Tag Archive | Gardening

Seed Harvest

Bluey and The Sunflower 2014

Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature. ~Gerard de Nerval

I harvested my Sunflower seeds on October 5th with the help of my Blue Healer!   I had two sunflower plants this year.   This one was huge and produced tons of nice plump seeds.

Sunflower measure 2014

When the flower head was brown and very dry, the seeds were ready to harvest, and they came out pretty easy.   I then set them on a single layer on newspapers to dry them even more.

Drying Sunflower Seeds Harvest2014

‘Tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes!
~William Wordsworth

After drying, I have stored them in several jars for planting next year.   I collect all sorts of everyday jars that are perfect for storing seeds.  Notice the small 2″ ketchup bottles?   All the seeds shown here are from one Sunflower head.   There was quite a bit more that I left on the head for the Momma and her baby deer that visit our yard.

Sunflower Seeds 2014

With all these seeds, I have more than enough to plant rows of sunflowers in the spring.   Its gonna be a looong winter of waiting.  Do you have a favorite plant or flower you collect seeds from?

With every seed that is planted in the garden, it’s growth is your hope for a brighter future. ~Pamela Kinney

Autumn Tree 2014

Happy Fall Ya’ll!

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End of Season Tomatoes

Window Sill Ripening Tomatoes. Last Harvest 2014

I gathered my remaining Tomatoes from the vine at the end of October. We were expecting our first frost, and  I just couldn’t see them going to waste.  We got several dozen tomatoes from that single plant….my first  vegetable in my TN garden.

I placed them on my windowsill in my sun room which has sun light on three sides throughout the day.   The sun room doesn’t get as hot in the fall and at night we keep the room at a cool  60˚.

I read somewhere, that it can take 1-2 weeks to ripen tomatoes wrapped in brown paper bags or newspaper, but I liked being able to see my pretty tomatoes.  They make me smile,  almost as much as flowers do… (almost)!

Having not given the thought that they actually “would” ripen, I just assumed they would take at least the full two weeks.  I had hoped to share them with my Mother who is coming for a visit this Thanksgiving.

Long story short, most of my Tomatoes are just about fully ripened, after only one week. Unless I make Salsa  or another recipe, I will not be able to share my fresh tomatoes with my Mother.

In the meantime, I have heard so many people talk about a Southern staple of Fried Green Tomatoes.  I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  I did an online search for them and found so many varying recipes.  Some had ingredients I didn’t like (such as Cajun spice) and others used more or less ingredients etc.  Here’s what I came up with.

Ingrediants 4FGT

Fried Green Tomatoes

-1 large beaten egg
-1/2 cup buttermilk
-1/2 cup general all purpose flour
-1/2 cup cornmeal
-1 tsp. Salt (optional)
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-3 medium-sized green tomatoes (cut into 1/3 inch slices)
-Enough vegetable oil for half inch depth in frying pan. (I used a non stick pan)

In small bowl combine egg and buttermilk, set aside
In separate bowl mix 1/4 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of cornmeal, pepper and (optional) salt~ I try not to use salt when cooking, but rather use the shaker at the table if desired).

Next, Dip cut slices of green tomatoes in bowl of 1/4 flour to coat, lightly shake off excess, then dip into egg mixture and then coat in cornmeal mixture.

fryingGreenTomatoes

In a frying pan, heat oil.  Carefully place tomatoes in single layer in hot oil and Cook for 2 minutes on each side until you reach a nice golden color.  Do not burn.  Remove from oil and place on paper towel to soak up any extra grease and then cool.   Season to taste with salt & additional pepper if desired.

Fried Green Tomatoes

My hubby liked them.  After trying however, I personally couldn’t get past the whole “not ripe” tomato thing!  I thought it was just strange.  So…….I made myself a normal, everyday Tomato sandwich on a Toasted Whole Wheat bun with oodles of Hellman’s Mayo and black pepper!  Yum….nothing tastes as good as simplicity!

Fresh sill ripened Tomato Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bunwith loads of Hellman's Mayo, Black Pepper and fresh from the garden Lemon Thyme Sprig for garnish! Yum....nothing tastes as good as simplicity!

