"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, April 30, 2015

Caw Caw Cawing

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you'll know how I love birds.  Crows in particular hold a fascination for me.  Don't know why.  Be that as it may, I've been feeding the crows lately and they are coming to eat.  There is a post in the field that I leave dog food and trinkets on.  Then, I go back home and call them, sounding like a mad lady, cawing loudly.  They come, though I wonder what they think of my poor imitation.  The above crow is carved from wood as a decoy.

Above is an oil painting I did called The Crow Picnic.

This young crow is made of paper mache and holds on to the bucking life-sized horse in my dining room.

The above is a wool wall hanging I purchased hung over a doorway.

Not matter what I did, I could not photograph this gouache I painted.  Guess it is the convex glass in the old frame.

Another old crow decoy.

A photo I took of a Parisian crow last trip to France.  Wonder if city crows are more sophisticated than my country crows?

Here is a crow feather.  Crows are supposed to be very intelligent, but this one wasn't.  He and a friend were fighting and teasing an owl in the trees out front.  Next morning, I found a dead crow on the ground where the fight took place.
Native Americans are very superstitious about crows and ravens.  The mean old woman down the lane shoots them and hangs them upside down in her trees, I guess as a way to scare crows away.

But, as I type this, a crow is cawing loudly out my backdoor, which has never happened.  Seems maybe, they are calling me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Who Is This Man?

HBO has produced a new show (well second season I think) called Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.  I taped one show.  Satirist, comedian, social conscious with a twist?  I guess he says what we Yankees cannot.  Is he British, Irish, Scottish?  I don't know.  I had a little bit of a hard time following him; not his diction, but a little too fast.  Has to get it all in I guess.  I think I'll give him another go.  Seems to be popular over here.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


My sister has come for a visit this weekend.  She always expects a cherry pie (two cans of cherries cost $6.84), fresh eggs and whatever else I've canned or put up. We have to go to an expensive local restaurant she loves and she has to have a back tickle.  

Yes, she is the older sister.  You have to have one to understand.  Mind you, like being the middle child, older sisters are the queen bees in family dynamics. In fact, I rarely (every few years) get to go to her house because she won't let me bring my dogs.  But, I love her so - can't imagine life without her.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Garden Walkabout

Back home from the city to the farm.  I awoke to a cold, windy morning so I won't be doing much outside (there is really so much to do I don't know where to start).  I took one look at the fish pond, but I won't be climbing in it today.  I did finish the turkey and her poults topiary boxwoods.  But, while gawking, I saw that my old weeping Japanese maple in the foreground has, I think, died.  It had some new leaves come out on it this spring, but they have died.  I thought maybe a frost had gotten them, but nothing is returning.  It just up and died.  I can't believe it.

Noticed my clematis is starting to bloom on the patio garden fence.  Spring is moving right along without me.  I've tried to teach my husband that gardening doesn't wait for anyone, and now, I am going to have to remind myself of that.  But, it's going to have to wait till tomorrow.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Tadpole Poses

Ever try to get three tadpoles to pose?  Well, they won't.  I went wading in one of my farm ponds to find bullfrog tadpoles (they are as big as marbles), but found only these measly ones.  My grand kids will enjoy them anyway.
I got to thinking about a post by John Gray of Going Gently, about what made you laugh heartily as a child.  Now, I was a serious child; shy and quiet and could not remember that time.  But, I do remember the thrill of tadpoles and crayfish; climbing the tallest trees to peer into bird nests and see the little eggs.  I enjoyed the out of doors and guess I am still that child.

My goldfish have no such problems posing, though they really only want me to feed them.

This is for those whom are thinking about putting in a water garden/goldfish pond.  Be careful of the water plants you choose, especially water lilies and cat tails.  They take over.  My yearly immersion into the stinkiest, nastiest and most disgusting water is nigh.  I have to cut out half of the lilies and get the dead oak leaves out.  The plant root you don't see is as heavy and large as a meteor and I'll have to carve away at it.  That, and if you live in an area with water snakes, well, they'll just love your fish pond.
If that didn't scare you away, well, I do love to watch the gold fish and frogs and dragonflies and even the darn lilies when they bloom.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tropical Fruiting Plants

You might have heard me talk about a store out of Connecticut, called Logee's.  It is a wonderful greenhouse and garden catalog and store and I have used them many times.  In fact, I have a full greenhouse now because of them.  Nevertheless, I have been taking tumeric in capsule form for a couple of years.  It has been around for ages, but I use it for its anti-inflammatory and tumor suppression properties.  They now have the plant in their catalog.  My daughter uses the fresh tubers in her cooking, though I am not a fan of the taste and will continue it in capsule form.

I also ordered a ginger root plant.  They have sold out in the years before.  I love it pickled with sushi which is what I plan to do with my crop.  If you are interested in plant heaven, go take a look at their website, www.logees.com, better yet, request their catalog.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Way To Re-Cycle?

I have posted pics before of my little garden next to the patio.  Though the plantings change from year to year, I am going for a blue garden planted with perennials. Over time, the dishes were broken (no, I'd never) and I thought they would make a perfect edging for this narrow bed.  My husband doesn't like it, but it makes me happy.  

I love blue and white dishes.  I still have my grandmother's set, that I believe, used to come in boxes of detergent.  Though chipped and cracked, there have only been a few of those broken.  I don't think blue and white will ever go out of style.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Asparagus Is Up

The asparagus patch is up and growing once again. Supposedly, eating the first asparagus of spring brings good luck and I always pop the first spear into my mouth.  I have decided I only like it fresh, not canned or frozen.  It is easy to grow and comes back faithfully year after year. 

FYI: Medicinally, second century physician, Galen, describes asparagus as "cleansing and healing".  High in vitamins and necessary chemical compounds, it is used in Ayurvedic medicines.  Asparagus was eaten 20,000 years ago in Egypt.  Greek and Romans ate it fresh and dried it for winter use.  France's Louis XIV had special greenhouses built for growing it.  The points d'amour, or love tips, were served as a delicacy to Madame Pompadour.  It became available in the United States in 1850. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Can't Help Myself

Ordinarily, we ladies don't like double chin shots, but this one takes the cake.  My little baby bumblebee, Penny Lane, is 8 weeks old now and so adorable.  I get to see her this weekend.  Doesn't get any better.  Hope your holiday is a good one too.