Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Making Progress

I spent a little time after work cutting down plants from the roadside gardens. I am making progress, but still have a lot to do. Yesterday I cut down the few daffodils that were blooming. I have planted hundred of daffodils, but they just are not happy with the accommodations and very few return. Since nine daffs scattered in different gardens have little impact, I cut them all down and brought them inside where I can enjoy them.

I made four tiny vases of them to use on a dining room table, which I will post next week. All the snow on the deck has melted and it's looking quite bare.

It will be about three weeks before I can begin bringing all the big containers outside and planting annuals for some instant color.

I do have a few chive plants providing a bit of green among the bleakness. I cut my first fresh bunch yesterday and had cottage cheese and chives for dinner.

Tomorrow is Tablescape Thursday, which means all of us table setting nuts post pictures of our latest creation. Mine is the black, white and silver table that matches the runner I showed you last week. If you want to see it, just click here.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My Saturday

I was up extra early this morning because I went to bed early. About 5:30 a.m. I had the urge to create something from these small pieces of fabric that I bought years ago. I won't go into details here because I plan to post it on my quilt blog later.

Just before 8:50 a.m. I was standing in a line waiting for a church garage sale to open. There were about 100 people ahead of me and another 100 behind me. Wow! I have never seen so many people in line. I wonder what time the first person got there?

Anyway the sale opened at 9:00 a.m. We were like sardines in there. . . way too many people...I am sure there is some safety regulation that should have limited the number of people they let in at one time...I inched my way through only two long tables and decided that it was insane to try to go further.

Nonetheless, I did manage to grab a few treasures:

I got all of this for $4.50. Yes, you read correctly. All of those Royal yellow rose-decaled dishes were $1 for the box! There are no dinner plates, but I am thrilled that there are 4 salad plates and that wonderful covered dish. The two brown dinner plates under it match some I already have. They have never been used and were just .50 for the two. That cobalt blue vase will be used often once my flowers begin to bloom. And just look at this gorgeous pinkish vase.........
It was my most expensive purchase at $2.00.
I think I got some great bargains! I only wish it was less crowded so I could look for more.

Earlier in the week, I had my nails done in purple with a lime green, pink and white feather. I wore an outfit that was a pretty good match.

I just love when I get my nails done in some outlandish color and I find something in my closet to match! It really doesn't take a lot to make me happy, does it? LOL.

I had planned to work outside today. It was 70 degrees. But we also got some big rainstorms. Still I managed to run out between the rain stroms and I got one little garden area cut down (1 wheelbarrow load). I am hoping to get more done tomorrow, but there is rain forecast again, so I don't know if I will.

I invented a V8-tini today. It's just peach mango V8 and mojito mint vodka (a gift).

This juice has sweet potatoes, grapes, yellow carrots, peaches and mangoes (among other things). Whoever thought you could get your daily dose of veggies in an alcoholic drink?
Right now I have pork chops with tomato sauce in the oven. I will make some rice and a salad later to complete our dinner.

It's been a great day and it's only half over!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ever Had a Cheeseburger on a Corn Chip?

If not, you should try it!
I added a baby spinach leaf on each side. I think that makes it a nutritous snack, don't you?

So what have you all been doing this week?

I have been going to work, coming home, making dinner, spending a little time on the computer, going to bed, getting up and starting over again.

Yeah, it's been a cold, rainy dull week.

I have been a bit lax in answering my comments lately so I just wanted to say a big thanks to all of you who commented on the last couple of posts...Deb, Susie, TC, Dianne, Jean, Pea, and Betty. Some of you don't have an email address so I can't answer, but I wanted you all to know that I do read and appreciate every comment. So thanks for taking the time from your busy days to brighten mine.

Tonight I started to redo the dining room table with my newest table runner. I wasn't in the mood so I left it at this point and will continue on this weekend.

I am thinking all black, white and silver. We shall see.

I hope you are all having a good week. I've been visiting the blogs, but not necessarily commenting. I guess I am just not in a chatty mood this week. I probably need more sunshine.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Toast to the Rockwall Garden

For the first time this year the temperature has hit 70 degrees. It's too bad I had to work all day today.

When I got home I immediately went outside to continue the spring cleaning. I finished raking the rock wall area, and decided it was time for a little celebration.

Unfortunately the only wine I had on hand was this bottle of blueberry from a local winery that my sister gave me for my birthday - 3 years ago!
Someone else gave me a bottle of this same wine and I hated it. In fact, I dumped it down the drain, so I wasn't too excited when I opened this bottle.

But, oh my, I was pleasantly surprised. This wine tasted quite good. Maybe the 3 years it aged did something to make it taste better. I found it quite palatable.

To spring! Cheers!

Now I think I will spend a little time finishing this black & white table runner I started two days ago.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Harsh Winter for the Bird Abodes

The winter of '09 played havoc with the bird houses behind my rock wall garden. I found most of them on the ground. I really like how this triple decker fell.
In fact I plan to leave it as is so the top of the birdhouse will peek above the flowers.

This weathered white one is still attached to the tree. It pretty beat up, but I think it has patina.
This one has flipped upside down.

This one fell right off the tree, too. It looks like a squirrel had its home here.
The hens/chicks on the big piece of driftwood survived as they always do.

They are amazing little plants that survive the harshest conditions.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

April 11 First Day of Spring Clean Up 2009

The first thing I had to do was find something to wear outside so I went to my extra bedroom closet and saw something red that I thought would work. I pulled it over my head and look what I found--the tags were still on it! I don't know when I bought it, but I have never worn it. I love to get new clothes from my own closets.

