Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Rick's "Lane Cake"

We have our second cake in the
Here's the proud baker, my brother Rick,
who makes his home in Germany,
with his wife Terry.

Although he insists it's "still a Lane,"
he used "real butter cream between the layers."
(Does that qualify as a Lane,
which is a vanilla butter cake
with a fruit rich custard filling?
Asking for a friend.)
He DOES get extra points for creativity
because he did not use a recipe,
but rather "looked at a whole lot of
recipes and built my own."
Rick is a devotee of
The Great British Bake Off
and used Mary Berry's
boiled icing.
Rick's assessment of his cake,
"Really good. Really rich.
Between the frosting
and the butter cream between the layers,
we are talking two cups of butter."

How could it not be good???

from Google Images
I have just finished an excellent book,
by Martha Hall Kelly.
About one third into this book
it kept reminding me of
which I read last year.
So I checked the author and yes, 
she wrote that one too.
It deals with a real historical figure, Eliza Ferriday,
the mother of Caroline Ferriday from LILAC GIRLS.
Although considered a prequel
to the earlier novel,
both books stand very well on their own.

This week in the garden
I cut back the iris.
They were magnificent this year
and I hated to see them end.

This is how they looked a few weeks ago.

It's June!
It's summer!
Hope you're enjoying it!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

What's Blooming at Buttermilk Cottage this May

Beautiful iris are now gone, but bloomed gorgeously in early May
I consider myself a
"reluctant gardener,"
because I have never 
really had a huge interest 
in gardening.
However, when I bought the current
Buttermilk Cottage,
I also bought several established beds.

This calla lily was in a bed in front of the house,
but was moved to a side bed when it first started peeking up
and is looking lovely in its new spot.
Since these established beds...
* were already there,
* I am not one who likes to waste things,
* I care about the appearance of my house,
inside and out,
I have spent the past two years
learning about gardening.
I have discovered that...
* gardening is a process
* if something isn't working (pleasing) in one spot,
dig it up and put it somewhere else,
* perennials are my BFFs in the garden,
* there is ALWAYS weeding to be done.

These three small azalea bushes
were bought on impulse last spring
when they were blooming.
They ended in a new bed along the
backside of the house.
I watched them with anticipation
during April
when all the other azaleas in the 
neighborhood were blooming.
I got nothing.
But now late in May
this is what they give me!!!

One of my favorites
that comes back beautifully 
each year is Coreopsis.
Also known as tick seed/tick weed,
 that name does not do it justice.
I have been thrilled to discover
it attracts finches,
which look too exotic
to be just flying around!

Speaking of "exotic,"
this lily was purchased last spring,
again because it was blooming,
to be used as a container plant
on my deck.
It did fairly well,
but at the end of last season,
I found a spot for it in the ground
and look what it is doing now!!!

Although the hosta are not yet blooming,
I had to show them to you
because they are HUGE!
Once they started poking through 
the earth in early Spring,
you could almost see 
them growing by the hour.

To conclude,  
the daylilies are beginning to bloom this week.
They have almost outgrown this spot
and I am anticipating
thinning them out
and transplanting a few
to other spots in the yard.

I'm not sure I can really call myself
a reluctant gardener any more.
Although the work can be hot,
dirty, and sometimes backbreaking,
just look what can happen!
April showers really do
bring May flowers!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Our First Lane Cake Entry!

It was my sister in law, 
Pat's turn to choose the cake
for this year's
Davidson Cake Bake Off.
Remember, this is not really
a  competition.
For the past several years
a cake has been chosen by one of us,
then my sister Nancy, brother Rick,
sister in law Pat and me
bake the cake, 
using a recipe of our choice.
(We all live miles apart,
so this has been a fun way
to "do something together.")
We then share our thoughts and pictures.

Pat's choice, 
was first baked more than 100 years ago 
for the annual baking competition
at the county fair in Columbus, Georgia
by Emma Rylander Lane
of Clayton, Alabama.
It was the first prize winner!

Pat baked her choice,
one with a strawberry-pecan filling
and cream cheese frosting,
using a recipe from
It was a birthday cake for her husband, my brother Wade.

