(04) September 2010

Wednesday September 29th

Bamboo Warz – Granny WINS!!

This space is now bamboo free and ready for something new!!

And here are the bodies – ready to be taken away and turned into compost!!

Tuesday September 28th

Finishing off the grape Harvest

Last week I did the grapes by hand – lots of fun but not the best method for getting the juice.

Here is an easy and much better way – good for when you have lots of grapes to process –

First, wash your grapes. I soak mine with lots of water and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. Vinegar kills at least some of the bacteria for you. Then pull the grapes from the stems and remove anything else that is not a grape – like leaves – whatever you find.

I use a large metal strainer lined with 2 layers of cheesecloth. The strainer hangs in a large stainless steel pot with lots of room for the juice to drip down. I process the grapes, about 4 cups at a time, through my blender until they are totally mushed. Then pour over the cheesecloth.

If possible, place your strainer and pot in the fridge and let gravity do the work for you overnight. I did not have room in my fridge so I left it on the counter overnight. I gave the cheesecloth a good squeeze for the last bits of juice (make sure you don’t break the cheesecloth – but if you do – just strain your juice again)

Always heat your juice to kill any remaining bacteria before cooling it down and storing it. I freeze mine in plastic containers for later in the winter – either for juice to drink (water down to taste) or making into grape jelly. Right now I have too much to do to take time for jelly making.

 

Monday September 27th

If you only ever read one sports biography in your life – this is the one to choose.

I started playing tennis when I was five, and have been a fan ever since. Way back in the 70s we started getting some live tennis coverage. Only the finals from Wimbledon for example – nothing from Australia or the French. Now we can access all 4 of the Majors and the 9 Masters Tournaments. I love the technology that lets us share these moments.

I watched Agassi come out as a brash young man and mature into the awesome human being he is today. I found it fascinating to hear him explain how things looked from his side. Very different from what I expected to hear.  And so honest. I am not sure I would ever have the courage to open my life that way.

Australian Open 2000 will always stand out in my memory. Agassi lost a tie-breaker 7/0 in the semis. He did not win a single point. It was getting pretty late where I was, and I considered going to bed. But I decided I was not much of a fan if I left when he was losing. He had to get back on that court and play, the least I could do was watch. Somehow, he found the strength to win the match after that devastating tie-break. Now, when things go really wrong, and I want to walk away and give up, I often think back to that match. “I can do this,” I tell myself. “I can get through this.” And I do. I may not always “win”, but I finish the “match”.

http://www.agassifoundation.org/

If there is one thing you take away from his book, or even my words here, it is life only makes sense, only has any meaning, if we help each other. You can read about Agassi’s school – I know it is the achievement he is the most proud of.

 

Sunday September 26th

Granny and the Bamboo – TRENCH WARFARE!!

Some of you may remember I ended my time in the garden on Saturday when the rains drove me inside. I felt totally defeated by my bamboo. Someone planted it without containing it – and, of course, it has spread as much as possible. It sneaks along underground and then shoots up under bushes as well as the lawn.

When I came in yesterday I admitted the bamboo had won! I wanted to take out one of the sections and just leave a “fence” of bamboo along the side of the yard. But I could not get that bamboo to budge!! I tried every tool I had and shear brute strength. Nothing worked.

Now in my life, I have always been able to do anything I really decided I was going to do. I do not admit defeat easily. “Perhaps I can getting old,” I thought, “And I might have to accept there are things I cannot do anymore.” I felt very sad.

Today I went out with a battle plan – I attacked the bamboo at its strongest point. I dug, I clawed with my garden tools, but I finally got a starting point.  Just look at the size of the roots I had to pull out –

My husband came and pulled out the bamboo from under the magnolia while I tackled the patch we wanted to take out. After a lot of effort I finally have a trench to separate the bamboo from the rest of the garden – the patch on the right is going DOWN!!

Here is what the main bamboo “fence” looks like –

and here is the remains of the bamboo that lost the war with me!!

