ThistleDew Farm

ThistleDew Farm
Established 2009

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ending the year with Food!

This morning I thought - today is the day I'm going to tackle a recipe from Julia Childs.

I was inspired, as many were, by watching Julie Julia a few weeks ago. Not to mention that I volunteered to make beef stew for our New Years Eve dinner for the farm.

So why not give Beef Bourguignon a try? I must have been crazy. Have you actually ever looked at that recipe? Craziness I tell you! Sheer craziness. To spend that much time in prep work for something that doesn't involve chocolate or sugar - simply mind boggling!

So I decided to go Russian instead of French and try a recipe for Beef Stroganoff instead. I'll let you know how that works out.... Just in case I have already put on a crock pot of beef stew - hey you never know what might happen around Thistle Dew Farm.

But Julia kept niggling in the back of my mind. So I googled her and came upon this blog... and after a little research I believe The Way to Cook is a better choice for me if I want to investigate Julia Childs methodology. My ultimate goal is to become a better cook....with Mastering the Art of French Cooking I fear I will waste a lot of money, time and get really frustrated.

Besides, I don't feel I've missed out on any of life's pleasures because I don't know how to de-bone a duck.

I also found this blog about the book Julie Powell wrote which in part inspired Julie Julia along with her blog - Corrodentia Weekly- she answers the question I had about Julie Powell in the movie - "why is this girl so whiny?" I guess she read the book (which I haven't) and got the answer - the screen writers must have really played down her whineyness from the book because she just marginally got on my nerves in the movie. My sister-in-law, the marvelous Terri says they toned down her language from the Julie Powell blog also.....which is a good thing. I haven't read that and not sure I want to - I don't like fowl language!!!!! Hee Hee, little cooking joke there....
Well wish me luck on this last project for 2009 - making a delicious Beef Stroganoff.....near enough to Beef Bourguignon for Thistle Dew.
May 2010 be full of crafting, gardening, and friendship for you and Thistle Dew.

Friday, November 20, 2009

SantaClaustraphobia - again! Already!

It is that time of year again. Time to get serious about my fitness level. I know most people think about this in the spring, but I am not like most people.

My work is doing SantaClaustraphobia again - the fear of looking like Santa Claus. Our motto is 2 and no more. If you gain less than two pounds over the holidays, you get a free t-shirt. As some of you know, I'll do almost anything for a free t-shirt!

Last year I lost about 8 pounds over the holidays - from two weeks before Thanksgiving to the middle of January. I am sorry to say that I gained it all back over the Spring and Summer. So the only place I have to go is down.....our office is having a competition with other offices for bragging rights to the team that looses the most. Hope I can contribute to their success!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Traveling Masterpiece

I have been participating in a project for over a year now. It is called the Traveling Masterpiece. A canvas has been circulating through a list of those interested in contributing to the canvas. We get the canvas in the mail add something to it and send it on. I was appalled that it has taken over a year to reach me....until I had it of course. Now I see why it has taken so long. First I had to admire the work I received. Then I had to wait for inspiration to strike on how to improve the canvas. Then I had to get brave to actually apply my idea. Then I had to admire it for awhile. Now, I am ready to part with it and send it on it's way.

The masterpiece is nothing like I imagined. It is different, better, grows on tells a story! Very cool - I hope to be involved in a project like this again.

I have asked Super Hubby to take a picture of it, so hopefully I will add a picture very soon so you can see the traveling masterpiece.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday US Marine Corps

Sorry for the quick post - but needed to wish a Happy Birthday to everyone connected with, in love with, or associated with the Marine Corps. It's the Corps' birthday today born in 1775~

Semper Fi.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weekend Here I Come

This should be an exciting weekend. Ashley, aka The Princess, has her first horse show where she's totally in control. Previously she's been on lead line with an adult leading her and she is perched atop the horse - sort of a proto-type Auto Pilot. This year she has progressed to walk trot where she is in charge of the horse. She is very good at hanging on - but working on the finer points of riding and showing. We are all very excited - hopefully I'm not putting to much pressure on her! We'll know tomorrow morning if the pressure cooker gage blows! I am taking the camera (the one I haven't broken yet) with me, so you should actually see some pic's on Monday'ish.

