Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Remembering.....

I hope you all enjoy this very special time with family. Here's to a Happy and Healthy 2015. I wanted to share this poem with you all. It really expresses how I feel about all the losses over the last year and a half. I believe that my precious loved ones who have moved on to a more peaceful place are not lost but forever in our hearts.
                                     Merry Christmas..... from my family to yours!
 
Remember Me
 
To the Living I am gone
To The Sorrowful, I will never return.
To the angry. I was cheated.
But to the happy, I am at peace,
And to the faithful, I have never left.
 
I cannot be seen, but I can be heard.
 
So as you look in awe at a mighty forest
and its grand majesty--remember me.
 
As you look upon a flower and
admire its simplicity--remember me.
 
Remember me in your heart,
your thoughts, your memories of
the times we loved.
 
The times we cried, the times we fought,
the times we laughed.
 
For if you always think of me,
I will never be gone.
 
--Anonymous
 
(I found this poem in an article Martha Stewart wrote about losing her Sister)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Retna Love

So we are going to be gone over thanksgiving. Randy's mom has recently moved to an assisted living facility. She is very happy but we will not see her during the Thanksgiving Holiday. I have made her a special dish. Randy's mom and dad loved persimmons. So I have made her recipe. It is funny because I had one recipe and Randy had a different one. I made Randy's recipe so we will see.
Retna will let us know. But I hope she understands perfect or not it was made out of love.

Here is the recipe (if this is not the right one I will publish the right one soon )


Prize Persimmon Pudding
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1cup white sugar p
1cup persimmon pulp
2 cups sour milk or buttermilk
1 tsp soda
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
Cream butter and sugar together, add eggs and pulp. Cream together the. Add flour and dry mixtures add milk mix together then add cinnamon and vanilla Put into a pan and cook for one hour at 350 degrees.

This can be served warm or cold but fresh whipped cream is a must. My beloved mother in law is hard to please. I Hope this makes her happy. My grand babies loved being with her



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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Harvest Time

I am so excited I love fall veggies. I harvested Collards,Kale, and Swiss Chard and made a big pot of greens.



Today with a little help from my friends, I harvested my first crop ever of sweet potatoes.






The sweet potatoes have to cure. I will put them in a warm spot with some humidity for about three weeks. Then they are ready!!!!

Here is what I did with the greens|:

Fry about 6 slices good bacon until done but not crisp
Add some onion sliced and some red pepper flakes
Then add the cleaned and stems off, and chopped greens to the pot
Salt and pepper
Then homemade chicken broth to cover.

Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and let it cook for at least 2 hours. YUMMMY

I love growing my own veggies!!!!!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Monarch verses Viceroy


Our Monarchs are in trouble. More and more of the plants they need to survive are being taken away. Both my brothers have been very involved with trying to set up way stations for the Monarchs on their long journey to Mexico. I am so excited as I have seen at least 6 Monarchs mainly on my asters. I really believe they are Monarchs and not Viceroy.  The Viceroys are great imitators. They look so much like the Monarchs but have an additional stripe across the bottom section of the wing. It is interesting to note that Monarchs are poisonous and so the Viceroy gets a pass since butterfly predators think they are Monarchs.



Here a couple thinks you can do to help our Monarch:

#1 Provide milkweed for the caterpillars, it is the only thing they eat.
An additional plant that is good are orange butterfly weed.
#2 Plant a variety of nectar sources, such as zinnias, lantanas, and fall blooming asters. Let's give the butterflies a buffet!!!
#3 Stop using herbicides and insecticides in your flower gardens. Become happy with maybe a not perfect garden. 
#4 Take time to sit and watch and enjoy.... I love the butterflies and wildlife all around! I was so focused on the butterfly I failed to noticed the Hummingbird .  Too much fun!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Herb Vinegars

The night temperatures are getting down below 50 degrees. So it is time to seriously start harvesting and preserving. I have heard horrid rumors that this winter is going to be harsher than last year. Oh my.

Number one is making Opal Basil Vinegar.





I love this vinegar. It is so tasty and so beautiful. So easy to make.
Here is what I do:

Put your white vinegar in a pan and bring it to a boil. Do not let it boil Then infuse fresh Opal basil into the vinegar I often use the jug that the vinegar was in and stuff the basil in and then add the vinegar. I good rule of thumb is 1 cup vinegar to 2 cups herb.

