Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sewing Lately & Zucchini Muffins

My husband spied a 1958 electric Singer sewing machine in the back of a flea market in Columbia Mississippi.   He thought it was amazingly cool....I thought it would just be a hunk of cool junk to take up precious space in my home.
Byron cleaned it up and oiled it....and unbelievably it works charmingly!  No actually wonderfully!  I'm in love with it now.  I broke two machines previously trying to hem Byron's jeans....this machine went straight through three layers of jean material without even hesitating!  I am so impressed....It looks really cool as well.  This machine is 54 years old and has been stored Lord knows where and it still works....I'm working on my third modern machine in the past 10 years!
Here's my most recent plastic machine purchase...and this is the heavy duty one.  It is a little fancier and does some stitches the other doesn't, so for light work I still use this one.  I'm more familiar with it as well.  Lately I've been on an apron sewing kick.  I made one for my friend Christy for her college graduation and five other ones to sell for my daughters to make money to go Peak.  It's a youth meeting for our church affiliation.  I've sold them all.  I'm thinking about making more.  I sold them for $22.00.  I think that's a pretty cool price.  I may post future ones on my site to see if anyone is interested.  You may remember me posting about this 1920's apron pattern from Amy Barickman's book "Vintage Notions".

This is by far my favorite way to store thread.  It is so convenient  to look in and easily see what thread you need.  I use a little tape to secure the thread to the top of the spool if it doesn't have one of those cool tops that pop up a little to wrap and secure the thread under.
Here are five of the aprons I did.  I tried to choose really cool or vintagy fabrics.  The roses seemed to be everyones favorite.
I love these things!
I've also been crocheting edging onto cool flannels for baby blankies.  They're on the large side so I guess they could be used as lap blankies as well.  Thinking of selling these as well.  I crochet or knit in the car when my husband is driving.  That way I don't feel so useless or keep annoying my husband by shrieking and gasping at what I consider dangerous driving!  New Orleans during rush hour can be pretty bad.
Made zucchini date muffins with all the extra zucchini.  They were yum!  I'll post the recipe soon.
Also this is the best red beans and rice I have ever eaten (this is the beginning stages of cooking it...would you like that recipe too?)  Thanks to my neighbors.  They planted plain old Camellia red beans.  This is what came up.  Amazing yummy beans....much much better than the dried ones....So amazingly better.

Recent harvest!  I've had to pick the tomatoes green to keep the bugs from hauling them off!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


This Saturday was busy busy! First I did flowers for a small wedding. I love this bouquet...peonies, old garden roses (O'Hare), mini roses (porcelina), white roses (polar star), and white peonies with a hint of blue grey dusty miller here and there.  I love dusty miller in bridal bouquets.  It's so feminine and lacy!  The O'Hare roses actually smelled wonderful.  Which is an oddity for the roses I can acquire as a these roses!
I loved them so much I made a bouquet for our church....and instead of sharing them like I usually do...I brought them home!  They make my heart melt and my eyes all really they do!  Just Gaaargous! my youngest sez!
...and here is my youngest...inspecting the chair I took out for Maw Maw Vero to sit on when we had a blowout on the trailer on our way to Mississippi.  There's my Byron changing it in five minutes flat....he is the man....well I made the girls get out of the car and move away from the interstate for "safety".  Then I got the bright idea that if any of them needed to "pee" they could take advantage of the tall weeds on the side of the road......

.....thanks for a very observant Tera Bear (my oldest)!  She noticed a BLACK WIDOW!...and then...
...ANOTHER...AND ANOTHER...AND ANOTHER...We counted 10 in all in a small area.  Black widows dutifully protecting their egg sacs!   Oh quiver quiver!  We'd probably have been safer in the one was bit thankfully.  Byron said it was a good thing no one needed to "pee".  It might have been awkward in the emergency room!

So we made it safely to Mississippi to check on our property, water the trees we have planted and do some work.  So far we have planted 2 camillias, 12 blueberries, 4 pecans, 3 peaches, 3 plums, 1 quince and 1 apple...  Next will be pears, figs, and more apples.   I'd like to build a pavilion for an outdoor kitchen soon.  The roof will catch rain water for use, and I would like an attached pergola for growing grapes.

I've finally identified this tree.  It's mayhaws!  and the property has plenty of them.

