crunchy granola

okay, i wouldn't say that i am being converted to granola-ism and hippie-ness.  but i do love this recipe for homemade granola.  it tastes good and the smell of it baking is almost the best smell in the world.  i have finally gotten my hands back on this recipe (courtesy of the fabulous ashley lovell dalton) and i am going to make sure it is documented in many places.  so, because of that, i am going to share it with all of you.

homemade granola

4 c. old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 c. sliced almonds (or nut/seed of your choice)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 c. canola oil
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. raisins or craisins

*preheat oven to 300 degrees F
*in a bowl, combine oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
*in a saucepan, warm the oil and honey- whisk or stir in vanilla.  carefully pour liquid over oat mix.  stir gently with a wooden spoon; finish mixing by hand.
*spread granola in a 15x10x1 inch baking/jelly roll pan.
*bake 40 minutes, carefully stirring every 10 minutes.
*transfer granola-filled pan to a rack; cool completely.  after cooled, stir in raisins/craisins.

-store at room temperature for 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

make it yourself and enjoy.  you will thank me (and ashley) for sharing its goodness with you.

*p.s.  i am still having a blog identity crisis.  it may change colors and styles frequently over the next few days/weeks, whatever.  


splish splash

alternately titled: picture overload!

harley came over yesterday morning to hang out with me and the dogs (and jay, when he was here) while his mom was at work and his dad had some errands to run. (fyi, harley started kindergarten today. :) so grown-up.) so we had a fun morning planned of water play with the dogs. he loves cotton as barley almost as much as they love him. we all had so much fun playing and then the dogs had a bath, and harley helped me soap them up, and then harley came in and had a bath, too, to round out the watery fun. enjoy the pictures... there are plenty of them!

slowly testing the waters...

cotton was in and then she was out... barley and harley were the water-logged ones of the day.

this is what she did instead. (if you dbl. click the second picture to enlarge it, she appears to be smiling from ear to ear. cute.)

i love the concentration and contemplation...

sweet furry babies. the best dogs ever. (okay, i am biased.)

neither barley nor harley could resist the spraying hose.


i wandered around michael's the other day with the intent to get some flowers to make a wreath for my bathroom. yes. my bathroom. anyway... their fall flowers were on sale (i really wanted some summer ones, but they were a bit too pricy, so i opted for the fall ones) and then i thought i could use the wreath outside and then hang it inside. well... i finally got my flowers where i wanted them, stared at it for a day before firing up the hot glue gun, and then i decided to hang it up in the dining room (in place of the picture that doesn't match) to see how it looked hanging up and, well, the wreath has an unintended new home. check it out- for about $20, i made a wreath that i definitely couldn't have bought pre-made (and if i could have, i am sure it would've cost more than $20)...


just because

and i know you've missed these furry babies...

looking up

Jeremiah 10:12-13
12 But God made the earth by His power; He founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding.
13 When He thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

it isn't too easy to see, but there is bright blue sunny sky in the midst of those dark, ominous clouds. we had a lot of lightning and thunder that night. not so much rain. the sky looked angry that evening, though. and it made me think of those verses.

time for a change

i thought it was time for something a bit more feminine. i do love my owls, but i was missing the girly quality of pink and green. do any of you have color preferences? do you have a favorite background i have had but is now long gone? i used to think i could stick with the same one, but it's sort of like redecorating a room, only much, much easier. anyway...

there will be some new posts coming. if not the end of this week, then definitely the beginning of september. stay tuned!


the birthday gift post

so, i have told my mom that i would be putting together this post about 3 or 4 times now. i am finally getting around to it. i have had the summer crud this week and have missed two nights of work. (i think they missed me- as in an extra body to take care of more patients- more than i missed them, though.) i am feeling slightly better today, so i am going to attempt one night of work tonight. i think i'll survive. :) anyway, i thought i would take a few minutes to share with you some of the fantastic things that i got for my birthday this year.

pajamas from jay

the cutest salt and pepper shakers ever, from becca

a new scrub shirt, picked out by my niece, courtney (and my bro and SIL, phil and samantha)
i love it... i was just thinking last month that i needed something yellow in my scrub collection!

my mom sent me a gift card to bed, bath, and beyond... i got a new ironing board cover...

... and a much needed, larger over-the-sink colander. it is collapsible, too. i love it!

and tammy at work got me an "angel of friendship." that makes 2 in 2 years... it is a blessing to have such fabulous friends. new ones and dear, old ones.

my grandmother sent me a scrapbooking caddy with pockets galore... i am using it as a knitting tote. it comes in quite handy for storing little things and patterns and needles, etc.
my mom also got me a bath and body works gift card, too. i'm hanging onto that one... not sure what i want to get with it. my grandmother also sent me a little birthday money that i am hanging onto- saving it for something good. :) so thanks, to everyone, for a fabulous birthday!



no, i didn't forget the "u" in burp. we went driving on the blue ridge parkway (brp) yesterday up towards craggy gardens. it was closed down last year due to part of the road falling off the side of the mountain near craggy. they are now repaving part of the brp so part of it was shut down to one lane complete with a "pilot car" to lead us through the construction zone, but it was still nice to be on the other side of things. i didn't take a lot of pictures, but i will share what i have...

we thought the tree in the middle was interesting with the way it bends

jay was trying to see if the waterfall was flowing... it wasn't.

i love the way the clouds cast shadows over the mountains

it was about 20 degrees cooler up on the parkway.  a nice change for the afternoon.

meg's wedding

my friend meg (from work) got married a couple of weekends ago at claxton farm. it was one of the most beautiful weddings i have ever been to. she had every detail planned to perfection. i wish nothing but the best to meg and ross. here are a few photos from the wedding.

i loved the farm-tool wreath on the barn

me, felicia, nakia, meg, shirin, ashley

looks like fondant... but it was buttercream and lemon pound cake. delicious. the bouquets held all of the native flowers to nc

view over the buffet

mingling during "cocktail" hour

trying to get the party started!

nothin' says lovin' like somethin' from the oven

mmm... can you imagine what i made with these huge blackberries? and let me tell you that, honestly, i am not the biggest fan of blackberries. but these berries where sweet and lovely. i used them, because i'm sure you have guessed by now, to make a cobbler. i have an old recipe that has been in my friend's family for many generations and now i am going to share it with you. it's super simple and super delicious. (i will type it as its written, but make a few notes.)

Mam Maw's Fruit Cobbler

2 c. fresh fruit (the original is for peaches... these berries were so big, i needed 4 measured cups)

1 c. sugar

1 stick butter

3/4 c. milk

2 tsp. baking powder

dash salt

1 c. flour

Melt butter in 9x13 inch baking dish. Mix sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and milk. Pour over melted butter. Put fruit over top. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of sugar over top. Bake 1 hour or until crust is golden brown @ 350 degrees. (Maybe 30 minutes is enough.)

*Okay, while you preheat the oven, put a stick of butter in your baking dish and put it in the oven to melt. Mix the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and milk. (I add a dash of cinnamon, too.) By now, your butter should be melted and the oven heated, so pour the wet ingredients over your melted butter and follow the above directions. And, I usually have to bake mine for about 45 minutes. Enjoy!