"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Flowers don't worry about how they're going to bloom.........

 They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful. 
Jim Carrey
The morning-glories on the wall
Fling out their purple trumpets to the wind,—
~Elizabeth Chase Akers Allen (1832–1911)
"October," c.1866

Thursday, September 22, 2016

It was just like a family reunion.............

when I finally pulled out my cookbook collection
that has been stored away in the hall closet.........
for too long

for years, I have collected vintage cookbooks from the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s...
I love to read them..........I can read a cookbook.......just like anyone else can  read a romance novel......
and I also like to try the recipes from them

but I also love to collect books that have stories that go along with the recipes........
my favorite cookbook author is Jane Watson Hopping.......
she tells of her life growing up with all of the old family recipes and 
of her life with her husband on her farm and of those recipes........

the reason my cookbooks have been stored away is because I moved them and the shelving they
were on .........to make room for this old cabinet.........it is a wonderful addition to my kitchen.
However, it left me with no place for my cookbook collection...
so for months they have been stored away 

I finally fixed shelving and found a perfect corner with a perfect chair to read them.
when I started re-shelving them..........each one was like a dear friend or family member that
I have missed and was delighted to see and hold again!


and yes.........there is one compartment in the vintage cabinet 
for the cookbooks I use frequently in cooking...........
how about you?
Do you collect cookbooks? If so, what kind and how old?
I would love to hear

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I'm not rushing Summer out the door...................


I'm welcoming Autumn in!...............

I have been gathering my small harvest 

of fairy tale pumpkins

and decorative gourds


of all shapes, sizes, and colors

and placing them everywhere on the porches

my potted marigolds are still young at the moment but I hope 
they will soon grow and fill out the pot  more.
How about you?  What is the weather like in your
corner of the world?
Are you soggy with rain?..........hot and dry?
or are the days feeling more like Autumn?
I would love to hear!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Damaged Meadow Update

Many of you have asked about how the situation over the damaged land
that I once called " my meadow" has been .......
I posted about this January 31st of this year (see link for the whole story)
 For the first few months........I got upset every time I went to look at the land.....
so I have not posted about it
It has been months of different occurring issues 
that has stalled the final negotiations and settlement 


but the company that has caused the damaged has stepped up
and patiently worked on resolving and repairing......as best they can. 
At last......the land is healing itself.

The company sowed the natural grass seeds early on.....
we had a lot of rain.........
but nothing sprouted.........
however.....a large patch of sunflowers found their way onto  
this barren land

who can complain about sunflowers?


if you look closer to the ground.......there are still bare
and barren places and traces of tire tracks.......

the company also placed a sturdy and long fence all the 
way down on our property.....
to prevent any more treading upon the grounds
and there is that one lone tree.....with a few more small ones around
I have hopes that this mesquite tree will grow and stand out on this land
as time goes by. I have been gathering all kinds of the wild flower seeds 
here on the grounds......and in late fall....I will scatter them ......
here.......reclaiming........
my meadow

looking out across from our land, the farmer's fields 
are tall and green in cotton

The issues have now been resolved......the negotiations agreed upon
and  once again........I take long walks with Sophie......and Homer
and I can resume  my usual cheery, butterflies floating.......
flowers blooming.......wild critters drinking..... posting...........
also.......you have asked about my spider bite..........
it is healing..........still slightly painful........
but healing.
Thank you , dear readers.........for always asking.......and 
always caring.
Here's wishing well for all of you
wherever your " meadows" lie

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I cant wait to rush outside

in the late afternoon
to see what the sky .........is wearing........for her night out.
Tonight.......her moon was a large pearl.........in a wrap of blue and pink

and her dress was lit in colors of pink, peach, purple, and light tones of gold

with a sway of  red and firey, wild hair

All of this............in one late afternoon.......
as quickly as she gave me this fashion show,
 she let it fade........... all away.........I turned around 

and saw her " goodnight" message.
Here's wishing you wonderful afternoon.........night 
as well!


Friday, August 12, 2016

I am recovering from a spider bite-----

a brown recluse spider bite...........
it has been painful.........but I am doing well
My best advice to you dear readers...........go to the doctor
the minute you have been bitten.
I was told this as well...........but I waited a few days to see 
if it would clear up on it's on...........then I really had to go to the doctor.
But I still love nature..........and all of the creatures that she consists of
and all of the elements of nature.
On long walks with Sophie, I often pick up pretty rocks. Some I toss into my 
gardens.......some I keep for projects like this.
I titled this piece.........."Moonlight Serenade"
One late afternoon.........a lone coyote was howling very loudly......

this inspired me to create a coyote/wolf sitting on a ledge

howling at the moon

I am always amazed at how beautiful rocks are. 
They are so worthy to be looked at and appreciated.
Do you collect rocks?.............shells?........buttons?
I would love to hear



Monday, August 1, 2016

Although it is not October........my small pumpkins are ready for harvesting

As I mentioned in earlier posts, I grow pumpkins for decorative purposes........
those pumpkins are still on the vine..........
but I also planted these " little Jacks" solely for baking.
I sprouted them in early spring in the greenhouse and planted them ahead of the usual pumpkin planting time.  
Now I have plenty to use for baking

In the past I have usually cooked my pumpkins in a pot of boiling water.....
but this year I wanted to try baking them in the oven..........
I am so glad I did. I am going to use this method from now on. 
If you would like to try fresh pumpkin ..................this is an easy way to prepare it for baking. 
Clean the outside of the pumpkins well.....making sure that all dirt is gone.
Then slice them down the middle........then remove all strings/pulp and seeds ......set aside......
don't throw away the seeds.........they are good for toasting or for next year's planting

Preheat oven to 350.F
Place aluminum foil over a baking sheet that is at least 1 inch deep.  This prevents the juice from the pumpkins from spilling out of the pan.  Place the pumpkins, cut side down onto the foil. 
**I rub a little vegetable oil on the inside cut of pumpkin halves so that they do not stick to the foil**


Place pumpkins into oven and bake about 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours or until the pumpkin can be easily pierced with a a fork.
When done,  remove the pumpkins from oven and let cool slightly. 

Taking care not to burn yourself, peel the pumpkin skin away or use a knife or spoon to scoop pumpkin meat off of the skin.


Mash with potato masher or food processor until the pumpkin is pureed and smooth
Now it is ready for all of your "pumpkin" recipes.
You can also place processed pumpkin into freezer bags to store in freezer for later  use.


If you go to my cooking blog....
there is a wonderful pumpkin bread recipe using fresh pumpkin.
The pumpkin bread is so moist and delicious.

Now.............back to the seeds.  
Remove the pulp/strings from the seeds. Place seeds in a colander and rinse with cold water ......making sure to remove any remaining pulp. 

If  you wish to save the seeds for future planting........
Instructions often say to lay the pumpkin seed on paper towels until they dry.......
however, I do not like paper towels for this because the towels often stick to the seeds and is hard to remove afterwards.
Instead, I use cut a large square of clean cheese cloth........long enough to go over  and under a baking sheet.......and I tie the ends together on the back of the baking sheet to make the cheesecloth tight.
I then spread the seeds onto the cheese cloth for drying. 
After they have dried overnight..........I place them in a paper envelope where they will stay cool and dry until next planting season. 

If you want to eat the seeds
clean and rinse them as stated above and place them in a bowl 
and click onto my cooking blog for a simple and great recipe to toast the seeds.
Do you prefer fresh pumpkin over buying canned pumpkin?
I would love to hear!