Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Warm weather and learning a new needlecraft

It is low 70’s, very comfortable weather down here.  Tonight it is supposed to get down to low 50’s, which will be nice.

I mowed yesterday morning, and repotted two gardenia shrubs that I got as little rooted cuttings from Tom at 7th Street Cottage last year. They needed to be in larger pots with some good potting soil.  They are sitting in the caravan garden area.

I’ve got to take some cuttings of roses to pot up and hope they will root.  I’ve got seeds to plant too.  It is really wonderful to work in the gardens these days. I’m waiting for my Mexican Sunflowers to bloom.  I see them in bloom all over the neighborhood, maybe mine are just late bloomers.  They are about 10’ tall, and I grew them from cuttings this year.

Last week I saw a bit of needlework that really captured me.  It was of a tree, which you can see here. I found out from Suz the creator of these trees that they were tatted, not with a shuttle, but with tatting needles, which I had never heard of.  I watched a little you tube video and became inspired to learn this art.  I found the needles on line at Walmart, and ordered them.  No shipping charge, since I will just pick them up from our store here after they’ve received them.

Learning new things is good for us, no matter how old or young we are.

Happy Learning.


I did it, finally

After much procrastination, many hours of editing photos, and hours spent listing each item, I have 21 lavender filled heart shaped sachets in my Etsy shop.  Now I can get back to creating.  It’s really amazing how much time this all takes up.  You can click on my banner below to see the sachets.  Plus, some of them are in my sidebar.


I’m ready for a nap.  While I was working on listing these hearts this morning I made a loaf of Pumpkin Bread.  The recipe is from Balisha’s blog, Never Enough Time. I added craisins and sunflower seeds.  It smelled delicious while baking.  Maybe we’ll have a slice with herbal tea after our nap.  That sounds like a nice idea.


Well, that’s it for now.  It is breezy, cooler today than yesterday, and the sun finally came out this afternoon.  This morning it was gray and dreary looking.

Enjoy the rest of your week.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Blooms from the 26th and 28th Nov.

Here are the rest of the photos.




















The bea, the bea, the bea, that’s all folks. Smile


Lots of bloom photos

Good evening Folks.

Here it is the beginning of a new week. December will be here shortly. I wish all of you a joyous Christmas holiday season.

We had a lovely, quiet Thanksgiving and dinner was delicious, even if I do say so myself. The next holiday will by DH’s birthday on the 20th of Dec. and today we spied something in the fish dept. that we thought we’d try. It’s Atlantic salmon on a soaked cedar plank with herbs and spices. We got this one ~ Applewood with Orange and Ginger. I enjoy cooking and baking and especially for special occasions. This sounded delicious to both of us when we saw it. DH saw it first, and it just kept appealing to us so that it ended up in our cart. To justify the price of $10, I thought of having it for his birthday dinner. He was game for that.

He’s working on the Gypsy caravan right along. He’s taking out the bottom windows so that he can re-caulk them, plus is putting in 2”x2” framing on the inside to attach them too, and for the inside walls also. The door is finished, windows in and I have gone in there and sat and just love the sweet little space. Remember this is only 6’x8’. Once we get the original sink, stove and little refrigerator in there the space will shrink. It will have counter space too, that won’t be original as that part was really ratty. This is a fun restoration project, and yes, it is ‘stationary’. I love the picket fenced patio garden area where I enjoy hanging out the laundry too. I am thankful to God for his many blessings and for this dear husband and best friend of mine who has the talents to do this and the many other things he has done with our little compound here.

Now, here are the photos starting with the 24th. It might be an overload, but again, maybe not for those of you who are already moving into winter.

I’ll not post any comments with them. A couple of them really touched me when I saw them to edit them. I am an amateur photographer, and some pictures just happen to come out better than I could imagine. I just point and shoot, more or less.


These are from the 24th.
























I will end this post here, and the rest of the pictures will be in the next post.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Blooms, recipes, Gypsy Caravan door, photo heavy ~ Happy Thanksgiving wishes

Good morning Everyone ~ I’ve been awake since around 4 finally got up at 5, just couldn’t sleep any longer, too many things going through my head. Thanksgiving dinner, needlework, my little Etsy shop, our Gypsy caravan and gardening.

