From our leaf tours:
It is the Solstice, Blessed Be. As they days grow slowly longer, may we also grow to love one another and to learn to live in peace. Holi...
Images of my container garden.
Belated Happy St. Patrick's Day. I have been too sick to enjoy one of my favorite holidays. I didn't even get corned beef, or to w...
Happy Halloween; it is my favorite night of the year! We were low key this year, but we did get out our graveyards and pumpkins. A scarecr...
Memoir; Writing your Life Story: Solstice, also for Dr. E's Greening Tips for the C... : It is the Solstice; Blessed Be! I look forwar...
Look closely at how delicate I am. I am probably a may fly, but I am as detailed as the scarabs from an Egyptian royal tomb. No one a...
Proclamation of Thanksgiving Washington, D.C. October 3, 1863 This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America's national...
Fresh Greek Peasant Salad This is the salad I grew up with; it was our late night snack and early lunch. This one has home grown t...
Pasta with Mushroom Veloute Sauce, garnished with Hard Boiled Eggs One lb. pasta 2 hardboiled eggs One 6 ounce can cream of chicken sou...
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012
This was one of my favorite columns when I was growing up. I read her and Dear Abbly faithfully in the old Argus, as we knew it then, with a Roundup and recipes and society section everyday. Here is a letter written to her which is in public domain, and also some public domain photos. I am also including some varieties of the black flowers we love so much.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: In Memoriam Anne Boleyn May 19th: Every year I mention her; she's fascinated me since I was 8 or 9. The cruelty of her fate, the saddness in her life, the isolation and fear...
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
It is finally cool and sunny, as early May should be. Our river and its many little islands and sand bars are full of pelicans and egrets. A horse broke loose this morning and was galloping down a main avenue of our metro area. I saw the same thing happen on a trip to Galena many years ago, where a group of five or so horses jumped the fence at their horse farm. They were running in formation down the country highways, amid the hills and green farms. No Olympic marathoner had it over them! A brown and white beauty, leading the herd, paused and turned to look at the other horses as if to say, "Are you coming?" These days, my interests lie in scattering seeds and planting flowers, especially black ones, in all varieties. So far, we have Black Velvet and Phantom petunias, William Guiness Columbine, and holly hocks. There are more of other colors bursting forth, and a black trick or treat pansy I hope to reseed. We have other colors from seed and cuttings, and always, a few surprises. This is proving to be a difficult spring, but one I try to appreciate. I have been recycling paper, which is a good thing at the rate I have to use it, and mulching whenever I can to preven erosion on my slope. I don't have much free time, but I try to spend what I have sitting outside, writing, or planting. I like to create miniatture terrarium vignets and gardens, and I have a gnome village at the base of an oak tree. There are many garden ornaments hiding among leaves and old trees. I'm never quite finished with this aspect of gardening, and it carries over into Halloween and fall decorating. Tonight, I hope to go walking again. We have monarchs in the yard again; they always make me happy and remind me of my pet caterpillars and days in field biology. We even had a magnificen black and yellow spider one year, and dozens of grasshoppers, even a turtle once. All these were mere guests, and given their freedom after a few hospital hours with water, incomfortable accomodations with lots of air holes and favorite foods. I asked my husband to make me a small pond, just something for water lilies. I loved water as a child, and now I'm going back to it. My large cast iron mermaid is a testament to his love. Find something you love, and ignore the naysayers. I find this gets me beyond the difficult times, though I don't believe in closure. Where grief and disappointment, but especially grief are concerned, there is no closure, only acceptance. We make room for them as permanent guests in our houses, and we learn to set a place for them at our table. Years ago, after the death of one of my grandparents, I was crying, and I asked my mother what the three of us, she, dad, and I, would do, if something happened to one of us. "Why," she said, "we'll just go on." I'm trying, Mamma.
