Friday, September 28, 2012

Linked 52 - Tools...

Tools, well, what kind of tools?
There are an awful lot of different tools that one can use on any given day.

Such as tools for...

book making
candle stick making
car care

I have dabbled in all of the above at some time in my life, but for this prompt, I chose gardening tools.

One would think that I have neat and tidy gardens, seeing as how I spent most of the last 6 months in a crouch or on my hands and knees, playing in the dirt, killing my back and wrist, getting eaten alive by mosquitoes and gnats, wondering how much longer my luck can possibly hold out before I get mold spores in my lungs and end up in the hospital.

Well, um, NO, I do not have neat and tidy gardens, but I sure would like to. I would like to be able to go away for a week and not have to worry about what the gardens will look like when I return. I would like to have friends over and not be embarrassed by the state of my yard. I would like to go for my monthly massage and be able to ask for a relaxing massage, because no part of me really hurts.
The gardening I do is just a LOT of work that I do over and over and over again. Why? Because I was stubborn and didn't want to lay down weed block. I hated the old felt-like weed block we had years ago and refused to put that down again. Luckily we found a much lighter one that we/I am happy with. We have a couple more spots to finish up before winter (fingers and toes crossed), because I am getting real tired of pitching wood chips.
One of our projects over winter (in addition to finishing the basement that was supposed to be done this past spring) is to make a couple of Adirondack chairs (our old ones rotted) out of treated lumber, then paint and seal them so they are ready for some serious use come spring. I'd like them to be a little bit over-sized, and if we can find a pattern for the gliders, Yippee!!! I Love gliders.
My plan for next summer is to grab one of those chairs, find a nice cool shady spot in the yard, get a glass of pink lemonade, a good book, and relax and enjoy all my hard work, as often as I possibly can. (guess I'll have to make sure I go for extra walks and ride my bike to work)

Here is a little peek at my most used gardening tools...

I also took a few pictures that have nothing to do with gardening tools, but they do have a lot to do with gardening...

Stop on by these blogs and see what kind of tools these lovelies use!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Linked 52 - Autumn

Autumn has always been my favorite season, until the last several years, when Spring has given it a run for it's money. So now, it's pretty much a toss up.

Summer went by so fast for me this summer because I put in so many more hours at work than I am scheduled for. I normally work 64 hours a pay period and I work a strange every third weekend, so roughly 3-4 days a week, and I work part time for a very good reason...that's what I want. Most of July, all of August and part of September, I have been at or over 72 hours a pay period, and the thrill and excitement of  helping get a new lab system up and running, is long gone and I'm just now looking forward to enjoying my summer! Oops, guess I'm going to have to wait for the next one.

To me, it feels like Autumn is starting early, signs of it are everywhere. I wonder if it has anything to do with the summer being so dry.

Yellow Jackets are the first clues that Autumn is on it's way. I know I always start really noticing them in early August, like when I go to the Uptown Art Fair and try to eat lunch. Seems like it's nearly impossible to Not eat a Yellow Jacket, then the State Fair is inundated with them. This year I got my first bee sting...Yes, it did hurt, a lot, well it stung more than it hurt, then it itched and itched and itched.
So I tend to stay far away when I see something like this below. David said, "Why don't you stick the camera (phone) right down in there?" I just gave him "that look" and walked on.

cooler temperature
better sleeping
dry air
dry hands
crunchy grass
plants spent
harvesting the garden
hay rides
haunted houses
hot dish
zucchini bread
comfort food
drives up the North Shore
drives to Lake Pepin, Redwing, Stillwater
flip-flops (till it snows)
pumpkins, squash, apple crisp
pumpkin pie lattes at Dunn Bros
salted caramel mocha at Starbucks
dark early
crisp, clean air
cold ears
the smell of burning oak bonfires
having the first fire in the stove
straw bales
tied fleece blankets
garden work
pastel sheets draped over plants
harvesting veggies
the smell of leaves
raking them up
geese flying south
squirrels holes all over my yard
annie losing her undercoat
hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick
pumpkin bread

Stop by these blogs and check out what Autumn looks like to them...


Friday, September 14, 2012

Linked 52- The Kitchen...

The kitchen seems to be the only room in the house that everyone wants to be in at the same time.

When I was younger, before children younger, I could work and carry on a conversation at the same time (without making mistakes), somewhere along the way, I lost that ability. I noticed this big time the last few "get togethers" I hosted.
People will come over, pull out a chair, sit down and talk...which is great, but I can't seem to function when I feel I need to listen to what they are saying, give back some sort of comment and finish what I'm working on. I get flustered...But, if they offer to help, I seem to be able to both carry on a conversation and finish those last minute preparations with no problem. Hmmm, anyone else have this problem???