– and while I was packing up my tools, one of our neighbors dropped by. She complained her bamboo would not grow!! LOL

Saturday September 25th

this is TOTALLY RANDOM

Raccoon Eating a Fig Newton

http://tsandawesome.com/2010/03/02/food-awesomeness-fig-newtons/

But Fig Newtons actually make me think of ELEPHANTS!!

 Giving the anti-inflammatory medication is tricky because like us, the animals do not like to take pills.  To make the pill taking regimen more enjoyable PAWS keepers stuff Fig Newtons with the anti-inflammatory medication for the elephants and bears, which they really enjoy.

http://www.pawsweb.org/meet_elephants.html – to read more about rescued elephants.

And here is the story about the elephants rescuing people during the tsunami in Thailand in 2004 – animals are amazing – we should listen to them more!!

 http://www.rebuildingyou.com/inspirational-stories/282-elephants-and-the-tsunami

My grandmother loved elephants. She had an incredible collection of elephant statues. I inherited a few of them. Now my daughter, who also loves elephants, has them.

Friday September 24th – weekend time!!

Wind and rain storm today. Although I cannot get out in the garden I am dreaming of spring.

Photo of wood violet flower

I love violets – they are my birthday flower – for February. My favorite is the wood violet – which is the state flower for Wisconsin.

Wood violets photo

photos are used with permission from:

http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/Wisconsin/flower_woodviolet.html

My violets grow under the holly tree and I have some new ones to plant under the “bird bush”.

New York has the rose for its state flower and an apple cinnamon state muffin. Florida has key lime as its state pie. And the motto for Hawaii is –

    Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ‘Āina i ka Pono (The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness)

But the one I loved the most is for British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada – they have the spirit bear as their Provincial mammal –

Spirit Bear (Ursus americanus). Also known as Kermode Bear. Extremely rare and elusive white phase of American Black Bear. Princess Royal Island, the Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, western Canada

this photo is available from http://www.oceanwideimages.com/categories.asp?cID=334

(A few years ago I took a course on how to use the library computer at my local college. We were all asked why we were taking the course. Everyone else needed to access information for the courses they were taking. I said, “I want to know everything about everything – so I need to know how to find it.” Everyone laughed – but I really do love finding things out, especially understanding how other cultures live, what is important to them, what do they believe and what things they celebrate. I love the Internet – I do not even have to leave home to enjoy all this wonderful information!!)

 

Tuesday September 21st

and we have 2,000 hits on my blog!!

Glad to know people are enjoying it!! HUGS!!

Enjoy my blog with an iced mocha – (hope the sun is still warm where you are)

1 cup milk (best with whole milk)

2 tablespoons mocha mix

at least 3 large ice cubes

I know this says hot cocoa but it works cold too!!

process through blender – I use ice crush setting!

Faithful companion – she loves coming outside with me when I garden. She laughs at all my jokes – such a good girl. We have 490 bulbs to plant – good times together. And someone has dug up my fall crocus bulbs!! Wondering if it is the squirrel?? He never did it before – wonder why this year??

 

Monday September 20th

Grape Harvest Day

The grapes were beautifully sweet this year – best year I can remember!

My BFF and I had a perfect day for picking – we laugh lots!! Sometimes the best thing in life is just being together.

I had to share this photo!! We also started to clean up the herb garden, ready for winter. My BFF decided the best way to deal with the fennel was to SIT on it and then we clipped off the stalks. The fennel was taller than we are! It will grow even bigger next year I am sure!

While we were out working, several friends came past, ate some grapes with us while they visited, and took some home just to eat.

Now we have some grapes. This is only part of the harvest. We rescued a beetle and a snail – they went back to the garden. Then we washed the grapes and pulled them off the stems. Now the fun part. Get in with both hands and SQUISH the juice out!

This is what the mash looked like after being squished well.

I heated the juice to make sure any bacteria were dead and then gave it a final straining.