Once I got outside I found just what I did NOT want to see. The deer have already been munching on my emerging tulips.
So my first task was to fill the big heavy sprayer and walk the gardens to spray all the tulips with a deer repellent. I hope it works. I really want to see the new tulips I planted last fall.

It's only in the 40's outside, but it felt good to be out and about for the first time. I walked around and picked up all the big fallen branches.

I only did 2 loads today. The rest can wait. I noticed the poppies that I planted last fall are coming up. I wonder if they will bloom this year....I hope so!

I also noticed that the foxgloves Jean sent me last fall survived the winter. I think I will get some blooms this year. What do you think, Jean?

There was one other task I needed to complete today--plant those callas I bought a few weeks ago. As you can see, we still have a few snow banks left.
I don't know if the callas will bloom this year, but it won't matter because I have under planted them with orange dahlias and some of those tall yellow daisy-like dahlias in the center.
The three white calla lilies are on the top layer. This should be a very full planter.
It's way too cold to leave this outside. I didn't even water it because I don't want to encourage growth for a couple more weeks. I won't be able to put it out on the deck until the end of May. For now it will sit right here in the garage near a window. I will begin watering it when I see growth.

So that's what I did on my first garden outing in '09. I have TONS of work to do, but there is no rush. I will take it easy and do a bit each evening if it's warm next week. Just look at all of these pine cones in two different areas of the front yard.

What a mess!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Coconut Macaroons

I just had a craving for coconut so I whipped up a quick batch of these cookies. If you are a coconut lover and you have never made these, you may want to give them a try.

Coconut Macaroons

1/4 cup white sugar

1 large egg white

1 cup sweetened coconut

about a 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 tsp. vanilla

pinch of salt

First preheat the oven to 350 degrees and get your pan ready with a nonstick baking mat.

Then whisk the egg and sugar together for about a minute.

Add the vanilla and a pinch of salt. Whisk again.
Chop up a handful of walnuts (or whatever nut you like--or leave these out if you prefer)
Stir in the nuts and coconut (I just used the whisk).
Look how that perfect ball formed inside the whisk! Just whack it a few times on the side of the bowl and it will come out.
Drop by rounded mounds and bake for about 13 to 14 minutes until bottom is golden brown and the tops also have flecks of golden brown. Don't over bake or they will be too dry.
I had these all done in about a half an hour and that included taking the pictures. The recipe only makes 8 cookies, so it's perfect to satisfy a craving, but not do too much damage to a diet (not that I am ever on one).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It's Been a Long Day away From Home

I left at my usual 6:30 a.m. this morning, but didn't return until nearly 7 p.m. tonight. I had a hair cut appointment at 3pm and a nail appt. at 4 p.m., so I left work at 2:50 p.m. and headed to the salon (I get everything done at the same place).

I walked in and everyone greeted me. I glanced over and saw that my hair stylist was busy with someone else so I sat down and picked up a magazine. After a few more minutes, I glanced over and saw that she was just beginning to cut the hair. Hmmmmmmm............not looking she that far behind?

A few minutes later one of the other stylists walked over and I whispered that I thought I was supposed to be in that chair. She gave me a raised eyebrow like that's not going to happen any time soon and offered to check the appointment book.

The look on her face said that something was amiss.

It seems that my appointment was down for tomorrow. It matters not who made the mistake. I must sit there wasting an entire hour before I could get my nails done. Which, the way, I had done in the exact same pink/orange/white as I had two weeks ago. I have really enjoyed that color. I could have left and went someplace, but it's a cold and windy day and I had to park a good 1/2 block away so I wasn't walking back to my car until I was headed home.

On the way home (5:15 pm) I decide that I am not feeling like cooking dinner (I can't really do much for two hours after the nails are done) so I called DH and asked if he wanted to go out dinner. He did. I told him I would be there in 5 minutes.

About two months ago I discovered a delicious meal that is the best meal I've had in ages. It consists of 7 medium-sized sauteed shrimp in a sauce of heavy cream and salsa (nice pink/orange color...gee, it even matched my nails!). The shrimp rest atop a handful of fresh lightly-wilted baby spinach leaves. You must take a bit of spinach, sauce and a shrimp in the same forkful.

OMG, it's like going to heaven without leaving earth. I wish I had taken my camera so I could show you what it looks like.

I also tried a French martini (thank you, Susie in CA for telling me about this a while back-I wrote it down and carried it in my purse so I would remember what to ask for). It's vodka, chambord (raspberry liqueur) and pineapple juice. Very tasty.

So my day went by fast, and tomorrow I will have to go back to the salon for the hair cut. I hate going to appointments after work, but at least I already have my chicken noodle soup made for tomorrow night.

So how was your day today?

Monday, April 6, 2009

You Can't Tell What's in a Box by its Size

Today this big box arrived. It is full of smaller boxes.

I bet you are thinking I got a bunch of clothes, aren't you?

No clothes.

You will be surprised what little there is in this big box.

That's it. I can hold it all in one hand.

Can you tell what it is?

It's 6 delightful little orange flower-petal shaped salad plates!

Aren't they the cutest?

They are going to go nicely with so many items I already have, like that bright table runner behind them.

I've been doing a bit of sewing to get some projects finished before I start my gardening.

The snow is almost gone in many of my garden areas and I hope to be able to get out there as soon as it warms up to begin the spring clean up. That could be a while yet because the first three days of this week they are predicting snow. I hear some of you in Michigan got 6 inches today! We didn't get a flurry, which was nice for a change.

Well, I have to go stir my chicken soup I am making for later in the week.

I hope you all had a good weekend. I will be visiting soon.

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