"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

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Nouvelle Vague - Dance With Me

I love finding new music; I think it is one of my favorite things about blogging.  I saw this on another blog, tavarua-thetraveler.blogspot.com, then couldn't find it again with a prompt that said, sorry, this page doesn't exist or something like that.  Does that ever happen to you?  So, I did some research and found out that the group is Nouvelle Vague (New Wave), a french group that uses different singers.  Love their sound.  This song is from an album they did which reminds me of the bossa nova and Astrud Gilberto, whom I love.  Love this video too.  And, dear friends, a most happy new year to you.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Food History Jottings: Sucket and See

Food History Jottings: Sucket and See: A selection of 'wet suckets' - citrus fruits preserved in syrup. Clockwise from top left - green orange, lemon, bitter orange and ...

Ivan Day is a food God in my book: I am sure he must cook for the Queen.  I once saw him cooking on PBS. Not only does he make unbelievable concoctions, he has all of the old implements and recipes, and is a walking, talking food encyclopedia.  Based out of Great Britain, he is beyond an inspiration.  
 I just had to show you what he has posted about citron and all the citrus I have been growing these past few years.  I think you'll enjoy his posting and learn as I did.  Hopefully, if you hit on the above, it will link you to his post.  Doesn't get any better than Ivan in the blogosphere.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


I have many gifts left to buy and even more to wrap.  I have done no Christmas baking as of yet.  That being said, this year I have decided that some things will just not get done.  The holidays will  not be perfectly decorated nor all of the traditional favorites cooked and the rest that comes with the season.  I am good with it though.  Just hope the family will be as right with it as I am: that to be able to gather together once again really is the best part of the season.  Nevertheless, to my oldest and new friends, have the best of days in the year remaining.

My sweet angels are waiting to see if they are getting gifts (anything) or just switches and coal (probably lots).

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hello Out There

It has been just over a week since Sister's eye surgery and she can see.  Sister and I are blessed. The best Christmas gift ever.  I have spent most of the week holding her so she doesn't scratch her eyes out so this is the most I can come up with at the moment.   My Bella making a snow angel last winter. It is all good.

Monday, December 1, 2014

To See Again

We're on our way today to have Sister's eye surgeries.  We'll be crossing the state (in winter weather of course) several times. Keep your fingers crossed.  I'll be back in a few days.  

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Norman Reedus

Here is starstruck middle daughter Cady with Norman Reedus, aka Daryl, from the popular series WALKING DEAD.  She said he was very nice and chatty; talked about his black cat and son.

In this pic, Norman is shooting silly string at people.  Merle, Shane and Herschel were also there.  Seems Merle was the biggest cut-up.  The kids can't wait for next year's comic con.

Friday, November 21, 2014


In case you missed it, this year is my first crop of a citrus called Buddha's Hand.  It is the oldest known citron and has been propagated for over 3000 years.  Pretty incredible.  This wee, inch long babe, started in May of this year.

And this is the whopper it became.

Tried to scale it with an egg.  It is so ugly, it's beautiful and it smells of heaven; a fruity, perfumed scent.

This is the dicey part.  It has no pulp and thus is used for a candied peel.  I tried it like this, but it had too much moisture.  A fail or perhaps a learning curve.  Then I decided it would have to be stripped as peel without the pith which would work much better.  So I tried it and bleck.  If I want something sugary, I'll have a Snickers instead. I'll just enjoy smelling and growing it. 

This is one of my Meyer lemon trees.  I have a greenhouse full of them and other types of citrus.  Now comes the hard part, juicing all of them and most are ready to go.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sister's Eyes

Why do we love them so?  She's my heart, my best friend and she's only 8.  If you remember, this summer she became diabetic and after months of tweaking her insulin levels (I don't have to lie down on her on the bed to hold her down for the shots anymore) and the routine blood curve tests, she is finally doing well.  Except for her eyes.  Sister has now developed cataracts, something that seems to go along with the diabetes.
Diabetic dogs have the type I kind; when their insulin is gone it is gone.  I still have to prepare (cook) all her meals as she won't eat the diabetic dog food.  It is a real pain to do so and I've had to buy up all the flax seed and chia, hemp hearts, lean meats, etc., at Whole Foods.  It is all so expensive, (when did lean meat become so expensive), but I do it for Sister.   
After a trip to the vet this morning, I found out that they can do surgery on her.  One eye costs $2100.00 and 2 eyes will be $3500.00.  I will also have to take her to Tulsa and Oklahoma City 8-10 times for weekly checkups for 3 months after the surgery.  The trip takes about 2-3 hours one way.  
She is bumping into things and I know she is nearly blind now.  I just can't stand it.  When she was 4, she became paralyzed from a blown out disc in her back that cost $3500.00 for surgery.  I'm afraid my husband might divorce me when I tell him this news as he would certainly say let her be blind or put her to sleep which I would not do.
I want her to see again.  I know what I am going to do.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Small Things

