Monday, March 31, 2008

Two Places at Once




I've been traveling with my husband, Duane. He has a part time job that takes him out of state about once a week. I go along as the map reader and to keep him company.

My job is very transportable so I take my laptop and work in the inn/hotel room while he works. I'm alone about 2-3 hours. Then we go out to dinner. No cooking, no cleaning. And someone else makes the bed.

It's quiet here and there are no distractions. Just me, the computer, and my classical music. If I don't have any work to do, I can quilt or read -- I leave the t.v. off; I watch too much at home as it is.




There's just one problem to this seemingly wonderful time of my life. For the first time this year, my area climbed to 59 degrees --AND I'M NOT IN MY GARDEN!!!! Why, oh why, can't I be in two places at once?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fridge Art

I don't like things stuck on my fridge. I didn't like it much when my children were little but I put up their drawings and homework with stars anyway and never let them know it.





This is my only grandchild's first artwork. He gave it to Nanna and Poppy last week. He's not quite two. To me, this is better than any flower picture I could post. My heart goes pitty-pat when I look at it. Sigh! I think my fridge is going to be plastered with fridge art and that's just fine with me.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Timber Press



Have you heard of Timber Press? I'm holding a copy of their catalog in my hands right now. Timber Press is a catalog of gardening books; as they put it, "the Best Gardening Books."




I love flipping through the pages and dreaming about what books I could own and read. The covers are all so tempting. There's nothing better than turning new pages of a book; the fresh colors and new-print smell just makes me want to eat it. Of course, I'm that way with books of all kinds. Garden books are a little different because I pull them out every year trying to learn something new or to get me ready for the garden on a cold winter day, like today. It's comforting to flip the pages and reminds me of talking with an old friend. Reading on a computer just doesn't compare (I don't mean to insult any of you).




Have you noticed how garden books never get stale and out of date? Maybe there's an updated method of doing something or a new garden tool mentioned, but for the most part you're dealing with nature, which even though it is "new every morning," is always the same.




You can order online through Timber Press, and shipping is free for orders over $30.00. That's better than spending your money on the gas to go to the bookstore these days. They even have the gardening bestseller list on their online site. I like to know what others are reading.
No, I'm not an owner or employee of Timber Press. I'm just passing on some good info.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Those Pesky Wabbits!



They did it again. Those pesky wabbits! I know we just celebrated Easter and gave our kids baskets filled with candy delivered by the Easter Bunny. But this is ridiculous!



This will be the third set of apple trees we've tried to grow. These are dwarf Jonathons; I think we can save the older Red Delicious, but of course it was my pie trees that were destroyed. The first set of trees we caged in the fall, but we didn't make the cages tall enough and those long-eared thieves stood on the snow and ate the bark at the top of the chicken wire.




The next spring we replanted and then we caged and also wrapped around the base. They chewed the wrapping just enough to get a start at loosening it and then spent the rest of the winter leisurely chewing their meal whenever they chose.




So we planted another set this past spring. This winter we only used the cages again but didn't go to the lowest branches as we should have. And you guessed it, the snow was so deep,that they were able to munch at a higher level than the top of the wire. It looks like they managed to eat all the way around the trunk once more on the small trees:(

Who due I sue? Where's my reimbursement? Does the "nice" Easter Bunny take part in any of this? Is Bugs Bunny a member of the gang? And how about Harvey, that invisible six-foot-tall rabbit from the old James Stewart movie? He's tall enough to reach. Now I know why the Trix Rabbit is so happy. It couldn't possibly be Thumper, could it? He looks so innocent. And where's Benjamin Bunny, by the way?

Is this how Mr. McGregor felt when his potager was violated? And all along I was feeling sorry for little Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail! Never again. Cute or not, the war is on! I think I'll call Elmer Fudd for pointers.




Well .... maybe, I'll just cut down the trees and try again. It's just money, after all. Baby bunnies in the spring are so adorable. But, please, leave my apple trees alone, you Silly Rabbits.

