Tuesday

Mill Hill Meadow Messenger *Edition 4

                                                  
                                                                Written by Kerin
                                        Mill Hill Meadow Messenger Correspondent

* Outdoor lovers:
This is the season of the Elk rut. 
Nothing like the sound of an elk bugle bouncing off the mountains, and across the meadow.
Click the link below to hear what they sound like:
                                                        http://youtu.be/pYzWmKlZtrU

Adult elk usually stay in single-sex groups for most of the year. During the mating period known as the rut, mature bulls compete for the attentions of the cow elk and will try to defend females in their harem. Rival bulls challenge opponents by bellowing and by paralleling each other, walking back and forth. {taken from Wikipedia}

At the Elk farm next to Mill Hill Meadow, the elk now have had their antlers removed to prevent any injuries from one elk to another during the rut.

 
Days until Fall:  Just 6 days, until Fall officially begins.
So, if you've been waiting to decorate, break out the hot chocolate, or place pumpkins around the cottage, you shall not have to wait much longer!
 
 
 
Reading list: "Farm Fresh Murder" by Paige Shelton
It's a great series, and I have bought 3 of the series, and have started reading them.
I also received a great book from a blog friend : " In Perfect Time" by Sarah Sundin. 
I'm excited to have great material to read this Fall season.
Isn't it just the most perfect time of year to curl up with a book?!  I know lots of Mill Hill Meadow Messenger readers have been compiling lists, and piles of books,  just especially for Fall and into winter.
 
 
Bakers :
I've just received the newest edition of the King Arthur Flour catalog!
So, let the baking season begin!
I'm sending off for some boiled apple cider. I'm dying to make Apple Cider Caramels.
 
 
Thoughts of Fall:
 
 

"By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer."
-   Helen Hunt Jackson, September, 1830-1885
 
 
 "The goldenrod is yellow
The corn is turning brown
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down."
-
  Childrens song
 
Crafters:
A simple Fall craft.
Just wood block mod podged with scrap paper, and black letters. Add bits of ribbon, twine and small embellishments.
Easy, inexpensive, and this craft can be personalized for your home.
Get out those wood blocks!
{A special thanks to Carla for making me this "Fall" shelf sitter}




Monday

Mill Hill Meadow Messenger ..Edition 3


                                                         Written by Kerin
                                           Mill Hill Meadow correspondent.

Bring on Fall:
 
No matter what the temperatures may be, September is here.
At Mill Hill Meadow, that means just one thing.
Bring on the Fall decorating, Fall baking, and Fall activities.
If we wait for cooler temperatures, we will lose a lot of our Fall season... for it's still been quite warm here.
No matter, we've been baking, and decorating, and playing the Fall playlist.
 Organize and Homemaking:
  Now is the time to organize and stock up for the coming winter months.
  Make the beds with warmer linens. 
  Shampoo those carpets, and get any last painting jobs finished up.
 
 Fall maintenance time is here too. Time to get that home buttoned up.    
Link to Fall Maintenance checklist:
 
Make a scarecrow:
                       

 Garden Charlie needs a make-over this Fall.  Here he is, watching over the gardens at:
 Cottage On Main {click to go to my Cottage On Main blog}
 
He will need a new shirt, some new blush, and for certain, he will need a new hat this Fall.
 
Pumpkin Hunting:
  Get out and find that perfect pumpkin, or if you are lucky enough to have a pumpkin patch, you have a choice of perfect pumpkins!
Last year, we had a wonderful pumpkin patch, and just had to walk out to the garden and pick a few pumpkins to decorate with.
This year, so far, not one pumpkin in sight! Not at the grocery store, or at the Farmers markets!
The Great Pumpkin Hunt continues this week!
                                    {Pumpkin from our patch at the homestead, last Fall}
 
Bake it:  Easy Pumpkin Chocolate chip cookies :

Ingredients:

 
  • 1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 (18 ounce) box spice cake mix
  • 1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips or 1 (12 ounce) package milk chocolate chips

Directions:

  1.  
    Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together pumpkin and spice cake until well blended. Add chocolate chips to mix. Drop cookies on greased baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes.
It seems almost too easy, but this is a good recipe, that is quick and easy, and will make your home smell delicious.  These cookies freeze well too.
If you've not tried them ever, or in a long while, give them a try!

