Birdies, Bird House, & The Garden Lady


”I am more myself in a garden than anywhere else on earth.”~Doug Greene




How was your week?





I spent a good part of the week outdoors specifically in my garden. 



The weather has been a perfect combination of sunshine



and blue skies with large puffy clouds.



The more time I spend in the garden…



the more I’m convinced that gardens are for gardeners and for non gardeners alike.



A garden is the source of many experiences…



different satisfactions.



There is gardening and then…



there is being in the garden.



 There are gardeners who love nothing better than wrestling with the elements digging bare fingers deep in the soil, struggling with shovels, digging and re-digging, planting and re-planting…



making and remaking their gardens as they strive toward that dream in their mind. They are the artists and the engineers of the garden…



they thrive on the challenge of turning bare ground into something lovely and fruitful.





 Even though I’ve always been involved with what is happening in the garden…



I see myself more as the garden lady who enjoys frequent excursions to wonderful garden shops…



perusing the aisles for plants already blooming,



returning home with a flat or two of smiling pansies or pretty primroses ready to place in a bed, planter, or window box.



My garden is continually changing…transformation is all around me and nature.



 I’m  learning  that a good garden evolves and changes along with me and my needs. There’s no need to feel bad if I decide to rip out a plant or shrub because I found something else to plant.



I’m often on the lookout to see what needs to be changed…and want my garden to always be in the growing mode… Just like our lives they are not planted in concrete.



As I mature, I’m hoping to become wiser…more open to change…growth…and the wonders of new beginnings.





 1 ounce gelatin, birdseed, boiling water bowls, string for hanging loops, and cute little molds.


In a mixing bowl add 1 ounce gelatin and one cup of boiling water and stir until all of the gelatin has dissolved. Add birdseed (about three cups…depending on the kind of bird seed) You want to make sure the mixture is pretty stiff.  Spoon in the mixture into molds.  Cut your yarn for the hanging loops, knot one end and stick the knot  into one seed cake. Cover the knot with a little birdseed mixture to make sure it will set firmly. Wait for the gelatin to harden. You can leave the cakes at room temperature to set…however it’s much quicker if you put them in the fridge. To get the sweet cakes out of the mold quickly dip into hot water…it will pop! Birdseed cakes for the birds! Now you can go hang them out in your garden with great delight watch the birds twitter around them. 🤗👩‍🌾



Posted in Garden/Tea Time | 5 Comments

A California Spring Tea💐


”Laughter is an instant vacation”~Milton Berle




Since I’ve been out of town all week…I was tickled pink to receive an email from my  California girlfriend sharing a recent Spring Tea. The gals who attended are all dear former colleagues with an accumulative career spanning over 30 years. 💕










Notes from my California girlfriend:

“Sally had the tea at her beautiful home. She just kept bringing loads of delectable food.We had big scones first and were not ashamed that we ate them to the last crumb!  Of course we had a moment of silence for our mentor (you!) as we perused the pot of Oregon Blueberry Preserves (photo of chicken holding jar). Caught up on each other’s lives, families and activities around the table. Laughed so much and really relished the food and each other’s company. Who knew when we were so busy teaching that we would be such good friends forever. Blue skies out the windows, magnificent food (oh that quiche, fabulous salad and perfect fruit combo), and the company of sweet friends made for a great tea time together. We spoke of husbands, children and pets, remembered folks from teaching days and wondered how we ever found the time to work full time. We are now helpers for our families, friends, neighbors and many organizations we belong too. Filling our retirement with good works and are too busy some days!  I made the scones, Sally made everything plus cookies, Donna made choc dipped 🍓.”

















For party favors succulent plantings were made.


’Thank you sweet California girlfriends for sharing your special Spring Tea! And I do agree…who would have known that such a bond of friendships would have been cultivated forever.” Marcia💕




(Do not over-knead/stir the dough)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a  large bowl add 2 cups flour +1/4 cup sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder +1/2 teaspoon salt. Dice 3/4 stick of cold butter. Gently rub butter into flour mixture. In a small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup +1 tablespoon heavy cream plus one large egg. Set aside add *condiments of your choice into the bowl with the dry mixture. Gently add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Transferred Joe to lightly floured board. Gently roll dough into a bar. Pat into a 6 inch circle. Cut into eight wedges. Place onto parchment cookie sheet. Bake until golden 16-18 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheet halfway through.

* Coconut/shaved chocolate, dried cranberries/walnuts, mandarin orange/pecan, or any combination there of. Serve with lemon curd, jellies or with cream fraiche.



Posted in Garden/Tea Time | 6 Comments

Reflections on Mother’s Day




                      “It is the wise mother…who gives her child roots and wings.”



   With Mother’s Day just around the corner I’m stirred by the memories they conjure up.


2014-02-19 19.32.25

 It has been 7 years since I retired from teaching elementary school. And, almost every year beginning with the first until the thirtieth my class would celebrate Mother’s Day with a Mother’s Day Tea.

2014-01-22 05.01.45

The children would make special cards and set their desks like a fancy table. The tables were set with a plate of cookies, and a cup of tea. The mothers all enjoyed it.  There were years when some of the children’s mom’s weren’t able to attend. Perhaps, the child was living in a foster home, or the mom couldn’t get off work, or something.


2014-01-22 04.53.23-1-1

In those times I’d fill in as mom. And, it was during those occasions I’d be reminded how very important our mothers were, and what a strong desire we have as children to love and be loved by them.


I was very fortunate to have grown up with an exceptional mother. Her name was Olga. And, as you can see from the photo… Olga was quite a beauty.



