Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tour Mine!

Finally it has warmed up to produce a little fruit. This is a Costata Romanesca Zucchini with a nutty flavor surpassing all others, in MY opinion. I like to slice it lengthwise, paint a hint of olive oil on the slices, sprinkle Kosher salt on top of that and broil them until crispy. A scattering of parmasean cheese helps too. Yum!
Some Cosmos has begun blooming in the nursery bed where I start perenniels like Hollyhocks and Coreopsis. Don't your just love to capture a picture of a pollinator at work?

These Gailardia, below, have 'volunteered'. I cannot recall planting any such thing in the nursery bed. I LOVE the color...maybe the 'Arizona Sun' variety of Blanket Flower (its common name).

Out of the nursery bed came this favorite Hollyhock, of which I'm truly fond. It probably has a 'right' name, but I merely collect seeds from ones I love at other people's gardens. Putting them in small zip-lock baggies with lables like 'Double, bold pink, HH from Janet' is how I get them started.

It is Lily season here; one apple tree and one Honeysuckle tree are surrounded by a large circle of these Lilies.
There are more...Calendulas, Coreopsis, and others. You'll just have to come by for a visit in order to feast your eyes on what's blooming. See you soon!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Tisket, a Tasket, God Provides a Basket...and a Short Cut

When God called me to China in order to teach spoken English for a year He impressed upon me to 'touch' everything I owned in order for Him to impress me with what to 1) keep, 2) give away, and 3) sell. I had a wonderful garage sale that earned enough to pay for a small storage unit (8' X 10') to hold all the 'keepers'.
Below is a basket with the story of God's provision. I had picked up an Asian basket at a yard sale in Sacramento when visiting my son. Southwest Airlines was so enamoured of it they let me bring it on as a carry-on. Then the call on my life came to go to China, the basket was to be sold. A sweet Asian lady came to my garage sale and burst into tears upon seeing it; she told me of how she used one like it in her homeland. I gave it to her, gladly.
Last week I was called to teach Vacation Bible School for my church, and, in setting up and decorating for the African theme, a dear lady brought this basket in for a prop. I was shocked, told her my story; she smiled sweetly, telling me to take it home with me when VBS was finished. I nearly cried. It has come back to me! Isn't God the ultimate Provider?!
Also, I've been praying for new hair. The style of my hair has been with me (below) for about 15 years. It is time for a change, but it is scary to go short, joining all the brave women who are willing to sacrifice what we think of as our femininity in order to affect some change, have a freer life or to simplify. I prayed up someone who would give me something sweet, cute, easy and yet still feminine.

Old hair (above) was good, it was easy, it was simply old. Below is the first of the "Pixie" pics of my new hair. Even my DH loves it, calling me a "Little Pixie" this morning. Now, THAT'S progress!

So, am I the cutest girl on the block? I know, I know, I'm the only girl on the block. I love this new and easy hair. And I thank God for providing it too.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July's Garden Tour, Part 1

This is where the tour really begins, at a place the locals call the Harpster Mall. The Southfork of the Clearwater River flows fast today near a big truck turn-around where there are dumpsters for the many ruralites to rid themselves of garbage and other valuable (to someone else, they hope) possessions. This is where we park to pool up in Hildi's 'Tour Van'.
I had to take this of the dumpsters. If you click on the picture below you can see a close-up of a bicycle parked for someone to take. Many good freebies are picked up by anyone who goes there regularly for bargains. Isn't that a hoot?

Below we are meeting Connie at her steps for an abbreviated tour. She has been very ill all winter, spring and summer, and her garden doesn't look up to her usual persnicketyness. We enjoyed it all the same. After all, SHE is the prettiest posy in the garden as far as we are concerned. We learn much from her, and we love her dearly!!

Her is one of Connie's heirloom Pansies. The 'faces' on them remind me of sweet animals of some sort.

Garden Tour, Part 2

Isn't this just the cutest buggy planter you've ever seen? I found this at a garage sale for almost nothing. My husband wondered with disdain what I could possibly want it for, which made it easy to give up, knowing that Connie would treasure it. I love to see what she does with it each year.

Oh, my, Rachel and I think Love-in-a-Mist, above, is simply divine!

Although Connie cannot get out and do much in her garden this year, her devotion to perennials is paying off. Aren't these Echinacea (Purple Coneflower) stately?