Sunday

...Blog Hop...

 Hello friends!
It's an exciting time here at Mill Hill Meadow!
A new month has begun, and we are about to embark on Autumn.... my most favorite time of year.
New beginnings.

I begin this month by participating in a "Blog Hop".
I was invited by my blog friend Judy to participate. Judy blogs at http://judyatgoldcountrycottage.blogspot.com/
Judy has an adorable cottage that she shares with her sweet husband. She loves to decorate her cottage and loves home-keeping.  Her Gold Country Cottage is chock full of charm.

 Let me introduce you to three more wonderful bloggers:

The first blogger that I'd like to spotlight, is Kim :  You can link to her blog by clicking the attached link. 
http://fieldofmydreams.blogspot.com/

In Kim's words :
My Field of Dreams is about my garden, my family and my attempts at sewing, wood projects, gardening and just life in general.


 

The second blogger I'd like to spotlight, is Lynne.

Lynne blogs at http://irishgardenhouse.blogspot.com/   Lynne loves Ireland, and first visited in 1998.

She and her husband stayed in an adorable cottage in Bantry Co Cork. She enjoys telling and writing about the stories of her life and photographs. You can count on seeing many pictures of her beautiful gardens and flowers.
 
 { Edited to add Brooke's current blog.... the old blog link got messed up}
The third blogger that I'd like to spotlight, is Brooke:
Brooke is a very special blogger to me; she is our daughter!
Brooke blogs at :
 http://bmashedpotatoes.blogspot.com/



In Brooke's own words :Eclectic, geeky, goofy, and romantic. All good descriptions of who I am and what I like.

In my words, Brooke is an amazing person!! She is brilliant, beautiful, and generous of spirit.
Brooke is a kidney transplant patient!! She had a kidney transplant 11 years ago now, and has not only survived kidney disease, but she has absolutely thrived in every way!

My blog is "Mill Hill Meadow"  is about me,  a reformed home renovator.
 After 20+ years of saving old homes; I have packed up my paint brushes, electrical wire and saws so that I may spend more time enjoying life with my family.
 
My questions and answers follow :
  *1. What am I working on?
 I am working on travelling more, polishing my baking and cooking skills, and reading to my hearts content. Then there's always the new decorating projects. Some habits die harder than others.

*2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Let's put it this way. I have been married 27 years, moved 13 times, crawled under and through houses that needed some major loving, and raised 3 children. All of my DIY skills were developed long before DIY was cool. Championing old homes has been my life.


 
*3. Why do I create or write what I do?
I have been a lifelong journal-er, and this is just an extension of that

*4. How does your creative process work?
Instinct and inspiration, and a lot of good luck.
 
I sincerely hope that you will take just a minute, and visit the three bloggers that I have highlighted in this blog hop. 
I'm certain that you will enjoy their sweet blogs.
 
Happy Fallidays Y'all!!

Tuesday

Mill Hill Meadow Messenger {Edition 2}

By, Kerin
Mill Hill Meadow Messenger correspondent.
 
 It's no secret that everyone here at Mill Hill Meadow, is anxious for Fall.
Late last night, as the wind was howling, and the cloud
were gathering over the meadow, you could almost
smell Fall.
 
Attention all gardeners:
Keep dead-heading those flowers, encouraging new growth.
Now is the time to plant those last few perennials for the year.
It's also time to order those Spring blooming bulbs.
Also, check your local nurseries for Fall blooming plants like asters, and mums.
Fall is also Garlic planting time!!!
If you plant garlic now, you can be harvesting garlic next June, or July!
 
Weather Folklore of the day:
A fog in August indicates a severe winter and plenty of snow.
It's been foggy a few mornings here folks.
So, get ready for snow this winter!
Fog rolling across the meadow, earlier this month.
 
