Tag Archives: Home and Garden

New Years Day, Food for the Soul…

The New Years Day menu is steeped in age-old tradition as well as a little bit of superstition.  I don’t go in for superstition but I am big on traditions…and of course the one tradition that seems to unite the world is one that is tied to food.

Food for the Soul…Black eyed peas, cabbage and ham or symbols of luck, prosperity, wealth and health.  It seems that the tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Years Day began in the South in the 1860′s.  However, black-eyed peas have been part of the Jewish celebration Rosh Hoshana for hundreds of years.

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Our traditional New Year’s Day dinner included; Southern Black Eyed Peas, Grilled Cabbage, Jalapeno Deer Sausage and Cornbread.

Rabbit Trail….

“Although the terms soul and spirit are sometimes used interchangeably, soul may denote a more worldly and less transcendent aspect of a person. According to psychologist James Hillman, soul has an affinity for negative thoughts and images, whereas spirit seeks to rise above the entanglements of life and death.”

Tying it all together…

If in fact our Soul has an affinity for negative thoughts and images what better way to overcome it than to rise above the entanglements of life than by lifting our Spirits by enjoying good food that represents good luck, prosperity, wealth and health…there definitely is no harm in it.

Wishing you and your family a very Happy, Healthy, Wealthy, and Prosperous New Year! 

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Filed under All Things Foodie, Blogging Challenges

A Rose…

iPhone photography with Noir filter…

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Filed under Nature, photograhy

Home-Grown Tomatoes…

There is nothing like home-grown tomatoes…The tomatoes are delicious this year…just the right amount of rain and sunshine.  My absolute favorite way to enjoy a tomato is on a sandwich…fresh bread, real mayo, thick slices of tomato, salt and fresh ground pepper, I am a purist.  How about you…do you eat tomato sandwiches?

tomatoes

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Filed under 2013 Photo Journal, All Things Foodie

Word a Week Challenge: Gardens

This blog was inspired by A Word a Week Photography Challenge.

Here is a tour of the gardens that have crossed my path…As I have wandered through each one my worries and burdens have been carried away as if on the wings of a butterfly.  Spending time in a garden, whether it is filled with flowers or vegetables, is one of the most peaceful places on this earth.

This is where it all started…with my parents love for a beautiful garden and my Dad’s very green thumb.

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A garden from a previous home…very tropical!

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Our current front garden filled with traditional southern heritage plants; plumbago, day lilies, rosemary, roses, azalea and camelias.

The Garden

Last years vegetable garden that produced so much, we ate all we could and shared the rest.

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Here is a community garden, where members of the neighborhood adopt a parcel of land.  They can grow whatever they desire.  It is a mix of flowers and vegetables.

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This is a much bigger garden that many visit during strawberry season.  Here at Froberg’s you pay for what you pick…the kiddos love it!

I love spending time in the garden, especially when it is full of color and good things to eat!

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Filed under 2013 Photo Journal, Nature, Weekly Photo Challenge

It’s “False” Spring and The Trees are Alive…

Today looks and feels like Spring.  The clover covers the lawn, the trees are beginning to bud, the temperature is in the upper 70′s and the trees are alive with activity.  This is known as the False Spring.

I decided to take advantage of the pleasant false spring weather and pull a few things out of storage that need a fresh coat of paint.  I pulled out way more than I will get to today. But it was necessary to get to the one thing I wanted to start with…

I grabbed a drop cloth and set up my work table out in the yard.  I donned my gloves and prepped my piece.  I began the process of changing a roadside find into a tabletop treasure…

The longer I was outside the loader the cacophony of bird chatter was that filled the air…Eventually I abandoned my paint brush and picked up my camera in an attempt to capture the avian activity that filled the trees...I think maybe my winged visitors were agitated because of the piece I was working on…A rather larger birdcage!

More on the roadside trash to treasure in the coming days…

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Filed under Life in Texas, Nature

Yard Sales…

Yard Sales…require commitment…dedication…tenacity…sticktoitiveness…and a total disconnect from any personal attachment you might have to the items in the yard sale. 

