"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, July 31, 2016


When seasons begin or come to an end, I am usually out in the woods or fields, looking for the first signs of spring, etc.

August, in Oklahoma anyway, is the hottest one.  Temperatures are often in the hundreds and rain is rare.  Not my favorite kind of weather.  So, while deadheading the echinacea and phlox, (please, if anyone knows if this will encourage another flowering, let me know), I found these leaf skeletons.  There were quite a few in fact.  Perhaps, the first sign of fall?

The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there
a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst 
the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many.

Oliver Wendell Holmes
"The Seasons"

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


I have been selling 30 years of antique accumulations from the farm and barn.  It is all the stuff left over from doing the Marburger Farm show in Round Top, TX.  I have only had a booth in a mall since January, so it has been a learning curve.  

First, the mall I'm in has over 300 dealers.  LOTS of stuff.  Therefore, the dollars are spread out more.  Secondly, I have noticed that the smaller stuff sells more - OK is in a recession and the choke point seems to be around $20.00.  

The booth I'm in is about 8x8 feet; not big enough for furniture and crammed to the ceiling.  I just love the booths that are spare and styled, but my thought is, if it isn't in there it won't get sold and I have to pay rent, a commission that goes to the mall and I pay all credit card fees (they don't accept checks.) It is difficult to keep it all orderly and leave room to walk around the booth freely.  It is a lot of work. I had hoped to sell out quickly so I would't have to keep it going for too long.

And oh the joys of keeping up with my stuff.  If it is missing, they encourage you to walk the entire mall to look for it.  I did that for awhile, but quickly tired of that and wait for booth owners to turn it in to the front desk and they will return it.  I have had things missing for a couple of months. I notice things that aren't mine right away, but evidently some booth owners never come in.  I now have a new appreciation for putting something down across a store when I change my mind.  It happens a lot.

Then, there is a crazy person that comes in regularly and tears through the far corners of my booth - turns it inside out.  I'd like to smack them.  No normal person would leave a booth in that condition.  In fact, I had to remove all my textiles, like quilts and rugs, as I'd find antique quilts in a heap in the middle of the floor.

I've had a few 25% off sales, but I don't really sell more during them.  How's that?  I don't know as it would make a difference to me.  Nonetheless, I haven't had a sale this month and won't for awhile.  One item, an old metal Life Savers display, brightly colored and in great condition, sat there for two months.  I marked the price up and it sold.  I am just trying to make my money back, but will take a loss if I have to.  But, some things are one of a kind, rare, and I refuse to give them away.  Am I cutting off my nose to spite my face?  It is hard to know.  The market has changed.  Whereas, large wooden English pieces were once all the rage, you can't give them away now.  Thankfully, I don't have any.  I love primitives, but now, in Tulsa anyway, they are not selling.  They still sell in TX, but I have to wait for a buyer from TX to come through.  The younger crowd don't like antiques so much anymore - they like modern and minimalism.  

So what does all this have to do with the lamp in the picture?  I saw this lamp and bought it to see if I could make money on it in the booth.  I have only bought two things to sell in this booth.  It is French, Art Nouveau from the 1890's.  Heavy painted metal, it is also a candelabra lamp.  It is beautiful, but not really my style.  I got it all priced and ready to take to my booth, then at the last minute decided not to.  Why, you say? Because I fear the customers will try and pick it up and mess it up or even worse, break it.  I thought about putting a sign up - please do not touch - but they will.  So, I sat it in the entryway and will ponder what to do with it.

It's a whole new world in antiques.  This old antique has lost her touch. Not like the days when I was into it.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Enlighten Me

I need my avid readers to enlighten me - "masterpiece" I read in the reviews.  I must have been sleep reading (or just a big dummy), but I am not going to re-read this book to try and find the masterpiece inside.  If you have read it, please talk to me and tell me about it.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Toot Toot

This is for the two or so guys that read my blog.  I know, from having a son, you like things that go vroom or putt putt along, all those endearing little sounds boys make.

I pass this little vehicle, or whatever it is, on the way to town when I'm at the farm.  It is just the oddest thing.  It reminds me of the cardboard boxes I used to climb into and turn into cars.  The days and life much simpler then.  I have never seen one driving on the road.

My friend Monique, recently went to Paris and reminded me of scenes we witnessed too while in Paris.  These smallish cars (I drive a pick-up truck) would pull up to the curbs to parallel park and would literally bump into the cars in front and in back until they wedged into a parking place.  I and my friends simply stood with our mouths gaped open; couldn't believe what we were witnessing.
If someone did that in America, they'd face stiff fines and a ticket and big insurance bills.  That is if you are lucky and don't make someone mad enough to elicit road rage.

This little vehicle is old.  The top was peeling and tattered.  I didn't want to tarry too long and couldn't get a front shot or risk being run over by traffic.  

Sorry ladies.  If only there were some pretty wildflowers growing alongside.  I'm off to can bread and butter pickles; the last thing I am canning this year.  

