Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Georgia Yard Ornaments

My husband is from Georgia and every time we travel back, he comments on "Georgia Yard Ornaments".  It's the description of car parts (in whole or parts) propped up on cement blocks, hanging from trees, or otherwise left where they fell.

There are folks that have taken this to a finer and exalted level.  Whether Georgia Yard Ornaments are your thing or not, you'll have to admit they are thinking outside the box - or in this case inside the car.
A totally non scientific observation:  VW owners seem to have this inner need to expand their creativity into gardening.   Enjoy - these pics taken from Pinterest.

Rocks and old car parts.

Peddle car parked in among flowers.

Perhaps larger than most, this dump truck is home to MANY plants.

Water fall truck.

A DIY tire idea for kids.

More DIY tire ideas for the tropical effect.

One Adam Twelve in service out west.

Peddle car pot.

VW springing into life.

Donated to our fine feathered friends.

Grilling VW.

Moss covered VW.

Pretty in pink VW.

Do run de run.  Or is it Dew run de run?

Mail boxes with a headlight theme.
The true "Georgia Yard Ornament" yard.

Timmy outgrew his Tonka toy and mom put it to use.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Garden Like There's No Tomorrow

A friend passed along Erma Bombeck’s “If I Had My Life to Live Over” essay.  I’ve always treasured this list and more so as I’ve aged. 

Bombeck wrote the article while she was dying from cancer and her insight into what makes a great life is seen through eyes that know they will not be able to redo many of life’s moments.

I’ve found the turning point for me between youth and not so young was when I realized it was simply too late for some things.  It’s not lack of optimism or that I’m ill, but rather a reality check.   I simply can no longer put my foot behind my head in competition with my granddaughter – sorry - call me old but better than calling an EMT to unwind me.  But I digress . . .

I decided to do today’s article as it pertains to gardening:  “Garden like there’s no tomorrow.”  What would you add?

I would pick more flowers and share them more often.

I would not let weeds define my gardening.

When my body hurts from too much gardening, I would stop working and enjoy what’s already accomplished.

I would take more vacations at home and enjoy my garden rather than spending time in transportation and congestion. 

I would light more candles in my garden on evenings when no one was coming over.

I would have bought a good camera sooner.

I would have planted onions.

I would have asked my grandparents about their gardens.

I would have embraced the ponytail.

I would have installed a badminton court, horseshoe pit and a croquet field – well maybe anyway.

Jamie and Ivey
I would have learned how to play croquet from my grandparent’s generation.

I would have worn flowers in my hair.

I would not have breathed garden chemicals.

I would not have planted ground covers.

I would hang out more laundry to dry and take the time to smell its fragrance at the end of the day.

I would have used all the beautiful garden lanterns, pillows, cloth table covers, torches and other “company” d├ęcor every single day until they fell apart rather than gathering dust.

I’d go on more garden walks even if it was crazy hot, miserably cold, or raining cats and dogs.

I’d talk to my kids and grandkids more about nature and why it’s so great.

I’d thank God more often for all the wondrous and mysterious beauty He’s allowed me to enjoy though gardening. 

“Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose garden.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

(Today I featured my granddaughters - all different - all wonderful - all with beautiful spirits.) 


Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Eyes Have It

I planted lettuce in this little patch beside
my fence - it worked.

Take a vote and the "Eyes" should be a top priority. According to a study published in "The Archives of Ophthalmology", research linking diet to eye health is growing.

One of the easy and established diet staples for healthy eyes is leafy green vegetables and gardeners can have a steady supply all year.

"Spinach is king of the green leafies", according to Dr. Steven Pratt in his book "SuperHealth". See my previous Blog article "Popeye Rocks!" #321 for additional spinach info.

Spinach (BH&G photo)
Other greens such as kale, Swiss chard, beet, turnip, mustard and collard greens are also rich in lutein. Lutein is a carotenoid compound that is found in colorful fruits and vegetables and they protect cells from damage.

Eating a diet rich in green leafy vegetables helps shield your macula (the center of the retina) from cell damage that can cause both age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. The time to start eating your green leafy vegetables is not when you are over 90 years of age - it's NOW!

Kale (BH&G photo)
Planting green leafy vegetables in your vegetable garden is one of the easiest garden. They don't take long to get to the "picking" stage and they don't take much room. They are ideal in the flower garden because they make such a pretty border or filler. Once they reach the stage where they are no longer producing - pull and plant more.

Garden centers carry seeds or sets. Plus, most every Farmer's Market within this area will have a booth or several selling a variety of green leafy vegetables. Follow Beagle Creek Farm’s Facebook page to have fresh greens delivered in town once a week for pickup.

Pot of fresh vegetables including greens.
If the taste or texture of green leafy vegetables isn't something you like - incorporate them in other things. Add to a lettuce salad, soup, stew, dips, casserole, bread, eggs, pasta, seafood and more. Chop fine and they will add to your health and go unnoticed.

Adding green leafy vegetables isn't a once in awhile thing - it should be every day. Using fresh grown produce will insure you have them at the peak of freshness.

Greens will also freeze well if you have an over abundance. Frozen greens must be used in cooked food but it still has its benefits. I throw fresh greens into my home-canned tomato juices and sauces, chicken and beef stock and soup base.

If you have more greens than you can use at the moment, wash, drain in your salad spinner, pick off any bad portions or large veins and tear into bite size pieces. Pack in zip lock bags and freeze. As you are cooking and/or canning later, simply add a bag full to the mix. This way you aren't wasting when the produce is coming on stronger than you can eat and none gets thrown away or too old.
Photo from All Recipes

My mom fixed wilted spinach often during the summer when I was growing up. Here's how we fixed it:

Wilted Spinach

4 - slices bacon

1/2 c. - chopped onion

3 tbsp. - sugar

1/3 c. - vinegar
1/2 tsp. - salt
1/8 tsp. - fresh ground pepper
4 c. (1 lb.) - fresh washed spinach leaves, torn in bite size pieces
2 - hard cooked eggs - sliced

Cook bacon until crisp in large skillet. Remove bacon, reserving bacon drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon and set aside. Add onion and next four ingredients to drippings, stirring until blended. Cook mixture 10 minutes over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Pour over spinach in large bowl. Toss, add sliced eggs and bacon and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Notice: the spinach is not cooked. This keeps it at a high nutrient level and it doesn't become tough and stringy. Granted the bacon may not be on your list of healthy foods but it's a must for this recipe to have the flavor needed.

Saying “see you later” means eating your greens today.