Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Deadheading and Watering

Deadheading = snipping the dead blossoms off of your blooming plants. After your plants have blossomed, they think their work is done. They have created their seed pods. 

You need to trick them by cutting off the dead blossoms. A scissors will do the trick or you can pinch them off with your fingernails. If you use the latter method, you will see what they mean by having a "green thumb."

You will be rewarded with continuously blooming plants. 

Be sure to use fertilizer too or your nutrients will be drained out of the soil and your plant will get spindly and the green will fade out. And water them, lots and lots. It's been hot and dry here, so they need all the help they can get. They like the hot, but not so much the dry.

Recent visitors shown below. 

Mama Turkey and her three adorable little pipsqueaks. They made their appearance a few weeks ago. I haven't seen them in the last few days so I hope they are ok.

Mr. Toad, living by my chives. He's cute, warts and all.

We have been blessed with many a gorgeous sunset recently. 

Never two alike, as you can see by the photos below.

Exact same piece of my sky, at different times.

Stay cool and enjoy your summer!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Furoshiki gift wrapping AND a no-sew bag

I know. I know. We like to sew. But this technique looks like so much fun!

I haven't tried it yet. Let me know if you do. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

What have I been up to?

Summer has arrived. Well, not technically, calendar-wise. But it is hot, buggy, and very green in our neck of the woods.

Recently, we had the pleasure of spending a *very* relaxing week on Anna Maria Island, Florida, with our Atlanta kids. This one ranked right up there on my list of all-time favorite vacations.

The guys went fishing. This is a tarpon (about 120 lbs). Dylan is just a little excited about it. Capt. Josh there in the background runs a fishing expedition boat. We highly recommend him if you are in the area and are up for some excitement.

This is a manatee. We were in chest-deep water and were only about 15 feet away from them. 

Relaxed vacationers.

These delicious stalks have been coming on steadily. We pick about this much every other day. 

Hope you are finding joy in your days!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Random, unrelated stuff to share with you

First! A delicious cookie recipe that is made with healthy ingredients AND is gluten free. 

 My mom grew tired of using her Christmas mug rugs, so we bought this fabric and I put everything on hold and whipped these up for her. She loves them!

I splurged on a new ironing board cover. From TJ Maxx. I love it!

Finally, enjoy this sunset photo. Nights are still cold around here. Perennials (and grass and dandelions!) are thriving, but it's too early to put in more tender plants. Soon, though, soon enough.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

If you're travelin' in the north country fair...

...where the winds hit heavy on the borderline....

Last week, I found myself on a road trip for work. Driving by one's self is not all bad. Music you like to listen to, with no concessions for a travel mate. Stop when you want to.

For no reason at all besides desire, I designated my trip a Bob Dylan trip and took my CD collection of his music. Very nice.

You need to eat at these restaurants. I did! Photo evidence below.

Norske Nook, Osseo, Wisconsin

Pannekoeken Huis, St. Louis Park, Minnesota (on Excelsior)

Triple Berry Pannekoeken

Two thumbs up for both of these establishments. Worth your while to visit, if you get the chance.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Signs of Spring

In my neck of the woods, we get very excited to see these signs of rebirth.  Every year they look pretty much the same, but it never gets boring.

Crocus, crocuses, or croci. Yes, all three are correct.

What are these? I think I asked last year, but I forgot.

Rhubarb. Yum!

I have never before checked out the rhubarb this early. I can see it from my kitchen window and when it is tall enough to cook with, that's when I notice it. I love how ripply the new leaves are. 

Grape hyacinths. Sorry this one is a bit blurry but they are just so adorable I couldn't leave them out.

Chives. Grow some. Really, you should. They grow like weeds, or even better than weeds. And they are really delicious chopped and mixed in with cottage cheese.

Yarrow. Cut the flowers, hang them upside down for a while and you have some beautiful golden-colored dried flowers to use in wreaths or vases.

Bee balm. Good thing I left the identifying stick near it or I would have never remembered what it was.

A bed of tulips.

That will soon look like this!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Knitting Lessons

Not too many generations ago, "domestic skills" were passed down by the women of the family.  Everything had to be learned: sewing, knitting, cooking, you name it. 
If you needed a pair of mittens, you made them. A new dress? You sewed it. And not too long before that (in the big scheme of things), you wove the very fabric you needed to make the garment.

My mom hosted myself and my cousins for a knitting course. All of us had learned to knit at some time in our lives, so we just needed a refresher. Some of us needed more refreshing than others. I won't name any names.

So much fun. And soooooo many laughs! A little frustration here and there, but enough accomplishment to make it worth our while.

We need to experience more of this, the intergenerational give and take, teach and learn, laugh until you cry moments.

Well into our afternoon, my cousin looked at me. "You know who's getting a big kick out of this, don't you?" And I know, and remember, and miss, and love...those of whom she was speaking. Those who have gone on before us. 

Mom, Sister, Grandma, Aunt: We miss you! And we had a blast AND you would have loved it!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Treasure Box

I am linking this post to Vintage Thingie Thursday. Click on the icon below to see many beautiful vintage items!

Mom gave me a box of sewing supplies that belonged to my grandma (paternal grandmother for those family members who read here).

I don't remember Grandma ever helping me with my spelling homework. ;)

Fun! Like Christmas!

Grandma sure stocked up here. Multiples of lots of stuff and a ton of hem facing and bias tape. And school pictures of my sons -- Grandma knew who was meant to get this box.

I plan to make up a fun package of some of these treasures for a giveaway in the near future. 'Twill be for my followers only (love you guys!) so if you read my blog and are not a follower you might want to sign up in anticipation of this exciting giveaway. 

I know the package will include a tatting shuttle since there are two here, never used in original packaging, and chances are pretty slim that I will ever use even one of them. 

A handy "rolling seamer" to add 1/4" to your templates. Why would you not just cut the template at the size you want it? including the 1/4" seam allowance? 

Oh, and in a box full of sewing supplies we find a product that brags "no more sewing!" They actually do look handy to have in a pinch. Tiny pins that hold on your button until you can get home to sew it on properly.

What are these? (below) They are wooden, with two holes in each and the black thing looks like some kind of shuttle. I know my Grandma did weaving so these might be her weaving supplies.

In other domestic news, I put a whole chicken on to boil and it is smelling yummy in our cozy house on this blustery day. Recipe found here: Boiled Chicken at

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