Thursday, June 27, 2013

Seed Catalog Freebies













Today I thought I would share some of these old catalogs with you. I think they are so beautiful. The colors and and the way the flowers and vegetables are presented are glorious. You can still find these online,
at used book stores, antique stores, and thrift shops. 

Many years ago with my first garden I started collecting them when I stumbled on my first one. Now I have a collection. Most important they help me identify that roadside rose or graveyard plant I wander across on my journey. I know the names of many old plants thanks to these old catalogs. 

My gardening now consists of lots of herbs, some tomatoes on my back deck, and lots of flowers. I must admit I enjoy going to the local produce stands or the farmers market here in town. I like the atmosphere and the selection. Plus, I find things I would not think of growing. 

I miss having a big garden. I enjoyed the sun and the dirt. Even the weeding was fun, although I used the hay method. Where you put down hay around your plants and through the rows to keep the weeds to a minimum. At the end of the season you use the rototiller to plow it all under and enrich your soil. Ah those were the days. I hope you are all enjoying your gardens and if not the local produce!
p.s. wouldn't these printed on fabric and then sewn make stunning pillows or sachets?

Digital Photograph - Going Home

Going Home
Going Home no matter how much you have enjoyed your trip 
is always comforting. When I see the mountains I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach, in my core. It is sort 
of like butterflies, without the anxiety. My whole body breathes a deep relaxing sigh. I am here. All is well.

Digital Photograph - The biggest Watering Can, Ever...

Watering Can

Sometimes you never know what you are going to find along the way. I stopped in Staunton Virginia to visit someone. Afterwards, I decided to explore this lovely place and 
find something to eat. They have a lovely Farmer's Market, a nice Goodwill where I picked up a couple of cast iron pots, and then I found this giant watering can.
What can I say? The photograph speaks for itself. The 
rusty sculpture was just what this Summer day needed.

Quote Book #11 - Roads Traveled

Digital Photograph - The Mill

The Mill

Digital Photograph - Masked Cows

Masked Cows

Aren't these guys amazing? 
One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to 
get off the major highway and just ride for awhile. I 
keep heading in the direction I am going, but I take the scenic route. I discover so many interesting places, and see things that most take for granted. There are so many jewels out there to see and experience. I love 
the roadside flowers, the barns, the smell of the freshly mowed hay, the little towns and gas stations.

The beautiful animals and birds that are out there. 
I found these beauties in Virginia. I stopped and they 
came to see what I had to offer. Cows are terribly curious and skittish. These guys were checking me out as I snapped away. I love these two with their masked faces. They must be the super heroes in their herd.

Four Letter Words - Road

Digital Photograph - A Blue Bird House

A blue bird house

Along the way I spotted this beautiful Blue Bird house. The valley and a river behind it. The nest was full of eggs. What a nice place for a home.

Digital Photograph - Mountain or Wild Azalea

Mountain or Wild Azalea

This is a Wild Azalea. They are bright orange. You find them in the mountains and foothills here in North Carolina. The first time I saw one I thought it was some Honeysuckle on steroids. Then I realized it was a bush not a vine. Now I am always on the lookout for that glimpse of orange in the forest. Aren't they beautiful?

Digital Photograph - The Blue Ridge Mountains

The Blue Ridge Mountains

I have been traveling the past couple weeks. I left Friday before Father's Day for Virginia to visit my Mother, Brother, nephews, and my Father's grave for Father's Day. 
I love traveling on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The views are stunning. This photograph was taken in North Carolina outside of Jefferson along the Parkway. It was a cool and beautiful day.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A few Good Men...

A very handsome guy!
I like the profile and lighting in this photograph.
A very Dapper guy!

Thought I would give you just a couple more Men to inspire you. Aren't they wonderful? I would love to write a little more but we have those flat line winds and thunderstorms starting. Ugh! Hoping they pass through quickly and with little damage. My ears are a popping so the millibars are changing. Never good. Time to shut off the computer and keep an eye on things outside. Have a great weekend!