As a side note....I am participating in National Blog Month, so I've been exposed to some blogs I don't normally see. It's been really fun. This morning I read Fleur De Aleta.
Aleta had a great post yesterday about credit card company shenanigans....The requirements to be part of this organization is to blog every day during the month of Oct....I'm not doing so well, but it's interesting to wander around and see other blogs.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Prepare not Change

Today's post is in honor of National Blog Action Day. The subject is Climate Change. I am ashamed to say that I am not as informed scientifically on this subject as I should be....why should a crafty girl feel guilty about this you ask????

(Thanks for asking) Because I work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory where cutting edge really cool science is being done on Climate Change. So if you want to know some really technical stuff about the subject, click on the link to read a cutting edge article and then follow your nose around their site.

As for me and my naive understanding, I am wondering why the world is so concerned with slowing down climate change as opposed to preparing for it's eventual happening? Perhaps we are, but we're just not hearing about it? I base my opinion about the inevitable climate change on the many offerings the History and Science television channels produce depicting what happened during the previous catastrophic climate upheavals - you know ice ages, mass warming trends which assisted the separation of continents and so on?

Believe it or not, even without the intervention of man, the climate changes! Shocking I know! Who would have thought such a thing.....surely these scientists who suggest such a thing are crazy! Or is that passionate - I always get those confused. So, if the climate is going to change anyway or some meteorite is going to crash into earth causing devastating climatic variances, I would prefer the scientists work on survivability. Might I suggest we start with the cockroach, now there is a creature that has survivability! Next they need to develop a space suit we will look good in. That's it, that's the extent of my scientific suggestions, everything else I leave to the professionals.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all about clean water, pollution reduction, green spaces... but for the sake of enhanced living experiences not to avoid climate change....that one was set in motion long before we humans could do anything about it....lets learn how to live with it!

Oh and I almost forgot....I would like affordable solar panels so I can become independent from the energy I'm finished!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Planning my Christmas Dinner

Well folks, I know this is crazy, but I'm actually planning my Christmas menu!

ThistleDew is hosting the Family Christmas on my side of the family. My fab sister Ellie from Windy Meadows started the tradition about five years ago. My siblings, and their families, and our mother get together a few weeks before Christmas to do fun things including a stocking exchange. We collect funky and cheap items throughout the year and stuff each others stockings. Sometimes it's caste off items, sometimes it's fun toiletries, sometimes its hilarious stuff we find at a garage just never know. It also includes retro candy! A personal favorite of mine.

Well since ThistleDew House is newly built and this is our first Christmas - we're hosting! So I must compete with my Fab Sister.....which is going to be difficult. I have decided to do a traditional English Roast Beef Dinner with Prime Rib, Yorkshire pudding and mashed potatoes. This could cause some concern on my husband's side of the family because I made this dinner for them 10 years ago and they have been requesting a repeat ever since....a few things have held me back....#1 the cost of prime rib, #2 you can never make it as good as you did the first time. This is ok for my family, because they didn't have it the first time (which did turn out awesome). I did practice for a month on the Yorkshire puddings, until my husband cried uncle already!

So I have put on my calendar to order the Choice Cut or Prime Cut Standing Rib roast the second week of November to ensure I have an awesome piece of meat come the second week of December. More on the recipes I've chosen and a pictorial session of the meal assembly to follow over the next two months.

For now, it's back to crocheting....with pictures of that to follow after I fix the camera.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blog Action Month

I have joined the blog action month - see the icon to the left. I guess I'm a little behind as it's the 8th and I'm posting my first blog....sorry about that.

I am very into crocheting now - it's getting colder and I'm getting motivated.....more tomorrow!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Best Laid Plans

Today is scarf making day - I'll let you know the out come.
These are pictures of scarves past....Shannon and Tayler are the models. Pictures are taken by Danita Rogers - she's fab!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Garlic Prep and Moons

Well I fully intended to prepare my garlic bed last weekend and that's about how far I got. Folklore says you should plant crops at the full moon. In my area, garlic should be planted in October or November. This year the October full moon will be the Harvest Moon because it falls the closest to the fall equinox (this won't happen again until 2017), usually the Harvest moon is in September and October is the Hunters Moon.