It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.  ~Lewis Grizzard

109 Years in the Palms of my hands

A hobby of mine in which I find much pleasure, is antiquing, flea marketing & thrift store shopping.  Lately, I seem to be doing more of the latter.  I have been finding such a wonderful array of treasures.

When I go bargain hunting, I usually head on in with no particular item in mind (although I am always on the prowl for white Ironstone pieces, to add to my collection). I typically walk straight to the back section that houses the dinnerware, glass trinkets or pottery.  I also hunt for anything garden related, anything old that catches my eye…generally items that have a history to them.

In my latest “Goodwill” trip, I found an amazing Revival Hymns book. This antique is 109 years old. The pages have a beautiful aged scent to them, and are so fragile. You can literally see them crumble in your hands if you are not too careful. 109 years in the palms of my hands.  I can only dream of all who held it in their hands while praising our Lord.  Who were they?  Where did they come from,  what kind of life did they live?  This old book makes me happy! Incredibly, it was marked at only $1.49. I LOVE it!

Revival  Hymns        109 years old

Revival Hymns Book ~ 109 years old

“The final aim and reason of all music is nothing other than the glorification of God and the refreshment of the spirit.”  ~ Johann Sebastian Bach

Little did I know it, but the tone was set for my shopping excursion. I spotted an employee pushing a cart full of freshly tagged goods, that she was preparing to stock the shelves with. Nonchalantly, I casually walked over and glanced into the cart. I eyed a wonderful garden Angel statue, beneath tons of china & stemware.  I patiently waited nearby, until she set it on the shelf.  It sat for only 3o seconds before I got my hands on it!  A new home for you my dear!  She was well worth her price of $7.99.

Garden Angel

Garden Angel

While rummaging through picture frames, I came across a wonderful diy; handwritten poem, entitled  “Love Letter from Jesus”. Read it here:  https://countrypkin.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/a-love-letter-from-jesus-words.jpg I felt inclined to nab this as well.  It was if it were speaking to me directly.  I just had to get it. The frame is tattered a bit, but I kind of enjoy it that way.  The love shines through just the same without being shiny and new.  I considered painting it, but Jesus was a carpenter, and I think the natural wood befits the letter.  The cost of this was $1.99.

Love Letter From JESUS.

Love Letter From JESUS.

I spent a small total of $11.47 on my purchase, but gained so much more.  I got a piece of History in that well worn, (109 yr) old book.  Some beautiful songs that I will try to sing and attempt to do the words justice.  I got a promise in that letter, that Jesus will be waiting for me one day.  And a gentle reminder, that I need to be careful of the things I say and do and all that I need to reflect upon in order to be worthy of him.  I also find a comfort in my garden Angel addition, who now watches over my garden.  With her hands pressed together, she blesses each day, each flower, each blade of grass, each bug and bird, to replenish and restore through all their works.  She blesses each cat & dog, each boy or girl, young and old…any living thing that passes her way.  She gives the promise of Gods Love in all things big and small; that is what I see in her as she now takes up home in my garden.

What have you found recently in your trip to the thrift store that gives you pleasure?

Thrift is not an affair of the pocket, but an affair of Character. ~S.W. Strauss

Happy Thrifting ya’ll! 😀

Sowing in the Sunshine; goodbye Summer

I Love Sunflowers!  I sowed several Sunflower seeds this year, just outside my back door off the wood deck. I wanted to be able to be greeted by the sunny brightness when I look out my kitchen window.  Only two took to root.  The first plant to bloom, grew a mere 4 feet, but what it lacked in height, it grew an abundance of flowers.  I counted about eighteen.   Its largest was about 9 inches in diameter.   I enjoyed several vases from this one stalk.  I was thrilled to bring their happy, bright bouquets into my kitchen for a few weeks.

Where flowers bloom so does hope. ~Lady Bird Johnson

Sunflower 1st bloom

Sunflower 1st bloom

He changed sunset into sunrise ~ Clement of Alexandria

Sunflower1 bunchThe second Sunflower plant to bloom grew to a massive height of over 10 feet.  It’s only flower ~ bloomed into a huge 18 inches in diameter.  That’s a large pizza pan!  Its center had a thickness of approximately 5 inches front to back.  This is the largest sunflower I have ever seen, or grown, (as of yet).  I Love it!!!  It grew in the exact location of  my sunflower last year, and the perfect place.  This giant is the first sunshine I was able to see out my kitchen window (day or night).  It grew so top heavy, that it’s weight lowered the flower head about two feet….and it still tried to reach the sun.