And here is the beautiful rich flavored juice. We can freeze some to enjoy during the long cold winter. Or make it into grape jelly for toast.

And later this week we will do it all again!!

Funny Story

We made the mistake of closing the bedroom door the other night. I think the cats had a conference about the problem. One of them took the green ball, with the bell in the middle, from the cat toy basket, and kept throwing it against the door until we woke up and opened it!! lol

“I confess – it was me!! But you should not shut doors. We do not like closed doors!!”

Busy week for me – so may not be around much

Harvest time –

The grapes are ready!!

  chrysanthemums to get in now, and lots of spring bulbs to plant before the first frost!!

and the garden needs to be cleaned up and ready for bed

My Spanish Lavender has taken over the herb garden!!

 

Happy Weekend Time!!

Sunday September 19th

easy way to cheer up  fall garden – chrysanthemums!!

Just $5.99 for a pot of cheerfulness!!

Saturday September 18th

Here is my selection of spring bulbs to add to my garden. Every year some bulbs die and need to be replaced. At least, living in the City, there are no deer eating my flowers, or curious raccoons digging them up to see what I was hiding!!

Most of these will naturalize – they will form new bulbs and multiply over the years.

 These all have to be planted before the first frost – to be ready for spring.

https://chucklebeary.wordpress.com/my-garden-files/spring/spring-flower-guide/ 

I have started a new entry showing all the flowers I chose in more detail and some ideas about planning and planting. I will be adding to the section with lots more photos as I get my garden ready for bed. Gardens appear to sleep through the winter, but under the snow, the bulbs grow roots and get ready for the warmth of the sun.

The most important thing about a garden – is that it please you, the person who creates it. You should fill the flower beds with plants you love, and your vegetable and herb garden with things you love to eat. I also grow flowers and food my husband loves. My youngest son planted his first garden when he was just a year old. We planted radishes (among other things) as they come up quickly. In just a few days, a child can see the green shoots pushing up towards the sun. A miracle every time!

These are the bulbs I ordered on-line –

After years of new hybrids, where plants are genetically manipulated, I am pleased to see so many choices of old plants. The Madonna Lily has been cultivated for its beauty, and supposed medicinal properties since early civilizations. Especially dedicated to the Virgin Mary, these lovely flowers have been painted by artists going back as far as the Atlantis legends.

 www.flowersgrowing.com                                                        http://blog.metmuseum.org/cloistersgardens/2009/03/27/bulb-basics/lilium_candidum_300/

(these photos are from a Google search)

Embracing the history of many countries, Liliums are named after a Celtic word that means whiteness. Cultivated since 3000 BC. and named by the poet Virgil “Vergilius”, the Madonna Lily is considered the oldest domesticated flower.

for more about the history of lilies – http://madonna-lily.blogspot.com/

Flora Pleno Double Tiger Lily

A mutation of the common Tiger Lily, first introduced in 1870. Orange lilies are a favorite of my husband. One year we had tiny wild tiger lilies growing the woods around us. Very special. I think these old favorites, now available again, will be a great addition to our lily collection.

This amazing lily is available this year in Canada from – http://www.veseys.com/ca/en/store/fallbulbs/heirloombulbs/heirloomturks/doubletigerlily

(photo is from veseys on-line catalogue)

in the USA from http://www.dutchbulbs.com/store/lilies/12937

Lilies can be planted in the fall before the first frost, or in the spring after any danger of frost is over.

Wednesday September 15th

I think Tinkerbell 3 is a really good example of why people who really do know fairies DO NOT tell anyone.

Can you keep my secret??

 Fairies are not quite in the same dimension/reality as we are.

 please do not tell any of the grown up people – you know the ones who cannot remember how to have fun anymore – the ones who are SURE there is NO such thing as fairies!!

do you have the NEW twitter??

Tuesday September 14th

started off with a hot mocha and finished it off over ice

lovely sunny day now!! Happiness!!

