Our view

Our view

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Crops Are Looking Good

We, Tim, George, Lisa and myself, had a nice evening.  We grilled sausage dogs, zucchini and summer squash along with some baked beans.  It was delicious especially the grilled zucchini and squash.  After dinner we went down to the orchard and picked some more Zucchini, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and blueberries but we looked at the rest of the crops that are really coming along.  Soon we will have green beans and peas, green peppers, bib lettuce, broccoli,cantaloupe and grapes.  There are still lots of crops to come including corn, potatoes, beets, okra, peppers, carrots, pears, cherries, apples, peaches and pawpaws.  Keep following along and see what is next that we get to enjoy.  Thanks George and Lisa for all you did and do to keep the harvests coming, yum!

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Jeep Gets Some Flaps

So after upgrading the deck with a new table and adding a screen door to the Crafty Cottage it was the Jeep's turn to get an upgrade.  As part of Tim's Father's Day present I gave Tim some mud flaps and badges for the car.  The mud flaps should help keep the car a little cleaner the badges are to make the car a little more unique.  Tim put the mud flaps and badges on the car yesterday so now the Jeep has been upgraded too.  The mud flaps are a welcome edition and the badges makes the rear end of the Jeep better looking.  We are still very happy with our Jeep Compass.  It did great on our trip and handled everything we put it through: Sun, rain, heat, snow, ice, rock slides, etc., it never disappointed us and it got really good gas mileage too!  We love our Jeep!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Nice Day With Friends From Home

A good friend had lunch with Lisa and I yesterday.  Lisa and I drove to Waynesville, TN to have lunch with our friend Diane Combs.  She was up in North Carolina playing for a workshop at Lake Junaluska.  The workshop finished up on Friday and Diane is leaving to go back home today so we decided to get together on Saturday.  We met at Bogarts in Waynesville which is a popular restaurant that Tim, George, Lisa and I visited back in February.  We ended up having a three hour lunch but we had a lot to catch up on.  Thanks Diane for making the time so we could get together and thanks Lisa for joining us.  It was a great afternoon!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Deck Got An Upgrade

The deck got an improvement yesterday.  Tim and George ran into Greeneville to run some errands and when they went into Walmart Tim came across an outdoor table that was on clearance.  It did not come with any chairs but we didn't need any because we had the chairs but our table was damaged before we got it.  So now we have a really nice table to go with our chairs.  It can seat 6 which will come in handy when we want to entertain.  Now all we need is an umbrella for the table and we will be set.  Thanks Tim for the table, it is perfect!

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Easiest Banana Cream Pie

We were invited to a BBQ at our neighbors house last night and Lisa and I were asked to bring dessert.  Lisa was making one of her delicious cakes so I decided to try something new.  I found an easy recipe for Banana Cream Pie so before I could make one and take to the BBQ I figured I should make a test one to make sure that it tastes good.  So I made one Wednesday and it was Tim, George and Lisa all liked it and so did I.  So I made another one yesterday.  Well it turned out even better then my first one and it was delicious.  So, since I had posted pictures of it on Facebook I figure I might as well share the super easy recipe that I found on Pinterest and here it is:

Easy Banana Cream Pie

Makes on 9 inch pie
prep time: 10 minutes
total time: 3 hours and 10 minutes

Pre-made and cooked pie crust
1 (5.1 ounce) box of instant Banana Pudding
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 cup Cool Whip
2 -3 medium bananas, cut into 1/4/ inch slices

Whisk pudding and milk in a bowl for 2 -3 minutes or until it has thickened.
Fold in Cool Whip and sliced banana.
Pour the filling into the pie shell.
Chill at least 3 hours before serving.
Garnish with the remaining cool whip or whipped cream and fresh bananas.