Anyway, I think October 4th is to early to plant the garlic so I'm going to wait for the Hunters Moon on Nov 2nd. I fully intend to have my beds prepared by then. I am thinking of putting an informal one on the hill outside my kitchen window just at the edge of the woods. This ground should be so fertile and with a little sand amended I think it might be perfect. I am going to use the bed next to this years garlic bed that belonged to the wererabbit (who did not bother the garden at him a few veggies of his own protected our spring bed.) Then I'm going to build a Salsa and Pickle garden in the front field. My daughter loved the salsa this year and it rekindled our idea to grow our own fixin's next year. The Princess also loves pickles and she'd like to put up her own pickles next year - so why not....anyway so that's two new beds, an informal bed for garlic and strawberries (ehhh that doesn't sound good together....) and that should be it for the fall tasks.....besides harvesting more sunflower seeds before the birds get them all. I am afraid to pick them to early because they aren't mature enough but the birds are sure getting after them....has anyone checked out the caterpillar coats, is there going to be a rough winter this year? Is that why the birds are so hungry or are they just pigs?

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I have not fallen off the earth - just bogged down within it!

The gardening season at ThistleDew is at an end. I've been cleaning beds and preparing for next season (and my hamstrings are killing me). I've also been planning a new location for the garlic bed. They did ok in La Tres Belle but it was so wet (good thing they were in raised beds), I think I can do better higher on the hill. That means building a new bed, which means work! I am pleased with my first crop of garlic and look forward to improvements for next year. The favorite was the hardneck. The cloves are so large but limited to only about 5 to 7 per bulb. The taste was really nice - less sharp than the softneck varieties. I harvested about 100 hardneck and about 60 softnecks. I made 5 garlic braids with the softnecks. I've saved the largest bulbs for seed stock and will be planting them Oct/Nov time frame for a June harvest next spring.

Other than that I've been providing horse riding instruction for my daughter - she hits the show circuit this fall if all goes well. I've also been trying to get motivated in my crocheting....lots of projects and ideas just short on motivation. Still lots of projects around the house and making salsa for Christmas presents. Next year I am definitely planting tomatoes - they are really expensive to buy for the salsa - I could have given gold necklaces cheaper!!!!

Hope you are adjusting to the changing season and getting along just fine!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Take of Tour of Thistle Dew What'cha Workin' on Wednesday

Here's what we look like from the front now....imagine rock wall where the dirt is....I can! I took the camera for a stroll yesterday afternoon - wanna see what I saw?

Here's my front porch basket - I am ashamed to admit I purchased all these plants - my one big garden splurge this year. Closest to us is a large Cuban Oregano - which is very prolific - if you'd like a start - just let me know!

That's the sign at the entrance to the craft studio, I have cork floors so you have to show off your pedicure when you visit me! Wanna see what I'm working on? Come on inside....
Back out onto the other side porch, here's another planted pot - this one is all rescued plants from my sisters house - her landscaper got tired and left these beauties! They love me for rescuing them and they look nice in this pot set in this old chair.

Let's walk out front and look back at the house - we've done a little landscaping since you saw it last, the lovely live statue is quite a showpiece! I don't think you've seen the stone on the front either.

Here's some plants I have growing...pussy willow from Mom's, rooting nicely in the bucket by the garage....

Here's all the monkey grass I planted on the back slope....

Here's the bed I recently rototilled which resulted in a bout of poison ivy....I planted cast off plants in this bed, a few holly starts, some canna's, a crepe myrtle and a lot of seeds harvested last fall. The marigolds and sunflowers are growing prolifically (guess I planted a bit thick!) but the Echinacea and wildflowers do not appear to have made it - sadly enough.

Let's walk down the hill and see the other beds....Hey is that a butterfly?

The painted ladies are very active at our farm.

This patch is in the middle of the "yard". Super Hubby left it intentionally for the deer to have a hiding spot. It is mostly clover and there are two or three does that visit it daily....

This clump of flowers made me think of Daisy....

Here we are at La Tres Belle, that's what we call this space. It gets a lot of water and tends to flood in the spring - raised beds have worked perfectly.

The horseradish made it through the winter....this is it's first full year - I bought it as a start from Richters Herb Farm

It's starting to get dark so this picture isn't very bright - is it just me or do you think this yarrow is miss named - looks pink to me not red!

Here's the bed from a different angle - the left half is mostly gravel and holds my original rosemary and a lavender started last year. The right half has a columbine from Mothers, the horse radish and two yarrows. The aforementioned red hiding beside the yellow (from my Mothers herb bed)

Volunteer For-Get-Me-Nots...