I then let this cure for a month in a dark closet. Then I strain it and add a beautiful basil blossom to a fun bottle. This is beautiful and wonderful vinegar.

I use it in the following recipe and it adds a deep flavor.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad Recipe

1 head cauliflower
1 bunch broccoli
2 stalks celery
1 cup sugar ( we don't do sugar so I use Splenda )
2 Tblsp poppy seeds
1tsp salt
2 tsp dry mustard
1 onion finely chopped
1/2 cup Opal basil vinegar
1 1/4 cup salad oil

Break the veggies into small bites. Add celery Mix the rest together and add to the veggies Refrigerate for three hours

So many ways to enjoy this vinegar. It is wonderful.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Today was a fun day. A great garden club here in Shelbyville came today. I was going to do a lecture on herbal vinegars. But really ended up talking herbs and basil for an hour


They were all so interested and so enthusiastic of my gardens. I was very worried since my garden time has been so limited and I felt like they were not great.

But the ladies all were so wonderful and loved the gardens. It was very uplifting.





It helped me remember how much I love sharing my garden with people who love gardens. What a great day.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Please no frost on the pumpkin yet. Thatcher and I planted this pumpkin. Maybe a little early for Halloween.


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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What is important

It is very important to me to use what I grow. After working from 7 to 4. I came home and canned tomatoes. I am very committed to using what I grow or preserving it for future use. If I can not use it I will find someone who can.
.
I grow great food. So tonight I canned tomato sauce and will have my garden treasures all year long.








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Location:Colony Dr,Shelbyville,United States

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Herb Yarb

Nothing lifts my spirits like working in herbs. So after what had proven to be a challenging day at the office I retreated to my small herb garden in front of my herb house.





It actually looks pretty good except for two areas. One right next to the new beehive and the other where I had delayed cutting the oregano that I let bloom for the skippers and the bees.





So I set to work. My beehive has been so much fun. I can't wait to blog more about it. It was a gift from my brother Ben. But I just hated to cut the oregano until the skippers stop flitting around and the bees had had their fill. But I must cut. I just can endure the site.








Ok I feel a little better. Now to the tons of squash and tomatoes I need to address

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Easter Lily Love


Well I just looked at my Blog and I cannot believe it has been almost a month since I posted. It has been a garden filled month. I have been writing several articles as well so time has been short.

We are having a family memorial for my mother this weekend. These are the Easter Lilies we had for her visitation. I have never had these Lilies bloom twice in a summer before.

Must be Mom's love shining through.










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Monday, June 30, 2014

Basil Cookies

Last Saturday we had a Employee Appreciation Picnic. It was lots of fun for all We all brought pitch in food, and that is always good eating. I brought two of my favorite marinated veggie salads, my Dad's homemade red hot applesauce and Orange Basil Cookies.

Maybe because the food took longer to cook and everyone was snacking on them or maybe because they just good; my Orange Basil cookies were the hit of the day.

This is a old recipe I pulled from my files but so easy and an unusual way to use basil. Give it a try and you will have everyone asking for it!!!








Recipe

Orange Basil Cookies

1/4 cup butter
3oz cream cheese
1 egg yolk
1 TBLS orange juice
1teaspoon orange peel
1 Box orange cake mix
1cup nutmeats and raisins (I use pecans)
2TBLS dried basil

Mix together butter, cream cheese, egg yolk, juice and cake mix. Stir in the nutmeats and basil. Chill dough at least an hour. Roll into 1/2 inch balls and place on buttered cookie sheets. Flatten each one with a fork. Bake in a pre- heated oven at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes

Then sit back and just wait for the complements !!! Enjoy.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Lightening Bugs


So I am sitting outside trying to photograph images of the lighting bugs. Last weekend I had Thatcher my beloved 3 year old grand child with me watching the same show. And he was fascinated

As a young child we would catch them and put them in a jar. It was a cool lantern. I will not let my babies do that . But we will continue to sit on the porch swing and enjoy.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Peony saved is a Peony Earned

My dad use to preach the old saying "a penny saved is a penny earned "to all six of his kids. But I doubt he was talking about the peonies I love. But Mom certainly was talking about her beloved plant.

