Category Archives: Favorite Things

1st Tomato Harvest

Yesterday the first tomatoes were ripe enough to pick. I saw a couple that will be ready in a few days, too. We feel rich!

This is a wonderful time of the year for us. We LOVE going out to test the tomatoes to see if any more are ready to come in and be devoured.

We ate three of these with our dinner last night and may finish up this first harvest this evening. I guess that people who have grown up having gardens know all the veggies and fruit that homegrown tastes so much better than what you can buy at the store, but the only one I personally know about is tomatoes.

I wish you were here so I could share with you

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Favorite Things, Gardening, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Tomato Plants

Huffington Post

One of my husband’s and my favorite things in the world is home grown, red, ripe, sliced tomatoes with a meal. No matter what else we try to grow, tomatoes are the main thing.

We built a raised bed, square foot garden for our other veggies (though I AM trying some grape tomatoes in two of the squares this year), but we moved our tomato plants to the east side of the house. We have a brick planter in what we call “The Nook” beside the porch at the end of the house, plus an eight foot brick planter on the east end of the house.

 

This is the 8 foot planter. We have six plants here. We planted two plants every two weeks.

 

This is “The Nook”. There are only two plants here, planted two weeks apart. As you can see, we have really large plants that are difficult to keep supported.

 

Here is a closeup  of some of our green tomatoes.

 

And here are more.

 

And HERE is the first ripening tomato! Whooopeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Encouragement, Favorite Things, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

The Hummingbird Lady

I’ve had these pictures for quite awhile, and I neglected to get the name of the person who took them, so I cannot give credit as I would like to. I was fascinated by this lady and the hummingbirds’ attraction to her. I could sit with a little feeder in my hand until I melted into a puddle and hummingbirds wouldn’t flock around me like this. What a special lady she must be!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Delightful Surprises, Favorite Pictures, Favorite Things, vicarious enjoyment

New Green Tomatoes!

QuartoKnows

I’m hoping we’ll be like this cute little boy soon, picking fresh, ripe tomatoes off the vines to slice for a meal!

 

It’s kind of like treasure hunting now. You don’t see the tomatoes until you get up close, and sometimes you have to search a bit.

 

 

 

 

 

I worked out in the square foot garden for about an hour yesterday, trying to undo the neglect due to too much rain, then my husband’s cataract surgeries, and then the new puppy. I’m basically down to tomatoes, onions, two kinds of lettuce, some spinach, some celery, and one spaghetti squash plant I grew from seed in the kitchen. I’ll try to get pics of the garden tomorrow. I’ve been using a push weed-whacker, trying to go around the outside of the garden today. It’s hard work for an old lady. I ran into a tough something-or-other, snapping off the whacking cords. My good husband put some new ones on, so when the sun is a bit lower, I’ll do another hitch out there.

I hope your day is good.

 

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Favorite Things, Gardening, Greenwood, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Maligned Clowns

Wikipedia

I’m always sad when a word changes its meaning – due to the population using it differently – and I no longer feel comfortable using it. One example – the distortion causes children’s poems to be suddenly ‘inappropriate for children,’ or you can’t read one aloud anymore without the laughing killing the whole point of it.

I understand that if a language isn’t changing, it dies. But, sometimes, the changes kill wonderful memories, too.

I’ve always loved clowns. Like mimes, they make you see a ‘story’ without saying a word. Truly gifted, they can make you laugh or cry.

 

babble

But clowns have taken on a sinister aspect, due to movies, weird books, and demented souls who think it’s funny to dress up as a beloved clown and then do horrible things.

 

Heavy.com

I just looked for images of clowns on the net, and could only find THREE I thought fit MY image of a clown. Most were trying to be frightening or sickening.

I don’t want to accept this change. I’ll just remember when clowns were sweet, gifted, and a joy to people everywhere.

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Filed under Attitude, Changes, Favorite Things

2nd Annual Greenwood AR ArtFest on the Walking Trail

Greenwood ArtFest

 

After running some errands yesterday, my husband and I took a few minutes to see the 2nd Annual Greenwood ArtFest. It was on the walking trail, part of which goes behind two bank, the court-house, some restaurants, and more on the south side of the square.

The city has created a walking trail that now goes almost all the way around the main part of the city. Not only are there nice sidewalks, there are benches every so often so you can stop and rest. There are trees, birds, squirrels, and flowers, too, so it’s a nice feast for the eyes as well as a great place to get good exercise.

There were lots of artists. Each had a tent and displayed their artwork. The only thing that could have been better was that the wind might not have been quite so energetic.

