Friday, December 21, 2012

Welcome Winter

Winter literally blew in this year. It's cold outside and the wind is howling. Now, if we only had snow like so many of my friends do.
I'll be spending the solstice smoking meat in our new smoker. This is a first for me and I'm learning as I go. John's into the nose to toes thing right now and bought a hog the other day. I will be posting pictures in the near future. Just a wee warning for those of you that might not want to see the process.
The timer just went off. Back on with the boots and jacket.
Enjoy today. And hey, we're still here! So far.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Up On The Roof

When this old world starts getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right in to space

On the roof it's peaceful as can be
And there the world below can't bother me

Let me tell you now
When I come home feelin' tired and beat
I go up where the air is fresh and sweet
I get away from the hustling crowds
And all that rat race noise down in the street

On the roof's the only place I know
Where you just have to wish to make it so
Oh, let's go
up on the roof

At night the stars put on a show for free
And darling, you can share it all with me

I keep a-telling you
Right smack down in the middle of town
I found a paradise that's trouble proof
So if this world starts getting you down
there's room enough for two up on the roof

Up on the roof
Everyhting's all right
Up on the roof
Oh, come on baby
Up on the roof
Up on the roof

Words and music by Carole King and Gerry Goffin

Friday, December 14, 2012

Deck The Halls: Part 1

I was able to get some outdoor decorating done this week. I think it's my favorite area to decorate. We have a plethora of evergreens, berries, grapevine and pine cones on the property.  I still have much to do, but here's a look at some of what I've decked thus far.
They're predicting rain this weekend, so I better get on it.
Until next time.....

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Early December Camping

The first weekend in December was unseasonably warm. We packed the truck and headed up to Crystal Lake to cut firewood and transplant pine trees. I love camping when the moon is full. Nature's nightlight.
We got all of our work done and came home tired and content.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thank You!

Thanks to those of you that stopped by my Etsy shop during my Black Friday ~ Cyber Monday sale. You rock!
On another note.....this is what happens when we try to take a photo for a Christmas card. Those cats that I see on Etsy product listing photos are so well behaved.
Until next time.....

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Goodness

We've been over the river and through the woods. We ate. We drank. We visited. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It's been non-stop since Wednesday, when the roofers showed up to begin the roofing job. With holiday music cranked up loud, so as to mask the sound of nail guns and air compressors, I baked, and cooked and prepped for our holiday meal.
Usually we have a very traditional meal, but this year my sister in law suggested we get a deboned turkey stuffed with shrimp from New Orleans. So we did just that. And we made sides to go with that Cajun bird. I made Creole sweet potatoes, Black olive bread, cranberry sauce, sauteed kale with shallots and red jalapenos. Dessert was pecan pie. John made duck stew. Our cousin Susan, who is a vegetarian, brought a hazelnut loaf and gravy.  It was an excellent idea. The dinner was fabulous and the leftovers are just as fab.
Don't look for pictures. I didn't take any. Honestly, I didn't even think about taking photos. My camera stayed home.
I am having a holiday sale in my Etsy shop that I've yet to post about. It goes on until Tuesday night. Everything in my shop is marked down 20%. If you click on the snowflake, it will take you to the shop.
I hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'll be decking the halls this week, getting ready to slide into Christmas.
Until next time.....

Monday, November 19, 2012

Whoa There November

Wow, is this month flying by or what? Thanksgiving is in a few days. Christmas is just around the corner. And I thought October zipped by! They say that the older you get, the faster time goes. Well, I say that they are right.
Until next time.....

Friday, November 16, 2012

Full Circle

Twenty something years ago, when I started making jewelry, I worked mainly with turquoise. I couldn't get enough of it. So many beautiful shades to be had. Along the way, my interest shifted to working with vintage beads. A couple of months ago, I opened an email from my old gemstone supplier and got lost in the turquoise. I had to buy some. It's been too long since I held a beautiful strand of American turquoise. So, I bought two. One Sleeping Beauty (pictured above) and one Kingman. I listed a couple of necklaces with the Sleeping Beauty and have yet to cut apart the Kingman.
I love those 'full circle' moments in life.
Until next time.....

Monday, November 12, 2012

60 Tons and What Do You Get?

Well, in our case, let's hope it's a dam that is repaired and no longer leaks. Back in '06, when we bought Crystal Lake, we did not know that the dam leaked. John got in touch with the local dam man and found out what we needed to do to try and fix the leak. This fall we called in the big guns. Heavy equipment arrived. The area where the leak is was dug out and repacked with clay. Trees were cut down. The roots are what caused the leak. Loads of soil were dumped on the dam and the far side of the lake. Then the topsoil came. 60 tons to be exact. It took us two trips up to the mountain to move it around, rake it out and seed/straw it.

