A Few Things I Adore

Smells are assaulting me! In a good way!

As I drove on the Thruway coming home from upstate NY on Tuesday I had the windows down and the smell coming in the car was amazing! It was coming from all the flowering Russian Olive trees growing along the highway. They are fairly common here in NE Pennsylvania and parts of NY State. They naturalize easily and when they bloom…ahhh, the smell is so sweet!

I was in the garden last evening just before dinner and as I rounded the corner the scent hit me. It was heady perfume and in that humid, pre-rain atmosphere the smell filled the still air . I found the source of the smell. I planted a tree peony many years ago near the back corner of the house. Some years it does well and some years I’m lucky to see even one bloom from it. This year it’s the mother-lode! I cut two of the blossoms and brought them indoors. The flowers are approximately 8-10 inches in diameter and they are sooo fragrant!


 Since I was in the kitchen…with a camera I thought I’d show you a few other things that I adore. This is my new favorite snack food. I am addicted to it! I don’t feel any smarter but I love it!

You can buy cheaper versions of cheddar-flavored popcorn but this one is the best!


 Tonight I am having a couple of old friends over for dinner and for dessert I am serving my newest and most decadent indulgence. I found this sparkling wine at a wine tasting. The pourer said “try this and tell me what you think.” I sipped it and said “it’s nice!” He said “now take a bite of this brownie here, chew it, then take another sip of the wine.”

Oh-My-God!! The flavor changed to raspberries, and roses, and bubbles, and sinfully good chocolate all at the same time. The flavor just burst through my mouth! I can’t say enough good things about this combination !!!!

It costs between $16-$18 but trust me; if you really want to impress your friends or simply indulge yourself in any way, this is the ticket!

It is a Spanish sparkling wine so you may find it at larger wine shops in the Champagne section.  GO NOW !!! Oh, and the bottle is especially beautiful for gift-giving!

  I do adore me some gardening. My idea of a perfect afternoon includes spending time in my gardens. I love weeding (yes, I do!) and getting my hands in the dirt, pruning, and deadheading, and collecting cut flowers to bring indoors or to give to friends.


  This picture was taken from my deck at around 7 o’clock last night. The azaleas would be fuller but the deer tend to munch them during the winter months. It’s OK. I get some. They get some.



       This is the view of my front porch. This was taken last summer. I probably won’t plant so much there this year since it’s hard to get people willing to come over and water the pots when I’m away. I will miss this but the trade-off is good since I now have D. in my life!

Ahhh, spring! Makes you feel glad to be alive, doesn’t it?

11 comments on “A Few Things I Adore

  1. It’s always nice when you can take a moment to stop and enjoy the little things. In your case the little things aren’t quite so little. Nice, very nice. 🙂

    Yes, Mr. Parkour, I like to count my blessings…little and big!! Too often we tend to overlook them as we’re prone to pissin’ & moanin’! (IMHO)

  2. Girl we are going to have to take that camera a way form you! You made me so hungry…next time I come to your blog I am going to eat first! LOL

    And I would adore an invitation from you to come and have a glass or TWO of that wine with you…on your patio/deck. I will bring the brownies since baking is what I love to do the most.

    And what ever you do…DO NOT, DO NOT have my girl friend Paige come and water your gardens. She has been known to kill a cactus! Since you are a gardener I won’t even begin to tell you what she can do to a living green thing. It would break your heart! She has tumble weeds in her back yard and she does not live in Texas. Which is another story all together!

    Well, I have enjoyed your site and talking to you…but I think we should take this up a notch and let’s blog roll!

    Southern smiles and world peace,
    ~The Baby Boomer Queen~

    BBQ- you are so funny! “She has tumble weeds in her back yard and she does not live in Texas.”
    And sure ’nuff, gal! Let’s get that corkscrew out and open us a couple of bottles, sit back, and nosh on chocolate goodness and drink and talk the night away. Sounds like therapy to me!! AHhhhh…

  3. Wow! Your garden is beautiful – you seem to have quite a green thumb. And Smartfood popcorn IS the absolute yummiest of purchased cheese popcorn EVA! You are so right about that. Try it on top of macaroni and cheese! It’s awesome. That sparkling wine sounds amazing – I will keep an eye out for it. Yum.