I can't get around without my handy boots.  Before my Father had his stroke...he asked when was I going to quit wearing those "ugly boots".  When they wear out...that's when!

This is an area of the hill that was cut and damaged somehow.  Maybe when they clear cut it.  Anyway the water rushes this direction down into the creek.  We're trying to stem the erosion by placing small trees we cut down across it, planting shrubs and plants, and seeding grass.
The blueberries are really doing well on the slope.  They seem to love being right on the edge of the larger forest.

The trees are helping as well.  You can see the sand beginning to cover the edges of the tree.  So I'm hoping this soil is no longer making its way into the creek and away!
The trees are doing well also.  Here is one of the pecans.  We mulch the base of the trees with boughs cut from other trees.  This helps to retain moisture.

Wonder what kind of berry this is?

Here's another little tree doing great.  We gave them all a nice drink of water while we were there.  Hope it lasts.  There's no rain forcasted for the next ten days and it will be well into the 80's.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Around The House and Gardens

Yesterday after packing my little nerds off to school....(It was Nerd day!) ...
...they make perfect little nerds....

....I put a deer roast in the solar oven...with sage, rosemary, red pepper, garlic and onions...all from the garden...This was the yummiest deer roast I think I've ever cooked....
Garden update....told you it's grown quite a bit...
....tomatoes dripping...I've harvested a lot already....a few weighed 13 ozs...almost a pound!  This is a picof some of the smaller ones...

cukes, gypsy tomatoes, and Lima's!   Gettin' big!  The Lima bean vines are dripping with clusters of Lima bean pods...
My Italian red flint corn....
Sunflower Row!
Siamese Basil...this basil has a sort of licorice taste...nice but very different than sweet basil...
...a huge happy sun flower face!
Sky and Sunflower...lovely...
Poona Keerah...Indian Cuke
Banana Melon...big melons that taste like cantaloupe!  Yums!  I guess I'll be tying these big babies up on the trellis....
More happy faces.
A little of a recent harvest....The green beans are producing are the squash and cukes.  I'm convinced the earlier you get the seeds in the ground the better.   The pests haven't been that much of a problem yet.  Caterpillars on the tomatoes...pick 'em and squish 'em...yep barehanded.
My attempt at a Hugel Kulture bed.  Not very accurate yet, but I'm working on it.  I'll tell you more later.
My banana tree is growing!
...and making babies!  OH yes this is a good sign.
Some tomatoes ripening up.  I pick them as soon as they show a light blush of color and let them ripen inside the house.  Just put them on the counter.  They don't need to be in the sun.  I do this to keep them from any lurking pests.
Pie Punkin'!  It already has orange starting to show!
Peaches!  I picked 20 lbs!  None made it into jam.  We gobbled them fresh with juice dripping down the elbows.  It that doesn't make you want to plant a couple of peach trees nothing will!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Today's Visitor and Wedding

No he or she (I haven't learned how to tell alligator gender.) wasn't a guest at the wedding....But he/she did visit my yard!  It was just at dusk.  This little guy was probably over two feet.  I didn't get too close.   You wouldn't believe how fast these guys can move!

 Run in a zig zag!  Run in a zig ...ackkkk!  Really, who can remember to run in a zig zag pattern if an alligator chases you (that's the common advice from those locals who supposedly know how to escape the intentions of an alligator)....and I'm under the impression that by the time the thought makes it to your mind you're already lunch!

The little guy actually lunged at my cat.  So fast I didn't see it coming....luckily my cat is fast as well...and she has amazing survival instincts.  My cat adopted us after Katrina...which she survived...and has lived despite coyotes, bald eagles, dogs, and alligators that skirt and occasionally cross our property.  I was inclined to let 'em stay (the alligator), but when my cat almost became the appetizer or injured anyway...Byron captured the little guy with a net and we located him to a canal a few miles down the road.  The largest gator we've had in our yard to date was over 5 feet.
Here's some pics of today's wedding I did.  I'm a florist in case any didn't know.  I love the gardeny wild arrangements on pedestals in the's the cake.....

....and a close up.....

....every table had a centerpiece....the  bride was from Argentina....she said in her country very few flowers are bought for the wedding party...most of the floral budget is spent on table centerpieces....yep....I'm fine with that!  She carried a lovely small bouquet of white french tulips.