"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, February 26, 2009

Spring Whispered In Her Ear

"Spring whispered in her ear," is a partial lyric from an old Laura Nyro song titled Upstairs By A Chinese Lamp. It is a song from one of her earlier albums. Laura was a genius and as well, a singer/songwriter/musician. Well, today spring did whisper in my ear. It's Here! Hurrah!
These little jonquils are the naturalizing kind that spread their little bulbettes around and come back every year more plentiful. I picked up one lying on the tiny grave of an indian child in an old indian cemetery. I brought the bulb home and stuck it in a flower bed and it has spread throughout the area. You can see whole fields of them around here and the little beauties are the first harbingers of spring. I think they are jonquils as the dictionary said the daffodils are bigger. Nevertheless, both are from the narcissus family.
I cracked open an egg and placed them in it. I have also used cracked egg halves to start seedlings in the original egg carton. Just put in some peat moss and seeds, keep them watered in a sunny window and plant outside later. I crunch the eggshells up and sprinkle them around the seedling. It is a very cute and green way to garden in the SPRING!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Southern Dish

Here is a concoction that definitely has southern roots. Everyone knows that in the southeastern United States, black-eyed peas, rice and fried okra are mainstays of southern cuisine. It's the time of year where I start digging in the freezer, pantry and refrigerators to see what needs to be eaten before the coming summer crops come in. This dish came from the need to whittle down the stores of vegetables and the like. It is a version of a popular dish called Hoppin' John. First, I boiled the peas and some Lundberg's brown rice. The peas are much better frozen, but I guess you could use canned. I then cut up some fresh Roma tomatoes into a small dice and also sliced up some scallions - about a cup of each. Next came battering and frying the okra. Then all I did was put down a bed of rice and topped it with the black-eyed peas and a little of the juice, then a layer of tomatoes, onions then the okra. That's it. A meatless lunch or dinner that is a complete protein. And, don't forget to season it with whatever spices or herbs your family enjoys.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I wanted to show you this still life under a cloche. I am always finding things on the farm. I found the little screech owl in the attic over the garage. I guess it got up there then couldn't find its way out. The smaller skull is from some kind of tern that I found by the pond in some grasses. The hummingbird flew into one of the windows on my house. I have saved many birds when they do this but this little guy didn't make it. The nest is a hummer nest; they use their spittle to attach tiny lichens to it. Did you know that birds reuse their nests several times during the spring and summer? The fungi, lichens and mosses are from the woods and when dried, they remain as they are for years to come.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I have this grouping hanging on an old upright wooden closet. It is an old store tie display. The little pink plaid dress is from around the turn of the century and when I bought it, there were several with the same style, just varying sizes from teeny to around 8 years old. I guess the mom bought one bolt of fabric and made all the girls in the family the same dress. Also, the little hat still has the original label on it called Peggy, my first dolls name. If you click on the first pic, you can see the orange plastic birds on either end of the tie rack. Those are clothes pins. I have never seen any like them and got them recently at the flea market. Their tails pinch in.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wall Shelf

What is this? I know my friend Josephine will know. I bought it several years ago at the Tulsa Flea Market from an English lady. She said she got it out of an English kitchen. It has bent hooks on it and I wonder if it is for hanging game upon though it seems too pretty a piece for that. Or, possibly it was for teacups and tankards. I collect old wooden buckets and did hang a few and also old horse creamers. One still has the label from Woolworth's for 25 cents (wish that I could have purchased it for that). The whatever it is used to have a finial on top so I replaced it with a piece of majolica. That and a wee child's chair. There is also a little railroad lantern with clear and red lights that I got from my friend Maggie. I just love this wall piece; it's one of my favorites.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Catbird Seat