In Pat's words,
"The filling for this cake was a challenge,
but this was the first time
I had attempted making a filling.
I don't think I got it quite right,
it ran out the sides
when I was assembling the cake.
Overall, I think it turned
out pretty well.
It tasted good!"

Looks good to me Pat!

Come bake with us.
Bake your version of
The Lane Cake
and then share your
pictures, recipe and thoughts with me.
I, in turn, will share on my blog!

Bon app├ętit!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Catching Up

Is it possible?
Is Spring almost over?
I have let SO much time pass 
since my last post.
It has been a busy time at 
Buttermilk Cottage.
That's my only excuse.

In March I hosted two dear friends from college days.
Virginia, my roommate for three years,
who now lives in Texas,
and Marie, who lived across the hall
and now makes her home in Alabama.
We had a lovely visit of several days,
talking ourselves silly,
eating and visiting a few points of interest
near here.

 We made a trip to Abingdon, Virginia 
where the Barter Theatre
was doing CAMELOT.
What a treat to see the show,
which we had all seen together 
when it came out as a movie
all those years ago!

The challenge has been made for this year's
This is an ongoing and yearly
friendly baking competition between
my sister Nancy, brother Rick,
sister in law Pat and
anyone else who wants to join us.
It's not a real competition because
we cannot taste each other's cake,
but we all bake the same cake,
and share our thoughts on it.
This year's cake choice was Pat's.
She has chosen the Lane Cake,
a traditional Southern cake
that has numerous variations.
Think about joining in with us.
All you need do is make the cake
with a recipe of your choice,
send me a picture or two 
along with your thoughts on the cake.
More about this later.

I have recently finished this book 
by Delia Owens.
It is a first novel,
a coming of age story of
Kya, the "marsh girl"
which takes place in North Carolina.
Her prose is lovely and lyrical.
I enjoyed it a lot
and you might too,
especially if you have an
interest in the natural world.

Finally, I am in the midst of this year's
home improvement project.
I think I'll tell you about it when the
job is completed.
The picture above
is a hint of where the work is being done.

Enjoy your May,
it will be gone all to soon!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Bon Soir Sweet Girl

My little dog Daisy had not been well 
since this past holiday season.
At that time she was diagnosed with 
congestive heart failure.
And although she had many good days since then,
the bad days seemed to come 
more and more frequently lately.
Yesterday I made the decision it was 
time to let her go.
I was with her until the end
and she went very peacefully.

Today has been a day of remembering. 
I am remembering my 
constant walking companion of many years. 
 I cannot begin to tell you how many acquaintance 
I made on our walks because of Daisy. 

 I am remembering her love for her toys 
and how she lived for me to toss them
 into the next room 
so she could chase them down.

  I am remembering my constant evening companion, 
on her pillow snoozing and snoring 
at my feet as I knitted. 
    Most of all I am remembering 
her absolute favorite thing 
of lying on her back 
so I could give her long belly rubs.

Daisy keeping me company while I stripped wallpaper.

Let me be completely honest, 
Daisy was a high maintenance girl 
and could drive me absolutely nuts.  
She was a barker from the very beginning 
and I tried EVERYTHING to train her to not bark.  
It was a real compulsion with her. 
Once she started she could not stop.  
We did the training sessions at Pet Smart.  
We tried the ultrasonic anti barking device 
that emitted high frequency sounds 
only Daisy could hear.  
She wore an anti-bark collar for a while. 
She was on anti anxiety meds for a while.
  We got a calming pheromone atomizer.  
But still... she... barked.  
And she drove me crazy.

Daisy and her cousin, Chaos

But still…
she was my “Daisy-Doodle,
the Brown Noodle."

Daisy and her newest cousin, Cooper

She was my "Baby Girl." 
She was my "Pretty Girl." 
She was my “Sweet Girl.” 

But most of all 
she was my dog
and she will be missed.
Sweet dreams Sweet Girl.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Spring Has Sprung...

...according to the calendar at 
Buttermilk Cottage:
 December/January/February (Winter)
March/April/May (Spring)
June/July/August (Summer)
September/October/November (Fall)

So, we are in the midst of Spring!!!
All the pretty things popping out in
my yard and neighborhood
proves me right.

In another day or two 
I will be rich in daffodils,
my all time favorite flower.
I hit the jackpot when I bought
this house!

