Showing posts with label nature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nature. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Glorious Gladiolas

Our neighbor planted 250 gladiola bulbs a few years ago and shared these blooming beauties with us yesterday.

He did not know his gladiola colors complemented my silk painting above the fireplace.  So the glads are staying in front of the fireplace.

(39" x 41")
Kudos to nice neighbors.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Judith Weir

Highly recommended: The Welcome Arrival of Rain (Judith Weir)

a snippet of this album can be downloaded here (a 2008 recording)

Took this snap this morning while changing the blog header....water, rain, Judith Weir composes evocative instrumental sounds; BBC Symphony Orchestra in performance

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Seize the Day

Carpe diem, said Horace.  We did.

Corn growing yesterday early morning, with the help of Gene's green thumb and God's good sun and water:

And, later in the day, it was eaten an hour after cutting it from nine foot stalks:

(the cosmos and coreopsis are now in full bloom)

A trip up to the mountains for lake fishing:

This scenery was behind me at one spot where I fished. A bearded "mountain looking" guy came by on the trail and said that he had been angling directly across from us, near where beaver had cut down trees for a small dam.  He said he moved because he could hear pups nursing in the brush beside him but decided to quietly move on because he did not want to disturb the mother and pups.  He said he figured it was beaver pups, but did not even try to get a peek.  Now that is a considerate fisherman.
breathtaking trees with the reflections mirrored on the lake

This little chipmunk kept crawling over my shoes and assortment box, trying to get into my trail mix.  Never did let him get a bite, though.  These creatures were seen frequently and had no fear of humans.  I suspect many people feed them, although it is not a park-approved practice.  This baby chipmunk was about six inches long.  He may have been the one to have stolen the top piece of bread from a bologna sandwich in a baggie, unbeknownst to Gene until he reached into the Ziplock to take a bite of lunch.

Total catch for the day: two fish. One was a splake (a cross between a lake trout and a brook trout) and one was a rainbow trout. The splake is an oilier fish with redder meat than what a rainbow trout sports.  It was delicious, tasting somewhat like salmon.

Besides the corn and the fish, our dinner was completed with tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden, along with cilantro butter from Kepanie's Pinterest pin::

That was our seizing of the day.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Card Table Toppers: Easy Sewing

Following the advice of my mother from years past, one should not put plastic on the table, be it flowers or vinyl tablecloths.  That maxim has stuck with me.

So when we use a card table, I usually end up folding a tablecloth in half and throwing it over the card table. Inefficient.  But this week I decided to use fabric on hand, as well as purchasing a bit of new semi-coordinating cottons and made two card table toppers.

 Yellow Brick Road fabric
 Fleur di  lis
 Cabbage Roses

They make me happy.  Half inch seams all around.  35 inch squares for the top; envelope sides, 18" deep. Easy peasy. Coordinating cloth napkins are in sewing process.

Now for eating alfresco.

Son in law Jack's picture of a rabbit in his yard this week, taking a break to scratch his ear before hopping away:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Refrigerator Pickles and Last Year at this Time

Using Gumbo Lily's recipe for refrigerator pickles, this batch was made prior to driving up on the Mesa for fishing yesterday. The Left Handed Housewife told us that she had made a batch, and Gumbo Lily's picture looked so aesthetically appealing that a copy cat version had to be tried. Green beans, carrots, cucumbers, garlic, onions and red and green peppers were cut up are now ready for consumption since those 24 hours of pickling time have passed.

The fishing report for areas around Grand Junction, Colorado on July 15, 2014, courtesy of Sportsman's Warehouse:

We went to the Mesa Lakes area, about an hour away and 11,000 feet in elevation, where Gene and I caught six rainbow trout.  Fun was had, weather was perfect, the old green camp chair was comfortable, the aspen trees were in their full summer greens. And fish were jumpin'.  The two largest trout were grilled last night for dinner, and the remaining four will be used Monday in trout cakes.

