Warm, Homemade Applesauce

Awe!  I love this time of year… Sweet, Cool, Crisp Air; Misty Rain; Sweaters and Boots; Colors of Yellow, Orange, and Red; Scents of Cinnamon, Pumpkin Spice, and APPLES.

A favorite autumn activity of mine is to visit a local apple orchard and pick enough apples for: Apple Dumplings, Applesauce, and a few extra for nippling on.  Homemade Applesauce is one of the easiest, most nutritious snacks or side dish that one could make.

A couple of weekends past, Professor John (my husband) and I made plans to visit a local orchard after church on that Sunday.  The ad in the town paper said that the orchard would be open on Sundays.  So, we brought our apple pickin’ clothes to church with us and changed in to them after Sunday services.

When we arrived at the orchard, it looked deserted.  My heart skipped a beat… We drove past rows and rows of apple trees that were nearly bare.  We weren’t giving up, yet.  We drove around, stopped by the office; even walked around hoping to make some sense out of the ghostly existence.

I made a phone call to a local resident (who thought that the orchard was open as well) hoping to get some reassurance that we would be picking apples soon.  Finally, we drove onto a different path and ended up at a house that we were just sure were the owners or operators of that orchard, and would say to us, “Sure.  Go pick all the apples you want.”  There were a few vehicles on the premises that indicated to us that there were people present.

Professor John walked around the house looking for a door; it was in the back facing a beautiful body of water.  He disappeared from my sight for a minute then, reappeared with a look of bewilderment, but continued to walk around the premises hoping to find someone.  After a few minutes with no one in sight, I motioned him to come and get in the car.  I was done with this hunt and was ready to leave; apples or not.

So, we drove home scratching our heads with no fresh apples to make fresh applesauce.  FYI- I’m planting apple trees on our property next spring.  We’ll have all the fresh apples we could want.  :)

I didn’t want to do it but, I had no choice.  I had to settle for apples from a grocery store!  My dear, sweet husband went to the store the next day and bought a few pounds of Granny Smith apples just so I could make delicious applesauce.

And, it was very good; just not as good as fresh apples picked by our own hands would have made.

But, one can’t go wrong making applesauce themselves.  It it packed with flavor that you don’t get from store bought.  Plus, it’s a bit cheaper.

Homemade Applesauce: I LOVE TO EAT IT WARM.

12 Apples ( Tart work best like: Granny  Smith)

1 cup Apple Juice or Apple Cider

Juice of 1 Lemon

1/2 packed Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon Cinnamon ( You can also use Pumpkin Spice)

Core, Peel, and Slice apples.  Combine all ingredients in a large crock pot (You can also cook on a stovetop).

I just slowly cooked my apples in a crockpot for several hours until it reached the consistency that I desired then, mashed up the soft apples as I stirred them.

So warm and tasty… Makes you all tingly from head to toe.

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Filed under Adventures, Apple Orchard

Random Autumn Adventures

 

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Filed under Autumn, Fall

Arting Around

~ “I long so much to make beautiful things. But beautiful things require effort—and disappointment and perseverance.”—Vincent van Gogh,

Pursing one’s lifelong dream and using one’s God-given talents in a way that emits both gratification and gratitude are two of the most beautiful feelings that one body can experience.  But many never find it and end up restless, discontent, lost; not living to one’s full potential.

~ “I haven’t got it yet, but I’m hunting it and fighting for it, I want something serious, something fresh—something with soul in it! Onward, onward.”—Vincent van Gogh,

I longed… Over miles of dead-end roads; my heart ached to let thy inner self blossom in to something completely fulfilling but, never reaching it and never comprehending what that was.  Until recently… I reached my destination and brushed off the years of dust from traveling down a path of winding curves and mundane stretches of the same ‘ole scenery.

Art is my God-given talent (including: Writing, Photography, and Culinary).  Do you see a correlation?  Those are all a form of art.  I express myself in different genres of art; creating things that only I myself can bring to life the way that I see them.  After all, each artist is uniquely different with individual forms of expressions.

I have a passion to create art and compassion for others… Expressed through my mind, hands, and gestures.  Knowing now that I wasn’t pursuing my Godly purpose and using those talents in a way that says, I am the artist but, God guides my hands; was me finding myself – at last.

