"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

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Though not really a star, the evening star is usually a planet, visible just before dark, during the gloaming or in the east just before sunrise. This is Venus watching the Moon. When I was a young Camp Fire Girl, we used to sit around a summer campfire and sing this song.
Tell me why
the stars do shine.
Tell me why
the ivy twines.
Tell me why
the ocean's blue.
And I will tell you
just why I love you...
Photo by NASA

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Peaches are peaches say ye who've only tried the common yellow ones. For those of you lucky enough to sink your teeth into a white fleshed peach, well, no other peach compares. Sweet, sublime, peachy perfume fills the senses and once you try a ripe white peach, you can never go back.
Possibly descended from a wild cultivar in Afghanistan, the Europeans believed peaches were native of Persia. They are really from China though and were cultivated as far back as the 10th century BCE. Favored by Chinese royalty, they believed peaches conferred immortality to those who ate them. Many Chinese and Japanese artisans paint peach blossoms and branches in their works. Peaches made their way from Asia to Europe. The Spanish brought them later to the Americas in the 17th century and the native Americans spread their seeds across America. Though Asians prefer the white, delicate fleshed peach, Americans and Europeans prefer the yellow fleshed ones.
I have two white peach trees and this year have been blessed with many fruits. The past two years, the trees remained fallow because of late spring freezes. Imagine my surprise when this year, both trees were loaded; many branches split because of the weight. I have frozen bags of peaches, made jam...............and have two five gallon buckets left.............. Bellinis anyone?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Who Me?

I received an award today from Gaye. She has the most sumptuous, interesting blog - it is really incomparable. Go give her blog a look at Little Augury - littleaugury.blogspot.com. Thank you so much Little a. From time to time, I wonder who or what these friends and acquaintances we meet in cyberspace are really like. Do we gravitate toward the ones we share common interests with; maybe we are voyeurs delving into lives we wish we lived. Whatever, I am just glad to meet so many incredible and interesting people out there.
Little Augury said I should pass this award along to 6 other bloggers whose blogs I enjoy.
AUREA mary-laure.blogspot.com- Mary-Laure has a wonderful blog; reminds me of seeing life through a child's eyes.
THE ANTIQUES DIVA http://antiquesdiva.blogspot.com/- Toma is an Oklahoma girl; lives the life I want, and is becoming famous. I'm meeting her in Paris in March. Yippee!
IT'S ABOUT TIME http//bjws.blogspot.com- All I can say is Wow. (I refer to her as the Professor).
LIFE AT WILLOW MANORwillowmanor.blogspot.com - Willow has taught me so much and is great at what she does; always enjoy her posts.
SWEET REPOSE thefabricofsweetrepose.blogspot.com- Sista Sharon is a long lost twin in a parallel universe.
TALES FROM THE COOP KEEPER talefromthecoopkeeper.blogspot.com- Jayme makes me laugh.
Now, I will reveal 7 random things about moi...
Uhh, I'm not afraid of anything - (except large sharks).
When I was in my younger days, I wanted to be an internist or a volcanologist.
Sometimes, (though totally at random times) I am psychic or should I say intuitive.
I love to read encyclopedias, or did, before the computer age.
My parrot, Birdie, is trying, as I type this, to pluck my eye out. He likes to blog with me.
OMG, 2 more things. This is hard. Must be psychological. (I am married to a neuropsychologist).
I like sunny skies.
I have to tell you a little story here. The day I read that Little Augury gave this award to me in the comfort category, I had to laugh. The previous night, I couldn't fall asleep until 6AM. At 6:45, my cat came running into my bedroom with a squeaking field rat in his mouth and promptly dropped it. At that instance, my little weeny who had emergency spinal surgery in December and isn't supposed to jump off anything, flew off the bed to chase the rat around. She was screaming too, till she caught it. My husband jumped up about the same time and said "one of your dogs just peed on me." Oh yes, and I ruined a painting I had been working on for two weeks, and all that happened before noon. So, Little Augury, thank you and all of my favorite (and there are many) bloggers. You comfort me.
Postscript ~ I will figure out how to link these blogs so you can click on them asap. I am also technically challenged.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Antique Heaven

Many of you remember how not long ago, I visited my good friend Maggie's Mom. I had wanted to see her collection of antiques for some time and when it came, I ran out of space on my camera. Sue sent me a few pics, which I have tried to scan (for the first time) to show you some of the beautiful things I didn't get. Her collection of majolica is exquisite.

