Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Plum Cottage Blooms, Easter dinner, etc.

Good morning all, It's a new week, and I hope it's a good one. This was an early morning sky shot yesterday. We had had a little rain and the clouds were a welcome sight. I love the light of the sun shining in the sky and hitting the clouds.

We had a lovely Easter dinner. Roasted lamb, with gray poupon mustard, mint jelly, LeSuer Peas, mashed potatoes and a glass of merlot. For dessert, I tried a new recipe, Chocolate Ricotta dessert, which was different and good.

Lamb was dang expensive this year, but we decided to get it anyway, as it is what we like and look forward to have for our Easter celebratory dinner .

I slice off the excess fat, usually cut slits in the meat and insert garlic slivers, but this year didn't have fresh garlic, so I just sprinkled on some dried garlic bits, after spreading on some Gray Poupon mustard all over the top of meat. Then I sprinkled on some Italian bread crumbs, and some fresh rosemary.

Roast it at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then roast at 350 for 10-15 minutes per lb.

Our dinner.

Chocolate Ricotta Dessert - different and delicious. I doubled the recipe so that we could have 4 servings, two for another meal.

I found the recipe here

Chocolate Ricotta dessert

Ingredients: (2 servings)

* 1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
* 2 tbsp light agave nectar (I used sugar)
* 2 tbsp cocoa powder
* 1/2 tsp vanilla (I added orange extract also)
* 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie (I used 5 spice blend)

* Put all the ingredients in a small 3-cup food processor starting with the ricotta.
* Press the process button and let the machine do its thing until the ricotta is smooth to your liking.
* Your done!

I just mixed this really well by hand. Oh yea, on top I spooned a bit of Duck Sauce.

Now for some blooms from our Plum Cottage gardens.

Kathleen a hybrid musk, in the next two pictures, with some unknown critter sipping nectar.


Grand Duke jasmine ~ I LOVE the scent of this jasmine.

Don Juan

I believe this is a blanket flower.

Now for a couple of things that were not pleasant last week. First of all, DH was bitten by our neighbor's pit bull. I was at work when it happened and wanted to race home to take care of him. This neighbor lives on the street west of us, but his property goes across the back of ours. This dumb, mean dog, races up and down our privacy fencing, slamming his body into the fence and growls and snarls and barks, whenever we are back there. He scares the you know what out of me, and DH isn't comfortable about this dog either. He loves dogs and always makes friends with them. Well, there is construction going on on this street, across the street from the neighbor, and DH has been talking with the contractor and the crew while building is going on. The neighbor was sitting on his porch with the dog sleeping there, and DH decided to go over to talk a bit with neighbor, and maybe make friends with the dog. There is a chainlink fence in part of the front, and metal post fencing too, the back is privacy fencing. DH and the guy were talking and the dog jumps up and races to where DH is about a foot away from the chainlink fencing, the guy did not call his dog back, and the dog slams into the fence, which gave way because of not being secured to top rail, and sagged out toward DH and the dog lunged and bit DH's right hand while having a bit of the fence in his mouth too. It's a good thing the fence was there to stop the dog from ripping a bite out of DH's hand, because the dog was pulling. DH couldn't believe it because it all happened so fast, and he told the neighbor, hey, your dog just bit me. The guy jumped up, chased the dog with his shoe, then got some hydrogen peroxide and poured it on DH's hand.

The neighbor said the dog has had his shots. DH came home, called me, asking if we had any iodine. I wasn't sure. He said he was going to walk to the grocery pharmacy to see what they recommended and I said I'd look up essential oils online too. The pharmacist told him to get neo-sporin because it had three antibiotics in it, so he got that. I read that tea tree oil, lavender, and helichrysum are all good for fighting infection, pain, swelling, etc. and we have all three in our essential oil collection. DH even talked with a canine cop who happened to be at the 7/11 across the street from grocery, and the guy told him to leave it open to the air so that the healing could go from inside out. He said he's been bit many times by their dogs.

Of course, I was a semi-wreck until I got home, then seeing DH's hand was almost too much. It was bloody and bruised and swollen. But, it is healing nicely. We are thankful it wasn't any worse. I won't show pictures.