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change. ~Buddha

Sunflower Giant 2014

Sunflower Giant 2014

Top heavy

Top heavy

My Tomato plant to date, has provided 19 tomatoes from one single seedling.  I planted along the backyard fence, where it received morning and early afternoon sun. It was in the shade in the later part of the day, and I presume that is the reason for it’s spindly vine, and long ripening process.  All in all, they turned out very well, and I didn’t find the need for any bug sprays etc.  I am super excited & look forward to the growing season again next year, when I will plant several Tomato plants in full sun and give them their very own garden.

The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. ~Hanna Rion

I still have not yet dug up my first Potatoes. I shall put on my gloves and dig in the dirt over the next few days. I have my fingers crossed for them.  I won’t be surprised if they haven’t grown properly, as I mistakenly planted them in full sun.  This year was a learning experience for sure.  Next year, I will be better prepared and hopefully, more knowledgeable about potatoes! I have a lot of reading to do!

Additions to my garden this year, (Russian sage, Moonlight Coreopsis, and Black~eyed~Susan) took off, and provided many flower arrangements along with all the other seasoned perennials in my gardens.  My Rose bush however, didn’t have as many recurring blooms this year…thanks to an invasion of beetles.  It’s perking back up finally after many treatments of Sevin dust.

For the third year in a row, (for fun) I entered in the Baking and Gardening exhibits at my local Fair.  I took home 2 Blue (First), 1 Red (Second), and 2 White (Third) ribbons! A whopping $23 😀 came with them….. It’s not a get rich quick scheme, but rather an little added bonus for doing something I love! You can find my recipe for the cookies here: https://countrypkin.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/cranberry-oat-squares/  Let me know if you make them!

~My Ribbons~      Fair 2014

~My Ribbons~
Fair 2014

So summer is over for another year.

 My helper "Little one" in my wheelbarrow of weeds

My helper “Little one” in my wheelbarrow of weeds

Often times, someone can help just by being near you.  They don’t even need to lift a finger; or a paw!

Wheelbarrow2As I cleanup the wilting flowers & weed out the overgrown flower beds and grasses, I am reminded that everything has its time and season.  I am thankful for the harvest of sunshine, and flowers. No need for sadness, even gardens need to rest.  I am thankful for the coming fall, and look forward to the winter season that also follows.  Christmas will be here before we know it, and the biggest celebration of all will once again be ours, to honor the Father who made ALL life possible.

Bringing in the SheavesWe faintly hear, we dimly see In differing phrase we pray; But dim or clear, we own in him; The life, the Truth, The way. ~John Greenleaf Whittier

Rose

Sunflower vase

Beefsteak Charlie 1

Tomatoes are one of the simplest of vegetables that one can grow. Providing the right conditions, (including water, sun, soil, and enough attention from the gardener);  you will have yourself eating a BLT with your very own fresh tomatoes in about 60-90 days.  Even at my age, planting tomatoes, is a first for me…..I have a looong way to go to become an expert vegetable gardener who offers up advice. This post is purely about  my experience.

 The best place to seek God is in a garden . You can dig for him there. ~George Bernard Shaw

I planted a seedling a little over two months ago, having no idea if vegetables will work with my soil type. Tennessee has more rocks than dirt in my neck of the woods., so I did NOT take the time to prepare the soil, nor did I make a decent garden bed. \Shame on me/ I figured, if this one plant survives and produces, then next year I will make a proper garden elsewhere in my yard.

I dubbed my first seedling “Beefsteak Charlie 1“. I’ve been checking daily for it’s progress, and with each growth spurt, I have been pleasantly surprised and tickled pink. Often times I have a childlike enthusiasm and I tend to flip out over the simplest of things. (insert big cheesy grin here !) 😀

About 1 week old tomato

I have been watching the leaves grow on BC1, from one leaf into three, four and so on. Seeing little yellow flowers grow on the stems and wondering what they were and if it was normal or not. I have been giddy with excitement from the first teenie tiny tomato which was about the size of a straight pin head.