We had quite a bit of rain starting Sunday afternoon and off and on yesterday, great for the gardens. DH finished making the caravan door Sunday morning, except for putting the glass panes in and painting it. He used plywood for front and back and 3/4” styrofoam for insulation (we had to buy a sheet of each), and the aluminum framing from an old screen door, plus the original door handle/lock from the old camper. He had to buy two hinges also for the door as he did not have any in his stash of hinges. Yesterday afternoon after the rain had stopped he painted the door a first coat and also painted a few bits that needed painting on the caravan. I think we’ve decided to use some light blue glass from old windows. (They were popular down here I FL many, many years ago, and we have some in our stash of stuff.) He’ll put in a piece of safety glass first then the blue glass behind. This end of the caravan faces west. It is really coming along and is such a neat little restoration project. DH is doing a wonderful job. He took a broken down thing and is giving it new life.


Now, here are two recipes I’m fixing for our Thanksgiving dinner this year. I’ve made both before and they are delicious.

The first is a different version of the old stand by Green Bean Casserole. I made this for the first time last year. Our grocery store was out of the buttermilk powder, so I bought regular buttermilk to make it this year. I also add a small can of sliced water chestnuts to the recipe for some crunchy texture.

Green Bean Casserole

3 tablespoons canola oil, divided (or olive oil)
1 medium sweet onion (half diced, half thinly sliced), divided
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1 cup low-fat milk
3 tablespoons dry sherry (not cooking sherry)
1 pound frozen French-cut green beans (about 4 cups)
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3 tablespoons buttermilk powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 2 1/2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and slightly translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt, thyme and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the mushroom juices are almost evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle 1/3 cup flour over the vegetables; stir to coat. Add milk and sherry and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Stir in green beans and return to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in sour cream and buttermilk powder. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
3. Whisk the remaining 1/3 cup flour, paprika, garlic powder and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Add sliced onion; toss to coat. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion along with any remaining flour mixture and cook, turning once or twice, until golden and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Spread the onion topping over the casserole.
4. Bake the casserole until bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.


The other recipe is one I’ve made off and on for years and it has been a hit.

Pumpkin Mincemeat Pie

1 unbaked 9" pie shell
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c. canned or cooked pumpkin
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. cloves
6 oz. undiluted evaporated milk
2 c. prepared mincemeat (I use Crosse and Blackwell mincemeat with rum and brandy in it. Boy was I shocked at the price of a jar of it this year.)

Combine and blend together eggs, pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices and evaporated (not condensed) milk. Pour mincemeat into bottom of pie shell, spreading evenly. Spoon pumpkin mixture over mincemeat layer. Bake in hot oven (400° F) 45 to 50 min. or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center of pie comes out clean.
From:Farm Journal’s Complete Pie cookbook


Now for photos of blooms around here the past few days. I really love how our gardens come to life again after the heat and humidity of our summers. Thank you all who share your fall photos filled with glorious autumn colors, and for the snowy winter scenes I’m starting to see on blogs too.

Bon Silene



Fading climbing Maman Cochet blooms.



Climbing Maman Cochet bud. I loved the sunlight and shadows on the petals. This is from a rooted cutting, which I planted next to the arbor in the main garden.



This is Firespike, loved by hummingbirds and I received this as a rooted cutting from Darla. Thank you Darla.


A pretty weed.





La Marne



Louis Philippe








I think the first one is Old blush growing up and over my garden shed grotto. The next three after are for sure Old Blush growing in my main garden.







Now here is a vine that I thought was a different sort of flower, as I had this growing up and over the old shed I had about 12 years ago. I moved this a couple of times, brought it back to this area and these are the first blooms. The blooms are not the same at all. What I had before was the Bengal Clock Vine, now what I have is a different flowering Thunbergia. I think I’m losing my marbles. Can these vines change flowers??? I was really disappointed that this wasn’t the original vine, but these are pretty blooms too.


Here’s our little sweet outdoor/indoor girl Tork.


Hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving week and day, cooking and enjoying good times, whether you are alone, or with others. We are looking forward to a quiet day together.



Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace,

the celebration of work and the simple life...

a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons,

the beauty of seedtime and harvest,

the ripe product of the year -

and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God.

Ray Stannard Baker