Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Delaware Issues Common Cents and the Friendship Garden

Spring Spring Spring...finally has arrived.  The Daffodils are blooming.   I can see little buds on the Columbine and the Bleeding Hearts.  The Peonies are springing up from the earth as are the pointy green leaves of the Irises.  All of these flowering beauties and more are in my garden courtesy of friends.  The cost quite simply something from my own garden.  Contributors are well aware of what has come to be known as the friendship garden....the sharing of multiplying plants that rather than toss when we divide are shared among us.  These flowering beauties make great subjects for photography. 

You can purchase your garden plants at a nursery and I suppose for the annuals you must, but if you prefer your garden to spring up from the ground each year without spending your money you can engage in the lovely habit of sharing your perennials at no cost.

I had the most pleasant surprise one year after seeing window boxes decorated with Pansies and Pussy Willows.  I had been offered cuttings from a neighbors Pussy Willow bush and tried to reproduce the look.  To my surprise, one of the stems grew ROOTS!  I immediately placed it back in the pot filled with dirt and let it winter over in a protected spot in the yard until last Spring when I planted it in my garden.  Today I have my own small Pussy Willow and in a few years will no longer have to take clippings from my neighbor to make these lovely arrangements.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Delaware Views Hues of Red

In the winter I so enjoy making a good hearty soup.  As the weather warms I want to eat local fruit.  There will never be pineapples growing naturally in my area, but soon the strawberries will be in and the blueberries will be local and there is nothing like it.  There will be NO WHITE in the strawberries and if you pick them yourself from a local farm on a warm sunny day they will be RED and warm and delicious when you eat them.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Funday

It always amazes me how many hours it takes to prepare my home and the food to serve when a holiday arrives and the family gathers.  OK well what amazes me is not just the time it takes to prepare but the contrast of the prep time to the time of the actual gathering.  A day for picking up the groceries and cleaning house.  Hours of food prep.  Luckily, I made a Turkey which does a lot of sitting around first in the brine and then in the oven.   That leaves plenty of time to set the table and conduct the final clean sweep...you know, that dog hair that just keeps on appearing.
The guests began to arrive just before 2pm to enjoy some appetizer. Not everyone can appreciate chopped liver but cousin Ronnie makes it so well and I love it. My 84 year old mother prepared a delicious Matzo ball soup that we served at about 3, then the main meal, side dishes contributed by sister and mother in law, and finally the desserts also provided by the guests.  Those chocolate covered strawberries made by my niece were just YUMMY.  Seems like everyone puts in there time to enjoy the family company.  By 7pm the last guest departed. So approximately 2 or 3 days in prep time and 5 hours to enjoy the group....or I guess I should say, serve the group. 
I wont even get into the after the gathering clean up.
I love my family and the days it takes to prepare for a gathering of 12 is well worth the hours I get to enjoy them.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Foodie Friday and the Wooden Bowl

I was chopping up some spinach the old fashioned way with an oval wooden bowl and a rocking blade.  That would not be very interesting if it wasn't for the fact that both belonged to my maternal grandmother.   While I was prepping the spinach, I wondered what my grandmother made with these  tools.  I felt comfort in knowing I was the third generation in my family using them.  Somehow it connected me to the women who came before me and prepared meals for their families.  We are entering into another Holiday season and I will be glad to prepare a holiday meal for my family.  It will be a very different celebration from that of my grandmother as far as the food and traditions go.  It matters not, the food will be prepared with love and the family will gather to share it.  That part will be the same.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Delaware NEWS: Exhibit at the Full Moon Cafe

I got to the Full Moon CafĂ© in Lambertville, NJ on Monday, and with the help of two pairs of extra hands and eyes managed to hang quite a few images.  Some were printed on canvas and mounted in floating frames by Easy Canvas.  Some were printed by Large Format Printing of NJ on canvas boards and I framed them myself.  OY...should I mention that in my crazy tizzy I mounted the hanging hardware on one of the images UPSIDE DOWN.... Yes I did and now will have to pull it apart and reframe.  No worries.  There is a nice variety of size, sepia, color, and even one selective color image.  There would have been two but alas, I wasn't the only one to err as the printer made a boo boo too, leaving one of the selective color images useless. Cut off the end of the red canoe in the printing.  How about I show you them here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Foils and Foibles of MaraBella and Me

Rescuing MaraBella from certain death in a North Carolina Shelter has been a challenge and a major time consumer.  Walking her or perhaps I should say, pulling me along on the leash has become much easier as she learns the "lets go" command.  But she doesn't "stay" long enough for me to snap the spring blooms as I might like.  She is a devil dog, and I love her.  But let it be known: she just interrupted my posting by bringing me a sock from the laundry basket.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Delaware Issues Common Cents

Back at the Pennington Market, I'm checking out the prices of the cleaning products that fill the shelves and comparing them to the cleaning products I tend to use.  I have been mixing up white vinegar, water and a few drops of scented oils I generally have around the house.  Once again, I find the prices in favor of my own concoctions.  I did not price in the lilac, lavender, or honeysuckle scents, because I only use a few drops, and they last so long that I forget what I paid.  It is possible to use fresh lemon juice instead.  In general, I use 1/2 water, 1/2 vinegar and a few drops of scented oil to cut the vinegar smell.  The aromatic smell of the oils actually makes it a pleasure to wipe down the counters.

Baking Soda is another great inexpensive product for cleaning.  I use it most for getting rid of any foul smell that might come from my sink drain.  I spill a little bit into the drain with the strainer in place to hold it.  Then I pour in some vinegar and watch it bubble up.  I follow this by a water rinse to wash the rest down.  Recently, I was talking to a professional framer and her idea of the best, no streaking glass cleaner was equal proportions of denatured alcohol and water.  I have not tried that yet but you can be assured I will.  Don't be fooled by all the advertising/propaganda/marketing tricks that are there to make you spend YOUR hard earned money, on products that are wasteful, and potentially damaging to your home environment.  USE COMMON CENTS!