Monday, September 27, 2021

T Stands for Tea and a Snack

Hi everyone. 
I hope everyone here for T has had a wonderful last week, as did everyone else who visits my blog and reads this post. We're in the last few days of September, (which is hard to believe), and here in New Hampshire the weather has been pretty mild so far. Our leaves are just getting a slight tinge of color (except for the swamp maples). They say our peak foliage season is running a week or so later than usual, but should be good as we've had so much rain. 

Last week I had a much needed  low key week. I had lots of time do some fun things like art, reading and walking. I also did do a few small chores.

Saturday I cleaned up most of the veggie garden, except where there are a few plants  that are still growing. You might remember my overgrown weed problem, choking out my garden plants, and since we had some landscape fabric from putting in the beehive, I laid that down after cleaning up the unwanted growth. When the leaves fall my garden fills up with them, and hopefully that will keep the growth down come spring. Next year I want to finish putting in some raised beds, as I only added 2 this year.

For an update on the deck project, the engineering  is now done. Hurrah. This next photo might look weird but you should  look at the front where there is a white post; the right side is lots of short term scaffolding for holding boards. That is a mock up of what my husband plans to do, and next weekend, weather dependent, he should be ready to start laying boards. Hurrah for that. 

A few of you mentioned it would be easier to hire someone to do the job, but it's good to see my husband excited about a home project.  Right now finding anyone to do anything isn't easy, and my husband is insanely picky. He would probably go redo some of it anyhow. I would say he is  probably a contractor's worse nightmare. He is still complaining when we hired someone to put siding on the new house  almost 20 years ago that they didn't do it right. Meaning, they didn't do it his way. Smile.

It's also been time to start more fall clean ups. Last Thursday my husband took the day off, and I was "volunteered" to go help him clean up some things at his Mom's home on the lake. Luckily it was a warm and humid day because the 2 projects meant someone had to go into the lake and get wet.
First the swim raft was brought in.

Maddie and Pete enjoyed a ride. I got to help lift and pull it onto the dock in the forefront of the photo. (This dock is on land, so  it can stay in place through the winter. The rest of the dock will need to be pulled out sometime in the next few weeks because everything usually freezes solid.)

Then we had to get the little boat out of the water. Yes, my husband has a boat collection, all bought used. He has a good eye for finding bargain boats that are in great shape. I think it is comparable to me finding crafting bargains. If you love something you always have your eyes open and looking. Smile.

We call this one "My Boat" ( meaning me, Erika's boat) because he asked me to register it when he first bought it, even gave me a check from his account to do it. I was told at the town hall that if I registered it, it had to be in my name.  So it is technically my boat. We never even used it last year, but this year my husband decided to put it in the water at his Mom's.  Because of his mom's health issues, we've been at her house a lot this summer. He also wanted to take her (his Mom) for a few rides. Getting her into the boat has not been easy, but if this ends up being her last summer at her home, then at least it was a good one.

This angle of the photo makes the front of the boat look really big. It is not, as the boat is only 16 feet long total. And if you aren't familiar with boats, it seems that most people think bigger, like well over 22 feet, is better.

My MIL will be moving back in with one of my husband's sisters sometime in October. 

Hopefully these minor to dos haven't bored you. I know, after reading this you must be ready for a cup of tea or coffee. Or something to drink. And maybe a snack.

I baked a couple of things in the past week.

First I made a pumpkin cake with cinnamon frosting. I had to adjust the frosting recipe because it called for 7 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, which is crazy since it only called for 1 cup or 2 sticks of butter. I cut the powdered sugar down to 2 cups, and I added a bit less of the cinnamon. Now it was just sweet enough.  If anyone is interested in the recipe let me know, and I will include it for T next week.

This cake recipe came out of an older Taste of Home special fall edition. It was delicious (especially with my fixed frosting, but if you like it sweet, then maybe you'd like the original). And I know some of you might wonder what happened to the apple pie with a cheddar crust that I mentioned last week. Once I made this cake, we didn't need to pie, so that is still on my list of things to make this fall.

Then I also made a recipe that Kathy posted this past week in her cast iron cooking post. It is for a marbled sourdough loaf, half pumpkin and half chocolate.

When I remake this bread (it was delicious!) I will add more chocolate to that part, as it could have been a little more chocolaty.

