Sunday, June 18, 2017

Solar Sun Fountains and Kylie

Hi there everyone....hope you had a nice Father's Day Week-end. We had a nice one. Quiet with a little bit of work mixed into it.

JP's Father died in the 90's. My father died in 1961. My step-father just died last month. I got through it though with not too much pain and sadness. Pops has lived in Las Vegas since '86 and I probably saw him 4 or 5 times in 31 years. The last time was when my mother had died in 2001 and I went for her Memorial and her ashes were spread in the mountains of Las Vegas. A lady friend (who they grew close to and called her their daughter) spread my mother's ashes and she planned on spreading Pop's also. She knew I would not be coming out there, so she would take care of it. End of a chapter in my life.
On to happier news. So this is part of my back yard....it's coming along nicely. I bought this new Solar Sun Fountain, in the red planter. It came all the way from China....really cute I think....I moved it today, so it is in more sun. Doesn't work well in shade.
This little fountain, I picked up at a Plant Sale in May. Paid $1 and the pond container was free. The above fountain......$30 and the container $15.....my splurge. Love my Flamingos, they like the pond too.
Kylie came for a visit while I was playing in my little garden. Yesterday I finally put up my bamboo fencing for a little bit of privacy from the neighbors stuff that I have to look at everyday from my Kitchen window......sometimes gets depressing. The  neighbor lady says that sometime this summer they will be putting up a taller privacy fence.....can't be soon enough for me. I will take pictures of my new bamboo fencing as soon as I get the second section up. What I have done so far....looks really good.
I might have too much in this little section, but when I sit on my bench, I am always looking at everything and deciding if something should be moved or a weed pulled....sitting on my bench does not last long.
Looks like in both these pictures that Kylie is enjoying the little fountain also....probably the sun feels good on her back. I should take lessons from her on how to just stand around and relax.
I have one tomato plant growing in a pot....it's getting pretty big and needs lots of watering. Beefsteak...looking forward to those BLT's.

I have some Beefsteak tomato plants growing in the front of the house and one between the two garages. This year I shall see which place grows the best tomatoes....I want to get a cucumber plant....but have not been able to find one. I wonder, is it to late to start some seeds???

Went to Menards today and got a Wave Petunia plant, Sweet Basil plant and a Mosquito plant....sounds interesting. I might plant it by my park bench, so I can enjoy my backyard. There is still so much to do....like I said, by the time I get things done, Fall will be here...oh well.....then comes winter and we start all over again.

Well, time to close here, it's going on Midnight and I still have not gone downstairs to work on a few cards. I got another Paper Pumpkin Kit from Stampin' up yesterday and made a few cards from that kit....I should take some pictures real soon.

You have a great day, keep looking up, better days are coming.
Cheers ~ Louise

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

MAN!!!! These Beans Were GOOD!!!

Hi there everyone. Hope you are having a good day. We had a storm go through a couple of hours ago....tornado warnings...time to go hide in the basement. Guess it was pretty bad all around us. A roof few off one of the buildings on College Ave. with lots of debris on the street. 60-70 mph winds. Lots of trees were up-rooted and blown down. Will have to watch the news tonight to see which building, it was a warehouse. College Ave is the business area of Appleton....with lots of tall buildings many bars and restaurants. I very seldom go shopping there. Not even sure there are stores to shop anymore.
Last night I made "No Soak Pressure Cooker Baked Beans" Guys......these were the best beans I have ever made!!! And boy did they do a good job with the creation of gaseous emissions. I am sure I added to the "Climate Change!!"

If you have a "Pressure Cooker XL" or any other one of those cookers that cooks with pressure....this is the recipe for you. I wanted to make beans....but every recipe I found, the beans had to soak over night. I just knew there had to be a recipe that I could use without having to soak the beans. So up popped this recipe.