It is freezing out today, so I'm stuck inside (really, after feeding the animals this morning I refuse to go outside.)  This little old doll house aquarium sits on a shelf next to my computer.  I put it atop an oak leaf to show the size.  So cute.  I have many pieces of old doll house furniture at the farm, but the doll house is at my other house in Tulsa.  Oh well. I meant well.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Get Stinky

The downside of living on a farm is when your cats come home with something dead and your dogs roll in it.  I kept getting a whiff of something today that was awful; wondered what in the world it could be.  It came from different places in the house which left me looking high and low for the source.  I'm washing my bedding and sniffing around.  I finally realized what it was.  My weenies had rolled in something dead.  Nothing smells worse.

The title of this gouache I painted is 'Rolling In Stink".  Now you know where I got the idea from.

How could the sweetest weenies in the world, Emmy and Sister, do such a thing?
Well, they  never met a turd they didn't like either.  They wouldn't know what a leash was for.
So goes living on a farm.  Lots of nasty things for weenies to get into.  As for the cats, I've never seen a cat roll in dead things.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

One More For The Road

Just a joke.  A little drinky winky of this and you'll be headed to bed.  My limencello, (my term as it was made with Persian limes that I grew), is ready.  Since the day is cloudy, I could not photograph the brilliant green that it turned.  So beautiful.  Must be the color of the Emerald Isle, a place I've always wanted to visit. 
My lemons, tangerines, tangelos, grapefruits and oranges are ripening and I'll soon have to juice most of them.  My lone pomegranate is huge and unbeknownst to me had burst under the pressure of all the juice.  I will have to let the grandkids have a go at it.  
Did I say, one sip of this takes your breath away.  My husband is sick, so maybe I can try it out on him and clear his passages.  Other than that, it's going in the freezer.  I did add the simple syrup, but it stayed clear, unlike limoncello which becomes opaque and creamy when the syrup is added.  I wonder how oranges would taste for a liqueur...

Friday, October 31, 2014


Here is an early Ouija board. These were actually played with long ago when they still played parlor games. The rest of the post is from an earlier one, apropos for this spooky time of year. And, to all my friends and family out there, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

"Is it all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream".  Edgar Allan Poe

First of all, let me preface this story with a disclaimer. I have never seen a ghost as far as I know, so I can not say with any certainty that they exist.

Over many, many years, I had recurrent dreams of a grand old delapidated house. It was three floors with lots of rooms and staircases. The wallpapers were faded and the furnishings were expensive yet from another century. The living room/entry had a 'ghost' that was unseen - a masculine voice and presence that hovered near the ceiling. Up the grand staircase at the landing, was an angry old ghost lady in a long dress. Down the hallways were various bedrooms with hidden doorways and staircases, each of which were inhabited by different visible ghosts. These 'house dreams' are supposedly common - Carl Jung, the famous psychoanalyst, had a theory about them. You can google it, but I don't have the room nor time here to explain Jung, nevermind that he has been disproven and/or not referred to very much in modern medicine - whatever.

Now, for the rest of the ghost story. Prince Michael of Greece believes in ghosts and has written a book about them titled THE WOMEN FROM BEYOND. Though he writes about ghosts that he and his family have encountered throughout Europe's great castles, he also writes about other encounters as well. He said that not all ghostly phenomena are confined to the great and famous.

In the 1960's, an Englishwoman dreamed each night the same dream. In her dream, she saw a large, distinctive country mansion in an unmistakable landscape, though she knew of neither the house nor the landscape. She often wondered why both returned to her regularly in her dreams.

One day, while traveling through Scotland with her husband, they rounded a corner and she saw plainly in front of her the house she had dreamed of for so long. Determined to solve the enigma, she stopped and rang the doorbell.

A man, whom she decided must have been the caretaker, answered the door with a gasp and stood staring at her with open horror. She asked him who lived in the house. The man replied that it had been empty for many years, the owners not caring to share it with the white lady. "So, is the house haunted," she asked. "You should know," he replied. "You are the ghost."


One night, several years ago, I dreamt of coming upon that old house I had dreamed about for so many years and it was gone. A bulldozer was moving the freshly dug earth across the lot; nothing was left of the house. I called out to the equipment operator. But what about the ghosts, I asked anxiously. "They're gone," was his reply.

I never dreamed about the house or the ghosts within again.
And one more thing, one of my favorite movies and a great one for this time of year, is THE LADY IN WHITE. I just love so many things about this movie.