See how it easy it is?  Give it a try.  This will become my dessert that I will make when asked to bring dessert.  If you do make it let me know how it turns out and if you liked it!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Garage Roof Is Done

The metal roofing was delivered early so a Time and Geoge got busy putting it up.  While Tim and George was busy on the garage roof Lisa was busy making homemade blueberry muffins from scratch using the blueberries we picked on Tuesday.  I worked all morning in the Crafty Cottage creating another door prize for the July SAS.   By noon the roof was done the muffins was done and I finished up the second door prize cards.  It was such a productive morning that George and Lisa took us out to lunch.  Thanks George and Lisa!  By the way the blueberry muffins that Lisa made were delicious!  Way to go Lisa and thank you.
Today is suppose to be hot, 97 degrees, and so I am not sure what kind of work will get done outside. I will be in the Crafty Cottage working away after I make a Banana Cream pie that I am bringing to the BBQ tonight.  Check back and see how it turned out.  Oh and one more thing, as of today Christmas is only 6 months away.  I will have to start figuring out what projects I want to do!  Haha

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Garage Is Coming Along

It was an early day for Tim and George as they put the wood up to make the roof of the new garage that George is building.  The goal was to get it all up before today since the metal roofing is being delivered today.  Lisa and I had to run into Parrottsville to pick up the liner paper that gets put on the wood before the metal roof is attached. They got everything done by 3:30.  Way to go Tim and George!
After Dinner, Lisa and I went down to the orchard to see what was ready to be harvested.  The zucchini is down to 2 or 3 a day but now the summer squash is ready to be harvested.  We also got some tomatoes and more blueberries but the one thing we enjoyed as soon as we got back up from the orchard was the first cucumber of the season; it was delicious!  Thanks for sharing Lisa.
So, it was a productive day in the hills of Tennessee and there is more to do so keep checking back!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Being Creative Again

Now that the Crafty Cottage is organized I can now begin to work on my next task and that is creating Door prizes for my sister Pam's Stamp And Stack (SAS) in July.  I have created the door prizes for her past SAS's so I have begun on the next set of door prizes.  Since I have all new stamp sets to work with I have been having a great time "playing".  I finally have the first door prize figured out and the four cards created.  Pam approved of the cards so now I will make 10 sets of four cards each.  I only have three more door prizes to figure out once I complete the first one.  I do enjoy making the cards and it keeps me busy.  I will post a picture of all the supplies (minus the paper) of the door prize I am working on now. 
Now that we are home this blog will be my main one as my Travels With Ruth blog will only be posted once a week unless we travel some where.  If you have only followed my Travels With Ruth blog and you are now following this blog, Welcome! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Crafty Cottage Gets Reorganized

Being back in the Crafty Cottage, my craft room which is a cottage, is being home.  If you don't know about the Crafty Cottage let me give you a brief history.  When we were given the opportunity from George and Lisa to stay at the farm George had some extra building material and used it to build a 12 ft x 8 ft building.  The first thing we did when we got to the farm was to work on the building to create my Crafty Cottage.  We painted the outside, put up trim and eaves and inside we insulted wall, ceiling and floor and put up a tongue and groove ceiling, paneling on the walls and put down the wood floor.  All, except the floors, were completed with recycled wood.  We then used repurposed furniture in the Crafty Cottage but did buy the desk - a dining table from IKEA, a work bench - a floor sample from Home Depot and a desk chair - a 50 % percent sale at Staples.  I was thinking storage so I utilized cabinets, storage units and shelving units as storage.  Tim even converted a ribbon rack into a punch and ribbon organizer. 
So, after all that, why would I have to reorganize the Crafty Cottage? It was because I had a whole bunch of new stuff.  So the stamp shelves were redone and more room was made.  The ribbon and punch organizer was reorganized and moved the retired items out and the new items a home.  All of the storage under the workbench (Designer scrapbook paper) was reorganized and cleaned up and all the cardstock was totally reorganized.  Now that I am done I can begin to work on door prizes for my sister Pam's next Stamp and Stack (SAS).  I have some ideas and a whole bunch of new stuff to play with.  Check out the pictures and see what I have done.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day Tim and to all the Dad's!  While checking on line for Father's Day pictures I came across the saying "Anyone can be a father but only someone special can be a Dad"  I am fortunate enough to have Tim as Carrie and Jenny's Dad and Rory's Grandpa aka Bumpa. I love you very much.  Also Happy Father's Day to Nathan, my son in law, and Dad to Rory.  We love you and could not be happier to have you in our family. 
Father's Day for me is still a little bittersweet.  As I am happy I get to celebrate with Tim I also wish I could celebrate it with my two Dads,  Warren Colley and Edward Winship who were take too soon from me.  I will always love you both and Happy Father's Day up in Heaven.
Finally, I want to wish all the Dads out there a Happy Father's Day!  I hope you all have a great and special day!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Zucchini Madness