I have been dodging the subject and ducking my responsibility…of my promise to organize and oversee a yard sale.  The ducking and dodging are over…I committed to a date…scheduled an entire weeks vacation…wrote it on the calendar…and even spoke it out loud so that I could actually be held accountable. 

I knew the task would be an uphill challenge…I knew there were heaps upon heaps of boxes and bags…waiting to be unpacked and shown the light of day. 

So it began on Tuesday morning…tables were set up and the sorting commenced…a large trash can was at the ready for the bits and pieces that should have found their way to the circular file eons ago…a bucket of water, cleaning supplies, rags, gloves and safety goggles…

The hubs arranged for me to have a couple of young men with strong backs help with all of the heavy lifting…and so the unpacking and sorting began.

Day 1…I was feeling good about the challenge…after 5 hours of steady unpacking and sorting I was feeling like this was doable.  I went home tired and sweaty and I slept like a baby. 

Day 2…Again I was feeling good about the previous days progress…after another 5 hours of steady unpacking and sorting I was beginning to wonder why on earth did I agree to have a yard sale…the yard sale space was looking like a tornado had swept through and I was feeling much the same.  I went home really tired, really sweaty…I did not sleep as well as I would have liked…

Day 3…not feeling so enthusiastic today…actually I was feeling a bit overwhelmed…more boxes still waiting for me to unpack and sort…You know that point in a reorganization project when things look really bad right before they look really good…this was the moment…and now I was seriously wondering why I hadn’t just called a few of the local charities that do curbside pickup…by 1pm the unpacking was done and the pricing game began…I priced the big-ticket items with signs I made on the computer…and then I priced the medium size items with the store-bought yard sale stickers and I left most of the little things without prices…I figured the yardsale shoppers were going to want to play “Lets make a Deal” so why bother pricing the items. 

The area where we had our yard sale was a 1200 sq.ft covered area and it was packed out…  it was organized much like a resale shop would be with like items arranged together…I even set up the furniture in a way that the shoppers could visualize the pieces in an actual living room or dining room setting…

Day 1 of the actual sale we sold most of the Big Boy Toys;  a 16′ scanoe with 2.5hp motor, gas grill, smoker, paintball equipment and camping gear.  Day 2 we sold all of the furniture and a wide variety of miscellaneous household items.  I attribute our success to the fact that we put our yard sale notice in three seperate community papers, put out lots of signs directing shoppers to our sale and shamelessly promoting it on my facebook page. 

Now the sale is over…it was successful as yard sales go…at least until I stop and think about the fact that I just sold our stuff for pennies on the dollar….anyway its out-of-the-way and we have a little vacation money to put aside…now I have to pack up the leftovers and drop them off at the local resale shops that benefit the SPCA, Habitat for Humanity and GoodWill. 

Yard Sales…I would much rather shop someone elses yard sale than organize one of my own.

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Shabby Chic Junktiques

1 girl + 2 cups of coffee + city-wide yard sale = shabby chic junktiques!

shabby chic junktiques

On this particular excursion I did not score a truck load of treasures…but it is not always about the quantity.  Today I was looking for a bit of texture and filler for the booth. 

Today I picked up three vintage door knockers, a paper towel holder, a wire basket, a vintage pestle, a hanging votive holder, a metal stool and a couple of metal buckets. 

The items I picked have great potential for repurposing.  The door knockers would make beautiful pulls for an oversized antique cabinet.  The paper towel holder would make a sweet jewelry holder.  The metal buckets will look great filled with spring flowers or assorted soda bottles. The wire basket would look great filled with jars of homemade preserves. 

Do you enjoy finding new uses for old things? 

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A Walkabout…my yard!

Come with me on a walkabout…my yard!  There is a curved walkway just out the kitchen door that leads down the side of the house.   The walkway is lined with bullnose rocks, greenery and a bit of color.  I have a vision of what this walkway will look like in 5 years…this if just the beginning. 

There are sub-tropical Philodendron…

A Walkabout...my yard!

and fragrant rosemary bushes snuggled against the salmon colored petite azalea.

