Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving...

Putting the finishing touches on our simple Thanksgiving meal for tomorrow with these Pumpkin/Cranberry scones. So many things to be thankful about. We are blessed with loving family and friends, good health and daily new adventures. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

I Never Thought...

I never thought that I would ever own a pressure cooker!  As a child, I remember pinto beans being plastered all over the ceiling when Mother's pressure cooker blew up.  From that day forward I never even wanted to be around one, much less cook in one.

Fast forward to the digital age.  I was doing research on another cooking appliance and several references to digital pressure cookers kept popping up.  All with good reviews I might add...and with "safety features!"  My friend Norma has a stove top pressure cooker that she uses all the time, especially for cooking beans.  Thoughts of Grandma's pinto beans with thick juice came to mind so I purchased an Instant Pot Digital Pressure Cooker. 

I love this Instant Pot.  It has changed the way I cook.  I had gotten in the *not liking to cook mode* but this appliance has change my thinking.  Things cooks so quickly and the keep warm feature has it ready when I come in from a tiring day of yard work.  I can't use the excuse of not having time to cook any more.  This pot is a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, rice maker, sautee pot, yogurt maker, food warmer.  I even bake cakes and brownies in mine; the perfect size for Poppa and me.  I have not tried my favorite cornbread recipe yet, but I think it will do well.  Did I mention I love this pot! Also want to mention I am not affiliated with Instant Pot.

Until next time...
Happy Cooking and Good Eating!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Finding time to create again...

A comfy bed, a stack of pillows, good clamp on reading light, a tilting bed tray, an antique sewing basket, needle and thread, a sketched design on fabric...a perfect place to do some quiet stitching for a couple of hours before drifting off into a beauty snoozie for the night.  Find some time to create.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Crepe Myrtle Project is finished!

In our ongoing mission to simplify, we added edging and mulch to the area around our Crepe Myrtles that was difficult to mow around and time consuming to weed wack.  We are loving the results.

Here are the before's:

I started out by putting pavers and pea gravel in our water faucet area.

Here is what it looked like before I started.

Then I started putting down edging.

Next came the mulch and top soil, two or three bags at a time that I hauled on our trusty workhorse lawnmower that comes in handy for so many things.

Poppa was able to help with the mulch spreading.

Here are the after's:
I transplanted some Elephant Ears to the bed by the electrical pole.  They are in semi shock but I think will survive nicely in their new location, along with Zinnia's seeds that have yet to come up.

We are pleased with this labor of love and delighted to mark this off of our list. Now, on to the East Side Project after a restful weekend holiday!

Wishing you a blessed and peaceful Memorial Day weekend.  Remember those who gave their lives that we may enjoy our freedom.

Dig in the dirt.  It's healing and good for the soul.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


It has been my mission for a long time to simplify.  It is an ongoing mission that I am learning to apply to daily life.  The static of daily living can be very stressful if we don't learn to shut out the noise and enjoy the simple things of life, like gently falling rain, a beautiful sunset, new blossoms on a plant.

This year I am enjoying our raised garden.  Doing research and using techniques that my Mother used has been interesting.  After she retired she always had a beautiful, healthy, productive vegetable garden and she gardened by the moon signs in the Old Farmer's Almanac. I regret not taking the time to learn these techniques directly from her while she was alive or writing down her recipes for some of the wonderful things she cooked like her homemade fried apricot pies.  Like most young folks, I was not interested in those things at the time.  Now I cherish her memory and many of the things she taught me.

Yesterday was a fertile planting day.  Instead of planting, I took some cuttings from one of our Rosemary plants.  Hopefully the cuttings will take root and we will have more lovely smelling herbs that will be used for more then just cooking.  They make wonderful smelling mosquito repellent. I love the simplicity of them resting in a canning jar and reflecting the light from outside. 

We have been busy working on a hedge project that should be finished shortly.  I will share before and after pictures with you soon.

Slow down.  Be kind to yourself.  Comfort yourself.  Take time to dig in the dirt.  It's all healing and good for your soul. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

How lovely the silence of growing things...

The garden is coming along nicely.  Last week we had our first harvest of cherry tomatoes and have since enjoyed several more of these yummy delights.

