"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

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Assist Please

I love looking through UK magazines.  Recently, I found the wall paper I want to put up in my powder room.  It has only taken me three years.  My problem? I have looked high and low for this pattern, which reminds me of a trip to Italy.  I must be missing something as I cannot find it. Have any of you seen this hillside pattern in your publications?

I love the English language are rarely come across words I haven't seen before.  This one caught my eye.  Have you seen it in your readings before?

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Try to Remember - Hong Kong Parents Choir 2015

September is magic.  Bittersweet.  I think of this song each September.  "Try to remember that time in September when dreams were kept beside your pillow." I love this video.  You need to watch it in full screen to see the parents up close.  We really are more alike.

Who'd have thunk? Faded out blue jeans and white shirts.  So sweet.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Gullah Geechee

I don't have enough space here to explain it all, but I'll gloss over it, if I can.  I have been studying the Gullah Geechee culture for months now.  The Cherokee Native Americans along with the Choctaw and Chickasaw (of which my husband and children are on the rolls), lived nearby the outer banks of the Carolinas, before relocation on the Trail of Tears, and intermingled with the slaves brought to America.  In fact, they named the West African slaves Gullah Geechee. The coast proved to be a good area to grow rice and the slaves were expert rice growers before their arrival in the 1600's.  The Native Americans inter-married with them and taught them many things, in particular, about more than 600 plants and roots used for medicinal purposes as well as foodstuffs.

Since the Native Americans and slaves had no option to go to doctors, they had to treat/heal themselves.  One example, Slippery Elm Bark, was used back then and today it is aspirin.  The roots and plants were also used in the practice of Hoodoo.  Maybe more on that later.  Their culture was rich and varied.  The Gullah invented the blue hand and eye to drive evil spirits away.  They also began the 'haint blue' paint still used on houses today in the South.  They invented Br'er Rabbit, a trickster in their stories and brought bottle trees to the American south. The Gullah were very superstitious. As I said, too much to tell here.

Above, is the Angel Oak tree on Johns Island, near Charleston, South Carolina.  It is thought to be about 1400 years old and supposedly, the tree has seen many things over the ages.  It is said the other trees nearby take care of it and feed it.  If you get the chance, google it for pictures.  I've never seen another like it. If only I could get an acorn.

Anyway, I ordered an old Charleston cookbook as all the study made me want authentic creole food.  I thought you'd like to see some of the recipes.  I'd love to try the Cherry Bounce.  Those southerners love the drinky winky. Even sloe gin fizzes in the morning are commonplace.

I was looking for a creamy bisque soup and I'm going to try the Kiawha Shrimp Bisque, but with crab.

I'm not sure which recipe I am looking for, so I'll try this one too, as it sounds more like the one I've been looking for.  Notice underneath the recipe it says Charleston is famous for this soup. The one I've had had an orangey spice in it, perhaps saffron or paprika.

I don't know of another food more popular in the south than biscuits. Maybe like the scones in Scotland.

Grits, seafood and corn and rice, okra and beans and greens. Though many nationalities lived in and around Charleston, these ingredients were very popular.  Not only the Atlantic Ocean, but different rivers provided many foods to the area of this major port city.

I've barely scratched the surface.  New Orleans is known for their Cajun food, but I don't think they have anything on Charleston's Creole cuisine.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

New Recipes

Some more recipes.  I think this is the seventh posting.  I'll keep them coming.  I looked on the grocery shelf last week and they do still sell the dried beef in glass jars.  It looks just like jerky. I'd like to try this ham and bean soup.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Last Of The Appetizers

The last of the appetizers.  The sausage balls are really good. Just make sure and use the raw sausage.  I cooked it first once and it didn't turn out.  Next chapter is soups which I have been yearning for lately.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Retirement Income For Tom

This is a picture for Tom across the pond.  I think he will enjoy it.  He posted about shipping containers to let, somewhere in Europe.  I had this picture as a guide for B&B's.  The one on the bottom right has a large orangerie and they even have a goldfish pond.  What's not to love?  Beachside?  Heaven and I bet they'd stay rented out. Must love stair climbing!

