Snow Camp Sunset

The sunset is enough. The sunset is always enough.

But this evening, accompanying this beautiful and peaceful scene is the distinct and wonderful aroma of freshly cut hay. It is a windows open, glass in hand, front row seat to the tree frog and crickets symphony, kind of evening.

And I am so grateful for every second.

Well done, Thursday. Well done!

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Hello, Saturday!

Strong coffee, wild wildflowers, and a view of the sunrise playing a morning game of peekaboo through the wispy clouds and mist.

Welcome to the first Saturday of June 2018, my friends.

It’s good to be here!

#saturdaymorning #coffee #snowcampscenes #kellyskeyboard

Saturday Morning Thoughts

Memorial Day Weekend is underway. It’s a time for reflection. There is no shortage of ceremonies and activities to honor the fallen men and women who entered into every military branch knowing they may not make it home alive. There’s no shortage of families forever changed by those sacrifices made.

My plans are pretty simple this weekend. I plan to help other drivers and motorists by staying off the roads as much as possible. Perhaps I’ll spend a few long moments watching the new bee that showed up in the wildflowers this morning, we’ll see.

One certainty is waiting on the rain with some coffee in the backyard swing, and being eternally grateful for this life and those who have lost theirs while serving to build and protect our society and nation.

Whatever your plans include this weekend, I wish you all good health, peace, and safety. Make sure you take a few minutes in prayer or reflection, to just breathe, appreciate the day, and make sure those you love know you love them.

Hello Saturday. It’s good to be here.

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13

An Irish Anniversary Cake

It’s been a while since I actually broke out my cake decorating kit. Sure, we’ve had a series of birthdays, parties, mother’s days, and all kinds of reasons to bake, but I kept putting it off until now. Today is our 25th wedding anniversary. This milestone year seemed like the perfect time to play around in the kitchen.

There is no shortage of traditional recipes in this house handed down through the generations, but I decided to try something new and found this delicious Walnut Cake recipe by lovefoodies.com.

Y’all, this cake was so simple. I actually had concerns, thinking something must have been missing. A few simple ingredients into the mixing bowl and away we go! Simple and smooth!

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cake batter so fluffy as this! The photos don’t do it justice, this batter was like air. The recipe specifies the times to whip the ingredients, hand mix the walnuts in at the end and don’t rush it. Good things take time.

Personally I like buttercream icing, and I especially like buttercream icing made with Kerry Gold Irish Butter. Really, this is not a commercial – it just tastes better to me. My husband is of Irish descent, so he really likes Kerry Gold as well, and since it’s technically his anniversary cake too, I used the good butter.

The kitchen smelled so good! Somehow the scent of cake and icing just seems to belong in this house. This is the same house where 25 years ago my mother and aunt made and decorated our wedding cake. I’m not even going to pretend I’m as good as they were, but I like to think they would be pleased with my attempts, or at least get a little giggle out of the effort.

At some point in icing the cake I decided I wanted as much of an Irish them as I could get into a 25th anniversary cake with what I had on hand. It would be blue instead of silver, with ivory, and a deep green. Sure, it could represent any number of places in the world, even this little patch of ground on some days. But for this occasion, it’s all about the colors of Ireland. Ok, the colors of Ireland and LOVE! (Happy Anniversary to my husband).

The blue became a marble-like streak for some roses, and a blend of Kelly Green and cocoa for the leaves. The white cake stand below belonged to my grandmother. Generations of wonderful and talented women have all had a hand in my choices today.

The end result is what I call Connemara Marbled Roses on Black Walnut Cake. Clever, eh?

Here’s to 25 years of marriage, and far beyond. To the moments that lifted us high enough in love and faith and joy to hold on when other moments knocked us breathless and spinning. To the laughter, tears, silences and more laughter. To me knowing he likes black walnuts and Irish butter, and him knowing I like evening cappuccino in a fine china cup. Now, let us eat cake.

Saturday Snapshots

‘Tis a lovely day here in this little corner of North Carolina. If today was a color, it would be green!

Temperatures crossed into the 90 degrees Fahrenheit realm this afternoon, so mowing the yard went quickly and early this morning. Most of the day has been reserved for sipping iced drinks in the swing watching oak trees wave their branches in the gentle, but welcomed breezes. This weekend is graduation weekend for some amazing young people I have the privilege of knowing. I wish them all the best in their next chapters in life, and pray for their health, safety, joy and wisdom often, but especially on days as lovely as today. While I’m thinking about it, let me just add one more wish: may we all, including these new graduates, always find time for beautiful moments under the shade of an old tree.

I spent a good part of the day snapping photos of the hot afternoon scenes. Green is everywhere here, but it is a color willing to share the stage. In fact, it’s sometimes even more gorgeous supporting the pops of pink, purple, yellow, pink and white that grab onto it in the forms of blooming flowers and vines.

If today was a color, it would be green! Enjoy.

Sage Honeysuckle in the treesAzaleas in bloom

Roadside view of Cane Creek Mountains

Some days I don’t drive this part of this old road, but seeing glimpses like this makes me remember what a beautiful place this is. You can’t see the creek in this picture, but it is there, meandering through the landscape from pasture to pasture and field to field.

There are higher hills a few hours to the west, and larger bodies of water nearby as well. The colors change with the rhythms of the season, but for me these hills are timeless, always just beyond the tree-line from my back porch. Quiet, almost hidden, these Cane Creek Mountains are the very picture of perfect spring green on this April afternoon.

~ Enjoy the everyday beauty~