Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Walking To The Lake

Our walks to the lake are only in the mornings now.  It’s getting too hot to go any other time.  The air is thick with humidity. 

The spiderwort is enjoying the weather tho.

And it doesn’t seem to bother this pretty white moth.  Maybe he’s here for the flowers too.

The path is full of many kinds of flowers.

I’ve been trying to get a photo of these little beetles but they are skittish little dudes.  Love that metallic green color… wouldn’t it be a great color for a car? 

This fallen leaf caught my eye.  How did it get such perfect dots of green?

These have to be some sort of parasite on the tree leaf but they remind of vanilla chips on a cookie. 

There is a grove of these thorny little trees right at the water’s edge.  The thorns cover the whole length of the trunk. 

The beavers have been keeping busy…

As we got even closer to the water, the dragonflies started dancing around us.  I could watch them all day.

The water is so still, the breeze barely causes a ripple.

Which made seeing this guy much easier.  I am pretty sure he is an alligator gar.  We watched several of them hunting the minnows near the lake edge.  They are FAST!

They aren’t the only ones who fish in this lake. 

After an hour or so it was time to go home.  The sun just keeps pushing the temperatures higher and higher.  But the peace of the lake is so worth it.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thank You For Serving

Today was given to you to enjoy.

A simple “thank you” means so much because it doesn’t happen often enough.

Those who have sacrificed aren’t faceless, nameless digital creations. 

They aren’t part of a program to entertain.

They were, and are, loved and cherished human beings.

So enjoy your day to the upmost with family and friends in laughter and fun.  
But don’t forget why you can have this day.  Never, ever forget.

Never take for granted what you have here and now.  They don’t…

Show respect and gratitude for those who are standing up for you… by standing up for them.  It’s a simple thing that means a great deal.

“Some” does not mean ‘a little’… it means that you got to come home. 

My step great grandfather came home.  My husband came home.  As have many of my friends.

My uncle did not.  Some of my friends have not… Odie, JD, Tre, and more, too many more…

And some of my friends are still in the thick of it.  Striving, trying, and giving. 
Friends like CSM Rob D. who is trying to make a difference while he’s over there… so maybe one day we won’t need to go back.  He works during his precious off duty hours to teach the locals a better way… by education and bringing them improved means of making a living.  In this photo he has given garden vegetable seeds to Hajji Anayet and other local men so they can grow better produce for their families and to sell in the market.  (Sorry for the low quality photo.  I had to do a screen capture as I could not pull the image off the PDF Rob sent.)   

Thank you to those in the past, in this present time, and those in the future. 
Thank you for stepping up…

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Culinary Adventure for Himself

During our visit to the Farmer’s Market I found out a very sad thing. 

So sad I had to do something about it immediately.

I found out my dear husband of 30 years has never had real kettle corn!!  Yes, I gasped too…  How terrible to go thru life without ever having real kettle corn. 
Maybe it’s not a North Dakota thing.  But in the Midwest, almost every carnival and fair had a kettle corn vendor stirring the popcorn, sugar, and salt into a wonderful treat. 

And here in Nashville, I found it at the Farmer’s Market (it was the second wonderful aroma to hit my nose after the smell of peaches).

Look at all those flavors!

Now days there are many more varieties besides the traditional kettle corn.

Himself prefers a savory flavor rather than sweet.  He picked “garlic and parmesan” for his flavor…

… but I insisted he try a bit of traditional.  Personally I think it’s the best kettle corn I’ve had.  The kernels are big and fluffy (as you could see in the first photo) and the seasoning was very balanced.

This wonderful kettle corn is made by Moose Head Kettle Corn ( www.mooseheadkettlecorn.com ).  They are a local company in Nashville and are found at quite a few outdoor venues like the Grand Ol’ Opry plaza on the weekends.  They also do mail orders.  I wouldn’t mind if someone sent me some as a gift!! 


Saturday, May 26, 2012

To Market, To Market...

Friday we made our first visit of the year to the Nashville Farmer’s Market.  It made me happy just walking in!  The first thing I smelled were PEACHES.  Ripe delicious peaches.

I could easily live in a culture where one goes out each morning and selects the foods that will be prepared for supper that evening.

I make a loop that visits every single vendor before I start buying.

A few greens from one place…

Tomatoes from another. 

REAL tomatoes that smell (and taste) like a tomato should.  And the chances to try new varieties like these pink ones.  I picked up a green one to fry up too!

There’s even a honey vendor! 

Being here just makes me want to come home and COOK!  I came out loaded up with good things.  Tomatoes, squash, corn on the cob, a watermelon and of course peaches!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ticked Off!!