Hey isn't this a pretty black eyed Susan?

Don't they look pretty together?

Check out my garlic bed!
Don't you love the two guardian sunflowers? They are volunteers! The bed was the wererabbit garden - a successful crop of peas and onions - a few carrots remain as a sacrifice to the wererabbit - he was very merciful to us and did not bother the garden at all....neither did his little deer friends, luckily.

Let's walk over to Winonna's Bed - here's the bayberry in it's second year - another Richter Herb Farm purchase last year.

I can't wait for berries - I have been reading about making home made bayberry candles and fragrance - I hope it works - do you know how old the bush must be before it starts to make berries - or do I need a girlfriend for HuckleBerry Bay?

Let's move on further to Bob's bed and check on the lavender there - it's been so wet it should be in shock!

Looks happy - so is the bumble bee drinking up the pollen - to bad it isn't a honey bee. Haven't seen any around us....maybe I should get a hive.....hmmmm

The Russian sage behind Bird Rock is doing nicely as usual. This plant is about five years old and lived in a pot for the first three years so I could bring it indoors at our rental. Last year I planted it in the ground and it did fine. It is neither Russian nor a sage - go figure! It has lovely lavender blooms and is a favorite for a butterfly garden.

Come back up to the house and look at another project I'm working on....

Hopefully this sign will greet you as you drive up to the property after the y-split....

That was a great walk, and bringing back a fresh flower bouquet placed in a home made vase is what life is all about. I am blessed!

Come on back for a visit anytime!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Big Brother is Watching - beware

Now I know that all the security concerns I've secretly have a justified!

You know how your profile is supposed to be hidden...well some strange way - it's not.

I posted on a fun site today and when the word verification came up it was my last name with OG tacked on the I don't have a very common name and it isn't spelled the way you'd think it was if I were to pronounce it.

I have this crazy personal rule about not putting to much personal info in electronic format - in my blog I never use the names of my co-workers, don't list the name of the place I work and rarely refer to work in a reality way and I am pretty sure I have never used my last there really is no reason why my last name should have come up in the word verification when commenting on someone else's site unless the eye in the sky knew it was me....I don't even know how it was linked - pretty scary really!

Gotta go and take pictures for my blog -

Monday, June 15, 2009

Garlic - Hurray!

The most wonderful thing about garlic is, when most gardens look like this in May and early June....

My garden looks like this - really no kidding, come out to the farm and check it out. (This isn't a picture of mine - but I swear mine looks like this - I am amazed, can't you tell?). You plant garlic in the fall, and it actually sprouts and pokes it's little head out a few inches and waits for Spring. The first sign of longer days and warmer sun it shoots up so fast you can nearly watch it grow.

My garlic is dangerously close to harvest - the bottom two leaves are dying but I am being patient as I have to wait until the bottom six leaves turn brown (but not more than the bottom eight leaves, then the bulbs spoil - according to the experts.....) OK, so I'm not really being patient, I peeked at a bulb to see what it was doing - it seemed happy and looked like a small bundle of garlic! So I snuggled the dirt back around it so the garlic will continue growing in my happy garden.

I am growing three types of garlic - two hardneck varieties (more intense flavor and cool scapes)and a softneck (similar to the grocery store kind)

Chesnok Red garlic which is a standard purple stripe garlic and is said to make the sweetest baking garlics of all. Over at The Garlic Gourmet they say "The first time I tried Chesnook Red roasted , I thought someone had put some sugar in it - they are sweet." They even purport that if squeezed on vanilla ice cream and refrozen it tastes like butter brickle - I think I'll pass.

The other hardneck is a Porcelain, German White. It's properties include being a great eating garlic - and very richly flavored with an earthy muskiness and generally hot strong tasting garlic with very large cloves. The Porcelains are the densest of all garlics and research scientists say that makes it a superior medicinal garlic, especially the hotter ones. Don't forget the rule - if one eats garlic, we all must eat garlic!

The softneck I have is a silverskin, Mother of Pearl. Silverskin garlics are usually the ones that you see in braids. Silverskins are generally the longest storing of all garlics and have a soft pliable neck that lends itself to braiding and holds up over time better.

