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Friday, October 29, 2010

Bewitching Corn Chowder

It's time for soup and chowder making! I love that part about this time of year along with the beautiful fall colors that start showing their magnificence. 

This gal hit the kitchen early this morning and got the kettles clanging and the bacon sizzling for some hardy Corn Potato Cheddar Bacon Chowder.

The house smells so good with all of the flavors of this combination sending their fragrances through the air.  There are so many ways to make a good chowder.  It is so easy because you can often use what you have in your pantry. When I have a chance to plan ahead I sometimes add red and/or green bell peppers to give it additional flavor and a nice color presentation.

The WITCHES are coming soon. I hope you are ready.  Do you like my witch?  Really, she is a very sweet witch. I don't think she could scare a flee.

I hope you are having a Fabulous Fall Day.  I'm going back to the kitchen.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fabulous Fall Outing

It is so nice to get out at this time of year and jump in the car and take off to who knows where. Apple Hill was a possible destination. But, along the way we stopped at a favorite nursery of mine in the next county.

Amador Flower Farm is a wonderful very large nursery that specializes in daylilies. I have never seen so many daylilies in one location. They have over 900 varieties available all year round. This is not the blooming season but I have been there during the summer when it is simply a riot of color.

There is an extensive selection of garden art and sculture to tempt you. And, isn't this little guy cute?  I don't think I have ever seen a garden sculpture of a schnauzer in the past. I wonder what his/her name is.

My fountain of Rebecca At the Well is from this nursery. I purchased it many years ago and I enjoy it from my dining room window.

They also have a great gift shop.

Look at that scary cat in the field and the flying ghosts.

Every year the fields are fixed up with lots of fun activities for the kids at Halloween.

Yes, we made it to Apple Hill and visited many different apple farms, bought apples, ate apple pie and had a beautiful day.  We sat in the sun and watched kids fishing in this fully stocked pond and enjoyed their delight as they pulled a fish to the shore.

And, we bought lots of goodies from the produce stores and this stock of brussel sprouts was one of my favorite because I have a great recipe for preparing roasted brussel sprouts. 

I will be preparing it soon and I will post the recipe at that time.

I wish you a Beautiful Autumn Day.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Easter Lily in October

Easter Lily in October. So, what is so strange about that, you say. Isn't it just another late summer blooming lily. Well, no. I have often wondered what makes an Easter Lily different from other lilies. I have always known that they are bulbs that are forced to bloom early in the year  - but what else is there to know about the Easter Lily?

A little searching on the Internet brought forth lots of information. Maybe, this blog should be renamed, Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About An Easter Lily.

Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor of The University of Vermont provided the following informative article.

"We can thank the two world wars for most of the world production of the Bermuda lily--better known as the Easter lily--in this country.

Native to the Ryukyu islands of southern Japan, this lily (Lilium longiflorum) was discovered by the famous plant explorer Carl Peter Thunberg in 1777 and sent to England in 1819. Missionaries and sailors further carried it to Bermuda in 1853. Much commercial bulb production was in Bermuda during the late 1800’s, hence the other name for this bulbous plant. When a virus destroyed this crop there in 1898, production moved to Japan where it continued until the outbreak of World War II.

With the outbreak of this war, bulbs were of course scarce so the price increased greatly. The few with bulbs in this country who were growing them more for a hobby began growing “White Gold”, as they were called, for business. World War I also was integral to this bulb production on the southern Oregon coast, as it was the soldier in this war Louis Houghton who first brought a suitcase of these bulbs there to his friends.

This area along the California-Oregon border is often called the “Easter Lily Capital of the World” as it produces about 95 percent of all the bulbs grown in the world for the potted Easter lily market, and virtually all used in this country. After World War II there were about 1,200 commercial bulb growers in this area. Today the 10 growers of the Pacific Bulb Growers Association produce more than 65,000 boxes of bulbs, shipping them to commercial greenhouses in the U.S. and Canada. Almost 600 acres are planted to produce Easter lily bulbs, worth about $7 million a year for these bulbs alone. To help solve bulb production problems, these growers even have their own research station.