    Ooo, teeni!! Smart Food on top of mac and cheese!!! YUMMERS!!! I’m thinking it will surely make my next bowl of tomato soup much better, too!! Now ya got me thinkin’!

  4. Before weight watchers I ate my way through many bags of Smart Food.
    My sister was telling me just yesterday that she loves deadheading. She says she finds it peaceful and calming. I thought she was screwing with me but no, she really loves to deadhead. She’s coming over Sunday to give me a deadhead lesson now that I have a few flowers.

    Your garden is beautiful. I’m going to post pictures of my sister’s garden because I don’t have one though someday I hope to.

    My daughter and I were driving a couple of days ago and some wonderful smell wafted into the car but we didn’t know what it was.

    Our local newspaper actually had an article about Lilac thieves. It was pretty funny. Just ordinary people stealthily stealing lilacs for bouquets because they can’t resist the smell.

    joan- girl, you need a lesson on deadheading? Seriously? LOL
    Thanks for the sweet words. My garden has been a work-in-progress since 1981 so it didn’t happen overnight. A little work here and there every summer and before you know it, there she was! 60 bazillion perennials later……Keep it up! It’ll happen to you too!

  5. Oooo, peonies…aren’t they just glorious? I just wish they would last longer. I love having fresh cut flowers in the house at all times. Soooo…I read about this trick: cut peonies just before they bloom, put them in a ziplock bag with some water and refrigerate; they will last for a month or more! Just pull them out as needed and plop them in a vase.

    OMG. I just ate an ENTIRE bag of Smartfood popcorn (well, the young one had a few hand fulls) by myself this weekend. Egad. Once I start I just can’t stop.

    I’m going to look for that sparkling wine this week whilst at my favorite liquor stop – I bet I can find it around here! Yay!

    Your garden is bee-u-tee-ful! I’m jealous. I hate to weed, therefore, mine looks like hell. Maybe I should hire a ‘garden boy’ to take care of that for me…ha!

    2lazydogs -So you’ve heard of the peony trick, eh? Actually I’ve tried it and it works! I wrap buds that are very near to blossom stage in lightly damp paper towels, then wrap them in aluminum foil, and place them in the bottom of the fridge (the veggie crisper works well) then up to three months later remove them, place the recut stems in a vase of tepid water and about 24 hours later you have a fresh blooming peony! Amazing!
    And send that “garden boy” over here when your done with him (if you haven’t worked him to death) 😉
    Hope you find the wine!! Good luck! And thanks for the compliments!! Love ya!

  6. Beautiful flowers, and I happen to know that those pictures don’t do your garden justice. Your home usually looks like the ones featured in Better Homes and Gardens.

    Oh, I do miss wine sometimes… 😛

    Thank you, sweety!! Mighty nice of you to say that! (Does BH&G want to feature a simple country gardener?)
    Yeah, I get that about the wine. Sorry…..

  7. I love the smells of the countryside and Mr J and I are both hopelessly addicted to Smartfood white cheddar popcorn!

    Your gardens are simply GORGEOUS!

    Why thank you, kind lady for those nice words!! Come join me on the veranda. We’ll get to know each other even better!

  8. I have many fond memories of peonies.. they are my favorite! I call them, “the poor man’s rose”– so delicate and fragrant! Mmmm, just love them! I also have a little pink peony bush out back. I love that you can cut a large peony flower with a bulb/blossom on it and that will open up in the vase too 😉 Very cool! I think you are one of “those” people that has that way of making everything prettier by touching it! My SIL is like that. It’s a mad talent!

    JQ- LMAO -“one of “those” people that has that way of making everything prettier by touching it!” Oh, girlfriend, the things that went through my mind when I read that line!! Oh, if that were true I’d have the purtiest ‘thing” you ever did see! hehehehehehehehe

  9. I love the gardens! 20 years!? that makes me feel better since I was getting a tad envious but I’m doing good for only 4 years at my house. Which, sadly, is a LOOONG time for me to be in one place.

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