Digital Photograph - Madonna

I found this beauty out Antiquing last week. I loved her rustiness and serenity. Such great patina on her. Hope everyone has some time to spend with the people you love this weekend![Cook something good with one of the sauces in the last few posts.] 

It Started with a Paint Chip...

My freshly painted door with its freshly polished door knocker.

I bought my paint at Lowe's. It is Eddie Bauer Valspar Duramax exterior paint with primer built in, Full Sun EB1-1

This is how it started out. Make sure you wash and dry your door before you start. I also taped the sides.

My finished door with three coats of paint.

Yesterday I painted my front door. I have been waiting to do so for about three weeks. Finally, the weather looked like it might hold for the whole day. I had all the supplies and was up bright and early. It was a go.

First, I researched different paints, then colors. My house is brick with white trim and black shutters. My door was white. I had a white door at the beach and decided that I really wanted something different at this house. The brick on my house has an orange tinge to it. It is pretty against the green of the trees and the green grass.

Second, different colors for front doors mean different things. In Ireland a red door means you are welcoming good fortune for the new year. In many countries a red door means prosperity and good luck. Red at my house would not look too good with the brick. A purple door means you are creative and are lots of fun. I love purple but again not sure with my brick. Green was another idea. I love hunter green. I had hunter green shutters at the beach. It did not seem right for this house. 

This house is one of those houses that when you walk in you feel like you are home. It has good light, good feelings. It is a surprise every time you walk in. Do you know what I mean? It is a "feel good" house. I wanted a door that said that. Yellow was the answer. Now, when I open my door a bit of sunshine just flows right in. When you pass my house on the street and look up, a bit of sunshine hits you. I love my new door color. 

I took all the hardware off - knobs, lock, door knocker. The door knocker was so black I think it must have been on there since the door was hung. It was heavy also. I thought maybe it was brass, so I got out the polish. In between coats of paint I polished and polished and polished. Finally, a beautiful door knocker was revealed.

I did three thin coats of paint. The door was white plus the paint had a built in primer which helped a lot. Thin coats dry much faster. It took about and hour and a half between coats. I used a brush to do the indentations of the door panels and a small roller to do the rest. I wrapped the roller and brush in Saran Wrap in between coats. The last coat of paint I waited about 4 to 5 hours before I returned the hardware and closed the door. I wanted to make sure everything had dried and set up nicely. 

I bought a gallon of paint which had a rebate. I plan on using the paint again to do another door on a garden shed I plan on getting this fall, to do a stool, and some window boxes for said shed. If you are just doing your door, then a quart would be more than enough. All in all, it cost me less than $40.00 and a little time. [A quart would cost you much less.] This morning I got two compliments from my neighbors already. Whoo Hoo!

Cucumber Raita

Cucumber Raita [photo by Reza M]
Here is one more sauce for you. I love this. It is fresh and cool and wonderful on fish. I love broiled scallops with Raita. This is also the sauce they use on Gyros. So of course it is great on chicken or lamb. I have also used it as a salad dressing on a wedge of lettuce with tomatoes and blue cheese. Now I am getting hungry...

Cucumber Raita

3/4 cup nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup chopped finely or grated cucumber
I like it grated
2 teaspoons of chopped fresh mint
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 dash of hot sauce [like Tabasco]

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
Stir till blended. Yields 1 cup. Keep chilled.
Will last a day or two in refrigerator, I like it fresh. Enjoy.

Tartar Sauce

Tartar Sauce
Okay, here is another yummy sauce for you. This is great with fish. I really like it on French Fries. I know it is the Southern in me. The two go really good together.

Tartar Sauce

1 cup of Mayonnaise - your favorite kind
1 1/2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped capers
1 tablespoon of sweet relish
1 tablespoon of fresh chives chopped fine
1 teaspoon Djon Mustard

Add all ingredients into a small bowl.
Stir them all together till they are mixed well. Should yield 1 cup. Can store in the refrigerator for a few days if you do not eat it all up! 

Mustard Sauce

Mustard Sauce

Here is another sauce for you. This is one that is good on sandwiches, great with seafood. I like to dip my pretzels in it.
It is very similar to Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant's mustard sauce. Their's with some crab is yummy!

