Welcome to the Playroom at 14 Peonystreet!

Why we call it the 'Playroom': the garrett at the top of the stairs, whence objects pleasing to the eye are brought from the drawing board to reality, after much discussion with the ancestors.....

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Goodbye to My "Laughing Corn"!

Here yesterday.......
.....gone today!
I am obsessed with my "laughing corn"!
It entertained me all summer,
providing me with music to my ears all through the season.
Now, all the ears have been harvested,

and we will await winter...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Even’s Glo’ - A Poem of Longing

When the day winds down
and the clock gets slow,
the daylight dims
to even’s glo.
I sit and look past 
the fields below
watching the clouds lying low....

And wish you were mine. 

The clouds in their splendorous light-
I wonder if you see it so?
Here on earth or in heaven’s gaze
I wish you were mine,
to have to hold for tomorrow, next year.

But you are not here.

There’s the colors, do you see?
Lavender and pink and grey.
It’s in the sunset and the sea.
How can I keep this grief at bay?

Are you in the even’s glo?
I think of the time, when you
were mine, and the places we would go.

You belong to the ages now,
timeless as the sea.
It will be my turn one day. 

But for now, I still long for the time
when you were mine.

Even’s glo has turned to dark.
See the stars in the sky?
Big Dipper, Milky Way,
then comets fly. 

I reach out my arm as if to touch.
It’s only a shadow in the air.
This grief is almost too hard to bear.

It’s cool now and all the colors of the day 
have melted into night.
Like a baby, I draw your quilt around me,
and I dream.

Suddenly, I see you waving to me in the
even’s glo, an outline in the fading light.

Your arms are real now.
You reach, we embrace.
At last, you are mine.

I awake, and know the dream,
We have been here before.
Now I can go, go in peace.
You’re here beside me, and in me,
and around me.  
You’re in the light,
the day, and the night,
as I walk into even’s glo.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Madly Canning, Pickling, and Drinking Iced Coffee

Let the canning begin!   Well, it’s already begun and has been going on for a month now, since the green beans and cucumbers have ripened.
It began with these, the crock dills, now in the refridgerator.  Oh My, Oh My- are they good!  Simple to make, and another crock in the works right now.
 The second crock needs to go into jars into the fridgerator today.  We are having so many cucumbers, that we had to get a second refriderator– which is coming soon, so it is none too late!
There have been oodles and oodles of the green beans, so we have not wasted any, and have canned them all.  These will soon be done in the garden, I think we’ve gotten the best of them now.
No so for the cucumbers– they are going to explode again, soon, and MUST be picked every day, or at least every other day to keep them from getting too big.  I love these cucumbers for pickling, and three got big, by being missed accidently from picking, so two went into the relish, and one got made into refridgerator cucumber salad.  Oh My- these are so crunchy!
And we’re not done yet!
There’s going to be tomatoes, and corn to can and freeze.
I think we’ll do some jalapeno’s today too- I can them whole.
And there’s going to be watermelons- two types, and some rogue cantaloupe.
Then we’ll plant some turnip greens and some pumpkins for fall.
Canning is work, takes me lots of iced coffee.  My favorite and simplest “recipe” is to use Starbucks VIA, which comes 6 packets in a box, and at approximately $1.00 a packet, I think it’s a bargain.  I mix 16 oz water along with the packet of coffee, which is lightly sweetened, then add about ½ cup or 4 oz of 2% milk.  It’s great.  Now, if I want to make my own, I use my Mr. Coffee Latte Machine, which has a frother in the pot.

