gem with you … my favorite way to make baked potatoes, using a crock pot! Whenever I make baked potatoes I fix a whole batch in my crock pot so I have extra’s ready in the refrigerator for making potato salad, dicing and adding to a pot of green beans, or for making this easy recipe. Crock Pot baked potatoes have a delicious “in-depth flavor” and because they’re cooked slowly, they have a dense and perfect baked potato texture.

*CROCK POT BAKED POTATOES

  1. Clean and scrub the number of potatoes you want to prepare and lay them on paper towels to dry.
  2. Prick the skins of the potatoes with the tines of a fork to prevent the skin from splitting, then rub the skin of each potato with butter. Butter softens the potato skins and makes them more flavorful.
  3. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder on each potato and wrap them individually in aluminum foil (dull side of the foil, out) and place them in your crock pot, no more than 2/3’s full. For easier clean up, place the wrapped potatoes into the bottom of your crock pot with “folded seam” of the aluminum foil up.
  4. Place lid on crock pot and cook on high power, for 6 hours (I always use medium sized potatoes.) Cook time will vary depending on the size of your potatoes. To see if potatoes are done, use a sharp knife and pierce your potato through the foil. If the knife does not go through the potato easily, additional baking time is needed.

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SMASHED AND LOADED SKILLET POTATOES

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 6 potatoes, already baked
  • 3 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4″ pieces
  • 1/2 cup diced mild, sweet onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped red & green bell pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon salted butter
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • baked potato toppings (butter, cheese, sour cream, finely chopped green onions)
Instructions:
  1. Cook and stir bacon in a large skillet, until almost crisp. Add onions and bell peppers to the same skillet and saute until vegetables are tender and bacon is to desired crispness
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and melt to cover pan and add to bacon and vegetable mixture
  3. With a spatula, push the bacon and vegetable mixture to one side of the skillet leaving room to place the baked potatoes in the same skillet.
  4. Add baked potatoes to the skillet to heat
  5. Smash or flatten each potato by using a heavy spatula or a small bowl. Do not smash the potato so much that it breaks apart or looses it’s shape!
  6. Sprinkle outside of potatoes with salt and pepper, if desired
  7. Cook your potatoes until they are heated throughout, turning over to heat both sides.
  8. Spoon some of the bacon and bell pepper mixture into each potato, add salt and pepper to taste. Add butter and sprinkle cheese into each potato
  9. Cover skillet with a lid and cook 3-5 minutes, or until cheese melts.
  10. Remove lid and add a dollop of sour cream to each potato and chopped green onions before serving.

For a heartier meal, these potatoes would be delicious stuffed with broccoli and covered with cheese … or for winter meals, top them with Chili con Carne. I hope you’ll try them, I think they’ll become a family favorite!

Yesterday for lunch, Richard and I had our first “Sugar Kissed Melon.” Before even tasting it, I loved it because of it’s name! (: According to the tag, the Sugar Kissed Melon is the sweetest of the melon family. The Sugar Kissed Melon looks like a cantaloupe, though it is a little smaller … the outside skin wasn’t as deeply textured and veined as the cantaloupe … the pulp and seeds in the center of the melon looked the same as a cantaloupe. I cut it into pieces and served the Sugar Kissed Melon the same way I do a cantaloupe. It was sweet and delicious, a new favorite that lived up to it’s name.

It’s the little things that add enjoyment to each day. Plan a picnic in your own backyard, work a puzzle, read a good book or magazine while enjoying a glass of iced tea, burn the favorite candle you’ve been saving, get a drippy snow cone, lay in the hammock and take a nap, sit outside and look at the stars, and relish this last half of summer!

Time flies whether you’re having fun or not.

Claire Cook

I hope that reading my blog and about the things that go on here at Cottage Green on the Lake brighten your day. I know these are uncertain and troubling times, but read this wonderful reminder that Jesus said, telling us not to worry.

Whatever may be, it is such a blessing knowing that God is in control. Jesus said these comforting words in the Bible, in John 14:1 … “Do not let your hearts be troubled” and in 1 Peter 5:7, Jesus says for us to “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” What wonderful words of reassurance during these stressful times! If you don’t have that peace and blessed assurance that comes from having a relationship with the Lord, please don’t leave this page before writing me so I can pray with you and answer any questions you may have … or go to my “About Me” page and read “My Faith in Jesus Christ.” Don’t let another day go by without knowing that Jesus is your Savior and your Friend.

