WPC: Cover Art

lighthouse/maineAny time we are out on the boat and I see a lighthouse, I grab my camera meaning there are lots of pictures of lighthouses!  This day, as I was clicking away, a spray of water came up alongside the boat resulting in this magical photo.  I could never have staged this shot or timed it just right proving it’s the unanticipated action that sometimes makes for a surprising dramatic result.

 The photo reminds of an Impressionist painting that could grace the cover of an exhibition catalog or an art magazine.

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Weekly Photo Challenge

An Every Night Thing

tablescapePeople ask frequently if I set a table every night.  The answer is yes even when it’s just the hubby and me.  It only takes a few minutes, and for me it’s a simple way to say I care about who is gathered there.  As silly as this may sound, I also think food tastes better when it is presented attractively.

tablescapeSeldom is a table bare at our house.  There’s always some fabric detail or colorful flowers or something whimsical atop it.

 tablescape99% of the time real dishes and cloth napkins are used. I reserve paper and plastic for picnics! 

Folding napkins is a fun part of setting a table and is one of those touches that adds a little something special.  

napkin foldnapkin foldnapkin foldLinda  054 (1)Nothing could be much simpler than this one that makes a little pocket for flatware.

tablescapeWith the table all done, I put the finishing touches on dinner.

Curried Vegetables/RiceThis night it’s a very easy to fix a curried vegetable dish that uses what was in the refrigerator and one of my favorite ingredients, coconut milk.  Though we are not vegetarian or vegan, we do not have meat every night and find this kind of meal to be very satisfying.

Fresh Vegetable Curry

2 T. canola oil

1 small onion, thinly sliced

2 T. ginger,  julienned

1 jalapeno, seeded and cut into thin strips

2 bay leaves

3 cloves minced garlic

1 t. turmeric or coriander

2 small tomatoes, coarsely chopped

14 oz. unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 c. water

3 carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1″ pieces

1 1/2 c. cubed butternut squash

1/2 lb. green beans cut into 1″ pieces

Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Add onion, ginger, jalapeño and bay leaves and cook over medium heat until veggies are softened.  Add garlic and turmeric or coriander and cook for 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and mash lightly until just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add coconut milk and water, season with salt and bring to a boil.

Add carrots, cover and simmer over low heat until crisp tender.  Add squash and beans, cover and simmer until all veggies are tender.  Remove bay leaves.  Serve over rice.

Serves 4-6.

What I like about this dish is that it can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Full Plate Thursday

Tablescape Thursday

Foodie Friday

A Real Metamorphosis

Rockp[ort HarborAs temperatures drop and leaves begin falling like rain, there is a real metamorphosis occurring on Rockport Harbor.  

Heron, schoonerHeron has taken her last boatload of passengers for a cruise on Penobscot Bay and will soon head south to host cruises in warmer climes.

lobster boat/Rockport HarborThough lobster boats continue to go out, they leave hours later than in summer. Lobstermen are bundled up to protect against the chill wind that is blowing across the bay.   For most who work out of Rockport Harbor, lobstering will cease the end of this month.

lobster boatAs the boats return to the harbor these days,  sterns are stacked with pots that will be put away until late spring.  That is a sure sign the lobster season is winding down.

Rockport HarborDocks, covered with tarps, float in the harbor waiting their turn to be pulled

Rockport Harborand mooring balls are gathered to be cleaned and stored.  This I am very grateful for because when left in the water the lines accumulate kelp, mussels and debris that makes them near impossible to pull from the water.  Since that is my job during boating season, I like for the lines to be clear!  

sailboat/Rockport HarborOne by one sailboat masts are lowered and sails removed making them ready to be motored to the boatyard where they will be hauled and stored until next year.

Rockport HarborYes, there is metamorphosis  on the harbor, and what I notice most is our dock sitting empty but for a couple of lines.  Pipe Dreams is in her winter resting place leaving us with another year of memories exploring the beauty of the coast of Maine.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Metamorphosis Monday 

Treasure Box Tuesday

You’re Gonna Love It Tuesday

Repeat….almost

tablescapeA couple of weeks ago this table, inspired by a beautiful arrangement from a wedding reception, was posted.  What I liked about it is that it uses some of my favorite things, a vintage French cloth and cranberry dishes from the 1940s, so why not use them again?

tablescapeToday, the flowers are all but gone, however, being one who recycles as much as possible, I plucked the ones with life left and arranged them in individual vases surrounded again by the pears. 

tablescapeMaking a few changes is a quick and easy way to prepare a table for guests, and I confess to doing that often, especially when I like a particular look.  Here, the napkin is off to the side and the cup and saucer is on the plate for a first course soup.

tablescapeWine glasses are added,

tablescapeand voila, a new table is created with minimal effort.  I don’t know about for you, but that works for me every time!

The same is true for food.  I don’t want to spend all day(s) in the kitchen, but I do enjoy preparing tasty food like for this dinner which included butternut squash soup and a pork roast.  Both were simple to prepare and delicious.

Butternut Squash SoupRoasted Butternut Squash Soup

butternut squash, 1-2 pounds

2 carrots, thickly sliced

1 large sweet onion, quartered

olive oil

3-4 c. vegetable or chicken broth

1/2 t. cardamom

1/2 c. half and half

salt and pepper to taste

Cut the squash into quarters lengthwise and place on a rimmed baking sheet with the carrots and onion.  Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast at 400 until vegetables are soft.