There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling. ~Mirabel Osler

As BC1 matures, his shape is nice and round, but his green stalk/vine is rather leggy. Not as many leaves as I had thought, and not very bushy as I have seen in other gardens. Perhaps it is because I planted BC1 in front of a fence which gives him a bit of shade. (not smart on my part). Next year, I will hopefully remedy that mistake, and plant my tomatoes in full sun. Live and learn.

Approximately 3 weeks old

3 weeks old

One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides. ~W.E. Johns

Beefsteak Charlie1 on the rise

Turning red

Super Simple Tomato Marker made from a (recycled) plastic lid and a Twig, using Acrylic (color) Paints and Clear Krylon sealer paint.

Super Simple  Tomato Marker made from a (recycled) plastic lid and a
Twig, using Acrylic (color) Paints and Clear Krylon sealer paint.

Double Tomato

Picken my first Tomato 7-16-14

Picken my first Tomato 7-16-14

Today I harvested my very first Tomato. Although small, it must’ve been ready, because it came off in my hand as I was checking it’s firmness on the stem. It may have come off too soon. It does have a little pale (orangey) color on the backside to it yet, so I will let it sit on the window sill for a day or so to fully ripen. It should be a deeper, brighter red., in my opinion.

Beefsteak Charlie 1  debut 7-16-14 Black Eyed Susan,  Moonbeam Coreopsis, & Russian Sage  Pitcher Vase made in Italy

Beefsteak Charlie 1
Black Eyed Susan, Moonbeam Coreopsis, & Russian Sage
Pitcher Vase made in Italy

Once the tiny tomato formed from the flower, it took a little over 30 days to produce a somewhat ripened tomato ~ give or take a few days. In the mean time, BC1 gave me a chance to learn how to use a makeshift photo box, for better photos of my smaller objects. (Thank you Pinterest)! Now I just have to remember to use my good camera instead of the convenience of using my cell phone……what a difference it makes!
Happy Gardening .

My first Tomato Harvested

My first Tomato Harvested

Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination. ~Mrs. C.W. Earle

 

A few childhood memories (of Mom)

A few early childhood memories (of Mom)

I’m nearing the half-century mark, and I am very fortunate and happy to say my mother is still with me.  In light of Mother’s day (a few weeks ago),  I wanted to share a few early memories I have of my Mom, that are special to me.

Being a mother means that your heart is no longer yours; it wanders wherever your children do. ~Author Unknown

I am the youngest of four and the baby of the family.  I like to think I had a special little bond that my older brothers and sister didn’t have.  I know growing up, there wasn’t any favoritism, but I can’t recall ever seeing the others off by themselves with mom……ever.  Although, what would I know.  It may just well have been that they were busy with their friends while I sat at home, and she might just had been accommodating the poor little lonely kid!

Mom and baby Me!

Mom and baby Me!

We lived on a “non working” farm.  We had lots of chickens and roosters, numerous cats, 2 family dogs (Rusty and Shane), a horse (Buck) and a mean pony, (appropriately named) “Sassy”.   I hated that pony.  Well, I guess I was more ‘afraid’ of him than anything.  He chased me a lot and bit me one time. From then on I hated to be in the fields even remotely close to him.  I loved Buck.  He was beautiful.  He nudged me all the time to pet him.   He was super friendly.  Except for the egg bearing chickens, and a few nasty roosters, the rest were all pets.

I remember Mom planting vegetable gardens over the years, and I always enjoyed eating carrots and leafy lettuce fresh out of the ground.  I cannot recall ever washing them before I ate them.  We didn’t plant corn, because the neighbor farmer had fields of corn.  We helped ourselves to it! Our garden was pretty far from the house, and if memory serves me correctly, there wasn’t a water spicket nearby, so mom had to lug lots watering cans one by one to the garden everyday.  Without a doubt, us kids helped too; especially me.  I was moms shadow.   I followed mom wherever she went.