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

Thank you for reading my blog. 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

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In the Cottage Greenhouse … DIY Plant Markers and Propagating Hydrangea

It was a delightful day for working in the cottage greenhouse.
Breezes from the north swept past the greenhouse door and I could see the lake winking at me while I worked at my garden desk.

I love hydrangeas and each spring I look forward to the gorgeous purple-blue blooms that fill our bushes. However, between the weather and furry folks, my hydrangea hedge has dwindled down to one lone bush. When I looked on-line to order more hydrangea’s, the nursery selections were limited and costly. With both those incentives, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to propagate some hydrangea cuttings from my Mophead Hydrangea … something I’ve wanted and meant to do every summer. It was a delightful day for working in the cottage greenhouse. Breezes from the north swept past the greenhouse door and I could see the lake winking at me while I worked at my garden desk.

Before beginning my propagation project I ordered a set of peat pot trays, though I could have used a pot or any other container for my cuttings, provided they had good drainage. My seedling trays came with a set of bedding plant markers. I was disappointed when I opened my package and saw the plant markers were made of plastic and were stark white. I had envisioned something a little more “earthy” and rustic for my first greenhouse project. Undaunted, I went out in the yard, gathered up some twigs, and whittled my own set of charming plant markers!

These plant markers made from twigs are just what I had envisioned, they are so rustic and winsome … AND so simple and fun to make! The only thing you’ll need for this project is twigs, a pocket knife for whittling, and a permanent marker. Are you ready? (: …. Go outside and pick up some twigs that are all about the same length and diameter, and that are reasonably straight (though some crooks and knot holes in your twigs add character!) Then sit down and begin whittling away the bark at the wider end of your stick. Carve enough bark away on your twig to expose the smooth wood underneath. You’ll only want to whittle away enough of the rough bark so you can easily write the names of the plants or seeds on your twig marker for identification. In the little red pail below, are ALL of the twig plant markers I made. I wrote Hydrangea and Morning Glory on 2 of them and I left the other markers with empty “nameplates” for future projects. Before I made these plant markers, I had never whittled anything in my life. I found the task mesmerizing and had to stop myself from carving away too much of the twig! P.S. – See the white plastic marker that came with the seedling trays that I placed next to my twig plant markers! (:

PROPAGATING HYDRANGEAS … SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  1. seedling trays or other container w/good drainage
  2. Potting Mix (I used Miracle Gro)
  3. pruners
  4. container of water
  5. rooting hormone (I used Garden Safe Rooting Hormone)
  6. Sharp stick or pencil

The best time to take “cuttings” from a hydrangea is around the first day of summer. The first day of summer is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and is also known as Summer Solstice … and this year Summer Solstice is today, June 20th! Around this time is when the leaves of the hydrangea are lush and green and it’s also the fastest time for the hydrangea to begin generating roots. Starting your hydrangea cutting’s at this time allows enough time for the cuttings (also known as strikes) to develop root systems before the hydrangea’s go dormant in the fall. Look for new, tender green limbs, known as “soft wood” on your hydrangea, as opposed to the brown, rigid woody sticks known as “old growth.” Cut 3″- 5″ stems, making the cut right below a leaf node (leaf nodes are horizontal segments on the stem where the leaves grow out) and include 3 leaf nodes in the stem you cut.

Carry a cup or container of water with you as you make your cuttings and place your hydrangea cuttings in the water so they won’t become taxed or wilted.

After you have as many cuttings as you want, trim your cuttings, taking off all the leaves except for the top 2. If your leaves are very small, you can leave them whole. However, if you are propagating large leaf hydrangea varieties, cut these leaves to about 1/4 of their original size so the cutting won’t be strained trying to supply water to the large leaf. Return your cuttings to the water after cutting the leaves. Fill your seedling trays or other container with potting mix and use a pencil (I used the the sharp end of my new whittled twig plant markers!) to poke a hole into the potting mix … 1 hole for each of your cutting’s, then dampen your potting mix before inserting your hydrangea cuttings.