It has been a long while since I have blogged.
I have just come through the busiest time
for my business.
November through February
are always the most active months for me.
After doing a quick tally I see I managed 
to send out 379 orders during those months.
Many of those orders were for multiple items.
So, there has been a LOT of 
sewing and knitting 
going on around here.
With March has come a little
slow down, so I am using that time
to restock and make new things.
Yesterday was the first time in about
six months that I did no sewing at all.

Instead, I spent the day giving
Buttermilk Cottage
a bit of Spring cleaning.

Off came the slipcovers,
which were a bit on the grimy side.

I sprayed the worst spots
with stain remover and after
three loads of laundry...

...they were ready to be put back in place.

A rug at the front door also
got shampooed.

It's nice to get everything back in order
and know it's not only neat,
but CLEAN!

Did you notice my new chair,
or "the knitting chair"?
(I feel a little like Archie Bunker.)

All this cleaning reminds me
of another new purchase.
I just bought myself a 
faux Roomba.

Have you gotten on board with these yet?
Because of all the fiber work I do,
constant clumps of fuzz and
the ever shedding Daisy,
I have been wanting one
just for my office, kitchen
and the hallway that connects the two,
where the laundry is done,
(more lint).
I call the one I got
the "faux roomba"
because it is an off brand,
and I was not going to spend the
$300-$1000 you can spend on these things.
I only intend to use it for spot cleaning
in the rooms mentioned.
After doing a bit of investigating
and review reading
I found the one above.
I did not expect any bells and whistles,
especially since I only paid $100.00 for it.
But it does talk to me,
has a remote control 
and will even mop the floor,
although I probably will not be 
using it for that.
I have only had it for a few days,
but I think I am going to like it.

I have begun anticipating my 
spring and summer house project.
This year I hope to rework the front entry a bit.
I have already ordered a new front door.
I hope to have the porch covering
and railing redone and add 
new outdoor lights.

Something else I am anticipating
in the next couple of weeks
is a visit from my college roommate, Virginia
and another college friend, Marie, 
whom I've known since high school.
(Probably the motivation for all 
the cleaning this weekend!)
The three of us were part of a 
tight group of five 
during college, 
one of whom we have lost track of
and another who is not able to join us.
They will be here in mid March and 
I can promise there will be good times happening at
Buttermilk Cottage!

Happy Spring everyone!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Lunch at Miss Bobo's and Bob Dylan...

...all in one week!

Last week was my "favorite" sister's birthday.
On Monday, Nancy and I 
made the half hour trip from my parents' house
to Lynchburg, Tennessee for lunch.
Lunching at Miss Bobo's has been on my 
TO DO list for quite a while.

So what better way to experience it than with Nancy?
It was an excellent afternoon.
Miss Bobo's, at one time was a boarding house.
It is now owned by Jack Daniels
and operated as a southern style,
family style restaurant.
The food is plentiful and excellent.
The day we were there the menu was
fried chicken, meatloaf, buttered potatoes,
okra (*****), green beans,
rice and broccoli casserole,
red pepper relish,
tipsy apples 
(baked apples GENEROUSLY doused with Jack),
and for dessert chocolate pie
with Jack flavored whipped cream.
Need I say more? 

(we DID need to walk off a few calories)
we walked around the town a bit,
and found some cute shops.

These guys came home with me.

Many of the shops in Lynchburg are
Jack Daniels theme related.

On Tuesday evening,
M had tickets for 
a Bob Dylan concert 
in Huntsville, Alabama.

Bob Dylan is an icon
and what a treat to see him!
Remember how in the past,
you couldn't always understand
all the lyrics to his songs?
Well, things have not changed.
One difference now though,
is that often you cannot easily
catch the melody of the song
he is singing.
Not complaining here, though.
As someone said,
"he wrote the damn songs,
he can sing them anyway he wants."

To finish up my lovely few days away,
M took me by 
It's the floral shop that has been 
doing all the gorgeous flowers
M has been bringing to me.
I met the floral designer, Tamra,
who is the genius behind all the beauty.

Back home now,
and back into my normal routine.
I love getting away,
but Buttermilk Cottage
 is always nice too!
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