Most all Easter lilies are the cultivar (cultivated variety) ‘Nellie White’, selected by a grower and named for his wife. Bulb production begins in the fall, when scales or bulblets are planted. The lily bulb is actually composed of many scales—specialized leaves below ground that store food. These can be separated and planted. Bulblets are mini-bulbs produced along the underground stem which can be removed and planted. Both bulblets and scales will form new bulbs. Each fall bulbs are dug, the largest packed to sell, the smallest planted back to grow another year.

So how did Easter lilies, a plant that naturally blooms in summer in most of this country, become such a symbol of Easter? For this we can thank a woman visiting Bermuda in the 1880s, Ms Thomas Sargent. She loved the flowers blooming naturally in Bermuda in the spring, so brought some bulbs back home to Philadelphia. A local nurseryman there, William Harris, began growing them, forcing them into spring bloom, and selling to other florists. Many began buying this flower for Easter, as they do today, with it symbolizing the Resurrection.

So how are Easter lilies forced or “tricked” into bloom in time for Easter? Once greenhouse growers receive bulbs in the late fall, the bulbs are potted and placed in non-freezing cool temperatures. The bulbs must receive about 1000 hours of such moist cold in order to bloom, although additional light after they sprout can substitute for some cold.

Once the lily bulbs sprout, they are closely monitored by growers in order to time them for Easter. This can be difficult, as Easter can vary from March 22 to April 25. Temperature is used to speed up or slow down the crop. As each plant can respond a bit differently, many plants traditionally have been moved back and forth between warm and cold greenhouses, so are sometimes called a “wheelbarrow crop.” Growers track growth using such techniques as “leaf counting” in which rate of leaf unfolding is recorded.

When buying a lily, look for a plant with flowers in various stages of bloom from buds to open or partially opened flowers. Foliage should be dense, rich green in color, and extend all the way down to the soil line (a good indication of a healthy root system). Look for a well-proportioned plant, one that is about two times as high as the pot. You also should check the flowers, foliage, and buds for signs of yellowing (improper culture), insects, or disease.

At home, keep your lily away from drafts and drying heat sources such as appliances or heating ducts. Bright, indirect light is best with daytime temperatures of 60 to 65 degrees F. Water the plant only when the soil feels dry to the touch, but don’t over water. To prolong the life of the blossoms, remove the yellow anthers (pollen-bearing pods) found in the center of each flower. If you get this staining pollen on fabrics, don’t rub it off, but remove it with sticky tape.

If you have cats, especially those that like to chew on leaves, keep your lily away from them. Any part of this lily, as many of its relatives, can cause kidney failure in cats. Eating even one leaf can be fatal to a cat, starting with them stopping eating, vomiting, and becoming lethargic. If you think a cat has eaten a leaf, call a veterinarian immediately as prompt treatment often can be successful."

So, why have I been interested in the Easter Lily in October?  Well, because this Easter lily is blooming at this time in my garden. Every Easter, our church is filled with lilies, as many churches are, that are brought by the members and friends of the church.  Many of the lilies are taken to hospitals, nursing homes or retirement centers following the services. And, a person can also take their lily to their own home. 

After the services, I took the lily home and set it under a Camilla plant in my garden just to "put it somewhere". Weeks went by and I did not give it another thought. Then one day I noticed that it had new green growth, about six inches, around the base of the browned stems and leaves. Any new growth in my garden gets attention! Especially if it isn't a weed! Days, weeks went by and then one day I thought that I really should plant the lily in the ground. So, I did. Nothing special, just plopped in a sunny spot - - - in my White Garden. That's another post at http://everydaydelight09.blogspot.com/2009/08/white-mosaic-and-britain.html that you might like to check out.

Surprisingly, a couple weeks ago, the plant started showing what looked like flowers about to bloom. Now, you know any gardener "would get happy" about that and I did. And, look at it now. And, that's my story.

