Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Porch Projects

We have been cleaning up the front porch. Why? Well this front porch has its wonderful memories. It's nice to have a front porch. The swing cover has been scrubbed down and stored in the shed for next wintertime. The very comfortable straight chairs and the swing are ready for sitters.  Henry has his flowers. And... another project is underway. Over the holiday weekend a neighbor cleaned out their shed to accommodate a golf car. There was a pile of "free stuff" by the road and another of "for sale" items. Among the "free stuff" was this empty pot. I took it as I cruised by in my golf car. Later on I spoke with her and told her I have it and, since I've never planted in a pot like this she gave me a couple of ideas. Now, if you know me, you know I am a "trial and error" learner. This is one of my newest. It is 14" inches tall and 9" wide with 6 side pockets. It is in perfect condition. Clay terracotta - -YAY!
I had the Mister take me to the local garden center and I purchased a bag of correct soil and 7 different varieties of succulents! Wow! These little things are expensive! Anyway, the project will really be started tomorrow. Stay tuned. I forgot to plan what will go in the top, but will figure that out later. One succulent without a name tag is already planted in the china Dutch shoe she gave me.
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Now, back to porches.....Please try to read this through. I have it printed and framed and it's been hanging on the front porch for many years. My mother saved it as it was a newspaper article and I re-typed it. Note it was written 1972! That's 48 Years ago!
Tranquillity - - no matter how little effort it takes”
By Robert K. Irwin–published 7/2/73 The Sun Bulletin, Binghamton, NY

   You’re a member of the great American be-doing-something-constructive-all-the-time generation, right?
   For example: you’ve probably tried golf, tennis, fishing, camping, swimming, boating, water-skiing, bicycling, sailing, and even croquet, right?
   Why not try a little good old-fashioned front-porch sitting this summer?
   Front-porch sitting is an art that few mastered even at the tranquil turn of the century. Even few have mastered it in these frantic times. The first requisite for serious porch-sitting is comfortable clothes–soft, neither warm nor cool and pliable. 
   Second, you must have a comfortable chair. Any old comfortable chair is not good enough. The best for marathon porch-sitting are overstuffed, the kind you sink into and can’t get out of. Use of a hammock is viewed by purists as cheating.
   Next, you should have a proper porch.
   Any old porch can do, but the best porches meet these requisites:
   First, it must have a roof. Porch-sitting is no fun in the rain.
   Second, it must be open on all three sides, to let the zephyrs of summer in and out. Some like their porches screened, but purists don’t. 
   Third, a set of clear-voiced wind chimes are essential, since they break monotony. If you are a music lover, a record or tape player is essential. Radios are out, since they break in with un-tranquilizing commercials.
   A lethargic pooch and a lap-sitting cat are essential for animal lovers since they provide companionship without distraction.
   There are two schools of thought on the use of drink. One side argues that fine beers and wines, even an occasional tonic drink enhance tranquillity. Opponents argue that it distracts from serious contemplation.
   Running to the refrigerator is a problem, so serious drinking sitters work by the pitcher, magnum or six-pack.
   The most important part of prize-winning porch-sitting, however, is not what you do, but what you take pains to avoid doing.
   A former champion porch sitter recently won laurels by watching a lawnmower disappear in his rank, un-mowed front lawn. 
   Another champion, who happened to work nights, watched the moon set every consecutive night for nine months, even when the orb was obscured by fog and vapors.
   Another ribbon winner simultaneously watched the raising of six families of birds in his front yard this spring without so much as turning his head.
   If you are an aspiring porch sitter do not let these tales of glory discourage you. It takes years of practice to learn the talents these layabouts have developed. The best porch sitters all advise fledgling sluggards to begin modestly and work up slowly to the peak of their abilities. 
   Begin with five minutes, empty-handed, on a day with sparkling weather. As you discover your undeveloped talent for doing absolutely nothing, increase the time spent on your porch until you have learned a feeling of mild indulgence for those around you who spend most of their lives rushing from place to place to have fun. 
   Then you will know you have become a member of that least-populous of groups–true porch sitters. And remember, the true porch sitters’ motto is “tranquillity–no matter how little effort it takes.” 

Monday, May 25, 2020

This 'n That

Today's ride was around the lake and down the road - then up the road to a friend's property. Actually he is also our lawn guy and egg man. His raised vegetable garden is impressive but just started so I'll go back another time to see food growing and hope he'll share a little again this year!
This is at the far end of the lake
Up the hill I see an old tree striving to survive one more year. One side is full of blossoms!
This is new from last time I rode up here.
The tree in his yard is in full beautiful blossom and the bees are buzzing!
There are the hens that lay the beautiful large eggs that we're lucky enough to be given several times a month!
And don't you just LOVE the hen house decoration!! 
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Memorial Day

Most of us have someone to remember who was in the service. My father's brother, and all four of his sons were. As a child, I was was always in awe of "Uncle Henry." His demeanor, his kind eyes and his entire self, commanded awe and respect automatically. I think he would have loved to have a daughter but he had several nieces besides me and we all were proud of him - always. He was very jovial to us, giving big hugs.

His time in the service consisted of both WWI and WW2. He had two purple hearts. From a news article: "A veteran of both world wars, Mr. Nulton was a Major General and Commander of the 78th Division, Army Reserves, when he retired from service in 1960."
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At his funeral I remember there was a 21 gun salute and planes flew over. 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Saturday Rideabout

This was my first time out on the golf car this year. I would have taken a ride sooner but the roads were so dusty that I didn't want to add to my allergies of the leaf pollen so today was the day. It rained last night. I  took many photos of the farmers raking and disking the field on the upper road nearby. It really was difficult to pick out just a few to show here because the soil, tractors, sky, and mood all were great! When I arrived back, a little earlier than planned, because the battery meter did a dive, I couldn't help taking two more, one of James and our flag and the other of our home at the lake. I do so love it here - except for the terrible dust!
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Have a good Memorial Day Weekend!

