"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Short-Legged Beasties


I love leaving my windows and doors open in spring and fall - let all the cool, fresh air in.

But, I don't like all the other things trying to get inside.  Besides big, huge brown spiders all clambering to get in before the cold, this thing crawled up my leg last night while sitting at my computer.  I thought, 'what in the world is that, an earthworm'?  When I saw what it was, I screamed and tried to slap it off my leg, but with all those creepy, clingy legs, it just kept on coming.

I finally got it off and stepped on it.  Almost gave me a heart attack but at least it didn't sting me. I have seen this species of centipede before, years ago, climbing a tree. It was over six inches long and as big around as a finger.  I would have had a heart attack if that one had been crawling up my leg.

I wasn't as lucky with the red hornet this week that got me on my palm.  Within an hour, my arm and hand looked like Popeye's.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Einstein Was Right


  I woke this morning to watch CNN and have my coffee.  CNN wasn't there.  What?  I thought I was in some horrible time warp - a parallel universe without CNN.  

Shame on you DISH Network.  Didn't get the price point you wanted, so you refused a new contract to provide CNN.   I have DISH in both of my houses and spend a small fortune for their satellite services.  CNN is the gold standard in news programming unlike the many crappy unwanted channels we receive as part of our package.

Unbelievable!  I don't watch television on my computer, nor ipad or iphone and refuse to do so.  It is like going back to 1836.  Must we now find out what is happening in the world by telegraph, Morse code or dreaded Western Union missives?  Einstein said that time travel to the future would be easier to do than travel back in time. 
I hope DISH gets its comeuppance; hope its stocks are in free fall and subscribers leave in droves.       I am pissed!



Friday, October 17, 2014

Garden's End


I got this contraption from a Lehman's catalog.  It is a jar top fermentation kit.  If you haven't heard, fermented food is the new/old health craze.  So healthy in fact, it will cure all that ails you.  Probiotics, enzymatic, vitamins and minerals, things that can't be found in pills, will aid your digestive systems.  This used to be done in crocks over a long process, but can be done in a few days with this implement.  All you use is water and Celtic Sea Salt.  


You can be creative with your fruits and vegetables and make pickles, kraut, kimchi, antipastos.  I used the last of my jalapeno peppers for this batch.  After 4 days, I poured out some of the brine and replaced it with cider vinegar. I will store them in the fridge, then probably stuff them with cheese or something for the holidays.  
I also found this new apple cider vinegar that is unfiltered "with the mother" in it.  I'll have to see how it tastes.
Fermentation.  The new/old health food.






Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Breaking Bad Redux




Urban legend? Hoax? Someone playing a cruel trick?  I read today that the producers and director of BREAKING BAD are making another season.  Could it really be true that the most brilliant masterpiece of all time is coming back to the small screen?  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Lime Time


My Persian lime tree produced twenty limes this fall.  My first crop I might add.  You notice all the peelers.  I have even more.  You see, to make limoncello (I don't even know what you'd call limoncello made from limes), one must peel only the surface rind. It is hard to find a peeler that works well. No white pith as it will ruin the batch.  





I poured a very strong grain alcohol into a jar with the peels.  After a few weeks in a cool, dark place, the peels will snap like a potato chip.  Then, I'll add a sugar syrup and bottle it up and into the freezer.  It will grow hair on your chest.  I rarely drink it, but instead, give it away.



Not so for my lime juice.


I freeze it in little cubes and bag it up for when I need smaller amounts.


Voila!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fall Finally Comes


The temperature got down to 40 degrees this morning.  It has been so hot this fall.  I found these pumpkins at the market.  What will the growers think up next?  
Halloween and the trick or treaters can't be too far off.

From the ghoulies and ghosties
and long leggedy beasties
and things that go bump in the night.
Good Lord deliver us!