I long to have garlic this beautiful and show you a picture of my very own garlic braid!!!!

I want to talk with you about the scape - this is probably the number one reason I decided to grow garlic this year. At the farmers market in Lagrange KY, near Windy Meadows Horse Farm, I taste tested Meadowview Farms garlic scape cream cheese. Then I immediately came back and bought the cloves for planting. Yes it's that good!
Here's what a scape looks like.Toward the top of today's blog, in that picture you can see where the scape is on the plant. My garlic is further along than that picture. I've harvested my scapes and they look just like these cuties to the left.

If picked early scapes are very tender. They have a very mild garlic taste and are excellent sauteed with a little olive oil...the smell is out of this world! A subtle garlic aroma that doesn't fill the house with a lingering odor, but summons everyone with a nose and a fork to the table...I added shrimp to the pan to make a scampi, then served over spaghetti noodles - absolutely fabulous...I then did it with chicken the next night. You can also saute them and serve as a side dish. Garlic scapes are now synonymous with spring for me and I will have to grow garlic every year even if I don't need more garlic cloves (I know could I say such a thing - not need more garlic cloves.) I am learning how to preserve the scapes and also to preserve garlic. The only garlics to grow scapes are the hardneck variety which also have the shortest storage appears that you can dry the garlic and then crush into powder as needed and it tastes, although not like fresh garlic, infinitely better than store bought powder, which I never use because I don't like the preservative flavor. You can also press and then freeze garlic and use like fresh. It is pretty close to the real thing, my friend has been doing this for years. Alas, poor soul, her garlic did not survive the winter.
I'll keep experimenting with the garlic and let you any case, we have no vampires on my farm....think it's because of the garlic?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Peek a Boo

Where have you been - you might have asked yourself.....

I've been everywhere, man - I might have answered.

The house is done - ok those of you who have built or renovated a home are really laughing now! Actually there are already projects to do.....hopefully sometime the craft studio will be finished!

I've been landscaping some - I found a listing for free monkey grass on Craig's List so I went to their yard and helped them excavate it - and then had to plant it on a steep slope at the back of the house for erosion control - that was a lot of fun.....well it looks good now anyway.

I've been traveling - I went to Washington DC with Ashley - aka The Princess. We were really going to Maryland, Baltimore area to the Maryland Wool and Fiber show - it was awesome. I bought some fancy yarns and a few books. The Princess took a lace making lesson - can you believe lace making is so easy to learn an 8 year old could get hooked and sit for an hour doing the antique craft? I am now looking for a lace making guild in my area and going to keep her interested - you don't even have to spend much on the equipment to do lace making - you probably have everything at home in the craft studio - they even showed us how to make our own bobbins which are just as useful as store bought ones!!!!! Amazing. Of course this is one of those talents that can be amazingly challenging the more advanced you become, but you can make really pretty pieces of lace right from the start.

I've been playing with recipes - I'm on a quest to make Chicken Lo Mein like a particular local restaurant makes it - I've had mild success but not perfection. I probably don't have enough preservatives or MSG in it!!!!!

I've been reading a few good books - I read Clive Cusslers The Chase - it was an airport pick and I figured it for a time filler, but it was very entertaining! I loved it and hope his other books are as exciting - I just fell in love with the characters and descriptions! I read Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton about the initial entry of the US Special Forces into Afghanistan in 2001. Even if you don't like factual military books you should read this - it will really open your eyes about the area over there and maybe let you see behind what the media portrays - it is a fast read without much battle gore - also provided insight into how the events came together. I am now reading Water for Elephants - it had me hooked from the first page. It is the recollection of an elderly man - not going gently into old age, who remembers his youth as a veterinarian with the circus.

Other than that - life goes on as usual!

I must also report that the Laurel Bay has been reborn - I mostly killed it when I left it outside over the cold spell we was I to know that we were going to have a below zero day in February????? We don't live in Minnesota ehhh? Remember it is the Year of the Bay according to the Herb Association.

Monday, April 27, 2009

When you're through with that....

I am starting a national campaign - I've never done this before so I'm not sure how to proceed but we can consider today the official start date of the When You're Through With That campain.