 
 
Tasty Tidbits:
It's that time of year again. Filling up the canning jars, and preserving the summers bounty.
It's just a teeny bit early for pears in our neck of the woods, but that isn't stopping this correspondent from drying pears, and canning pears. 
Here at Mill Hill Meadow, pears sit on the countertop to ripen.
Just a day more, or so, and these pears will be turned into pear butter!!
click here to find original source for recipe :http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2010/10/vanilla-spiced-pear-butter.html
 
Ingredients:
7 lbs. pears, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup water
zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon cardamom
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
juice of 1 orange

Directions:

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine the pears, water, lemon zest and juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, occasionally stirring, for 20 minutes.
Working in batches, transfer mixture to a food processor fitted with a metal blade and puree just until a uniform texture is achieved. Do not liquefy. Measure 8 cups of pear puree (I used the excess as Pear sauce).
In a clean large stainless steel saucepan, combine pear puree, sugar, orange juice, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and holds it shape to a spoon and liquid does not separate.
Meanwhile, prepare canner, jars and lids: Wash and rinse the jars in hot soapy water. Drain the jars well of any excess water. Set the screw bands aside - they don't require sterilizing. Place the lids - the flat round portion of the two-piece closures - in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer. Don't boil. Keep lids hot until you're ready to use them.
Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head-space. Remove air bubbles and adjust head-space, if needed, but adding more butter. Wipe rim. Center the lid on jar and screw band down until resistance is med, then increase to fingertip tight.
Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
  
      I can hardly wait to make a batch, and fill up some jars.
 
ALL THE BUZZ:
 I'd like to add that there are
3 jars sitting on a shelf in my pantry
filled with this seasons fresh honey.
Courtesy of a friends hives.
It's harvest time; for honey too.

For all you adventurous folks:
Get out and enjoy these last few days of summer.
 
Just 34 days left until the official start of Fall!
 
From the front porch here at Mill Hill Meadow,
to your front porch....
just one last little thought for all the readers of this edition :
 
"The Harvest"
Golden sheaves stand ripening
in the setting sun,
Bounty of a fruitful harvest,
A year's labor well spent.

From tiniest seed to trees laden
with sweet promise
The earth gives forth her joy
in abundance.
Author: Franca de la Pena
 
Mill Hill Meadow Messenger Edition 2
 


Monday

Mill Hill Meadow Messenger

 
 
Mill Hill Meadow Messenger

by, Kerin
Mill Hill Meadow correspondent
 
~Saturday
Grabbed my water bottle and granola bar.
It was off to another fine day of yard sales, and garage sales.
Right off the bat, I found a great yard/garage sale close to home.
Lots of great items for sale, and all at thrifty prices.
Loot bought included : * candle sconces
 *white mini-lights
*Mr.. and Mrs. Pilgrim & *Mr.. and Mrs. Indian.... great addition to my Thanksgiving decoration.
*White glazed ceramic pumpkin with a curly-Q stem
*Wrought iron horizontal plant rack
*Two very large terra-cotta plant pots
*Two large bunches of pip berries
*Woodland Santa {about 14 inches tall}
*Various other home decorating item.
All, in all a very good haul!
 
Feeing Fall-ish?
Well, this gall was feeling quite Fall-ish, considering the low morning temperatures
we've been having lately.
Puts a girl in the mood to try out a new recipe or two.
This recipe is holiday recipe:
 
 Slow cooker candy.
1 package (16 ounce) dry roasted salted peanuts,
1 package (16 ounce) dry roasted unsalted peanuts,
1 package (12 ounce) semisweet chocolate morsels,
1 (4 ounce) German chocolate bars,
32 oz white almond bark,

Directions

  1. Put peanuts in bottom of crock pot; add other ingredients.
  2. Cook on low setting for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. Place rounded spoonful's onto wax paper and allow to cool.

 
Note to readers:
Double check the slow cooker, and make certain that it's set on the lowest temperature!
This correspondent had a brain burp, and set the cooker on 4 hours, instead of 10 hours cook time.
We saved the candy, but just!
 
In other news:
The Perseid Meteor Shower begins tonight and runs through August 13th!
One of the years most prominent meteor showers.
Expect to see up to 50 meteors an hour. Visit the Old Farmer's Almanac online to learn more.http://www.almanac.com/content/meteor-showers-guide
 
Mark your Calendars!
Fall Fanatics remember to watch and mark those calendars.
Today is the 223 day of 2014, and in just 42 days Autumn begins!
Hip-hip-hooray!
 
