Monday, June 23, 2008

Bigboy Kitty Paws Up

I 've been feeling remiss about adding photos of my kitty cats. We saw Bigboy napping on our patio yesterday, in a fun new position, and my husband captured the cuteness in this photo. Yes, Bigboy is actually sound asleep in that pose. Hope you enjoy meeting Bigboy.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tasha Tudor A Gardening Soul Will Be Missed

Tasha Tudor, gardener, author, and illustrator extraordinaire, died this week at the age of 93.
I love Tasha Tudor.
Years ago I splurged and bought the fabulous "Tasha Tudor's Garden" book, full of color illustrations of her and her heavenly gardens.
Oh the sweet peas and the blueberries and the little girls in old fashioned pinafores and six foot tall foxgloves in the secret garden.
What a true lady.
I believe Heaven's gardens are flourishing today with her gentle touch.
The blog at has a lovely tribute to Ms. Tudor.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pesto From Your Garden

Originally uploaded by ImipolexG
My husband makes wonderful pesto, using the ratio of two parts chopped basil to one part parmesan cheese, with enough olive oil to moisten it, a few pine nuts or raw sunflower seeds and salt and pepper to taste.

Basic pesto directions from my husband: combine 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, ¼ cup olive oil, and some optional pine nuts or sunflower seeds. Use a mortar and pestle to combine all of these ingredients, or put the ingredients in the blender for a few moments and there you are with delicious pesto to spread on crackers or a sour dough baguette, or to toss with spaghetti noodles.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Basil and Cilantro

Originally uploaded by Schilling 2
I realized today that a garden planting oversight has occurred in my backyard. Where are the cilantro and basil that are “must haves” in our garden, and the oregano, thyme, culinary sage and parsley?

Is there any herb that you have forgotten to plant? Not to worry, there is still time to plant these little essential workhorse herbs.

Many people plant a variety of basils. “Purple Ruffles” and “Dark Opal” have handsome purple ruffled leaves, with tiny pink flowers if allowed to go to seed. This basil’s flavor is more pungent than the more common green basil. We prefer the common basil for its tender leaves and delicious flavor, perfect for making pesto.

Lettuce leaf basil has a milder taste and is ideal for salads and pestos, with curly leaves the size of a small child’s hand.

An attractive way to grow basils is to put five or six assorted basils into a container 18 inches in diameter and 12 inches or more tall. In addition to the basils I mention above, add lemon basil, cinnamon basil and Thai basil for a colorful and edible display.

For my family, chicken soup needs a topping of freshly chopped cilantro added to each bowl, when it is served. Cilantro is a tasty addition to salads and tacos and sandwiches. Cilantro will go to seed in intensely hot weather and does best in spring and fall, but go ahead, be daring like me and plant some in June.

We can’t always garden ideally or scientifically. Gardening can be such a joy when we experiment.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Blackberries and Bumble Bee

Bumble Bee
Originally uploaded by sarahkim
The blackberry thicket in our backyard is covered with white flowers, and humming with life, as bees and butterflies visit the flowers, doing their work of food gathering and pollinating.

I use the word “Thicket” because it is a true bramble patch, six feet tall and about twelve feet square. These are volunteer brambles with such juicy, sweet berries that we keep the patch there.

It requires no watering or feeding or spraying so is a sanctuary for our wild visitors. The center of the berry patch is so thick, and protected so well by savage thorns, that we know birds and small furry critters safely make their homes there.

The only work I do with the berries, beyond picking them which is fun, is when I don heavy leather work gloves and long handled pruning shears, and snip off invasive canes that are crowding our Nix Creeper rose, our fence or our sweet peas.

All in all, the blackberries are a welcome boon in the hot days of summer.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Flower you won Fatal Deduction

And the winner is...
Originally uploaded by BryonRealey
The winner of the copy of the mystery romance Fatal Deduction, by Gayle Roper is Flower.
Flower please leave a comment here by this Monday, with your email address (or email me with my email address I left at your blog today).
If I don't hear from you by then, I will select another winner.
Thank you all for your comments <3

Monday, June 2, 2008

Gayle Roper book giveaway and review

Fatal Deduction by Gayle Roper
I am happy to take part in this opportunity to review Fatal Deduction and offer a free copy of this book to one of my blog readers. Her publisher was generous and gave me a copy to review and give to one of my blog readers. I will select the winner from the people who leave a comment on this blog post this week.

“I opened the front door at 5 a.m. on a July Thursday and stepped into murder.” With this opening sentence, you can expect excitement, and you won’t be disappointed.

Gayle Roper takes readers into the world of Libby Keating, her 13 year old daughter Chloe, and the extreme ups and downs of Libby’s life. Libby got pregnant as a teenager and never did get married, so this is a story of a single mom, who is now a devoted Christian, whose family and especially her twin sister, Tori, treat her badly.

I am a gardener, and appreciated what Libby said, while looking at her flower box. “Life’s like a flower box, isn’t it?” She looked at him. “The brilliant blooms of joy and the past-their-prime moments of pain. You can’t have one without the other.”

Little does Libby expect the mayhem and tests of love that she will face. Kidnapping, threats to her sister Lori in the form of foreboding crossword puzzle clues, a charming single dad who becomes her neighbor, culminating in a wild rescue attempt by a mismatched group including a senior lady with a pistol in her purse.

Did I mention a potential love story developing between two wary people? Stolen jewelry and gambling debts? A cute relationship between Libby and her teenaged daughter? Pick up a copy of “Fatal Deduction” and see how this all plays out.