This thought started a few months ago when reminiscing with my sister about a treasured person who passed away at an appropriately "old" age. She maintained a place in our lives since we were about ten years old. She taught us both to play the piano and was a cousin to our grandfather. Louie Blanche was a modest collector of fine but useful things. She used items of her mothers (we'd call them antiques) up until her death. She was a lovely still life artist as many of her generation were. She had no children and few close relatives. Her estate was liquidated to distant relatives we didn't know and we did not have an opportunity to obtain a tangible memory of our time in her home.

How we wished now that we had let her know we'd love a keepsake - when she was through with it.

I surprised my sister this weekend by joining her (five hour trip for me) at an estate auction for a woman who was a hoarding collector of stuff - there were items that hadn't been touched in over fifty years and items that were in good condition, well over 100 years old. There were those at the auction who were old friends who were now bidding against dealers for their memories - you can't win in this scenario!

We all thought: wouldn't it have been great if these friends would have mentioned they'd like a keepsake - when she was through with it?

I had a dear friend; we lived next door to her in London, England. We moved on,
the way military people do, leaving behind lasting memories. Fortunatly, we came back to visit a few years later. Chris had a lovely antique hand carved wooden bowl on her table. It always held fruit and goodies. I made mention on this trip that I loved that bowl, it reminded me of her qualities: great shape, useful, beautiful, a timeless treasure. She immediately emptied the items into another container and gave me the bowl. I was overwhelmed and gladly accepted the gift. Little did I know at the time, but that was the last visit I'd ever have with her. She passed away unexpectantly from cancer a year or so later. I am so glad I told her I loved the bowl, and so glad she passed a tangible piece of herself to me...did she know it was the last I'd see of her? Or was she so generous of spirit? Maybe both, definitely the latter.

Everyone complains that this is a throw away society; some say we've lost touch with the past and our roots. Starting the When You're Through With That campaign could bring some of that feeling of being connected back. The items I wish I had are generally connected with my childhood and probably were discarded along the way as being of little value. My grandmother had a small lidded dark brown crock she always made pickled beets and eggs in. The lid was glued together several times, it was nicked and chipped and shabby. I loved that crock - I don't know where it is now - probably thrown away.....if only I had mentioned I'd like it when she was through with daughter loves picked eggs with pickled beets - wouldn't it be awesome if she used that crock for her daughter some day - a lost opportunity.

For those important to you, ensure you have a keepsake of theirs, let them know how much an item means to you, suggest that you'd like it - when they're through with might make their enjoyment of the item that much more precious, knowing it is valuable to your connection - or they may ensure you have that tangible reminder of your time together while they can see the delight you take in receiving it.

When you're through with that - pass it on.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Waiting Over - Hurray

I am the proud owner of a mortgage - finally!


I'll post a few new pictures soon......this one is about 3 months old.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Am Waiting

Today's post is dedicating to waiting - because that's what I've been doing for the past week - waiting for my closing to happen.....each day brings a new challenge - I think it is the banks duty to ensure we are really committed to this mortgage, because the average person would have given up by now!!!!!

I am Waiting - By Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I am waiting for my case to come up
and I am waiting for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting for someone
to really discover America
and wail!
and I am waiting
for the discovery
of a new symbolic western frontier

and I am waiting
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right
and I am waiting
for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead
and I am waiting
for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe
for anarchy
and I am waiting
for the final withering away of all governments
and I am perpetually awaiting a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Second Coming
and I am waiting
for a religious revival
to sweep thru the state of Arizona
and I am waiting for the Grapes of Wrath to be stored
and I am waiting for them to prove
that God is really American
and I am waiting
to see God on television
piped onto church altars
if only they can find the right channel
to tune in on
and I am waiting for the Last Supper to be served again
with a strange new appetizer
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for my number to be called
and I am waiting
for the Salvation Army to take over
and I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth
without taxes
and I am waiting
for forests and animals
to reclaim the earth as theirs
and I am waiting
for a way to be devised
to destroy all nationalisms
without killing anybody
and I am waiting
for linnets and planets to fall like rain
and I am waiting
for lovers and weepers
to lie down together again
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Great Divide to be crossed
and I am anxiously waiting
for the secret of eternal life to be discovered
by an obscure general practitioner
and I am waiting
for the storms of life to be over
and I am waiting
to set sail for happiness
and I am waiting
for a reconstructed Mayflower
to reach America
with its picture story and tv rights
sold in advance to the natives
and I am waiting
for the lost music to sound again
in the Lost Continent
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting
for the day that maketh all things clear
and I am awaiting retribution
for what America did
to Tom Sawyer
and I am waiting
for Alice in Wonderland
to retransmit to me
her total dream of innocence
and I am waiting
for Childe Roland to come to the final darkest tower
and I am waiting
for Aphrodite
to grow live arms
at a final disarmament conference
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting
to get some intimations
of immortality
by recollecting my early childhood
and I am waiting
for the green mornings to come again
youth's dumb green fields come back again
and I am waiting
for some strains of unpremeditated art
to shake my typewriter
and I am waiting
to write the great indelible poem
and I am waiting
for the last long careless rapture
and I am perpetually waiting
for the fleeing lovers on the Grecian Urn
to catch each other up at last
and embrace
and I am awaiting
perpetually and forever
a renaissance of wonder

