Sunday, November 7, 2010

Shorter Days and Indian Summer

Clocks were set back an hour this weekend and I am already feeling the 'lack' of sunshine in the shorter days! I think it must be mental, because today was beautiful and clear with lots of sun! We have had a hard freeze and several frosts, but the temps this week will be in the 70s. This means Indian Summer! What a great week to have our roof replaced! I'm just hoping that the roofers come through and get it finished this week. The main roofer's name is Geronimo. (Strikes me funny for a guy who works up high on roofs.)

Cleaning up the garden annuals and working up the dirt. Horses have been doing their part for the garden by creating manure for the compost, so now it's just a matter of putting it all together. Been tying to really water in my lavender and other herbs. Southern Indiana is still considered to be in an 'extreme' drought. (Farmer's Alamanc is not very encouraging! Predicts winter and summer will be dryer than normal...not good!) Be sure to really water in your perennials for the winter, especially if you are suffering from the drought like Southern Indiana.

Pansies are doing well this fall.(Looking delightful in the late afternoon sun!) However they do take a lot of watering. Hopefully they will stay lively till it is time for Christmas decorating.

My daughter is coming home in 2 weeks for a long visit! (YAY!) So now I need to begin to really think about the holidays and decorating. I stopped by a Christmas open house this past weekend, just didnt seem right...too early! One of the things missing (Open houses do provide sight and sound of the holidays) that I feel really helps with 'getting into the Christmas mood' is the use of aromatherapy. Balsam, pine, fir and cinnamom can really evoke memories of holidays past.(Especially if you mix these scents with a warm kitchen full of gingerbread cookies!) Try some essential oils this season. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the natural scent and its effectiveness.

Along Turkey Run creek or I should say...what was Turkey Run Creek...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

November Days or Christmas Countdown

A quick report on October's weather. October was 4.6 degrees above average and almost 2 inches below precipatation. Calling for flurries tomorrow morning; I'm not betting on it!
Hard to believe it is just 50 days till Christmas and 17 days till my daughter comes home for a visit!!

Busy still putting the garden to sleep for the winter. I miss the flowers already, but planning for next year has begun. What I really miss, is my early morning tea in the garden. With the changing of the months, I am barely ready to have tea by that time in the morning. (My usual time in summer was 9:30am!) This was a boost to finish gardening by noon. Now, I am barely ready to do anything by I have decided to move tea time back at least till 11:00am. Nice mid morning break and the time of day I call to check on my parents. If it is warm enough, I am on the back porch! (Nothing wrong with taking tea in a heavy sweater for me and a cozy for the pot!)

November begins the yearly "Christmas Open Houses"...enjoy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The frost is on the pumpkin

Yesterday we had a good frost but today it is a hard freeze. As I looked out over the pasture in first light, a lone deer was slowly making her way home across the frozen grass. Whenever I see a single deer, I always think of my daughter.

Heading to an 18th century fair at historic Locust Grove this morning! I wish I could wear my dress, but it is more of a summer dress and besides, I need my daughter to lace me up in the stays! I need to work on getting some warmer long skirts! I am hoping I will find something for Christmas!

Cleaned up the garden some yesterday in the late afternoon sunshine. I love late afternoons in the fall! The sun plays so differently with the shadows! Removed the old marigolds and other annuals and mulched the lavender beds. I still have a lot to do! My forget-me-nots were still ok..but I imagine when I go out this morning...they will be wrapped in a frosty death.

Busy day today...bringing my parents to my farm for big Ohio State Football game. You can't grow up in Ohio and not be a Buckeye fan. Gives me pleasure to share this again with my Mom and Dad.

from along Turkey Run Creek...where the deer are searching for some acorns......

Friday, October 29, 2010

Odds and Ends...for October

I had fun carving my first pumpkin in years! I don't know why I haven't done one recently; (probably because no one comes trick or treating all the way up to the farmhouse) but I found a kit that we used when my daughter was little, so I decided to make a "Pumpkin Moonshine" as Tasha Tudor called them. Now mine, is not really a Pumpkin Moonshine, as that name reflects the man-in-the-moon face. Ours was a flying witch...! What took 4 lights to get enough to show up in the picture...but it was entertaining even for my husband!..I hope to do another one this weekend.

