Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Simply Garden Accent Lighting

Mason Jar LED Light
Welcome back everyone!  Today, we are going to discuss a simple way to set up accent lighting in your garden.  Earlier this year, we set up a large butterfly garden and have been planting all summer long.  It is looking great and we hope to have a posting very soon once we complete the project.  While we were working, we decided that a little lighting would be a wonderful addition to the garden.  We were clearing out a brush line this summer and found some old iron fence posts, so we decided to use them as the base and put mason jars on top. Jason cleverly thought that we should use colored mason jars with solar lid lights like our friends in Atlanta have at their home. I like to have colors "pop" in the garden, so I found some cool blue mason jars which stand out among the green foliage. The solar LED lights have worked great and put out the perfect amount of light to accent the garden.  The solar lids are easily found on Amazon under Colonial Tin Mason Jar "2 Solar Lid Lights."  The solar panels are built into the tops and are water resistant, so you can use them anywhere outdoors.  However, I would assume that submerged in a pond or fountain would not be a good idea, but I may try and see what happens!  You never know unless you try, right?  Anyhow, I hope all of you have a great rest of the week, and we'll see you on Friday for our Recipe of the Week!  Till next time!

Butterfly Garden with Mason Jar LED Lights

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Get Out & Explore: Events and Festivals for the Week/Weekend of 08/25 - 09/01

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! We have compiled a list of festivals and events that are happening around Tennessee for the upcoming week/weekend. You will find that the listings below are divided into three categories based on the areas of the state. I hope you find the list useful. Please feel free to leave a comment if this was beneficial for you. If you have an event you would like for us to post, please let us know! We will see you on Wednesday, when we post about creating your own mason jar garden lights. Have a fun and safe week! :)

West TN
  • Aug 25-30, Gibson County Fair
Fairgrounds, Trenton, TN
  • Aug 28-Sept 07, Tennessee Soybean Festival
Downtown Martin, TN
  • Aug 29-Sept 07, Delta Fair and Music Festival
Agricenter International, Memphis, TN
  • Aug 30, WLOK Stone Soul Picnic
Tom Lee Park, Memphis, TN

Middle TN
  • Aug 25-30, 147th Robertson County Fair
Robertson County Fairgrounds, Springfield, TN
  • Aug 28, Live on the Green 2014: Featuring Capital Cities, All Them Witches
Public Square Park, Nashville, TN
  • Aug 28-30, Summertown Bluegrass Reunion
Highway 240, Summertown, TN
  • Aug 28-30, Clay County Moonshine Daze
Courthouse Square, Celina, TN
  • Aug 29-Sept 01, Benton County Bargain Highway
Bargain Highway Route, Benton County
  • Aug 29-Sept 01, Tennessee Cup
Richard Sigel Soccer Complex, Murfreesboro, TN - Rotary Soccer Park, Smyrna, TN
  • Aug 29,  Annual Spaghetti Dinner
Smyrna Senior Center, Smyrna, TN
  • Aug 29-31, Short Mountain Disc Jam and Music Festival
Short Mountain Distillery, Woodbury, TN
  • Aug 29-Sept 6, White County Agricultural Fair
565 Hale Street, Sparta, TN
  • Aug 30, 14th Annual Camper's Night Light Contest
Standing Stone State Park, Hilham, TN
  • Aug 30,  Clarksville Sunrise Rotary Club Sunrise Century Bike Tour
Rossview High School, ClarksvilleTN
  • Aug 30,  Habitat for Humanity Mud Run
Cane Creek Park, Cookeville TN
  • Aug 30,  Collinwood Old Timer's Day
Ralph M Hughes Park, Collinwood, TN
  • Aug 31, 30th Anniversary Party at Falls Mill
Falls Mill, Belvidere, TN
  • Sept 01, Palmer Annual Labor Day Celebration
2135 Main Street, Palmer, TN