Here is the recipe for that: Pumpkin and Chocolate Sourdough bread. It is written for cast iron loaf pans (Lodge Cast Iron sponsored this), but since I don't own any I just used regular loaf pans.
Which would you like a slice of? I can certainly share both as I don't need all the calories.

It's not any day I would invite you for a fancy cup of tea or coffee, but this lady makes it look like she does it everyday, doesn't she?

My ticket to T this week is is this page for Wendy's vintage challenge at Art Journal Journey. This challenge wraps up at the end of this month, later this week.

My page has a background to look like a vintage doily, and this lady comes from an old 1950's LIFE magazine in my stash.  I stitched a bit, die cut and colored the spoons, and stamped the quote on a little patch of gesso. I also added a few silver sequins for some sparkle.

Don't forget to stop by  Bleubeard's and Elizabeth's blog  to see what the T gang has been up to.

That's it for me. I've got a busy week this week, with new challenges starting and things going on in real life.  
Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and have a super T day and week ahead.



Mae Travels said...

You did have a busy week despite saying it was low key. I wonder what you do when you are really in gear!

best... mae at

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Wow, Erika, I'm not sure where to begin. I really enjoyed seeing your veggie garden and how you are puting it to bed. I also got hungry when I saw the fabulous cake and bread you made. Now I'm hungry for something sweet.

I see you got the boat ready for winter and your deck looks pretty good, too. I'm rather like your husband. It's that engineering "gene."

And finally, I loved that you combined your T entry with Wendy's theme at Art Journal Journey. That's how women dressed in the 50s, or so I've read. Thanks for sharing your art and your activities with us for T this week, dear.

Carola Bartz said...

I like your vintage page, the background is gorgeous. I'm not a big cake eater, so I pass on that. I can see that the two dogs had fun on the raft. Good luck to your husband for building the deck - I do understand that he doesn't want to hire anyone for that job. Just like my husband.

Angie's Recipes said...

That sourdough marbled loaf looks incredible and perfect for tea! You have a really nice garden.

LA Paylor said...

ahhh I'm jealous of your traditional autumn... it's still so hot here, not typical or normal and wishing it wasn't our new normal...a new wildfire started tonight and caused evacuations. Revel in your rain! Love the dogs and the dh who is willing and able to do big projects. Mine will jump in when needed too, and it's a blessing. Right now I have one tomato on the vine, from june. One in 4 months and it's small and green. I do have a couple peppers now that it cooled to the 80's finally. Hope for some kind of harvest after 4 months of watering and watching. I want raised beds, and have big square containers that have reservoirs but want some raised beds. My lab would have jumped right in, but the poodle? I'm not sure since he's never seen water

Iris Flavia said...

You have a great place there! Can you send your Hubby over here? We even have moss now on the balcony!
LOL. Ingo is like that, too, picky! (Wish he had an interest in cleaning the balcony - I would ruin it).

A swim raft, wow!

Erika, you´re very cool!

LOL. Pickled egg is on the way.
Hmmm!!! Ingo bought a pumpkin and cooked it with vinegar. Can cinnamon help?
I´m not on the sweet side...

LOL. The other day I had a cuppa, quite full. I took one step... another. Carefully. Then Ingo turned up, said, BY GOLLY!, took my tea and in three steps brought it to my PC-table.
Now I picture him like that woman!!! Why, thank you! ;-)
Happy T-day x

Valerie-Jael said...

Hi Erika, happy T Day! Love the fabulous image on your journal page! Glad the work on the deck is nearing completion, some men are like that and need to do everything themselves, my husband was like that, too, and he used to drive people mad! And I like your boat! But my very faves today are the cakes, so yummy, I think I could eat a slice of each right now! Have a great day, hugs, Valerie

craftytrog said...

Looks like you have been busy Erika! Cake looks good, and your page is a beauty.
Happy T-Day!

WendyK said...

Fabulous page, love the lady holding the tray of tea things. Combining it with your T entry is a great idea. Thank you for another lovely page, hugs Wendy.

Anne (cornucopia) said...

You've been busy this past week. I chuckled seeing the dogs taking a ride on the swim raft while your husband did the work. Your food looks delicious. Our CT weather has been matching yours.

Jackie McGuinness said...

The vintage page is gorgeous as I sit here in my bathrobe drinking my coffee!
My husband likes to complain about jobs done years ago too.
Finding anyone to do anything these days is impossible. I booked a built in cabinet back in early July, paid half the money and the earliest install date is November!