I saw several artist friends.  I got to hug necks and visit a bit. My husband and I enjoyed the variety of artwork being displayed. Some teenagers were working on string art, and had some for sale. There were several artists displaying original paintings. There were artists who made jewelry. Some were showing prints of their work. One artist specialized in leather and wood. One lady did 3-D carvings in horizontal cuts of  tree wood, with the ring of the tree being the ‘frame.’ One of my friends was showing some of her hand-painted gourds, some decorated bottles, her original Fort Smith AR Civil War paintings, and more.

I was delighted to see so many talented folks in one place.

I’m going to see if I can make some small  ‘people and critters’  out of screws, nuts, bolts, and small scraps – with the idea that I might participate next year. I’m excited to dive in and see what I can come up with! :0)

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Favorite Things, Greenwood

The First Hummingbird is Spotted Today!

All About Birds

This isn’t THE hummingbird we saw this morning, but it is the kind we see most often around here – A ‘Rufous,’ I believe it’s called.

We were eating breakfast when the sweet hummer came in for a quick drink. He was gone so fast my husband didn’t get a chance to see him.  It was only 56 degrees F. at the time, so he wasn’t even thinking of playing in our new hummingbird bird bath, but I hope he at least looked at it and will consider it the next time he comes.

My friend, Carla, assured me that hummingbirds weren’t due here until the 14th, so obviously this little guy didn’t get the memo. I’m glad we had fresh nectar for him so he could tank up.

Have you seen hummingbirds yet? Do you think they actually will enjoy a birdbath, or was someone just playing with us when we saw a picture of a gazillion of them playing in the water on Facebook?

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Filed under Arkansas, Favorite Things, Greenwood, Mother Nature

New Plants!

Yesterday I told you I spent the afternoon and early evening planting new plants, mostly on the deck.

We have two of these pretty burgundy wave petunias.

 

 

 

We have these impatiens planted on both sides of the front door.

 

These are electric orange wave petunias. I planted two of these in the planter to the left of the front porch.

 

 

I brought these blue iris in yesterday, since we’re supposed to have lots of rain and possibly severe weather today, tomorrow, and into Saturday.

 

This is the new ground cover I planted in the trio of brick planters between the driveway and the front yard.

 

A pretty purple wave petunia. We have two of these on the deck.

 

This rose is called “Sedona.” We liked the color of the roses a lot, and thought it would be a nice addition to the Rio Samba rose bushes.

 

 

We have two white wave petunia plants on the deck. We’re hoping all of these will spill over the sides of the planters.

 

And, finally, this is the official hummer welcome area. We have two feeders out right now, plus the bird bath. My friend, Carla, told me the hummers are due around the 12th. I’m hoping for sooner…

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Filed under Arkansas, Favorite Things, Gardening, Greenwood

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Rodales Organic Life

 

“Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.[1]”

 

I’ve liked this rhyme since I was a child, but I no longer garden by it. Now my garden is not only the wonderful square foot gardening, started by Mel Bartholomew, allowing people like us to bypass our awful, rocky ridge line soil, having a chance to enjoy a garden, but now I have a RAISED BED square foot garden.

This lady is hopelessly spoiled now. I can plant, water, weed, and harvest – all without having to bend over double or get up and down endless times off my knees. I have SQUARES of plants now, rather than rows, and the plants seem very happy about it.

 

Our total garden is approximately 25 feet long and 15 feet wide. It’s surrounded by fencing, and then chicken wire around the bottom. We have all kinds of critters roaming around because of living on top of a ridge line, outside the city limits, in a more wooded area, so we have deer, possums, raccoons, rabbits, roadrunners, etc., who need to be kept out of the garden. We have a neon pink surveyors tape around the middle of the fencing to let deer know the garden is there before they run into it.

 

The garden has six 4 foot by 4 foot ‘boxes’ that are 8″ deep on metal support tables. They’re about chest high. We then marked off sections with stretchy string. I had some little bitty weeds trying to get a foothold in the garden yesterday. I weeded the whole thing in about 45 minutes with little effort, other than trying to make sure I got all the ones I could see out.

 

We have our irrigation system on a timer that goes for 5 minutes at 5:00 daily right now. We can change this any time it’s needed.

Last year I had some beautiful broccoli and cauliflower LEAVES, but didn’t get a lot of actual VEGGIES from the plants. I have no clue why. I’m hoping for some good eating this year. I’m also trying to grow celery and spaghetti squash for the first time this year.

So, you see why this lady is spoiled beyond repair now, happy as a clam, playing in my plants, and looking forward to eating romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, radishes, spaghetti squash, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and tomatoes this year!

