Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Ride in the Rain

Just because....
The leaves are not YET at peak! I didn't want to miss it. If only it hadn't been raining, I saw many woodpiles that had interesting engineering in the way they were stacked and I missed several "good" shots. I was a wuss and didn't want to get out of the car.  Some woodpiles were not stacked, however. Some people never stack their wood properly. To me, even messy piles are interesting to see. They are messy, messier and messiest. Next time I'll catch them in my lens - well, maybe. So here's what I took this morning. It justified my trip out. 

click on image to view larger

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Out for a Penny

Once in a while I spill my penny pot and my nickel and dime pot onto the dining room table and roll the coins in wrappers to cash in at the bank. (Quarters are saved for the laundromat.) I do this when the two small containers are full and can contain no more. The process usually totals about $20.00! It has been a habit for years to save pennies and loose change for a rainy day - IT IS A VERY RAINY DAY TODAY!
Ceramic penny pot made many years ago by son, Charles  1957-1994
Quite often I find a wheat penny in the mix but today I found one I have never seen before. After research I learned that it is called the "Formative Years" and it is one of a series of four. 

"Many collectors are not aware of the fact that in 2009 the U.S. Mints produced four different reverse side designs on the Lincoln cent, commemorating the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, and various aspects of his lifetime and career.  A depiction of his log cabin birthplace in Kentucky is known as the “Early Childhood” reverse.  The “Formative Years” reverse shows Abe reading a book while taking a break from rail splitting, a way young strong men made money then by selling the rails to the westward advancing railroads.  The third design features young Lincoln in front of the Illinois State House, where he practiced law and became familiar with the world of politics.  The final design shows the unfinished U.S. Capitol rotunda in 1865 Washington D.C., the year of Lincoln’s assassination at Ford’s Theatre.  Many feel the design and original photograph from 1865 symbolize the unfinished nature of Lincoln’s later term, after his “Emancipation Proclamation” was issued, but before the actual end of the Civil War protesting equality."
This is the one I found.
The pot is now totally empty except for an unfinished tube of 49 pennies waiting for the final one to finish filling. How funny that my final tube has only 49 pennies because of this odd one! I have to save it for just one more penny! AND....yes, when I see one on the ground I do pick it up - every time no matter whether it's heads or tails. You never know when you need a penny!


Monday, September 28, 2015


I created these two today. One is my friend's grandson. I love his eyes! I first changed the color photo to B/W and then put it on a swirled background and colored it back to suit me. Then I "painted" it to be "arty."

The other is of my granddaughter and her husband. Collages are a challenge because I don't subscribe to any sites and do it the hard way. 
"Stop the ride! I want to get off!"

Please click on image to view larger and see the art effect.

Sunday, September 27, 2015


Today we went for another ride through the countryside and to the town of Binghamton, NY to see if I could find the Sharpie markers I want to use in my craft and notecard projects; gold and bronze and silver metallic ones. I found them - four to a pack - at $7.99 a pack! I bought two! Splurged! Then we went another store to find a long handled stainless steel kitchen spoon without slots. Mine fell down from its hook and landed between the wall and the hot water heater when the repairmen were here on August 3. I just missed it! It is irretrievable because the bent over part at the end of the handle is stuck on something and just can’t be released. No, the heater can’t be moved. Found one! Costly! Necessary to use when making big kettles of stews and soups and applesauce, of course.

A fun walk through the Goodwill store resulted in two wonderful finds. A willow-wicker handled basket in new and perfect condition. It is 16 inches in diameter and 16 inches tall to the handle.  $1.98!

The BEST FIND of the day was a brand new Wilton Dimensions Multi Cavity Cupcake Pan! The Mister didn’t believe me when I said I wanted this pan. I have cup cake pans, but nothing like this one. The blue sticker had a price of $5.98. BUT! blue stickers were 1/2 price today. $2.98! See why I had to have it! I found this info on the internet.

“The multi-cavity Wilton baking pan allows for top and bottom half baking, for tasty double-layer cupcakes! Bake a unique and beautiful cupcake before you decorate, with the multi-cavity cupcake pan which offers you cavities shaped like the top and bottom of a cupcake so you can create unique and delicious layered cupcakes. Just allow the pieces to cook and assemble them with icing, frosting, filling, and more.” 

I never even knew such a pan existed. I’m not at all savvy about new-fangled things because my old ones work very well.

And I did take pictures...after we returned home. The leaves weren't at all pretty enough for me today.
click on image to view larger

Friday, September 25, 2015

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Ride in the Sun

It is a beautiful day! We took another ride through our countryside. One purpose was to visit a meat market that burned down and was completely rebuilt. It is about 23 miles from us and the ride was great.

On June 12, 2014 an early Thursday morning fire ripped through a landmark business that had been open for nearly four decades in our area. They have rebuilt and have been reopened since June 12, 2015!
You won’t believe all of the good things available. Take a peek at their Facebook page to see for yourself. 

Dotti-Lou Meats

This story is really about the ride, though. For an unknown reason, tumble down and vacant barns and structures draw me and I feel their past - there was once life and activity there - so, I take pictures. When wood ages it really becomes beautiful.
please click on image to view larger

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Pineapple From Hawaii Video #2

This plant was rooted by me in December 2012. The top I saved came from a gift sent to us from a treasured friend who lives in Hawaii. The plant has a name. We call her "Pacifica." She lives in South Carolina and is lovingly cared for by another dear friend. 