Today's recipe agenda is calling me to make Ina Gardner's gazpacho.  You won't recall, but I do well remember posting this excursion into healthy eating here. Apparently, we were big into apricots three years ago as well, looking back at that post.

Mid July flowers growing, front and back of the house:


Last year at this time of summer I was on one of the Shetland islands when the daylight lasted for about nineteen hours and the produce was at its height. What an experience!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wednesdays Are For Fishin'

Got me a new Fishing Shirt with all kinds of bells and whistles on it that includes loops and pockets and more loops.  It is a man's shirt, all cotton, and of course I was glad I had that big one ordered, knowing all too well the properties of cotton being tumbled in a hot dryer.  Oh, and it is pink and white striped.  It takes some king of macho guy to wear that color fishing.  But for me, pink is great.

Gentle readers, don't judge me, but I failed to report that last week I caught seven rainbow.  This easy, quick aioli sauce is my favorite to use with trout: no bottled tartar sauce for me, thank you.

For the sewists:

Look at the Tessuti site from Australia that was recommended by a friend.  Boy, was I glad to find this shop.They even have free downloads, so of course this shirt was a must:

The Fave Shirt found here and free:
Downloads are about 40 pages long, but only have a few lines on each page, so the printer ink is minimal. Then you fit the pattern together like a jigsaw puzzle, ingenious.  Be sure to get the A4 paper, not the American paper that comes in 8.5"x11".  I purchased a ream from Amazon after going to Office Max where I was told no place in the USA carried this style paper (wrong, don't believe everything you hear).  And as for the printer settings using A4 paper, be sure to also set your printer for that size paper.

It will be a fave top; already made one and another is on the machine all cut out and ready to go. It uses a twin needle for hemming the top, so that was another foray into finding the one called for.  The first top I made was a bit snug on the forearm, so it was increased at the bottom of the sleeve for my fat arm accommodation.

Look what opened this morning...
from zinnia seedlings started in April...

The kiss of the sun for pardon, 
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden 
Than anywhere else on earth.    ~Dorothy Frances Gurney

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Gardening in June

High country gardening techniques say prolong the blooming period of columbine you need to interrupt this seed producing process by removing the faded flowers and any seed pods that have formed. The plant then sends up more flowers in an effort to make more seeds. Since columbine are perennial and grow back from their rootstock, you'll still have a columbine in the same spot next year... source
It is a shame to pluck these beauties and denude them of flowers.  But I saved some columbines in pictures just in case we don't get another crop of yellow columbines this summer.

The penstemon were in full bloom this week also.  I cut them down, too.  Ruthlessly, in fact.  But they will exhibit again, history reminds me.  They tolerate partial shade, which is what the sun in the back displays.

I have been transplanting daises also.  The above ones that are caged are white and have a short bloom period, but are worth the wait.  Crossing my fingers they will get enough sunlight for blooming.  I lost bluebells to the lack of sun, and had to transplant purple marshmallow to a different location for better growth.
Marshmallow (purple)

Above are cosmos that were started from seed in April in the kitchen window.  The "before" picture is below of both the cosmos and the zinnias.

And zinnia plants now, almost ready for transplanting AGAIN

And lastly, for historical botanical purposes, is the penstemon purchased for the wildflower garden begun in 2012.
Then (2012)
and now (2014):

Even though I have lost several plants over the winter, overall the garden is doing well.  How is YOUR garden growing?

source (Denslow, public domain)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Fish!  We caught fish!  The husband and I each caught our trout limit this morning in a bit over an hour in a lake twenty minutes from our house.  We kept the biggest of the eight, six total were brought home.  They will be fried up in a pan outdoors over a grill fire for dinner tonight.

This is a swordfish.  I am on the left and Kathy is on the right, with the fish in the middle, in case you wondered. That picture was taken years ago when we had a girls' weekend in Cabo San Lucas and reminds me of our great vacation.  And no, we did not catch that sailfish.  We just rode on others' fishing experiences.  

