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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Mon Bouquet du Jour

Meine Sonntag Blumen

This is the year for Hollyhocks. 

This wild female duck laid her eggs in a secret spot. 
And 24 days or so later, she marched her day-old ducklings past my window. 

All in a single file with a get to water and our pond. 

The tiny little ducklings must have walked more than a mile.  

picture added 7-31-2017

This mother duck is special. First she avoided all predators by laying her eggs in a safe place and now, weeks later, all eight of them are alive and well. 

A Herculean feat.  

Have an extra special week dear Friends. 


Monday, July 24, 2017

All they need is

Water, water and more water.

deep water at the base of the plants.  
Do not spray from top with water.

That way you will avoid diseases and rust. 

Blooms will be large, and on strong plants. 

If you want to revisit your hollyhocks in winter, why not dry a few blossoms. 
Here is how

Dry them in a bed of builders sand.

Soon, they will shine another blooming season. 

Have a great week dear friends, 


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Good Grief, I just noticed.

My chickens are reaching through the fence. 

Aha, I caught you.  No use looking so innocent now. 

They are eating my new Sweet Pea Shoots.

No use denying it.  I've seen you do it. 

A summer without Sweet Peas? 

Now listen here girls, I'm watching you. 

 If it hairlips a hog, I will have Sweet Peas this year.  

One of every color in the rainbow. 

And one more thing. 
The Ronde de Nice seeds I saved from last year's crop did not look promising.
But now I see that I will have enough of these delectable little squash to share with the entire town. 

(They may show up on your doorstep).

Have a great remainder of the week, dear friends. 


Sunday, July 9, 2017

I had to do it.

Traveling these days is not easy.

But Italy was calling.

Innocently, I was checking air fares.

Important tip:

When booking flights check  the "Flexible Dates" box and 
"First/Business Z" category (Delta Airlines) 
You will find days when prices are $500 to $1000

It's the Gelato. 

And Cyprus trees growing in a row. 

Relais Sant Elena in Bibbona had room for us. 

I need one more pasta making lesson.

And another visit with my favorite friend Mario in his studio in Montelupo, Fiorentino.   

I just had to do it.  
Click, and it was done.  

 It was only 3 months ago, we said that we wouldn't get on another long flight. 

How soon one forgets. 

We will take care of our garden before we go.

and harvest our garden, preserve fruits and vegetables. 
Then in September, we are off. 

Have a great week ahead, dear friends.  

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


For the Red, White and Blue.

Celebrate, Celebrate, Celebrate!


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday, Sunday.

Flowers make me happy. 

Especially those which grow in my very own garden.

I can visit with my flowers every day.

Poppies are one of my most favorite flowers. 

When using Poppies in arrangements, you must remember to singe their stems for 30 seconds. 

Foxglove the same. Singe their stems.  This time a little longer.  

The thicker the stem, the longer it takes. 

Burn over candle flame. 

I burn several flowers at a time, on top of my gas range.  

What is more pleasing then making the rounds in the early morning, coffee cup in hand.

How many can you name? 

Happy Sunday to you and yours.


Friday, June 23, 2017


Was it just luck when I tried this a few weeks ago?   

Last time I made potato salad I cooked the eggs on top of the potatoes...just long enough for hard boiled eggs.  I continued cooking the potatoes. 

I usually scoop out the eggs with a spoon.

But I like to have a few smooth eggs to decorate the top of the potato salad. 

Smooth eggs, like these.

When I peeled the eggs the shells came off in several large pieces.

We have chickens.  That means that the eggs we use for cooking are very fresh.  

Fresh eggs are supposed to be harder to peel.

It happened again?  The eggs peeled easily.  

What does the potato do to the egg? 

Maybe you know.


Saturday, June 17, 2017


A small town in the Alentejo of Portugal
known for fine needlepoint rugs and tapestries. 

The traditional cross stitch method, embroidered onto a canvas frame is what makes these pieces of art so unusual.  Surprisingly enough they are very sturdy and long lasting. 

Arraiolos is located 13 miles north of Evora and 80 miles east of Lisbon.

Images from the very small but very excellent Museum in Arraiolos. 

Designs and color combinations are endless.

These beautiful rugs have been woven since the 16th century. 

A very large rug brought in for repairs. 

Speaking of repairs.

While visiting Portugal almost forty years ago, we purchased this Arraiolos rug. 

It was custom made for a very long hallway in our previous home.  

If you look closely you will see that it is now cut into two halves. 

I cut the middle out of the rug.  
It was a certain color of wool that didn't hold up to the heavy hall traffic.  

The rest of the rug is still in great condition
(remarkable after so many years). 

I will have the two pieces bound and will enjoy them for a few more years. 

These fellas are willing participant.  

Making the famous Arraiolo rugs and tapestries is a cottage industry.  

Almost all of the 30,000 inhabitants of Arraiolos are involved in the making of these beautiful rugs. 

While visiting this Spring we purchased the above rug.  
Unlike other rugs these are easily folded into a suitcase. 

And that is why we traveled to Portugal.  
We needed a new rug.  

Wishing you a wonderful weekend and a great week ahead.  

Thank you for stopping by. 
Your visits and comments are always so appreciated.