 I use about 6 oz. Of 2% milk in the bottom of the pot, along with 2 packets of Truvia, and 1 teaspoon regular white sugar.  Sometimes I add ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract.   Then in the top, goes 6 tablespoons of coffee, and 8 ounces of water.   The pot makes a nice foam.  I’ve found that skim milk makes the most foam.  I can’t tell the difference in the foam you get at the coffeeshop and this foam– so I love it!    To make this hot coffee into iced, I simply let it cool off a bit, then add crushed ice.
My dear mother canned every summer while growing her family, and I think she got weary of it after years of doing it.  That’s how I’m beginning to feel about these cucumbers.  Nobody else seems to want them.
We have an abundant garden this year, and so much to look forward to- namely the cantaloupe that is a rogue seed, but its growing great.  We’ve shaped the vine in a horseshoe shape around the tomatoes.   We made a string trellis this year for the tomato patch, and it’s working– the tomatoes are off the ground and you can actually walk between the rows.
 There’s these pretty Crimson Sweet watermelons, and a new one for us this year, the Jubilee watermelon.  These are so pretty!  It’s been perfect weather for everything, including the corn, which will be ready soon.  I’ve heard you can add a few drops of BT to the tops of the corn to ward off earworms.   I don’t have any now, but wish I did, as they usually will have worms.
 I like canning, but it makes for chaos in the kitchen.  Washing pots over and over again, and utensils and jars and jar bands.   The kitchen never gets clear of all this paraphernalia until all the vegetables are in.   With such a long growing season here, that’s not anytime soon.   No wonder my mother was dying for a vacation from all this every summer!
Here's a tip for some nice music to listen to while doing your bean cutting or kitchen work:  The group name is "First Aid Kit" and they are two Swedish sisters. I really like this album "Stay Gold".   They have a country western flair- and I like it!
 Here's a word about Walmart's Mainstays brand of canning lids and the Ball brand:  I like the Ball brand better, as I had a problem with two lids bending and not sealing properly of the Mainstays.
 Mainstays is on the left, Ball on the right.  I think you can see the Ball brand is  little better quality.
The Garden
The pantry is getting more full by the minute.  And I’m getting tired off all the cucumbers.  Want to get back to sewing– very soon- but that’s not going to happen......Oh well, the respite from sewing may inspire new projects– who knows?
Happy Canning to you as well....!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Small Miracles...........This Week On the Farm

Oh, Look at those little bunnies!
Ain't they cute!?
More about these later......
This was the corn on May 27.....
This is the corn today, June 20.  It's about 6 feet tall and 
it's tasseling.....
Each one of these hairy "blooms" is an ear of corn...
Look how pretty!
And this.....
I think they're showing off!
It's dry this week, so we're getting plenty of road dust on the garden.
The blueberries are growing like gangbusters this year.  Bird netting was necessary. 
Mostly it's been mockingbirds so far that want them.
We've still had plenty for two pies and about 4 gallons frozen. Mmmmmmm......
We'll be picking green beans soon, and....
...making pickles!
Here's a garden tip for ya:  Black plastic (held down) will kill anything underneath it.
I'm using this method, along with tilling, to keep the crab grass under control, which is extremely a pain in the neck to remove by hand.  I'm saving this space for pumpkins, which won't be planted til July.
So far, so good!  Corn in the back, green beans, then tomatoes and then peppers.  Watermelons and cucumbers to the left (by the plastic) and blueberry bushes to the right.  Love this garden!
Had a visitor over the cornfield.  There's a patch in the middle of the field that the corn didn't grow, due to too much rain.  I think they are looking for something else.....
We've had some small miracles lately.  This saucer magnolia is blooming for the second time this year, after a torrential rain.
And this white crepe myrtle is LOADED with blooms this year.
Last summer it never bloomed and looked like it was going to die.
This pecan tree sprouted from a "dead" pecan tree.  It was nothing but a black stick.  It got fertilized, and it sprouted near the bottom, and it's going crazy now.  The next picture shows another pecan tree, and how big it would be if it had not "died".
Pecan tree, large. 
Okay-- a really cool "miracle":  baby bunnies.
This photo only shows one, but there were two live baby bunnies borned in the garden.  Two didn't live.  Their nest was disturbed by some unknown source, but found when weeding.  The two live ones were obviously under stress, breathing hard and weak.  It was also very hot outside, so...
I had to help "save" them.  Fed them some water and milk with a dropper.  They don't have their eyes open yet.  They were really stressed, but they perked up and looked much better after a few minutes.
Just so you know, these are wild cottontail bunnies.  If they look like this, they are 5-7 days old.  If a human touches them, the mother will still take care of them.  But the best thing to do is leave them alone.
This was a rare opportunity for me to hold something this small and alive in my hand, so small, so light, so soft, and alive!
After their "refreshing", they were placed in a safer nest location, yes, back in the garden, only a foot away from the original nest, and the mama came and moved them somewhere else!  Whew!  That's good!
I wonder if I'll recognize them when they're older?
Time for a hug!  Don't be scar'd! This is Stinky.  He's just as affectionate as a cat, rubbing on you for a hug and petting!
He loves water!
Awwww...! Only a face a mother dog could love...!
Sneak peek of new apron design in progress.
Lilac Hill pattern by Jan Patek,  all needleturn on the applique.   Fun- love doing needleturn.
I'll leave you with this- the corn,
reaching to heaven.
Happy Summer!


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