2 cup pinto beans (I used 3 cups Navy beans)
4 cups water (6 cups water)
1 cup diced onion
4 strips bacon, chopped
1 can 16oz diced tomatoes
1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/4 cup HONEY - SORRY forgot to add this ingred.
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt to taste
2 cups chicken stock

I left out: 1-6oz can tomato paste, 1 Tbsp molasses, 1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar and 1tsp salt. Only because I had no molasses or white vinegar.

I shall be adding baking soda to this mixture, maybe that will stop the gaseous emissions...lol!

Rinse beans and place in pressure cooker with 6 cups water and 1 Tbsp. salt. Cover and lock in place, closing steam vent. Press the bean selection and set timer for 30 minutes. While the beans are cooking mix the sauce together except the bacon and onions. Set the sauce aside.

When the beans are done, release the steam and remove the beans, strain and discard the liquid. Set the beans aside, they should be soft. If not, the next 30 minutes will soften them.

In the cooking pot, over the stove, I sauteed the bacon until slightly browned then added the chopped onions and sauteed for 2-3 minutes. Added the combined ingredients and the beans to the pot and stirred well. At this point, I added two cubes of frozen tomato paste.

Replace the lid and lock, close the steam vent and press the beans option and adjust the timer for 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, carefully release the steam, remove the lid, stir and serve. You can leave the beans in the pressure cooker on the keep warm mode to allow the sauce to thicken for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Enjoy.....I did freeze a container for later use. Best beans I ever made, just wish they agreed with me a bit more.
Thought I would add a picture of today's storm. It was really raining hard here. There were high winds and the sirens were blowing. According to the news reports, there were trees going down all over Appleton.

We had the car in yesterday to get fixed. Exhaust was getting a bit loud and the air conditioner was not working. This year I decided it was going to get fixed....not going through another warm summer without the air. So it was $514.00 to get fixed. I should get that paid off by Sept. then we need to get a new battery and 2 new tires before winter.

I might be going to a "Garden Walk" on Saturday, it will cost $10 and one canned food item. Not sure yet, as it depends on the weather mostly. We will see when the time comes. I am still working on our yard....still want to get some cucumber plants and of course there are still lots of weeds to pull....never ending is it???

Well time to close here....have a good night and keep looking up, better days are coming. Cheers ~ Louise

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Pork Spear Ribs....Yummy Good!!!

Hi there everyone.....how is your Wednesday going so far??? I guess I am caught in a "time warp." My mind is still in May. Look at that calendar......it says June 7th already!!! So far this week, we have been whacking at weeds....where did they all come from? I have also run out of mulch and we need to get some more in the next few weeks, guess that depends on finances too.

Our car needs to go in for some work. I decided that I am not going through another summer without air-conditioning. So we will have that fixed and also have the exhaust fixed.....it sounds like a race car. When JP comes home from work at 1:30am you can hear him from 2 blocks down.....geez the exhaust is loud!!!! So that will be next Tuesday that the car is going in for work.

Kylie has not been feeling well lately. The Vet wants to do a liver panel on her. That will be $55, so I guess that will be sometime this week or next. And JP....well, he has another appointment with the prostrate Doctor next Friday...they are calling it "active surveillance" as JP does have cancer, but does not want an operation. So the Doctor is watching it to make sure it does not grow or spread. Lovely.....

The only way to calm my spirit is by EATING!!!! I found a great way to make ribs in my Power Pressure XL....man these are good!!!
As you can see, I used cayenne red pepper, Hungarian Paprika, salt, brown sugar and oregano for the seasoning.