If you have read this post to the end you most likely have mixed feeling about the poem's content. Some of it might offend you. I felt that way the first time I read it. Then I went through and looked up the actual meaning of some of the words that offended me and I had an awakening.....we have so corrupted the English language - or more appropriately limited the meaning of so many words to a narrow interpretation often not resembling the original intent of the word.....

I am waiting....

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Closing on Friday!

Hurray! We expect to close on the house on Friday. I should have pictures to post tomorrow! The appraisal came in above the prebuild appraisal which was done a year ago during the boom - this area doesn't really have a boom and bust mentality - it's pretty much maintain around Eastern Tennessee.

I will share with you this picture my Aunt sent to me - I thought it was so hilarious!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Finishing Up Friday!

Yesterday I started a fiber project - yes I know you find that hard to believe. At this moment your mouth is hanging open and you are just finishing up the end of a long incredulous sighing "nnnnaawww".

Here is what I'm working on... a crocheted sachet - garnished with a delicate pansy and some ribbon.

Do you know who it's for? Possibly one of you. Terri (that's her to the right) over at Clay Hill Farm is sponsoring a giveaway and I so graciously agreed to be a part of it - she is so cool to let me join in~!
Terri's portion is a really cute tote bag which she'll fill with Easter goodies. My portion is a crocheted sachet.

While looking for an appropriate item to crochet my thoughts turned to Spring - I know - you're thinking I'm a mind reader, your thoughts are on Spring too right? Aren't I like --- AMAZING?

One of my favorite spring flowers is the Pansy. Any type of pansy - plain, ruffled, old fashioned, viola, yellow, pink, blue, purple, orange....

Now for the lecture portion of my post: The word pansy comes from the French pensee or pensie which means remembrance. So named because the first occurrence of the wild pansy was found in a French field after the 4th century. The origin of the plants we now call pansy began in Iver, Buckinghamshire, England in the 1800's by two guys messing around crossing Viola species.

These plants are easy to propagate and take little care to grow. Water and sunshine that's all they really need as they are pest resistant. Their enemies are drought and heat. Believe it or not pansies can have a delicate aroma in the early morning and at dusk when the humidity is high. The yellow and blue ones are more likely to have a smell.

Both the leaves and flowers of pansies, and violas for that matter, are edible and high in vitamins A and C. (I recommend using organic ones or grow your own to avoid pesticide/herbicide ingestion. The flowers impart a strong flavor and can be used to make syrup, flavored honey and salads. Both the leaves and flowers can be used as a garnish, such as on cold fruit or cream soups. The flowers are also useful as a dye. I like to freeze pansies and violas in an ice ring and add them to a punch for a pretty touch - especially for Mothers Day celebrations.

The most important reason I like pansies is because I can indulge my passion. I love to deadhead flowers. You know my motto - "Off with their heads". It is a stress reliever for me and an obsession - I can't hardly pass a bed with spent flowers without deadheading. It is embarrassing sometimes - especially if I am around a certain person, who shall remain nameless, who considers my passion - planticide! But she must concede that I have prolific blooms on my pansies and petunias.

So my Spring fever has led me to crochet a sachet which I shall include in Terri's giveaway. Don't forget to sign up by tomorrow and Think Spring!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

2009 Herb of the Year - Bay

Browsing around this morning made me wonder what the 2009 Herb of the Year is. I am a lover of herbs because they taste good but also because they like to grow for me. They are so forgiving, which is a good trait for anyone or thing that hangs around me. It happens on occasion that I get distracted and forget about you. I almost always remember to come back for you, but if you're fragile it might be to late.