There are bright red sweetly scented knockout roses…

and asparagus fern spilling over the rock wall that has been home to the occasional armadillo and a few spiders…

There is a lovely combination of variegated Pittosporum and Wandering Jew…

and at the end of walkway…my favorite…The Texas Red Bud! (This picture makes me think of Monet)

I hope you enjoyed the walkabout…my yard…I certainly did!

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Filed under gardening and other green things, Nature

Suncreek Garden Chronicles… Under Renovation

Garden Under Renovation…

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Garden Renovation

 Our fall garden was an overall success.  Our lettuce and sugar snap pea crop was prolific.  Our limited success with the broccoli and cauliflower can be attributed to our warm winter weather.  We are slowly but surely harvesting and enjoying the carrots. However, the brussels sprouts and red cabbage have kept us waiting…and waiting…and waiting. 

Now it’s time to turn the garden over to the spring and summer crops. The seeds were started in early January and are now about 50 days along and are well on their way…The lettuce is ready for the dinner table and we are looking forward to enjoying an early spring crop of sugar snap peas.

We should see cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet peppers and jalapeno by the end of April.  I am especially excited about the tomatoes.  We have 5 heirloom varieties; Purple Prudence, Black Krim, Abe Lincoln, Mortgage Lifter and Box Car Willie. Some of the seed varieties have been around since the 1920′s.   Their flavor profiles run from sweet to acidic. These varieties range in color from red to deep purple and some of them can weigh up to 1 pound.  Now that’s going to be an awesome tomato!

We are considering planting a few grape vines along the north fence and a row of sunflowers along the West fence.  All in all…Suncreek Garden is under renovation!

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Suncreek Garden Chronicles…garden fail, who knew?

Suncreek Garden Chronicles…garden fail!  I think this may be what brussels sprouts look like when grown under the wrong conditions…  Out of 6 plants this is the only one with significant sprout growth but… these sprouts have just stopped growing! 

I am not sure we have truly failed at growing brussels sprouts.  I have done a bit of research in the past few days and it seems that we just lack knowledge.  Our winter temperatures have been on the warm side, but it would seem not too warm for the brussels.  It also seems that the plants may be just waiting on us to take the next step.  I have read that we should begin harvesting the lower leaves and sprouts of the plant to stimulate continued growth of the remaining sprouts.  Who knew?

Well someone knew and now I think I know…how to over come our possible garden fail. 

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Fail

Of all of the winter veggies we planted I was most excited by the possibility of growing our own brussels sprouts. Which in itself blows my mind. You see before last year I was not a fan of cabbage or brussels sprouts. Of course my professed dislike for these veggies had no real basis to it. As I child I had associated a bout of stomach flu with eating cabbage at my aunt’s house. So for years and I do mean years I refused to eat, actually I refused to even try a dish that contained cabbage or brussels sprouts.

My husband really enjoys eating cabbage. Also, there is a lady that I work with who goes to an incredible amount of work making cabbage rolls. We are talking over 100 individual rolls. She is so sweet and makes this dish out of love and there is just no way to refuse to eat this dish when she makes it for you. So between the two of them they have worn me down. I finally had to give in and give this incredibly humble veg another try. Guess what? I like it! I do. Now I am not going to go out of my way to make fried or stewed cabbage or even cabbage rolls. But I will eat a serving if it’s offered to me.

On the other hand I have fallen in love with brussels sprouts. I can not explain it. I don’t think I want to try. But I really like these little bite size morsels.  I find myself adding them to my grocery cart whenever they are available. Who knew?!

Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you plan…we planted a winter garden and then winter failed to show up.  We built a temporary greenhouse so we could start the seedlings for the spring garden…our placement of the greenhouse may have stifled the growth of a couple of our cold weather loving plants.  Whatever the outcome of this first attempt at growing a winter garden will give us knowledge and experience as we make our plans for next seasons attempt at growing a home garden. 

 

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Filed under All Things Foodie, Eat to Live, gardening and other green things, Healthy Living