Scottish Prayer

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Angels Among Us


My grandchildren sleeping.  Just found out today that Bella and Oliver are going to have a new cousin in February.  My son and daughter-in-law are having their first child, a daughter.  We are all excited.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Late Night Reverie


I saw this movie, THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL, many moons ago and this song came back to me tonight.  Whether you are religious or not, this song is beautiful.  An old Baptist hymn I believe.  The movie is poetic and moving.  One to see.
The late, great Texan, Horton Foote, award winning playwright and legendary screenwriter, wrote this movie. TENDER MERCIES and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD were two of his most famous works.  He even suggested Robert Duvall play Boo Radley in the movie.  They would work together many more times as Horton thought Duvall a great actor.  Geraldine Page won Best Actress at the Academy Awards for Trip To Bountiful.  Isn't it funny how some things never leave you?

Not to give too much away about the film, I titled the picture on my header, I'm Runnin' Away - never associated it with the film till this post.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Garden Eaters


Just outside the window, two does are searching for acorns. 
They are used to me and bring their babies around too.  I can barely scare them away.  This summer, they have feasted on my tomatoes, apple tree leaves, and happily eaten whatever they wanted in my garden.  The bucks have even figured out that the turkeys have a feed bowl in their pen and devour it before the turkeys can.  They are really getting to be a nuisance.
Unfortunately, hunting season starts soon, then I feel sorry for them.  I don't let anyone hunt on my farm and feed corn to the deer so they hopefully will stay on my acreage, but alas, from all the shooting around us, I know many will not make it.  I have even put up no hunting signs and one in particular, Hunters Will Be Shot.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

In The Evening

 My evenings are the same.  I go up to the barn and feed the animals, collect eggs when I can find them, then tend to the other critters.  I have three farm ponds and there, waiting for me, day in and day out, are the fish and turtles.  Somehow, through my footfall or the sound of the ATV, they are always waiting for me.  The swarms of fish nearest the edge of the pond are the babies/small fry and they graduate in size the farther out they go.  The fish wiggle and wriggle, excited for the bread and pellets coming their way. 
Farther back still, the turtles, heads poking out of the water, start coming across the pond.  Most are skittish and wait for me to toss food their way.  But, a few have become braver.  Case in point, the snappers.  I have two Snapping Turtles in this pond.  Their cousins, the Alligator Snapping Turtles, can grow to over 250 lbs.
Let me just tell you, they are huge, ugly beasts and until recently, only feasted on the live baby fish.  They now have decided to eat the leftover food I leave for the other pond turtles.




This lug went straight for the raspberries and returned several times.




Then she spied a smaller Red Eared Slider coming to the feast.


Thai noodles?  Alright.



With berry stained lips, it went for the chicken tender and decided to head back out into the pond with her score,  just as the other snapper showed up.


So go the days at my farm.
Turtle soup anyone?


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

In The Garden


Found another old fountain of a wee one riding on a dolphin.  I just love these types of things though they seem to be getting heavier and heavier.  This one just makes me smile.
As the summer wanes, I long to be outside again; it has been too hot, until tomorrow.  So, I will try and get my housework done today so I can enjoy my gardens.

And forget not that the earth
delights to feel your bare feet
and the winds long to play 
with your hair.

Khalil Gibran

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Forgettable


Just finished this book.  I really wanted to like it.  I read a Kirkus Review of it to see if I was missing something.  I can review it in one word.  Forgettable.  I wish I had my $25.00 back. Only thing good about it is the packaging.  Colorless is what the book is.  Just quoting Voltaire doesn't make one a philosopher.  I doubt I'll read anything else by Murakami.  Wish I could have gotten something from it because I rarely read fiction and am wading into it again.  I just finished The Goldfinch and found it just okay (would like my money back on that one too).  Couldn't finish The Paris Wife.  So, I hope my next book, The Alchemist, will be a good read.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rosewater



As you may remember, one of my favorite actors is Gael Garcia Bernal.  Type his name into upper left corner if you want to know more about this amazing man.  His latest starring film role is ROSEWATER, opening at the Telluride Film Festival this weekend.

Based on a true story, Jon Stewart wrote and directed the film.  The story leading up to the film is very compelling.  Can't wait to see it.  From Telluride it is on to Toronto film fest then for release in November.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My First Pomegranate


I've been taking care of this potted pomegranate for three years now and finally, it produced one this summer.  Just turning with its first blush.  I am tickled.