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Favorite Things, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Hello, Spring!

source unknown

I just LOVE this! Along with the sentiment, the whole idea of spelling it out with things from nature – with the delicate colors – is  perfect.

I’m not sure what today will bring, but we certainly have the weather for it here in Greenwood, Arkansas. In fact, today’s high will be a huge change, at 88 degrees F.  We might even have to turn on the air conditioner for a bit this afternoon!

My husband and I enjoyed the first cookout of the season last night, grilling steaks. It’s been a long time since we enjoyed one, so it’s hard to describe how DELICIOUS it was. AND, since we don’t eat potatoes as a rule anymore, the baked potatoes tasted especially good, as well.

There was a wonderful breeze as we cooked on the deck. The sun was going down. We had both doggies out with us, having one on the long deck leash and the other running free, then changing them. Both cats visited from time to time, then found something to pounce on in the taller grass along the edge of the ‘civilized’ part of our back yard.  My husband enjoyed some iced tea. I had a cup of coffee.

We were tired, but nicely so. We had changed our truck tires from the snow tires to the regular ones. This is getting to be a harder and harder job for us, but we’re still managing. My husband has decided that this is a matter of pride now, so we’ll probably be trying to do this ourselves for several years from now.

We discussed how wonderful it was that we discovered that Chuck Berry, 90, one of our teenage favorites, was married to the same woman for 68 years. We can hope for some time together yet. :0)

I hope your 1st day of spring is a happy one!

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Filed under Arkansas, Changes, Favorite Things, Greenwood

Garage Sale Riches

My husband went to get the mail yesterday while I was making pudding. I started to worry when he didn’t return after half an hour. He finally showed up with a wonderful vase in hand. He said he got it at a garage sale down the road from us. He wanted me to stop what I was doing and go back to the sale with him.

He bought a tool and die set, a power scraper we can add to our air tool collection, some clamps, and some other tool type stuff. He was very happy, encouraging me to get whatever I wanted.

The house was empty except for the sale stuff. The lady who has lived there since way before we moved here 30 years ago has gone to an assisted living center now and is very happy with her new life.

I have to show you my goodies!

Here is the vase my husband brought home – without, and then with, flowers.

 

 

I LOVE pitchers of any type, size, and color. I found these –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the most expensive thing I bought. It was $10. I spent $33, including the vase my husband got for me.

 

AND, I got these two adorable doggies to live on the front porch. I also have ceramic ducks on the porch, plus a frog, a gnome, and a hedgehog. I’ll take pics of the porch when I get it cleaned up and the flowers planted.

I just love garage sales! You don’t spend a lot of time figuring out if you want something or not. When you do find something, the price is marked clearly, so you don’t have to wonder if you can afford it, and you don’t have to bother someone to find out. You don’t have to wait around all day, as you do at an auction, for what you’re interested in to come up for bid, only to lose to someone who is willing to pay more for it than it costs new.

I feel rich!

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Filed under Favorite Things

Speeding through the Day

"Gone with the wind fabulous" - Johnathan Cruz

“Gone with the wind fabulous” – Johnathan Cruz

This is the way my day has felt.

On the good side, I’ve gotten a lot of little fiddly things off my to-do-list, like giving our dog, Molly, a session with the defurminator so she will leave fewer big tufts of hair all over the place. (Abby, the cat, is next.)

I’ve cut up veggies to munch and to cook for next week. I’m cleaning out the fridges in preparation for making a grocery list for tomorrow. I’ve made puddings and other stuff, running the dishwasher twice so far today.

And so it goes, the little things that we need to do to make our lives go more smoothly.

It was a good day to do this stuff. It wasn’t supposed to rain but it did, giving me a good chance to do inside stuff. We opted not to go to town, freeing up more time. The only sad thing is that my energy has never been a good match for my to-do list.

My husband is out working busily in the shop while my energy reaches its ebb. I think I’ll have a cup of coffee and put my feet up to see if I get another surge of energy.

I hope you’re having a really nice day.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Challenges, Favorite Things

Tour of My Now Clean Art Room

art-hallwaytoartroom

On the second floor of our home we converted a third bedroom into my art room. My husband and I built these shelves in the hallway outside the bedroom, plus installed some cabinets underneath with a top to hold some supplies. The shower curtain to the right of the picture keeps dust (and cats) out of our linen area.

 

art-draftingtable

This is my drafting table where I do most of my painting. I have a sheet of vinyl to protect the actual drafting table, and then I have a large piece of heavy glass. This was set up to start my new Christmas cards and ornaments, but will be cleaned off to start painting the stationery and note cards order.