Rubbed the seasoning all over the ribs. Then put the ribs in the pressure cooker for 30 minutes. Let the steam build up, cook and let the steam out. Oh...I did pour a little bit of BBQ sauce on the ribs before cooking and after cooking too.
So here is the finished product.....looks pretty good...yes??? Good enough to eat!!!! I did stick the ribs under the broiler for about 5 minutes. This will most likely be on the menu more often, especially when I see ribs on sale. I will do the ribs on the grill to see how that works...probably delicious!!
I got a new addition to my stamping stuff a couple of weeks ago. A Personal Cricut for $30. It came with a carrying case, 4 cartridges, pens and needle for cutting and a new cutting mat. Such a deal, I could not pass it up. Since then, I have bought two new cartridges, banners and envelopes. I must remember to take some pictures of the Cricut.  Sooooo, I think that is what I will be working on this summer as it is cool in the basement and may be too hot for this old lady to be outside this summer. Ah....who knows what I will be doing......as the weeds never stop growing. I just know if the spring when this fast how much faster will summer go????

Well, time to close here, must got get breakfast...I think 2 soft boiled eggs with toast and strawberries is on the menu. Had that yesterday and it kept me full for most of the day.

You all have a great day and keep looking up, better days are coming. Cheers ~ Louise

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

JP's Birthday Pie and a Funny Face

Hi there everyone. Hope you all had a great Memorial Day!!! We did...we worked all day in the yard. I finished cleaning the garage...least we can walk in there now. JP cleaned my fountain, put some algae stuff in, so it doesn't turn green. He cleaned the gutter above the pond area and hung blue Christmas lights. He also cleaned and vacuumed the car. (Hard to believe we have had this car 4 years now....wow time flies.) We sat in different places in the yard and rested and talked. The park bench, the swing.....I think we rested more and talked then we did work. I cut some rhubarb and made "Honey-Rhubarb Chicken with Asparagus and Fingerling Potatoes" A recipe from Blue Apron that I will actually be making this week when the new order comes.

YOU GUYS!!!!! Was that ever a great recipe!!! The chicken was salt and peppered then fried in olive oil. The sauce was rhubarb, vinegar, roasted garlic cloves, squeezing the garlic out of their skins. Honey, 1/4 cup water and butter was added to the fond from the cooked chicken. Salt and pepper added.......then the sauce was poured over the chicken. Yes, I would make this again and again as long as the rhubarb holds out!!!!

May 17th was JP's 70th birthday. Sorry I am so late in sharing. I ended up buying him this chocolate cream pie. I did not realize it, but I bought the exact same pie last year for his birthday.....who knows, I may buy him this pie again for his next birthday.
It is really a delicious pie.....that we both enjoy!!!
Yes.....that is supposed to be one of his smiles.....he just does not take normal pictures for some reason. I really don't know what he is looking at, it certainly was not the picture taker!!!!
He blew the candle out.....not sure what his wish was for?!?! If he even did wish.....maybe for more food!!!! I think I made him Spare ribs in the pressure cooker....man, those were good too!!!
Well, I suppose I will close here for now. I must get dressed so I can take Kylie for her afternoon walk. Otherwise she will sleep the night away. I think the older she gets the more sleep she wants. I am so sad for her....her sight is going and her hearing also. Old age snuck up on her so quickly!!! Her sniffer still works...but the Doctor said to keep an eye on her....she could wander off and lose her bearings.

Can you believe it....this is the LAST day of May???? Wow! As one blog friend said, "Before we know it, Walmart will have School Supplies for sale.....! You all have a great day and keep looking up, better days are coming. Cheers ~ Louise

Sunday, May 28, 2017

All Gave Some, Some Gave All

Hi there everyone. It's the Memorial Day Weekend.....where did May go??? I hope as you celebrate this day of Freedom, that you remember those that went before you. That died, that you might live in a land of Freedom from those that might destroy this great Nation. Some of those people are right in front of us. How scary to think that there are so many people living in this country that would rather live under Socialist and Sharia Laws. I sure do not understand the thinking of these people.

"All gave some, Some gave all" I just heard the announcer on NASCAR say that.  That's not my saying.