Recipes Five

I think I'll have to add a few more pages each time to get this all done.  Going to be lots of recipe posts.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Old Time Recipes

It is slow going, but there are some good ones to come.  Jeanetta started with Dips and Appetizers and if I get out of order, well, I will get it mixed up.  These punches were probably made for weddings and anniversaries.  I seriously doubt old Hubert ever tasted likker'.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Alive And Going To Try Kickin'

More recipes coming your way.   I am still alive - no bending down, nothing lifted over 10 pounds and no driving for a month.  Ha.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Old Recipes

More recipes.  They do get better and more interesting.  The parties in the country weren't a big affair. Farmers are too tired to party.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

What's Happening

Summer is happening.  It has been so long since I posted, I thought I better, lest I forget how. The mind, the mind is going.  I water, water and water my plants, weed endlessly and have even canned pickles and peppers from my little raised planters.  I do enjoy my flowers and plants and can already see some spots I will plant some new things this fall and next spring.  When I bought the city house, she already had so much growing, there is barely a square inch to plant anything unless it is tiny or seeds.  This small garden across the patio looks bare.  Some coleus I had planted across it grew so large I couldn't see the flowers in the lower yard and had to take them out.  Next year nothing over a foot tall is going in that bed.  It is cool this morning; perfect and still.

My little gold fish pond has been trying again this summer and I finally got a pump only, and not filtering system.  It has settled down some and I have quite a few goldfish now.  Cross your fingers.

Did I say I've enjoyed myself this summer?  I enjoy sitting on my dock, feeding the waterfowl and fish and turtles.  They wait for me daily.

It has also been trying too.  After months of chemo and radiation at MD Anderson in Houston, my sister had her surgery to remove her leiomyosarcoma in her abdomen.  Nearly two days after, she came down with the first confirmed case of MRSA from an epidural at MDAnderson.  Two days after that she developed meningitis and a week later they had to go in through her back and cut open four vertebra to clean out the spinal column from infection.  Much happened between all of it and I have never seen pain that couldn't be managed with everything they had in their arsenal.  Cut from sternum to pubic area in front and 31 stitches down the back.  To make a long story short, she is finally home and resting.  Getting a little better each day.  She'll get there.  KK is the tough one of the two of us.  Nothing will keep her down, though this was her worst struggle ever.

I'm having surgery next week and usually nothing bothers me, but I am kind of scared now after what all my sister went through.  Can't pick up anything more than ten pounds for weeks and my weenies weigh more than that, so.....

I'm going to start posting recipes from a lady that lived down the road from my farm.  She made this book herself and it is southeastern Oklahoma food.  Don't ask me what that is as it is a combination of southern and many other kinds.  There is an Italian community near my farm.  There is a Czech community across the state and many others that came to America long ago.  Anyway, she was a good cook and I'll post the recipes so you too can have them.  Jeanetta is long gone, but her old recipes live on.

Enjoy and relish these summer days my friends!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memento Mori

"Alas poor Yorick..."  Memento Mori, in Latin, literally means 'remember you must die.'  Not me??!!

Ok, nothing living and no one gets out of here alive.  Memento Mori are traced back to Socrates and the Victorians were very interested in them as a means of reflection on mortality.  Great writings (even Keats), great art and jewelry harken back to Memento Mori. It is said they are a way to remember to live each minute of every day to the fullest.  I am trying to do that very thing lately.  Looking under the rocks.  Enjoying and wondering - very curious about the world around me. This jade skull is one of many crystal and gemstone skulls sold in my web stores.  Not hawking them, just FYI.

Don't know the artist, but artwork abounds on the subject.

An antique gold ring for sale on 1st Dibs.

Even the evil eye jewelry everywhere today is memento mori.

In the US, Memorial Day has expanded to include family members that have passed.  

I don't have many veterans to remember and thank, but my brother-in-law was an Army captain, who flew Huey helicopters in Vietnam; he would swoop in to rescue the wounded and in fact, was shot down twice - a true American hero.  He rests at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

Thank you this Memorial Day to all of the brave men and women who have fought in wars.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Weed Or What

I don't know what this is, but its got a week before I whack it out.

Those bottom leaves are nearly two feet in length and it stayed neat and tidy for two years - close to the ground.  This year it is growing up and out. It's about 3 feet by 3 feet in a small bed across my back patio.  It keeps putting out these buds and I wait each day for blooms, but I think it's just unfurling more leaves.  