Mom in a garden

Mom in a garden

The garden sat between a huge white barn, that became an “off limits” two story garage.  Eventually, at some point, all us kids snuck in there.  At the other end of the garden, was a small shack, in which my sister and I made our play house.  We kept our girly toys and things there and played house with each other and our friends.  Eventually, our older brothers crashed the place and turned it into their fort.  So, when I wasn’t pulling carrots or listening to mom singing while she worked in the garden, I was in the play house decorating with found treasures from the other barns, or that we picked up from the abandoned railroad tracks on our property.   I remember Mom sewed us some. curtains for the windows to dress the place up.  I remember having tea parties and making mud pies with old tin pans that mom had given us, always remembering to “add the cup of love” into every pie!
After my brothers “took over” our playhouse, we moved into one of the corncribs.  Tucked way into the back end. We had a lot of cat visitors in our new place.  I still snuck into my brothers fort whenever mom was in the garden, and while they were at school.

Mom

Mom

We had a small electric organ in our dining room.  It had a dark wood color and the matching bench had a bright red fabric seat.   After turning the little brown knob on, on the organ, it had to heat up for a few minutes.   Once it was ready, to make the notes last, you had to pump the peddle with your foot.  I would always sit on the organ bench alongside mom and listen to her play.  She taught me how to play Mary had a little lamb, and My Country tis of thee, and chop sticks! Mom sang to me.   I loved hearing her voice.   She sounded like a country singer.   One song that really stood out was one that I thought she made up about her Daddy (who lived pretty far away in Newfoundland, Canada).   It was called “How far is Heaven”.   Later in life, I learned it was an old Kitty Wells song.  One of moms favorite country and western singers.
Through the years, I often found myself singing that song, only I never really knew the exact words.  I made them up.   With the great technology we have now, it is stuck on my playlist on my smartphone.   With no disrespect to the late Miss Wells, I still think mom sang the song so sweetly.  I wish I could have her record herself singing it, but knowing her own father is in heaven now, I think it would make her sad.

http://youtu.be/m-VRaNye-lo

My Mom, the Country singer =)

My Mom, the Country singer =)

My father used to be away a lot.   Being a child, I always assumed it was for his work.  He was Chief of Police for our small town.  Turned out, all his late nights were spent cheating on my mother.  (Rotten s.o.b.)  I never really cared when he was gone, other than knowing it made my mom sad.  I didn’t care, because it meant, I could have late nights with mom.   I always snuck down in the middle of the night and mom would make me warm milk and toast which she cut up into little tiny pieces.  She made herself tea, and I would also occasionally take sips of it.  Looking back, I think that may have been when I developed my strong love for hot tea! Back then, she drank Salada tea, with the little quotes or sayings on the tags.  I often thought how cool that was.  Smart tea.  Such words of wisdom.  Later on, she switched to Red Rose tea, which to this day, is my favorite.  Sitting alongside mom at the kitchen table in the wee hours made me feel like a princess.   Sitting on her lap when I could tell she was upset, made me feel like I was comforting her…..I may have been small, but I deep down knew something was troubling her.  I think she needed me to sneak downstairs every night.  A few times Dad surprised us and came home before I could run upstairs.  He got mad and I think jealous that I had such quality time with my mom.  He would make up stories that I was found on our porch in a roasting pan, and that they “adopted” me. What a horrible person would try to have their little child believe they were left in a pan or that they were adopted when they weren’t.

Mom and Me

Mom and Me

I went on walks with my mom around the property, picking raspberries and black berries.  Mom also planted wild rhubarb (Burdock) in a flower garden near the house, and we would share the bitter stalk while flower picking.  I remember there was an old cow skull in the center of that flower bed, that always gave me the creeps.  In the twelve room house, there was only one bathroom.  Mom told me if I ever had to go number two, and someone was in the bathroom, I could use the wild rhubarb leaves as natures toilet paper. I used her little trick a couple of times.  Brushing past that creepy, boney, cows head and dashing into the tall overgrown fields to do my business.  We had paths made in the cornfields, and also in the tall grass fields so no one could ever see.  To this day, I’m not really sure if any of the others went to the bathroom outside. Hey, don’t judge……it was the early 70’s. Even princesses gotta poop, even if it has to be without a throne! =)

Wild Rhubarb (Burdock)

Wild Rhubarb (Burdock)