UPDATE: Taken November 1, 2010 when all six flowers are in bloom at the same time even in the rain. Can you see the rain drops?

I hope you have a Special Day and maybe some surprises.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Coming Right Along

Aren't they pretty? I think I will be able to finish four of these little trio dishcloth packs by the end of the week along with some other projects for the Harvest Festival. Knitting dishcloths is so fun when you can pick it up at any time and knit a few rows without much thinking. I have been using the same stitch pattern for all of them because it is easier for me that way. The event isn't until October 23 but the committee would like to have the Silent Auction items by the end of this weekend.

NO!   It isn't Christmas, but it almost feels like it. Yesterday I received "a gift" of a cortisone shot in my right shoulder. And---------- Last night was the first night of sleep I have had in a long time without being awakened frequently with pain in my arm. What a Blessing.  I have had many cortisone shots throughout my life, so I understand the different responses that I may have. However, I am just so thankful for any relief that I may have at this time.

merry christmas joy happiness pictures, backgrounds and images

I will be having an MRI as soon as it can be scheduled and that will give me some more information about what to do to put all of this right arm/shoulder pain behind me. I do NOT plan to have surgery. Two years ago I had a rotator cuff tear in my left shoulder and was scheduled for surgery. Because, I did not feel emotionally able to go through with the procedure at the time, I cancelled it and eventually it healed itself.

If you follow my blog, you know as well as I do that I do far too much physical stuff for this little seventy-one year old body without a great deal of suffering from the physical stress that I place on my joints and muscles. I really need to find a happy medium that I can learn to be comfortable with and live with. Otherwise, the "universe" might take care of it for me.  My options are not very great, so I think that I had better "LISTEN UP".

I hope you are having a Fabulous Day.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Azalea Plant Is Still Opening More Blossoms

It is so beautiful! And, not a single blossom has fallen off as yet. But, more and more flowers are opening, pink one, pink with white edges, red ones and white one. It is a lovely sight to behold. Thank you friend for the wonderful Birthday gift.

I hope your day is opening with lots of beauty.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Something For The Little Ones

This was really fun to make from felt.  You can find the pattern at http://www.skiptomylou.org/2009/12/18/felt-crayon-holder/.  I plan on making at least one more to add to all the craft projects that I am making for the Harvest Festival.

I hope you are having as much fun as I am today.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pen And Pad

I am still at it and probably will be for the next few days. This coming Sunday is the day that the Harvest Festival committee would like to have all the items for the Silent Auction. So, I am putting the pedal to the medal.

I have not sewed anything for what seems like a long time. And, I am having fun this morning making this Steno Note Pad cover with sleeve for your pen. The pattern is from Robin Gallager of Two Wachy Women and can be found at http://twowackywomen.com/files/notjustanothernotepad.pdf

It is called "Not Just Another Note Pad" and it is very easy to make. The only problem that I had was with the batting that I had available to use. Be sure and use a light weight batting because it makes it a little bulky with anything heavier.

Now, I must get back to the sewing machine and see what I come up with for my next project. No time to dilly-dally around with the computer.
Come back soon and see me. 

Sorry, but I could not help myself. Here is another picture of the many pink roses that keep smiling at me!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Dishcloths - Greeting Cards - and More

I think I am progressing along nicely with my craft projects. Here are a few more of the items I am currently working on. There is no question about it, I work best with a little pressure from deadlines! These dishcloths will be a trio with the third cloth in a simple white color. And, I will tie them with a pretty ribbon. Stay tuned!

I thought a quick project would be to make some blank greeting cards with photos of flowers from the garden. I just used the computer/printer and a few craft items that I have filling up boxes in my garage. Yes, I have boxes of craft supplies and I no longer know what is stored in them. It is a lot of fun going through the boxes. It is kind of like going shopping in my garage. It feels good to get back to a variety of crafting projects. The cards are turning out nicely.

And, I am putting some ribbon on a baby blanket that I finished knitting a long time ago. I think yellow and blue is a great combination for a baby blanket.

