~Monkey Bread~

Welcome to the 2nd Foodie Friday, hosted by the lovely Gollum, of Designs by Gollum. Thank you for hosting this delightful event, Gollum!
Garnish with pecans and powdered sugar; serve with Twining's English Breakfast Tea or hot beverage of your choice. Enjoy!
Monkey Bread (a pull apart bread) is an old family favorite. I don't make it often. It's too tempting!
Preheat oven to 350 (F). Spray a bundt pan with vegetable spray.
3 12 ounce containers biscuits
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Mix white sugar and cinnamon in plastic bag
Cut biscuits into quarters and drop 8 or 10 at a time into sugar mixture, to coat.
Layer biscuits in pan.
Place pecans and/or raisins here and there.
Melt butter and brown sugar in small sauce pan, to boiling. Boil 1 minute and pour over biscuits.
Bake 35 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before removing to plate.

Have a wonderful weekend!


~Dreaming of Spring~

In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.
~Abram L. Urban

My photography, illustrating our gardens, is my first contribution to Outdoor Wednesday, hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer. Thank you for hosting this event, Susan. To see other outdoor posts, please visit Susan, Tuesday, after 11:00 PM (EST).
The top photo shows Grape Hyacinth, growing beside our back porch steps, 2008. Other photos, in this post, were taken by me, in our gardens and at Lake of the Ozarks. Several of these photos were previously included here and on my photography blog, Snapshots from the Back Porch.
In the second photograph, a white Iris in the garden on the north side of our home.
This Hosta is one of J's favorites. He is very proud of the Hosta garden, growing beside our patio. The gardens, at home, are often visited by folks in our neighborhood.
An Anemone beneath the hearth room windows.
Queen Anne's Lace and other wildflowers grow near the small creek, behind our home.

A Hosta in bloom.

White Iris, in the side garden.
~Signs of Spring at Lake of the Ozarks~

Daffodils,at our clubhouse, Monday afternoon.
One of the very first signs of Spring at the lake; mowers lined up at Lowe's.
We saw this sign while we were driving around the lake, Monday. Not a sign of spring, but fun!
***I'm inviting you to participate in the poll, at the top of the sidebar, if you haven't had the opportunity to do so, yet. The poll remains open until my 2nd anniversary, March 6.


~A Mantel Story~

~A Mantel Story or The Little Mantel That Could~

Welcome to Metamorphosis Monday, hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. Visit Susan, Sunday evening, after 10:00 PM, eastern time. You will find makeover inspiration, all around the land of Blog.
The subject of my first Metamorphosis Monday, in January, was the fireplace/tv cubbyhole, at our condo at Lake of the Ozarks. The photo collage, below, shows the fireplace before painting and after. If you remember the first Met Monday post, this fireplace arrangement has been a dilemma, since we purchased the condo in 2003. We painted the interior of the cubby, Sherwin Williams Mink, which helped diminish the size, in appearance, of the opening. The wall color is Sherwin Williams Snowflake.
A neighbor, here at the lake, told J he had a discarded mantel we could have, if we wanted it. Of course we accepted his generous offer. He also offered to make a shelf for the TV.
Last week, we received a call from our neighbor, who resides in Illinois. He told J he would bring the shelf and mantel to the lake, midweek. We threw a couple of bags and the cooler in the back of the truck, loaded up Molly and left for the lake immediately. We were that excited about seeing the mantel.
The fireplace/cubby, below, as it appeared before installation of the mantel and shelf.

The above photo was taken during the process of accessorizing the mantel. In the end we decided we like the shells best. Another idea that didn't quite fit the scheme of things; a row of birdhouses. One accessory, we tried, particularly upset Molly. We removed it pretty quickly. That item is a metal fish sculpture, we like very much. I had made up my mind, it just didn't work on the mantel, when Molly put in her two cents. She is an opinionated dog, that is certain.
After painting and installation of mantel and shelf.
I call it the little mantel that could because, even though rejected it found a home, with us, here at the lake.
We plan to paint out the outlet covers, inside the cubby, with SW Mink.
Through the window, you can see the gull carving has returned to it's seasonal home. The deck is a project in progress. More about that in an upcoming post.
An Edit:
Just a note about the previous "Beautiful" post. The photos were taken at our place at Lake of the Ozarks and Bennett Spring State Park. These two gorgeous places are located in the Missouri Ozarks.
The Ozarks stretch from northwest Arkansas, up through southwest Missouri, to the central part of the state, near Jefferson City. The region also extends into Oklahoma and Kansas.



