Monday, March 21

Personal Disaster, and Pray Without Ceasing

A shocking, terrible personal disaster has happened in my life. I have to go on, for my son needs me, but I would like to just cry, scream, and run away.

I think it will be many months before I can return to blogging. Courts, lawyers, selling off every possession worth anything, etc. are ahead of me.

I wish my blogging friends all good things, and ask for your prayers, and I will also pray for all of those hurting in the world.


Sunday, March 20

Opposites: Bright and Cheery Orange and Blue Floral Tags

Color opposites - I love them in the garden or a bouquet. Red and green, orange and blue, yellow and purple: Beautiful!

Why is it that in the garden, no color combination seems tacky? 

Here is a quick tag set with two finishes, one of them a bit strange, both PNGs for best image quality. Just click, click again to blow up and examine, then right-click if you wish to save. Only click on the "P" if you are pinning it.

Thank you for stopping by.

Saturday, March 19

A Queen Bee, and Antique Spring Blooms Tags / Scrapbooking

How I love the smell of fresh lilacs, fruit tree blossoms, and other harbingers of spring!

Here is a little tag set to brighten a gift, pin board, or scrapbook page.

A queen bee has ventured out on the last tag. She is looking for a quiet place to start a new hive. I wish Her Majesty much luck. Bees are wonderful creatures.

As always, thank you for stopping by. Click, right click, and save or print. Or use the "P" to Pin!

Friday, March 18

Fanciful Flower Faces

Ah, the strange and wonderful fancy of the artists of yesterday. Children's faces in flowers was a favorite subject of painters of postcards, and here are some examples, made into tags for scrapbooking, decorating, or tying to a plant or basket for Easter.

Many speak of the cute faces pansies have, and they do. They look rather like puppies to me, or Persian cats with their flat faces.

It was a difficult process to make a lithograph in those days, so the fanciful creations surprise me. I would have thought only safe and bland images would have been commissioned, but no, weird subjects abound. 

Can it truly be so close to Easter? How the year flies! 

To save, click on the image, avoiding the "P." Then right-click to copy or save. The "P" is clicked only if you wish to "Pin" the image to your Pinterest board.

Thursday, March 17

The Dogs and Their Pear Tree

When we moved into our present house many years ago, the back yard had an old, but prolific, pear tree. And we had two middle-aged dogs, a black Labrador named Gracie and a mutt named Twinkie, who was allegedly half-Golden Retriever. Never were two dogs closer friends, with our Lab being the leader, and our mutt being her loyal sidekick.

When the pear would bloom, Gracie would start looking up at it each day, very carefully. As soon as she saw any wee pearlets beginning, she would circle and bark at them. As they grew, she would continue to eye them and bark. And as soon as they began to ripen, she would stand and stare at the one she wanted, barking furiously until it was picked and handed to her. Twinkie always stood by, curled tail wiggling over her back, politely waiting for her pear, too.

The years passed, and the tradition of observing the pear tree closely continued, and as more and more time passed, both the dogs and the tree became weaker. Finally one last autumn, when both dogs were 16 years old and had eaten the last of the pears, they declined rapidly. They died within minutes of each other, Gracie carefully watching over Twinkie until she was safe, and then dying herself, after weakly shaking hands with our vets, who had rushed over to help. 

And the pear died, too, and like our precious dogs, never saw another spring. 

We have their urns, and we tell our new rescues, Sophie and Piglet, all about their older "sisters." One of the joys of my life has been rescuing animals, and our newest rescue, Piglet, not even here a week, already has a special place in my heart. He is disabled. It's a labor of love for that dog to haul his tiny self to his feet and totter over to us dragging a leg damaged from being caught in a chain for months. But he always does get up, "burbling" and smiling and tiny corkscrew tail shaking. I know some people feel they cannot "replace" one animal with another, and we didn't, but we did rescue these dogs in honor of Gracie and Twinkie.

Free printable antique fruit tags. Click the "P" to Pin, and click elsewhere on the image to enlarge it. Then right-click to save.

Wednesday, March 16

Remembering the Gardens of Yesteryear

I've written before about my mother's mother, my Granny. Her garden was a wonder, and I bet the few commercial nurseries that remain today would love to have had some of her cultivars. She had everything from common monkeygrass to rare and wild specimens, including wild azalea trees and wild grapes, and more than a few bulbs I have never seen anywhere since. Her arbors were festooned with both perennials and annuals, with Spanish Flag and Cypress Vine climbing all over the passionflowers. I can remember her fussing over Mr. Lincoln, the deep red rose that was never as robust as she had hoped. 

This little collage shows just a tiny fraction of the plants from my childhood: Spirea Vanhouttei, scented geraniums, tallow tree berries, loquats (colloquially called "Japanese Plum") with their double seeds, and the unreal color and metallic shine of beautyberry.

Are gardens and gardening less popular now than a few decades ago? Or does it only seem so to me, because I know of no one who really gardens much, and I live in a particularly barren part of the desert? 

I think there is more emphasis now on food gardening, and less on specimen trees and flowers, perhaps because yards have shrunk. My neighbor's yard is so shallow that they can't park their truck in their own driveway. It hangs out into the street. Free time is a rare commodity now, too. Most women work outside the home. Multi-generational households are back up percentage-wise, but everyone's working or in school. Gardens take time, especially in the "establishing" phase.

I miss the colorful catalogs of yesteryear (and how I wish I had kept a few circa 1970!): Burpees, Gurney's, Park's, and the "newcomers" decades ago, Seymour's Selected Seeds (we called it "Lady Seymour's Seeds") and Johnny's from Maine. I would almost tremble with excitement when they would arrive in winter and I'd make my choices. And the choices seemed limitless, with variety after variety filling the pages. I guess they are now on the Internet, and I've seen rare, strange, and fantastical seeds for sale on Ebay. 

I think it's time for me to stop looking back at the heyday of the seed catalog, and start looking ahead. Even if the gardens of my youth have disappeared, perhaps I can plant a garden for my old age, with all the old favorites in it, and some of those new seeds from Ebay, too!

Tuesday, March 15

DIY: Make a "Bunny Munch" Jar

I've been making little (and big) Bunny Munch Jars for some friends and co-workers who could use a little lift. It's easy, and it's a good way to use up some of my canning jars!

These can be made as healthy or as candy-laden as you wish. I have started eating a lot of Jordan almonds - delicious and healthy, too.


Canning Jar
Edible Easter Grass
Variety of small goodies to put inside

Take your clean, very dry jar, and pull off some strands of edible Easter grass. Curl them around your hand and place in the bottom of the jar.

HINT: If you don't have edible Easter grass, a good work-around is to take a handful of regular basket grass and put it in a plain baggie. Twist the baggie shut and place in jar, twisted side down, so that it doesn't open. If you're out of baggies, use a piece of plastic wrap.

Add in the goodies you want the recipient to have. I advise eating any and all "odd" looking pieces of candy. You know, the more I looked, the odder they looked, so I had to eat quite a few. *wink*

Screw on the lid.

Optional: Hang a tag from the neck of the jar, or tie some raffia or a ribbon around it. 

DECORATION HINT: If you have a plastic or china bunny or fluffy chick, put a glue dot or some hot glue and glue it to the top of the lid! I often use a little salt shaker for my top decoration.

I was going for a rustic look, but the lid from the jar just pulled right off (and darned if it wasn't a new jar), so I hunted up a pink lid and went with that. There's no way to do these wrong!