My Mom loved peonies as did her Mom.(Grandma Goldie) I remember every Memorial Day we would gather all the peony blossoms and take them to Grandpa Austin's grave. It was a tradition in spite of the big gray goose that would chase us.

When mom and dad moved to Brown County Indiana, Mom tried to grow peonies but it was tough in the clay soil.

So when at the end of May some 20 years ago we were looking at houses in Kentucky and we happened upon a house that had rows and rows of peonies, I was sold.

Since then I have transplanted the peonies to places they love and now I have more rows and rows of the beautiful May beauty. I would take bunches up to mom every May and she loved them. They bloomed magnificently this year I believe it was in mom's honor.

I have been doing some research on the varieties I have found that I have varieties some that are very rare. I am going to continue my research and label them next spring. So dad would be proud. Because I am saving a peony and maybe earning one as well.

On my bucket list next May is to take some up to my  grandma and grandpa Austin's grave site. I wonder if the big grey goose will be there or maybe one of his ancestors any way... I will spread the peony blossoms with pride and fond memories






























OH.....and about the ants. Please don't worry or try and spray the ants with insecticide. It is an old wives tale that the ants are needed for pollinating the young buds. (By the way my Mom use to tell me that ) It appears as though the ants are attracted to the sweet nectar in the emerging buds. The ants seem to disappear when the blooms open up. If they persist just shake them off when you bring in the flowers. I find this ant/peony relationship very unique and fascinating.

Most of all pick and enjoy this heavenly flower. They are beautiful in bouquets and so fragrant. I enjoy drying the petals and putting them in bowls. It just helps me keep the love around longer.
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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Mom.....Guess What is Blooming Today !

I garden for many reasons but the # 1 reason is because it brings me close to family near and far and most of all to my wonderful parents, grandparents and relatives that have moved on to the next chapter in their lives.

I use to call Mom everyday when I was working out in the garden and tell her what was blooming, she loved it and would ask me many questions. Most of the flowers I grow are connected with someone or a story.

I have been really missing Mom so I am going to blog to her and everyone else when her favorite flowers are in bloom. I know she will be smiling and loving it as I pass on her wisdom and love of flowers.

So we just returned from a wonderful trip to Disney with Jake and Megan and our precious grand-babies. Callum and Thatcher were great and enjoyed visiting Mickey's house but I think they enjoyed the pool and splash area the most!!!!

But pulling into our driveway I was thrilled because the Iris were popping out. I remember helping Mom compose special bouquets of iris as she got them ready for competitions. She showed me how to arrange them in small vases, pick off the dead buds and leaves. Mom had such a good sense of what looked together and she always
won....well at least that is how I remember it! (These are the Bearded Iris)

Then in late July Mom and I would divide her iris that were crowded. We dug the rhizomes up, disregarded any soft ones , divided when needed but not before giving them a quick bath in a weak bleach water bath. I hated the slimy bores that were sometimes hidden inside.

Then we would replant. Mom told me never to crowd the iris, and that they really like their own space !! She would instruct me on how to plant them just under the surface and not to mulch because that would make them too deep.

My Mom, Virginia liked the old fashion iris... Not all the new varieties. She really loved the deep purple ones. So that is what I grow. I remember taking vases of iris up to Grandma Goldie and I continued the tradition of taking vases to mom when every I made the journey to Columbus.

So the tradition continues as I took some to my daughter Kalee on our way to Florida. The iris have such a sweet innocent smell. I love it.

















I know Mom is smiling ....this is how I will keep Mom's love in my heart, mind and soul forever.

Stay tuned for the next favorite to bloom!!!!!

Location:Becky's Garden

Friday, May 2, 2014

Cast Iron Love


With warmer weather forecasted, I was excited to grill out!!  I pulled a flank steak out of the refrigerator to defrost and rushed off to work. Returning home after a long day, I was confronted with several major obstacles. #1 I have not used flank steak very often and did not realize 90% of the recipes called for at least 8 hours of marinating.  #2  It was very windy and cold!!

So thanks to my trusty I pad I searched out recipes and found one that sounded interested and included two of my favorite things....my cast iron skillet and herbs.

