Saturday, August 9, 2014


SO. I made refrigerator pickles for the 1st time and even used some of my own cukes that I grew. VERY satisfying, indeed.

I tried 3 different recipes:

Front Left: (#1)

Front Right: (#2)

Rear: (#3)

Front (#1), Back Lf (#3), Back Rt (#2)

What I used in the experiment: lemon cukes and odd ball green cukes from my garden and some nice little kirby picklers I received in my CSA. I don't have a pic of the kirbys unfortunately, but that's what I'm going to try to grow next summer, now that I know those are good for pickles.

So the verdict. They are all delicious, but to me there is a clear winner. 

They were all super easy recipes. 

The #1 and #2 recipes called for blanching the cucumbers after cutting for about 30 seconds. I think the idea is that this keeps the pickles crispy. Also, both of these recipes used a hot pickling brine. But even in doing this added task, they were super easy. Also, these two use apple cider vinegar, the other uses regular. They have the darker color that some pickles have. I wondered if this is from the heat, ACV, or maybe both. The ACV does give them a different flavor, but I liked it.

The #3 recipe was cold packed and required a bit of shaking every couple hours the first day.  

I tasted them all on the 2nd day. All were so tastey. All were crisp. For flavor and ease, the #3 batch was the winner. I've already made a second batch. I add them to everything. I may experiment with the SmittenKitchen Recipe and try it with ACV for kicks, or a blend.....but I have to admit, I really like the white vinegar flavor.

If you make these or have a recipe you love, I'd love to hear about it.

PS: In the second batch I made, I added some thin cut carrot sticks because I was a little short on cucumbers. They turned out AMAZING.

Up Next:
Vegan Lasagne


Sunday, July 20, 2014


these books

this puzzle
perfect for a cold winter day about 6 months.


been needing one of these

this tiny cloche.....which reminds me of Sylvia Plath

This will be so perfect when I make kombucha.
It's HUGE. I'll bet it holds 3 gallons, easy.

This may not look like much, but these bamboo shades are super handy.
 I have big plans for it.

This brass pineapple clip.

A chair the perfect height for my studio table.

Monday, July 7, 2014

green drink

Today I made what is I think, the BEST green drink I've had so far. I almost drank it all before I took the picture.

here's what's in it:

juice of 1 lemon
juice of 2 oranges
romain  3-4 leaves
1 teaspoon green superfood powder
1/4 teaspoon reishi mushroom spore powder
1 kiwi

so good.

As long as I can get kiwi, this will be my go to green smoothie.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

globe gazing

I found this beauty at an estate sale last weekend. For quite some time I've been hoping to come across one and this one's really nice on a tall pedestal and with a copper foot.  I did a little research on the Replogle Globe "How old is your globe" page and found out it was made in 1992. It has Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia on it. I'm thrilled with it!

I'd love to find a Celestial globe next.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Independence Day, a mystery solved, garden musings, and whatnot

It's been a very pleasant 4th of July around here. The temps have been so nice and cool in the 70s and barely getting over 80. I really can't remember a cooler 4th.

The historic neighborhood I live in has a little parade every year to celebrate the holiday and every kid and dog seems to take part. It is led by a fire truck full of waving firemen, and if they don't get called off for a fire, they stay and let the kids check out the truck at the end. There are wagons, bikes, trikes and scooters all completely decked out with red white and blue ribbons and bows and streamers. The occasional dune buggy or convertible, and someone made a crude looking rolling playpen out of wood that had a bunch of kids stuffed into it. It's so fun and only 2 streets long. My house is the 2nd to last house on the route, which ends at the elementary school across the street. My neighbor has parade music piping out from an old jam box to set the mood. Those of us who do not walk or ride in the parade sit in lawn chairs at the ends of our driveways and sip coffee and visit and cheer.  

When everyone gets to the end, moms have lemonade and cookies for the kiddos and we all gather to listen to the reading of the Declaration of Independence in front of my next door neighbor's house (the one with the music). The audience participates by booing and hissing anytime the king is mentioned and cheering for all the independence stuff. It's pretty great, always draws a good crowd, and we get giant dose of Americana and neighborly warm fuzzies. 

It's my understanding that the parade has been going on for over 30 years. 

Sadly I forgot to take pictures. I will next year though.

EDIT: I found the flyer they hand deliver to the mailboxes.

A garden mystery:

There is so much happing in my garden at the moment. Do you remember the post way back about the strange plant I got at an estate sale that I was trying to identify? You can read about it here. Anyhow, my friend Kylie was right all along. 


The reason I was still unsure is that I looked them up on the googler and I couldn't match the foliage, which is all I had to go by. THEN, a couple of weeks ago, my aunt was visiting from Florida and the plant had just started to put out buds and when she saw it she confirmed that it was indeed frangipani and I told me I should put it outside. So I did and the buds are starting to open and they are beautiful and smell like heaven. 
this picture I took a couple days ago

these last 2 I took today, about 4 hours apart.

In other garden news, here's what's blooming:
purple flox


these tiny lilies

sweet smelling carolina jasmine

day lilies

echinacea or purple coneflower

I've had a couple little tomatoes

and waiting on these tiny yellow toms to ripen

Did you know that Arkansas is home to the Crater of Diamonds and various crystal mines? It's kinda famous for it and people have found some amazing stones here. You've heard of the Hope diamond?