Happy Easter




May you have a wonderful Easter filled with family and friends.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Something's Fishy in Michigan!


Right at this moment in Michigan, it's snowing again! There's a very long band of snow coming across Lake Michigan from Wisconsin. Thank you, Wisconsin! Two expressways in the Kalamazoo area are closed due to many accidents. They expect this snow to last all day today and into tomorrow. It's very wet snow, which is slippery and dangerous.

All of my little sprouts in the garden will be covered with that dreaded white stuff. But the tulips and daffodils can handle it. They'll bounce right back as soon as the snow goes away again to that White Never-Never Land where it belongs and should stay. There might be a little damage on the leaves but it won't stop the bulbs from blooming. Now it's basically a waiting game, with Mother Nature always the winner.

The herbs I've grown indoors throughout the winter in pots are leggy, and the dried herbs are getting low. I'll either have to find some seeds or break down and buy some potted herbs at the grocery store.

I'd like to share a recipe with you that is easy and uses many of my favorite culinary herbs. This recipe is from a cookbook that is published annually in our local community paper. The cookbook is called Incredible Edibles. Every year they hold a cooking contest, and I eagerly await to see who the winners are and what new recipes they have come up with. Will someone I know be a winner? Why didn't I enter? Lazy or insecure, either one doesn't speak well for me. That's a subject for another day.






This recipe is from the 2006 edition. It was a finalist in the low cal/low fat category. If you try it, I'd like to know what you think.

Indian Spiced Roast Salmon:

4 (6 0z.) salmon fillets
2 T fresh lime juice
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t ground coriander
1/4 t ground cumin
1/8 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground red pepper
2/3 C plain fat-free yogurt
2 T chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place salmon, skin side down, in a roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Brush with juice. Combine salt, ginger, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and red pepper. Sprinkle over fish. Bake for 10 minutes. Combine yogurt and cilantro. Serve with fish.
Thank you Judy, Rockford Michigan, for this great recipe.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Blotanical and You




I've been with Blotanical since the first of March. And I must say that I am still in the floundering stage. I click here and there daily trying to remember how I got to the users, the picks, or the favorites. I'm still discovering how it all works.

I'm not a competitive person; the point system baffles me. I keep looking to see if you like me, and then I realize that's not why I joined the website in the first place. I wanted to find more bloggers with the same interests that I have. And, boy, did I ever. There are so many of you, it overwhelms me sometimes.

I've added many of you to my favorite blogs list (I'm only allowed 24 or I could go on forever) and 24 more to my favorite blotanist list. I try to stop into Blotanical daily and check on a few blogs each day. Leaving comments is a pleasure; it's like having a best friend that I talk to on the phone every day for a few minutes. You've each been generous in returning comments which helps immensely in letting me know that you know I am out there in the blogger world. (Did that make sense?) Thank you for your kindness.

Anyway, while I'm still befuddled by it all, I am having the time of my life. Thanks to Stuart for setting up Blotanical and all of you who post regularly for making my garden connections a little easier. I love watching your garden grow along with mine.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Scarlett O'Hara -- A Lady Gardener

It was fun to read your comments about why you think you are either a lady or a hardworking gardener. I personally think you are all wonderful "women," so let's leave it at that.
Thank you for participating in my poll.




Scarlett O'Hara, of Gone With the Wind, is my favorite lady. Some might think she was just a spoiled Southern Belle. But after some of the hardships she had to endure during the Civil War, she grew up and she always came through for family, friends, and her precious Tara. Scarlett was willing to dig in and get dirty in the fields. She worked the lumberyard with Ashley Wilkes and then later worked the cotton at Tara until her hands were bloody. She complained sometimes, but fiddle-dee-dee, she always came through with strength and grace. That's my idea of a lady.
I found these pictures online because, of course, there are no flowers anywhere here in this frigid North Country. I was surprised to find out how many flowers were named after Scarlett.




