Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blooming Again- Orchid flower 3

It is a blooming good time here in Robertsville.
Our little orchid visitor is really being a good guest,
gracing us with yet another bloom.
If all goes well, there are a few more blooms
yet to open, and the buds are growing daily.
The poor thing will be all tuckered out 
by the time I have to return it.

I don't know if it likes the diffused Northern light
that seeps into the dining room window - that
sits behind a nine foot deep porch.
Or does it like the well water?
I have no idea but something is right.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


There is absolutely nothing I'd rather do 
than shop for my jewelry at Boll Weevil Pawn!
With a name like that, what more could you ask?

"Girls, he proposed!" she exclaimed with hearts sparkling in her eyes.
Ohhh, what a beautiful ring, did he get it at Jared?
"Oh no, right here at Boll Weevil Pawn!"  Isn't he sweet?

Just wait a cotton pick'n minute.
I know it's not about where he got it, or how much it is
but I don't know if I can get past associating my 
ring with Boll Weevils!

Perhaps they could have the reception at the French Quarter
All Adult Entertainment!  
This one killed me  (Don't look kids)  Strip Karaoke.

We were there during the Documentary Film Festival
that brought crowds to the downtown bath house district.
Beautiful buildings, most of which are restored.
Tall magnolias line the sidewalks where shoppers
can browse boutiques of all kinds and of course
the typical tourist attractions.

Attractions such as the Duck Tours!

No, not this kind of duck.

This sort of duck.
They tour the city and drive straight into the water
for a tour of the lake.  We have  followed them 
in town and if you open your windows you can also
enjoy the guided tour over the (quite loud) loud speaker.

It may sound like I am making fun of Hot Springs, AR.
Well, I am making fun of some of the signs but
it is a lovely town with a lot of history.
 Hike, ride or drive up the mountain road
(in the middle of town)
   and ride to the top of the tower for an amazing view.

If you ever have the chance, put it on your Places to Visit list .


Monday, October 20, 2014

Mr. Whiskers

He looked at me in disbelief, 
I could see it in his eyes, 
"Why are you here?"

It's my act of mercy.
My husband has been wonderful and he deserves
something special, over the top special.
So I agreed to eat at a fish place. 

When we visit my mom I like to eat at
On The Border  
because they have these absolutely wonderful
Mango Margaritas !!!!
Now, I'm not much of a drinker but these are SO tasty.

On day 2 I received a message from my husband
with a link to Mr. Whiskers so I thought it was a hint.
It's FISH!!
OK, some chicken but still meat.
I'm not a vegetarian, I eat a little meat.
Especially bacon.
But this is mostly meat and FISH.

I agreed so we set off for this little fish diner up the
road from Mom's house. I get up to the counter to order
and I stop in my tracks.  Fish, fish and more fish.

I tell the person taking the order that I need a minute.
I'm trying to figure out what I want that isn't meat.
Well, you saw the beginning of this post.

I selected Shrimp, which I do like
but which is so often poorly deveined that I get--
for lack of a better term--
all grossed out.

The plate arrives with six HUGE deveined shrimp,
two hushpuppies and fries.  I cautiously cut open the shrimp,
which are beautifully breaded, and I am amazed.
It's almost like lobster.
They are cooked perfectly.
And they taste good!
The hushpuppies are the best I have ever had!

Before we left I had to find the person who took
the order and tell him how wonderful the food is.
He broke out in a big smile.

We'll be back.

You can enjoy the menu at this link  Mr Whiskers

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fall Garden Finds

While something ate my elderberry, all is not lost.
I have found some garden treasures, 
some hidden away and some in marvelous display.
This sweet little pumpkin developed on the vine
that trailed out into the woods.

Then I found this orange sized green ball.
An undeveloped pumpkin?

It's a watermelon from the vines I thought had died off.
Here it was hidden in the weeds.
I cut it open, obviously not good for eating,
but took a small taste just to see what might have been.
Delicious!  Maybe next year?

