Friday, October 30, 2009

Their Final Resting Place

As the birthplace of our country Massachusetts has a long and storied past. With so many generations having lived here and with it being the home to many famous people there are bound to be a bevy of haunted places. So on this eve of Halloween grab a friend and hang on to your heart as we take a tour of some of the creepiest cemeteries in the Boston area.

King's Chapel Burying Ground was founded in 1630 as the first cemetery in the city of Boston.

John Winthrop's grave site. He was the first Puritan governor of Massachusetts.

William Dawes, Revolutionary War hero, grave site.

Founded in 1660, the Granary Burying Ground is the city's third-oldest cemetery. It is the final resting place for many notable Revolutionary War patriots, signers of the Declaration of Independence, and victims of the Boston Massacre.

Paul Revere's grave site.

John Hancock's grave site.

Boston Massacre grave site.

Mother Goose's grave site - yes she was a real person.

Burial Hill is the oldest cemetery in Plymouth dating back to colonial times. Before it became a cemetery, it was the site of the first fort, meeting house, and place of worship. Last Halloween night we took a ghost tour of this cemetery. Talk about scary! Our tour guide told many bone chilling stories that night.

John Howland's grave site. John was one of the pilgrims that came over on the Mayflower.

I think the creepiest cemetery is Salem's Burying Point. On this small patch of land are buried those responsible for the Salem Witch Trials.

One of the most notorious figures of the witch trials - Justice John Hathorne's grave site.

This now concludes our tour - be sure no one from beyond is following you home. ;)

Happy Halloween!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ode to Vintage

Faded and chipped paint.
A little rusty around the edges.
You sound a little bit like me.
Is that why I'm drawn to thee?

But underneath the time worn surface,
there is still a vibrancy of color.
As butterflies flutter against a dazzling red,
a burst of flowers spring up from their bed.

You may be past your prime and so may I,
but we've both done much, been loved much.
For nothing new has beauty like this.
Only time can carve out such bliss.
-- By Jackie

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dreaming of Greenhouses

Each year as the gardening season ends I long for a greenhouse of my very own. One where I could overwinter tropicals, succulents, and do some seed starting so I'd have to get a heating system. This year as I brought in my houseplants I was struggling with where to put them all. Some of the plants seemed to grow twice their size this summer so I had to get creative as to where place them all. Although our great room has a ton of light, the other rooms in our house are mostly north facing - which are fine for plants that like low light but not so good for some others. I think I've finally convinced Andy that getting a greenhouse is great idea so he's been doing some research for me. Of course I've been researching too but tend to look more at the beauty of them then at their function.

Here's one that looks quite practical. I'd love to have all that extra room!

I love the ones with the white metal frames. They have such a great cottage look to them.

Ohhhh.... look at the finials on that roof!

A grey one with lattice and wood siding.

Imagine being able to have this many succulents flourishing all winter long.

How fun to be able to decorate it for the holidays.

The green houses come in all different shapes and sizes. This one looks nice and compact.

A place to grow orchids and water plants. Ok... I've died and gone to heaven!

During the dark, dreary, cold days of winter how cheery would this sight be?

I love this door!

The wood on this one is gorgeous! And look at how well it is situated in the garden.

Here's a lean-to greenhouse. This would be so convenient in the winter time.... I wouldn't even have to go outside to enjoy the plants.

On the high end here's a conservatory sunroom. If I win the lottery this is what I want!

Here's a really affordable greenhouse from Costcos. It just proves that you don't have to spend a ton of money.

You've probably seen this one before.... this is my all time favorite! I go to Tyra's blog and just sigh.... Her greenhouse and garden is amazing!

Do you have a greenhouse? If you do what kind do you have? How much did you spend and how do you use it? Is it heated? I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cranberry Pumpkin Cookies

Put cranberries and pumpkins together and you get a delicious cookie. This recipe I found on the All Recipes website but have modified it a bit after trying it a few times. The cookies are really moist and have a delightful spicy flavor. For more sweetness you can top them with some white frosting or lightly powder with confectionery sugar, but I like them just the way they are.


Cranberry Pumpkin Cookies


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup solid pack pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla, egg and pumpkin.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir into mixture until well blended.
  4. Cut the cranberries in half and stir into mixture along with the orange zest and walnuts.
  5. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Yields 3-4 dozen cookies depending the size.

Note: There was still something about the cranberry bread recipe that didn't sit well with me so I modified it even more. This time I think we've got a really nice recipe and Andy loves it. Please see the previous post for the edited version.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

EDITED on 10/21/09: There was something about this quick bread recipe that still needed to be changed. I spent some time in the kitchen figuring it out and now I think it's much better. The recipe below is the edited version.

After going to the Cranberry Festival last week I stocked up on fresh cranberries. They are in season right now, readily available fresh, and very affordable. They also freeze really well so you can buy lots now and store them for many yummy recipes all winter long.

I decided to first do some baking. I'm trying out a few cranberry bread recipes and this one seemed to work well after some modifications. I cut down on the amount of salt the original recipe called for, cut the nut quantity in half, and added some dried, ground ginger to give it a little more zing. Also, the original recipe said to bake at 325 degrees for 60 minutes, but when I took the bread out of the oven the middle collapsed a bit and the inside was not as done as I would have liked. So, I would increase the temperature to 350 degrees and bake it for less time. All of the modifications I made to the recipe are reflected at the end of this post. If you give it try let me know what you think and if you changed anything. I won't be offended... it's not my recipe I just found it and tried it out so I'd love to hear your feedback.

Washing fresh red berries -- The colors are so vibrant.

Here my ingredients are "mise en place" -- ready to go.

Mixing the dry and wet ingredients separately before putting them all together.

Folding in the cranberries.

Folding in the chopped walnuts.

In the loaf pan and ready to be baked.

The finished product. Tasty and very pretty with lots of red chunks of cranberries. A wonderful breakfast treat or an evening snack with a piping hot cup of tea.

Cranberry Orange Nut Bread


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cut brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • Grated peel of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (chopped or whole depending on your preference)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (use less or more depending on your preference or eliminate all together)
  • 1/4 tsp dried, ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  2. In another bowl, beat egg. Add orange juice, peel, butter and hot water.
  3. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened.
  4. Gently fold in cranberries and walnuts.
  5. Spoon into greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pan.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fertilizer Friday - October 16

Happy Friday everyone! Please join me and our host Tootsie over at Tootsie Time for another edition of Fertilizer Friday.

It's mid-October already and this weekend we are expecting a Nor' Easter and a dusting of snow. Around my yard there's not much blooming and the houseplants have been taken in for the season, but thankfully the mums are still doing really well.

The coleus tilt-a-whirl hasn't been affected by the cold yet. I'm planning on propagating this one.

I found this leaf really interesting with the bug-eaten holes.

Shades of red and burgundy are all around us this time of year. The sumac fruit is so vibrant.

There are lots of rose hips on the side of the road and especially around the beaches.

Wildflowers always make me happy especially in fall. I found these growing in the backyard.

I'm still amazed this zinnia is around. I've really got to gather up some seeds from it - if it ever would stop raining.