I believe these photos were taken sometime in the early 1940’s. Olga was still in her teens. And,  even though Olga was married at a very young age, (19) I’m fairly sure she wasnt married yet.


I am really loving those shoes!
Wow...and Olga was quite the Fashionista too.



I love these photos for several reasons. Primarily, because they show the true adventurous spirt of this amazing woman.


Naturally,  the memories I have of this wonderful Lady, were that as my mother.  A woman of “unconditional” love, and who had the Graciousness of a Queen. However, I also love these particular photos because they show my mother at an age that I never knew her at. Before marriage, children, and the life she chose to live as a wife, and mother extraordinaire.  Today, I’d like to celebrate, and honor that young girl, her hopes, dreams, sense for adventure, and all the JOY she brought into this world.



And, for you dear reader I wish you a blessed Mothers Day. A greeting  in which you experience all the beauty, love, and joy around you.  Oh, and of course lets remember to throw in a little adventure. 

   Tangerine Tea

4 tangerine slices*

12 whole cloves

4 sticks of cinnamon  

2 tablespoons of sugar

4 cups orange pekoe tea brewed with the rind of one tangerine.  

Stud each slice of tangerine with 3 cloves. Now place a tangerine slice, a cinnamon stick, and 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar in each cup. Fill with hot tea from the pot. Serve, using the cinnamon stick to stir the tea.

Makes 4 cups.

*orange slices could also be used.                                                                     



Posted in Garden/Tea Time | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

And Now We Have May🌷



”Let all thy joys be as the month of May”

~Francis Quarles


🌷Hello, sweet friend…🌷



There was enough rain here in April to nourish the garden…

I plan on using May to refresh my spirit…



focusing on all the joys in life.



As I look out the kitchen window I get a glimpse of how quickly everything is growing. very quickly






all this gets me to thinking about time…



do you ever wonder where the time has gone?



In just a few short months I will have been retired for seven years.



Trust me…



I don’t take this luxury of time for granted.



I’m glad I have had this time to write…paint…garden…try out new recipes…play with photography…



exploring and discovering creative things…



about myself…



to experience sharing in new friendships that this luxury of time brought.



I feel lucky or rather blessed to have had this time to discover these new things around me and more.



do you ever wonder where the time has gone?



Soon the year will be half over… some moments wasted perhaps I was too busy focusing on the wrong things in the moment. Now it’s time to focus on those moments that matter most. Each day is filled with possibilities of moments of discovery and great joy. The only thing I can grasp is this moment.



Time after time I pause and consider the blessing of the moment.

May all of  May’s blessings be yours…🌷







14 chile de arbol

1 tsp cumin

2 tsp oregano

1 tsp peppercorn

3 cloves  garlic

1 tbs.white vinegar

1 15 oz. can of petite tomatoes (or tomato sauce)

1 bunch of chopped cilantro

1/2 whole onion

1-2 chopped fresh tomatoes (or 1 can of petite diced tomatoes)




  1. Roast in a pan: chile, cumin, oregano, peppercorn & garlic cloves for about  10 minutes. (or until flavors emerge) Set aside.
  2. In blender add white vinegar, salt and can of tomatoes, cilantro, onion, & diced tomatoes. Blend for about 1 minute. Enjoy!





Posted in Garden/Tea Time | 6 Comments

The Chihuahua Club Of SoCal






Westminster isn’t the only dog show that draws a crowd…





In addition to being man’s best friend…











a dog can also be man’s best social partner.  🐾







Dog owners are a pretty creative bunch of people…



turning the typical things that dogs love to do..








into fun (and yummy) competitions for all.🐾.

(The club is famous for the fabulous luncheon offered each year…sweet SoCal girlfriend was so busy she didn’t get to take photos of it, but said there was fried chicken, big slices of ham, potato salad, Mac salad, vegetables, dip, croissants, biscuits, and many desserts…pineapple, cherry cake, chocolate cake, cookies, donuts, drinks of all kinds.) I’m getting hungry!









My dear SoCal girlfriend recently shared her experience and photos from the 85th Chihuahua competition which was held at the Industry Hills EXPO Center in City of Industry, California.



By the looks of things the show was a huge success…no pun intended🐾



So much work…but they did it!



The club provided raffle baskets. (they generate lots of revenue for the club) Sweet SoCal gf and her sister made 38! They put netting around the baskets, tied them at top…cut a carnation shape & then tied them with a color net 8”wide great bow. 3 spectacular baskets were made from Year of the Dog items sent from China. So cute!



Of course my girlfriend (queen of creativity) prepared doggie stew, doggie treats, and even invented a a pattern for doggie panties!🐾



(two panties for girls and two matching belly bands for boys) 🐾



A bunch were made for prizes🐾(did I hear a bow wow?)



Here is a photo of Beebs wearing a pretty pair. (testing out the waistline…Velcro circles were placed at the waist to fix them on…. little difficult to create a pattern for a 3D body)🐾 perhaps a bit big for her tiny self.




Oatmeal, Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Treats Recipe



1 egg

1/3 cup peanut butter(chunky or creamy)

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup mashed banana



 Preheat oven to 300°

Combine all ingredients in your mixing bowl. The order doesn’t really matter. Knead the dough until ball forms. Add a little more flour if the dough is sticky. Flatten dough on counter or cutting board, either with your hands are rolling pen if the dough is sticky, add a little more flour. Use adorable cookie cutters.🐾  Prepare cookie sheet by sprints of oil on it or use parchment paper. Bake at 300° for about 20 minutes. Makes a few dozen cookies.

 Note: all ingredients are safe for human consumption because of the egg it’s not recommended feeding it to your pup while it is raw.🐾

Posted in Coastal Living | Tagged | 4 Comments