In a food processor or blender, puree the veggies, half at a time.  Pour puree in a saucepan with broth, add seasonings and heat through.  Right before serving, add half and half.

To serve, add a dollop of yogurt, sour cream or creme fraiche and a sprig of parsley.  What is wonderful about this variation of butternut squash soup is roasting the veggies.  That was a last minute idea that really added flavor.

pork roastFor the pork roast, I slathered it with dijon mustard and coated it with a mixture of toasted walnuts and sesame seeds, 1/2 c. each.  Roast at 325 about 20 minutes per pound.  

pork roastLet the roast sit for about 10 minutes before slicing.

There you have it, a simple table with an easy to fix meal which leaves time for a walk on the dirt road!

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Tablescape Thursday

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Share It One More Time

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Destination: Target

The intent was to drive to Augusta to pick up a few things at Target.  Somehow the one hour drive turned into several hours.  Why? Simple answer: I was by myself and could stop anywhere that caught my eye!

Driving Highway 17 to Augusta, there are a number of small, really small, towns: Hope, Union, Jefferson, Washington, Windsor, Somerville.  There’s not a whole lot in any of these places, but here and there is a place that merits a look, and I made a point of seeing them all.

antiquesFirst stop: Porter’s Antiques

antiquesAs the sign advertises, it is full of treasures.

antiquesHow could I not think of you who like French Country decor when I saw these chairs?  Your know who you are, and I’m imagining busy hands at work changing the finish to a distressed white.  With the season coming to an end, the ten could probably be bought for less than $500.

antiquesKnow what this is?  I didn’t, but I thought it would be a very cool planter.  It’s actually a sitz bath, a very uncomfortable looking one!

antiques

So many things to like, but this was my only purchase.  No reason, I just liked it.  With a little rewiring, it could actually work so it is a project for the hubby.

antiquesThe next stop was a real trip. 

antiquesI’ve never seem so much stuff crammed into a space, and the owner knew exactly what she had and where it was.

antiquesI had to do a lot of looking to come up with these martini shakers, one an Art Deco piece.  We don’t shake a lot of drinks, but the shakers are a very fun thing to collect.

ElmersNext stop: Elmer’s,

elmers

a place where there is so much to see, it’s best not to be in a hurry!

Windsor DinerBy now, I’m getting a little hungry, and it was impossible to pass this place by without stopping.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWindsor DinerWindsor DinerMaine is full of similar roadside places, throwbacks to another era, serving simple, tasty food.  They are also great places to visit with real Mainers!

Saltbox PrimitivesAfter enjoying a pulled pork sandwich, my thought was to go on to Augusta without any more stops.  I almost made it, but on the outskirts was a irresistible shop, Saltbox Primitives.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf farmhouse style is your thing, this is the place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANo sooner had I stepped on the porch than this cute thing caught my eye. This is an idea for any DIYer. 

FallSo, with all these stops, including ones to take in the beauty of freshly mown fields and fall color, did I make it to Target?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYep, and I was so excited to be there I came out with far more than was on my list.  The challenge is going to be where to put the dishes and flatware that jumped into my cart!

It’s been fun having you along…..hope you enjoyed the day.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Wow Us Wednesday

What’s It Wednesday

Table It

Final Touches

Maine HouseChanging the sofa seemed simple, but rarely is anything as simple as we first think.  That yellow coffee table just didn’t resonate with the new sofa, so it had to change.  Some of you suggested painting it red, orange, turquoise or white, all good ideas.

My first inclination was to go with one of the colors, but as I looked at the room, several things struck me.  First, there is a lot of white trim.  There is  more contrast between the sofa and the wall color than previously.  There is ample color in the accessories.  With all this going on, I feared this relatively small room getting too chaotic.

Maine houseThe final decision: paint the table the same color as the wall.  Looking at the table, you might think the color different from the walls.  It does differ slightly, and this is why.  The wall is a flat paint that absorbs light making it appear darker.  The table is a satin gloss which reflects light making it appear shades lighter.  When you are painting different surfaces with a different paint, this is something to remember.  To come close to matching color, have gloss paints made darker by doubling  or tripling the formula.  For this paint, I also had black added for more depth.  When adding black, however, do be careful because too much can muddy the color.

Maine houseLook and you will see another change: the rug.  While waiting for the paint on the table to dry, I kept looking at the purple rug and feeling that it no longer worked.  The new one is from eSaleRugs, a wonderful internet resource. The multiple shades of green tie everything together as well as relate to the dining room rug which is a few feet from this space.  The rug is slightly larger than 5×8 and was a great price, $148 including shipping.  To my amazement, it arrived two days after the order was placed.  How often does that happen!

Maine houseAll done, most everything is different.  One thing that did stay the same is the art over the sofa.  It is a piece by one of my talented daughters whose work is always our favorite.  Maine houseLook closely and you will see that it is a combination of painted and collaged surfaces, and the house shapes are suspended with tape measures.   Such a clever presentation.

Well, that’s it.  It’s amazing what a few changes can do to give a room a whole different look, and, in this case, make it a much more comfortable space. 

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Metamorphosis Monday

LouLou Girls

The Scoop

From Dream to Reality