So I gave it a shot, and it was delicious.  Here is the recipe, I adapted it a bit (as usual)

Roasted Flank Steak with Olive Oil-Herb Rub

I preheated the oven to 400, then went outside to pick my fresh herbs. I combined  1small bunch Greek oregano, 1 small bunch Italian Flat leaf parsley, and a couple sprigs of French thyme.  I chopped the parsley and oregano ending up with about 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs. I just laid the thyme sprigs on top. ( It is very tenuous to pull the little leaves off the stem, so I simply put the whole stems in and the leaves fall off naturally. Just make sure to pick out the stems after it has cooked.)

To the herbs, I added 2 teaspoons plus Olive Oil, fresh grated lemon rind, and 1 clove garlic minced.

Then I liberally salted and peppered the flank steak, which I had brought to room temperature and seared it on both sides in my cast iron skillet. I used a combination of saved bacon grease and coconut oil. ( I have been eating Paleo style...no preservatives, with great success....down 20lbs)

To  this I added a liberal 1/4 cup red wine and 1/4  cup beef broth and let this simmer for about 2 minutes. I then placed my herb combination on top of the seared flank steak and placed in the oven.
I baked it for 12 minutes and then let it rest with a foil cover for 10 minutes.

We sliced it very thin and diagonally across the grain and put the sliced beef back in the pan sauce.

This was delicious and very tender!!   I will defiantly make this again!!  So my cast iron skillet saved the day!





Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Yellow is Popping out all Over


Over 20 years ago I was driving to visit a good friend, when I spied pops of yellow on the hillside. Upon closer inspection, I discovered an amazing Spring Beauty, Stylophorum diphyllum . Commonly called Celandine Poppies or Wood Poppies.

Flash forward to my now emerging Spring garden and this plant plays a commanding role. The bright yellow blooms combine so beautifully with the purple wind anemones, daffodils, money plant, Dames Rocket and other spring bloomers.

It is not only the eye-catching blossoms that will wow you, l love the fuzzy buds and lobed bright green leaves as well.

Blooming period in my garden is from March to May, however in shady areas the bloom may continue a bit longer. The leaves do eventually fade and disappear with the heat of summer, but have no fear they will reappear after a long winter's rest.

They grow to about 1 to 1.5 ft. in height and have a spread of about 1 ft. wide.  They are a perennial and thrive in light to medium to full shade.

I love this plant mixed with my early spring bulbs and perennials: but beware this yellow baby does spread and jump around the yard a bit. But no worries, they are easy to transplant and neighbors love them!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Let the Love Continue.

So we continue to fill my mothers room with daffodil love. Janet,my sister and Ben,my brother went out to our property in Brown County and picked masses of the daffodils that our mom and dad have planted over the years.





Then took them over to Greentree. This is where mom has so happily lived with her cat Burky for the last 8 years or so. What a great place this has been for mom.

She loved to give all the tables a vase full of her yellow love. So Janet and I have vowed to continue to carry on this tradition.

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Mom

So what do you do when you know you are losing your soul mate , your best friend and in my case my Mom. Today my 95 year old Mom was moved to hospice. This is a blessing. I want my Mom at peace but I still cry over her physical presence soon leaving me

I know every time I walk in my gardens see all the daffodils, she is there. She gave me the love of gardening. She blessed me with her gift of writing and her gift of loving life.

I will miss her so deeply when she has moved on to a better place but I know her spirit will be in my soul and heart forever. She is the most amazing person I will ever be blessed to know. She loves her family, her grandkids and great grand kids more than anything

Every time I plant a flower she loved, pass on a big bunch of daffodils or write an article about gardening, I know she is with


me. I am taking these to her tomorrow. She may not be able to acknowledge she sees them but I know she will know how deeply I love her


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Monday, April 7, 2014

Why I grow Daffodils

I have had a very sad couple weeks. My beloved 95 year old Mom is critically
Ill. Mom and my father both loved daffodils so this is what I have taken up to the hospital for her.






She cannot talk right now but I pray she can smell and see the beautiful smiling faces of her favorite flower. I love you Mom. My Daffodils are blooming the best they ever have bloomed......just for you and Dad!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

One can never plant too many Daffodils

Wow oh Wow my daffodils are blooming. I have so many varieties that will bless me with blooms until May. I plant new varieties each year. I can't help it it is in my blood. My father and mother planted daffodils every year. I will continue that tradition. Enjoy, they are only beginning to open.















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