Lisa and George have had a bumper crop of Zucchini.  They have planted six Zucchini plants and just this week they have harvested over 30 Zucchini.  Now they like Zucchini but not that much.  Lisa has been searching for recipes using Zucchini and so far the recipes that she made have been very good.  I have tried her Zucchini pie and her Zucchini bread, both were very good.  Then on Thursday, after she posted a picture of her pie and bread she started getting recipes from friends for Zucchini chips.  So, with the recipes in hand we decided to try to make Zucchini chips.  It is a very easy recipe.  Slice up the zucchini in slices between 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices then pour them in a bowel and use a tablespoon of olive oil and pour over the zucchini. Add salt and pepper and hand toss.  Place the zucchini slices on a cookie sheet, laying out the slices - one layer only) and sprinkle some paprika over the slices.  Place in a 425 oven and bake for 20+ minutes.  We had some trial and error batches and the third and fourth batch were good in flavor but not very crisp.  Lisa continued to work on the zucchini chips in the afternoon and had more success using a lower temperature oven and baking the zucchini longer.  I will have to try the new batch today.  So, if you have any recipes using zucchini please share those recipes; Lisa has the zucchinis!

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Crafty Cottage Has Something New

The Crafty Cottage has something new.  Tim put on a screen door and it looks good!  A screen door for the cottage is something I have wanted for a long time but now it is a needed to help cool off the cottage.  I can now have my door open and be concerned about getting unwanted visitors like bugs, critters and slimy things.  It was warm in the cottage (temperatures in the 90s outside) but once the door was open combined with the windows open and the ceiling fan going it cooled off the cottage at least 10 degrees.  I worked in the cottage all day putting all the goodies Pam gave me.  The new Stampin Up catalog came out June 1 so I had to rearrange and move out the retired items and add the new items for the catalog that Pan has given me.  I am almost done and by the week end I will be busy again creating some items for Pam's next SAS in July.  Thank you Tim for the screen door and for getting it put up so quickly!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A New/Old Addition To The Deck

Our first day back at the farm was productive.  As I worked inside unpacking, doing laundry, cleaning up the RV Tim worked outside weed eating, charging up the Golf cart, helping with laundry, giving George a hand with some logs and relocating a table and chairs set that we were given when Bob and Robin moved from Orange Park, FL to Hurricane, UT.  The table and chairs were brought up to the farm when George and Lisa moved from Orange Park, FL to Parrottsville, TN.  The table and chairs have been on their deck at the house but yesterday they were relocated to our deck and we think it is a welcome addition.  The table had some damage when we received it and so Tim still has to fix it and we need to buy an umbrella for it but otherwise the chairs are very comfortable and we "christened" the set by sitting out on it with George and Lisa most of the evening.  Thanks Bob and Robin for the set, thanks Tim and George for bringing it up to the deck and thanks Lisa for provided some delicious zucchini bread for dessert on the deck. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Checking Out The Farm