I thought I would post some Patriotic cards for this Memorial Day weekend. In this 1st card, it's a copy of someone else's, I am thinking I want to make about 10 of these cards for the Hospice meeting scheduled this Friday. I do have the red lines and some stars to add to the card. My card will most likely look much different then this one. I like the looks of this card, very clean....I will probably add my Happy 4th stamp.
I made these cards last year for Hospice.....I am always looking for new ideas.
Another copy of a 4th of July card. Looks easy peasey to make also. I need to Photo-copy this card and the first one so I can take it to my studio (in the basement) and make 4th of July cards.
Our weekend will mostly involve working in the front and back  yard. JP is pulling weeds for me in front of the porch.....my rose bushes were getting chocked out from the tall grasses growing. There is still a lot to pull. The rain from today made the weeds easier to pull. There is still so much to do. I guess I should not cry about what has yet to get done, but rejoice over the things that are done.

Our pond still needs to be cleaned out, I wanted to hear the trickle of water this weekend so I brought out a big red plastic container and put some water in it and the water fountain.........and Wa-La the sound of a water fountain trickling.

By my red park bench I have a little fountain that runs by solar. Picked that up at the plant sale for one dollar. It's really cute. I will take a picture tomorrow. Yesterday I was working in the garage, trying to straighten up a bit....how does one garage get so messy with just 2 people and 1 dog????

Anyways, some where's between all the working and sitting and trying to enjoy the day. on Saturday...the mosquitoes found me and bit up my arms and ankles....geez all I have been doing for the last 24 hours is itch and scratch. I took an allergy pill a few hours ago. Tried Noxema, Vick's Vapor rub, Absorbine and hot water (that feels good and very soothing.) See, I just put some Absorbine on my ankles and the itch stopped. YAY!!! I should be better tomorrow. I was reading the Vick's keeps the mosquitoes away....I need to try that tomorrow. A dab behind the ears, elbows and knees and where ever else bare skin is showing.

If it is a nice day tomorrow, I may cook on the grill. Well, time to close, it's almost 10:30 and the race is still going. Monday starts the Stanley Cup Finals the Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins are playing......I am hoping Nashville wins, even though they beat the Blackhawks in the first round.....the Predators have never won a Stanley Cup, I am always for the underdog.

You have a great weekend and keep looking up....better days are coming. Cheers ~ Louise

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Pretty Flowers and JP's 70th

Hi there everyone.....Hope you are having a good day!! Well, today is JP's 70th Birthday. He said he never thought he would ever make it to 70....yep, we are just a vapor. Here today and gone tomorrow. 

I will probably go to the store and find him a chocolate cake or some specialty chocolate pie....not sure yet. Maybe buy him a plant that we both can enjoy. I probably should buy him a new pair of work pants too. But I will wait till I get a coupon from Shopko...spend $50 and get $10 off....my favorite kind of deal.

Have not decided yet what his special meal will be....probably steak, mushrooms and potatoes.....I would like to get one of those Cowboy Rib eye steaks......and do a reverse sear on it. Put it in the oven first then sear on a fry pan.....sounds interesting.

I finally took some pictures of these lovely pink variegated tulips. They almost look like peonies don't they??? So pretty.
A few more views of these tulips. I need to put another layer of red mulch down, the weeds seem to make their way through the mulch....gerrrrr.....hard to keep up with the weeds.
My cute little pansies. I have some yellow pansies planted in planters on the front porch. Last night I planted red petunias. Tonight I pulled some snow on the mountain and some blue bells.....they look like weeds right now....so now is the time to be rid of them. Laid some mulch down but could use another layer. Oh well.....a little bit each day, I might be done by Fall.
We may order some more mulch, have not decided as yet. It's much easier to order 2 yards of mulch then buy the bags...you don't know from where that mulch is coming from and if it is diseased. Here, we buy this mulch that is actually recycled pallets and then dyed red. They use a magnet to release the nails. 

We have about a wheel barrel and a half left so that is not enough to finish what I want done in the front and back yard. My yard will really look nice when it finally gets done. I hope I am not just dreaming....that eventually it will be reality.