 And, of course, I had to show off another pink rose from the garden.

I wish you a Wonderful Weekend.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Another Home Project Completed

My "To Do" list is getting shorter. For some reason, yesterday I was motivated to change out a patio light that was old and ineffective for what I wanted. I think it was installed when the house was built in 1973 or soon after. The workmanship was pretty shabby. The ground wire was not attached and duct tape was used to cover unused holes in the mounting fixture.  It was definitely time to replace it.

And, the junction box was placed so close to the eave and supporting 2x4 that the swivel lamp could not be adjusted. You can see in the photo where the old one was placed and where the nice new one is located.   I like it!
I have taken a liking to these dual bright sensor lights because they can be set to come on at a half bright mode at dusk and when they sense a moving object the light turns on full bright for whatever length of time you set it for and then returns to the dim mode. There are several different settings so you can set it for your specific needs.

My house is located on a corner and the neighboring houses are located further away than in a common "neighborhood subdivision".  That is one of the many things that I like about my little house. However, since I live alone and some past experiences as a single women, I like to live my life with sensible caution and not fear. These lights are so effective and pleasant because they provide a subdued light unless they are activated with motion.

For some reason, this is the year that I have felt compelled to take care of lots of preventive maintenance with my house. It really is nice to take care of these things and then forget about them. I think I have an underlying thought that as I get older I may not be able to take care of these things and I know my budget limits me in hiring someone to do the work. I am just thankful that I have the ability to do these things at this time.

Today, I plan to work on some of my craft projects for donation to the silent auction at the forthcoming Harvest Festival.

I hope where ever you live that you are having a Wonderful Fall day.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Don't You Just Love Home

I DO !

I wish you a Wonderful Day filled with lots of happy moments.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Girl Likes Pink

And, many many other colors! However, pink and red seem to be around me the most these days. I am starting to gather some things together to donate to our church Harvest Festival which includes a silent auction to benefit the Youth Education Fund. During my recent efforts to clean some cupboards I have been finding some things that I have made that really should find a permanent home. The knitted baby blanket is one of those handcrafted items that I will donate alone with some other projects I am trying to work on even though my hand is a constant issue with the pain management. So, I use a lot of intermittent ice application, a splint and rest.

I have found that I can do some knitting but NOT crocheting with the discomfort. I guess, it has to do with the specific movement of my fingers and wrist. 

Any - - way, among other things, I am knitting some cotton dishcloth packages that I think will make for some nice small items. I am working on several different color themes and I will be showing them to you as I go along. The handcrafted items are always very popular at the Festival. This will be the first time I am donating to this event.

The current rainy days are not very good photo taking days but I will do my best. And, yes, I still would like to have a new camera!

This beautiful pink rose is blooming in my garden at the present time. I think it is breath-taking. I am so delighted with the beauty of the roses that I can see from my windows that I did not expect to see with what seemed like the end of the rose blooming season here in my garden.

And, my Dear Friend (who takes care of Lily when I am away) here in my neighborhood gave me this gorgeous multi-colored azalea for my Birthday. I am thoroughly enjoying the beauty of each day as it continues to open more and more flowers which bring me daily snippets of joy for my heart. In the future, I will plant it in the garden in a special location that I can see from my windows.

Another pink rose from a different rose bush taken two weeks ago.

In the days to come, I will have more photos of the various projects I am working on. I hope you will come back and visit me and see them.

I wish you a Beautiful Day.

Friday, October 01, 2010

And I Thought My Roses Finished Blooming - - - And EMG


Recently we have had a warming spell which has brought my roses back to vibrant life and joyful viewing.  The rose bushes don't look too swift but they have started again to produce some very nice blooms.

This is a hybrid tea rose, named Ronald Reagan. When I purchased the rose I was drawn to the red flower that unfolds with a crisp white reverse. It really is quite stunning in reality! The light sweet fragrance is a nice added bonus.

