Fall Family Photos

I adore the Ritter Family.  They have been a large part of my life since kindergarten after meeting their oldest daughter and my best friend The Natural Ginger.  They have a breathtaking piece of land nestled in the Cascades and a thriving business at Ritter Farms specializing in weddings and events.

When they get a chance to be in the same place at the same time, we’ve managed to capture a few photos.  We had the opportunity when the extended family had a photo session, so we had to take full advantage of the opportunity to get some new family portraits.

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Grandmother’s Pride & Joy

I’ve known my favorite family with the big red barn for many, many years. Many of those years were without a photo of everyone at the same time in the same place.

When asked by Grandma Kathy to take photos of the many kids who have called the family property home, I was happy to get the camera out and capture a moment in time for her.  It was a cold and very windy day- and everyone did their part to make it a fun and QUICK photo session.  I see why there is so much of a Grandmother’s Pride & Joy in these photos as each grandchild brings laughter and happiness to her in their own way.

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Plum Fresh

Or should it be more appropriate to call it “Fresh Plum” today?share a bit of love DIY Plum Sauce1

I obtained a large basket of perfectly ripened Italian Plums this week from a colleague. To avoid the inevitable fruit flies that have run havoc around my kitchen this summer, I opted to make plum sauce.

Plum jam was really on my mind, but then I realized I was plum (ha!) out of my main canning staples. Enter Plum Sauce.  It just sounds decadent over vanilla ice cream, cheesecake, scones, goat cheese toast, or even as a glaze on a slow roasted turkey breast- doesn’t it?

Here is what is needed:

  • 4 cups of washed & halved Italian Plums
  • 1 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon/lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice

In a large non reactive sauce pan, pour plums, sugar, spices and lemon juice. Simmer on low-medium for about an hour and a half while stopping to stir and to make sure the mixture doesn’t over boil.  220 (f) degrees should probably do the trick.  Your house will smell amazing. Meanwhile, prepare your jars for canning.  While the jars are still hot, spoon the sauce into each jar, and process using a water bath. Lick the delicious leftovers off the spoon and swoon at the late summer taste of beautiful Italian Plums.

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Mid-Week Retreat

I’ve been working. A lot. So has the Handsome.  He managed to swing vacation this week which he deserved and needed so much.  Knowing I couldn’t take a whole week off, I opted for a mini break from my hectic schedule.

We took to the woods for an overnight and midweek recharge and retreat.  With such short notice and a very busy holiday weekend ahead of us, we stayed close to home and stayed at Millersylvania State Park.  Staying mid week, we almost had the entire campground to ourselves. We had our girls in tow, so we didn’t take to the lake on the canoes/kayaks, but did managed to let them paddle near the shore for a bit. We love to camp. Our dogs love to camp. The smell of the forest is healing and refreshing. We had a great camp fire, chatted, and heard every bird in what seemed within a mile radius. It was the perfect way to slow down and catch up with each other.

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