Connie loves bird houses and Clematis. This is just one of the houses for Swallows that return with their offspring to nest again and again.

These soft pastel Pansies are a favorite of Connie's too. I cannot stop taking pictures of them each time I go.

Garden Tour Part 3

At Janet's garden, the second stop on the tour, this vivid purple Clematis was going hog-wild on a trellis next to a white one doing the same thing.
This is our Garden Tour Crew, me, Maggie Pearl in the carrier, Rachel, Kate B., held by Rachel's mom Hildi...all standing in front of the purple Clematis. Hildi's youngest daughter, Greta, and Greta's friend Kelly, had joined us this day because of the lunch and river visit later.

I love all of Janet's Lilies; she has them in all shades from orange to red, to yellow to white and cream. Some are fragrant, much like Stargazers.

I don't know what this fluffly bit of yellow flower was because Janet had left us to roam by ourselves. If anyone knows what it is I'd love to get it for my garden.

We stopped after lunch to take a dip in the river, the Southfork of the Clearwater River.

Garden Tour Part 4

This is the Goliath tomato that Connie "gifted" me today! I'd say the tomato is sure Goliath in nature but the plant itself is definite David...if you get my drift. My own tomatoes look better, but there is not even a blossom on most of them. I take this plant with gratefulness and much hope for it future! Connie also insisted that I take a Cherry tomato (Super Sweet 100). I suppose it will be fun for the grand kids to pick being as it is so close to the house...not even in the 'real' garden. I'm mostly into putting up tomatoes, so this is a new experience. I know! I'm behind the times.

Before the garden tour I'd worked on another apron because of the rainy weather and the need to be creative. This one is for you, Stacie! I mailed it today. It is called the Church Ladies' Apron and is reversible.

Then, before the garden tour and apron, I'd gone to my daughter's in order to accompany her to the ultrasound which told us we are getting a boy! Isabella was in my charge for two days while her mother worked. Bella is four now and loves to share her puppy, Piper, with the neighbor's grandchildren. Isabella hollers, "Friend!" over and over until this girl comes out to play. It's cute.

We played doctor, where I mostly get my belly button filled with lip gloss as a measure of my temperature, and beauty shop where we stick all kinds of hair accessories in each other' hair.

I'll be seeing more of Isabella and Kimber because Chris has just deployed to Iraq. We all covet your prayers for him to be drawn close to God at this time.

Friday, July 3, 2009

NOT a Garden Tour, Part 2

Here is the picture deleted from the last post accidentally.
Below it is among its sisters gathered as if for a family reunion around the shade of the apple tree. Does anyone know what it is?

And, since there is room for more, this last Lupin is featured beneath the cherry tree also, next to the Feverfew.

Below is the 'Watercolor' variety of Nadia Macedonica. I've looked unsuccessfully for the correct spelling of the name of this plant, so you'll just have to contend with my ignorance.

And, last, this Hardy Geranium is hanging on to the last vesitges of its blooms after being deadheaded last week. Now, you've had the entire "NOT a Garden Tour".

I'm off to the country kitchen out at the ranch where we women are rustling up the grub for the men putting up hay. Today's menu is chicken, potato salad, watermelon and cookies. Tomorrow's will be pulled beef BBQ sandwiches, slaw, watermelon and banana bread. We love this slice of life sandwiched between the 4th of July parades and the fireworks.

NOT! a Garden Tour

The disappointment of our disappearing harvest potential in the garden has displaced any joy in it right now. SO! The focus here today features,
" What's up, Doc?", in the yard:
Above, the tiny cherry trees are producing a great harvest for the birds who didn't even leave off singing or eating while I hovered underneath to take this picture. The robin and quail juveniles are having a field day in the tree as well as on the ground.

Below the cherries, this Feverfew blooms in profusion. Aren't those sweet little pincushion flowers?

This Coreopsis is the only yellow bloomer at the moment. And, below, the Lobelia blooms continuiously from seed out of heaven, I guess. It began in the sunroom under the Laura Bush petunia that blooms all winter. I've never planted Lobelia, so it is truly a gift.

Somehow I've lost a picture of unknown purple flowers growing under one of the apple trees. Another disappointment in my lack of understanding how this all works. I tried to highlight some words, but deleted a picture instead.
I'm working on contentment in the beauty surrounding me rather than the lack thereof in the garden. Do you have these issues ever?