The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will be with you all the days of your life.
~Frank Lloyd Wright

Have a beautiful weekend!
Photos in this post are, views from our deck at Lake of the Ozarks, streamside, Bennett Spring State Park and a split rail fence at the entrance to our condo complex.
More "Beautiful" posts can be found at The Inspired Room, hosted by Melissa.


~Soup for Two~

Tablescape Thursday, from the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks.

Stop by Between Naps on the Porch, where Susan hosts this fabulous event, showing creative tablescapes all around blogdom.
The table, set for lunch, at the lake. I used a quilt, turned to the reverse side, for the tablecloth. The stripe is green on a creamy white background. The green is repeated in the mug. Napkins of brown, green, creamy white, khaki and lavender stripes, were also used.

I've rolled two wonderful events into one post, with the addition of Foodie Friday, hosted by Gollum, at Designs by Gollum. This is the first week for the event. I'm looking forward to seeing foodie posts, every week. I know it will be fun!
Participating in Foodie Friday, does not require one to cook from scratch. In fact, cooking isn't a requirement, either. I chose the no cooking option, for my inaugural Foodie Friday post.

We first tried the Campbell's V8 soups, last fall. Oh my goodness, so delicious! There is a variety of soups available. Our choice for today was Butternut Squash, which I served with Pillsbury flaky biscuits and fresh brewed iced tea.

I've also served this Butternut Squash soup with grilled pork chops, wild & long grain rice, and a salad of mixed greens.

Our soup for 2 lunch, besides being tasty, was quick and easy. Perfect for lazy winter days at the lake.


~The Island Project~

Once again, it's time for Metamorphosis Monday, hosted by Susan of Between Naps on the Porch. For fabulous decorating makeovers, in the land of blog, stop by Susan's, Sunday evening, after 10:00 PM, Eastern time.
The finished island, as seen from the dining room.
The island, in Hickory, as it appeared before the makeover.

Primed with a tinted primer.

The first coat of black satin paint. We decided not to have the island distressed.
"Painter Guy", priming the doors of the island.
The doors, painted black and drying, on the farmhouse table, in the breakfast room.
As it usually goes, with just about any makeover, one thing leads to another. Two years ago, we had trim added to a functional beam in our breakfast room. At that time, "Trim Guy" suggested we leave the space between the trim painted gold. I've looked at this space for two years, not satisfied, with the end result. The reasoning behind leaving it gold was, the trim did not go to the wall in the kitchen, therefore, "Trim Guy" thought it would look odd to paint the gold space white. I decided not to argue the point and let it go. But it kept bothering me! So, when "Painter Guy" was here last week, I presented the dilemma to him and he saw a solution, immediately. He brought a small piece of trim, from home and added it to the kitchen side of the beam, between the opening and wall. Voila! Dilemma solved!
The photo above and following photos, show the before and after photos of the beam metamorphosis.

The corner, above the cabinets, where the small piece of trim was added, between the opening trim and wall.

In the photo, below, an empty space can be seen above the print with a green mat. I "borrowed" the print that was previously there, for the hearth room. I'm looking around the house and elsewhere, for something to replace it.
The glimmer of one other makeover began with a Metamorphosis Monday visit to KD's study makeover at Southern Whimsy. KD replaced a light fixture in her study, with a light, in the style I've been looking for, to hang over the kitchen island.
Because of a wiring miscommunication between the cabinet maker and the electrician, the box for the island light was slightly off center. I made a quick decision, purchased a small pendant light, with a stained glass shade, to use temporarily, thinking I would find the light of my dreams and wishes soon. I know we could have had the box moved to the center of the island, so a double light fixture could be used, but who knows what I was thinking as we were on a deadline to finish construction. At that time, we were paying rent on our home at the farm, which we had already paid for once! We were anxious to be finished with construction.
When I asked KD, where she found her light fixture, she graciously informed me she had found it at JC Penney. I found the light and it was on sale!
KD's beautiful fixture has a light beige shade and the iron is a sort of scroll work. While looking through the fixtures at Penney's, I found the one shown in the photos of the finished island. It has a black metal shade and isn't as ornate as KD's. I decided this would work wonderfully for our country style kitchen. A ceiling medallion, was also added. Thank you KD for the gorgeous inspiration!
The light fixture looks like it was always meant to be.
***Left clicking will enlarge most photographs, in this post.