Well, I think I shall close this post for tonight so I can post it tomorrow on JP's Birthday. You all have a great day and keep looking up~~~better days are coming. Cheers ~ Louise

Monday, May 15, 2017

Cards, Hospice Meeting, Mother's Day and Pops

Hi there everyone. Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday. Mine started out fine, I was blessed with a friend that gave me a personal Cricut for $30 with case and 4 cartridges and maybe even the cartridge that came with the cricut. With this cricut I will be able to use it without my computer, which will be nice. No pictures yet....I need to set it up and figure out how to use it as well.
In these next few pictures are some of the cards I made for Hospice. The cards above are the funny Tim Holtz Crazy Bird set. I got the die cuts for these birds....maybe I will use them more. No more fussy cutting for me. This yellow bird is probably my favorite of the six birds...easy to color too.
My vintage golfer about to hit a golf ball. I made these cards into Father's Day cards as were the yellow chick cards above.
These cards were what I made up for my secret stamper lady....I sent the stamped pineapple, rose and leaves. Colored them in and added a gem. Added a feather and circled die cut and embossed folder for the background. I inherited 2 rimes of yellow card stock and 1 rime of yellow paper....so yeah, you probably will see lots of yellow cards coming out of my creating mind.
In the above picture are the Father's Day favors I made. At the meeting we slipped Hersey candies in the favor. Usually we put little stickers on them saying they are from Hospice....but I guess the stickers were not made up as yet. I thought I had taken a picture of ALL the favors together, that were made up, but for some reason there was no picture.....gosh, maybe I did not press the button to take the picture??????
In this picture we are looking through the cards each one of us brought.....maybe getting new ideas from each other and oo-ing and ah-ing the cards as we looked. Next meeting will be June 2nd, so we have 3 weeks to get some cards together.....I better get my rear in gear....then we will have the summer off till September and we need to have Halloween cards made......yikes!!! I think that is why my days fly bye.....I am always on to the next holiday before this one even comes.

I did not finish my Mother's Day blessings. After the Hospice meeting, I drove Betty home, but before we went to her house, we stopped off at a second hand shop and I bought myself a purse and a couple of tops.....oh and a cute little teapot which I mishandled and dropped on the ground and it broke. I will glue it back together and just use it for decoration....maybe it won't be usable again. (that part was NOT a blessing)

We went to Woodman's, a really big store that I very seldom go to. BUT...I probably will go there again, I found my favorite bread there. A big loaf of Turano Bread that makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches...oh yum!! Oh and I just saw a recipe using this bread to make (French) Italian toast......trying this tomorrow morning.
I bought a few other things, that I don't see at the other stores I visit...I always have fun shopping!!! I was really enjoying my Mother's Day weekend and thinking, gosh....what did I do to enjoy all these blessings?????

Then Saturday came.....the phone rang. A call from a lady that has been in contact with my step-father in Las Vegas. He died in his sleep, in his own apartment on his easy chair. That's the way he wanted it and he got it. I won't be going out there....no reason to. He had made plans with this lady that she would take care of everything....she sort of adopted him and my mother and became their daughter. Taking my place.....oh well, I never did have good feelings about this whole situation. But who am I......nobody!!!!

Can you sense some anger there??? Yes, there probably is, when I think back on all the things that Pops did to me, the things he said to me, the way he controlled me and made me angry, to the point that I would only stuff the pain and say "he will never hurt me again" only to be hurt again and again. Nope, I am not sad for him, nor do I really care.

He wanted me to call him "Dad" one thing he wanted to hear me say....I said you are NOT MY DAD and I will never call you DAD!!! I had one Dad....You are Pops and that is what I will call you. He said, I figured you would say that and chuckled. ERG....he made me so mad!!!! And when he said he loved me, I was always forced to say....I love you too....but did I mean it??? I am not sure.

So here we are today....I hope he is happy where ever he ended up. The lady is going to take his ashes and spread them in the mountains of Las Vegas along with the ashes of my mother.....hope they meet again, where ever that might be.