I finally got the last of the sweet banana peppers in the ground along with some sunny yellow marigolds.

I do love these sweet little plants called Creeping Lemon Thyme.

It's always heartwarming to see seedlings emerging that you have planted yourself...

...and blooms on store bought tomato and bell pepper plants.

Aww the lovely silence of growing things, but be ever vigilant of other silent things that are not so lovely.  Snakes are out in force this year along with an abundance of ants.  Find some time to get outside and dig in the dirt.  It's healing and good for the soul.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Rascal Rabbit...

Did I mention that I love rabbits? I have been working on this RASCAL in my spare time for weeks. There were many quiet hours of gentle hand stitching; sewing on layers and layers of tatters and frays. The rabbit is my style applied to a design by Jill Maas. I love her quirky whimsical patterns. The turnip was made using a pattern by Tammie Everhart of Make Me a Memory. Tammie does wonderful fruit and vegetable patterns that look so real. I love hand sewing so I hated to see this project end but I do like the way he turned out. Creating is healing and good for the soul...

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Our Bonnie Plants that I ordered online arrived late last week in very good condition.  How did we ever get along without computers?  They certainly do come in handy when one is home bound most of the time.

The Old Farmer's Almanac said Sunday and yesterday were fertile planting days, so with storms forecast and coming on Sunday, I opted for Monday planting.  All of the plants are now in the ground, plus seeds have been sown.  Now we wait and water...

Our cat, Dinky Sugar thought Momma had made her a gigantic litter box, so the first thing I had to do was put up netting as protection from her and the various other birds and critters that like to nibble on green things.

We still have some more things we want to plant in the raised garden, but what we have now will do for starters.  With the raised garden underway, I have enlisted the help of my Studio Assistants,(Poppa, Sassy Alice, Dinky Sugar) while we wait.  Things are coming right along nicely with all this help!

Make the very best of every day and count your blessings often.  ~E~

Friday, March 24, 2017

Green House and Raised Garden Project

Hello Friends and Welcome SPRING!

I am happy to report that reclaiming our green house is finally finished.  Poppa put new screen in the window screens and we put them on the windows, completing our Green House project, except for exterior painting which will be done when we repaint the exterior of the house.  It has taken many months but it was a labor of love and hopefully the flooding issue has been solved.  Time will tell.

...and I am tickled with our Raised Garden!

Here are the BEFORE pictures.  It was a problem to weed eat this area.  Our goal is to simplify.

Confucius said, "The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones." That is exactly what I did with this project.  Small baby steps and wee increments of time. All of the debris was removed, then I put down a weed barrier, put down concrete blocks and caps next to the green house to hopefully prevent flooding.  Then I started moving 12" x 12" concrete pavers (purchased and delivered from Lowes), a few at a time with the help of my trusty Hustler Zero Turn Lawnmower.  Starting at the back wall, once I got the pavers in place so I could tell where the garden was to be, I put together our sweet 4' x 8' raised garden kit from WalMart.  It only took about fifteen minutes to put it together. After it was in place, I called in help!  Our neighbor put 4 bags of mulch, 20 bags (40 #'s each) of top soil dirt and 6 bags of humus into the raised garden.  He screwed on the top caps for the raised garden and also put several pavers in place on the east side of the garden. He did work in a matter of minutes that would have taken me days to do.  Thank goodness for neighbors! A few days later I decided to put more pavers down so Poppa can get all around the garden in his Wheelie.


I am so pleased with how this project turned out!  A raised garden has been a dream of mine for a long while.  Now we are waiting on the weather to settle down.  Grandma always said there will be a *cold snap* right before Easter and Grandma was usually right. We have a late Easter this year. Seeds and plants have been ordered online.  How did we ever get along without the internet?  It's a sweet day when you can dig in the dirt!  Slow down, enjoy your life what ever it may bring.

Until next time...

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Easter Eggers and Plant Update...

I wish we had chickens, but we don't, so we will depend on our friend Jerri Pickering for these big, beautiful delicious fresh eggs! Love the brown ones and the green ones are a special treat. Thank you Jerri.  There are several breeds of chickens that lay blue, green and even pink eggs; and some are speckled.  These chickens are called *Easter Eggers*.