Speaking of my daughter, I found our two cats (Gold Nugget and Gussie) getting quite cozy on her chair! They fight mostly when my husband and I are around. As I was heading to bed...they both settled down for a long least till I took their picture! (I think they were upset that I caught them in a compromising position!!!)

I found this visitor to the farm the other morning! It has been a long time since I have seen a 'stick' bug or as my parents generation called them, "Walking Sticks". These bugs can actually re-grow a leg if it is lost or damaged! And...some varieties can reproduce without a male! This one made it all the way into our kitchen...but was safely escorted outside.

The farm survived the lowest pressure 'perfect' storm (according to all meteorologists) this past week. Lots of limbs and twigs down and some minor damage to the house. We got over an inch of rain...much appreciated, but we need so much more. Our pond is down by at least 4 or 5 feet. It is the dark of the moon, so time to go plant more bulbs. Also had our hardest freeze this morning, so it is time to clean up the annuals and cut back, put the garden to bed. Don't forget to add some color to your garden by adding some pansies.

As the English say "No flowers, no leaves, no bees, no birds - No vember"

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Home in Indiana and a farm update!

Hard to believe after all this time, but my parents ( 90 and 87 - born and raised in Ohio) moved last week to Southern Indiana...not 10 minutes from my farm! I am so excited to have them close and so relieved. Talk about stress reduction - I have slept like a baby for the past week.

The move was a very stressful time, but we made it! Their car was so full of their clothes and kitchen pantry items, I had to leave my luggage in Ohio! I figured it was mostly summer clothes...but once I got home, I realized my best pants and skirt were left behind too! Oh well, a trip to Ohio is planned soon, to retrieve more items...this time I will make room for my luggage! We are all adjusting well! I feel like a major weight has been lifted off my shoulders...I'm free to think about my farm again, flowers for the new gardens planned for 2011, lunch with friends and prepare for my daugther's visit in 4 weeks! YAY!

Farm update - I rode my first baby born on the farm on Tuesday! Skye was born 5 years ago to my mare, Cowgirl and Woody, my reining studly dudly! Skye was born mid of course I missed his birth, but my husband was there...beautiful baby boy, but he is now called "Special Ed" by my daughter due to all his problems! (quick list: blood transfusion at 2 days, knocked out front tooth at 3 months, punctured hoof which required 5 month stall rest, ripped off eye lid, get the picture!) Anyway..I promised myself that after the move, I would ride him, as I have had a trainer working with him since August! Well, I got on...but I don't think I would call what I did as riding! I felt like a bag of potatoes in the saddle! I need to work on that again...geesz.

First killing frost yesterday...lost just a few things..mostly my husband's favorite sweet potato vine. We are still in a drought and expecting rain this weekend. I need to work on my meadow...lousy year for flowers. I am going back to purchase some fall seeds from American Meadows to see if I can get a start on things for the spring. It just makes sense, flowers drop their seeds in the fall and let nature take its course.

Plans for summer of 2011 are a new flower (cutting) garden by the deck and hopefully a fish pond near the deck. We will see if I can get it all together by summer. I am also planning a new addition to the house. With my parents in town, there is just no room in the living room for the entire family!

One final word for today Lavender Essential Oil!!! I was making some fudge for my father and I burned my two fingers. (stupid on my part...touched the burner on the stove!) I've had a smooth top stove for over 20 years...first time I ever burned myself. Anyway, I soaked my fingers in lavender oil during the rest of the cooking time for the fudge. I also soaked a bandaid in the oil put it on my finger and went to bed. While, I 'killed' some skin from the burn, the pain is gone and there is no blister. Finger works great...except I'm having a little trouble using my laptop's mouse pad.

Hunter's moon is full and bright! Enjoy!

Coming soon - Long Apron Society!

from along Turkey Run Creek...where the vultures have moved on to better hunting grounds and the creek is dry and no turkeys in sight.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Vultures and clotheslines

Autumn is here...kinda caught me 'napping'! I've been on the road between Indiana and Ohio so much lately...that I missed all the signals. One of the new things that has happened at the farm while I was gone, is that the vultures have decided to use my roof as their private tarmac to warm up and dry their wings before their morning hunt. Not exactly something I am real happy about! Their feet make a horrible screeching noise as they try land, hang on or takeoff from our metal roof. Just a little unnerving early in the morning. Yesterday there were 15 perched on the roofline.