Dip each wet hydrangea stem into the rooting hormone and insert cutting, coated with rooting hormone into your prepared potting mix. At least one set of leaf nodes, preferably 2, need to be covered in the potting mix since the nodes and stem are where the new roots will begin growing.

Gently push the potting mix around the cutting to hold it firmly in place, and continue until all cuttings are planted, then water thoroughly until the water flows freely from the drainage hole. If you use peat pots or trays like I did, I watered my cuttings until the sides of the tray were sodden. Keep your cuttings in a bright, warm place, but out of direct sunlight, and make sure your potting mix is moist at all times.

Don’t disturb your hydrangea strikes and continue to let them grow in your container or trays, making sure they are kept moist; I watered mine once each day. In 4 weeks your hydrangea cuttings, or strikes, should have produced new roots. At this time you can transfer your hydrangea’s to a bigger container. When you feel like your new hydrangea plants have become strong enough, or they have outgrown their container, they can be planted in your yard. This method of propagation works for all varieties of hydrangeas. I planted 10 hydrangea cuttings which hopefully will grow into 10 more Mophead Hydrangea bushes for our yard. Did you know a 1 gallon plant of Endless Summer Mophead Hydrangeas cost $29.99 on Amazon?!!! Go get on your garden gloves! (:

I love puttering around in my cottage greenhouse and below I have included some pictures of some of the knick-knacks I’ve added for some greenhouse charm. This wrought iron chair under my garden desk ~ is 1 of 4 that belongs with a beautiful glass topped garden table that my grandmother always had on her covered front porch. My mother gave the cherished table set to me and Richard sweetly sanded it and gave it a new coat of white paint. Now, I keep the table inside and use it in my music/craft room. I have dear memories of my grandmother and me sitting on her porch as she worked with her plants, sitting in this very chair! ❤

An Angel Wing Begonia looks beautiful tucked in a planter until I have the time to transplant it to an antique washtub outside my Potting Shed. See the sweet antique planter with the little bear sitting on top of the log? I love to find and collect these whimsical planters when we go antiqu’ing, and I have them in all kinds of unexpected places, not only in the greenhouse!

A grapevine wrapped pencil cup holds carved colored pencils and a chunky votive burns citronella and vanilla candles when I’m in the greenhouse. Here’s another one of my antique planters … a sweet little birdhouse with a red roof and a little birdie perched by the front door.

An old handmade wheelbarrow holds a spool of jute and scissors ready for tying up plants and other garden projects.

I love this tiny little flower vase with the kissing birds and I love to tuck tiny flowers inside. The colors of the birds and the coral-orange of the impatien’s bloom match perfectly with the box of wildflower seeds.

This is the canvas I told you about in my post “Charcuterie Charm” (click here to see) that my dear friend, Patricia made from the picture I sent her of the metal table I covered with broken pieces of blue and white pottery. Patricia told me she had this canvas made for me to hang in my greenhouse. I love it (and the giver) ❤ Doesn’t it make a great backdrop for my folksy handmade windmill with adjoining planter that holds an Asparagus Fern?

This miniature bistro table belonged to our daughter when she was little. ❤ The tabletop was always set with her Beatrix Potter tea set, ready for impromptu Teddy Bear Tea Party’s. I couldn’t think of parting with it, or the memories of sweet days gone by. Now, I love seeing it on my garden desk with a nest propped on one of the bistro chairs, a little bird keeping watch from the feathery fronds of a Plumosa Asparagus Fern, and another planter topped with little frogs, and filled with carved colored pencils.

Hope you enjoyed your day … your Summer Solstice, and the beginning of summer! Look who obligingly walked right into the picture below as I was taking our beautiful sunset. A Great Blue Heron we’ve fondly named Whiskers. He comes to our backyard buffet every evening, looking for dinner!

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

Thank you for reading my blog. 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

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Summer Re-Cap …

“Another summer set into a glorious sunset and in the morning … September arose.”

“Another summer set into a glorious sunset and in the morning … September arose.”