 

art-jewelry

We put up shelves over a dressing table area. I have all kinds of ribbons and string on two long rods below the shelves and above the counter top. The counter top is set up for making jewelry. To right right are shelves full of note card and stationery supplies.

 

art-drawingarea

I’ve set up this table as a ‘learn to draw’ table, with my Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain book, with lessons to work through, templates I  made before, the beautiful pencils set my husband got me for Christmas, etc. This is also the area where I do things with my alcohol ink. (You can see the wooden base my husband fixed for me, making holes the little bottles of alcohol ink can sit in.)

 

art-shelvesandcounteracrossend

This is the far end of the room, past the drafting table in the middle and the drawing area to the right of the picture. We hung shelves all the way across to hold supplies over a counter top with drawers on both sides. Between the drawers I have three roll-arounds.

As you see, I have many wonderful things to work with in my art room. My biggest problem trying to clean is that I want to stop and do something with a wonderful ‘thing’ I had forgotten I had… I could easily spend all day every day here, playing with my goodies.

I hope you enjoyed the tour. This afternoon I’ll be heavily into creating stationery and note cards for my customer. I’m not sure if she wants personalization or not yet. I’m excited to get started!

Have a wonderful day!

 

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Filed under Arts and Crafts - Teaching, Favorite Things, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Making a Difference – Take 1

dif-barbergavecutsforsinglehug

This barber gives haircuts and shaves to the homeless – price? A single hug.

 

dif-coffeeforlocalcancerctr

Thanks to Bill Lites for his email.

People going out of their way to do something for others brings tears to my eyes. Each kindness is different. Sometimes it’s giving of your talents at no charge. Sometimes it’s spending your time and money to say ‘thank you’ to others. These people are making a difference – making their part of the world better. This kind of generosity should motivate US to think about what WE can do in OUR part of the world.

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Filed under Encouragement, Favorite Things, Good Thoughts, kindness, making a difference, opportunities, Think Life Differently

Priceless Gift

glasses1

Recently we drove to Thibodaux, Louisiana to visit with our dear cousins/great friends, Murray and John. We write, we call, but seeing them face to face and being able to share hugs is the best. They couldn’t make us feel more welcome.  We just wish we could see them more often.

The latest trip I was so touched that Murray insisted I choose something I liked from her wonderful collection of glassware. I chose this wonderful purple pitcher because I LOVE pitchers of all shapes and sizes. Murray said there were glasses that went with it; but, although we looked and looked, we were unable to find them.

Murray was setting up for a meeting of one of her clubs, getting out fall things, and found the glasses! They arrived in the mail today along with a nice letter from John.

This set belonged to one of my husband’s aunts, Kathryn Dennis.

I love the set because –

  • I love pitchers, with our without coordinating glasses
  • I love purple
  • I love things with texture
  • the set belonged to my husband’s Aunt Kathyrn
  • the set most recently belonged to my wonderful cousin/friend Murray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Delightful Surprises, Family, Favorite People, Favorite Things

I Wish…

"Dandelion Fluff" - Paul Militaru Photography

“Dandelion Fluff” – Paul Militaru Photography

Did you blow on a dandelion as you made a wish when you were a child? I have fond memories of that – wishing for the stars – and then some.

Today I would do it again, if I had a dandelion. I would wish for as many days like today as possible.

It was, in some ways, an ordinary day for us. We did our chores around the house, went to town and did our errands. I did two more sections from my new yoga DVDs and was so relaxed I took a nap. While we were out, my husband asked me if I wanted him to cook steaks on the grill tonight. It was a perfect night for it. The temperatures cooled off and there was a beautiful breeze on the deck. We plugged in our rope LED lights that go all the way around the inside top of our deck, so it looked quite festive. Our dogs and cats were with us, enjoying chasing the occasional ‘something’ across the yard in the grass.

We just finished our glorious dinner, celebrating the weather, the fact that we’re trying to get healthier, and that we are together. I ate my steak, enjoying every bite, and my husband also enjoyed a baked potato, although I convinced him to be satisfied with a much smaller one that he is used to eating.

He is happily enjoying a book now. Recently I re-read “To Kill a Mockingbird” for the umpteenth time. I got on Netflix awhile back and ordered it, so I’m about to go in, grab my ice water, and enjoy one of my favorite movies of all time.  The day was all I could wish for. I hope my virtual wish, looking at this beautiful photo by Paul Militaru, comes true.

 

 

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Filed under Family, Favorite Authors & Books, Favorite Things, Paul Militaru Photography