We are back at the farm after driving 12 hours and it is good to be back.  George and Lisa met us with a big Welcome and a great dinner.  Lisa made her famous meatloaf and it was delicious!  Thanks Lisa and George for dinner and making our first night back a great one.  After dinner we took a walk down to the orchard to check out all the crops they have planted.  They created several beds and planted a lot of veggies and fruits.  Even though they have had some issues with cows, rabbits and Japanese beetles the crops are looking good and have already yielded lots of zucchini and blueberries along with some tomatoes.  The grapes are looking good and we are thinking about trying to make some wine.  Way to go George and Lisa and now that we are back we can give you a hand.  We still have lots of things to do before we are completely settled but today we will take each task one at a time.  Like I said in the beginning of this blog, it is good to be back!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Parrottsville, TN Here We Come!

Today is the last leg of the Repeat In Reverse Trip and it is one of our longest drives.  It will take 12 + hours to get home to Parrottsville and the Francisco Farm.  We will lose an hour so it will seem even longer but that is okay because we are headed home.  To get back to Tennessee we will be going through four States (Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and, of course, Tennessee.  The car is packed with our luggage and treasures we have picked up along our way.  Once we get back to the farm we will be welcomed, I hope, by George and Lisa and Lisa is evening making dinner for us.  We are ready to roll  - Parrottsville here we come!

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Dogwood Tree

Every time I go to Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO I see something new and even though I was at Silver Dollar City (SDC) two months ago I came across something about the Dogwood tree that I never heard.  I think it is sweet and so I thought I would share it with you. 
According to the Legend of the Dogwood once grew as  a tall, straight tree but when the Dogwood was used to make the Cross.  Jesus was so moved that He promised the tree would never again grow large enough to be used for such a purpose.  It is said the bracts of the Dogwood flower resemble the Cross and bear the marks of the Crucifixion.  The red leaves in the fall have been associated with the Savior's Blood. 
Now I know that this may just be a legend or story but what I find refreshing is that an amusement park is still willing to have things like this in the park; especially now a days.  Silver Dollar City does honor  God, Country and family and it is kind of nice to step back and enjoy and appreciate what made this Country.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

iPhone Cloud Storage Makes Me Crazy

So my Cloud storage is running low and I have already upped it to 20G.  Well, I have spent the last couple of days dumping pictures off my phone and on to my laptop so I can get some more storage.  It is working but I was surprised how many pictures I have all the way from four years ago.  What really surprised me is that I had several hundred At The Farm pictures.  I have to start deleting once I take 5 or more pictures of the mountains.  The one person I did not move or delete from my phone is Rory.  I need all those pictures of her!  So, when I do get back to farm I will still take pictures I just won't be keeping them on my phone as long.  I love my iPhone but not dealing with cloud storage!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Produce From The Farm

Lisa and George did some harvesting of crops and boy do they look great!  There is a lot of zucchini, some cucumbers, tomatoes, blueberries and the grapes are coming along.  The pictures of the crops look so good I am hoping to try some when we get back to the farm.  Way to go George and Lisa!

Friday, June 12, 2015

I Love My Hydro Flask

When I was in Hawaii Jenny loaned me her Hydro Flask to make sure I was monitoring my water intake correctly.  Well, it is the greatest water bottle I have ever had.  It is double insulated and keeps cold liquid cold for up to 48 hours and hot stuff hot up to 12 hours.  It has a coating on the outside and does not sweat.  So I used Jenny's happily.  When I got back to Pam and Brian's I saw that Brian had one and I was telling Pam all about it.  Well my sweet sister ordered me one and then Brian ordered one for Pam.  I am now a proud owner of a Hydro Flask and I have used it everyday since I got it.  Thank you Pam for my Hydro Flask and thank you Jenny and Nate for introducing the Hydro Flask to me.  Go on line and check it out.  Amazon has a great assortment.  I highly recommend it.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A New Project On The Farm