Here's Teddy in the catbird seat or bird feeder I should say. He is the sweetest cat. Very vocal. Yesterday, I caught him with a chickadee in his mouth and chased him down. I got him by the scruff of his neck and he let go of the chickadee and it flew up in a nearby tree and fussed and fussed. Whew! If I can catch the cats just after they catch the birds then the birds can sing for another day. But, if I'm not around... Did I mention they bring in field rats through the doggy door? One day last week they brought in three in one day. Teddy, Boo, Midge and MeanMom are the barn cats that have moved up to the house. Teddy fights his brother Boo: Midge is young and plays with both of the boys while her mother MeanMom lurks around outside hissing and spitting and chasing or jumping my little weiner dogs. How mean is she? She's so mean, we are at the stage of clawing and grabbing my hand, pulling it to her, then biting it and licking it. A big improvement. I'm trying to tame her so I can take her to get fixed. I have become one of those people I revile; the ones who don't take care of their animals and/or have them spayed or neutered. Let me explain. My farm/barn has become a cat farm; I never knew they had so many babies. I have spayed and neutered 9 cats so far, but I can't afford to do all of them (and they usually leave after I do that). So, all I can do is continue to feed them. I love them all, even MeanMom. They are so sweet (except MM). My husband wants to shoot them but I won't let him. Teddy, Boo and Midge all got to the house because they were hurt or sick. More vet bills. And no, there are no rescues etc. in this area. By the way, MeanMom looks a little fatter, hmmmm. She thinks the garage is her house and goes into the loft where she has her litters. We've tried the havahart cage and she's too smart for that. Let me know if anyone has any ideas. In 23 years, we never had this problem.
UPDATE: Today after I wrote this the dogs and I went out for a walk in the field. I looked back and here came Teddy, Boo, Midge and MeanMom. Meanmom came up to me and rubbed my leg, a first, then let me rub down her back a couple of times then clawed my hand and bit it. We did this several times while out walking and she got better at letting me rub her. Major event for MeanMom. She doesn't bite hard; the claw she catches my hand with is a little more bothersome, but I think soon she will let me pet and rub her without biting. She's finally starting to trust me; it has only taken a year. Hurrah! I've finally made headway with MeanMom.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fly Away

I found this drowsy butterfly lying on the ground before the first cold front arrived this past fall. I picked it up and placed it on the boxwood hedge before the cats found it. The monarch butterflies fly south ahead of the first real cold front each year. I hope this one fluttered off in time too.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hurry Spring and Summer

It was a gray day and didn't get as warm as they said it would. So, I thought I'd post a spring picture. I love geraniums. I have grown many different colors, but I think this is my favorite one. It seems to bloom more than the other colors. You get such a bang for your buck and anyone can grow them. I made many cutting from my geraniums using rooting hormone powder and had a 100% success rate. Also, I have begun overwintering them in the barn. I cut them back and water them sparingly throughout the winter then bring them out in spring and they all come back.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Animal Love

This is a little corner in my house that is all things dogs and cats. I am an animal lover to put it mildly. All kinds of animals; doesn't matter what kind. I think I must have been an animal in a previous life. My kids call me the animal whisperer. I just seem to know somehow what they are feeling and thinking. No kidding. I'm not afraid of anything, except maybe monster waves and large sharks. But animals I have no fear of. Maybe they sense that. I've noticed I smile the most around animals. Does this make me a misanthrope? I don't know. I just know that animals make me happy.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Olden Days

This old Mercury Flyer is from the 20's. It has a little box in the back to stack coal or a dolly. The tike sits astride the engine and steers from the handlbars on top as he scoots around the house. My grand daughter loves it.

This has got to be the oldest skateboard in existence. You should see the wheels - all metal. I don't know when the earliest skate board came into existence, but I think this must be from around 1960. It says Roller Derby on top.

Aren't these the cutest old skis? They couldn't be more than 14" long. Can't you just see the little child skiing in these? I can't imagine how they could do more than stand up let alone go down a little hill without tumbling. The little buckles and straps are all that would hold the skis on. Kind of like the old key roller skates we used to wear - not very dependable. The black skis in front are child-sized too and only have small leather straps and buckles.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Polly Want A Cracker?