~ “I now consider myself to be at the beginning of the beginning of making something serious.”—Vincent van Gogh

Those are a few pieces of art that I have recently created at Terra Cottage Studio (TCS).

TCS website will be up and running soon so, if you see art that you would like to order, have questions, or request (in good taste and morally right).  Go to the TCS website (when it is up).  There will be an email link and a place to purchase items.  Or, notify TCS on my blog until TCS website is posted for public viewing.  Details Coming….

Get off that dusty road that is clouding your God-given purpose and find your true inner self.

Have a Beautiful week!

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Filed under Art, Paint

Musing, Creating, Decorating: It’s All Good

So, a big part of what has been, and still is consuming a huge portion of my life: Terra Cottage  Studio (TCS).  Throw in keeping the house and laundry all nice & clean, the meals planned & prepared, and all the other stuff in between and I’ve got myself a full-time job with moonlighting; just for variety.  Ok. There are days when I can’t get motivated or just can’t get it all done so, I’m pulling my hair out.  Where, Oh, Where does all the time go?

My husband is very patient and doesn’t get upset on those days when I have to create art in my studio instead of in the kitchen.  Albeit, it doesn’t happen too often.

I wanted my TC’s little space to have the look and feel of a charming, little cottage so, I painted a fireplace right on the wall.  I’m very pleased with the way that it turned out.  It’s so life-like you can actually feel the warmth coming out of the hearth.  :)

Before the mantel

After

I refurbished a raw shelf for the mantel by sanding, staining, painting then, spot-sanding it and adding 3 decorative drawer knobs for hangers.  (Close view down below)   It’s darling!

Honestly, I’m very thankful that I get to do something that I love and enjoy after years of pursuing the wrong occupation.  There have been many years that I longed for such a “job.”  It is a lot of work and I’m loving it but, there’s only one of me and some days I need three.  I thank God and my loving, supportive husband for the long awaited opportunity.

Here is a peek of a few pieces of artwork that I have finished and displayed in my cottage.  My artwork is Southern Made, Hand-Crafted.  No two are exactly alike because I paint them by hand; other times I create what my muse directs me to or use whatever supplies I have in my studio.

I love creating those cruets!

Olive_Oil_Crouettes

Olive Oil Cruet

Salad Dressing Cruets make life easier!

Sewing decorative pillows is always fun!

Terra Cottage is a bit bare right now because, like I said, I have many jobs and some days one takes precedence over the other.  However, it is coming along nicely (not as fast as I’d like, though) and I have a lot of goodies planned for the Christmas holiday.  I add new, unique Southen Made, Hand-Crafted items often.

My Terra Cottage Studio website will be up and running soon (details coming) so, visit my cottage and browse around.  If you see something that you’d like to order, there will be a place for that.  If you just have a question or comment, there’ll be a place for that too

Thanks for taking a peak into my cottage.

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Filed under Art, Autumn, Crafts

Sailing… From Something Old To Something New

Hello Everyone!  It’s Been A Long Time.

If y’all have followed my previous post than y’all  know that I’ve been super busy.  I have had other priorities that have kept me away from blogging for nearly 3 months.

One of the things that I’ve been busy pursuing lately is my love for arts/crafts.  I am blessed with a God-given talent of the arts/creativity.  I have dabbled in it since I was a small child.  It’s just been recently that I have been able to do something with my talents.  As I have mentioned in the past, and I’m mentioning it now, and will most certainly mention it in the very near future; I have a Wonderful, Supportive Husband!

That being said, I just started designing a rental space to sell my arts/crafts: Terra Cottage Studio.  I am a one-woman show who creates Southern Made, HandCrafted products so, it is taking me awhile to get enough items crafted/painted to fill my little cottage.  It’s a lot of fun and keeps my mind busy on things other than missing my kids back home.  But, when my muse is cloudy or I’m suffering from an annoying head cold/cough like today, I get very little accomplished.

However, I did manage to repurpose a weathered, odd-shaped board that I found on the premises of our new home.  I see art potential in many objects so, I just couldn’t throw that ugly, unique board away.  My husband thinks it looks like a fence post.  I say it looks more like a starving surf board.  Which gave me the idea to turn it in to a towel/robe rack for his nautical bathroom.

