Friday, July 4, 2014

Friday Happies

I'm joining Gillian in sharing some happy moments from my week. I haven't kept up on a weekly basis but it really is a nice way to look back at our busy lives.


Happy Independence Day! I made this cake today, to bring to my in-laws' house for dinner. When I say "made," what I really mean is that I sliced up a prepared angel-food cake, laid it in the bottom of the dish, spread Cool Whip over it and arranged berries on top in a design reminiscent of the American flag. It was delicious and quite light as desserts go, which is good since we ate the entire thing between the six of us.


The monsoon really did arrive this week, and next week looks to be even more "organized," as they say in the parlance (not that I actually participate in the parlance). Most evenings this week, we've watched the clouds gather and we even had two storms. One occurred in the middle of the night, which I'm not used to. It woke me up and scared the heck out of me. Then I couldn't get back to sleep for several hours. I was so tired the next day. But rain! It was well worth the terror and the sleeplessness.


When I went out back in the morning to water my annuals, they were still very wet from the night before. I didn't need to water them with the hose. I was so happy to see my plants with water on them that I didn't put there.


Our chickens turned four months old this week, which means they are technically old enough to begin laying eggs any time now. I have no idea when it will actually happen, of course, but I'm very excited about it. I check the nest box twice a day. They've been enjoying unripe windfall apples in the backyard during their free-ranging times, pecking at the skin to make a little hole and nibbling the flesh inside. It's cute to watch.


Isn't Betty pretty? She's still my favorite. Penny is lovely too, but Betty, what a sweetie. She has a very nice disposition. I love sitting in the shade with Betty on my lap. It's a very pleasant thing to do on a summer afternoon.


I've added these pillows to the family room couch. The covers are the ones I bought at IKEA in California a few weeks ago (I still plan to share more about that experience). I bought the inserts from an eBay seller because we didn't have space to fly home with them. I have another insert with a gray cover coming soon, to add to these two. They really brighten up the whole room. The couch needed something sprightly and these pillows are so colorful and fresh.


I just love them. I've always had a things for stripes. About a year ago, I wrote about a shower curtain we once owned, the illustrious Martha Stewart Cabana Stripe Shower Curtain, on which I based a crocheted throw's color-striping design. These pillows reminded me of the shower curtain, which I loved dearly. Well, I've recaptured the magic. Even better would be to drape the curtain-inspired throw over the couch...right? Stripey goodness!


At some point, I planted seeds for Black-eyed Susans in a bed in the backyard. It was probably a couple of years ago when I bought a shaker-can of mixed wildflower seeds, almost none of which grew. These came up unexpectedly this summer. I have no idea why. I have two lush, prolific clusters of them. I'm not even going to question it. I'm just going to enjoy having surprise flowers in my garden.


I've been clipping them for bouquets. Everything is growing again. The roses have started their second blush. The hibiscuses have big buds, ready to open in a week or so. Dry, dusty June, with so little blooming for a few weeks, already feels like a million years ago. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy this part of the summer? I enjoy it A LOT.


Cheer! ( That's how they make me feel).

I hope my American and Canadian friends enjoyed their holidays this week. We had a nice one, along with a few quiet days together at home. I took a little break from the computer. Sometimes you just need to step back for a bit. Thank you for the lovely comments on my summer food post. I'm glad my cooking looks appealing; there are days I'm not so sure about it. Some remarked on my smoothie pops; watch this space because I'll be back soon to share my recipe.

43 comments:

  1. Lots of happiness in this post! Your flowers are looking so beautiful and I just love the green, polka got vase you have.

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  2. Lovely happies Jennifer, it's so nice to see your chickens, they look so healthy and happy. I hope you have a good weekend too. CJ xx

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  3. Just fantastic - your Betty sitting on your lap ? Sooo cute ! She's only four months old and already that tame ? I also have relatively tame chickens, but I don't see them sitting on my lap ;-)))
    As for the eggs, don't worry, they'll come ! Just make sure your chickens have enough to eat. Here, the more leftovers I give them, the more eggs I get (of course, they also have a constant supply of a special chicken-food-mixture of corn and wheat-stuff). 10 daily eggs with 13 chickens is no exception here.. And I don't think american chickens will behave differently than belgian chickens ;-))))

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  4. I know what you mean about stepping away from the computer. Sometimes I have a little break and it's nice.
    Those chickens look lovely - one day we'll have some! I hope they start laying soon. Collecting eggs from nesting boxes is such a pleasurable thing to do.
    I like the photo of the jug with flowers.
    Sarah x

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  5. Love your cake - very patriotic! We've had some rain here in the UK but certainly not monsoon or scary. As I was reading your post I realised that I dreamed about wind fall apples last night. They were huge and there were lots of them. I told someone to collect the eating apples in one bucket and the cookers in another. Then I had to explain how to tell them apart. At which point I woke up - probably because I was worried that I wasn't explaining it right! We need to get some new chickens as ours are getting too old to lay.