Sunday came and we went to church...good service and lovely worship....our gift on Mother's day, two little red petunia plants....I shall plant them tonight in between the rain drops. I think I will get some white and blue petunia's and organize the petunia's in red, white and blue in the planters.

Well, time to close here and go walk Kylie....the sun is out now after a little rain. Talk to you later and keep looking up better days are coming. Cheers ~ Louise

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

My First Paper Pumpkin Kit From Stampin'Up

Hi there everyone. How are you all doing? I have been busy...and 5 days behind in posting something on my blog...slacking a bit. Been working in my gardens and not taking a whole lot of pictures. I should take some tulip pictures before they all start pooping out. The tulips are so pretty this year and so vibrant. I counted my tulips and I have 95 tulips growing.....really that is lots to me.  I do have a pot of tulips that were given to me for Easter....need to plant them soon.

Been busy making cards for Hospice also....which is where I should be right now, down in the basement making cards for Hospice. We have a meeting this coming Friday. Been working on Father's Day cards....I will take some pictures of them. We also will be making Father's Day favors with a Hersey Nugget inside. So I need to make 20 favors with a ribbon holding it together. Oh, it might take an hour to make them.
So in these following pictures, is the Stampin'up Paper Pumpkin Kit I received for April. This is the first time I ordered a monthly kit from Stampin'up.
This is what the cards will look like when I start to play with this kit. Been too busy to even play with these cards. I just want to take my time and savor the moments while I play with this kit.
Lots of neat things came in this kit. Card stock, envelopes, ink, stamps acrylic block, color pencils, paint brush for water coloring, embellishments and glue dots. Probably by the time I start working on this, the next one will be sitting at the door.

I just realized.....I sure can keep myself busy doing things, can't I??? Gardening, card making, cooking with Blue Apron.....but, not as busy as other people who can run circles around me. I think I have slowed down a bit. I have decided to only work ONE hour outside, anymore and I am worn out and exhausted the next day. Perhaps by Fall, everything I want to do will be done by then.

I am hoping the weather stays cooler this summer and not get too, too hot. Guess I don't want to invest in a new air-conditioner as yet.

Well, time to close here, need to get my cards done for Hospice before Friday. Have a great evening and keep looking up, better days are coming. Cheers ~ Louise

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

3 Blue Apron Meals

Hi there everyone. How are you all enjoying the first couple of days of May......already it is the 3rd day of the "Merry Month of May"!!!

Monday I took Kylie to the Vet for her shots and a check up. They intended to do a full panel of her blood, but their machine was acting up. So all that blood they took from Kylie, needs to be taken again. We went in today for more lab work. Poor, poor Kylie, they have to poke her again.

But hopefully things will be well with her. They are going to check to see why her hair is so yukky...she might need vitamins. Plus she has gained 4 pounds, not good. Kylie is also blind in one eye and the other one is not so good. She needs to have her teeth cleaned this next fall.....I better save some money for that. Otherwise, for the age she is...she's doing well I guess. We will know more after the blood work.

