Sunday, July 29, 2007

Christmas in July

Prompted by Sunday Avatar Day on Etsy, I decided to give it one more try. I bought these antlers two years ago because I had plans of making a holiday card with the new cat's picture on it. Well, Althea would not cooperate. When she did leave the antlers on long enough for me to get a picture, she looked pissed as hell. Not exactly what I was looking for.
But yesterday, while she was passed out cold on a hot summer's day, I was able to get a shot of her with them on before she woke up enough to figure out what was going on.

Having Althea in the house is like having Christmas every day. Thirteen years ago today, we had to say goodbye to #1. #1 was a long haired, white cat too. But that's where the similarity ended. She was a country cat. She was independent and she loved fresh corn. She used to love corn season. I'd shuck an ear for me and one for her and we'd both sit in the shade and eat. This week I'll be harvesting corn. Somewhere in that cornfield, I hope to see the ghost of a cat.
Until next time......

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Dude's Back and He's Not Alone!

Last summer, when I was weeding the garden, something ran out from under a bush. Scared the carp out of me! Turned out it was only a turtle, but at that moment I had no idea what was about to come out from the brush. He was as surprised to see me as I was to see him. I ran inside and got my camera so I could take pictures of him. I named him the Dude. I had no idea if the Dude was even, in fact, a dude.
I looked for the dude every day after that, but never saw him again.

Until now! I was outside this morning, pulling up a soaker hose to move to a new spot. It was staked down with metal pins. I was pulling on the hose to loosen the pins as I made my way down the row, when suddenly a big clump of dirt or mulch(?) popped up and landed in front of me. It wasn't either of those things. It was a turtle! And no, I didn't hurt it. I immediately picked it up and checked out his markings. Looked like the Dude to me. The Dude had a chip on his shell just like this one. It's a possibility that it's not him, but I'd like to think that it is.
So, I put him down and started to go in the house to get the camera again , when I noticed a dark blob in the weeds right next to where the Dude was. It was another turtle, but this one was a lot bigger than the Dude.
Oh Crap! Was the Dude doing it when I pulled the hose up and flung him through the air? I really hope not!

I got the camera and took a few photos. Then I put the turtles back in the weeds and went back to what I was doing. About thirty minutes later, I checked on them. I only saw one turtle, but decided not to look around for the other. I already disturbed them once.
I don't know enough about turtles to know if the male is bigger than the female, but I do plan on googling it. I'd like to know if my Dude is actually a Dudette.
Well, I won't be tilling that area as planned. I'm hoping the Dude will be laying eggs somewhere in the garden.

I now know what's been eating our tomatoes. I thought that we were losing an awful lot this year to some critter, but ruled out the Dude because I didn't think he could eat that much. But two turtles could. I always plant more tomatoes than we can use and this is one of the reasons why. Seeing a turtle with a face full of tomato seeds and juice dripping down his chin is priceless. Until next time.....

Saturday, July 21, 2007

It's Tomato Time in Tennessee

Once again, I'm knee deep in tomatoes. And that is a feeling that I love. Endless piles of organically grown, sweet, juicy tomatoes ripe and ready to eat and put up.
I don't take these days for granted. I eat fresh tomatoes every day because when they're gone, they're gone. I refuse to eat those pseudo tomatoes from the market.

This week begins the tomato canning and freezing marathon. I'll be canning Roma puree, tomato juice and tomatoes. I'll be freezing pasta sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato water.

I'm considering buying a food dehydrator so I can dry Romas to pack in olive oil. I tried sun drying them, but we don't have the right weather for it here and they mold before they dry.

So, if you don't see me or here from, you know where I'll be. Until next time.....

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunflowers = Summer

The heat is on! Summer's in full swing and the gardens are growing like crazy~even with the drought.
One of my favorite summer flowers are Sunflowers. So, so easy to grow. They tolerate drought and heat. They're packed full of seeds for the goldfinches (and me) and their colors explode randomly throughout the garden.

Bees also love Sunflowers. It seems that whenever I take pictures of them, there is a bee on or buzzing around the heads. Which brings me to the subject of bee stings. I found that the best thing to put on bee stings is Vitamin E. I pierce (usually bite) a capsule and squeeze the oil on the bite. It takes away the pain and reduces swelling and itching. I keep some in the medicine chest and in our first aid kit. Try it. You'll be surprised.
Until next time.....

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Vintage Enamel Addiction

Everyone who knows me, knows that I love anything vintage. I am convinced that I was born in the wrong decade. But that hasn't stopped me from surrounding myself with pieces from the past~most of them handed down to me or thrifted.

My bead collection is comprised of vintage beads and components. For years, I have collected vintage glass beads. Thanks to all the folks that thought enough about these beads that have been stored away since the 40's and 50's, there is a plethora (I love that word) of uncirculated beads and findings ripe for the picking.

Here lately, I have noticed that my collection of vintage enamel is growing. I love, love, love it! I have a healthy (so far) collection of chain, bead caps, flower beads and charms. I've been selling some of them in my 'destash from me to you' section of my Etsy shop and I've been making earrings and necklaces that are laced with these treasures.

The top picture is a photo collage of some of the chain that I bought. The bottom is a picture of some of my finished pieces. But, I didn't photograph my latest love~ vintage enameled bead caps. When I take them out of the tin that they are stored in, I feel like I'm sifting through a treasure chest.
It really is treasure~ vintage treasures from the past, made available once again to a generation that is hungry for it's timeless beauty.
Until next time.....

Monday, July 2, 2007

Summer Rain

I almost forgot how wonderful a Summer rain smells and sounds. We had such a dry Spring. I mean reallllly dry. The Earth had cracks in it, just like it does in August- yet this was the end of May.

We finally got 1 1/2" of rain this weekend. The smell of Summer rain takes me back to my childhood. It always smells like my house, on my street, in my town in New Jersey no matter where I am. I love that smell.

And the sound of the rain~~~~~I just opened up the doors and stood there and listened. I soaked up every sound~ the rain running down the downspouts, the raindrops on top of the umbrella, the rumbling of the thunder. The gardens and I both smiled and sighed .
I missed you old friend. Try not to stay away so long.
Until next time.....


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