East TN
  • Aug 25-30, Claiborne County Fair
Fairgrounds, Tazewell, TN
  • Aug 25-30, Cumberland County Fair
Fairgrounds, Crossville, TN
  • Aug 30, Knoxville Boomsday Festival
Downtown Knoxville, TN
  • Aug 30-31, Fairfield Glade Labor Day Arts & Crafts Show
Fairfield Glade @ the 4way, Crossville, TN
  • Sept 01 , Labor Day Celebration
Sneedville City Park, Sneedville, TN
  • Sept 01, Marion County Cruisers Annual Labor Day Car Show
Ball Park, Powells Crossroads, Marion County
  • Sept 01, Harrogate's Annual Labor Day Celebration
Harrogate City Park, Harrogate, TN
  • Sept 01-06, Sevier County Fair
Sevier County Fairgrounds, Sevierville, TN

Friday, August 22, 2014

Simply Cinnamon Pear Jam

Cinnamon Pear Jam
Happy Friday everyone! We're still in the heat of the summer, but fall is right around the corner.  The jam recipe we have today has become a staple around our home during the fall.  The color, smell and taste is perfect, especially for Thanksgiving turkey, but I'm getting way to ahead of myself!  You can use any pear for this recipe, but I like to use Asian Pears.


5 Cups - Chopped Pears
2 1/2 Cups - Sugar
2 TB - Fruit Pectin
1 TB - Lemon Juice
1 TB - Ground Cinnamon

Makes about 6 half pints.

1. Make sure to wash your pears and finely chop them, or you can use a food processor.  At this time, you can also get the water and canning jars ready since they will need to bathe in boiling water for 20 minutes.

2. Place the pears into a large pan and heat on medium until they begin to boil.

3. Add the lemon juice, pectin, cinnamon and gradually stir in the sugar. Boil for another 20 minutes, or until the jam begins to congeal.  You can check by using the spoon test.  Stick a spoon into the jam and then lift it out.  The jam should mostly stick to the spoon and slowly run off.

4. Remove any foam from the top of the jam, then pour into hot sterilized jars. Wipe the rims of the jars to make sure they are clean from any jam droppings, place on the lids and lightly screw on the rings (you will tighten them after the final bath). Place back into the hot boiling water for another 20 minutes.

5. Remove the jars and place them on a wire rack or on a surface that can withstand the hot jars.  Be sure to allow a few inches of space between the jars and let them sit for 12-24 hours for the jam to set and the lids to seal with a "pop."

Have a great weekend and check back with us on Sunday, when we will let you know what events/festivals are happening around Tennessee for the next weekend. If you missed this weekend's list, you can find the post on our blog from this past Sunday, August 17, 2014!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Simply Hummingbirds

Summer would not be complete without the humming of the Hummingbird.  We make sure to provide a feeder for these delicate creatures, so we can enjoy watching them buzz around the kitchen window.  It's easy to prepare the feeder.  I would recommend you purchase a feeder that is already red, so you don't have to add any artificial coloring to the sugar water mixture.  Some say that the color does not matter, but I have many friends that tell me the Hummingbirds will pass the clear feeders and go towards the red ones.  So, I would just go with what we know works well and keep with the red feeders.  The sugar water is really simple to make.  You just need to thoroughly mix a 1 to 1 ratio of plain white sugar and water.  You will then pour this mixture into the feeder and hang it in a low traffic area of your yard.  Also, unless you already have Hummingbirds, you will need to wait for them to find your feeder. When we first set up our feeder, it took about 2-3 months before they started coming around.  Now, we have about 6 of them that are continuously coming and going.  It's so nice to be working in the kitchen and look out the window to see these beautiful creatures humming about.

Hummingbird Feeder
Hummingbirds are actually only found in the Western Hemisphere. They span the continents from as far north as southern Alaska, down to the southern tip of Chile.  The varieties of these birds are numerous and area specific.  Their name comes from the fact that they make a humming sound with their wings.  They can flap their wings up to 80 times per second!  Also, they can fly in any direction and even upside down.  The legs of the Hummingbird is only for perching and are not used to walk or hop with them. So, you can imagine how much energy is must take for these birds to be flying around all the time.  They do have to feed often since they have a fast heart rate, high body temperature and quick breathing.  The Hummingbird's primary food is nectar, tree sap, pollen and insects.

I hope you will set up a feeder for these beautiful creatures, if you have not already.  Enjoy the rest of your week friends! Check back with us on Friday, when we will have our Recipe of the Week!

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