Did you know the pomegranate originated in Persia eons ago and spread throughout the Mediterranean region?  All parts of the plant were used - its rind was used as a suppository for birth control.  The plant, blended with mustard oil, was used for sagging breasts.  Who knew women had to worry about these things thousands of years ago.

The myth of Persephone prominently features the pomegranate.  Now you know.  Go to Logee's tropical plants for one of your own.  Mine has grown to over 6 feet tall and has beautiful red flowers in the spring. 


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Artsy Fartsy


Toilet paper roll art by a French artist - Junior Jacquet.  By definition, it is art.  So many definitions of the word, one would have to look at the etymology of the word art.  Let's just go with the Latin definition of art as a skill or craft.  
Artists have been creating since the dawn of man; containers used to hold paints date back 100,000 years.  I've read companies are doing away with the toilet paper rolls.  Guess this art will really be a rarity in eons to come. They'll be studying and describing it as a time when the world was wasteful which deeply touched the artist...



photograph taken by Mattieu Geichet

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tomato What?




I have had an abundance of tomatoes this summer.  So many in fact, I didn't know what to do with all of them.  Well, I decided to oven dry some of them which I've never done before.  The last photo is probably equivalent to one whole tomato.  What? I burned the first batch and nearly this next.  A bushel ends up being a handful. Supposedly, I can freeze these, then re-hydrate them in a jar of olive oil and herbs with garlic.  Not sure what to do with them then.  
Do any of you know how to use them? 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Styling At The Farm


If you've read my bio, you know how much I love Zaha Hadid and her designs.  Starchitect extraordinaire, she is a living legend.  Born in Iraq, she is known for her genius (and her suffer no fools personality).  Though known mostly for her architecture, she partnered with Rem Koolhaas to design shoes.  This Nova shoe is pretty incredible.  I can just see me stomping around the barnyard in them.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Existing On The Farm


We are having a cool spell with rain - very rare in these parts this time of year.  The greenhouse collapsed last winter and is in the process of a redo; not a very glamorous one I might add.  

I have been sleepy; a nap would keep me awake all night.  Sleepy or an existential crisis?  Am I living or existing?  I'm not sure.  I've been calling it the'troubles'.  A million things to do yet I don't want to do them. Maybe I shouldn't read about Sartre.  Sometimes I can be very impressionable.
By the way, I just finished reading The Goldfinch.  I liked it or I wouldn't have finished it, but found myself skimming it, then having to go back a re-read - not such a good thing.  My summary would be, What? Ten years? Next book in queue is a biography of Suzanne Valadon, artist extraordinaire.
Finally, my kids spend a lot of time on the web (too much if you asked me), but found this joke somewhere.  Though possibly a tad politically incorrect, it did make me grin. Oh those kids.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Crafting Redux


As I mentioned in a previous post about a book I bought about Crafting With Cat Hair, I found some more ideas about making things with your pets' hair.  There is a France based business, Dog Wool, that will make items of clothing from your dogs hair. I love it - don't find it repulsive at all.


This necklace is from an etsy seller, Flora Davis, that will make jewelry from your cats' hair.  
A quote from an instruction book says it best, "Better a sweater from a dog you love than from a sheep you'll never meet."  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Just Thinking


After a shattering week, would our planet be better off if women ruled the world?  I don't think we could do any worse.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Need Your Help


