Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Woman's Work

By chance I have a small collection from places Himself or I have visited.  Actually it is a two-part collections but I’m only going to show half of it this time – the ladies!  It is figures that represent the daily work of the different cultures in the area we are visiting.

I have my pieces on a shelf in my living room.  Right now they are kind of just sitting there, as I haven’t had an inspiration on how to arrange them.  If anyone has an idea, I’d love to hear it!

It all started with these two ladies.  Himself brought them back from one of his military trips to Ethiopia. 

The lady on the left is cooking injera – the staple ‘bread’ of the country.  It’s made with a fermented batter made from teff flour.  It’s then pour on a clay disk and covered where it bakes and steams into a soft, spongy, delicious crepe-like bread.
The lady on the right is performing a ritual of hospitality… the coffee ceremony.  To have this done for you by the lady of the house is quite an honor.  The whole process takes several hours as she starts with roasting the green coffee beans over a small fire. 

My seamstress is from Haiti… brought back after another one of Himself’s military trips.  Sewing is a common profession in Haiti and is especially common around the UN camps. 

At Fourteen Falls, Kenya we met a sculptor who made simple clay figures of the daily life of his people group.  He told us this particular piece was of his mother, who was a potter.

I picked this up in Canada.  It is a First Nation girl who is taking care of one of the family’s sled dogs.

This piece is from Alaska.  It is a Native American etching/scrimshaw on fossilized ivory.  (This type of ivory is legal to purchase.) 

I wonder where my next lady will come from and what will be her work?

Friday, June 29, 2012

I've Got Peaches!

Roadside produce stands are one of my favorite stops on a road trip.  On the way up to see my family I saw a sign for a local peach orchard (Dogwood Orchards) near Bertrand in SE Missouri.  It wasn’t far off my route – only 2 miles south – so I headed down to check it out. 

I soon saw a welcoming sign…

… and the fruit stand surrounded by peach trees.  He was about done for the day but I was still able to get a few quarts to take home with me.

The trees were crazy heavy with fruit!

You wouldn’t believe how incredible it smelled in there.  It would be so easy to string up a hammock and chill out right in the middle of all of it.

But I had to be content with wandering around a bit enjoying the experience.  You can be sure I will be stopping by on my next trip up!!! 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Little Hoss Turns Two!

Just back from MO where we celebrated Little Hoss turning TWO!  Wow, where has the time gone?

His party was a pirate theme and I had a blast being in character as the “Pirate Queen”.  Captain Hoss, in true pirate fashion, checked out the ‘jewels’ I was wearing.  His approval was met.

He was a whirlwind of activity, zooming from one person to the next. 

But he slowed down long enough to have a parlay with his ‘Papo’. 

His treasure chest was filled with new toys and books.  (I found that gift bag almost a year ago and had been saving it.) 

The Pirate Princess enjoyed the bounty too.

And of course there were good eats!  Big J made sliders (beef and turkey) and Mom & I did Tossed Caprese Salad, Tabouli, fresh fruit salad, and chocolate cream cheese stuffed strawberries.  (The kids eat – and enjoy – what the adults eat). 

There were also pirate sugar cookies made by Big J’s mom.

‘Mamo’ (my mom) made homemade banana cake cupcakes for his cake.  The kids both love cupcakes so that was a must. 

Chowing down!

Captain Hoss and his family. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Party Animals!

Out here in The Sticks, we have all sorts of neighbors. 

There is a large family who lives at the top of the hill.

The patriarch is the tall, dark and handsome type. 

The kids are a pretty good bunch… tho they do play on the road sometimes.

Even when they are old enough to know better. 

But for the most part, they stay in their own yard…

… but not always!  Sometimes they will party a bit and it even spreads down to MY house! 

But they scat out fast when you yell at them.

Here’s the reason why they get out of hand sometimes:  Their adopted uncle is a bit of an ass…

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Wee Kitchen Garden

Finally!  I have an herb garden again.  I have missed it so much.

This spring my lawn man put together a planting bed for me make into a culinary herb garden.  He moved good dirt from an area we made into a watershed.

And he brought in untreated oak timbers from a local saw mill. 

Himself tilled it for me and got rid of the weeds that had bolted up in the good soil.

And now I have a garden!

Just a portion of it – sage, garlic, Italian parsley, thyme, & rosemary.  I also put in basil, dill, and French tarragon.  There was cilantro but it bolted about 30 seconds after I put it in the ground.  L 

The areas are divided up into 2 foot planting areas, alternating perennial and annual herbs.  This will give me a ‘bare spot’ each spring so I can get to the asparagus without stepping on any herbs. 

Because of the large size of the planting bed, I decided to do a bit more than just herbs.  Along the back I put in Jersey Giant asparagus. 

The stalks are so tiny this year! 

And at the very end I have 2 tomato plants and two green pepper plants.

I’m so excited to watch them grow!

I needed a path to the water spigot.  Since the bed is raised, Himself dug down for me so it was easy to use the water hose.  I love the way he put in pavers and stones to keep it dry for me.  Now it’s my turn to get that power washer out! 

And on either side of the hose path I will put pot herbs in.  The pots will protect the rest of the herbs from the hose dragging thru them.  In the pots are a bay tree, ginger, and 2 types of mint – peppermint and orange mint.  (They are under a shade tree right now since I’m going to be going on a trip soon.) 

The bay and ginger are not hardy so they have to winter over in the garage.  The mint is potted to keep it from taking over! 

It is going to be so nice to have my fresh herbs for cooking again!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

X-Men Celery

I saw an interesting thing on Pinterest about how you can regrow celery from the bottom of an old bunch.  Since Himself eats a lot of celery, I decided this would be an fun and free project to try.

I selected a bunch of celery that seemed to not be cut too short.  But when I went to cut it, I found quite a surprise… there were multiple levels of “crowns” within the single bunch. 

Each level was growing its own set of stalks!
I’ve never seen anything like this.  Have you?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pinterest Inspired: Dino Planter

As a child, I watched the claymation show “Gumby”.  One of the characters was Trixie the Triceratops.  I loved that show and I’ve always liked triceratops since then.

So when I saw this cute little triceratops toy at Goodwill for .25c, I just had to get it.  I had seen fun little planters for air plants or succulents or cactus and now I could make one too.

It took my sharp pair of craft snips to cut thru the rubber body. 

Then I put a bit of dirt in and a chick from my hen-and-chicks plant.  I left the ‘tail’ long on the chick to help anchor it into the soil. 

I love how it turned out!  It makes me smile whenever I see it.