And lastly, more painting on the fence.  Think maybe we are through with this effort.  It is getting too hot to paint outside anymore; we are expecting 91 degrees F today.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

More Flowers on Fencing

Now we have both the east and the west back yard fences painted with flowers, just in case the seedlings do not prove viable and flowers won't grow according to plan.

Above is the east side yard fencing, under a much pruned lilac.  We have had that lilac many years, and it really needed branches culled, especially around its base.  Out came the clippers, then the saw, and finally the chain saw.  The lilac was denuded, making the fence bare.  A bit of decoration was in order, so this time I added a spider and a cobweb to some echinacea flower leaves and petals.  The bee was cautioned about the spider web across the way.


The Vogue Shawl was completely taken apart and the linen yarn rewound.  It just did not seem to be working, plus I found a huge mistake I had knitted into the pattern way back when. Thoroughly unsatisfactory, so it was dismantled in short order.

The organic linen was re-purposed into the start of another Shetland Lace Shawl, and the linen fiber is behaving much better with this pattern.  So far, I am about 10 percent through it, with mistakes at a minimum.  The first Shetland shawl turned out well, so fingers are crossed that this one will come up to muster.


Blue iris were added to the back, thanks to a friend's pruning hers back.

Columbines are blooming.  This week has been very cool and the night temperatures are still going down into the 40's, so I have not yet put out the seedlings.  But I purchased one dozen geraniums and planted them this week. Several years ago I was getting three dozen geraniums for patio pots, but am cutting down this year. Those yellow iris are doing their duty and continuing with profuse blooms.  The amaryllis have been put out, a new black-eyed susan root and day lily roots have been planted, and the husband planted a lettuce variety, cilantro, corn, tomatoes and cucumbers, along with zucchini.  The basil that was planted last week, along with a rosemary plant, are perking up, and the cilantro is 1/2 inch in height.  We added a garden bench to sit under a Japanese maple tree for ornamental purposes.  We planted this tree about eight trees ago and placed the ashes of our sweet black dog, Grace, under this tree, beneath a statue of St. Frances.

This area is now called a "bethel," thanks to learning a new word from Zana this week on Words With Friends.

Cooking & Domestic Duties

New recipes this week include a flour less chocolate cake, similar to this one. This is for Mother's Day brunch, so will get busy on it in  a few hours.  Except the recipe I am using (again, thanks to Natalie) calls for baking it in a 7" spring form pan in a crock pot sans water in the bottom. Also, Natalie insists that the cacao percentage be over 60%, as good old Hershey's just will not do for this decadent dessert.  A raspberry sauce goes atop.  It keeps in the fridge for two weeks, so the left overs will be good on ice cream.

We have clean windows as of yesterday, as our friendly young men who run "First Impressions" did a great job of getting the dust and dirt off the insides and outsides.  The cleaning of windows necessitated the taking down of the accordian pleated cellular blinds, two that were broken and needed replacement.  After 16 years in this house, one of those blinds has been repaired twice, but enough is enough.  This time Home Depot will be my default seller, and I'll get vertical wooden blinds instead of the cellular type.


Powering through Vera, almost through Season II.  Love this British detective series!  Ann Cleeves wrote this series, and since I have read all her books save the most recent one on my Kindle, it is no wonder this is a favorite.


We got a new car this week, a Honda Civic with all the goodies on new cars. It is silver in color and I love it.  My husband purchased a 2013 Honda Sport Fit and really likes his, so now two little Hondas share garage space.  I don't drive out of town very much, but the Civic handles the highway well and has plenty of zoom.

My next travel will be to Barcelona, Spain in October for a Scrabble transatlantic cruise directed by friends Barbara and Larry.  Remember when Barbara celebrated her 30th year of directing play a few months ago?

That's my update.  Tell me yours!