Next event in the neighborhood with transient apartment complex to the east of us. Kids have been shooting bb's into our property for quite some time, plus, other stuff, then they want to come over the privacy fencing into our space to retrieve whatever it is they threw over. Anyway, this latest bb incident I was out back just starting to putter in new garden area, when I hear cock-ping, cock-ping several times, so I head for cover under my sheds awning, and the next thing I know the shed is hit. That did it. I went inside and told DH I had just been freaked out by the dang pit bull when I went back to my potting area, and now bb's were flying. That did it for him too. He went outside and could hear the cock-ping ( ping meaning bushes, fencing or whatever being hit). He yelled over the fencing and trees for them to please stop shooting into our property. A teen voice comes back saying we're only shooting into the trees, and he yelled back ...... They shot off a few more times and DH asked me to come in to call the non-emergency sheriff number and I did, and told them what had happened. She told me to stay indoors until someone got there. Someone did come and we talked to them, and they went next door. The sheriff told us eyes could be put out if hit, so this is serious. Hopefully, there will be no repercussions. These people also have a pit bull. Our neighborhood has changed so much from when we first moved in here in 1973. It used to be quiet, filled with elderly Finnish people, but they have all gone away, more construction has gone on to pack people in, there are more transients, here today gone tomorrow and it's why we'd move if the opportunity arose. This is our home though, our little haven we're continually working on. It just gets to us to have our peace imposed on by others who could care less. We just try to mind our own business, doing our own thing.

Yesterday when we were out doing errands we looked for and found one of those ultrasonic devices to use on dogs. Maybe this will keep him from slamming into our back fence. We'll see.

On a positive note, DH went to the construction site while I was writing this post, and came back with a cantaloupe from one of the workers. So I cut it up along with some banana, dried cranberries, and dried figs, topped with some plain yogurt, and a drizzle of honey. Delicious breakfast this morning.

I do feel somewhat depressed this morning and told DH. I'm usually a happy, positive person, but these events have piled up and I woke up in a blah/bluesy state of mind. I need to get up, do some homecaring, baking, etc. take a walk around my gardens, and go/grow from there. Unfortunately, crap does come our way, we can either fall under, or rise above. I choose to rise above, one step at a time.

There are a lot of buds on my passion vine, my Easter lily has a nice bud ( I was hoping for an Easter opening, but alas), our Queen crepe has buds. Roses are doing well. Pesto Basil seeds have sprouted.

Thanks for reading my post, if you made it this far. It was rather long.

Hope your day whatever you are doing or going through is a growing day, in your mind, spirit, your body, in your business, your crafts, your gardens, with your family. May we all be blessed with peace, strength and love.


Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL


~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Great sky shot. Love the trees and clouds.
I've never eaten lamb but you sure make it look delicious.
I hope you find some resolution with the neighbors. These all sound like incidents that need reported. It's hard to be the ones reporting neighbors, but your safety is important. Our city would not allow that dog to remain. We have a vicious dog ordinance. The kids with the bbs would also be cited and made to pay for property damage. Be careful. I hope you can enjoy your beautiful gardens.

Val said...

Your Easter dinner sounds lovely, FlowerLady.

I'm sorry to hear of the bad element to your neighborhood. The street I lived on as a kid was full of other kids and young families and was just a great place to grow up--we lived there from when I was almost 5 to almost 12--but eventually, with families moving away and here-today-gone-tomorrow renters moving in, the street became a lot less family-friendly and my parents decided to move. It was a shame after all the work they had put into that house and yard. I hope it gets no worse there for you and your husband. Neighbors can help make life heaven or hell, and I wish you were surrounded by like-minded cottagers.

Love and Best Wishes,


Denimflyz said...

My heart goes out to you as I have had several incidents happen to me right along the lines with your situations.
And to top it off, I was told I cannot garden at all anymore, which is what saves my sanity, so I am looking for other sources to garden this year.
The crap that has been moved into where I am are total trash, and not even human to say the least.
Take care my friend and I will talk to you later.
Hugs, Love

Darla said...

Your Easter dinner looks delish! Don't recall ever eating lamb either. We had ham, turkey, potato salad, deviled eggs, broccoli casserole, brownies with icing and Easter Cookies..should give you that recipe..it's actually a type of divinity that is crumble and hollow like the empty tomb. Sorry about DH hand..I would have an outer body experience!!!The teens with the bb's, when I was yound the neighbors would march us right to our parents for a good one, know what I mean? It's a shame the things that are going on around us these days. Stand firm and keep the faith!!

Ami said...

Dear FlowerLady: Sorry to hear about the incidents, and hope your DH's hand is healing well, and hope those neighbourhood kids won't bother you any more after. You are a very positive lady, and I know you will rise above, shiny and bright! Big Hugs from me!

Your garden sure is a place that I know you will find peace and comfort from, I know I do. Love that blanket flowers, very beautiful!

Lona said...

Good grief what a weekend you had. Pit Bulls scare me to pieces and I love dogs.I do not know why people want such aggressive dogs as they are. BB guns are just not meant to be in a city setting. We had BB guns when we were kids but we lived is a very rural area and we had enough sense not to shot toward other people or buildings.I hope the ultra sound device works on the dogs and that the kids got a real scare out of that experience and watch what they are doing. Maybe the parents should get rid of them before someone gets an eye taken out.Your Easter dinner looks so yummy.