I love clotheslines! (I know, I know...dryers are so much more convenient and my mother tells horror stories of drying cloth diapers on a clothesline in the winter and stacking them like boards to bring them in!) But there is just something about the clean crisp feel of clothes dried on a line in the sun. There's a lot to be said about the wonderful smell of 'sunshine' on your clothes. Talk about your aromatherapy! The smell of sunshine lingers for days in your clean clothes. I have forgotten much about using a clothesline. The art of which way to hang your clothes, using clothespins effectively, keeping the lines clean and your clothes off the grass, etc. And in our planned obsolescence really can't find good clothespins that last more than one season. And to add insult to injury...some neighborhoods will not allow residents to have a clothesline. How sad...that you can not use wind and solar power to dry your own clothes. One reason I love living in the country.

from along Turkey Run Creek...where the turkeys are few and far between, vultures plentiful...and the creek is dry!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The beauty and grace of the past back to life

The above quote comes from my daughter's blog and her passion on sewing 18th century clothes. I just wanted to echo my sentiments too. Where is the beauty and grace of the past? Such a good question. Case in point...whatever happened to knife rests? This lovely example belongs to my mother. Is this not the neatest thing? A place to put your knife when not in use. Not only does this beautiful crystal antique looks good but it also serves a great purpose. It keeps your knife off the table and away from germs. Maybe we should bring them back? Let's start in restaurants! A major complaint I've heard and have noticed is that most of the average restaurants have eliminated the paper placemat. Have you noticed? This all done to save major dollars in expenses no doubt. But where do you put your clean silverware before you plates have arrived? I know the wait staff and busboys clean the tables but have you seen what they use?? Give me a knife rest or a tablecloth otherwise I will have to start bringing my own! A wonderful piece of grace and beauty from the past.

Days are getting shorter and is now pretty much dark in my neck of the woods by 8:10pm or so. We missed out on all the rain so our pasture and yard are pretty sorry looking. Garden is hanging in there...with a lot of watering. Fall is in the air, walnut trees have lost most of their leaves and most butterflies are like the long summer days....gone

from along Turkey Run Creek

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Glorious" Morning Glories and the return of my blogging muse

Seasonal fall is just around the corner and my Morning Glories have decided to play nice and bloom! On Tuesday morning there were over 20 blooms...unbelieveable! And this plant is the one that decided to grow on its own - up from a crack in our sidewalk. I need to collect its seeds...I feel they will be a more hardy group!

The Morning Glories that were planted by man, (my husband) are sneaking a peak at their 'wild' cousin...just not quite the same! I will say that the wall is covered in pretty soon they will probably be outshining all the rest of the garden blooms.

All these blue morning glories lead me to question...why is a true 'blue' color hard to find in the garden? I have shades of purple, yellow, orange and pink...but real blue is a little more elusive.
While checking on my favorite "Forget Me Nots" ...I found another a surprise... a wild enchanting small morning glory blooming! I guess it wanted to join up with my other blue flowers!

I've been home for a week now, from taking care of my parents in Ohio....I think my blogging 'muse' has finally decided to come for a visit. Seems like she disappered while I was otherwise engaged! So my muse and I are enjoying a cloudy fall like day in the garden...anticipating a little rain.

Affectionately yours
along Turkey Run Creek...
where the turkeys have returned for a fall feast

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Picking sunshine

It's been a busy few days since I was able to write. My father is home from the hospital and is able to pretty much take care of himself. So plans are back on to move my parents to assisted living here in Southern Indiana.
Thursday I was able to leave the Great Miami River and come home to the farm. What a feeling it is to come up our long driveway ...I never realized how much I enjoyed living about a quarter mile off the road..but that long driveway puts a big buffer between you and the world.

I wasn't home 24 hours when my stallion, Woody, (see picture in previous post)...colic. This is a very painful condition for a horse and also a killer. Many horses do not survive. I was lucky. I called a good friend, who is a vet, and she came over immediately. I also had to call in another horse vet, and after 5 hours of walking (dragging/pushing him so he would not lay down) Woody and pain medication, pumping his stomach with mineral oil, he has recovered. I am so happy and grateful...but can we say...Stress!!!