Whatever, it is getting a severe pruning next week if nothing of the floral variety appears.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Mother In Laws

I sell things on eBay, Etsy and Mercari.  Mostly crystals and stones, old pawn Navajo jewelry and a few things left over from my antique booth.

This item cracks me up.  I just love it and have several - all different.  This is a vintage Navajo mother in law bell.  All sterling silver, the bell and chain both handmade by a Navajo artisan, the story goes that the son in law was not supposed to look at the mother in law.  Talk about respect.  Anyway, the mother in law wore these little bells so she could be heard approaching.  There is a little clanger in the bell and each one makes a different sound.  Some of these have a turquoise cabochon on the  front.  The stamping on this bell means something, but I don't know what.  I only know the bird wing stamp, which isn't on this one.  It is decorated front and back.  I also have some Navajo bell earrings, but I'm keeping one pair.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Nouvelle Vague - Dance With Me

It is a beautiful day - a happy day with rain this morning and sunny skies this afternoon. I think I have planted my last flowers in my garden. I think.

This song is on my playlist and I remembered I posted this long ago.  Just love how they re-did the song and video.  And I just love this song. Hope your day is happy too!

Monday, May 14, 2018

E For Effort

It was a nice Mother's Day.  My husband provided a take out meal (including paper plates, napkins and plastic cutlery) and the kids and grands came and went to celebrate the day.  

This dish was the most impressive, for my husband had to make it and haul it from the farm to the city house.  I tried not to laugh, given that he hasn't a clue what tempered chocolate is (and thus, had sugar watery droplets on top). Nor the fact the marshmallows were hard since they have been in the pantry since last July 4th celebration. These tiny strawberries were from the plants he planted last year (he has always detested gardening). I asked what he used for dipping them in chocolate and he said he used a Hershey Bar and put it in the microwave.  

Will wonders never cease?

Monday, May 7, 2018


Well, I have tried and failed to capture my beautiful bunting.  I have probably taken 30 pictures from different angles, in different light and the iPhone cannot do it justice.  I ordered 20 feet of this from England.  It was to be made of handkerchiefs, but alas, it is just printed fabric.  I never send anything back.  Anyway, it goes across my covered patio and I hope it is not bothering all the nesting birds in the birdhouses.

I googled bunting as I thought it was an English thing and I have always loved it.  But, what if it were French?  So, it seems in the seventeenth century, sailors made bunting from wool and hanged it from ship ropes or something.  Just love it. I'd probably have it down to the lake and in the trees if I could.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Great Veggie Patch

After more than thirty years of large scale vegetable gardens, this is how I grow them now and you'll not find a pumpkin in this patch.

I only have two places where veggies can be grown and there is a raised planter at each corner of the house.  Being waist high, bugs are easy to spot and the beds can be easily tended.  Only drawback is the amount of plants I can grow and the beds dry out very quickly.  This is the second year, so I've learned a bit.

After years of tilling the soil and weeding and planting and harvesting, canning and freezing, I think I deserve these.  The roadside stands will have to supply my tomatoes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Sweet May

Finally, warm spring days.  May sweet May. Much to do in the garden.  I caught this Pennyhopper in the garden.  I told Penny I caught a bug and put it in a jar so it couldn't get away.  I am a magpie and save all sorts of things.  Bug wings, dried bugs, mini spaceman, bones - lots of things.  I've made one of these for all the grandkids.  This Pennyhopper is sitting on a chunk of amethyst, her birthstone.

She's holding dried lavender and has a little parakeet egg is in her basket.  Ladybirds are on the wood around the back.  She was quite enamored.

As I said I love May and so look forward to the flowers and warm weather.  My iris are blooming and the peonies are in bud and about to burst forth. I need to re-pot some citrus and plant many annuals.  I can't wait to see it all.  But, with the sublime comes Mother Nature at her worst.  Tornadoes in Oklahoma are most prolific in May and tomorrow might be a real lulu.  I am almost more afraid of large hail as it just beats the plants down.  I've never personally seen hail larger than a quarter, but have heard of it the size of grapefruit.  Tomorrow will tell.

When the wind blows mightily on the days in question, you know somewhere is going to get it. Hope it's not here.  I'm not going to plant my hydrangea plants until after tomorrow.  Will have my truck in the garage, so it won't be damaged.  Fingers crossed.