Saturday, May 31, 2014

May In the Rear View Mirror

I feel like I should put up a sign on the street corner… “Lost: the month of May.”  I have no idea where the time went! 

A week was spent in Missouri over Mother’s Day.  We had an exceptionally nice visit. 

We made progress in the yard, focusing mainly on curb appeal and winter clean up.  Using Dad’s leaf blower we piled and burned enough leaves that we could have hidden an elephant in them!  It took days to deal with all of them.

You’ve already seen our front porch redo.  We also worked on the sidewalk area and around the front of the house, the herb bed, and in front of the shed.  I’ll be showing those soon. 

The bird garden is a work in progress… like the shed; we’ve decided to go deeper with the redo so it is taking longer.  But it is going to be worth the extra time and effort!  The iris I was planning on moving out finally decided they liked where they were planted and bloomed for the first time in several years.  So they are staying right where they are at!

Our compost pile got a jump start with some ‘cow dirt’ from a neighbor and Sunday School classmate.  He brought down a whole tractor bucket load of well composted manure from the area he feeds his cattle. 

Not much going on inside the house.  When I have time and energy I’m done some putzing in my studio. 

Also have been sorting thru tubs of clothing that are/were too small for me.  I am a very happy camper that some are now fitting again!  I’ve sorted the ones I still can’t wear into tubs labeled by size and they will be stored until I need them. 

We haven’t had anyone over this month… June will be the start of our entertaining.  But we did have two delightful meals with friends in their homes.

 Other outings have been the Amish plant auction I wrote about earlier this month and an original play put on by a local church.  Plus two times we have volunteered at Whole Foods cooking classes. 

And so it is onward into June.  We still have a decent amount of yard work to finish… something I am kind of dreading with the building heat…

Friday, May 30, 2014

Living Room Project: A New Vignette for the Desk

A couple days ago I posted my kitchen project for Mary's 'home love' challenge.  Today I'll show you what I did for the living room challenge.

I have this little antique desk that Mom bought when I was a baby.  And it was old when she got it!  Mom did the finish back in the heyday of antiquing and I still love it.  In fact, I'm starting to see this finish being done new.

What goes around comes around, doesn't it?

I was tired of the arrangement I had on the desk itself (I'm still loving the moss terrariums on the top).  I started pulling stuff off so fast I forgot to take the before pictures... and certainly wasn't feeling it to put them back for photos!

This painting is an antique oil we picked up in a Budapest, Hungary market.

Then I gathered a stack of antique books for the other side.  

The top book is "Coleridge's Ancient Mariner Etc." printed in 1921.  It belonged at one time to Grace Dunn who was in Freshman English I.

The next book is "The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come" by John Fox Jr.  printed in 1903.   It is written about an area in KY were I've gone on a lot of mission trips.  In fact, Kentucky has a Kingdom Come State Park in that area.  I love the inscription on the fly leaf;  "Jason Alexander, from the sharer of your joys and sorrow for 58 years, Helen Alexander   June 19, 1912.

The third book is "Little Lord Fauntleroy" by 'Mrs. F. H. Burnett.  It was printed in 1886.  The book plate reads, "Glenkens Society - presented to Peter Tars as the 1st Prize for Junior Scripture in Pulharrow Public School, Parish of Kells, 24th May 1900."  I picked it up in Wigtown, Scotland for the sum of 6 Pounds (around $10).

The book below that is "Two Little Confederates" by Thomas Page, printed in 1891.  The inscription reads, "This book is presented to Harry Bell as a reward for having been the most punctual in attendance of any pupil in the school for the session of 1893 & 4.  He has been present every day since entering and in addition to this he has stood well in his classes.  May you, throughout life, be always be found at your post of duty, is the wish of...  Your teacher, G W Lypert, May 4th, 1894, Friday.

The final book isn't as old... but it is a lot more fun.  It is "Horton Hatches The Egg" by Dr Seuss.  It was printed in 1940, which is when the first edition was printed.  

The cute knobs came from Hobby Lobby.

A nice little change-up for the eyes!  I have a tendency to get bored if things stay the same for too long.  This little rearranging has gotten me eager to do the other shelves!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

How Does Your (Herb) Garden Grow?

This crazy winter/summer weather in May had me holding off on getting my herbs in.  Too cold or too hot just isn't fun.  But finally we got the job done.  I had to replant almost everything because of the bitter winter we had.

(I can see at least 4 upcoming projects I need to work on in this photo!)


Of course this annual gets planted new EVERY year.  I put in a lot this time.  In the foreground you can see three lemon basil plants that were part of my auction lots.  I'm looking forward to experimenting with them.


My poor Arp rosemary is looking kind of pitiful.  Frankly I thought I had lost it to the cold.  But it is struggling back.  I think I'm going to plant a couple more (when I find nice ones) since we use so much of it.

Don't you love the butterfly?  Sis gave it to me.  Thanks Sis!

Chives and Garlic

Last year's garlic and this year's chives.  Himself will enjoy the chives in his cooking.


I see more Italian cooking in my future!


One of my favorites.  We use this a lot; it is especially yummy in scrambled eggs.


The two rows on the left are regular sage and on the right are pineapple sage.

I lost all my sage plants to winter.  The pineapple sage was also part of the auction plants that I am playing with.

Love the color on this sage plant!

French Tarragon

This one gets babied thru the summer.  I was happy to see it come back this spring as it is somewhat hard to find around here.  It does NOT like the TN heat what-so-ever!  And I'm sorry but Mexican 'tarragon' is not really tarragon.