Today is a beautiful fall day. Lots of sunshine, slight breeze and the early colors and smells of autumn. There's nothing like the garden to help eliminate stress. My husband did a great job keeping the flowers alive. However, he doesn't deadhead. So this morning I got my bucket and headed to the marigolds as they were in need of a good grooming. Trust me, there is nothing like deadheading marigolds for stress. I believe this is even better than popping bubble wrap. And the best part? When you are fingers are slightly yellow and you have the smell of sunshine/marigold on your hands...kinda like picking sunshine.
I left this bloom and the bumble bee hanging you see in the picture above. I think he was another victim of work related stress. He has been on this flower in the same position since at least Thursday when I got home. Don't think he is going to make it...

from along Turkey Run Creek
where the wild turkeys have returned....

Monday, September 6, 2010

A confession.....and some retail therapy

Just a quick note on Labor Day... I don't want to 'labor' too long!

I have a confession to make...

After my rant about primitive decorating, my husband (who came up to Ohio for a visit) took me to the local flea market. His idea of retail therapy for me and to give some 'care' to the caregiver. Anyway...after my rant on's a tally of what I purchased at the flea market. (Prices were excellent I think the dealers didn't want to pack things.)

1 flax hackle
2 cast iron kettles (for my fireplace and bonfire)
1 farmer's tool..have no idea what it is...but it will go on display
1 basket
1 sheep design cutting board
1 Blue/White coverlet woven by William Van Gordon, from Covington, Ohio This coverlet has no date on it, but the history books have Van Gordon working in Covington from 1848 - 1853. This was cheap cheap cheap because it had a hole in the middle and no fringe, but it displays well..with over 2/3rd usable material if I want to piece it out. (Don't think so)

I ended up dumpster diving cause I saw good clay flower pots that someone had thrown away. We were at the market on Sunday so I can only assume that it was from a dealer who packed up on Saturday. I told my husband after this hot summer, I was throwing away all plastic pots.

Didn't see any hanging gourds....phew!

Guess I had better re-call my rant on primitives! Anyway it was a great weekend to get outside and for some retail therapy.

New moon this week...also we are in a 'no-burn' situtation on the farm, due to the lack of rain. Hope we get some soon...once I get home it is time to have a bonfire.
Morning glories are blooming finally...I was beginning to think they went on vacation to escape the heat. We are losing daylight quickly so enjoy the days while you can.

affectionately yours
along the Great Miami River

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Early Fall Musings....

Odd thoughts for a beautiful September day..

I’ve thrown in the towel…(yeah you guessed it…TEA stained brown) on being a “prim”….After careful research...I’ve decided that decorating style is just plain dirty. The ‘straw’ that broke the camel's back for me…was one too many houses hanging 2 dipper gourds on their front doors…..looks like the local bull’s gonads to me…that .. just ain’t right. (ok ok I admit it, there's some of primitives stuff I still like! )

Found my mother’s collection of old Colonial Homes magazine from the early 1980s, now that’s decorating. I think I will start a new trend to offset ‘dirty’ primitive….Country Colonial…oh..wait…maybe that’s out there already! Here's my idea of Country Colonial - my mother's living room and majolica collection.

Note to Primitive Antique dealer in Ohio advertising a “Fall Gathering” and Open House. You need people for a gathering…and maybe some refreshments, some signs pointing the way, entertainment and maybe samples or giveaways. And for crying out loud…get the dang gourds off the front door!

Where are the flowers??? I’m talking at the hospital…I rarely saw any fresh flowers delivered to the hospital the entire week my father was there. I know that cut flowers from South America are covered in pesticides…but still…scientific research has proven that flowers help in the healing process…so is it just the economy that has changed that practice or what? Bring your garden flowers to the hospital…make mine lavender if you have it!