I've collected rocks since I was a kid. Sometimes fancy polished stones and sometimes ones that catch my eye on the ground, picking them up here and there. So when one of my friends was visiting last month and said she wanted to get some crystals I suggested we go dig them ourselves. It was about an hour and a half drive to somewhere around Hot Springs mostly on long, curvy, country roads, and quite scenic (once we got off I-30). We got there at about 3:30 and they were going to close at 5:30, which might put a kink in some folks plans but it turned out just fine for us. After registering and signing a release :/, we got our bags from a woman who had on the most vibrant turquoise eyeshadow that looked as if it had been applied with a paint roller and her right eyebrow had been smeared up towards her temple. I asked her if she had any tips and she said that most people end up knocking the crystals behind them and letting them fall with the dirt because they don't know what they are looking for. Then she said to stay away from the edge.


To be honest, as soon as we got out to the mounds we were totally overwhelmed. We were equipped with buckets and gloves and hand shovels from home and the bags we were given at registration, and not sure where to start. There were only 4 other people there: 2 women sitting together; a man, whom I later realized was with the first 2 women; a women who had brought her own wheelbarrow; and us. We were the obvious amateurs.

In theory it sounds so magical, going to dig for crystals, sifting through dirt and finding huge beautiful clear pointy crystals and amethysts and other big and amazing stones with facets.

In reality, it's dirty and it's hot with not one single speck of shade. We found spots and plunked down and started sifting. I did find a couple pretty nice crystals at first, even if they were kinda smaller than in my dreams. I didn't know what I was doing. JJ ditto'd that. At some point I started picking up any rock that I liked the look of and put it in my bucket, throwing any false sense of strategy out the proverbial window. A while later and JJ headed to the rock shop. Not long after that, we met at the car, changed clothes (the best piece of advice we got was to bring a change of clothes-we were filthy and that red dirt gets everywhere) and left with our buckets chock full of rock treasure.

I can see how the more one goes, the better one's eye for spotting crystals. I can't wait to go again.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

lush life

Please excuse my long absence. I hurt my back in a car accident last November and doing all my gardening set me back in a major way in April. I'll spare you the boring details, but it was painful and I wondered if I'd ever get back to my previous self. I'm about 95% now and life goes on. So there you go, and there I go.

I have to admit I was beginning to wonder if I'd made a huge mistake having 4-5 yards of compost dumped on my driveway. It was WAY more than I needed, but how could I know? It was hard to visualize just how much dirt that is. Trust me, it's a literal shit load.

After a friend came and took some away, I spread the rest under the beds in the front yard. I'm sure my azaleas and gardenias appreciate it. I also filled and/or topped off about a 30 pots for for various plants. The original reason I got it was for my veggies. The beds in front just got covered about 2 weeks ago. Amazingly enough, I got my projects done even though I just didn't have it in me to blog.

So here's the belated update.

Compost delivery.
hopeful and excited!


This pile was bigger than my car. :/

I was originally going to make the beds out of cyprus rough cuts from a local mill, but could not get connected with the guy so I finally decided to blow it off and use what I had. Behind my garage was a bunch of marble and granite remnants that I'd acquired ages ago, so I hauled them around and used them as my walls. Plus they were free, so that was good.

This bed is made with cedar and hardware cloth left over from the compost bin.
I had so wanted them to be pretty and matching (ha!), but by this point, I was just hoping they would produce something edible.

 I also topped off the herb garden with fresh compost.

Oh, and I almost forgot, I carved out this little drain area at the bottom of my driveway. Not too shabby, eh?

Some where around the back breaking labor of digging and hauling and filling is when my back got kinked up. 

Anyhow, thankfully that is all behind me and I'm finally on the mend after countless chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, tapping(!)(do you know about this EFT?-it's pretty awesome), and epsom salt baths. I have been able to return to yoga and most every thing else. As a massage therapist myself, I can tell you I was OBSESSED with fixing this issue. I did so much research and actually learned some things that I know will make me a better therapist. So I guess that's an upswing. I definitely have a deeper compassion for anyone suffering from chronic pain. 

The beds are all planted now and growing and there are even a couple tomatoes and a pepper starting to grow!!! I'm not sure how the rest will go, time will tell. It's been raining here BUCKETS for the past 5 days. Today is the first sun I've seen in a while. Needless to say, it's humid as all get out, but relatively cool. 

Because of the back drama, I lost track of my list of goals, but I feel somehow, I got everything I needed to done, and now I'm just waiting to rake in the bounty!........

PS. My little drainage area by the garage at the bottom of the driveway worked swimmingly with all the rain we've just had, so I'm feeling a little smug about that.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


I have slug issues.

Little Rock can get humid and when it does, the slugs come out. They love hostas, I'm told, of which I have quite a lot, and they (the hostas) like shade, of which I also have quite a lot. Slugs also seem to like cat food, and because I feed Squeek on the front porch, when ever it's humid, the slugs get in it. And it's gross and slimy. I read somewhere that if you put beer in a low dish or can, it will lure the slugs to it. I was skeptical and over the years, relied on trying to remember to move the cat food inside, or at least put it on a chair before dusk. This had a 50% effectiveness due to my forgetting to do it half the time. Although, a few times the slugs found the food anyways...ick.

I happened to have a can(!) of Budweiser(!). (I know someone left it here because I cannot remember ever buying that beer, even as a broke college student a hundred years ago I bought Shiner Bock. And now I really don't even drink beer, except on the rarest of occasions. I like vino.)

I decided to try the beer in the can trick and holy hell, it worked. On the second day, there was a slug in a can. It was so disgusting and lifeless and solid seeming. I did NOT touch it, but after years of dealing with live slugs, I could just tell. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Some people put salt on them but that seems cruel and painful for the slug. I like to think the slug got drunk and fell asleep. The BIG sleep. Nice and peaceful like.

Some strategically placed slug traps:

I decided not to show the one with the dead slug out of respect for poor creature. Also this is not a snuff blog.

Plus it could be extra bad karma.