Trenda

It seemed like a very busy and short summer, and before I can go on with
“all things autumn” … here’s a re-cap of our summer. I am so sorry I haven’t written any posts this summer, but now I’ve written about some of our summer highlights all in one “verbose” blog. Pour yourself another cup of coffee and enjoy the “this and that’s” of our summer. The smallest and most adorable “this” of our summer … our brand new grand baby! Our son and daughter-in-law had their 2nd child, and their first little girl! She is “sugar and spice and everything nice” and I can’t keep from smiling just looking at her precious face! ❤

Grand baby #3 … “our quiver is full.” ❤

June … The very first day of June we headed off to Branson, Missouri and spent a week there with our daughter and sweet grand daughter.

“Just a swingin'” …. Momma and daughter at Silver Dollar City, Branson, Missouri
Dear Grand daughter at White Water Water Park in Branson.

As soon as we got back, we began decorating for Vacation Bible School.

Sweet husband hanging beaded curtain for Pharaoh’s palace.

Our grandson was thrilled that he got to go to his first year of Vacation Bible School in a pre-school class provided for the teacher’s kids. He went every day with PaPa and Grandma and loved it!

VBS – “ROAR! When Life is Wild God is Good!” Little grandson playing “Pac Man” in the kid’s arcade at church while PaPa and Grandma were preparing for the next day’s lesson. (:

Then it was July … Happy 243rd birthday America!

Hubby, grand daughter, daughter, and Daisy all dressed up in red, white, and blue for the neighborhood parade at the lake for the 4th of July.
Favors for the 4th of July

July afternoon’s on the lake …

Floating Texas style!

… summer afternoon’s at the arcade.

3 Generations … PaPa, Son, and Grandson ❤

… and Spin Zone!

Family bumper cars!

… around Cottage Green!

Nesting under the fronds of nearby liriope (monkey grass) a terra cotta duck is filled with clover.
Wax leaf Begonia and Creeping Fig
Sunny Coleus and Marguerite vine next to a teeny tiny birdbath that is just the right size for little hummers.

July stretched into August … with happy days spent making chocolate chip cookies with Grandma.

Grandma’s happy boy!

… and homemade soap!

5 year old grandson opening flower petals to add to our soap
Didn’t he do good? ❤

Days of ‘tiquing and ticking …

Decorative tables are some of my favorite things to find whenever we go on our “treasure hunts.” Look what I found snuggled together in a cluttered corner of a favorite shop.

This charming duo from Italy will look perfect in our “almost finished” upstairs bathroom. (Reveal coming!) A pair of crocheted hand towels ribbon-ed together, a luxuriant bar of Gardenia scented soap, and a medley of dried rose petals, lavender, chamomile buds, lemon grass, orange peel, and hibiscus petals fill a crystal biscuit barrel and sit atop the ornate tables.

Florentine Nesting Tables from Italy

Then, on the next to last day of summer, I found this darling glass topped table with twiggy legs, and a little birdie perched on the edge of a branch.

Then, we ended our summer the same way we began … by heading back up to Branson with our daughter and grand daughter the last week before summer vacation was over.

Less than a week after our return, Richard and I drove up to La Crosse, Kansas for the Memorial of WO James Eisenhower, who was killed in action in Vietnam in 1968.

After TAPS, a salute by military liaison, another military member, and 4 members of the 240th Helicopter Assault Company. Richard is the 3rd person from the left. Standing next to him is, Morris, Steve, and Ridge. The brother of the deceased is Mark Eishenhower, the last person on the right.

After the Memorial, Richard and I took the scenic route back through Colorado and we drove through Wolf Creek Pass … “way up on the Great Divide” (: passing ski slopes we used to ski on, not really so many winter’s ago.

Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado

That evening we stopped at Pagosa Springs, Colorado and checked into the cutest log cabin that Richard spotted alongside the San Juan River. We had a lovely dinner at a Mexican restaurant and sat outside on the patio where it was Colorado cool, even in August! (: Our table overlooked the San Juan river and natural hot springs that Pagosa Springs is named for.

Bath Houses and Hot Spring Spas in Pagosa Springs along the San Juan River.

The next day we crossed the border into New Mexico and drove past other familiar mountains we used to ski on: Red River, Angel Fire, and Taos, New Mexico. We stopped in Angel Fire to see a Vietnam Memorial and Garden located in a perfect spot for reflection on a peak overlooking Angel Fire and the mountains, beyond.