A special note to my best friend, Janice. Thank you for always being there for me...otherwise...I would look like the bee on the leaf...not the bee on the flower! (Work related's a killer...)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Stencils...a "Prim's" best friend

Just a quick father is doing well...thanks to everyone for their prayers and good thoughts sent my way! I so appreciate your support!
My dad has refinished furniture all his life. He is a great carpenter and expert woodworker. All the wood furniture in our family home has been re-worked and refinished by Dad. During the beginning of the primitive decorating craze in the late 70s and 80s...he and Mom stenciled much of their home. My Mom has the ideas...Dad is stuck with the execution! Here are some areas in their home..that he has stenciled.
The above large basket and border is in the master bedroom. The main family room is stenciled with a border located above the chair rail and above the doors.

My bedroom is also stenciled...(ummm I was the one that started them on stenciling - go figure!) with a heart and border design. I love stenciling and for some lazy reason...I have not done any in my farmhouse. I think it is time to right that wrong!

Another hot day...and I miss my garden, farm and husband. He has been watering the garden very faithfully and I am grateful. I am going to miss all my Forget-me-nots and other late bloomers that I have babied all summer. Our morning glories are sulking in the heat and not showing their faces. Maybe they are waiting on me to come home? That would be nice.

I have just about wiped out my supply of lavender essential oil during this stressful time. Time to stock up..and I forgot to bring a new bottle with me to Ohio. I need to create a emergency travel kit of some essential oils. Next year if my lavender survives the heat and winter... I am going to distill my own..and make my own hydrosol too. (Hydrosol is the left over water from distilling oil. It has been shown to be as effective as the essential oil.) Stay tuned!

Affectionately yours...
along the Great Miami River

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NOT a primitive hiking trail....

Most of you know, that I live very close to the Knobstone Hiking trail that covers over 57 miles in south central Indiana. This is a primitive (and we now know that I'm a "Prim!") hiking trail which is a great opportunity to enjoy nature-bathing and to reduce stress. I miss my morning hikes in the Knobstone back in Indiana.

Most of you know too, that my father has been in the hospital (in Ohio) for the past week recovering from colon surgery and then a more difficult recovery from the narcotics used post operation. Yesterday was probably the worst day for Dad, Mom and I. So I really felt that I needed to get into nature to 'let down' and to try to eliminate some stress. Fortunately for me, across from the hospital is the Twin Arch space and hiking trail along the Great Miami River. Boy was I in for a surprise...this was no 'primitive' hiking trail!

My initial thought was ...."Like, for real....are you telling me that I can't cross the yellow center line while walking?" I was shocked when I got out of the car and started on the was completely paved and striped...and of all things marked with a pedestriam crossing warning! Well those who know me....know that I march to a different I walked on the wrong side...the whole time!!! Got a lot of strange looks...but I just smiled. First of all...I wanted to walk close to the water is always good therapy. So I stayed the sounds of the rushing river. Once I got over my initial shock...I enjoyed exploring around the river. I kept straying off the trail...because this area is part of the original 1830 Miami Erie Canal. The park gets its name from the twin arches constructed in 1837 to allow water from the Miami River to flow into the canal. There are only 2 such arches left standing in Ohio. I ventured as close as I could to get this shot! (My legs are just now healing from all the bug it's not my best shot for sure.) You can see the beautiful stone work. Life in the early 1800s was primitive...but transportation by canal boat was a big improvement. If you get to this area, John Johnson's Farm in Piqua, Ohio is a living history museum with canal boat rides on part of the original Miami Erie Canal.
As for me, I'll stick to the Knobstone, where the trail is small, natural and I am surrounded by nature...not asphalt and yellow paint!

Another hot day today...Ohio is lacking for what was green is now turning yellow. We had another slight fog this morning so I am going to count that as at least snow flurries this winter. I heard the other day that if there is a really hot summer that the following winter will be mild. We shall see as we have had a blistering hot summer.

Affectionately yours...
along the Great Miami River...

Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm a prim, she's a prim...are you a prim too?

After stopping by a primitive store on Saturday...and purchasing a new magazine, A Primitive Place...I read that I was a "Prim"...I didn't know that...A long time ago...I had a boss whose husband's name was Prim, but I was surprised to find out I was a Prim too. I guess if you like primitives antiques, reproductions, etc...voila you are a Prim. Checkout their website for more information. They have a "Prim" blog, a "Prim" chat...etc. I do like the fact that it also includes Colonial pieces. The magazine is expensive at this time, $8.00 printed quarterly, but I have had over 8.00 worth of fun with it and so has my mom! I think the thing is produced on a much more amateur level. I think this is great. Looks like members of the website have submitted their own digital pictures of their homes.
So you can really study the pictures (although they are dark, one of the things I hate about primitive decorating!) for ideas..and they included a section on crafts and how to get the look you want from the primitives.