Italian Parsley

It's not as pitiful as it is looking.  It's just a bit water droopy.  

Grape Tomato

Not sure what variety.  Last year I planted some beautiful fennel next to my tomatoes.  

They did NOTHING most of the year.  Nothing... like not even growing in height.  They were green and lovely but no growth and no tomatoes. 

I later found out reading about companion planting that fennel inhibits growth of tomatoes.

Boy does it ever!!!!!

We have tomatoes this time!

My biggest disappointment is my asparagus.  I have about 15 feet planted... and only about 6 sprouted.  This is their third year and I was so looking forward to plate after plate of fresh asparagus.  I've noticed neighbors aren't having much luck with their crops either.  I really hope I get a lovely surprise next spring...

(The cute chicken trellis was also a gift from Sis.  She's got great taste, doesn't she?)

I'm excited about my herbs and looking so forward to the cooking I'm going to be doing  with them!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Kitchen Project

Over at “Mary Organizes”  a fun little summer challenge series is going on.  Each week she assigns a room/area and we are to make some sort of change-up that either tackles an issue we’ve been avoiding or ‘breathes new life’ into the room.

I’ve gotten a bit behind the power curve on this, so the next few days I’ll be blogging what I’ve done for my challenges.

Week One was the kitchen.  

The project I worked on was this accent wall.  I’d gotten a start on it a bit earlier but had never finished it.  

Before it was a long blank expanse of green…Boring!
Now – I love it!  A bit of eye candy hanging up helps too.

I did this painting a while back.  My life motto!  LOL  

This old scrapbook was made by my great grandmother in 1947.  The light switch will be changed out when I find one I like OR I make one. 

And the tassel on the pantry door adds a bit of fancy!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Welcoming Porch

Welcome to my front porch!

May has been 'curb appeal' month and of course that meant the porch needed a serious overhaul.  I pulled everything except the arbor.  A good scrubbing was very much needed.

Then I started working with the plants I had bought at the Amish auction.  It won't be long before this moss rose is lush.  The front gets pretty hot even tho it faces east.  The moss rose doesn't have an issue with that.

The metal containers stay pretty moist so it isn't a problem planting in them.  I pulled some of my lanterns to set about.  I think they give such a welcoming look.

More on the left side.  (Yep, the front one is really a bird feeder... but I love its lantern-like shape.)

So... come in and visit for a wee bit?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

This Memorial Day... 

Remember those who served.

Remember the sacrifice of those who gave their lives.
Remember the the loss of their families.

Remember those who came home.

Remember that everyone one of them is wounded one way or another.
Remember their families who love them through those wounds.

Remember those who have not yet fought.

Remember that they bear the stress of not knowing what their future holds.
Remember their families who do not know what their future holds either.

Remember them all.

~~ Teri ~~

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Banana Flower

Banana Flower
Nicaragua 2008

Friday, May 23, 2014

Salud! at Whole Foods: Summertime in Italy - Grilled Lemon Chicken

Himself and I worked another great Italian class at Whole Foods last week.  

It was taught by Chef Dan, you know he’s our favorite!

We really enjoy his classes for several reasons… the food is fabulous, of course.  But what makes Dan’s classes special is how much he enjoys teaching.  He has fun and that makes it fun for everyone else.

The menu for the evening was:  Grilled Zucchini-Prosciutto Roll Up with Goat Cheese, Shrimp Relish, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Lemon Chicken, Heirloom Tomato-Green Bean Salad, Corn Pudding with Fresh Herbs, and Peach, Raspberry & Almond in Puff Pastry Tart with homemade salted caramels. 

Dinner is served!

I’ve decided to share the lemon chicken recipe with you, as it is easy and different.

The chicken marinating.  Mix it around so the liquid is all over the chicken.

You can get a bit of flame from the oil.  Well… maybe more than a bit!

Yes Dan… I saw that!

We finished the chicken in the over for time’s sake. 
This recipe is going in my “keeper” file!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Oh The Possibilities!

This is a truck load of possibilities.

What?  You only see a bunch of odds and ends pieces of wood?

I see projects and artistic creations... a privacy fence, tool boxes, trays, cutting boards, mixed media pieces, shadow boxes and much more.

All for free!  

I'll tell you more later...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Charlotte's Web?

Isn't this the prettiest spider web ever?  As the breeze moved it, the irridesent sheen traveled all around the disk.  That is what caught my eye because it was only about 3 inches wide... not hardly big enough to notice.

Operation Yard Work is in full swing.  All sorts of projects are intersecting.  It's kind of chaotic right now but soon it will all fall in place.  

At least that is what I hope is going to happen!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Time To Pick The Berries!

Today is National Pick Strawberries Day!!  

And just down the road from us is a pick-your-own strawberry farm.

Can you guess what Himself and I are going to be doing very soon?


Monday, May 19, 2014

...Monkey Jumping On The Bed

Anyone who knows me even half-way well knows that I am NOT a morning person.  I prefer to start my days quietly… with a cup of hot tea and quiet conversation.

Last trip tho, a certain little monkey spent the night with Grandpa and Grandma…and subsequently… us.  

After a tiny knock at the door, the little monkey climbed up for a morning cuddle. 

Who could resist?

Pretty soon she was chattering away…

…with waving hands and a few bounces thrown in.

When I finished my cuppa, it was time for a bit of “Peter Rabbit” until Grandma called us all down for breakfast.

What a beautiful way to wake up in the morning (even if I did almost have some little toes in my hot tea!).