Vietnam War Memorial in Angel Fire, New Mexico. Huey helicopter with Richard and the American flag in the background. ❤
Vietnam Memorial Garden in Angel Fire, New Mexico

We stayed that night, high in the beautiful, secluded mountain mesa that is the town of Los Alamos. “Los Alamos is a town in Los Alamos County, New Mexico, United States that is recognized as the development and creation of the atomic bomb – the primary objective of the Manhattan Project by Los Alamos National Laboratory during World War II.” The next day we went to the Visitor Center and saw a film on Los Alamos during WWII. Afterwards, we were given a map and we took a driving tour of the homes and work areas from that time period.

Our guide at the Visitor Center urged us,” if we had the time” to drive on to Valles Caldera National Preserve.

We did and driving through that preserve gave us a glimpse of a “land before time” with majestic Ponderosa Pines, Loblolly Pines, White Pines and natural grasses.

Valles Caldera

Hillsides were covered with groves of Blue Spruce and Junipers and “were home” to over 144,00 elk, the second largest elk population in New Mexico. Our brochure also told us that other residents of Valles Caldera included black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, foxes, golden eagles, wild turkeys, and prairie dogs. **ALSO … If you’ve ever watched the A&E Network series titled “LONGMIRE” … Valles Caldera is the location for a lot of the filming that takes place. We drove right up to “Sheriff Longmire’s cabin” that was originally built on this property back in 1917 – 1918.

Sheriff Walt Longmire’s cabin from the TV series – “Longmire”

The next day we crossed over the border into Texas and stopped at Palo Duro Canyon, the “little Grand Canyon.” Oh my, it was spectacular and neither Richard and I had ever seen it before! One of the many things we loved about this grand sight was that we could drive our car all the way down to the base of the canyon to see all the landmarks, caves, and rock formations.

Palo Duro Canyon, Texas
Cave at Palo Duro Canyon, Texas

From Palo Duro Canyon we were only 6 1/2 hours from home. Every mountain, mesa, canyon, tumbleweed, yucca, cactus and rock formation we saw on our trip was just a reminder of God’s artistry, and as I looked at each of these sight’s my soul sang … “My God how great Thou art!”

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

Between the Months of June and August … at the Lake

 It’s hard to believe it’s the end of August and our golden, lazy, summer days are waning.  Another summer filled with happy laughter, cannonball splashes. bobbing rafts, sunset boat rides, locust droning and warm breezes blowing against cooled bodies in wet bathing suits. 

~ Trenda

“Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August.”   —Jenny Han

 It’s hard to believe it’s the end of August and our golden, lazy, summer days are waning.  Another summer filled with happy laughter, cannonball splashes. bobbing rafts, sunset boat rides, locust droning and warm breezes blowing against cooled bodies in wet bathing suits.  Here are some of the good and magical moments of our summer.

Days of boating …

Bentley

Feeding the geese and ducks …

5 geese

PaPa’s First Mate and Skipper …  This look on our little grandson’s face is priceless as he samples the duck food (pumpernickel bread) and tells me … “Grandma, this tastes yucky!” (: (: (:

grandkids w ducks.jpg

Days of floating …

ring float.jpg

Precious lullaby moments …

lullabye

These white herons flew in from their day wandering’s to roost and “bed down” in the boughs of this tree for the night.

white herons

Deer grazing on the green grasses beside the lake at twilight.

deer

Watching summer sunsets tinge the lake color to shades of pink and purple.

sunset.jpg

There were summer “Cousin Days” and playing hide ‘n seek …

Hide 'n Seek

Riding piggy-back …

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Riding skate boards … painting faces … climbing walls at the park … happy faces and happy hearts!  “Your cousin is your very first friend.”  

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Enjoying fun family tradition’s … Sand Pail Ice Cream!

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“PaPa and Grandma’s House … where cousins become best friends.”  This is what king size beds were made for … sleepover’s with my grand babies snuggled next to me and sweet, little hands patting and holding mine in the night.  

bedtime at Grandma's

All in all, it was a never to be forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going …                 ~L. M. Montgomery

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Summer slips away in a lilac sky.
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It was indeed “a good and magical time.”  Goodbye summer, we’re going to miss you!

