Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Fall Walk To The Pond

We live in Tallahassee which is in North Florida.  As the crow flies, we are about 9 miles away from the Georgia State Line.  One does not think of Florida as having four seasons,  but in North Florida we definitely do.  The season changes are not as intense as our neighbors to the north, but we definitely do see the changes.

A couple of days ago was such a pretty day, I decided to grab my camera and go see if I could capture some of the changing leaves all around our home.

Walking down the front porch stairs and looking off in the distance,  you can see some of the yellows of the leaf changes.

Walking down the front sidewalk and looking out through the woods you can see some more Fall leaf changes with some pretty red and yellow leaves.

Looking off to the left side yard it is hard to miss the beautiful red leaves of the Japanese Maple Tree my husband planted many years ago.

With a little sun shining on the leaves the color becomes magnificent

Our kitty decided he was going to walk with me.  His name is Willie Nelson, but we just call him "Nelson" because he looks more like a Nelson than a Willie.

Walking toward the back yard we see another Japanese Maple with the leaves just beginning to change.

This little statue was a gift for our yard many years ago.  I love the sweet little puppy and the angelic face of the little boy.  The fallen Fall leaves are covering up the little feet.

Walking on down the hill and approaching the pond, 
you can see the Fall colors of the trees all around the pond.

What a beautiful day!

The tree in the below photo is called a "popcorn tree" or more accurately, a "Chinese Tallow Tree."  These trees are growing all around the pond.  They are considered very invasive and are not a cherished popular tree.  But, we really like them and don't mind being "invaded"  because they are so colorful in the Fall.

A fire pit where the grandsons like to take a break from fishing.

A very peaceful day around the pond.

A fishing bridge.

  Here you can see the heart-shaped leaves  of the "popcorn tree."

After  a morning of overcast skies it has turned into a sparkling day.

There are a lot of long-leaf pines in the area.

Fall red and yellow leaves reflecting in the pond on a sun-filled afternoon.

These photos were taken a couple of days ago.  Last night and tonight freezing temperatures are expected in our area and that will probably do away with the pretty leaves of the Fall season.

It was such a beautiful day to walk around the pond and see all of the natural beauty the good Lord has provided for us to enjoy.  It is always a pleasure to try to capture some of that beauty with my camera.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend wherever you may be.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Raspberry Muffin Recipe

This last Summer when we were traveling over in England, Ireland and Scotland we would often see the most delicious looking pastries you could ever imagine!   

When I spotted the Raspberry Muffins in the below photo,  I was inspired to put these on my to-do list for when we got home.

If you would like to see the post where this inspiration began, you can click on the link below:;postID=6984244393768433101;onPublishedMenu=posts;

Below is a photo of Raspberry Muffins we saw in Dublin, Ireland

Below are the ingredients you will need for the recipe.  A super quick and easy recipe!

Raspberry Muffin Recipe
1-3/4 cups self-rising flour                                                                                                       
1/3 cup shortening (I use Coconut Oil)        
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use 2)
1 to 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
Directions:    (Preheat oven to 375 degrees.)
  • Measure flour and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar.
  • Add eggs; mix well.
  • Combine milk and vanilla; add to the creamed mixture alternately with flour.
  • Fold in raspberries.
  • Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.            

You can use fresh or frozen raspberries.  Not knowing just when I would be making the muffins, I used the frozen raspberries, and they worked just fine.

Whenever possible, I try to use Coconut Oil in recipes.  I have heard it is extremely healthy.  This oil does give the muffins a slight coconut taste.  So, if you do not especially like the taste of Coconut,  you may wish to choose a different cooking oil.

The recipe says:  "Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full."   I like to use the Pam Olive Oil Pan Spray for the muffin cups, as seen in the below photo, and  it works real well. 

All mixed and ready to go into the oven.

As you know each oven is different.  These muffins were ready in 25 minutes, but it is a good idea to check them about 5 minutes earlier in case your oven cooks faster.

My sweet husband was busy watching one of the many football games on TV this season of the year.  When the muffins were finished I asked him if he would like to have one,  and he said yes, he would like to try one ... A little while later he wanted another one and said:  "Those are the best muffins I have ever eaten."  

I have to give credit to Taste of Home online where I found this delicious recipe.  I love their magazine too, and am always inspired by their recipes.  If you try this recipe I hope you enjoy them as much as my husband did.

Thank you for stopping by Sweet Southern Days, 
and I hope you had a wonderful weekend wherever you may be!
Wishing you many blessings as we begin the wonderful week of Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thank You For Visiting

We were gone this past week to attend an AMA meeting up in National Harbor, Maryland.  It is always a treat for us to see friends we have known for many years who attend the same meeting. We stayed at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center,  which is eight miles away from Washington, D.C.

When we returned,  I of course needed to get to the grocery store,  and while there I simply could not resist these pretty Fall colored flowers as seen in the following photos.  I am always amazed at what an artist the good Lord is to create such beauty.

Also, when we returned I noticed so many of you had visited Sweet Southern Days and many had left comments on different posts.   To all of you, thank you so much for your sweet comments and for taking the time to visit!

Pretty Fall Flowers from our local Grocery Store

I use to create Sweet Southern Days.  When I go into Blogger there is a stats page which shows the "audience."  In other words, there is a list of "Pageviews by Countries."  