I planted our first deck planter with beet and lettuce seeds.  The beet seeds were suppose to take 12 to 21 days to germinate.  Both the beets and the lettuce were visible in four days!  We were tickled!!

On March 6, Poppa and I planted spinach and lettuce mix in the second planter.  As you can see, they are already beginning to sprout on March 11.  Tickled again!

And how about these beauties?  Husky Red Cherry Tomatoes from Bonnie Plants.  Can't wait to munch on these.

I have thyme started in peat pellets on my kitchen windowsill.  These are old seeds from 2011 and they are coming up nicely.  These were also planted on March 6 which was a good day for planting above ground crops according to the Old Farmer's Almanac.  Thyme is suppose to repel mosquitoes and cats.  It's exciting to watch things grow.  It doesn't take much to make us happy here in the country.

I hope you can find some time to dig in the dirt.  It's healing and good for the soul.

Until next time...

Monday, February 27, 2017

Green House Project Update...

The first week in February I decided to rearrange the greenhouse and purchase some deck planters to grow some veggies inside. It has been a fun project. Here is the progress and how it looked when I started.

I removed the love seat.

Moved in a table that Poppa built me years ago as a display table when I had my shop.

Brought in two 36" x 15" deck planters, with the help of my assistant Miss Beebs.

Positioned them on the table.

Filled the planters with dirt.

Planted beets, turnip tops and salad lettuce in the top one yesterday.  Our neighbor brought us fresh turnips.  I cut the tops off and put them in water.  Overnight they had started to grow so I planted them as an experiment to see what happens.  My mother use to garden by the different phases of the Moon and she always had the most wonderful garden.  Root crops by the dark of the Moon and above ground crops for the light of the Moon.

This green house project has taken me several months of working in very small increments of time. I'm amazed and what can be done in just a few minutes if worked at methodically.  We had a problem with flooding and I'm hoping I have taken care of that problem with some work that I have done outside which I hope to show you soon.  For now the green house is finished except for redoing the window screens.  Next I will be tackling my Raised Garden project!  Don't we have fun?  Get out there and play in the dirt.  Digging in the dirt is healing and good for the soul.  ~E~

Monday, February 6, 2017

The simple things...

In our world of rush, rush, rush and instant this and instant that, constant communication with a phone stuck to your ear all day or glued to FaceBook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, it's nice to find the simple things in life that give us comfort.  I'm all for comfort.  I'm a homebody by choice. We don't own a cell phone any more, by choice.  One of my favorite things to do is sit on the front porch in the swing or in my comfy chair with a mess of green beans to snap.  Weird, I know, but it's comforting and we have a nice fresh veggie with our meal.  It brings back memories when life was lived at a slower pace.  I challenge you to uplug from electronics for a while and find some things in your life that bring you comfort.  It's the simple things that have been lost.  Search your soul and find what matters.  Reconnect to them, be good to yourself and stop to smell the roses.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Green House Project Continues...

I severely trimmed back our Bougainvillea last fall and was afraid it would not come back, but it is loving our greenhouse this winter...and so is our sweet cat Dinky Sugar. She use to stay in here during the winter before she became a house cat last year. The smell of Petunias is heavenly. I have ordered two 36" deck planters to go on the table and packets of vegetable seeds in hopes of getting a head start on our growing season. I can taste those home grown tomatoes already!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Design a House Challenge...

In an attempt to start off the new year on a creative note and make time to play in my studio/nest, I joined in a challenge offered by Connie McBride Johnson and Sharon Mitchell, administrators of Cloth Doll Artistry on FaceBook.  For the first challenge of this year we were given a template of a house and invited to design our own house using what ever materials tickled our fancy.

Here is the template...

...and here is what I came up with...

My house is made using an old block of wood, a small piece of tree branch, card board, paper twist, pine cone petals for shingles, Spanish moss and dried potpourri flowers.  It is home to my sweet sleeping needlefelted mouse made of raw wool.

This was a fun project and a great way to get the imagination going again after such a long hiatus. Mouse House is currently in my personal collection.  Do something creative even if it's cooking up something good in the kitchen.  Creating healing and good for the soul.

Until next time...