It takes almost 3 years for a single pineapple to reach maturation.

Pineapple plants have really pretty flowers. 

The pineapple plant's flowers — which can vary from lavender to bright red produce berries that actually coalesce together around the fruit's core. So the pineapple fruit itself is actually a bunch of "fruitlets" fused together. 

Click on the gear icon to view in HD

We are hoping to have a fruit that will look like this one! 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Back at It....

Photos by Jen, manipulations by Gere
Summer's End
Goofy Goose
Loose Goose
And a Lemon Tree! Photo by Sue in Hawaii - painting by Gere
Brought to you by our school garden - KIihei Elementary School

Monday, September 21, 2015

2016 Seeds Saved

Tomatoes are surrounded by a lot of juicy material which makes it a bit more difficult to get a dry seed. But plant breeders and seed savers have their ways. This is my way: Simply press or scoop out the juicy material from the tomato along with the seeds into a clear glass container. Don't add water at this point. Then let it sit a few days, stirring daily. As the mixture ferments, the good seed will settle to the bottom, with almost everything else floating. After a few days. you will get a good growth of mold on top (I didn't say it was pretty). When you are ready to collect the seed, add water and stir it up. Slowly pour off the trash on top, until the good seeds on the bottom are about to pour out. Then stop pouring, add water, and pour it off again. Repeat this process several times. Don't worry if you see a few seeds pour off, since the ones that float are usually not good anyway. Each time, you will get rid of more non-desirable materials, and the good seed on the bottom will be cleaner. When it is clean enough for you, drain off all the water and place the seeds on a couple of sheets of newspaper to dry. Newspaper works much better than paper towel. 
Just imagine how many tomatoes can come from just 3 little seeds!
The seeds are drying and will be put in a paper envelope and then will be stored in a sealed waterproof container and placed in the freezer until next year.  They are sure to germinate. The process of fermenting them in their own juice for  almost two weeks has been completed. They have been rinsed and drained and put on newspaper to dry. I also have separated them with a wooden toothpick. These seeds are many as the Brandywine tomatoes have many seeds. They were reaped from the largest and sweetest tomato as I devoured it in the sandwiches that I love to be able to enjoy every year. I do share the seeds so if anyone would like a few, just ask. They like lots of sun and must be staked as they will grow into a 6 ft. plant. The middle blossoms of a three-blossom branch must be plucked away as they appear and the suckers that grow between the main stems and the branches must also be plucked away. They shouldn't be planted near other tomato plantings as there is a chance they would be cross-pollinated and not remain the true variety that they are. It's well worth the effort because of the harvest that will follow.

Thanks go to my daughter, Missy, for bringing me this monster-size tasty tomato. How could I NOT save its seeds? The Brandywine variety has many more seeds than the delicious Oxhearts. I love them both but the Oxheart is quite a bit meatier! 
The seeds can be perfectly traced back to 1889, when they first appeared in Philadelphia's Johnson&Stokes seed catalog.

Don't forget to click on an image to view larger

Sunday, September 20, 2015

James September & October

Yes, I have FINALLY given him an autumn scarf and seasonal flowers. He's happier - I'm happier. Ta DA! People walking by were wondering if he was being abused and forgotten. Nope! I just haven't been feeling creative in that particular direction and was too busy smelling the flowers!
It's still too warm for a hat.

click on image to view larger

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Well not too many people would get so excited about buying a freezer. Well I am DELIGHTED that we now have one and can start filling it. (Macoun apples are almost ready at the orchard! AND the cider can be frozen!!)

Years ago we had one and it was old and it lasted for many years in the same spot where the new one now sits. We had moved it from the "big" house across the lake to the carport and it was well-used and usually full. When it died we had to pay to have it hauled away! I have missed it. 

Now I won't have to worry about power outages either! About 45 years ago we had a large deep chest freezer fail when we went to the seashore for one week. It was located in the basement of the house. When we returned we had suffered the loss of its entire contents which included 1/2 a hog and a lot of venison and garden vegetables. I don't think you imagine what a difficult cleanup we had - even if you have ever had a freezer fail. STINK!!! Bloody mess. IN THE CELLAR! NO FOOD! At the time we had a family of eight. 

That is one of the reasons I am a happy lady today. 

AND it locks - so the bears can't break in!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

WOW Red....

Last week these fire-red tall plant tops grabbed my eye the first time I drove past them. The street is quite heavily traveled so I didn't stop but wanted to. Then I passed them again two more times and became frustrated - very frustrated. They called to me with a SHOUT! "TAKE MY PICTURE!"

Today I turned into the driveway of the house that was behind the flower bed and got my close up look - with the camera. The house was quite old and a bit neglected in appearance as was the flower bed in front. I took my pictures and skedaddled on down the road. Sure wish I had nerve to go right up to the front door, knock, and ask for the name of this plant. There were two.  I can see they started out with dark leaves, and were taller than my knee. One was farther along turning red than the other. I have NOT enhanced their color at all. They may be a variety of Coleus but I have never ever seen such red.
view larger and brighter by clicking on an image