One more thing.  I'll be alone tonight in my country house. The winds are howling and there will be a first hard freeze tonight.  I guess I'll have to turn on the heater.  Now, that is scary.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

We've Been Had

I want to preface this by saying that I'm not a girly girl.  I'm low maintenance, my hair gets piled up on top of my head with a clip, I hate to wear makeup and the only jewelry I wear is a pair of earrings.
That being said, my eyelashes have become almost non-existent; very light and sparse.
Almost all my women friends are using Latisse and have very dark, lush and long lashes.  So, I decided to try it too.
Well after spending $164.00 (I died) on this box (it said for a one month supply), imagine my surprise when I pulled out this teeny bottle and the rest of the box was filled with cheap disposable brushes.  I couldn't believe it.  Two brushes per day or one for each eye and one drop per eye.

Unbelievable.  The crappy, hard black brush soaks up a drop and is wasteful of the liquid that is as expensive as gold.
We're getting screwed ladies.  First of all, I'm told you can find Latisse for around $115.00 at Sam's though there isn't one where I live.  Secondly, ALLERGAN, the company that makes Latisse, knows about this.  Shame on them.  Some consumer reporting agency should make this public.

I decided to try a  new sable paintbrush.  One drop is more than enough for both eyes with zero waste.
Just thought you'd want to know.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Another Go

I had a good amount of tomatoes left on the vine and thought I'd get another crop out of them before a frost.  The deer had other ideas and ate all the tops and leaves off the plants.  And mind you, they climb up onto a three foot high deck to get at them. With nothing left to sustain their growth, I decided to pick them and try a third batch of dried tomatoes.

Since these had less juice than red ripe ones, they didn't take as long to dry and they have quite a nice tang to them.  I will try to rehydrate them in olive oil and garlic soon.  Possibly, on top of a flat bread of some sort, maybe even pasta.  I think these will turn out nicely.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Short-Legged Beasties

I love leaving my windows and doors open in spring and fall - let all the cool, fresh air in.

But, I don't like all the other things trying to get inside.  Besides big, huge brown spiders all clambering to get in before the cold, this thing crawled up my leg last night while sitting at my computer.  I thought, 'what in the world is that, an earthworm'?  When I saw what it was, I screamed and tried to slap it off my leg, but with all those creepy, clingy legs, it just kept on coming.

I finally got it off and stepped on it.  Almost gave me a heart attack but at least it didn't sting me. I have seen this species of centipede before, years ago, climbing a tree. It was over six inches long and as big around as a finger.  I would have had a heart attack if that one had been crawling up my leg.

I wasn't as lucky with the red hornet this week that got me on my palm.  Within an hour, my arm and hand looked like Popeye's.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Einstein Was Right

  I woke this morning to watch CNN and have my coffee.  CNN wasn't there.  What?  I thought I was in some horrible time warp - a parallel universe without CNN.  

Shame on you DISH Network.  Didn't get the price point you wanted, so you refused a new contract to provide CNN.   I have DISH in both of my houses and spend a small fortune for their satellite services.  CNN is the gold standard in news programming unlike the many crappy unwanted channels we receive as part of our package.

Unbelievable!  I don't watch television on my computer, nor ipad or iphone and refuse to do so.  It is like going back to 1836.  Must we now find out what is happening in the world by telegraph, Morse code or dreaded Western Union missives?  Einstein said that time travel to the future would be easier to do than travel back in time. 
I hope DISH gets its comeuppance; hope its stocks are in free fall and subscribers leave in droves.       I am pissed!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Garden's End

I got this contraption from a Lehman's catalog.  It is a jar top fermentation kit.  If you haven't heard, fermented food is the new/old health craze.  So healthy in fact, it will cure all that ails you.  Probiotics, enzymatic, vitamins and minerals, things that can't be found in pills, will aid your digestive systems.  This used to be done in crocks over a long process, but can be done in a few days with this implement.  All you use is water and Celtic Sea Salt.  

You can be creative with your fruits and vegetables and make pickles, kraut, kimchi, antipastos.  I used the last of my jalapeno peppers for this batch.  After 4 days, I poured out some of the brine and replaced it with cider vinegar. I will store them in the fridge, then probably stuff them with cheese or something for the holidays.  
I also found this new apple cider vinegar that is unfiltered "with the mother" in it.  I'll have to see how it tastes.
Fermentation.  The new/old health food.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Breaking Bad Redux

Urban legend? Hoax? Someone playing a cruel trick?  I read today that the producers and director of BREAKING BAD are making another season.  Could it really be true that the most brilliant masterpiece of all time is coming back to the small screen?  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Lime Time

My Persian lime tree produced twenty limes this fall.  My first crop I might add.  You notice all the peelers.  I have even more.  You see, to make limoncello (I don't even know what you'd call limoncello made from limes), one must peel only the surface rind. It is hard to find a peeler that works well. No white pith as it will ruin the batch.  