I think I was in 3rd grade when mom took a job at a laundromat.  She had to walk several miles to get to work.  (Back in the day, many years ago, when I was a small lass lol).  Sometimes I would go with her.  We would have to walk a railroad bed along the way and behind the old Acme was where some unused trains were parked, off the tracks.  They looked abandoned.  We always felt like we were being followed.  Turned out, we were.  He was a rather tall, gangly looking man who wore all green clothing.  We called him “The Green man”. (Yeah, we came up with good names didn’t we? Lol) In retrospect, I can’t believe how dangerous it could have been.  That guy knew where my mom worked.  He knew our paths we took.  He was always behind us when we walked, or sometimes waiting up ahead.  It was creepy.  Mom pushed me in the huge canvas laundry carts all the time, when I went to work with her. I watched her greet customers all day long and tag and bag their clothes, and work the cash register.  I really admired my mom.  I saw her as being a pretty, strong and very smart lady.  I looked up to her.  She not only took care of us four kids, cleaned our whole house, cooked three meals a day, always had time for me and my brothers and sister….but, She also took care of three foster kids.  Whenever my Dad brought home patrolmen that worked for him…which he did often (and without warning).  She would drop everything and prepare a meal for everyone and/or coffee and desserts etc.

Vintage Industrial laundry cart similar to the one Mom pushed me in as a child.

Vintage Industrial laundry cart similar to the one Mom pushed me in as a child.

Off the kitchen, we had a washroom.  It had a big farm sink and a washing machine.  And also an always broken machine next to it. Under the window was a small table that held the house phone.  (Remember the phone number 6591 for a later post).  Do you believe in those days we got by with only one phone? We didn’t have an answering machine.  We had a notepad and a pencil next to the phone for messages.  We kept our shoes and coats in the washroom too. Before dinner we always “washed” up in the washroom.  We also filled jugs with water in the big sink.  After the clothes were washed in the machine, I would follow mom outside, where she would hang the clothes on the clothesline.  (We had two).  I helped mom, by handing her the clothespins.   I loved those clothespins.  They were all wood.  I hated when occasionally, I would pick up one with a metal clip.  I didn’t like those.  (I still don’t! But worse yet, are the cheap plastic ones now, with the metal clip).  Mom had a nice homemade clothespin bag that she kept on the line, and two long wooden posts that she rose the clotheslines up off the ground with.  At one end of the post there was a small slit where the clothesline would sit between.   I remember doing the laundry with mom all the time.  I remember helping to take the clothes off the line too.  I watched her closely, and she taught me how to fold clothes.  They always smelled so fresh, clean and crisp.

Clothespin

Clothespin

Sometimes I would go to my parents bedroom.  Only when my Dad wasn’t at home.  He wouldn’t allow anyone in his room.  Mom always let me in.  I would sit on the edge of their bed, when mom would be picking out her clothes for the day, or if she was putting my dads clothes in his dresser or closet.  We would have little talks.  I would look forward to it when she brought her jewelry box over and we would look through it together.  Even later in life, we still do this whenever I get the chance to visit her (she lives in Florida).  Mom still has the same jewelry box.  A black box with a colorful Chinese (floral) type design on it.  Inside it has a two-door tray with tassels for the handles and an open section underneath.  I’m pretty sure it played music.  A Doctor Chivago type melody. (If memory serves me).

Mom

Mom

After watching my mom pick out her clothes, I would wait patiently outside the bathroom, for her to bathe.  Once she opened the bathroom, and was dressed, I would sit on the toilet and watch her in the bathroom mirror.  I was captivated by her, the way she put on her makeup.  I can remember she used Maybelline mascara in a bright red tray with a tiny brush.  She would wet the brush and rub it across the caked mascara tray and then comb it up and down her top and bottom lashes.  That little tray seemed to last forever.  Orange or coral toned lipsticks were her usual lip colors. On her eyes she wore purple or blue with a light frost just below her brows.  Back in the day, a kerchief was always worn around her neck. My mom never felt comfortable with low cut shirts or blouses, and the kerchiefs made her feel more secure I guess….in addition to hiding her red neck when she would get hot flashes.  I don’t think I have ever seen my mother in a pair of jeans….ever. She has always lived in polyester pants or shorts or shin length dresses. I can picture her in the garden many years ago, wearing a floppy hat…. good times!

