"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

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