A week from today we will be back at the farm.  I cannot believe we have been gone for over two months and I can't wait to see all the changes that have been made at the farm.  The newest project is building a garage roof over the garage at George and Lisa's house.  It will be a great addition especially during rainy and winter weather.  George and Lisa are using recycled wood from the orchard's garden boxes that George took down to create the vegetable beds in the orchard.  He and Lisa cut down the wood from the boxes to create 2x4's and 2x6's.  It is coming along very well and if George does not have it done I know Tim will be willing to give him a hand completing the project when we get back to the farm.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dillon, CO

We stayed overnight in Dillon, CO that is located right off I-70 and it saved us several more miles to Breckinridge, CO.  It is a unique town as it has been relocated 4 four times.  The original Dillon was established as a stage stop and trading post on the northeast side of the Snake River.  The was named after Tom Dillon, a prospector, and it was incorporated in 1883. By 1892 the town had relocated twice to get closer to the railroad lines.  During the Depression, Denver Water was buying up property around Dillon and in 1956 the residents and business owners found out when they were told that they would have to sell their land and move to a piece of property a couple of miles north of Dillon.  Denver Water built a reservoir over where old Dillon use to be.  The reservoir is a beautiful lake for boating and lies just below one of the summits that surround Dillon.  Today Dillon is a thriving town and tourism, winter sports, etc. is what is keeping it going.  So, if you are ever in Dillon, CO look at the lake and remember that under the lake likes a town that was Dillon.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Four Wheeling Is Fun

We are in Hurricane, UT visiting our friends Bob and Robin Carter and after dinner Bob took me out for a ride in his side by side Razor.  We went to places that you could only get to by hiking.  The views were amazing and it was fun driving on trails anywhere we wanted to go.  George, you have got to get one of these for the farm.  Thank Bob for the ride and thank you Bob and Robin for being such a great host and hostess!

Monday, June 8, 2015

A New Trip Begins

Today we begin the Repeat in Reverse Trip from Carlsbad, CA to Parrottsville, TN.  It will take about 9 days with a couple of stop overs and we are ready to head for home.  Today we will be traveling to Hurricane, UT to stay the night with our good friends Bob and Robin  Carter.  We spent a couple of days with them on the trip out but on this repeat trip we will jsut be spending a night as they have a trip to Moab planned for Tuesday.  So follow along as begin our trip.  Hey Bob and Robin, here we come!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Happy Birthday Carrie!

Today is my oldest daughter's birthday, Happy Birthday Carrie!!!  Dad and I wish we could be with you to celebrate your birthday but we will celebrate when we come visit in July.  I know Daniel will make sure you have a wonderful Birthday.  Dad and I love you so much and we are so proud of you.  It is so special that you get to celebrate your birthday in your very own home!  So enjoy your day Carebear and remember we love you very much.  Happy Birthday Carrie!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Oh No, The Crops Were Attacked!

That is correct, the crops were eaten by the neighbor cows that broke down a fence, went into the Orchard and ate most of the corn and also ate some beans and sweet potatoes. I understand that their were about 5 cows that did the damage.  George did manage to corral the cows and return them back to their farm and the farmer did repair the fence but still, the damage has been done.  The rabbits decided if the cows can do it so could they and ate the lettuce, cabbage and broccoli.  So, not good news for some of the veggies in the garden.  Lisa and George did have some success with their roma tomatoes and harvested their first one.  They are also thinking about replanting the corn.  So, some excitement at the orchard but I hope that will be it.  I am hoping to get a taste of all the goodies that are being grown!

Friday, June 5, 2015

I Have A Fitbit

Jenny and Nate gave me a fitbit for Mother's Day and it is great.  I have actually had it now for three weeks and it has really helped me to see how active I really am and it also helps monitor my water intake.  I know the goal, according to the American Heart Association, is 10,000 steps a day but I am starting my goal at 6,000 steps a day so I can work up to 10,000.  What really surprised me is how much water I actually do need to drink a day and so I have altered what I drink so that water makes up about 90% of what I drink a day.  I do feel better just drinking more water.  So, now that I have the fitbit I can begin to do challenges with family and friends which I have already started to do and I even won one.  Thank you Jenny and Nate for a gift that will keep on giving and also get me into better shape! If you have a fitbit please friend me so we can do some challenges together.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

I Am Not A Hockey Fan But...

