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Sunday, May 30, 2010

While visiting here in Georgia, we have been talking about many recipes, and trying a few!
I remember making this wonderful light soda cracker pie when I was growing up!. It was featured in the food section (Wednesday) of the Arkansas Gazette. (hmmm at least 40 years ago!)

However, it is still making the rounds, as seen in this version (above) from Midwest Living.
We have had a fantastic time here with our daughter's family. I did some sewing for them and babysat. We loved the dance recital last night. [photos later, I hope!]
Tomorrow, we start home. Mom and I like to break the trip into 2 days, giving us time to see interesting sights along the way. We plan to stop at Holly Springs, Mississippi, an antebellum town with a town square and courthouse. There is on old-fashioned drug store on the corner there which sells tupelo honey, Watkins products....(real Madagasgar vanilla, linament, etc.) A very interesting stop for us!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Yesterday was a beautiful Sunday. I drove to a friend's house to celebrate a recent birthday!

Sally's house and gardens are one of my favorite places to spend time! Lizzzie met me there and we gave Sally [she and her hubby are wonderful gardeners!] a gardening tote with tools and toiletries especially for gardeners!

AND, since this was a rather "milestone" birthday [Sally and I have known each other since we were 14!], I gave Sally a "Maypole" quilt. You can read more about this quilt here !

I don't think I'll be posting much for the next 10 days; I'll be with family, Mom, my daughter, son-in-law and 2 grandchildren. Mom and I are driving to Georgia! Granddaughter Lili will be having her annual dance recital, I love to see her perform (of course!) [Mr. P would like to go also, but he signed up to work over the holiday weekend! 8-( ]

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's so nice to have a Saturday at home! I'm spending some time in the art studio. I have finished the page for our "Art Saves" round robin journals. This one re-cycles the black paper from the Shiseido "Zen" perfume and adds Oriental newsprint, sheer sparkly overlays of gold chiffon, butterflies in different materials and images of geisha. "Geisha in the Mist", is now ready to send on to Ily for her art work!


All this collage is creeping into my acrylic paintings!

Work in progress (below)...this small 5x5 canvas is being painted from a photo of a train station door in Lamy, NM. The stucco walls are "crumbling" a bit to reveal the collage elements....can you find the mosaic face? [Click picture to look closer!]

This canvas has 1" deep sides and won't be framed. The sides are perfect for continuing the
"stucco" and collage. [The torn paper of the old Coca Cola case in now on the underneath space, where the photo had gravel outside and in front of the door.]
Hope you are having a good, creative weekend too!

Later---the finished 5x5 with view of the side too!


Tonight's main dish has been assembled. I still have time for more art before I bake this!

It is lasagne using extra boulanaise sauce made from food network Emeril Lagasse's (sorry the direct link just didn't work for me!) recipe! It has lots of spices and ingredients, including bay leaves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Another part of being home now...I am becoming familiar with some tools. Especially the second from the left which is a wonderful weeding tool! It can dig out dandelions which have roots so strong and straight. [I once read that the Chinese name for dandelion is literally "nail root"]. "Nail roots" are hard to pull out! So today, with appreciation of perfect glorious weather, and the ground still soft from recent rains, I took the tool and attacked the "situation".

The "situation" is not good, the weeds have out maneuvered the mulch and desired ground cover around our huge old elm tree! Knee deep they are! See the dandelions????

Common vetch is another invasive weed which is thriving here!
"Common Vetch is a quick growing annual plant that produces paired pink to reddish purple flowers along the expanse of its length. It climbs over surrounding vegetation and favours neutral or alkali grassy banks and meadows, and situations where the grass is cut in the autumn. "
It also favors our front yard and climbs over everything in this bed!!! Below is a random shot of the bed. We planted and wanted the silver leaf ground cover. Everything else has to be removed!