Like a firecracker perhaps? I have always been a lover of birds; have feeders all over the place; summer and winter ( I even left the house during the ice storm to go to town to get more bird seed). I'm also ready when the hummingbirds return the first week of April with various vitamin and mineral potions. And then there is Birdie, the meanest red lored amazon around. I have always had pet parakeets and Bubba, the sweetest Love Bird in the entire world, but I also wanted a big bird: had envisioned one who could talk, snuggle, do tricks and just be a loving friend. Boy, was I wrong about this bird. Birdie would rather bite your nose off or have a knuckle or two while still attached to your hand. She can bite clear through. The first thing the books tell you is to teach them a command to step up onto your hand. Birdie's eyes just flash (look at picture number one) and she opens her mouth to dare you to try this on her. She squawks so loud your eardrums sound fuzzy for a while, like a bad speaker. I can't tell you how many times and places I've been bitten. And, to make matters worse, I couldn't do more for this bird. She has a huge expensive cage with costly toys aplenty. I even bought her her own goldfish once in a tiny little goldfish bowl, but she was afraid of it. How can a bird be afraid of a tiny goldfish and want to fight with a human? She'll fly in and come sit on the back of my chair when I am at the computer. In the second picture above, she's having popcorn (which she loves)while watching me compute. Birdie has also begun to bark like my dogs, as loud as she can, which again is ear splitting. But what galls me the most is when my son comes home and she puffs up like a teddy bear and just preens and calls to him over and over and does this little head bopping dance trying to regurgitate food to feed him. She loves him and he can't stand her. She'll scream out his name many times over; endlessly calls him from the crack of dawn until he gets up. "Why don't you get rid of her," he barks back at her. I could never do that. I'll just have to love the little meany that I got and know that she loves me in her own mean way.
As a postscript, Birdie saw her pics on this post and is talking to them and quite enamored of the pics. Should have named her Narcissus.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I had this Garvey's scone mix that I picked up from Williams Sonoma. So instead of a recipe, I'll give a product review. I added some lemon zest and blueberries to the mix. They were pretty tasty. I used a small biscuit cutter so they are dainty. I thought they would rise more than they did, but that could have been the way I rolled them out. So, I'd give them a B. I like my scones round with lots of soft center instead of triangular and crusty. I have a Scottish Oat Scones recipe I'll share another time that is to die for. The little basket container with the blue checkered paper contains a knob of butter. I bought it at the Dragonmoon Tea Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Isn't it the cutest?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Antiques and Collectibles

This is one of my best peep's antique and collectibles booth at Rivercity Trading Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She always has the best stuff; I love literally everything in her booth. Last week, I bought an old child's parasol with dogs on it. I thought it was for a doll at first but found out it was for the wee ones. I am going to take a picture of my little granddaughter with it, though I fear she will just slam it to the ground. Little devil! She still has three more in her booth (different designs). I think I am her best customer. Hurry over to see all the treasures. You can also check out her etsy store at sleepingporchstudio.etsy.com. Make sure and click on pics to see all the goodies.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Looking For Signs Of Spring

I walked around today looking for signs of spring. The 60-70 degree days we've had, then a forty degree drop the next has the flora all mixed up around here. Nevertheless, the buds are swelling on the trees, the bulbs are peeking up from the ground (the deer haven't seen them yet) and the groundhog hasn't a clue. They say the same thing every year. So, I just know it is coming soon. The pic is of a Contorted Filbert aka Harry Lauder's Walking Stick. This one is only about 3 years old and started out just a slip so it has grown nicely.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

My blog has received The Lemonade Award from a fellow blogger, Theresa at Garden_Antqs vintage (http://www.gardenantqs.blogspot.com/). She is a dear, sharing and caring person and I thank her for this nomination. Since I am so new to blogging, I barely have time to blog, much less the luxury of reading many blogs. I have to nominate at least 8 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude. So, this will be hard to choose for me. I do enjoy reading some, so here goes. The rules of the award are as follows:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post. 2. Nominate at least 8 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude. 3. Link to your nominees within you post. 4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog. 5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

A few of the blogs I read fairly regularly that make me smile and/or entertain me (I hope that encompasses attitude/gratitude) that I would like to nominate are: A Brit In Tennessee (http://www.abritintn.blogspot.com/), Okie Sister(http://www.okiesister.com/), The Pioneer Woman(http://www.thepioneerwoman.com/), Cote de Texas(http://www.cotedetexas.blogspot.com/), Marie Xi (http://www.casazoo.blogspot.com/) Cedric (http://www.parisdeuxieme.com/)Chezlouloufrance.blogspot.com, and Elaine at http://www.okietravel.blogspot.com/.