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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mon Bouquet du Jour





Mein Sonntagstrauss am Sonnabend.





Hollyhocks make long lasting cut flowers if you know this trick.







You singe their stems over a hot flame.







Same for Poppies.

I singe the stems over my cook top burners, holding several stems at one time.  

Protect the fragile flower heads by gently folding them into a kitchen towel.  







Singe thinner stems (Poppies) for 10 seconds, thicker stems (Hollyhocks) for 20 seconds.  

If they begin to wilt, re-cut stem and repeat procedure. 







Hollyhocks look sensational when paired with other garden flowers. 








Don't forget to dry a few Hollyhocks in sand, 
ordinary builder's sand from your local hardware or home improvement store.  


 Have a wonderful weekend my dear friends.  

Gina 


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Priorities and a challenge.





What is more important?


The flower or the door?

I noticed the seedling early in the Spring but I didn't have the heart to pull it out.  







Besides,  I was hoping that it would be the elusive peach colored hollyhock which has disappeared from my garden.








I decided that one door is not so important when there are 5 other doors in and out of our Barn.









There are 4 side doors and 2 very large barn doors.
Hand built by Mr G. before the barn was begun.  







 Now here was the challenge. 


The width of the gray trim around each door and each window is different. 








However, on the facade I wanted the space for the yellow stucco to be the same between all of the doors and all of the windows. 








How would you have measured the placement of each door and each window?

Our (substitute) builder couldn't figure it out. 

3 years of drafting school in East Germany came in handy when I took my completed drawings to the County Engineer's office. 

May all your riddles be easy challenges.  

Gina


Friday, July 11, 2014

Old Habits follow you.





When I was a very young girl, 



I used to gather herbs for our local pharmacy. 
Our Pharmacist would tell me what he needed.  I would gather and then dry the herbs on newspapers in the attic. 
I was paid by weight.







Linden blossoms just picked from our trees.  
They will be dried and stored.  





Used for wounds that won't heal,  reduces fever,  counteracts poison, reduces cold symptoms, for stomach ailments, nerve calming and most importantly, it lightens freckles. 






 We have two Linden trees, the European Linden blooms a week earlier.  The Little Leaf Linden (on the right) is blooming right now. 





This is my little herb bible.  Translated it is called 
"Healing herbs for the Healthy and the Sick".  







My dried herbs go into little cotton bags.  This way they won't mildew and will stay fresh throughout the winter months.  



Note about the Damsel in Distress in the last photo:

While we were visiting Sicily, we stopped into an Antiques shop.  The interesting wooden plaque turned out to be part of a goat wagon. 

 The Gentleman assured us that it was over a hundred years old.  

When I asked him if he could wrap it for me he politely declined because 

The new paint was still wet.


Have a great weekend my dear friends.  

Gina 


Joining  

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tayberries, Cherries and Roses






Mon Bouquet du Jour.





Roses , Cherries and Tayberries from my garden.  









Tayberries make extra special confiture.

Mix 5 cups of tayberries with 3 to 4 cups of sugar.
Let macerate for a couple of hours. 

Cook to a full rolling boil for about 2 to 5 minutes.

(Test on very cold plate every few minutes.  When the skin on the top of the plate wrinkles, the jam is ready).

Ladle into sterilized jars.  Will hold for 6 months.

Note:  if the jam does not set, do not worry, use as syrup or topping on waffles, pancakes, yogurt, ice cream, and more.  









The Tayberry,  an especially aromatic berry,  is a cross between a Raspberry and a Blackberry. Patented in 1979 the berry is named after the River Tay of Scotland. 








My cherries are disappearing...even before they are ripe.
 Our bird population is making fast work of them.  







Unglazed and unfired tile.  The pigments sit on the tile and are still very powdery and fragile.  The small red guidelines will disappear during firing. 
I thought that I had finished my latest project.  
But no, my tiles are liked and the project has been enlarged.  



Have a great week my dear friends.  

Gina 


Joining http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/
Also joining  http://betweennapsontheporch.net/



Friday, July 4, 2014

Hurrah!



Hurrah for the Red, White and Blue.




Happy Independence Day. 

We're having a Picnic with Hot Dogs.

What are you having today?

Whatever you do, have a Great Day 

Gina 



Monday, June 30, 2014

Love at first sight




You haven't lived until you have hugged a goose!


Recently, Lisa had to say goodbye to many of her friends.  







"All of my geese are rescues. My oldest rescue is 13.   I revived him in my hands after his mother abandoned him". 








Lisa was told that her geese had to be separated and relocated from a county park they had been allowed to call home for many years.  







"It is hard for geese to be separated from their family of geese they know and rely upon for their survival".






It was difficult to find good homes for all of her charges. 







It was very traumatic, for Lisa and her geese. 







"Geese communicate with each other about who to trust.  I am fortunate to have found homes where I can visit them".  


All photographs by Lisa's Sister,  Chris Deneris









That is how Clyde and Lola joined our household.    

Have a lovely week my dear friends.  It is always so nice to visit with you.  

Gina 




Thursday, June 26, 2014

Here's the Deal




How would you like to come and help me weed my flower bed?  




No not this one.  This is last years flower bed.





It's this one I need help with.
 You will have to bring your own hoe.  This one was given to me by a very special friend...more than 30 years ago. 

The handle was originally much longer, every time it breaks, the handle gets shorter.





Now, here's the deal

You will be wined and dined. You get to stay in your very own house. 

Fresh Eggs from our chickens for Breakfast and Champagne in the afternoon.  





But first 

 I have to show you what flower seedlings look like.   I won't bother showing you the weeds

1) Asters from Lake Maggiore
2) Cosmos,  3) Zinnias,  4) Nasturtiums,
5) Phacelia,  6, Cherry Tomato.  7) Dill
8) Hollyhock.






The problem is; you have to find them among the weeds.






But your rewards will be manifold.

I will send you pictures in August.


Have a wonderful remainder of the week my dear friends. 

Gina