Thursday, November 20, 2014

Baking & Stitching

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas at our house.
There is a definite chill in the air, thankfully just flurries though and no real accumulation yet.
The Christmas music is playing, cookies baking in the oven and the tree is all alight. 
That is the way my day started this morning. Cozy and bright!
I made some Ginger Snaps and then some Self Frosting Oatmeal Cookies. While those were baking I worked on a few pieces of clothing that needed altered then off to the store to stock-up for our Thanksgiving dinner next week.
Home to cook dinner, a little more stitching and now it's 
almost time for bed and I am more than ready.
Tomorrow's plan is a lengthy day in the kitchen canning the last bit of summer's tomatoes. 
Long and busy days but so rewarding.

Sweet treats for our tummies
  Small gifts made to share with friends and
   Shelves full of garden goodness

If you'd like to try the Ginger Snaps then you can find the recipe below.
Ginger Snaps

1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup white sugar (for rolling)
Beat first four ingredients in mixer.
Combine the remaining ingredients in another bowl and then add to the mixer and combine all.
Roll into 1- inch balls.
Roll balls in the 1/2 cup sugar to coat.
Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet (or a greased sheet) for 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees.
Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Top Kicks Military Museum - 2nd Visit

Our next stop on the field trip was Top Kicks Military Museum in Petersburg, WV.
Owner and curator, Gereald Bland kindly opened his doors late that evening, as we were a bit behind, so that all the kids could browse through his awesome military museum. His only request was that we go quickly as "his" favorite show was coming on in a half an hour and he really wanted to catch it.
So that we did!
The kids went through all the display cases that house the bits and pieces of war memorabilia as well as his vast collection of military vehicles. 
He also gave them a few questions that they needed to search for the answers.
My pictures didn't turn out all that great this trip but you can see more from my previous visit HERE.

You can also find out more by visiting Top Kick's website.

Next Stop: Smoke Hole Caverns


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Blackwater Falls & Smallest Church & P.O.

Stop two on our field trip was to Blackwater Falls in Tucker County, West Virginia. This visit was much different from my previous visits to the falls.
We haven't had much rain lately so this was the first time that I had seen it with such little water.
The photo below was taken of the falls about 4 years ago and after a heavy amount of rain. The force of all that water is just amazing!
Do you know why Blackwater Falls are black?

The forests surrounding the falls are full of hemlock and red spruce trees. When the needles as well as the sap of these trees drop and wash into the water ,where they decay, they create tannic acid. (Tannic acid is used to preserve animal hides.) I kind of like to think of it as a tea bag of preservatives.
Anyways it is the tannic acid that causes the rocks to be black in color.
Oh, and if you are wondering how high the falls are I can tell you that they are equal to a 5 story building.

On our way to our next destination we passed by a sign that read the smallest church and Post Office in the lower 48 states.
They sit beside one another in the little town of Silver Lake, WV.
The church is called "Our Lady of the Pines". It measures a whopping 24 feet by 12 feet and it says that it is always open and services are still held there. There was no one present when we passed through.
Just behind the church is the smallest Post Office. Again no one was there. I tried to get pictures of the inside of these buildings but they didn't turn out very good.
Inside the church

                                     Inside the Post Office

Next Stop : Top Kick's Military Museum


Monday, September 29, 2014

On Top of Coopers Rock

Last week I had the pleasure of being a chaperone on what I consider to be the BEST EVER field trip. Lucky for me, this was my second trip and I still might get to go one more time if Katie gets this class. Yeah!
Each year the 9th grade Science Honors class at John Marshall High School takes a field trip to the eastern panhandle of our state (WV) to study the formation of the mountains, the native plants, animals and so much more.
So last week we packed our bags, loaded a bus and headed out.

First stop:   COOPERS ROCK STATE PARK


This beautiful forest is located near Morgantown, WV. Legend has it that a cooper (or barrel maker) hid from the law in these woods. While there he continued his trade of barrel making and sold them to the folks in the nearby communities. Thus, the name Coopers Rock.

The views from atop the lookout point are beautiful.(first photo at top of post)

Lots of hiking trails!
Huge cave like crevices....dare to enter?
For more info about Coopers Rock you can visit Coopers Rock State Forest . com

Next stop - Smallest Church and Post Office in the lower 48 states plus Blackwater Falls

Monday, September 8, 2014

Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffeecake

Doesn't this look yummy?

When I saw this recipe on Pinterest I knew I had to try it. Off to the freezer I went in search of strawberries. I found them but I also found blueberries too which is what I will be making this with the next time.
I made the strawberry filling on the stove top.
Then whipped the cream cheese layer.
Next I mixed up the butter cake and reserved some crumbles.
Put it all together and it's ready to bake.
I found the recipe HERE at Carlsbad Cravings.
Trust me..It's good!