Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tips, Tricks and Recipes From The Garden

A couple of weeks ago, I said that I'd post our recipe for dill pickles. Since I did a blog post about it a couple of years ago, I decided to just link to it, here.

Our cukes are slowing down, which means my pickle making days are coming to an end for this season. We have more than enough put away for the year. Insert smile here.
Until next time.....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Etsy Favs

I could spend hours browsing through the many shops on Etsy. The talent never ceases to amaze me. And the vintage and supply shops...............WJW! I've been highlighting some of my favs with my Etsy mini in my vintage shop for a while now, since it's not open yet.
So, here's a handful of the things that I'm lovin'.

Until next time.....

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Perfect Monday Morning

It's been a really beautiful day today, so far. The temps are starting to get back to normal. I was outside doing some much needed garden maintenance and could feel the change in the weather. I knew this would happen. It's one of the things that I love about TN. The weather see-saws. Gotta love the variety. Rain is in the forecast for the rest of the week.

I got caught up on harvesting veggies. That special someone is still pecking at tomatoes. I've been picking them very under ripe, which I'm not happy about. I need to head outside to cut some of our herbs and freeze them.

I even had time to photograph some new earrings that are in or will soon be in the shop. I wish that I had more time to work with some of my new beads, but today is more of a gardening day. I'll have the rest of the week to play with beads.

Hope the week is turning out to be a pleasant one for y'all too. I hear parsley calling my name.
Until next time.....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

Vintage hose caddy that belonged to John's grandmother. For more shadowy goodness, go here:

Have a great week! Until next time.....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

In The Garden

I went out yesterday morning, while the sun was out, in search of shadows for this week's Shadow Shot Sunday photo. We've had a week of on and off clouds mixed with rain. Love it, especially for July. Here's a few things I found:
Baby Mockingbird. The look on his face is priceless. He did not move a muscle the entire time I photographed him.

Volunteer Sunflower with honeybee.

Sunflower against the bluest of blue skies.

Corn with ears.

Enjoy the weekend.
Until next time.....

Friday, July 24, 2009

Etsy Friends

When I opened my first Etsy shop 3 1/2 years ago, I was completely unaware that I would form friendships with people across the world. I have met so many incredible people through that site. We've laughed together, got excited together and cried together. We bounced ideas off each other, bitched about the occasional NPB's, snarked about the snarkiest of all snarkers. We shared secrets, recipes and gardening tips. Babies were born. Family members lost. Pets traveled to the Rainbow Bridge. Hell, I'd never even heard about the Rainbow Bridge until I read about it in ETC.

I've learned a lot from many of you. I knew zip when I started out. Never even used a digital camera before. And had to learn A LOT of things that I really did not want to learn. To those that took the time to explain how to do something or to listen to me go on about something.....well, there really are no other words, other than thanks and xoxo.
Until next time.....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Like The Weather

Woah! What a week for unusual weather. I have to keep reminding myself that it is July and at any moment, the hot, humid Tennessee summer could and will return. We still have the dog days of summer ahead of us.

But for now, we've had RAIN, low temps with cool mornings and low to no humidity. I've even been chilly a few morns. And there's been a lot of spider webs in the shrubs.

Guess that's why I pulled out some Autumn beads and listed them in my deStash shop. And I ordered some gorgeous autumn colored vintage glass beads today. No, I do not have enough already. Even the jewelry that I've been making hints of Fall.

We've got a weekend forecasting rain and it's not supposed to hit 90 all next week. I can get used to this.
Until next time.....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Somebody is in Trouble!

A little background first. For those of you that don't know or forgot.....our Spring garden rotted or washed away. Twice. The Summer garden was late getting in the ground due to all of the Spring rain. That means that our tomatoes are late this year. Last week, they finally started ripening. I am so ready for my first tomato of the season.

We have an Eastern Box Turtle that has a Summer home in the main vegetable garden. He's been there several years. Last year he returned, but was not alone. I know that the Dude and his Mrs. eat tomatoes. I've caught them with seeds on their face and juice dribbling down their chins.

We have several families of mockingbirds that live around us. We love them and look forward to the day each year when they start singing again. (usually around Valentine's Day). We put out apples for them. They bring their young to the swing, where the apples are. We got along fine for years.

Yesterday, I was working in the garden and what did I see? This!

I also saw a bird fly out of the tomato patch, but wasn't really paying attention, so don't know what kind of bird it was. We never had a problem with birds eating tomatoes in the garden, but I did catch Bill (the bird) eating this one, after I brought it up to the house. Coincidence? I don't know who's doing this, but it has to stop. One dozen tomatoes, mostly green with just a splash of color, pecked on. Even though I hate to do so, I may have to start picking the tomatoes way under ripe.

Honestly, I don't mind sharing, but I'd like to eat a ripe tomato already.
Somebody is in trouble!
Until next time.....