Scarlett O'Hara peony




Scarlett O'Hara poppy




Scarlett O'Hara bougainvillea




Scarlett O'Hara daffodil





And Scarlett O'Hara morning glory.

Do you know of any others? Because in the words of Scarlett, "I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow."

Friday, March 14, 2008

Portrait of a Lady



I've been thinking about something Carol at May Dreams Garden wrote about. Is it okay to be get dirty in your garden? Last year I took a picture of my stained hands after deadheading daylily buds. I don't think I know how to garden without getting dirty.
But the truth is I've always wanted to be a little like this portrait of a lady. Refined, elegant, and perfectly groomed.

I had a lot in common with my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law was an avid reader, and she loved indoor plants. She also grew beautiful flowers in her garden, but to her, gardening simply meant pointing at jobs that needed to be done and her husband would do it. Her nails were manicured and her hair perfectly coiffed (does anybody really use that word?) One time we teased her because she wore white slacks and jewelry to a theme park in Florida. She was always gracious and generous to a fault. I was treated like a daughter, not a daughter-in-law. I loved her for that, and wanted to follow her example on how to be a lady.




My mother, on the other hand, worked in the garden herself. She got dirty and sweaty, planting seeds, pulling weeds, and dragging hoses. This was before her knees gave out. Today she has trouble getting around. From her I learned all about creativity and self-fulfillment.

I think, today, I have finally become a little of both of them, which is exactly what I had strived for over 40 years ago. I love doing as much as I can in the garden myself. But, for certain functions, I like to get all decked out. I clean up real good, if I do say so myself!

What kind of woman are you? Please take my poll on the top right; I'm truly interested in your portrait.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Are you puzzled?

Are you puzzled? Yes, you're at the right place. I just changed the looks of my blog a little; I added some new spring colors.

As you do this puzzle, relax and try to imagine the fragrance of the fresh herbs, green grass, and the wet earth. It's a picture of my garden last summer. Can you smell it? Ummmm. Now that's a scent I really love!! Soon, I tell myself, very soon.......


Click to Mix and Solve
Just click and play. Have fun.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Wildflower Dreams




I don't know about you, but I dream in color. Sometimes the dreams are more vivid than others. I like to lull myself to sleep with thoughts of flowers and quilts, two of my favorites things. Last night I had a wildflower dream. It was beautiful and relaxing, and looked a lot like this photo.

I also have strong memories of being a very young child. And one of my favorite memories is walking through a field picking flowers with my mother. The flowers were as tall as I was, which wasn't all that high since as my mothers says, "How can you remember that? You were only two!" It's just a quick little vision into the past, but I remember thinking it was funny that we were putting flowers in my mother's apron as she held it up to make a basket as women have done for generations when picking flowers or vegetables.
Then it's blank; there's nothing after that, just sun, flowers and my mother's hand.

This warm, cozy sensation is so strong that I use it when trying to relax myself while I am in tense situations, like recently at the dentist's office or when I was in the MRI machine that scared me to death. I use it when the nurse straps on that blood pressure cuff to keep my numbers low.




Today I'm using this vision because it is still so cold out that I feel like I will never be warm again. I think there will be lots of wildflowers in Heaven. And when my time comes to an end,(which I pray is many years from now,) I will run for joy through them and fall down with laughter like I did when I was a child. I'm sure God will laugh with me, because he'll know how much his beautiful wildflowers give me pleasure.



One is nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth.
Dorothy Frances Gurney

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Giveaway Winner


Thank you for all your many comments. I was overwhelmed with the number of entries I received. I'm so happy to know there are so many garden bloggers out there willing to share their knowledge and information.
It would have been impossible to choose from your comments alone, so each entry was given a number. I had my husband call out a random number and that's the way the winner was chosen.


So now for the grand announcement!
The winner is Rachael at Hands in Dirt. Congratulations Rachael. Your new garden journal will be on it's way shortly. Please e-mail me directly at pianananna@gmail.com with your mailing address.