I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.

Yes, yes, I know, I know, I owe you two more batches of daylilies.  But, I got distracted! As most of you are aware, summer is not my most favorite season.  I loathe the heat and humidity, the soaking in sweat the minute you walk outside, the mosquitoes, the blistering heat of the seats in the car...I could go on and on. 

However, I've been trying to embrace the heat and misery and simply enjoy the moment and being in it.  It's been a struggle, but I'm working on it.  ;o) We went out for ice cream tonight and I didn't even think about the fact it was so hot the ice cream was dripping faster than we could lick it.  I swear!  Everyone around me was mentioning it, but I was simply enjoying my ice cream. :oP

I was thinking of my extreme dislike of summer and decided to try to find things to enjoy about summer, and lo and behold, I came upon Michael Franti & Spearhead and their song "Say Hey (I Love You)". 

Holy smokes is it catchy and pop-y and so summery.  Then, I found "The Sound of Sunshine".

Again, another summery fun and bubbly song.  I'm sure I'm so late to the game with these guys, but when I find something fun, I have to share. :o) 

And, speaking of summer, tomorrow is July Fourth.  We're having a family picnic with Nana and Pop and I was put in charge of dessert.  Have I mentioned it's hot here?  I mean, really really HOT? No?  Well, it is.  Trust me. :oP  Sooooo, I wanted a light, cool, refreshing dessert and immediately went to Lemonade Cake.  Here's the recipe:

1 box yellow or lemon cake mix (since I'm a citrus junkie, I go for the lemon)
1 box instant lemon pudding
4 eggs
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup veggie oil
1 small can lemonade (I typically use a regular size can)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (I double it--see above)

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine the first five ingredients.  Pour in greased 9"x13" pan and bake for 45 minutes or until done.

Mix lemonade and sugar and microwave for one minute. Pour over cake while hot.  (I typically poke some holes in the cake before pouring on the lemonade, and don't use all of it when I use the regular can.) Serve chilled. 

I cannot express how quick and easy this cake is, nor how delightfully refreshing on a hot day. :o)

Enjoy your summer! I would LOOOOVE it if you would share your quintessential summer songs and recipes as I'm trying to do my best to make the most of this most miserable time of year. ;o)




Jess said...

I love summer! How we are sisters and yet so different is mind-boggling. :-)

The cake sound yum!

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