If you've followed my blog for awhile, you know that my dogs are my life.  They are my best friends and yes, I even love them like family. 
Sister, my red weenie, is in trouble. I need your help.  She has become diabetic.  She has been on insulin for a month now, but I've yet to get her regulated.  She won't eat the dog diabetic food.  
The Hill's Science Diabetic food comes in hard and soft canned.  She refuses the hard and while she ate the canned at first, she now won't eat it.  Diabetic dog food requires fiber (both soluble and insoluble) and vegetables and meat in the right percentages.  Perfect, yet she won't eat it.  And, I'm not going to starve her to make her eat it as she has already lost half her weight and looks skeletal.  I already have to lay down on her on the bed to give her her shot because she jumps and pulls away when I try to give it to her. 
Do any of you have recipes I could make at home for diabetic dog food?  I looked up some on the internet, but am unsure about them being sound and the right proportions.  Please let me know if you have recipes or know of someone who does.  I'm worried sick about her.  She's been so sick, I need to get her on the road to recovery fast.  She's always been the ornery one, and now, more so.  She loves eating just boiled chicken, but I need to get her eating the other stuff too.
I've owned over 15 dogs in my lifetime and never had one with diabetes.  It is killing me.  Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Celebrating Summer


Peaches.


Peach ice cream.


Pies in jars.  Kids and grandkids.  Holidays to celebrate.  What's better than that?


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Oh June


"How did it get so late so soon?"
Dr. Seuss

Where have you gone sweet June?  Can it be nearly over?  I had much to do.  Got some of it done, but not nearly enough.  July will be too hot to do anything outside, but I'll spend much of it canning and freezing the garden's bounty.

"It was June, and the world smelled of roses.  The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside."
Maud Hart Lovelace

"What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade."
Gertrude Jekyll

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Twee


Writer's write for the love of language.  Well, I did anyway.  I keep seeing a word popping up I was unfamiliar with.  You know, one of those au courant words, like bespoke - overused and a little tiresome.  Anyway, I looked up twee.  I was even shocked it was in my tattered 1970's version of Webster's, (notice the twee little flowers I found pressed in my dictionary).

Twee, an adjective, means childish, clever, dainty, elegant, cute or sweet. Yet, I am seeing it used not only as an adjective, but as a proper noun and even plural.  

Twees, it seems, like thrift store cardigans, cats, Ira Glass of NPR fame.  Portlandia is uber twee, and how about the greatest post war existentialist, Charlie Brown of Peanuts fame.  

Twees are diarists and tend to form attachments to their beloved records, books and even movies.  An iconic band, Neutral Milk Hotel is twee and Zooey Deschanel is supposedly the Oprah of Twee.  So, I surmise Twees are the new nerds.  Guess we are all a little Twee.

It all leaves me scratching my head. Twee - tweeer - tweeest? Twee - twang - twung? 
My summation - huh?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Never Say Never


Never again!  I swear if I ever even think about stripping a piece of furniture, I'm going to remember this chair and ottoman.   I've stripped furniture before and each time I tell myself I'll never do it again.  
This chair is large and so comfortable.  It was painted with layers of silver, gold and bronze with some kind of horrible faux finish.  The material was a white chenille kind of fabric.  I thought I'd just paint it a different color, but couldn't think of one.  Sooooooooo, I decided it wouldn't take that much to strip.  I did not count on all the different surfaces, but two and a half weeks later, I found a light maple underneath the paint. 
I should have just painted it a lacquered finish, but it turned out fine, though I am already wishing I had used a different fabric. I did my best, but never again!



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Crafting With Cat Hair


My husband told my children the time has come to put me in a home.  He thinks I am certifiable; was aghast at this purchase.  I didn't write it.  I told him rabbit fur, llama, sheep and on an on...  Now, I don't agree with him and thought this was a splendid idea when I ordered this book.  What could be sweeter than having a tangible memory of your beloved pet? 


A felting needle and felting block were all I had to buy.  There are the cutest crafts in this book.  I just wish my weenies hair was longer than an eyelash.


And, just because, I smile every time I pass this large bag filled with middle daughter's birthday gifts.  I wish I had a monkey.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Merry May


How has the merry month of May passed so quickly?  Perhaps it was all the chores outside preparing the garden beds, planting and cleaning up.  So much to do that there is little time to enjoy anything else.  Don't know the answer for that or maybe I do.  Hire a couple of gardeners or let it grow wild.  I know that answer to that.  I'll be crawling about the gardens before it's over.

"I found a strawberry blossom in a rock.  I uprooted it rashly and felt as if I had been committing an outrage, so I planted it again."   Dorothy Wordsworth
So me.