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  6. Delightful cake, looked amazing and very patriotic. Hope you had a wonderful celebration. The chickens are looking good, fingers crossed they start laying soon. Have a good weekend.

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  7. Your chickens are gorgeous. I hope they lay lots and lots of eggs. And yes, I would love a slice of your Independence Day cake, please.

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  8. Lovely happy things as usual! Surprise flowers, what fun! Your cake looks divine, we have had rain here over the last couple of days, nothing on the scale you had of course. It was lovely not to be out watering the plot though, your chickens look fab. My sisters chickens pinch the cherry tomatoes & waddle off with them & they are so entertaining to watch. Have a great week.

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  9. Ooh Jennifer - such lovely happies, I think your pudding is inspired and as for the green spotty jug with the pretty flowers in , well I currently have serious jug envy ! It sounds as though your weather has been something to behold lately - far more interesting than ours in the Uk, just grey and grey here.
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Kate x

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  10. PS: Have finally got around to adding you to my sidebar of favourite blogs, cant believe its taken me so long. Kate x

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  11. Lovely happy things Jennifer, your plants look great after the rainfall. I hope that it doesn't rain too too much although I know that you really need it. I always prefer it when it rains at night and is dry during the day, but it can take you by surprise when you wake up and hear the noise and wonder what on earth is going on can't it! Glad that you had a good 4th! xx

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  12. Lovely happies and surprise flowers in the garden are alway welcome, I do the love garden after it's rained
    Clare xx

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  13. Your pretty hens are so sweet and there's nothing like a freshly laid egg. When ours laid their first they were the cutest little eggs, but perfect. After a while they were laying huge ones with double yolks - talk about from one extreme to another! Your cake looks yummy and I love that jug too! Have a lovely weekend.
    Jane x

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  14. Your cake idea was very cute, Jennifer! As for the chickens, I remember when my boys were about 6 and 8 years old and we had chickens for the first time. The morning they went out to the chicken coop and discovered their first egg is one of my special memories from their childhood. You would have thought they had discovered gold! I love your new IKEA pillow cushions. If you feel the need to have them "broken in" I could loan you Fergus for a couple days. He has a special fondness for IKEA pillows. :-)

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  15. That cake looks wonderful! It doesn't look like the sort of thing that would have kept anyway! :)
    We had some very heavy rain last night too. It's amazing how quickly the grass greens up. x

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  16. It'll be so cool when your chickens start laying eggs. There's nothing like fresh eggs! Even though we don't have monsoons in northern IL, we've already had enough rain this summer to last practically the whole season. It has rained almost every day. We just had a few dry days but rain is moving back in tonight. Love your pillow covers! Like you, I love stripes. It's my favorite pattern.

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  17. Sounds like you are having a lovely week, love the flowers and the cake and good luck with the chickens laying eggs.
    Hugs to you,
    Meredith

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  18. Love your berry dessert and thanks for telling how you made it.. easy and yummy! I also love Betty.. and I'm the same with anything striped.. love them! Chicken usually start to lay at 6 months.. but you are going to be so happy when you get your first egg! Enjoy your rain and summer.. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  19. Oh Penny and Betty are adorable and to sit down with one of them on your lap must be amazing. Your cake looked really yummy and nice and easy. There are so many happy things to see in your post but my favourite has to be the black eyed susan's, I am still waiting for mine to make an appearance. Have a wonderful weekend xx

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  20. I love your US flag cake, fab idea Jennifer. Also admit to having jug envy, that spotty green jug is gorgeous!!!

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  21. Great idea for a cake! I think we will celebrate July 4th next year even though we are British! J x

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  22. Lovely happies Jennifer! I am very fond of Ikea's bright and cold colours and love your new cushions. Your chickens look very happy and I am keeping my fingers crossed for eggs soon. I wonder if the first ones are going to be small? Have a lovely weekend.