I poured a very strong grain alcohol into a jar with the peels.  After a few weeks in a cool, dark place, the peels will snap like a potato chip.  Then, I'll add a sugar syrup and bottle it up and into the freezer.  It will grow hair on your chest.  I rarely drink it, but instead, give it away.

Not so for my lime juice.

I freeze it in little cubes and bag it up for when I need smaller amounts.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fall Finally Comes

The temperature got down to 40 degrees this morning.  It has been so hot this fall.  I found these pumpkins at the market.  What will the growers think up next?  
Halloween and the trick or treaters can't be too far off.

From the ghoulies and ghosties
and long leggedy beasties
and things that go bump in the night.
Good Lord deliver us!

Scottish Prayer

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Angels Among Us

My grandchildren sleeping.  Just found out today that Bella and Oliver are going to have a new cousin in February.  My son and daughter-in-law are having their first child, a daughter.  We are all excited.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Late Night Reverie

I saw this movie, THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL, many moons ago and this song came back to me tonight.  Whether you are religious or not, this song is beautiful.  An old Baptist hymn I believe.  The movie is poetic and moving.  One to see.
The late, great Texan, Horton Foote, award winning playwright and legendary screenwriter, wrote this movie. TENDER MERCIES and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD were two of his most famous works.  He even suggested Robert Duvall play Boo Radley in the movie.  They would work together many more times as Horton thought Duvall a great actor.  Geraldine Page won Best Actress at the Academy Awards for Trip To Bountiful.  Isn't it funny how some things never leave you?

Not to give too much away about the film, I titled the picture on my header, I'm Runnin' Away - never associated it with the film till this post.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Garden Eaters

Just outside the window, two does are searching for acorns. 
They are used to me and bring their babies around too.  I can barely scare them away.  This summer, they have feasted on my tomatoes, apple tree leaves, and happily eaten whatever they wanted in my garden.  The bucks have even figured out that the turkeys have a feed bowl in their pen and devour it before the turkeys can.  They are really getting to be a nuisance.
Unfortunately, hunting season starts soon, then I feel sorry for them.  I don't let anyone hunt on my farm and feed corn to the deer so they hopefully will stay on my acreage, but alas, from all the shooting around us, I know many will not make it.  I have even put up no hunting signs and one in particular, Hunters Will Be Shot.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

In The Evening

 My evenings are the same.  I go up to the barn and feed the animals, collect eggs when I can find them, then tend to the other critters.  I have three farm ponds and there, waiting for me, day in and day out, are the fish and turtles.  Somehow, through my footfall or the sound of the ATV, they are always waiting for me.  The swarms of fish nearest the edge of the pond are the babies/small fry and they graduate in size the farther out they go.  The fish wiggle and wriggle, excited for the bread and pellets coming their way. 
Farther back still, the turtles, heads poking out of the water, start coming across the pond.  Most are skittish and wait for me to toss food their way.  But, a few have become braver.  Case in point, the snappers.  I have two Snapping Turtles in this pond.  Their cousins, the Alligator Snapping Turtles, can grow to over 250 lbs.
Let me just tell you, they are huge, ugly beasts and until recently, only feasted on the live baby fish.  They now have decided to eat the leftover food I leave for the other pond turtles.

This lug went straight for the raspberries and returned several times.

Then she spied a smaller Red Eared Slider coming to the feast.

Thai noodles?  Alright.

With berry stained lips, it went for the chicken tender and decided to head back out into the pond with her score,  just as the other snapper showed up.

So go the days at my farm.
Turtle soup anyone?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

In The Garden

Found another old fountain of a wee one riding on a dolphin.  I just love these types of things though they seem to be getting heavier and heavier.  This one just makes me smile.
As the summer wanes, I long to be outside again; it has been too hot, until tomorrow.  So, I will try and get my housework done today so I can enjoy my gardens.

And forget not that the earth
delights to feel your bare feet
and the winds long to play 
with your hair.

Khalil Gibran

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Just finished this book.  I really wanted to like it.  I read a Kirkus Review of it to see if I was missing something.  I can review it in one word.  Forgettable.  I wish I had my $25.00 back. Only thing good about it is the packaging.  Colorless is what the book is.  Just quoting Voltaire doesn't make one a philosopher.  I doubt I'll read anything else by Murakami.  Wish I could have gotten something from it because I rarely read fiction and am wading into it again.  I just finished The Goldfinch and found it just okay (would like my money back on that one too).  Couldn't finish The Paris Wife.  So, I hope my next book, The Alchemist, will be a good read.