The blood work came back, everything is normal except the numbers were a little high for her liver and kidneys. We need to go back the first of June for another blood test and if the numbers are still high, there is a medication they can give her....but otherwise everything is OKAY!!! Doctor said she should be getting enough vitamins in the food she is eating, so no extra vitamins.
Blue Apron sent me a box of food....these meals really looked so good to me and they actually were very tasty. This first one "Spiced Beef Pitas & Garlic Labneh with Arugula & Date Salad" I wanted to do this meal because it sounded like a Greek Gyro and it sure tasted like it too. Very good, I will definitely make this again, using beef.
"Seared Cod & Crème Fraiche Sauce with Potato, Cabbage and Olive Hash" Now this was a really delicious meal, I think what I liked the most about this one was the combination potatoes and cabbage mixed together. The potatoes were diced then browned  with olive oil, salt and pepper for about 5 minutes till the potatoes were slightly softened. Then the sliced cabbage was added, a little more oil, salt and pepper. Stirring 5-7 minutes or until the cabbage has wilted and the potato has softened. Chopped up green olive was added then topped with chopped up almonds. This was so good, I made it again the next day. (but without the olives and almonds.) 
The fish was coated with rice flour and fried...the whole meal was delicious!!! The sauce was marinated shallots and lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. The crème fraiche was added to the shallots and served as garnish for the fish.
"Taiwanese-Style Chicken with Jasmine Rice, Crispy Shallot, & Cilantro" This dish was really yummy. The rice was cooked. Shallots were fried in rice flour then set aside. I then fried the red sliced cabbage in the same pan the shallots were fried in and set that aside. The chicken was cooked and shredded.
 The sauce was magic.....2 Tbsp. Soy sauce, 1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar 1/2 cup water and as much Chile as you like....I just used 1/2 of the Chile without seeds....there still was a slight hot taste but not overwhelming. I loved the fried shallots....had a nice crunch to the whole dish.
If you are interested in any one of these recipes, you can just type in the name of the recipe in your browser, click and up will come the recipe, look for the one that will take you to Blue Apron.....I just tried it...works.

Well time to close here for now. I already started a new post about the Stampin'up Paper Pumpkin Kit I received a week ago, but have as yet to make the cards....that is coming. Friday I am getting my new Tim Holtz Crazy Bird die cuts AND something new....Brusho's, I can hardly wait to play with them, I can't wait to show you the backgrounds that will be created by brusho's....oh boy!!!

You have a great evening and keep looking up ~ better days are coming. Cheers ~ Louise

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mulching My Gardens and the Last Day of April

Hi there everyone.  Well it's the end of the weekend, and another Saturday and Sunday has bite the dust. It's the last day of April and on to the 1st Day of MAY!!! I guess that is a good sign, we are among the living still. Well, as you can see I have been busy spreading mulch. This is just the beginning. I have gotten quite a bit done and our 2 yards of mulch is getting smaller. We have not even started the front yard as yet. We may have to buy some more mulch......the yard sure looks nice though. I like looking out my windows and seeing how much we have accomplished.
I added a few extra things to this garden. A shepherds hook with a red planter and pansies growing in it. Another little cow was added....we inherited a large manger scene, so I thought I would use the animals as decorations. I was going to use the bricks above as a border.....but have since moved them to another spot. The mulch was spread over the large bricks to the right.
Here is "Kylie the Supervisor" watching everything we do....she's a good friend, but she is getting old and losing her sight and hearing. She has an appointment with the Vet on Monday. I am a little afraid of what the Vet might tell me....hopefully it's not all bad news.
So here is that pile of mulch....getting smaller and smaller. I think the squirrel is having fun digging in it too.
And the pile is getting smaller and smaller. I think we will get another 2 yards of mulch....the front yard is in need of some mulch yet. We added just a few places with mulch....and even that looks better then it did. I have to chop some snow on the mountain down and some purple bells down. They look like weeds right now, but when they start growing they look pretty. No pictures yet.
Here is another view of my patio garden and my little walk-way to my other garden, which will be my little sanctuary, I have some 6 foot fencing that I can put up that will shield me from the next store neighbors junk in their back yard....I am soooo sick of looking at their stuff. I think they are hoarders.
Maybe if I make my backyard pretty, they might get the hint and do something with their backyard. Do you think???? So anyways I made this mulched walk way and added the bricks this year....I wanted to do this last year, but never got around to it, course we did not get mulch last year.......this year all my thinking will become reality....I hope. The blue drawer is sitting on an old wheel barrel. I usually plant cucumbers in the wheel barrel, the blue drawer will have flowers or herbs.
Can you see where I am going with this garden....I think it will be a nice place to hide from the world. I picked up some Scotts grass seed that grows in hard places. There is a lot of shade under this tree, so hopefully the seed will grow nicely.
 Last year we had the "Weedman" come and take care of the creeping jennie.....he also killed our grass, now we have green moss growing where the grass was.  I want to add more mulch around the base of the tree and put rock around it so the mulch does not wash away if we have a lot of rain.
Last picture, "Kylie the Supervisor" watching every move I make, making sure I don't take off on her. See my red pot with the pansies growing? I still have to sweep the mulch off the bricks yet.