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  23. Lovely post Jennifer. I'm always happy to come by and take a peek at your happies. So happy that life is treating you well these days. And I believe we all need a little time away from the computer from time time. -It helps refresh us. :)

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  24. The pillows look great on the couch, so bright and cheerful! Your house looks so warm and inviting, I love it :)

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  25. Such a lovely bright post filled with good things.
    Anne xx

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  26. I LoVe all of your "happies". Thank you for sharing. I think I'll be making that cake soon. I've been away from the computer for a week too while Miss Piper has been visiting. Hopefully I'll be able to share some of my happies in the next day or two.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  27. Your flag cake is genius, I love it. I had to google Cool Whip though, we don't have that here. It sounds delicious. Your new cushions are so colourful and happy looking. I too love striped fabrics, it reminds me of old deckchairs and the English seaside. Beautiful photos of the flowers in the jug. x

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  28. Love your cake, and gorgeous chooks. Those flowers are so pretty and love the jug. x

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  29. Lots of wonderful, happy things going on here. Your flag cake looks amazing and super festive! Glad to hear you are enjoying the long holiday weekend. Yay for some rain! I know your plants are loving it. How exciting to find Black-eyed Susans in your garden. They are one of my favorite flowers to cut. Your summer posy looks lovely in the pretty green, polka dot jug. And your new cushion covers are so pretty and cheerful on your sofa! It's amazing how new pillows can brighten up a whole room.

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  30. I took a step back from the computer as well just to take it all in and slow down! Your unexpected crop of flowers that popped up are wonderful! That is what i love about gardening...surprises like these! And the cake looks delicious dear friend! I'm loving all the bright colors in your home and wish you a wonderful week ahead! Nicole xoxo

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  31. Lovely pics Jennifer!! I loooove the photo of the green jug with flowers. Happy week :)

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  32. That dessert sounds really yummy, and being easy is an added bonus! Our monsoons have officially started, too, but we've only gotten just a sprinkle of rain here in the East Valley. Parts of Phoenix got hit with a haboob (do you get those) followed by quite a downpour. We got lots of wind which always has dust and sand in it, but not the full-fledge haboob. Last night we watched the Eastern sky grow very dark, and there was lots of lightening, but no rain.....sniff, sniff!

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  33. Aw your cake is fab bet the in laws loved it! Your flowers are so beautiful and cheery.
    My, my haven't your chickens grown!
    x

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  34. Lovely happies again! I'm glad you're now beginning to enjoy the wether you were so wishing for! I hope your week is fabulous, x

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  35. Your reasons to be happy helped me feel happy as well, Jennifer! Thanks for sharing them. [ I love the image you gave me of your chicken petting :) ] Your description of your weather reminds me of the afternoon thunderstorms we had while living 17 miles west of Boulder, CO. Invigorating! xx

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  36. Aren't black-eyed susans the best? I planted some seeds earlier in the year and they have come up beautifully. I have some volunteer ones clear on the other side of my garden. I love it when that happens! hehehe xo Jen

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  37. Loooooove all your "happies"!!!! It's it funny how the little things sometimes gives us the most pleasure!!!! Have a fab week!!!
    Love
    AMarie xxx

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  38. How exciting that you chickens may lay eggs soon! I told you about my neighbour who rescued three chickens? Well, they have been laying eggs and she has been sharing them with us. They taste so fresh, it's quite remarkable how different they taste from supermarket bought eggs. I hope you had a great 4th July. The cushions look great, I love how bright they are and I agree, a throw would look great too. :)

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  39. Your cake looks great! Who'd have guessed it was so easy??! Your flowers look so pretty. Love the picture of the green spotted jug with the flowers in it. It's definitely summer around here too!

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  40. Oi, te encontrei no Blog da Tita Carre e vim conhecer seu cantinho, amei e ja estou te seguindo, se puder venha seguir o meu tbmeliana-ferreira.blogspot.com.br
    bjks da eliana

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  41. Such lovely happy things Jennifer. The flowers are beautiful, in the garden and on your table. I love the cushion covers. I'm after some new ones myself and might just need a little idea trip!

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  42. A very happy post, with lots of small but special things to remember.

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  43. Your Ikea pillows look wonderfully cheerful! I am embarrassingly fond of Ikea. I worked in the Washington, D.C. area last summer and made at least four trips to the Woodbridge store with my boyfriend--once just for dinner!

    I am also enjoying watching your chickens grow. My only hands-on experience with chickens was when I babysat for 10 year old triplets in college who had a chicken each. Unfortunately, there were no quiet moments with chickens in that scenario, though I certainly enjoyed sharing in the fresh eggs.

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