Successful Mixture

I remembered seeing a recipe for making salmon patties on the internet several years ago. There are many "out there" so I decided to wing it last night.

My first step was to drain the liquid from the opened can of salmon. I then put the contents into a large bowl and picked off the skin and opened up the chunk to remove the vertebral column bone. It was easy. The bones were very soft but I didn't want to incorporate the main one in my mixture.

Next, without measuring, I added salt, pepper, a teaspoonful of mayonnaise, some celery salt, a handful of frozen diced onions, a short pour of Progresso Italian bread crumbs, a small scoop of flour, some milk and one large brown egg. After mixing it all together I formed patties and fried them in canola oil and then drained them on brown paper bag before serving.

SURPRISE! They were DELICIOUS!  Hope I can do it again so they will be as good! (I think the old cast iron pan contributed to the success.)
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No Longer Posting on Instagram

For quite a few years I was able to post on Instagram with an application my granddaughter uploaded into my Mac notebook computer. I made it to 688 posts when the Uplet application failed. There is no fix. Actually, my understanding is that Instagram is for those who use smart phones. Well, I don't have nor do I want one, so no more Instagram uploads for me. Maybe it is just as well. Most of it was my baking and cooking plus a few photomanipulations and some of family members, nature and flowers.

I can can still view others, but can no longer upload any of mine. Done!

If anyone cares to take a peek I think you can by going to my site. Not sure. Try!

Here's a peek at some that are there.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Gold...and other colors

The kind that you find at the end of a rainbow, that is. Heck, I've never even found the pot! I didn't realize that I had as many rainbow pictures and items as I do until I went looking. You see, when I saw my suncatcher making rainbows on kitchen things this morning, I began to wonder about the real meaning of the rainbow. I know it means hope. I've always been fascinated by them since I was a young child. I don't collect rainbow paraphernalia but it seems I do have some.
Two rainbow containers that a daughter brought home to me years ago from one of her vacation trips.
A craft I made with ribbons and beads back around 2008.
Of course real rainbows are the best and I have seen many and caught just a few. They are not my passion but... 
The beauty of Mother Nature is always food for the soul.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

First Fermentation

Back on May 3 the beautiful fermentation pot arrived. It was a gift to myself just because I loved the shape and the handle on the top! I did know, however that the potter was a very competent local fellow. In fact he says, "It's not just pottery or handmade, it's an everyday lifestyle with art." And so it is!

I discovered that mine was the first he has created and that makes me feel special too. He signed it on the bottom.
 I must tell you that I have never fermented anything but felt up to the challenge. I started with four small cooking onions I had on hand. I found several recipes on the internet but the one I chose was so simple that I had the confidence to give it a try.

Two weeks ago I put together the following:

  • 4 small thinly sliced onions (the recipe called for a red but I didn't have one. 
  • 1/2 C cider vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 1/2 Tbl. Caster sugar (I had to look that up, and used powdered sugar instead of the very fine caster type)
  • 2 tsp. Maldon sea salt. (I used Morton's Natural Sea Salt-no iodine).
  • 1 C boiling water (I used tap water. We have a good deep well)

I pushed it down, put the two weights over it, covered with the lid, filled the groove on the top of the pot with water and waited two weeks without peeking! I did add a little water to the groove after about one week.

Today was the DAY! There was NO mold and NO scum! I scooped out the onions into three 4 oz. glass jars that I had on hand and ladled the juice into each one until there was nothing left. OF COURSE I tasted it! The Mister tasted too! The fermented onion slices are crunchy, and a bit sour but the more I ate, the better I liked the flavor. Perhaps a little more sugar would be to our taste. Perhaps brown sugar would be better than powdered.
 DEFINITELY a success! YAY! I have already started another and will tell you that this one is a bit fancier with red onion, a stick of cinnamon, whole cloves, and other stuff. When I put the lid on this time it actually was burping itself!! Two more weeks and the report will be in!

Below is the link to my first blog when I received the pot If you would like to see what it looks like.
The Pot's Arrival

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Back to Normal

Well, almost. The hummingbirds are coming regularly and that's a good thing. They are attacking each other and we see several out there at a time, now. I may soon put out the other feeder. 
I can't ever seem to catch one in flight, but a drinking one is enough visual pleasure for me. The above images were each taken about 30 minutes apart and I'm not sure if this is the same hummer or its brother!
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Friday, May 15, 2020

Crazy Weather

My little flowering plants are anxious to be outdoors, can do. Tonight there is expected to be severe wind and rains. The temperature reached 76° today. Tomorrow there will be more rain and Sunday might be a good day to transfer them if the forecasts are wrong. More rain. The tuberous begonia that I started with a September leaf from the mother plant is now showing more buds, but is also growing too tall!
My window washer guy got 5 storm windows done on the outside. There are 13 here and he also has to do the inside (both sides) and the storm (inside) so his work is cut out for him.
Meanwhile back in the kitchen the baker has produced a nice loaf of white bread. It lays on its side to cool so the top doesn't get squished! I have a plastic thingy that has slots so when I slice it each slice will be even and straight. How about that! I have had it for many many years. (French Toast for supper!)
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