So still limber from the yoga class this morning, I started in. I felt powerful, using my new tool, getting those "nail roots" (some 5" long) of dandelions to come easing out of the dark moist ground and tossing them into the bin. Many earth worms were also uprooted and carefully returned to the bed.
After about 30 minutes, of bending and pulling, I had made some headway. Maybe 10 square feet. Still not pristine, but better. [I'm thinking about the power of fashion and expectations of others in the neighborhood. If I were living in a cabin in the woods, my time would not be spent doing this. Dandelions would be my friends. I might even plan a meal or two around them, grow them for medicinal uses....who knows. Oh, the price we pay for our "civilization", I thought!]

Obviously, the fun was leaving this activity. Then I saw again my old archenemy, with 3 leaves and a bit of red on it's green stem. Poison ivy! I think it is time to stop weeding for now!

There are other tasks which need me. These impatients are still waiting to be planted. So I'll get another of those tools and make them happy (and me too!).

First I check on one more garden... on the east side of the yard, is a little garden ,where, 4 or 5 years ago I planted an "Endless Summer" hydrangea. It had not done anything other than sit there for several years, small, and making me wonder whether I should transplant it.
This spring, hurray! It has buds. Maybe it WILL bloom all summer!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Today I am enjoying my forced retirement by doing something I have wanted to try!
I am making Greek Yogurt!
Yesterday my new yogurt maker made a wonderful quart of organic 2% fat yogurt. I kept in in the yogurt maker container overnight in the fridge. Today, I bought 2 yards of cheese cloth which I brought home and sterilized by boiling.
Then I draped the cheese cloth over a large strainer and dumped in the yogurt from it's tub.

Here is a close up of the liquid whey draining down into a glass bowl. I am letting it drain for several hours......

with the cheese cloth folded over the top to keep it clean.

When it is ready, it will be much thicker than regular yogurt and still not as high fat as sour cream! I love it with honey on fruit with or without cereal!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Here is an update! My grandson, B3, in his "to-the-rescue" cape. He just received the package and loved what Grandma Lila had made for him! [He did ask his mom, "Where is Grandma Lila???" I plan to see him SOON!]

Then there is my on-going dilemma about hair color. I had almost convinced myself to let the grey roots, now almost 1" long, become the new super-short haircut and hair color. Just cut off everything that wasn't grey????
But with the other grey things in my life at the moment, I just couldn't do it. Besides, I had enough natural "Herbatint" hair color gel from Italy [#8] to color it TODAY. [Not wanting to waste the hair color, I reached for the bottle....] Here are the results!

I am quite happy with this look today! Below an attempt to get a photo indoors led the camera to put in too much orange/copper. This color is really very "ash". I like it.

Here is a close up....well, I guess there are some warm colors in there too, but over-all I like the variety of browns and greys which show now.

Now, down to the painting studio to play with more color! I hope to have something to post before too long....oops, have to return a library book first! Due today and can't renew as someone else is waiting for it!


I did finish a small painting, "Let's go to Greece" which is posted here.

I am home for a few days. From Mom's house, I brought this doll's chest. It was made for Mom by her father and delivered by Santa Claus. It is now full of many years' collection of buttons on cards. I love how it looks on this work table in my art/sewing studio!

I am endeavoring to take things slowly today [as in the book, "SLOW LOVE"] while still accomplishing a lot. My garden needs me as I have been gone for almost a week, but it is rather rainy now. Lots of weeding all over the property will be easier after the rain!

One thing on my "to do" list for today is going quite well! I am making yogurt (organic). It is easy in the new (from Ebay, as they are no longer being produced!) Salton 1-quart yogurt maker. No matter if I decide to "goof off" and watch a movie, or go for a walk, or do art in my studio, in a few hours I will have completed this project, and "Voila", there will be wonderful yogurt to enjoy and flavor as we wish! I like mine plain on savory things and sweetened with a little honey on fruit or cereal.

I hope your day also goes well in a peaceful, flowing fashion!