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

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This week I’m joining Chloe Crabtree with Celebrate & Decorate

 

Goodbye Summer! …………….. by Trenda

Goodbye Summer … we’re going to miss you!

It was another …

“Snow-cone dripping, bare foot skipping, iced tea sipping, front porch sitting …”

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“flip flop plopping, baseball watching, mattress floating, snorkel snorting …”

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“… pink nose glowing, green grass mowing, warm breeze blowing, hot dog munching …”

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“… cricket chirping, sparkler waving … “

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“firework gazing … “

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” sunset blazing ….”

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” wonderful summer!”

Poem “Wonderful Summer”  written by  Trenda 

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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Thank you for spending some 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

“She put the lime in the coconut …” Coconut Key Lime Macaroons and Cool Key Lime Dessert Dip & Dippers ……………….. by Trenda

Summer Afternoon Tea on the deck:

“A table for 2, please.”

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Today’s Menu … 

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Haha … if you’re like me, after reading the menu above you’re already humming this catchy song!  “She put the lime in the coconut she drank ’em bot’up  She put the lime in the coconut she drank ’em bot’ up … “ (:  if you’d like to go a little further down “Memory Lane” I’ve included the song “Coconut.” Just click on the link below.  It’s a 4 minute and 31 second song (no wonder it got “stuck” in our heads!) and you can listen to it, while you read the rest of my blog. (click here to hear  “Coconut!”)

The Coconut & Key Lime Macaroons were so easy and I got this recipe from dessertnowdinnerlater.com

ingredients macaroons

Coconut Key Lime Macaroon Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 Tablespoons lime zest, divided (optional)
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

Instructions:

  1. Combine sweetened coconut flakes, flour, salt and 1 Tbsp lime zest (opt) in a bowl.  Mix thoroughly.
  2. Add key lime juice and sweetened condensed milk.  Mix well with a spatula.
  3. Using a small scoop (I used a melon ball scoop) scoop cookie dough balls onto a greased or lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle the tops of the raw macaroons with the remaining zest on top (if desired)
  4. Bake a t 350 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes or until the edges and bottom of the cookies are browned.  Allow to cool completely.  Enjoy!

Coconut & Key Lime Macaroons on Dessert Tray

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 Key Lime Dessert Dip & Dippers 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Key lime juice
  • 1 oz graham crackers, ground
  • dash green food coloring (opt)
  • 1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 16 oz. block cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream

Instructions:

  1. Using a mixer, combine softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, sour cream, and key lime juice.
  2. Mix ingredients on lowest setting for 1 minute.
  3. Increase mixing speed to medium and continue blending dip for an additional minute, or until mixture is fluffy and creamy.
  4. Fold in green food coloring (opt)
  5. Transfer dip from mixing bowl to serving bowl.
  6. Sprinkle the dip with ground graham crackers, refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or until ready to serve.
  7. Serve with additional graham crackers, vanilla wafers, animal crackers or gingersnaps for *dipping.  (*For garnish on my graham crackers – I dipped the ends of my “dipping graham crackers” in melted (per instructions on package) vanilla almond bark; then sprinkled the almond bark with lime green nonpareils, before the candy hardened)

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Fitz & Floyd  dishes in lime green and lemon yellow put a smile on my face, with their cheer-y colors and images of “pucker- power” … a very unexpected and loved gift from our son and daughter-in-law. ❤

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A darling little sugar bowl with a lemon domed lid is topped with a lime wedge finial and holds sparkling colored sugar.  Under an antique cut-glass cloche is fresh cut lemons and limes for crystal glasses filled with tea.

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Bright yellow Fiesta plates rest on cherished white doily’s edged in green that Richard’s mother crocheted for us.  Bright yellow and lime green napkins, from a dear sister are tucked in with a Battenberg lace napkin and both are inserted into a wooden napkin ring and topped with a gold dessert spoon.