There are several other small pumpkins that 
I doubt will turn orange but I'll bring them in
soon, just in case.  If nothing else, they will
make fine decorations.

Another little treasure.

We had cool temperatures,
hot temperatures, then
cool and wet temperatures.
Nature couldn't make up its mind,
so typically St Louis!
I have roses reblooming

at the same time the burning bushes are beginning to flame

Bees are flocking to the honeysuckle that 
decided to bloom again as well.

While the nearby mums start to open.

Of course you all have seen my short,
late season beans.

And the crazy potatoes that started to grow.

I wonder what could be next?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

They Ate My Elderberry- And That's Not All

They ate my elderberry!
Just the other day it was covered with leaves.
My husband reminded me it's about time for leaves to fall,
but that doesn't explain the footprints
or should I say hoof prints
in the damp ground!

They didn't stop there.
This patch of late green beans may look OK from a distance.

I might even be getting a healthy amount of beans,
considering I planted them a month late, well at least a month late.

But take a good look.
See all the snapped off vines?
That's what they did all summer long up at the big garden.
Now they found the little one. 

I think the potatoes are confused.
I was just about to dig them all up
and they started growing again!
It must have been a spell where it was
cool, hot, cool and wet.
I'll see what happens, maybe I'll just leave
them and get them later.

In the meantime,
Deer Beware!

Friday, October 10, 2014

No Elves Here

Maybe it was just wishful thinking.
Maybe I was just needed a little sweet treat.
But I looked and looked.
I even tried to spy with my camera.
No matter how hard I tried,
I just couldn't find those little elves
or a cookie factory anywhere !

Inside the Hollow
Wood cutting and Splitting 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

It's Blooming !!!

It's Blooming!!!

I am temporarily taking care of this orchid, 
(which I initially thought would be a really bad thing
based on my historic incompetence with growing indoor plants) 
but several weeks later- It's Blooming!!!

See- I didn't kill it !
Woo Hoo!  Yipee!

This is an amazing thing,
the Patron Saint of Flowers must be watching over me
because I never could have done this alone!

Not only did it bloom but there are 
More On The Way.

This orchid needs watering every day.
It isn't as if it is embeded in a deep pot of dirt; 
rather, it's almost as if it's just a bundle of roots.
There is a plastic pot with holes punched in the bottom
inside of this ceramic pot.  I keep a plastic water bottle
next to it and when I pass by, I give it a sip.

It worked, it worked, it worked!
(Imagine me doing the Blooming Orchid Dance, 
if there is a blooming orchid dance).

When it comes time to return it, I hope it 
is still as healthy!  Then the pressure will be off.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Wood Cutting and Splitting

With predictions of a cold, snowy winter, it's time to
make sure we have adequate firewood for the season.
While we do have a furnace, we supplement by using a 
wood burning insert in our fireplace which is especially 
helpful when we have our occasional power outages
and to help keep electric bills down.

There is a huge downed tree just up the Taylor Trail. 
This will eventually be the entry to the path through the woods 
between our house and my in-laws. I shall 
make a red cloak for Taylor so she can carry a nice
 basket of goodies next door. (Sound familiar??)

Storms take down a lot of 
trees around here, some have been aging 
for awhile, some fell from recent storms. 
Tom takes care of the sawing and my job will
be using the splitter controls after he places
the logs for me.  Then I can help stack.

We're not far from the house, just up the Taylor Trail.

We have a lot of fungus growth on the trees. 
I have heard that if it grows on bark, it's safe to eat but I don't 
think I want to experiment. It does make for 
some interesting patterns and textures. 

The new log splitter comes in very handy.
It saves many hours of time over splitting by hand.
My inlaw's house is next door so it will be used to
clean up the storm damage and provide firewood there too.

About half the tree cut and split.