Becca's Dirt said...

So sorry about those dang dogs. I hate a dog that growls and snarls much less one that bites. I'm afraid I'd have done something to prevent that dog from coming near me again. I'm scared to death of bad dogs. Protect yourself. Crazy teens too. Teens today can be so pushy and disrespectful. I hope things are calming down for you two. Glad that the hand is healing well. Ya'll take care and hope your day is better.

gld said...

Don't apologize for having a down day! We all have those and you have had enough to cause several bad days!

I am so sorry about the neighborhood deteriorating....we can never know how things will turn out when we move. I hope you can stick it out and stay in your beautiful Plum Cottage. The dog situation should be eliminated IMO! My sister's dog attacked my DH a few years ago and ripped his mouth horribly. It required a plastic surgeon who did a fantastic job and you can barely tell it happened....his mouth was wired shut for over a week. Dogs can be dangerous animals and if they are, they should be removed permanently. You all be very careful. I would carry something with me at all times to deter the dog.

Your dinner sounds lovely. I have never eaten lamb; I am not sure it is even offered in our local stores, possibly at specialty markets.

Darcie said...

Your last sentence said it all, and just what we need to get through those times...peace, strength, and love. How very discouraging it most be to have your little sanctuary disrupted by dogs, and BB's. Both are very scary, serious, and need to be controlled by pet-owners, and parents of the teens. I hope it all calms down for you, and that you can enjoy what is such a beautiful place that you and your husband have created.

Your Easter dinner looked completely divine! You must be one amazing cook!

HolleyGarden said...

Wow - so much happening, and so scary! No wonder you're feeling a little down. I hope your DH's hand heals quickly. I can't believe people like that - I wouldn't have a dog that would bite! Then the BB gun incident - that is very dangerous. I hope you have a relaxing day and evening. Your blooms look lovely, and your dinner must have been delicious - it looks it!

Masha said...

Wow, that was a scary story. I am sorry your neighborhood seems to have deteriorated - it happens to so many places... My husband grew up in Detroit...

Your roses are beautiful, and looking at your Easter dinner made me hungry. What cut of lamb was it that you roasted?

Rosie@leavesnbloom said...

Oh no there is nothing worse than being afraid to go into your own backgarden. I would be distraught if that happened to us as my garden is my little retreat from the rest of the world and I feel so safe and secure in there.

By the way those dogs have such a dreadful reputation so much so that here in the UK american pitbull breds are illegal. I hope your action with the youngsters has nipped that situation in the bud.

You have made me very hungry today reading your post. I hope things have improved as the day as gone on.

Becky said...

It's those bad moments in daily life that make us all want to run for cover. I'm glad your DH wasn't more seriously hurt. People that own Pitbull's are notorious for not caring if they keep them in line and actually encourage the meanness. I feel bad for the dogs as they've been trained to be aggressive. I'd be in a blue funk myself after all that. Your home is supposed to be your Haven not your bomb shelter.
I sincerely hope that the rest of the week improves.
I also am waiting on Easter Lilies to bloom - not quite there yet. ((((HUGS to you both)))))

sherryocala said...

Bad stuff, FlowerLady. I hope that stockade fence is strong/reinforced. I thought dogs that repeatedly bite are "taken away". I guess not. That dog is dangerous. Take care of your DH's hand. Whoever thinks to pray for God's protection in our own backyard? but it's a good idea. Your Easter dinner looked delicious. Remember 2 Timothy 1:7. Have a peaceful evening.

NellJean said...

I hope things quieten down there. It will be a long hot summer if dogs and kids are not kept on short leashes.

All the food sounds wonderful.

Susan said...

Dear Flowerlady...I'm so very sad and sorry to hear about all the negative events in your life the past week. Fortunately, such events are not a daily occurence but nevertheless it puts a damper on one's life when they have to deal with rude people...and there are plenty of them around these days. I do hope you won't have any repercussions from your neighbor's and that you'll get some newer and nicer neighbors in the near future. Stay strong and focus on the postive as you always do...this too shall pass!

sweetbay said...

Oh boy... a canine cop has been bitten by those dogs and yet the dogs live? Sorry if that sounds harsh but I don't think there's any excuse for biting dogs. Ever. I'm so sorry this happened to your DH. And the kids with the BB guns would drive me mad. Good for you for calling the sheriff, and I hope the deputy's visit will have some effect. BBs are no joke.

Kit said...

Oh my, you have had your bucket full haven't you? Neighbors like that are horrible to deal with. How is your hubby's hand doing? Keep looking for any sign of infection, dog bites are nasty. I used to have problems with a neighbors dogs and at my daughter's house they have very noisey and nasty college kids. People are just not caring toward others or think of others. Hang in there! Love, Kit