Before Andy (my chef son) moved to Cincinnati, I helped him prepare and make four luncheons for
Noel at Noon Christmas concerts at our church. Back then, I still had to word my questions and comments just right so he wouldn't take them the wrong way and start an argument, so I was a little nervous attempting to cook with him. I found that my nerves were for nothing, he nicely told me what he needed help with and nicely offered suggestions to make the task easier. Whew, what a relief. After a while I got over the fear of possible arguments and let myself be Me. (this may sound a bit strange, but there was a period of about 3 years where we did not have a good relationship, and barely talked. I am very thin skinned, taking most comments the wrong way, and he liked to challenge and argue and always get the last word in. I finally figured out to stop talking when he started nit picking and it worked. Sort of like a reverse time out. I've always said he would have made a great debator. We have gotten over that horrible phase, thank you God for answering my prayers, and he has figured out a lot since he's moved, about why his Dad and I did the things we did the way we did...what makes us tick.

Anyway, the kitchen is the heart of the home, so people say, and I have to agree. It's comforting to hang out in the kitchen.
We used to have upper cabinets hanging over the peninsula, but I always ended up leaning on the counter and peering under the cabinets at who ever was sitting at the bar. I finally suggested taking them down and using them in the breakfast nook as a sort of hutch. We cut old spindles from our staircase railing and used them for short legs, I took the doors off the back and put in painted beadboard, took off two doors on the front and use that side for my cookbooks and finally I put on a painted top with some trim.
(We are so Green around here it sometimes gets depressing.)
Now I no longer have to lean so far down on the counter, although I do still lean on it.

This kitchen looked totally different when it was my Grandma's kitchen, but we remodeled it when I was pregnant with Andy, because it didn't have a good flow, or enough cabinets, the flooring was very strange, etc. If we were remodeling it now, I would do things much differently, but kitchens are very expensive to remodel and I can live with it the way it is. But, if we ever move, I want a large open kitchen with a huge center island that we can eat at. One like most of you have!

Here is the heart of my home...

you might be able to tell that I love tins...
I have lots more-
in my work room
and on the wall going to the basement
good thing my hubs doesn't hate them ;-)

this was my dinner Wednesday 
peanut butter on apples is way better
than peanut butter on toast
I had to share with Annie

Stop and visit these lovely ladies and take a look at their kitchens or what they chose for the word kitchen

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Linked 52 - Spice...


Mexican food
Dunn Bros.

Spice has a lot of different meanings for me from the Hot spice of peppers and Mexican dishes to the Warm spice of cookies and cakes. Because I haven't tried any gluten free baking yet, I thought I would see how my favorite cookies turned out using gluten free flour.

I have to be honest and admit that while making them gluten free, they are very tasty, they are NOT as tasty as when I make them with flour. The texture is coarser and the flavor is off somewhat, so next time I make them, I will add more spices and I may try a different GF  flour. But, however they taste, I still can't regularly make and eat them, because there IS sugar in them, and the less sugar I eat, the more it reacts with me when I do eat it. Probably a good thing in the long run...I really do not need to eat goodies.

See what Spice means to these ladies...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Linked 52 - Sunset...

I can never decide which I love more, a gorgeous sunrise, or a breathtaking sunset.

These were both taken today, the sunrise was from the parking ramp of North Memorial, I had a hard time not stopping on the ride in to snap a picture, but I refrained and safely waited until I was parked and had turned off the car before attempting to capture the sunrise.

When my son Andy was going to the Art Institutes International in downtown Minneapolis, I would often give him a ride in the morning on my way to work, and I would be in awe of the way the sun shown on our fabulous Minneapolis skyline, no two days were alike and I would anticipate the view while exiting I-94 and taking the 4th Street exit to Hennepin...I get giddy just thinking of some of the beauty I saw.

The sun was starting to set at the start of our walk this evening and I was hoping to get to a spot where I could see actually see the sun setting, but that's not very easy with all the trees we have here in the suburbs, I was hoping that just maybe, I could get to the foot bridge that goes over Hwy 100, but I had to settle for climbing the sliding hill at Earle Brown Elementary instead.
Both of these were taken with my phone, so they leave a bit to the imagination, but if you try, maybe you can see the sun sitting between the roof tops of the school. It was sooo much more breathtaking in real life, but then I think most things are, even with a better picture.

I saw an Instagram picture today that Pioneer Woman posted of the skies over Oklahoma, with the remains of Isaac clouds, and I told my husband that if the land had rolling hills, that's where I would like to live.
I'd love to have some land with open rolling hills so I could sit on my wrap around porch and watch the storms roll in, and the sun rise in glorious pink and orange and set in breathtaking pinks, lavenders, and oranges. I've always dreamed of running through rolling fields of tall grasses. I should maybe do something about my dreams before I'm too old to do more than just sit on that porch in my glider and gaze out at the land. Hmmm, that doesn't sound too bad either.

Stop by these blogs and take a look at their sunsets.