Mustard Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise of your choice
3 1/2 to 4 teaspoons of dry mustard
1/2 cup half and half
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoons of A1 steak sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
a squeeze of lemon

Pour all ingredients into a small bowl.
Whisk them together. Cover and chill.
Serve with seafood, on a burger, or a pretzel. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Will keep in your refrigerator for a few days. I usually make this one ahead of time. Enjoy.

Magic Mayo

Magic Mayo

I have been playing around with sauces the past couple of days. Trying to find a few to use with "summer food." This is one that is really good with fish, shrimp, and I tried it on a burger and it was good.

Here in the South we like our Mayonnaise. We eat it on almost everything. Elvis loved his fried banana sandwiches with Mayo. Dukes Mayonnaise is big here in the South. I personally was raised on Hellman's Mayonnaise. My Mother loves mayo. I mean loves it. Any way, hope you enjoy this.

Magic Mayo

1 cup mayonnaise - use your favorite brand
1 dill pickle - chopped into little pieces
1 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
a squeeze of lemon
a little lemon zest

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
Chill. Keeps for several days if you do not eat it all.

The Hydrangea's are Back!

Stunning isn't it?

Just one bush of many

Love this color

After almost two weeks of rain, every day, morning and night, yesterday we saw sunshine. I decided to get out early and take some pictures. 

At my new house I do not have much landscaping. My house sits right up into some woods. It sits in a neighborhood of mid-century ranches. All of them are 50 plus years old. Many have the original owners, or the kids bought out the parents, two or three generations of the same family occupying the house at some time. Each leaving their own mark.

My house was owned by two families, each growing old here. When I moved in the old tired bushes someone had pulled out. The masses of ivy someone had tried to tame. Most of the flowers had seen better days. However, along my driveway there was a bunch of Hydrangeas and several rose bushes. 

This year after much feeding and lots of rain the Hydrangeas have come into their own. They look beautiful! I am still planting, moving plants, and trying to tame the ivy. But, as I come and go, the Hydrangeas cheer me on.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Freebies - Men

I love everything about this man. From his bowler hat, the watch chain and the cane. I think he would definitely be called a dapper.

This gentleman looks like he would rather be somewhere else. Maybe reading a book. His boots are not to worn and his coat fits him.

He has definitely seen his barber before this picture was taken. A nice shave. Love his watch chain.

This fellow has decided on a casual pose. His hat in hand and the cane make him a definite dapper also.

Ahh! Muttonchops. Thank goodness we do not see too many of them anymore.

Quite the mustache this gentleman has going on. The top hat and coat really take the look to new levels. He is obviously is quite well dressed. I wonder where he is going.

I love men. Everything about the male species is quite fascinating to me. They think, move, smell, and do everything so different than women. A constant mystery. 

With Father's Day coming up I thought men freebies would be very appropriate. This will be my second fatherless Father's Day. However, I am remembering all the wonderful things about my father. There are so many. I was so blessed to have him as my father and doubly so to have had him in my life for so very long. 

With that said. Please honor your father's, not just on Sunday, but everyday that you can. Those who still have your father's remember to tell them you love them, and those who have lost their father's remember to just be the best you can be, the happiest you can be. That is all any father would want. Those of you who have children, remember to thank their father. What a gift he gave you. 

Enjoy these images.

Digital Photograph - The Poppy Field

The Poppy Field

Isn't this a sight to behold? It has done
nothing but rain for over a week. One day last week it was beautiful so my camera an
I hit the road. This was a feast for the eyes.

A June Poem for You

Digital Photograph - The Window

The Window

Four Letter Words - June

Monday, June 3, 2013

Some Fruity Label Freebies

This week I thought I would share a few labels I have collected over the years. I have a whole file filled with them. I love the colors and the graphics on them. I have chosen labels that have birds on them. I know I am a sucker for anything that has a bird on it. They fascinate me. Anyway these labels are from Washington State all the way to Florida. Maybe you will recognize some of them. I sure wish they would make labels like this again. Product would sell so much better. I hope ya'll all have a good week. Can you believe it is June already?