Is anyone having trouble with blogger?  Mine is acting up and I fully expect my blog to go poof.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summertime Slugs

This time of year, in the state where I live, it's miserable outside.  Here I am.  Just kidding.  Buzzy is feeling it too. 100 degrees in the shade turns me into a wet noodle.  Drains all strength.  I guess that is why they take siestas in Mexico.  If you don't get out when the sun comes up, you'll have to wait until midnight to do anything outside, then fight the mosquitos.  

Of one thing I am sure.  Henry James didn't come from Oklahoma.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Wild Week In The City

Hot days, but bearable on the porch.  The mother Mallard and her nine ducklings came strolling by, didn't care I was sitting on the porch after pulling weeds.  They waddled by me and hopped in the goldfish pond, diving and drinking and enjoying the water.  They have stopped up my new filter/pump, but that's another story.

They won't all fit in the pond soon.

I went to get more cracked corn as they strolled to the feeder.

The night before, a strong storm came through and knocked out the electricity for two hours.  The heat is what woke me.  Everything got a good watering though and it was nice on the porch.  Until another storm came through before noon.

You can just see it begin to rain on the lake.  Before too long, tornado sirens were going off, the wind was blowing 90 mph, rain coming in circles and sideways; I have never seen a more severe thunderstorm.  It was like a hurricane.  Tree limbs were coming down and I feared our roof was going to blow off.  The house was popping and cracking.  Lightning and thunder like I've never seen.

Unfortunately, I could not capture the degree to which it stormed.  You can see one of the neighbor's branches down and some in the water.  We had branches down in our yard, but a twenty foot long tree fell across the lake from us and floated in front of their dock.  That is, until it was swept over to our side.  I wanted to signal the neighbors to come get their tree, but didn't.  They also lost another large part of the tree in their yard.

More than a hundred thousand homes were without power for days (not us thank God as I couldn't bear that heat.) Trees are down across the southern part of the city.  Every house has some down.  Roofs were damaged and blown off, brick walls came down, fences down and a house nearby burned to the ground from lightning in minutes.  Even though the rain was drenching, the wind stoked the fire and it was consumed before the fire department arrived.  Within thirty minutes, the storm had passed.  All week, chainsaws have been cutting up trees.  Everyone with pickup trucks can haul their trees to a local pasture.  I don't know what those without a truck are going to do.  I've looked at the roof and no damage, so thankfully, we were let off lightly.  We still have a few limbs high up in the elm tree that are hanging, but I don't think there is any way to pull them down.

And, no I didn't hide in a closet, but I did stay inside.  It was pretty scary.  My little wind chime glass balls were whipping about.  One broke.  I was sorely tempted to run outside and tether it down, but was afraid I'd be struck by lightning over a twenty dollar wind chime.  

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Fleur de Lis

They're everywhere!  I have planted Stella d'Oro day lilies and have a few orange ones, but I've never planted any others.  My mistake.  These orange speckled ones are some of the last of the lilies to bloom and I have been waiting and waiting to see what they were going to look like.  First of all, all blooms hang downwards, unlike all the others, and the stalks are 5 feet tall.  Then they opened.

The blooms all hang downwards like Chinese lanterns.  They are gorgeous.

And did I mention they are all huge flowers.

One of my very favorites.

They are really unbelievable.

This one had white speckles.

Isn't this one a beauty.

These are large also.

What can you say but gorgeous...


Okay, I lean toward pastels, but pretty just the same.

These are whoppers and I do love the deep salmon color.  And, all the lilies are planted in multiples the reason I say they are everywhere.

Finally, does any one know what those tall purple flower spires in the background are?  They look like phlox on a stem about 5 feet tall.  They are also everywhere in the garden and I just love them.  As I said in a previous post, the only thing I can squeeze in are seeds.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Well Hmm

  Who is included in this cookbook with more than 350 fellow cooks/gardeners from all fifty states?

Well, take a guess.  Alice Waters perhaps?  You'd be right. Maybe Thomas Keller too.  And moi?  My fifteen seconds of fame (I wish it had been a little more exciting than this, but then I'd be greedy, so never mind.) I did see it in the cookbook section of Barnes and Noble so that was a little kick.

A percentage of the sales of this cookbook went to benefit Second Harvest, the largest charitable organization against hunger in the U.S.

They selected my dill pickles.  I've written the recipe in a post before and these are the best you've ever tasted.  Funny thing was, when I got my copy of the book, the recipe was unrecognizable (is that literary license?).  And, they used my business name, Wild Child Designs, from my business card which had nothing to do with my pickles, for the title of the pickles.  A catchier recipe name perhaps?  Would they have been selected for inclusion if I called them Dull Pickles?  I guess they can do whatever they want in publishing.  Hmmm....

The amounts of ingredients were altered and instead of alum, they substituted grape leaves.  I've never done that.  I do grow the peppers, cukes, dill and garlic, but I have no idea how these pickles would turn out since the recipe is so different. Anyway.

My husband brought gallons of pickling cucumbers up to the city house on the fourth.  Problem is, all my jars, spices and canning equipment are at the farm plus I've been babysitting an 18 month old angel for the last couple of days.  Guess I'll be giving this bunch away.

So, come on now.  Tell me about your 15 seconds/minutes or days of fame.