I sanded it w/ rough sandpaper (180) then, I slapped on some white paint.  Ran the sander back over it w/ fine sandpaper (220).  I painted the sailboat/ocean with acrylic paints plus, added a very wise biblical verse ( It’s free-handed so it’s a bit wavy; like a soft wind across an open sea.) that gave the rack extra charm and purpose.  I then sprayed a light Rustoleum sealer over the entire board, screwed on 3 hooks and I’m nearly finished.  All it needs is a rope to hang it.  I haven’t had the time to go to a hardware store to purchase the rope, yet.

My husband loves it and says that he can’t wait to use it.  Right now, he hangs his robes on the door hinge and throws his towels over the shower curtain rod.

Note: Find your passion and pursue it.  You and your soul will be happy that you did.  Not to mention, your significant other as well.  

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Filed under Art, Biblical Quotes, Creations

Hungover and Feeling Squirrelly

Moving, packing, and, unpacking can make a person hungover, like a wilted flower on a hot summer day.  Desperately seeking something to revive one’s body and lift it back up to a vertical position; bright and perky; able to distinguish between up and down, coming and going.  That my friends, is how I’ve been feeling for nearly two weeks since my husband and I moved into our Home In The Hills.

It’s been adventurous (pics coming soon) in between times of hoisting boxes, moving boxes, unpacking boxes then, putting those unpacked items in to an eye-pleasing place – only to move some of them to a different eye-pleasing place.  We’ve taken a few breaks in between those many energy zapping days.  Just yesterday I took a break from painting my son’s room.

I walked out onto our sun porch, as I often do, to get recharged from the brightness of the day.  I admired  my backyard view when I saw something furry peeking over the door to our barn. Out came the cutest, furriest, gray squirrel (picture above).  I quietly, but quickly went back into the house to grab my camera.  I carefully approached the little fella; etching my way closer little by little.  He came out a little further, said hello, and patiently waited while I clicked away. I love our backyard critters.

We have so many that come around to visit: Scurrying Squirrels, Bountiful Birds, Darling Deer, Wondering Woodchuck, Slithering Snakes and a plethora of insects but, not so many spiders.  That’s a very good thing because I loathe spiders.  It comes with the territory of living in the country.  Our Peaceful Paradise.

I just wanted to make a quick visit and let y’all know that I’m still around, I’m just very busy settling in to a “New” book: The Days of Our Lives.  It will soon be Back To Work for us (enjoying a weekend off) as we turn our once neglected house in to a beautiful, lively home.

I have many wonderful blog stories, pictures, art and ideas coming up.   See y’all soon!

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Filed under Nature, Squirrel, Writing

A Piece Of History In My Future

I’m only here for a quick visit (still packing/cleaning for our upcoming move).  I just wanted to share some interesting photos of the museum that stands across the road from our new home.

Weathered, peeling paint and aged remnants reveal her youthful, active days are long gone.  But, even though she has been lifeless for some time, she stills stands tall and proud.

It was quite a treat snooping around the old house.   There was a surprise around every corner.  I love the old, front door with its unique doorbell.  Look closely…  It is halfway down, near the middle of the door, just under the filigree ornamental piece.  Beautiful!

I was told by a neighbor that the original owner still owns the home and occasionally visits.  I can’t wait to meet her and ask her if I can take a tour of the interior of the home.  I also learned that although, she has the money to have indoor plumbing and electricity installed, she refuses to do so.  Could be one reason she still has her money.  Just a thought.

An interesting window that stands on one side of the house, taking all the blows from the north wind.  No wonder she looks frazzled.

I love the artsy porch post.  If that swing could talk…

Wondering around the old homestead, I came upon some interesting “vintageware.”  Those two very rusty Plymouth cars had sat there for so long that they were literally sinking into the ground beneath them..

Here’s some old, rusted ironwork just hanging around.

An old windowpane looking down and broken.  Hmmm.  I wonder where/what that came out of?

And, if a storm blows in,  one can always hide out in the storm cellar.  That might come in handy some day.

Well, gotta run!  The boxes aren’t going to pack themselves.

I hope you enjoyed the tour as much as I did.

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Filed under Antiques