This year the Herb of the Year , as established by the International Herbal Association, is Bay or Laurus nobilis if you are Latin or prefer to address your plants by their formal name. I, am on a first name basis with my plants. Sometimes even on a nickname basis.

I have a bay tree in a pot. I have had it for about 5 years and it loved me....hopefully it still does as I did not treat it well this year. I usually bring it in but this year I didn't have room. As luck would have it we had the coldest year in a long time. It was in a protected spot so we'll see how it does.

I highly recommend a potted bay tree. I pluck leaves from it whenever I make a stew or soup. It looks very professional and impresses people when I do this. The tree is easy to keep - it likes moisture during the dry winter months but that is all the special care it needs. Water and a misting when you remember.

On my recipe for the day I used Chocolate Pudding with Bay. This sounds great to me especially since it is a cold damp pre-spring day. Great for one last warm and cuddly treat before spring gets here and we have to go to fruit dishes. Nothing wrong with fruit (especially if it's dipped in chocolate) - but a warm cup of chocolate pudding makes me want to get a book and a blanket.

In Jane Austen type books they often refer to having a cup of warm chocolate for breakfast - I wonder if it is similar to this pudding served warm. I am reading the books by Elizabeth Ashton, she is continuing the Darcy story. They are light, fun reading and especially delightful if you are a Jane Austen fan - and a whole lot easier to read!

I am going to go read up on Bay and update my shopping list to include Chocolate Pudding with Bay ingredients.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Today is the Big Day

Well it's official - we have a certificate of occupancy! We are no longer hippies - but have a bonafide governmentally certified to be safe and ready to be taxed home!

This afternoon the appraiser arrives to tell us if all the hard work we put into the place withstood the housing market crash.

It is all very exciting -

The rest of the week we'll be moving in and deciding where our belongs go....I'm not sure but this might end up being the hardest part.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Finishing Up Friday

Here's an update before I dash off to Windy Meadows for the weekend. My little baby niece Tayler is turning sixteen! I can't believe it! We are having a celebration bash at Kaden Center in Louisville Kentucky. Tayler is an awesome young lady and makes you believe in the promise of youth!

Here's a few pictures to show what we've finished up - and what still needs to be done!
We finished the window seat bench. There are now over 241 hula girls dancing across our front room! The bench is a great place to sit and enjoy the view or soak up the sun. Especially if you're working on an intricate needlework item....hmmm I've got a few of those laying around somewhere.....
With the Princess' assistance we completed the project in an afternoon.

Super Hubby finished tiling around the stove - yes that's his Jenn Aire downdraft gas stove with grill and griddle - no propane yet - it is only for show! Every girls dream a kitchen that doesn't get dirty.

The Master Shower is complete also....

The above picture shows SH finishing up the grout at the drain - this shows about half the shower, it goes around the corner where the shower head is....after I finish this post, I'm going to take my first shower (the floor is heating up as we speak) - hurray, no more forced baths (I prefer showers over baths, that's why we don't have a master bath - we've got a master shower! - with a heated floor - I"m very excited!)

Super Hubby is nearly finished building the vanity - he's still got to set the sinks in - probably today.

Can you see the llama?

How about now?

I think it's a camel - but I'm out voted.

The fireplace hearth is poured (cement, awaiting stain) and the tilework around it is complete. I love the copper! We've gotten lots of compliments from the inspectors - putting the stone in is not so much a priority now! The budget is thankful! The front of the hearth will be finished in the tongue and groove on the window seat - probably this weekend also....busy Super Hubby!

I completed my first project in the Studio....

and working on the window treatments for the Game Room with this fabric....

It's been hard keeping reliable help for the sewing projects. The princess received Dollie from Grandma this week and immediately turned into a you have any idea how hard it is to keep fairies focused? And out of your trimmings?

Striking resemblance in the hair!!!!!

Well, that's the update for this week - I'm off to dance the night away! If I have a chance I'll post a number you can text message Birthday Wishes to my niece on.....The DJ has a hook up that allows text messages to be shown on a big screen! Isn't that a great idea for those who can't be there in person? It's also a great venue for an Aunt who has some silly things to announce to the world about her niece!!!! Hee Hee Hee......