We are now reaping one of the side effects of “The Year Without Winter”… 

… ticks…
We cannot walk from our front door to our shed without getting several on us.  They are horrible this year and they must die. 
I’ve been researching how to get rid of them other than hiring an expensive pest control service. 
The first option is preventative measures that are impossible out here in the sticks. 
~ Keep deer, squirrels, mice, and every other warm blooded wild animal out of your yard.  
           Yeah… right.  Not even the Great Wall of China could do that. 

~ Keep all grass and brush trimmed back to no more than 3 inches high, and remove all fallen leaves and brush.  
          Yeah… right again.  Our land is like a donut… the middle 1.5-ish acres are grass (pasture grass) and the other 3.5-ish acres are woods (where the deer, squirrels, mice, and all sorts of other warm blooded wild animals live…) 

~ Avoid having a yard that is hot and humid.  
          Seriously??  I live in Tennessee.  The only way to avoid hot and humid is to move to another state! 

~ Move birdfeeders and birdbaths as far from your house as possible.  Birds can spread immature ticks over great distances as they migrate, and they may drop ticks in your yard as they use feeders and birdbaths.  
          Terrific…  Our bird garden is 20 feet from our front door; and it isn’t going anywhere! 

So we’ve now established that ticks are going to be a fact of life out here.  So we move to the second option… kill them.  
Every article I’ve read says permethrin is not only one of the most effective chemical against ticks; it is also one of the least toxic to people and animals.  OK, we have our weapon of choice.  
And Lowes and Home Depot both carry the product in both liquid and granular form.   So I know where to find my weapon. 
The recommended time to treat a yard is ‘mid-May thru early June’… also known as NOW.  And we have the battle time. 
Next trip to town we go to Lowes and pick up permethrin and declare chemical warfare on the ticks. 
I’ll let you know how it goes…

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chugging On Decluttering The Shed

This week in the garage shed we tackled the SW corner. 

It was an area that had been ‘stuffed’ in a very chaotic way.  Piles upon piles upon piles.  So we worked on large item sorting (not yet going thru the boxes) and getting things in some semblance of order. 

Basically… we re-piled the boxes.  L  BUT… we did go thru a bunch and loaded the back of Little Red to take to Goodwill and the ReStore.  However, it is time to pick thru waaaay too many boxes we haven’t gotten to and we need to build that 2 foot deep shelf.

But it looks better than when I started!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Heirloom Textiles

Last week was my Ag Extension meeting, with the lesson being on heirloom textiles and their care.  It was pretty much the basic info you see everywhere, with the exception of a few tips I hadn’t heard.

~ The safest way to clean delicate fabric is to vacuum it with a low suction vacuum.  You place a piece of the nylon screen over it and gently vacuum 2 or 3 times.  Turn it over and repeat.

~ If you are ‘wet cleaning’ fabric, support it by laying it across a nylon or fiberglass screen (from the hardware store).  Bind the edges of the screen with medical tape to prevent it from snagging.

~ The safest cleaner to use is “Orvus Paste”.  Surprisingly, it is a livestock shampoo!  It can be purchased at quilt stores in small tubs for big dollars OR at livestock stores in big tubs for small dollars.  Go figure… 

Now here was the best part of the meeting… the ladies brought some of their heirloom textiles for a “show and tell” of sorts!  There were some wonderful pieces!

This bed throw had a great story.  When the maker passed away, the family had an estate sale.  The lady had made many, many knit and crochet pieces, so the family all had what they wanted.  The rest were put in the sale.  Some were yellowed and tired.  A family friend bought this piece and took it home and washed it immediately. 

On the last day of the sale she returned with the throw.  She greeted her friends with the statement… “You do NOT want to sell this!”

And she opened it to reveal it had been stitched across the top “To Mack from Mother 1917”. 

She was right… they didn’t want to sell that piece!  And due to that lady’s kindness, it is back in the family.

Here is a bit of upcycling.  Bobbie T used a remnant of fabric and some old doilies to create a window valance.  What a great one-of-a-kind piece!

This unique pillow cover was made by a mother to commemorate her son going to war.

That is EIGHTEEN ninety eight folks!  The Spanish-American War.

The names of the young men from their area that traveled together to Camp Elger are stitched on, as is this patriotic motif. 

Another interesting military textile was this silk map from World War I. 

Himself found this piece fascinating.  (He had come along because he is friends with everyone in the group and doesn’t get to see them much).

Someone brought this sweet little bird bridge table cover.

I don’t know about you, but I love crochet doilies.  I have several my paternal grandmother made that will be passed on to Little Bird and Little Hoss.

Some net darning.

More tablecloths.

The stitching in the silk embroidered rose was beautiful. 

Elaine showed the comforter she crocheted and cross stitched.  It took her 3 years to do it.  The back is as beautiful as the front. 

It was such fun to see so many beautiful handworks and to hear the stories that went with them.