I am not big on a lot of primitive know what I am talking about...the stuff you find in the stores....textiles all stained with tea so that it appears dark and aged, reproduction samplers, stinky candles...etc. I do like a lot of the furniture though. Pretty much all Johnston Benchwork furniture I like and in Troy, my favorite store is Canal Street Primitives.(I can not find a website for them, but they are on Facebook.) The owner makes a lot of the wood furniture...including cupboards, shelves, blanket boxes and the like. Last Saturday their fall open house, I picked up this 'noodle' board. I'm not sure I would put noodles on it since it is painted.(could cover with wax paper though)...and it does scare me because it fits over the stove..and I don't want to set it on fire...but it has its purpose. It covers the stove or sink too..and gives you extra counter space. I'm hoping that when my daughter comes home this fall..we will be able to cool Christmas cookies on it! (or at least use it to give us more room!)

Summer has been rough weather wise. According to the local weatherman...June, July and August were way above normal temperatures. June about 7 degrees above, July 5 degrees and August is going to hit about 6 degrees above normal. They say...very rare for all 3 months to be above normal.
I guess my garden is husband has promised to keep watering it ....I'm in Ohio..taking care of Dad. He's still in the op. Surgery went well...but at 90..a lot of confusion and difficulties from everything.

Affectionately yours...

from along the Great Miami River...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lazy hazy days of summer

Had a soothing and relaxing storm yesterday gave us over 1/2 inch of rain...which was much needed. I really didn't need it in my rain barrel, but am always thankful for free water and labor! I don't have to water the garden! It rained off and on til almost noon. Some say that was our last chance for rain for at least 10 days.
Picture of the natural wildflowers in the pasture above cost me dearly! I think the shot turned out pretty well, but my legs look like I have the chicken pox....I mean I was attacked...I'm guessing since I stepped into the tall and weedy wildflowers to get this shot. I had "Off" on....but I don't think the "Off" was 'on' because I think there is only 1 spot (no pun intended!) where there are no bites! Working on Plan B to prevent bug bites. (Or Plan C...I think I've lost count!)

Not all bugs are bad is I think a real ladybug...not the orange Asian kind..but I didn't see any spots at all...oh wait...they're all on my legs...

While sipping tea on the deck....I spotted (again with the 'spot' can tell what's on my mind!) this neighbor enjoying the afternoon. Looks like she could use some more sun...

Another foggy morning....on this Sunday. My fog count for August is now up to 3. It was a light I'm guessing maybe that would translate to snow flurries? I hope so...heat index this afternoon is over 95. A slight breeze makes working outside a little less difficult. My husband and I are clearing around the old chicken coop barn. This old wood barn will become our garden workshop and storage shed. At least that's the plan...uh...Plan A? I can only hope!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fogs, Fairies and domiciles

Another fog this morning....yay that means at least 2 snowfalls this winter! And it was a beautiful morning too boot. I decided to clean up the bonfire it was a calm and cool morning. We are due for rain tomorrow afternoon so I felt like it was time to burn off some collected tree trash and weeds. I waited till now because I thought my pile of tree limbs provided homes to a lot of birds, but since the singing has stopped and under careful observation, I have not seen any birds in the area it was time to get to work.
However, I could not bring myself to burn this broken abode of the pileated woodpecker.I have watched many a summers, where the residence woodpecker would build a home for his family! It was a very nice rooftop penthouse for many years, till a strong storm lowered it to ground level. Notice how it has a front door and basement door...

After the fire burned down some...I got to thinking of other domiciles around the here are a few that I found. This the Leaning Tower of Borden...for the local Bluebird family. Not sure what happened here....but more than likely I can blame this on some sort of a 4 legged creature. (but not Cheyenne!) There is a nice level nest inside.