I began stacking while Tom was finishing up the grass cutting.
Only a portion fits in the wood holder that is on the
 courtyard for easy access. We have a larger location 
up by the garden for the majority of the wood. 
We bring it down as necessary and if it's icy, we place a 
bunch on the front porch to avoid 
slipping and sliding across the way. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Macaroni Bar

A macaroni bar! 
The office cafe often prepares personalized entrees that
are really fantastic- but a bit pricey!

They recently added a macaroni bar where you select the 
ingredients to be combined with whatever noodles you choose.
They use small skillets to quickly stir fry your choices and 
then add the sauce of your choice plus cheeses.  In no time
flat you have a specialized meal.
So why not do it at home?

My selections were:
chicken, cubed and precooked- seasoned with Montreal Steak seasoning
orange sweet pepper, skin peeled
green onion, chopped including stems
spinach leaves, fresh
 Mozzarella, shredded
Parmesan grated, not the powdered type
Alfredo sauce 
(bacon would have been nice)
broccoli (that I forgot to add!)
elbow noodles

I placed the chicken and vegetables into a buttered skillet
and cooked until the spinach was wilted.
I used Montreal Steak seasoning rather than the chicken
because I wanted more pepper in it.

I added the noodles and let them heat a little.
I then added the Alfredo sauce and continued to stir.
At the last minute I added the cheeses until they melted.
Since we like the same things I did not personalize this
but it would be easy to do using a second small skillet
or quickly wiping the skillet clean.

With precooking chicken, enough for two meals,I saved a lot of time. 
I doubled what I needed and used half of the chicken
for quesadillas the night before.  I sprinkled taco seasoning, 
 did a quick stir fry in bacon grease to add additional flavor
and mixed it with my cheeses before cooking 
them on the flat grill.  

  I was not sure if my husband would like the macaroni bar
but he went back for seconds so I think it was a winner!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Final Fruits

We're down to the last of the harvest.
There are a couple of green tomatoes still on the vine
that might produce a few more red ones, but there isn't
really enough to put the energy into it.  We canned
plenty of sauce and have dehydrated quite a few.

My pumpkins didn't do well this year due to a couple of factors.

First, we let the kids smash last year's pumpkins and scatter 
the seeds, just for fun.  I think every seed took!
I should have thinned them out but wanted to see what nature
would do on it's own.  I had a lot of pumpkins starting,
and the vines spread out of the garden and wind down 
through the woods so who knows what else I will find.

Secondly, I have had to be out of town a lot.
Squash bugs will get out of control unless I remove
eggs daily by pressing duct tape to the leaves.
Early in the season I was well ahead of the game,
even the ants seemed to be eating the eggs and I had 
very few to remove.  Spiders perched on the leaves of
my zucchini, yellow squash and pumpkins so I think they
were enjoying whatever happened to hatch.
I'd find an adult or two but they didn't last long either.

Then I left for week and everything decided to hatch 
at once!  I couldn't ask my poor husband to do everything
plus go squash bug hunting! 
(Which,  by the way, I seem to taken an inordinate pleasure in)
When I returned they were everywhere.

The adults lounged on leaves,
lounged on each other,
basked in the sunlight having little squash bug BBQs,
probably a few brews too.

I took desperate measures and sprayed them-
Yes, I did.  I sprayed them.
They loved it.
I think they inhaled- deeply.
And continued to multiply
and conquer.

  I really don't care, I had so many squash that I was
feeding them to the chickens, who I swear managed
to smile toothy grins at the carpet of squash in their pen.
Never mind that they don't have teeth or can grin.
They did.

The only concern I have is that the bugs are going to overwinter
buried deep in the ground where I can't get to them.
That means even more next year so I decided that I will starve them out.
No squash for a year.
Well, maybe one plant in some other area, but none in the garden.

I'll see what these little guys do,
the two in front are pumpkins and are continuing to turn orange.
They will make either cute decorations, maybe cupcakes
or more chicken feed (the chicks vote for feed).
Taylor might vote for the cupcakes!