It is a pleasure for me to see the different countries represented in those who have stopped in for a visit.  This week the countries represented on the list are,  the United States, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Germany, China, Slovakia, Sweden, Canada, United Kingdom, and Brazil

It is a good learning experience for me ...  I will often go to Mr. Google and look up the country I may not be too familiar with and then locate the country on the map and read about that particular country.  Recently,  I looked up Moldova and Slovakia which are two countries I am not very familiar with.  Moldova is located between Romania and the Ukraine.

I also looked up the country of Slovakia which is bordered by Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Ukraine and Hungry.  Some of the photos I found showing the High Tatras mountains and other photos showing beautiful lakes are some of the most scenic photos I have ever seen.

Thanks to Mr. Google I am able to visit your country if only through photos.  It is so special to me that all of us are able to connect in some small way with each other if only through the Internet.  So again, thank you for taking the time to stop in for a visit and a special thanks to those of you who took the time to leave a message.

As we move into next week it will be a special time as so many of us work toward celebrating a very special Thanksgiving holiday.  On Thanksgiving Day I will include you in why I am thankful.

Wishing you many blessings and a wonderful weekend wherever you may be!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Visit To Cades Cove

Leaving the Fall festivities in Gatlinburg, Tennessee as seen in a previous post, our goal is to drive into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and on into Cades Cove.  Of all things, I failed to get a picture of the below sign, but fortunately did find the below photo on the Internet.
Smoky Mountain National Park
Photo from the Internet

Driving the 24 miles to Cades Cove was almost as scenic as being in the Cove.  I kept my camera beside me along the way and several times could not resist snapping a photo of a pretty spot as we drove along.

As we drove along on our way to Cades Cove, we would often see this 
beautiful creek meandering along beside the roadway.

Before we knew it we had reached Cades Cove.

Cades Cove was a farming community of almost 700 people who lived in this area 100 years before the Smoky Mountain National Park was created.  The first settlers arrived in the Cove in the early 1820s.

An 11-mile, scenic one-way loop road circles the cove.  All along the way motorists sightsee at a slow pace seeing old historic buildings including churches, an old grist mill, barns and log houses.  The Cades Cove loop is open from sunrise to sunset.

There is a lot of wildlife which can often be spotted along the way, including Deer, Black Bears, Coyotes, Red Wolves, Wild Boar, River Otters, Wild Turkeys, Grey Squirrels, Rabbits, Chipmunks, Gray Foxes, Red Foxes, Raccoons, Bobcats, Copperhead and Timber Rattlesnakes.

The Cove is a broad valley surrounded by mountains 
and is one of the most popular destinations in the Smoky Mountain National Park.

The original road followed the same general route of the present day loop road.  

Below, way off in the distance, you can spot the oldest log home in Cades Cove, which was built in the early 1820s.   It was a long walk in the sun, and I did not have my hat, so unfortunately I did not get a nice close-up of this cabin.


We turned down this side gravel-topped road in the below photo to see the first historic building on the loop.

Some of the earliest settlers to Cades Cove established this church.

Many of the earliest settlers to Cades Cove are buried in this old cemetery.

The inside of the old Primitive Baptist Church.

Back on the loop road we travel to the next historic building.

We arrive at the Methodist Church which was built in 1902.  This church replaced the original log building built back in 1820.

Interesting foundation.

Religion was an important part of life in Cades Cove from the earliest days.

Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church.

It was very picturesque driving along the loop road.

We have arrived at the Visitor's Center as seen in the below photo. This building was built in 1972 and is a place where visitors may buy books, post cards, batteries, maps, guides and other items.

Located close to the Visitor's Center is this homestead.  This home belonged to several owners over the years.  A General Store was operated on the first floor by some of the families who lived in this home

Fall has come to the Cades Cove.

Grist mill near the Visitors Center, built about 1870.

In the below photo is an old molasses-making mill which is powered 
by a horse or mule pulling the long pole in a circle.   

In the below photo is the Henry Whitehead Place, built in 1898.  Notice the brick chimney!  The bricks were molded and fired on the property which was unusual in the Cove.

While I was taking a photo of the pretty rustic fence in the above photo I looked down and spotted what looked like mushrooms growing on this log ... I thought they looked very much like pancakes!

Driving back on the loop road.

The Dan Lawson Place in the below photos was  built in the 1840s.  Dan Lawson was the Cove's wealthiest resident.

The Dan Lawson Place.

The Tipton Place built in the 1880s

I very much wanted to climb those stairs 
but was afraid of running into a spider or some kind of critter!

In the below photo is the Carter Shields Cabin, the last homestead 
on the Cades Cove automobile tour.

The Cades Cove Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

We have come to the end of the 11 mile loop road in Cades Cove.  It is not hard to believe that this beautiful area attracts more than two million visitors a year, because of it's well preserved homesteads and scenic mountain views.

I can only imagine what pioneer life must have been like here in the Cove.   Just think ... no grocery store, no running water, no car, no refrigerator!  No Wal-Mart!  HOW did they manage!  It is amazing what man can do!

We enjoyed driving through Cades Cove and hearing echoes of the past all along the way. 

Thanks for coming along with us on our drive 
and we wish you many blessings wherever you may be.