vintage maybelline mascara like Mom used

vintage maybelline mascara like Mom used

I remember going with my mom all the time to a little thrift store in town. It was run by our church.  I can’t remember the name of it, but as a kid, I really, really loved going there. I know that just has to be the reason I love antiquing and thrift store shopping so much. Mom influenced me in so many ways. A funny memory of one of our jaunts to that thrift store when I was a little older…..We parked in the parking lot away from the store. Did some shopping and lunch  etc. and we got back into the car, and mom put the car in drive, and drove right over the parking meter. You know the kind, they were about 4 feet tall, and you had to put a quarter, nickle or dime in and it allowed you to park for so many minutes. This thing was huge. It was buried in the ground by about 3 feet of cement, but mom took it completely out of the ground. One of those moments when you just look at each other in disbelief  and start cracking up! It was hysterical!!!

Memories from my childhood are few and far between, but those that I have almost always include my mom. Whether she knows it or not, my mom has had a huge impact on me, and the kind of mother I am today. My childhood with mom in my early years is a memory I hold very dearly in my heart. She is truly an inspiration to me.

Mom and Me May 28, 2012

Mom and Me
May 28, 2012

While going through photos for this story, I came across a photo of Mom on her bicycle. As I looked closely to her picture,  I realized, that I ride a bicycle that is almost identical to hers. Same color, style, and even a basket with flowers!  I  bought mine when I was on vacation in Carolina beach with my husband about 15 yrs ago.  I fell in love with it the moment I saw it…..it never dawned on me before, but now I know why!

Mom and Pam on their bikes

Mom and Pam on their bikes

For Mom, ILY

A mother’s happiness is like a beacon, lighting up the future but reflected also on the past in the guise of fond memories. ~Honoré de Balzac

Roses from the Garden

A great pleasure of mine is time spent in my garden.  Sitting, walking, daydreaming and yes, even weeding.  I could spend all my waking hours just meandering outside.  Stopping along the way to pull a weed, sniff a flower, or to gaze at the blue clear sky.  Watching occasional puffy white clouds slowly moving by as they take the shape in an array of made up creatures and faces.

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” Audrey Hepburn

Recognizing the gift of hearing, I Listen to the many voices of the chirping birds. the buzzing of the bees and the croaking of the frogs. Hearing single-engine planes off in the distance of neighboring skies, while a few doors away a lawn mower clips some grass. Laughter fills the air, as the young children next door play gleefully; chasing puppy dogs and being silly.

“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings”. – Eric Hoffer

I awoke yesterday morning, to my (un-prunned) rosebush in full bloom. Wow, what a sight! With pruning sheers in hand, I headed out of doors, and into my backyard. I delighted in the sweet scent of my fittingly named “Knockout Roses”.  I snipped my first rose of the season, and as I closed my eyes I took a deep but gentle breath in through my nose. The beautiful smell took me away to a place of pure enjoyment. A scent I can only describe as…….. Heavenly.  I cannot begin to tell you, how thankful to God I am, for my sense of smell & the gift of sight; to see such beauty.  How very thankful I am also, to my husband, for buying that first young rosebush several years ago. I love roses so much, that I named my cottage “La Vie en Rose” which means, “life in pink” or “living life through rose colored glasses”!  I will write about my cottage in a future post (coming soon).

Rose cuttings in wicker

“The fragrance always remains on the hand that gives the rose”. – Gandhi

Roses in the garden are for me, like butter is to toast. You just have to have them. Toast without butter would be dry and tasteless. A garden without roses would be, well, I just couldn’t imagine having a garden anymore without roses.  I need them.  They bring a lot of happiness to me!

Roses n wicker

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say, ‘Thank you?’ – William Ward

In light of Mother’s day coming up in just three days, might I recommend getting a live “Knockout Rose” if you don’t already have one, for your wife or mothers garden? It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.  It is very low maintenance.  I think it even grows out of neglect.  Virtually failproof I guess you could say.  I sadly, have not given mine a proper “cut back” since it was planted about 4 years ago.  It still is thriving! I do trim it however, to fill an abundance of vases all spring and summer long; even well into fall here in middle Tennessee.  The more you cut, the more it blooms.  I snip flowers just about every day. I am noticing, as the older my rose bush gets, the thorns are getting larger, and stronger.

From a bush of thorns bears a fragrant rose…….

“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears”. – Anthony Robbins

Happy gardening!