It was nice to get this job finished. Now all we have to do is wait and see if this repair worked.
Below is a photo from the dam to show the depth of the water now.

And this next picture was taken a few years ago in winter. You can see how low the water is now. See the blue chair on the rock? The water should come right up to the rock and sometimes over it.

I found this horseshoe in one of the loads. Hopefully it brought us luck. Keep your fingers crossed. I wish that we had a dam cam set up so we could watch the progress from here. That or a Bambi Airstream. I'd volunteer to move up there to monitor the situation!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Holiday Baubles

I've been listing holiday themed jewels in my Etsy shop. Some are new. Some are old designs that I brought back. The ones in the collage are new. You can see my Winter/Holiday section by clicking here.
I need to shoot some more pieces today. Or tomorrow. But right now, I need breakfast.
Until next time.....

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Farewell Summer Garden

The temperature dipped below freezing on October 30th. The summer garden is officially finished. I did manage to pick the last of the produce that day. I'm very thankful for all of the food that we've harvested and eaten or put up. The fall garden is supplying us with fresh greens, turnips, onions, carrots, beets and pak choi. Soon they will be gone too. Both me and the gardens can then rest.
I laid the peppers, green tomatoes and eggplants out on a towel to dry. Next to them sat the dixie speckled butter peas. With Halloween in the air, how could I resist?
Farewell summer garden. Farewell October. Welcome November.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Autumn Morning

The perfect Autumn breakfast. Pumpkin muffins and strong coffee. Warms the soul before heading out to harvest what might be the last of the summer garden.
Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Peculiar. Indeed.

It's been a strange gardening year. Here it is, the middle of October, and I'm still putting up tomatoes. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. For a while there, I thought that we weren't going to have a tomato harvest. Or any kind of harvest. The drought and high temperatures were extreme this summer. We watered as much as we could and our garden hung on. When August came, our tomatoes weren't doing diddly squat. Then all of a sudden it was business as usual, except it was September. We're still picking tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, okra, squash, shell peas and beans. We've even had two frosts.

Our cilantro produced two crops this year. Same with the dill. Our chives, which usually flower and stop growing early in the season, are growing like it's spring.

The fall garden is coming along. Growing like mad actually. We're knee deep in greens of all kinds and I couldn't be happier.

This is the first time that I started onions from seed. I'll never buy sets again. I don't know why it took me this long to start growing them. Super easy. More varieties to choose from. I'll write a separate post about them when things slow down. Because sooner or later, we'll get that killing frost and the gardening year of 2012 will just be a memory. A peculiar one. Indeed.

1. Tomatoes and cayennes.
2. Rattlesnake pole beans.
3. Turnip greens. Taken a few weeks ago.
4. Pak choi.

Friday, August 3, 2012

This Week

It's been a busy week 'round here.

1. Our tomatoes are coming in. I have to pick them early. VERY early. Our mockingbirds are up to their old tricks. As soon as the tomatoes start to turn, the birds start to peck them.
2. I harvested basil and made a batch of pesto. I need to head downstairs and make a second batch as soon as I'm finished here.
3. The Crepe Myrtle is in full bloom. Color. Glorious Color.
4. Black Eyed Susans. Need I say more?
5. Toad pool. I made a home for the toad and frog that hang out around the front door garden. 

We've been watching a lot of Olympics. I can't wait for the track and field to begin. That's my sport.
Until next time.....

Friday, July 27, 2012

This Week

This week just flew by! And most of it flew by with my camera far from reach. There were several times when I thought "Oh, I wish I had the camera to take some pictures of this". But alas, I didn't run back to the house to get it. It's hard for me to stop doing something outside, especially when I'm covered in dirt and sweat, and run inside to grab the camera.
I spent the early part of the mornings outside, working in the gardens. I'm getting some beds ready for the fall garden and have been hauling compost and tilling. The afternoons were spent making jewelry, photographing it and playing with photo props.

1. Cactus blossoms. The hummingbirds love them!
2. Fall beads are starting to make their way into the shop.
3. White eggplants. I love this variety. I see Eggplant Parmesan in the future.
4. I got into my treasure chest of trade beads and decided to part with some.

That's it for now. Here's to a fabulous weekend.


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