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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Update, Followers



You can encourage your "lost Followers" 
to come back



by suggesting that they sign up with a Google/Profile Account.  

It is the Followers without a Google Account who were removed from your Followers List.   

You can also add a "Gadget" to your side bar which lets your readers "Follow by Email".

The gadget will say "subscribe to blog here".

Below is an excellent post on how to proceed, step by step.  


http://www.sewwequilt.com/2016/01/update-on-your-followers-with-google.html







So, please don't be discouraged. 
 
Those readers, who would still like to follow you, have several options.  

The more we talk about it the more our deleted Followers will be aware that they have lost a valuable friend. 

Have a great Sunday, dear Blogging Friends, 

Gina 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Have you noticed?



That you are losing your "Followers"  



Don't be sad  (you are still loved). 

Don't tear out your hair.  

It's a "Blogger Thing"

It has something to do with Blogger Profiling and the number 300.  

Be well,

Gina



Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Waiting for Spring




It will be a while .





Knowing that my Snowdrops and Hellebore are waiting makes me happy. 






Pansies were planted last Fall.  They will be the first to bloom. 






Friends brought lemons from their grove in California.







 Jonquils will make an appearance soon. 







A lot of snow will have to melt first. 

Our mountains have received record amounts of snow. 
Our Farmers are happy. There will be plenty of water for animals and crops. 

Wishing you a great week ahead. 

Gina 


Friday, January 22, 2016

Of course you deserve it.




A crown and a little 22 karat gold

on a platter. 






You can see that there is room for at least 30 more crostini.
It will come in handy during your Summer Soirees.






And when not in use it can hang on the wall, a chimney piece,  fireplace mantle or placed on a stand. 








Crowns and garlands go together, don't they.  


     







Large or small, it's the 22 karat gold that catches the eye.  



Have you checked your Ancestors?  

Aren't they of Royal Birth? 


I can't provide you with a Castle but I can paint a royal platter for you.  






Or I can provide you with a pond for you to skate upon. 

Have a great weekend my dear Friends, 

Gina



Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Polishing copper pots




Not difficult at all.



When you know of this secret.





I keep mine handy because I use them everyday but I don't polish them every day.  

They are hanging from bicycle hooks. 






All you need is CLR (available in every hardware store) Sea Salt, a sponge and gloves. 

No need to scrub,
just glide a corner of your CLR soaked sponge over pot, rub on a little salt and let stand for a few minutes. 

Wash with soap and water.  Dry immediately. 








One more pot to go. 

Caution: do not let CLR stand on natural stone surfaces.






I use my copper pots every day.  Only two days after scrubbing they show scorch marks on the bottom.  That is to be expected, especially since I don't have a designated pot scrubber as you might find in a fancy French restaurant kitchen.  






Just out of the oven, four loaves of Squash bread. 

Have a great remainder of the week dear friends, 

Gina  




Saturday, January 16, 2016

The cure for the common cold.



Is not to get one in the first place. 

The next best thing to Chicken Noodle Soup is Cream of Wheat



and a slice of aged blue cheese.  






When the weatherman tells us that it is minus 5 degrees outside but it FEELS LIKE  minus 11 degrees.  

What does that mean?  






If chicken noodle soup does not appeal for breakfast then maybe, Cream of Wheat will be perfect...hot and nourishing. 

It has worked for me.  I haven't had a cold in twenty years.  

Of course it is my Mother's recipe (follows) 
No wonder it has worked. 







And for desert, a ripe pear and a slice of ripe blue cheese will get those enzymes going. 





Recipe 

Cream of Wheat with clarified butter, sugar and cinnamon. 

Follow instructions on package, 
use milk instead of water.

For 4 servings beat in 2 whole eggs
Melt 4 TBs of unsalted butter.

Drizzle clarified butter onto individual bowls of cream of wheat, add sugar and cinnamon to taste. 


Why not try it this weekend?

Gina



Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Orchids like a bath now and then.





My Phalaenopsis orchids go into the kitchen sink now and then.



Where I thoroughly rinse them, leaves and pots, and then let them stand in the sink to drain.








The problem with not being able to keep orchids blooming does not originate with you. Long before you take your orchid home, the dye has been cast.




                                                                                                                                                                                                      
                      
From the Grower to the Seller many unkind things can happen to an orchid plant.  





   



Try to purchase your orchid when they first arrive in a place such as Costco. If you see buds that are discolored, do not buy. The orchid is already doomed.  






Orchids thrive when they are placed in a spot which receives a lot of light, away from direct heat (fireplace) and cold (drafty windows or doors). 





Once all of the blossoms have opened you can place your orchid  into the middle of the house where they receive less light but will bloom for another 4 to 5 months. 





Phalies come in many colors. 






Phalaenopsis orchids make long lasting cut flowers. 
"Harden" them in a glass of water and place in refrigerator overnight.  







My orchids bloom repeatedly.  As soon as they have finished blooming I place them in an out of the way place and into a very large ceramic cache pot.  An east facing window is preferred.  

 Make sure that they receive just enough moisture to survive.  






Be patient.  It will take about 6 to 8 months for them to rebloom.  






ginaceramics.blogspot.com

Phalies are at home in many environments, even a hospital room where they are a welcome gift.  









How can one resist? 







So, next time you see an orchid for sale, bring it home.  
You will forever be hooked on orchids.  

Have a wonderful week dear friends.

Gina 



Saturday, January 9, 2016

We celebrated



Because it was our 52nd Wedding Anniversary

 What better way to celebrate than with a  First  Class Ticket to Italy.




A car is waiting for us.  





Tuscany is our destination. 





booking.com

The Relais Sant' Elena, near Bibbona, Italy, will be our home for the first week.    






booking.com

It is situated in the countryside.  The perfect place to relax, take day trips to visit Etruscan sites and have lunch at a famous Restaurant, 

a Fishing Shack with a secret.  





Last time we visited Bibbona we stayed at the "Villa Toscana" in the city center. 







The centro historico of Bibbona deserves another visit.  






It is a fascinating place.  







Scatti di Gusto

There is another Bibbona.
"Bibbona By the Sea".  It is purported to have a delicious secret.  

A humble fishing shack, Restorante La Pineta, with a Michelin Star. 






booking.com

The cooking and baking at our Relais also looks very promising. 






We will spend another week in the Chianti region.  

I can't go to Italy without stopping and painting with 
Maestro Mario of Montelupo. 


Italy in April is a giant flower bouquet.   

Gina 


Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Sun was shining, the snow was perfect.




 The Haflingers, "Hit and Run"



were raring to go. 





Oops, his hairdo collapsed but he has no trouble seeing.  "Run" is used to having his mane draped over his eyes. 

Jingle bells never sounded sweeter. 




Almost forgot the horse hair plumes.  




All aboard, Tennessee knows how to talk to his horses, and to his mules.  For years he has made little boys and little girls (and many  adults) happy by taking them for rides winter and summer.  
Tennessee is our local "horse whisperer" and we are so lucky that he lives in our community. 





Thank you M'lisa and Craig for providing your beautifully restored antique sleigh. 





Off we go.  





Haflingers, also known as Avelignese, are a breed of horses developed in Austria and Italy.  They were first introduced in the Middle Ages.  Their ancestors come from the foothills of the Alps of  Austria and Italy, the area known as the Südtirol.  Haflingers  are known for their energetic but smooth and elegant gate. 

All Haflingers can trace their lineage back to "Folie" (born in 1874) through one of seven bloodlines.  






Our friend Craig, who loves carriages and owns many, made it all happen.  
Thank you Craig for giving us such a special day to start out the New Year.  

Gina