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tips, Tricks 'n Recipes From The Garden

Tomato Paste:
The Roma tomatoes are coming in now. Time to start making pasta sauce, tomato puree and tomato paste. Thought I'd pass along my tomato paste recipe. Tis very easy and oh, so good~

I quarter raw Roma tomatoes and put them in a large pot. I bring them to a slow boil and heat them up just enough to get the juices flowing. As I'm doing this, I mash them slightly. I then run the puree through a food mill to separate the skins and seeds from the meat.
Now, I ladle some of the puree into a metal, mesh colander. The colander sits above a large bowl or pot (this catches the tomato water). Ladle the puree in the colander slowly. At first some pulp will wash through, but eventually the puree will stay in the colander, with the water draining to the bottom container. I add all the puree and let it drain for several hours or until there is no more water draining out. At this point, I spoon the tomato paste into ice cube trays and freeze. When frozen, pop them out into freezer bags.
You can also freeze the tomato water, if you have freezer space, to use in soups, etc.
Until next time.....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

Althea and Chuck.

For more shadowy goodness, go here:

Have a great week~
Until next time.....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

3 Years of SNS

This is the third anniversary of Etsy's Saturday Night Special. Man, time flies!
To celebrate, all items in my shop are 25% off. (shipping excluded). Enter code SNS at checkout in the 'message to seller' box; and either wait for a revised invoice, or pay immediately and I'll refund you through PayPal. Sales ends Sunday morn ( July 19) @ 6 AM EST.

Thanks to all the sellers that volunteer their time to make SNS happen every Saturday night. Stop by this thread to find some fab sales.
Until next time.....

Friday, July 17, 2009

In The Garden

A little rain and a lotta sunshine = a happy garden.

Celebrity Tomatoes:

Florida Butter Bean trellis:

Eggplant. I think my White Beauty Eggplant has been out running 'round:

Cayenne Peppers:

Corn Silk:


We've had an incredible Summer growing season, so far; which is really nice after two summers of drought.
Off to tie tomatoes~
Until next time.....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thirsty Thursday

RoseMint Tea~
This is one of my fav Summer teas. Refreshing and good for ya. As always, sweeten to taste (or not) with whatever sweetener you use. I use honey for this one. I make this in two containers, since the rose hips take longer to steep, and combine them in the end.

1/2 cup peppermint
2 Tablespoons rose hips
1 quart boiling water - 1 pint each for the hips and mint

Steep the mint for 15 minutes and strain.
Steep the rose hips for an hour and strain.
Combine teas and sweeten to taste, if desired. Serve over ice.
P.S. It's very good combined with Vodka.
The two images, one with roses and one with peppermint, that I chose for this weeks entry come from Etsy. Click on the photos to take you to their shops. And what wonderful shops they are!
Until next time.....

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

Pickling cucumbers. Recipe coming this week~
For more shadowy goodness, go here:

Have a great week!
Until next time.....

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Recycling Bin

There's a new section in my jewelry shop named the Recycling Bin. Pieces in that section are marked down and will remain there until they sell or approach expiration. Any piece about to expire will be removed from my shop, taken apart and recycled into new jewelry or listed in my deStash shop. Might be a good place to start looking for those 'Christmas in July' purchases. I actually saw a news story last night that reported how many more days there were until Christmas! No joke~
Until next time.....

Friday, July 10, 2009


There really are no words to add.....

Until next time.....

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thirsty Thursday

The Martini~
I love a good martini. Gin, a splash of vermouth and an olive. Cold please. Plain and simple. We keep the gin and vermouth in the frig during the summer and the shaker in the freezer.
A few years ago, John saw these martini glasses that are two pieces ~ the top, where you put your drink and the bottom, where you put the ice. So, I bought two. What a pain those are. Great in theory, but you have to keep up with the bottom part if you want to put your drink down. "Now where did I leave that bottom?" I'll take a regular ole martini glass, thank you kindly.
Now go and put your gin and vermouth in the frig.
Until next time.....

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tips, Tricks and Recipes From The Garden

We're knee deep is summer squash right now. I don't plant very many plants, but they sure do produce like crazy! We don't really care for canned or frozen squash (gag), so I don't put up much of it.
But I do put up a few quarts of frozen yellow squash slices for casseroles. I steam or boil (do whatever is easiest for you) a large pot of slices for about 10 minutes, cool in cold water and pack in quart freezer containers. When ready to use, thaw, drain any liquids and casserole 'em up.
And, I also put up a few quarts of frozen, grated zucchini squash for breads, casseroles and zuke puffs. To do this, I simply grate the zukes and pack in freezer containers. When ready to use, thaw, SQUEEZE out the liquid and continue with your recipe of choice.

So, if your squash is starting to take over the frig and your friends are locking their doors when they see you coming, try these simple tips. I promise, the squash will taste fab in the middle of the winter, when fresh, local produce is scarce.
Stay tuned for more Tips 'n Tricks.
Until next time.....


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