J said...

Erika, your cakes both look delicious although I’m not keen on sourdough. We usually do most jobs around the villa as we’ve had times when it hasn’t been done as we wanted and I think most times we would do a better job, the decking is going to look lovely and will be a great place to sit.
Love that the dogs had a ride,our dog would have too rather than miss out. Love your T Day art too.
Happy T day

Jeanie said...

You've had quite a week, my friend! Good looking baking. It's fun to bake in the fall, isn't it? It seems like a new flavor palette emerges. I admire all the work your husband is doing and it's great that you could spend lots of time with him mom at the house this year. I loved what you said about "if it's her last summer there, it was a good one." I'm glad for that.

Divers and Sundry said...

I admire folks who can do their own work. Hiring someone might be easier, but it's not nearly as satisfying.

I've never been a boat person, but Daddy had a fishing boat when I was growing up so I understand something about what it takes to maintain just one much less several boats. I'd call your boat "cute" ;)

Your pumpkin cake is pretty! I tend to use box mixes and adapt them, lazy soul that I am, but it might be worth it for me to make a real cake. Happy T Tuesday!

Lisca said...

I love the lady from Life magazine. She is a ‘proper’ lady.
I loved seeing your projects and I’m impressed with your raised beds.
Great also that you have been able to take your MIL out a few times.
The cakes look absolutely delicious.. I’m going to be cheeky and have a slice of each!
Happy T Day,

Let's Art Journal said...

Your hubby would rathe do things himself the right way too but there's nothing wrong with doing things properly, it lasts much longer that way 😀. Loving your lake preparations for winter and your boat looks fabulous, I bet it's fun on the lake and your MIL loved the trips out. Your page is gorgeous and wow, I'd love to try your pumpkin bakes - I just love everything pumpkin! Happy T Day wishes! Hugs Jo x

Kate Yetter said...

I love the vintage lady serving tea! A beautiful piece of art, Erika.
Your bakes look delicious and I am eager to try the sourdough bread recipe.
It sounds like a wonderful week of relaxation. Low key sounds wonderful and everyone needs one of those weeks. There is nothing boring about more art time.
Your deck will be great when your hubby completes it. My hubby just completed our deck after 3 years (because it is so big) and he wouldn't hire anyone because of how picky he is. Again, I think it is an engineer thing. But at least you know it is done right.
Happy Tea Day,

CJ Kennedy said...

You had a busy week. It's nice that your husband is handy, but keeps at the project. Himself was supposed to start a project with the light house, bought some stuff, but never even started. And now I'm wondering whether to take the lighthouse in for the Winter. Was fun to see the puppers enjoying their dock ride. Oh, Taste of Home. Is that publication still available? Prissy used to give me the magazine to look at after she was done with it. You baked up yummy treats and I bet the hostess on your page would be proud to serve them with her elegant coffee/tea service. Just she needs to put a sweater on as after the wild thunderstorms this morning and early afternoon, it's gotten chilly outside. Hope you survived the storms. Happy T Day

Sharon Madson said...

At least it was a fun project for the doggies! I remember all the things my folks used to have to do to get ready for Winter on the lake. They were busy, and my Dad then took care of people's docks that were gone for the Winter.
Great vintage page and perfect for tea day, too. Have a great week.

DVArtist said...

What a great post. For me it's always sad to close up the garden. I agree, with just doing it yourself. Here in Oregon, you can't get ANYONE to work. If I was in better health I would have a job. Nice you were able to help MIL. Your baking looks scrumptious too. Have a great day today.

Empire of the Cat said...

Pumpkin cake with cinnamon frosting sounds delicious Erika! Your deck is coming along nicely, and I love the swimming raft with the doggies on it. They look like they were having fun lol Love your vintage page also. Sorry for my lateness, have a sick kitty. Happy T Day! Elle/EOTC xx

Lowcarb team member said...

You have been busy ...
Love the look of your baking, definitely YUM!

All the best Jan

pearshapedcrafting said...

Love how you have tidied your veggie garden and the decking looks though it will be great when completed. Maddie and Pete look as though they are enjoying the ride! I love 'Your' boat - it must be quite cosy to ride in.
You have inspired me to get baking again - we need some cookies at least to have with our coffee! That lady does look rather glammed up for tea but then wasn't the advice in those days to dress up for hubby when he came home from work? Hugs, Chrisx