I am not a hockey fan but when you are staying at your sister's house and she is a huge Chicago Blackhawks fan who just happen to be playing in the Stanley Cup then you kind of have to watch the game.  That is exactly what we did and had a party to boot.  Pam has already converted her God Daughter, Peyton, to be a Blackhawks fan and they even have matching Blackhawk outfits for the games.  By the way if you don't follow hockey the Chicago Blackhawks are playing against the Tampa Bay Lightning for the Stanley Cup.  We had lots of snacks, pizza, salad and homemade ice cream sandwiches.  All was good but the best part is that the Blackhawks won the first game in the series.  So, with all that said, Go Blackhawks!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Dealing With Jetlag

We got in on Monday at 11:30 pm but since we were in Hawaii for almost three weeks we were totally aclamented to Island time.  Needless to say our first night back on the Mainland was a sleepless one for a few hours.  It won't take but another day to reaclament ourselves.  While we were lazy our first day back (unpacked and did laundry) Jenny became very enthusiastic and headed out early with Rory to go back to Sand Island to look for more sea glass.  She went during low tide and she found a lot including some rare sea glass.  I was so surprised when she sent me the pictures of what she got.  The best part is that is was just Jenny and Rory and Rory was so good for Jenny while hunting for the sea glass.  Jenny's sea glass collection just got 100 % better.  I told her before I leave California I will try to go to La Jolla to look for some sea glass.  If I find some I will send it to her. So our first day is complete and we are finally getting use to Pacific Time. 
I have posted our next trip's itinerary up on my Travels With Ruth blog:
So take a moment and check out my travel blog.  We will be on the road for another week once we leave Carlsbad.  Today we are headed to Laguna Niguel to visit my Mom and have lunch with her.  I want to see my more a couple of times before I leave California; Mom here we come!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Aloha Hawaii Via Alaska Airlines

We had the best time in Hawaii and we are sorry to bid Aloha to Hawaii.  However we are using a great Airline to leave Hawaii with. Alaska Airlines is now my favorite airline and it is basically because they have figured out a way to make coach very comfortable.  The seats have been redesigned to create more room in the same space as all the other airlines.  They also have plenty of leg room and plugs for every seat.  I was able to charge my ipad and my iPhone at the same time.  The food was good, we bought Huli Huli Chicken for $7.00 each.  They serve beverages at least three times during the flight and on the way over to Hawaii they serve all passengers, 21 and over, a free Maitai.  It you get the chance to use Alaska Airlines for you next flight please do it; you will not be disappointed. Thank you Jenny, Nate and Rory for a wonderful time and thanks Brian for picking us up at the airport at midnight!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Traveling Back To The Mainland

Today we have to leave Hawaii and return back to the mainland and eventually get back home to the farm.  Our itinerary for our travels back to the farm will be posted on Wednesday on my Travels With Ruth blog (travelswithruth-ruth.blogspot.com)  I am hoping that you have been following Travels with Ruth.  It has just celebrated its fourth anniversary.  In a couple of months this blog will celebrating it first anniversary.  Our flight today takes off at 3:30 pm and we will arrive at midnight in San Diego.  We have had a wonderful time here and I want to thank Jenny and Nate for allowing us to stay so long.  We have enjoyed every minute and, of course, spending time with Rory has been great.  Rory is full of life and so much fun.  I know every grandparent thinks their grandchildren are brilliant but Rory really is.  Jenny, Nate and Rory, thank you and we love you and we will miss you very much; thanks for everything.