During this past couple weeks I have been able to channel my emotional trauma into some very energetic physical maintenance projects around my home. I have cleaned cupboards in the house and garage, cleaned the electrostatic furnace/air conditioner filter, extended the PVC outdoor watering system, sorted through many boxes that have been sitting in the garage since I moved here, thoroughly cleaned the car inside and out,  cleaned the air conditioner compressor compartment (say that three times) of accumulated leaves and dirt from the last few years and also the fins - the cooling fins- on the outside of the unit, repaired the hinges on the back door, extended a soaker hose to cover more planting area, adjusted the motion sensor light on the front patio, installed an under cabinet light strip above the washing machine, replaced the burned out front porch light bulb, installed a power strip in the garage and cleaned off more leaves on the roof of the house. Wow, that list makes me tired just to type it.

Needless to say, I was tired enough at night to fall asleep and really sleep. There are more things on my To-Do list and I will keep working on it. It really feels good to get these necessary tasks completed. I have never had enough money to pay someone to do these things for me. So, I have learned through the years that with the help of the Internet, I can figure out just about anything. The learning curve has been so extensive over time that sometimes I even amaze myself. And, if I have no choice and have to call a service person, at least I have some knowledge about what they might be talking about. My tenacious personality about never having to give up my house until I am ready has been a strong force in learning all of this.

Yes, I have a high pain tolerance but my right arm, hand and wrist are continuing to be a problem. However, if I stay away from the computer, for some reason, it is less painful.

Last Thursday, I had the EMG / NCS and for some reason the pain from all the nerve and muscle testing was horrible for me. The electrical current was the most painful. The insertion of the pin electrodes was insignificant. But, of course, the anticipation of what was coming next didn't help me to relax. I worked very hard to use my relaxation/meditation techniques but just about the time I was feeling calm, the doctor would say "ok, here it comes" or "tighten your muscle". And, then my mind aborted any thoughts of relaxation.

 "For the Nerve Conduction Study electrodes are placed on the skin over the nerve to be studied. These electrodes act as microphones to pick up any electrical signal that goes by them. An electrical stimulator is then placed on the skin near the electrodes and is used to create an electrical current strong enough to fully stimulate the nerve. A computer is used to record responses as various nerves are tested. This allows the physician to measure and calculate how fast the nerve is sending the impulses to the muscle and measure the size of the impulse."

"For the Electromyogram the muscles are assessed by inserting a pin electrode into the muscle and then the computer  records the muscle response both at rest and with movement. The sensation is similar to that of being stuck by a pin as the electrode is inserted into the muscle." The last electrode was placed in my neck to evaluate if the problem is related to my cervical spine disability.

Now, I have had this test in the past on my legs following my back injury because my left leg had nerve compression and my foot flopped (foot drop). Well, any of you that have had this procedure know that this is no picnic. The insertion of the pins is not a problem for me in the least bit.  But, the electrical current brings me to tears. Years ago it was some of the worst pain I have ever had and it was no different this time. The only difference is that this time I had an excellent, compassionate doctor performing the test. 
From what I have read about experiences of other people who have had these tests, it seems as though I have more difficulty with the pain/discomfort of these tests. And, I don't know why. However, I do know that when the doctor checks my reflexes with the little mallet on my knees during a routine exam, my responses are very brisk and the doctors always comment. By the end of an hour, I was in tears. I know that I am somewhat emotionally fragile at this time. However, years ago I had a similar experience. I never want to have another EMG/NCS!
And, the results - - - did not explain my symptoms.
Tomorrow is another day. But, for now, I am going to go sit and rest  my arm in my lap!
I hope you are having a Fabulous Weekend.


Some Additional Special Photos


Mother's Day 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Happy Family (2014)

Happy Family (2014)
Grandma Pride

Valentine's Day 2013

Valentine's Day 2013

High School (1957) Friends Of Mine On The Left Live In New York and We Met In Canada In 2011

High School (1957) Friends Of Mine On The Left Live In New York and We Met In Canada In 2011

Bud Mietz

Bud Mietz
1928 - 2014