For many years my 18th century bird bottle from Colonial Williamsburg has been empty. This summer in this low housing market,it finally became home to a needy family. I never got to see any of them....but from the looks of the nest it was quite a nice home.

I have saved the best for last. A local gypsy fairy took up residence in my garden for a few days. You know the gypsy fairies...they come and go quickly and you never can see them. I was invited to take a look at the outside of the home...but warned not to cross the treshold.I have not seen a finer dwelling than this. The gypsy fairies moved on...but what a wonderful example of design and construction.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First big fog of August = Snow Storm in Winter

Woke up to a really great, thick fog this morning. So thick in fact, that if you stayed outside long felt like you were in a cloud.
According to weather folklore...the number of fogs in August equals the number of snow storms in Winter! I'm excited...I love snow storms....but then I think it may be wishful thinking in this really hot, dry summer. This was our first fog of August.

Even Woody enjoyed the fog today lingered so long that it kept any stray horse flies away for the first time in he got to stay outside longer...he was happy.

After the fog cleared... it turned into another beautiful 'fall' like day in the valley. I'm still watering my garden...not sure why.........

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Late summer musings....

Odd thoughts for a beautiful day in August.......

I miss the birds singing in the morning and the insects at all we get are insects all the time....

Rain barrel water is like fish and stinks after 3 days...

Butterflies are up and working by 10:00am...buzzards on the other hand are just waking up....slackers...

Hiking boots and long aprons...elicit feelings of Jed, Elle May and the cement pond...not the look I was going for....thanks anyway Granny.

Crazy echinacea is coming back in August when everything else is dying...go figure.

Chamomile harvest is very poor this year....I blame the gardener.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Teapots and premiums

I'm showing my age here...but does anyone remember the 50s and 60s when companies gave away premiums with a purchase or sold items for box tops and a small amount of cash? My favorite is Dolly Parton talking about Breeze detergent on the Porter Waggoner TV show during the 60s. Breeze actually gave away dishtowels in their boxes of soap. (Makes you wonder how much soap you were missing in each box...) At each commerical Dolly would say with a giggle "You can't buy 'em! You can only get them in boxes of Breeze."

Well my favorite teapot is a gift from my mother...but it was also a premium from 70s. In 1976 my mother found herself an empty nester. Both my sister and I had married and moved out. Some time during this period, she started using Diet Imperial margarine. Diet Imperial began offering teacups/saucers as premiums. These bone china teacups and saucers were manufactured by Royal Windsor Bone China. Collecting the box tops and with a few extra dollars per item, my mother was able to collect 12 cups/saucers, 12 cake plates, sugar and creamer and this wonderful teapot.
Included with each china delivery were additional coupons for Diet Imperial.
When my mother gave me the complete set, she also included an old order form. Her selection was the "Forget-M-Not" pattern. And we know how much I love Forget-Me-Nots! While I suspect that Dolly's dishtowel wasn't made of the best material, this teapot is perfect and serves up a great pot of tea.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing

Interesting article printed in the New York Times on July 5, 2010. Seems the Japanese did a study of involving 280 healthy people who were instructed to walk 2 hours in a nature park or forest and another group walked 2 hours in the city. On the 2nd day, the groups traded places. What researchers found was that the group that walked in the forest or nature park showed a lower concentration of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure and basic increase in immune function. A hike in the forest also increase white blood cells. This increase in white blood cells in women lasted for over 7 days! This Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing has become very popular in Japan.

This just proves what I have been saying all along...we need to spend more time in the woods and nature! I just finished reading Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. It is a very interesting book on the "nature deficit disorder in our children. Louv's thesis is that the health of our children and the health of the Earth are bound together. Louv's highlighted quote from his research is from a 4th grader from San Diego that said "I like to play indoors better 'cause that's where all the electrical outlets are." Louv's goal now is "no child left inside"

I am very fortunate to live within walking distance of the Knobstone Trail located in south central Indiana. Just being out in the woods in the early morning...(before the bugs) is a great way to start your day, get some exercise..and it looks like a great way to restart your health and reduce stress. Scientist say the phytoncides which are the airborne chemicals that plants emit to protect themselves from rotting and insects also have been shown to benefit humans.

All 3 pictures are from the Knobstone trail which is a primitive hiking/camping trail especially maintain for hikers only.