Monday, May 17, 2010

A great book for those of us who are now "retired"! Learning to live in the moment and not be "frozen" by fear! An honest and ultimately hopeful look at one woman's experience. (someone said it is like "Eat, Pray, Love" for the middle-aged to which she, it is like "Eat, Eat, Eat"!)
The author was the editor of House and Garden magazine until it suddenly folded, one week in the spring of 2007.
She writes a blog with a link there to an excerpt of her book [from the New York Times March 28th edition].

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A little imagination never hurts....

Yesterday I got a phone call from our grandchildren. This little guy (below), B3, wants me to sew a "to the rescue" cape for him. He has been using a towel and trying to tie it around his neck...not very safe! So of course, I got right on this project...found a site with a tutorial on making a child's superhero cape!
It didn't take long to sew, in fact I made 2 capes, so a friend can play too! [The photo above is from Georgia's tutorial, this is NOT my grandson...I still have to mail HIS package!] I would post a photo of what I sewed today, but I am not in the same city as my camera....maybe I'll have a photo of B3 playing in his cape later!

This little guy has a wonderful big sister, Lil, [both of these photos were from last week's orchestra concert where Lil plays the viola! I hate to have missed the concert. They live 3 states away!]
I did talk to her last night, too, and have plans to BE THERE for her dance recital. She has 2 performances coming up that night, modern dance and ballet!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'm retired now! (temporarily!) This gives me time to spend with my Mom. We are trying to help her close up housekeeping and move in with us by the end of summer. No easy task, as we are constantly stopping to remember. Reading letters from years gone by, and finding more photos than we knew were here! This photo from about 1954 shows me and by little brother with our Christmas dolls. My paternal grandmother is in the photo too. She would have been about the age I am now. [Funny, I don't even feel grown up at times! I remember her telling me that I would not believe how fast my life would go by.]

My mom was great at giving me home permanents, here is my 3rd grade school photo. These aren't the greatest photos, but they are in the computer files here....representative of what we are finding in the archaeological dig through the closets!

After a well-earned break to enjoy Yarnell's Lemon Ice Box Pie ice cream (below) with mixed berries on top, we will return to excavating!

Being away from home, I can't go to my regular yoga class or see the moring TV show which I usually watch with my teacher, Andrea . Luckily the teachers, Brian and Andrea, have made a wonderful DVD that I can take with me! I think doing this gentle workout will be a real boost! [You can purchase this DVD by following the link and scrolling down!]

Sunday, May 09, 2010

A glorious, sunny Mother's Day here!

Peonies and iris blooming together!

Columbines doing their utmost!
Pinks and lambsear beside a garden stone which says, "How lovely is the silence of growing things".

Japanese iris have multiplied year after year! Soon we will have lilies in bloom.

An apricot/peach/pink iris!

Our Gertrude Jekyll (from David Austin) fragrant pink rose!

In the back yard, the lasagne ( layered) garden from last summer has leaf lettuce, spinach and maybe someday, turnips! [Below]

Freshly picked and ready for my lunch!

New tomato and pepper plants were just set out the newest lasagne bed.

It is cool and cloudy this Mother's Day. I feel it is past danger of frost and so planted some heirloom variety tomatoes and peppers in my new garden bed. [I still have the lasanga garden bed from last year, too. It is producing lots of leaf lettuce in reds and greens for out table right now, as well as dill which as come up "volunteer" and cilantro! The new bed is in a sunnier location.]

Having had good luck with the Cherokee Purple tomato (above) last summer, I have put in 2 plants this year. Below is a new/old variety called Purple Smudge. Being an artist, how could I resist????

Then some bell peppers, this one called Chocolate Beauty...yummm?!!

This beautiful red is Olena Red! Brilliant!

One last tomato variety, Ananas Noir, or Black Pineapple. This one can have up to four colors on one ripe tomato. The flavor is said to be I'm excited to see how these grow!

All of the plants are from Bean Mountain Farms in Deer Arkansas. You can also visit them here.

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