For you early birds and night owls :
Did you get out to see the super moon last night?
It was amazingly bright, and clear.
There is one more Super moon this year, it will happen on September 9th.
 
A final thought for this edition of the
 Mill Hill Meadow Messenger :
 
Mill Hill Meadow Messenger : Edition 1

Friday

Owl Face.

 
Hidden in the bark of an old tree, an owl face appears.
 

Watching with his wise old eyes.

I just had to take 'his' picture and share.


Attitude of gratitude:
~Woke up to temperatures in the low 50's the past few days.
I feel full of energy. Blessed.
~Found 2 great insulated cookie sheets, two new {with tags still on} evergreen wreaths for Christmas at a yard sale this morning.
Evidently, the good luck at yard sales continues.
~Bought a hydrangea... first one ever to plant. Hopes upon hopes that it thrives here and I have beautiful blossoms each summer for years and years. Also bought some coreopsis and black eyed susans

Tuesday

Blueberries, Muffins, Mysteries, and other thrifty finds.

 Have you read "Town in Blueberry Jam"?
It's just one book in a series of books from Berkley Prime Crime Mystery books.

I really enjoyed it!

Plus, I had blueberries on the mind.  We had just bought a huge container of blueberries at Costco.
Seemed like a fortuitous find; this book and the others in the series.
So, on Sunday, we mixed up a batch of delicious blueberry muffins {the best recipe I've ever tried... I might add.}

Noshing and reading ensued.


http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-of-the-best-blueberry-muffins/detail.aspx

                                 {picture is also click-able to view original recipe and source}

Ingredients:
Original recipe makes 12 muffins                    
Directions
  1. Position rack in the middle of oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spray the top of a muffin pan with non-stick coating, and line with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix together 1 3/4 cup of the flour and baking powder. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated. Crush 1/4 of the blueberries, and stir into the batter. Mix the rest of the whole blueberries with the remaining 1/4 cup of the flour, and fold into the batter. Scoop into muffin cups.
  3.  Sprinkle tops lightly with sugar.
   I was lucky enough to buy all the books in this series at the same yard sale.
And the price.... just a mere 50 cents a piece.
{Also found the Scentsy warmer for just $1.00}

I've been reading and reading since Saturday.
I am now well into the second book : "Town In Lobster Stew"
The books are fun reads, and clean reads. 
Another thrifty find, is the shorter plant stand.
Actually the tall stand was a yard sale find as well, found last year.
Who knows, before the summer's out, I just might luck upon another one.
I'd like a few for the patio, as well.

And.. a wreath.
A Fall wreath, for a dollar.  Couldn't beat that.
I've found that if there is something that I cannot use here at
Mill Hill Meadow, then it is something that Spencer {our son} can use at Dunravin {his home's name}.
So, it all works out.

One more thrifty find that I scored this past weekend... a nice sized wall sign.
I quite like it, and have decided that it should hang in our entry.
It's a nice welcome to our home.
Sets a nice tone.

Sooner than later, the yard sales are going to end.
The summer is quickly drawing to an end, the kids are gearing up for school, and classes and football are about to start at the local college.
Still....... overall , it's been a good year for thrifty finds.  Can't complain.

In my research on the Berkley Prime Crime Mysteries I found another series that sounds intriguing and fun to read.
It is the "Farmers Market Mysteries", by Paige Shelton.
Have any of you read that series?? 
I think I shall order the first few books, so that they are on hand, once I finish this current series.
Also... the same author did a series called "Country Cooking School Mysteries". That also sounds like a good series to read.

Attitude of gratitude:
~I'm grateful for multi grain bread toast, and fresh apple cider from the Big Red Barn.
Perfectly wonderful breakfast on this fine August day.
~I'm grateful that I've made pretty good progress on my goal to clean out both freezers. The kitchen fridge freezer and the deep freeze.  And, bless my family..... for they've been such good sports about eating my 'Clean out the freezer menu'!  Yay!! looking forward to getting both freezers stocked again, and organized for the winter months.