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A Key West “breezy feel” is easily achieved with fresh cut ferns draping over the table and limes and lemons piled high into clear glass-footed vases, that our daughter gave me, and I love. ❤ A crystal biscuit barrel holds ice and is ready for refills.

ferns

Hope you have some time to sip on a glass of iced tea and treat yourself to some “cool” desserts as you enjoy these last weeks of Summer!  “I said, “doctor, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”  I said, “doctor, to relieve this belly ache.” (:

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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Thank you for spending some time reading my blog, today.  To have all of my posts delivered directly to your email address, click on FOLLOW above … or click on my site: Trenda@cottagegreenonthelake.com

This week I’m joining:

 Carol from The Red Painted Cottage

Courtney from Feathered Nest Friday

 

 

 

 

 

 

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’

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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! (:

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

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

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

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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. 

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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!

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

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

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Lazy summer afternoon’s on the lake …

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

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

“To Market, to Market” and Garden Tablescape …….. by Trenda

In the summer, I love to go to our Farmer’s Market, appropriately and cutely named … “Sugar Acres” … to buy fresh vegetables and fruit. Once home, I rinse and pile all of our fresh produce in a vegetable tray and create a “still life” over the kitchen sink. Look how beautiful this is!  I can’t help but marvel at God’s artistry every time I look at soft, fuzzy peaches colored in golden yellow and ruby red and never get over the delight of discovering the meticulous rows of sunny kernels carefully packaged inside the outer husk of corn and tucked beneath the protective silk.  There’s a sermon to be found in that sentence! (;

final.pngI keep a little book of the precious, witty, funny things our grandchildren say and call them “Sabrina-ism’s” and “Preston-ism’s.”  Here is a cute “Sabrina-ism” she said on our way to the Farmer’s Market … I was brushing Sabrina’s hair (something else I love to do!) and told her we were getting ready to go to the store.  She sweetly asked, “which store, Grandma?”  I told her, “well, you and Grandma are going to the Farmer’s Market and PawPaw is going to the hardware store.”  Sabrina is well-familiar with and likes going to “The Farmer’s Market” but she had never heard that “other store” mentioned before and asked … “what’s that store, Grandma?”  I explained that it was a store where PawPaw buys hammers and things that he needs to work with on the house.  Later, when we were on our way into town, she happily said, “PawPaw … Grandma and I are going to go to the Farmer’s Market while you go to the “hard work” store! (: 

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 Just 2 weeks ago, we went to Alabama and on our way home we stopped to visit with some dear friends in Mississippi.  After a delightful evening together, we hugged goodbye and they sent us on our way with our trunk loaded with garden goodness … 12 garden fresh tomatoes, at least 3 lbs. of just plucked Rattlesnake snap beans, a huge jar of canned bread and butter pickles, and a jar of homemade salsa … Christmas in July!  Their generosity and my expeditions to the Farmer’s Market were the inspiration for my whimsical garden tablescape befitting summer meals and ingredients from the garden (or from your friend’s garden!) … meals of  crook-neck squash, fresh corn on the cob, broccoli and tomato salads, snap beans with new potatoes and desserts of peach cobbler.

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Since my “theme” was garden-centered, I covered our table with a garden fresh tablecloth covered with pictures of seed packets.  Then I “gathered” a collection of garden books and cookbooks by Mary Englebreit featuring outdoor meals and home cooking and stacked them and uses them as a pedestal for my trio of “canning jar” tealights.

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A ceramic “bunch of carrots” makes a charming caddy for “carrot cutlery” (click here to see “Carrot Cutlery” also used for Easter) and a little terra cotta planter covered with chicken wire (a new “favorite”) holds darling rustic shovel and rakes and is a cute addition to my garden themed centerpiece .

tablescape and backyard

Fiesta plates in bright colors match the seed packets on the tablecloth and “an extra” bandanna napkin (more substantial for covering laps and needed for corn on the cob and buttery fingers!) is slipped into a wooden napkin ring, along with a miniature garden tool and a set of corn skewers and is placed atop each place setting.

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Purple, orange, green, and yellow … “la fiesta!”

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I love antique dishes and love collecting beautiful antique salt cellars. (click here to see other salt cellars in my collection) I was delighted when I found these unique salt cellars (one is a duo, the other is a triplet) at an antique shop.
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Antique salt cellars with tiny silver spoons are set between plates and are perfect for sprinkling salt liberally on corn on the cob.

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Now, the table is set … time to start cooking!  Hope your days are filled with the beauty and bounty of summer!

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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I’m delighted you read 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.