This big oil painting was my favorite of the antique collections. It is large and so beautiful. When Sue purchased it, she put it in the trunk of her car and when she arrived home, it had a large tear in it. She had it repaired and it is Divine.

One of her many samplers; of course I love the dog in it. I found out from Sue that if the sampler is unfinished, it means the girl that made it didn't make it (sad, but true). I will go to see these collections again and I promise next time I won't run out of memory.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Consort- The Virgin Queen

I went to see a movie tonight called Inception. I don't know how to give it a review other than it is extremely convoluted; much like a jigsaw puzzle. I believe the germ for the movie came from a quote from Edgar Allen Poe that I read years ago. I don't know what story or poem it was from but it goes "is it all that we see or seen, but a dream within a dream." Nevertheless, one of the highlights for me was Tom Hardy. A wonderful English actor, I have seen him in several Brit movies and thought I'd show you a little of his work. This first one is one of my favorites and I recommend you rent or purchase it. It is that good. He play Robert Dudley, the lifelong love of Queen Elizabeth (played by the wonderful Anne Marie Duff).

Wuthering heights 2009-take me with you

Another Tom Hardy starring role, playing Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. He is such a versatile actor. PS ~ I don't know why this clip keeps stopping and starting, so just slide the button to the end and at the bottom of the clip some other clips will come up. You can watch those without the stopping and starting.

INCEPTION - Tom Hardy Interview

I was glad to see Tom Hardy in a big budget American film since I think we'd get to see more of his acting. As I said, I can't really critique INCEPTION, but Tom Hardy answers some questions about the film here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


A beautiful, fast-growing, flowering tree, the crab apple also gives you a bounty of crab apples come summer. The fruit is about quarter-sized with a crispy clean tartness, but it is definitely appley. So what do you do with a tree full of crab apples? Well, for starters, jelly.

Gather the fruit; I had about 2 1/2 gallons.

Crab apples are hard and you can't just slice them. So, how to chop? I dug out these two old kitchen tools. Notice the acorns carved on the handle on the left. The tool on the right is older, like maybe colonial days old with its kidney bean shape. Each tool has been shaped and hammered or forged. The tool on the left worked better for this job.

Well, here is the result of all that chopping, now ready to cook down to a sauce. You will have to drain the mash in a cheesecloth to get the juice, but any jam or jelly making book will instruct you how to make the jelly.

Voila! It only took several hours . . . but here is the result. I need to make some scones now to try it.

But, if that wasn't enough and you like the occasional drinky winky, I chopped some more and am making crab apple liqueur. These recipes are all over the web. The one on the left is straight vodka and the one on the right has vodka and a little brandy in it. It is fun to play around with the flavors. When I look out to the tree that is still loaded, I am thinking juice for drink concoctions or pickled crab apples, but I don't think any in my family will eat them. Oh well, it's on to the white peaches.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, Harper Lee's magnum opus, turns fifty today. I have fond memories of my young son and I, taking turns reading chapters to each other every evening one summer. We loved it, like legions before us. I have a theory about why she never wrote another tome. When you write a novel, you put most everything you have seen, heard, smelled, experienced into that first novel. While some writers like Joyce Carol Oates are prolific, for others, that's all she wrote; one has to live and experience more: she may have said all she wanted.
Nevertheless, Mockingbirds play a large part in American culture. Early in American history, Mockingbirds were once popular and kept as pets. President T. Jefferson had one named Dick. The American lullaby, Hush little baby don't say a word, mamma's gonna buy you a mockingbird... was part of the Mockingbird craze. Called the American Nightingale, Mimus polyglottos prefers to nest in maple, sweet gum and sycamore trees. As an observation, the birds are out after midnight practicing their songs. I can tell the city mockers from the farm ones. The city ones make police car and emergency vehicle calls. I think they are my favorite bird, today anyway. Postscript ~ Harper Lee's sister was on the CBS Sunday Morning show, and said the aforementioned reason I postulated, was correct.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sakamoto Ryuichi - Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (Live)

This is a wonderful live performance of Ryuichi Sakamoto performing Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence. I think it is from the movie of the same name starring David Bowie. Nevertheless, I believe the concert was in Rome at the Coliseum and I wish I could have been there.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Energy flow, Ryuichi Sakamoto

A small gift to all my wonderful followers and friends whom drop by to visit sometimes.