Remember I picked up a used digital camera to try while I decided what model of new one to buy?? Well I never did decide – and now the old camera has died. So no new pics from me for a few days while we get a new one. Maybe I can “steal” my husband’s??

Finally got to see this movie. LOL – I am always behind the times!!

Still LOVE the LGMs (little green men) and was thrilled when they saved the day!!

YEAH LGMS!! whether in Toy Story or with Buzz Lightyear stories!!

WE ARE ONE!! THE UNI-MIND!!!

  

September 11th

life goes on but we must never forget

I remember 9/11 so vividly. I came downstairs and looked at my husband who was sitting in front of the television. His face said everything. “Did the world end?” I asked him gently. “Yes – it did,” he replied.

My friend who lives a few blocks away from the site still cannot talk about that day without tears. Many lives were lost. So many people who never came home again. So many people who became heroes.

We must never forget this day or cease to pray for peace for every person on this planet.

Decorating the windows to protect the birds

The feeder and bird bath is just outside this window and we want to alert the birds there is a window there so they do not crash into it!!

Friday September 10th

HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY GEOFFRY BRYON

Geoffry Byron, or G.B. as he is known to his friends, is the BIGGEST bear I have ever made!! Took me a week altogether and a whole afternoon just to embroider his nose!!

The best thing about G.B. is his HUGS!! He hugs really well!!

 (I still have not taken a photo of G.B. I really like – will keep trying)

Thursday September 9th

had to turn the heat on today and looks like rain

On Wiglington and Wenks we were posting what Virtual World we started on.

I started with Neopets over 5 years ago with two of my granddaughters. One of my sons gave me my first Webkinz on my birthday four years ago. Wherever my grandchildren play – I like to check it out so I understand what they are talking about!

Posted these pics of my Neopets collection for my buddies – especially Jmann!!

The big Scorchio, Unis and Kougras talk – they drive my husband crazy!!

Eeyore loves to hang out with his talking petpet buddies!!

And here are a few of my Webkinz – I always keep a few with tags for “I love you” gifts when my younger grandchildren come to visit!!

Buddy the Love Lion and his cupcake carrier. He comes with me when I go out. We have met so many wonderful people in our travels. You would be amazed how many people stop to chat when they see him!

 

and summer ends

Labor Day weekend is over

The last day of summer requires a celebration –

CHICKEN CLUB PIZZA

Tinker Bell

and some time with Tinkerbell and her buddies!

 

and down comes the summer wreath of ribbon roses – I love making ribbon roses!

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 3rd

A lovely warm day with plenty of sunshine

I have just finished rereading the Sisters Grimm and enjoyed the new book 8 – although I truly wonder about the book cover. This is NOT from the book!! Sabrina and Daphne do NOT control the genie!! Doesn’t anyone pay attention to the story??

I once read a biography of an illustrator. She was highly praised for actually reading the books she illustrated!! I am still stunned by the whole idea you could create pictures for a book you never read!!

Book 9 is planned and is supposed to be the conclusion to the series. There are no indications on when it might be published, and the author is off writing another series!

NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society (Book One)

Anyone read these new ones??

 

Wednesday September 1st

Here we are starting another month

Already cooler here and the leaves just starting to turn

This lovely creation is the Angel of Hope. She was a birthday gift from my husband and is one of my treasures. Sometimes all we have is hope that things will get better.

I seldom share my bad days, although some of my stories deal with my sorrows.  I try to record the good things in life, the moments I want to remember and share. But today is a difficult day and I have my Angel beside me, reminding me to have faith and hope.

Remember my roses from last week? The florist guarantees them for 5 days – but here we are a week later with still beautiful blooms!

Responses

  1. wonderful blog Kristi…………finally some time to sit and read it………..love the bamboo wars…..and all the photos……I think eyeore looks happier than ever!

  2. your comment on the illustrator who actually read the books she was illustrating, was interesting. I always wondered as I read books to my son, why the pictures, esp. in the Enid Blyton, just didn’t seem to fit right…………….Can’t believe anyone would take on a project without reading the book.


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