Oh there is lots of work to be done and if I just do an hours worth of work a day, maybe I won't be so sore and wiped out the next day. I am going to count this as exercise and see if this helps me....I am sure it will. Hopefully I can find a balance somehow.

Well, time to close here for today. Kylie has her Doctor's appointment tomorrow, so I have to get a stool specimen before we leave. So I think that means another walk before we leave...she won't mind. It's when we get to the office that she starts to get nervous. (me too)

You all have a great day and keep looking up ~ better days are coming. Cheers ~ Louise


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Cosco Purchase ~ Saffron

Hi there everyone....hope you are having a great day. This is actually an old post that I am finally putting up. I went to Cosco with Betty three weeks ago. She has a Cosco membership. I have never been to Cosco.....Sam's is my place of preference. So she said if I see anything I want, she will buy it and I can pay her back. I saw two things. This Saffron and Coconut chips.....I love coconut anything!!!! The Chips are delicious!!
Anyways, I have been looking for Saffron for a long time, but at a reasonable price....which I guess is not too easy to find. But I think I found it here at Cosco's.  I have never cooked with Saffron, but have heard of lot's of Chef's that have....all you need is a few threads to make the taste come alive with a unique flavor and color. I want to make some saffron rice....that will be first on my menu.
So I got this cute little bottle of Saffron =1 gram for $10.50. I love this little bottle...that's what caught my eye and when I realized it was Saffron, it was a must to add to the spice cabinet.

I happened to walk through Walmart....you know, where things are CHEAPER!!! I found Saffron there too! You ready for this??????Their Saffron was $16.98 (retail) for 0.06 oz. IF YOU BOUGHT 1 OZ OF SAFFRON YOU WILL BE SPENDING $283.00 PER OZ.!!!!! Hard to believe, huh????
The Saffron comes from a flower, looks like there are only a few strains per flower....I shall have to type in Saffron to see what the flower is. Well, surprise it is a crocus....maybe I should try and grow my own????

"Saffron, botanical name crocus sativus, is the most expensive spice in the world. Derived from the dried stigmas of the purple saffron crocus, it takes anything from 70,000 to 250,000 flowers to make one pound of saffron. Moreover, the flowers have to be individually hand-picked in the autumn when fully open. Fortunately, only a little needs to be added to a dish to lend it color and aroma; too much makes the food bitter and as the quotation from Culpeper (below) suggests, large quantities of it can be toxic.
Iranian Saffron from Khorasan Province in Eastern Iran Records detailing the use of saffron go back to ancient Egypt and Rome where it was used as a dye, in perfumes, and as a drug, as well as for culinary purposes. It reached China in the 7th century and spread through Europe in the Middle Ages. The town of Saffron Walden, where it was once grown commercially, takes its name from the plant. Now, however, most saffron is imported from Iran (southern Khorason) and Spain which are recognised as producing the best quality, but it can also be found in Egypt, Kashmir, Morocco and Turkey."

So I made some rice and put a few sprigs in it....did not notice a difference in taste...although the rice did turn yellow....so that was fun.

Been working on my gardens, spreading red mulch. A little bit each day. But I have a feeling the weeds are winning the game. Our pile of mulch is getting smaller and we have not even started the front yard yet....oh my, I guess we will have to get some more.

Well, I think I will close this post for tonight before it gets any older. I do have 2 other posts in draft that I need to get going on...sorry you are getting old news.

Have a great evening and keep looking up, better days are coming.
Cheers~Louise

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