Monday, May 7, 2012
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Like so many of us, I watch the pub. TV cooking shows on Saturday. Most of them give tips for saving food and not wasting, and for using healty ingredients, despite their basic loyalty to cream and butter. J. Pepin today was making vegetable dishes including ragout of asparagus, tomato/zuccini au gratin, and a cauleflower casserole, on which he quoted Twain, "a cauleflower is a cabbage with an education." Pepin noted he saved the leaves and stems to make soup. Stock is easy to make with vegetables and other ingredients. I think it is time that keeps us from doing it. Also, community gardens are in the news here, and there are whole commissions and state agencies to create rain gardens in public/and private areas. Iowa has one of these, and I know California as worked on this idea for some time. Illinois is also rain garden friendly. There are also housing communities being built with maintenance of a community garden in the reality contracts. Ask in a comment or write me for more information. Finally, a happy accident; I didn't follow the directions making cream of wheat today; I put in the farina first,then the water and salt, and let them all boil together, but just barely. It was perfectly smooth, and very good. A real culinary felix culpa!
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Memoir; Writing your Life Story: Free to Share Writing World May: W R I T I N G W O R L D A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World http://www.writing-world.com Is...
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
It is Beltane, May Day, The Day after Walpurgis Night. We Survived the Original Friday the 13th involving the demise of the Knights Templar. Just saw a strange Internet headline; times of day when you are more at risk for death. Really? Do I need to know this? I once played an Internet game that said I would live to be will over 100, and would die October 2, 2061. It freaked me out no end; I kept thinking of missing the Holidays. Life is hard enough. On a lighter note, I went yard saling for the first time, and enjoyed it. No guilt, no nothing. I found a bulb planter for .25. I tink it made my weekend. My black hollyhocks are thriving, and we expect blossoms. It has been too cold and damp to plant anythingk but it will warm up, so I will be looking at flowers. I'm using a n old wicker sette as a display for colorful plots, and an antique enamel teapot to plant in. It really has seen better days. There are tips for living green everywhere, on more sites than one can mention. Today I heard of community shreds, where you can take confidential papers to be shredded safely. This is one more way to battle idendity theft. Last week, I bought a tiny doll made from orange peels at our local SERV store. I am constantly ammazed by uman creativity. While I don't advise hoarding, I try to think recycle and renew. I was thrilled at my yard sale to buy three unused packages of note cards, in different colors, for .25, and a box of business quality resume paper for .50. I can use these for my work/research and also for art projects. I love that kind of bargain. Yard sales, and trades, and thrift shopping, when done right, are great ways to recycle. I have to applaud my friend and her business Reusable Usables which has been a big success. She takes donations of all types of used items, and clean cardboard, glass, and plastics, and turns them into projects. Artists really enjoy here. Our friend Jean O'Melia is anoter inspiration. She creates dolls and figures from all kinds of found objects she sanitizes, paints, and recombines. I could have a wole museum just of her idesas. I love the Somerset Publications like The Art Doll Quarterly, because they feature found art, and reusing fragments of old dolls, buttons, scraps, and bits of paper ephemera. The zines, books, collages, paper dolls, clothing, jewelry, etc., created are fantastic, and this type of art encourages green living and recycling. It is also great to get kids involved; they can unplug themselves for awhile and engage in some summer activities. It has been a strange week; the wind toppled speckled birds eggs onto the cement. The sparrows and chickadees love to build nests on my light timers. I've done ER and triage for serveral baby birds over the years. My mom and I collected hatched egg shells from robins and other birds, but the birds were long gone. There are fat rabbits everywhere. Very cute. I would love a small pound, surrounded by our rocks and stones with a few water plants. Any ideas? Also saw the local African violet show and was struck by the terrariums and gorgeous blooms. Many were ruffled and two tones, and there were reds, and fluted flowers that looked like orchids. I was both inspired and jealous. My fantasy this week would be to be holed up somewhere with flowers, good coffee, and the piles of books and NY Times Reviews I'm dying to read. What is your weekly fantasy?